Saturday, 24 May 2008

Cinema Magic

In the last few weeks I've been asked the same question twice. Or more accurately Polly has been asked. “Does he go anywhere? A day centre perhaps?” No I don't go to a day centre. Nor do I weave baskets, play Whist, or enjoy Bingo. For crying out loud, I'm in a wheelchair not my dotage. I'm even allowed out unsupervised - and that's official. Fiona, from the wheelchair service, came to check that I had the Samba Quickie under control. She wanted to check that I didn't run amok and mow down pedestrians, that I could cross the road safely (using the green cross code), and that I could resist the temptation to race mobility scooters down the High Street. She seemed satisfied but I was disappointed I didn't get a certificate.

Just in case you are worried that I never get out, on Thursday I went with Stewart, who arrived after a hard days crime fighting, to the local Vue cinema multiplex. I love the cinema and try to go at least a couple of times a month. You would probably expect me, with my arts background and esoteric literary tastes, to frequent Portuguese art house films dubbed into French with German subtitles, whereas I actually only go to see movies with lots of explosions. On Thursday it was the new Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull movie, which certainly met with my exacting expectations for big budget action packed mayhem and don't let sneering internet nerds or the occasional world weary film critic put you off, if you enjoyed Indy's previous adventures then you will enjoy this one every bit as much.

Harrison Ford makes no pretence at being as young as he once was and the film makes several references to this, pairing him with the much younger Shia LaBeouf as new sidekick Mutt. Don't worry though, Indiana Jones proves as indestructible as ever as he takes on the Commies in paranoiac 1957 America. The McGuffin for this adventure is the Crystal Skull of the title and we've moved from religious artefacts to an alien one but the winning formula remains the same; lots of perilously narrow escapes, breathlessly frantic chases and wise-cracks and whip-cracking dialogue. There are some wonderful set pieces including an escape from an atomic bomb and a cliff diving amphibious car, as well as genuinely scary scenes such as one involving flesh eating soldier ants.

It's not a perfect film by any means. There are some strange inconsistencies regarding the magnetic properties of crystal that bothered me throughout the film. A cloth seems to have a miraculous dampening effect on a hitherto super magnet. (Watch the film, you'll understand.) But that's a minor quibble; if you can accept that a 65 year old man can be shot at 10,000 times, fall hundreds of feet without being hit or breaking a single bone then the odd breach of the laws of physics shouldn't bother you too much.

If you want to spend a couple of hours watching a well paced, action filled movie featuring an iconic hero then you won't do better than Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Enjoy.

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