/Film has a couple new production photos and IESB has the full press kit for Indiana Jones and the Incident at the Souplantation.
The collection of press releases reads like the War and Peace of masturbatory promotional copy as translated by Babelfish, but I’ll try to sum up (and by that I mean quote parts of it that are easy to make fun of). On the whole, I wish they treated Harrison Ford with the same understated subtlety the North Korean press reserves for Kim Jong Il.
The whip-toting, punch-packing [Ed. Note: Seriously?], snake-hating, globe-trotting archaeologist with a fedora is back on screen in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” debuting worldwide Thursday, May 22, 2008.
This newest adventure begins in the desert Southwest in 1957 – the height of the Cold War. Indy and his sidekick Mac (Ray Winstone) have barely escaped a close scrape with nefarious Soviet agents on a remote airfield.
Now, Professor Jones has returned home to Marshall College – only to find things have gone from bad to worse. His close friend and dean of the college (Jim Broadbent) explains that Indy’s recent activities have made him the object of suspicion, and that the government has put pressure on the university to fire him. On his way out of town, Indiana meets rebellious young Mutt (Shia LaBeouf), who carries both a grudge and a proposition for the adventurous archaeologist: If he’ll help Mutt on a mission with deeply personal stakes, Indy could very well make one of the most spectacular archaeological finds in history – the Crystal Skull of Akator, a legendary object of fascination, superstition and fear.
But as Indy and Mutt set out for the most remote corners of Peru – a land of ancient tombs, forgotten explorers and a rumored city of gold – they quickly realize they are not alone in their search. The Soviet agents are also hot on the trail of the Crystal Skull. Chief among them is icy cold, devastatingly beautiful Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), whose elite military unit is scouring the globe for the eerie Crystal Skull, which they believe can help the Soviets dominate the world … if they can unlock its secrets.
Indy and Mutt must find a way to evade the ruthless Soviets, follow an impenetrable trail of mystery, grapple with enemies and friends of questionable motives, and, above all, stop the powerful Crystal Skull from falling into the deadliest of hands.
Sidekicks named Mutt and Mac? A Russian dominatrix? Cate Blanchett with an accent? I can hardly breathe. That synopsis drank my milkshake and then punched me in the weiner. But wait, there’s more!
“We created Indiana Jones, but it belongs to the world,” says director Steven Spielberg. “And now we’re the custodians [Then clean my house, bitch. –Ed.]. Our job really is to serve up a huge helping not only of what Indiana Jones means to audiences who grew up with it, but to introduce the character to those who haven’t. This new film is for the fans.”
Spielberg added that he plans to give the movie 110% and take this season one game at a time.
Executive producer and co-story writer, George Lucas, says his goal was to create an experience that will transport audiences into an all-new adventure set in a familiar world – a world that generations of fans have come to know and love. “The style is the same, the humor is the same. Everything feels the same.”
Seriously. That’s how they quoted him in an official press release.
When we last saw Indiana Jones on screen, it was 1938, and the world stood on the brink of war as Dr. Jones chased down evildoers to find the Holy Grail.
Nineteen years later, he’s cracking his whip again, and many things have changed … but some have remained the same. Again, the world is at a precipice, this time caused by the specter of nuclear annihilation, and Indy’s struggle is once again to ensure that a precious, mysterious object remains safe from those bent on destroying humanity.
Yessss, protect the precioussss…
“It was important for me that the character move into the Atomic Age,” says Spielberg. “Our film takes place in 1957, which is totally informed by the Cold War, by McCarthyism, by hot rods, and girls wearing letter sweaters, ponytails, and saddle shoes. For me, the ‘50s were emblematic of music, of the very beginning of rock and roll. It was Technicolor. The Fifties means the bright young faces that Norman Rockwell loved to paint.”
Hell yeah, man, the fifties! it’s about time someone made a movie about the fifties! What have they been waitin’ for?
In Dr. Jones, Harrison Ford has created a screen hero whose enduring appeal is a unique combination of no-nonsense toughness and snake-fearing humility.
“Harrison’s a man’s man,” says co-star Shia LaBeouf, who portrays Indy’s unwitting sidekick as they go in search of the legendary Crystal Skull. “So when you put him into these situations where he’s vulnerable, it’s hysterical. Any vulnerabilities Indy has – and there are a lot of them – are funny. Indiana Jones is very rough around the edges, but he’s actually a really good person, and that’s also just the way Harrison is. He’s an action man, and he makes an art form out of it. No one else is Indiana Jones.”
Spielberg added, “He’s a good guy – crazy bout Elvis. He loves horses, and America too.” Moving on, Blah blah blah, Harrison Ford does most of own stunts. Hey Shia, can you talk about your character as if he’s a real person?
“Mutt’s a kid who’s never really had a normal upbringing. He quit school and became obsessed with motorcycles and machinery,” he says. “There’s so much about Mutt that he never really got to talk about, so now he prefers not to. He’s like a man-boy, a person who on the outside is presenting himself to be something he’s really not.”
He’s an Outsider, you might say, outside of everything. But you know, Shia, you haven’t said anything embarrassingly sycophantic yet.
Through it all – snakes, swords, knives and motorcycles – LaBeouf found his most exciting moment came when he first laid eyes on Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones.
“You get breathless,” he says. “Your breath literally leaves you. For me, though, part of that reaction had to do with the way I saw him in full costume for the first time. We were on an Air Force base, and we were doing vehicle training. Harrison flew in on a helicopter. He got out of the helicopter, took five or six steps, then reached back for something. It was his whip! It’s weird, because in that moment, he wasn’t Harrison Ford – he was Indiana Jones [literally!]. I was watching him pulling out that whip, untangling it, putting grease on it, and then he held it and I thought, ‘Oh, my God. This is real.’”
Mmm, a 65-year-old man greasing up his whip. I’m so turned on right now. Jesus Christ, guys, I’m not even halfway through it. I’m tapping out. Feel free to read the rest. Personally, I’d rather attend a Scientology lecture. Oh my God, you mean to tell me there’s a …thing that’s going to change my life, and all I have to do is pay you to give me hints about what it is? Where do I sign up?