Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Archives - BingeMedia.Net (2022)

Last week, I wrote an entire column basically describing how fan boys are assholes and try how they might to ruin a film for you before you even see it. It is almost like they say ‘I know. I will put down (insert movie title) because (insert person anticipating it) is really looking forward to it.’ It is a real ineffective way to live your life and if you are one of these types of people, please stop reading this and any future columns of mine right now because you are an asshole.

However, even with how hard people work at convincing you a new film is not up to your entertainment standards, sometimes our own worst enemy when it comes to watching movies is ourselves. Specifically, our own vested anticipation. How many times have you anticipated a movie for months, sometimes years, only to have the date creep up on you and you walk out feeling not nearly as fulfilled as you thought you would? It is something each film fan has experienced at least once in their lives. But why is it that we find ourselves even in that position? What are our own personal standards of how a film can be classified as personally life-changing?

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I feel it is quite a number of things, mostly what kind of personal baggage we bring into each movie. Let me get the two most obvious examples out of the way quickly. One of my most memorable childhood film going experiences involved going with my father to see Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. With hardly an eye on anything other than all the times I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark on our just acquired cable network HBO, I walked in only knowing that hero Indiana Jones would probably crack his whip a lot. Seen back to back with Gremlins in a soda floored movie theater in Fairfield California, I was transfixed on each new situation Indy found himself in, and I can safely say the darkness of this film also made me fall in love with the horror genre. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, while not as life changing, was another fantastic film going experience. This time I was 12 years old and walking into a movie theater with a friend, and for the first time I was without a parent in a movie theater. I loved how the movie turned into an entertaining farce with some family values and an obvious love for history thrown in for good measure.

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Flash forward to January 2008. I had just started my three year sabbatical in University living, and while surfing the net doing research for a paper, something crawled across my screen that made my eyes light up like a Christmas tree: New Indiana Jones Trailer. The way this trailer, titled Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, integrated old Indy adventures with new footage of him falling into a truck backwards and punching the driver & its passenger chilled me to the bone. It was something I watched many times, sending it to my Myspace (yep) friends at the time and even showing my father, who was also smiling from ear to ear afterwards. I then went to a screening, which I was invited to thanks to the site I was working for at the time, and walked out….well, I don’t know how I walked out of there. Dejected is not the right word. Neither is angry. In fact, it still holds the record for the most conflicted I have ever been after seeing a movie. I ended up giving the movie a fairly decent review, and took my brother to it on opening night, almost holding my head in my hands saying out loud, ‘what was I thinking?’

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Looking back, I have no idea what I expected. Nearly twenty years after Last Crusade, Ford was still Indy. He was still using his whip and shooting his revolver. But in between all the swinging with monkeys and bad guys getting decimated by CGI ants, the charm and sheer wit which drew me in was missing. Now when I watch Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I find myself halfway enjoying it. Is it the least of the films? Absolutely. But I can watch it now and think that it was not nearly as bad as I thought. In fact, my father and I had a real fun time watching it the week it came out on DVD. The anticipation for that movie changing my life like the previous two got in the way of me actually enjoying it. Did it make me love horror and want to explore history? No. But hardly any film has that kind of impact on anybody, so what the hell was my problem the first time?

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And then there is 1999’s Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Now, I have already been on record in various columns and podcasts saying I do not hold Phantom Menace, or any of the Star Wars prequels, as far deep in the barrel as most. But starting in 1984, when I read in People Magazine that George Lucas wanted to tell Darth Vader’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Archives - BingeMedia.Net (5)backstory, I was already counting down the days. By the way, if there was someone on the cover of People whom I wanted to read about, I would always beg my mom to get it for me. This particular one had, who else, but Indy. Anyway, Lucas already started the wheels in motion, and by 1997, when the original trilogy was re-released to theaters with brand new scenes, the anticipation was at an all time high. Working at a grocery store, I would scour the magazine rack looking for anything on Star Wars. I would spend hours looking on Star Wars sites. Years. Months. Weeks. Days. Of course, the question once again comes up: what the hell was I expecting? Another Empire Strikes Back? Another series of Ewok scenes? The Darth Vader mask to be the final shot of the film? No idea. Yet, when I got tickets for my father and I, we walked in that theater, and the familiar Star Wars theme blasted the speakers. It was almost magic. Yet when the movie ended, I walked out and once again declared, ‘what happened?’

I see and enjoy all three of the prequels for what they are. I won’t go into the reasons for that here. But I honestly believe the main reason people have such disdain for them, notably Phantom Menace, is because they were expecting the highest of orders. They were expecting to see everything that made one of the best villains in history tick within one film. They also were not expecting the senate hearings, and things which eventually led to the Galactic Empire being built from the ground up. Are the scenes boring? Sure. But what someone brings into the film in anticipation of it has almost everything to do with why they hate it. And of course, they were not expecting Jar Jar. Yet as I have already outlined many times, I do not hate it.

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Of course, I have many examples of these instances happening to me in which I DO fully understand the reasons why it did not live up to my anticipation. James Cameron promised a movie which would change the way movies were made in the years and months leading up to Avatar‘s 2009 release. But was it all for the better? I have watched Avatar a grand total of one time since it left theaters (I saw it two times in that capacity, both in 3D) and none since. Rewatching the movie without the experience of living in Cameron’s 3D world is a downer. The story is completely lackluster, and there are certain times I would argue that some of Cameron’s dialogue would wilt in comparison to even Lucas’s. But in looking back, was there anything more to expect from the man who had never been known as a smart dialogue writer? Not really, I guess. But in Avatar I anticipated a movie I had not seen a hundred times before in less expensive (and much better) features before it.

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The 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street was another film which went on my radar the moment it was announced. Freddy Krueger was a character that, despite only being a few steps up from a poor hapless chap getting his heart ripped out in Temple of Doom, forever cemented my love for horror. But it is no secret that after an admittedly enjoyable part IV, the series quickly went into a downward spiral, until eventually being bookended by a remarkably shitty and pretentious movie called Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. So when Platinum Dunes announced they were moving ahead with a remake, I found myself getting incredibly excited. Even the first film, in watching it now, falls apart at the seams after the midway point. So how about a dark take on a character which has the potential to be one of the scariest in history? Put notable character actor Jackie Earle Haley in the fedora, and you have a winner. Right? RIGHT?!

I guess if I had a movie going experience similar to those people who say they hate Phantom Menace had, it wouldIndiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Archives - BingeMedia.Net (8) be this one. Not as much a remake as a stilted piece of shit and rehash of old scenes using computer graphics as opposed to practical effects, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 just stomped all over any sort of anticipation I may have had. Why turn the character of Freddy Krueger from a scary scar-faced entity…to a muppet-faced scumbag….is baffling, and how epic a fail director Samuel Bayer and producer Michael Bay pulled off with this remake is beyond words. Thank God there was never a sequel to squash any more dreams I had of seeing a good Freddy movie ever again.

So what is it about anticipation that gets us where it hurts? I don’t know. What I do know is that if the outside world doesn’t get you, your very own anticipation will. Just once, I would like a movie to sneak up on me. With so many cinematic influences out there, many of which are mentioned above, and social media making it harder and harder to do so, it is looking like an unending battle to once again find that lightning in a bottle.

What are some of YOUR most anticipated letdowns?

Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Thoughts

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I know this column is already way over worded and the great Luke Norris is waiting with baited breath to get his thoughts on it out there. But I thought my feelings on last Saturday’s fight, the most anticipated in decades, kind of echoes the theme of what this entire column has been about. I felt from the beginning that this fight was held five years too late. That being said, even though I really had no dog in the fight, I still thought there was potential for it to be even better than anticipated. Coming in, all people said is that no one could take it to Mayweather like Pacquiao could. And the only way Pacquiao would have a chance is if he did exactly that, and not let Mayweather pile on points and run.

Yet, there was always the solid chance that Mayweather would not let that happen. So after paying $89.95 to see Mayweather lose, people are now calling him a coward for fighting like he did and winning like he has for 90% of his fights. Even though he has done it almost his entire career. So I will say it again: What did people expect? I better take this moment to say that as someone who did not have to pay as much to watch it, I guess my thoughts are kind of stilted.

Afterwards, retired boxer Oscar De La Hoya took to Twitter criticizing Mayweather for running like he did (even though De La Hoya did the same exact tactic in the later rounds of a 1999 fight after he thought he had Felix Trinidad beaten by points), Mayweather bragged about making $100 million on the fight, and Pacquiao made himself look even worse by saying it was a shoulder injury which prevented him from fighting like he wanted to. The funniest part of all this is that the shoulder injury will probably make Pacquiao pursue a rematch, people will still pay out of the bank to hopefully watch Mayweather lose, and the only people who lose are those aching for a big money fight to be entertaining. And then the A word starts all over again.

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