“Raiders!” is easily one of the best films of 2016. It’s a compelling and incredibly emotional tale of how one movie influenced a trio of young boys, and how that piece of art not only paved the road for their future, but also save them in many ways. What becomes incredibly evident throughout the duration of “Raiders!” that makes what unfolds before our eyes a truly gut wrenching journey is that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were men influenced by movies. Thanks to their love for serials and Westerns, they were motivated to make “Raiders of the Lost Ark” as a means of confronting their love for classic serial adventurers. After seeing “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in theaters, young Eric Zala sought out to remake of “Raiders” but with teenagers in place of the adult actors.
If anything, while “The Last Crusade” is considered the weakest film of the first three films, director Steven Spielberg teams up the world’s most popular James Bond actor, with the newest adventure hero Indiana Jones. Once considered the finale in the adventures of Indiana Jones, “The Last Crusade” takes another step back and examines the Indiana Jones from when he was a young man. Played by the late River Phoenix, director Spielberg chronicles many of the beats that turned Indiana Jones from a young daring man who cherished hallowed treasures, to an actual man who risked life and limb to return hallowed treasures back to their homes.
“The Temple of Doom” is one of the few prequels ever made that works, and works well. Though it gets a bad rap by some fans of the series, “The Temple of Doom” follows in the Lucas tradition where the ante is upped, and the sequel garners a much darker atmosphere with a unique premise not centered on the Nazis and their quest for world domination. “The Temple of Doom” is a great change of pace, in the end. And it’s damn fun, to boot.
Before it was re-branded “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark,” it was simply titled “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Though the title promised great adventure, director Steven Spielberg and writer Lawrence Kasdan managed to deliver a hero every audience member could watch and relate to, no matter what the circumstance. Harrison Ford managed to depict a ruthless space pirate in “Star Wars” and brings that same charisma and enthusiasm to Indiana Jones, a big screen hero who is dashing and cunning, but just as average as anyone else venturing in to his world.
Hollywood keeps trying to tap the video game market to concoct the next hit movie or movie series for audiences, while movie based video games are all but extinct these days. For a while they were huge, while in the late eighties and the entire decade of the nineties were filled with video games based on movies. From “Dirty Harry,” and “Lethal Weapon,” to “Robocop,” “Robocop 2,” “Robocop 3,” “Robocop vs. Terminator,” The Entire “Terminator” series, the “Die Hard” trilogy, “No Escape,” “Congo,” “Stargate,” “Independence Day,” the list can go on. There was even “Street Fighter” the game based on the movie, which was based on a game. There are still games based on movies that I never knew existed.
In honor of the dying breed of good movie based video games, here are ten of our favorite video games based on movies. What are your favorite games based on movies?
Long before the internet, long before the age of the world wide web, fan films were a rarity. Often times they were made by very serious filmmakers who wanted to pay tribute to their favorite pop culture facet, and more often than not the fan films were typically underground elements or screened only locally. These days with the world wide web at your finger tips, anyone can make their own fan film for a low budget, and become the hit of the moment. Not to mention, they can land themselves a sweet directing gig at a Hollywood studio, if someone eventually watches it and spreads the word. Sometimes, fandom just catches on and becomes an infectious bit of lifestyle to admire and acknowledge.
There are plenty of wonderful fan films with the motive only to entertain, and “Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation” is one of them. Filmed by three school mates (Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, and Jayson Lamb) over the course of seven years, the fanatics of Steven Spielberg’s seminal “Raiders of the Lost Ark” took the initiative in constructing and directing their own full length version of his film with their own props and set pieces. The film was for many years a rare piece of filmmaking until it was screened years later and became a critical hit. This is mostly due to its ambition and ability to pay tribute to Spielberg’s film while also giving it the indie flair that many modern indie films lack. It has no real polish to it, but it’s still a damn fine remake from three guys who just loved the movie, and sought out to give it their own stamp.
I’m in the minority opinion that about most of what came out of the eighties was utter dreck. Movies, music, fashion, and television, a good portion of it is dreck that has remained in the public consciousness based solely around nostalgia and people still muddled by their own fond memories of the decade. Since I’m in an eighties mood I thought I’d finally settle our top ten movies of the 80’s, a decade that gave us mind rotting MTV, and Mr. T only to name a few of its crimes, of course. Rounding out our top ten of the decade was not an easy task since it was a decade consisting primarily of disposable fare in the way of comedies and horror films, while the dramas were basically mostly middling fare.
I was, however, up to the challenge. I did set some guidelines of course. Since the 80’s were all about the slasher film, about every slasher film made in the decade is off the table since this list would be filled with them and ruin the purpose. I’m a heavy fan of the “Friday the 13th” series and the like, so it wouldn’t be an interesting list. We also left out most of the Nightmare on Elm Street films, Critters, Gremlins, and most horror films from the decade altogether. We give enough respect to them, here are ten films from the ten years that I thought were the absolute best.
So I keep coming back to that same question over and over: Was “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” really all that bad, or were more Lucas retractors just exaggerating because they grew up and Spielberg’s story didn’t? And I keep coming back to that same answer: No. “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” really isn’t a bad movie; in fact it’s one of the better Indiana Jones entries I’ve seen that’s been grossly skewered by fans as the “Phantom Menace” of the Indiana Jones franchise, when really, it’s not bad. It’s actually quite good.