Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2023 film Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Story

Like every other movie in this series, it feels like they come up with set pieces and added story as they went along. “I don’t know, I’m making this up as I go.”

That being said the plot in this one is, despite time travel, way more coherent than some of the others.

Score: 0.5

Characters

Instead of the confident, mellow, Indiana from the last movie, we have the Indiana who’s given up. Apparently, the screen writers liked Mutt less than I did and killed him off between movies to give Indiana more motivation. Once he stopped moping, he went back to his quippy roots.

I was glad the leading lady wasn’t a love interest and that makes this movie unique in the series as he doesn’t have a love interest that follows him through.

As for his niece, she bordered between fun and frustrating. The kid was awesome though, and it was nice to see Salah again.

The biggest frustration was offhanded way they kept killing people. I hate it when a story introduces someone interesting and then kills them off because they’re inconvenient.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

This movie had much improved banter and dialogue. The archeology-babble was about the same but the conversations and jokes were great.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

This was shot differently then the others and it worked really well. The camera work, effects, and colour palette was really good. I did find the “age reduced” Harrison Ford a little weird looking, and it was discordant to have the older voice coming from the younger character. Seeing as those effects look weird now, I can’t imagine they’ll age well.

The music was great as usual.

Score: 0.5

Fun

The movie straddled the line between nostalgia and new content and did a good job. The whole family enjoyed it. I feel like any Indiana film with Salah in it is awesome.

Score: 1

Overall

One of the better Indiana Jones films, and that means you’re in for lots of action, lots of adventure, and more than your fair share of quippy dialogue. It’s slowed down by experimental special effects, a depressing storyline, and more character deaths than were needed.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2008 film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Story

There are things about this story that work better than the others and some that just don’t work as well. The soviets as villains don’t have the same feel as the Nazis. Aliens just doesn’t work as well as supernatural artifacts. Frankly, the whole “ancient aliens” thing is an insult to human ingenuity and progress.

Score: 0

Characters

The older, more relaxed, Indiana is a joy to watch. It’s great to see Marion again and Ox is brilliant.

Mutt and the villains aren’t all that fun to watch and are treated as plot devices instead of characters.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

They seemed to want to recapture the dialogue that worked so well between Indiana and his father, but Mutt is a little too young and innocent for it to work.

Indiana has some amazing lines and the banter between him and Marion is excellent.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Despite my memory telling me there were some terrible green screen issues with the movie, I didn’t see them this viewing. The locations are great and special effects are okay. The large action set pieces are fantastic as usual.

The music was amazing.

Score: 1

Fun

I don’t like Mutt. He feels like a bad set up to replace Indiana Jones. (Mutt Jones and the…. sounds terrible.) I also feel like the soviet scientist was underdeveloped and kinda boring. They should have brought back short-round.

And all that isn’t talking about the random use of the skull’s magnetism. It didn’t stick to the metal car, it attracted coins, and at times did nothing.

Score: 0.5

Overall

The movie suffers not from the protagonist’s age, but from the studios awkward attempts to create a spin-off character. Beside that and the bland villains, the movie has some very fun Indiana Jones style action pieces.

Final Score: 2.5 Stars out of 5

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1989 film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Story

The story is equally as nonsensical as the rest of the series but feels even more disjointed. The set pieces are barely held together by plot. Reminds me of the James Bond series for more than just Sean Connery.

Score: 0

Characters

Whoever wrote this has no idea what a romance is or how to fake it. Indiana’s love life is all the more cringe with the Nazi triple agent. The villain doesn’t take his own advice which is really frustrating. I hate dumb villains.

All that being said, the character interactions between Ford and Connery are spectacular. The humour, heart, and familial frustration are the saving grace of this movie.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue is all over the place. There are some great quotable lines and some self-referential humour that just doesn’t stick the landing.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The majority of the movie was beautiful but the reliance on blue screen was obvious in several locations.

The music was amazing as usual.

Score: 1

Fun

This is a nostalgic and fun movie. The father-son dynamic alone is worth a watch. Everyone liked it and even the 4yo was glued to the screen.

One accidental funny moment was when Indiana Jones tells the love interest, called Elsa, to “let it go”, a joke that wouldn’t be funny for 24 years after the film’s release.

Score: 1

Overall

A fun, if disjointed, action-packed movie that’s mostly saved by the charisma and chemistry between the two leads.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom  – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1984 film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Story

This felt like less of a story and more like a bunch of set pieces strung together. I’m sensing a theme that Indy has very little agency in his own movies. The hidden cultist plot crosses over into blatent racism.

Score: 0

Characters

This was Indiana Jones in his element. He spoke the language and knew the history. It was nice to see him seem intelligent. Short round was adorable and Willie was loud. I liked the relationship and emotion between Indy and Short Round.

The rest of the cast was a weird combination of Bond rejects and random cultural clichés thrown at the screen.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue runs from absolutely ridiculous to quippy and fun. Not much is actually deep or meaningful.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Other than a few abuses of blue screen, it really paid off for them to film on location. Absolutely gorgeous scenery. The action set peices are a little over the top, but that makes them fun.

A lot of the music from the first is reused but remixed wonderfully. The darker tones of the temple scenes are well done.

Score: 1

Fun

I enjoyed the movie for nostalgia and because it’s a fun romp. The cultural nonsense is weird and led an entire generation to think that Indian food included chilled monkey brains and live eels.

What the hell was up with the Voodoo doll? That’s not Indian but West African. I think they’d have been better off saying it was a British demon cult.

The kids liked it but said it was scary. (Probably didn’t appreciate the constant pausing for me to rant.)

Score: 0.5

Overall

With elements that made the first one a great movie, this one fails to do anything but string together some impressive action scenes and wildly insulting cultural fabrications.

Final Score: 2.5 Stars out of 5

Raiders of the Lost Ark – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Story

It’s fascinating watching a story that is completely unaffected by the protagonist. Other than a lot of killing Nazis, he doesn’t do much to alter the end result.

It’s exciting and flows from one set piece to the next really well.

Score: 0.5

Characters

Indiana is tough, charismatic, wise cracking, and fluctuates between genius and fool. As an adventurer, he attracts disaster and does everything with wry wit. As an archeologist, he doesn’t do much but consult experts. I wonder what his specialty is?

Marion is the tough girl who can drink anyone under the table, shoot a gun, and runs her own bar in the tough part of Nepal. She’s also completely defenseless and screams more then my children watching this movie.

Salah is still one of my favourite characters.

The villains are evil Nazis and its nice to remember a time when we as a society were against Nazis.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue in this is iconic and quotable in a way only Harrison Ford and Spielberg can be.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The visuals are good for the time but are showing their age. The cinematography does a great job in its use of shadows.

The music is excellent and definitely big and adventurous. Perfect for the movie.

Score: 1

Fun

There isn’t a lot of cringe (outside the weird classroom scene) and I really enjoy the nostalgia, but after so many other movies, like the Librarian or Stargate, having the protagonists be hyper-competent and smart, it makes Indiana Jones feel a little less special.

The kids liked it and were a little freaked out by the faces melting until we explained how the fx were done.

Score: 0.5

Overall

One of the first archeology adventures and still a fun ride. It’s aged fairly well but the character of Indiana is often more frustrating than not. That’s in part because he’s not too bright and the uncomfortable history of archeology.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

Finding ‘Ohana – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 Finding ‘Ohana.

Story

This is the way to pay homage and still make something original at the same time. Obviously influenced and lovingly made in the style of 80’s summer adventures.

I loved the respect they had for culture and family.

Score: 1

Characters

The brother sister relationship was both annoying and heartwarming (just like real family), the romance was a little over the top but cute, the mother-grandfather relationship was amazing. Basically, this movie is all about family and family relationships and it’s done wonderfully.

Score: 1

Dialogue

A great combination between campy, 80’s, and heartwarming. The dialogue was fun funny, and had enough references to old movies to make me smile.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The locations were utterly gorgeous, but that’s to be expected of Hawaii in movies. The caves, shot in Thailand, were well staged and fun.

The music wasn’t particularly great, but it did what it needed to do.

Score: 1

Fun

The movie was filled with heart and adventure. The whole family loved it. Even the slower scenes had everyone glued to the screen.

Overall

A fun 80’s style adventure with lots of heart. It’s exciting and fun with lots of respect for culture. A near perfect family movie.

Score: 5 Stars out of 5

National Treasure – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2004 movie National Treasure.

Story

Take the feel of Indiana Jones, the brilliant yet socially awkward Sherlock, twist it with a dash of Ocean’s 11, and spray it down with American history. That’s what this movie tries to do.

The clues are interesting but impossible for the audience to guess in advance, the history is flimsy at best and the plot is only a reason to go from one set piece to another. They should have made the entire movie about the heist, that part was fun and interesting.

Score: 0

Characters

Nicolas Cage is doing a bad impression of a jerk intellectual. The girl occasionally remembers that she’s supposed to be intelligent even if she forgets to have any agency. Their romance is awkward and kinda uncomfortable to watch between the rudeness and the complete lack of consent.

The quippy sidekick is enjoyable and Sean Bean does a great job playing an intelligent villain.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue is forgettable and heavy with history lessons that aren’t believable even if they are real. It doesn’t make me want to go find out more like the Doctor Who historical episodes always do.

Score: 0

Visuals and Music

There are some beautiful scenes and the music is just memorable enough to remember. Both could have been much better but were acceptable. The framing was a little obvious and the music was a little too much on the nose for my taste.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I loved this movie when it came out. It has not aged well for me. It’s okay if you turn off your brain but there are some things in it that make my mystery/puzzle solving mind very angry. Masons specialized in stone… why did they build their treasure trove entrance in wood? Time of day for a shadow is meaningless without time of the year.

The heist was fun and there were a few moments I enjoyed but mostly I wished I was watching a better movie or one that didn’t take itself so seriously.

Score: 0.5

Overall

This movies isn’t terrible but it’s not good. I’m going to happily not watch it again unless I have to. If you want to watch something in the genre watch an Ocean’s movie, Indiana Jones, The Librarian, or maybe a Bond film.

Final Score: 1.5 Stars

Movie Park Germany

Nestled in Northwestern Germany is a major theme park that had not crossed my radar until recently, when they announced a new roller coaster based on Star Trek. Movie Park Germany‘s name speaks for itself.

Image taken from Moviepark Germany's main website.
Image taken from Movie Park Germany’s main website.

Of course I would notice Star Trek. Read more about the ride here.

There are lots of other rides based on other movies (I noticed Dora the Explorer, Ice Age, Indiana Jones, and Walking Dead, among others).

Based on reviews, this theme park would be good for people who like movies and thrill rides. Think Universal Studios, but with more rides.

Visiting Movie Park Germany would be a nice little add-on to your European vacation if you are already visiting Belgium, Netherlands, or Northern Germany (and that area).


Are you interested in travelling to Europe? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

John Rhys-Davies

John Rhys-Davies was warm and talkative with everyone in line. A real class act!

We had planned on asking him something, and promptly forgot when he noticed Jen was pregnant. He asked if it was our first, and said we were in for a treat. He said his only regret was not having more children. It was hard to concentrate, we were so mesmerized by his voice.

He loved the TARDIS and was impressed that Jen had designed the pattern herself. He told us about one of his first roles in theatre. The director saw him reading a book between rehersals, and got really huffy. Apparently this director thought reading was overly intellectual, and did not like intellectuals. (*eyeroll*) Mr. Rhys-Davies asked one of the actresses to teach him how to crochet, and during that run, he crocheted his son’s first baby blanket!

It was so fantastic to talk with this amazing man!

Johnathon Rhys-Daviessmall