INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL
(12A) 122min 0..
Seventeen years after his Last Crusade, Harrison Ford picks up his fedora hat and returns for his most ambitious and outlandish adventure yet. It’s 1957 and the Soviets have replaced the Nazis as the biggest set of thugs on the planet. The villain is a Russian woman called Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett’s baddie is a classic cartoon villain and the best character in the film), who wants to trick Indy into uncovering the whereabouts and the secrets of a mythical crystal skull that are supposed to give the person who returns the skull to its rightful resting place incredible and unknown powers.
But the years are finally catching up with the archaeologist, he’s a bit slower to his gun, not so quick with his acerbic tongue, and none of his students seem to fancy him anymore; but this old dog still has a few tricks, most notably when he escapes a nuclear bomb blast in the most ingenious fashion.
It’s up there with the best moments in the series and,
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sii f NT SATIRF THE AERIAL (LA ANTENA) (12A) 90min on
Vidor's mega influential The Crowd.
in this close shave, Ford puts to bed any thoughts that at 65 he cannot play a plausible action hero. Nevertheless for much of the adventure he’s given a new sidekick, Mutt Williams (Transformers star Shia LaBeouf), the son of Raiders of the Lost Ark leading lady Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen). They have to venture to the Amazon forest in search of the missing city of Alkatar and their journey is punctuated with many spectacular stunts that are like a collection of the best moments from the series made bigger but, unfortunately, not better.
This Jones is better than The Temple of Doom but a long way from the heights of Raiders. Returning director Spielberg and new to the franchise screenwriter David Koepp (Mission:lmpossible, Jurassic Park) are aware that this is probably the last outing for Ford as the whip cracking action hero and overcompensate by giving the film an annoying galactic dimension that serves only to undermine Spielberg’s greater cinematic achievements with extraterrestrials and android children. (Callum McAteer)
I Genera/ release from T nu 22 Mt'iy. See feature, page 26.
Argentinean writer and director Esteban Sapir utilises the syntax of classic silent cinema to Winning effect in this amusing and inventive futuristic adventure. Set in some Orwellian style future city where words and language have died and lOIOVISSIOII is used as a way of controlling the masses. one family discovers they have the key to unlocking the hypnotic state in to which the populous has fallen. Connecting himself up to other great silent movie hommagists — Guy Maddin. DaVId lynch, Marc Care and the Brothers Quay — Sapir's humorous. strange and often stunning film is alive With the pioneer spirit of Murnau. Lang. Melies and most notably King Vidor. Each scene is clearly a labour of love for Sapir as he acliingly recreates half remembered motifs from Melies' Le Voyage dans la Lune. Lang's Dr Il/labuse (1922 version) and Murnau‘s brilliant. overlooked. meta()horically comparable 1921 silent Journey in the Night. as well as. of course.
It's all brilliantly executed and a load of fun and yet there is something slightly off about the whole thing. Bits of the film look too crisp. the surreal use of subtitles at first delights then irritates. and the central premise seems stretched even at this reasonable running time. Still it's an interesting experiment that almost works but it WI“ be interesting to see what Sapir does next. (Paul Dale)
I OFT. Glasgow from Fri 30 May—Sun I Jun.
COMEDY WAR I SERVED THE KING OF ENGLAND
(15) 119min «u
Czech writer "director Jiri Men/el's adaptation of Bohumil Hrabal's novel depicts the life of aspiring hotelier Jan Dite llvan Barnev) as a non-stop cavalcade of good food and even- better sex enjoyed under the darkening shadow of Nam oppression. No dusty political tale. this lusty fable plays vibrantly. as if Italian soft-core master Tinto Brass set out to remake Roberto Benigni's Life is Beautiful. First introduced on his exit from prison in the 19:30s. the older Dite (Oldrich Kaiser) capriciously narrates the story of his rise and fall in flashback. starting with his first empIOyment as a sausage salesman on a railway platform. Despite his lack of political interest. Dite quickly gains employment as a waiter in a prestigious Prague hotel. A child amongst the moneyed playboys. Dite enjoys a non-stop succession of sexual conguests. whom he symbolically garlands with fruit and flowers. But the rise of Hitler forces the apolitical Dite to play along with the raCIaI purity demands of his Nazi girlfriend Li/a (Sop/ire Sc/io/l's Julia Jentsch. playing against type). With history ultimately having the last laugh. Veteran Men/el was a key part of the 1960s C/ech New Wave With 1966's rightly celebrated Close/y Observed Trains. / Served The King of Eng/and shows he's lost none of his appetite for black comedy or irony. Men/el's entertaining but salutary tale balances an everyman's sexual and finanCial aspirations. then tartly reveals them as meaningless against the march of time. (Eddie Harrison) I GET. Glasgow. Tue 3— T/iu :3 Jun.