The end of a Trilogy

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a movie review around here. In fact, I think it’s been about four months since I watched the second part of the Indiana Jones trilogy – The Temple of Doom.

Obviously, I’ve had quite the hectic time between then and now, and haven’t given myself time to watch a movie, but I did recently. As had been noted in the comments on the other two reviews of the movies, the finale would be the best of the bunch. Those declarations are definitely not unfounded.

Last Crusade Ending Picture.

As it so happens, I had seen bits of this film as well – in particular the last section where Indiana has to cross the stone bridge by spelling Jehovah. I also remembered seeing where he had to cross over the pit based on faith alone. The strangest thing though is that I could have sworn that I had seen the actual bridge that they used to cross the pit. Maybe my eyes were just deceiving me. 😉

Well, now that I’ve started with the end, let’s go back to the beginning and talk about the awesomeness of the opening sequence where we see a young Indiana being chased by some, well, hoodlums after his discovery of a gold cross which, as it turned out, was being sought after by its supposed original owner. Part of the chase involved going through one of the things that I hold close to my heart – a train. Not just any train, a circus train.

Circus Train

Part of the brilliance of the sequence is how all of them get into the snake pit. Granted, it was quite eerie to be sent into the snake pit, it certainly helped Indy get out with the cross.

After the flashback to his youth, we go back to the present where he is teaching another class of students, who, like in Raiders of the Lost Ark, were completely enamored with Indy as a teacher. Maybe we need teachers like him for archeology in today’s schools, eh? 🙂

Anyway, he’s delivered a message about his need to be helped and, while in his office (after fighting off the hording masses of students) he finds a package from Venice containing his father’s “Grail book”, which was a diary of his search for the holy grail. What had happened is that him, along with a fellow archaeologist, had found one part of the “grail stone” whose inscription had information on where to start from to search for the grail.

Pay attention!

Once in Venice, Indiana meets up with a woman who would turn out to be more trouble than necessary (and, really, a woman who was having way too much fun apparently). He winds up in a boat chase with some people whose mission in life is to protect the grail. Unfortunately, this almost ended up being the end of our hero when he was too busy with fighting to notice a small problem. Can you see the problem? Yeah, generally heading into a propeller isn’t going to do the hair, body or anything else any good.. 🙂

Another really cool part of the film comes after quite a while – they’ve found the rest of the grail tablet (of course, after almost getting incinerated in a sewer filled with rats), finding out that the woman had a dual purpose–specifically a need to be friendly with the Third Reich. Indiana and his father are on a convenient Zeppelin flight from Berlin to somewhere outside of Germany, when some Nazi agents come after him.

Brilliantly, he decides to commandeer the uniform of the ticketing agent and check for tickets. Of course the agent didn’t have a ticket, so when he’s booted off of the flight, everyone heeds attention.

D-EKVY

Soon enough, it’s discovered that they are still on the flight, so they do an about face, which leads to Indy repeating something he’s done in the past – fly a plane. Of course, landing? That’s a different matter. Let’s just say that the landing goes much smoother than the last plane he had tried to land 😉

Some more time passes (I’d guess a few days or weeks, but it’s only a matter of minutes; it’s a movie you know 😉 ), and then the third chase begins – an automobile chase. Granted, Indy, his father and Salah are somewhat overpowered. Tank v. Car. Who do you think has the advantage here? 🙂

 Tank falling through Photoshop?

If you guessed Indiana, you’d be right. 😉 Though, I think the fact that the tank’s fall down the cliff looks like it was put in via Photoshop might have something to do with that…Just saying 😉

Of course, the movie ends with everything being set right, and everyone riding off into the sunset. Really, everyone but the Germans are happy – the Hatay Republic has use of a new Rolls, the grail was found then lost thanks to the Germans wanting it to go past the threshold, and Indy’s father was saved thanks to grail water.

Into the sunset

So, why should you watch this movie?

Well, why shouldn’t you? The music is brilliant (as you would expect from John Williams), the acting is amazing. Even though the special effects might look a bit “cheap” – it adds a lot to the quality of the movie (consider that it was made in 1989 so CGI was still in its infancy). Lastly, there’s a fourth movie coming out sometime in the near future. Why not remind yourself of the greatness of the original trilogy.

The whole trilogy is out on DVD on a three disc set – and it mustn’t be too expensive (I’d venture to guess it’s priced at around $25 for the set, but with Christmas sales you should find it cheaper).

Do yourself a favor this weekend (or sometime in the near future) and watch Raiders of the Last Ark, The Temple of Doom, and The Last Crusade. If you’re crunched for time, watch the Last Crusade 😉

Random Fluff Edition

I might have something more substantial tomorrow, as I don’t have my volunteering this week due to a lack of work that needs doing. I’m not going to make any promises though.

However, today, I have some random links that I’ve come across; think of it as a light version of my This was the Week that Was…

  • Apparently I can fly a commercial airplane legally. A study has shown that pilots who are on anti-depressants are no more or less a risk than other pilots.
  • It looks like the New Morrissey Express* is no longer in love with Morrissey. The singer is planning on suing the New Musical Express after not retracting a statement the magazine quoted to him.
  • Although the state of cricket in the US is in shambles (on the optimistic side), a new international-calibre stadium has opened recently in South Florida. Maybe the Stanford Twenty20 will have some matches up there.
  • While talking of leather and willow, Cricinfo’s Martin Williamson has come up with eleven politicians (other than John Howard) who were ardent followers of the sport.
  • Apparently in Thailand, men have a specific problem. Fortunately, politicians are there to help them rise above it; to much consternation for their opponents.
  • Did you lose some marijuana recently? If so, it’s available for pick up. The recovery fee is reportedly a free hotel stay. Word is, they have nice toilets, but the scenery could use some improvement. Also, the locks on the doors are quite strong. It’s not recommended. 😉

Lastly, a picture. This has to do with driving, to finally answer a question about the layout of right-hand-drive cars, particularly how the gear shift is laid out. Fortunately, Neil Crompton has provided us with a handy, cut-out-and-keep guide to the shift pattern of a V8 Supercar:

Cromley and his chalk. He was using the floor of a Holden team; didn’t make a difference for the race though.
I’ll stick to PRND21 thanks. At least for now. 😉

*As one letter to the NME in the mid-90s would invariably have it, according to the presenters of Lloyd Cole Knew My Father

This was the Week that Was, Vol. 23

I’ve been in holiday mode for the most part over the weekend, but I have been getting other things done, so all is not lost. I’ve collected a couple of links for y’all to read, along with a veritable glut of new blogs in the US Blogs community.

Posts I liked –

  • Although the election is over, Andrew G has some great advice about voting – It’s something a lot of people over here need to listen to what he has to say…
  • Kin threw in her own spin on the election.
  • Idents.tv has a recap of the televised election coverage. It’s no wonder why the ABC won the night – they had the most straight-forward coverage. Seven’s looked like an extravaganza (Kerry O’Brien made mention of their coverage I think in mentioning “clown tricks” causing the crowd to be excitable)
  • If you didn’t think that government officials don’t have a sense of humor, check out the video of some Singaporean officials doing a rap which Mr. Brown posted.
  • Also from idents.tv, a clip of the recent Treehouse of Horror Simpsons episode where Marge asks a question – Can’t anyone just watch the show they’re watching?
  • The fallout from Google’s recent doings continued with Lucia discovering that she’d received a penalty, even though she never did a paid post on her blog.
  • Also, a very interesting query was posed by Snoskred, Is Google The New Terrorist?
  • From English Russia, some panoramic views of St. Petersberg in a round format

New blogs this week in the US Blogs community at BumpZEE –

This week around the blog, I talked about the Firefox Search Bar in the Tuesday Think Tank. Also, I got some mail from overseas, with some cool contents.

On top of that, I showed y’all how to import your RSS feeds into Mozilla Thunderbird. Lastly, I talked about my musical history.

Coming up this week, I’m going to do a slightly different theme on the Tuesday Think Tank – I’m going to talk all about turkey and Thanksgiving. Really, I’m doing it this way because I’ve put that post off for too long. 😉

Til next week y’all! 😉

The Week in Walks, etc. Vol 18

Going straight into it again 😉

Remember that you can click on the small picture to view the full-size version.

Sunday, 18th November

Walking 18/11/07

Some more of the wind damage that had happened in the park; this tree is laying over the main trail. I’d venture to guess that it will be cleared up sometime next spring, unless someone walking past it decides to sort it out on their own.

Total distance: 5375 steps, 4.30km

Monday, 19th November

Walking 19/11/07

This picture really sums up the day – gray and foggy. It wasn’t the most pleasant conditions outside, but at least it wasn’t icing over.

Total distance: 5086 steps, 4.06km

Tuesday, 20th November

Walking 20/11/07

Here’s one of the horses taking an interest in me walking past. 😉

Total distance: 5507 steps, 4.40km

Wednesday, 21st November

Walking 21/11/07

Another flash shot of fun here. The two dots toward the lower left of the picture is one of the horses from the paddock. The white specks are the snow that fell.

Total distance: 4532 steps, 3.62km

Thursday, 22nd November

Walking 22/11/07 A Walking 22/11/07 B Walking 22/11/07 C

A trinity of snow pictures from the first snow of the year. On the left is a shot of the road and the field that has the horses, with plenty of snow along the side of the road. Next is a shot of the pine trees with snow sitting on the branches, and finally, the park with snow all over the open areas. Interestingly, in the park, there was quite a bit of the area where the snow had been cleared in the forest, but when I got into a leaf-covered area, the snow was still there.

Total distance: 3805 steps, 3.04km

Friday, 23rd November

Not Walking 23/11/07

I didn’t go for a walk today, but rather quite a lengthy drive. We had to go into the city for an appointment, and I said that I was going to drive. Although it was Black Friday, the traffic by around noon wasn’t too bad, and it was easy to get around in the city. I also took the opportunity to find where I was going to take the driving test and did a little bit of driving around the area before we headed for home.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, obviously I wasn’t driving when I took this picture. 😉

Saturday, 24th November

Walking 24/11/07

This is a look at the path that I’d usually pass along, but I have to admit that I’m not 100% confident in walking in the boots I got. I went out on them on Monday, and I need to get a shoelace or something to tie them up, and the zippers on them wouldn’t stay up for very long when I was walking. Also, it kind of felt like I was wearing concrete boots on my feet. Oh well, I’ll get used to them soon enough 🙂

Total distance: 3755 steps, 3.00km


In other news, the counseling is going well. I have to read up on a couple of options I have for treatment called EMDR and HMR. From what the therapist has said, both of these options have proven very effective, even if it does make you sleepy after you do a session of it.

My driving test is only one week away, and I have to say that my confidence is growing. On Friday, as I had mentioned, I found out where the testing location is; it looks like some decent roads in the area. I also got some advice about common ways that people fail their tests such as not checking mirrors often enough and also stopping before a sidewalk when you’re coming to stop sign. Also, I got a great tip for practising the parallel parking – use a trashcan or a witch’s hat (or cone or bollard) to mark the location of a potential car.

The big task for me this week will be getting some posts pre-written for the blog, as I am setting a goal of having a week prewritten so I can focus on other things, such as getting out there and commenting on blogs. Also, we should be getting a proper phone again this week; for the last two weeks we’ve not had regular phone service as the phone number we have has been transferred to our new phone service. Luckily we’ve been able to dial into voicemail to get messages.

All Hail KRudd, Winner…

…of the widely publicised election that nobody knew about in the USA.

Well, saying that nobody knew about the election would be a bit of an understatement; obviously news junkies, expats and anyone with an interest in Australia knew about the election that was held today down there. Of course, the pedantic side of me has to mention that almost all of the voting took place yesterday my time, since it’s midnight on the east coast at 7AM here during the winter… 😉

Anyway, if you were aware of how the election was going up until now, you wouldn’t be surprised that the result did wind up as it did – Labor picking up a massive load of seats in the House of Representatives, leading to John Howard (who, incidentally, might just be out of a job depending on the results of the absentee ballots) holding firm at his position on second in the chart of longest-serving Australian Prime Ministers.

I actually stayed up for quite a while last night (I was awake fully until about 2AM, then pretty much dozed off until 3, laying on the couch when I went to my bed proper) watching the coverage from ABC TV, which they were streaming for all to watch (and record, if you may know how to do that; which I do, so I can catch up on the bits I missed while sleeping, though I could have sworn that I heard Mr. Rudd giving a speech, with the cheering crowds and all). I have to say that everything that I had heard about one of their election analysts, Antony Green, was true – he made all this talk of “primary votes”, “two-party preference” and swings make sense. He also would be honest about what the numbers that were coming in actually meant.

All I’ll say is that it’s too bad that a network here doesn’t have the forethought to bring him overseas to possibly analyse our election. I guess beggars can’t be choosers, eh? 🙂

However, one of the most interesting aspects of this election is the fact that the American media couldn’t have cared less. Sure, it was an election occurring half a world away, but I will note that elections in the UK get quite a bit of attention; in fact, C-Span would air the BBC’s coverage on one of their networks, even going so far as having it on all night. If you were to tune in to the first two (and most widely distributed) of their networks this morning around 1AM, you would have seen some random government person giving a speech or an author giving a talk at a Barnes & Noble somewhere. The other news networks, all of which weren’t even showing new content (CNN [US], MSNBC and Fox News), may have mentioned the election, but I don’t follow those channels that much anymore; all I know is that 1 AM, they didn’t show coverage from their Aussie counterparts as well.

After it’s all been sorted, though, the news website emails I receive have mentioned the resounding defeat for the Liberals and the Nationals. Of course, it’s all put into the frame of reference that Howard was a staunch ally of President Bush, however, I don’t believe that the close ties to our government had much, if anything, to do with the defeat of the Coalition. If I had to guess, I’d say that the biggest issue that led to this result is the appearance that the recently enacted workplace reforms (WorkChoices), along with uncertainty in the housing market (an issue which wasn’t helped along with the fact that the Reserve Bank raised interest rates during the campaign, to a rate that was still lower than the rate that was in place when Howard took up residency in Kirribilli House some 11 years ago.

All in all, it will be interesting to see how it all comes out in the wash, and to see what kind of changes will go on Down Under over the next three to four years. Also, a question, when will Kevin become the PM? I’d guess before Christmas?