Tag Archives: Jumanji

Depression, the Genie and Me

Robin Williams wasn’t my favorite actor.

I mean, if you asked me who my favorite actor is, I’d say Johnny Depp (yeah, yeah, whatever). If you asked me to name some actors I would always go to see a movie they’re in, I’d probably tell you Alfred Molina, Julia Stiles and John Goodman.

But when I heard about Williams’ suicide, I stopped to think of all the ways he influenced me. And he really did. I can’t remember a single movie I’ve watched with him in it that I didn’t enjoy. I grew up watching “Jumanji,” “Fern Gully,” “Aladdin” and its sequels. I constantly watched “Hook” and quoted lines from it, though I admittedly more often imitated Dustin Hoffman chewing the scenery as Captain James Hook. I remember getting in trouble for repeating a line from “Mrs. Doubtfire” as a child. (The line was, as Williams imitated Porky Pig, “Bedabba dabba dabba, p-p-p-piss off, Lou!”, not that I actually knew the words I was saying.) In high school, I was introduced to the beautiful film “What Dreams May Come,” an interpretation of Dante’s Inferno. In college, I discovered “Patch Adams,” “Night at the Museum” and “August Rush,” as well as two of my favorite films of all time, “Good Will Hunting” and “Dead Poets Society.” It’s movies like those, especially the Academy Award-winning performance Williams gave in “Good Will Hunting,” that remind me that comedians often have a great capacity for drama. Even my lesser loved comedians, like Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler, have stunned me with their dramatic performances. But Williams had the special gift of making me love him both as a comedian AND a dramatic actor.

Even beyond acting with a bodily presence, Williams influenced me most notably with his impressions. Were they always great, pitch perfect imitations of specific people, like his John Wayne performs Macbeth? Nah. Could I always tell if it was Williams? Yup. I was the only one in my family that could tell from voice alone that Williams was not the voice of Genie in “Return of Jafar.” Even so, Williams had a talent for impressions and voices. His gift was in the total and complete dedication to the bit, as well as being able to switch from one character to another faster than should be humanly possible. I’ve always enjoyed doing voices myself, and it was Williams and Mel Blanc, the voice of many beloved Warner Bros. cartoon characters, that helped guide me in that direction.

He wasn’t my favorite actor, but that might be because I had trouble thinking of him as an actor. I thought of him more as a friend to hang out with, the funny guy with all the voices that could make me laugh. But there’s no denying that he was definitely one of the people I would always enjoy watching on screen.

That’s probably one of the reasons Williams is the only celebrity whose death I’ve cried over. It’s weird, right? Crying over someone dying when you’ve never even met them? There have been people I HAVE known in real life to die I haven’t cried over. I suppose that could very well be a testament to how powerful Williams’ gift of connection and humor and emotion was.

But if I’m going to be honest, that’s not the only reason I cried. That might not even be the main reason I cried. No, if I’m honest with myself, I think it was because Williams was depressed and almost no one knew.

Depression is definitely one of those things people at large are largely ignorant about, myself included. Part of it has to do with the fact that we use the word as a synonym for being sad. That ASPCA commercial with the Sarah McLachlan song? So depressing. Got an F on a paper you worked all night on? Now you’re depressed. Except there’s a distinct difference between momentary sadness, no matter how deep those moments get, and systemic depression. Depression isn’t cured by a funny movie or a pint of ice cream or hanging out with friends. It isn’t something you can just “nut up” and “get over.” And the worst part about depression? Based on my personal experience and the stories I’ve heard from other depressed people, depression is seen as undesirable and shameful, so the person that has it tends to do their damnedest to hide it.

Have you ever noticed that there are a lot of creative types, and often comedic types, that are on drugs or are depressed? Many of whom end up dead? People like Philip Seymour Hoffman (drug addiction) and Chris Farley (drug addiction) and Heath Ledger (couldn’t pull out of his roles). But everyone knows drug and alcohol addiction are things to seek help over. They’re obviously bad things, right? They’re self-destructive behaviors that can ruin your life. But when it comes to depression, most people shrug off the entire idea. Even though I am willing to bet that a large chunk of addiction is born of depression and the desperate attempt to escape that soul-crushing feeling.

Cracked.com, the source of many a funny thing on the internet, has more than a few articles about depression and anxiety in funny people. Here’s one by David Wong, who talks about why people constantly cracking jokes are often depressed. And here’s another one by Mark Hill, about misconceptions of depression. Wong’s article has many, many links to many, many other writings by comedians about depression, but these are the two I’ve read. And they have some good points, many of which I agree with, based on personal experience.

Yeah, I’ve kinda sorta admitted that I might be depressed before. Yeah, I’ve talked about it before. But people don’t seem to be too receptive to the idea until they see depression’s effects laid out in front of them. Until the man that never stopped being hilarious and bringing joy to everyone killed himself because he felt life had crapped on him one too many times, finally with a Parkinson’s diagnosis, people by and large ignore the issue.

I suppose it’s not anyone’s fault. In America, mental health and awareness has taken a veritable nosedive with absolutely no changes no matter WHAT happens. We have mentally unstable people shooting and killing in double digit numbers and nothing changes with our mental health system because the conversation become bluster about guns and gun rights. We have veterans returning home with PTSD and mental health issues, becoming homeless and forgotten, and nothing changes with our mental health system because the conversation becomes bluster about war and the people still fighting. And we have an Oscar-winning actor, a beloved father and husband, an immensely successful comedian, an intensely well-liked celebrity (which seems rather hard to come by sometimes), a man known for his voice who chooses to die by strangling that voice until it no longer exists… and likely, nothing with change with our mental health system because we’d rather focus on other stuff, be it injustice in Ferguson painting some bigger, disturbing pictures of America or be it dumping ice water on our heads to raise money for ALS and/or whining about people dumping ice water on their heads. Because as uncomfortable as those things might be, depression may be even more uncomfortable.

Here’s my personal experiences. As a kid, I was bullied for all sorts of reasons. I was too smart. I was weird. I looked stupid. I had glasses. I had a dumb haircut. I wore a suit to picture day. This caused me to develop a temper. And I got into fights sometimes, too. Not often, and I never went home bruised and bloody, but that’s because what fights I did get in I either refused to do much other than run away or, in one case, won by dropping a kid on his head. I didn’t have friends, either. Not really. There weren’t really any kids my age in my neighborhood, and my parents weren’t too big on my hanging out with anyone. That could be blamed on their being used to my older sister’s anti-social nature, but who knows. My one early creative outlet, playing violin, was taken away because I “didn’t practice enough.” When I eventually discovered acting, I fell in love with it. I got to be SOMEONE ELSE. That amazing feeling of escapism brought me so much joy.

This sort of thing continued for quite a while. My temper was an issue all the way into high school, with my father and I twice coming to physical altercations during my junior year of high school, altercations that were ultimately just him with his hand around my throat. My mother would take his side and say I shouldn’t have goaded him. That loneliness was not a good feeling. By this point, I’d buried myself even further into acting. While at the Alabama School of Math and Science, I finally found groups of socially rejected people who were just as nerdy, intelligent and ridiculous as me. My grades slipped as I focused my time and attention on the social connections I had never been able to have before. Eventually, I failed out, losing those connections.

In college, the struggle continued, but I found small groups to accept me, groups like the Quizbowl Team. A nerdy bunch, to be sure. And there were people on that team that made my social ineptitude seem like I was the most desirable socialite on the market in comparison. Plus, I had tampered down my temper throughout my time at college, and I started to find a way to be acceptable: Talk. A lot. Make jokes. Be interesting. Grab their attention for just a moment. Maybe they’ll just groan and roll their eyes, maybe they’ll laugh, but at least they’ll know I’m there. And I found people that didn’t outright reject me for that.

But it isn’t perfect. I’m not terribly funny. I consider myself a member of the school of quantity: If you crack enough jokes, eventually a good one will slip through. And it’s only through the past year of my job as a trivia jockey that I’ve become even remotely comfortable working a crowd directly, as opposed to in theatre when you work the stage/scene/character and the entirety of the performance works the crowd. I have tried to get better, to be a more desirable person to be around, et cetera.

And yet, I find that I’m still too honest for some people. On Twitter and Facebook, I was fully willing to admit when I was feeling crappy/lonely/hurt. Because I’m still trying to remind myself about the difference between a friend and a friendly acquaintance. Twitter followers, blog readers, Facebook friends… they aren’t the same as real friends. But I haven’t really had too many “real friends” growing up. I have my one best friend that I can call on whenever, and I only met her during my fourth year of college in 2010. I had a regular group of buddies I’d go out with to play trivia and board games, but jobs and distance have broken us up. At this point in my life, even more so than in college (though it was true in college), I don’t really have a group of friends I can say I’m truly a part of. I don’t have people I feel I can call up and say, “Hey, let’s hang out.” Maybe that’s due to years of being told, by words or actions, that I wasn’t desirable to hang out with. Maybe that’s because I just don’t understand social cues and don’t realize I do have friends like that. I dunno. But friends like that? Those are not the same as people you share internet social media information with, apparently.

Take a semi-recent example. A girl messaged me on Facebook to tell me I’m cute. I respond because why the hell not, what do I have to lose? We talk for a few months. We hang out a few times. She’s into me, I’m into her. All seems pretty great. Then, without any warning given to me, without any conversation about problems, she tells me we should stop hanging out. When I finally ask why two years later, she says it’s because I’m too depressing and self-deprecating. She suggests I see a counselor.

I would love to say this is some sort of isolated incident… but I know from my life and the lives of others it’s not. Misery may love company, but company doesn’t love misery. People don’t want to deal with miserable, depressed people. And why would you? Happiness is a good feeling. Sad people make YOU sad, and that sucks, right?

So, if you want to know why you’re shocked and surprised that someone you know was depressed and killed themselves, that’s exactly why. Because depressed doesn’t mean stupid. Depressed people know you don’t like to be around depressed people. Hell, I host trivia for 2+ hours five nights a week. Do you think I would still be paid if I told all of them how down I was? People don’t want a 2-hour sadfest. So those that are depressed, lonely, miserable… they tend to hide it. I’ve made the mistake in years past of thinking friendly acquaintances would care about my feelings, but they don’t. Those feelings are a drag. They’re a downer. So I’ve been teaching myself to try to keep my chin up, to “fake it until I make it” so to speak… and to really not announce my depression every time it hits me. And despite what those on my social media networks may think, I’ve been getting a lot better at just hiding my feelings in crappy eating habits and losing the desire to ever leave bed.

Am I depressed? …maybe. I’m too afraid to see a counselor and find out I am, that I’m not in complete control of my mind. Personally, I like to think I’m just having a slump. A really long one. There are good moments in my life that bring me cheer… and moments, even recent ones, that nearly kill me. I had one such moment last month. I asked two friends to kill me (only slightly joking before I broke down in tears). I ended up telling my tale to a cop that pulled me over for speeding later that day when my hand was shaking so badly I couldn’t get my driver’s license out of my wallet. He asked if I had any guns in the car. I didn’t get a ticket. To date, only 7 people, including the cop and the other person involved, know what happened. Not just because I hate myself for what happened and am afraid of what people will think of me… but also because I don’t know who’s there for me.

And that’s one of the worst things about depression. It blinds you to the people there for you. The lonelier moments are more clear than the ones with people who care. If someone like Williams, who had success and love in his life, couldn’t find a way out, what hope would someone like me, someone told to get over it, have?

So I hope I’m not depressed. Not just because it’s a pretty awful mental health disorder, but also because that’s a level of hopelessness I don’t want to think about. I’m not looking for pity. I’m not looking for close, buddy-buddy friends. I wouldn’t know what to do with them at this point in my life anyway. I’ve got some good things going on that I’m trying to focus on. The moral of my story, the point I’m trying to make, isn’t a personal one. It’s to say that I think everyone can do better. Everyone can be more diligent looking for depression. Don’t reject the funny person the day he or she drops the act around you and tries to tell you about his/her crap. We need to learn to accept the people we like for their good AND their bad. Don’t call suicide a selfish act. That’s like calling drowning after years of trying to swim to the surface a selfish act. The selfishness is in the people that see depression and ignore it. The selfishness is in people that don’t want to be sad so they give sad people distance. Some days, people want to be left alone. But it’s so much better to know someone is there when you walk back into the crowd than to know you’ll be alone whether you jump back into the crowd or not.

If we want anything to get better, we have to start taking steps on a personal level.

Robin Williams, you influenced me more than you will ever know, and the world will miss you. I hope maybe something good can come of all this sadness.

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Tabletopping It – Pandemic

I can’t remember if I mentioned this, but earlier this month, I went to Target and bought five board games on a bit of a whim/splurge. It was a bit expensive, so four of them are doubling as Christmas gifts for my family. I went ahead and told them as much over Thanksgiving since they’re pretty much all group games and I don’t get to spend very much time with my family. As it is, I’ll only be able to spend three to four days with them over Christmas, only a day and a half to two days at my Grandmother’s, driving back to Tuscaloosa on Christmas Day. So I managed to convince them in various groups to play two games with me: Munchkin and Pandemic.

Pandemic, seen played here on Geek and Sundry’s Tabletop, is a cooperative board game, something I’ve been seeing more and more often lately. Cooperative board games seem to be having a more recent surge in popularity, I think, and it’s an interesting style. Basically, like Jumanji only far less freakishly realistic, the board game is doing its best to completely destroy you and you all are trying to stop that from happening. With Pandemic, it’s pretty much the opposite of the popular online Flash game. Instead of creating a disease to kill the entire world off, you and one to three other people are members of the Center for Disease Control running across the globe trying to cure four diseases that are threatening to break out and murder everything.

To get a decent idea of what’s happening in this game, I really do suggest watching the Tabletop episode. It explains some of the rules better than I’m likely about to, but I’ll attempt to anyway. Everyone playing has a specific role with a special ability that will assist in the ultimate goal: Discover cures for all four diseases. You don’t need to eliminate all the diseases on the globe to win, just discover the cures. To do that, you need to gather five (four if you’re the Scientist) city cards of the same color and turn them in while at a research center, which you must build (except in Atlanta, where the CDC is housed) throughout the game. As the game progresses, infections spread after every player’s turn. If there are three blocks of disease on any city and they gain another infection, an outbreak occurs and the disease spreads to every city its connected to.

There are three ways to lose the game: Have eight outbreaks occur during the game, run out of disease cubes for any disease or run out of cards in the player deck. The outbreaks that occur every night seem easy enough to control, except for the epidemic cards contained in the player deck. They shuffle all the cities that have had disease back into the infection deck, meaning outbreaks can occur more often. It’s pretty not good. Fortunately, you can vary how many epidemic cards you play with, from a suggested four for an introductory game to all six for an expert game. Yeah, two epidemic cards can make the game intensely more difficult. This is not a game where winning is easy or remotely guaranteed.

On a player’s turn, they have four actions. They can move from one city to another, fly to a city they have the card for, fly to any city from the city they’re in if they have the card for that city or move from one research center to another. They can also build research centers, trade cards with other players as long as both players are in the city of the card they’re trading, discover a cure or cure disease blocks from cities. After taking their four actions, they draw two cards from the player deck, hoping for cities instead of epidemic cards, or one of the special event cards throughout the deck. Then they infect cities based on the infection rate (minimum two, maximum four). It can sound confusing, but it’s really pretty simple. It’s the strategy and trying to think ahead of random chance and bad luck that really makes the game difficult. But, strangely, it’s a ton of fun. You might not think it from my rambling descriptions about a game where the goal is to cure disease, but it’s quite fun. We played several times over my Thanksgiving break… it took a couple times for me to fully get things correct, partly due to my forgetting to shuffle in epidemic cards and partly due to my not actually reading the “How To Win” section. Once we did, however, things were entertaining. Though we totally lost one game in two ways to a severe outbreak of “A Plague O’ Both Your Houses.” For added fun, name the diseases. That game was small pox, chicken pox, cow pox and the aforementioned Shakespearean reference.

Apparently, there are also expansions which allow for more players and make the game even more difficult. Try those if you dare, but I’m going to go ahead and strongly suggest you get used to the basic version first. It starts off seeming complicated, but it’s really simple once you get the hang of it. If you’re looking for a different style of game to play with friends that may test your strategy and not make all the players hate one another (a la Risk), then I’d say you should give this game a try.

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Second First Time Viewer – Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

It’s the last Indiana Jones film. Considering how poorly the movie went over with the fan base, and how old Harrison Ford is getting, perhaps the last ever (in Hollywood’s understand of “eve” of course, since they’ll reboot it 2 minutes after Ford dies). Of course, if movie makers listened to what makes movies crappy, the world might be a better place. Anyway, be prepared for a slew of pop culture references in this one, and not all of them good. At least it’s shorter this go round.

And now, the final Indiana Jones film. “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” Not as hokey sounding as “Temple of Doom,” but it definitely still seems to have that B-movie quality to the title. But, hey, let’s give it a shot. Who knows what’ll happen? Though the title and the item on the cover of the DVD reminds me of a “Stargate: SG-1” episode.

And there’s the mountain again. Only it’s a molehill this time? Oh, no, a gopher hole.

Hm. Starting with a song. …that’s how “Temple of Doom” started. Hm.

Ooh, the credits say Jim Broadbent! Let’s hope he has a bigger role than Alfred Molina had in “Raiders.”

…alright, it feels like I’m 5 minutes into this movie and absolutely nothing has actually happened. Is there a purpose to teenagers trying to race the Army?

OH SNAP, MUTINY. Soldiers shooting soldiers doesn’t ever seem to go all that well. Unless you’re Bruce Willis in your second Die Hard movie. …wow, I’m already starting with the references? At least I didn’t say it was a trap. …though I just did.

Oh, Lord. Indy looks intensely old. Like, man. Really old, and angry about it. Also like he hates Russians.

I KNOW you didn’t just break some priceless artifacts that Indy stole! Only Indy is allowed to do that!

…what is creepy Ukrainian lady doing? Is this some sort of Jedi thing? Has Lucas blurred the lines between the series he’s involved in?

…she has a sword? Well, that’s old school.

Okay, who the heck is this guy that’s partnered with Indy? He seems mostly useless.

…Why are we raping physics so early in the movie? If the artifact you were looking for was so freaking magnetic, wouldn’t the metal guns and metal things you people have on your person be going rather nuts? Or, you know, the rest of the gunpowder and bullets you have and are using to find it? OH COME ON, now the lights are being dragged along? What, was the wooden cart the only thing keeping the magnetic properties of the box from grabbing at everything except what Indy wanted it to grab at? …this movie is already frustrating me. This is NOT a good sign.

Oh, Mac’s a double crossing tosser. Two in a row, eh? And you don’t even get to SLEEP with this one, Indy! …at least, as far as I know.

Okay, the tossing the loaded gun to shoot someone in the foot thing is really one of the oldest tricks ever. Military units need to plan for these things, man.

Ah. Who knows what priceless artifacts were just destroyed in that improbable explosion of crates?

Well, Mac, apparently you DO know him. You might should have jumped out of the car.

And Indy is being choked yet again. Baddies seem to love that.

Well, there’s an amusement park ride idea. How many Gs can YOU survive? Apparently Indy can handle a lot more than a chicken Russian soldier.

Good that Jones found a town. With no running water or people. …except for plastic people?

…why the hell is there a real, working TV and real water in the sprinklers if this is a nuclear testing site? And how the living hell is Indy going to survive this?

…a lead lined fridge. A freaking lead lined refrigerator. Nothing else gets tossed out of that huge explosion. Just a single refrigerator. Not many. Just one.


…holy crap, it’s the Janitor. That’s distracting. Which is good for how things are now.

Oh, snap! The FBI is all doubting Indy and stuff! I bet they’s going to get all sorts of smacked down!

…What happened to Marcus? I mean, I like Broadbent, but I liked Marcus, too.

…aw, he resigned for you, Indy. You can’t be a dick to him anymore. He’s good people.

Oh my God, that was hokey. “I never should have doubted you, my friend.” Even Harrison Ford didn’t think that line was any good.

Oh. Marcus is dead. And so is Papa Jones. This is the most distressing news ever. Next you’ll tell me Sallah and Indy are both dead, too, and this is all a dream of some random kid.

…and there’s Shia LaBeouf as a random kid. …a random, apparently murderous kid.

Oh, someone else is going to kill him. Never mind. He’s just a random kid named Mutt. …I wonder if he’s going to be more annoying than Short Round.

Ooh, El Dorado. Cue my memories of the cartoon movie.

Oh, Mutt. You are faaaaaaaaar too excited about this power stuff.

…oh, Mutt. You are so very much not the Fonz.

I thought you knew he was a teacher, Mutt? You called him professor on the train, right?

…oh my Lord. More cliches. The knife to a gun fight thing? People don’t actually say that when it’s literal. At least, I don’t think they do. I’ve never been in that situation.

And now we have a greaser vs. jock fight? This is the most cliched movie I think I’ve seen in a while. It’s like they’re afraid you’ll forget what year the film takes place.

Hm. Once again, Indy shows off that his clothing is insanely well made. Most shoes wouldn’t do so hot on the road at those speeds.

Funny how all the anti-Commie propaganda is only screwing with the Commies.

How many languages does Indy speak? Goodness. And good grief, that was a fast translation.

Oh, snap! Those lines were in Assassin’s Creed! The crossover is more possible than ever!

Look at Mutt and those mad knife flipping skills! ISN’T HE JUST SO COOL?! He’s even too cool for school! …I’m admittedly surprised that line didn’t actually get said.

Wait, you didn’t actually work out the riddle on the long flight to Peru? Sloppy, Indy. Just sloppy.

What the hell did this guy have access to in order to dig such deep gouges into the rocks?

Isn’t it neat how a lot of other people seem to actually do most of the finding things for Indy?

Uh-oh! It’s the natives again! This probably won’t end well for Indy. Especially not with the whole dart thing. …and how the heck does he know they’re poison? …and how the heck did that dart stick? Was it double ended or something? That seems dangerous for poisonous darts.

Aw, Mutt’s a scared little dog. Come on, man, don’t be a Willie. I will punch something if you try to be a Willie.

…okay, really, Mutt? You couldn’t notice the large scorpion crawling around near you? It even had accompanying bad guy/creepy bug music.

Actually, the Coneheads were all demi-gods. The more you know.

“Touch nothing but the lamp!” …well, that reference would have made more sense if everything were gold. Then again, so would have Indy’s worry that Mutt would go touch happy. Of course, the last kid he was with had that weird medical condition where he touched everything all the time.

…daggum it, Indy. Cutting open the mummified remains of 500-year-old bodies? I just do not understand your archeological methods.

Oh my God, not with the plot-selective magnetism again. Physics is just going to get all sorts of bad touch, isn’t it?

Isn’t that the skull from one of the aliens from “Alien?”

Ah. It’s not real magnetism. Clearly that explains why it’s only attracted to moving the plot forward or making showy effects.

I bet he put it back for the same reason Papa Jones sent you his diary. To avoid letting the baddies get it. But such trains of thought are for lesser people.

Oh, Mac. No matter how much you want it, you’ll never be Scrooge McDuck. Especially not if you’re calling them conquestadors.

I thought Oppenheimer said Shiva, not death. Whatever.

Oh, Lord. She’s touching Indy. Is she the one Indy’s going to sleep with? That’ll make things awkward.

Aliens! Totally called it! …they don’t look quite like the ones in “Alien,” but who cares, close enough.

…Hasn’t Indy said things about bedtime stories a billion times before? Hasn’t he always, ALWAYS been wrong?

…Psychics and aliens… well, this is new for Indy, at least.

Sleeper agents? Well, that sounds historically accurate. At least, according to my Hollywood knowledge.

…oh, lucidity gained at a distance. Ho-hum.

Ha! He did tell you he’d break your nose.

OH, SWEET JESUS, IT’S MARION! Yes! The one woman that didn’t suck! …she doesn’t sound as tough now. Sad. But she does sound just as mean, which is nice.

Hm. Is Ox the chancellor from “V for Vendetta?”

Indy seems far more excited than reluctant. At least with the Nazis he seemed a bit reluctant helping them.

Wait, MUTT is pulling off the rescue? He really is the Short Round of the film.

…Why in the hell was Indy turning teacher while being sucked into sand, be it quick or not? He’s never done that before. That was just weird.

Wait, Indy and Marion actually had sex? Indy managed to stay awake for long enough?

Aw, Indy. Still a chicken when it comes to snakes, eh? Snakes that can’t be too happy about being used as rope.

You really thought telling the crazy person to get help in the middle of the jungle filled with Commies was going to turn out well?

Man, these Russians sure are fond of destroying the rain forest.

I agree with the Russian. Shut the hell up, please.

I thought the Nazi woman’s problem was that she was a Nazi woman, not that she wasn’t Marion.

Gotta admit, the “son” thing, and adapting to it so quickly, is rather awkward. Call him kid or something. Whippersnapper, perhaps.

Probably should have tossed the Russian off the truck after freeing yourselves.

…Mac is confusing as hell. And, it seems, a massive opportunist.

…I get the feeling that things are going to get wacky soon. And not in a good way.

Oh. Mac’s a double agent. Really?

How does Marion know about riposte? And fencing? At least Mutt has failed out of schools that taught the stuff.

Dude. Seriously. Get out of that amazingly awkward as hell position. Fighting while getting your crotch slapped by trees isn’t good for you.

Oh my God. Oh God. Mutt is one with the monkeys. What the hell is this, “Jumanji?” Was there an office pool to see where most people left the theatre? Tarzan LaBeouf probably lost some audience members. Not to mention the monkeys that only attack Commies.

Man, it’s a good thing the good guys, including the mentally unstable guy, have better reflexes than anyone else in the movie.

…and suddenly I’m reminded of an unfortunate episode of “MacGyver.” Peter Jurasik kind of got eaten by ants.

…Y’know, I kind of liked the artifacts that didn’t seem to be imbued with a bunch of random, disjointed powers. Like the power of Moses’ staff, if the Red Sea were made of ants.

…did those ants seriously just make a tower out of themselves? …how many total loads of crap am I going to be forced to accept in this film?

You do NOT take Indy’s hat. Even if you’re a massive colony of the biggest fire ants ever.

…do we have to do the whole ant guts on the camera thing?

Oh, look, the car landed in a tree springy enough to kill some Commie Russians. Apparently, I’m to just keep accepting stupid things until the end of the movie. Things like the amazingly “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”-esque floating car.

Ah. Marion’s nuts, too. Like the good old days.

Um, the skull told you to return it? And you just accept that, Indy? Unlike you.

Aaaaand here come the booby traps! …in the form of natives? …how long have they been just sitting up there?

Seriously, it might be faster to trip and fall your way down the ziggurat.

Hm. Someone’s been dropping breadcrumbs for the Commies. I wonder. Could it be that Mac is just a money grubber siding with whoever happens to be winning at the time?

I note that Indy didn’t actually wait for Mac to move out of the way. Makes me think he was more than willing to “accidentally” smash his skull open. Indy sure has gotten ornery in his old age.

Guys. Screaming “Faster” does not actually improve your speed. Not sure if you knew that. Physics seems to be something no one actually knows about in this universe.

Oh, Mutt. Ruining mushy moments on PURPOSE. So much more talented than Short Round.

Ah, the slaughter of natives. What a wonderful group of baddies.

I was thinking earlier that this seemed more like “National Treasure” than “Indiana Jones.” And then they stumble on the random collection of priceless artifacts, just like Nic Cage. Needs more Masons, though.

So much easier than the gates of Moria.

Who the heck took that skull in the first place, I wonder?

How the heck does this Russian chick know anything about these aliens?

Okay, I KNOW that line was in Star Wars. Lucas, get your hands off this movie NOW.

Wait, how was Mac the only one smart enough to get the hell out of dodge when this stuff started up? Granted, he stuck around to grab treasures like a tool, but still. I’d’ve definitely left a while ago.

Nice to see you’re sane again, Ox. …I guess.

…okay, this is just weird. This entire thing? Weird. Very, very weird. I really don’t know what to make of it. It’s just… odd. And seems really out of place.

Ooh, it’s water in a tight place! I wonder if it’s going to defy physics, too.

Okay, so there was a spaceship under the ziggurat. …I swear, it’s like Lucas and Spielberg got high and drunk while watching “Stargate: SG-1.” Spielberg said, “You know what this could use? More ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind.’” And Lucas said, “And I could add my whimsical, beloved flavor, like I did to the Star Wars franchise so popularly!” Drunk and high.

Wait, the fact that Indy wasn’t around as a father figure is a point of humor, not trauma? …okay.

Um, I guess Broadbent got his job back or something? As did Indy? Did the FBI just let all their paranoia go when Mac ended up dead? …there is so much to not understand in this film.

Okay, Mutt, that reaction makes it seem like YOU wanted to kiss your mom. That’s probably not the right reaction to have, just so you know.

Oh GOD no. We are NOT having “Shy The Beef” continue on as the next Indy Jones. I refuse. This movie was just… Oye. What a headache. Definitely NOT a shining hour for the franchise. I don’t remember laughing even once. Even “Temple of Doom” made me laugh, even if it wasn’t on purpose.

I don’t think I’m even going to bother trying to tag this post with the many, many references I made. I’ll put in the big ones I remember, but, man. This movie was just not really good at all. Fortunately for it (and, strangely enough, me), I think watching “Star Wars Episode II” so recently has damaged me so badly that this movie didn’t suck nearly as hard as it did when I watched it in theaters. Of course, then there was the whole element of major disappointment, too. And, thinking about it… just about every series of films has a terrible, godawful movie included in it. …and by golly, I’ll do this to them all. But for now, thanks for sticking with me. Also, apologies to those that read the entire thing as it was originally posted. I didn’t notice that the text got up there twice somehow. Oops.

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