Tag Archives: Lord of the Rings

Writers: Play Some D&D

It’s been pretty well established by this point in my life that I am a nerd of many sorts. Theatre, sci-fi, fantasy, board games, video games, math, logic, philosophy, mythology, religion… there’s a lot of nerdy in me. So it shouldn’t come even remotely as a surprise that I have played a LOT of Dungeons & Dragons in my day.

My first introduction to the game, though it was ultimately not an accurate representation at all, was back in the summer after my 7th grade year when I was 12 years old. It was, I believe, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition… I don’t remember much of it at all, but again. Not very accurate. Still, somewhere in my room right now is the first character sheet I ever had.

Since then, I’ve played 3e, 3.5e, 4e and am currently in a group playing the D&D Next edition. I’ve been the Dungeon Master for two different (ultimately falling apart) 3.5 campaigns. I’ve played Pathfinder, Iron Kingdoms and even a d20 system a friend of mine created. I’ve done some role-playing online and have oodles and oodles of ridiculous stories to tell about the various campaigns.

Most people find the game to be instantly associated with the nerdiest of the nerdy. I suppose that’s a little fair… while high fantasy and the like have been becoming more and more acceptable over the years (just look at the successes of Peter Jackson’s interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” books, as well as HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), it’s more acceptable to observe fantasy, not attempt to live it out. D&D and other role-playing tabletop games are predicated on the notion that one designs a character with a story and interjects themselves, via that character, into a fantasy world. Granted, not every tabletop RPG is set in fantasy, but that’s where D&D began.

Even so, despite it being “super nerdy,” it has seeped into our culture just a bit. You have the people that seem to think D&D is something where people learn witchcraft and are members of the occult… As well as the people that know how laughable that is and like to point out how sessions of D&D usually go. Season 2 of the absolutely wonderful TV show “Community” has a fantastic, hilarious and kinda accurate episode titled “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons” that is well worth the watch (you need Hulu Plus for that link, sadly).

The point is, though, whether you think it’s crazy nerdy and has some ridiculous stigma on it or not, if you’re a writer… I think you would do well to play this game.

I realized the other day, when writing the background for my character in the current campaign I’m playing, I’ve written more detailed character story and background for some of my D&D characters than I have for some of my characters in my stories and scripts. That’s not to say that I don’t have good backgrounds for the non-D&D characters… I just don’t tend to write them out and consider all the aspects of their previous lives. However, in D&D, I tend to tell very detailed stories about their pasts and how they came to where they are now.

It’s a really good writing exercise, especially when you limit yourself. As someone that tends to prefer the classics of poetry and art, where the product must conform to a certain style or limitation, I feel that talent, skill, creativity and thought are more thoroughly applied and utilized than in styles where slapping anything together counts. Anyone can buy three blank canvases and call it art or take random paragraphs from random books, tape them together on a page and call it poetry. But how many people can write something truly heartbreaking and moving with only 140 syllables in 14 lines of iambic pentameter and a rhyming scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG? I refer of course to the sonnet, of which some guy named Shakespeare wrote several.

It’s not easy to make something conform to limitations. But it is certainly an exercise worth trying, especially if you find your characters lack depth. Here’s my suggestion, as these are the ways I’ve found the most character work: Find some people to play D&D with. Find other writers or friends that know what they’re doing. You can do a preset campaign or let yourself/another writer write a story/world for you all to play in. But when you’re making your character, give yourself restrictions. In most versions of D&D, you can give your character flaws, which detriment your character but allow for extra benefits to balance it out. A lot of people will do this to make ridiculously powerful characters, but don’t focus on the game play so much as the character. People are flawed. How does that affect your character? Alternatively, ask your DM if you can bend certain rules, so long as you get a good story out of it.

For example, the current campaign I’m playing is in D&D Next, which is still basically in beta, so there’s a lot missing. My favorite class, the cleric, only has three domains to choose from at the moment… and none of the gods of Faerun in the domain I want to use have the right alignment for my character. I could have just changed my character’s alignment, but I decided to write a story behind it. Why would someone that disagrees with a certain deity’s way of life be a priest for that deity? And so, my story was written.

You don’t necessarily have to play D&D or any tabletop RPG to pull off this exercise. But I think D&D is a good template with a lot of creative options you may not consider… and playing the game will let you see how honest you can be to your character and keeping him or her consistent in certain situations. Plus… D&D with the right people can be LOADS of fun. 🙂 Give it a try some day.

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I’m Such A Nerd, It’s Not Even Funny

I’m also doing really badly at this whole “posting anything that is an actual commentary on pertinent socioeconomic issues” thing as of late. Sorry.

Anyway, after doing a quick reading of “Twelfth Night” for The Rude Mechanicals’ next play earlier today, I came back home to start work on the character for the second of the three RPGs I’m currently a part of.

That’s right. I’m part of three RPGs. Total nerd.

First, a 4th Edition-based Dungeons and Dragons campaign called Zeitgeist, wherein I play a half-elf Gunslinger cleric (meaning he carries two pistols) named Kiev Svbodny. You will see that name again. That’s who I pretty much always play as. And it fits this campaign, since he’s from the northern continent where the dwarves live, and they’re flavored as Russians in the world.

Second, a Lord of the Rings RPG. That’s the one I’ve been working on all day. Since about 5:30. We’re still not done making characters. Yaaaaaaaaay noobs and not enough books. I’ll be playing a dwarven loremaster (who will eventually become a wizard). I don’t know the name, but I rolled CRAZY well, and also have a rival named Garreth Oak, who keeps checking the books I need out of the library before me. Hate that guy.

Third, a 3.5 Edition Dungeons and Dragon game… my solid rock… where I will be playing a half-drow Favored Soul named Kiev Svbodny. Same name, similar flavor. I may stick with Favored Soul the entire time, or move toward getting a Loremaster prestige class. Depends on how things go. Got to roll him up tomorrow.

On top of all that, I’m working and stage managing a Shakespearean show.

And I thought I gave myself a full plate in college… Boy was I wrong.

Anyway, those that were unaware, I am a nerd. Those unable to understand what the heck I just said… …sorry. I’ll come up with a better, less nerdly post later.

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From Your Local Library – “The Sword Of Shannara” By Terry Brooks

Finally, I’m doing one of these book review things about a series that Jim Butcher didn’t write.

Jim Butcher is very easily my favorite author of my adult life. Terry Brooks, however, snagged me as a child. When I was younger, perusing the school library for books that would grant me large numbers of those ever so coveted AR Points (enough of those would get me to a party with prizes), I stumbled upon a large book that promised a fantasy world just right for my childhood imagination. While I had seen “The Hobbit,” I had never read any of the “Lord of the Rings” books, finding them a bit long and dry for me at the time.

And, ever since, I’ve been hooked.

Brooks had been writing since high school, but like many of us, struggled to find “his genre.” That’s a struggle I perhaps know too well, if this blog is any indication. He started writing “The Sword of Shannara” in 1967 at the ripe old age of 23. It then took him 7 years to finish.

And I am not feeling so terrible about taking so long on my play now.

The book, published in 1977, is very clearly an homage to J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic. In fact, one of the main complaints from detractors of the book is that it is far too much like the “Lord of the Rings” series.

It’s a fair argument, I suppose. There are Dwarves and Elves and Goblins and Trolls and Man. No Hobbits, though. A group of varied peoples of varied races travel together, led by a mystical man with magical powers, in search of a mystical item to bring to the home of the “big bad,” the unambiguously evil Warlock Lord and his black cloaked minions, who seeks to create war amongst the races. On the trip, the character that must carry the item to their victory becomes separated from the group, joins with characters unrelated to the original group, including a crazed little creature that wants the item all to itself, and carries out the mission while the main group attempts to prevent a war and the invasion of one of the largest cities of Man, currently ruled by a crazed man that is being tainted by the words of a mystic working for the “big bad.”

Clearly, there are some similarities.

There are also some keen differences as well. The details are, of course, different. The tale is also far shorter and far less clear in the moral standings of some of the characters, especially the Gandalf analogue, the druid Allanon. The evolution of the land of Shannara is different, but those are details more clearly explained as the series travels on. But the influence is still quite strongly there, as is the influence Tolkien had on most modern high fantasy.

It’s very easy to disregard this book as a poor attempt to simply rewrite Tolkien’s epic works. In fact, having reread the book just recently, the first time in quite a long time, I noticed that Brooks is not at the top of his game in this book. But, again, this is his first published work, one that was sprawled across 7 years during law school.

Having written 22 novels in the Shannara series (though 3 appear to be a totally different series at first), with 3 more currently planned, the evolution of Brooks’ voice and distinct style can be clearly marked. Even in his first trilogy, the growth of Brooks as a writer from book to book is amazing. And, in my opinion, well worth it.

“The Sword of Shannara” is, perhaps, rather derivative. I mean, it’s no “Twilight” to “Harry Potter,” thank God, but it definitely borrows some of the glow and appeal of the first and better in a similar fashion. The writing style is a bit sporadic, never fully focusing on any one character or view point. And there is far less dialogue and far more inner monologue or description of dialogue than I perhaps like.

But it’s an introduction. It’s a start to a series that sprawls across several books, filled with glorious twists and turns, deep mythologies and political intrigues, and a style of magic that continues to evolve and develop as the books do.

If you like Tolkien, and I mean the books and not the movies, then you will perhaps find yourself enjoying the more compact, lighter “Sword of Shannara.” And, if you do find yourself enjoying it even with its flaws, keep going in the series. Perhaps I’ll review some of the later books from the series at a later time… but for now, let me just say: It gets far more refined and interesting in both writing style and plot.

So, give it a try and see if you like it.

…and maybe one of these days, I’ll have a book to talk about that isn’t sci-fi/fantasy. …unlikely, but it’s possible.

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Second First Time Viewer – “The Muppet Christmas Carol”

You almost got to see my commentary on this film before the people at The Dome UA did. That would’ve been exciting, yes? Anyway, I actually had a few things I felt I could’ve talked about, like, “How is Herman Cain still being considered as a viable candidate?” or something more religious oriented that I’ve discussed in part in my previous posts, based on what a friend of mine posited the other day. However, due to time constraints on my part, I grant you with my commentary on the fourth of the six feature films starring The Muppets. The newest movie (which will bump the number up to seven) comes out a week from today. Get excited, folks. And after that movie comes out, I’ll finally be able to actually do my Big Screen Ballyhoo segment I announced a long time ago. Because I’m going to go watch and review and hopefully love that movie. Anyway… Walmart tells me it’s Christmas time, so here’s a movie to match that.

“The Muppet Christmas Carol,” fourth film in the Muppet film series. It was produced in 1992, the first Muppet film to have no involvement from Jim Henson. He had unfortunately died two years before. Billed as a musical comedy adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” the movie remains pleasantly accurate and surprisingly dramatic/scary at some points. And with Michael Caine, a powerhouse in the acting world, this movie may actually be the best Muppet film out there yet. Not quite my favorite, but it is definitely in a battle to the death with “The Muppet Movie” for that title. Without a doubt, though, this is my favorite Dickens-related venture ever.

Oh, holy crap! Jim Henson AND Richard Hunt died before this movie was made? That’s… depressing. It’s good that Brian Henson was cool with picking up the slack in directing.

Michael Caine as Scrooge? …this and Muppets will likely make this movie the most tolerable Dickens feature yet.

I’m actually liking the random Muppety hustle and bustle in the opening here. Especially the presence of the dog from “Fraggle Rock.”

I like Gonzo as Dickens. This has the potential to be quite funny.

This song about Scrooge at the opening is a great mood setter. And a fun song.

…oh, God, those mice are ridiculously cute.

Was that a Muppet doing a puppet show? That’s… weird.

Proof Scrooge is someone everyone is deathly afraid of: Someone thanks him for not yelling at them after being bodily thrown out into the streets.

If only putting on some tropical outfits were enough to make things seem warmer.

It’s actually really difficult to constantly comment on this movie. It’s really keeping my attention. …so, that’s a good thing.

To sum up, Scrooge is a rather cruel, vindictive miser, his nephew is a cheery, optimistic ray of sunshine with huuuuuuuge cajones to act like that around Scrooge, and Rizzo is Gonzo/Dickens’ whipping boy.

I wonder how much of this dialogue is actually drawn directly from the original story.

Okay, seriously, the ONLY sign that Scrooge can be possibly redeemed from his shriveled up misery is the fact that he hasn’t yet killed his nephew for his cheekiness and suggestions of Scrooge’s generosity to the poor.

Beaker and Honeydew have to be new to this town, considering exactly how many people in the opening song knew Scrooge was more of a penny-pincher than the stereotypical Shylock-esque Jew.

Oh, a bunny! …I like bunnies. …this one is going to die, isn’t he?

Good, Kermit. Appeal to Scrooge’s desire to save money. Manipulate his lack of humanity. …I wonder if this is a fight they always have every year, or if this group was simply hired after the Marleys died?

The massive amount of positive thinking Bob Cratchit must have could power several cities, I bet, what with his ability to sing so cheerily despite working for Scrooge.

I want to hug that bunny and warm him up and keep him as a pet forever.

Okay, the door knocker changing to Statler’s face is simultaneously the coolest and creepiest effect I’ve seen in a Muppet movie. Excluding “The Dark Crystal,” which doesn’t really count.

What the heck is Rizzo, part squirrel?

“Hoity-toity, Mr. God-like smarty pants” is something I’d love to have been able to have said to Charles Dickens.

Ask not for whom the bell ring-a-lings, it ring-a-lings for you, Scrooge.

I like Scrooge’s explanation for seeing ghosts. “There’s more of gravy than of grave about you.”

Okay, “Marley and Marley” is probably my second favorite Muppet song ever.

I have to admit: Scrooge is actually pretty brave/stubborn. I probably would have eliminated my bladder if that happened to me.

Gonzo calling someone an idiot for jumping from a perilous height instead of walking? I figured he’d approve of that.

Sleeping Caine looks so young…

Okay. I know I’ve been too affected by Harry Potter when I thought Gonzo was going to shout “Expecto Patronum.”

I have absolutely no idea how that young girl ghost effect was made, but it’s pretty neat.

Ooh, light at the end of the tunnel is the past? That’ll make the afterlife more interesting.

Did Rizzo just say he’s from New Jersey? Who knew?

I am rather loving the Muppety busts of the great thinkers of the past. Needs more Socrates, though.

Skipping Christmas to get your 4.0? GPA kills childhoods!

Sam the Eagle is a British schoolmaster now? He keeps getting put in the wrong country.

…rubber chicken factory? …yeah, that sounds like 19th century London.

Mrs. Fozziwig sounds strangely like the old guy at the desk at the Happiness Hotel.

It wouldn’t be Electric Mayhem if they didn’t get really fast and crazy.

I admit: I don’t remember Scrooge being engaged. Tells you how much attention I pay to Dickens in general.

Wow. This song sounds just a little bit too upbeat to be a breakup song. In other news, this movie teaches children to marry without consideration for any financial cost. …of course, you could just get married without a massively lavish ceremony.

I love how this turned into a duet between the girl and Caine’s Scrooge.

Oh, God, Caine is crying. And it’s making me sad. It’s terrible when a good actor does sad roles, because it just makes you sad, too. ADMIT IT, YOU ARE SAD AS WELL.

In Scrooge’s defence, heartbreak is painful and can make a miser out of anyone.

Holy crap, that is a HUGE Muppet. Or, at least, he looks rather large. And seems rather dumb.

So, not really Ghost of Christmas Present, but rather Ghost of the Christmas That’s Scheduled to Happen Today.

Scrooge is dancing? I guess he just needed a good cry and a good song.

What the heck are those frog monster Muppets?

…Oh, wow. Sucks to find out your nephew/only family thinks so lowly of you despite being such a cheerful fellow.

Wow, Chef Piggy sounds creepy.

Oh, God, there’s three Piggies. Kermit’s screwed.

Was that a squeaky toy Miss Piggy had while hugging Kermit?

Insulting Scrooge’s clothing? Gasp! That’s just stepping over the line.

Dying spirit says, “Eat your own words, Scrooge! EAT THEM.”

Oh, snap. The next spirit is The Nothing. Scrooge, you’re so screwed. Oh, no wait. It’s a Nazgul. …still screwed.

Okay, the swirly time tunnel effect? Also very cool. This Muppet movie is going crazy special on the effects.

For some reason, the spider Muppet makes me think of Fagan. I’m getting my Dickens all mixed up.

Oh, God. The “Tiny Tim is dead” scene is so depressing. This movie keeps trying to make me cry. That’s just uncalled for.

You would never expect a Muppet movie to show how amazing an actor is, but Caine is phenomenal in this film.

I didn’t even realize exactly how much better than entire segment with Christmas Yet To Come was without Gonzo narrating.

And the bunny child runs off with the money, destroying all the good Scrooge feels now.

Why is no one asking if Scrooge is drunk or stoned? Most complete 180s in personality are suspicious as hell.

Old Fozzie and Old Sam look awesome.

It’s good to see Piggy still has anger problems.

And now the Cratchits are hosts to the entire town. I don’t care how big that turkey is, it won’t feed that many people and Muppets.

Holy crap, there’s a LINE to get in on this Christmas dinner. Or at least to see the freakish personality shift in Scrooge. Little known fact: Scrooge sold tickets. He may be happier, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t like money.

Y’know what, screw “It’s a Wonderful Life.” THIS is the movie that needs to be on TV every year.

Hey, look, I’m man enough to admit, I teared up a couple of times during this movie. Michael Caine is phenomenal in this film (which is not surprising), and the movie finds an amazing balance between Muppety hilarity, faithful story telling, and heart-wrenching drama. There’s not much else for me to say, other than forget RottenTomatoes.com. If there’s something that website has completely wrong, it’s their ratings for the Muppet films. Humbug.

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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.

…WHAT THE HELL IS THIS CRAP?! THAT MADE NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. THAT’S TWO PHYSICS RAPES IN 20 MINUTES. ARGH!

…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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