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Indiana Jones: Hollywood unearths an artifact

My parents loved to travel when I was a child. At least once a year they would jet off to a foreign country and spend a week or two absorbing local cultures. With gas prices soaring and terrorism on the rise, intercontinental jet-setting may be something few of us bother with in the future. I never minded these trips because during their time away, my grandmother spoiled me immensely. She brought me breakfast in bed, read me stories at night, and played games with me whenever I asked. As far as I was concerned, my parents could travel as often and for as long as they wanted. When the first Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, was released, I had an immediate interest. Never had something as mundane as archeology been tackled with so much enthusiasm. When I heard that Indiana Jonesor more importantly, Harrison Fordwas readying for another big screen appearance, I immediately wondered whether it was a good idea. After all, Ford is no spring chicken; like it or not, the role of Indiana Jones requires quite a bit of jumping around. Well, Im happy to say that with wonderful editing and a good personal trainer, Harrison Ford pulled it off without looking like the aging thespian that he is. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull once again finds Indie searching for the meaning of an ancient artifact. This time, however, his nemesis comes in the form of the Russian KGB and a crafty agent intent on gaining ultimate power over the earth. All I can say is hold on to your seats, folks, because this Indie film is going where no man has gone before. If you like action and adventure, theres no doubt that youre going to get both with this picture and in large quantities. Steven Spielberg is the master at delivering high impact sequences that leave you visually mesmerized. Some critics have been harsh with this film, noting that the story is farfetched and over-the-top. I must agree, however, at its heart Indiana Jones is about fun and adventure and leaving the viewer in aweall of which it succeeded in doing. Theres also been a lot of press concerning Russias disdain of the film and their displeasure at being portrayed in a negative light. To those individuals I can only say that there has to be a villain in every Indiana Jones film, and to take a fictitious motion picture seriously is missing the point of storytelling. You may walk out of this one feeling slightly taken advantage of in terms of story, but overall theres no way you could not have had fun. A wildly erratic but devilishly fun B- for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Video Review: How Green Was My Valley Heres one that I had to force myself to watch because I thought it was going to be a western musical. It turned out to be anything but. Spanning 50 years, director John Ford's How Green Was My Valley revolves around the life of the Morgans, a Welsh mining family, as told through the eyes of its youngest child. Over the years, the family struggles to survive through strikes, unionization, and child abuse. The film chronicles the urbanization of a once pristine area as the power of big business moves in. How Green Was My Valley won five Academy Awards in 1941, including Best Director and Best Director. If youre in the mood for a classic black and white film, I highly recommend this one not only for its fine craftsmanship, but also for the historical significance. Film and entertainment critic Dom Cioffi lives in Rutland County, Vt.

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