Indiana Jones and the Godless Commies, by Dennis O’Neil

Dennis O'Neil

Dennis O'Neil was born in 1939, the same year that Batman first appeared in Detective Comics. It was thus perhaps fated that he would be so closely associated with the character, writing and editing the Dark Knight for more than 30 years. He's been an editor at Marvel and DC Comics. In addition to Batman, he's worked on Spider-Man, Daredevil, Iron Man, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow, the Question, The Shadow and more. O'Neil has won every major award in the industry. His prose novels have been New York Times bestsellers. Denny lives in Rockland County with his wife, Marifran.

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6 Responses

  1. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    "Indy survives a nuclear blast by taking refuge in a refrigerator that is tumbled for a great distance – a mile or more?"Ah, but it was LEAD-LINED refrigerator. And as anyone who was raised on 50's adventure and sci-fi films can tell you, lead keeps you safe from radiation. And, apparently, impact contusions. Maybe the residual coldness of the refrigerator kept the swelling down till they found him. Besides, if you're going to agree to the idea of a fully-functioning yet dormant giant spaceship in a South American jungle, arguing over the blast protection of a Norge is just petty. The only thing more ridiculous than comic book science is Movie Serial science. In serials, they're actually allowed to go back in time and have Rocketman get out of the cockadoody car the next week after showing you the car going off the cliff."Quibble two has to do with making the communists – or dirty commies, as we called them in my childhood – the bad guys, as the Nazis were the heavies in Indy’s debut."As idyllic a philosophy as Communism might have been when it was dreamed up (an no, I ain't going any further down that road), by the 1950's it was far from that ideal. And again, since this is a film inspired by the serials and films of the (now) 50's, commies were soulless evil monsters then, so they are here now. Adventure films like this are not the place to look for the subtle grays of the human persona. The bad guys are bad (and a few even wore black hats, IMS), the good guys are good, and with the possible exception of the mixed-up ingenue who was tricked in working for The Wrong Side, never the twain shall meet. If anything, I was pleased that they didn't try to lay 21st century PC attitudes on the film, and try to show that Communism has a heart. They needed a pureblood villain, that got it. And even better, they did a good enough job to warrant an official complaint from the Communist Party in Russia. Yay. Crystal Skull was one of the first live-action films that captured and held my daughter's interest. She was whooping it up at the chases, cracking jokes at the right times, and last night, was making up sketches with the little super-deformed Indiana Jones Adventure People I picked up. This doesn't sound like much, but having Asperger's Syndrome, and ADHD, that's great progress. Just more evidence of the mental healing powers of the Crystal Skull…

  2. Alan Coil says:

    I saw the movie on Tuesday evening, and was sorely disappointed. I wasn't in a bad mood, but I reacted to the movie as if I was. The CGI didn't work for me, the refrigerator didn't work, the chase scenes were too long, the bit with the tribe of monkeys made me what to curse out loud, some of the dialog was off, falling over 3 waterfalls should have killed most of those…if not all…who went over them, oh, I could go on.Surprisingly, the stuff about the aliens worked for me. That was the basis for a good movie, but we didn't get it here.

    • mike weber says:

      What i've read says that CGI was sparingly used – i think the main CGI involving characters was used primarily to extend vistas (like wthe warehouse interior) and to supply the cliff they were stunt-driving along the edge of, which would have been optically-composited matte paintings in 1981, anyway.For instance, according to articles online, the stunts in the jungle chase scene were pretty all legit, but the jungle itself was mostly composited from actual footage of real jungle and matted in; they might have done something similar in an earlier film, but the matte work wouldn't have looked so good. Remember Die Hard4, with all the complaints about CGI stunts, which turn out to have been actual physical stunts/effects?One thing that amused me was that Mutt's bike is *clearly* a post-1974 Harley. For "Tore Tora Tora" they at least made the kid who played the telegraph messenger learn to ride a suicide-shift Indian…

      • Alan Coil says:

        I'm pretty positive most all the animals were CGI.It would cost somebody at least $50 for me to see Die Hard 4.I had questions about the authenticity of the motorcycle. It just didn't seem right, but I have no knowledge about the subject.And I have to question what I remember about the countdown for the rocket sled. Did they actually have a countdown display like that back in 1957, or did just they use a regular clock?

        • mike weber says:

          A quick look at the right end of the handlebars will reveal a small square box with tubes leading down from it – this is the disk brake master cylinder; very few *cars* had disk brakes in 1957. Also (according to people who know more than i) the bike has a post-1974 engine.Probably the countdown in 1957 would have been a normal-type mechanical clock running backward.Hadn't thought about the animals; quite probably many of them (the monkeys, the ants) would be CGI. (Cf seedless green grapes used to simulate walking across a cave floor covered by thousands of giant spiders on "Inner Sanctum"…)SPOILERSPACESPOILERSpeaking of the rocket sled – considering that Indy and the Bad Guy ride it with their backs supported by structural members rather than an acceleration seat, i wonder what the real-life surviveability factor might have been ,ike?

  3. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    Talk about synchronicity, today's word of the day from <a href="; rel="nofollow">Urban Dictionary is "Nuke the Fridge""A colloquialism used to delineate the precise moment at which a cinematic franchise has crossed over from remote plausibility to self parodying absurdity, usually indicating a low point in the series from which it is unlikely to recover. A reference to one of the opening scenes of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, in which the titular hero manages to avoid death by nuclear explosion by hiding inside a kitchen refrigerator. The film is widely recognised by fans as a major departure from the rest of the series both in terms of content and quality."