Tag Archives: Harrison Ford

The Set of 400: #53 – My Favorite Dead Animal Sleeping Bag

Today! Because I thought they smelled bad on the outside – 

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Directed by Irvin Kershner

Starring Mark Hamill (x3), Harrison Ford (x7), Carrie Fisher (x7), Anthony Daniels (x3), James Earl Jones (x6), Kenny Baker (x4), Peter Mayhew (x2), Frank Oz (x8), Alec Guinness (x3), David Prowse (x2), Billy Dee Williams (x2), Julian Glover (x2), Jeremy Bulloch, Kenneth Colley (x3), Denis Lawson, John Ratzenberger (x7), Jason Wingreen

Look, there was bound to come a time on this list where the movies just get crazy great. While there are maybe a few unconventional choices going forward, maybe some preferences inside franchises that are atypical, we’re still largely going to be dealing with super popular or super acclaimed films, by and large. So, like, what is there to say about The Empire Strikes Back that hasn’t already been said? Is there anything in entertainment or pop culture that has been written about more over the last forty years than Star Wars?

For me, it’s basically just this movie and the St. Patrick’s Day parade, though

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The Set of 400: #66 – My Favorite Rolling Gong

Today! Because I always thought that archaeologists were always funny looking men going around looking for their mommies –

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Directed by Steven Spielberg (x9)

Starring Harrison Ford (x6), Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan (x2), Amrish Puri, Roy Chiao (x2), David Yip, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone (x2), Dan Aykroyd (x6)

Yes, one of the more surprising reveals to me about my own preferences is that now I’m apparently that guy who likes Temple of Doom more than Last Crusade. I highly doubt this will last, as this ranking has been nothing if not hyper-fluid over the years, but however temporarily I’m taking the oddball non-Nazi Indiana Jones flick as my (spoiler alert) second favorite.

And I think Temple of Doom genuinely gets a bad rap. Why? Because Kate Capshaw’s Willie is a pain in the ass? She’s pretty funny, and manages to hold her own in the later action sequences. What, because Indy is forced to pal around with a kid? Say what you will, but Jonathan Ke Quan was one of the great kid actors of the day, between this and Goonies, and they certainly could’ve done worse for a way younger sidekick (and did, with LeBeouf in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). Maybe it’s a dumb choice, but the group makes for a pretty fun team on this outlandish Indian adventure.

I don’t care what you say, Short Round is great

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The Set of 400: #71 – My Favorite Misattributed Charlemagne

Today! Because we are on the verge of completing a quest that began almost two thousand years ago –

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Directed by Steven Spielberg (x7)

Starring Harrison Ford (x5), Sean Connery (x7), John Rhys-Davies (x3), Denholm Elliott (x2), Alison Doody, Julian Glover, Michael Byrne, River Phoenix (x2), Robert Eddison, Richard Young

In putting this list together in the summer of 2018, I needed to rewatch 60 or 70 films, mainly as it had been a while since I’d seen, say, Switch and The Dream Team. I remembered liking them, but how much did I still like them? And some movies straight missed out due to this rewatching – Lost Horizon, The Secret of NIMH, and Falling Down are not what 12-year-old Joe would’ve had me believe! One thing I didn’t think I would need to rewatch was Last Crusade, as I’d seen this movie a billion times, even if it had been a few years. But I just happened to catch it on TV around this time, and was surprised to find that (as of fall 2017) one of my top 20 films struck me quite differently than expected.

Now, I’d not seen Temple of Doom in a while either, and ended up watching them back-to-back. That may have hurt Last Crusade? Not because Temple of Doom is way better – I genuinely believe it is not – but that Last Crusade feels shockingly tired when viewed immediately after the Raiders’ prequel. It’s still largely what you remember – fun action pieces and terrifically funny scenes between Indy and his dad – but there’s also a lot of lame dialogue and pointless interluding that feel unnecessarily thrown in. I liked the River Phoenix flashback opener, but it feels gimmicky. And Indy meets Hitler?! Come on, have you always been okay with that choice?

“Nuking the Fridge” became a phrase, but it clearly should’ve been “Getting Hitler’s Autograph”

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The Set of 400: #86 – My Favorite Golden God

Today! Because I’m out of it for a little while, everyone gets delusions of grandeur –

Return of the Jedi (1983)

Directed by Richard Marquand

Starring Mark Hamill (x2), Harrison Ford (x4), Carrie Fisher (x6), Anthony Daniels (x2), Kenny Baker (x3), Peter Mayhew, James Earl Jones (x5), Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid (x2), Frank Oz (x7), David Prowse, Alec Guinness (x2), Sebastian Shaw, Kenneth Colley (x2), Warwick Davis (x2)

The first movie I distinctly remember seeing in theaters, Return of the Jedi was everything to me as a kid. I don’t wholly remember a time before it – figure, I was a sturdy three-and-a-half when Jedi came out – but as this was the newest film, it rapidly became the go-to in our rotation of Star Wars flicks. Even now, while (spoiler) it is my least favorite of the original trilogy, I contend it has the single best sequence of any of the films – the Tatooine/Jabba’s Palace first act, obviously. And sure, it just drowns in stuffed animals by the end – and a final action sequence that goes on forever – but as much as you might hate the Ewoks, if you grew up with them, do they really bother you that much? This was a franchise built on merchandising first and foremost! They needed their own line of Care Bears! Come on!

Adorbs!

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The Set of 400: #175 – My Favorite Heat Signature Battle

Today! Because I couldn’t just stand there and watch him shoot those people right in front of me. It was…rage –

Patriot Games (1992)

Directed by Phillip Noyce

Starring Harrison Ford (x3), Sean Bean, Patrick Bergin, Anne Archer, Thora Birch, Samuel L. Jackson (x3), J.E. Freeman (x2), Polly Walker, James Earl Jones (x4), James Fox, Richard Harris, Hugh Fraser, Ted Raimi (x2), Bob Gunton (x3), Jonathan Ryan, Alex Norton

There have been a bunch of Tom Clancy/Jack Ryan adaptations, but only one was released at the center of my film universe – 1992! And so, Patriot Games, the best and my favorite of the Jack Ryan movies I’ve seen (sorry, Sum of All Fears!)! It’s not as baggy as Clear and Present Danger and is more exciting than Sean Connery’s Russian sub commander in The Hunt For Red October. We only went and saw the Chris Pine Shadow Recruit (I think it was called?) thing because we were literally travelling to Moscow the following month, and thought it might be a good travelogue primer. It was not!

It’s a plenty scary work trip for everyone who goes!

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The Set of 400: #201 – My Favorite Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Today! Because the guy did a Peter Pan right off of this dam right here –

The Fugitive (1993)

Directed by Andrew Davis (x2)

Starring Harrison Ford (x2), Tommy Lee Jones (x4), Joe Pantoliano (x3), Sela Ward, Julianne Moore (x2), Jeroen Krabbe, Andreas Katsulas, Ron Dean, Jane Lynch (x3), Neil Flynn (x3), Daniel Roebuck, L. Scott Caldwell, Tom Wood (x2), Richard Riehle

There is obviously no way they could’ve known while filming this movie that some fifteen years later, currently thirteen-year-old Joe – playing out the string in eighth grade in North Scranton – would pack up his meager half-double (also in North Scranton) and drive 700 miles to deposit said belongings in a one-bedroom apartment in Lincoln Park, Chicago, where he would quickly adopt all films set in the big town as virtual home movies, even ones made back when he was a thirteen-year-old, playing out the string in North Scranton. This is all about me, folks, and never more so now that we’ve officially reached the halfway point – post #200 counting down! [see bottom of page for actual halfway point] Plus, tomorrow is apparently Thanksgiving, if my future calendar reading is correct, so clearly we’ve all got a lot to be thankful for! Me getting this far, you for living to see half of my favorite movies from the years 1927 to 2013 get posts! Congratulations to us all!

But really, congratulations to me

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The Set of 400: #230 – My Favorite Origami Unicorn

Today! Because those aren’t your memories, they’re somebody else’s –

Blade Runner (1982)

Directed by Ridley Scott

Starring Harrison Ford, Sean Young (x2), Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah (x2), M. Emmet Walsh (x2), Edward James Olmos, William Sanderson, Brion James (x2), Joe Turkel, Joanna Cassidy, James Hong

I have a pair of what I’ve discovered are super unpopular opinions in regards to Blade Runner. 1) Ridley Scott might be the most overrated director in film history (Ouch!) and 2) I prefer the original theatrical version of the movie to the Director’s Cut (Yikes!). I know! Coming out hot!

So where the hell do I get off with my stupid ideas? Okay, first off, while Scott made a few admittedly great movies – Alien, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator maybe, The Martian – his reputation is such that you’d think it’s wall-to-wall masterpieces, when he was also behind the camera for middling near misses like American Gangster and Hannibal (Okay, I do kind of like Hannibal – the first half, anyway) and a bundle of absolutely awful films – Kingdom of Heaven, Prometheus, Alien: Covenant, Exodus, Legend, Robin Hood, 1492, A Good Year, The Counselor. I’m not saying he’s a bad director – there are too many legitimately great movies on the resume – I’m saying he’s massively overrated. His name on a picture is no reason to see that picture, is all I’m saying.

Prometheus is, like, really, really bad

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