Dinner and a Movie with Ali

Ali and I tried out that whole dinner-and-a-movie deal — the one where you can get free tickets for The Cinema TheatreMySpace link (957 South Clinton Ave.) for everyone at your table at Highland Park Diner (960 S. Clinton Ave.) if you spend at least $12.50 each. It's not that the Cinema is all that expensive, but it was a good excuse to spend a little more than usual on dinner. After all, even though Highland Diner is pricier than average, it's still kind of hard to spend that much per person.

The first film was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which Ali enjoyed more than I did. The thing I always enjoyed about the series is the way that the highly improbable circumstances are at least physically possible — it's set in the past of our daily world with a twist that there's a bit more magic and ancient booby traps continue to function flawlessly. In the latest installment, however, the action is just too far beyond unlikely: getting blown-clear from a nuclear blast, or going over a waterfall and surviving completely unscathed, for instance.

I also condemn the film for having internal inconsistencies indicative of a changing script. In one instance, Jones has strong knowledge of an unusual artifact but later claims he was kept in the dark and knew nothing. That artifact was supposed to be magnetic — able to deflect hanging lights from tens of feet away — but could be easily loaded into a steel Jeep. I also recall at least one instance where a character starts arguing with another, but that argument was almost edited out, and in the next shot, they're all fine again.

Ali had to skip Hellboy II: The Golden Army but I went back to see it. I liked it a lot more than Indiana Jones. I wasn't all that keen on it being so comic-book-like because some of the scenes would have worked as a comic book panel — where your imagination fixes the incongruities as if in a dream — but when rendered in film-form, they're shown to be rather absurd. That said, the dialog is snappy, funny, and overall the film is just fun to watch.

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