I viewed the new version of The Andromeda Strain recently. The miniseries is directed by brothers Ridley and Tony Scott and was broadcast on A&E. I really like and respect Michael Crichton for the book and the original movie was quite good. And, Ridley Scott is one of my favorite directors.

But this remake is a problem. The production value is excellent and the cinematography is quite inspired in a few places. I couldn’t do better than Ridley Scott, so who am I to complain? But there is the rub. While it is technically competent and visually stimulating, the storyline is a bit … well, I’ll just say it … overwrought. The updated storyline is just too bloody complex. Too many little cul-de-sacs and backstories to keep track of. It has that same manic, runaway train feel as ER. Just like Crichton’s most recent books. I can’t finish them.

Part of the problem with much of contemporary movie making is the persistance of formulaic and over used themes. Tired, threadbare archetypes of reluctant heroes, corrupt politicians, and busty nubiles who are handy with martial arts and firearms. I enjoy watching Angelina Jolie spraying machine gun fire as much as the next guy, but enough! Lets move on to something new.

Which brings me to the latest Indiana Jones movie. This movie proves that even George Lucas is subject to the Peter Principle. The storyline is a patchwork of whatever few baby-boomer oriented euphamisms that haven’t already been hijacked by the trolls at Industrial Light and Magic. It’s a contrived piece of cinema that was apparently designed by MBA’s and industrial psychologists to extract money from your debit card. (But I did enjoy some Milk Duds during the show.)

For Gawd sakes, George, go out back and dig up some of that money you have buried in the back yard and buy a better script next time.

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