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February 2008

The Road to Indiana Jones: Part 3

Remember that “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” teaser trailer that was supposed to light up the hearts and minds of fanboys last year? Well, it finally showed up.

(HD versions here

A Valentine’s Day gift from George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to the fedora-clutching faithful who’ve been champing at the bit for any scrap of footage to arrive before the film’s May 22nd release date, this “teaser” trailer offers so many diverse sights to drink in, perhaps running it on a loop for 24 hours is the only way to even begin to digest it properly.

What this first look is most certainly lacking is teasery, red curtain magic, as found in the previous two Indy “in production” trailers (here and here). The time for “Crystal Skull” to have some enviable on-set gaiety passed long ago, and there’s a small part of me that’s saddened the great L/S team-up couldn’t embrace some old-time, ridiculously early promotion with a punchy peek showing off cast, crew, and locations.

Lucas and Spielberg are approaching all “Crystal Skull” reveals carefully, and the trailer is indicative of a marketing commencement unsure how to make a first move that won’t alienate anyone. No doubt, the trailer is a goosebumpy, thrilling 90-second preview of a film many are willing to step over their loved ones to see on opening day. I especially adore the recap of the previous adventures – well, just to see L/S even acknowledge “Temple of Doom” is the real treat. It’s a thoughtful way to tie the four adventures together. 

From there on out, it’s a battle royal of footage, clipping bits from all over the movie, without delving into any plot or character. In that respect, it’s an authentic teaser. And it’s splendid. See Indy flying around the Ark of the Covenant warehouse! The hint of Roswell, New Mexico! More temple madness! Cate Blanchett as a hot, crazy Russian out to stomp Indy’s ass! Again, who knows what the hell is going on. But it sure is fun to finally see it all in motion. 

Listen, it’s been 19 years since “Last Crusade,” and even if they showed a hungover Harrison Ford reading the New York Times on his barcalounger, I would’ve nearly fainted from the excitement of it all.

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Whatever Happened to Claudia Wells?

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Like many people, I had one of those impulsive, unstoppable semi-crushes on actress Claudia Wells growing up. It passed quickly, but during the “Back to the Future” heyday, she was the queen of big-haired teen lust.

For those who don’t recall, Wells played Jennifer, Marty McFly’s supportive girlfriend in the first “Back to the Future” motion picture. For unfortunate family medical reasons, Wells was replaced by Elisabeth Shue in the two marvelous sequels. Love Shue, but Wells was missed.

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Wells stopped acting in the late 80s, save for one 1996 indie, “Still Waters Burn,” making its DVD debut on February 12th. Now there’s one impressive theatrical-to-DVD window.

During a recent Googling session, it turns out Claudia owns Armani Wells, a successful men’s clothing shop in Los Angeles. She’s a fierce self-promoter, and seems to be enjoying her “Future” past in recent years with appearances at various Cons and autograph shows.

I love this clip because Wells is standing in front of a DeLorean. The woman knows what buttons to push. All of a sudden, I feel like I want to own a suit. Damn, she’s good.   

For added fun, here are dueling Jennifers: