So I did make the time to go see RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK in Imax. It was worth it for the sound alone. They had the audio cranked and the remastered 7.1 audio booming with every sound effect and the John Williams score. Sadly, this movie makes most new movies pale in comparison. Especially in light of its own sequels. As my friend Randy so eloquently stated, if you look at Mola Ram from the 2nd film the series, he is simply not motivated as a character. He’s evil….. just because. Rene Belloq in Raiders was motivated by greed, a passion for archeology, and competitive natures. He wasn’t a wholly evil man, something that most movies sorely lack – well rounded characters.
Lest we forget, my greatest reminder was just how potent a film score can be. John Williams was on such a roll after JAWS into STAR WARS into CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, and back into EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. This was another crown jewel of a score. Simultaneously epic, iconic, and motivating. The nearly silent section of the film where Indiana Jones uses the Map Room to locate the Well of Souls has one of the most incredible musical motifs, and it sells everything about the amazing set design, the characters emotions, and carries on to the point where the there are calculations and solving mysteries. All while manipulating the audience with such a powerful stroke.
One of the only reasons to love the sequels were just how much John Williams elevated TEMPLE OF DOOM with a score that would have made David Lean cry like an infant.