I was lucky enough to attend a preview screening of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull earlier this week - and oh! how exciting it was. The cognoscenti of Brisbane entertainment was there (read: radio and TV people who, like me, had scored free tickets).
Now I'm quite partial to the Indy films, but like Star Wars series, I never really had the opportunity to get obsessed with them. I remember The Last Crusade coming out in the cinemas when I was about nine years old, but I didn't see it until years later on the telly. It's somewhat weird, as unlike Star Wars, smart dudes in hats having awesome archeological adventures is really quite my bag.
But I'm inextricably linked to Indiana Jones for a somewhat bizarre reason - my father, to this day, uses the term "Temple of Doom" as a nickname for me.
It began with my childhood best friend - a young lad from down the street named Matthew Blake, whose father was pastor of the baptist church next door. We'd play together endlessly after school and on weekends - board games, dress-ups, shops, pirates. One day, there was some talk of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and my Dad, obviously seeing a comparison with our weekend adventures, began referring to "Matthew Blake and the Temple of Doom".
Eventually this became a nickname for me. Dad would yell "Temple of Doom!"at me when trying to attract my attention. There was always great emphasis on the elongated "ooh" sound in "Doom", and Dad would usually couple it with raised eyebrows and goggle eyes. It was always mystifying for onlookers, but then, most of my Dad's nicknames for me were (and still are).
I still get the occasional "Temple of Doom!" thrown my way, but generally Dad sticks to "Bert" these days. It was his first nickname for me - apparently I could be a narky child who was slightly anally retentive and a stickler for rules, and this reminded my Dad of the iconic Sesame Street muppet. Could've been worse; could've been because of my eyebrows.
As for Matthew Blake - well, there was an odd moment near the end of my Year Seven, where I came back from school camp, and Matthew never came over again. It was weird; almost like my childhood ended at that point. We'd been so close, and then all of a sudden nothing. I've never talked to him since.
So Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is out now, and while I don't want to give away any spoilers, I will say two things:
1. George Lucas should not be allowed to write dialogue; and
2. I wonder if the original title was "Close Encounters of the Archeological Kind"?