Stuck at home? So is ScreenCrush’s Matt Singer — which is why he’s watching things streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Disney+, YouTube, Criterion, Tubi, and elsewhere, and then writing about what he finds. If you want to suggest something for him to watch and write about, find him on Twitter. Previous installments of this column can be found here.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Lawrence Kasdan, George Lucas, Philip Kaufman
Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
Box Office Total: $353.9 million
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95 percent
Currently Streaming On: Netflix
Suggested By: @g_huschke
Why I Watched It: It’s been years and years since I last saw Raiders of the Lost Ark (I haven’t logged it on Letterboxd, which means it might be a decade since my last viewing), and it’s hard to imagine a better piece of escapism right now. It’s got action, comedy, period fashions, and globetrotting adventure — a lovely antidote to being trapped at home in the grim spring of 2020. There’s also been a lot of talk lately about Indiana Jones 5, which was supposed to go into production in the near future without Steven Spielberg in the director’s chair, which made a rewatch a bit more timely now as well.
This is also the first time I’ve watched Raiders since I watched a bunch of the old Hollywood serials that helped inspired it, which gave me a new perspective on its episodic structure and the way Spielberg and producer/writer George Lucas varied their action sequences. (Many serials offered a different spectacle week by week; Raiders opens with borderline horror, then the next big beat is a fist fight, followed by a foot chase, and then a truck chase. All that plus easy access on Netflix made it a no-brainer. Here are five things I took away from this viewing...