Sunday, June 29, 2014

Geekdom Madness: Adventure, Ho!

This week's match-up: Dr. Jones vs Cap'n Jack!

Let's meet the combatants:


From a very young age, Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr. was dedicated to the idea that fabulous artifacts of bygone ages belong in museums as opposed to in the hands of private collectors who just want a fun paperweight. Teaching archeology by day at a university, in his off time he grabs his whip and fedora and goes out to find those ancient (and sometimes powerful) treasures before they fall into the wrong hands.

* Good with a whip, and a decent brawler.
* Knowledgeable and respectful of ancient cultures.
* Once survived a nuclear explosion.

* Can be gruff, especially in his later years.
* Has a rough time with the women in his life.
* Often runs into unsavory characters such as Soviet Spies, Violent Cultists, and especially Nazis.


Once a sailor for the East India Trading Company, Jack turned to the family business of piracy after thwarting his former employer's slave trade. Since then, Jack has drifted from port to port, looking for adventure, treasure, and the occasional naive lass. His true motives and nature confuse ally and enemy alike, though he's often a step or two ahead in any case.

* His quirky personality masks a brilliant tactical mind.
* Talented at turning most situations to his advantage in one way or another.
* Has a so-called "honest streak"; when the chips are down, he'll do the right thing.

* He is a pirate, and is not above stealing, lying, and (though he'll try to avoid it) killing.
* Is arguably one of the worst swordfighters in the Caribbean
* Is far too fond of rum.

 Final Thoughts
Both of these characters are romantic archetypes of a bygone age. The biggest difference between them is that Indy searches the land while Jack rules the seas. So, essentially this is Surf and Turf, earth vs. water. Well, I am from a coastal state...

As always, make sure you're viewing the WEB version of the site and vote in the poll on the right-hand side of the screen. Poll closes Friday, and results posted on Saturday. Feel free to discuss your pick in the comments below.


  1. Sparrow definitely fell prey to the law of diminishing returns, so I'm goin' with Indy here.

    Though I recently found out that the role of Sparrow was apparently originally written for Hugh Jackman (hence 'Jack' Sparrow), but Disney vetoed him 'cause he wasn't as well known at the time. Man, wonder what that would've been like.

    1. Actually, I heard that Christopher Walken of all people was a frontrunner.

      And what diminishing? I've been very impressed with the series as a whole.

    2. Really? Hadn't heard that- Wikipedia only mentions Jackman, stating that the role was written for him but Disney pushed Depp for the role because he was a bigger name.

      And beyond the films themselves, I just think his character gets progressively broader and broader in each installment. I think it's the same kind of deal when you read about how C-3PO was written as a used car salesman, and Anthony Daniels played him against type and it resulted in this wonderfully comic character, and then in the later films he gets prissier and prissier because now he's being written in the way he was performed and the tension between writing/performance isn't there anymore. Similar thing with Sparrow for me- as originally written he was a straightforward pirate character and Depp chose to play him as this hugely eccentric mess of a character, which of course worked brilliantly. Well, then with the next films they really play up his eccentricities in the writing and the character gets broader (and IMO much less interesting) with each turn.

      'course, I'm also biased 'cause of the Disneyland renovations, which actively impeded my enjoyment of the character for a very long time.

    3. Meh. I'm of the opinion that more Johnny Depp can only be a good thing, but I understand where you're coming from even though I feel quite the opposite.

    4. I just disliked the revisionism inherent in changing the ride to be more like the movie, plus the new hyper-realistic animatronics jarred with the cartoonish look of the originals.

      Still, I can put up with it- it's not the WDW ride, where they basically redid the entire thing to be a much smaller version of the DL ride and actively damaged the spirit of the original ride in the process. At least DL was only a few changes here and there.

    5. And I should note re: the films themselves that I've always felt Depp's actual performance was brilliant and he was a consistent high point through the films. It's just the writing of the character itself I felt weakened as time went on.