May 19th, 2008
09:19 AM ET

The crush to see Indiana Jones

Sunday afternoon, thousands of journalists, film critics and invited guests were anxiously awaiting the first screening of the new Indiana Jones film, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," here at the Cannes Film Festival. It has been nearly 20 years since the last Indy movie, after all.

The first screening was at 1 p.m. at the main theater at the Palais. The civilized group of patrons patiently waiting to be allowed entrance into the theater quickly turned into a mob scene as reporters with looming deadlines worried they wouldn't be let inside before the theater reached capacity. I remember a similar situation when "The Da Vinci Code" premiered here at Cannes two years ago. It was unpleasant, but hopefully everyone who needed to see the film was able to do so.

That scene really demonstrated how this is the big movie here at the festival. Watch some of the anticipation surrounding the "Indiana Jones" premiere

The day before, over at the famed Carlton Hotel on the Croisette, I interviewed the cast and filmmakers .. .and some of them were very worried about the reception the movie would receive. Director Steven Spielberg initially declined to do any press other than international, but in the end, he agreed to talk to CNN. He told me he was extremely nervous about showing the movie, but that he feels that way about all of his films. Star Shia LaBeouf asserted he loves the film but is terrified his individual performance could be the one to "bring the house of cards down."

Now that it's been shown, "Crystal Skull" is getting mixed reviews. People magazine film critic Leah Rozen told me, "You wanted to love it and I think most of us liked it. It's fine, you feel kind towards it, but there are stretches where you're going, why isn't this more fun, why isn't this really popping."

USA Today asserted, "There is considerable fun, and it's good to see that Indy, though slightly weary, still has the goods."

Other critics weren't so kind. The Chicago Tribune called it a "cockamamie" story, and The Hollywood Reporter said Indy "gets swamped in a sea of stunts."

Star Harrison Ford told me he's unconcerned about the critics and he's "damn proud" of the movie.

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" opens worldwide this week. Do you have a review of the film? Submit it to us at

- Brooke Anderson, CNN Entertainment Correspondent

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