Breakfast and Brunch

Milking It: Indiana Jones Chocolate Cereal with Marshmallows

Indiana Jones Chocolate Cereal with Marshmallows Kellogg's Rating: Three spoons out of four

Cereal description: The main pieces consist of brown oat-and-corn puffs -- but the main attractions are the marshmallows, which come in four different shapes. "Indy's Hat" might more accurately be described as "a triangle," and only its brownish tint differentiates it from the bits dubbed "Temple of Akator," whatever the hell that means. (Presumably, the movie, which opens on May 22, will explain all.) Also disappointing is the "Torch," which resembles a lumpy-tipped blue diamond from Lucky Charms that only got colored to the midline. Thumbs up, though, to the "Crystal Skulls," white, skull-shaped chunks of goodness with ghostly eyes that seem to stare dolefully as you raise the spoon to your mouth. Disturbing!

Box description: The illustration of a whip-wielding Harrison Ford on the cover of the box captures the actor circa 1981, when the original Indy adventure, Raiders of the Lost Ark, was released. Thank goodness for those crystal skulls, or diners might suspect that the cereal had been sitting in a warehouse like the one seen at Raiders' conclusion for the past 27 years. One side panel features nutrition information, while the other pimps other "limited edition" Indiana Jones products, including "Indiana Jones Printed Fun Pop Tarts" -- one design features a whip stamped into the frosting (S&M has never looked more delicious) -- and "Indiana Jones Fruit Flavored Snacks" -- strangely enough, this product's hat actually looks like a hat. As for the back of the box, it sports photos of a sixty-something Ford looking baffled and/or dyspeptic, plus Cate Blanchett done up in dominatrix duds (betcha she knows her way around a whip) and Shia LeBeouf as Fonzie, except with an adolescent mustache that may or may not be made of milk. Also on hand: an "Action-Packed Adventure" that takes cereal fans through a maze whose stops are marked by oddball phrases like "Oh, No! They're out of peanuts" and "Total confusion!" You can say that again.

Taste: The oat-and-corn orbs don't have the sort of strong chocolatey flavor that Cocoa Puffs perfected long ago; they're lighter, more fragile than necessary. Fortunately, the marshmallows are crisp and enjoyable -- as noted in a recent review of Barbie cereal, Kellogg's is getting better at this important facet of sugary manufacture -- and the crystal skulls are creepy in a good way. Every good breakfast could use a touch of evil.

Conclusion: No classic, but above-average breakfast escapism. Hope the movie's at least this good. -- Michael Roberts