Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

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Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

Post by ShyViolet » February 10th, 2006, 8:32 pm

Harrison Ford: ''I'd like to get it over with so I don't have to answer the god-damned questions [about it] anymore.''


:roll:



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I am somewhat wary about this film....

Post by Hoagiebot » February 20th, 2006, 10:26 am

I am somewhat wary about this film. The idea of makin an Indiana Jones IV has been bouncing around for at least 3 years now, and during that entire time all I have heard about is script re-writes, script re-writes, and more script re-writes. That really worries me, and considering how uncreative and horrible Hollywood has become at writing scripts these days, I didn't have very high hopes to begin with. I mean, who is the villain going to be in this film anyway if it is going to be set in the optimistic all-things nuclear age of the 1950's since the Nazis have been defeated? The Soviets? Another crazy Indian "Temple of Doom" priest guy? It just won't be the same without having Indy defeat the Nazis!

Besides, the first and third Indiana Jones films were partially based on a fascinating piece of history, and that was that the Nazis really did fund archaeological expeditions and sent research teams to far off places such as the Amazon Rainforest, Tibet, and even Antarctica! The Nazi organization that funded these expeditions was called the Ahnenerbe Forschungs-und Lehrgemeinschaft, and it was founded in 1935 by Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Wirth, and Richard Walter Darré. One of its main missions was to prove through archaeological expeditions, research, and geneology that the Aryan race was decended from the civilization of Atlantis (no lie!) and as a result was superior to all other races on Earth. With "Raiders of the Lost Ark" taking place in 1936 and "The Last Crusade" taking place in 1938, it plays pretty much right into the historical timeline of when the real Nazi archaeological expeditions were actually taking place. As far as I know (and I could be mistaken) there is no equivalent drive for archaeological expeditions instigated by the Soviets in the 1950's.

Because of this, I can't help but wonder what the story of the new Indiana Jones film is going to be about, and who the antagonists could possibly be to make things interesting. I guess all we can really hope for is that the Indiana Jones revival goes better than the Star Wars revival did, because I personally found the three new Star Wars films from George Lucas to be very disappointing.
There's a 68.71% chance that I'm right.
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Post by Macaluso » February 20th, 2006, 11:54 am

Are you DOUBTING Harrison Ford?
Doubting Harrison Ford is like... hating Jesus.
You don't... HATE jesus do you?

HEY EVERYBODY. THESE GUYS HATE JESUS!

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Post by Ben » February 20th, 2006, 12:15 pm

Okay, Mac...settle down.

While I'm interested in what they could do, I'm ultimately against a new Indy.

The original three perfectly bookended the 1980s, with Raiders at the front, Doom in the middle and Crusade at the end. It's a perfect trilogy, made very well at that time.

Trying to regain past glories rarely works, as we have seen with the new Lucas prequels. I think they should leave Indy with a perfect three films. The whole tone, style and period of a fourth would not fit in with that has been established before, even in TOD, which was still very much of that period.

Indy is a 1930s hero. Leave him that way, and please don't go the alient invasion route that has most often been mooted as material for the fourth.

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Post by ShyViolet » February 20th, 2006, 3:40 pm

Trying to regain past glories rarely works, as we have seen with the new Lucas prequels. I think they should leave Indy with a perfect three films. The whole tone, style and period of a fourth would not fit in with that has been established before, even in TOD, which was still very much of that period.
Exactly! :) In the eighties there was this whole nostalgia throwback to 1930's/40's serials and Saturday matinees, which Lucas and Spielberg both grew up with. Star Wars is also part of that tradition. (Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon etc...)

Nowadays all that is pretty much forgotten, unless you count the Zorro films. There is an innocence and romanticism with Indy that made him popular and might not work today. (Notice how there were never any real sexual scenes between him and the leading ladies, only subtle hints.)
And the great thing about the special effects was that they were echoing the particularly BAD special effects of the 30's and 40's. And even the 80's effects weren't all that great, and they had a certain wonder about them. The fake blood, heart being ripped out, bugs, all those extras in India...

Now they would just use computers for all of that. And it just wouldn't be the same. Fortunately or unfortunately, we need much more to "wow" us than we did back then.... :roll: (Maybe that's why the CGI creatures in Phantom just didn't have the same impact as the wonderfully imaginative puppets in the original Star Wars)
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Post by Meg » February 20th, 2006, 5:43 pm

While I think that computers have A LOT to offer to SFX these days, I'll have to agree - they're used too much.

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Post by Ben » February 21st, 2006, 7:25 am

I think the funny thing is that the effects in Star Wars and the Indy films at that time WERE cutting edge - nothing intentionally "bad" about them.

But these very films were the beginnings of the flash, bang, wallop and wow pictures we get today.

They work as throwbacks, but I don't think they could compete in todays marketplace with what they themselves have spawned...

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Post by Christian » February 21st, 2006, 4:21 pm

Any film can be made good no matter what challenges it has. You can make a sequel to "Manos: Hands of Fate" and make it good. There's nothing stopping you except for maybe your imagination. To say a sequel or a new installment in a series could not be done well, even if it's eighteen years later, is to claim that everyone's imagination must be as limited as your own. I like all the Indy films and all the SW films but I actually like the last released in each series the best (ROTS being the most visually ambitious SW film). The thing about trying to regain past glories is all about perspective. Even Last Crusade seemed like it came along a little late in the game by coming out a whole five years (gasp!) after the Temple of Doom. It was almost an eternity later. "Can't they just let it die? Geez! The whole Indiana Jones craze died out in 1984 with that bleak Temple of Doom film. Please just give it a rest. Stop torturing us." The fact that some movies are made poorly never proves that ANY future movie has to be made poorly, sequel or otherwise.

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Post by Hoagiebot » February 22nd, 2006, 7:32 am

Any film can be made good no matter what challenges it has. You can make a sequel to "Manos: Hands of Fate" and make it good. There's nothing stopping you except for maybe your imagination. To say a sequel or a new installment in a series could not be done well, even if it's eighteen years later, is to claim that everyone's imagination must be as limited as your own.
For the record I want to make it clear that I never said that a good sequel to the Indiana Jones trilogy couldn't be done. I for one have a personal motto that anything is possible. My feelings are that with the very uncreative slough of movies that are coming out of Hollywood today (hey, lets make movies out of the Dukes of Hazard and Miami Vice, and make another "Big Mama's House sequel everyone!) that I don't think that it is very likely that an Indiana Jones sequel will turn out very well because it will probably be treated only as a cash cow "franchise" and have a huge focus on special effects and little focus on story. Who knows, maybe the script writer they hired is a real ace and is going to blow me away with an awesome Indiana Jones 4 story that is so darn creative that I would have never thought of that approach for a million years. It would be great to be pleasantly surprised for a change! However, I am not going to hold my breath.
(ROTS being the most visually ambitious SW film)
Return of the Sith is visually stunning yes, but yet another example of the very weak story writing coming out of Hollywood these days. And before the flame posts start rolling in on how I could say such blasphemy against a Star Wars film, let me say that my opinion of ROTS story is not based on some geekish Star Wars universe detail that was missed but instead because the film failed to follow many fundamental story-writing techniques from film school 101, the most disappointing of which was an anti-climatic ending where Obi-wan strikes down Anakin on the lava world.

When you are storyboarding an action sequence, to raise the tension of a seen and capture the emotional arc of the combatants, you have to increase the amount of jeopardy that you have the hero is in during every progressing stage of the fight. Then, when it looks like all is lost for the hero and that he is surely going to die, by chance some unexpected miraculous event happens that allows the hero to gain the upper hand and win the fight in a harrowingly close victory. To see an example of this, lets look at the endings of two other Star Wars films: A New Hope and Return of the Jedi.

In A New Hope, you have a small band of rebel star fighters taking on a superior enemy, the Death Star. As soon as you hear a rebel pilot say, "Look at the size of that thing!" the situation looks grimmer and the suspense heightens. The Y-Wings all go in the trench for their bomb run, but get blown out stars before they even make it to the target. It was the Y-Wing group's ob to hit the Death Star's exhaust ports. Now they're dead. The situation grows grimmer for the heros, and the suspense heightens.

Now Red Leader and the first group of X-Wings goes in to attempt a bomb run. One by one they get picked off, and as they do the tension grows even higher. Now all that's left is the X-Wing group lead by an inexperienced bush pilot from the sticks named Skywalker. All of the battle-hardened pilots have already died? Once chance does this farm boy have? The situation grows still grimmer for the Rebel Alliance!

Now the Imperial TIE fighters are closing in on Luke and his X-Wing group. First, Luke's childhood friend Biggs gets incinerated by the fighters. Then Wedge's X-Wing gets knocked out of the fight. Now Luke is all alone, he is still not close enough to the target to fire, and Vader has him in his gunsight. The situation grows still grimmer for the heros, and the suspense heightens. Vader lets of his first salvo of laser bolts, effectively blowing R2-D2's head off. Now Luke truly is alone! And then it looks like it is all over for Luke when Vader says, "I have you now!"

But wait-- here comes that miracle that allows the hero to barely be able to win the fight that I was telling you about! Han Solo, who everyone thought was a scumbag for running with his money and not helping the rebels has miraculously showed up and saves Luke's butt, shocking the audience! Now Luke is clear to bomb the exhaust port and save the day! And what do you have here? A perfectly executed fight scene that has you on the edge of your seat the whole time, surprises you with the outcome, increases the jeopardy for the heros in every scene, and is so memerable that people still are moved by it 28 years after it was made! With Return of the Jedi you have the exact same thing-- Luke is getting his butt fried by the evil Emperor's force lightning, and is clearly helpless and suffering. And then, right before Luke is about to die the completely unexpected and miraculous event happens-- Lord Vader, the Emperor's trusted right hand man, suddenly turns on his master, throwing the Emperor down the Death Star's reactor core and saving his son's life.

Now let's look at the battle on the lava world at the end of Return of the Sith. Throughout the fight, despite the fact that we are told that Anakin's supposed to be one of the strongest of the Jedi, you don't really see any clear victor during Anakin and Obi-wan's chaotic struggle. Despite all of the foreshadowing that Anakin was going to be some ultimate bad guy, Obi-wan never seems to be at much of a disadvantage. Then they stop fighting all together, losing any tension from the seen that had built up in the scene, if any, and Obi-wan says how he has the higher ground, and if Anakin attacks him Anakin will lose. Then Anakin attacks him anyway and loses. Lame! Where is the increase of jeopardy for Obi-wan? Where is Obi-wan certain to get defeated to make us get on the edge of are seats worrying about him? Where is the miraculous and unexpected twist of fate that allows Obi-wan to narrowly escape death and gain the upper hand? I'm sorry, but it's just not there! Obi-wan cuts down Anakin as easily as a food processor dices a head of lettuce, and doesn't even lose his breath while doing it. The control of tension for that scene was so poorly played out that I doubt Lucas even bothered to storyboard that sequence at all.

Here's the bottom line that I am trying to get at with all of this (and it's not me just trying to anger every Star Wars: ROTS fan out there-- if you liked that movie that's fine with me): You can have all of the greatest most top-notch and visually stunning special effects in the world, but if you don't have a good story to back it up, all you have is a special effects demo reel and not a feature film. The special effects are supposed to add strength to the emotional power of the story of a film, The story should be the film's strongest attribute and not just some excuse to showcase special effects.

So going back to what Christian said, yes you can make a great sequel to any movie under the sun if you spend a lot of hard work, time, and effort on it. And I would love to watch another Indiana Jones sequel if they do it well. But I want to see one-hundred and some odd minutes of fantastic storytelling, and not just one-hundred and some odd minutes of Indiana Jones being surrounded by dazzeling CG creations and things blowing up with no rhyme or reason for it.
Last edited by Hoagiebot on March 1st, 2006, 4:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Christian » February 22nd, 2006, 1:51 pm

Amen, brother.

"The story should be the film's strongest attribute and not just some excuse to showcase special effects."

Yes, we know that.

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Post by Ben » February 22nd, 2006, 5:35 pm

Good post.

And I don't have a limited imagination. ;)

I just think the Jones films are a 1930s period piece that were made in the still SFX-new 1980s.

Of course whatever they come up with now will be good to some extent, though the story will probably suffer. Indy should be left in the 1930s, but Ford's aging has already had this bumped to the 1940s/50s.

That's NOT what Indiana Jones is.

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Post by Christian » February 22nd, 2006, 7:01 pm

When I made the "limited imagination" remark it was directed at anybody who may think that way at any given point in time, including myself, even if not at every point in time.

Indiana Jones is a person (albeit a ficitional one) who has lived for several decades and the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles shows that his adventures haven't just been centered around WW II-related events. There's nothing that says the character of Indiana Jones can't have an adventure set in the 1950's. Apparently the people who created the character think he can. It's not my prerogative to say any differently. But if it is, then, hey, let me make Toy Story 3 while we're at it. I believe it's possible for anyobody (not just John Lasseter) to have a good idea for a Toy Story 3 plot, especially if fans can determine what era Indy should stay stuck in.

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Post by Ben » February 23rd, 2006, 8:14 am

Okay...I get your point, but I don't think you're seeing mine, with the best of intentions. :)

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Post by Christian » February 23rd, 2006, 11:40 am

Your point is that Indy is a WWII character? I agree largely. That's the only way we've seen Harrison Ford portray him. That's what we're used to.

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Post by Ben » February 26th, 2006, 7:58 pm

Not only what we're used to, but what the character IS, what makes him thrive and what makes him interesting.

They've had THREE films to show him in different time zones. Now that Ford is 18 years older and it just so happens that they're going to mess with Indy's established persona/time frame?

O-kay...

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