Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

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Post by ShyViolet » June 16th, 2008, 12:11 am

Finally saw the film:

If you liked it you might not want to read this: :P :wink:

click to reveal content
The truth is that I couldn't, couldn't, couldn't believe that I was actually watching a Spielberg movie.....it felt more like a crass cash-in than ANYTHING he's ever done before, including The Lost World. Absolutely nothing clicked in this movie, everything felt so forced and so cynically out-of-tune that after a while I stopped expecting anything from it and just tried to enjoy it as a "harmless diversion", but is "fun" and "OK", really what we expect from SPIELBERG and LUCAS? How is it possible that the creators of some of the greatest films in cinema have come together to produce something on par with, say, a movie like The Fifth Element? (Which had better SFX and more imagination than this any day.)

The Indy movies have been analyzed by film scholars as being much more than the sum of their parts, and Indy as being a particularly complex character (his "dual identity" as Dr. Jones and Indy for one), much more than the standard "Bruce Willis action hero." I wasn't expecting KOTCS to be Citizen Kane...not by a long shot. But I was expecting it to have at least some of the dimensions of past Indy films, as well as the directorial flair of Spielberg....the film had neither.

My immediate thoughts on the film:

1.) Ok, I guess the first thing to deal with is Ford. Does as good a job as anyone could possibly do after not having played a character for almost 20 years--I don't think any actor other than Ford COULD have pulled this off...the problem is, he doesn't quite pull it off, but it's really more due to Spielberg's indifferent direction and Koepp/Lucas' even more indifferent script. That's why, and I mean this as no slight to Ford, Indy feels less like "Indy" than Ford doing an impression of Indy.

2.) As said before, Spielberg was on autopilot throughout this whole film. (I won't even mention Lucas--he's been on autopilot for years now.)
There were so many references to past Indy films I lost count. Shia and Indy in the cave....(with scorpions)....Short Round and Indy in the cave with the giant roaches. The waterfall....TOD waterfall. The tank fight scene....Crusade Tank scene. And there were others as well.

3.) Shia was Shia. It's not totally his fault either, more Spielberg and Lucas', who gave him no character to work with. But as Indy's son, he was completely miscast. All I could think of when I saw him was Transformers. I don't see why in the world they couldn't cast someone along the lines of say, a River Pheonix type, (Young Indy in TLC.) An actor, (preferably an unknown) that has an actual presence. And I hated the James Dean thing, especially the hair combing!

4.) So sick of Spielberg/Lucas' Baby Boomer 50s nostalgia, which is getting SO TIRED by this point. All the "juvenile delinquent" 50s cafe stuff felt like warmed-over Catch Me If You Can. Enough already!


5.) CGI was for the most part not so great. I don't mean to put down the efforts of the artists or anything, but I just wasn't impressed with what I saw and I think that, once again, a lot of it is due to Lucas/Spielberg not taking more of an interest. (The monkeys reminded me of the Jumangi ones, for one.)

6.) Um....aliens.....OK, aliens.


7.) Allen/Ford chemistry... about the only thing that "kind of" clicked in the film. Sort of.


8.) I know people have said: nothing can possibly live up to our expectations. I know Indy can never be as fresh or exciting as he was 20 years ago. But that's not the point....the film just wasn't a good film, period. Not a good Indy film, or a good film in general. Still can't believe that it's 77% on RT.

9.) Also still can't believe that several critics who gave this a negative review were saying that this film ranks on par with Temple of Doom....are they NUTS? TOD was Spielberg at his best....if not for story dimensions (which I believe it had) than at least for sheer, unabashed, thrill ride entertainment AS ONLY El Stevo could do it. There isn't a shred of that in KOTCS.

10.) That South Park episode, hilarious as it was, had it wrong. Spielberg has apparently become Anakin Skywalker to Lucas' Senator Palpatine.

Like I said earlier....this isn't about my feelings on "nostalgia" or "my childhood" or anything like that. It's not about really wanting to re-create those earlier Indy experiences (although some of that would be nice), it's really more about wanting to see a fun, somewhat deep, entertaining film that works on different levels.

With KOTCS, neither is accomplished.

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Post by Vernadyn » June 16th, 2008, 5:04 pm

Sorry, can't agree with the Fifth Element / Lost World bits. As far as Bruce Willis is concerned, I love the first Die Hard and think the others are pretty neat.

Anyway, I think Spielberg's mistake was when he said something to the effect of "I'm making this film for the fans," noting that most of his prior films he made for himself. So, if he isn't making a film he wants to see, why would anyone else want to see it? That said, I still have faith in his talent, he just seemed to be a bit misguided this time around. Lucas is another story....

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Post by Ben » June 16th, 2008, 5:51 pm

Good points, well said, by all. :)

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Post by Daniel » June 16th, 2008, 6:51 pm

Yes, very good review, Vi! :)

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Post by James » June 16th, 2008, 7:07 pm

I don't think there was a lot wrong with the direction. The writing was the problem. Even the best director in the world couldn't have made a much better film with that script.

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Post by ShyViolet » June 16th, 2008, 8:03 pm

Yes, very good review, Vi! Smile

Thanks Dan, and Ben! :)
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Post by James » June 19th, 2008, 7:43 pm

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: The Abridged Script

http://www.the-editing-room.com/indianajones4.html

Very funny! Watch for explicit language.

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Post by Ben » June 20th, 2008, 3:10 pm

James <I>really</I> didn't like Indy 4, huh?

I guess Lucas <I>did</I> mean it when he said they were making "The Phantom Menace of Indiana Jones movies"...but for very different reasons.

Seriously, what kind of a crazy world is it we live in when I'm recommending people go and see Iron Man or The Incredible Hulk over what should have been a piece of terrific Indy nostalgia?

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Post by Ben » June 20th, 2008, 3:55 pm

Pure gold:
click to reveal content
HARRISON FORD
City of Gold? Isn’t that what Nicolas Cage was looking for in National Treasure 2? Are we seriously getting the plot for our shitty sequel to Indiana Jones by ripping off the plot of a shitty sequel to a shitty knock-off of Indiana Jones? I feel like that should unravel the space-time continuum or something.


HARRISON FORD
Shouldn’t it have been taken as an indicator of a writing problem when the good guy and the bad guy in a movie have the exact same goal?
Not the most sharpest treament from the Editing Room in the box, but as always extremely right on the money.

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Post by Meg » June 20th, 2008, 6:58 pm

Best bit is the photo caption. :)

Although this is pretty good too:
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A caravan of vehicles, led by a giant tree-cutting machine, travels deep into the AMAZON FOREST. HARRISON uses a CHEAT CODE to spawn a ROCKET LAUNCHER, then uses it to blow up the tree-cutting machine.

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Post by Whippet Angel » June 20th, 2008, 11:20 pm

Heh, my favorite is this one
click to reveal content
CATE BLANCHETT
You vill help me find Moose and Squirrel, yes?


I seriously was expecting her to say that from the moment she started speaking...

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Post by droosan » June 20th, 2008, 11:27 pm

Whippet Angel

Hey! They stole my gag from page 12 in this thread..! :x

/not really; it's an obvious reference
//KB's accent was pretty 'cartoony', though

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Post by ShyViolet » June 28th, 2008, 2:21 pm

Really funny animated sketch on Indy 4:

(same guy who did the Lord of the Rings/Lucas one)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPzDjaA03ts



(Note: a couple of "off color" puns. :?)

/some profanity in comments
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Post by James » August 7th, 2008, 11:53 pm

GOOD NEWS! There will be no more Indiana Jones sequels!!!

http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Movies/ ... index.html
Lucas sat down with AP Television at his Big Rock Ranch outside San Francisco, where he said he didn't pay much attention to the reception from critics and fans to "Crystal Skull," a sci-fi adventure set in the 1950s. But he definitely sees a future for Dr. Jones. A fifth movie is certainly a possibility.

"The franchise really depends on me coming up with a good idea," Lucas said. "And that series is very research-intensive. So we're doing research now to see if we can't come up with another object for him to chase ... hopefully we'll come up with something."

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Post by ShyViolet » August 8th, 2008, 12:07 am

LOL James! :)
"That’s right, folks, it’s gonna be a Meg episode, stick around for the fun.
Here’s the clicker...no one’d blame ya.”

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