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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


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I want to retract my previous thoughts slightly, third viewing I'm starting to feel the love.

Couldn't resist:

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What's that - Indiana Jones and the Giant Donut of Doom?

I just like to add the Gorf King's post is perfect. It exactly describes why Raiders is ace and this new one isn't.

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What's that - Indiana Jones and the Giant Donut of Doom?

I just like to add the Gorf King's post is perfect. It exactly describes why Raiders is ace and this new one isn't.

Indiana Jones & the best I could do given the means that I have...actually that could be the director's cut re-title.

Forgive me Corleth.

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Tough one this. Saw it earlier and overall I enjoyed it but I can't help but admit I was a little disappointed.

SPOILERS AHOY!!!!

I wasn't so bothered about Winstone and Hurt but Karen Allen just seemed wasted completely. At first I came out of the movie asking why they had even bothered including her but in retrospect I suppose they needed a more tangible link between Mutt and Indy to make it more believable. It was a shame that she was such a weak addition.

I thought Harrison Ford did a decent enough job (was that him climbing those crates in the warehouse at the start or CGI?! If it was him, not bad for a 64 year old...) but he didn't sound like Indy a lot of the time, he sounded more like he did as himself in that BBC press interview but I admit, a small detail. He seemed criminally underused in the latter part of the film when it became more of a team effort (when they were at the bottom of the waterfall and he said something along the lines of "I need to do this alone" thats exactly what should've happened, instead everyone went along for the ride and it diluted the feeling of Indy saving the day - maybe Shia and him would've been best).

And what was with the soft focus feel throughout? Was that down to a lot of green-screen scenes or was it an aesthetic thing? Wasn't too keen on it considering I thought Spielberg was going for the same look as the previous films which always felt much grittier.

All this aside, it had some great parts as well, most notably the motorbike chase which was really enjoyable to watch and of course the iconic nuke cloud shot. The alien storyline didn't bother me in the least.

3 out of 5 for me, but looking forward to seeing it again.

I agree with pretty much everything you've said. I felt the same way. I want to see it again.

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I am amazed at all the negative comments on here, although this entire forum does seem to be suffering from the general geeky negativity that is becoming the norm on so many internet websites.

Yes, the film does have its problems, particularly the end alien bit where it does go a bit Hulk. But as I was watching the film the phrase that popped into my head was "movie magic" and its been a very long time since I thought that.

I really do wonder what some of you were expecting. TOD is just shite from start to finish with only a few redeeming scenes and Last Crusade is very patchy in places. Anyone thinking that this is a poor Spielberg movie should be strapped to a chair and forced to watch Always for 12 hours non-stop. And all you lot monaing about the CGI - some of the stuff you mentioned I didn't realise WAS cgi.

How about you read the first impressions from the people who saw the film first, most of them are positive. Personally I think it is a great little mess of a film, it has some great bits in it with the main bad thing being the rushed script from Koepp. Its not the disaster most were expecting but it is a huge missed oppertunity as well.

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Saw this on Friday with a couple of friends, who hated it. Then saw it with family on Saturday and they felt pretty much the same. Everyone's banged on about the action loads, so I'll bang on about the story's themes, cos I think this might be at the heart of a lot of the issues some of us have with the movie...

It took two viewings to start to get that Crystal Skull is ultimately meant to be about knowledge vs wisdom vs nature, and understanding this made the final

wedding scene

more agreeable and less cynical, but it's muddily executed compared to Last Crusade's far more confident riffing on the theme of old age and mortality for instance.

Bizarrely, the first half hour or so it feels like it's going to be fucking amazing largely because it sets up a load of massively enticing ideas. Crystal Skull starts with

a hero out of his depth in a strange and unfamiliar land that turns out to be a nightmarish 'reds under the bed' US. It's breakneck, exciting, confident, hairs on the back of your neck stuff and between the college chases, the war hero's heroism being questioned, the nuclear town and the shot of Indy looking over the valley across to the shining settlement in the distance I thought we were going to get something really special.

But as soon as they get on the plane it goes steadily downhill from there - these ideas jettisoned as artlessly as Mutt's motorbike in exchange for undercooked stuff about returning to the source and nature being the ultimate knowledge.

Basically, if you were to play the movie backwards you'd have something amazing.

Starts with the wedding, Indy beating Mutt to the hat, then off to the kingdom of the blah blah blah, where the showy 'close encounters' sequence would be more impressive and less important, and following which Indy would eventually return home to the US to discover the place changed, his own history being rewritten by shadowy SS-types in his own army, and culminating in Indy and the mushroom monster, which would be an incredible cliffhanger to leave the audience on.

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If definitely felt like Spielberg was coasting with this one - usually even in his dodgier films there's at least one scene which is really cleverly put together, but there wasn't really anything in this that stood out to me. Didn't think it was bad, just a bit anonymous maybe? Like anyone could have directed it.

Didn't have a huge problem with the idea of the alien/ancient civilisation connection - like people have said there's loads of legends about that kind of stuff - but it would've worked so much better as a background thing. Keep it ambiguous, show what they might have left behind,

even the crystal skeletons were okay but when it's a resurrected alien making an angry face directly to camera and whizzing around in a flying saucer... ugh. Just didn't work in an Indiana Jones film for me at all. The shot of him standing in front of the saucer just felt way off...

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again - I agree. The film is in two halves. The first half is Indy all the way, but set in America. Great 'man out of time' stuff and some brilliant visuals and set pieces. Normally in an Indy film, when they get in the plane, that's when it picks up. Other than the graveyard scene (which I really enjoyed) it was a bit dull from then on - except for Indy's ace fist fight.

What happened to the skulls 'magnetism'?.. and how come a solid piece of quartz looked so light. It was over-exposed.

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If definitely felt like Spielberg was coasting with this one - usually even in his dodgier films there's at least one scene which is really cleverly put together, but there wasn't really anything in this that stood out to me. Didn't think it was bad, just a bit anonymous maybe? Like anyone could have directed it.

Didn't have a huge problem with the idea of the alien/ancient civilisation connection - like people have said there's loads of legends about that kind of stuff - but it would've worked so much better as a background thing. Keep it ambiguous, show what they might have left behind,

even the crystal skeletons were okay but when it's a resurrected alien making an angry face directly to camera and whizzing around in a flying saucer... ugh. Just didn't work in an Indiana Jones film for me at all. The shot of him standing in front of the saucer just felt way off...

in Raiders, and Angel comes straight to the camera and then turns angry. Not a huge a difference. If anything, the problem here is that the alien is more physical than the ghosty angels.

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Indy's a mixture of very good, good, and unbelievable. No, LITERALLY unbelievable. As in, you can't believe it and it loses all credibility. Now, the Ark of the Covenant wasn't exactly down-to-Earth, and neither was the Holy Grail, but at least both of them fit into the idea of Indy as an archeologist chasing down fabulous treasures. The MacGuffin in this film... less so. It comes dangerously close to jumping the shark at the end.

Now, you can argue that Aliens are very much in the spirit of 50s pulp, but the problem is that they are incompatible with the Indiana Jones character and the previous tone of the series. It's just too much of a leap for this franchise.

But the rest of the movie's classic Indy. Harrison Ford's amazing in it, Spielberg delivers some brilliant action stuff, and there are some nice homages to previous entries in the series.

I'm surprised no-one has commented on the fact that Mutt is also "named after the dog". Clever, eh?

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Saw this on Friday with a couple of friends, who hated it. Then saw it with family on Saturday and they felt pretty much the same. Everyone's banged on about the action loads, so I'll bang on about the story's themes, cos I think this might be at the heart of a lot of the issues some of us have with the movie...

It took two viewings to start to get that Crystal Skull is ultimately meant to be about knowledge vs wisdom vs nature, and understanding this made the final

wedding scene

more agreeable and less cynical, but it's muddily executed compared to Last Crusade's far more confident riffing on the theme of old age and mortality for instance.

Bizarrely, the first half hour or so it feels like it's going to be fucking amazing largely because it sets up a load of massively enticing ideas. Crystal Skull starts with

a hero out of his depth in a strange and unfamiliar land that turns out to be a nightmarish 'reds under the bed' US. It's breakneck, exciting, confident, hairs on the back of your neck stuff and between the college chases, the war hero's heroism being questioned, the nuclear town and the shot of Indy looking over the valley across to the shining settlement in the distance I thought we were going to get something really special.

But as soon as they get on the plane it goes steadily downhill from there - these ideas jettisoned as artlessly as Mutt's motorbike in exchange for undercooked stuff about returning to the source and nature being the ultimate knowledge.

Basically, if you were to play the movie backwards you'd have something amazing.

Starts with the wedding, Indy beating Mutt to the hat, then off to the kingdom of the blah blah blah, where the showy 'close encounters' sequence would be more impressive and less important, and following which Indy would eventually return home to the US to discover the place changed, his own history being rewritten by shadowy SS-types in his own army, and culminating in Indy and the mushroom monster, which would be an incredible cliffhanger to leave the audience on.

Excellent post, and I agree entirely. It's easy for me to forget that I really was enjoying up until they reached the Russian camp. They set up loads of interesting stuff and then jettisoned it in favour of some cartoon action and a totally duff ending. It's like Lucas steamed into the jungle shouting "I'll take the reins from here, I know what the kids want."

I loved all the fifties-era detailing. The nuke, the greasers, Area 51, paranoia, the war heroes etc.

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Harrison Ford is great, too right. You feel like they were trying to hedge their bets on the script - first few sequences have him at the forefront doing loads of stunts and stuff and are amazing, then he fades into the background as mutt does more stuff and it all goes a bit boring. Of course, he's still tremendous...

Basically, I'd like another one, cos I think there was a bit too much mucking about with the script, worries about how much Ford would be able to do etc. Also, I think they did this one on the cheap a bit - no big stars apart from Ford, loads of set work - so it'd be nice to have confidence to push the boat out next time. And write a decent second half.

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Nonsense. Absolute garbage. Last Crusade... "riffing on the theme"? It is no more or less competent than Crystal Skull in conveying it's message, however Last Crusade is by far the blandest of the four movies, featuring no memorable set pieces and plenty of plot holes if you want to be picky: How did Jones escape from the burning tomb underneath the library... he just says "follow me" to Elsa and disappears off camera and they're suddenly out in broad daylight. Not to mention the incredibly cheesy flashback scene. I like both films, but if everyone has decided they hate KOCS for mostly illegimate reasons then I'm going to call them on it.

Crusade has got loads of great moments...

The opening adding to more of Jones's character and backstory.

The library search (and catacombs).

The boat chase with the big propellers chopping up the boats.

The castle and escape from the burning room.

The chase against the fighter plane.

The tank chase.

I liked KOTCS, but didn't think it held up in the series as much as the previous films. But to say that Crusade had no memorable moments is mad.

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Nonsense. Absolute garbage. Last Crusade... "riffing on the theme"? It is no more or less competent than Crystal Skull in conveying it's message, however Last Crusade is by far the blandest of the four movies, featuring no memorable set pieces and plenty of plot holes if you want to be picky: How did Jones escape from the burning tomb underneath the library... he just says "follow me" to Elsa and disappears off camera and they're suddenly out in broad daylight. Not to mention the incredibly cheesy flashback scene. I like both films, but if everyone has decided they hate KOCS for mostly illegimate reasons then I'm going to call them on it.

Well in that case I might have to call you on a couple of things...

No memorable set pieces in LC? There were some great chase scenes (notably the plane crashing through the tunnel and the speedboats in Venice) and of course the tank scene which was great. They don't just appear in broad daylight in the scene straight after the library, we see them coming up through a manhole. And when you mention the cheesy flashback scene please don't tell me you mean the River Phoenix opening? That was bloody great stuff! All subjective I'll grant you, but I really wouldn't call it bland.

Anyway, I certainly won't be ripping on Crystal Skull. As I mentioned in my previous post I enjoyed it even if there were a few disappointing elements...

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All those scene mentioned are incredibly dull to a 9 year old, compared to the mine carts, boulders, face-melting, heart-sacrificing etc. in the previous movies. Also vine-swinging is no less believable than the godawful fighter plane scene from LC. Finally, someone here said KOTCS ripped off the face-melting from Raiders, but LC got there first!

well - I was 12 when I saw LC and it was the most exciting film I'd ever seen at the time.

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The problem I had with the 'knowledge is their treasure' thing is that it was done in the 'amazing' TV movie 'MacGuyver and the Lost Temple of Atlantis' with Brian Blessed.

It was bemusing to see the new Indy film referencing (likely by accident) a made for TV extravaganza that ripped off the earlier Indy films to start with. Like that snake that eats its own tail or something.

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Ey up Clov - Ta for the comments. Sounds like you might have been a bit quicker on the uptake than me on some bits, but I haven't decided I hate it as you say. In fact some of your comments are making me think more kindly about the movie. Okay cuddles?

Couple of things.

The "knowledge" is supernatural and alien, hence the reverence given to the aliens and the unearthly properties of the crystal skull. As the Russians intended to use this for sinister purposes they were punished

Aha - so were only 'nice' people able to talk to the skull? The film doesn't really make this clear if it's a pivotal point. Instead, we discover that Indy and John Hurt can talk to it but Cate Blanchette can't. Errr... Except the 'knowledge' John Hurt gets completely blows his mind. So why does he deserve to be punished exactly?

The idea of knowledge as a treasure is what Jones passes on to Mutt, thus concluding the subplot about his education.

Well put, but if you take knowledge to be linked with academia how does this fit in with Indy's 'Get out the library' shout to his pupil and his relaxed attitude to losing the whole temple to the sea? For me, by viewing it as part of his philosphy that nature and circule of life stuff is more important - hence why he ends the film getting married.

Sure, the 'nature as ultimate knowledge' thing was a fudge, but 'Nature and circle of life things being more important than knowledge' is maybe a bit of a mouthfull...

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To say Last Crusade had no memorable moments is fucking idiotic. What about "he chose poorly"? That's about as memorable as it gets, watching a man first turn into Christopher Lloyd, then a hairy skellington.

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This film, was nothing short of a truly EPIC FAILure. I don't know why I let my mates keep convincing me to go to the cinema - they all go on about the "magic" of it, and how it's SO much better than watching stuff on DVD. But I've found, at least for me, 99% of what i've seen in the cinema in the last 10 years, has been depressingly disappointing, from the absolute torrent of poor quality comic book/novel to film conversions, to the recently rehashed (whored out) classic film franchises and everything imbetween.

I swear, nothing with any hype behind it can ever be good.

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All those scene mentioned are incredibly dull to a 9 year old, compared to the mine carts, boulders, face-melting, heart-sacrificing etc. in the previous movies. The LC tank scene way too long. Also vine-swinging is no less believable than the godawful fighter plane scene from LC. Finally, someone here said KOTCS ripped off the face-melting from Raiders, but LC got there first!

I saw the Last Crusade in the cinema when I was 9 and thought is was fantastic. Why are you so angry that people don't like the new film as much as the other three?

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Ive not seen this yet, but after watching the trailers I did think this looked very run-of-the-mill and predictable, regardless of the hype. Often though, having low expectations of a movie can work to your advantage, even so I dont feel this is a movie worthy of a 'cinema outing'.

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All those scene mentioned are incredibly dull to a 9 year old, compared to the mine carts, boulders, face-melting, heart-sacrificing etc. in the previous movies. The LC tank scene way too long. Also vine-swinging is no less believable than the godawful fighter plane scene from LC. Finally, someone here said KOTCS ripped off the face-melting from Raiders, but LC got there first!

I know you're determined to call out the KOTCS haters, but you're being just as bad with LC!

Watched Raiders and LC yesterday actually and the jeep chase in Crystal Skull just seems like a CGI'd mix of most of the previous chases. LC had the great opening, that bike chase, the plane chase wasn't ridiculous, the tank chase was great. Indy just shooting the swordsman in Raiders, "No Ticket!" in LC were good funny bits too. Connery was good too.

IMO the CS vine-swinging just didn't fit, Mutt was not suddenly tarzan and able to telepathically communicate with monkeys.

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One thing that really annoys me about lots of CGI-heavy spectacle films since around Spider-man 2 (which is when I first noticed it) is the "indestructable heroes" scenario. It takes away and sense of peril and gives action sequences the impact of a Saturday morning cartoon. Indy 4 is perhaps the worst offender yet. People get flung about, smacked, drop off waterfalls etc without even getting a scratch on them. It stretches suspension of disbelief way beyond the elastic limit.

Whereas the action in Raiders is extraordinary, some of the action in this is just unbelievable (in a bad way).

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In LC what about when Connery shoots the tail off their own plane. That befuddled look as he turns to Indy, hoping he hasnt seen it "they got us son" :wub:

Yeah, love that bit :o

And when he manages to set fire to the whole room when they are tied to the chairs.

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Whereas the action in Raiders is extraordinary, some of the action in this is just unbelievable (in a bad way).

The truck scene where Indy is being dragged along is a truly magnificient stunt in Raiders. I was really hoping they would return to that sort of filming when it came to this but it was mostly CGI. I just wish the studio's would let it drop once in a while.

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The truck scene where Indy is being dragged along is a truly magnificient stunt in Raiders. I was really hoping they would return to that sort of filming when it came to this but it was mostly CGI. I just wish the studio's would let it drop once in a while.

It's why Casino Royale is so good. I'm sure there are lots of digital effects in CR, but they seem to have been focused on using CGI to make the stunts look real, rather than to make them look unreal.

After Indy 4 and Iron Man, I was starting to think that I'd just gone off big event movies. But then I thought back to CR and realised that you can successfully revive a franchise without resorting to our-ridiculousing (word of the day) everything that has come before.

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