Author Topic: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull  (Read 79360 times)

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Pozer

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Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
« Reply #300 on: May 27, 2008, 05:20:24 PM »
+1
Fuck Lucas and his stupid sense of humor.

Eh...yousa point is well seen.  Count me outta dis one.  Egads!  What mesa sayin?

Sleepless

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Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
« Reply #301 on: May 27, 2008, 08:55:21 PM »
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SPOILERS THROUGHOUT:

I'd quite like to read Darabont's screenplay, and any other drafts that were turned down. Anyone know where they can be found?

Overall, I went in with low expectations... I thought it was a satisfactory film (by the standards of most contemporary summer movies), but in no way was this an Indiana Jones movie. The tone was wrong, the character was wrong, the sense of humor was wrong. Twenty years since The Last Crusade and the first shot is a fucking CGI gopher? This film is bad on so many levels, just a string of disconnected set-pieces that seem to have abandoned any sense of logic at all. Two examples which really peeved me off: the graveyard scene were they're attacked by the masked guys, and the temple scene where they're chased by the Mayans. In both cases their attackers just disappear after a simple gag, never to reappear, never to have any explanation of why they attacked in the first place. It's like they've based the movie on a computer guy, where bad guys have no motives, they're just another meaningless object to get past to complete the level. And you just know Lucas spent the whole shoot on that 50s diner set just whacking off in the corner.

As much as we're talking bad about the usual suspects here, I think the finger needs to be pointed at screenwriter David Koepp. In past Indy films the set up has always been Indy on some other adventure. I get what he was trying to do here - tie it all in. But to have Indy just reappear on the screen out of a car trunk - there's absolutely no context to it. What was he doing before they captured him? And then rather than following Indy as he goes on a quest to find the skull (which we never truly believe he actually cares about finding), he just hooks up with a random stranger (cos he'd be so quick to trust randomers after getting burned by Mac) finds the skull ("Huh, that looks kinda neat") and the rest of the film is an illogical chase with no reason or purpose. Case in point: dodgy escape from the Russians' camp all for the sake of a quick quicksand scene and an awfully misjudged snake gag, only to be recaptured instantly.

I was able to detach myself enough to take the film for what it was - not an Indy flick - the first time around. If I ever do watch it again, I don't think I'm going to be able to tolerate the terribleness of the whole ordeal.

Alexandro

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Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
« Reply #302 on: May 27, 2008, 11:22:19 PM »
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i still cannot recover from this. i thought this could be anything except spielberg's worst film since the lost world. perhaps it's even worst than that, maybe this is the lowest he's been since 1941...maybe ever...damn it.

Redlum

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Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
« Reply #303 on: May 28, 2008, 01:07:01 PM »
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\"I wanted to make a film for kids, something that would present them with a kind of elementary morality. Because nowadays nobody bothers to tell those kids, \'Hey, this is right and this is wrong\'.\"
  -  George Lucas

Stefen

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Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
« Reply #304 on: May 29, 2008, 07:11:20 PM »
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George Lucas needs to not be George Lucas. Too bad birth fucked that up for him.
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Reinhold

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Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
« Reply #305 on: May 29, 2008, 09:50:22 PM »
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the toon above says it all.

what a steaming pile of movie.
Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.

cinemanarchist

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Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
« Reply #306 on: May 31, 2008, 11:58:49 AM »
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Not as big of an abortion as I was expecting but entirely unnecessary. It was akin to a Brady Bunch reunion in that it's nice to see old friends but you realize it just isn't the same and the magic is gone. I hated the ***SPOILERS**** wedding more than the gophers and the Shia Tarzan bit...that had to be the most tacked on wedding scene I've ever seen. Painful. I'm almost pleased that Sex & the City is taking Indy down to #2 this weekend.
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SiliasRuby

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Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
« Reply #307 on: May 31, 2008, 12:52:05 PM »
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I'm almost pleased that Sex & the City is taking Indy down to #2 this weekend.
Me too. Although, maybe it's a peference but I really don't like to watch TV based movies on the big screen. It just feels wrong. But I hear ya and hope 'Sex' is number 1.
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ElPandaRoyal

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Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
« Reply #308 on: June 07, 2008, 12:59:50 PM »
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I'm almost pleased that Sex & the City is taking Indy down to #2 this weekend.
Me too. Although, maybe it's a peference but I really don't like to watch TV based movies on the big screen. It just feels wrong. But I hear ya and hope 'Sex' is number 1.

But Sex and the City is even worse than Indy  :ponder:
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Gold Trumpet

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Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
« Reply #309 on: June 09, 2008, 06:05:24 PM »
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I had no idea what to expect. I believed the people who said it was just a bad movie, but I have to say this is the most genuine Indiana Jones movie of the series. I know I know, a contradictory comment to most reviews on here, but I really believe this is the kind of movie the series always aspired to become.

Spielberg intended for Indiana Jones and his adventures to be serial stories. He wanted to play into the stories of the 1940s comics. The adventures would be over the top and the dramatics would mix humor with heroics. The stories would be believed in because the combination of both elements wondered the basic imaginations of children. Raiders of the Lost Ark was a general adaptation of the old comic book formula. The tone was quasi serious mixed with a little humor. It made children ooh and awe and adults to return to their childhood, but Spielberg had nowhere to go after that movie but to become more comedic. To get more serious would have took the fun out of the franchise. As an adult he knew the old serial stories were basic pieces of entertainment so he developed the series to encompass more realms of entertainment and comedy. The Last Crusade may have caricature versions of the original characters, but those original character were already old stock adventure types.

The action and adventures in the new one is random and all over the place, but what Indiana Jones movie doesn't have that. The character is the American James Bond. The films aren't meant to be strict stories of adventure set in one locale, but world wide adventures that have exotic and mythical lands as common back drops. I thought one of the pluses of the series was its ability to cram numerous action sequences into any place. Last Crusade has one sequence that begins in a library, goes through tunnels and ends with a boat chase. It's also just an early adventure in the film before later, greater ones. Random has always been the description of the action sequences in the series. The best part about the action sequences in Crystal Skull is that they still have some little bits of character drama within them. In Last Crusade Henry Jones Sr. and Marcus Brody were feeling the bond of reuniting all while fighting bad guys in a tank. In Crystal Skull Indiana first learns and develops bond with his son during chase and rescue sequences. It's a continuation of an earlier development in the series.

The best development is the constant injections of 1950s culture in the movie. Old serials are important today because they are cultural markers of a different time period. Music critic David Hajdu went deep into comic book cultural lore with his new book, but most modern looks at old serial stories make sure to inject as many societal hat tips as possible. From Mutt sparking a greaser/jock fight to the injections of Alien life (and Roswell, too!) all over the story, the movie has numerous markers about the 1950s. Indiana Jones even wanders into an old desert testing town for atomic explosions. The only hat tips to the 1940s in the other movies was the Nazis and wardrobe. The stories were mainly generic adventure stories, but Crystal Skill better fits the realm of most modern serial odes with its consideration of the 1950s culture. Spielberg set up the entire film to be an ode to a by gone era. It's only fitting that he makes the film decorated with as many cultural pieces as possible.


All of this being said, I'm not the biggest fan of the series. Harrison Ford has his most appealing character with Indiana Jones, but I always have known funner films and better action characters. I re watched the series again recently and was happy I could enjoy it, but I didn't seem to enjoy this one more than the other ones. Last Crusade is still a personal favorite, but I'm at least happy with the progress Spielberg has put into the movie. I wouldn't really recommend the movie to anyone. Iron Man is still tops as far entertainment for the summer goes. This movie was just a good curiosity.

Alexandro

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Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
« Reply #310 on: June 12, 2008, 11:40:00 AM »
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A LOT OF SPOILERS
gt i agree with pretty much everything you say, specially about how this is the kind of film the series aspires to be. i don't think the ideas these guys had for this movie are wrong, the problem lies in the execution, which at every turn is lame and gets lamer by the seconds.

on paper, everything in the film sounds ok, but the way spielberg handled this on the screen is embarrasing most of the time. i still don't understand the abuse of cgi, to me the worst part of it all. i think cgi is ruining movies. since it allows filmmakers to do the impossible, they go out of their way to show the impossible, and everything looks like a videogame or a cartoon. some of the scenes on this film would be impossible to make without cgi. when they had that limitation, they got around it creatively and were forced in a way to respect at least some basics of physicall laws. now they try to make it bigger and louder and more spectacular, as in the unfunny resolution to the nuclear bomb scene. the chemistry of bickering couple ford and karen allen had in raiders seems to be either completely gone or not even used properly. she shows up just to show up. determined to get both the father-son relationship AND the return of marion they underdevelop both storylines. the wedding at the end is so forced and like the rest of the film, it's just isn't any good.

i'm reading the darabont scrypt and it's not that different from the koepp's...the very first scene has a lizard sunbathing instead of gophers. when you think about it, both ideas are cool of they use real animals instead of cgi smiling creatures, but they fucked it up from the first moment with that.

Redlum

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Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
« Reply #311 on: June 12, 2008, 12:57:30 PM »
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the very first scene has a lizard sunbathing instead of gophers. when you think about it, both ideas are cool of they use real animals instead of cgi smiling creatures, but they fucked it up from the first moment with that.

In the fantastic, new 'Complete Making of' tome, there's a production photo with a puppet gopher sticking out of the mound. I'm about a third through Darabont's script and I enjoyed the scene where Indy says goodbye to his class and the Raiders Idol being swagged from the pressure sensitive display cabinet. I doubt the script is going to be a huge revelation and agree that most of the shooting scripts problems are exacerbated by some poor directorial choices. The script certainly reads a lot less 'dumb' than the film came out.

On the subject of CGI, it's interesting to note that Raiders was shot for only $20,000,000.  Going into it the studio were very suspect of Spielbergs ability to bring a film in on time and on budget - a result of Close Encounters over-runs and the bloated 1941. Spielberg actually had something to prove with the Raiders budget. Like you say, with Crystal Skull, Spielbergs every whim could be catered to with CGI not to mention a $120,000,000 budget. It's a shame because Spielberg was the father of appropriate and effective usage of effects (practical or computer generated). You could say that in the case of Jaws, the intermittent function of the Shark caused him to show more restraint than perhaps he would have liked but even in Close Encounters (where he could have had whatever he wanted) he was careful not to blow his wad too early and (barring the Special Edition) not show too much. Similarly when pioneering CGI in Jurassic Park - still some of the best integrated effects on film - he was cautious to mix practical effects with digital.
Regardless, good Indy moments were always about the stunt work and I don't recall any great stunts in Crystall Skull (at least not any that weren't on wires or in-front of a blue screen.

Even if you merely think of Indiana Jones as an 'ode to the serials' (which it is not), Crystall Skull was still pretty lackluster.
\"I wanted to make a film for kids, something that would present them with a kind of elementary morality. Because nowadays nobody bothers to tell those kids, \'Hey, this is right and this is wrong\'.\"
  -  George Lucas

Alexandro

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Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
« Reply #312 on: June 12, 2008, 06:33:59 PM »
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that's precisely what astounds me. because until this film came out, i held spielberg as the god of visual effects. every time he used them before it was perfect. perfect balance, perfect timing. the only exception was his idiotic ET revisals, with a cartoonish, "cute" E.T. taking a bath and playing with a rubber duck. it still pains me to remember that. A.I., Minority Report, War of the Worlds, those are some amazing visual effects movies.

Gold Trumpet

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Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
« Reply #313 on: June 12, 2008, 07:09:04 PM »
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on paper, everything in the film sounds ok, but the way spielberg handled this on the screen is embarrasing most of the time. i still don't understand the abuse of cgi, to me the worst part of it all. i think cgi is ruining movies. since it allows filmmakers to do the impossible, they go out of their way to show the impossible, and everything looks like a videogame or a cartoon.

I agree this film isn't that good, but I think a certain element of the pulp feel that Spielberg is going for is that the story isn't of the highest quality. People complain about the story being absurd, but of course it is. The film represents camp storytelling. Spielberg could have done more to make this movie better or more entertaining, but I think it satisifies on enough levels to what is required. It's more interesting than the other sequels.

I also think this film is intended to look like a "cartoon". When Spielberg made Raiders of the Lost Ark, he had the abilities to make a film of decent special effects that were believable. If you compare Raiders to Apocalypse Now (made two years earlier), you see Apocalypse now had excellent effects that still look realistic. Raiders has a few scenes that look just cartoonish and out of date, but Coppola didn't possess anything that Spielberg didn't have. It was an ethical decision by Spielberg to utilize effects that would remind the viewer about the fictional identity of the story.

What I like about Crystal Skull is that the CGI effects don't even try to look realistic. They give the film a gloss of falsehood that makes it look like it was ripped from a comic book. I admire that Raimi tried to make Spiderman look comic bookish in style, editing and feel, but Spielberg is inventive to use special effect styles I would have never associated with a comic book feel. His lighting of the amazon to make it "glow" more was unique. Most filmmkers try to emphasize the dark forbidding nature of the jungle, but Speilberg went lighter with his hues. He went lighter with a lot of the sets in how he lit them. I thought was an interesting because nothing struck me as realistic. Add this with the elaborate camera movements and I felt the movie spinning in another universe.

CGI also does make everything possible, but Crystal Skull gets no more ridiculous than Temple of Doom. The only difference is that the frequency of ridiculous in Crystal Skull is much more there than Temple of Doom. I think that film was transitional for Speilberg who wanted the film series to embrace its campiness more.

I don't know, I admired the movie for weird reasons, but I don't know if I could rewatch it right away. You can't criticize camp in standard ways. You just decide whether it matches up to your personality. This doesn't for me.

Sleepless

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Re: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
« Reply #314 on: June 13, 2008, 10:22:24 AM »
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i'm reading the darabont scrypt and it's not that different from the koepp's...the very first scene has a lizard sunbathing instead of gophers. when you think about it, both ideas are cool of they use real animals instead of cgi smiling creatures, but they fucked it up from the first moment with that.

Link please. I'd really like to read it. Thanks!!

 

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