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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 02:49 AM        Weekly Movie Review: Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
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Fat Ugly Drunk Fat Ugly Drunk is offline
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 05:14 AM       
Went with some friends to see this on Thursday and we quite enjoyed it. (Payed a little extra for the Director lounge as well, which meant huge comfy seats, better access to the bar, and no fucking children, hurrah!)
We tried our hardest to approach it with the same childlike mentality of constant awe and amazement that we had when we saw the old three, even though Indy is now about 389 years old and greying.
Stupid, over the top, completely unreal, cheesy as hell, and action scenes that went on far too long.
Despite this, I had no complaints with it.
That said, I wouldn't rate it as high as the other three.

I don't agree with your review, mate, but I'm not going to challenge it, you didn't like it and you gave a valid case.

I agree with you saying that Indy not really doing too much in the film, just sort of hitching a lift while inane shit happens around him, but I thought that was fine too.

And as for the fridge bit, I'm cynical enough to want to rant about how stupid it was, but too easily amused to challenge that it wasn't fucking awesome.

Proto, just pretend it doesn't exist, and go watch Crusade instead!
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ThePJN ThePJN is offline
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 05:38 AM       
I remain convinced of two things.
1) Indy of any kind kicks all amount of arse.
2) The Crystal Skull is the perfect film to judge whether or not you still have an inner child.

Opinions are always valid though. Or are they?

On a side note am I the only one sick of people bashing the Hell out of a film internetally (actual word?) every chance that they can get. It just becomes fashionable to blast stuff just because general online consensus dictates that it's "bad". See: Star Wars 1-3, Spiderman 3, The Crystal Skull.

I mean you can only take so much before. I GET IT! You didn't care for Spiderman's haircut, shut your cakehole! This phenomenon is worse when it occurs on movie news websites and every second article is filled with opinion as fact.

I don't know maybe it's me? Or maybe it's the fact that generally speaking the internet is populated by certain individuals of a certain gender, in a certain age range, filled with a certain level of cynicism and like to act as though they represent the public as a whole but in fact do not. (As the Snakes on a Plane fiasco proved definitively)

My point is what the world needs now is love. Not just love but sweet love.
So let's give peace a chance by taking a bad song and making it better, where the streets have no name, we'll make a left onto Electric Avenue and then we'll take it higher. Doot Doo Doo Doo Doot Dooh.

Anyways, let's get off of our high horses and remember that not everyone is as far gone as we are.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 05:49 AM       
Even though I DID like the Star-Wars Prequels (not as much as the original trilogy of course an no, a character with the name of Jar Jar does NOT exist, no Sir), I am extremely biased concerning this movie...so much in fact, that I will not watch it at cinema but only on DVD (plus beamer at least). Some things should simply not happen...and a lot of things that should not happen have George Lucas involved...strange.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 05:59 AM       
Honestly I think, knowing beforehand that a)Lucas, who has clearly gone insane, was involved. And b)An Indy sequel 20 years later was a bad idea before it was ever hatched, should have made everyone expect this to be much worse than Temple of Doom.

I mean honestly, is anyone REALLY surprised it went this way?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 06:32 AM       
Gentlemen, gentlemen, you're all missing the point here.

This was a fucking Indiana Jones movie! Not National Treasure. Not The Mummy. Not Tomb Raider. You want mindless summer fare, go see those; Indiana Jones movies are that and more. It's not people of a certain age or of internet forums that govern the quality of these films, it's the film makers. Speilberg, Lucas, and Ford are all responsible for some great movie moments. They should aspire to nothing less.

Yet it seems they were all going through the motions on this one. The movie did have it's thrills, but this is a film series with a pedigree. I'd expect to see set pieces like the fridge or the vines from Brendan Fraser's character in The Mummy, but Ford's Indiana Jones character was more clever than that. Part of the charm of the series was the character's serendipity mixed with intuition. "Making this up as (he) go(es) along," as he said in Raiders. This Indy wasn't improvising, he was a set piece. Defend this CGI-laziness in today's films all you want, but I'll be damned if it wasn't more fun watching Indy and co. fall from the sky in a raft with old school special effects than it was watching Indy and co. survive three waterfalls with today's. It simply never felt like the actors were amidst the action, thus there was no suspense. To paraphrase one reviewer, it's called CGI now because special effects are no longer special.

No one mentions the weakness of this film's dungeon crawls. In the prior three, they were tense and funny. During this one there was no sense of discovery like when Indy found the shield in The Last Crusade. No sense of urgency like when he and Short Round nearly got crushed in Temple. No sense of adventure like the entire opening act of Raiders. This time, he and Mutt found a ruin, got attacked by natives that existed solely to shoot blow darts and throw karate kicks, and eased their way upon the the skull (which is magnetic when it wants to be and serves as an easy out for dangerous circumstances).

Overplayed nostalgia, underplayed sentiment. Overdone CGI, underdone plot/character development. Over the time a sequel should have been made, under the expectations of anyone who loved the originals. Was Crystal Skull entertaining? That depends on the viewer. Was it good? Not by a fucking long shot.

Last edited by pac-man : Jun 2nd, 2008 at 08:00 AM.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 07:53 AM       
I'd pretty much completely agree with this review, and to what pac-man said above about the dungeon crawls.

Indy climbs onto a turntable that shifts with his weight to open the new area? What was up with that? I assumed they'd run into, I dunno, a crushing wall, some spikes, SOMETHING, but other than a flipping out dude he scares off with a gun (who they seem to forget about immediately and who's presence they never even question), there's nothing between them and the skull.

A skull who's powers of magnetism seem to vary wildly. I mean it can change the direction of metals floating in mid air when they first show it off, and then admittedly attracts non magnetic objects (gold) at other times, but sometimes they seem to carry it around with absolutely no trouble at all around things it seems like it should wreck havoc with. It's the worst kind of plot device that just has powers to exist for lazy writing.

Swinging through the trees on vines... was the absolute low point of the movie though. It was so absurd and unnecessary, at least Indy surviving the atomic bomb played to his persona (if a bit hamfistedly) of a very, very lucky guy who by all rights should've died a million times by now, but Mutt learning from the monkeys was just a groaner.

Not to mention the fact that the first three movies were quasi mystical religious, while this one decided to chuck that all out and go sci-fi, completely altering the tone of the series.

Mutt too seemed like a really forced way to make a character, with no subtlety at all. It's like they had to beat into your head that he's a greaser, that he loves Motorcycles, and that he plays with a knife all the time. He doesn't really have much character development beyond that, he just exists so you can point out the similarities between him and Indy.

I have the original Indy Trilogy on DVD, if I ever show them to my children, I'm not going to be including this in that marathon.
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J. Tithonus Pednaud J. Tithonus Pednaud is offline
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 08:35 AM       
Proto, spot on regarding all your observations. I cannot agree more...
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kirk2000 kirk2000 is offline
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 09:39 AM       
I agreed with some of the things you said, Proto. But about the plot, as a man of science I find the plot of Crystal Skull far more believable and less wacky than magic rocks, a golden box of Jew magic, or a magic Christian cup.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 10:21 AM       
No.. no... it wasn't that bad. It wasn't nearly that bad.

I enjoyed the movie, a lot. It was different than the originals three, for sure, and the character development was kept to a minimum, yes...

But the movie was fun. The original three were fun. The fridge thing was the only point in the movie I had any sort of bad thought. If they hadn't sent it flying, it would have been more believable, but hey, it's a movie. It's no more unbelievable than, as kirk2000 said, "a golden box of Jew magic."

Movies are entertaining, and people spend way too much time criticizing things that are completely ignorable, like Jar Jar Binks. So what if he's annoying? The Star Wars prequels weren't masterpieces of film, most people were ok actors (Except, unfortunately, Hayden Christiansen), but why was it bad? Because it's not how you wanted Darth Vader's history to be? You had another vision of it? I can't see any other reason why people would get so annoyed, really.

Same with this. Just because it was different than the originals?

I don't know... I think people just need to enjoy more movies for what they are. There are actual bad movies, but when they're like the Star Wars prequels or Indy 4, I think everyone just needs to chill out and have fun with it.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 10:34 AM       
An Indiana Jones movie this was not. However, I think people are focusing entirely too much on the negative points (obnoxiously out of place and retarded as they are). There were scenes in th movie that I thought were quite worthy of the franchise. For example; the sink-hole dialogue, the fire-ant scene, the awesome parts of the jungle chase scene (80% of it), every scene involving Auxley.

All other complaints aside, the thing that bothered me most about the movie, is how they could bring back Marion Ravenwood, make her awesome again, and then not give her half the screen time or dialogue that Shia gets.

Also, what is up with here Sigourney Weaver-esque lack of aging?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 11:07 AM       
All of you "this movie wasn't so bad" people completely amaze me with your ability to gloss over the massive cinematic flaws and idiotic writing of this wretched movie. Sure, the first three movies were stupid as well, but at least they were more convincingly stupid. The entire film leans heavily on the success of the first three films and in so doing completely forgets to actually introduce any coherent plot or interesting characters.

Look people, you don't owe anything to the idiots that produced this movie; you may have grown up idolizing Indiana Jones but that doesn't mean you have to pretend like you enjoyed getting your money tricked out of you because you have a sentimental, parasocial relationship with a fictional character. This movie was the Alzheimer-esque ramblings of a sick and dying American pop-culture, nothing more.

Good review, btw.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 11:35 AM       
I have to say there were very good points made against this film by all, but personally, I still say this movie beats Temple of Doom, granted there were a lot of flaws here, but to me, Temple is almost unwatchable now, save for the few moments listed in the Top Ten here. A lot of people complain that the ending was too unbelievable, but personally, I didn't think the concept was that bad, the execution was lacking, but the general idea could have worked, and seemed pretty perfect given the era this was taking place. But that's just my two cents.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 12:26 PM       
Proto, you nailed it. I knew this movie was in trouble as soon as those damn gophers appeared.
Dr. Boogie: Everything is so simple when you have a rocket launcher for an arm!

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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 12:36 PM       
No sir, I didn't like it. I felt patronized at every scene change. I know they were trying to movie the serialized story line to match the era with the whole "Sci Fi" edge, but it still felt phoned in. I am appalled at any cute CGI character that is given human attributes in a live action movie, unless that character is magical in any way, and I found the two instances of those (the beginning and the jungle) to be way out of line. The "escaping from an impossible escape" at the beginning was a joke and I was embittered on the movie from that point forward. I'm not saying the movie wasn't fun, it had its moments, but you need to check your brain at the door. I agree with Proto's review 100%. As far as I'm concerned, Indy road off into the sunset and that's where the series ended.

To change the subject, for the month of June I'm watching a Godzilla movie every day and blogging about it. There's no money to be made from this, it's just a stupid and fun project, so check it out if you're interested (hope you i-mockery admins don't mind a little self promotion): http://gojira-otaku.livejournal.com/
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 02:58 PM       
I think if it had been Nazis instead of commies (Nazis are infinitely more hateable than commies) religion instead of fucking aliens, and filmed 20 years ago, it would have had a shot.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 04:09 PM       
I brought my 4 year old son to see this film... and he loved it. And that is all that mattered to me. As long as it has enough magic to capture the imagination of a little guy like my (autistic) 4 year old it's good stuff to me.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 04:17 PM       
Captain PirateFace, I think you have pointed out something far more important than anything we could say pro or con about the movie. If a movie can do something like that, then who cares what a fanboy says.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 04:54 PM       
I mean no offense to you or your son, Captain PirateFace, or you, kirk2000, but honestly, it's not that hard to entertain a 4 year old, and I don't think you can honestly say that a movie is really, genuinely good just because it's capable of doing that. Casablanca or Citizen Kane would probably put your son to sleep- does that mean they're bad films? As for not caring what fanboys say- without a strong fan base, Indiana Jones would not have come back for a 4th installment.

Personally, I agree with Protoclown, and especially with what Pac-Man said- this was a great Mummy movie, but a terrible Indiana Jones movie. It's like they took Indiana Jones and removed everything that made the films noteworthy in the first place, reducing it to just another mindless action flick with none of the thrills, depth, emotion, intrigue, or fun of the original trilogy. This is a film made without love or passion, just churned out lazily, and with so many wasted opportunities and obvious flaws that it's impossible for most fans not to be disappointed. Sure, it wasn't as bad as it could have been, at least managing to be entertaining, but we've come to expect more from the name Indiana Jones.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 05:26 PM       
I personally felt that as a movie itself, "Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull" was quite good, but as an Indiana Jones film, it didn't quite cut it. The whole movie was full of extremely improbable events, but if you let your common sense go and enjoy the ride it isn't too bad.

I'm happy with thinking of it as a completely different movie, set aside from the first three.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 05:44 PM       
I genuinely expected when the doors blew open that the blue shimmering ghost of Sean Connery would be standing there. And he say something hackneyed like, "Well done, Junior."

Personally I thought the actors were all amazingly good for what they had to work with, it's just a pity that the plot and the dialogue were as bad as they were. And yes, I agree, the gophers were like going to a meal and when you sit down seeing through the doors to the kitchen and watching a chef take a big dump in a pot. You know that whatever comes next is not going to be pretty.

Oddly enough my mom's only complaint was that they weren't playing the appropriate music in the Peruvian scene. That's Mexican music! she yelled at the screen. This from the lady that shushed the seven year olds in Prince Caspian. God I love going home to watch movies with my little sister and parents.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 08:03 PM       
I enjoyed the movie while I was in the theater, but when I actually thought about what I had just seen, I noticed it was a great let down. I cry for Indiana. :C

ps: I miss Sir Sean. :c
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 02:25 AM       
What pisses me off the most is that Proto couldn't give us this review until now. The more I think about it, the more I want my money back.
...I proved, son, without a shadow of a doubt, you ain't got what it takes anymore! You sit there, and you thump your bible, and you say your prayers, and it didn't get you anywhere! Talk about your psalms, talk about John 3:16; Austin 3:16 says, "I just whipped your ass!"
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 02:44 AM       
Someone should just slap the computers out of Lucas's hand.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 05:58 AM       
Bang on review sir, well done!

There's so much about this film which makes my blood boil, so I've had to narrow it down to three big gripes (SPOILER ALERT!)

IF there is one good thing about the film, it was the last scene, and although a bit of a death by CGI, it was simply breathtaking. A triumph of Industrial Light and Magic. Anyway, on with the fun:

Opening Act:
The first scene in the warehouse was a BIG mistake. It totally removes the air of mystery and ambiguity from the end of Raiders. Now when you watch Raiders again, you'll no longer be thinking "where is that warehouse? Is it the Pentagon? Are there others? Just what is in those other crates?" You won't be thinking any of those things anymore, because Cate Blanchett completely ruined the mystery for you in the first five minutes of the film. And besides, Area 51 just isn't that cool any more.

The Jungle Chase:
Apart from the fact it went on for about 45 minutes, it was CGI'd to hell. I got so bored watching Cate Blanchett and Shia LaBeouf trading blows at 100mph I found myself trying to spot the edges where the characters had been shoddily greenscreened in. And yeah, I don't remember Indy doing very much at all in that segment - now compare that to the epic "getting the Ark back from the Nazi truck" scene from Raiders, with the death-defying action sequences, but still much more believable because they were done with stuntmen.

Supporting Cast:
Just too many of them, not enough time to develop their characters. Oh yes, you need to cover your bases (Main villain and tough guy henchman, love interest, action sidekick). But was there any real need for Ray Winstone and the legendary John Hurt? Sounds like Lucas saying "hey, the audience love an English guy. Cool. But wanna know what's better than an English guy? Yeah... TWO English guys! The toughguy Russian was a wasted opportunity, and Cate Blanchetts motivation was confusing - was it for Mother Russia or a personal quest for knowledge?

My Two Cents:
Screw it, they should have made Fate of Atlantis into a film instead. And in 1992, not 2008. You've got all your bases covered - historical myth, exotic locales, love interest and sidekick, villain and henchman, Monte Carlo, Nazis, U-boats, dungeon crawls and an epic ending. Hell, even if they made it in 2008 they could have adapted the plot to Russians searching for Orichalcum to make bigger nukes, far easier to relate to than the whole throwaway mind control plot thing.

Last edited by Blackjack : Jun 3rd, 2008 at 05:59 AM. Reason: Typo
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