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Radagaster
06-04-2008, 12:25 PM
In light of IJ publishing his KOTCS review, I thought a review by another Indy aficionado like Adam Hughes would most likely garner interest in reading. This was sent as an email by Adam, and I'm reprinting it here for us to enjoy. Hopefully Adam himself wouldn't mind my publishing it, because he hits home a lot of things I felt were true for the movie. So, without further ado, here's Adam's take on the movie





Some folks asked what I thought of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of
the Crystal Skull, knowing what a big Indy fan I am. Some others
requested my review, but possibly spoiler-free. I'll do both, so
that no one has to have the magic ruined.

First off, you guys should know a few things about my stance, before
I proceed.

I think Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 5-star film. It's almost
flawless, and it's the prototypical action-adventure film. I feel
that Temple of Doom and Last Crusade are 3-star sequels to a 5-star
film. I like both equally, but for different reasons.

I love TOD because it dares to different than Raiders, and it has a
fabulous break-neck pace. I love how creepy and over-the-top it
is. I think that of all the Indy films, it is the most like the old
adventure serials it pays homage to, which were lurid and (as I said)
over-the-top. I love Short Round. Willie's constant screaming
doesn't bother; she's not meant to be `just like Marion'. Mola Ram
is the coolest looking bad guy Indy's ever met. He rips people's
hearts out of their chest and sets them on fire with his mind.

LC is a fun film, but a safe film. It's a mad-lib of Raiders; it
goes back to a formula to ensure positive fan reaction and good box
office. I think the film is TOO funny, because often the humor is
at the expense of the characters. The saving grace of the film is
Sean Connery and Harrison Ford's blazing onscreen chemistry, and the
resolution of their characters' relationships. I think this film
has more character development than any of the others, which is
great. I dislike the fact that I cannot figure out what exactly
Ilsa's character motivation is, even to this day.

And finally, I found ways to enjoy the STAR WARS prequels. Meaning?
If I like something enough, I will find ways to enjoy it, even if it
is not the greatest. If my favorite team loses the World Series, I
don't suddenly turn on them, hating them, and denouncing all their
previous successes.

My short, spoiler-free review:
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It was not as
bad as I'd feared it would be, but it wasn't as good as I'd hoped it
would be. It's great see to Ford back as Indy, and in most cases,
that's good enough. If you can let go of the Bad, you can have fun
with this film.

************ ******SPOILER
WARNING***** ********* *****

My big, spoilery review. Read on at your own risk.
I liked parts of this film, I disliked other parts. It was a big
schizophrenic smorgasbord of a film. I've done some reading, because
I like to figure out the "why" in "why didn't this work".

The reason this film took over 15 years to get made is because the
script had to satisfy three people: Lucas, Spielberg, and Ford.
Lucas has wanted to do an "Indiana Jones and the Saucermen" 1950s
film, which both Spielberg and Ford resoundly refused to do. In
VANITY FAIR this spring, Lucas stated that he was adamant about the
Macguffin (now known to be crystals skulls, aliens, and flying
saucers), and wouldn't budge. Finally, Spielberg and Ford relented,
in return for concessions of their own. Sometimes this type of
creative synergy results in fabulosity, but I feel this time it
resulted in mush.

I personally was not enthralled with the idea of Indy meeting
aliens. I feel it's "jumping genres" as Lucas himself counseled
Spielberg against in 1980 when Spielberg thought a Nazi with a robot
gun arm would be cool for Raiders. I think that it's more X-Files
than Indiana Jones, and not the kind of natural environment for the
character.

For MOST of the film, which I was enjoying, I thought they weren't
going to go all the way. I felt that if you left the true nature of
the Crystal Skull a mystery ("Is it an ancient mineral with strange
properties sculpted into the shape of a mysterious visitor… is it
actually the skull of an ancient astronaut who came to earth to give
knowledge to primitive man…. We may never know…"), then you have an
Indy film with a cool Chariot of the Gods twist. It would still be
in the realm of an Indiana Jones film.

But in the end, they went ALL THE WAY. An alien spaceman, a flying
saucer, and Indy stands around watching some of ILM's best work (the
Amazon river crashing into the valley was very TEN COMMANDMENTS, very
cool) with this WTF?!? Look on his face… ironically the exact same
expression on most of the audience's faces. It's almost as if Indy
himself knows he's wandered into the end of the wrong film, and just
kinda watches the ending unfold. All the characters seem relieved
that it's over; because they seem unfazed by anything they've seen.

WHAT I LIKED

The whole Area 51 opening, except the gophers. Once is funny, twice
is unnecessary, three times is overkill. Loved the line: "You don't
know him! YOU DON'T KNOW HIM! YOU DON'T KNOW HIIIIIIIM!!! !!" Also
loved "The way you're sinking your teeth into your `wubble-yoos' , I'd
say `eastern Ukraine'…"

The atomic test/Doom Town sequence. The only time in the whole film
I felt Indy was in REAL PERIL. I loved the refrigerator.

Colonel Doctor Irina Spalko. Right out of Terry and the Pirates, she
felt like. Cate Blanchett just ate it up, but in a good way. She
might be my favorite Indy villain, if she didn't have a crummy ending.

The Marshall College stuff. GREAT chase, great action. LOVED the
rumble in the soda shop. "Get that greaser!!!"

Indy. Sounds dumb to say, but Ford as Indy is a cinema icon. Seeing
him in action again was pretty darn amazing.

The ants. I liked `em. I just wish the scene had been gorier.
Remember how Saturday matinee thrilling the grue & gore in Raiders
and TOD was? I miss that.

The Cold War paranoia/ Red Scare stuff.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

The actual plot of the film. Once Indy gets to South America, I felt
like the story slowly went south with him. I was never given a
clear understanding of what the film was about, beyond rescuing
Harold Oxley. Returning the Crystal Skull to Akator only seemed
important because the film needed it to be. The Ark, the Sankara
Stones, the Grail…there was always a clear narrative based around WHY
they were important.

Mac. A completely useless character by the time his `triple agent'
status was revealed. I didn't care about him after the opening, even
though the film seemed to want me to. Why did Indy want to save this
unlikable bastard's life at the end?

The comedy. Like Last Crusade, almost everything hinged on a joke,
when I felt I wanted some genuine human sentiment. Marion Ravenwood
returns… and it's a joke. Indy finds out he has a son… and the scene
pivots on a joke. I like humor just fine, but I longed for a genuine
reunion moment between Indy and Marion. I wanted some kind of
genuine moment between Indy and his new son. Not much, just one.
Raiders had such a perfect blend of humor, drama, and melodrama.

The Mutt/Tarzan scene. Too much. It could've worked if Mutt gets
snagged in the trees, and sees the chase wind back around towards him
from his vantage point. Seeing how the monkeys brachiate, he
could've slashed the vine, and made one big heroic swing into
Spalko's vehicle. That would've been cool, heroic, and as believable
as Indy's swing to Jock's plane in Raiders. But they went too big,
too far for my tastes.

As I stated before, actually having an alien and his flying saucer
show up. Imagine if, in Raiders' climax, when the Ark is opened, and
an old man with a beard and a robe stepped out, and zapped all the
Nazis with lasers from his eyes. THAT'S how intrusive I found the
alien.

But add to that, Harold Oxley is suddenly & miraculously cured of
his insanity, and commits the most heinous of cinema sins: he spouts
exposition. "They're extra-dimensional beings, actually…" Out of
nowhere, he's right as rain, and free to spout off all the info the
film itself was incapable of showing us.

Marion. Did anyone else feel she was wasted here? She shows up and
quips wih Indy, and then proceeds to drive everyone around like a
good soccer mom. I wanted Marion to be honest with Indy about having
moved on with her life; instead she exchanges quips, then proceeds to
get all gooey over Indy. That seemed out of character for the Marion
of Raiders.

Mutt. Great idea for a character, but never really utilized;
especially if they all want us to care enough about him to follow his
adventures in future films. Indy & Mutt get along almost instantly,
so when they realize they are related, there's…. nothing. I felt
they should've been at loggerheads from the beginning, the
respectable man of letter & science vs. the dropout juvenile
delinquent. The film might've crackled for two acts with their
abusive interaction, and then they are forced to deal with each other
when they realize they are related, and can't just walk away.
Actually, it would've solved a lot of my problems. Since the
crystal skull isn't really interesting to be the main plot, the whole
issue of Indy and his son could've been the fire that fueled the
plot. Imagine if, at the end, Indy & Mutt are ready to say "Screw
you!" and go their separate ways, and Marion turns to Indy and
says "Don't make the same mistake your father did, Jones." Indy
realizes Mutt is walking away the same way he did when he was that
age, and he's doing exactly what Henry did: letting him go. That
might've given the film some resonance, if it felt like Last Crusade
was part of the set-up for this film.

Ultimately, the film was a let-down, but a glorious one. It rests on
the nostalgia of seeing Ford as Indy, and as Spielberg's mastery of
his craft as a visual storyteller to overcome the fact that the film
is very light in the plot & story department.

Just one cat's opinion.

-AH!

pjam
06-04-2008, 12:56 PM
Thanks for your thoughts on this Adam! I agree with much of what you have said here and to me it jibes with my feelings, generally. And I am glad you felt the Glory of seeing Indy back in his iconic role. I cut Karen Allen a break though but her scenes could have and should have been done better. I also felt Shia did a fine job here.

I must say that in the beginning it was Ford And Lucas who wanted a more traditional Indy Story and Speilberg who wanted more of a Sci Fi element to it. Many seem to get this wrong for some reason but Steven himself has confirmed this recenty.

Khev
06-04-2008, 12:58 PM
I'm glad they "crossed genres" so to speak with aliens at the end. For one it was a cool tip of the hat to a huge body of Spielberg's work (combing Indy with Close Encounters, E.T., and War of the Worlds--I'm surprised a giant shark didn't chase them over the waterfall ;)) and for another it just showed real guts.

For years my friends and I used to talk about how cool it would be if a totally traditional action movie series like Die Hard all of a sudden had a Predator show up halfway through a sequel and completely blow audience expectations out of the water. Now this was before the AvP movies came out and Predators became overdone but you get the idea. Crystal Skull pulled off the mixed genre much better than Cameron did with The Abyss IMO.

As for that ants they were actually gorier than most of Temple of Doom. Take out the heart ripping scene and Doom really cheated with a lot of its shots. You didn't see the guy going down into the stone grinder and remember the gators just tearing apart empty clothes?

screamingmetal
06-04-2008, 01:34 PM
I pretty much agree with everything he said but feel a little more critical of it. I didn't like the ants or the CGI in the movie. I also felt that it seemed like an X-Files ep. It specifically reminded me of an X-files book called Ruins that I read many years ago, I couldn't help but think of that book while I watched Indy 4.


Also were those Gophers? I thought they were Groundhogs.

Wor-Gar
06-04-2008, 01:52 PM
Brilliant review, and I wholeheartedly agree.

My biggest problem with KOTCS, as with LC, is the same as you mentioned here: everything hinged on a joke at the expense of moments of drama or suspense. Emotion is derailed by humor all too often. It would be nice to have a little of all, like they managed in "Raiders".

And I am also one of those few who feel Marion's return was not only wasted, but somewhat embarrassing. But I guess given the "Mutt" storyline it was necessary. Again in agreement, if they had played Mutt/Indy for the dramatic beats already built in perhaps everyone would have served more purpose.

Darklord Dave
06-04-2008, 01:53 PM
I would agree with most of this assessment too. Although I didn't have a problem with the genre crossing myself. Whether it's the power of God, Sankara stones or aliens - it's all fantasy. And the dovetailing of the theme of the film with the setting and how it crosses over into the Red scare movies of the time makes the atomic Indy more acceptable to me.

But on just about every other point I fully concur.

Wor-Gar
06-04-2008, 02:01 PM
Although I didn't have a problem with the genre crossing myself. Whether it's the power of God, Sankara stones or aliens - it's all fantasy.

This is true actually. I remember when "Raiders" came out, the finale on the island once the ark is opened seemed, at the time, out of place really. Just a big SFX fireworks show. I remember my friends all saying the movie really ended after the truck chase scene, although we all stayed to watch Toht melt.

But over time, I've gotten used to the ending, and it now seems fitting and perfect. I agree with Adam that they went too far -- showing the actual alien and the spaceship -- but the plot surrounding "mysterious beings" isn't any further of a stretch to me than the "power of God". I just think showing "aliens" or "God" is going too far. Maybe just the spaceship glimpsed at the end would have said it all.

Khev
06-04-2008, 02:06 PM
I just think showing "aliens" or "God" is going too far.

Do you really think they went farther with the aliens than with the Ark? At the beginning of Raiders they talk about "the power of God" as translated through beams of light coming out of the Ark in that history book. Then when its opened not just beams of light but spirits/angels of death/whatever they were came out and hissed in everyone's faces.

As I said in Irish's thread I'm still not 100% sold on the KOTCS ending myself but I just thought I'd mention that it wasn't the only movie to "step it up a notch" compared to what was theorized earlier in the film.

Shatterer of Dreams
06-04-2008, 02:12 PM
I will agree with this as well, as already stated the genre smashing dosen't bother me. That being said the fact that there is so much action but not a whole lot going on story wise is what bothers me. To sum it up beautifully wrapped package with nothing inside.

pjam
06-04-2008, 02:16 PM
I will agree with this as well, as already stated the genre smashing dosen't bother me. That being said the fact that there is so much action but not a whole lot going on story wise is what bothers me. To sum it up beautifully wrapped package with nothing inside.

Which is exactly why I felt it was like a Movie based on a Theme Park ride. I was craving for moving character moments, didn't get 'em.

Wor-Gar
06-04-2008, 02:22 PM
Do you really think they went farther with the aliens than with the Ark? At the beginning of Raiders they talk about "the power of God" as translated through beams of light coming out of the Ark in that history book. Then when its opened not just beams of light but spirits/angels of death/whatever they were came out and hissed in everyone's faces.

I do think the "spirits" in Raiders could qualify as balance to justify "aliens" in Skull -- again both films have supernatural endings beyond what one expects from the film. That's why I said maybe just having a glimpse of the spaceship would be enough. It's the overkill in KOTCS that gets me -- the alien skeletons, then the dimensional doorway, then the actual alien itself, with disapproving green eyes, THEN the spaceship...

I think Adam made a nice analogy: if "God" himself had risen from the ark with disapproving eyes toward the Nazis, I think we all would have had a problem with that. Lightning bolts, pillers of fire and, yes, spirits, are all incredible to believe but the true power behind it all remains a mystery. In KOTCS, we see it all. And sometimes, seeing is NOT believing.

pjam
06-04-2008, 02:31 PM
You know what's funny? I NEVER had a problem with the Raiders ending, I always expected some supernatural ending like that. The unleashed fury of God type thing. It was totally appropriate in a hyperbolic biblical sense IMO.

Melty faces were a bonus!

IrishJedi
06-04-2008, 02:43 PM
Note: Adam wrote that review on Opening Day and has only still seen the movie once.

I'm actually seeing it with him TONIGHT and I truly expect to see him soften his stance on a lot of the movie like many of us did on repeated viewings. In fact, after sharing my thoughts after my 3rd viewing I could already see it happening. We're both excited to see it tonight, though I'll be on #5.

What's posted here likely will not be Adam's definitive review of KOTCS.

IrishJedi
06-04-2008, 02:57 PM
I must say that in the beginning it was Ford And Lucas who wanted a more traditional Indy Story and Speilberg who wanted more of a Sci Fi element to it. Many seem to get this wrong for some reason but Steven himself has confirmed this recenty.

Many resources, including "The Complete Making of..." book, confirm that the alien idea was 100% Lucas' from the get-go and Spielberg and Ford actually fought it tooth-and-nail. In fact, Lucas' original MacGuffin idea was the actual alien itself: a survivor of the Roswell crash that Indy finds and protects from the FBI and KGB in "Saucermen From Mars". It was only until Lucas came up with the crystal skull angle that Spielberg and Ford relented... but Lucas still insisted that the movie contain an actual alien and flying saucer somehow.

I'll transcribe some stuff later. It's pretty cut-and-dried.

Wor-Gar
06-04-2008, 02:58 PM
What's posted here likely will not be Adam's definitive review of KOTCS.

I think it's all about degrees: how much you "dislike" something varies. As I said from my initial viewing, I really enjoyed KOTCS, but, if I had my druthers, there are things I would have cut or changed, etc, like many of us.

I also said I think I prefer Skull to Crusade, and I believe that will remain even stronger over time and repeat viewings. Crusade has some great banter between Connery and Ford and that's about all its got. Skull has a lot more "stuff", so I think it will be more enjoyable to watch many times over, as you've said.

But I believe Adam's points will remain -- his "dislaikes" pretty much cover all the weak spots in Skull and no amount of repeat viewings will make them terrific; just more palatable at least. Like a habit.

Anyway, have a blast you two!!! :duff

IrishJedi
06-04-2008, 03:02 PM
But I believe Adam's points will remain -- his "dislaikes" pretty much cover all the weak spots in Skull and no amount of repeat viewings will make them terrific; just more palatable at least. Like a habit.

For the most part, that's true. But the one major element that DOES indeed seem to improve on repeated viewings is the whole alien/saucer element. And I think that has a lot to do with the awkwardness of seeing Indy in that environment for the first time. I too was unsure how I felt about how far all that goes in the film the first time I saw it. But now having seen it 4 times it's actually one of my favorite aspects of the movie. Obviously, Adam's his own guy and I don't know with 100% certainty how he will ultimately view it all. But our tastes are so damn similar (especially when it comes to INDY stuff) that I'll be surprised if he doesn't end up loving the grays and the saucer as well.

pjam
06-04-2008, 03:06 PM
Many resources, including "The Complete Making of..." book, confirm that the alien idea was 100% Lucas' from the get-go and Spielberg and Ford fought it tooth-and-nail. In fact, Lucas' original MacGuffin idea was the actual alien itself: a survivor of the Roswell crash that Indy finds and protects from the FBI and KGB in "Saucermen From Mars". It was only until Lucas came up with the crystal skull angle that Spielberg and Ford relented... but Lucas still insisted that the movie contain an actual alien and flying saucer somehow.

Many resources... :lol

Like I said over and over now, Speilberg wanted more Sci Fi (in the first Script) than Lucas and Ford. And Speilberg confirmed this. Why are you debating this? This is exactly what I have also been told by the Writer of the first Script. Nuff said...

IrishJedi
06-04-2008, 03:08 PM
Why am I debating it? Because it's in several printed publications (including the official "Making of" book) with actual attributed quotes from Lucas, Spielberg, Ford, and others. Unless they're all lying in collusion, I'd say it's documented and not hearsay.

And where did Spielberg "confirm" that the alien/sci-fi stuff was his idea? I want to see it.

pjam
06-04-2008, 03:20 PM
Why am I debating it? Because it's in several printed publications (including the official "Making of" book) with actual attributed quotes from Lucas, Spielberg, Ford, and others. Unless they're all lying in collusion, I'd say it's documented and not hearsay.

:lol

So now you are refuting Spielberg himself who has said he wanted more Sci Fi in Indy4 than Lucas and Ford which jibes with what the First Writer experienced? :lol So the book is correct and the Director and Writer are wrong. Gimme a break.

That's all I have been saying, not who came up with what, but how the First Script developed, storywise. Again, Steven confirmed this.

I'm moving on. :lol

Have a great time with Adam tonight, btw. Sounds like fun.

aussieinnyc
06-04-2008, 03:33 PM
Do you really think they went farther with the aliens than with the Ark? At the beginning of Raiders they talk about "the power of God" as translated through beams of light coming out of the Ark in that history book. Then when its opened not just beams of light but spirits/angels of death/whatever they were came out and hissed in everyone's faces.

As I said in Irish's thread I'm still not 100% sold on the KOTCS ending myself but I just thought I'd mention that it wasn't the only movie to "step it up a notch" compared to what was theorized earlier in the film.

Isn't that the point though? You don't know exactly what these beings are. Sure, they're spirits of some sort that seem a little grumpy about their roof being taken off, but - as the review said - Charlton Heston did not step out in white robes and start spouting exposition on how you are not meant to disturb the Ark of the Covenant etc etc etc before smiting all within smiting distance. We didn't even get the traditonal "heavenly" music, or anyone with halos and wings. KOTCS, however, we get shown a being pretty much out of "How To Create a CGI Alien 101".

pjam
06-04-2008, 03:49 PM
I think it's all about degrees: how much you "dislike" something varies. As I said from my initial viewing, I really enjoyed KOTCS, but, if I had my druthers, there are things I would have cut or changed, etc, like many of us.

I also said I think I prefer Skull to Crusade, and I believe that will remain even stronger over time and repeat viewings. Crusade has some great banter between Connery and Ford and that's about all its got. Skull has a lot more "stuff", so I think it will be more enjoyable to watch many times over, as you've said.

But I believe Adam's points will remain -- his "dislaikes" pretty much cover all the weak spots in Skull and no amount of repeat viewings will make them terrific; just more palatable at least. Like a habit.

Anyway, have a blast you two!!! :duff

I'll be interested to hear Adam's second viewing take as well. For me, what bothers me about any Movie rarely goes away with repeated viewings. It can become more acceptable or irritable with repeat viewings but over time it seems to me the more it may change the more it stays the same.

I felt a certain way when I first saw TOD, TLC and feel pretty much the same about those films today.

IrishJedi
06-04-2008, 03:49 PM
I'm moving on. :lol


Wait! You can't move on yet! I just spent 30 minutes on the following:

http://www.sideshowcollectors.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35315

:lol


Have a great time with Adam tonight, btw. Sounds like fun.

Thanks, bro! :duff

Darth Caedus
06-04-2008, 04:01 PM
As I stated before, actually having an alien and his flying saucer
show up. Imagine if, in Raiders' climax, when the Ark is opened, and
an old man with a beard and a robe stepped out, and zapped all the
Nazis with lasers from his eyes. THAT'S how intrusive I found the
alien.

:rotfl:rotfl:rotfl:rotfl:rotfl That would have been awesome

pjam
06-04-2008, 04:03 PM
Wait! You can't move on yet! I just spent 30 minutes on the following:

http://www.sideshowcollectors.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35315

:lol



Thanks, bro! :duff

Doesn't change what I know. Sorry Bro. Enjoy the Show!

Viking28
06-04-2008, 05:27 PM
I like Adam's review but I've always loved LC, I always thought that was great movie. But why does repeat viewing have to make a movie better? I thought Sith was a good movie first seeing it (it helped that I read the book), but now I just skip to the next scene or skim a part and take a couple deep breaths saying oookkkk.

nash
06-04-2008, 05:38 PM
Seems they should have added a buy one get one free when you purchase your first ticket to KOTCS. either that or, locked you in the theater until the movie played twice. Imagine how many favorable reviews it would then garner:rolleyes::lol

EVILFACE
06-04-2008, 05:59 PM
Note: Adam wrote that review on Opening Day and has only still seen the movie once.

I cant stand The Sound of Music, and multiple viewings ain't going to change my opinion of it.

Trevolver
06-04-2008, 07:01 PM
I think Adam's seen the flick a couple of times.

I enjoyed the review! I can't disagree with any of it. While I really do enjoy this movie now, it just feels like a bunch of good fun parts intermingled with a lot of odd ones. I still feel like it was the thin plot of a video game. :) but hey...I love a good Indy video game!

Trev

LOTRFan
06-04-2008, 07:13 PM
Seems they should have added a buy one get one free when you purchase your first ticket to KOTCS. either that or, locked you in the theater until the movie played twice. Imagine how many favorable reviews it would then garner:rolleyes::lol

:lol :rotfl :lol

Say uncle, say uncle .....




:banghead

Khev
06-04-2008, 07:26 PM
Isn't that the point though? You don't know exactly what these beings are. Sure, they're spirits of some sort that seem a little grumpy about their roof being taken off, but - as the review said - Charlton Heston did not step out in white robes and start spouting exposition on how you are not meant to disturb the Ark of the Covenant etc etc etc before smiting all within smiting distance.

Neither did the aliens. We don't know anything about who they are, where they came from ("another dimension" is anything but specific), what their intentions are and what they're capable of. We don't even know if the disapproving look the one alien gives is because he wanted to give Spalko what she wanted but knew her brain couldn't handle it or if because he flat out wanted to kill her.

If you read about the Ark of the Covenant in the Bible you know that if you touched the Ark you died. The Bible doesn't say anything about ghosts or laserbeams but that's obviously how the movie wanted it portrayed. The Nazis messed with the ark, several of them touched it, they all died. There really isn't any "mystery" left to ponder.

After Crystal Skull the audience is left to wonder, along with Indy, just what the heck those beings were all about. I think that's cool, but it *does* have parallels with the weak X-Files movie, and I can see how that would put a number of people off. I thought Crystal Skull handled it much better than X-Files but obviously many disagree.

Darklord Dave
06-04-2008, 09:13 PM
As much as I liked the Saucer shot I would agree that they gave us too much about the aliens. We didn't need to know that they unequivocally came from another dimension instead of outer space. We didn't need to know that the glowy thing was a portal to that dimension. We didn't need to see the Crystal skeletons become a fleshed alien. (13 skeletons = 1 fleshy, conscious alien?) And we didn't need to see ET fry Spalko's brain.

screamingmetal
06-05-2008, 10:40 AM
As much as I liked the Saucer shot I would agree that they gave us too much about the aliens. We didn't need to know that they unequivocally came from another dimension instead of outer space. We didn't need to know that the glowy thing was a portal to that dimension. We didn't need to see the Crystal skeletons become a fleshed alien. (13 skeletons = 1 fleshy, conscious alien?) And we didn't need to see ET fry Spalko's brain.
Exactly my thoughts, they explained far too much. But I do think the main villain needed a notable ending, not the one with the alien, but something that stands out.

LOTRFan
06-05-2008, 10:43 AM
Exactly my thoughts, they explained far too much. But I do think the main villain needed a notable ending, not the one with the alien, but something that stands out.

Lucas had some leftover CG he didn't use on Grievous.

barbelith
06-05-2008, 11:40 AM
And we didn't need to see ET fry Spalko's brain.

Did we need to see God fry Belloq's?

IrishJedi
06-05-2008, 11:58 AM
People are indeed pretty selective.

Darklord Dave
06-05-2008, 05:22 PM
Did we need to see God fry Belloq's?

Ah, but the ark stuff was much more ambiguous - we didn't have Ox the explainer tell us what we saw after we saw it.

LOTRFan
06-05-2008, 07:03 PM
Ah, but the ark stuff was much more ambiguous - we didn't have Ox the explainer tell us what we saw after we saw it.

Audiences are dumber now. :monkey1

hairlesswookiee
06-05-2008, 09:11 PM
the movie was crap... thats all to it. i won't watch it again, and i'd prefer to think it didn't happen.

Khev
06-05-2008, 09:35 PM
Ah, but the ark stuff was much more ambiguous - we didn't have Ox the explainer tell us what we saw after we saw it.

The Grail Knight did a heck of a lot more explaining than Ox did. Did you have the same problems with Last Crusade?

Darklord Dave
06-05-2008, 11:56 PM
The Grail Knight did a heck of a lot more explaining than Ox did. Did you have the same problems with Last Crusade?

I didn't have that much of a problem with either one - I liked LC and KotCS about equally as a 2nd tier Indy film. But I just saw LC and don't recall the Grail knight explaining that much. Indy figured out which cup, he noticed the water without being told and he knew not to drink from the wrong cup. I don't think the knight told him any of these things.

Bannister
06-06-2008, 12:02 AM
Note: Adam wrote that review on Opening Day and has only still seen the movie once.

I'm actually seeing it with him TONIGHT and I truly expect to see him soften his stance on a lot of the movie like many of us did on repeated viewings. In fact, after sharing my thoughts after my 3rd viewing I could already see it happening. We're both excited to see it tonight, though I'll be on #5.

What's posted here likely will not be Adam's definitive review of KOTCS.
I wish I had seen this post sooner. I would have told you to treat yourself and Adam to a pretentious elixir on me.:monkey2:monkey2:monkey2

barbelith
06-06-2008, 05:49 AM
Ah, but the ark stuff was much more ambiguous - we didn't have Ox the explainer tell us what we saw after we saw it.

You're right - we had it explained to us before Indy ever found the Ark.

I don't have a problem with people who dislike the alien on aesthetic grounds. I can understand that even if I don't agree with it. What irks me is that Internet thing where insecurities mean people can't simply say a film wasn't to their taste; instead they have to vindictively obliterate every aspect of the movie so they can reassure themselves they live in a black-and-white world where the film was objectively bad and that's it. When they do this by using examples that are also present in the films they're defending they just look like idiots.

I am not referring to you. Having watched all three films just before seeing Kingdom of the Crystal Skull for the first time, nothing in the film seemed out of place to me. Raiders of course is in a league of its own but it still has a comedy monkey and more or less the same ending as Crystal Skull. Put that simian "Heil!" in a film today and people would be moaning about how Lucas raped their childhoods. It's incredible that people will excuse major characters like Willie Scott but three seconds of a gopher ruins everything.

Khev
06-06-2008, 05:59 AM
I am not referring to you. Having watched all three films just before seeing Kingdom of the Crystal Skull for the first time, nothing in the film seemed out of place to me. Raiders of course is in a league of its own but it still has a comedy monkey and more or less the same ending as Crystal Skull. Put that simian "Heil!" in a film today and people would be moaning about how Lucas raped their childhoods. It's incredible that people will excuse major characters like Willie Scott but three seconds of a gopher ruins everything.

Word. Because "they're interdimensional actually" is over-explaining but "he chose poorly" after a guy's face ages 1000 years in 10 seconds was totally necessary. I really wondered whether he drank from the correct grail until the knight said that. :lol

In all seriousness though all four films had about the same level of exposition. They explain (and show a picture) of what the Ark is capable of, Indy tells how the Sankara stones glow when placed together, and its also explained that the Holy Grail gives you eternal life if you drink it and don't cross the seal. All we know about the aliens is that they come from another dimension and can pull a mean Tetsuo on your cranium if you rub them the wrong way. Where do the aliens come from? We don't know. Why do they fry your brain if you help them? We don't know. What do they want and are ultimately capable of? We just don't know. KOTCS ended with more mysteries about its MacGuffin than any of the others IMO.

IrishJedi
06-06-2008, 08:18 AM
You're right - we had it explained to us before Indy ever found the Ark.

I don't have a problem with people who dislike the alien on aesthetic grounds. I can understand that even if I don't agree with it. What irks me is that Internet thing where insecurities mean people can't simply say a film wasn't to their taste; instead they have to vindictively obliterate every aspect of the movie so they can reassure themselves they live in a black-and-white world where the film was objectively bad and that's it. When they do this by using examples that are also present in the films they're defending they just look like idiots.

I am not referring to you. Having watched all three films just before seeing Kingdom of the Crystal Skull for the first time, nothing in the film seemed out of place to me. Raiders of course is in a league of its own but it still has a comedy monkey and more or less the same ending as Crystal Skull. Put that simian "Heil!" in a film today and people would be moaning about how Lucas raped their childhoods. It's incredible that people will excuse major characters like Willie Scott but three seconds of a gopher ruins everything.

:clap :lecture :clap :lecture :clap :lecture :clap :lecture

Khev
06-06-2008, 10:00 AM
Its funny I left KOTCS unsure of whether or not I really loved it because of what I considered a somewhat anticlimactic ending. But now after reading post after post of totally bogus criticisms I'm finding that it holds up extremely well to the potshots being taken at its expense. I actually appreciate it more and more for that fact alone.

I think a movie like Indy or SW are such enormous experiences that its sometimes hard to digest after just one viewing.

People have made fun of KOTCS because some have said "wait until you see it a second or third time." That isn't a diss people. It wasn't until I had seen FOTR for the third time that I realized, "holy crap, this is my new favorite movie of all time!" I didn't know how I felt about Jackson's effort until it settled after a couple of viewings. I wonder if The Hobbit will be an instant success/fail or take a couple of viewings to overcome preconceived notions of "how Jackson would have done it" before being judged on its own merits.

I think that's the case with the new Indy movie. People have been trashing Temple of Doom and Last Crusade for YEARS. Suddenly there's a new movie to bash and TOD and TLC are suddenly lumped in with the almighty Raiders as the only "worthy" Indy movies. Yeah right.... :cool:

barbelith
06-06-2008, 10:16 AM
I think a movie like Indy or SW are such enormous experiences that its sometimes hard to digest after just one viewing.

I think part of the problem is that the original movies aren't just movies for many of us. They're experiences so tightly entwined with our childhood it becomes impossible to consider them objectively, no matter how hard we wish to pretend otherwise. I maintain that if Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came out in 1984 or 1989 we'd now consider it a classic, and if Temple of Doom or The Last Crusade came out last month the Internet would be eviscerating them with knives out.

There is no joy in Internet fandom.

IrishJedi
06-06-2008, 01:04 PM
There is no joy in Internet fandom.

Can I get an "Amen"? :clap