Critiquing of the Crystal Skull - What Went Wrong?

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by Jango10, Jun 17, 2008.

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  1. Spaceman_Spiff Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2001
    star 4
    I'm not sure I liked the cameo by Ron Jeremy at the beginning of the movie. I think he really overplayed it, but maybe Spielberg directed him to act that way. Regardless, it was too much.

    I also didn't think that the scene where Indy was breakdancing was very appropriate. It really took me out of the movie. I know there have been anachronisms in Indy movies in the past (Witness the Hindenburg disaster occuring a year late) but Spielberg and company should really have done their research here.

    *Watch Corner Gas on Superstation WGN.*
  2. Jedi_Reject_Jesse Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2004
    star 7
    In retrospect, I didn't think the Russians made very good bad guys. Jones mentions "all those years spying on the Reds" but I seem to remember a Young Indy episode where he befriends a group of Bolshevik revolutionaries. I actually thought he was pretty open minded but he seems to have taken a staunch anti-communist, pro-USA stance that I now find distasteful.
  3. Palpateen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2000
    star 4

    he seems to have taken a staunch anti-communist, pro-USA stance that I now find distasteful.

    Oh really? Distasteful? And how do you think a PRO COMMUNIST, ANTI-USA stance had gone down with American audiences? That would have sold a lot of tickets, right? [face_laugh]

    [face_flag]
  4. Jedi_Reject_Jesse Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2004
    star 7
    Eh, the previous films and the young indy chronicles established him as a man of the world who is open minded, speaks dozens of languages, and is familiar with probably hundreds of cultures and customs. I hated to see him buy into the whole red scare thing. It makes him seem shallow.
  5. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Communism in general is not the same thing as Stalinism. With, you know... it's killing of millions. I don't really have a problem with him being against that (or Nazis?) And he was always pro-US. But the US in this film was portrayed in a mixed way. Just wish they'd kept more with the MacCarthyism. I think that would have elevated the plot to a more sophisticated level. It was fun but it wasn't as thoughtful as Raiders or Crusade, IMHO.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  6. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    Yeah the FBI suspecting Indy as a communist was set up beautifully but it doesn't have a payoff. If they make an Indy I'd like to see the FBI subplot brought back into the mix with Agent Smith and Agent Taylor harassing Indy at every turn. I'd like to see General Ross return as well.
  7. Captain_Typho Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 5
    yep, that little bit makes no sense without an Indy prequel to introduce the characters. General Ross at the least.....
  8. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    The McCarthyist suspicion of Jones serves at least three purposes in the film: One, to further establish the setting of the times; two, to put pressure on Jones ("raising the stakes" or "tightening the screws" in cinematic parlance); and three, to create a scenario in which Jones must leave town, which puts him into contact with Mutt. Also, the FBI's skepticism of Jones is interesting in and of itself, and allows the audience to learn what he's been up to the last 20 years.
  9. morpha2 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2005
    star 3
    My main complaint was the return of Marion and the resolution of her and Indy's relationship. It just felt forced and unnecessary. I prefer the serial aspect of Indiana Jones and the fact that he has a sort of "Bond girl" du jour in each film. Plus, as the movie went along and they kept picking up new (old) characters like Marion, by the end it was a tiresome ensemble cast marching through the jungle to the temple of the crystal skull.

    And as a general complaint, the movie seemed to look BACK so damned much. All of the references to dead Brody and Henry Jones Sr, the return of Marion, the return to the Govt Warehouse...c'mon, already!

    I wasn't too bothered by the alien subplot of the film. It didn't strike me as being too different in tone from the other-worldly artifacts of the prior films. The CGI monkeys were pretty stupid, though.
  10. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Four: Creates a huge gaping plot hole when Indy not only is allowed to return, but is even PROMOTED at the college, even though any evidence of his adventures that he could have taken back home was sucked into the "space between spaces". The best he could do is have Marion and Ox go in and say, "Russians captured us and Indy rescued us," but would that really be enough to clear up all the suspicion?

    [face_shame_on_you] at Lucas and his dangling plot lines. It's Sifo-Dyas all over again.
  11. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    This is what I'm getting at. There's no resolution to this plot line. The film glosses over the whole thing when in reality Indy would still be a subject of interest to the FBI. That's why I think they should bring back this plot point for a 5th film.
  12. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5
    It's established at the end he got his job back, and everything's right in the world. I understand what you guys are saying about dangling plot lines, but if he's gotten a promotion, the university has given him a clean bill of health. That's good enough, and gives his return to the University the good housekeeping seal of approval. At that point, to stop the movie and say, "the FBI now thinks Indy is ok too" in some way is excess baggage. At that point, we're running for curtain, and I much prefer the movie end with the wedding than at an FBI office.

    Everything doesn't have to be so literally and formally resolved. As a general rule, I too like a tight structure that ties everything up neatly, but I was satisfied with the way it was handled.

    YMMV
  13. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    Well the university giving Indy a clean bill of health is dependent on the FBI. It was their raid on Indy's office that got him "fired" in the first place. The university wouldn't promote someone whose suspected of being a communist by the FBI.

    It's possible Spielberg filmed a scene where the FBI clears Indy but it was cut for the film. If so I'd like to see him put it back in. It would be a nice coda like the Washington, D.C. scene in Raiders.
  14. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5
    Well the university giving Indy a clean bill of health is dependent on the FBI. It was they're raid on Indy's office that got him "fired" in the first place. The university wouldn't promote someone whose suspected of being a communist by the FBI.

    That's EXACTLY my point. :oops:

    Once we know he's back on the job, that tells the audience the FBI has cleared him! So it's not necessary to have more at the end regarding the FBI clearing him. That would be redundant. It's implied in a rather major way. He's back at work with a promotion. 'Nuff said.
  15. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    But what we don't know is WHY the FBI cleared him. What does Indy do in the film that could possibly account for that?

    I'm not arguing that a scene showing the resolution of the FBI stuff should have been added IN. I'm saying that, considering that the bits about Indy's troubles with the FBI and school board have absolutely nothing to do with anything that happens in the rest of the film and should have been taken OUT.
  16. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    I get that. One can easily assume that everything is fine and that's how Spielberg presents it.

    Yet it's one of those things that if you stop and think about it for a second you realize that, while we as an audience know Indy's not a commie, there's no indication how the FBI reaches that conclusion. The evidence is all gone. It's Indy's word against theirs and the FBI doesn't trust Indy's word. You end up with a minor plot hole.

    One simple scene where the agents clear Indy and they explain why could have easily closed the hole. But since there isn't a scene like this one could exploit the hole and bring the FBI subplot back into play for Indy 5. Which I would love to see happen.

  17. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    He saved the world from Soviet mind-domination. He defeated the enemies of America that raided Area 51. The proof is that Spalko and cohorts are dead, the Skulls vanished. Noted scientist John Hurt gives convincing testimony if need be.

    There might have been a scene akin to the denouement of Raiders, in which the government officials meet with Jones and, in this instance, re-instate his good standing or otherwise remove him from the List. But the shot of the office door being hand-lettered is a nice, visual, Spielbergian way of telling us all of that, without banging us over the head with it. We get it; the FBI cleared him; he got a promotion. Let's move on.
  18. AnakinBrego Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2004
    star 3
    Indy surviving a nuclear explosion by going inside a refrigerator. How come the fridge didn't open up from the blast, it's not like they can be locked from the inside. When Mutt and Indy skid on the floor on a motorcycle in the library, afterwards a student just asks Indy an academic question, why wasn't he surprised at all of what just happened.
  19. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    I couldn't help but think ...

    "Rubbish. Ravenwood is no Nazi." - Marcus Brody 1936

    "Rubbish. Jones is no Commie." - Harold Oxly 1957


    Works for me. :cool:





  20. THX_1138biggs Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2007
    star 1
    These movies are supposed to be stylized this way. It's all a matter of using your imagination and suspension of disbelief.

    If you analyse everything you see you're not really investing in the movie. If you want something that is super, totally realistic watch the Bourne movies, but even there you have to suspend you disbelief a little bit. I think in every movie. That's what movies are about, make-believe. The best movies are the ones that stretch you imagination but do it in a convincing way.

    For example:

    I believed Indy escaped the nuclear blast in a refrigerator.
    Pretend this happened. Lets say (God forbid) a nuclear bomb hit's tomorrow. When it hits you have seconds to do something or else you're toast. In my case, after watching Indy 4, I would run into my fridge and take my chances in there. The movie made it clear to me that that would be my closest chance to survive. And surprisingly, and funny too, Indy survives! Which in turn becomes one of my fav' scenes in the movie. :)

    Maybe Indy was holding on to his dear life inside the fridge to stop the door from opening.
  21. morpha2 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2005
    star 3
    You have a point, but the suspension of disbelief is often predicated on the "rules" of the movie reality we're watching. With Indiana Jones' adventures, a lot of suspension of disbelief is obviously required what with the supernatural elements. We still feel like Jones is mortal, although we see that he can take a lot of physical punishment and stay on his feet--but to have him survive a nuclear explosion in a fridge bends the rule a little too far in my opinion, and I think that's why it comes up a lot when people point to something not being "realistic." It's not even that it isn't realistic in our world, but that it is unrealistic even for Indiana Jones' fantastical world.
  22. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5
    it is unrealistic even for Indiana Jones' fantastical world.

    Glad to know that's just your opinion.

    Because in Indy's fantastical world:

    Three people can leave a plane in mid-air and fall hundreds of feet while clinging to a life raft and survive the fall without so much as a broken bone. :rolleyes:

    People can have their hearts pulled out of their chests and remain conscious, alive and breathing. I'll bet the late Dr. Michael DeBakey would have a lot to say about how realistic THAT was. :rolleyes:

    A Knight can live for hundreds of years in a cave by himself apparently with no food or medical treatment guarding the Holy Grail. Gee, I wonder what kind of a medical plan the Knights Templar offer their members? I really believed that one. :rolleyes:

    The refrigerator scene was totally consistent with these unbelievable events from previous films. No one could survive a fall from a plane without injuries or probably death, no could be alive and breathing after their hearts have been yanked out of their chests and unless I'm seriously mistaken, human life expectancy tends taper off after about the age of 110 or so.

    Yeah, I think Indy could survive a nuclear blast in a refrigerator. Why? Because Indy's not a real person, it's not a real refrigerator and it's not a real nuclear blast. It's a piece of fiction in a MOVIE series that has a long history of absurd, over the top events presented for entertainment purposes. That's what these kinds of movies are for. They are not documentaries.





  23. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    If the Nuke The Fridge scene had been done realistically. Indy would be dead and the movie over. I don't think that would have gone over to well with fans.
  24. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    Actually JWD, the Mythbusters did the same stunt with the raft falling from an airplane, and Busters survived. It was deemed plausible.
  25. morpha2 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2005
    star 3
    See, I disagree and I'm getting the impression that you misunderstood my post. The hearts getting ripped out and ancient knight are consistent with the supernatural elements of Indiana Jones that we accept to enjoy the movies. Things like that can (and should) be outlandish and unbelievable because that's what makes the movies so fun. Where the filmmakers should try to retain a bit of plausibility is where it concerns Indy's ability to survive as a real human being. Obviously, his durability is exaggerated because he his an action hero and we don't want to see him get iced within the first 20 minutes of the film. And granted, falling out of the plane in a raft is pushing it, but the nuclear blast scene goes above and beyond what should be even remotely survivable, even for as tough a customer as Dr. Jones.
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