Is Indy 4 that bad?

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by skywalker_san, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. skywalker_san Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2010
    star 1
    I honestly do not think it is. It was well recieved, better recieved than Episode I or II... Some say that Harrison Ford and the rest of the cast has no spark and no energy, yet I found Harrison Ford's performance charming and fitting to his age. I don't mind the alien angle, considering it's the logical step from where to go from previous installments and the time when it's set. I don't mind Shia LaBeouf, he's a good actor with the charisma of a young Tom Hanks, yet everyone seems to hates him by proxy. It has a GREAT villain in Irina Splako, played to awesomeness by Cate Blanchett. It has good set pieces and does a great work establishing the mood of the 50's and the Red sScare (Spielberg's hand is most notable in these scenes). There's some damn fine pieces of dialogue on the movie ("We seem to have reached the age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away.") and some great humor and one-liners. I love the ant scene and it still creeps me out. So what gives? Is it the fridge scene? Funny, cause, some odd days before the movie was released, Raiders was shown on TV and some of my friends were commenting how BAD the movie was because there's no way that Indy would survive most of the stuff that he goes through on that. At the same time, I went to see the movie with my grandfather who cringes with impossible stuff in movies, and not only thought it was funny, he said "yeah, it's possible". Not to mention that the much lauded Darabont draft had the fridge scene, had five waterfalls instead of three, had Indy shooting an alien and saying "Welcome to Earth!" and other questionable stuff. No monkey scene though.
  2. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    I enjoyed it well enough, & I don't think it's quite as bad as everyone makes out (certainly not enough to warrant the notorious, though hilarious, 'Indy Got Raped' episode of South Park). Something about having Harrison Ford still in there made it feel a bit more connected to the originals than the SW PT did to the OT. If anything, it's probably a glimpse at what Star Wars films set after ROTJ might have been like with the aged cast. Kind of crap on one level, but if you love the characters enough, you really don't want to miss it.
    The opening scene with the teenagers in the 50s car hooked me to a certain extent, it really felt like I was watching a 1980s Spielberg film, there's an old-school golden touch the likes of Spielberg, Scorsese & Coppola bring to their recent work that can liven up the trashiest material.

    Even so, there were a few things in Crystal Skull I just found unforgivable. That ridiculous duel across two speeding jeeps through the jungle was just moronic. It looked like CGI, bad CGI. No subtlety or credibility whatsoever.

    And the wedding at the end. Give me a break. It almost seemed to be a homage to the end of Russ Meyer's 'Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls', but I can't imagine why Lucas & Spielberg would possibly want to do that in an Indiana Jones film, or in any film.
  3. skywalker_san Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2010
    star 1
    I liked the jungle chase... It was exciting and original enough (actually I thought it was the most original in the movie) and I liked the humor, with Marion chastitising Mutt for his fighting stance, and yes the groin hits by the branches. Not the monleys so much, I'll give you that. The monkeys and the gophers to an extend (though it was a bit funny.) And it looked no more CGI than the the Brontosaurus stsampede in the most recent King Kong (a scene that is one of the few derided from that film, which I also love the hell out of).
    Andy Wylde likes this.
  4. leiaa Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2011
    I don´t think it was so bad either. Not a movie that will go down in movie history, but entertaining enough.
    And you can´t go wrong with Harrison in my opinion. :)
  5. d_arblay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    star 4
    No, overall I think its pretty decent and many bits are very in keeping with the previous films. I think its a good ride on the whole. A little exposition heavy in the middle from what I recall. But I think its better than Temple of Doom (though it cant quite compete with Raiders or The Last Crusade, thats no huge flaw in itself). I look forward to any future Indy movies if this is the standard they're going to be up to. I liked Mutt too and thought he was a good foil for an ageing Indy. Karen Allen's reappearance and union with Indy did feel a bit contrived and I had a few other nitpicks here or there. But its in no way as bad as lots of people like to make out. It had all the classic ingredients - the wit, the adventure, John Williams score etc. Had it been made in 1992 or so, albeit with a few script adjustments (you'd need someone other than Marion as the mother of Indy's kid for example) I think it would have been better received. Though the fact it featured aliens probably didn't help.

    Best bit in the movie for me by far (and it'd be up there with any of the great Indy moments) - "if you wanna be a good archeologist, you gotta get out of the library!" :)
  6. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Yeah, that whole sequence is classic. [face_laugh]

    I liked it better than I like The Temple Of Doom, but not as well as the other two. Which I didn't expect, either.
  7. d_arblay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    star 4
    Also wanted to add that, although I dont think Darabont was the man for the job either, I wasn't particularly glad that David Koepp got the writing gig on this one. I don't and never have rated him much at all. Even though in the end the movie was pretty good in my eyes, it might well have been better with someone else plugging the gaps in what was an otherwise fine story.
  8. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Yeah, I agree. Didn't like Darabont's script, but I would love to see someone like Elliot/Rossio giving Indy a go.
  9. skywalker_san Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2010
    star 1
    Oh yes! That would be perfect!!! I love Elliot/Rossio as a writing team, they wrote some of my favorites (Shrek, Mask of Zorro, Pirates of the Caribbean, Small Soldiers) and they have a great eye for adventure scripts. In their hands, Indiana Jones would be MAGIC.
  10. saga123456 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2010
    In recent years, I have not seen so much hatred for a motion picture. The only complaints I've heard was the fridge scene and the aliens. Thats all I ever hear. I've heard much more legitimate criticisms such as the film not taking advantage of Marion enough (ok that came out wrong)

    And about the aliens, has any one ever heard of the ancient astronaut theory? That aliens were the bringers of civilization? It still keeps with the archaeology theme as far as I was concerned.
    sarlaccsaurs-rex and Andy Wylde like this.
  11. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    Indy's long-lost son swings vine like a monkey with CGI monkeys... the only scene that stands out to me in a fairly entertaining, but forgettable sequel. I like the zanier moments, but it was all very been-there done-this.
  12. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Absolutely, great point. In my opinion, the plot was well in keeping with previous entries. I always had a little trouble understanding why I should be upset about the presence of these "aliens" or whatever they are, but not have similar problems with the Ark of the Covenant or the Holy Grail, and the magical showdowns that those things entailed.

    That never annoyed me. Some of the gags did, but not the plot.
  13. Cryogenic Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    I consider it one of the greatest American blockbusters ever made. In some ways, a watershed film.

    Some of my favourite writing on "Indy 4" -- and a joyful excerpt from each:

    http://www.nypress.com/article-18318-another-indy-classic.html

    http://www.mstrmnd.com/indiana_jones

    Clever, compelling stuff -- from producer-director dream-team George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, and skilled interpreters-of-media Armond White and Kevin McLeod -- which can induce rapture in those so fond of this "hokey" serial stuff.

    For my part, in addition to all this intellectual discussion, I just love things like how the film starts in the desert and ends in a white chapel. And the cavalcade of sharp 50s references. And all the comic-book-like lyrical brilliance: e.g., the derided "vine" sequence which is like Silver Age mythology brought to life, or Indy throwing a sock-punch at a bad guy in vintage movie style. I don't know if it's just me, but moments like these are more exciting and more "escapist" than other blockbuster movies (e.g., "The Lord Of The Rings", Nolan's Batman films) put together. I think Spielberg and Lucas are the masters of action and kinetics in American cinema and put a lot of other "action movie" filmmakers in the shade (but they have rivals, for me, in the form of James Cameron, the Wachowskis and Zack Snyder).

    The CG and cinematography, too. I love how these blend into a slightly surreal cinema dreamscape. The distinctive lighting of Janusz Kaminski is a refreshing departure from the work of Douglas Slocombe, sometimes making the film look like it's been dipped in a vat of special chemicals, burning off deep blacks and allowing light to bloom, auspiciously giving this movie a strange ethereal glow, and setting it apart from its earlier brethren, locked as they -- and this -- are into another place and time. Yet, in execution, we have many throw-backs to the old movies, too, like the beautifully-sho
  14. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    =D=

    And now you also made my day. [:D]
    FRAGWAGON likes this.
  15. skywalker_san Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2010
    star 1
    Sorry, but I cannot take anything Armond White says seriously, even if I somewhat agree. That was the last person I was waiting to hear defending Indy 4...
  16. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    The cgi jungle swinging scene was silly, and marion's car stunt was silly. Otherwise, this films rules.
  17. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    I'd be lying if I said I agreed with the rest of your post, at least to the same extent, but -

    Hear, hear. =D= Enough of this Sith-style dealing in absolutes.

    Just bear in mind, it goes the other way too...
  18. Grand_Moff_Jawa Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2001
    star 5
    I had high hopes for Indy 4. I don't hate it per se, but found it definitely lacking in the "Indy" feel.

    Harrison did a pretty decent job as an aging Indiana Jones and I think Shia is a very talented actor as well. The rest of the cast... pretty much penciled in for me. Marion was a real let down. All she did was complain, but not with the spunk she had in Raiders. Cate's character was devoid of anything resembling menace. She read minds? Ooooh, shivers. Boring villain!

    All the CGI craziness really grated on my nerves. The monkey scene was ridiculous. Bad choice, Steven and George. Shame on you.

    I guess the alien story is more complex to dissect...

    First of all, the decade in which the movie was set should have no bearing on what adventure Indy has. He could have easily gone after any other artifact of value. People are always defending the alien angle as something appropriate to the times, but I disagree.

    The crystal skull needing to be returned to it's owner was... anti-climactic. Why the urgency? I know the old guy was going crazy because of it and keeping it out of the hands of the bad guys was crucial, but was the skull actually dangerous if it were left alone? No. I guess you could say the same thing about the grail and ark.

    I just don't know what to make of this movie. Parts of it felt like Indy, but most of it had the whole PT feel: like a distant cousin. I always think of the Indy movies as the "original trilogy" and that oddball later one.
  19. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    I'm not sure what "the Indy feel" is, I find Doom very different from Raiders, but I didn't find the new film lacking identity in either visuals or themes. Seemed like nothing but an Indiana Jones movie to me, could not possibly have been anything else.

    Why not? It's always been a part of the story. He was battling Nazis in two of them, a bad guy dictated by the time period, or the other way around. Ford's age dictates the timeframe of the new film, and it just happens to coincide with the birth of the UFO phenomenon, Roswell and all that, which also ties in with ancient Southern American legends and thus an archeological artefact (more real than the Holy Grail, some would say), the Crystal Skull. Brilliant, in my opinion.

    Absolutely. I'm sure we could pick the same kind of holes in the other movies if we wanted to.

    Which is inevitable unless you suspend disbelief. If Crusade was made today, you'd probably feel the same about that one, or even worse - that it was a complete Raiders rip-off. ;)
    Andy Wylde likes this.
  20. Grand_Moff_Jawa Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2001
    star 5
    I'm glad it all works for you. I, on the other hand, don't feel the same way. Between the glaring CGI antics and the strange story line, I just don't get the same feel from this movie I do from the others. That "Indy feeling" is something I can't explain. Either you get it, or you don't. Perhaps Indy 4 was simply made too many years apart from the others. Movies don't look the same, nor are they made quite the same as back then. Computers have made a huge impact in movies and I'm not 100% certain it's all for the better.
  21. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    As I mentioned before, for me it did have that 'Indy feeling' thanks to the presence of the one & only Indy himself, but the CGI hurt things, along with the damage that an overly long gap between episodes of a franchise can do. The James Bond franchise has battled it repeatedly with mixed results, & with shorter gaps.

    Definitely in the Godfather III/Alien 3/Two Jakes/2010 category - not as bad as many insist it is, but trying to revive the initial magic of a classic franchise is always proved to be impossible, so disappointment is never a surprise.

    (The PT is a somewhat different issue)

    What, you mean the same as they did with Return Of The J-

    [face_whistling]
  22. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    I liked it well enough. Wish the Ark had been more featured, though-I mean, why wouldn't the Russians try and steal an artifact that gives an automatic win card to your nation's army?

    It lands in the general prequel-like zone on Rotten Tomatoes, although it scored much higher among professional critics than TPM did-61 percent fresh to 40 percent fresh, although it was slightly less well-liked by normal people; 59% fresh for KoTCS to 62% fresh for TPM. Just goes to show that even Pony Tail Kenobi is cooler than Indiana, I guess. :p
  23. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    I find the story solid, but I agree about the CGI in several sequences.
  24. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Because they didn't know it was there.
  25. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Hey, if they could find out about the giant alien skull sealed inside a metal crate and who exactly would know how to find it, I'm sure they could know about the ark as well. :p