[SPOILERS] Initial Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull discussion thread!

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by Tabula Rasa, May 21, 2008.

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  1. Tabula Rasa Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    I saw the movie earlier today and I liked it a lot. Like I said in the Initial Reaction thread, it took a while for it all to sink in, but once I got into it, I loved it. I'll be seeing it again once or twice in theatres to really soak it all up. For now I just want to discuss it with everyone else who's seen it already.


    I loved how along with Indy himself, the movie picked up as soon as the doors to the old warehouse, revealed to be Area 51, opened up. The gunpowder chase, finding the crate, the whip coming out and hearing those old Ben Burtt sounds... I loved it. The quick glimps of the Ark was great. I wondered what he would think if he knew he just drove into it?

    It all seemed to get a little over the top as it went along, fighting the big Russian guy through twenty glass floors and doors, ending up on that rocket, the nuclear explosion, surviving it in the fridge as it got blown miles away from the site. Over the top, but fun!

    The military and academic tidbits were nice, finding out about a few things that happened between then and now. The picures of Denholm and Connery were nicely done. Very classy.

    Enter Mutt. I think Shia did a great job with the character. I think he and Harrison have great chemistry. Knowing which "Mary" he's talking about, and knowing that he's likely Indy's son, it all plays out really nicely. Indy telling him to chill out, that he doesn't have to put up the tough guy facade with him, because it clearly doesn't impress him at all, is great. As is the dialogue about school which Indy later 180's on when Marion tells him Mutt's his son.

    Marion seemed to be along for the ride more than really playing an integral part, but I still liked her a lot. It was fun seeing her and Harrison recapturing that old spark that seemingly never left them. They didn't delve into the past too much, just enough. I'm glad she was there.

    Mac I didn't really care too much for. Literally. I didn't really care at all when he died at the end. Not the mix of Sallah and Belloq I was expecting the character to be. Winstone did as good as he could have though. John Hurt's Oxley was more fun. A much simpler character.

    Blanchett was a good villain, as was the big Russian guy. Very similar to Donovan and the Nazi guy from Last Crusade I found. Her death was similar to Donovan's too. His death was a lot worse than falling off a cliff in a tank. The whole ants scene was great, worthy of joining the creepy crawlies of the past.

    Shia playing Tarzan was kinda dumb, but the duck race was cool. Again it got a bit over the top, especially with the waterfalls. But again, it was a lot of fun.



    I'll leave it at that for now, I have to run out. I hope more of you have seen it so we can talk about it some!

    HS29 EDIT: Please redirect all discussion here. Thanks! :)
  2. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    We already have a thread for this here. ;)

    EDIT: After discussing this via PM, we decided that it would benefit us to have two threads. One for initial reactions and one for general discussion. Enjoy! :)
  3. Tabula Rasa Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Thanks, HanSolo29! :)

    One of my favourite parts came at the very end when the wind blew the church doors open and the hat to Mutt's feet... and Indy takes it out of his hands right as he goes to put it on. I really laughed out loud. It showed to me that Spielberg and Lucas know the fans well enough.

    The Amazon river bank breaking after the saucer takes off and turns the pyramid to ruins was one of the most amazing CGI I have ever seen. It was incredible. The audio was great too. Definitely something I want to see again in theatres.

    I think the crystal skull premise ended up playing out nice enough. Starts a bit slow, and gets a bit confusing and nonsensical here and there (why did the Russians need the Roswell specimen exactly?) but it's a good theme to what's ultimately more a character driven story. The climax to it all certainly makes up for what I thought was a rather shaky build-up.
  4. JMaster Luke Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 7, 2000
    star 4
    Here i'll post this in here just incase....

    Well i saw the movie last night (05-20-2008) at a special screening. I have some mixed views about it. First of all i wanted to say I love the old trilogy. I didn't care to much about the voodoo side of temple of doom, but it was a fun movie. Now to KOTCS

    SPOILERS for sure....
    The movie started out great. Indiana Jones was kidnapped and brought to area 51 by the Russians to find an object that is located in that huge room at the end of Raiders of the Lost Arc with all those boxes. Indy helps them find what they are looking for but then he tries to escape. Indy cool during these scenes. He's punching people and using his wip and all. Its cool too during these scenes because you see a cameo of the Arc. At one point as Indiana is driving and trying to escape in that huge room, you see a cracked open box and you can clearly see its the Arc.

    But the first real what the heck moment is when Indiana goes into a small town while escaping and realises that the town is a test are for a nuclear bomb. Indy realises a Nuke is about to go off, so he goes and hides into a fridge. When the nuke goes off (which by the way the graphics were amazing for that scene) you see the fridge getting thrown miles away. Its lands and of course indy comes out fine. Then you see indy standing and looking at the Nuke explosion (which again the actual Nuclear mushroom effect is the best i've ever seen on screen)

    Anyways i dont want to write about every scene, but I'll say the thing that bothered me the most were the really unrealistic ways Indiana or others survive certain things.
    1) Indiana survives a Nuke bomb
    2) A truck falls right on top of Indianas car (with Jones son and Jones friend) and they all survive.
    3) Falling off 3 huge waterfalls
    4) Jones girlfriend drives off a cliff with Jones and others in the car and lands on a long branch that slowly lowers them to the water. And the whole time the girl was laughing like she knew it'd be that easy.

    I know some of the old movies hard weird survival stuff like in Temple of Doom when they jump off the plan and land in the water with a small 3 person boat.

    But one thing I liked about the older movies was that you knew what Indiana Jones was trying to do.
    The first movie he's looking for the Arc
    The second one he's looking for those stones/free the slave kids
    3rd find the holy grail and save his dad.

    This one was kinda off. He was looking for the skull, but then when he found it, it didn't know what he was really trying to do. What was the purpose of the skull? I know they explain it, but its not as simple as the old movies.

    Plus Indiana seemed to be captured almost throughout the whole movie. It wasn't as fun as the old movie. I loved the start of the movie. I love the interaction with indy and his son, and the whole car/bike chase.

    So i guess i'll say a few things I did like/love
    -I loved that they showed a picture of Marcus and Henry Jones Sr.
    -I loved that 50's look to the movie, especially when Indiana and his son were in the dinner together
    -I really loved when Indiana son tried to save Indiana from the quick sand by tossing him a huge snake to use as a rope. That was the funniest part of the whole movie, if not the whole indiana Saga.
    -I loved of course the music. I really didn't noticed any 'new' music that i'll remember.
    -I gotta say this movie had to great special effect shots that I thought looked beautiful. When Jones was standing looking at the end of the nuke, and when Jones was standing and looking at the space ship leave. Those were amazing looking shots (yes there are aliens in this movie)
    -Overall there were a lot of little things here and there i loved. Its just nice to see Jones again.

    Anyways theres alot more i could right. It was a fun movie, but as of now.... this might be my least favorite Jones movie.



    Ok end of spoilers
  5. Tabula Rasa Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Haha, I know, all those over the top scenes were very surreal. I also made the comparison to scenes like the liferaft sequence in Temple of Doom, only in massive overdrive. I definitely agree that the nuclear explosion graphics were amazing. The mushroom cloud was incredible. The movie really did sport some of the greatest CGI to date.


    I don't think he was held captive much more than he was in Last Crusade, especially if you count both Joneses. Much like with the escape from the castle in Last Crusade, the escape from the Russians set up a big chase sequence. The little faux-escape with the quicksand and the snake for a rope was great too. The scene played out a lot better than early reports had led on.

    They really did get the fiftees feel down. The scene where Indy tells Mutt to hit the preppy jock and it ends up causing a big fight between the greasers and the preps was great. The opening sequence with the kids racing the Russians while Elvis is playing on the radio was great too. Definitely sets a tone.
  6. Captain_Typho Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 5
    I disagree.....I think we have 3 threads that all pretty much serve the same function. This thread, the initial reaction thread, and the Jc reviews the movie thread. Can't we just have one thread for discussion and reviews after the film has been viewed?
  7. Veloz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2004
    star 6
    I have to agree with u gabe!... i dunno if it was the shock and excitement of finding myself watching an Indy movie, but it took me a few minutes to just calm down and get into it [face_laugh] but once the action started, i was hooked.

    The start kinda felt like a tribute to American Graffitti to me, and the fight with the greasers and the jocks was awesome [face_laugh]

    I really got excited when i realized they were in Area 51, so i wondered how they were going to play the aliens in this movie, i must say i was pleasantly surprised, i was hoping they wouldnt do ET part 2 [face_laugh]

    I also didnt care for Mac too much, i was glad he was a bad guy for real in the end, cause i didnt care for him... Cate was great, a very creepy villan... Shia did all right, and yeah, that moneky bit was a little bit too much, but i expected some over the top stuff, it's Indy after all

    I liked the ending, i thought it made it clear that Mutt wasnt gonna get to wear the fedora hato_O[face_laugh]

    That's it for now, i'm too hyped :D
  8. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    Expect my full report in a few hours. Can't wait.

    -Seldon
  9. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    Alright, my thoughts are along the lines that many have already posted. There is still some initial shock--so this isn't exactly a level headed or reasonable review. For this Indy film, there are things that I loved...and things I was disappointed by. It is very much a mixed review.

    First, let me begin with the positive. This is Indiana Jones meets the atomic age. Beginning with the initial scene, with the roaring Elvis track--this nails the 1950s...from the McCarthy era paranoia, to the Cold War tension, to the attitudes and ideas. The beginning is the strongest part of the film and really builds great hope for the final act. The scenes in Nevada were all brilliant. Mac's betrayal (I thought his character was going somewhere,) Spalko's introduction, the older Jones, Area 51, and the atomic test site. Granted, Indy's survival is a stretch of the imagination (but this is Spielberg after all.) This was one strong introduction. The parts of Indy on campus, meeting Mutt, the diner sequence, and the set-up leading into Peru were all great as well. I also must say that the action sequences and effects were all great. I've got to agree that the mushroom cloud was an incredible visual. There was also some witty dialogue, and the character of Oxley was thought provoking. It was good to see Karen Allen back in action (albeit in a far interesting role than the one in Raiders.) There were also some classic one-liners..."I like Ike" for example.

    Ultimately, despite all of its virtue and charm...this film sadly falls flat. Certain parts are classic "Indiana Jones" with the paramount logo being a molehill, or the demise of the villain (destroyed by their beloved artifacts.) Yet there was something missing, something lacking. For one the artifact is confusing and the premise of beings from another dimension is trite as hell. What was most disappointing though is the lack of character development and missing psychological side of the story. Mac is a wasted character...there were so many opportunities that were missed there. Spalko is an interesting villain--but she lacked the depth of a Belloq, Elsa or Donovan. There needed to be more dialogue, more development, and more discussion. The action sequences became so fast pace that they tended to dominate in the second half. Things went unexplained and then it abruptly ends. The ending is a big upset. The wedding scene is very cliche and rather unnecessary. It is obvious they are getting back together--no need for that scene. There was a much stronger way to conclude.

    I don't mind the waterfall scenes (in the tradition of "Temple") it happens in the Indy world. I do think that the monkeys and ants were totally over the top. Finally, Indy is brought back to the university and promoted without explanation. How did he suddenly overcome the McCarthy type blackball he had received earlier?

    Let me say, I greatly enjoyed my trip to the movies, and want to see this again soon. It was a good movie--but some parts are tough to handle. With time this will hopefully clear up.


    -Seldon
  10. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    I read everyone's comments so far, and I agree and disagree with some, but I want to hold off and write up what I think after I've had time to sleep on it. I'm running on empty right now and I'm not thinking clearly. Plus, I want some time to digest the film completely. So, expect my review sometime tomorrow. :)
  11. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    Many parts of this need some digesting. This is intense, I am raving in part and complaining to extremes. It really is a mix of feelings.

    -Seldon
  12. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    I just came back from a midnight viewing. The crowd was pumped, and during the opening credits I was astonished to discover that my heart was in my throat. I don't know that I've EVER felt that during any movie, even the STAR WARS SEs or the PT films, and it was a pretty cool experience, like coming home again.

    That said, I tend to agree with much of what Seldon has written, above. In general, the film starts out like pure dynamite and gets messier and less interesting as it grinds toward an unsatisfying conclusion. It loses much of its energy after the waterfall sequence; I didn't care about Mac, either as a villain or a hero, so his death meant nothing and was rather clumsily handled IMO. Spalko's death was intriguing conceptually, but at the same time seemed a bit forced in a "let's do a Raiders head exploding!" kind of way. The flying saucer was a bit much, too, but okay, sure, I'll roll with it. It's not a spacecraft, it's interdimensional!

    Darth-Seldon nails it, though, when he notes the "missing psychological side of the story" and that it needed "more dialogue, more development and more discussion." I guess Belloq's speech in Raiders ("I am a shadowy reflection of you....") is just too much depth and character intrigue to ask for anymore. Instead we get Spalko, a bit of a one-note villain despite her enthralling screen presence and briefly glimpsed psychic powers. Where were these abilitites to "know things before they happen"? Did the screenwriter forget to include this promising little gem later in the story? Or was it featured in a scene that has been deleted? Because it sure would make her more interesting and complex than a sword-wielding Soviet agent who, for some reason, wants to "know everything". Huh?

    I must admit I'm left scratching my head a bit. The film is golden for the first 2/3, and then seemes to fall flat on its face, only picking up again, briefly, at the wedding chapel (here I disagree with Seldon, as I really enjoyed that scene). I'm going to have to give it another chance before I assign it a star rating. I liked the movie, but it seems to have its flaws... and I only loved the first half.
  13. zombie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    I agree, there is a lot of wasted drama potential in Crystal Skull. But still. Its fun as hell, and the characters are by far the best part about the film. The banter is great, and I wish there was more--the action scenes in the amazon were strangely the least interesting part. I also agree that the last third falls flat. Just not dramatically compelling--it never pulls you in, in any meaningful way. The first half is great, however. It ges more and more ridiculous as it goes on, and it never does follow through on its potential the way the first three films did, but I kind of expected this, and you know it really is a fun action film. Its not on the plane the other three were, which is unfortunate, but it was so much fun to see Indy again that I would welcome a fifth film. You have to realise it'll never be the same as the trilogy--that can never be repeated. Even the sequels never measured up to Raiders--they became something else. This one is the most over the top and the most superficial--the most like a comic book--but it still works overall because the scenes with the characters, when the film revels in them, absolutely work and provide the foundation of the film, just the way a good movie should. Its a shame that they could't do what was done before. But even in Last Crusade, that movie was a major shock to me, and I think to everyone, that such an intimate character drama could still be maintained, it was sort of just lucky. Crystal Skull is easily the worst of the four but thats nothing to sneeze at.
  14. Tabula Rasa Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    The third act is a bit disheveled and lacks story progression, but I don't think it's void of character building at all. Less dialogue, but plenty of depth in actions. I loved Indy, Marion and Mutt watching each other's back during the jungle chase, especially the parents watching out for the kid. Father and son admiring each other with pride as they acted out their heroics, and the mom looking on with both worry and humorous critique, just like it went on in the other three.

    Interaction did get more light hearted as we got closer to the prize, but I felt it could afford that as far as the Jones family and Oxley went, due to a strong build-up that preceded it. Mac though, that character failed dramatically. If he had been at all more the mix of Sallah and Belloq he was once refered to as, his death could have packed a well needed personal punch at the end.

    I, too, liked the wedding chapel scene at the very end and didn't have a problem with it at all. I thought it was very charming and humorous. A nice conclusion to a more than worthy chapter in the Jones saga that will only get better with familiarity.
  15. odj_310388 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 5
    Is there a scene after the credits like every movie and my mother is doing these days? (just need to know if I need to hang about or if I can bugger off and get some chips after the movie is over :p)
  16. Vengance1003 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2006
    star 5
    I'm sure it ends like every Jones movie has with the credits and nothing else.
  17. Tabula Rasa Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    After the credits end we see Sallah knocking on Indy's door, telling him his dad and Marcus are still alive and being held captive by Short-Round, possessed by the ghost of Belloq, at the center of the Earth.
  18. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    I agree with a lot of what Vortigern99 had pointed out.
    If I could suggest a change, it would me to flesh out Spalko's motivations better. Belloq needed to know the contents of the Ark, the glory and the power of controlling it. The Thuggee wanted power over the Indian subcontinent, to expel the British, Muslims, and Christians. To exert this dominance, they needed the lost sankara stones. Donovan wanted to live forever and thus needed the grail. There was a lust for power.

    While it is explained that the skull will provide knowledge and power--it is very unclear what Spalko gains from it all. There is confusion over what is actually happenening. Suddenly the aliens become other dimensional explorers...and all is lost. On a different note--It also doesnt' say much for archelology that all ancient civilizations were influenced by these creatures.


    Just a really strange way to end it all.


    -Seldon
  19. BIEREN Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2005
    star 3
    I liked it. The begining was fantastic but the ending did get a bit weird, maybe after a 2nd viewing I will like it more. Overall I enjoyed the film. It was great to see the New Haven shots, which I saw filmed here in CT.
  20. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Well, I do kind of feel this is a redundant thread... I just posted my initial thoughts in the other thread and now I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do :p Er, read my thoughts there and I guess I'll talk about it here? Ok...

    Yeah ah, gabe, that last scene with the hat and Mutt almost putting it on. I think I could feel the whole theatre, including myself, tensing. But then the beat turned out perfectly, and was a huge wink to the audience, which I liked.

    I need to see this movie again! Just because I want to but also because I feel like I need to in order to try to take it in.

    Oh, and I completely agree with everyone about Ray Winstone's character. I felt the same.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  21. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    I think we need a thread without HTR Spoilers.


    I was actually disappointed with this one. I would rank it on par or below Temple of Doom for my least favorite. But it was still great fun and it really felt like an Indy movie until its finale. Afterwards I told my friend, "All the fun is in the journey, not the destination." Which is probably the most accurate way to describe how I feel about this film.

    The good:

    Harrison Ford: It seems like he hasn't missed a step.
    All of the action sequences (I will point the exceptions out)
    The scene where Indy is sinking in quicksand (one of my favorites of film)
    The end where Mutt is about to put on the fedora, but Indy takes it away.
    The references to the Ark, Henry Sr., and Brody
    Ants
    The graverobbing scene: This is another scene that just felt like pure Indy.
    Did I mention Harrison Ford?


    The bad:

    The plot: I don't care what others say, I don't think that sci-fi/aliens belong in an Indy film. Perhaps if they would have kept the aliens dead, it would have been better. I also didn't find the Crystal Skull to be as threatening as the Ark of the Covenant.
    The finale: This is the biggest disappointment I have. The finale is too farfetched and over the top, even for Indy standards. Once again, I don't think aliens should have been used at all.
    Indy surviving an atomic bomb? (though that siloutte shot is fantastic)
    Mutt, King of the Monkeys: Did they have to turn him into Tarzan?
    The swordfight: It was ok, until you had Mutt with one foot on each car.
    Mac
    Unnecessary CGI: Did we really need to see all those prarie dogs?
    Karen Allen: Her acting wasn't the greatest, and she really didn't feel like the old Marion. She was an unnecessary addition.
    Indy should never get married, pure and simple.


    Overall, it was enjoyable, but disappointing. It may be as good as TOD, but in no way will it ever touch ROTLA or TLC. I'll probably see it again.
  22. vereor_lynas Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2008
    star 1
    PERFECTION
    i was at the first screening of the film in my town at 10AM today.. and i nicked off school to go and see it
    it's the best film i've seen in YEARS
    harrisson ford is still GOD
    Shia lebouf (spelling?) is fantastic
    as is the full cast really
    i really really loved it, i dont think id change a thing about it.
    going to see it again tomorrow
    and then again next week
    woop im sad :)
    but it really is brillinat, i adored it..
    1 comment.. indy doesnt get called indy enough [face_plain] people keep using other names which is tedious
  23. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Oh yes, actually them calling him Henry a lot was really interesting to me. I mean, I figured some of that was coming. But at the same time, it was kind of jarring to hear him referred to as Henry. But I liked the detail.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  24. vereor_lynas Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2008
    star 1
    it was nice when coming from certain characters..
    DIDNT like mac calling him jonesy.. thought it was a bit silly as he already has a lovely nickname

    i really liked the oxley character as well
    and mutt's relationship with him was really interesting... sort of link to indy and marcus maybe?
  25. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Hm yeah the repeated use of 'Jonsey' was a little annoying. Ah well. It kind of makes sense that people would come up with various nicknames.

    I thought it was really interesting when Indy himself started to insist his name was Indy but then stopped and said Henry instead. What was the deal there [face_thinking]

    -sj loves kevin spacey
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