(Spoilers) Initial Reactions and Discussion for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by HanSolo29, May 17, 2008.

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  1. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    It's the best movie of the summer so far, but it still should have been better? No, all summer movies should be this good! :p
  2. Juan-King Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2004
    star 2
    no , I'd say Iron Man and Speedracer were better.

    and there's lots to come yet .
  3. JediANGELA Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2002
    star 6

    Your calling Speed Racer good? o_O
  4. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    [face_laugh]
  5. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    Have you people even seen Speed Racer? The climax of the film alone is worth the price of admission. Sure, it's posited in a future in which trees appear to be made of 2-D pixels, but once your eyes adjust to the flaming eye candy that constitutes this movie's backgrounds, it's easy to fall in love with it.
  6. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Yes, I have seen it, and it is at the bottom of my list of the 2008 summer movies so far, even below Don't Mess with the Zohan.

    Don't get me wrong. I didn't have a hard time with, as you put it, "adjusting to the eye candy". That was the element of the movie I was most looking forward to. But no matter how interesting the visuals, I found myself growing a bit restless after about 20 minutes or so. I don't think the narrative was on the level of the Wachowski's first Matrix movie, more like on the level of the two sequels.

    This kind of material might have been good for a 90-minute movie, at best; instead they pummeled us for 2 hours and 20 minutes.

    Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who generally enjoys movies with great, unique visual artistry, like Blade Runner and Tron, even when narratively they aren't as compelling as they are visually.
  7. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    Well, to each his/her own. I thought SR was terrific, especially the second half. I could have done without the early "corporate courting" sequence, which could have been compressed to one or two scenes, so I know what you mean about feeling restless after 20 minutes. But once it took off... Jeebus, that movie was amazing. Totally undeserving of such a low box office performance and rotten tomatoes rating.

    EDIT: But that doesn't mean I thought SR was better than KCS. SO far this summer my list of favorite blockbusters reads:

    1. Prince Caspian
    2. KotCS
    3. Iron Man
    4. Speed Racer
    5. The Strangers
  8. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    I think I mentioned this already in another thread, here's my ranking of the summer movies so far:

    1. Indy 4
    2. Iron Man
    3. Kung Fu Panda
    4. Sex and the City
    5. Prince Caspian
    6. You Don't Mess with the Zohan
    7. Speed Racer
  9. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    Cool, I haven't seen Panda, Zohan or Sex/City yet, so I'm probably woefully under-informed. But I have a feeling my top 4 will stay the same until Batman comes out....
  10. Juan-King Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2004
    star 2
    i'm most looking forward to Wanted cos the director is pretty out there , Night Watch was great .

    Sex and the City - I would sooner have my intestines removed with a rusty spoon than watch that , I'd sooner watch The Phantom Me ... ermm , well maybe not , but basically what I'm trying to say is i wouldn't want to see it.

    most of the summer movies look like something we've seen before , Speedracer certainly didn't .


  11. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    You know, when you get right down to it, Indy 4 and SATC aren't all that different. Well, at least in one major regard: they both exist primarily for the fans of the characters. The major difference, of course, is that Indy 4 was directed by an Academy Award-winning director, and cinematically it is a better movie. But in essence, they're just about giving fans another serving of something they enjoyed a lot in the past.

    I would argue, however, that very few movies that are meant primarily for entertainment (as opposed to, you know, the serious movies in the fall/winter that are usually Oscar contenders) truly justify a running time of more than 2 hours. Most of the time, the ones that run over 2 hours feel seriously overindulgent. That was as much a problem with SATC as it was with Speed Racer, imho. Of the pop culture movies, I think the only ones that were justified in going over 2 hours were the SW and Harry Potter movies, because the back stories are so much longer than what you can possibly compress down to a couple of hours or so.

    This is one of the good things, I think, about Indy 4, that they tried to keep it as close as possible to 2 hours and it worked very well at that length. Another 10 or 15 minutes would have made the movie feel overlong, I think.

  12. JEDI-RISING Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2005
    star 3
    I noticed Ewan's hair was different in that swamp shot, but i didn't know it was a wig. I thought it was longer. But yeah he looks a little different.
  13. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    Here are my favorite films of the year so far:

    1. Iron Man
    2. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    3. You Don't Mess With the Zohan
    4. Cloverfield
    5. Semi-Pro
    6. Vantage Point

    That's all I've seen this year.
  14. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    If we're including movies from earlier in the year, Cloverfield definitely ranks... but not higher than KCS.
  15. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    1) Indiana Jones (5th viewing)
    2) Indiana Jones (4th viewing)
    3) Indiana Jones (3rd viewing)
    4) Indiana Jones (2nd viewing)
    5) Indiana Jones (1st viewing)

    I haven't seen any other movies this year.
  16. NZPoe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2001
    star 4
    Well I caught it a second time last night.

    I found that it was significantly less disjointed in the second viewing and I could really sit back and appreciate what a driving pace the film has, so it was really fun and enjoyable.

    I found that John Williams music was less grating second time around, although it still felt like there wasn't any single good "oomphy" moment for the Raiders Theme to kick in - nearly every occurence of it in the film (bar the warehouse sequence at the beginning) was just an incomplete variation with some minor-key harmony running through it. And of course the Crystal Skull 6-note motif was just pants....totally unremarkable and - to some degree - a variation of William's unused Darth Maul theme from "Phantom Menace". So yeah, music sounded and felt more fitting, although it lacked a good oomphy rendition of the Raiders theme and the Crystal Skull Theme just blew.

    But what I did find in my second viewing - enjoyable as it was - was that the problems with the script became hugely self-evident. You could in fact place all the key moments where things just began to unravel the film and undo the beautiful work done by its nearly flawless first half.

    Case in point = for me the film was brilliant and fantastic UNTIL Indy and Mutt are captured and taken to the Russian camp in the Amazon. At the Amazon several things happen and change the nature of the script:

    1) At the encampment Cate Blanchett tells us that they had found TWO alien corpses from crash-sites in Russia. Okay....this is problematic for me because if they'd already found TWO aliens in the Soviet Union....then why the hell did they have to break into Area 51 for the Roswell corpse? The way she talks, it seems that they wanted to collect samples to check to see if their skulls were crystal (perhaps linking it the legend of Acato), but they already had TWO russian samples....why bother stealing one from Area 51? This one bit of dialogue pretty much negated the entire opening sequence of the film. I really don't quite understand what was the point of it all and there's no exposition in the film that explains why they broke into Area 51 AT ALL.

    2) The family reunion scene in the Russian camp, in front of the camp-fire - okay what the hell is going on with this scene? Indy's captured, in fear for his life, the Russians are demanding that he help them or else they'll start killing off people (they threaten Mutt) and then the instant Marian turns up, we get a painfully long and strangely whimsical scene (complete with vaudevillian pass-offs) of them catching up and the Russians suddenly just standing back and watching? I don't have a problem with the scene itself, but it just goes on for AGES and both Indy, Mutt and Marion pretty much forget that they've been taken prisoner by vicious killers and start chatting it up for AGES....this scene is one of many scenes which totally defuses the Russians as a major threat. If they were taken by Nazis - like in the previous films - Indy, Mutt and Marion would have barely had the chance to say more than a couple of words before the pistols start appearing at everyone's foreheads.

    3) Hoxley - okay, I get him. I understand what he's about. I can understand that he's been driven mad by looking into the skull and that the alien skull now has partial control over his mind. I can understand that its probably the skull that's drip-feeding all of these enigmatic clues out through quotations from Milton and automatic-writing...maybe the alien is scanning through Hoxley's mind and using the best stuff it can find to describe the way back to Acato.
    Okay. I can understand this. But you know what? I just don't BUY IT. I just don't like the way its written, I don't like the fact that Hoxley only spits out bits of conveniently archeological jigsaw puzzles when its neccesary for the plot to move on, but the rest of the time he's just plain jane crazy and babbling incoherent stuff. ESPECIALLY when - at the finale - the alien speaks through Hoxley in crystal-clear Mayan to explain
  17. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Well, I think you're taking things waaaay too seriously. It's a summer movie. It's fun. What else do you want from a summer movie?

    I have seen every major summer release so far this year and Indy 4 is still by far THE BEST of all of them.

    No disrespect, but I honestly cannot understand anyone who watches these movies and analyzes them to death. The movies and serials from the 30's and the 50's that inspired Lucas and Spielberg probably would also fall apart if scrutinized with such zeal. But guess what? They were FUN. Lucas and Spielberg obviously had a blast watching them as kids, and I don't think they overanalyzed every single detail.

    If you aren't willing to suspend disbelief, then you simply won't have as good a time as others (like me) did.
  18. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 8
    I just saw it, and I have to say that it was entertaining. However, the bass was a litle sound, since I was sitting underneath that speaker. Otherwise, it was a pretty good film.
  19. zombie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    NZPoe you took the words right out of my mouth. I'd like to add to that but there's really nothing I can add. Well said, sir.
  20. battlewars Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2005
    star 4
    Even though technically I agree with the criticisms of Indy 4 I still found it very entertaining, unlike the prequels where I felt I had to strain in order to get any enjoyment out of them.
  21. NZPoe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2001
    star 4

    I have to completely and utterly disagree with you Princess Tina. I DID suspend my disbelief, I DID allow myself to be taken away, I DID find that a lot of the film was great, enjoyable and such forth...

    ..but I'm afraid I DID not have fun all the way through. I did NOT enjoy it all the way through. I did NOT get the same "thrill" that I did from the previous Indiana Jones films and I saw "Raiders" and "Crusade" for the first time ever when I was 23 - so I'm not drawing from childhood nostalgia.

    My thoughts are an attempt to try and figure out WHY I didn't have fun. I mean I had my socks blasted off when I saw "Casino Royale" and that's no smarter or serious than Indiana Jones. Why did Indy IV not meet up to the mark when I was so willing to let it win me over?

    You claim I'm reading too much into it - how can I be reading too much when I came out of the film feeling disappointed and a little bored at the end and I was just sitting back, eating my popcorn, drinking my diet coke just like you may have been.

    The fact that I did not enjoy it is a matter of taste, not a matter of logic. No matter how much you try to assert that viewpoint Princess Tina, it's not going to stick. For some people, the movie did not give us the same thrills it gave you and we're trying very hard to figure out why because we DO believe that this film was somehow different from the rest.

    And these are our theories.
  22. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    It's possible that you had unrealistic expectations about the movie even before you got to watch it. My sympathies that you didn't find it quite as thrilling as the other 3 Indiana Jones movies. I thought it was as good, or even better than the first 3.

    I mean, it's just great to have Indy back, for starters. The movie is extremely well paced, especially when compared to some of the other summer movies we've had to endure during the last few years and even this summer. I loved the chemistry between all the main actors. The music was just fine, and the cinematography was really well done.

    The story was great, too. I really love how they came up with the perfect McGuffin for an Indy movie set in the 50's and maintained the level of suspense all the way to the end, and gave us a thrilling conclusion.

    I just LOVED everything about the movie. Again, my sympathies that you didn't have as much fun as some of the others who have watched it. :cool:
  23. Juan-King Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2004
    star 2

    the second half of the film has too many serious problems :

    the action scenes just aren't exciting , too often they're saved by the skull or ... well I don't know how to explain how they survived driving off a cliff then going over 3 gigantic waterfalls .

    the whole monkeys /tarzan thing is pretty embarassing , CGI ants are no match for the bugs/snakes from previous films .

    I just felt that the filmakers were daring me to see how much uninspired OTT nonsense I would swallow .








  24. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I think they went to Area 51 because the 2 alien corpses they had already weren't of any help in locating El Dorado.

    I didn't mind the relaxed Russians at the camp, because once they re-united Marion with Indy they could tell they had found the leverage they needed to coerce Indy. There was no need for them to be richards about it.

    Hoxley's convenient timing with his informational clarity was obviously there to keep the movie rolling along at a faster pace, but to me it just made the skull's power seem more sentient. The skull came to the forefront of Hoxley's consciousness when it had something to add.

    The Russians didn't seem any more impotent than the Nazis from the previous films. A lot of pointing, a lot of gunfire, a big fight with the giant uber soldier, lather, rinse, repeat. The Nazi's never killed anyone important so I don't see why these Russians need to be any worse.

    Don't you -ever- say anything bad about Cate Blanchett's Irina Spalko. She is by far my favorite Indy Villain, and my favorite Indy Babe. To me the reason she had a rapier was mostly so they could do the gag where her sword becomes erect when they find the alien crate in the beginning of the film. She ended up sparring with Mutt, who had taken fencing classes, so of course she didn't entirely dominate him.

    I'm trying to remember a point in the last three films where the Nazi's/Thuggies were ever one step ahead of Jones. In Raiders they were digging in the wrong place and Indy figured out where to dig. In the Last Crusade, the bad guy had to have Indy track down clues to the Grail because they couldn't make any headway. It seems like the Crystal Skull follows along in the same old tradition of the Indy series. We got a truck sequence, complete with Indy jumping out of the back to climb up front and take control. Instead of fighting on a moving tank, they fought on moving jeeps through the jungle. To me it seems like the stakes had risen since the previous film's set pieces.

    I don't see what's wrong with Marion grinning, when she does that it really makes her look like she used to in Raiders. I also don't see what the big deal is with Mutt rising to the occasion to swing from vines (cue pitfall theme) or demonstrate his properly set up ability with a sword. And Indy reprized his glass jaw scene with the giant Russian soldier when he hit him several times with seemingly no impact. Sure it's hard to top the bit where the Nazi guy is blended by the propeller, but I thought the ants taking him into their burrow was a decent attempt.

    It's too bad that you have solidified your opinion that the last half of the movie "really really really sucks", but I just don't understand what you were looking for. To me the movie delivered through and through. I had no problem suspending my disbelief, and I think this movie is right up there with the rest. Sure there's no topping the original Raiders, but we have yet another fun romp with familiar characters that is at least as good to me as ToD and Last Crusade, which I also found to be thoroughly enjoyable.

    ***Goes to start an Indy marathon which will finish in the theater with Crystal Skull***
  25. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Well said, GMT. For such a long time the prospect of an Indy 4 was kind of like a search for the Holy Grail in itself. When it became a reality after 19 years, I was excited beyond my wildest dreams. The movie hasn't disappointed me in the least, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it 4 times so far in the theaters. Looking forward to watching it quite a few more times when it's out on home video.

    And Indy 4 is still the BEST movie I've seen in theaters this year. [face_dancing]
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