(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. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I just don't understand how someone can sit there and say they "didn't buy" some of these fantastic things, then turn around and say they were willing to suspend their disbelief. I guess for some of them these things were just -so- fantastic that there was nothing they could do to suspend their disbelief. They did what they could, but Lucas, Speilberg and Ford just wouldn't let them.
  2. zombie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    Suspension of disbelief does not mean you get to do whatever you want; there are ways of doing it in a believable way.
  3. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    The suspension of disbelief is required on the part of the viewer, not on the part of the filmmakers. And even if that were not so, nothing in Indy 4 requires any more suspension of disbelief than the stuff in the other 3 Indy movies. Maybe you don't realize that because you've seen them many times over the years and that kind of stuff no longer seems "incredible". I can no more have a problem with anything in Indy 4 than I could with an adventurer who wears a leather jacket and hat in hot, tropical jungles, with a Kali priest who can pull out a guy's heart without killing him instantly, with Indy never, ever, ever losing his hat, with the Nazis being unable to capture 2 easy-to-spot Americans in the heart of Nazi Germany, etc., etc., etc.

    Indy 4 is just as good as the other 3 movies, and it's just as much fun.
  4. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I guess it's just that the fantastic things that happened in Crystal Skull were just as believable to me as all the crazy/convenient things that happened in the original 3.

    Nothing got in the way of my enjoyment, so the "They went too far" complaint is difficult for me to relate to.
  5. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    That's correct. The corpses they already found in the Soviet Union were not part of the original thirteen found in Akator, hence their skulls not possessing the knowledge Spalko was looking for. They were hoping the corpse that was found at Roswell would be one of the original thirteen but as she points out in the film, that wasn't the case either. That leads us to Oxley and the skull that he left behind in the Nazca cemetery.
  6. battlewars Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2005
    star 4
    I agree with you Gomer, this petty hate of KOTSC is just that, petty.
  7. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    I agree as well. There is no better word to describe this kind of silly nit-picking than just plain petty.
  8. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    There's a difference between silly nitpicking (i.e. the whip thread) and making criticisms (i.e. the plot, going too far over the top with some stuff). I'm sure I wouldn't be alone in asking you not to call people who come to a discussion board to discuss a film in a thread that was designed for stuff to be discussed in, petty.
  9. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    I'm not calling anyone petty. I'm saying there's a certain kind of obsessive criticism that is rather petty. But I'm not aiming that comment at anyone in particular. And also, I am not the only person here who used petty, so don't take it out on me, because that is a personal attack.

    Basically, I was just agreeing with Gomer and battlewars. That is part of a discussion. The stuff is being discussed.
  10. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I just want to make it clear that I'm not saying people are being petty. I'm just saying it's difficult for me to see the points being made about how this new movie went too far over the edge, because to me it seems in line with the previous installments.
  11. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    Let's not make this personal, folks. Stay on topic.
  12. NZPoe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2001
    star 4
    Erm...my post seems to have given birth to two pages worth of rebuttals all based around the fact that people aren't READING my post correctly.

    Unrealistic expectations is a pretty tough thing to call when I clearly posted that I ADORED the first-half of the film. From the beginning to the point in the Amazon camp, I was GIDDY with joy, jumping out of my seat, applauding and laughing and having the BEST time. The first half of the film is one of the BEST Indiana Jones material I've ever seen since I saw "Temple of Doom" for the first time.

    So you could say that the first half of the movie EXCEEDED my "unrealistic expectations"...so the question is how come the second half fails to keep up what the wonderful first half worked succeeded in delivering?

    See what you're describing for me is a character design quality, not the character's ability to be a threat. I have nothing wrong with Spalko as a character - she's iconic, looks great, talks great, plays a great role. But the script - for me - did not do her justice. In every scene she's in, she comes off looking like she doesn't know what she's doing and she gets beaten at every turn. She had no bite, she seemed to pose no threat for me, despite how cool she was a character and her appearance and concept.

    In Raiders, they stole the Ark off Indy twice and he had to play catchup to steal it back - risking life, limb and a lot of bruises and blood.

    In Last Crusade they kidnapped his father and his colleague and Indy had to fight a tank to get it back. Then they SHOT his father and he had to run a gamut of deadly traps to save his life. Dude, that's a cold-ass villain if I ever saw one.

    And don't even let me START about Mola Ram. That guy would hit the town with Darth Vader any day of the week :)

    I had no problem with the ants. I had a problem with the Russian Thug that Indy did very well in fighting against in Area 51 who didn't manage to do any significant damage to. I mean who can forget the Nazi he fought at the flying wing who seemed to be impervious to pain or the Thuggee guard who made Indy do that HORRIBLE donkey-like braying sound when he got punched in the kidneys - probably one of the most unsettling displays of human pain I've seen in a non-R movie! For me, the Russian Thug didn't do any of that and the action scenes didn't do it, although the Area 51 action scene was GREAT and I LOVED it.

    Once again, people here aren't reading my post and they're too easily getting upset about critiques on something they like. I never said the second half of the film "really really sucked".

    I said the SCRIPT for the second half of the film "really really sucked".

    I enjoyed the second half of the film as well as I could, despite the flaws in the script. But there was some of that magic missing in the secon
  13. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
  14. NZPoe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2001
    star 4
    It's a flawed movie. People find it useful to discuss their thoughts, ideas and points of view of any subjective medium to better interpret it impact, significance and quality. This is not going to change, no matter how much you insist that people listen to you.

    Seriously.

    [face_peace]

    - EDIT -

    Actually, Princess_Tina, I'll make a stab at understanding your POV in a more implicit manner. If - by what your posts have claimed - you're saying that you think that there are no flaws in any of the Indiana Jones films that are worth discussing or that overshadow the excellent quality of all four films....then I will fully concede that my discussion does not, in any way, bear relevance to your opinions and I will fully cease to rebutt anything you post.

    I feel it does a great disrespect to all parties to have a discussion like this with anyone who isn't interested in any aspect of the discussion and - in this particular case - I don't wish to waste your time talking about my thoughts on the merits and flaws of the cinematic craft of the film(s) if you do not feel that there is any discussion to be had.

    I'm happy to continue talking with the likes of zombie and Go-Mer who have differences of opinion on the subject rather than pointlessly discuss the topic with someone who isn't interested in the subject altogether.
  15. NZPoe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2001
    star 4
    Exactly - I mean does anyone here think Denise Richards could play a nuclear physicist or that Pierce Brosnan (or even James Bond) is a champion surfer?? I mean REALLY??

    In theory - neither of these ideas sound so bad. But the way they were executed...nothing but the most die-hard Bond fans were able to swallow those down. And many of those that do pass it off as an attempt at "comedy".

    Same thing.
  16. I_AM_GEEK Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 2004
    star 4
    I seen this on Friday night and thought it was meh.

    It wasnt really good, it wasnt really bad, it was meh alright I guess.

    I had heard all the negative reviews but since I like the prequels I put little stock in them, but I do agree with them.

    I felt no excitement, or tension as I watched Indy go from place to place and solve puzzles that he already seemed to know the answers to.

    Is it just me or did the Skulls change their magnetism whenever it suited the script.
    At the start one is attracting metal from the otherside of a large warehouse when placed in a metal case placed in a wooden crate under other wooden crates, but towards the end you can have a sword fight in a car/boat made mostly of metal with a skull wrapped in a sheet and it has no effect at all.

    Some bits were fun like the bike chase and the snake bit, but nothing else really grabbed me or my better half that much.

    The alien theme didnt really bother me but showing the alien at the end was akin to god jumping out of the ark.

    What I thought was going to happen was that Spalko would try to psycically! connect with the 13 skulls and then she would have her eyes burn out and die, or she would get sucked up the portal as she got some super powers but no I was wrong.

    I feel it was the worst of the IJ films, by a long way, but Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion, man.

  17. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    NZPoe,

    I guess for me I didn't need Irina Spalko to be more threatening than she was. I don't mean to act like you can't feel the way you do about it, I just don't see this as a shortcoming myself.

    Sure they stole the Ark from Indy a couple of times, but Irina stole the skull from Indy too. There was a similar vehicular chase to retrieve Indy's stolen treasure.

    The Nazi's kidnapped Indy's father, the Russians kidnapped Indy's love interest. Same difference to me.

    When it comes to the Big Russian thug, I thought it played well off the previous movies to have him sit there like Indy's attack was futile, then have him fall over. Sort of like when he got to the swordsman in Temple of Doom and goes for his gun that's not there, but in reverse. He thinks he's screwed again like with the Raiders Nazi thug, but then he just falls over. I don't know I thought it was amusing.

    Mola Ram was probably the most evil villain so far. I don't think even Darth Vader would have wanted to hang out with him, but I don't think every villain has to be like that. There is a nice variety so far, and as I said I personally feel that Irina Spalko is the best yet, simply because she isn't painted as a cold blooded villain. There is a certain sympathy for her that I thought made her a deeper villain than most of the others.

    I'm not getting upset about your critiques, I'm just saying I have a difficult time relating to your problems with the script. I'm sorry I mistook your harsh condemnation of the last half of the script for a harsh condemnation of the last half of the film itself, I guess I'm just not too sure I understand the distinction. Are you saying the last half of the script really really really sucks, but the last half of the film was awesome? In that case then I can relate to that part of how you feel about the movie itself.

    I haven't read the script or the novel, I'm just of the opinion that the movie was fantastic. A wonderful entry into the Indiana Jones canon that I can watch with the same enthusiasm I have for the original 3.

    When you say that the tarzan swing CG wasn't done well I have to disagree. I thought it looked like Mutt was swinging through the trees to me. I couldn't even tell the monkeys were CG until people said they were on the board. The only time I thought the CG was a little too fantastic was at the very end with the Alien, but I let that slide because how else are they going to do the alien? Big rubber puppet? That would have probably been even less convincing IMHO. I'll give you that Mutt's ability to swing wasn't set up (like his fencing skills) but it's a pitfall kind of movie, so what if someone swings on vines? It's almost obligatory.

    All this talk about how things "fly in the face of the rules setup in the previous films" is going right over my head. Did you get some kind of rule book that I don't have access to? Or are you assuming the rules based on your observation of the previous films? Maybe that's what Princess Tina is getting at when she talks about your "expectations". Sure I guess Mutt wasn't put through the ringer in that he wasn't all scruffed up and used looking by the end of the jungle chase, but I thought Indy was always showing the pain and torture of his heroic acts. One of my favorite bits is at the beginning of the film when the rocket sled stops and Indy weakly pushes the Russian off the sled and falls off the other side. Obviously incoherent from the express ride across the desert, you can see the humanity in every scene with Harrison.

    I can see what you mean about not setting up the tarzan sequence, but I guess I just accepted it as a whimsical moment that to me didn't need more exposition. I mean he get caught in the vines, is lifted up by the monkeys, and the monkeys start swinging on the vines, so Mutt was like monkey see monkey do. To me that's amusing.

    I do understand how the movie makers attempt to make things as believable as they can, but I still say the audience has to be willing to go along for the ride. They have to meet the film makers half
  18. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    There are very few movies in film history that could truly be worthy of being called flawless or just about flawless. Casablanca, Citizen Kane, La Règle du Jeu, Les Enfants du Paradis, Rashomon, Lawrence of Arabia are a few of the titles that come to mind as being arguably flawless movies. Not for everybody, perhaps, but still some of the greatest motion pictures of all time.

    When it comes to modern motion pictures, different standards need to apply, in my opinion. To say that a movie is just fine the way it is, does not in my mind signify that it is a flawless picture, it just means it's pretty darn good considering the quality of the average Hollywood picture being made today. And I think Indy 4 is just fine the way it is. I'm not making the case it is a perfect movie, or even a great movie, just that it's a fun movie that to me possesses the rarest quality any modern American movie: it makes you want to watch it again, and it is just as entertaining (if not more) on repeat viewings.

    I had some minor quibbles with very small aspects of the movie, which I mentioned here after the midnight showing, nothing that kept me from enjoying the movie tremendously. Those quibbles seem so insignificant now, and have almost been erased from my mind after 3 additional viewings, that in all honesty I think it would be downright petty to start looking for things to criticize about the movie. It's good at what it does. It doesn't try to be a great movie, or have some great social significances. It's just American pop culture at its best - firing on all cylinders, equally fun for people almost anywhere in the world. It's one of the things at which some Americans still excel and arguably do better than anyone else in the world.

    There are a lot of flaws with a lot of the summer movies that have been released so far, and of course that might make for a more interesting discussion, but I am not so sure that it would be appropriate to discuss them in a forum that's specifically for non-SW Lucasfilm projects, including of course Indiana Jones.

  19. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    Raiders is also one of those perfect movies you mentioned. ;)
  20. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    I honestly don't see a huge difference between the Indy movies. They're all equally enjoyable, even if they all have a slightly different tone.
  21. zombie Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 1999
    star 4
    Princess_Tina, NZPoe raises a valid point. Its obvious you love the film and don't think it has any major flaws, or flaws worth discussing; its obvious because you feel the need to remind everyone of this whenever any sort of discussion about potential "flaws" arises. It stemies discussion and is annoying as hell. Thats good that you think the film is effectively perfect from the standpoint of any sort of critical dissection, but since you have made that viewpoint known after virtually every single post to the contrary I suggest you step aside now and let people intelligently discuss this angle. Because your continued presence to drag this around in circles makes me not want to come here. If you think there aren't flaws worth discussing then you have no reason to continually interfere with the discussion of them.
  22. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Sorry, zombie, but I happen to disagree completely with you. Any serious discussion of a movie should involve all aspects of it, not only the things that some people don't like. There is a lot to like in Indy 4, and I very much like to discuss the great things about Indy 4. I've enjoyed reading Tonic's responses immensely, because his views and mine are so very much alike. :)
  23. Juan-King Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2004
    star 2

    you know all this talk about how you're supposed to just suspend your disbelief makes me wonder if all films are great , I mean this argument could work for Gigli , showgirls , Ishtar etc.

    why bother making a decent film if you can just blame the audience .





  24. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Suspense of disbelief applies particularly to movies with strong elements of fantasy, fiction, and fantastic adventure like Indy. Obviously all movies require it, but these genres particularly more.

    Indy 4 is in a category very different from the other movies that you've just mentioned, which generally received very poor critical response and which were also IIRC box-office flops. Indy 4 was well received by most critics and is on track to become one of the biggest box office hits of the year, if not the biggest.
  25. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    All I know is that I didn't have to exert much effort at all to suspend my disbelief.

    No more than I had to for the previous installments in the series.

    If it was too fantastic for you to suspend your disbelief, then that's how you feel about it.
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