(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
    I feel the same way about that. Indy 4 took no more suspension of disbelief than the other 3 movies. In fact, for me it may have required less than for Temple of Doom and Last Crusade. Don't know if I've mellowed with the years, maybe that's it or maybe not.

    The point of all the old movies, serials and matinees of the 30's and 50's, the ones that Lucas and Spielberg used for inspiration, weren't really about realism, you know. They were all about totally fantastic stuff. Little kids like Lucas and Spielberg loved it. Based exclusively on anecdotal evidence, I think it's possible that many people today aren't willing to exercise the same suspension of disbelief with many movies than people the same age would have 50 years ago. It's just a theory, mind you.
  2. Juan-King Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2004
    star 2

    okey doke - tell me some fantasy, sci-fi films you don't like .



  3. Juan-King Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2004
    star 2
    too stupid actually .

    I mean driving off a cliff then going over 3 waterfalls , I just felt like they were taking the piss.

  4. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I don't see how that is all that different from falling out of a plane in an inflatable raft, sledding down the mountain, flying off a cliff and landing in a river for some white-water rafting.
  5. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Bingo! =D=
  6. battlewars Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2005
    star 4
    It was a fun movie, I felt good after watching it, haven't felt that way about a movie in for a long time.
    I guess in the end thats all I care about.
  7. ObiWanCon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2004
    star 4
    I ABSOLUTELY AGREE.


    I love Kingdom of the Crystal Skull so much it's almost unhealthy. I love the opening warehouse scene; the bike chase, the grave yard scene, the snake pit scene, the jungle chase and the finale with the Aliens are all BRILLIANT. I?m debating if I should go see it this week for a 6th time I just love it so much I think I?ll have too.
  8. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5
    I don't see how that is all that different from falling out of a plane in an inflatable raft, sledding down the mountain, flying off a cliff and landing in a river for some white-water rafting.

    # 1 Falling out of Plane
    # 2 Sledding Down Mountain
    # 3 Flying Off Cliff

    Three times it drops, in Temple of Doom. ;)

    Loved it then, loved it now.
  9. NZPoe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2001
    star 4
    I know, but it just didn't seem to ring home with me. I didn't feel any of the thrill, the pain or the excitement of the bike-chase at the beginning of the film. The entire jungle sequence didn't get my heart going, but the bike-chase through the university did. Go figure? *shrug*

    Not for me - the threat of losing life and limb didn't seem to be there in that action sequence for me. It just felt flat and it was moreso accentuated because the action sequences earlier like the bike-chase, the Area 51 warehouse sequence and even the cemetery sequence felt more...threatening.

    No no, I'll give you that one at least - it WAS funny.


    My only argument there is that sympathetic shouldn't have to emphasize the 'pathetic' part. For me - personally - what makes villains sympathetic is their motivations and how their modus operandi is played out. I felt a lot of sympathy for Spalko (and believe me, her beauty got to me), but if she didn't get beaten in some way (physically, strategically, mentally) in every single encounter she has with Indy, then I think she would've been a great villain to have some sympathy FOR. Darth Vader is a cold, murdering bastard, but most of us blubbed like babies when he finally died in ROTJ (even before the prequels came out). Spalko - for me - was a villain with no fangs, no bite, no sting. She was no threat which - ergo - never made me fear for Indy and his pals...which made Indy and his pals seem less heroic and less like they went through the classic Indiana Jones wringer.

    The distinction is this - I love how the second half of the film is shot, acted, directed and - on the whole - put together. But for me - it doesn't make a lot of sense. The dialogue, the logic of the scenes, the things they did in each scene (academically) to create danger, tension, excitement and joy - those things suddenly (like as soon as they cut to the Amazon camp scene) just started to misfire or fail altogether...but the combination of acting, directing, editing and (overall) special effects and stunts prevented the film from being outright ruined. The second half of the film was enjoyable, but emotionally I was slowly disengaged by a whole array of problems that popped up in the second half and my suspension of disbelief was repeatedly jerked out of the moment. Again - for me - this didn't happen in the first half, where I was totally mesmerized.

    I'm not saying the second half of the film sucks. It doesn't. But the second half of the film was the weakest out of the entire Indiana Jones film saga and its problems totally jerked me out of my suspension of disbelief.

    I spent a long time trying to figure out why this was so and my conclusions are the ones we are discussing - a poorly pieced together screenplay (because the majority of the problems listed are meant to be ironed out by the script stage and they were not).


  10. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    It is not a back-handed compliment, it's just praising a movie for what it is, and the fact that it's about as good as most summer movies can ever hope to be. I am not talking about serious movies that happen to be released in the summer, I'm talking about movies whose primary aim is simply to entertain. I don't say it is a perfect movie, I say it is a good movie, consistent or superior with what I believe to be reasonable expectations for a sequel to one of the most popular movies of the 80's.

    It is not strange at all. I believe it is important to consider the circumstances of any movie... for example, one of the earliest talkies from the late 20's isn't going to be as technically accomplished in the integration of sound and picture as many of the movies Hollywood was making even by the early 30's. The movies to some extent at least reflect technological innovations and the evolving taste and preferences of moviegoers. A movie like the 1929 Rio Rita could have seemed quite astonishing to audiences at the time of its initial release, but would probably seem amateurish in the wake of more sophisticated musicals like 42nd Street. And so what passed for a good musical in the late 20's wouldn't have been very interesting if released at some point after 1933, for example.

    No movie can ever be Raiders again, because it set a new benchmark for popular entertainment. But it is certainly possible to have a sequel that captures the flavor of the earlier entries in the series, and I was extremely happy with KotCS. It's very hard to get a series just right, because audiences will expect a hard-to-define "same-but-different" quality. I'm a huge fan of RKO's Mexican Spitfire, and I adore Lupe Vélez, but I have to admit the series as a whole is a mixed bag at best, because ultimately it became a bit too repetitive.

    I don't give any genre a "prerequisite level of slack". On the contrary, I would expect more of a filmmaker of Steven Spielberg's experience than I would of a lot of younger Hollywood directors. And I can certainly say that KotCS is still one of the best summer movies I've seen in a very long time.

    No, [b
  11. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5


    How old was that Knight in Last Crusade? He'd been in the cave how long? [face_laugh] How many hundreds of years? I hope he had indoor plumbing.

    I loved the raft falling out of the plane in Doom, it seemed soooooooo Indy to me.
    And the music cue that accompanies that raft fall, the Raiders theme followed by a great quote of the Short Round theme is one of high adventure and great fun. And it fits with the theme established by the opening "Anything Goes" number. :cool:

    I take all the Indy films for what they are, on their own terms, fun entertainment. I'm not interested in a physics lesson.
  12. Anakin_Skywalker20 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2000
    star 5
    Unless its Professor Jones who's teaching the lesson ;)
  13. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Well, personally, I wouldn't want to have Professor Jones teaching me anything but Archeology or Anthropology. But I would love just about any excuse to go on a field trip with him! :p
  14. Anakin_Skywalker20 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2000
    star 5
    Same... :p

    Hi there. :)

    I had an odd dream about Indiana Jones last night.

    weird.

    Anyway, I've seen this movie 4 times. Growing up with the other films, and then watching the new one, I caught on with the connections and moments pretty quick - especially the scenes between Indy and Marion.

    My first viewing was mixed. The next 3 viewings I went by myself and each viewing got better and better and even more enjoyable. :) It never gets old.

    Its only a matter of time wither there'll be a 5th. Not to say I hope we get one now, but who knows. Only time will tell.
  15. NZPoe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2001
    star 4
    But what you're also saying is that it's a film that's not worth critiquing or discussing its flaws? Because that's what it sounds like you're trying to say and what zombie and I are troubled by your posts. "As good as most summer movies can ever hope to be" does not constitute "perfection" and therefore leaves people free to academically critique the sum of its parts in trying to figure out what worked and what didn't. For some people on here, the "good as most summer movies can hope to be" simply wasn't "good enough" and we're talking about what we think made it that way.

    Are you saying that we shouldn't be? Are you saying that we all set our standards too high? Are you saying we are cinematic elitists who don't know good summer entertainment when its dangled in front of us?

    It's not that you like the film that we are at odds with, its the fact that you've told us time and again to "let it go" and "stop nitpicking" and "stop being petty".


    So you're saying that rather than enjoy and critique a film for what it is, we should always take onboard the circumstances of that film's creation and release and thus cut it slack because of it? If a classic film doesn't hold then it doesn't hold up - a film that was great back in 1920, but uniformly crap today, means that its beauty and artistic quality is especially powerful in a historic context and not in a modern context.

    But at the end of the day simply saying that KOTCS was better than the last "Mummy" movie or "National Treasure" exempts it from criticism or critique is just plain bizarre. I don't quite understand how you can suggest that "it didn't suck as bad as anything else that came out in the summer, so we should all just shut the hell up and enjoy it" is somehow a valid argument when it is clear by people posting on this thread that there are people who don't share your opinion.


    And I'm glad that you're happy with it. But this isn't about Raiders setting a new benchmark, this is about Raiders being a solid film that flows well and has fewer problems than KOTCS for me. "Temple" and even "Last Crusade" had fewer problems for me than "KOTCS". Simple as that.


  16. LordNyax113 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2007
    star 3

    While I agree for the most part about flaws in recennt summer films, I must say that Iron Man really set the benchmark for entertaining moves this summer; KoTCS is a very close second.
  17. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    I don't have anything against critiquing or discussing a movie's flaws. In the case of KotCS, I don't think there are any truly terrible flaws. It's a work that reflects the pop culture sensibilities of America, which is very much what you would expect from Lucas and Spielberg. It does what it seeks to do admirably well. And the idea that you should expect "perfection" from most things that are made by humans seems patently ludicrous.

    Well, how exactly can you improve on something that does a perfectly good job of keeping you totally engaged and entertained for two hours? It's not that it "didn't suck", it's that it's a good, very entertaining, very fun movie to watch.

  18. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Well, I don't dispute for a moment that Iron Man is the best non-sequel of the summer, so far. Even after watching The Incredible Hulk, it's clear that the former still has the edge.

    But comparisons between non-sequels and sequels are very tricky, imho. The real question, for me at least, would be whether the Iron Man series will be as good when/if they get to the 4th installment as Indy 4 is within the Indy series. Does that make sense?

    For many of us, Indy 4 has an extra special appeal because of how much we've grown to love the character over some 28 years. It's just hard to match for a non-sequel. And I certainly don't expect that the Iron Man character will still be as appealing to me 28 years from now as Indy is today.
  19. battlewars Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2005
    star 4
    Iron Man was technically good, but it didn't have as much heart the way the new Indy did.
  20. Juan-King Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2004
    star 2
    I thought that scene went too far as well (but the comparable bit in KOTC is even more stupid) , but TOD does recover from it and has some good sequences after that .

    In KOTC from the bit with the monkeys it's one stupid thing after another - tarzan nonsense , the skull constantly and awfully conveniently getting them out of scrapes , driving off a cliff , going down 3 waterfalls etc.

    the second half just goes down and down and down - kinda like what Oxley was saying ;)



  21. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Actually, the second half just keeps getting better and better. I liked the part with the monkeys very much. I liked having the skull as a deus ex machina, it gave it a much more important part in the movie. I liked the fact that they drive off the cliff and get through 3 waterfalls. Not only do I not see anything wrong with that, I think it made the movie a more thrilling experience.

    My sympathies to you if you didn't enjoy it.
  22. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I don't want to pretend my way of seeing this is the only right way to see it, but I didn't have any problem with the raft bit in TOD at all.

    To me that's part of what makes an Indy movie an Indy movie. That's why I don't understand how someone could act like it was against the nature of an Indiana Jones movie.

    At least you guys seem to have enjoyed the first half of Crystal Skull. I guess you could just shut it off after the mid way point and imagine a better ending for yourselves.
  23. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    I agree that just because many people enjoyed KotCS just fine, that it's the only natural reaction. However, I think that if there had been online bulletin boards in the 80's, people would have been nitpicking those sequels, too. Maybe even stuff in Raiders, like the submarine thing. I confess that when I was younger, there were a few parts in the Indy movies that didn't exactly bother me, but maybe I kinda rolled my eyes a bit - including the TOD raft and also the part where the rail carts jump off the rails and land across the big gap. These days, those parts in the movies are a big part of their charm, precisely because it defies any kind of real-life common sense. Where else but in the movies can people get away with things like that? :D
  24. NZPoe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2001
    star 4
    Okay....so you've gone from expressing an opinion to claiming a scientific fact? What the hell?? It is NOT the only natural reaction. You can't prove that statement or back it up and - based on what you've been posting so far on this thread - you won't have any inclination to prove it either.

    You know, just forget it, there's no point in having a discussion when people think their opinions are more valid than others and start regarding their standpoints as irrefutable fact. And only keeps reposting the same thing over and over again as if that's somehow validating their standpoint.

    I'm out of here. Nice chatting with you Go-Mer, thanks for actually throwing in some intelligent debate in here. I'll catch you around again.
  25. Princess_Tina Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    No, actually that was a typo. It should have read "... that it's not the only natural reaction".
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