(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. WookieeWarrior9 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2007
    star 3
    I just got back from it and other than being a little disappointed with the slow start, I really enjoyed it. I think they maybe should have tightened the bit up after the nuke site and before they make it to Peru. But I see why they did it, as I'm sure most people haven't watched the specials on Sci-Fi or the History Channel about the Mitchell- Hedges(?) skull and the 12 others. Plus, we needed to know what Indy was up to after all these years.

    I will say that the chase sequence through the jungle was probably my favorite part of all the Indy movies. And I know it was silly, but I liked the bit where Mutt swings on the vines.

    I'm sure people will say Harrison's too old, but I don't think so. There's only one absolutely crazy stunt that he did and that was when he was in the warehouse.

    I say bring on Indy 5. The ending was great, but it was also a great setup to see more of the Jones gang.
  2. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    Ok I'm finally back home from my all day Indy-extravaganza. Today I saw the film two times. The first was at a Midnight showing traditionally projected. The second time this afternoon I saw it digitally projected.

    My first reaction from seeing it this morning was that I had a mixture of joy and disbelief. I was overjoyed that I was finally getting to see a new Indy adventure on the big screen. Something I honestly didn't think would happen. The disbelief came from the fact that I was seeing a brand new Indy adventure on the big screen. Much like my reaction to Revenge of the Sith I couldn't quite grasps it all in one viewing. I felt like every scene was over just as it was getting started. It went by in a blur. I did enjoy the film and at times it looked exactly like it was filmed in the 1980s but was also surprised by the amount of CGI and how dodgy and cartoonish, Mummy Returns cartoonish, some of it was. Looks like ILM devoted most of its attention to Iron Man. The film was way over the top in the second half. Makes Temple of Doom look like a documentary. I was trouble by this and notice some lost opportunity for character development and action (The Jungle Cutter doesn't do anything unfortunately.) If I was going to rate the film after one viewing I would give it *** out of **** and would declare it the weakest of the four films. My theater's presentation of the film wasn't up to snuff which I wasn't surprised at since it's not digital. The image was misframed so the names during the credits cut off entire letters (ate Blanchette, hia LaBeouf, etc.) Despite my doubts I knew that my second viewing would put things into perspective for me and I would be better able to judge things.

    After a night's sleep I got to see the film again this afternoon at a DLP Digitally Projected theater. I knew this time that I would at least get a quality presentation. This time I was ready for the film and I absolutely LOVED IT. I felt like I was really watching an Indy movie and despite the flaws and weaknesses I didn't let them bother me. Yes the alien at the end and the spaceship taking off is jarring and the film would have been better without them however I got over it because the journey to get there was so good. I still feel this may be the weakest of the four films but I don't care. I came to the conclusion that Lucas, Spielberg and Ford did it just for the fun of it and that's how the movie comes off. Mutt as Tarzan? For the fun of it. Surviving an atomic blast in a fridge? For the fun of it. Driving a jeep off a cliff on to a branch, then the branch safely deposits jeep into a river then snaps back to kill bad guys. For. The. Fun. Of. It. Is it silly, over the top, ridiculous. Absolutely, but George, Steve and Harrison don't have anything to prove so they let their freak flag fly and threw logic out the window and made a B Movie with a capitol B. True the first half of the film is more serious and sets up some strong story ideas that are never fully explored but in the end I'm not going to completely condemned them for not exactly following through. The best thing I can say about the movie is that I want another one...

    ...right now.

    ***1/2 out of ****
  3. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5

    I loved the shot of the aliens uniting into one. Can't get that one out of my head. ]-} ]-} ]-}

    I also loved how Spalko wanted to know EVERYTHING, she was so greedy, just like Belloq in Raiders, and she was consumed and destroyed, just like Belloq. That's a beautiful symmetry between the villains. Their behavior in those climactic scenes struck me as similar.
  4. Badger_Legion Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2008
    star 1
    How are the macGuffins in the other movies any less explained than in KOTKS?

    The ark's power? Yahweh did it!
    The magic stones? Some hindu deity did it!
    The holy grail? Jesus did it!
    The crystal skulls? Interdimensional aliens did it!

    The exact mechanics behind their powers are never explained, but the source of all four are explained in the film.
  5. odj_310388 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 5
    No. They are not. The source are mentioned, in speech. They are hinted at. They are never shown full blown digitized close up on the bloody screen. Watch this to realise what I mean about the mystery box. Its a good watch, got some Star Wars references in it.

    Edit: Oh and just to make clear this isn't my only gripe with the film. But it is my biggest one.
  6. Aragorn327 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2001
    star 6
    I don't take it that way: aliens didn't seem like a retcon to me at all. The aliens specifically taught one group of people and there was a crazily advanced city because of it. That's it.

    When Indy points out all the artifacts from other civilizations in the "museum," he points out that they were collectors--archaeologists. I didn't get the impression they were responsible for everything. Rather, they had a controlled experiment in South America and happened to collect data from around the world. The film continually beats it into our heads that they were scientists and seekers of knowledge, rather than showing up to become gods and play around in the human sandbox.

    Why would they have to be responsible for the Ark, Stones, or Cup? They're not linked to that in any way. Specifically: the third movie built up the Cup of Christ. The crystaline aliens were long gone before that happened. Unless you're implying they built a cup that looks like the one a carpenter would use that could heal people and just happened to leave it lying around in the Middle East, I fail to see how it could be linked to the aliens in any way.
  7. Blu-Bladed-Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    I agree that people are overreacting to the end. When I first saw ROTLA I remember being confused by the ending and how the ark's power was shown. But that's a really understated aspect of the series. It combines intense and real action while searching for an object with a myth or legend behind it. After the serious and gritty chase the movies follow what legends say about these objects and release them in full force.

    On another note completely I didn't feel like the alien was actually there. I felt like it was created in Cate Blanchetts mind.
  8. WookieeWarrior9 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2007
    star 3
    One thing I can't understand is how after all these events and years, Indy still seems to be totally skeptical of another mystical or religious object having some sort of power. lol
  9. odj_310388 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 5
    They are inter-dimensional beings. I'm sure time travel would be no problem for them. I stand by my statement. "The Aliens did it."

    Oh no you didn't!

    [image=http://img55.imageshack.us/img55/7284/szmzm42lq7.jpg]

    Don't go touching that can opener! :p
  10. Aragorn327 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2001
    star 6
    I suppose it's possible, but I didn't see any evidence to support such an idea in the film. Is there anything in particular that's leading you to that conclusion that I've missed?
  11. Badger_Legion Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2008
    star 1
    Whether they were shown on screen or not, we know exactly where their power came from. I don't see how showing the actual entities behind the power makes any difference in that regard.

    P.S. Sorry, I didn't see the video you linked to. I can't play videos on my computer right now.
  12. Veloz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2004
    star 6
    I just came back from seeing it again, and i gotta say, i enjoyed it more this time around. Also, the room was fully packed with people, and everyone just ate the whole movie up: there was cheers, laughter and clapping, specially on the outrageous scenes [face_laugh] i went with a friend, and he really liked it :)

    The movie stands as a solid 9 in my book :D
  13. SPACEMONKEY20 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2001
    star 5
    I wasn't disappointed at all. I enjoyed the film for what it is.


    I got huge kick when Indy said...



    I've got a bad feeling about this

  14. C Creepio Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 1999
    star 3
    The explanation is simple - he's a scientist. He'd lose all credibility if he came off as a magic-monger. Though he witnesses these events, he is able to convince himself that there must be a scientific explanation.

  15. odj_310388 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 5
    The big glowey white thingy that span in their space ship. I'm claiming its a time machine as well as a dimensional travelling device. Prove me wrong. :p

    (btw I am just in hysterics here ignore my random bablings)
  16. Drac39 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2002
    star 6
    My review from IMDB

    "I hardly ever have revelations or opinions about a movie until I see it through and reach the end. I found myself dissecting this movie while I was watching it, and I didn't really know why. Raiders was one of the first movies I remember seeing and loving and I desperately wanted Kingdom of the Crystal Skull to be something really special. Well mid way through the film I decided I was disappointed with this movie. Here I was going to a midnight show for one of my boyhood heroes and I was treated to another lackluster David Koepp script. The story didn't make much sense, the Russians were predictable villains, and Indy surviving a nuclear blast...

    Then before I decided I hated it, I thought to myself about what Indiana Jones was really supposed to be, the modern day Buck Rogers serial brought to life. When you think hard none of the other Indiana Jones films had overly outstanding dialogue or stories that made you think. What made the other Indiana Jones films great was the execution of the material and Crystal Skull is able to succeed in this regard as well. I liked Raiders and Last Crusade a great deal because Indy was looking for biblical larger than life artifacts, and I had some trouble digesting the notion of extra terrestrials but not too much trouble because Spielberg is very careful to make sure that the aliens are not presented in an overly over the top way. They are very similar to his aliens from Close Encounters in the fact that they mean peace and try to bring advancement to the civilians.

    I was a little hesitant towards the idea of having the Soviets as villains. I just thought it was too predictable after using the Nazis twice and because the Soviets really didn't represent the mythical evil that the Nazis did. However Spielberg does touch upon something clever in the beginning of the film, Indy is fired from his university and during a high speed motorcycle chase they pass through anti-soviet propaganda. The idea of having Irina Spalko see only a weapon out of the artifacts skims across the surface of some commentary. I kind of wished they would have played more with that but then again Indiana Jones has never truly been a political commentary, even when he was fighting the Nazis it wasn't, and Spielberg is passionate about spreading Holocaust awareness. Steve if your reading this a Cold War film isn't a bad idea...

    Film goers rest assured, Harrison Ford fits back into the fedora like he never took it off. He is Indy and that is really the only fair way to describe it. This is probably the one character in film lure that I would only want one actor playing. The catch phrases still have bite and that trademark adventurous and bold attitude is still very much alive in Dr. Jones. However Indy has grown a lot between films. Spielberg shows Indy has been through some changes and we get a feel of what he has been up to in his twenty year absence. I wanted to know what happened to Indy, I just didn't want him to show up with no explanation. We get glimpses into his time during WWII and his on-off again relationship with Marion Ravenwood("Huge Spoiler" Shia Labeouf is the new Junior). Brining back Marion was a smart move in my opinion. It'd be far too easy to just throw him another girlfriend to make love to and toss away like James Bond but bringing back Marion proves that Indy is a human as well as a superhero.

    The special effects were decent but they were also cartoon at times. Spielberg tries very hard to use the authentic stunt work that made us love the action scenes in the other Indy films but he also wants to mix in CGI. I would rather he stick with one course of story telling over the other because mixing them made some of the scenes appear silly and it lead to choppy transitions. By no means is this a huge problem but it is noticeable.

    The grown-up brain in me probably doesn't want to recommend this film but my heart and my inner child were swept away by John William's Raiders March again..."
  17. Blu-Bladed-Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Aragorn 327 I'm not sure if you were referring to my post about the alen not actually being there but in her mind but ill answer as if you were.

    It just seemed that her character being someone who wanted the skulls for control over the minds of others and how the scene where the alien "came alive" had a trippy visual style and that she was the only character visible on screen that it was happening in her head. The skulls did have the ability to effect one's mind.
  18. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    I way I understood it was that the aliens (Interdimensional Beings) chose the area in Peru as their base of operation so they could study the human race. Indy calls them archaeologists. They were seeking knowledge about earth and it's people. They didn't create us, in fact I would argue that they searched for the answers to our creation. Yes, they did teach the Ugha tribe, who lived there, farming and construction techniques, technology, etc. and in return they helped the aliens build Akator (El Dorado) which they used to store the artifacts of human civilization they acquired. They aliens aren't the answer behind everything in the world of Indiana Jones just one of many mysteries Indy has encountered over the years.
  19. JediANGELA Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2002
    star 6
    I saw it a few hours ago, went to dinner and then went to a meeting, and needless to say I loved it. Its not the best Indy movie by any means, but it was up there.

    Dislikes:

    The atomic bomb scene was just a giant huh for me, and I read the novel before I saw the movie. It just felt like it was thrown in there, and then with the prairie dogs there or whatever they were. Scene just didnt work for me that well. However, I have to admit the scene with Indy looking at the mushroom cloud could go down as one of the greatest movie scenes of all time.

    Cate Blanchett's accent. Sorry, just wasnt working for me.

    Marion just felt like she was added just for the chase with the duck and to tell Indy that he has a son.

    Mutt swinging up in the canopy, monkeys and scenery looked fake, as well as did his swinging.

    The wedding scene, didnt like the scene in the book, and it didnt work well in the movie. I knew that they were getting back together just from some of the dialogue said.


    Likes:

    Loved, loved, loved seeing Indy on the big screen. I apparently saw Last Crusade on the big screen, but I was only 4 at the time and really dont remember it at all. It was pretty cool seeing him finally in the theater.

    The way they kept showing Indy's shadow with his fedora. That was a big thing in the movie that just made it feel like yea thats Indiana Jones there.

    The destination map, loved it being in there.

    Loved Shia LaBoeuf as Mutt. That was a perfect casting and if a movie is made with Mutt Williams (Henry Jones the Third) in the starring role, I'm so there. He stole the movie for me.

    Indy's reaction in finding out that he's a father. Classic reaction there. The theater laughed at that.

    All of the humor in there, my brother and I were seriously laughing for most of the movie.

    Oxley, dont know why, but I liked him.

    Aliens! I love Sci-Fi and seeing the aliens in here even though it was Indy really made my day.

    The father/son interactions middle/end of the movie. Once Indy and Mutt found out their relationship, it was funny seeing little glimpses of how Mutt didnt like it at first and how Indy was trying to act all "fatherly" to him, something that Henry Jones Sr wasnt (from LC) to Indy. Liked towards the end when it was brought full circle with Indy calling Mutt, Junior.

    Loved the final scene with Indy taking his fedora away from Mutt before he could wear it. Almost saying, its not your turn yet.



    Im sure more will come out, Im probably going to be seeing it again Saturday.
  20. odj_310388 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 5
    Too complicated and didn't come across well enough for me to understand is what your saying? Jebus if I had trouble understanding it image what the regular punters must be thinking. >_<

    Basic gist, they ballsed it up. They didn't get everything wrong but they got more wrong than right and that's not a good thing if they are looking to bring in multiple viewings to get big bucks.
  21. thejeditraitor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 4
    great great film.
    i knew some of the spoilers so i was prepared.
    if the ending bent you out of shape see it again
    and you'll really love it.
  22. odj_310388 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 5
    Ugh I'm remembering more problems with the movie as every min goes by. :(

    Its like The Matrix: Revolutions all over again. :_|
  23. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5
    Basic gist, they ballsed it up. They didn't get everything wrong but they got more wrong than right and that's not a good thing if they are looking to bring in multiple viewings to get big bucks.

    Oh really? I plan to see it at least ten times, and almost everyone I know plans to see it at least twice, even if they're not a film freak like me.

    There was plenty of brilliant stuff in the film. In classic Indy manner, he learns he's Mutt's Dad in the middle of physical jeopardy in quicksand! That's fantastic filmmaking and writing! It could have been a quiet, emotional scene, but hey Lucas and Spielberg realize this is an INDIANA JONES film so the "human moment" had to come when Indy was preoccupied with survival. Perfect!

    We also learned in that same scene, as "Junior" throws his helpless old man some assistance, "call it a rope!", that Mutt does not share his Dad's reptile phobia. The phallic implications of that scene's symbolism were absolutely HILARIOUS. The Oedipal subtext was priceless. I was roaring laughing. Someone definitely gave some thought to that one.

    Some good thought went into the script. I spotted it over and over again. Mutt hated those prep schools where among other things, he had to learn "fencing"...so what happens? He has to have a sword fight with Spalko of course...very sharp. He may not have learned it exactly the way she did, but he had a little training.

    Indy's got his whip.
    His Dad had his umbrella.
    Mutt had his knife.
    I guess it runs in the family. [face_laugh]
  24. Blu-Bladed-Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    One thing I thought was really interesting and fitting was how they didn't just drop Indy in 1957, they talked aout the 40s and what Indy did. It seemed realistic and intriguing when they spoke of Indy in WWII
  25. zigart Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2008
    One interesting thing I noticed was when Indy told the kid to get out of the library; after he told us in Crusade that archeology is 70% research.
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