(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. Spaceman_Spiff Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2001
    star 4
    I enjoyed it. None of the stuff people are complaining about with the ending really bothered me. I could see how it might, though. However, I truly didn't see any difference between this ending and the others. A good point was brought up that we always see a physical manifestation of whatever power Indy is going after. I don't see how an immortal Knight from the Crusades is any better or less implausible. It's not as if these artifacts actually matter to the plot.

    *Watch Corner Gas on Superstation WGN.*
  2. chibiangi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 4
    I dunno, we got full explanitory detail about why the ark was powerful, why the stones had power, and how to go about finding the cup. I'm not sure why aliens are any more supernatural than religion other than people stick religious phenomena under a different header than aliens in their brains.

    Of course, I haven't seen it yet, so maybe when I do, I will understand why it "feels" different.
  3. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5
    Yeah? You can do research in places BESIDES a library. Do you think Jacque Cousteau learned about the ocean in a library? No, he had a RESEARCH ship.
  4. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    I'm not trying to explain a meaning for you. That up to each individual to decide. Even though they do go farther in this film then the others to explain the mystery behind the power they still left a lot of unanswered question so the viewer could fill in the "spaces between the spacees." I'm simply stating my opinion on how I understood it and don't see it as a retcon to explain the mysteries of the other films.
  5. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    70% = Research
    30% = Getting out of the library.

    :p
  6. Icebreaker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2001
    star 4
    That JJ Abrams video about the mystery box is great.

    -matthew
  7. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Just got back from it and..it wasn't bad. I enjoyed it, but it's definitely the weakest of the 4 films (though the weakest of the original trilogy, I always felt TOD was underrated). But most of what people have said here is true- most of the action sequences are pretty good (the jungle chase centerpiece is fantastic and classic Indy), the time spent with Indy not adventuring is more interesting than when he is exploring, and the finale is a bit of a let down.

    The scifi element felt out of place to me- I'm used to aliens in my Star Wars and supernatural in my Indy; but I think I could adjust to it over subsequent viewings. But I think a lot of people are going to go into this film not expecting that element and may be put-off by it's inclusion since it hasn't been an advertised part of the film's premise (general audiences have been sold supernatural south american gods, not extra-dimensional alien overlords), so I would definitely expect the majority of mixed or engative reactions from audiences to center around that plot point. That said, it does lead to some cool moments, though I'm kinda perplexed why they bothered to make them extra-dimensional- seems like yet another layer of sci-fi that didn't need to be added on there.

    I think they sorta rushed Indy into action- the side characters never get the chance to really grow as much depth as we've seen in the past three movies- more scenes like Indy and Mutt in the dinner, or Salah and Indy discussing the eye/staff of Ra, etc, would ahve helped the movie. Also, Karen Allen was great with what she had here, but she didn't really do/accomplish much beyond the jungle chase driving. Would have liked to have seen her contribute something more to the plot than just a tag-along (and drawing Indy in). John Hurt in particular (partially due to the state of his character) is harmed by this when tehre could ahve been some great, heartfelt scenes, between him and Indy or him and Mutt between action pieces, but there weren't. He just was sort of regulated to babbling semi-comic relief guy.

    Cate's Russian is a great villianess, though- much better than Elsa (though the psychic thing was probably unnecessary and may throw audience soff like the aliens). Shia really shines, though. He's a great addition (but not a replacement for Indy yet!) to the series.

    Overall tone I'd say is a mix between TOD and TLC- it has some of the more over-the-top elements and humor from TOD (the fridge nuke save, the triple water fall falls, etc) but it has a very similar structure to TLC part way through- subsitute the Peru ruins for the library catacombs, the jungle chase for the tank chase, the temple puzzles with "pentient/jahovah/leap" & ending with a disintegrating temple once the objective is complete, erasing it from history.

    I think the film is lacking some of the depth and heart that the previous 3 films had (wish the characters had a few more scenes). But it still delivers, in a stop-and-go fashion, an Indy film in spurts, just not in ways people might be expecting, so there are gonna be a good number of people leaving dissapointed, unfortunately. It tried too hard to keep a pace that harmed it.

    In a way, it;s not unexpected- I went in not expecting this movie to be just like the others, because all the previous films were so different from one another- Raiders was a more serious adventure film in the style of the 30's/40's serials, Temple was more a recreation of a 30's/40's serial, and Crusade was a semi-buddy comedy. Kingdom ends up being a 50's b-movie.
  8. LordNyax113 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2007
    star 3
    Well, well, well.

    I went to the 1:45 showing today.

    Needless to say, I...I loved it. It was an over the top, fun ride.

    Let me state this first, and please, do not chuck garbage at me.

    This is my first Indiana Jones movie. Yes, it is. I vaguely remember watching the Last Crusade, but that's it.

    Anyway, I guess that gives me a more objective viewpoint.

    Unless you were looking for an epic with a message less subtle than a 2x4, with supposed in depth characterization, etc. this movie was popcorn gold. Heck, you could still leave your mind on and love the film. I certainly did.

    Harrison Ford did fine, thought I can't really contrast with his younger self.

    Shia Lebouf was respectable. I'm not sold on him being in his own Indiana Jones film, because Ford seemed so comfortable in his role.

    I liked the female lead that married Jones. I was sold on their relationship despite not seeing the earlier facets of it.

    Cate Blanchett did fine, though she was a bit one dimensional.

    I loved the red ants, because they creeped me out.

    As for the aliens...they were fine. Really, it was an excellent homage to the 50's films and culture, as was much of the more subtle elements to the film. For those of you who are upset about it...really, from what I know, the first three were each supernatural; what were you expecting, a retread? You can only do supernatural artifact that has unanswered questions about it's powers so many times. How would you feel if every Star Wars filmed after ESB dropped a plot twist at the end to evoke the same feelings associated with ESB? Clearly, in both the film and real life, the era had changed; the plot while incorporating familiar elements took some risks, which was warranted.

    I'm sorry; I just enjoyed a fun, simple film that did what it set out to do; which certainl wasn't to be preachy or a retread of plot elements.

    Maybe it'd be different if I had seen the other three; I just think because people had predetermined expectations, which is okay, they invariably left the theater dissapointed; I feel like I just was treated to a cinematic treat. I see no point in nitpicking.
  9. LordNyax113 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2007
    star 3

    It's Jehovah.[face_plain]
  10. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Whatever- all i know is it's sometimes spelled with an "i" :p



    BTW- was the reference to Indy being kidnapped by (was it Poncho Via?) a Young Indy reference?
  11. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Pancho Villa. And hells yes.
  12. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    Saw it tonight with a few friends... definitely enjoyed it. I've seen one of the Indiana Jones movies (RotLA, I think) before, but only one - I'll probably go back and watch the others sometime soon when I get a chance.

    I did have a couple thoughts that stand out: "What is it with Indiana Jones and giant round rolling objects?" and "Hi, Han" (you can probably guess which scene that was in)

    Looks like I'm probably going back with some other friends next week too, should be fun.
  13. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    Here was my review from last night which I posted in the locked thread.
    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.
    _______________
    In the context of the franchise: In my opinion "Raiders" is a classic film that will go down in history. It is purely brilliant and no sequel is going to be capable of rivaling it. "Crusade" is a fun second...very similar but with some more development and a new twist on the story. "Temple" is also very strong. It is a different approach, but it works. Like "Crusade" it is a fun adventure. Through the first half of "Skull," I thought it was on par if not surpassing the other two sequels. From the crazed monkey scene to the killer ants, to the inter-dimensional creatures---things surely feel a part in a big way. Things got really strange. There were too many one-dimensional characters and not enough dialogue. David Koepp failed in this way. The final act of "Skull" has the feel of a Jurassic Park sequel--all the same characters, same setting, but something major lacking.


    [hl
  14. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5


    there was so much packed into the film, it definitely warrants multiple viewings :cool:
  15. C Creepio Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 1999
    star 3
    No one has mentioned this:

    "You brought a knife to a gun fight"

    Is a Sean Connery line from The Untouchables...

    ...intentional??
  16. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    I basically enjoyed everything about this film except for 4 things: 1. Bouncing around in a fridge, 2. Mutt in the vines, 3. The waterfalls (really now) and 4. Spalko's fate.. it would've been cooler if they had been abducted, never to be seen from again.


    Other than that, the film does so much right that it blew my mind. Harrison Ford as amazing, he was way better than I thought. I also give credit to the writers, who made an older Indy believable and not a gag. Mutt was great too. He could've easily been an annoying dejected teen brat like Episode II's Anakin, but he wasn't. I truly enjoyed the character and it made me take Shia more seriously. The opening is brilliant, they really made an old warehouse creepy and eerie. I loved the nuclear test, save the fridge, and thought the 50s America setting of the first act worked perfectly. The archaeological aspects of the film were interesting, and I thought the aliens plot worked perfectly. Hell, I even enjoyed the flying saucer at the end.

    I just wish the aliens had abducted Spalko instead of mirroring the fate of Bellock and the Nazis from Raiders. It was kind of corny.


    For the first hour and a half, it seemed certain to tie Raiders. But the second half, though I liked it, lowered its status. Safely below Raiders, safely above Temple, and tied somewhere with Crusade. Both films had good points and bad points.
  17. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    I'm still not sure whether I count this as a negative as opposed to a difference*, but a major difference between this and the other films is that in the other films it's Indy's adventure and the other characters (Marion, Sallah, Short Round, etc) are along for the ride. Whereas this movie felt more like it was Irina's and Mutt's adventure and Indy was along for the ride.


    *It's not a deal-breaker, but it doesn't quite seem right in a film called INDIANA JONES and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  18. Icebreaker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2001
    star 4
    I just got finished reading up on the original INDY IV script: Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men From Mars. Wow. What a disaster that would have been. Lucas's fascination with wanting to incorporate aliens into this series has been around for a while apparently. But the idea for that film was far worse. Surprisingly a lot from that script survived but I can honestly see why this took so long to have this film made. Lucas wanted his aliens and it appears Speilberg and Ford wanted nothing to do with it.

    Kingdom of the Crystal Skull looks tame in comparison in terms of what Lucas wanted the alien involvement to be.

    EDIT - The more I read the more apparent it becomes that SS and HF were adamantly opposed to aliens. And basically the reason it took 19 years for another Indy flick, was because Lucas refused to budge on the idea of aliens. This is enthralling. I suggest everyone who is interested in the process of getting this film made to do some searches online. There is some great information out there.

    -matthew
  19. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5
    SS and HF were adamantly opposed to aliens

    Let's see, Steven Spielberg: Close Encounters. ET The Extra Terrestrial. A TV series on
    cable about aliens. The War of the Worlds. Yup, he's definitely not interested in aliens being a part of his career. [face_laugh]

    All three agreed on this script, or it wouldn't have been made.
  20. Icebreaker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2001
    star 4
    Not interested in aliens being in an Indy film. I don't recall saying he was opposed to aliens as a form of entertainment in other theatrical productions. If you don't believe me, just do a quick search of the net and see for yourself.

    -matthew
  21. Hammurabi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2007
    star 4
    Right, but Spielberg didn't want aliens in Indiana Jones. You're missing the point.
  22. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Steven Spielberg's overall film career =/= the Indiana Jones series. In fact the way the complaint was phrased when they were still hiding what he was complaining about was 'too connected'.

    I didn't mind the IDEA of aliens, BTW, but the EXECUTION was weak.
  23. Darth Tunes SfC Commish on an "All-Star" break

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 10
    My thoughts (more may come later):



    Just got back! Though I enjoyed it (3 stars out of 4 on my scale), I felt it to be the weakest out of the 4 films. Ford was great, Shia was decent, Karen Allen was a treat, Cate was good (a bit too campy, though), and the effects (especially when the alien craft leaves at the end). However, something was missing, that extra bit of enthusiasm/pizzaz/wittiness found (especially in The Last Crusade) from throughout the series. The Cold War angle overall played well, but some of the 50's teen stuff (especially the brawl in the restaurant) wasn't need.......the movie is set in the 50's, we get that, Steven! I was severly disappointed in Ray Winstone's lack of signficance in the film (if you think about it, his character really isn't needed), and the ending was bit of a downer in two ways: A) Cate's character just wasn't that evil enough to have really felt great when she gets disintegrated by the alien & B) there should have been more with the alien. Also, the fact that the movie ends with a marriage between Marion & Indy just annoyed the hell out of me (more so over me being down on romantic love). However, there was enough good action & wit to keep things going, and the nods to Marcus & Henry Sr. were nice (but, no mention of Sallah? Pathetic).

    2008: The 50th season of L.A. Dodger baseball! :cool:

    2007-2008 L.A. Lakers: 57-25, #1 seed in the West


  24. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5




    Perhaps someone else isn't getting MY point.

  25. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    They had to save SOMETHING for Indy 5.;)

    I know...but I can hope!
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