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The W - Movies & TV - Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (SPOILERS)
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DrewDewce
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Since: 2.1.02
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.15
With the wife and kids asleep, I headed out to a midnight showing of this on Wednesday evening/early Thursday morning and enjoyed it immensely. If you loved the rest of the movies in the series, you should at the very least really really like this movie.

Again . . . spoilers

I'm glad that Ford and Spielberg both downplayed the "alien" aspect in the press and hinted that Lucas wanting to go in that direction was what held up their involvement. Technically the artifact wasn't necessarily from outer space, but it at least left some questions in my mind of where the artifact and the plot were going with things. Knowing that Mutt would turn out to be Indy's son did take some of the fun out of it, which is why I wanted to see this as soon as possible before I gleaned too many plot points from commercials and reviews.

Some really cute/funny moments from the revelation that the Ark is stored in Area 51, and Mutt having to use a snake to rescue Indy from the quicksand-type situation. The more I play things over in my mind the more I think about some of the possible plot holes but I'll have to see it again and look for some of that type of thing to really make up my mind about the overall story (Marion's letter to Indy via Mutt seems a bit forced and I was wondering where Indy got his whip back for the final sequence - since he didn't have it during the quicksand scene).

Of course, none of those detracted from my enjoyment of the movie, they just make it hard to put it along "Raiders" as the best of the series. I would have to place it alongside "Last Crusade" as far as quality (both in tone and subject matter) and ahead of "Temple of Doom" as far as these movies go.

The theater where I saw it was proabably half full and I think they had other showings going on, but there weren't a lot of cars left in the parking lot when we came out. I would assume it's going to do huge business, but at least that theater might have overestimated the midnight showing appeal.

It does run just over 2 hours and we actually didn't get the "Clone Wars" trailer that we all thought was supposed to be on prior to the movie. Despite the late hour, we stayed until after the credits to see if we would get it then, but no dice. Your theater experience may vary of course.

Thumbs up, 3 1/2 stars, etc.



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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.04
No Clone Wars trailer in my theater as well.

Terrific movie. A a fan of Indy, it was so great to see him and have him acknowledge his military and OSS past. Terrific chase scenes.

The scene with the ants......... ouch!


overall I put it second in the series as far as which I enjoyed the most, slightly behind Raiders.

If you like any of the Indy movies, then go see it!
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Since: 27.6.04

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.00
Went in with low expectations and it barely exceeded them. Wasn't a horrible movie, it just wasn't very good. Had some decent action sequences, but all the CGI is pretty damn distracting. Was actually hoping to see more of Dr. Jones doing stuff, instead of standing around and talking about doing stuff. When your Indiana Jones movie is starting to feel like a National Treasure/Mummy hybrid, well, the movie is pretty unnecessary.

Nowhere near as fun as Iron Man, or as awesome as the last ten minutes of Rambo. At least Shia was entertaining, and his Marlon Brando was amusing...
Jericholic53
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Since: 18.3.03
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.27
Just got back from seeing it tonight. So much of what made the original films great (and were essentially the backbone of the movies) are completely backwards in Crystal Skull. The one that sticks out the most is that in all of the other Indiana Jones movies it's about his quest to *find* and retrieve an artifact to prevent evil forces from using it. In Crystal Skull he literally finds it halfway through the movie and has to return it because "it told [him] to". In addition, for the most part Indy's detective skills were downplayed in favor of him piggy backing on the deduction of another professor. Again, in the rest of the series it's him piecing together the clues and puzzles to get him through to the end. In the second half of Crystal Skull the extent of this is him interpreting the ramblings of a crazed man.

This movie had all of the pieces of a great Indiana Jones movie: the fight against the larger second-in-command muscle of the enemy force, the close proximity high speed chase scene, fear of snakes, enemy leader dying at the hands of the artifact they sought to control, betrayal from a friend, etc. Yet it never really came together and seemed very disjointed.

When they had first announced that Indiana Jones would be portrayed as being more aged, I like other people, was kind of happy that they wouldn't try to "pretend" it was the good 'ol days. Yet, while watching Crystal Skull I found myself thinking this is not the Indiana Jones I remember from the other movies. The aged Indiana Jones is still a tough SOB, but in a different way. To me it came across as he wasn't this young hero getting his ass kicked by overwhelming odds, he was this old hero getting his ass kicked by overwhelming odds that probably wouldn't have been as daunting a problem for the young him. In short, I kind of wished they had written the movie as though he were still close to the same age as his previous adventures.

As many have said the blatant CGI was awkward and overall unnecessary except maybe for the ending and the ants. Soft glow on the lighting during the adjacent-car-sword-fight in the jungle? CGI prairie dogs? CGI *monkeys*? Totally unnecessary and distracting.

Overall, the movie was okay and a nice burst of nostalgia, but definitely did not muster up enough quality to surpass any of the other films. Unlike the original trilogy, this movie felt more episodic than epic.



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El Pescado
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.00
I had a feeling when I left the theater that this was either going to be a love it or hate it kind of movie and the varying online opinions of it proved me right. I, personally, loved it and thought it fit in very well with the other movies. I prefer Crystal Skull to Temple and Crusade and place it right next to Raiders in my opinion.


Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
As I was leaving the theater the guy behind me was complaining that he could tell that Lucas had had his way and put in too much unbelievable stuff. I've seen a lot of people complaining online as well citing the waterfall drop, the nuclear test town, and the man eating ants as too unbelievable. How are those things were any less believable than jumping out of an airplane using a rubber raft as your parachute and sliding down a mountain on it, eternal life granting chalices, hearts being torn out of chests and the victims still surviving, hypnotizing blood, voodoo dolls, and nazi melting ghosts?

Someone I know complained that it seemed like Indy would succeed at moments in the movie through luck saying that it was like he would pull a lever and it would just drop a sandbag on the Commies and he would get away. Kinda like how in Crusade Indy's Dad fires a gun that ricochets a bullet around the inside of a Nazi tank and doesn't hurt Jones Sr. or Marcus Brody, but strikes the driver square in the forehead, eh?


I just think a lot of people forgot what these movies were like in the first place. This movie is awesome and I can't wait for the Blu-Ray (and hopeful Blu-Ray release of the other three movies.)





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#6 Posted on
    Originally posted by El Pescado

    This movie is awesome and I can't wait for the Blu-Ray (and hopeful Blu-Ray release of the other three movies.)



Rumor has it that all the movies will be released on Blu-Ray 10/29.



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Since: 12.6.03
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.00
    Originally posted by El Pescado
    I had a feeling when I left the theater that this was either going to be a love it or hate it kind of movie and the varying online opinions of it proved me right. I, personally, loved it and thought it fit in very well with the other movies. I prefer Crystal Skull to Temple and Crusade and place it right next to Raiders in my opinion.


    Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
    As I was leaving the theater the guy behind me was complaining that he could tell that Lucas had had his way and put in too much unbelievable stuff. I've seen a lot of people complaining online as well citing the waterfall drop, the nuclear test town, and the man eating ants as too unbelievable. How are those things were any less believable than jumping out of an airplane using a rubber raft as your parachute and sliding down a mountain on it, eternal life granting chalices, hearts being torn out of chests and the victims still surviving, hypnotizing blood, voodoo dolls, and nazi melting ghosts?

    Someone I know complained that it seemed like Indy would succeed at moments in the movie through luck saying that it was like he would pull a lever and it would just drop a sandbag on the Commies and he would get away. Kinda like how in Crusade Indy's Dad fires a gun that ricochets a bullet around the inside of a Nazi tank and doesn't hurt Jones Sr. or Marcus Brody, but strikes the driver square in the forehead, eh?


    I just think a lot of people forgot what these movies were like in the first place. This movie is awesome and I can't wait for the Blu-Ray (and hopeful Blu-Ray release of the other three movies.)




Saw the movie myself. I don't quite know how I feel about the new movie. It certainly was a fun time at the movies, but I don't know if I liked it as much as I would like.

El, in terms of the outrageousness of certain scenes, I definitely agree that some were in the spirit of the old movies. However there were a couple things that I felt went beyond that line and in the end didn't feel consistent with the type of outrageousness the previous movies had.

Examples are in the spoiler tag below


Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
Totally agree that the triple waterfall scene is very much in spirit with say the rubber raft dropping out of a plane in Temple of Doom. However, I thought Marion using the tree for the jeep only for it to ricochet was a bit too much - it was almost too Looney Tune-esque.

Here's the thing: the previous movies as nuts and crazy as some of the set pieces were, appropriately lacked one element that gave them the intentional gritty action feel: the action wasn't "graceful". However in Crystal Skulls, Shia is swinging vines and swordfighting on two jeeps almost too gracefully, and in the tone that the previous movies had set, it seemed really kind of out of place - as spectacular as they were. I'll draw up Pirates of the Carribean for this comparison - in Dead Man's Chest, there's a ridiculous fight on the wheel rolling around in the jungle - its odd yes, but considering the first one was very ridiculous in its action set pieces to begin with made me buy the wheel fight.

I'm also in the camp that I understand why they had aliens. It matched the 50's homage to B-movies - however at the same time, I think they made the end segment with the alien much too elaborate and in a way that hurt my enjoyment of the film. I don't mind that the skulls telepathically spoke to Blanchett's character - but once an ACTUAL alien formed - it got a little too much for me. You may disagree with me, but the reveal of the MacGuffins in the previoius movies still retained a lot more mysticism. For example, ghosts coming out of the Ark and blowing up stuff was kinda nuts - but at least God himself didn't show up in physical form throwing lightning bolts out his fingertips. As for the flying saucer - I think I understand why it was there - it was meant to be a fantastic end SFX sequence - but in a way I wished they made that a bit more ambigious - sure have the rocks come up sure all that and have the place kind of explode - but to have the saucer actually show up like that was ugh.


Again its a fun time in the movies, and while the overall tone did match previous outings - there were some things where Lucas and Spielberg had a bit too much fun and those things hurt my enjoyment of the film. Loved Shia and Karen though.

(edited by lost_my_testes on 23.5.08 1040)
Tenken347
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Since: 27.2.03
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.03
I really didn't like how this movie broke with format in the opening portion. All three previous films had a prologue of sorts, where Indy was chasing after some item unrelated to the main quest. This one just started with him getting abducted by the Russians and sent chasing after the main plot device. Really, I felt the first half hour or so was complete crap. After that, though, the movie really started coming together, and I wound up having a lot of fun for the rest of it. I think you guys saying this is better than Last Crusade are out of your minds, but it's definately better than Temple of Doom.
CxMorgado
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.00
I hated it, mainly because, even with the alien plot (which I didn't care for but was willing to accept if it was done well- it wasn't), I could see a good Indiana Jones movie just beneath the surface trying to get out. It's late, so I won't go into much detail, but there were long stretches where it felt like it was on the level of the first 3, and then something that was so ridiculously modern or CGI or just plain stupid would show up and completely tilt the scale so far in the other direction that it eventually never tipped back.



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Quezzy
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.88
This was the worst movie in a long long time and those saying "if you like Indy you'll like this" should be ashamed of yourself. This is nothing like the previous Indy movies.

I could go on and on about the bad parts so I won't do that here. If you really want to know you can read my review (there are major spoilers)

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: Worst Movie of 2008



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Alex
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Since: 24.2.02

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.07
Worst movie of 2008, a year where we're getting TWO Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer movies? Really?
Nuclear Winter
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Since: 9.11.03
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.51
Quezzy, I get the impression you didn't enjoy the film. I myself liked it quite a bit, and I take issue with some of the points in your review.

You point out several ridiculous scenes and sequences in the film. But, as mentioned by El Pescado, there's been no shortage of "ridiculous" events in the previous Indy films.

In Raiders Of The Lost Ark, we get a staff reflecting light onto a model of a city indicating the location of the Well Of Souls, the discovery of the mythical Ark Of The Covenant, and the subsequent opening of the Ark, which unleashes several spirits that melt a group of Nazis.

In Temple Of Doom, we get Indy and friends escaping a plane crash and several-thousand foot fall through the use of an inflatable raft, a cult that has kidnapped a village's children and is using them as slave labor to dig for Sankara stones so that they can be combined and used to somehow rule the world, a man removing another man's heart with his bare hand, the heartless man surviving this procedure (only to be lowered into a pit of lava), and mind controlling blood.

In The Last Crusade, we get a religious cult protecting the mythical Holy Grail, Indy and friend surviving a giant burning oil slick by hiding in an overturned coffin, a zany accidental run-in with Adolf Hitler, Indy and his father escaping a zeppelin on a fighter plane, surviving the crash of said plane, Indy riding a tank off a cliff but somehow managing to survive, a bridge that has been painted in such a way to appear invisible to the naked eye, a still-living knight from the First Crusade, kept alive by the power of the Holy Grail (which also has the ability to cure gunshot wounds), and giant crevasses caused by moving a cup past a certain area.

I honestly don't see how any of the events of the previous films were any more or less ludicrous than the majority of the events in the fourth film.

    Originally posted by Quezzy's review
    How about the beginning of the movie where Indiana Jones, who now looks like he's about 80 years old


Personally, I thought Indy looked more like he was 65, coincidentally Harrison Ford's age.

    Originally posted by Quezzy's review
    There are only three types of people that will like this movie:
    1) Indiana Jones sheep
    2) Harrison Ford sheep
    3) Steven Spielberg sheep


I hate to throw a wrench into your theory, but I am in none of these categories. I've now seen every Indiana Jones movie a grand total of ONE time, so I'm clearly not an Indy sheep. I like Harrison Ford, but I don't think he's the greatest thing since sliced bread (and was initially very skeptical about this new Indy film, because I was afraid that, instead of looking like an older Indiana Jones, he would simply look like old Harrison Ford pretending to be Indiana Jones). I like Spielberg, too, but again, I don't think I'm a Spielberg sheep.

It seems to me that at some point people forgot about willing suspension of disbelief.



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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.37
Ladies and gentlemen, the following public service message is brought to you by your friends from D-Generation X, who would like to remind each and every one of you that if you're not down with that, we've got two words for you...

Furthermore, Quezzy's review doesn't even mention the one scene that could be considered "ridiculous" by my standards, and that's Indy stumbling onto the nuclear test site and surviving by sealing himself inside a refrigerator (helpfully lead-lined for protection!). Even if the refrigerator *could* have been flung that far by the detonation, the thing would have been completely smashed and there's no way anyone could have survived being in it.

Everything else that's "ridiculous" fits into the mysticism of the film and thus can be suspended from disbelief, IMO.



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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.13
    Originally posted by Alex
    Worst movie of 2008, a year where we're getting TWO Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer movies? Really?


Yeah, we have FIVE Worst Movie of the Year candidates in the first two months of 2008 alone. Hell, if Paris Hilton's alleged "movie" doesn't win the Razzie in a rout next year, there's no justice in the world. So saying Indy's the worst is a little much.

I will, however, agree with the idea that the movie's somewhat of a disappointment. I enjoyed the action scenes and the big vehicle chase scene was absolute beauty, even if Shia suddenly turning into Tarzan was a bit farfetched. I can let some of the wilder stuff, like Indy getting launched into the sky in a fridge from a nuclear explosion, bouncing several times off the ground, and emerging only with a few bumps and bruises. Considering some of the crazier bumps from the older films, that's par for the course. But I agree with Jericholic53's assertion that this is a Bizarro-take on a normal Indy film. There wasn't any excitement in the discovery of the artifact, because it's found within the first hour. And don't get me started on the big finding at the end. I swear I felt like I stepped into "Indiana Jones, directed by M. Night Shyamalan".

This is one franchise that they TOTALLY should have left alone. And now comes the rumors that Shia's taking over Indy 5, which likely won't feature Harrison Ford at all. Here's a wacky idea. Why not try a NEW franchise with Shia leading the way, rather than tarnishing a classic franchise in a cynical attempt to squeeze some money out of the rubes? It's not like Shia can't sell tickets, anyway. He's a bonafide star at this point. So why not try and make a new series of archaeological based films? Hell, if Nic fucking Cage can do it, it should be a cakewalk for Shia.




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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.00
I didn't really 'feel' the ending of the film... I could buy into the other supernatural endings, but not this one. Why? I don't know, but something just didn't seem right for me. Maybe you could put it down to my religious background; as a Roman Catholic, the endings of Raiders and Last Crusade seemd all the more mystical-yet-beleivable to me as a kid.

However, the action sequences were incredible, and really made this feel like an Indy film to me. Some great one liners too, it felt like the film makers wanted to have a laugh with the long term fans of the franchise.

Other than what has already been said, I'd said overall this was an unnecessary sequel. I think after so long a gap between films, they would always be struggling to recapture the magic. For me, it's about on the level with Temple of Doom, I can tolerate it, but give me Raiders or Last Crusade any day of the week over this.

I think I prefer my lasting memory of Indy being the end of the Last Crusade, where he gallops off into the sunset, rather than strolling down the wedding aisle.

(edited by griff on 25.5.08 0941)
Kevintripod
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.02
    Originally posted by Quezzy
    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: Worst Movie of 2008

    As this creature flies off the professor explains, they're not from space, they're from spaces between space! Oh! Excuse me! I didn't mean to offend. It's not a space alien. It's a spaces between space alien. He didn't escape in his spaceship. He escaped in his spaces between spaceship.


Even though I liked the movie and kinda disagree with your review, I admit that was pretty damn funny.



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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.04
I kind of had a feeling (once I left the movie theater) that people would be "poo-pooing" the introduction of extraterrestrials into Indiana Jones continuity ... Personally, I think it worked beautifully; I read book after book on UFO crap during my younger days, so I instantly recognized (dare I say, "marked out"?) over references to Roswell and the Nazca Lines and the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull, etc. etc.

In any event, I looked at the plotline along these terms: Indy has always been about discovering/saving/preserving great archaeological finds. So, in order to close out the franchise (at least as far as Harrison Ford is concerned), what greater archaeological find could there be than the discovery of proof for extraterrestrial influence on human civilization?



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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.76
I just got back from seeing this (finally) and have mixed feelings. First, I knew going in that there was no way after 19 years it could live up to my unrealistic expectations, much like Phantom Menace. And it didn't. Not to say I didn't like it, or that it was a bad movie. But honestly, it was boring in parts, and way over the top in others, and that took me out of it. I agree that the waterfall isn't much more far fetched than the raft scene in Temple, but nothing in the history of the franchise came close to the ridiculous refrigerator/bomb scene. That was too much.

There was plenty of cool stuff in the movie, but it wasn't enough to overcome what I didn't like. I would rate it maybe 6 or 7 out of 10. To be fair, I may catch it again on Blu Ray to give it a fair shake.




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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.25
Welcome home, men of the 2nd Bn, 127th Inf, 32d "Red Arrow" Brigade, WI Army Nat'l Guard! Good luck to those down south.

2 outta 5 stars. Very disappointing.

I'm with you on the nuke-vs.-fridge controversy. Plus, if Indy survives a NUCLEAR F'N BLAST early in the movie, can we really buy him being threatened by AK-47s later in the flick?

Plus...and here's the biggie...if what we got was the TONED DOWN version of aliens...what in the blue hell was Lucas originally planning to hit us with? Oy vey.

And clobbering us over the head with Indy's sudden transformation into family man 2/3 of the way in? WAAAYYY too forced.

However, I do like the Soviets coming off as tougher foes than the Nazis. That Russkie chick just wouldn't quit!

Think I'll go watch Last Crusade now to get the taste outta my eyes. Yeesh.











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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.06
In addition to the "unrealistic action sequences" debate (I agree about the looney-tunes tree branch thing and the awful CGi animals, but thought the rest was way cool) are two other unrealistic things that ruined the suspension of disbelief for me. The first is that the Red Scare was pretty much over by 1957, and Indy losing his job wouldn't have happened, but that kind of a minor point.

The big one is with Ox. Maybe I missed something in the plot, but wasn't he married to Marion Ravenwood? So when he gets his mind back, should he punch Indy in the jaw, or at least not be so enthused about their reunion and wedding?

I also kind of missed what was up with Indy during the war and afterward. He's 42 years old when WWII breaks out, which is kind of old to have a million medals and heroics. And was he a part-time professor, part-time OSS agent? How does he do that?



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