Sunday, May 25, 2008

Some thoughts on Indy 4


...and a very long, rambling 'review'....just so you are warned....after the pics:

NOTE: That pic above I snapped as my brother's credit rolled. If you look closely, you can see the name PHILIP J. JAFFE! That's him! My brother worked on an Indy flick! How cool is that!!! Congratulations, Philip!!! :)

Ok ye go:

Still at my brother's in LA. Drove up to see it at a 'real' theater (the Arclight/Cinerama Dome!) and glad I did. I will see it again in San Diego, but it's always great to see big movies in a place where sound and projection are of huge concern for the theater owners; where people who come to see the flicks are movie nuts versus just people trying to get out of the summer heat and willing to see anything. Even tho, I suppose, the later type of audience is a truer test of if the movie 'plays' or not...still...

Kind of coming out of a pot hangover and not really interested/don't have the energy to write a Harry Knowels detailed/sized 'review' but I did want to gab about seeing- after 19 years- a new Indy Jones!!!

Ok so:

-Overall, I didn't like it. I thought it was pretty terrible.
-I was able to hang with it in a sort of, 'Ah, it may not be perfect, but damn! It's Indy! And any Indy is good, no matter what' sort of way at first. The opening sequence was meandering and dull and the whole nuke thing was stupid to me, with Harrison Ford trying to do slapstick (falling over the mannequin little girl, falling off the rocket out in the desert) and the stupid obsession with the moles,etc....but once Shia came in (who I thought was great in this) I was happy with the flick, happy with the Indy/Mutt scene with the letter and the fight that leads to the motorbike chase...loved the bike chase, loved the graveyard scene, stuff and while not perfect, it felt like Indy!
-Then, once they strap Indy into the seat and Blanchett (who I liked) started doing the mind meld, the movie lost me 100%.
-The Crystal Skull prop- and it looked like a prop- was dorky looking. It was this HUGE, plasticy looking thing everyone was struggling to carry just looked goofy and dumb.
-Marion- whom I LOVED in Raiders- was wasted and the Indy/Marion thing felt like a sitcom. There was no reality to it, no drama...just like, 'Oh hey, I remember you and let's be boyfriend/girlfriend again, k? K!" and then after that, they fell into this relationship that had come nowhere close to being earned...and not only that, earned or not (which it wasn't, in my mind) the relationship just felt stupid and goofy and- most important- unreal. I mean, yes, these are fun movies, thrill rides. Love that about them. But the people in the stories always seemed a TOUCH real (other than Willie Scott in Temple of Doom). Remember Indy drowning his sorrows in booze when he thinks Marion died in Raiders? Remember the angst and abandoned feelings at the core of the father/son relationship in Crusade? All of that subtext is gone in this movie. The relationships- for the most part- feel like they belong in the shitty Jim Belushi sitcom ACCORDING TO JIM.
-I DID like very much the relationship between Indy and the new college dean. That was nice and felt genuine and realistic, with Indy sad over the loss of his dad and Marcus...and that line about, 'We seem to have gotten to the point where life is taking from us rather than giving us things' was so great and it seemed like this could be a movie- on a subtextual level- about getting older and then finding new life in your children, or something like that. A sense that this movie could be ABOUT something and take itself seriously in just a few places...but they dropped that vibe after that scene and never looked back...The Indy/Mutt relationship was off to a nice start with Indy mentoring Mutt about doing what he loved in life,etc...then it too degenerated into sitcom land once Indy found out he was Mutt's dad...
- I'm sorry....the plot was dumb. George Lucas needs someone to sit him down and go, "No, cocksucker...just no."....just say no to the man every now and then. Aliens? Sure, no worries IF they would have played it a bit subtle and mysterious. But they just let it all hang out there and in doing so, it felt like it lost all credibility. I GET they based these films off Republican serials and yes, back in the day, that sort of thing MAY have worked. But that was 1930-1945! Times have changed; audiences and movies have changed and now to see Indy Jones stand in front of a giant fucking saucer that is lifting off is just fucking stupid. And yes, at the end of Raiders he stood in front of God/Death/Whatever...but that film did a great job of grounding it in a reality and a mythology we were all already bought into...Kasdan- who wrote Raiders- seemed to take the damn story seriously. Not this turd of a movie.
- Lots and lots of aspects to the story that they didn't bother to explain or I just didn't understand: why the hell does the crystal skull open the door at the end?!? What is the Jedi Council thing about? They are just sitting there and they sat their beheaded buddy with them in hopes that someday the skull would return? Had people been bringing the skulls they had found all over the world to these headless aliens over the years and this was the last one? Why did they morph into a real life alien at the end? Did they build the room knowing people would bring skulls in and that is why the skull opens the door?!? Why was NONE of this explained?!?!?! That is the MOST IMPORTANT question! These sorts of questions NEVER would have gone unanswered in earlier Indy flicks...this just felt sloppy....hell, the whole movie felt sloppy.
- And to the sloppy point, I don't buy this:' ahh, just grab your popcorn and have a good time!' argument. Iron Man was a great time that respected the audience. So was The Matrix. So were the earlier Indy films. But this just felt like- in 80% of it- like Spielberg and co. were like, 'Hey! Let's put on a show and kinda make it up as we go and ya know, I bet if we have alot of fun on the set, it'll translate to the audience!"...sorry, no. Ford talks a lot in the press these days about wanting the 'customer' to be happy, damn the critics. And that's great. I love that opinion. Customer/audience is always right. I like to think we take that view when we make our games as well. But in this case, I think they gave up on the customer. Maybe Lucas, Spielberg, and Ford are simply too old to be trying to make popcorn movies anymore. Maybe you get to a point in life where you simply can not make such light, airy, cotton candy fluff because you've lived enough to know that that is no longer your world view; if you live long enough and see enough stuff go down- perhaps- it simply (sadly) can not be? Or maybe it's just age in the creative biz. Not every writer/director can stay relevant into his 60's (Ridley Scott is a rare exception). But it just feels like they are too old to be making a movie that connects with anyone other than little kids who are not very discriminating. All the dorky slapstick and the goofy 'wanna be funny but not even close' jokey lines, the sense that a fun vibe will replace the audience's desire for a good, strong, coherent just reeks of....bad.
- Oh my God, Shia swinging on the vines?!? COME ON! Ok, I get maybe he would do that with one vine...but the whole Tarzan thing?!! Just dorky.

Ok, so there ya go. Makes me wanna see Iron Man again just to remind myself that there are still summer movies out there that do deliver. Batman and Hulk are looking pretty good (new Hulk trailer/footage of the battle in the park looks fantastic to me!) maybe they will be great rides. And I will see this once more in the theater because it's Indy Jones on the big screen doing new stuff. And like I said, some of it was pretty cool (the stuff between the fridge/nuke scene ((oh man, I mean, fucking really!??!How STUPID!!!)) and the jungle interrogation scene felt like a real Indy flick). And I thought Blanchett was really cool. And I did like Shia in this and could totally see them spinning off a new franchise with Mutt Jones/Indy Jones the second. Just get a new writer and director please!!!

But so yeah, it'll get my bucks for one more screening. But really, if I was not an Indy nut, I would say that this movie was pretty 2 out of 5...and more like 1.5 out of 5.

And as a pure popcorn/action movie goes, I enjoyed watching National Treasure 2 the other night about 5 times more than this. And that movie was FILLED with stunningly stupid coincidences. But it felt coherent, it hung together, and it felt like it took itself seriously enough that I could buy into the story and get semi lost in it.

Indy just feels like people who know they are making a danger and no consequence and no respect for the story...and consequently no fun.


ps. and before you post that I should just chill and enjoy a fun time at the movies, please read the part in the review where I address that very issue. I think since Star Wars Episode I, that has been a battle cry for folks trying to defend shitty movies ('ahh, just chill and have a good time! You take it too serious!"). But the reality is, a dorky, fun, let it all hang out movie CAN WORK and I love movies like that (The Mummy, The Scorpion King, The Forbidden Temple come to mind)...but this movie is not that. Those 'B' movies still thrill and entertain. This just bores and embarrasses all involved.

Except my brother. His stuff was great! :)


Cartman86 said...

Took the words right out of my mouth.

PM said...

i agree with alot of your points, i don't think i would call it terrible. i feel extremely natural towards the movie, witch is strange for a movie i was so excited for. the two parts i disliked the most was the part where they drive off the cliff and get stuck in the tree and it slows their decent. and when mutt was swinging with the monkeys and for some reason the monkeys attacked the Russians. those parts had me saying "WTF am i watching?".

and as you said the opening was really dull, especially considering that the first 3 movies had action packed openings: running from the rock, the huge fight in the china club, stealing the cross from the guy in the fedora.
Man those old movies were good, wern't they?

Anonymous said...

The point about the designers of the door knowing ahead of time that people would know how to open them is a good argument.

But at the same time I was reminded of the whole "Use the Sons' Skulls" mechanic from the first God of War. What would happen if someone ripped off the skull, opened a door and then died? Would future adventurers into the temple be screwed? :p

da criminal said...

No, you would just have to find that skull near the body of where the first guy died. And you would know the skull was missing because you would have seen it ripped from the body. And mostly- the fucking key hole in GOD OF WAR LOOKS like a damned SKULL! :)

PsychoRaven said...

Damn sorry to hear that you hated it man. I know it sucks when a franchise you love ends up going to shit.

I agree. Lucas is losing his damn mind.

Dan Allison said...

I couldn't agree more. It was just so "meh".

Overall I don't think it was horrible, but it wasn't great either. It just lacked the soul of the old Indy movies. There were no mysteries, action sequences, or characters that stood up to any from the first three... and the pay off was pretty lame if you ask me... just didn't feel like an Indy ending. I think it would have been better if they had left it un answered, kinda like the arch... Yes, you saw the ghosts kill people and shit, but why and how? There still was a mystery to it as the Gov't locked it away in that warehouse. In this one it was just like, "Yep, it's aliens and here's the ship, they're all powerful, see ya." Ugh.

GS3 said...

Couldn't agree with you more.

I just didn't feel I was watching an 'Indy' movie. Felt like I was watching some sort of mashup between an 'Alain Quartermain' b-movie and the 'X-Files'.

I also didn't like the dialogue, and never really liked anything that came out of Indy's mouth. Felt like Harrison was acting in some other action movie at times. They totally missed the mark.

And what about that stupid WEDDING scene!?? Indy doesn't get MARRIED! That's not his style!! It just felt like they were trying to cater to the moralistic idea that if you have a kid, you should be married to the mom, and so, of course, Indy has to marry Marion. It would have been so much better if Mutt had run into the Indy's house at the end looking for Mom and Dad with something important, only to find a note that they're off to Nepal or somewhere. Then Mutt hurries off to find them, leading to a another movie... ANYTHING than that stupid WEDDINg scene! I mean, COME ON!!

Anyway...I could go on for hours. I'm sure we'll chat about this more...

Indy 4 sucked.

GS3 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh said...

It just seemed like the old movies to me. I loved it. I'm always surprised that people want serious characterization and storytelling out of a series that is essentially on the level of He-Man: Masters of the Universe.

Honestly, the original movies were just as dumb. The first one had an overly intelligent monkey character as well (remember, the bsakets?), then it had stupid mystical crap about opening up the ark, and like souls flew out? The third one, it had that underground temple which was ridiculous (but fun...) and the hearts catch on fire. Plus they fell out of that airplane early on with the raft, right? The third one, again, full of just as much ridiculous crap. For instance, when Indy and the Nazi girl enter the catacombs under the old library/church, then exit out of the sewer, why didn't they just enter through the sewers? And how could Sean Connrey really use his umbrella to scare the birds into the airplanes? shit like that is commonplace in the series.

My main gripe Crystal Skull is that the alien they show looks like the "grey" sort that became a popular image in the 60s and 70s -- a few years after the movie was set. If they were going on the B-movie vibe of the 50s, it seems like they should have used giant ants or something.

grasshopper said...

There was quite a bit of the movie I liked...but the whole alien thing/Jungle Hunt vine swinging thing was terrible. But went in thinking it was going to be terrible so its didn't hit me so hard. I don't know overall I thought it was kinda good. One of my biggest complaints was it just looked too clear and had too much CG crap, I was hoping for a older look.
Anyway I stayed long enough to see your Bro's name in the thats cool

uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh said...

Also I loved that it ended with the wedding.

uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh said...

If you want to see serious storytelling, you shouldn't look for it in Indiana Jones, or probably even Steven Spielberg's work. Sure, I love him as a filmmaker, but most people consider directors like Cassavetes, Fassbinder, Bresson, Tarkovsky, Welles, Kubrick, Paradjanov, Godard and a whole host of others to be much more reputable as serious filmmakers. That's where people go when they want to see intelligent characters experiencing bad times. See the Bicycle Thief or something. It just seems childish that grown men expect a believable story with heartache and stuff in it in a movie like Indiana Jones. I mean, just look at the title. "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"? That's like something on the back of a cereal box. It's just a cartoon.

I mean, I thought Crystal Skull was a great adventure movie. The action sequences were fantastic and so well direceted and edited. I enjoyed it.

Matthew Dickinson

da criminal said...

Again, I think there is an incorrect assumption that says a movie either has to be buttoned up, Oscar worthy serious or stupid, brain-dead, roller coaster ride. And it's a disrespectful assumption that many of us are not capable of understanding that a summer action flick- with a silly name like Crystal Skull- is supposed to be goofy fun.

Trust me, we get that.

But I guess what alot of us who grew up with Spielberg and Lucas are saying, and what alot of us felt made those two so special back in the day is: they were able to marry the two! Granted, the thrill rides always took center stage, but there was ALWAYS a hint- at the least- or a big element- at the most- of a more human, personal, and- most importantly- believable story at the core.

These days, they have said: fuck the blend, we'll just go for the thrill rides. And as pure thrill rides go, there are others doing it better and bigger and badder...

pn18 said...

100% agree with your thoughts, David.
Even the 1.5/5 rating ;)

No, honestly, this is a really bad movie and I wasted about 25 bucks to see a preview of it in an English cinema. And as an huge Indy-fan, I felt so embarrassed when some American students clapped like it was the best Indy of all time. Jesus Christ, to me this sequel was even worse than Matrix Reloaded ...

However, you haven't mentioned the over the top use of CG. FUCK ILM!

Ron said...

Maybe it's that you've gotten older too so you don't watch movies the same way you did when the original indy films were released. To me, they had just as much ridiculous crap as crystal skull did.

Ratsor said...

First and foremost, I liked the movie. Didn't LOVE the movie but I enjoyed it. Ok now:

1)I don't understand why the door thing is THAT big of a hang up for you. It looks like it fits, he puts it in, it opens. The end.

2)I think the whole alien thing doesn't really fit in Indy as well as they thought it would, but in Raiders you had the whole death scene which is crazy, in Temple of Doom Indy gets hypnotized and a dude rips out another guy's heart with his hand (then it catches on fire later for no reason), and in Last Crusade there was a friggin ghost. So... they're all crazy.

I'm not going to say you're wrong because it's an opinion, and if can't be wrong but I and a good portion of my friends liked it.

Ratsor said...

Oh, and I LOVED all the action sequences, bike chase, jungle scene, all of it.

Anonymous said...

"Kind of coming out of a pot hangover"

Were you smoking marijuana or is the term "pot" have more meanings on the west coast?

Danny said...

You paid $14 for this flick. Even in my old age, I am not sure I can spend that much for an Indy film.

Prince said...

That was awesome... Indy 4 was complete garbage. Somebody is going to asassinate Lucas and maybe just beat up Spielberg.

Robert said...

why do you only reply to comments that attack you?

Show some attention to people who come here to hear/read what you have to say and respect it..

Dark Ede said...

Quite often it seems that despite you being the developer of my favorite series, Twisted Metal, I disagree with your opinion about movies. Not this time. I completely agree with every point you made. That totally fuckin' sucked.

-awful dialogue
-Mutt swinging on the vines?!
-the gophers! Would you please stop putting in your movies all that cutesy ewok-type shit
-the lack of explanation of the alien room
-special effects for the sake of special effects that do little to or don't serve the story
-Marion, a character I loved in Raiders, was so underdeveloped
-Actually, nearly all the characters so underdeveloped that I didn't care about any of them, although Indy and Mutt had their moments

And, yeah, the first 3 movies had things occurring like the raft drop that were ridiculous but you bought every cliffhanger anyway because you were so involved with the characters and story. You BELIEVED the Indy mythology. But this one I also I consider an insult.

Da Dark Knight said...

Im a huge Batman and Dc comics fan and as far as Marvel go Im only crazy about three characters the Punisher, Spider-man, and The Hulk. I hoping that The Dark Knight, Hulk, and the new Punisher movie are really good.

Check out this clip of the Hulk its awesome lol

Tenaciousck said...

what did your brother think of the movie? I guess hes not at liberty to professionally say. It would be great to work on an Indy Movie, I mean Indiana Jones is an icon of American film making...But my god, what a fucking tragedy. What a fucking tragedy.

da criminal said...

Robert....not sure what you want me to say to someone who agrees with my

Right on! Yeah man! We rock! We are sooo right! Fight the motherfuckin power, co-believers!

Does that help :)

Thanks for reading the blog, man!


Zodiak said...

hey Dave, saw it on Saturday, I wasn't expecting a masterpiece only a fan service. Now the Arc cameo in the warehouse was cool but the whole groundhog thing was wayy overused (however I thought the fridge survivor was funny lol).

And the monkeys....*sigh* and it looked bad as a CGI part of the movie.

The sword fight was enjoyable at least and the bike/car chase.

I dunno why he would try to save the double crosser toward the end of the movie...let the guy die with all the gold.

That and stuff when they were tied up reminded me of Last Crusade when son and father were tied up in the Nazi castle, the "i've got a bad feeling" from star wars and the junior part. Recycled? yes but nostalgic.

Robert said...

I didn't know you read every comment.
just testing you...

Marc Alva said...

i liked it, but i see where your coming from. the whole "chill the fuck out" thing can be used in some context (ie. Smokin' Aces, Crank, Shoot em' Up) but coming from the Indy brand, you don't want that. i have a feeling that CGI has clouded there imagination in ways that they go for a more "Style over Substance" view.its not my favorite movie of the summer, nor one of my favorites, but i found it enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

I saw it this weekend. I liked Ford during some key scenes, I liked Shea Leboeuf, But there seemed to be things forced on them.

IMO George and Steven should never work together EVER again. It's just a bad combination.

This sounds wierd but maybe Lucas has been in the video game Biz too long. The movie felt like the cut scenes in a video game only I kept waiting for the parts where I had control.

There were some good monents but then there was some just palin stuid things going on.

It's like they had a beginging, the had key scenes in mind then everything else was just thrown together to fill in the spaces between, including the ending.

Well not the wedding part because that was the real ending but the ending of the adventure.

Iron Man was 10 times the movie this was and as write as that is it should sound wrong.

No disrespect to Ford, Shea, Kate or the other great actors in this move. They were given there job to do and they did it well, it's just this movie was put (strike that) slapped together all wrong.

I think if you coud take some of the key scenes and put a real story in between you could have had a great flick.

last summer was a blockbuster year for movies this, year looks to be hit or miss so far.

Anonymous said...

pot hangover? i did not know you smoked the chiba dave.

da criminal said...

From time to time I do indeed...not that often, just often enough to remind me that the current view we have of life is only one view, and all it takes is a shift in brain chemistry to allow us to realize that life is so much more than what we are simply aware of on the surface...but I'm not hardcore...not anti-drug but certainly not anything close to a pothead...I like my current reality too much to be away for that long...but from time to time? Hells yeah!

...we did an audio podcast of our time high last, my brother, one of my best buddies from childhood, and a video game magazine/website editor/writer...I may post it once I edit out some stuff :)

grasshopper said...

Ahh that podcast sounds like it might be fun to listen too :) Hope you put it up

Murderdolls said...

I still haven't seen it =( sounds depressing though...

Sakreth said...

i really liked it. a lot.

it reminded me of a new indy ina new era of film. like star wars 456 then 123.

looking forward to 5 and 6 hopefully.

sucks everyone hated it.

Jass said...

Okay, I'll summarise my points in bullet points:

1) I think they were trying to answer archaeologists "greatest" question, which is "How does all civilisations connect to one another?" On one hand it's bad because they use the concept of aliens, yada yada yada... On the other hand it's kind of good, because if this is the last Indy, then at least they answered it. (Despite the reason being shit.)

2) Yes, the bad "gal" died, but what happened to her? What was so special to make her eyes on fire, instead of joining the others through the interdimensional portal thingy (apart from "every-Indy-baddie-must-die-their-own-special-way-syndome")?

3) WHERE WAS Sallah (John Rhys-Davies)? Instead they replace him with George "Mac" McHale (Ray Winstone)? Don't get me wrong, he did a good job, but I missed Sallah.

4) Vines, mindreading, and saucers. Nop. You lost me. Too much CG. And, [sarcasm] They're not Aliens, they're "Interdimensional Entities". [/sarcasm]

edu.reboucas said...

I didn't really feel like watching an Indiana Jones movie when watching that. The old feeling was just absent there, but maybe it's just nostalgia talking.

Also, Dave, we both knew the ark would show up in the movie in some way. I knew the warehouse in the trailer was the warehouse where they put the ark in at the end of Raiders. What did you think of how it was shown?

I was kinda disappointed as well, I think Spielberg and Lucas have changed with the years, and so did the audience. Hell, damned if we would see hearts ripped out in this PG-13 movie!

BerserkBlade said...

IMO it was great, though I could see why some people didn't care for it. Still haven't seen Indy 2 and 3, but I'll get on that ASAP.

Anyway, one point I think we can all agree on is that the action scenes were amazingly done. Pretty much the only opinion the people who loved it and the people who hate it can agree on, though.

What I wanna know is, why do so many people have a hard on for the Russian chick? Apparantly she's one of everybody's favorite villians, including Lucas and Speilberg...she came off as rather dull and generic to me. If they think she's the best villian they've done, I'm expecting the bad guys in Indy 2 and 3 are gonna suck pretty bad, too.

The gophers got kind of annoying [But at least they did away with them before it got TOO bad], and excactly WHY the hell there was a little village of clay people watching Howdy Doody was kinda wtf. And the fridge thing WAS stupid, though I have to admit I got a chuckle out of it.

Also, I love that line Mr. Jaffe posted. "We've reached the age where life stops giving you things and starts taking them away." amazing quote, definitly the best in the film by far.

I liked the thing with the fire ants, too...just wish they made it messier.

Call me easily impressed, but the supernatural stuff didn't really bug me: I guess the realism never applies to movies thing kinda got to me after playing too many games/watching too many movies. Could definitly see how some people saw the aliens and magic monkeys over the top, though.

And I gotta say, I was totally surprised with Shia. At first I was like "Oh christ, they're putting the fucking even stevens kid in it, what the fuck's gotten into them, this is gonna suck" but I was totally surprised and then some. He was awesome in it. Put this guy in more movies, ASAP. Hell, put him in Get Smart. With any luck, he'll make it not TOTALLY suck. If they put him in, I swear to god I am going to watch that sellout pile of dung remake.

Yay for rambling.

erico316 said...

david jaffe one of the best game developers in the world lol!!! i own all your games since i was lil kid 19 now twisted metal being one of the first game i own that u made.Now that its almost time for one of the biggest release on the ps3 is coming up just wanted to know are u planing on picking its up?Im sure u know that i am speaking about metal gear solid 4! sorry that was a lil off topic now to the post well i hope i dont sound like a jack ass about hollwood but wtf happen to them.I mean they finsh a movie seirs years ago and now they bring them back wtf. Cannt they come up with new ideas.I mean come on rambo,rocky ,now indie what next "it".I just found out about blog thing i will be on it now and then when i have time from now i have 2 must have blog playstion blog and this one.good luck on the game u working on whatever its is.

Anonymous said...

I'm kinda torn on this movie. I don't hate it, but I'd definitely say it's the worst one of the 4. I think for me the biggest thing was simply the newer effects. like the flying saucer at the end. That didn't really feel indy to me at all. The mutt of the jungle thing was also stupid.

Overall I enjoyed it though. It was weird to find out that he became a spy. Seems like a weird thing for an archaeologist to do.

As far as the crystal skulls thing, i think the idea was that they were brought back to that place, and once they were all together there would be shenanigans. Also as far as the door, it looked like there was an outline of the alien skeleton on it. Then again, in the end if you have some special artifact and you come up to a door or something that you can't figure out how to open, chances are it'll be that artifact that opens it :p

Overall it's a ridiculous movie but there's still a LOT WORSE you could be watching.

Kyle said...

i enjoy indy so i liked it.. but have heard anything else on that other movie... you know the one about that dead spartan guy... btw would i be warm if i guessed that brett ratner was the guy who might direct the movie?

ConceptCreature said...

It so seems like Lucas just pulls crap out of a hat nowadays, edits it together and slaps it on a screen, doesn't it?
In Star Wars, I imagine him with a giant bingo raffle spinner that he rotated around a few times, pulled out a piece of paper and was like, "Water planet! They go to a water planet!" and like you said, nobody says 'No' to him anymore in their zealous love of the prior properties, so several people just jump up and start doing what he says. Same happened in this film! Where did monkeys on vines come from??? And by the way- what exactly WAS the power of the skull? Arc of the Covenant, I got it, Holy Grail, understood. Skull's power? Kinda confused.
Where I mostly see quality with his stuff is when OTHER people are allowed to work with it and Lucas has at most an executive producer. Kinda explains why Empire was so good, doesn't it? He didn't direct it! And now Clone Wars looks promising (as the prior cartoons were) so perhaps if they (god forbid) feel like they have to screw with this property again, they can give someone else a wack at it, and not him!

Andrew Aiello said...

I agree david. If you are a fan of the trilogy go see it because harrison delivers as indy and shia gives hope that a better movie could be made some day. I don't blame speilberg for this movie. He was trying his best and it shows in teh small personal moments(indy and marion tied up in the truck, for example). Speilberg said frank durabont's script was the bext he'd ever read and then lucas said no it's shit, I hate shit I'm going to go write my own thing and we'll shoot that. and steven just caved I guess. Speilberg's promise of minimal CG was also a lost cause I guess movie felt like star wars episode one but the jedi's were wearing leather jackets. anyways see it if you're an indy fan skip it and see ironman again otherwise.

Rex said...

Ok.. if the skull was the key... and only one was missing...what was the purpose of opening the chamber of aliens? If they all were inside sitting in the chamber, why there was a door that the key was their heads... no one could open it from out side if they were all in?

So, how they could enter the chamber and steal only one skull which is suppose to be the key to enter the chamber in the first place? or the alien was beheaded... then they all sat there... confusing. In other words, lets make a secret chamber... lets lock the key inside, but to open it, we need that key (thats inside)... but somehow someone stole it.... JUMPER?

Rex said...

Hey GS3 that would have been a nice ending actually... liek they are off to Nepal or searching some other hard to get piece of crap in the world, and making this kid follow them or find an extra fedora hat sitting next to it.. yeah. That would've been great. Better than getting married out of nowwhere.
Did anyone notice? But Mutt asked like 3 times the same question about what happend to el conquistador when he went to look for the city of gold...

Is not that terrible I could watch it again... but having in mind to not compare them to the other 3. Its an addition movie.. hope not the grand finale. The jungle scene? well they have to appeal to a hollywood poppy audience.}

Lets face it, many teenagers werent born since the last indy went to the theaters, they dont know who indy is, until probably couple months ago... They had to make a happy medium of a fan movie and a wider audience movie... so the results are not as happy.

I do wanted a better opening sequence too. Whats the point of them 2 racing each other... its like.. who are they? whats the point? why? go home!

I think it was hard to compete with movies like THE MUMMY and National Treasure that obviously took elements of indiana jones triology and made it digest them to a younger audience.

I dont know, need to go back to work.

Jenny MacKenzie said...

Right on, Dave. I've been stewing on Indy for the last 10 hours -- and couldn't wait to get to work this morning (Sony Bend) to compare notes with my co-workers.

Interesting-enough, the guys that hated the movie (as I did) are the guys who are my age: late 30's. We all grew up loving the original Indy (and Star Wars) flicks, when we were kids.

However, the younger guys in the studio actually liked this Indy flick. However, they're also the same guys who creamed over 'Transformers' -- which I thought looked more like an explosion at the tinsel factory than anything else.

So -- I think that age and maturity plays a huge role in whether or not someone will like this new Indy flick.

I couldn't get past the plot holes -- the rushed puzzle solving -- Shia of the Jungle -- weathered Marion ... and by-God, if I heard "Jonesy" uttered one more time I think I would have shot my head off.

As well, the climax of the film (or was it) was that massive UFO coming out of the ground -- but yet the camera didn't move -- didn't track the the ship -- it just fucking took off, like a stingray hidden in the ocean floor, and we're supposed to go "oh. I guess they decided to leave. Seeya, guys. Have a nice day" --- whereas I asked "where the fuck did they go? No parting words after being underground for so long? What the fuck was that all about? C'mon Steven, you can pull and E.T or Close Encounters on us if you want to, just to give the movie some sort of purpose" -- but no. No resolution. No closure. Nothing for Indy to take back and put on a shelf. No big statement from the aliens to make the audience go "Hmmm .. that IS a good point. Maybe we should destroying the planet". Nothing. Zip. Just a fucking wedding, and a partial passing of the torch to Shia.

Granted, Harrison was enjoyable -- and Shia (in the beginning) was likeable. Then the movie got *going* and everything went downhill.

I almost walked out when Shia started swinging on the vines. That was tooooo much for me to handle.

Anyhow, I could go on and on and on about how much I disliked the movie, but I think you're blog really pointed out many of the same issues I had with it.

Thanks. I don't feel so alone now knowing that other people disliked the movie as much as I did.

Let's start a petition and BEG Lucas to stop ruining our childhood franchises. ;-)


James said...

If you want a mixture of both you should play Uncharted, it felt closer to Indy 4 to me than Indy 4 did. lol

Dutch DeGay said...

I was so relieved to hear you didn't like it either!

I'm not a fanboy but I can appreciate great films. I think "Raiders" is one of the greatest. Of course I've seen everyone since and own them all on DVD but I can't even begin to share my dissapointment that after 19 years we got this stinking pile of crap! It was so made to cash the cow one last time.


greekdude247 said...

I guess I'll be the minority on these comments and say I really liked the film. It of course doesn't measure up to the original but this one had its own glow. See, luckily I'm a huge nerd on the legend on the 13 crystal skulls (which might of made me like it more) and they stayed very close to the myth. And yes, that means the aliens were necessary.
Your okay with a Christian God co-existing with Hindu Gods but not with aliens? There is always a super natural element to Indiana and aliens fit in perfectly with the time Indy IV took place.
The time was 1957. What do you think of in that time? THE COLD WAR! What do you think of when you hear of cold war? Communists, and nukes. Where did the US test many of their nukes? In desert military bases. Where is the most famous desert military base? Area 51! What is Area 51 famous for? Aliens! Now what legend can link something old to aliens? Many, but they chose the crystal skull myth because there is more info on it than the ideas of stone hedge and all that other stuff. The aliens for me fit right in.
The crystal skull is (in real life) said to have mystical abilities. There really are crystals skulls here (Indy reference one in the British museum) and they have no markings of tools on them what so ever, technology we have today can't even make them. They don't have a elongated cortex though. I was blown away by how close they were to the actual legend. Being that if we don't have the tech today to make a skull like that, how could the Mayans? That brings in the hypothesis about the aliens. The material that the actual skulls are made of are a metalloid capable of storing billions of data like our silicon chips.
Anyway... I just wanted to point out how close they stayed. They had those true Indy moments though in the film. Like when Indy said, "don't touch anything" to Mutt, I immediately had a flashback to temple of doom. And the creepy stuff (scorpions), Jones being in sticky situation, getting out, and then getting caught again. It all felt right to me. IDK. maybe its just me, but I totaly enjoyed the film. And I'm not putting it on a pedestal, there were parts that I was like WTF?!?! The monkeys and George of the Jungle bit? Once again, WTF!?! Anyway, if you want to discuss this further (witch I very well can and want to) email me at .

da criminal said...

Hey greek- I have actually heard that if you know about the skulls, the movie works better. But:

a- what kind of a shit movie has a prerequisite to watch it?

b- your explanation of the skulls is much more interesting than what was in the film. Thanks!

c- I get the whole area 51 deal, the whole nuke deal, the whole aliens deal. No issues with the subject matter. My issues- regarding those elements are:

1. no matter what time period, having Indy survive a nuke is stupid. It not only feels terribly out of place but it make the subsequent dangers feel quaint at best, pointless at worse. He survive a fucking nuke! Not too worried about him dealing with some ants...

2. In previous Indy flix, he was a skeptic...he stood in for the audience's natural sense of disbelief. This- along with the fact that many know of the ark and most all know of the grail but almost no one knew of the skulls- grounded the earlier stories and made them plausible. In this film, not even Mutt- who should have been like, "what do you mean aliens?!? Dude, you are nuts..." questioned all the crazy shit going on. Everyone was just like: yep, aliens. Yep, dead warriors. Yep, space ships! In the hands of a better writer, these far fetched elements could have worked and been fascinating. But there was no subtext to this and no was just tossed up on the screen with no love of story. Hell, a cool subtext would have been Indy- who has seen all kinds of crazy shit in his day- realize that the quaintness of the 30's and 40's are over with the invention of the atomic bomb...and we now HAVE in essence the fucking power of the ark without even NEEDING the ark....

Anonymous said...

One thing that people haven't commented is the age of practically every person in the movie (with the exception of Shia).

Am I the only one who thought that for the most-part this movie was as "cool" as watching Cocoon, or better-yet Sunday Bingo at the old folk's home?

It's kind of sad when they have to cast old actors/actresses in order to make Harrison Ford look more youthful than he is. Granted, he still busted out some pretty amazing moves for an "old guy", so hats off to the feller for giving it his best shot.

Still, I couldn't help but feel like this might be a movie better-suited for my Mom to watch and enjoy for its throw-back nostalgia and aging cast.

Anyhow, I found it all very strange.

And no hotties! C'mon, they could have cast at least one young starlet for Shia to take interest in, or even for he and Indy to BOTH take interest in. Father and Son trying different tactics to win her love. Old school vs new school. Could have been an interest aside to add some spice to the movie. Hell, even one cameo by Megan Fox and I may have changed my tune on this movie. ;-) Instead, Kate Blanchet was the closest thing to eye-candy in the entire movie. Er.

Keep up the awesome blogging, Dave.

Spook said...

I really do not get the hate at all,
SO it was bit goofy, it still felt like indi to me, I was actually amazed in how much marion still looked the part asd she did in raiders ( the eyes, just have that sparkle) and even more amazed with harrison ford's performance ( I had no hope after seeing him in firewall) You can just tell that everyone on the movie had fun making it. Could it have done with a better script , absolutley, would I have prefered less CGI, sure ( take out, vines,monkeys, gophers and aliens) But I have not had such a good time in a while, and I loved ironman but man is that movie getting overrated lately. I could break down most nonesense in tha movie also and suck all the fun out of it.. but I am not because that would server no purpose.

For me this indy 4 wa sbetter then ToD and worse then the other too. But they should not make another anymore either. (and please no mutt jones stuff- HF is who made indi what he is/was and it just would not work) I will enjoy this movie for sure when it comes out on dvd/blu-ray and until then I can entertain myself with my original trilogy dvd set ( had it for years) and king solomons mines . Plus the gazillion of other movies coming out this year ..

sorry to hear of al the hate, lucky the world if full of variety and different tastes and I do not have to hate/like the same things as you .
Peace bro

apoc said...

Came across this today and since I know you're such an avid fan I just had to share.

Not sure this is avail in the US though. I would be more than happy to send you a box(spoon) if you need.

Enjoy! :)

Dustin said...

I enjoyed your review, but I disagree with your overall verdict of "I thought it was pretty terrible".

As stated in some other posts, the apple didn't fall too far from the tree in Indy 4.

I think what many of you are trying to say is that you love the CHARACTER Indiana Jones (the fedora-wearing, whip-cracking, in-over-his-head-all-the-time, roughneck that is Harrison Ford) and disliked the story/script.

The scripts of all four Indy films have always been patchwork that combines a touch of slapstick, some "larger than life" moments, and some hint of romance. Indy 4 was no exception. Even Lucas' StarWars films followed this pieced together format for a script.

It is my belief that we all have a favorite moment from past Indy films that made us fall in love with the character. Having watched the past three films this past month, my favorite moments were just as I remembered them, but I didn't recall the really bad moments that also litter the scripts and screens.

If you disliked Indy 4, go back and watch the first three Indy adventures again and tell me you ablsolutely love them in their entirety. I found that I had the same complaints about the original films as I did in Crystal Skull.

At the very least, we need to applaud Lucas for consistency. Consistently mediocre scripts and films with characters audiences fall in love with.

Speaking directly to Indy 4 - I was really bothered by the Tarzan scene and the fact that they took the mystery completely out of the Crystal Skulls. Aliens did it. Why didn't they leave the mystery behind and let us wonder if they are manmade or brought here from another world? The moment they revealed the body of an alien under the tent in the jungle I was pissed through the rest of the film. Talk about an anti-climax.

Jeff, I had many of the same questions you shared regarding the origins and purpose of the aliens. Here are a few more:

Okay, so it was aliens - BUT WHY?!?! Why were they here? How did they get stranded here?
What about the skull of the alien that was revealed in the jungle scene? Was his skull not important enough to unlock the "chamber of secrets" or be part of the 13?
If there were 13 of them, who recovered the other 12 and how did they end up in the temple?
If the skulls activated the spaceship, who was piloting it and why would 13 crystal skulls located OUTSIDE the craft be the cause? (because the "chamber of secrets" sure looked like Mayan construction and not some space alien titanium engineering like the craft appeared to be made out of)

Anyway, I chose to post because the bad parts are what I remember as opposed to the good parts from the originals. After seeing it twice, I still can't think of many good things to mention. I'm sure they were there, they just didn't leave an impression like the originals have. Perhaps that takes time, and for that I have to keep my criticism under control.

I respect each opinion with supporting arguements, but for me, my opinion of Indy 4 is 3 of 5 stars. It could have been much better, but I know Lucas and didn't set the bar high.

Ironman on the other hand - Go see that again for a good time.

Dark Ede said...

What?! Crystal Skull better than Temple of Doom? Hardly. While ToD has elements to it that I don't particularly care for it still nails nearly every joke, every emotional moment and every cliffhanger. You are entitled to your opinion, spook, but I vehemently disagree with you.

And Iron Man rocked.

G,W, said...

Wow Dave. I can't believe you didn't like the opening scene. I loved it. I thought it was VINTAGE Indy. I mean it was great to me. I agree with some of your points, but I still had a good time with it. It's my least favorite of the series and the whole Marion/Indy relationship you nailed on the head. But I was still like ok, that's ok. I sort of took that "chill just enjoy attitude into it." But I see what you mean and understand your points.

This felt like the Indy with the least amount of coherence and what not. I agree. Other Indys had purposes. This one was just like "Let's go on another adventure." But I still enjoyed the hell out of it.

Lucas' story was ok. But he needs to get over his childhood. I thought his story was going to be great since Episode III kicked fucking ass but it was just ok. (Episode II and I sucked by the way.)

Surprised that you felt that way about Indy 4, but understandable. I was let down a little too, but I still enjoyed it. I find that if I see a film again, I find something I can enjoy about it that I missed the first time. Hope that works out for you. But dude, the opening sequence was awesome. Did it take a little time? Yeah. But once Indy pulled his whip out it was sweet.


Anonymous said...

oh god, it was a good movie. jaffe, you probably liked 10,000 bc. that's something a lot less sitcom-less

G.W. said...

Oh I just had to add one thing. Regardless of Ridley Scott's great career he has arguably made one of the worst movies ever in Kingdom Of Heaven. That was torture. Everything else he's done has been either good or legendary, but that film- wow, it was like he was just on shrooms the whole time.

Skeptic said...

That's awesome to know you're a fellow cannabis smoker! Not too surprising since you do live in CA after all, the #1 pot growing state.

Cannabis is such an amazing drug. Its high is so uplifting, it allows you to see far more depth in everything, thus making you become far more engrossed in your activities, especially video-games!You can acheive such a omniscient state when high, where truths just seem to naturally be revealed to you. Anyone who says pot is bad probably just haven't actually tried the drug, or they had a bad trip ruined by unreasonable expections, which their to blame for more so than the drug.

Anyways, keep smoking the righteous herb man!

Nino Mojo said...

Someone who thinks Kingdom Of Heaven was torture probably can't tell a masterpiece when he sees one.

Yes, that new Indy film was super disapointing.

Anonymous said...

DK33- David, I agree with you 100% on all of your views, and you have picked up on many of the moments that I cringed at too. This just wasn't like Indy. After 3-4 years of rumour and anticipation this is what we get for all our waiting? That's f'ed up, dude.

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