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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:37 pm    Post subject: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) Reply with quote



When "The Last Crusade" came out, I thought it was just one Indie movie too many and they should have quit with "Temple of Doom".

Then I saw "Crystal Skull" and started thinking the movie before it was much better than I'd given it credit for.

This movie just tried to pull off too many cinematic slight-of-hand tricks. They wanted us not to notice how far they'd strayed from "Raiders of the Lost Ark". They hoped we wouldn't realize that the story was pseudo-science fiction -- not classic serialized adventure. They prayed we wouldn't spot the obvious lack of originality in yet another prolonged moving-vehicle-with-fighting scene — which took place on two oddly parallel roads through the jungle.

And the thing they desperately hoped they could slip past us was the sad way Harrison Ford and Karen Allen had celebrated too many birthdays between this movie and "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

When an actor has reached the perfect age to play the wise old mentor but he's still trying to play the bold and indestructible young hero, it becomes obvious to the audience that "something has passed it's expiration date in the state of Denmark".

I mean, God Lord — in "Last Crusade", Sean Connery was 58 years old, but they didn't try to make him look as spry as Indie, right?

And yet in "Crystal Skull", Harrison Ford was 64 — and he's still swinging on his whip and jumping around on moving trucks while slugging it out with legions of ruffians!

I'm thinking Harrison needs to hire the same agent as Sean — somebody who can get him a better deal!

As for the film's story, look at what we got.

There are these big glass skulls, see, and they're from aliens — only they're not really aliens like from outer space, because these aliens are from the "space between space", okay?

Wow, who saw that one comin'? Shocked

I'm not sure if that means these aliens came from farther away than regular space aliens or they're really close to us, but one dimension over, as the crow flies. I did notice, however, that their flying saucers went up when they left, so at least we know what direction they're from, even if we don't have a clue as to where they are when they get back home!

Anyway, these skulls hold a priceless treasure trove of super-scientific knowledge . . . which absolutely nobody can use because if you try to get the knowledge out, you burn up or something.

Throw in a zillion really nasty ants that could eat Marines for breakfast and some energetic monkeys that make the Harlem Globe Trotters look about as coordinated as preschoolers on a sugar high.

And these are just the highlights of this epic. I won't go into detail about atom bombs and refrigerators, because we're still scratching our heads over that one.

Please don't get me wrong — it's not that I didn't admire the imagination that went into this movie. I just thought that the makers of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" did a masterful job of walking that thin line between realism and fantasy.

But when they made this movie they stepped over the line and waved bye-bye to it over their shoulders as the line faded into the distance.
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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:00 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Here's the trailer for this odd entry in the Indiana Jones series.
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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


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Eadie
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least it gave us a memorable character, the alien Akator leader:



And a memorable space craft, the inter-dimensional Akator saucer:



(Named for the location. We do not know what they called themselves or their craft.)

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Pow
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You summed it up well, Bud.

I knew the minute that Indy ducked into the refrigerator in order to be shielded from the atomic testing blast that this film was in serious doo-doo.

If the announcement is true that they are going to produce a fifth Indy movie they are going to have to come up with one hell of a better script this time around.
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Phantom
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:18 pm    Post subject: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Reply with quote

No one's heart was in this thing. Not even Spielberg's, and how could it be after making Shindler's List and Saving Private Ryan, two of the greatest movies of the 1990's.

I own the dvd, mostly to compete the set. I throw it into the machine now and then when I need something to put me to sleep.

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The Spike
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:52 pm    Post subject: I definitely don't have the hang-ups most do. Reply with quote

Enjoyed your review, Bud —I don't agree with the negativity myself. I enjoyed it at the cinema on release and have continued to enjoy it on home format every other year. I could do without the monkeys section though!

Indiana Jones is called back into action when he becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls.

So here it is, the fourth instalment of the Indiana Jones series is finally here, one of the most talked about, most anticipated, and most yearned for films is here to hopefully entertain the fans and maybe garner some new ones in the process? Does it deliver?

Well, to me it most certainly does, as adventure yarns go, this is a ripper, and although the plot gets lost within the outlandish ideals, the film still emerges as one of the better popcorn blockbusters of the year. All the chief ingredients that have made the franchise so beloved are crammed in by way of crowd pleasing necessity, and it damn well works.

Outrageous action sequences perk us up at frequent intervals, deftly self aware comic moments are many, and crucially, the film remains loyal to the heroic good against evil spirit of the franchise.

We begin in the Nevada Desert in 1957, and it's through this 50s setting that we come to accept the ageing of the main protagonist, he is after all a mere mortal, a man with a whip and a bit of guts.

The 50s was a time of paranoia, spies and dubious cover ups were all the rage, this shines through from the outset here, and putting an aged Indiana Jones in this time frame is nothing short of genius.

But enough of the politics, we as fans just want to be entertained, and we are well served here, spooky chambers, mysterious civilizations, tricky maps, unfathomable codes, creepy crawlies, peril at every turn, and stuntery abound.

Oh yes, it's all here.

However, the purists will hate the use of CGI in this, and for sure it does grate during one over extended sequence, but just like it didn't stop Stephen Sommers' The Mummy being a riot, it doesn't harm this picture either. We are, after all, talking about a popcorn actioner here. Surely going into a film of this type, one immediately suspends disbelief?

I mean, I'm personally going into the cinema to escape for a couple of hours, and Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull is just what the doctor ordered, with a lollipop to follow for good behavior.

The cast are a mixed bunch.

Ford easily carries off the role as the older Indiana Jones, very aware and with tongue firmly in cheek.

Shia LaBeouf fits into the series with no problems at all, spunky and witty, he adds the young sparkle needed to off-set the aged nature of our hero, and he gets a delightful entrance to boot.

Ray Winstone is an odd casting choice because his character is very underwritten. If you are going to utilize the big Englishman, then give him the reins to take. He's gruff and watchable, but it remains a case of wasting talent.

Karen Allen joyfully reappears as Marion, and the film takes a significant leap upwards once she arrives. However, the character is reduced to playing fourth fiddle in the ensuring shenanigans, and as much as the interplay with Indy still sparkles, you can't help hankering for much more from our Marion.

Cate Blanchet is sparky as Irina Spalko, but although as our chief villain of the piece she's tough, sexy, and not to be messed with, it's a turn that is never quite fully formed.

John Hurt does the best he can with what little the role calls for, whilst Jim Broadbent barely gets time to fill the considerable boots left by Denholm Elliott's Marcus Brody.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will divide fans and newcomers alike, but I honestly say without nostalgia rearing its head, that this film is a joy ride to be judged on its own merit.

It's difficult to understand some of the venom aimed at this latest installment, it's not like anything has really changed with the formula.

Indiana Jones has always been about fun, nothing more and nothing less. Just remember why you fell in love with the franchise in the first place and you will see the makers here have given the fans what they wanted.

Perhaps the advent of time and the new technology available has a hindrance value for sure. But although Indy 4 obviously isn't quite the impacting franchise jolt that Bond got with "Casino Royale", it's sure as hell shown "Die Hard 4" how it should have be done. 8/10

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Well, bless my soul . . . Spike's enthusiastic review made me realize that part of the problem which Indiana Jones fans like me have with the sequels — from Temple of Doom all the way to Crystal Skull — stems from the fact that the brilliant original movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, was made in 1981, when both the producers (Lucas and Speilberg) and the mature audience members like me were only about 20 years removed from our 1950s boyhood days, when we adored the old serials which inspired Raiders!

Our childhood memories were still reasonably fresh, and our hearts were still light! Raiders carried us back to those days when rock n' roll was king and a drive-in movie was the place to go! Very Happy






But as our fond memories of those days faded progressively over the years, each sequel was less successful in carrying us into the past for a brief but memorable visit to those legendary days of our youth.

Temple of Doom (1984) was released only three years later, but it assaulted the audience with disturbing scenes of mind-controlling potions and evil villains who ripped beating hearts from people's chest! Admitted it was an exciting 1980s movie — but it was not a fond tribute to the classic serials.






The Last Crusade (1989) came along eight years after the original, when the target audience had turned 40 and was on the verge of becoming jaded middle aged folks who required more action and more special effects than we'd ever dreamed of when we were kids! But it actually succeeded in dialing back the story to something more like the original.





The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) was presented a full decade after the previous one — twenty-seven years after Raiders — and the filmmakers felt compelled to compete with Star Wars, Star Trek, and the bumper crop of new science fiction, rather than the old serials.





Add to this the fact the hero now looked as old as the aging audience members who loved the first movie — a cruel reminder that "time waits for no man . . . even in Hollywood". Sad

My point is this.

Those of us who were in our early thirties in 1981 and loved the first movie as a wonderful trip down memory lane can't be expected to have the same feelings about our youth when we're almost thirty years older and have grandchildren who are the age we were when we saw Raiders of the Lost Ark!

To be fair, Lucas and Speilberg were just as much older as their original "Indy" audience when they made the fourth film . . . and yet they managed to create a movie which could be enjoyed by a mixed audience of millennials and baby boomers. That's actually quite an achievement! Very Happy

Having said all this, guys, I feel compelled to retract most of my original objections to this movie, based on the fact that I've judged it unfairly. This movie represents a near-impossible compromise between my generation and the one which came along almost thirty years later.

Although the refrigerator scene WAS a bit much . . .



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