Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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Posted on Sunday, May 25th, 2008 at 12:49 am.

Natalie, Mike, and Chris came to visit in Madison. It was a great excuse to go see the new Indiana Jones movie.

If you had any doubts about whether or not to see the movie and enjoyed the other three, you should definitely see this one. Having seen the trilogy only last week, I can say that I remember them less with that forgiving glow of nostalgia and more with actual memory. Similar storytelling is used, and the same amount of belief-suspension is called for.

And damn, I know I have an infatuation with Marion in the first film, but she sure ages well. Harrison Ford too, of course.

When you do end up seeing the film, listen closely; my favorite line is a simple one, and you might miss it:

“Oh…it’s just a thing.”

As for one of the parts you might complain about after watching the film, I have my theory about a Spielberg tie-in, but of course you might think differently. Go watch it!

7 comments to “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”

  1. Comment by Patrick:

    It was better than the Temple of Doom, but that’s not saying much. Still doesnt hold a candle to Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Last Crusade.

    I wasn’t a big fan of the very beginning, but I enjoyed the middle body of the film, though I also thought the ending (namely the last 25 minutes, starting with Shia LaBoeuf swinging from vines) really failed to follow through on the excitement set up by the middle of the film.

    Given the sad state of Hollywood, it was pretty entertaining, but filmicly, it could have been much, much better.

  2. Comment by Tim:

    SPOILERS -K

    Yeah, I didn’t like it too much… I liked how in the first three, there wasn’t too much that was special about the ‘special’ object; Ark, stones, and Grail. At least in the beginning. Indy goes after it cause it has some archaeological significance not because he thinks they have magical powers. I liked how the supernatural events didn’t happen until the very very end of the movie (and also that they didn’t put too much emphasis on the object itself. Example: they could have replaced the Ark, stones, or Grail with something completely different and the movie still would have worked cause the emphasis wasn’t on the object itself, but on the characters, their motivations for obtaining it, relationships with each other).

    Crystal Skull I think deviates from this a lot in that, they find the skull halfway through the movie and it is shown to have supernatural powers already (‘magnetic’, mind flaying?, anti-ants/natives) and it is hinted at in the beginning that its from an alien skull. The whole aliens thing… wasn’t exactly my cup of tea; if I want to see aliens, I’ll watch Aliens, Star Wars, or dozens of other films. The whole aliens thing put too much of a sci-fi twist on Indy (curse you Speilburg~!), which I thought had a more mystic/supernatural undertone. Emphasis on undertone cause again, the magical properties of the relics weren’t really shown until the very end of the movie. On a side note, I thought Ox was a completely useless character; they could have replaced him with a book (like Connery’s diary) cause he was just a plot device to give Indy the next clue. And on that note, Elsa > Mac at the whole double-cross thing (more tension from being a woman)

    Another thing that I found off was the over-the-topness of the buildings/traps in the movie. Temple with retracting spiral staircase which was discovered after smashing off stone faces that allowed 4 pillars to converge? Having that gigantic door that unlocked with the skull? Those scenes are something I would expect in The Mummy/National Treasure series; ridiculous, extravagant traps and secret passageways. One thing that made the last scene in Last Crusade so epic was that it took itself seriously, and the traps fit in with the tone of the movie. They weren’t complex, but well thought out (I mean, come on, who wasn’t in amazement at the blended walkway?).

    These gripes only suggest that the movie didn’t feel like an Indiana Jones movie. Replace a few of the characters and retitle it, its a pretty solid movie (good action/adventure), but I think the flow of it was a bit different from the first three.

  3. Comment by Patrick:

    Seriously, take a look at the four Indy movies.

    Two work great, two don’t.

    What’s the common denominator?

    Nazis. Indy just isn’t Indy if it doesn’t involve thwarting Nazis.

  4. Comment by Kevin:

    Patrick: Agreed.

  5. Comment by Tim:

    Well, I still kinda liked Temple of Doom… it was just so extreme that I couldn’t help liking it (pulling out of the heart, eating of weird crap, voodoo doll Indy (my personal fav), crazy take over the mind ritual).

  6. Comment by Mike:

    *spoilers*

    I thought it was fun and decent, but kind of over the top. The vines part was ridiculous, among many other parts. As for the aliens in particular, I thought they were silly to begin with, but the worst was how the sort-of-unique-and-interesting, quartz aliens combined to form a regular, hackneyed alien who made that gratuitous sneering face at the Russian chick as she was getting knowledge-raped to death as a “gift.” They should have combined to form Samuel L. Jackson, who would have said, “I’M BACK, BITCHES!”

  7. Comment by Patrick:

    Mike: LOfuckingL

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