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Old July 8 2014, 11:34 PM   #1
davejames
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Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

Well having recently rewatched the original Indy trilogy, I decided it was finally time to give the 4th one another chance (having not watched it all the way through since since seeing it in theaters 6 years ago).

And it's still just as bad as ever.

I tried to approach it with as open a mind as possible, and I admit the first 30 minutes are actually pretty good (fridge scene included). But after that it just goes completely off the rails. The movie has a whole host of problems (the aimless storytelling, the cartoonish action, etc), but for me the two absolute BIGGEST are:

-- The central premise. Whether supernatural or no, I can at least buy the Ark of the Covenant, Sankara Stones, and Holy Grail as being real historical artifacts that might be buried deep under the desert or hidden away somewhere... but a crystal alien skull? Not for a second. And the fact Spielberg makes the movie such a cheesy, lighthearted romp, and barely even tries to ground the idea like he did with the other objects, certainly doesn't help. Every time Indy holds the skull next to him, it still looks just as ridiculous to me now as it did 6 years ago.

-- Indy himself. He starts out feeling somewhat recognizable in the first 30 minutes, but after that he suddenly becomes this... incredibly dull and boring fuddy duddy. Who's all about telling kids to pursue their dreams and stay in school, and who bickers with Marion like just another boring, put-upon husband. I mean, seriously?

I get that he's older, but by no means does this feel even remotely like how you imagine the gritty, hard-edged Indy of Raiders and TOD to be in their later years (or even the somewhat softer Indy of Crusade). And Marion is even less recognizable, doing nothing but grin like an idiot or gaze longingly at Indy for the entire movie.

I realize Spielberg didn't have much choice when it came to the crystal skull, but you'd think he'd at least try harder to get Indy and Marion right.


Ok, sorry, just had to get all that off my chest.
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Old July 8 2014, 11:41 PM   #2
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Re: Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

davejames wrote: View Post

-- The central premise. Whether supernatural or no, I can at least buy the Ark of the Covenant, Sankara Stones, and Holy Grail as being real historical artifacts that might be buried deep under the desert or hidden away somewhere... but a crystal alien skull? Not for a second. And the fact Spielberg makes the movie such a cheesy, lighthearted romp, and barely even tries to ground the idea like he did with the other objects, certainly doesn't help. Every time Indy holds the skull next to him, it still looks just as ridiculous to me now as it did 6 years ago.
I have a hard time with this criticism. Though their alien origin is unlikely, the Crystal Skulls are real things. If anything, the ideas behind them are more grounded in reality than other of the other films.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_skull
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Old July 8 2014, 11:45 PM   #3
davejames
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Re: Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

Well yeah, as the article says they're real things... that only originated a couple hundred years ago. They certainly don't have the historical and cultural weight that the Ark and Grail have.

And the skulls also never looked nearly and obviously as alien as Indy 4 makes them look.
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Old July 8 2014, 11:50 PM   #4
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Re: Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

RAIDERS of the LOST ARK is the only "good" movie in the INDIANA JONES series. After that the decline in quality becomes more marked ...

I completely agree about Indy becoming a boring old fart in KINGDOM of the CRYSTAL SKULL. More, even than that, he won't even refer to himself as Indiana Jones, anymore! It's suddenly become this Pet Name that Marion gave him. And what's with all of these bullshit medals and this war-hero crap?!?!?!

What's most heartbreaking for me is that Marion Ravenwood is herself in name only. She's an entirely new character who grins alot, because her smile still reminds us alot of how she looked back in the good old days ... I guess. But she's not the 2 fisted hellion that Indy fell in love with. She's this ... I don't even know, man. This Soccer Mom, I guess. I just don't know what to call it - except "wrong."

Mutt, I guess was OK. I didn't really care about him. In the jungle though, he and Indy had a nice raport, particularly where the "Ducks" were concerned. After that, I could take him, or leave him, really. And the fact that he was so vague about his mother's name was VERY strange, though I understand the need to keep the element of surprise for Indy. They just went about it, as they went about this whole move ... the wrong way!

But yeah, RAIDERS had it all, including the power and presence of He Who Has No Name! And done absolutely the right way. Exactly the right tonality for this, or any film. Just brilliant. STAR TREK 5 should've taken a closer look at the Ark angle in this movie, before it committed to trying to show "god" ... I'm looking at you, William Shatner.
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Old July 8 2014, 11:51 PM   #5
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Re: Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
RAIDERS of the LOST ARK is the only "good" movie in the INDIANA JONES series. After that the decline in quality becomes more marked ...
This would be true if "The Last Crusade" wasn't clearly the best Indiana Jones movie.
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Old July 8 2014, 11:57 PM   #6
2takesfrakes
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Re: Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

Come on, now ...
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Old July 9 2014, 12:22 AM   #7
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Re: Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

I realize Spielberg didn't have much choice when it came to the crystal skull, but you'd think he'd at least try harder to get Indy and Marion right.
The stuff you're talking about strikes me as clumsy attempt at ironic humor. They're acting totally out of character, isn't that funny? It also strikes me as the kind of thing Lucas would find funny.
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Old July 9 2014, 12:23 AM   #8
davejames
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Re: Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
RAIDERS of the LOST ARK is the only "good" movie in the INDIANA JONES series. After that the decline in quality becomes more marked ...
This would be true if "The Last Crusade" wasn't clearly the best Indiana Jones movie.
Crusade is definitely a much better movie than it's gotten credit for recently from the fans. Yeah it has a much lighter tone than we'd probably prefer for an Indy movie, but the scenes between him and Connery are also really damn fun to watch, which makes up for that quite a bit I think.

That said, there's just no beating an artifact like the Ark of the Covenant. Or the original, badass Indy we see in Raiders.
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Old July 9 2014, 01:21 AM   #9
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Re: Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

I've never gotten the hate for Indy 4. It's basically the same stuff as the previous three, and it's much better than "Temple of Doom" with the fingernails-on-chalkboard Capshaw and cheap gross-out scenes. I think the complaints are largely a result of a nostalgia filter for the original trilogy. "Crystal Skull" is no more or less realistic than the other three and they made several good decisions like acknowledging Indy's age, changing the setting and the villains, and bringing back Karen Allen. Not a great movie but an enjoyable one.
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Old July 9 2014, 01:24 AM   #10
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Re: Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

My only real complaints about it at the end when we actually see the aliens. Also, the word "paradimensional" or whatever was used to describe them. They couldn't just be aliens; they had to be technobabble alternate universe aliens.
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Old July 9 2014, 01:31 AM   #11
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Re: Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

davejames wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
RAIDERS of the LOST ARK is the only "good" movie in the INDIANA JONES series. After that the decline in quality becomes more marked ...
This would be true if "The Last Crusade" wasn't clearly the best Indiana Jones movie.
Crusade is definitely a much better movie than it's gotten credit for recently from the fans. Yeah it has a much lighter tone than we'd probably prefer for an Indy movie, but the scenes between him and Connery are also really damn fun to watch, which makes up for that quite a bit I think.

That said, there's just no beating an artifact like the Ark of the Covenant. Or the original, badass Indy we see in Raiders.
Last Crusade is easily my favorite movie. Raiders is good, but its no competition. The female love interest isn't nearly as good, but the story is better (altyhough Raiders is still very good), and Sean Connery is just great in it.

Crystal Skull is bad, but I'll watch it over Temple of Doom any day. Crystal may have been stupid, but even stupid plot and Shia Labeouf can't make a movie worse than Short Round and Willie did.
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Old July 9 2014, 01:51 AM   #12
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Re: Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

To me Raiders is far above the others. Even after the big bang theory "ruined" it. A classic .
Last Crusade is good. Enjoyable to watch again and again
temple and crystal skull.were okay. Not onesninhave a string desire to repeat watch when on except for parts of each
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Old July 9 2014, 01:58 AM   #13
DWF
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Re: Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

I thought the movie nicely updated Indy from the '30s to the '50s and they deny that he's aged some since then. As for the crystal one tte failed storylines on the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles would've been his original search for the Hedges skull and his firts meeting with Belloq.
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Old July 9 2014, 01:59 AM   #14
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Re: Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

Indy 4 is one of the most unnecessarily micro-hated on films online for one that made $400m+ US domestic. It's a vocal loud niche.

That said I'm not saying there aren't a few flaws, things I'd alter. However, as a total film I really enjoy it.
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Old July 9 2014, 02:03 AM   #15
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Re: Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

Love Raiders
Like Last Crusade
Dislike Temple of Doom
HATE Crystal Skull
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