Indy 4 still as infuriating as ever

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by davejames, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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. :rolleyes:


    Ok, sorry, just had to get all that off my chest. :D
     
  2. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    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
     
  3. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  4. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    This would be true if "The Last Crusade" wasn't clearly the best Indiana Jones movie. :p
     
  6. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Come on, now ...
     
  7. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  9. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  10. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    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. :rolleyes:
     
  11. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  12. SiddFinch1

    SiddFinch1 Captain Captain

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    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
     
  13. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  15. Kirby

    Kirby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    Doctorwhovian Fleet Captain

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    Never understand why people think Indy was 'dark' and 'badass' in Raiders. Sure, he is for like the first few minutes when he whips the pistol from Baranca's hand with William's sinister score and the great reveal, and seems more composed than the cowardly Satipo once he gets to the temple, but once he screws up stealing the idol, he sets off pretty much every trap in the temple, ends up running and screaming from the Hovitos, and then complains about Jock's snake, to which Jock says "Show a little backbone, will ya?"

    Even the more serious fights and chases later in the movie have a lot of comic relief. Sure it kind of got amplified in the sequels (Especially in regards to Marcus Brody), but the myth of Raiders being dark is really just that.

    f
     
  17. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was fine with those other decisions (the idea of the russians wanting to use an artifact to psychically control their enemy is a pretty good one I think), but for me Skull stretches credibility FAR more than any other Indy movie.

    From the alien skull itself, to surviving an atomic blast in a fridge, to the entire ridiculous jeep chase (topped off by Shia catching up to and swinging back into a moving jeep!), to the giant carnivorous ants that can drag people away, to surviving multiple waterfalls, to the giant flying saucer...

    The other movies had occasional moments like that (the raft scene, the Knight, etc), but not nearly to the degree or in as many physics-defying ways as in Skull. And at least most of the crazier stuff (the heart-ripping, the face-melting) had some kind of supernatural basis to it. You can't say the same for all the crazy stuff that happens in the jeep chase, for instance.
     
  18. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wouldn't use the word "dark" myself, but I certainly think Raiders was more grounded and serious than any of the others. When Marian supposedly dies in the truck, the movie takes the moment and Indy's reaction very seriously (with him clearly looking like he wants to rip out Belloq's throat in their following scene together), and the Ark itself is regarded in a very serious and solemn way throughout by both the characters and the movie itself.

    And as fun as the truck chase is, it also gets pretty brutal at times as well, with Indy bashing the guys head into the dashboard multiple times before then running him over.

    There were some lighter moments sprinkled in here and there, but the movie still played itself far more straight than any of the others, I would say.
     
  19. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was never going to watch KINGDOM of the CRYSTAL SKULL, because it looked so atrocious. But a friend of mine who knows my love of Indiana Jones movies kept insisting on getting me this one for my birthday, because he enjoyed it. I kept telling him to save his money, but when I saw him becoming increasingly aggitated over my refusals, I just said, "do as you will." I figured he'd get me some bottom of the cheap bin DVD.

    And wouldn't you just know it ... he got me The Deluxe Edition, with all the fixin's. It's got a hardcover book with it, Extras galore ... just to annoy me, I think, to make sure I watched it out of guilt. Which I didn't for a very long time. When I finally did watch it, I was ... aghast. It was ... bad. From credit ... to credit. I particularly hate the Exciting Climax, with the alien that squints at the incomparable Cate Blanchett and then vaporizes her into a cloud of CGI dust. And even then, it refused to end! But that's entertainment ... what we crave for, inside.
     
  20. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Interestingly enough, the late & former U.S. President Ronald Reagan may well have been the inspiration behind TEMPLE of DOOM with one of his (no longer available) movies ...

    http://raven.theraider.net/showthread.php?t=23266

    "HONG KONG"
    Starring: Ronald Reagan & Rhonda Flemming