Raiders vs Crystal Skull

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by crookeddy, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Atticus

    Atticus Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Indeed they don't, but in a thread debating the relative merits of two - and by extension all four - films in a series, offering an opinion alone doesn't help further the discussion all that much.

    In this particular case, as Lonemagpie himself says, his opinion is very much in the minority, and objectively speaking an explanation of it could make for a valuable contribution and add further interest to the debate. Personally speaking I'd love to read an intelligent, well-reasoned defence of Crystal Skull as the best of the sequels. I almost certainly wouldn't agree with it, but I would welcome the chance to have my point-of-view challenged. :techman:
     
  2. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    I certainly don't think it's the best of the sequels, but I do think it's about as good as 'Last Crusade.'

    The thing about Skull though, is that it's extremely silly, and a lot of people aren't willing to look past that. Which is fine, this is a similar criticism people had of "Last Crusade" for years when it was just a trilogy. I would never argue that 'Skull' is not silly as well, I think it's probably sillier than 'Crusade.' But the movie works for me, the look at an "over the hill" Indy, the introduction of his son, and Russians as the villains. I also think the jungle chase is just as good as any of the other major chase sequences from the other films, the only reason it gets hated on is because the excessive use of CGI.

    There are parts that I do think go a little too far: falling down the three successive waterfalls stretches credibility a bit far for me, and I've been particularly enamored with the opening, I feel it goes on and on until the action breaks out, but once it does it turns into a fun little set piece that ends with (the infamous) nuking the fridge, which I never had a problem with myself.

    So yeah, I enjoy it.
     
  3. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    I like that it addresses the fact that Indy - and Ford - is older, that it calls back to Raiders in so many ways, and I actually find that the alien element works as thematic continuation of the religious-stuff-as-macguffin in an original way that appeals, because I know that there were a lot of religions about "space brothers" founded in that period. I like the way they handled Marcus being gone as well, since Denholm Elliot had died in the meantime.

    It's not as racist as Temple Of Doom (which in any case is actually a prequel, not a sequel) and doesn't steal all its best scenes from other movies the way Last Crusade does.

    It has flaws, sure (there never was an ancient legend about 13 crystal skulls - that bollocks actually dates to a German paperback published in 1975, and there's the fridge thing), but so do all the movies in the series.

    And it made me *so* want to see some books or comics or games covering Indy's adventures in the OSS during WW2...

    Oh, also, I don't get the hate for Shia LaBeouf. He's OK in it, does what's required... Nothing special, nothing awful - I don't get it.

    Also, I always get baffled by people who say "I hate nuking the fridge- they should have used the Darabont script instead." Cos I always wonder "Have you read it?" cos that's the draft that introduced nuking the fridge...
     
  4. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    I would echo a lot of this. Crystal Skull was a fun movie and as enjoyable as Last Crusade. Also, I was very happy to have Marion Ravenwood back. Like Indy, she was older, not as fast as she used to be but still able to hold her own.
     
  5. Base_Delta_Zero

    Base_Delta_Zero Commodore Commodore

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  6. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think the fact that Indy didn't kill anyone could be counted as a flaw. Or at least I don't think it shouldn't. It's not like Indy was a murderous bastard in the other three films anyways.

    Besides, a good in-universe explanation could be that he was so tired of all the killing he did during the War that those days were past him.
     
  7. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored Co-Founder of ISIS Moderator

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    I think Crystal Skull would benefit greatly if the entire sequence involving CGI jeeps, monkeys, ants, trees, and waterfalls were replaced. That whole part was just appalling to watch. I can't tell you for sure why that over-the-top sequence is such a dealbreaker for me but the nuke the fridge moment or the raft falling from the plane in ToD are not, but it just is. The nuke the fridge moment, for all its ridiculousness, was still cool and ended on the iconic Indy pose in front of the mushroom cloud, so I guess that's why I'm more forgiving of it.

    Obviously replacing Nazis with Russians was a necessity given the timeline, and it was a good choice, but try as I might, thematically the alien plot just doesn't seem to fit Indy's world, even as you update it to the 50s where UFO stories were all the rage. I can appreciate wanting to break loose from the religious/magic artifact angle (although there was still a little of that), but that's what the Indy movies are to me. Obviously YMMV.

    Chia LaBeef just isn't anywhere on the scale of comparison to Harrison Ford as a compelling action star.

    Ultimately, Crystal Skull has some enjoyable moments, mostly revolving around revisiting old characters and doing callbacks to the earlier films, but it's not even in the same league as Raiders or the first trilogy at all, IMO, not even Temple of Doom.

    My rankings:
    1) TRotLA
    1) TLC
    3) TToD
    4) TKotCS
     
  8. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^I do feel Shia swinging on the vines with the monkeys is a bit silly, but for me, the rest of the jungle chase works. It's fun, and I remember having a huge grin on my face during the thing...well during the whole movie actually.

    But I just loved that chase. Probably because the notion of everyone jumping from vehicle to vehicle with little or no trouble hearkened back to the old fashioned swashbucklers where it was more about the spectacle of the sequence than whether or not is was physically possible.

    While I would never argue that those who were disappointed by the film are in any way wrong, I wonder if the opinions wouldn't be as severe were this not the final film in the series. I remember I was pretty indifferent towards Rocky V for the longest time, especially since I felt it was a crummy way to end the series. But once 'Rocky Balboa' came out I took another look at Rocky V (as just another film and not the finale) and found it more enjoyable.
     
  9. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored Co-Founder of ISIS Moderator

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    But at the time Crystal Skull came out, there wasn't any indication that it was the final film in the series. In fact, all the talk at the time pointed to a new series of films with Shiny LePew taking over the acting lead and Ford taking on a secondary role. So, I don't think that can adequately explain the dislike the film receives. Hell, technically they can still bring it back again if they want, but that's pretty unlikely at this point.
     
  10. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

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    Agree.

    I like Crystal Skull because Karen Allen and Ford are reunited from my favorite Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
     
  11. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    Point taken. I also think the fact that it took 19 years to come out built it up too much in some people's minds.

    Had this come out four or five years after 'Crusade' and assuming it had the exact same script, I think it would be received a little better*

    *This is ignoring the fact that had the film came out so close to 'Crusade' the time period would probably have been closer to the forties.
     
  12. Base_Delta_Zero

    Base_Delta_Zero Commodore Commodore

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    Raiders: Indy gets in 9 direct kills through gunplay and vehicular homicide (Interestingly, Marion actually kills more in one scene than Indy does the whole film during the Flying Wing fight.)

    Skulls: Indy gets in 1 probable choking (Marion kills no one.)

    Lucas clearly extended his Greedo Shoots First mentality to another franchise. Steven "Let's Use Walkies" Spielberg had no problem with that, what with the no blood and quickly lost firearms.

    Classic Indy killed the shit out people or let them die horribly, all the while stealing national treasures and sleeping with his pick of hot chicks.

    Old Indy whines about being old, maybe, sorta kills one guy, lets a few die through environmental mishap, and sleeps with Ray Winstone.

    And NO SALLAH!


    Personal Rankings
    The Raiders of the Lost Ark
    The Last Crusade & The Temple of Doom
    Tales of the Gold Monkey (;))
    ...
    Various Video Games
    ...
    Young Indiana Jones
    ...
    The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
     
  13. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    I don't care what the current packaging says...it's Raiders of the Lost Ark, dammit, no f*cking "The". They didn't change the title in the film itself.
     
  14. Base_Delta_Zero

    Base_Delta_Zero Commodore Commodore

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    What a scintillating contribution. Your well-reasoned and articulate post has brought up an issue of key importance to this discussion. Thank you.

    However, I would submit that since 3 of the 4 films were originally presented as Indiana Jones and the ______________, that it is not such a big leap to give Raiders a "the", when dropping "Indiana Jones and" for list purposes in a post on a bbs.
     
  15. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    There are a lot of legitimate criticisms that can be levied against 'Crystal Skull.' I just don't think the fact that Indy killed no one is one of them.
     
  16. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah it's all pretty silly, but at least the religious themes of the other movies have some real weight and history and culture importance behind them. There's something really deep and primal about ancient religion and the supernatural, which makes it much easier to buy into as possibly being real.

    Unlike this cheesy "Ancient Alien" nonsense that only really got started in the last 60 years or so, and which has no real history behind it at all.
     
  17. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, that stuff started in the 50s, so IMO it gives the flick another element of a 50s pulp vibe.
     
  18. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The cinematography and effects make this film worse than it is. The second half of the film is so over the top (and at the same time the effects are horribly obvious) that it took me out of the film many many times. The car chase in the jungle and the Tarzan swinging, holy crap.

    I don't have anything against them sword fighting while cars drive through the jungle, I also don't have anything against Shia doing the Tarzan thing, but those scenes look so bad, I can't rewatch it without cringing.
     
  19. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Didn't mind the inclusion of aliens at all, just found the execution flat and bland compared to the wonder of the Ark of the Covenant.
     
  20. Shazam!

    Shazam! Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought the aliens angle was fairly genius but they over did it. The movie blew its load way too early - how could anything occuring later on possibly compete with an ATOMIC BOMB going off?

    The first 25 minutes (up to and including the bomb) feel like the finale to a much better movie. I wish I could have seen the hour or so that came before that.