Indiana Jones and the Kangdumb of the Crystal Suck

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Indiana Jones and the Kangdumb of the Crystal Suck

Postby Kaing of Kaings » May 25th, 2008, 9:51 pm

Yesterday, my woman and I saw a movie that many supposed fanboys of the Indiana Jones series clamored for over the last 19 years. Don't get me wrong, I love the original trilogy as much as the next guy, but I wasn't really keen on a 4th movie. But, since it came out and I heard Spielberg refused George Lucas' Indiana Jones and the Ewoks Tomb story then I felt a little more interested. I got a little excited as this year progressed, and I hoped and wanted this movie to be as good as the other ones and a worthy sequel...

It turns out that this movie really did nothing for me and it was the biggest Spielberg disappointment since A.I. and The Terminal. Actually, A.I. had more connecting moments with the audience than this one did. I guess that's my biggest problem with this film. I walked out of the theater feeling like I neither liked this movie or hated it, I felt indifferent. It's the same feeling I got after Batman Begins and now I have decided I don't like that movie. That is usually not the way directors want you to feel after a movie.

It seems here like Spielberg just rushed this movie into production just to get it done and didn't really care about the story, script or making any emotional investment in the characters. The movie feels rushed and as a result disconnected from the whole series and the audience. Yes, there is CGI in this movie and it does cheapen the movie from the original ones that were shot on location.

Let's get to the characters. Harrison Ford is the title character but he strangely seems not in this picture. He isn't given much to do and yes he is old, which is recognized, but even his action sequences seem lame. Shia's character was probably the strongest character of the film but I felt that some of the dialog at times was really corny. Ray Winstone's Mac character seems worthless and there really is no point for him to be there except to explain what has happened to Indy since the Last Crusade. Even Marion Ravenwood's character is lame and doesn't really serve much of a purpose. Cate Blanchet's Russian character (Stu, Olga was nice enough to prepare this double shot of Vodka for you, Drink up Stu) wasn't all that exciting and no where close to the badness of the bad guys of the past movies. It's not like these guys are bad actors, they aren't. The script and story just doesn't give them much to do and doesn't really let connect with them.

I kind of blame George Lucas for the story. I think that the overlying theme of Aliens and Archeology is kind of neat but I think that the way it was developed makes it confusing. The kids sitting next to us didn't seem to be following anything even with a dumbed down story line. They weren't even interested. I know Spielberg wanted to use the least amount of CGI as possible and George Lucas would have preferred everything, including the actors, in CGI. I'm glad Spielberg won that battle, but I think it's time to not let GL monkey with the story any more.

The movie does have some moments that I some what enjoyed which included a mushroom cloud and driving a bike through a library, other than that, the rest of the action sequences seem uninspired. One of the best things about the original trilogy is that Indiana seems like he is in real trouble and on the edge all the time. While he gets into plenty of death defying moments in this film, I didn't really care what happened to him or the other characters. I know that sounds bad but thats how far this movie didn't connect with me.

Now that Spielberg and Lucas has got this out of their system, I hope they don't return to the series. I really do wish that they hadn't made this movie and that Spielberg made Lincoln instead. I think the days of Spielberg making movies like he did in the 80s are over. That's not to say that his 90s or 00s movies are bad, they are more oriented toward adults. George Lucas can do what he wants but please, for the loheve of God, stop remaking or adding on sequels to your old movies. Just as the Star Wars prequels kind of ruined the originals, the new Indy kind of ruined the old ones. The old ones still have their place in the halls of film greats, but the new one does not. Sorry Spielberg, hope you do better next time. You really are a genius of film, this was just not the film you should or could have made.

Because Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom started the PG-13 rating, this film deserves a new rating system from this UBSTUdios movie reviewer. I am adding an extra star to my reviews making every film I review from now on, 1 to 5 stars.

1 Star = Hated It, Worst Film Ever,
2 Stars = didn't really like it but not worst film out there.
3 Stars = Indifferent, Didn't Like it or Hate it
4 Stars = Liked it, Was entertaining and well worth seeing
5 Stars = Excellent, A film that could become a classic over time or an Instant Classic.

And now for the first rating of that new system. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Stall gets 3 out of 5 stars. I feel like almost giving this 2.5 stars out of 5 but I feel like a second viewing may have to take place to determine what the rating is. The more I think about this film, the more disappointed I am.


Blanchet: "Mr. Jones, Make the Radio Call. Do it....Now."


Jones: "Alright Mutt. Somewhere down there is the Frank Darabont script that Spielberg and I liked but George Lucas didn't."

Mutt: "Didn't George Lucas not like the lack of Ewoks or Chewbacas in the old script?"

Jones: "You heard that right Daddy-O. The Darabont script was too wordy for him and had too much emotional investment in the characters. He wanted a script with boring one liners and characters and action sequences that don't connect to the audience."

Mutt: "Wow, I would hate to be in that movie."

P.S. A review from Justin Stuboy should be up here soon. He was much more kinder to the movie than I.
Harry: " Whoa, Jesus, Check out the butt on that one."

Lloyd: "He must work out."

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Postby TheStuboy » June 2nd, 2008, 3:28 pm

Yes I will be a little more lenient with this flim, but thats not saying I disagree with wuss' statements.

For one, we have to remember that Speilberg didn't really put his whole heart and soul into this film and it shows. His differences of opinions with Lucas likely caused a lot of the film's downfalls. I for one completely disagree with Lucas' statements about this film.

He wanted to make the entire thing in CGI and the stunts would have been all CGI too, completely disregarding the previous three movies. Why? Lucas wants to promote his digital stuff and flaunt ILM in the face of Hollywood, but thank god Speilberg stood up for the film, which is just as much his as it is Lucas'.

Thats not saying there weren't CGI scenes in this movie. The ending was nothing but CGI and during the chase scenes, most of that was CGI too. But it doesn't look bad, however it doesn't look good either.

The story is weak I admit, and a bit hokey. I blame this on the numerous rewrites and, again, Lucas and Spielberg disagreeing. I believe this was the major crutch of the film, the disagreement between them. Again, I am glad Spielberg had the nuts to stand up to GL.

As far as the rest of the film, I was entertained. I found parts of the film better than others, there were some slow points. There were also points where you wonder why the character is even there, see Mac and Marion.

Acting is good on behalf of all cast EXCEPT Cate Blanchett wasn't very convincing and we all know Harrison Ford is uber old. He is pretty stiff through most of the film.

Shia's character, like stu said, is my favorite.

I agree with Stu, its time to put this series to bed. Enough is enough. I know many people went to see this film simply because it was Indy, but thats no excuse to make another film. There is only so much you can take. See Starwars.

I give the film 3.4 stars out of 5 in Stu's new rating system. Its good, its entertaining, but its certainly got some flaws and a sequel is not worthy.

"So, Karen, after this scene's filmed want to come back to my trailer and I can show you my CGI shlong?"
"No, get away from me you crusty old man, your movies suck!"

Never has George Lucas pissed so many people off than on the set of Indy 4. Kathleen Kennedy and Ford roll their eyes as he explains his vision for the poo shaped UFO at the end of the film.
"I won, you losht, get ushed to it shon"
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