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Old 09-18-2012, 08:16 AM   #51
Stoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JediJones
Simply put, which of all the villains would you rather see an entire spinoff movie devoted to? Belloq? Boring and French.
---
Recast Belloq without the French accent (Tom Selleck?) and it'd be easy to forget that he even was a villain.
Even though you like the fact that Spalko has an "exotic accent", according to you:

1) One of the two main reasons you wouldn't be interested in seeing a movie about Belloq is because he is French.
2) You think Belloq's ONLY villainous trait is his French accent.

Why is his French nationality unappealing to you? Does a French accent automatically make a character a villain?

(Something tells me that you don't like the French. Thanks for letting us know.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JediJones
Spalko was a case where we were really properly shown who she was as a character rather than told.
Did you fall asleep during the movie? The dialogue about Spalko's past tells a lot of information about her and is much MORE than was given for any other villain in all 4 films. Plus, her psychic ability is talked about but NEVER shown.

(You've made many other ridiculous comments but these were the top ones.)
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:23 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by JediJones
He tries to protect Marion for one thing and he never does anything directly violent, although he tries to kill Indy through surrogates

1) Whether you pull the trigger or order it, violence is violence. A mob boss is still committing a violent act when they put a hit on someone. Belloq is willing to steal, be part of murder and work with the Nazi party to obtain his goals. Sounds pretty evil to me.
2) Do you call people you care about as "compensation"? Do you tell someone, "If this person I care about fails to please me you may do her as you wish. I'll waste no more time with her". Belloq didn't care about her, he just was trying to get laid. Nice guy.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:46 AM   #53
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One problem I have with Spalko is that I almost liked her too much and/or felt sorry for her and didn't want to see her meet her demise.
She had an air of indifference that was most likely something that kept her from being engaging.

"How fortunate our failure to kill you, Dr. Jones. You survive to be of service to us once again" comes off as a flowery: "whatever"

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If Marion had been homely or a male friend of Indy's, I highly doubt Belloq would care what happened to this person.


They did film the "execution" of Sallah...
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:49 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Stoo
Does a French accent automatically make a character a villain?
Duh! The French are all evil. Just go to Paris. You'll see! -- Kidding. The people of rural France are generally very nice. Didn't go to Paris. I think Parisians could give mercenaries a bad name.

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Originally Posted by Stoo
The dialogue about Spalko's past tells a lot of information about her and is much MORE than was given for any other villain in all 4 films. Plus, her psychic ability is talked about but NEVER shown.
Yeah, what other villain gets his own file shown on camera and practically read aloud?

Spielberg is notoriously in-your-face when it comes to exposition. Raiders was great. Something like the killer plant exposition scene in Minority Report is Spielberg at his worst. In Spalko's case (file), all she amounts to is hollow exposition.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:46 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Stoo
1) One of the two main reasons you wouldn't be interested in seeing a movie about Belloq is because he is French.
2) You think Belloq's ONLY villainous trait is his French accent.

...Does a French accent automatically make a character a villain?


It makes a change. For the Star Wars OT George was casting the British as villains and camp golden robots.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:25 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoo
1) One of the two main reasons you wouldn't be interested in seeing a movie about Belloq is because he is French.

2) You think Belloq's ONLY villainous trait is his French accent.

The dialogue about Spalko's past tells a lot of information about her and is much MORE than was given for any other villain in all 4 films. Plus, her psychic ability is talked about but NEVER shown.

Frenchmen are not that compelling as protagonists to me which makes me disinclined to want to see a Belloq movie.

I never said Belloq's only villainous trait is his French accent. Way to exaggerate. I simply said his French accent is the primary cue that he is a villain, because everyone knows Lucas/Spielberg and American action movies in general tend to have actors with foreign accents play their villains.

Much of what is "shown" about Irina is through her acting. It's a strong performance that communicates a lot about her personality and character that takes it beyond the printed pages of the script. A movie character is supposed to go beyond their "traits" as written in the script or their biography, otherwise they come off as flat. Blanchett takes Spalko's character that distance in a way that no previous Indiana Jones villain was able to. As I said before, Belloq was the one who came closest to showing that kind of palpable emotional depth. The rest of them show up, do what the script requires them to, and don't seem like real people with actual thoughts, feelings and histories. That may not be too detrimental to the movies, since the villains aren't really main characters.

I think the movie that suffered the most from weak villains was the Last Crusade. Donovan is as bland as they come. Elsa serves as a useless sidekick to the hero before the "reveal" and a useless sidekick to the villain after the reveal. You could cut her out of the movie and probably not have to change one thing about the plot.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:22 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by JediJones
Much of what is "shown" about Irina is through her acting. It's a strong performance that communicates a lot about her personality and character that takes it beyond the printed pages of the script.
Help me out here...I'd love to see her performance through new eyes because I thought just the opposite.

What parts are you talking about? Some details would be appreciated.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:24 AM   #58
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I think her wig performed very well under difficult circumstances.

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Old 10-06-2012, 11:05 AM   #59
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Spalko suffers a bit among Indy villains because there are so many really great ones - Mola Ram is a great one and Belloq is just outstanding, and even some of the supporting villains from Raiders are excellent, such as Toht. However, for me Spalko does manage to at least hold her own, and in particular I do think she's at least a stronger and more compelling lead adversary than Walter Donovan - a stronger challenger mentally / intellectually than he is, and as a physical opponent she's probably actually the second strongest lead villain, beaten only by Mola Ram.

As with most other aspects of the movie, the character is done a disservice by the half-baked script, but the raw potential brought by the story (as opposed to the script) is still there, and the performance and direction help realize it even when the script doesn't. I honestly think she's a fine Indy villain.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:43 AM   #60
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I basically agree with your points but arrive at a harsher conclusion. She was a villain of great potential and Blanchett brought a lot to the character. But she's ultimately a lightweight villain for me because she wasn't given the opportunity to be really menacing, and because the movie kind of throws out this idea of her maybe having psychic powers and then going absolutely nowhere with it.

I definitely agree that she inherently carries a lot more intrigue that Walter Donovan. However, Donovan had that defining moment where he shot the hero's dad in the chest. Spalko never earned her stripes. Really, she and Dovchenko were more ruthless and driven than they were ever nasty, and you know, that's valid, but I feel like in Indiana Jones the sadistic sneering comic book baddie that you love to hate just needs to be represented somewhere. There was no counterpart to Toht or Mola Ram or Vogel or Darabont's array of bastards in Crystal Skull - the guys who loved what they do. You're pretty much asked to hate the bad guys in this movie on the basis of them being the ones in the bad guy uniforms. The FBI agents were the biggest dicks of the movie! That's kind of ridiculous.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:03 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
The FBI agents were the biggest dicks of the movie! That's kind of ridiculous.

I suppose that's the nature of the period. Fear of Communism meant the US government was probably spending as much time spying on Americans as on the Soviets themselves.

Extreme vigilance makes for an oppressive state.

In the context of the film it's one more measure used to marginalize Indy.

Spalko isn't particularly evil, but another version of Indy himself: a treasure hunter sent on a mission by her government. Just as Indy was a treasure hunter sent on a mission by his own government in 1936.

The difference is that she's a little more pro-active with the violence, in that the first stage involved engaging in undeclared war on a US facility. But, considering relations between the two countries, she probably felt justified.

The end justifies the means - taking control of a weapon before America gets hold of it.

Indy had similar intentions in 1936. Killing German soldiers to save more lives in the future.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:26 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
Donovan had that defining moment where he shot the hero's dad in the chest.

That alone puts Donovan above Spalko. They both issue orders to henchmen, though Spalko's barks are overt.

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Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
Spalko never earned her stripes.
Never.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
Really, she and Dovchenko were more ruthless and driven.
Can't agree with that at all.

Donovan Spends his money, not an entire nation's. Spalko gave Mutt a cute scar but most important, Donovan pulls the trigger literally and figuratively.

Spalko stuck her sword in a bag.

NOT great.

Last edited by Rocket Surgeon : 10-06-2012 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:51 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
Spalko isn't particularly evil, but another version of Indy himself: a treasure hunter sent on a mission by her government. Just as Indy was a treasure hunter sent on a mission by his own government in 1936.

The difference is that she's a little more pro-active with the violence, in that the first stage involved engaging in undeclared war on a US facility. But, considering relations between the two countries, she probably felt justified.

The end justifies the means - taking control of a weapon before America gets hold of it.

Indy had similar intentions in 1936. Killing German soldiers to save more lives in the future.

That's an insightful perspective, although I still think Indy isn't quite the same. He doesn't initiate the violence - all his killing ultimately comes after the bad guys have already gone after him:

The first people killed in Raiders are Satipo and Barranca, whom Indy doesn't actually kill himself, even though Barranca pulls a gun on him and Satipo leaves him to die; he's carrying a gun, but doesn't pull it out until he relinquishes it to Belloq.

The first people Indy actually himself kills in Raiders are goons in the Raven, after they've already threatened / attacked not only him, but Marion as well. It's only now, as both he and Marion are being shot at and threatened with torture, that he starts shooting at people himself.

Even after that, when he and Marion are attacked in the Cairo marketplace, he first fights off his attackers non-lethally with his whip and his fists, pulling his gun only after he's confronted by the swordsman in an attack that promises to be both time-consuming as well as possibly deadly, at a time when he (Indy) is desperately searching for Marion. He kills the swordsman without hesitation or regret, but this is in defense both of himself and of Marion.

By the time he finally starts freely dispensing death to his own adversaries during the truck chase, he's been repeatedly beaten, shot at, and even entombed alive with thousands of venomous snakes in what must be to him the most horrific potentially deadly scenario he could possibly imagine; it's also possible he and Sallah eventually realized the dates were poisoned (though we can't be sure, of course, but still). When he goes after the Ark convoy, it's true he's not holding back at all and kills people as freely as he just kicks them off the truck, but by this point they've made so many attempts on his life I think he could be excused for not particularly caring.

Spalko, on the other hand, is ruthlessly killing people (through her subordinates, granted, but still) from the very first moment she enters the Indyverse. She herself is under orders, but it's clear she doesn't really give a damn whether she kills people or not.

From her description in the tent of the Soviets' grand plans for the skull and its secrets, it's furthermore clear she's not merely acting to keep the USSR's adversary from getting a weapon; she's acting to ensure the USSR is able to use it to achieve global dominance. With Indy's mission to nab the Ark for Uncle Sam, there isn't really the same thing - there's no understanding that the US will use the Ark to conquer all other nations or anything like that, only to keep Hitler's forces from doing the same.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:01 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
Can't agree with that at all.

I think you misread what I was saying there. I was not contrasting them with Donovan in that sentence.

The historical context and "relativity of ruthlessness" discussion we've wandered into is interesting and all, but what are we intending to communicate with it?

Last edited by Udvarnoky : 10-06-2012 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:04 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
I was not contrasting them with Donovan in that sentence.
Ahhh...my mistake,( ) I agree then. Wholeheartedly.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:24 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Crack that whip
From her description in the tent of the Soviets' grand plans for the skull and its secrets, it's furthermore clear she's not merely acting to keep the USSR's adversary from getting a weapon; she's acting to ensure the USSR is able to use it to achieve global dominance. With Indy's mission to nab the Ark for Uncle Sam, there isn't really the same thing - there's no understanding that the US will use the Ark to conquer all other nations or anything like that, only to keep Hitler's forces from doing the same.

But in the end all she really wanted to possess the 'treasure' for herself.

As I've written before, she's another Indyverse obsessive - like Belloq, Henry Sr., Elsa, or Indy himself.

Their obsessions push them in directions that create conflict.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:26 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Montana Smith
Their obsessions push them in directions that create conflict.
But is she a "great villain"?

In the words of your boy Shia: No, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no , no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:36 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
But is she a "great villain"?

In the words of your boy Shia: No, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no , no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no, no, no, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no ,no

And in the word of Vader's latest incarnation: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:29 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
But in the end all she really wanted to possess the 'treasure' for herself.

As I've written before, she's another Indyverse obsessive - like Belloq, Henry Sr., Elsa, or Indy himself.

Their obsessions push them in directions that create conflict.

Sure - but what would she have done with it after she'd gotten it, had she survived the "gift"?

I think Belloq's line "All in good time..." applies to her, too - she'd likely have turned it over to her government as directed, after she was finished with it... unless it gave her power enough to take them on, too...
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:38 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Crack that whip
Sure - but what would she have done with it after she'd gotten it, had she survived the "gift"?

It's never something that George has to think about. Belloq, Elsa, Mola and Spalko are finished off, Henry Sr. reconciles himself with his son, and Indy has the Ark taken from him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crack that whip
I think Belloq's line "All in good time..." applies to her, too - she'd likely have turned it over to her government as directed, after she was finished with it... unless it gave her power enough to take them on, too...

I think she wanted it for herself. Demanding of the aliens to know everything would, if it had worked, given her the edge over everyone else. If she'd succeeded she might have become a villain of repute.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:24 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Montana Smith
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"
Right. When you think "great villain" the first image that comes to mind is not Irina Spalko...the 131st image that "springs" to mind is not Irina Spalko.

In the lineup with Indy Villains she's still dead last.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:06 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
Right. When you think "great villain" the first image that comes to mind is not Irina Spalko...the 131st image that "springs" to mind is not Irina Spalko.

In the lineup with Indy Villains she's still dead last.

If you consider Walter Donovan actually a sympathetic figure, perhaps.

Well... different strokes, as they say. I'll just have to respectfully disagree.
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:05 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
In the lineup with Indy Villains she's still dead last.

I agree with this. I think Spalko is one of the better features of CS, but is my least favorite among villains.

Donovan is not as colorful as Belloq or Mola Ram, but I think some of his banality was supposed to be part of his character. It's supposed to surprise us that this seemingly ordinary (albeit extremely wealthy) man was behind the troubles and was capable of shooting Henry.

He could be any ordinary man who is so afraid of dying/desiring immortality that he can lose all sense of morality and do evil things.

Spalko's abilities/powers, etc., as others have said, were touched upon but never went into enough.

Also, Donovan's/Glover's chemistry with his fellow villains Elsa and Vogel was a lot better than any interaction between Irina and any of her henchman, so it makes up for anything lacking in Donovan himself because he clicked well as part of a trio of evil with Elsa and Vogel.

But then again to me all the characterizations in CS were lacking, which is what I think is the worst part of the film, not the artifact, aliens or monkeys/prairie dogs/ants.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:01 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Brooke Logan
But then again to me all the characterizations in CS were lacking, which is what I think is the worst part of the film, not the artifact, aliens or monkeys/prairie dogs/ants.

Well said, though I might add that the prairie dogs were also poorly characterized.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:09 PM   #75
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Well said, though I might add that the prairie dogs were also poorly characterized.

lol I'll go along with that.

CS was on USA today, I put it on as nothing better was on. I just didn't feel the characters meshed well together. And that's something that was such a strength in the other three films, everyone had outstanding chemistry, vibes and relationships with one another. I am not sure why that was so missing with CS.
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