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Old 07-14-2012, 12:19 AM   #1
Dr.Jonesy
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Irina Spalko - Great Villain



I actually find Irina Spalko to be one of the coolest villains in the Indy saga. She's just damn cool. And some say she wasn't threatening enough, and I disagree somewhat. She was great, a bit more of a villain than Belloq or Donovan were in terms of intent and maliciousness.

Her agenda is actually quite more un-nerving than the Nazis or Thuggees. They want to take over the world via force, capable of being resisted. She however, wants to conquer the world via force but also through your mind; which is far more frightening. Think about it, your entire mind is compromised by one school of thought that was once your enemy. You completely lose yourself.

She doesn't hesitate to initiate orders to mow down a population of natives at Akator, nor does she qualm about U.S. soldiers being mowed down. She comes off as sly and curious; but also very non-chalant in ordering death to take place. "No defiant last words, Dr. Jones?" - She hasn't said a word to him since they first entered the warehouse, and now she's just asking coldly what his last words are before she orders his death. Pretty cool, IMO.

Not to mention that she doesn't seem to care about the minds she destroys; she tries to sacrifice a person's sanity to try and find Akator.

Not to mention that she can kick Mutt's rear end, and has physical abilities in a fight against a male, not to mention her swordsmanship. She could've kicked the crap out of Indy, I think.

I think among some people, she's a very underrated villain. Aside from the amazing Mola Ram and Shrewd-Indy-Doppelganger Belloq, she ranks right up there as one of the best in the series. Though her 'psychic' side could've been ALOT more fleshed out. I just write it off to the fact that she was delusional, which is threatening, too!



It was also bold to utilize a female villain; not the usual Hollywood path of villainy chosen.
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:42 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Jonesy
And some say she wasn't threatening enough, and I disagree somewhat.
---
Though her 'psychic' side could've been ALOT more fleshed out. I just write it off to the fact that she was delusional, which is threatening, too!
Check out these threads. Jonesy:
Irina Spalko: A Threatening Villain?
What did you think Spalko did...
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:31 AM   #3
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Okay, just compare the pictures:





"Irina Spalko - Great Villain??"

Seriously??
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by goodeknight
Okay, just compare the pictures:





2008 was Indy's year of wasted potential.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:33 AM   #5
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Sigh......

You try to bring in good discussion, you write a good deal of exposition and you get what?

A few pictures and 'seriously??' and a Simpsons photo taking a dig at a film. Typical.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:46 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dr.Jonesy
Sigh......

You try to bring in good discussion, you write a good deal of exposition and you get what?

A few pictures and 'seriously??' and a Simpsons photo taking a dig at a film. Typical.


But that's about the level of the characters in that movie.

Navel gazing at KOTCS generally only finds fluff. Dig deep enough and you might cough up a generous furball.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:51 AM   #7
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If that's your opinion, then it applies to most characters and themes in 'Temple of Doom' onward and not just 'Kingdom'.

2008 was not Indy's wasted year and putting Irina's photo next to a couple of Indy's villains does nothing...she fits right in. She was a good villain. The best? No...but good. And one of the most memorable other than Mola Ram and Toht. The rest are rather lightweight.

Not that putting Donovan in that collage helped his point, though.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dr.Jonesy
If that's your opinion, then it applies to most characters in 'Temple of Doom' onward and not just 'Kingdom'.

The fluff ratio in KOTCS far exceeds that of TOD which had a heritage in line with ROTLA.

KOTCS is the dollar signs in the eyes of men who "have both fallen from the pure faith." Barely an actor in the film could take it seriously, and it shows.

A scarcely credible waste of talent.

Spalko could have been something.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Jonesy
Sigh......

You try to bring in good discussion, you write a good deal of exposition and you get what?

A few pictures and 'seriously??' and a Simpsons photo taking a dig at a film. Typical.

I don't think there's much discussion to be had. And Montana's "Ha ha!" gave me my first big smile of the day.

But if you wish, let me expound...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Jonesy
I actually find Irina Spalko to be one of the coolest villains in the Indy saga. She's just damn cool.

Excellent exposition, but I completely disagree. She's not damn cool. She's a paper thin character with a bad accent and worse wig. And the "psychic commies" thing is as weak as the entire ancient aliens plot.

I'd watch 10 more Indy movies, as lame or lamer than CS, as long as Harrison Ford stars in them. I don't care if he's 87. But aside from "Yay, another Indy movie!" the only redeeming thing about CS is that it made Temple of Doom better by comparison. TOD is no longer the weakest of the Indy movies. That's a plus.

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Originally Posted by Dr.Jonesy
Not to mention that she can kick Mutt's rear end,[/font][/b]

So could my grandmother.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Jonesy
It was also bold to utilize a female villain; not the usual Hollywood path of villainy chosen.[/font][/b]

I agree. (Surprised?)
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:07 AM   #10
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This thread has been a bust, evidently.

You guys are more interested in taking more digs at the film, so talking to you is a waste of my time.
*shrugs*

Not trying to be mean, just saying. Man, this forum needs more traffic.

Last edited by Dr.Jonesy : 07-16-2012 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Jonesy
putting Irina's photo next to a couple of Indy's villains does nothing...she fits right in.
----
Not that putting Donovan in that collage helped his point, though.

It's obvious she doesn't fit in at all. That's why I put the four together. Donovan's not a stellar villain, but better than Spalko. He at least has two facets. Interested in antiquities/Sellout to Nazi's for his own immortality.

Personally, I rank the villains like this:

Belloq
Mola Ram
Donovan
Toht
Vogel
Dietrich
German Mechanic
Thugee Guard
Sherpa
Monkey Man
The Monkey
Bad Dates
Bullets
The Tank
The Submarine
The Ocean
Hitler
The Mileage
The Years
Spalko

(I might be missing a few villains before you get to Spalko.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Jonesy
This thread has been a bust, evidently.

You guys are more interested in taking more digs at the film, so talking to you is a waste of my time.
*shrugs*

Unless a bunch of other Raveners and die hard Spalko fans jump to her and your defense, then it does seem the thread is a bust. Unless it turns into a "rip on Spalko" thread. But that's only fun if someone keeps sticking up for her.

(Don't take offense. I share my comments with a quirky, smirky smile.)
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodeknight
It's obvious she doesn't fit in at all. That's why I put the four together. Donovan's not a stellar villain, but better than Spalko. He at least has two facets. Interested in antiquities/Sellout to Nazi's for his own immortality.

Unless a bunch of other Raveners and die hard Spalko fans jump to her and your defense, then it does seem the thread is a bust. Unless it turns into a "rip on Spalko" thread. But that's only fun if someone keeps sticking up for her.

(Don't take offense. I share my comments with a quirky, smirky smile.)

Well...she does fit. If anything, Mola Ram doesn't fit. He's a crazed native in India not working for a government and agency.

Okay, so Donovan has at least two facets as opposed to Spalko? Let's see...
-She has been hired by the Soviet Union to carry out this job.
-She is interested in gaining an unlimited amount of knowledge for herself.
There's your two.

So, there's her two. Arguably the same as Donovan; one is her being used by a military, the other is for personal gain.

Yeah, just what we need, a Rip-on-Spalko thread. Look, I know neither of you are trying to be antagonistic, however, it'd be nice to be able to make mention of a film, talk about it, analyze it or give it a little praise without having to fend of sarcastic comments and don a pair of boxing gloves. I dealt with that crap with 'Temple of Doom' for a bit too long. Indy fans shouldn't make other Indy fans feel isolated for what they like. That's what Star Wars fans do and I like to thing Indy fans are better than that. All I'll say.

Last edited by Dr.Jonesy : 07-16-2012 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodeknight
And the "psychic commies" thing is as weak as the entire ancient aliens plot.

That was actually one of the more factually based aspects of the film. If it weren't for a script deletion, she would have recounted the real-life submarine experiment with the mother rabbit and her kits (which remains in the novel).

Spalko seemingly had no psychic powers. Yet in her back story she was regarded as a "witch". It appears that Lucas kept Spalko as a realistic character, as opposed to Mola Ram. The expectation of more powers leaves her wanting.

She falters like other characters.

So many good actors jumped aboard an "Indiana Jones" movie, only to realize that it wasn't really in that same league. So they stumbled around until they reached the end. In terms of the drift of the movie Spalko stood no chance against her previous competitors.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
So many good actors jumped aboard an "Indiana Jones" movie, only to realize that it wasn't really in that same league. So they stumbled around until they reached the end. In terms of the drift of the movie Spalko stood no chance against her previous competitors.


Yes, you were in the actors' heads.

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Old 07-16-2012, 11:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
That was actually one of the more factually based aspects of the film.

I know "psychic commies" existed, and that plenty of experiments dealing with telekinesis, telepathy, etc. went on thru the Kremlin. But it's such a joke that it doesn't make for a good plot device. Same with crystal skulls.

Indy IV is only a good setup for Indiana Jones V: Indiana Jones vs. Bigfoot Riding the Lochness Monster

But I'd still pay to see it in the theater.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:58 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by goodeknight
But it's such a joke that it doesn't make for a good plot device. Same with crystal skulls.

Guess we'll agree to disagree.

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Old 07-16-2012, 12:06 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dr.Jonesy


Yes, you were in the actors' heads.


I could feel their humiliation. Couldn't spend long in there before I had to leave. Just didn't seem right to impose any more on them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodeknight
I know "psychic commies" existed, and that plenty of experiments dealing with telekinesis, telepathy, etc. went on thru the Kremlin. But it's such a joke that it doesn't make for a good plot device. Same with crystal skulls.

I knew you knew.

My point, though was that Lucas took the rare choice in KOTCS to keep something low-key, and maintain Spalko as a character who might have stepped out of the Soviet Union in 1957. But in this case, he would have been better to exploit the 'wilder' aspect (while toning down some of the other wildness as a compromise).

I liked Spalko, so I wanted to see much more from her. She ends up being a bit of a failure, relying on Mac and his tracking beacons to follow Indy, rather than the telepathy she seemed to boast.

When it comes down to it she's too obsessed, like Belloq, Donovan or Elsa, to see that she's heading for personal doom, despite her famed scientific background.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Jonesy
It was also bold to utilize a female villain; not the usual Hollywood path of villainy chosen.
Female villains in Hollywood cinema go way back so it's wasn't exactly a "bold" choice. Plus, weapon-toting females who fight like men have been very much in vogue for well over a decade now. Due to the fact that Spalko's psychic abilities were never displayed in the film, her character was nothing special.
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodeknight
Excellent exposition, but I completely disagree. She's not damn cool. She's a paper thin character with a bad accent and worse wig.
If I remember correctly, Cate Blanchett wasn't wearing a wig but I agree that her hair didn't fit. In the DVD bonus material, C.Blanchett talks about choosing that hairstyle by looking through American high-school yearbooks. I'm no expert on Russian/Ukrainian women's fashion of the 1950's but that bob cut doesn't strike me as being very 'eastern bloc'.

To me, Spalko is a bland villain who says, "Dr. Jones", so often that it becomes annoying.

"Where is it that you would imagine I am from, Dr. Jones?"
"You are a hard man to read, Dr. Jones."
"Don’t toy with me, Dr. Jones."
"No defiant last words, Dr. Jones?"
"How fortunate our failure to kill you, Dr. Jones."
"Surely you’re not afraid, Dr. Jones?"
"We will change you, Dr. Jones."
"So, Dr. Jones, you will help us?"
"Dazvidanya, Dr. Jones!"
"Belief, Dr. Jones, is a gift you have yet to receive."
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:02 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Stoo
If I remember correctly, Cate Blanchett wasn't wearing a wig
Well, that's even worse!

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Originally Posted by Stoo
"Where is it that you would imagine I am from, Dr. Jones?"
"You are a hard man to read, Dr. Jones."
"Don’t toy with me, Dr. Jones."
"No defiant last words, Dr. Jones?"
"How fortunate our failure to kill you, Dr. Jones."
"Surely you’re not afraid, Dr. Jones?"
"We will change you, Dr. Jones."
"So, Dr. Jones, you will help us?"
"Dazvidanya, Dr. Jones!"
"Belief, Dr. Jones, is a gift you have yet to receive."

MAKE IT STOP!!

"Help! I'm being eaten by 1s and 0s!"
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:03 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodeknight
Okay, just compare the pictures:

I'm not going to argue that Spalko is the greatest Indy villain ever, but your choice of pictures isn't very objective at all. Compare these:

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodeknight




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Old 07-17-2012, 10:54 AM   #21
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I think she's a great villain. Just could've been fleshed out more.
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:29 AM   #22
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I've always sorta liked Spalko, mostly because she seems to me to be more of a super-driven patriot than a truly evil person. I'd almost call her a potential anti-hero, were she given a spin-off. Sure, she could have been made truly menacing, but I think the filmmakers decided to make her more morally ambiguous, more than anything else.

And why? Because I know things. I know them before anyo-okay, okay, I'll stop.

But anyway, I think the reason for that is because of, yes, her nationality. Since Russia is still in existence, unlike Nazi Germany, they are still "politically incorrect" targets. So I see why Spielberg and Koepp went soft on her villainous potential. But darn it, I think she's still a fascinating figure and quite a badass (yeah, I'm biased by my love of fencing. Any excuse to get a sword fight in a film, I'll gladly take it), and is so enigmatic that she leaves me wanting to know more about her. Kinda like Boba Fett or Darth Maul, she's a mysterious antagonist with an awesome shtick. And seeing as I like both those characters, it's no surprise I'm fond of the Colonel-Doctor.

And as for her always calling Indy Dr. Jones, I interpret that as her treating Indy with respect by calling him by his "professional name," thus showing that she's at least willing to acknowledge him as an equal. Which, depending on your point of view, could actually be sorta heartwarming, but whatever...
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:56 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodeknight
Okay, just compare the pictures:





"Irina Spalko - Great Villain??"

Seriously??

Mmm... well, perhaps not Great with a capital "G," but certainly a compelling one, at least to me. I find her a stronger, more compelling villain than Walter Donovan, anyway. I'd agree she's not up there alongside Mola Ram or especially Belloq, but in fairness those two set a pretty high standard for villains.

I'm honestly surprised you chose the photos you did; to me, they emphasize this point. Walter Donovan in that screenshot just isn't as intimidating / frightening / whatever as Irina Spalko in her image below.
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:35 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Crack that whip
Mmm... well, perhaps not Great with a capital "G," but certainly a compelling one, at least to me. I find her a stronger, more compelling villain than Walter Donovan, anyway. I'd agree she's not up there alongside Mola Ram or especially Belloq, but in fairness those two set a pretty high standard for villains.

I understand. I really like her; she's stylish and fits the film perfectly. Mola Ram and Belloq are the series' best villains, but Irina is damn cool, though.

She's got alot of fan tribute videos on YouTube.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:58 AM   #25
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I am far from a KOTCS hater but Spalko is a weak villain. I don't understand shy they implied she was psychic and never showed it. She has a bad accent and she isn't very threatening of a character. She's tolerable at best.
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