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Old 03-31-2014, 10:28 PM   #1
Raiders112390
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Did you expect Indy IV to be an epic?

Long before KOTCS came our, back in the 90s and earlier in the '00s, did anyone else here hav extremely high expectations for Indy IV?

To be honest I did. I was hoping for a film as epic as all the most epic scenes in the original combined, a dark epic but still with the Indy feel. A comic meets 40s noir look with a truly Biblical either involving Eden (somehow connected with aliens) or Arthurian myth or something else. I was hoping/expecting a sweeping Lost Horizon esque epic. Something with the comic book action of TOD, the depth and grand feel of LC, and the mysticism and eeriness of Raiders.

Were anyone else's expectations as grandiose as all that? Was anyone else expecting or dreaming of an epic?
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Raiders112390
Long before KOTCS came our, back in the 90s and earlier in the '00s, did anyone else here hav extremely high expectations for Indy IV?

Um....duh. This is an Indiana Jones forum after all.

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Were anyone else's expectations as grandiose as all that? Was anyone else expecting or dreaming of an epic?

Since its been six years since Indy 4's release, I can't really recall the movie I had imagined/anticipated in my head moment by moment...but I can say I anticipated a movie that was sort of a combination of the previous three films. I'm sure that's the case with most people, so the fact it broke from the Indiana Jones "formula" (ie aliens instead of something Judeo-Christian, no Sallah, 1950s environment, no main creature in a cave etc.) is probably key in what disappointed a lot of people.

Not sure how to comment on your "epic" label, but I can say that aliens never really crossed my mind(I knew little of Crystal Skull mythology at the time), I did read "rumors" a couple months or so prior to the movie's release that that would be case, but didn't really put too much stock into it as I wanted to try and go fresh in it as much as possible. The moment Spalko pulled out an alien hand from the bag I thought "huh, guess those rumors were right", but was to invested in the "thrill" of seeing a new Indiana Jones movie to give it much thought.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:56 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Raiders112390
Long before KOTCS came our, back in the 90s and earlier in the '00s, did anyone else here hav extremely high expectations for Indy IV?
Not me. In the '80s, both films after "Raiders" weren't as good as the one that came out before (in my opinion) so, due to the downward progression and passing of 2 decades, I had extremely low expectations for the 4th.
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Were anyone else's expectations as grandiose as all that? Was anyone else expecting or dreaming of an epic?
No, because, in the true sense of the word, none of the previous 3 Indy films were "epic".

Watch the 8 hours long, '60s version of "War and Peace". Now, that's an epic!
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:20 PM   #4
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I like to think my expectations were reasonable, but maybe not. I was expecting something inferior to Last Crusade. I think I was more blindsighted by the reasons the movie was disappointing than the fact that it was.

You seem to be asking specifically about scope, and I honestly don't know what I was expecting there. Raiders had some David Lean DNA in it that gave it, at times, a grandness, but it's not like Crystal Skull was, story-wise, any more "confined" than the largely subterranean Temple of Doom. It spent more time in the U.S. than the other movies, but that was appropriate to the story. I was okay with the locations.

I dunno. "Epic" and "grandiose" are kind of meaningless words without context. As the guy who always complained about the movie's lack of location shooting in South America, I will say that correcting that could have helped the movie's sense of scale a little bit. The story takes the adventure to some great places, but it never quite shakes that impression of hopping from soundstage to soundstage. I think once the crew is in the jungle the production's options were limited, but I think there was an opportunity when Mutt and Indy first get to Peru, and certainly when they trek to the cemetery, for the movie to show off South America with real actors cutting across it. Establish that feeling of being there before leaning on digital plates. The movie implies that Mutt and Indy take the motorcycle to Chauchilla Cemetery as night falls - that could have offered some really beautiful visuals coupled with some organic exposition (a fine place for Indy to namecheck the damn graveyard) that might have also made the asylum and crypt scenes a little less talky. I'll take that over the theoretically cool transition from floor scratches to CGI copter shot any day.
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiders112390
Long before KOTCS came our, back in the 90s and earlier in the '00s, did anyone else here hav extremely high expectations for Indy IV?

Quote:
Were anyone else's expectations as grandiose as all that? Was anyone else expecting or dreaming of an epic?

I'm with Stoo that each iteration wasn't as good as the last, but it could also be because, like the Star Wars prequels, my expectations we higher by that point. Having said that, and also because I re-watched all four movies recently (KOTCS as recent as last week), my feelings about Indy IV has softened after not seeing it for a few years. It was the weakest of the four movies, but it doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. People harped about some of the aspects of the movie (ie: "Nuking the Fridge", Shia LaBeouf, aliens, etc.), but I didn't find any of those things all that bad. The plot fit the time period, so I accepted it as is.

My criticisms are more about the amount of CG used. I would've preferred more practical effects, especially the car chase scene through the jungle. Also, as Udvarnoky pointed out, doing more location shooting to at least get the feel that you're actually there. It's not asking alot to briefly show some nice vistas, at least to give it a bit of scale rather than this feel of going from soundstage to soundstage. The mention of having Mutt and Indy take the motorcycle ride to the cemetery is an opportunity to do something like that, maybe even flesh out the dynamic between them. Then, you just might get that "epic" feel. Then again, when I think of epics, I think of movies like the classic Lawrence of Arabia, or even a modern one like Titanic, where a film is given time to breathe and has a grand scale. But, what do I know?
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:44 PM   #6
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When I say 'epic', I mean for example the Canyon of the Crescent Moon scene in LC, or the Leap of Faith scene in LC. That is what I mean by 'epic'.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forbidden Eye
Since its been six years since Indy 4's release, I can't really recall the movie I had imagined/anticipated in my head moment by moment...but I can say I anticipated a movie that was sort of a combination of the previous three films. I'm sure that's the case with most people, so the fact it broke from the Indiana Jones "formula" (ie aliens instead of something Judeo-Christian, no Sallah, 1950s environment, no main creature in a cave etc.) is probably key in what disappointed a lot of people.
I don't think its as simple as that. Very poor story, poor macguffin, poor characters and lack of scope (in terms of its locations) are the main things that are wrong with it. Actually all the things you wouldn't associate with an Indy movie. They got the basics totally wrong for me.

But back to the original question I had high expectations for KOTCS fuelled by how good the original 3 are. Despite the TOD and TLC being weaker than Raiders I still believe that even the weakest of the originals (TOD) is still a great action adventure movie

Sometimes as Indy fans we are overly critical of the originals, but they all set the bar very high that few other films reach. KOTCS alone shows us what was good about the originals that they didn't recapture with the 4th.

I mention lack of scope in my criticism of KOTCS, I expected something as globetrotting as Raiders and TLC with sweeping vistas. I expected a decent macguffin and a solid end goal for the film. All that was missing. Maybe I was expecting too much.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:13 AM   #8
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I didn't think there any real moments of pathos in Crystal Skull, if that's what you're getting at. They kind of danced up to something with the scene between Indy and Stanforth, but that was about it.

The other movies had at least a few moments of majesty or gravity that stirred the emotions a little bit, but I didn't find an equivalent in Crystal Skull. The Indy and Marion reunion was ostensibly meant to be that but it was played more for humor than poignancy. And they never really build up or pay off Akator as a grand discovery all that effectively.

The most emotional moments in the movie are actually between Mutt and Oxley, but we've never met these characters before so it's kind of wasted. Plus if you're anything like me you were too distracted by how contrived a character Oxley is to get much past it.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:22 AM   #9
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I enjoyed KOTCS, not as much as the originals but I still enjoyed it to a degree. When you say epic, I think everybody here (for the most part) thinks in grand scale of what was an " Epic " like the Ten Commandments, Cleopatra, Lawrence of Arabia, etc. to be quite honest no one has made an epic in quite some time prob. to costly (and to be honest not to much original thought or insight coming out of Hollywood these days to justify). I have a different approach to the Indiana Jones movies and that is that (Raiders being the best) they are different adventures with some being better than others. If you ask my opinion, they need to get back to Indiana Jones, the man, not his family,not his friends, not these over populated character laden scripts that start to get away from why we are there which is for Indiana Jones in an adventure !!! One of many faults, I just watched Raiders yesterday and Marion was a great character and played excellently by Karen Allen, I really feel like she was a joke in KOTCS for the most part and that's sad. I think KOTCS was an homage to the other Indy movies with not enough real effort, Spielberg put more effort and craft into Warhorse than this movie !! That being said, overall I liked the movie for what it was and there's nothing like seeing Harrison Ford in that fedora again, so last on my list of the 4 movies but I still liked it.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:36 AM   #10
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Here's a random observation that might speak a little bit to what we're talking about: I remember being fairly captivated by the opening images of this trailer, set against the ark theme and Ford's narration.

As it turns out, that brief footage of Peru was just second unit work shot to be matted in, and those particularly shots didn't even make it into the film. But I still think those scants few seconds tease a different, better movie.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:21 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by micsteam
I just watched Raiders yesterday and Marion was a great character and played excellently by Karen Allen, I really feel like she was a joke in KOTCS for the most part and that's sad. I think KOTCS was an homage to the other Indy movies with not enough real effort,
You hit the nail on the head there. Her character felt like a parody. I'm struggling to think of something in the original trilogy that was so badly played throughout. Maybe Marcus in the tank but Marion was continuously played as a joke in KOTCS. That comes back to bad story and bad characterisation. I expected KOTCS to be better in that dept.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
Here's a random observation that might speak a little bit to what we're talking about: I remember being fairly captivated by the opening images of this trailer, set against the ark theme and Ford's narration.

As it turns out, that brief footage of Peru was just second unit work shot to be matted in, and those particularly shots didn't even make it into the film. But I still think those scants few seconds tease a different, better movie.
Agreed. Nice to watch again though as it reminded me of the excitement I felt 6 years ago. The trailer makes it look good, which of course is a trailers job

The line "whoever returns the skull to the city temple will be given control of its power" sounds great. Yet having seen the film it sums up what was wrong with the whole point of the story.......... What was the skull supposed to do, why return it if the ship just flies off. Again going back to expectations for the film, something that made sense is a basic.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:54 AM   #13
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I've said it a hundred times: drop Oxley, and make Jones himself the one who goes mad after the Russians force him to gaze at the skull. He doesn't lose his sanity immediately, but by the time they're over the waterfalls he's completely possessed and unintelligible and leading the way to the temple. The others follow him because they have no choice.

A common gripe against the film is that Indy doesn't have a whole lot of agency as the film comes to a climax. (He's assisting the Russians under capture, he's reliant on Oxley.) At least if he's possessed there's an actual excuse and there's more investment on the characters' and the audience's part. The bit at the base of the waterfall is so weak as far as character motivation. Mutt and Marion reasonably wonder why Indy must proceed, Mac is just one-dimensionally attracted to the possibility that the city is made of gold, and Indy utters the showstopping line, "Because...it told me to!"

Indy being in real jeopardy is an obvious and natural solution to that problem, and we're immediately in the tank for Act III in that scenario.

Last edited by Udvarnoky : 04-02-2014 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:40 PM   #14
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I am a huge movie fan and I have to say that the talent assembled for this movie was exceptional... Jim Broadbent (to replace Marcus) AWESOME !!, John Hurt (Alien, The Story Teller, The Elephant Man, I could go on !!), Cate Blanchet (really !!) among others.. I mean c'mon. The travesty here is all the talent that was wasted on a half hearted effort, I feel they made this movie to satisfy us (the fans) to a degree and to have a filming reunion for everybody involved but Spielberg didn't want to leave the family so production had to stay in the states for the most part !! Indy is a world traveller, it was one of the staples of the Trilogy, the movie stinks of sets (well done sets albeit) like it was some cheesy TV show. One of the biggest problems with this movie is that there are just too many characters that distract us and clutter the story, if they took the time to really develop some characters or reunite us with familiar characters it would have been a big step in the right direction. Also, the macguffin not the best !! I understand that Lucas wanted to get back to some sort of reference to the time Indy was present in but now Indy is a " has been " and is going to fight/deal with cheesy aliens ?? Really ?? Indy is a 30's-40's serial type adventurer so why screw with that formula ?? Some of the movies that inspired Lucas and Spielberg ( I own some of them on DVD and even VHS) were made in 1950's so what gives ??!! I love and respect Lucas but of late (like 1995 on) I beleive he's lost his marbles and I guess it was best for all he semi-retires (at least until he can get intouch with his former self). As far as Spielberg is concerned I feel he can def. make a worth while Indy project but does he want to ?? I mean these guys treat the whole thing like it's a back yard BBQ, there's no real desire to do a new movie unless they can agree on a BBQ sauce !!! I mean that's how they treat the project and that's how they treated KOTCS. However, the redeeeming fact is this ..... there ain't nothing (especially at the time... 19 years !!!) like seeing Harrison Ford put that fedora on !!! Without him this movie ( and future projects) would never have had worked. My opinion for what it's worth.
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