TheRaider.net
 

Go Back   The Raven > The Films > Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
User Name
Password

View Poll Results: "Great Indiana Jones Film" or "Greatest Indiana Jones Film"?
Great Indiana Jones Film 5 71.43%
Greatest Indiana Jones Film 2 28.57%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-27-2012, 10:15 PM   #1
Rocket Surgeon
Guest
 
Rocket Surgeon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 8,872
Crystal Skull: "Great Indiana Jones Film" or "Greatest Indiana Jones Film"?

The Whip and the Fedora

Quote:
Originally posted by Armond White

How the best Indiana Jones films survive our loss of innocence

The recently issued Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures on Paramount Blu-Ray comes at the right moment—that is, with enough passage of time–that now a reasonable assessment can be made of the entire series. Despite the historical impact that Raiders of the Lost Ark made in 1981, each succeeding sequel has surpassed it. The original now looks rather stodgy (even with the vivid Blu-Ray transfer–no matter how many people pledge nostalgic preference for it) because Spielberg’s aesthetic momentum improved–astonishingly–with each sequel.

Now it can said: Raiders is the least of the quartet, despite its early 80s novelty, coming at the tail-end of the ‘70s American Renaissance when filmmakers brought modernist revisionism to Hollywood genre. Raiders is preferred by those who refuse to take Spielberg (and pop culture) seriously. It’s actually less elegant than the widely disliked Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which is, in fact, far richer (although the amazing cinematographer Janusz Kaminski failed to light it with Douglas Slocombe’s smooth, gorgeous. ultra-Hollywood sparkle that distinguished the first three films). Crystal Skull builds on Raider’s ideas and complicates them. Arriving two decades later, it is the series’ true sequel–refined and elegant.

The other Indy films stand alone: Temple of Doom is a rambunctious comedy with some of the greatest action-directing (that rollercoaster ride through the mines) that one can ever see. And The Last Crusade is the series’ pinnacle—a masterpiece. Harrison Ford’s Indy finds his best ally in his dad (Sean Connery, evoking the crowd-pleasing ingenuity of the James Bond series that was the forerunner to this action-cycle) and then the All-American adventurer bumps into his perfect foil (Adolf Hitler signing his autograph—in the book that represents Indy’s family legacy).

In The Last Crusade’s overture sequence, detailing Indy’s boyhood (played by the late River Phoenix), we get a perfect example of relay-race ingenuity as well as a compressed history of cinema kinetics. As teenage Indy goes from horse to train (a semiotic condensation of John Ford’s The Iron Horse and Buster Keaton’s The General in the guise of Barnum and Bailey circus transport), Spielberg achieved one of the most cinematically resonant sequences in modern movies (until Joseph Kahn paid homage to it in the train/motorcycle/gun race of Torque).

It is in The Last Crusade that Spielberg comes to grips with Imperialism and the politics and ethics behind Indy’s (the West’s) anthropological urge. Manifest colonialism meets its spiritual destiny. Destiny resonates when one revisits the now-disappointing Raiders of the Lost Ark. It simply doesn’t move fast enough—either rhythmically or intellectually. It now just looks like a slow exploration of genre possibilities; in the end a childish folly; a rehash of serial movie triviality. This exercise was fascinating in 1981 (starting with the signature visual puns on the Paramount logo that always begin the caprice—signalling for the viewer to appreciate movie history) because no one had thought about Serials as a genre for decades until the lame Star Wars revived the concept in 1977. Raiders was livelier and more human than Star Wars (and seemed fresher than The Empire Strikes Back, the best film in that woebegone series) yet over the years Raiders has not aged particularly well. (Indy running ahead of the onslaught of a rolling boulder has been so overexposed that the modernist joke is lost. Now Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959), from which Spielberg stole the joke, proves to have more dramatic context.)

Consider Raiders’ confrontation with a black-garbed Arab swinging a scimitar and Indy’s very American response (reversing the axiom about “bringing a knife to a gun fight”). In ’81 it felt cool—shocking and so Wild West American—but three decades later, especially now in the era of international trepidation and foreign policy appeasement, Indy’s gunplay feels embarrassingly over drawn. Raiders’ concept of American fun and might went around the globe, entertaining audiences everywhere, but Al Qaeda’s payback on 9/11 haunts it now.

Indy’s moment of retaliation has come to seem futile or ill-considered—far different from the American awakening from isolationism depicted in Casablanca. That gun violates the symbolism of Indy’s whip and fedora (his prowess and his mind). It also connects to what’s problematic in the series–Temple of Doom’s insensitive, tacit racism that turned the Otherness of Indian cults into bloodthirsty villainy. Spielberg’s personal artistic reflexes and political anxieties are as fascinating as the paradoxes Edmund Wilson studied in The Wound and the Bow. Raiders’ climactic shift into Judeo-Christian sanctity (using the power of the lost Ark of the Covenant as both a moral force and a final reference to the cultural touchstone of Citizen Kane—a cinephile’s covenant) was clever but only temporarily satisfying. Spielberg needed both the process of making The Color Purple which fully empathized with the experience of the Other and the pre-Schindler’s List wit of The Last Crusade to finally face up to and fully explicate the series’ Western perspective. The Last Crusade is the film in the series that holds up best after our loss of innocence post-9/11. When revisiting the project in Crystal Skull, Spielberg broadened that perspective historically (the magnificent mushroom cloud nuclear bomb recreation), astronomically and metaphysically.

Given the mess of contemporary cultural expression—the West and the Mid-East’s unresolved feelings about history and destiny now exploding all about us—the Indiana Jones series may be America’s last example of global adventure filmmaking. How do we imaginatively utilize Indy’s bullwhip and fedora in the midst of Arab Spring and Arab Winter? Read more about this in my book The Resistance: Ten Years of Pop Culture That Shook the World.

I'm still reeling...
Rocket Surgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 10:22 PM   #2
Toht's Arm
IndyFan
 
Toht's Arm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 191
As I was reading it, at first I thought it was well-written and well-argued. But then he mentioned Torque. Then randomly name-checked 9/11. Then didn't actually get around to talking about Crystal Skull much at all. Huh.
Toht's Arm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 10:32 PM   #3
Mickiana
IndyFan
 
Mickiana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,187
What a completely unvivid imagination. "Raiders is the least of the quartet"! What soapbox is he standing on?
Mickiana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 11:40 PM   #4
Montana Smith
IndyFan
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10,616
'e's 'avin' a larf 'e is.
Montana Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 02:26 AM   #5
Gear
IndyFan
 
Gear's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Oregon, U.S.
Posts: 2,018
Lulz, this guy's a cinema hipster. Insert meme;


'Loved Raiders of the Lost Ark until it grossed $242 million

DISOWNS IT'



Seriously: it's an interesting and appreciated perspective, and us fan boys/girls shouldn't get butt-hurt about it.
Gear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 02:36 AM   #6
Lance Quazar
IndyFan
 
Lance Quazar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Lost
Posts: 1,887
This is actually very typical Armond White.

Guy's a performance artist at this point.

Deliberately contrarian and so consistently and wildly off-base that the only possible explanation for his existence is that is pulling the longest "Punk'd" gag in history.

Nothing to see here.
Lance Quazar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 03:24 AM   #7
replican't
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 730
Would sir prefer a kick to the balls or a punch to the neck?
replican't is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 12:13 PM   #8
Rocket Surgeon
Guest
 
Rocket Surgeon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 8,872
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Quazar
This is actually very typical Armond White.
You're familiar with this wackjob? I read a few comments and besides his stance on the Andersons and post like:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Quazar
Guy's a performance artist at this point. Deliberately contrarian...

Whats his deal?

With comparisons to knockoffs of bad films (Torque) I imagine the comedy is boundless...

I didn't agree with Siskel 100% but I appreciated his insight and valued his opinion. For fans of strawberry kiwi bublegum (schlock) I guess he's a similar source...

Quote:
Originally Posted by replican't
Would sir prefer a kick to the balls or a punch to the neck?
Can I wear a cup?
Rocket Surgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 12:15 PM   #9
Deckard
IndyFan
 
Deckard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,750
Google Armond White and then realise you should never ever take anything this clown writes remotely seriously. All he ever does is the exact opposite for attention.
Deckard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 01:18 PM   #10
Goodeknight
IndyFan
 
Goodeknight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 1,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckard
Google Armond White and then realise you should never ever take anything this clown writes remotely seriously. All he ever does is the exact opposite for attention.
Since this thread has seemingly derailed, let me push it further off kilter by asking Deckard if you've already pre-ordered....


I didn't know it existed (or will exist soon enough) until I saw it on the Amazon.co.uk site -- about 10 bucks cheaper than it lists on Amazon in the US.
Goodeknight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 01:34 PM   #11
Lance Quazar
IndyFan
 
Lance Quazar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Lost
Posts: 1,887
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
You're familiar with this wackjob?

Yep. He gained notoriety a year or two ago by being literally the only critic on earth who didn't like "Toy Story 3."

There have been numerous similar contrarian positions before and after that in his checkered career.
Lance Quazar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2012, 01:45 PM   #12
Forbidden Eye
IndyFan
 
Forbidden Eye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: With the Treasure of Mara...
Posts: 991
Oh that Armond White.

I can get on board that Indiana Jones And Kingdom Skull is underrated and is no where near as bad as say the melodramatic South Park creators insist, but better than Raiders? That's going too far.
Forbidden Eye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2012, 11:53 AM   #13
Rocket Surgeon
Guest
 
Rocket Surgeon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 8,872
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckard
Google Armond White and then realise you should never ever take anything this clown writes remotely seriously. All he ever does is the exact opposite for attention.
That's the general consensus...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Quazar
Yep. He gained notoriety a year or two ago by being literally the only critic on earth who didn't like "Toy Story 3."
Still haven't seen that one, but can't imagine how they could go wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forbidden Eye
Oh that Armond White. I can get on board that Indiana Jones And Kingdom Skull is underrated and is no where near as bad as say the melodramatic South Park creators insist, but better than Raiders? That's going too far.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armond
Now it can said: Raiders is the least of the quartet, despite its early 80s novelty, coming at the tail-end of the ‘70s American Renaissance when filmmakers brought modernist revisionism to Hollywood genre.
Does he come with a glossary where we can source his terms?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armond
Raiders is preferred by those who refuse to take Spielberg (and pop culture) seriously.
I know I need annotating at times but I think he's got me beat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armond
It’s actually less elegant than the widely disliked Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which is, in fact, far richer...
Less elegant? Far Richer? For those of you who know him "better" can you explain this because he doesn't, at least not in any way I can comprehend. There are some loose strings but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armond
Crystal Skull builds on Raider’s ideas and complicates them. Arriving two decades later, it is the series’ true sequel–refined and elegant.
Is he talking film making or writing craft...? Is he supporting the undefined post 9/11 "loss of innocence"?

Is he on crack?
Rocket Surgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 10:42 AM   #14
Rocket Surgeon
Guest
 
Rocket Surgeon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 8,872
How the best Indiana Jones films survive our loss of innocence

Quote:
Originally posted by Armond White

It is in The Last Crusade that Spielberg comes to grips with Imperialism and the politics and ethics behind Indy’s (the West’s) anthropological urge. Manifest colonialism meets its spiritual destiny.
Wouldn't this be Temple? Is he talking about a western imperialist stealing cars and driving them into holes?


Quote:
Originally posted by Armond White
Destiny resonates when one revisits the now-disappointing Raiders of the Lost Ark. It simply doesn’t move fast enough—either rhythmically or intellectually.
Is there such a thing as too much Mountain Dew?
Rocket Surgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 02:45 PM   #15
Montana Smith
IndyFan
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armond White
Destiny resonates when one revisits the now-disappointing Raiders of the Lost Ark. It simply doesn’t move fast enough—either rhythmically or intellectually.

It moves fast enough.

But there again, so does Forrest Gump.

Montana Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 03:21 PM   #16
Rocket Surgeon
Guest
 
Rocket Surgeon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 8,872
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
It moves fast enough.
Does Crystal Skull move faster than Raiders?
Rocket Surgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 09:50 PM   #17
Montana Smith
IndyFan
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
Does Crystal Skull move faster than Raiders?

Only if compared to a strong laxative.
Montana Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 01:43 AM   #18
Rocket Surgeon
Guest
 
Rocket Surgeon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 8,872
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
Only if compared to a strong laxative.
I don't understand where you're taking this...your posts of late have read like non-sequiturs.

Crystal Skull is faster than Raiders if its compared to a strong laxative?

Maybe I need sleep, but I'm just lost.
Rocket Surgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 01:50 AM   #19
Montana Smith
IndyFan
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
I don't understand where you're taking this...your posts of late have read like non-sequiturs.

Crystal Skull is faster than Raiders if its compared to a strong laxative?

Maybe I need sleep, but I'm just lost.

You'll have to think with replican't's brain. (It's around here somewhere).

Think of an uncontrollable bowel movement and you'll be heading in the right direction.

(And Raiders had the IQ of Forrest Gump).
Montana Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 02:13 AM   #20
Rocket Surgeon
Guest
 
Rocket Surgeon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 8,872
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
You'll have to think with replican't's brain. (It's around here somewhere).

Think of an uncontrollable bowel movement and you'll be heading in the right direction.

(And Raiders had the IQ of Forrest Gump).

Ah, I get it...

...no, I don't.
Rocket Surgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 03:13 AM   #21
Montana Smith
IndyFan
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
Ah, I get it...

...no, I don't.

Until a translation can be prepared, you'll just have to make do with this rubbish:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armond White
Destiny resonates when one revisits the now-disappointing Raiders of the Lost Ark. It simply doesn’t move fast enough—either rhythmically or intellectually
Montana Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 02:07 PM   #22
Rocket Surgeon
Guest
 
Rocket Surgeon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 8,872
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
Until a translation can be prepared, you'll just have to make do with this rubbish:
Context would help with this unsettled feeling reading all that gives me...but I'm not convinced I could unravel it all.

Calling Crystal Skull "refined" is mind numbing, compounding and shattering that is "elegant"...
Rocket Surgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 02:30 PM   #23
Montana Smith
IndyFan
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
Context would help with this unsettled feeling reading all that gives me...but I'm not convinced I could unravel it all.

Calling Crystal Skull "refined" is mind numbing, compounding and shattering that is "elegant"...

It unravels like a ball of wool, leaving a mess all over the floor until the cat comes in and gets tangled in it.

He's making a case that can't reasonably be substantiated. As Lance and Deckard wrote earlier, Armond White is apparently intent on creating controversy.
Montana Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 02:33 PM   #24
Rocket Surgeon
Guest
 
Rocket Surgeon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 8,872
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
It unravels like a ball of wool, leaving a mess all over the floor until the cat comes in and gets tangled in it.

He's making a case that can't reasonably be substantiated. As Lance and Deckard wrote earlier, Armond White is apparently intent on creating controversy.

He doesn't even try! He makes proposals and statements, but doesn't support any of it.

It's a sanity test...we should administer it to new members to debunk or confirm.

The only right answer being F-off!
Rocket Surgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 02:37 PM   #25
Montana Smith
IndyFan
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 10,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
He doesn't even try! He makes proposals and statements, but doesn't support any of it.

It's a sanity test...we should administer it to new members to debunk or confirm.

The only right answer being F-off!

It's poo on a stick.
Montana Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:53 PM.