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Old 03-27-2016, 03:20 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by Raiders112390
But then why refer to the films as the 'three films'?
In reference to what was before KotCS. It was not an implication that KotCS was a lesser entry.

Before KotCS: Three films and assortment of other media.
Before ToD: Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Is this clear now? Or do you want me to explain it in single syllables next?
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:11 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
I remember reading somewhere that it actually made Crystal Skull more expensive to shoot domestically the whole way through, but don't quote me.

I like to cite my sources, even in retrospect, and I was able to find the article I was the thinking of. George Lucas says:

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Lucas
If I had done it the way I did all my other movies, we would have saved money. But Steven wanted to stay home. He didn’t want to travel all around the world. He wanted to be with his kids. Family comes first.

To be fair, Lucas may have just been referring to the use of overseas studios rather than American ones, and not necessary to bringing the production to the international locations the story was actually set in.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:28 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by mrman7
Definitely watched the special features but haven't read the book. I'm sure at some point they filmed some shots in the jungle but there is no possible way that 95% of that scene is shot practically. No way. I can spot the difference between enhanced backgrounds and chromakey.
To be clear, I meant 95% of the sequence in TIME (minutes/seconds) is built around footage filmed in a real, outdoor environment. Watch the special features again and you might notice that each key scene of the jungle chase is shown being made OUTSIDE (and not in a studio as you originally stated).

Sorry to say, Mr.Man7, but you obviously CANNOT "spot the difference between enhanced backgrounds and chromakey".

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I wouldn't "making of" materials issued by Lucasfilm at face value. Lucas' recounting of how his films are made are specious at best. Remember him talking about how he had the Star Wars saga all planned out in his head? Remember him on the Episode I dvd sitting down to write the screenplay and saying "now all I need is an idea?"
What a crazy comeback & nutty argument. C'mon, man, surely you have more brains than that? George didn't write the "Complete Making" book.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:54 PM   #204
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There are a few factors at play here.

First off, "shot practically" is a distinction that is almost meaningless if it's also allowed to include footage enhanced by computers. While the soundstage shots may be minimal (that would include the close-ups of the Mutt/Spalko duel and the canopy shots, yes?), pretty much none of the jungle chase is digitally unmolested even if they did shoot most of it in Hawaii.

That said, I suspect the CGI is less the culprit than Kaminski's much-maligned aesthetic for the film. Your mileage may vary, but to my tastes the whole movie has a shiny, fake look to it, even when there are no effects in sight. The choices of the DP, for me, obliterate the sense of immediacy, which is crucial in an Indy film. Under the best of circumstances, nothing on screen appears tactile. Once effects get involved, we all but enter Sky Captain territory.

The jungle chase simply looks fake, in a general but palpable way. Not all of us may be able to accurately articulate why, but I think this debate about what, specifically, was CGI or not kind of misses the point. The fact that anything which was shot physically appears ILM'd to the audience summarizes the failure of the sequence better than anything I can think of. Perception is reality. Frankly, the fact that Spielberg shot most of the scene in a real jungle makes it even worse.
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:54 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
to my tastes the whole movie has a shiny, fake look to it, even when there are no effects in sight.

For Examples, see my lighting post in the Do's/Don't thread. Udvarnoky is spot on, here.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:02 PM   #206
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The character of Mac is severely underrepresented as a major reason to dislike this movie. The idea of Ray Winstone as Indy's morally-challenged WWII buddy is such a slam dunk on the surface. How did they mess it up so bad?

I'd love to know what the brain trust's intent was with Mac. He's depicted as someone in it for the money rather having ideological sympathies with the Soviets, yet everything he does in the third act contradicts this until his incomprehensible demise. The character's a mess in the final film, we're all agreed, but what were they trying to do with him? I refuse to believe he was deliberately designed in such an idiotic way.
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Old 04-06-2016, 02:07 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
The character of Mac is severely underrepresented as a major reason to dislike this movie. The idea of Ray Winstone as Indy's morally-challenged WWII buddy is such a slam dunk on the surface. How did they mess it up so bad?

I'd love to know what the brain trust's intent was with Mac. He's depicted as someone in it for the money rather having ideological sympathies with the Soviets, yet everything he does in the third act contradicts this until his incomprehensible demise. The character's a mess in the final film, we're all agreed, but what were they trying to do with him? I refuse to believe he was deliberately designed in such an idiotic way.

It's pretty clear to me, to be honest: He goes where the smart money seems, at this point. He's betrayed both sides to the point that he's not really on any side anymore, he doesn't know which end is up, so he goes with whichever side is the winning one. If it looks likeliest that riding with Indy will get him the gold, he'll ride with Indy - until a surer bet comes along. Indy's choice in friends, to the end, remains consistent.
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:03 AM   #208
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That interpretation is killed dead by the inclusion of the diodes. If Mac is only after the money or self-preservation, he has no incentive to lead the Soviets to Akator once he's tricked Indy and they've escaped together. At that point, he's on his way to the city of gold. And as for self-preservation, well, Spalko tried to drive a jeep with him inside off a cliff.

If the Russians would have shown up in the throne room without Mac's help and he pulled the gun on Indy, the context would have been very different. Then it would have read that he was switching sides depending on who's on top. But your reading simply isn't supported by the text of the film.

Can anyone who has read the novelization or comic confirm whether the diodes are included there?
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:43 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
That interpretation is killed dead by the inclusion of the diodes. If Mac is only after the money or self-preservation, he has no incentive to lead the Soviets to Akator once he's tricked Indy and they've escaped together. At that point, he's on his way to the city of gold. And as for self-preservation, well, Spalko tried to drive a jeep with him inside off a cliff.

If the Russians would have shown up in the throne room without Mac's help and he pulled the gun on Indy, the context would have been very different. Then it would have read that he was switching sides depending on who's on top. But your reading simply isn't supported by the text of the film.

Can anyone who has read the novelization or comic confirm whether the diodes are included there?

Even with or in spite of the diodes...If you're a gambling man, which Mac clearly was - probably a very, very bad gambler at that - Would the smart money be on Indy, a middle aged woman, Marlon Brando and a half crazy old man...Or a large professional paramilitary force?
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:12 AM   #210
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The very existence of the diodes gainsays the idea that he's making such decisions on the fly. Why else would Spalko have a receiver for the tracers in the first place?
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:36 AM   #211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
First off, "shot practically" is a distinction that is almost meaningless if it's also allowed to include footage enhanced by computers. While the soundstage shots may be minimal (that would include the close-ups of the Mutt/Spalko duel and the canopy shots, yes?), pretty much none of the jungle chase is digitally unmolested even if they did shoot most of it in Hawaii.
Actually, plenty of shots from the jungle chase are in-camera & untouched (unless you count colour-grading, etc.) so sizeable portions of it were, indeed, "shot practically" with no molestation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
The jungle chase simply looks fake, in a general but palpable way. Not all of us may be able to accurately articulate why, but I think this debate about what, specifically, was CGI or not kind of misses the point. The fact that anything which was shot physically appears ILM'd to the audience summarizes the failure of the sequence better than anything I can think of. Perception is reality. Frankly, the fact that Spielberg shot most of the scene in a real jungle makes it even worse.
Well, it doesn't miss my point. Mrman7 wrote that the stunts were done with blue screen in a studio and, therefore, not as exciting & dangerous as those in the previous movies. The jungle chase doesn't thrill me so my argument is not meant to defend it. What I'm trying to get across is: one can't say the "problem" is due to its stunts not being "real"...because most of them were (and that goes for the entire movie).
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrman7
The REAL problem with Crystal Skull is the overuse of special effects. The original had great stunts. Old timey stunts. Tricks stolen from old westerns.
...Most of the stunts here are done on bluescreen, which is especially egregious in the chase sequence through the jungle. They're trying to ape the truck chase in Raiders and the tank chase in Last Crusade. Those scenes were awesome because they took some stuntmen and vehicles out to the desert to beat the heck out of each other and jumped off horses and stuff. It's great! It felt dangerous because, like, it kindof was. That's an actual dude crawling under the moving truck with his whip. That's a real guy jumping off a real horse on a real road onto a real car. It's cool!
...There's ZERO danger in the chase at the end of Crystal Skull. NONE. They're all in a studio! What could possibly happen? Nothing. No tension, no drama, no interest. Doesn't work.
Reading your post again makes me wonder if you think the effects-laden mine cart chase in "Doom" has no tension. Who cares that Shorty is the object of a tug-o'-war while careening over a lava pit? They're all miniatures!
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:00 PM   #212
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I stand corrected. This article purports that half of the six-minute jungle chase had CGI (whether to augment the foliage or for the blue-screen work). It does say, though, that "most" of the stunts were not shot on location, so mrman7 might be on to something after all.

As for me, this all just goes to show how much impact the diffusion filters and color correction had on the film's believability. It just didn't look like an Indiana Jones movie.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:31 PM   #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
That interpretation is killed dead by the inclusion of the diodes. If Mac is only after the money or self-preservation, he has no incentive to lead the Soviets to Akator once he's tricked Indy and they've escaped together. At that point, he's on his way to the city of gold. And as for self-preservation, well, Spalko tried to drive a jeep with him inside off a cliff.

If the Russians would have shown up in the throne room without Mac's help and he pulled the gun on Indy, the context would have been very different. Then it would have read that he was switching sides depending on who's on top. But your reading simply isn't supported by the text of the film.

Can anyone who has read the novelization or comic confirm whether the diodes are included there?

Just checked the Rollins novelization; it doesn't have the diodes, but rather a "tiny black box," a "tracker beacon" that Mac carries on his person.

I think Winstone's performance is lively and one of the highlights of the film, but concede that Mac as written starts strong and legible and ends rather less so.

Ray Winstone's comment, which has been quoted here a few times, offers an explanation for the character's "triple agent" behavior, but I don't know that the self-delusion he describes shows up on the screen.

Quote:
"When he's with the Russians, he thinks he's working for the good guys. And when he's with the good guys, he thinks he's working for the Russians. He's been a double agent so long, he's no longer sure which side he's really on...but he knows Indy's his mate."

Considering how decimated Spalko's forces are by this point, and Mac and Indy being ex-military themselves, if he'd brought Indy in on the fact that they were coming, they could have gotten the jump on the Soviets readily enough. I think this is a situation where one change - dropping the diodes/trackers element - would have drastically improved how this facet of the film plays.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:59 PM   #214
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Winstone's take is indeed intriguing, but sadly irrelevant since none of that comes through in the film. Sounds like he did what any good actor does, which is come up with a story in their head that justifies the character. But that should have been the screenplay's job. An actor can't be expected to communicate what isn't there.

I appreciate your checking the novelization. I tend to agree that simply losing the trackers would have been a major improvement. Then Indy's line from the comic that I do manage to remember, "It's whoever in the room, isn't it, Mac?" would have made sense, as would Raiders112390's reading.

But it would have been a major improvement in the sense that it would have turned something incomprehensible into something that was at least logically consistent. I still don't know if it would have justified Mac as a character. If he was destined to only ever be a greedbag who keeps switching sides, then he would have been better off killed in the teaser. By keeping him for the whole movie but not actually developing him, they just keeping hitting the same note over and over again. The diode thing collapses an already thin character into utter nonsense, and the way Spielberg staged his demise was just the cyanide cherry atop the toxic sundae.

Mac might have been better served had he been telling the truth when he convinces Indy he's a double agent. Having a CIA operative who survives the adventure would have solved another of the film's many half-baked ideas, which is Indy's reinstatement at the end. In a deleted line, the script tried to set up Akator as a discovery "no politician can touch," but even if that had remained it wouldn't have addressed anything, since all physical trace of Akator is destroyed when the valley is flooded. Unless Oxley happens to be on Eisenhower's cabinet, none of the movie's survivors are really in a position to take the government heat off of Indy.
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Old 04-06-2016, 02:30 PM   #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
Mac might have been better served had he been telling the truth when he convinces Indy he's a double agent. Having a CIA operative who survives the adventure would have solved another of the film's many half-baked ideas, which is Indy's reinstatement at the end. In a deleted line, the script tried to set up Akator as a discovery "no politician can touch," but even if that had remained it wouldn't have addressed anything, since all physical trace of Akator is destroyed when the valley is flooded. Unless Oxley happens to be on Eisenhower's cabinet, none of the movie's survivors are really in a position to take the government heat off of Indy.

That would have been better. I wonder if what we're dealing with here is some Hays Code style thinking, perhaps on Spielberg's part, that they needed to show Mac's treachery being punished. In this sort of boy's own adventure film context, that means Mac needed to die, and, if he was going to get a showy death scene, then that needed to be justified by him being clearly one of the villains.
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Old 04-06-2016, 02:41 PM   #216
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I think it's just part of that "lack of considered ideas" thing I brought up in my wall of text post. It's just plain old bad writing, although I'm certainly open to the idea that Koepp was asked to retain elements of previous drafts that could not be easily or naturally coerced into the final story.

We already know Marion is an example of this. Spielberg has proudly stated that it was he who insisted that her return be part of all subsequent scripts after Darabont introduced the idea. Great, except in Darabont's version, the script is built from the ground up around her reprisal, and her relationship with Indy is the heart of that story. In the context of Crystal Skull, she's just another sidekick whose value doesn't quite match up with the full hour she's put on screen.

One can easily see how Mac might have been a victim of this sort of transposition. There might have been a version of this story where he served more of a purpose. I don't forgive Koepp for writing that I consider to be objectively unmotivated and even nonsensical material regardless of the masters he was serving, but I acknowledge that he was constrained by the sorry task of knitting a patchwork quilt. Letting him off the hook though ignores the fact that all the side characters suffer from various degrees of irrelevancy. It's part of why the thing just doesn't cohere in a satisfying way.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:57 PM   #217
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People are acting like it's the worst film of all time...Sorry, disagree!
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:41 AM   #218
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Noted. Be careful.
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Old 04-07-2016, 12:32 PM   #219
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Noted. Be careful.

I'm not going to change my opinions on a film I like because people don't like it.
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Old 04-07-2016, 04:52 PM   #220
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People are acting like it's the worst film of all time...Sorry, disagree!

Nobody is acting like that. You're disagreeing with phantoms.
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Old 04-07-2016, 04:55 PM   #221
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Somewhere, Uwe Boll is swallowing tears.
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:26 PM   #222
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Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
It just didn't look like an Indiana Jones movie.

For balance though, ToD looks nothing like Raiders, tonally or stylistically.

In fact, none of the sequels look like Raiders. Raiders looked like a proper film that just happened to be an action adventure. All the sequels looked like big budget glossy popcorn fare and KOTCS in particular had a different DoP, was made 20 years later, when different film stocks and film techniques are being used.
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:32 PM   #223
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There is nonetheless absolutely a visual consistency to the trilogy that the fourth movie fails to adhere to. And I have to reject the idea that the dramatic difference has to do with film stock and changing technology. The filters Kaminski applied have squadoosh to do with the 19 intervening years. It was a conscious choice.
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Old 04-08-2016, 06:45 PM   #224
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There is nonetheless absolutely a visual consistency to the trilogy that the fourth movie fails to adhere to. And I have to reject the idea that the dramatic difference has to do with film stock and changing technology. The filters Kaminski applied have squadoosh to do with the 19 intervening years. It was a conscious choice.

I think Last Crusade looks quite different from Raiders and TOD. Last Crusade has a very warm, "Hollywood" look to it. Almost like a faux-Technicolor sort of feel to it. Whereas Raiders looks like a regular film, and TOD looks like what it was: A gritty, dark mid 80s film.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:41 AM   #225
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There is nonetheless absolutely a visual consistency to the trilogy that the fourth movie fails to adhere to. And I have to reject the idea that the dramatic difference has to do with film stock and changing technology. The filters Kaminski applied have squadoosh to do with the 19 intervening years. It was a conscious choice.

I don't see why there needs to be a visual consistency other than costume and music. It's a movie about a guy who wears a hat and a leather jacket and goes on adventures. As far I know he wears that gear in all 4 movies and the music is still there. However 20 years has passed in the story as well. Things are not the same. I thought the film struck a good visual balance. It would be ridiculous to try and make the movie look like it been made in a 1989 style just to please a few nostalgic fans online.

Always remember what the inspiration of the series was. 1940s adventure serials. It was never meant to be a masterpiece.
The important visuals are there. The costume. The music. The adventure. (script and story maybe not).

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