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Old 03-18-2014, 01:17 PM   #51
Montana Smith
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Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
You make a great point, I just don't think that gives the movie a 60s connotation. Nothing about this movie's ideas would have been out of place for 50s audiences, since both the lost world genre and aliens were very much in vogue.

The concept of the Nazca lines being landing strips is just a cool and logical idea to incorporate into the story regardless of what decade some guy published the theory. I also have to believe that archeologists, anthropologists and good old fashion crackpots were pitching some pretty wild theories about the Nazca lines well before the 60s.

Using the Nazca lines was one of my favorite ideas in the movie. I just wish they had done more with it. As with the Roswell alien, they didn't really make an attempt to relate it much to the aliens of Akator. It's practically a red herring.

The aliens of KOTCS were the kind that gave technology to humans through their history, which was also the theme of Arthur C. Clarke's 1968 2001: A Space Odyssey.

But when I think of aliens in the 1950s these are the kind of films that come to mind:



The closest in tone to the 'helpful' aliens of KOTCS would be Klaatu in The Day The Earth Stood Still, who's nevertheless mistaken for an invader.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:32 PM   #52
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I really can not think of 1 nice thing to say about it.


Well said, my good friend, well said.

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Old 03-18-2014, 01:35 PM   #53
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Those are all specifically alien invasion movies though. What about the likes of Lost Continent (1951), in which a team crashes on a remote island in the South Pacific while looking for a lost atomic rocket and find themselves in a world of dinosaurs?

Maybe the exact cocktail Crystal Skull mixes owes Chariots of the Gods a high five, but there are a number of science fiction-tinged lost world movies that Crystal Skull's plot would have been very much of a piece with, even if alien forces were generally malevolent in the 50s. The decade's pulp fiction offered a lot more than flying saucers. Don't forget about Them! (1957), the movie featuring giant ants in the desert caused by the radioactivity from our participation in the nuclear arms race. If you consider the wider breadth of the science fiction genre, Crystal Skull fits right in. It's why I'm so amazed it took like seven years of development for Lucas to connect the dots and wind up in that territory. It's not like he was doing anything groundbreaking. I can only assume that he had his heart dead set on the more in-your-face alien approach and Spielberg was too cold on the project in general to make the obvious counter-proposal.

You know what's a great irony in all of this that we don't point out enough? The fact that Spielberg ended up remaking War of the Worlds in 2005.

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Old 03-18-2014, 02:29 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
You know what's a great irony in all of this that we don't point out enough? The fact that Spielberg ended up remaking War of the Worlds in 2005.

Which, ahem, I still think is a great film. Yes, I said great. As in, one of Spielberg's best.

Maybe KOTCS should have been a kaiju movie instead. Then we'd have Indy searching for the one artifact capable of killing it...
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:35 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by kongisking
Which, ahem, I still think is a great film. Yes, I said great. As in, one of Spielberg's best.

Blegh, I feel it's one of his worst, although the set pieces are incredible and the tone is wonderfully dour for a summer blockbuster. Don't ask me to buy Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning as Regular People who get anointed by the screenplay to survive the horror. The movie is a bunch of self-contained scenes (yes, some of them amazing) clotheslined together. And the entire stretch with the Tim Robbins character leading up to Cruise having to kill him doesn't work at all.

To try to make this relevant though: am I the only one who noticed that John Williams purloined the music he wrote for the emergence of the tripod in War of the Worlds and just applied it to the obelisk puzzle in Crystal Skull? I swear it's the exact same cue.

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Old 03-18-2014, 03:15 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Udvarnoky
Those are all specifically alien invasion movies though. What about the likes of Lost Continent (1951), in which a team crashes on a remote island in the South Pacific while looking for a lost atomic rocket and find themselves in a world of dinosaurs?

Maybe the exact cocktail Crystal Skull mixes owes Chariots of the Gods a high five, but there are a number of science fiction-tinged lost world movies that Crystal Skull's plot would have been very much of a piece with, even if alien forces were generally malevolent in the 50s. The decade's pulp fiction offered a lot more than flying saucers. Don't forget about Them! (1957), the movie featuring giant ants in the desert caused by the radioactivity from our participation in the nuclear arms race. If you consider the wider breadth of the science fiction genre, Crystal Skull fits right in. It's why I'm so amazed it took like seven years of development for Lucas to connect the dots and wind up in that territory. It's not like he was doing anything groundbreaking. I can only assume that he had his heart dead set on the more in-your-face alien approach and Spielberg was too cold on the project in general to make the obvious counter-proposal.

A "cocktail" is an apt description. I had Them as an ingredient earlier.

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Originally Posted by Smiffy
KOTCS was therefore more concerned with Cold War B-movie inspirations: Communism, atom bombs, giant killer ants and the 1960s kind of flying saucers that Lucas ditched during pre-production for ROTLA.

The film is a cross-section of 1950s leitmotifs. A bit of everything tumbled in to remind us in no uncertain terms when we are. There are ants and flying saucers. It's a bit of everything, yet none of the individual parts are very substantial. Further complicated by the acting, characters and unnecessary elements such as the monkeys and prairie dogs, and Indy's lack of enthusiasm. (At least being a White Zombie under the power of the skull takes him arbitrarily back to the 1930s!)
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:00 PM   #57
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There's too much introducing of a promising idea and then not doing anything with them:

-Spalko might have mind-reading powers. Goes nowhere.
-Indy is convincing the Russians to hand over their gun powder and bullets! Oh, he was in fact just helping them and his big escape is precipitated by punching a guy when he's not looking.
-Indy's a victim of McCarthysm! Oh, they drop it unceremoniously.
-Exhuming the legendary Roswell alien from Area 51! Oh, he's just a "distant cousin, perhaps" and more or less irrelevant to the main story.
-Nazca Indians potentially worshipped the aliens and fashioned the Nazca lines for them! See above.
-Mac is a double-agent! Nope, just a distraction that gets unmade by a meaningless last act "twist."
-A jungle cutter! Oh.
-Raging rapids set piece ahead! Oh.
-Random killer Indians chasing our heroes, no doubt setting up a thrilling esc...Oh.
-A mysterious obelisk puzzle to solve! Oh, Oxley figured it out in his cell.

Etc.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:51 AM   #58
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On paper, I think it was a good story. Had this been an Indy comic or a novel, I think people would have been excited to read it. The execution like I've said was terrible. The CGI was so over the top, and at times way out of place. Spalko was a weak villain, who was more comical than dangerous.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:44 PM   #59
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I think what makes the movie so frustrating is that if an admittedly perilous attempt to bring back a beloved character after a nineteen year absence had to fall flat on its face, it shouldn't have been for boneheaded reasons like these. To me it's like they adroitly sidestepped the most dangerous pitfalls built-in to the project only to royally screw up really basic stuff that had zilch to do with Harrison's age or the new era or anything like that. It's maddening. Where were the thrilling moments and last-second escapes in this INDIANA JONES movie? It's insane - all the elements were there.

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Old 03-20-2014, 05:25 AM   #60
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My feelings haven't softened towards it. They've got worse over the years and I realise its not healthy to be so disappointed in a film, but equally thats testament to how good the originals were.

Udvarnoky hits the nail on the head in part for me, add to that a macguffin and an end goal that seems pointless and poorly explained, rubbish characters in the last half and rubbish humour and it goes some way to explain my disappointment.
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:37 AM   #61
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Hey, when you have a script rewritten 40 times over a 15 year period, it's going to look like a mess! I think the predictable, goofy humor was added at Spielberg's request by David Koepp. Koepp wrote the Mutt character into the story. Spielberg made it far worse by using Looney Tune-like CGI of the monkeys and gophers and what not. Then you have the refrigerator stunt, and the alien, also far too cartoonish. That's why I find most fault in Steven. The overall light-heartedness is what he wanted, he does not want to do another Temple of Doom, because that movie scared his children.
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:31 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Grizzlor
Hey, when you have a script rewritten 40 times over a 15 year period, it's going to look like a mess! I think the predictable, goofy humor was added at Spielberg's request by David Koepp. Koepp wrote the Mutt character into the story. Spielberg made it far worse by using Looney Tune-like CGI of the monkeys and gophers and what not. Then you have the refrigerator stunt, and the alien, also far too cartoonish. That's why I find most fault in Steven. The overall light-heartedness is what he wanted, he does not want to do another Temple of Doom, because that movie scared his children.

No, it was because audiences and critics at the time were too immature to appreciate a darker and more intense adventure film. So they lambasted it. And Steven took it personally, so now he operates under the delusion that Indiana Jones should never, ever, ever go full intense ever again. Hence, KOTCS feeling like, well, a Disneyfied adventure movie.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is one reason haters are a disgusting cancer: their endless potential to destroy the things they love the most...
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:53 PM   #63
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While I love all four they definitely moved away from full intense and are slowly moving toward going full retard. Never go full retard.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:26 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Henry W Jones
While I love all four they definitely moved away from full intense and are slowly moving toward going full retard. Never go full retard.

Now, now. Watch your language. Nowadays we say "never go full special."
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Old 03-21-2014, 05:08 AM   #65
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There was no need to be so daft with KOTCS. ROTLA was nowhere near as stupid, it still seems a serious action adventure movie even with a few gags thrown in. KOTCS took that comedy element too far for my taste.
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:20 AM   #66
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I think you can make arguments about the tone (and I still don't know how you make an Indy movie where he doesn't even fire his revolver), but I also think it's too easy to get hung up on it.

In truth the tone felt too light because consequences felt nonexistent. And that's because stakes were ineffectually established and characters didn't seem particularly aware of or bothered about their own mortality. (The way everyone conducted themselves in the sand pit, Marion deliberately driving into a tree with an assured smile). You correct these things, and I think the whole issue of "tone" starts to correct itself. I don't think anyone set out to make the movie feel inconsequential. I think it's the inevitable result of some shoddy storytelling. CGI animals are not the real issue.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:35 PM   #67
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It wasn't bad at all the warehouse scene was good along with the fridge part.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:43 AM   #68
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It's grown on me a lot. When I first saw it I was definitely in the disappointed majority of fans, but repeat viewings and viewing it alongside the original three improved it a lot for me and these days I honestly prefer it by the tiniest of margins over The Last Crusade. I find I quite like the storyline, setpieces and action scenes in it. It's not without some serious issues but it's a fine addition nonetheless to the series.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:39 PM   #69
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It's grown on me a lot. When I first saw it I was definitely in the disappointed majority of fans, but repeat viewings and viewing it alongside the original three improved it a lot for me and these days I honestly prefer it by the tiniest of margins over The Last Crusade. I find I quite like the storyline, setpieces and action scenes in it. It's not without some serious issues but it's a fine addition nonetheless to the series.

Wait...you LIKE this movie? And you admit it has serious issues?

You're either with the haters or against them, friend. Didn'tcha know?
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:36 PM   #70
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I didn't say it was perfect I find some of the attempts at humor aren't too successful and the CGI is certainly noticable and jarring in instances, and Oxley feels mostly useless. But despite that it's still very entertaining and I find it has much more good than bad. Ford can play Indy in his sleep and in some ways the character felt more like his Raiders/TOD self. I enjoy the storyline, action, locales and setpieces more and I also enjoy the quest for the Crystal Skull very enjoyable. I find stuff like the nuked fridge, the swinging monkeys and the UFO bursting from the temple don't even bother me anymore when I watch it.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:16 AM   #71
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It wasn't bad at all the warehouse scene was good along with the fridge part.
The warehouse scene was very good. I watched it again recently and I think the film lost its way from when Indy met Mutt.

I still can't get past the additions of Ox and Marion, who I think offered nothing to the story. The macguffin seems pointless and the ending in the temple makes no sense. Why no one noticed this during all the script meetings and then production I don't know. But overall it doesn't match the standard of the other 3.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:26 AM   #72
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Why no one noticed this during all the script meetings and then production I don't know.

Top Men were smoking too much invisible weed.



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Old 07-24-2014, 07:46 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by AndyLGR
The warehouse scene was very good. I watched it again recently and I think the film lost its way from when Indy met Mutt.

I still can't get past the additions of Ox and Marion, who I think offered nothing to the story. The macguffin seems pointless and the ending in the temple makes no sense. Why no one noticed this during all the script meetings and then production I don't know. But overall it doesn't match the standard of the other 3.
The film certainly suffers from the fact that Indy's party during the latter half of the film only seems to consist of tagalongs who are not necessary to proper the story forward. Beyond Indy and Oxley, not one of Mutt, Marion or Mac are necessary to get the ongoing adventure to its logical conclusion. (Hmm, kinda wonder now if the alliterative naming is an indicator of that.)

A prime example of things being done in inverse is the death of Obi-Wan in Ep IV. It was pretty much confirmed by official sources that the whole reason for killing him off was that they realized he would serve no role in the final quarter of the film.

The previous three adventures in Indy's realm did pretty well to avoid this as well. Characters come and go as the story serves or they constantly repurpose them as plot devices. An especially good example is the handling of Marion and Willie in the first two films. Whenever either one of them is in risk of becoming dead weight, they turn them into damsels in distress. Heck, this happens five(!) times to Marion in RotLa. In KotCS, there's the initial reveal & rescue and that's it.

Technically, Sallah and Marcus become tagalongs towards the end of LC but it's so late into the film that it's not even really noticeable. In KotCS, about half the party serve no purpose for about half the film.

I still enjoy the film even during its latter half for many of the individual moments it offers, but it's quite obvious it has some serious pacing issues.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:25 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Finn
The film certainly suffers from the fact that Indy's party during the latter half of the film only seems to consist of tagalongs who are not necessary to proper the story forward. Beyond Indy and Oxley, not one of Mutt, Marion or Mac are necessary to get the ongoing adventure to its logical conclusion. (Hmm, kinda wonder now if the alliterative naming is an indicator of that.)

A prime example of things being done in inverse is the death of Obi-Wan in Ep IV. It was pretty much confirmed by official sources that the whole reason for killing him off was that they realized he would serve no role in the final quarter of the film.

The previous three adventures in Indy's realm did pretty well to avoid this as well. Characters come and go as the story serves or they constantly repurpose them as plot devices. An especially good example is the handling of Marion and Willie in the first two films. Whenever either one of them is in risk of becoming dead weight, they turn them into damsels in distress. Heck, this happens five(!) times to Marion in RotLa. In KotCS, there's the initial reveal & rescue and that's it.

Technically, Sallah and Marcus become tagalongs towards the end of LC but it's so late into the film that it's not even really noticeable. In KotCS, about half the party serve no purpose for about half the film.

I still enjoy the film even during its latter half for many of the individual moments it offers, but it's quite obvious it has some serious pacing issues.

Agreed. In my opinion, everything before we get to Spalko's camp is pretty much excellent. It's once everything converges that things fall apart, which is absolutely not what should happen when all the plot threads come to a head. This is where the movie should have kicked into high-gear and never stopped for breath, like TOD.

Instead, the pacing becomes sluggish, moving in fits and starts, and the one sequence for me that does have true excitement is Indy and Dovchenko's fight. Everything else is too silly or too pointless to be thrilling (the brief bit with the Ugha attacking them literally amounts to absolutely nothing). This movie suffers one of the most flat, excitement-free third acts I know, but damn my ancestors if the majority of the movie before the camp scene wasn't wonderful.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:21 AM   #75
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All these issues we've just posted in the last 3 or 4 posts are really valid. I'm still at a loss to wonder how the obvious flaws in the story got past such experienced people. Maybe they needed to make the film as the story stood there and then or else it would never have been made. But those problems for me haven't softened over time, I've said them many times over the years in the various threads on here and I think more than anything they've become more noticeable as I get used to the film more.
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