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Jason Bortz

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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Yet another new trailer -- and it gives us our best glimpse of John Hurt to date.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I wrote:

: Yet another new trailer -- and it gives us our best glimpse of John Hurt to date.

The trailer has been yanked ... but you can read a shot-by-shot analysis of it here.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Official Pix has new photos for sale ... including photos of the crystal skull itself and of the ever-reclusive John Hurt character.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I wrote:

: The trailer has been yanked ... but you can read a shot-by-shot analysis of it here.

And now you can see it, once again, in high-def ... on the movie's official website!


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Make of this what you will.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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There's a second review on there (full of spoilers like the first) that is described as "more positive but also more damning." Man, I hope those reviews are wrong. They seem to confirm everyone's fears about George Lucas and his ability to royally screw up our favorite childhood movie franchises. Or, as has been argued with regard to Star Wars, maybe we all just grew up.

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Note the nun -- though it looks like she's just running an asylum or something.

- - -

Indiana Jones and the Savior of a Lost Art

In fact, Mr. Spielberg said, he tries to cut as little as possible in these movies


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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The first trailer gave us "Roswell, New Mexico, 1947". The second trailer gave us a glimpse of the not-exactly-humanoid crystal skull. And now, the third trailer gives us the Nazca Lines. Either one of the old rumours is coming true, or the makers of these trailers are jerking our chains.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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How can you not love Paulene Kael's review of Raiders of the Lost Ark?

... Conceived by George Lucas, the picture is an amalgam of Lucas's follies--plot for its own sake, dissociated from character or drama; the affectless heroine, Marion (Karen Allen), who's a tougher version of spunky Princess Leia in STAR WARS -- AND effects that Spielberg the youthful magician has already dazzled us with. Kinesthetically, the film gets to you, but there's no exhilaration, and no surge of feeling at the end. It seems to be edited for the maximum number of showings per day.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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How can you not love Paulene Kael's review of Raiders of the Lost Ark?

... Conceived by George Lucas, the picture is an amalgam of Lucas's follies--plot for its own sake, dissociated from character or drama; the affectless heroine, Marion (Karen Allen), who's a tougher version of spunky Princess Leia in STAR WARS -- AND effects that Spielberg the youthful magician has already dazzled us with. Kinesthetically, the film gets to you, but there's no exhilaration, and no surge of feeling at the end. It seems to be edited for the maximum number of showings per day.

Are you positive this isn't a review of Treasure of the Four Crowns in 3-D? :lol:

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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Overstreet wrote:

: Another trailer has just appeared.

And it seems to give us another clue re: the aliens.

BTW, Jeff, your recent blog post on the question of whether Marion Ravenwood will be as spunky here as she was in Raiders prompted this blog post of mine, where I briefly compare and contrast the Indy-Marion relationship with the JamesBond-BondGirl dynamic. (A bit of a tangent springing off of a tangent, but there you go.)


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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FWIW, the new Raiders disc includes a bonus feature that interviews the cast of Crystal Skull, and it appears to give away the identity of John Hurt's character.

Also FWIW, the BC Film Classification website lists the film's running time as 123 minutes -- which makes it slightly longer than Raiders and Temple, but slightly shorter than Crusade.

And finally, Blogger actually deleted a post of mine from a couple weeks back, presumably (though they never specified WHY, which means I cannot file a "counter notification" claim as per official Google policy) because it used to have an embedded video of a leaked version of one of the Crystal Skull trailers. Never mind that I had actually deleted the content of that post (but not the post itself; I wanted to keep the comments) well, well within the deadline that they gave me. And never mind that the site providing the embedded video had already taken it down themselves almost a WEEK before I got the complaint from Blogger (which means that, at the time I got the complaint, there was virtually nothing in my blog post except for an empty box with the words "Video Removed"). And never mind that the trailer itself had gone public -- in hi-def, on the movie's official website, and everything -- a few days before I got the complaint. As "alleged copyright infringement" warnings go, this one was pretty darn useless -- and even after I complied and removed ALL the original content from that blog post, just to be safe, Blogger went ahead and deleted the post anyway. (Incidentally, it occurs to me just now as I finish this paragraph that you can actually still see the original blog post in question -- "Video Removed" and all -- right here at A&F.)

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Overstreet wrote:

: Another trailer has just appeared.

And it seems to give us another clue re: the aliens.

BTW, Jeff, your recent blog post on the question of whether Marion Ravenwood will be as spunky here as she was in Raiders prompted this blog post of mine, where I briefly compare and contrast the Indy-Marion relationship with the JamesBond-BondGirl dynamic. (A bit of a tangent springing off of a tangent, but there you go.)

Regarding Marion being "softer" in the new movie, if the rumors are true

and Shia Lebouf's character is Indy and Marion's son, perhaps Spielberg and Lucas are trying to convince us that motherhood has softened Marion's harder edges.

I don't like that change in the character at all, but it might be an explanation.

Edited by morgan1098

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And so it begins... Lucas is talking about ideas for Indy 5.

Good thing he's working hard on those "films for adults" that the Star Wars films forced him to postpone.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Seven and a half hours until the screening ... five and a half hours until I have to go catch my bus ... wait a minute, why am I still up?

Overstreet wrote:

: Good thing he's working hard on those "films for adults" that the Star Wars films forced him to postpone.

The bigger shock to me was that, according to Lucas, 20th Century Fox apparently turned down the distribution of Clone Wars, which is why, for the first time ever, a Star Wars spin-off is going to be distributed by someone OTHER than Fox (in this case, Warner). Did Lucas ask for too big a cut of the profits? Or is Fox just that jaded about the whole Star Wars prequel thing?


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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John Harlow reviews the film-- very positively!-- and makes one observation that will be very interesting to anyone who's been following all the speculation over the crystal skull itself. (Beware-- his comment is vague, but spoiler-ish nonetheless!)

The crystal skull itself was formerly the subject of obscure disagreement between Spielberg and Ford, but it


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On the other end of spectrum, James Rocchi is pretty down on the film:

I think most of us want Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull to be good, which it, sadly, is not. If we love the first three Indiana Jones films, it's because they had great action, mythic objects of wonder and great comedy touches within big, well-shaped stories; Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull feels like it was reverse-engineered from that blueprint, as if enough action and props and comedy would then make a story. Crystal Skull may bring back the faces and themes we remember, but it's curiously bloated and malnourished, too much and not enough. It'll make a bunch of money, sure, but even after 19 years of waiting, I can't imagine it truly satisfying anyone's jones for Jones.

And FWIW, the film currently has a ranking of 70% over at Rotten Tomatoes.


"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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It is so, so, so annoying that the local publicist tells me I am not allowed to post any opinions of this film until opening day, when I know that all the goons at Cannes (and elsewhere?) have already started going public with their own reviews. But those are the terms under which I was allowed into the local screening, so...


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I think I can say this much, though, since it doesn't involve an opinion of any sort: This film makes a quick reference to an episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles -- Indy tells Mutt about something that happened to him when he was about Mutt's age -- which makes me wonder just how much of that series should be considered "canon" now. (Like, what about the bookends that take place in the 1990s, when Indy is living with his daughter and her family? Lucas has reportedly excised those bookends from the DVD versions of the TV show, but does that make them non-canonical? What about the one episode which featured Harrison Ford himself playing a bearded Indiana Jones in a bookend segment set in 1950 -- seven years before Crystal Skull takes place?)

I say all this, BTW, as one who has never, ever seen an episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. But that doesn't mean I can't do a lot of fannish nit-picking, does it?


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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All I'm going to say is this: If you thought Indy survived some dangerous challenges before, well... call the worst of them about a "5" on the scale of 1-10. In this movie, he survives something I would rate about an "11" on the scale. And that's in the first act. With some 8s and 9s still to come later in the film. I'm not saying that's good or bad, or what those are. But, well... wow.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Jeffrey Wells:

[ snip ]

I'm hedging because Indy 4 doesn't have the stuffings of a great adventure film. It's fine and appropriate that it stays in the good groove of an old-time action serial, but (and I'm really trying to stay clear of snooty, high-horse attitudes because they really don't fit the occasion) I only wish that Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, David Koepp and Jeff Nathanson had attempted at least a superficial injection of a little heart and soul. Just a stab, I mean.

What they've done is certainly okay or good enough. I didn't go into this thing expecting something by Euripides. Plus I had such a good time with Spielberg's immaculate architecture, choreography and editing that I was just charmed and off-the-ground during much of it. The "old-school" character of it is pretty damn sublime. It felt wonderful to watch an adventure flick untouched or uninfluenced by time or post-Matrix or Tarantino-ish attitudes.

But it would have been that much better if they'd faked just a little personal or thematic weight -- the old traditional "who I am and what I really need" stuff -- and thrown it in for good measure.

The weak link is Karen Allen's performance as Marion Ravenwood. She's never been a great actress, and her energy here feels a little forced and lacking a center -- she's too energetically "up." Plus she looks like she's had some work done, and that in itself throws you out of the movie's 1957 setting. I've never hankered over the last 27 years for a reunion between Indy and Marion, largely because I've always felt hugely irritated by her "Indieeeeee!" scream. They made a pretty good team in '81 but let's not get all sentimental about this.

I'm not going to reveal the ending, but it ties in with Allen's character and it just doesn't work. It's delivers a very odd vibe, the finale does. There's a little hint that LeBouf will take over the series down the road, but everyone had this half-guessed...right?

It's a superficial thrill ride, this movie -- more of an out-and-out comedy with thrills than a solid adventure thriller with sly, wink-wink humor, which is how I always regarded Raiders of the Lost Ark.

[ snip ]


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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