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  • #16
    My mini reviews:

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (came out in 1984, set in 1935):
    Good fun, no problem with it whatsoever. I totally understand people finding it the weakest of the three Indy movies so far, but the outright dislike of it still baffles me. I think it's fun to see a little bit more of a brash, "Honor and glory" Indy before he came a little bit more down to Earth in Raiders and Last Crusade. Viewing the films in proper chronological order of Temple => Raiders => Last Crusade actually gave me a better appreciation of Temple of Doom, and I suspect it would have gotten better appreciation at large had it actually been released first, serving as a bit of a slow-burn to the larger, significantly more epic installments.

    Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc (came out in 1981, set in 1936):
    I watched Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc (heh) after watching Temple of Doom... yeah, what are you guys smoking talking about Temple of Doom is darker? I get that most of the cinematography is dark and dank for most of the movie back in Temple of Doom... but Raiders is about 10 times as dark and macabre as ToD.

    Temple of Doom, aside from the Monkey Brain platter, all we see that's particularly "Oh!"ing is just the dude getting his heart pulled out.

    In Raiders... let's see... we've got a guy getting run through an airplane propeller, a couple guys' faces melting off (bloodily and visibly), bullets to the head, men crushed under vehicles... did we see the same movies?

    But yes, I get it. The problem with Temple of Doom is that it ends up being about ten times less epic than either Raiders or Last Crusade.

    Raiders gets a decent edge over Temple of Doom for me, though not because of Billie or Short Round or anything like that.

    At any rate, easily the best, no-nonsense, most epic Indy movie there is that's as gritty an Indiana Jones movie as we'll likely ever get.

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (came out in 1989, set in 1938):
    Always fun, always a treat. Though I'd watched it with her before, I quizzed my girlfriend and she seemed to like this one best of all 3, citing the humor and family aspect of it... but that's her thing.

    It is certainly the most "fun" of the first three Indiana Jones movies. It retains the epic, globe-trottingness of Raiders while still delivering more or less what is expected of an Indiana Jones movie by this point. Connery is great stunt-casting, but moreover has fantastic chemistry with Junior... can't go wrong here.

    Many steps below the grit of Raiders and Temple, though Last Crusade still checks in to give us the withering/dusting scenes when a couple of folks "Choose poorly."

    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (came out in 2008, set in 1957):
    All right, I'm not going to try an exercise in talking about stuff and yet not talking about stuff... so just highlight below to see my review.

    Perfect. Well, near perfect, but exactly what I'd hoped and imagined with all the "It's been 20 years, it better be a ****ing masterpiece to end all masterpieces, a return of Indy that will make the Earth tremble and God cry!" set firmly aside.

    Spielburg wasn't lying. The movie kind of makes no bones about it really, truly being one for the fans. The nuggets with, "Oh look, it's the Arc from the first movie," the nods to Indy's dad, the surprisingly large role for Marion, the happily ever after wedding at the end... it's a big gift-wrapped package for Indy fans, and you can tell Spielburg and company had a blast doing this.

    My thoughts are a bit scattered on things, so bear with me...

    * It's easily the least gritty of all four films, even considerably below Last Crusade. About as gritty as it gets is the "Giant Ants" (and for the record, when I read there'd be giant ants in the movie I was thinking... giant ants... like, doberman-size ants or larger still) devouring a couple of Russians... but we don't really see anything as the people are literally... covered in ants. Ah well, not a big deal.

    * Delightful chemistry with Indy and Marion. Better than I expected, far better. It literally looks like they're not even acting at all, and maybe they're not.

    * So pretty much everybody's expectations about Mutt being Indy's son turn out to be true. This was the kind of thing I was really holding out, going, "Damn it, you just KNOW everyone is expecting this kid to turn out to be Indy's son... I'm going to gamble that it's not, it's just some student that becomes entangled in things." But nope, it's his son, and what happened between Indy and Marion and the kid all pretty much play out exactly like anyone would expect (he left, she had a kid, she married someone else, blah blah). It's played well though, I had far less of a problem with it after seeing it.

    * The aliens. Only... it doesn't really turn out that they're aliens at all, does it? "The space in between space," "interdimensional aliens"... what? This just smacks as Spielburg and Lucas trying to be a little bit different for the sake of different. Oh, for ****'s sake, just have the damned saucer fly off into space... no one is going to care that we've seen it in X-Files and Close Encounters. But I really liked the angle, I liked the way it way played up and still not gotten into at ridiculous levels.

    * Henry Jones III and the Case of the Vine-Swinging Monkeys. Yeah. For a few moments there it felt like I was watching a parody movie or something... truly awful, and yet this is the only bad thing I can say about the movie at all. But it's really bad, and completely random.

    * Shia made me nervous going in but calmed my worries fairly early on. He does OK here. Still, dude needs at least another 10 years under his belt before he's to serve as any kind of replacement Indy. Easy.

    Liked Cate, like Ray, great casting all around. Good fun, and a pretty sensible addition to the Indiana Jones legacy.

    I'd rate the movies:

    1) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc
    2) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
    3) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    4) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

    But I really find it hard to rate them. Yes all four share the same kind of motif, and yes the four all share a similar vibe... but something about each of them makes each one so unique, so in and of itself. Like, with Temple of Doom, I truly love it, it's an awesome movie... and yet I feel compelled to mark it lower than the rest, not because it's any less of a movie or experience than the others, but rather because it's less of an epic, less of an overall "Big" story. It's not a failing, it's just incidental of the story.

    But ah, hell, that's enough about this. I need to watch the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles sometime.


    • #17
      Originally posted by Andrew NDB View Post
      No, that was Die Soft, probably part of some children's franchise. The actual Die Hard 4 was straight to DVD in unrated form... very puzzling why they'd do that.
      Seriously, dude... get over it.
      Do good. Be well. Make happy.


      • #18
        Originally posted by Parrylakks View Post
        Seriously, dude... get over it.
        You like your movies tailored to be inoffensive to 13 year olds, in spite of the material? That's your thing.


        • #19
          You're psychotic... and your whole anti-PG-13-ization-of-films argument got old the week Live Free or Die Hard hit theaters.
          Do good. Be well. Make happy.


          • #20
            I think it's perfectly topical. Especially since the Aliens and Predator (joint) franchise, and now Terminator is heading down the same road.

            The people welcoming this movement with open arms... yeah, I just don't get it. Maybe I'm alone on this.


            • #21
              I was still NOT blown away with Indy 4. As I said in another thread, all the fights and stunt scenes seemed WAY to over produced, as if they were a ride at Disney or something. The biggest example is with Mutt and the chic sword fighting on the two army vehicles in the jungle. Look how smooth they were driving and at perfect speeds for a jungle road. The acting (even from Harrison and Marion) seemed flat in some places and no real oomph behind some of the lines. Hell, even Indy's crack about being a part time teacher fell flat. (I could do a better Indy delivery for that line "Part time") The triple agent line was funny, and was a little hard to swallow that they would still want to save him, but over all, the whole forced aliens artifacts (as apposed to religious artifacts) just didn't sit well with me. It felt too X-fileish to me. And I actually liked Shia the best in the obvious set up for future Indy movies.

              Over all, I would stack the movies in this order:

              1. Temple of Doom (my fav out of the four)
              2. Raiders
              3. Kingdom of Crystal Skull
              4. Last Crusade
              Visit the Mall of Oa for all your Green Lantern needs!


              • #22
                All right. My turn:

                I saw Indy 4 last night with my family. For me, this was the most anticipated movie of 2008. Next being Quantum Of Solace. They can throw all the Marvel movies at me they want, but Indy has my heart. I fucking LOVE those three movies. So getting my Indiana Jones fanboy "I'm a grown man reliving my childhood" bias out on the table, I'll call it as I see it:

                It was fun. It was entertaining. I liked it. I just didn't like it nearly as much as the other three. KOTCS had a lot going for it, and quite a few things working against it.

                One thing going against it is the precredit sequence, which is essentually the moviemaker's chance to suck the viewer into the character's world. The beginning was SO jarring to me that I didn't feel sucked into Indy's world until I got to terra firma at the college when the dean came to see him in his old classroom. (Great job putting that set back together btw). The CGI was so overwhelming, I didn't feel like they were outside. Even when they got to points where I KNEW they were outside because of the production stills I had seen, my mind was still adjusting to the fake cgi look. Kind of like in Attack Of The Clones when they were on Geonosis, and it never looked for one frame that the actors were outside? THAT kind of feeling, just not so extreme.

                That, and seeing Ford look so old was tough. There were points where he looked every bit the old man he is, then other points in the movie where he looked ten years younger. It was kind of odd.

                Anyway, the action was great. Indy still does most of the work, and Mutt is along for the ride. Mutt may not have been Short Round, but the character never pissed me off. I liked him being in the movie, and having Marion back was cool. I kind of wish there were some better moments between her and Indy, or the three of them, but there was a lot of good stuff too.

                CGI aside, I loved the chase scene with the swordfight between Mutt and Blanchett's character. Great stuff there. I loved the temple, and pretty much all of the shit they did once they got to South America. The movie took off for me there. The quicksand scene was great, and the rope they used to pull him out was a nice touch.

                I tried to stay as spoiler-free as possible, so the fire ants were a complete surprise. I was fully expecting Mutt to be afraid of spiders, the way Indy was of snakes, Willie was of bugs, and Connery was of rats (though HE never had to face them!). Then the scorpions came in, and I fell for their swerve, thinking they'd return later. The ants were fucking COOL, cgi or no cgi.

                Loved seeing the ark again. As soon as they opened to door to the area 51 hanger, I just knew it was coming. Fanboy moment.

                Also for fanboy moments, I loved seeing them refference Brody and Henry Jones Sr like they did (even Brody's statue did some damage to the bad guys!). It's a shame they couldn't talk Connery into coming back, but if they couldn't, refferencing him as they did was most appropriate.

                Another shame: No Sallah! How could they have not gotten Sallah one more time??! I know the movie doesn't go anywhere near Egypt or the middle east, but they should have thought of SOMETHING to get him back.

                I loved the 13 aliens in the temple, the ship being under it all, and that entire sequence. I even bought into the aliens being a metaphor for communism that they slapped me over the head with 27 times. I works Spielberg! Stop hitting me!

                And the wedding at the end. It was so out of place for an Indy movie...but I liked it anyway. If this is to be the last movie, it needed a really happy ending. I still prefer our four heroes riding off into the sunset in Crusade, but this was a nice bittersweet moment.

                I little unoriginal with Winstone's ending; I thought for a minute he was gonna buy it like the guy in the Mummy, (which was an Indy homage itself!). John Hurt's character "Oxy" was fun for what it was.

                I guess I haven't gotten used to the existence of this movie yet. It's like there are three Indy movies, and this other thing bookending them waaaayy at the end. I'll undoubtedly have numerous viewings of Indy 4 to warm it up to me.

                Best line of the movie that got a huge reaction from the crowd, "Why didn't you make him finish school??!?" The place exploded in laughter, and was really invested in the movie at that point.

                As for the crowd, it was playing on three screens simultaneously, and mine was about 80% full. I saw it at the 630pm showing. The crowd was split between half of them being late teens to early twenties, and the other half were mostly thirties to forties. I saw virtually no children, other than my own. PG-13 rating or not, there was NO way in hell I wasn't taking my son to see an Indiana Jones movie! My daughter liked it too, but this was a boys night that my wife and daughter tagged along on, lol.

                I'd have to honestly give it a 4 stars. Good movie, but doesn't recapture the magic of the first three. CGI is too distracting. But it had a lot going for it and it's definately worth seeing.


                • #23
                  I saw it last night. It was all right. Like Lord Mal said, I was a bit turned off by the alien angle, thinking that it was a bit too "X-Files"-ish. The whole movie, I was thinking that the alien idea was going to be some kind of red herring and the end would reveal something else, but nope...there were the aliens. Come back to life, no less.

                  Mutt Williams was an OK character, and I especially liked how he was behaving in the diner early in the movie...dipping his comb in the guy's soda, stealing the Pabst.

                  Seeing the Lost Ark was cool, and a neat idea to have it stored at Area 51. Too bad Indy didn't notice it there...he could have kicked off the cover, shut his eyes and wiped out the Rooskies then and there.

                  All in all, it was a OK movie. Not my favorite Indy flick, but I get the sense that it will grow on me in time.


                  • #24
                    To me the "aliens" (interdeminsional beings) were no more outlandish than the supernatural nature of the ark, everything in the temple of doom or the Grail and the Knight staying alive for all those years. It is all fiction and I thought it worked well for this story. It wasnt the best Indy movie but it was fun to watch (which is what moves like this are supposed to be). It also wasnt the worst either. So it fit right in.

                    This is not pointed toward anyone just society (fan boys) in general.
                    I think this day and age most people have forgotten how to just go to a movie and enjoy themselves. Instead they have to sit and pick everything apart and pretend to be a critic. For the most part it seems like people allready have thier minds made up before even seeing a movie and just go so that they can find more things to bitch about. It is OK for things to be silly and unbelievable. That is what makes it fun.


                    • #25
                      ok haven't seen it yet but have read at least the first half of the comic adaption

                      ok I believe there needs to be at least some level of beliveability to a film but I agree it's an indy film it's not about where the artifacts come from it's about a school teacher being the fucking best bad ass around the bad guy getting it in the end by the artifact


                      • #26
                        Yeah, this is funny:

                        Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Gay Rabbi


                        • #27
                          They got their dirty sci-fi in my pulp action fantasy.

                          I liked the movie, the acting was wonderful, the dialogue was good, it was over the top sure but after having recently watched the original three I went in with the fact that Indy is always over the top fresh in my mind...

                          All that being said I didn't like the alien angle. In Raiders they pretty much prove the existence of the hebrew god, in Doom the Hindu gods, in Crusade Jesus, and in Skull.... freaking aliens.

                          There's a drop off, and I can't help but feel that Mezo America could have had so many plots attached to it for Indy that didn't go the whole "Aliens taught ancient people to build pyramids route". Indy's never been known for its historical accuracy... but this one was just... yeah... I tried to let it go... but I was not impressed.

                          Still Ford kicks all kinds of ass, and I want to know just who, what, and how LeBouf sold his fucking soul... starring in a Transfomers and an Indiana Jones movie.... Not that he's bad, he's great.... but he's either the luckiest dude alive or he's sacrificing babies to a dark god... I'm just saying.
                          Last edited by Guest; 05-25-2008, 11:29 PM.


                          • #28
                            LIKED IT! My third favorite though I love em all! By the way my own Indiana Jones story just started in the Fan Works section! Check it out!


                            • #29
                              I saw it for the second time yesterday, and I enjoyed it much more the second time.

                              I guess part of it is, I was over the initial shock of seeing a new Indy flick after19 years. All the strange things that I didn't expect had me picking the movie apart and analizing every scene the first time. This time, I found I just sat back and enjoyed the ride for what it was. Places that seemed very non-Indy the first time worked for me (except the tarzan/monkey scene, that still sucked).

                              Also, I've watched the other three movies a hundred times over the years. That right there gives them an advantage over anything new in my head. Not to mention my expectation level was way too high.

                              Just a fun addition to the Indiana Jones series. It's still my fourth favorite, but it could top Temple Of Doom for me eventually after enough viewings.


                              • #30
                                Some things about it really bug me, but I do love it dearly.