Respectful Insolence

It’s Memorial Day weekend here in the States. For those of us lucky enough not to be on call, working retail, or otherwise being forced to go to work, it means three days away from work. Although I’ll be working a bit on various protocols and papers, it nonetheless means three days away from the cancer center. However, even with the work, the lawn work, and the high school graduation party I have to head to, I should still have time to check out Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I had been hoping to go tonight; so I thought I’d solicit opinions from those of you who’ve already seen it. All I ask is: No real spoilers, please, at least not until after around midnight tonight. (And that’s midnight Eastern Daylight Savings Time, not midnight in Europe or Asia!)

So, what is the consensus? Fab or flop?

Comments

  1. #1 Xerxes1729
    May 24, 2008

    There were a few parts that had me groaning, but overall I liked it. There are lots of great action sequences, and unlike many other contemporary films, they don’t cut to weird angles every two or three seconds, so you can follow what’s going on. Harrison Ford’s still got it.

  2. #2 Brad J
    May 24, 2008

    I wasn’t especially thrilled with their choice of McGuffin.

    Other than that, no complaints. If you liked the first three, you’ll probably like this one too.

  3. #3 Mattie
    May 24, 2008

    This installment of Indy is a perversion of the series. Human mysticism, tomb raiding and awesome action sequences make up the Indy universe. That isn’t the case in Indy 4.

    It’s Indiana Jones meets X Files and though I like both SEPARATELY, together they are horrible.

  4. #4 Sid Schwab
    May 24, 2008

    You go to those movies to have a good time. It’s a good time.

  5. #5 Beowulff
    May 24, 2008

    Good popcorn movie. Some good action sequences, but they seem a little incoherently strung together. Sometimes it also stretches your suspense of disbelief a little too far. Still an enjoyable movie, but I was expecting a bit more from it, really.

  6. #6 Geoff Wozniak
    May 24, 2008

    Fab or flop?

    False dichotomy, I’d say. The movie was entertaining. Short of fab, but far from flop.

  7. #7 George
    May 24, 2008

    My son and I are going to an afternoon show. I say just go and enjoy for what it is.

  8. #8 Orac
    May 24, 2008

    False dichotomy, I’d say. The movie was entertaining. Short of fab, but far from flop.

    OK, how about fab or flop or just so-so? ;-)

  9. #9 cath
    May 24, 2008

    What holiday?

    You’re 2 weeks early for the Queen’s Birthday (Australian edition).

  10. #10 Jonny_eh
    May 24, 2008

    I’ll agree with the previous posters and say that it was a good time, but with some flaws. Better than Temple, but worse than Raiders and Crusade.

    Good:
    -Spielberg is great at directing exciting fight and chase scenes.
    -Shia LeBouef was not as annoying as I expected.
    -Some subtle and appropriate references to previous Indy films.
    -I liked the humour, I thought the jokes worked.

    Bad:
    -Awful McGuffin.
    -Even worse ending (both the end to the story, and the epilogue).
    -One of the characters seemed totally superfluous, and only existed as a Deus Ex Machina and plot twist device. I’m good, no I’m bad…

  11. #11 Anne
    May 25, 2008

    It was a fun movie, but I wonder how much better it would have been if George Lucas hadn’t dumbed it down first.

  12. #12 Ticktock
    May 25, 2008

    I thought it ruined the franchise. I liked it better the first time when it was National Treasure; no wait, I actually didn’t.

    **Spoilers**

    Indy survives being in the epicenter of a nuclear explosion because he randomly hides in a lead-lined refrigerator that rockets in the air and crash lands a close distance from a mushroom cloud. He just gets out of the refrigerator unharmed and gazes fondly at the tower of radioactivity crashing toward him. Ugh.

    Shia Lebouf swings through the trees like Tarzan and catches up with speeding jeeps. Even if you could learn to swing from tree to tree, you’d never catch up with vehicles racing at top speed.

    Tribal warriors attack our heroes by randomly crashing through graves and mayan tiles. What are they just waiting there for any sucker to randomly walk into their kingdom?

    Giant spaceships are involved. ACK!

    Certain mysterious objects illustrate a powerful proto-magnetism that is apparently selective of the things that it magnetizes. For instance, it will attract the one gold coin, but not the hundreds on the floor. It will magnetize gunpowder thrown in the air, but not the rifles slung on every soldier’s back.

  13. #13 Pharma Market Researcher
    May 26, 2008

    Charming pregnant wife proved her ongoing love for me by sitting through the 18 previews and this movie.

    Some random thoughts (I know this repeats some of the stuff from above):

    Harrison is Indiana Jones again.

    Shia seems to have “transformed” into a better actor.

    John Hurt is as crazy (or not) as the scene needs him to be

    Ray Walstone (?) friend! Foe! Friend? Foe! Friend? Foe! feh – who cares…

    Karen Allen is pretty much just standing around. She has a very important bit of information for Indy that she delivers as off the cuff as ordering a Slurpee at 7-11

    Hated the Nuclear bomb fridge nonsense. Next movie is “Indiana Jones and the curse of radiation sickness”

    It has really suck waiting around in Peruvian graveyards / lost city of the gods for pulp adventurers to show up

    And as whacked out as it sounds – because I was totally into hearts being yanked out of chests, the angel of death melting Nazi faces and 800 year old knights – this one was just too unbelievable! They didn’t want the audience to suspend disbelief – they wanted us to toss it out the window!!

    As I said to the charming wife as we were leaving the theater – “it wasn’t that good of a movie, but it was the excellent start for a live action Indiana Jones cartoon series!’

    At least the Batman trailer looked cool.

  14. #14 marion
    May 26, 2008

    Eh, I liked it. Shia LeBoef didn’t annoy me (shockingly) and it brought back the best of the Indy love interests. As for the main subject matter…eh, given Lucas’s and Spielberg’s involvement, I wasn’t surprised that it eventually popped up in the Indy franchise.

    I could have done without the “realistic” groundhogs, though. Ugh.

    In general it’s a good time. It’s not a deeeep movie, but the Indy movies never are. And Indy truly does some things we’ve never seen him do before…

  15. #15 A parent
    May 27, 2008

    I think you have to look at this from a child’s perspective. My 7-year-old boy and 10-year old girl loved the new film, and they have watched the old Indy films over and over again. As a B-movie (which Indy films are meant to be) the film is great. I have my own criticisms, but since I withhold the same critical eye from the first three films, it hardly seems fair to bring it to this one.

    Oh, and on the whole nuclear/alien argument, the setting of the 1950s made this the natural B-movie setting. The scene in the fake town at the beginning was genius.

  16. #16 Karl Withakay
    May 27, 2008

    An “proto-magnetic” object that attracts the metal in gunpowder, even though gunpowder doesn’t really have metal in it (unless you’re using the stellar cosmology definition of a metal), but not the metals in your blood and body.

    Surviving a thermonuclear explosion (fusion bomb, 10-100X Hiroshima’s yield) in a mystical lead lined fridge and not being:

    A. Cooked/incinerated by the heat (it’s a fridge so it’s thermally insulated, right?)
    B. Irradiated by the gamma and neutron radiation even though the lead probably wouldn’t be thick enough to effectively shield against the gamma and neutron radiation from a thermonuclear explosion. (Lead isn’t a particularly good shield against neutrons anyway, you want a material with lots of hydrogen, like water, polyethylene, or concrete for that)
    C. Pummeled to death by the shock wave concussion and subsequent tossing and tumbling of the fridge thrown hundreds of feet.
    D. Irradiated again as he stands in the shadow of the mushroom cloud, breathing in the fallout, you can scrub his skin clean, but where’s the lung brush?

    The over the top knob has been turned to 11 on Indy4; somehow we went from Indian Jones to Tomb Raider. The McGuffin is inconsistent with the themes of the other Indy movies. The nuclear thing in and of itself was era relevant, but the fridge was a lame Deus Ex Machina.

    I and my friend Scott (from Polite Dissent) both wished they had incorporated a little more the the red scare/ McCarthyism into the movies as well. The more we talked about the movie the day after we say it, the more we reduced its grade to the point where we both want to watch Temple of Doom again to confirm our suspicions that we think TOD might actually be better than Crystal Skull.

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