Friday, May 23, 2008

Derek 8-Track's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Review

I wasn't able to see the midnight showing of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I instead had to settle for 10:00pm opening day. Not going to midnight showings is becoming a regular activity for me. I think I will start off by saying this review is my opinion and will most likely be SPOILER CITY.


I have to start off with, Indiana Jones is back! He is just as awesome as ever too. Sure he may be a little older but that doesn't stop him from taking names. Harrison Ford is in great shape for his age and can still work wonders with this character we all love. The addition of Shia LeBeouf, who plays Mutt Williams, was a great move for this franchise. His acting is superb and if there is any ad libbing at all, which he is famous for doing, it's barely noticeable. When Shia is first introduced in the movie, he is a dead ringer for Marlon Brando from The Wild One. It's actually 100% obvious that's where the inspiration came from. I'm OK with it though. Barely anyone (including myself) who is going to see Indy 4 has even seen The Wild One (I've only seen stills). Borrowing like that is a good way to show you know your history and a good way to get historical visuals like that out to new audiences. Shia and Harrison have a great on screen chemistry. There is a great scene between the two of them, right after Indy finds out Mutt Williams is his son, involving a snake. The comedy really delivers in that scene. It's great to see Karen Allen playing Marion again, even though it seemed her sole purpose in the film was to be the driver. The action in this movie is great, nonstop, and slightly more over the top than usual. Not once during the whole movie did I get bored and look at my cell to see how much time was left. The story kept me engaged all the way through. John Williams recognizable score was ever so pleasing to the ears and will get you pumped. However, the greatest part of the entire film was when Indiana says, with all the greatness that is Han Solo, "I've got a bad feeling about this." I cheered when I heard that, and two guys sitting next to me broke out into air guitar solos.


My complaints are few. Cate Blanchett, who plays commie Irina Spalko, has dumb accent. Not dumb, its just with her popularity and knowing who she is, it just takes a little while to get use to. Sometimes, the special effects are terrible. I really wish we didn't feel like have to use CGI for EVERYTHING. Let movies like Speed Racer take care of that. There a these terrible looking CGI groundhog/prairie dog things that show up unnecessarily. I don't know if that was also used to reference another movie or not, but it was a bad idea. I really don't need any Spielberg movies referencing Caddyshack in my life. There were also CG scorpions, ants, and monkeys which all looked fake. Why do we have CG scorpions in this movie, we had real bugs in the others. I think sometimes we need to stick to the real thing. Even though its one of the best action sequences in the movie, the backgrounds of the jungle car chase scene didn't look very realistic with the actors in front of them. They didn't seem to blend. And last, The crystal skull looked like a hallow clear plastic alien skull filled with crumpled up ceran wrap inside.


This movie was great I highly recommend it. It was a very exciting and fun watch. It just has that something that the National Treasure, and Mummy movies can't offer. This is by no means a complaint but, I do wish that we could have had an added extra 15-20 minutes of the movie dedicated solely to Indy and Mutt getting to know each other as Father and Son. They are thrown into action so quick that we are never really given a chance to see them learn about each other and bond. Even though the bad guys are great, non of them really stand out above and beyond. Cate is great, I just wish her character was a little more dangerous. And backstabber McHale was just kind of annoying and was never given an epic way to redeem himself. I guess that's kind of how these movies go though, Indy is who we are following so that's who we will follow. We really don't need a larger than life villain. Indy is a Swashbuckling hero with a whip, what more could you ask for. Actually, I know exactly what I would ask for. Considering that the aliens in the movie looked like exact replicas of the Close Encounters of the Third Kind aliens (only taller), a few more Indy movies down the road I would like to see Spielberg and Lucas slap on the Indian Jones name to Close Encounters and re release it. I can imagine the marquee now, in big bold letters - Indiana Jones and the Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I'm sure George Lucas could find a way to digitally add Indy in as a really really old man. That way the Indiana Jones portion of the title would make a little more sense. Heck, I hope Spielberg and Lucas become the greatest collaborative artists of all time and include E.T., Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Willow, Jaws, War of the Worlds, and Amistad into the mix. It would be the greatest and most epic Tie-in film ever created!!! Imagine Han Solo and Indiana Jones in a movie together! I think I'm getting a little to fan-fiction nerdy with this review so I had better quit.
I loved it, go see it.
Posted by Derek Clem at 2:32 AM |  


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