THE CRYSTAL SKULL : How George Lucas and Steven Spielberg turned Homer Simpson's Head X-Ray into INDIANA JONES IV
but dial down your expectations to PHANTOM MENACE levels,
so that you don't feel too bad about how George Lucas
again somehow managed to partly ruin another
of your precious childhood movie memories!!!
"MAKING A MOLEHILL OUT OF A MOUNTAIN"
(you'll understand exactly what I mean
once you finish watching the movie,
and consider how this one compares,
literally and figuratively,
with the three that came before it)
Well, first the GOOD:
1. the theme music still made me giddy with anticipation
2. there are a LOT of cool homages to Raiders of the Lost Ark
(the secret government warehouse!!!
the red lines moving across an old-fashioned map!!!)
3. Sean Connery appears somewhere in the movie
4. the Paramount Pictures logo once again
dissolves into a scene to start the movie
5. the retro look of the cinematography
in the first 30 minutes is gorgeous;
Indy 4 looks exactly like a motion picture shot in
Eastman Color sometime in the '50s!!!
6. Harrison Ford is still packs the best punch in the movies.
7. Banana Republic will sell a lot of clothes again.....
Then, the BAD:
1. Seriously now,
I can't see the Spielberg touch in this movie,
this is all wooden-dialogue clunky-action Lucas.
It took them almost two decades to come up with this?
2. And what a waste
of the extraterrestial possibilities of Area 51!!
What happened to the mind-blowing Sci-Fi mystique
in movies like E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind,
and the original StarWars trilogy?!??!!
Instead, George and Steven deliver
a very murky, disjointed, exposition-heavy story
that makes the X-Files mythology seem simple by comparison.
But X-Files intrigued;
this "new mystery" is intriguingly unsatisfying.
I can't fathom how Lucas and Spielberg thought
that something that looks exactly like Homer's x-ray
could be the critical "lost treasure" focal point
that would make for an exciting movie.
3. Indy's trademark hat still looks great,
but that's about the only thing from the previous three films
that's retained its shape.
4. The wisecracks which used to be whipsmart?
Now, just limp, forced, over-scripted retorts.
*and not enough cracking of the whip*
5. Shia LeBouf is a far, far cry from River Phoenix.
6. The breathtaking, organic Action Sequences
which used to be the standard by which all movies were measured?
It's all CGI now, baby!!!!
No more great stunts, just a lot of obvious moving pixels.
The previous movies' action scenes
served to drive the plot forward;
(the mine sequence in Temple of Doom!!!)
but while those were edge-of-your-seat fun,
some of the scenes in the new film
are just squirm-in-your-seat ridiculous!
One chase scene is lifted straight off
The Return of the Jedi;
but this time, the green screen seams are way too obvious.
And instead of cute Ewoks, we have cute monkeys....
7. and when a key player starts emulating Johnny Weismuller
(Google him if you're not familiar with his name),
at that point, Indy 4 jumps the shark.
and finally, THE UGLY:
Karen Allen is as misused here as Helen Mirren
was in National Treasure II: Book of Secrets;
all unconvincing, suddenly goo-goo eyes at her long-lost lover,
Harrison Ford, who does his best Jon Voight....
and those are not the only similarities between
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
and that horrid, predictable, formulaic, Nicholas Cage movie.
that was a bit of a spoiler!!!
I better STOP right here.