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Close Encounters of the Crystal Skull: Indy 4

From the entertainment desk: Save your $10.50. I had a chance to see “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” in the early hours of the weekend, and I only enjoyed the early minutes of the film; specifically, the first 5 minutes. Sensing his end, Spielberg took elements of some of his highest-grossing and classic films and spliced them together to rip-off the minds and hearts of moviegoers around the world. Without revealing too much, the rest of the film, all 1 hour and fifty-five minutes of it, is a “spliff” of “Indiana Jones”, “E.T.”, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “American Graffi”, and the “Ghosts of James Dean” (played disastrously by the “Transformers” golden boy turned delinquent Shia Lebouf).

Harrison Ford dropped the bar and lost the “true grit” of the original “Indiana Jones” trilogy with the apparent loss of vigor that his bare-minimum performance engineered. The basic premise is that its 20 or so years after the original trilogy, Indiana Jones is drawn into a cat-and-mouse game with the Ruskies around the world revolving an odd-looking skull and ancient and lost Mayan civilizations. Along the way, Indy must reunite with an old flame, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen from “Raiders”), team up with a new “Short-Round”, rescue a fellow archaeologist made insane by the skull, and battle an evil, but quirky Red scientist played by a post-partum Cate Blanchett. However, this all-star cast is only half of the film, literally; Indy 4 is yet another in a long line of CGI spectacles replacing the classic Visual FX in the first 3 films. It was watching the travesty that is Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong all over again.

Additionally, it is thrown in the audience’s face that Ford cannot do all his own stunts anymore with his gray hair. Scenes showing his face are often scenes where he performs the stunts, but most of the scenes show Indy without his face and, as a result, without Ford. The action, including a fencing duel while standing on two parallel jeeps and three long falls off of three waterfalls, makes Indy 4 the “kiddie” version of the Indiana Jones trilogy. Technically, the lighting and photography were the best parts of the film. Spielberg manipulated the lighting in a fashion that made the movie seem like an old “black-and-white” but in color. In the end, do not hold to the reviews in major publications such as Time, Newsweek, N.Y. Times, etc. praise of the film, reject their presumptions that it is “magnificent”, and don’t waste your time seeing this film. In fact, it is so bad that reading this review informing the readers of this gaudy monstrosity is itself a waste of time.

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2 Responses

  1. I absolutely enjoyed this movie. It was worth every dime of my admission ticket. It add all the elements of the other films the adventure, the fantasy, the stunts, the exotic locations, the evil enemy, the treasure hunt element and humor.

    Yes, the plot was the implausible. Come on, it is an Indiana Jones movie! That is the whole point! Dinosaurs could have appeared for all we care! This is the story of an unlikely hero who is put up against the most impossible situations and survives. It is the perfect summer movie!

    I also love the chemistry between Harrison Ford and Karen Allen and I am glad they revived their two characters. The introduction of Shia LeBeouf just guarantees that the franchise can live for another generation and perhaps reinvents itself. There are still many more summers to come and much more popcorn to eat!

  2. I have yet to see the movie (since the power went out in the theater as I was waiting in line) but I have yet to hear a good thing about it from both friends and colleagues. It is no surprise that George Lucas is good at ruining franchises and personally I think The Last Crusade should have been the LAST Crusade.

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