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Early Review Calls New Indiana Jones Film Dreadful 643

Posted by timothy
from the yeah-that's-just-like-your-opinion-man dept.
bowman9991 writes "Hope this one isn't true! An early negative review calls the upcoming "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" movie predictable, lacking in tension, and a fan's worst nightmare. SFFMedia believes this new Indiana Jones movie could create a similar reaction a lot of people experienced after watching the first of the last three Star Wars movies, 'The Phantom Menace': you wait for years and years, the anticipation building, and then it's so awful it taints your view of the original movies. Of course George Lucas was involved with Star Wars too." The SFFMedia piece refers to this review on Ain't it Cool News. The trailer I saw (before Iron Man) actually looked great to me, so I'm taking this with a grain of salt.
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Early Review Calls New Indiana Jones Film Dreadful

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:06PM (#23420074)
    So, torrent plz so I can see for myself?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:07PM (#23420100)
    The opening scene is a total heart attack. Indy barely escapes a huge stone ball despite being slowed by his walker. He pulls his colostomy bag out of the way just in time. It was a real heart pounding experience. But that was easily fixed with an emergency room visit and some clot-busting drugs.
  • A good trailer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rurik (113882) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:07PM (#23420104)
    The trailer I saw (before Iron Man) actually looked great to me, so I'm taking this with a grain of salt.

    Unfortunately, trailers have little to do with movies anymore. Trailer designers and technicians have made an art out of what they do: making the most boring movies look exciting and fun. Honestly, they're good at what they do! By just changing transition graphics, music score, sound clips, and some of the shots, they can make an action movie look like a: comedy, drama, or documentary.
    • by L Boom (1274024) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:13PM (#23420220)
      Absolutely. I'm at work so I can't actually check the link, but this [youtube.com] should be a link to a great clip job. They took scenes from The Shining trailer and recut it to look like a romantic comedy. Really excellent job.
    • Re:A good trailer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by boris111 (837756) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:34PM (#23420690)
      Depends.. the IJ trailer was good. Many other trailers give away the whole movie making me have no interest in seeing it. I find this way too much in comedies.

      BTW that new Mike Myers movie looks horrible! In this case I'm glad they gave the whole movie away so I know not to see it.
    • Re:A good trailer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Touvan (868256) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @02:18PM (#23421626) Homepage
      I actually saw that trailer, and if you watch closely, you can see that they have completely changed the formula of Indiana Jones movies, and even in the trailer showed the kind of humor they will have in the movie - completely out of character for Indiana (far too many quips during the operation), and really off the wall in terms of scenario - kinda watered down Jar Jar style slapstick - none of the humorous Indiana stuff.

      He basically makes a stupid quip, pulls a rocket launcher out of the back seat of the truck he's in (he's in the back seat) makes another stupid quip, then fires the rocket through the front wind shield at the bad guys - all with bad timing.

      If it was old style Indiana, he would have skipped the quips, scrambled frantically for something that would get them out of their predicament, found the rocket laungher, gotten dragged out of the window of the truck, losing the rocket launcher in the process, used the elephant (they were in a jungle) running next to the truck from 3 scenes earlier to help kick himself back onto the roof of the truck, grabbed the rocket launcher, lost the rocket launcher to the nazi, and had the nazi accidentally shoot the rocket at the bad guys after he got knocked off the truck by a tree branch or a vine or something. Then after it was all done, Indiana would have had some kind of one liner to seal the deal.

      This movie is going to be bad.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fireboy1919 (257783)
      Sometimes they flat-out lie [cinemablend.com].

      Strange that truth in advertising doesn't seem to apply to films.
  • by Darth Maul (19860) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:08PM (#23420108) Homepage
    This one guy rants about the movie, but there have been several other positive reviews. Just now media is picking up on this one aintitcool review and running with it. The original poster, ShogunMaster, just wanted a lot of attention and he got it.

    It's an odd phenomenon we're seeing: One original poor review, then it gets written *about* in several other places, now all of a sudden people think there are lots of bad reviews. Huh?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ElrondHubbard (13672)
      Don't buy the media echo-chamber effect, especially when the thing being echoed is a fanboy "review" off AICN. Almost everyone who reads /. already knows if they are going to see the new Indy Jones movie or not (I am), so why bother?

      But then again, my favourite Matrix movie was the second one, so what do I know... For what it's worth, Ebert [suntimes.com] agrees with me.
    • by putch (469506) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:22PM (#23420414) Homepage
      not to mention that the guy is a theater executive and has a vested financial interest in de-hyping this movie before it opens. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/10/movies/10indy.html?bl&ex=1210564800&en=3ce1b1dc8e8ec160&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]
  • complete BS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ILuvRamen (1026668) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:08PM (#23420120)
    Critics are morons. Every movie I've ever done to see and checked Yahoo Movies for, the critic and users ratings have been opposite. IMDB is the same way if you consider the ratings before it actually comes out. Epic movie had an 8.6 by opening day! And a 2.3 a week later. Yahoo critics rated Epic movie like a B- or something and users gave it a D-. And they had the balls to give other movies I and other really liked really low ratings. They watch too many movies and they're douchebags so people should really stop listening to critics.
    • Re:complete BS (Score:4, Insightful)

      by maxume (22995) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:12PM (#23420214)
      You just need to find a critic or two that you usually agree with. Much better than random fan reviews, because you also know where you are likely to disagree with them when reading their new reviews.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slapmastered (1158643)
      I completely agree with you. During College, every time my (now) wife and I saw a teaser/trailer for a movie that we thought looked interesting, we scanned the local papers and school paper for the reviews of the movie, and if the critics all hated it, we went and saw it. 9 times in 10 we were glad we did. The people who write those reviews are almost always elitist movie snobs, who are missing the point that it's a *movie*, not high art. People go to the movies to be entertained for 2 hours. A simple popc
      • Re:complete BS (Score:5, Insightful)

        by vux984 (928602) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @02:01PM (#23421276)
        The people who write those reviews are almost always elitist movie snobs, who are missing the point that it's a *movie*, not high art.

        They aren't missing the point. You are. There's only so much information you can pack into a 'star rating'

        Movie Critics are rating movies by how good they are on a multitude of levels. A 4 star movie has to be entertaining, interesting, thought provoking, well written, well directed, well acted, etc, etc, etc.

        The Phantom Menace might hit the entertaining button but its a dismal fail on most other criteria. Its poorly acted, poorly written, poorly directed...

        People go to the movies to be entertained for 2 hours. A simple popcorn-muncher is sometimes all you really want.

        You are practically admitting it right here, that you KNOW and AGREE they are crappy movies!! But you like watching them anyway. That's fine... I do too... a one or two star rating doesn't mean you won't enjoy the movie and shouldn't go see it, but rather you shouldn't expect it be a 'Godfather II'.

        I'm personally looking forward to the new Indy.

        Me too. However I'm now expecting it to be 'summer popcorn fun' not 'groundbreaking brilliant'. (Which if you'd seen the previous 3, 'summer popcorn fun' is really what you should have been expecting all along.)

        The other thing that ruins reviews like this is a fanboy gets his crush on, and waits in anticipation for 10-20 years, and has all these grandiose ideas of what the movie should or shouldn't look/feel/smell like, and then there's no possible way for the movie to live up to that much internal-hype.

        To a point, but I don't think it affects the movie's rating overall as much as all that. The last crusade came out in 89. Anyone under 25 is pretty much immune to that effect and will see the movie for its own merit. A lot of people under 30 haven't even seen the first 3.

        That's what happened with the new Star Wars trilogy (although Jar-Jar made me want to stab Lucas in the throat...)

        No. The new Star Wars was just shit. The originals were defining movies for a generation. Most kids today have already forgotten the new trilogy. They had no pent up expectations, and they still couldn't care less about them. Face it, they just weren't that good.

        None of the new star wars movies made the imdb top 250. All 3 of the Lord of the Rings movies made the top 30. Both trilogies had MASSIVE fanboy followings and pent up expectations and both movies faced the wrath of the screaming fanboys. But at the end of it all Star Wars competely sucked. LotR didn't. It's just that simple.

        • Re:complete BS (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @02:21PM (#23421686) Homepage
          There is one thing you aren't considering though: critics tend to treat all movies as if they are from the same genre. You wouldn't compare Half-Baked to The Shawshank Redemption...they are entirely different movies with completely different messages. And yet, they are both awesome movies, for different reasons.

          I wouldn't say that Half-Baked presented a milestone in script writing, or was an acting disaster...I would say that it was hilarious and a well done stoner-movie. I wouldn't say Shawshank Redemption sucked because there wasn't enough comedy in it, or because it was insanely slow paced...I would say that it was amazing because the actors truly were the characters and even though nothing much really happens throughout it, somehow they manage to keep you very pulled in to the story for hours on end.

          It's just like Speed Racer. SO many critics have said Speed Racer is dull, empty, devoid of meaning...ARE YOU SERIOUS? It's a movie based on a series that practically INVENTED the word cheesy...it isn't supposed to be Citizen Cane. It's just supposed to be entertaining. And you know what? It did a damn fine job of entertaining me. I wasn't looking for some underlying reasoning behind it, or for Oscar winning performances, or for some new level of thinking...I was looking to simply be entertained by a bunch of crazy coloured race tracks with cars slamming into each other.

          You can't judge all movies by the same metric. That is, unfortunately, why so many critics hate so many movies. You shouldn't expect Dumb and Dumber to have the same nuance and impact as Jane Eyre. It doesn't work that way.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jfengel (409917)
      There are very few good critics, but they do exist.

      A good critic is somebody capable of explaining what it is they're seeing, why they liked it and why they didn't. It's much more useful than "I liked it so you will to." Few reviewers even try. Most reviews are:

      * 1 paragraph of introduction, usually with a "clever" hook to keep the reader reading
      * N paragraphs of plot summary
      * 1 paragraph of review for the actors, writer, and director.
      * 1 paragraph of review for the tech

      The N paragraphs of plot summary ha
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bogjobber (880402)

      They had the balls to disagree with you? Wow, they really are douchebags.

      How about instead of being a "populist snob," just find critics who you agree with. There are plenty of people out there writing about movies that judge movies based on "common people's" judgements. Some of us want to watch movies that are beautiful and express themselves eloquently about life, some of us just want mindless entertainment. And there are *gasp* people that actually like both and a little bit of everything in betwee

  • #4, PG-13.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by weston (16146) * <westonsd.canncentral@org> on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:08PM (#23420122) Homepage
    Well, this fits two patterns with the previous movies:

    (1) Odd numbers good, even numbers bad
    (2) PG good, PG-13 bad

    So I suppose now the question is -- how does Crystal Skull compare with the Temple of Doom?

  • by Cinnamon Whirl (979637) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:09PM (#23420138)
    ..the reviewer is the master of any Shoguns either. So I'm not too worried.
  • by amstrad (60839) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:11PM (#23420182)
    Business decisions do not good art make....

    If it makes money, the studio will do it. This movie will make money. If you want this nonsense to stop, we need to get people to stop going to see them. I pretty much flat out refuse to see anything with less than a 50% on the tomato meter (in the theater, I'll probably watch it when it comes on TNT).
  • by InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:12PM (#23420202)
    As a man who finds himself occasionally yelling out "INDY!!" in imitation of John Rhys-Davies, all I have to say is...

    NOOOOOOOOOO!!!
    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @02:17PM (#23421598)

      As a man who finds himself occasionally yelling out "INDY!!" in imitation of John Rhys-Davies, all I have to say is...

      NOOOOOOOOOO!!!
      You fail.

      Your choices should have been:

      (a) Do not want!!!!!

      or

      (b) Sequels, why did it have to be sequels?

      or honorable mention:

      (c) I have had it with these motherfucking sequels to these motherfucking classics!
  • Hold up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ilovegeorgebush (923173) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:14PM (#23420246) Homepage
    The reason these films are so bad is because people hype them up in their minds for years. Granted, The Phantom Menace was pretty poor, but it's largely to do with the excessive expectations of people and their over-hyped ideals.

    Who listens to critics, anyway?
    • Re:Hold up (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:56PM (#23421128)
      The Phantom Menace is poor because Lucas valued the marketability and technical impressiveness of Jar Jar Binks more than the film itself. The ridiculous Anakan character didn't help. The fan-edited "The Phantom Edit" is actually not a bad film.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by StormReaver (59959)
      "The Phantom Menace was pretty poor, but it's largely to do with the excessive expectations of people and their over-hyped ideals."

      No, The Phantom Menace sucked on it's own merits (yes, that's a double, maybe triple, entendre).
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:15PM (#23420274)

    So far this has been the pattern:

    1st film: Groundbreaking
    2nd film: Great
    3rd film: Ok
    4th film: WTF was everyone thinking?

    So help me if one character utters something like "Me-sa gonna get the skull, Indy?", I'm going to have kill myself right there in the theater. Maybe I'll humanley spare some fellow movie patrons by taking them out first. :P

  • Well.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Burnhard (1031106) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:16PM (#23420298)
    I must be the only one who didn't think the first prequel star-wars movie was awful. I thought it was well put together and entertaining. I suppose those who did were expecting something genre defining and ground-breaking. You can't do that twice. The same goes for the Indiana movies.
    • Re:Well.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Lord_Frederick (642312) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:28PM (#23420558)
      There just isn't any excuse for Jar-Jar.
    • Re:Well.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Wylfing (144940) <brian&wylfing,net> on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:31PM (#23420620) Homepage Journal

      I'm foregoing modding you up to reply. I completely agree with you. Although I really wish some things had been done differently for Phantom Menace, I found the movie quite enjoyable, and it's the film I like best among the three prequels.

      Veering off-topic: the things I wish had been different include having Obi-Wan first meet Anakin as a young adult hot-shot pilot during the Clone Wars (c.f. A New Hope, "When I met your father..."), never revealing the origins of C-3PO and R2-D2 nor revealing why they are always together, and an expanded/more intelligent role for Darth Maul (we never needed to see Sidious during that movie, Maul was all the villain we needed, just like we only needed Dooku in the 2nd movie -- actually both Maul and Dooku are FAR more interesting characters than Sidious and should have featured large in all 3 movies).

      (At this point you probably wish I had modded you instead. I'm sorry!)

      • Re:Well.... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @02:27PM (#23421808)

        Veering off-topic: the things I wish had been different include having Obi-Wan first meet Anakin as a young adult hot-shot pilot during the Clone Wars (c.f. A New Hope, "When I met your father..."), never revealing the origins of C-3PO and R2-D2 nor revealing why they are always together, and an expanded/more intelligent role for Darth Maul (we never needed to see Sidious during that movie, Maul was all the villain we needed, just like we only needed Dooku in the 2nd movie -- actually both Maul and Dooku are FAR more interesting characters than Sidious and should have featured large in all 3 movies).
        The other point is that there's absolutely no way to view Star Wars in order without ruining all of the surprises.

        Aside from the fact that we, the fans, know Anakin = Vader, what should have been done is have Anakin turn to the Dark Side, Kenobi fights the duel with him and he's left for dead. He should be left for dead in such a fashion that we can all assume he's dead and gone. Then when Palpatine is moving openly, his new lieutenant is 6'5" of scary black menace, this Vader dude. We are left to assume he'd been in the wings all the while but, being the titanic cloud of scary-ass doom that he is, Palpy couldn't have afforded to have him out in the open so easily. All we should have seen of Vader is leading the Jedi slaughter in III. Then we see IV and can assume that Kenobi's explanation of Anakin's seduction to the Dark Side is selectively edited. Kenobi doesn't know who the true Dark Side master was, assumes that there's Palpy, Vader, maybe a few others, knows Vader lead the slaughter of the Jedi and that Anakin turned at some point and it was probably through contact with the Sith, however many there actually were. While it was Kenobi who killed Anakin (or so he thought), Anakin was sent on that path by the Sith so it was convenient to say that Vader seduced and killed Anakin. So through all this, the big reveal at the end of V becomes so shocking. Anakin ain't dead? He's Vader? Oh, shit!

        Reading back over that, it does seem overly convoluted but that's the corner Lucas wrote himself into with the constantly morphing background of the original trilogy.
  • And? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enahs (1606) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:18PM (#23420336) Journal
    The original three are "dreadful" by critics' standards. They're ALL predictable. Predictable is what made them funny, imho. They're supposed to be SERIALS, for Pete's sake.

    The second one is dreadful by MY standards.
  • by ShinySteelRobot (674078) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:21PM (#23420390)
    ...then I'm sure we can look forward to a multitude of Special Editions with various tweaks. Guns will be digitally replaced with walkie talkies, walkie talkies will be replaced with guns, and eventually Shia LaBeouf will be digitally replaced with an character that's more universally loved and admired, such as Jar Jar Binks.
  • media hype:

    OMFG there's a negative review of indy 4!

    reality:

    negative [aintitcool.com]

    neutral [aintitcool.com]

    neutral [aintitcool.com]

    positive [aintitcool.com]

    the nyt has the real story [nytimes.com]: studios are required by law to show movies to exhibitors before they buy films (which is how the party pooper reviewer shogunmaster got to see it), which in today's internet age means that studios (especially control-freak spielberg on this specific issue) are losing the ability to control pre-release media buzz
  • by morari (1080535) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:25PM (#23420484) Journal
    Well no shit.
  • by DrBuzzo (913503) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:32PM (#23420642) Homepage
    I remember thinking the movie was likely not that good when I heard that it was set in the 1950's and that the Soviets had become the villains along with some Nazi hold-overs in South America. Indy needs to fight the Nazis. That's the point. The Nazis make the movies good because they're his enemy.

    Also, they have to be strong and powerful and have all kinds of cool secret plans and weapons. This basically means the movie cannot be set any later than late 1943 and ideally it should be around 1942-ish.

    Yeah yeah, I know Harrison Ford is a lot older now than he was when the first movies were made and so having the movie take place just five years after "The Last Crusade" would not be so believable when the actor has actually aged by close to 20 years.

    I don't think it would be undoable though. Hollywood makeup artists can do a lot to change the age of someone. If you look at movies like Back to the Future, they did a very convincing job of making Christopher Lloyd appear as different ages. Harrison Ford's thinner hair would not be too hard to cover, especially if he's wearing a hat. His face has not aged *that* much. It could be covered with good lighting, editing, makeup and so on. Body doubles and digital manipulation can help too.

    I don't see why it had to be made so late after the hayday of the Nazis.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Scudsucker (17617)
      If you look at movies like Back to the Future, they did a very convincing job of making Christopher Lloyd appear as different ages.

      Say what? They made several tongue-in-cheek references on how Doc ("thank god I've still got my hair") and Strickland ("didn't that guy ever have hair") looked exactly the same. Especially in the 2nd movie where Doc shows Marty that he had plastic surgery...except he looks exactly the same.
    • I remember thinking the movie was likely not that good when I heard that it was set in the 1950's and that the Soviets had become the villains along with some Nazi hold-overs in South America. Indy needs to fight the Nazis. That's the point. The Nazis make the movies good because they're his enemy.

      I don't see that at all - Indy's "enemy", if you must put a definition to it, is someone seeking to use a powerful artifact for evil.

      Well the Russians fit the bill quite well. Around that time they were doing so
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by khallow (566160)

      Indy needs to fight the Nazis.

      I disagree. I mean, come on, Indy got Hilter to sign his book last time. What's next? The trope would be overused (and given Spielberg's history, the Nazis are overused).

  • Fear not... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by owlnation (858981) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:33PM (#23420660)
    In the special edition Indy will whip first.

    Seriously though, anyone with high expectations of this movie hasn't seen a movie made by George Lucas in the past 20 years. It'll make a ton of cash, regardless -- that's the really tragic thing.

    For all the money spent on this movie you could fast-track the careers of at least one thousand, really talented, new filmmakers.
  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:36PM (#23420728) Homepage

    There was also an episode of The A-Team towards the end of its run about a crystal skull. It, too, was widely regarded as the worst episode ever, a fan's nightmare, and such.

    The lesson: if it says "crystal skull" anywhere, avoid it like the plague.

  • Why... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by idontgno (624372) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:38PM (#23420768) Journal

    does anyone pretend that the critics matter?

    Anyone who takes any critic's word for it deserves what he gets.

    As for me, I can't really nail down my decision criteria for what movies I want to see, but I can assure you that the words "critic review" don't enter into it in the slightest.

  • by llZENll (545605) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:42PM (#23420856)
    No movie can live up to what your brain remembers as one of the best movies ever made. If you go into the movie expecting it to be no less than the best of the first movie, then guess what, you will say it sucked. If you have realistic expectations though and are hoping it to be a decent movie without destroying the franchise then you at least are giving the movie a fair chance. It takes a lot of guts to revisit old and successful franchises such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones because you can't satisfy peoples nostalgia, even if the movie is one of the best ever made.

    Nothing can match the feeling of seeing the movie with friends and family who may be gone now, or remembering a time in your life when things were better, we tend to forget the bad and remember the good, anything current simply can't compete with your memories all else being equal.
  • by Raven737 (1084619) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:46PM (#23420936)
    Movies today are never made to make a (possibly small) fan base happy,
    they are only made to make a lot of money and for that it only has to be (mildly) appealing to the masses.
    All those 'fans' will see it anyhow and chances are 90% of them will hate it regardless how 'good' others think it is.

    Big Money means:
    • the movie is made so a 6 year old can watch it with his parents, nothing too brutal & funny scenes for kids (remember jar jar binks?)
    • nothing complicated, keep good and evil clearly separated, you have to know whos evil when you see them, otherwise the kids get confused
    • don't take any chances, avoid anything controversial, use the known formula (happy ending, nobody likable gets killed)
    • it doesn't have to be good as long as it has a well known name (sequel sequel sequel & why Bush got elected after all)
    • a mediocre movie made for the masses makes more money then a excellent movie for insiders
    So with that in mind, i expect it to be watchable but nothing special.
  • by Dunx (23729) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:49PM (#23421000) Homepage
    Am I surprised that this fourth film, decades after the last, is no good? Of course not - 'twas ever thus.

    I still haven't got over my disappointment at the utter pile of poo that was the second Highlander film, when the original was (and still is) one of my favourite films.

    Creative people lose the original vision, the original enthusiasm, over time. It's difficult to do anything else. It doesn't make me happy, but it happens.
  • by mpapet (761907) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @01:58PM (#23421212) Homepage
    Really, it is.

    The wikipedia reference spells it out.

    -The film was in development hell since the 1989 release of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, because Spielberg and Ford initially disagreed over Lucas's choice of the skull as the plot device.

    You've got an actor with creative input into the movie plot. Very rarely does that ever work. Yes, the actors have input, it is most successful when it's improv within the filming of the movie.

    - ...rom a story co-written by executive producer George Lucas..... Screenwriters Jeb Stuart, Jeffrey Boam, M. Night Shyamalan, Frank Darabont and Jeff Nathanson wrote drafts, before David Koepp's script satisfied all three men.

    Multiple treatments of the same premise, few of which actually materialize. This suggests the amount of vetting, oversized-personalities, and plain old stupidity was committee-style approval hell.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by curmudgeous (710771)
      M. Night Shyamalan

      The kiss of death. I still haven't forgiven him for having aliens that are allergic to water attempt to invade a planet whose surface is 70% water.
  • cluelessness (Score:4, Informative)

    by fragbait (209346) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @02:21PM (#23421684) Homepage
    From the review:

    ... I found it funny that they mentioned the Lost City of Gold as it accidentally referenced the old Allen Quartermaine days (a crappy knockoff of Indy Movies incase you missed them) ...
    Huh? Quatermain was first from the book King Soloman's Mines written in 1885.

    At any rate, take AICN stuff as you would with any critic. For those that have never visited the site, read only the first paragraph or two and then skip to the last paragraph or two of Harry's reviews. In between, he's going to expound about a recent mundane task he did which has no bearing on the review, such as his numerous trips to take his grandma to the vet or whatever. STFU, Harry, and get on the with the review. Sheesh.

    -fragbait
  • More rehashes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animats (122034) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @02:28PM (#23421844) Homepage

    In 2007, as Harper's points out, most of the top 10 movies were not only sequels, but sequels where "version > 2". Since Hollywood management does fads, we have to expect a run of more such sequels. Hence Indy #4.

    As I've remarked before, Hollywood has a major idea shortage. History has been mined out. Comic book resources have been drained; the big franchises are done, and productions are digging deep into obscure comics for material. Hollywood is now down to recycling 1960s TV shows. Are there any up and coming directors with new ideas? Who's the next Spielberg?

    Incidentally, the trailer for "Clone Wars" looks like a video game ad for a bad video game, one with a low poly and keyframe budget.

    Entertainment may be a depletable resource. When everything ever made is easily available, anything new has to be better than anything done before. Everybody has already seen the best of everything. This makes it hard to excel. Consider music. Nobody has done a major new symphony for decades. Rock music peaked decades ago. House music is stuck. Rap doesn't shock anybody any more. No wonder the RIAA is in trouble.

    Film got a "midlife kicker" - computer graphics. At last, you could film anything you could imagine. After about a decade, most of the backlog of things directors always wanted to do, but couldn't afford, have been done. Big shots of alien or historical cities, nonhuman actors, and massive war scenes, have all been competently put on the big screen. Viewers are no longer impressed.

    Desperate hacks, like playing with color saturation, have been tried. There's the under-saturated look ("Sky Captain") and the over-saturated look ("Speed Racer"). There's the high-contrast black and white look ("Sin City"). There's the high-contrast black and white look with a bit of color ("The Shadow"). OK, been there, done that.

    Finally, there's the trick the movie industry tried the last time things got really desperate, back in the 1950s - stereoscopic 3D. It didn't work last time.

  • by nobodyman (90587) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @02:36PM (#23422002) Homepage
    It's worth noting that Star Wars: Episode I got great reviews [aintitcool.com] from Aint It Cool News. So if they are panning Crystal Skull it may actually be a great movie!
  • An era gone by... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by catdevnull (531283) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @03:24PM (#23422914)
    The great Sci-Fi and Action movies of the late 70s and early 80s are an era gone by. Those of us who remember the first offerings of Star Wars, ET, and Raiders were completely dazzled by a new breed of cinema. Lucas, Spielberg, and the like were young up-and-comers who were shaking up the industry.

    Now, those guys ARE the establishment. They are offering pretty much the same production values they originally brought to us but we, as the audience, are, dare I say, bored with their filmmaking. If not bored, we have very high expectations because of the impression the original movies left on us.

    It's kind of like going back to a place you haven't been to since you were a kid and it's much smaller and less interesting than you had it in your mind.

    This isn't to say that these guys are terrible filmmakers or that their craft is not up to par. I'm saying that the hype created by the media in ourselves only makes one feel disappointed when the movie is just that--another movie.

    I think the industry itself is in a pretty bad place right now. Movies are made that really shouldn't have been made so the overall quality from the corporate movie studios is just abysmal.

    Story is king. Unfortunately, visual effects and spectacle have become the story supported by the script. They keep trying to make blockbusters instead of focusing on the craft of filmmaking. The indie films are doing so well because they have to have good scripts--there's no budget for Michael Bay/Brett Ratner/Roland Emerich epically expensive multi-million dollar set pieces.

    Unfortunately, like all corporations, the studios are most interested in delivering profits to shareholders. The just don't understand that if you "build it, they will come"--a good movie with good special and visual effects that serve the story will do well. They just want to make gimmicky pieces that will turn into money makers.

    So, don't be surprised if Raiders is disappointing. It's just a cog in the wheel of the dark machine that is Hollywood.
  • by CompMD (522020) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @04:53PM (#23424308)
    I'm waiting for the second Buckaroo Banzai movie. Come on, people, get to it. It would probably be very helpful for Jeff Goldblum's career.

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys

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