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Excerpts from the Slack: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

After days of intense discussions, Remi decided to prove Jason wrong, and once and for all prove that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was better than Temple of Doom. Regret would happen.


remi [09:37]
OK, I’m doing it — Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It’s going down.

Man, even the iTunes version has more than an hour of extras.
OK, the Paramount logo turning into a mole hill might not have been an overly inspired opening transition.
Shia gets an “AND” starring credit, presumably because he’s basically an elderly statesman deserved of respect.
Two minutes in and I question why I decided to defend this movie.

jason [09:42]
I need you to live-Tweet the entire runtime.
This is an Excerpts from the Slack in the making.

remi [09:43]
I’ll live Slack it.

jason [09:43]
What I meant to say in the first place.

remi [09:43]
That I’m in a half-fever stupor probably won’t/will help it.
Russians who speak perfect English always forget the “the.” “You remember building, yes?”

remi [09:53]
I suppose the dead alien should’ve been a giveaway about where this was destined to go…

Bennyboy [09:53]
How else would we know they are russian? Unless they miss the definite article, call everyone 'comrade' or stack perfectly inside larger and larger clones of themselves
I missed that film at the cinema, I've never been so disappointed and later relieved to miss something

remi [09:55]
Indy missing the whip jump-swing is pretty much a testimony to Lucas not giving up on insisting the tone of Phantom Menace being very, very funny.
It played better in the cinema. ;

Bennyboy [09:58]
Why are you doing this to yourself? I remember it being like bad fan fiction

remi [09:58]
I still claim it’s begged than Temple.

Bennyboy [09:59]
Oh come on!

remi [09:59]
Oh boy, we’re at the nuke the fridge part!

jason [09:59]
Probably the best scene.

Bennyboy [09:59]
It makes CALIMAAAAA look like shakespeare

remi [10:00]
It’s lead lined — says so right on the tin.
Only one — ONE — thing was thrown clear from the blast.
That one fridge.
What about the other fridges? Cars? Freezers?
Lucky choice, Dr. Jones.

jason [10:01]
Temple had thrilling set pieces, menacing villains and does not look like a wedding videographer's demo reel. It wins before you even bother with a meaningful examination.
A STILL IMAGE of Indy on the rope bridge is better than the totality of Crystal Skull.

remi [10:02]
It was a bold move going the alien route.
Alan Dale can’t hide his Australian accent, which makes him a bad pick for a red blooded American colonel.
The man was a legend on Neighbors, though.

Bennyboy [10:04]
hahahah
We said the same thing "Its bloody Jim Robinson!"

jason [10:04]
Are you loving the glowy filtrated look yet? Doesn't it just pop off the screen?

remi [10:05]
Don’t be afraid of a little shine, Jason.

jason [10:05]
Don't get me wrong. It is a very filmic looking cutscene.
The college looks like heaven as I recall. I mean that literally. The afterlife.

remi [10:07]
The scenes between Ford and Broadbent are good.

jason [10:07]
Sure. Just put sunglasses on.

remi [10:07]
Shia as Brando, good god.
“Mutt” is an inspired name though.
The scene in the diner is good, too.
Anything not containing action is good. They’re not trying to hard.
As opposed to Temple where they don’t stop

zaarin [10:10]
The whole film looks like someone's breathed on the lens and forgot to clean it, from what I remember

jason [10:10]
I think Indy starting the greaser/jock fight is one of the few moments that felt like they got the character right.
It looks like Sky Captain.
Which is GREAT for immersion and feeling like there are stakes of any kind.

remi [10:11]
Granted, even the diner looks like green screen.

jason [10:11]
It makes you wonder why they bothered with physical sets and stunts.
If they had mocapped the whole thing I would not have been able to tell the difference
The college chase is a solid set piece.

remi [10:16]
Indy giving Mutt the stink eye after Brody’s statue is beheaded is good.

jason [10:16]
What I love about that is it is the third Brody reference. Each one is more on the nose.
It starts with framing Broadbent like Elliot when he peeks into the classroom: perfect.
Then a giant painting of Marcus...okay, fine.
Then a Marcus statue head falling on a Russian's crotch.

remi [10:17]
His photo on Indy’s desk, too.

jason [10:18]
Not so much gilding the lily as drenching it in herbicide.

remi [10:19]
The only photos he has is that and of his dad, which is a good indication of his social life being close to zero.

jason [10:20]
"First dad. Then Marcus. Then Sallah in that boating accident. Then Shorty in the threshing machine."

remi [10:21]
Foreshadowing Mutt’s mom is a bit of a waste, seeing everybody knew the cast a year before release.

jason [10:21]
Uh also she is featured prominently in both the poster and opening credits.

remi [10:21]
The color grading really is bizarre.

jason [10:21]
So the tortured shrouding of her identity is pointless as well as laughable.
Plus a missed opportunity. If Indy knows Marion is kidnapped then it gives him more urgency rather than it seeming like he goes to Peru because he has nothing better to do.
Are we in Peru yet?

remi [10:22]
Yep.

jason [10:23]
Ah yes. Thrill as they traipse from backlot to sound stage, without so much as a token amount of South America location footage to lend it authenticity.

remi [10:23]
Why is there a vignette in some of the shots?
Serious question.

jason [10:23]
Listen Remi. Janusz Kaminski would not have that job if he didn't know what he was doing.

remi [10:24]
At least we are spared from “ah, Venice!”

jason [10:24]
At least they actually filmed in Venice for at least a few shots. Rather than zero.

remi [10:25]
Oh oh, Peruvian ninjas.

jason [10:25]
Bitch about Temple all you want. It at least looks tactile.

remi [10:25]
Vignette again!
There must be an artistic reason for it.

jason [10:26]
Sorry you're such a plebe and want Indiana Jones movies not to look like a DOP's narcissistic jerkoff session.
The cemetery sets are good. Shame the lens/filter/grading choices conspire to make everything look like it originated from a hard drive.
What are your thoughts on Shia? I thought he worked better in the first half as a sidekick as opposed to, you know.

remi [10:33]
I think he’s fine.
Compared to Short Round?

jason [10:33]
Yeah. Problem is not him but the fact that the character should not exist.

remi [10:33]
I don’t think Indy needs a son, for sure

jason [10:34]
There are 7.5 billion people on this planet and exactly zero of them were clamoring for Indy to have Shia LaBeouf as his son.

remi [10:34]
But trying to cute up Temple with an annoying kid was by miles a worse decision.
Are some of these shots supposed to be out of focus?

jason [10:35]
It is painfully obvious they were just trying to recreate the Ford/Connery dynamic in reverse without putting in any effort.
The whole conquistador/Nazca lines stuff is such a dead end. They just threw a bunch of ideas at the wall and had no interest in tying them together.
Even the Brothers of the Cruciform Sword had some halfassed texture. The cemetery guards just make wacky noises and disappear.

remi [10:37]
I do love that Indy said “good thing we aren’t grave robbers” and they instead go and desecrate them.

jason [10:39]
Don't they try to make everyone related in this fucking movie?
Like not only is Mutt Indy's son, but Oxley is his foster father and Indy's college classmate under Abner Ravenwood and the foremost crystal skull expert and uggh. Soap opera.

remi [10:40]
Somewhere, somebody who’s working on this movie is looking wistfully at his PC screen, Fate of Atlantis up, crying over what could have been.
Winstone isn’t exactly selling it.

jason [10:41]
Heee. That character.
It is like they forgot to kill him in the teaser and for legal reasons he has to stay for the remainder of the film.

remi [10:43]
Blanchett… there’s a limit to what even she can do.

jason [10:43]
Well I love how weird she is but she never comes across as anything but a harmless loon.

remi [10:44]
I’m fairly sure zero parts of this movie will be referenced in Indy 5.

jason [10:44]
What is the whole business about her maybe having psychic powers but it doesn't work on Indy? It just goes nowhere.

remi [10:44]
So it has that in common with Temple.

jason [10:44]
No.
Mola Ram at least has powers.
We see them in action.

remi [10:45]
Did Indy just get sick of Short Round and decided he never existed?
I’m talking about pretending movies didn’t exist.

jason [10:45]
This is like if Mola Ram couldn't pull the dude's heart out and was like..."Huh. It doesn't work on everybody it seems."

remi [10:45]
Mola Ram was a highlight of the movie.

jason [10:46]
Why undermine your villain?
They also do it when they just have her stand and watch while Indy and Marion bicker.
Indy makes a quip when they point a gun at him.
The characters don't even think they are in danger.

remi [10:48]
I’m not under or over-mining anything — I’m still, an hour in, finding the whole picture more entertaining than Temple.
Oh hey, Marion!
Her introductory scene is very good.
John Hurt seems a bit disconnected from the rest of the movie.
Man, this out of focus stuff, I don’t get it.

jason [10:51]
He is a weird character because they want us to attach emotional baggage to a person we don't know. I think it would have been better if Indy himself was made crazy by the skull.
It isn't out of focus. It is just so overly filtered that it has a gauzy look. Which we are supposed to...like, I gather?

remi [10:54]
Indy explaining quick sands is pretty good.
“Why the hell didn’t you make him finish school?” — great line.

jason [10:55]
Followed by...

remi [10:55]
Well, the snake thing could have been handled better.
And the giant… tractor… thing.
Forgot about that.

jason [10:56]
Wait have you seen this movie or not?

remi [10:57]
Yes, about six years ago last.

jason [10:57]
Ohhhhh.
Yeah well the jungle cutter is a fucking egregious waste.

zaarin [10:58]
I watched it once in the cinema
I remember some jungle shit and there was an..ant thing?

remi [10:58]
Don’t get ahead of yourself.

jason [10:58]
Any other Indy movie, they would have staged a fight sequence on it and Soviets would have been mulched.

remi [10:58]
“They weren’t you, honey.”
Classy, vintage movie line.
Cary Grant-esque.

jason [10:59]
Here is a vintage movie line: That syrup's for pouring over waffles.

remi [11:00]
In Koepp’s defense, it’s pretty clear which ideas weren’t his.
There’s a true disconnect in the writing.

jason [11:00]
The ideas aren't the issue. It is the fact that they did not shape a movie out of them.

remi [11:01]
The monkey swinging?
How do you shape that?

jason [11:01]
Ehh by that point who cares.

zaarin [11:01]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1R4hHq8yr4 ah, this
YouTube | Movieclips
Indiana Jones 4 (9/10) Movie CLIP - Giant Ants (2008) HD

remi [11:01]
There are ideas here that have been shoehorned in.

zaarin [11:01]
that's some classic Indy shit...the rest of the film, not so much

jason [11:01]
The real problem with that is it like 95% CGI.

zaarin [11:02]
Everything looks like it was done in front of a green screen
like, they put some sand on a sound stage and pretended it's Peru
at least it looks like that

remi [11:02]
Oh, Winstone was CIA.
Clever.

jason [11:03]
If the movie had any sense of pacing, stakes, immediacy or thrills no one would give a shit about nukes, Tarzan, aliens etc.

remi [11:03]
Yow, the jungle chase looks odd.

jason [11:03]
I love how they tried to justify the CGI by saying there was no way of doing it practically. Cut to: CGI foliage hitting Mutt in the balls.

remi [11:04]
Just saw that.

jason [11:04]
They are only doing this out of necessity!

remi [11:05]
I’ll admit this isn’t 100% the movie I thought I remembered.

jason [11:05]
I try to imagine how boring the tank chase would have been if it had the same digital smear this movie does.
Also don't zero people die in this chase?
No Soviet gets shot, run over, mulched or falls off a cliff.

remi [11:06]
Close calls, though.

jason [11:06]
Heee.

remi [11:07]
Swinging Mutt.
Oh, a monkey almost died.
No worries, he caught himself.

jason [11:07]
I am not even sure why this is PG-13.
The Stephen Sommers Jungle Book movie is traumatizing by comparison.

remi [11:08]
Ants time!

jason [11:08]
I do enjoy the ants.

remi [11:09]
John Hurt is… not good… in this movie.
Man, the ants, though. Not a bad idea.

jason [11:09]
Well what the fuck is he given to work with.
Ox isn't a character. He is not even necessary.
They could just be having Indy slowly going insane from being forced to look at the skull.

remi [11:11]
Oh no he’s gonna lose his hat!
Oh thank god, it’s all OK.
Water drops hitting the lens. So it’s like we are experiencing the water. Very clever.

jason [11:14]
I remember being baffled by the lack of music in the waterfalls scene.
They don't really make an sequence of it.

remi [11:15]
Even though it’s perfectly sequenced with three drops.

jason [11:15]
There could have been a whole business of them trying to paddle away, failing. You know, mine something out of it.
It's so weirdly detached.
This movie is not excited to be an Indiana Jones movie.

remi [11:16]
The quiet scenes are heaps better than the action.

jason [11:16]
Is this where Act III begins "BECAUSE IT TOLD ME TO!"

remi [11:17]
Yes.

jason [11:17]
Great.
This is where I would have had Indy acting like possessed Sophia.
Forced to continue to the lost city.

remi [11:18]
Ox has it under control.

jason [11:18]
Instead, again, they just keep going because..their schedules are clear.
It is not like they know Oxley will become not stupid at the end of this.

remi [11:19]
The tribesmen are lousy shots.

jason [11:19]
What a pointless non scene.
They could have been captured. Could have had some fun escape sequence.
No.
Crystal Skull solves everything.

remi [11:20]
My premature conclusion — every other Indy movie is pointless.
Peep Show had a great crystal skull episode, so at least we got that from this.

jason [11:21]
It is amazing how every opportunity is just skipped because the movie has no interest in itself.
The point is to gin up fun scenarios.
Same thing is about to happen with the obelisk. No build up or watching Indy puzzle it out. Just..."hey, you figured this out off camera during the real Indiana Jones movie that this takes place after."

remi [11:24]
Mutt breaks up the kiss, Short Round style.
“No time for love, dad!”
A massacre of tribespeople, yet no blood.

jason [11:25]
You may be able to explain to me...what is Mac's motivation for the double cross?

remi [11:25]
I literally have no clue.
Money?

jason [11:25]
But he is on his way to the city of gold.
He does not need the bad guys now.
Why drop the tracers?
Spalko was last shown trying to drive the car with him in it off the cliff, so he has no reason to be personally loyal.
It makes zero sense.

remi [11:26]
Because it’ll be easier for him to get out?
Maybe we just aren’t supposed to understand.

jason [11:27]
Also the staging of Mac's death is the greatest work of Spielberg's career.

remi [11:28]
“Sorry, Jonesy.”
His explanation was he lied about being a double agent, so there you go.
Makes perfect sense.
Yow, the portal scene is poorly CGIed.

jason [11:36]
My question is why bother, post waterfall, to lead the Soviets to you, double agent or not, if your motive is money.

remi [11:37]
Well, as a consolation you get presented with a wedding scene.

jason [11:37]
Also set in Heaven.

remi [11:38]
Associate Dean, no big deal.

jason [11:39]
As for why the government cleared him...hey, the Red Scare blew over.

remi [11:40]
Ford clearly wants to bash Shia’s head in.
Shia picks up the hat, and the threat of an extended Indyverse is issued.
THE END
It has been six years since I watched Temple. Maybe it held up better than this.
Tim Monich was Blanchett’s dialect coach. A suspiciously English name for someone who should be from the Ukraine.
Hawaii crew? Nothing in this movie should’ve been even remotely related to those islands.
The walk of shame by the bafflingly large number of CGI artists commences.
And that’s it. You are all welcome.

jason [11:47]
Sorry you put yourself through this.