If Only Indiana Jones 4 Had Been As Thrilling As Its Concept Art

Illustration for article titled If Only Indiana Jones 4 Had Been As Thrilling As Its Concept Art

If only Indiana Jones and the Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull had been as dynamic as the movie's concept art. A gorgeous new book from Lucas Books and Ballantine, The Complete Making Of Indiana Jones, is chock full of art and production photos for Skull that make me feel a bit wistful for the finished product. Catacombs lit by glowing alien devices, shimmering skeletons and the obligatory exploding heads, all burst with so much promise that was never quite realized. Click through for a shiny gallery.

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Illustration for article titled If Only Indiana Jones 4 Had Been As Thrilling As Its Concept Art
Illustration for article titled If Only Indiana Jones 4 Had Been As Thrilling As Its Concept Art
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Illustration for article titled If Only Indiana Jones 4 Had Been As Thrilling As Its Concept Art
Illustration for article titled If Only Indiana Jones 4 Had Been As Thrilling As Its Concept Art
Illustration for article titled If Only Indiana Jones 4 Had Been As Thrilling As Its Concept Art
Illustration for article titled If Only Indiana Jones 4 Had Been As Thrilling As Its Concept Art
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Illustration for article titled If Only Indiana Jones 4 Had Been As Thrilling As Its Concept Art
Illustration for article titled If Only Indiana Jones 4 Had Been As Thrilling As Its Concept Art
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The Complete Making Of Indiana Jones [Amazon]

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DISCUSSION

jyhash
HashMaster9000

I agree that this was in no way as good as Raiders, but I don't think this tops ToD. If kind of is a bit on par with Last Crused, buts end up sagging in the middle.

WilmaWonker, that is just a rumor. ToD wanted to keep in all of the gross our horror they had already done, and thus Spielberg called up the MPAA and got them going on eventually creating the PG-13 rating. The movie was not designed to create it, but rather the new rating was a byproduct of the fact that during the 80's lots of stuff was coming out that couldn't quite be placed in the PG rating slot, but would die a quick death at the box office if given an "R" rating.

I think that when we view this film though, that we have to handle it a different way from the first 3. Those first three took place in the lat thirties, a time when Republic Serials were at their height and Indy was more or less an Homage to those adventurers. IN this film, it is the 50's, a time when B movies were beginning to gain popularity. And if taken in that context the introduction of "aliens" into the Indiana Jones universe doesn't seem too far fetched or out of place. The main weakness of the film was that over time the character & universe has lost its edge. I like Last Crusade as much as any IndyFan out there, but you have to admit the sheer amount of humor in that film far outweighs the serious, chair arm gripping excitement and adventure of Raiders. With this new film, that humor has continued along it's path, infused into more aspects of Indy's character and made even worse by the fact that Ford's age was played up in the character. We know he ages, and it makes him human, but we don't need to be reminded of it every 5 minutes either in dialogue or by him bumbling around (the sheer amount of incompetence/awkwardness Indy displays would've sickened the character he played in Raiders). So all in all I think that the film did what it set out to do but in the end it almost screwed itself with some of the stuff they worked so hard to include.

As for the concept art, I do agree that Spalko went out like (excuse the pun...?) "bitch", but as for the overall tone of the film I thought it was pretty spot on. The main complaints that I have about the visuals was the way in which it was shot. Whenever they went anywhere it seemed like it was missing something "real". Nearly every shot seemed like it was shot on a too well lit sound stage, or had a green screen silently lurking behind the actors. Take the sundown scene at Hangar 51, or when Indy is getting pulled out of the sand pit. neither of those scenes really evoked the realism that made me believe that the actors were at a hangar base in New Mexico, or that they were in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest. Compare the scenes (for those of you that have the cam shot video from a torrenting site) to the opening jungle scene of Raiders or even the camping scene in ToD, and you believe the actors are there, not shooting over at Elstree Studios. If Spielberg just had the Cajones to say "no" to Lucas and make the film with real locations and real sets, we might not have found the whole situation (subconsciously) unbelievable. I guess that's what you get when both your lighting designer and editor both kick the bucket on you and some kid jumps in and says he can fix the whole thing for half the price with Lightwave and Final Cut Pro.

Oh well, here's hoping that the 5th movie wraps it up and isn't as disappointing as any of Lucas' more recent endeavors.