Here’s a general rundown in addition to this previous comment:http://www.movie-moron.com/forum/index.php?topic=707.msg2217#msg2217
And this guy, who gave a gave overview that I totally agree with:http://www.movie-moron.com/forum/index.php?topic=710.msg2090#msg2090
No film that I've seen, whether Troll 2
or The Happening
or whatever, could be as bad as this film. Because, despite the Hollywood spit-shine, it was lifeless, dull, and mediocre. Other bad films that have been talked about recently on this forum have a real spirit about them. As awful as The Happening
truly was, you have to admit that, somehow, M. Night seemed to be TRYING. Sad for him, hilarious for us.
But with Crystal Skull
, George Lucas and the quickly fading Steven Spielberg phoned it in, destroyed a franchise, and ruined a story that they started, seemingly finished, and then gave to two generations of fans.
As for a technical breakdown:Story
- There are unneeded scenes. The only scene I really liked at all was the Area 51 scene because of the cool whip stunts ... but really, think about it. There was NO reason for that scene. The skull was somewhere else all along. If the Russians had access to the files that said Indy studied the body then they'd know there was no skull because, honestly, who the fuck would study an alien body and forget to report no skeleton? One of the first rules taught in any creative writing course is, if you get to the end of a scene and nothing has changed, then you don't need the scene. Particularly in screen writing, on a plot level, if something happens and nothing really changed, then it was fluff, weightless, and bogs down the story. After the Area 51 scene and the completely silly A-Bomb scene, Indy goes back to class like nothing changed. Wait ... seriously? Unlike the previous film openings (for 1 and 3) that told a completely separate short story with a complete story arch that introduced characters and character traits for the rest of the film, Crystal Skull tried to link the action to the main story, but in a way that doesn't matter at all. Nothing new is revealed about Indy, except boring, needless exposition.Dialog
- It was either nonsensical or purely informational. Film is a visual medium and yet the filmmakers tell the back story and main story through dialog. When they introduce John Hurt they TELL you why he's important, they don't show it. They TELL you why Mutt matters, tell you why Indy and Ray Winstone are friends .. they talk, talk, talk, talk. Compare the temple scene in Raiders with the graveyard scene in Skull ... one is told TOTALLY with the camera, in the other Indy and Mutt chat about every little boring thing.Characters
- they are reduced to the sum of their quirks. Indy wasn't a person, he was a "teacher" a "snake phobe" a super-hero ... Mutt was a "greaser" complete with the goddamn Fonzie comb gag. They were never a sum of their parts because they only had one or two parts that never combined to a real person.VFX
- so shiny and cartoony, just like the Star Wars prequels. When the praire dog appeared in the first shot the audience started grumbling. It was so awful. And the horrible jungle chase scene looked like one of the green screen photo booths at festivals where you and your friends can all fly on Santa's sleigh.Camera Work
- early in his career, Spielberg claimed that before he started a project he watched certain classic films with the sound turned off, because you could follow the core storyline with no dialog at all and he wanted to keep reteaching himself that lesson. Now, think about the many scenes in Skull where people sit at a table and talk, stand in a cemetary and talk, sit around ANOTHER table and talk ... talk talk talk. With a few brief moments of awesome (ala, revealing Indy through his shadow), Skull is generally shot like a first year student film.It Breaks its Own Story Rules
- Indiana Jones has studied the alien corpse, plus knows about the landing, plus sees all the damn drawings in the temple ... and still, at the end, seems dumbfounded that these are aliens. Plus, the magnetic alien corpse can pull metal THROUGH THE AIR ... but hasn't affected all the other metal in that warehouse for over TEN years!!!It Breaks the Rules of the Greater Story ...
- Indiana Jones can die if he falls off a bridge, can die if he gets run over, can die if he falls into a boat propeller, can die if he's shot with a bullet or arrow. And yet, for some reason, he can survive a fucking ground zero atomic explosion, three waterfalls over 100 feet high. All that, and we're supposed to believe he can lose a fist fight. The movie disobeyed physics and even contradicted itself in its attempt at mindless entertainment.Not to mention the following:
giant cartoon ants, Shia swinging through vines with cartoon monkeys, Marcas Brody's cameo as a headless statue savior, Marion being involved in the conspiracy for no reason at all, the slow zoom in of Henry Jones Sr's black and white death photo while sad music played like the last five minutes of every Full House
episode, Shia fencing and holding his balls, the giant animated machine that could cut down jungle foliage AND apparently grate and smooth the path behind for vehicles, the fact that there was television and water in the atomic testing zone, the fact that in that same testing zone Indiana Jones can't get water from one specific spot and that's supposed to indicate the fact that he's even IN an atomic testing zone, the janitor from Scrubs cast as a government operative, the fact that everyone trusts Ray Winstone every time he betrays them, the aliens looked like every fucking other alien ever put on a cheesy Fox show, and the fact that I will never, ever be able to take out my agression via angry, angry sex with Cate Blanchett in her hot Russian outfit.