Much has been said about this edit already so I won’t write a thesis this time. What I did want to say is that having loved Raiders the theatrical Indy 4 to me lost the spirit of the adventure. Wraith has provided an excellent serving of true Indy for me. Properly removing elements of madness, ants, UFO, prairie dogs, etc. etc. (MUST watch the deleted scenes). Along with what was clearly a painstaking exercise in colour tone correction makes this the only Indy 4 version to watch in my opinion and with a decent running time.
Wow! I needed this!
This is an excellently thought out, well executed and surgical rescue of all the potential that exists in Indiana Jones 4.
The title change is the first indication of what’s so smart about this one. “The Skull Kingdom Mystery” points out what Indiana Jones’ quest really is. He isn’t going after an object this time– he doesn’t just want a skull– he’s trying to figure out what happened to Ox, what are these skulls and what do they (the skulls themselves) want. Without this clue in the title of the release version, the release version felt like an unfocused mess because it didn’t know what it was about.
With that kind of insight applied throughout the movie, every scene has been analyzed and refocused. Now everything is pared down to its purpose and the story practically blossoms as a result. Characters now do more than function, they intrigue. I care about Mac’s betrayal for the first time. I wonder at and believe in Spalko’s commitment. I believe in Mutt’s attachment to Ox and (most important) I understand Indy’s emotions in every scene.
Losing big sequences (like the graveyard fight and the ants) keeps the powerful focus going. This isn’t just a “cut the crap” edit. This edit wants you to care about the characters and their quest– and it succeeds.
The biggest surprise to me was the ending which was such a blur of half-baked ideas in the original. The clarity in this edit meant that I was actually on the edge of my seat about what these Crystal Skulls were about and what they wanted from Indy and Ox.
I just can’t recommend this enough. I found the opening changes to be exactly the right idea (although I wish the actual title card were bigger or done in the same font as the title of Raiders). I also wish it was “Indiana Jones and the…” instead of “Dr. Jones and the…” — but I can see what the editor is going for in that. That may grow on me.
There are a couple left over goofy beats that I wish we could have lost– like when Indy says “ouch” after Spalko lightly taps his cheeks or when Mac finishes the points of the compass for Indy– but in the original these awful moments seemed to never end. Now they stand out as the only moments that don’t work.
So, Wraith, you have my eternal gratitude and I give this a very impressed 9/10.
Just finished and really enjoyed it. Here are some thoughts…
As soon as I heard this one was going to have color correction (color naturalization might be more fitting), I was excited to see the results. I must say that came off well. I hate this modern trend of over-saturating things. What’s wrong with normal color? Not everything has to look like it was run through a bunch of Photoshop filters. There are still some things that bug me about it, like lack of color in some places (not Wraith’s fault) and things being overly bright like light glinting off of metal (again, not Wraith’s fault). Just a little rant there. Sorry. ;)
I appreciate that this one went farther with removing certain things that Jorge’s edit didn’t, such as the ants and the UFO lift-off. It was fun watching the deleted scenes (deleted in the TRUE sense of the word, not just ‘scenes that were left out for the theatrical release’) and how they were all stuck together. Haha. Yes, the CG prairie dogs, the Tarzan/monkey stuff, the mushroom cloud, etc…were bad, but to me, the worst was when she squished that ant and the guts fell on the camera lens. So, so stupid! You’re not supposed to acknowledge that there’s a camera there! This is not a documentary! Again, sorry for the rant. ;)
All in all, this is THE version to watch. I know there will be at least one more, and I look forward to seeing that one as well, but this effort is hugely appreciated! It’s tight, removed unnecessary parts, and feels much less modern, over-the-top Hollywood to me, which is a very good thing.