Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: The Essential Edition
Like many fans of the Indiana Jones series I was very disappointed with the fourth installment. In this cut I desaturated the color a bit so it’s similar to the other Indy movies, plus I added a little grain to give it the “film” look.
- Text Commentary Track
- Indy’s line “Not as easy as it used to be” has been replaced with the version from the trailer
- Spalko’s psychic abilities have been cut, including her opening the warehouse door
- warehouse scene has been trimmed
- nuclear test scene has been cut
- motorcycle chase has been trimmed (no library sequence)
- Indy’s line “Part time” has been replaced with the version from the trailer
- CGI scorpions have been cut
- Tarzan sequence has been cut
- giant fire ants have been reduced
- Marion isn’t a walking grin anymore
- Mutt’s emotional outbursts have been cut
- the aliens are now aliens and not inter-dimensional beings
- unnecessary dialog has been cut
- wedding sequence has been re-mixed
- picture has been desaturated and a film grain added
What can I say that hasn't already been said? Q2 is my go-to editor. You're guaranteed a quality, thoughtful improvement on the original source.
The original film is an abyss of Shia comedic not-so-much relief and pacing problems. It feels less like Jones and more like Over the Hedge. I was hesitant to watch because I despised the original cut, but I have to say I'm quite impressed with the changes.
No one could save this mess entirely, but Q2 nearly manages the impossible. There are a few moments of discontinuity, but hardly worth mentioning. The pace is improved, the tone more serious and the ultimate reveal more in line with original expectations. This has taken the original's spot in my Jones collection forever more.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. A lot of people don't like it. I do.
That being said there are a few things about it that I don't like. Too much CGI, misplaced humor, and the fact that it doesn't really look like the other movies.
Q2 fixes all of these problems, for the most part. CGI is down to a reasonable amount and so is the humor. Problem is that there are a few quick shots because of this (notably a number in the scene in the bed of the truck), and a moment where the aspect ratio changes (Mutt jumps from one car to the other). Also, while the coloring looks a lot more like the others, at some points it seems as if there's almost too much of a greenish-turquoise tint to it; and I don't believe there is anyway to get rid of all that glowing.
I think the biggest problem with KOTCS, though, is that it feels generally unfocused. This is especially true in the film's third act. Unfortunately, there is really nothing that can be done to fix this.
There are some editing choices I don't agree with. For example, I've always liked the fridge scene, but, to Q2's credit, thinking back to the film, the fridge scene seems like it would be extremely out of place. Another scene that I quite liked was when the motorcycle went through the library. This was over-the-top, yes, but sorely missing here. The library scene made the chase fun and original. Also, without the library scene, we never get the Wilhelm scream (which is unacceptable), and we miss one of the best exchanges in the film, between Indy and the student.
On the other hand, there are some things that should have been cut that weren't - "you don't know him immediately comes to mind."
Overall, though, very entertaining. I would also like to note how greatly Henry Sr. is dealt with. Quite poignant, if you ask me. Anyways, I give INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL - THE ESSENTIAL EDITION 8/10.
September 1, 2010
Indy 4.. Why George? Why?. No need to recount the colossal FAIL that this movie turned out to be despite it’s insane Box Office receipts. If you’re reading this, you know the history.
Q2 has done an admirable job of improving the worst of the Indy franchise, a worth wile watch for anyone that wants to watch a more tolerable version of Crystal Skull.
I watched the Single Layer DVD 5 on a 52″ Plasma. The image quality was overall very good, I noticed no artifacting or outrageous compression. For a SL presentation, it was right where you’d expect it to be. Audio quality was fine, I didn’t have to fuss with the volume for adjustment purposes of correcting sudden level changes. Well done.
The Good: Q2′s handling of the Nuclear Test sequence was simply fantastic. It flowed wonderfully and if you ‘d never seen the original, you’d never have noticed anything was missing, it goes to show just how useless this sequence was. Likewise, I love the truncated motorcycle chase. It was over-the-top silly and out of place in the Indy Universe in my opinion. Mutt/Tarzan is also deftly handled, more kudos for how this was handled. The worst of the most offending dialog has been removed and again, as a viewer we are none-the-wiser.
The Bad: Most glaringly there were a few flash-frames in various places. Some have been noted by previous reviewers, and I also noticed two in the back of the transport as our heroes are beginning their escape. Beyond that, I simply wish Q2 would have been even more aggressive in his edit. As much as was removed, much more could have been taken out without detracting from the narrative.
Q2′s edit is a definite improvement over the original. The movie still suffers from serious flaws, many far beyond the reach of editing for correction. But if you want to watch Indy 4 as part of an Indy marathon, well, this far superior to the original and cuts out the worst excesses of the original.