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
Really need to get to bed so this will be a very quick review after literally just watching this edit and hopefully I can come back and edit it another evening with some clearer and more concise detail and account of my opinion on this edit.
This is the first fan fix of KOTCS I've watched but straight away from other reviews and my own enjoyment of this edit (a surprise to me after remembering my utter disappointment of the theatrical version), I already know it will be one of my favourite edits if not my go to edit for this movie. Basically it turned a face palm inducing session into an enjoyable 1.5ish hours of returning to the world of IJ as I knew it and I really enjoyed myself most of the way through, even the flying saucer ending which on my original viewing was lame in the extreme but somehow works now in this edit.
There were a couple of bits I would have seen cut out still or edited differently (subjective personal preference), a few cuts earlier in the film were pretty obvious and there was one section where the music dipped quite low for a few seconds before rising back up to normal level and was probably the most distracting thing about the edit along with the scene were Jones is getting interrogated and the image basically turned all white but there was still shape to it so you could make out what was happening.
All up it turned a IJ theme park ride with complimentary but lame as hell humour from the operating staff back into an actual IJ movie that for a while I actually lost myself in and again found myself enjoying a new if rather derivative story in that world I suddenly recognised once all the distracting and over the top fluff was stripped away. It really appears in this case that there was a good movie hiding somewhere inside there and Q2 has done an excellent job in bringing it to the fore.
I plan to watch TM2CY's and NJVC's edits next and it will be quite interesting to compare back to this one.
Across the board better than the original, and on the whole better than any other Indy 4 fanedit.
Q2 strikes the best balance of action, quest, and laughs. A telling example of humor is Q2's inclusion of "... teacher?" "Part-time." Other editors found it cheesy and cut it. Q2 not only kept the line, but improved on it (by using the take used in the trailer)! Is it cheesy? Sure, but we all laughed at it in the cinema. It reaffirms that Indy is back, the same hero who charmed us with his over-the-top yet irresistible "Trust me".
The visual edit of the FBI debriefing is perfect, enabling the bomb topic to be removed without any odd cut. The wedding improvement is brilliant, making us focus all the more on their facial expressions (we all know the gist of the words anyway).
I would have preferred no monkeys and vines, but within Q2's decision to keep some of that the result is intelligently done. Mud goes into a tree, Mud swings out of a tree.
My two requests are: give us your edit in glorious 1080p, and improve the waterfall sequence like NJVC's Raiders of the Lost Skull.
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.