Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: The Spence Edit

Updated
 
9.5 (16)
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Faneditor Name:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2008
Original Running Time:
122
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
110
Time Cut:
12
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
Going to see Crystal Skull on opening night is probably the worst cinematic experience I've ever had. You could just feel the room deflate, all the energy disappear, the excitement turned to disappointment. I hated it.

However, time has been kinder than expected to the film. Maybe it's comparing it to what passes for modern "adventure" filmmaking, but it's sort of outdated style kind of works in its favor. There's a lot of things that do work about it. Harrison Ford and the rest of the cast are game. Though it's kind of a "left hand" movie from Spielberg, he's still the greatest movie director of our lifetimes, so it's still got some great visuals and action. The story could be intriguing.
Intention:
Make the film "fun", remove some silliness, bring it closer to the original films.
Other Sources:
Various Indiana Jones Soundtracks by John Williams
Special Thanks:
Artisdead
Bored at 3:00AM
Editzilla
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
My two main gripes with it:
1. The modern CGI and cinematography isn't very good, even for it's time, and sticks out like a sore thumb. It's just kind of ugly. It also doesn't "feel" like Indy.
2. There's little sense of urgency in between the shooting and punching. Everything just sort of happens and crawls along until the next action scene.

There's been some great fanedits of this, but a lot of them either remove more than I would like, or less than I would like. The focus is often on removing the things that, from a story perspective, "don't work" as opposed to just making watching the film a fun time.
Cuts and Additions:
Changelist:
- Change the color/white balance to look more like the old films.
- New transition from the Paramount Logo to a newly created mountain shot. "Hound Dog!" plays from the beginning over it until we transition to the car.
- Cut Mac's lines about betting on getting out of this.
- Cut "I meant drop dead comrade" and the punch that precedes it.
- Cut the line about "wubbalyoos".
- Cut Spalko trying and failing to be psychic. This goes nowhere, and she never successfully does anything telepathic in the film so the whole concept is dropped.
- Cut some of the searching around the warehouse.
- We only see the hand of the alien for now, as an attempt at keeping some mystery.
- Cleaned up the Mac is a Bad Guy reveal.
- Made Indy start running quicker after shooting the guy in the foot.
- Cut Mac's "You don't know him!" bit.
- Removed a cutaway to Spalko and Mac getting in a truck.
- Trimmed a lot of silliness in Nuketown, Indy is now significantly more concerned.
- Cut a lot of the tumbling of the fridge, so it seems like he maybe could have survived.
- Cut the bit where they're scrubbing the radiation off of Indy.
- Cut Mutt repeating "That's my mother" so he only says it once.
- Sped up the gap between "knife" and "gunfight"
- Lots of trims to the crypt sequence to speed it up and get the story moving.
- Cut the bit where Indy tries to purloin a knife.
- Cut "saucer men from mars"
- Cut Ox dancing at the campfire.
- Trimmed Marion's introduction so it's more quippy and feels like banter from Raiders.
- Cut the snake being used as a rope. Mac and Spalko show up after Indy says "why the hell didn't you make him finish school?!"
- Cut some of the back and forth in the back of the truck.
- Cut Indy slicing into his pants.
- Cut Marion grinning.
- Seriously trimmed up the jungle chase sequence to move faster and have less obviously silly moments.
- Some minor cuts to the ants scene for pacing and to remove unnecessary silly jokes (like Spalko crushing an ant with her knees)
- Only one waterfall, which is a combination of the three original ones.
- Some light trims to the end section of the movie for pacing and to remove unnecessary gags.

User reviews

16 reviews
 
81%
 
19%
5-7 stars
 
0%
3-5 stars
 
0%
1-3 stars
 
0%
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.9(16)
Audio Editing
 
9.7(16)
Visual Editing
 
9.6(16)
Narrative
 
9.1(16)
Enjoyment
 
9.1(16)
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(Updated: September 19, 2023)
Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
I watched this after the original trilogy and it felt like a natural continuation of the same silly, exciting adventures. A major improvement to what was a decidedly unmemorable film. I'm glad some of the illogical nonsense moments were left in because I feel they fit right in with the rest of the franchise. The only bit that took me out was Mutt swinging out of the jungle which felt like it came out nowhere and reminded me that there was something removed. If I hadn't seen the original I don't think it would stand out though. Characters suddenly popping back into the action isn't uncommon in these films.

With this edit in my collection I can now feel like the Indiana Jones film series is a consistently enjoyable adventure all the way through. Thank you, Spence!
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Overall rating
 
8.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
7.0
Visual Editing
 
7.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
so i watched this one straight after 15MaF crystal skull edit i will say on many levels i had preferred this one due to it not cutting as much because im just a fan of longer movies and i think a lot of the jokes arent as bad as others im also someone that grew up with this movie with it releasing 4ys after i was born.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
W
1 reviews
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(Updated: August 07, 2023)
Overall rating
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Watched this in anticipation for the indie 5 coming out to theatres.

The watch was definitely enjoyable, and I the only times where I could notice edits having occurred were when I thought "oh that scene dragged on for a lot less than I remembered". However, the edit can only do so much for the source material.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
One thing you can say about Spence's edits is that they all feel genuine. What I mean by that is that rather than radically altering the story of the film Spence sticks to what's already there, and just uses light trims to punch things up. If you've watched their take on Justice League, Falcon & Winter Soldier, even Rise of Skywalker to an extent, you know what I mean.

The same can be said about this edit as well. I didn't want to watch a radically changed version of the movie (yet), I wanted a streamlined version of the movie as is, & Spence delivers. Even the "I like Ike" bit, something a lot of editors would cut out, is kept here, & it makes me appreciate this edit more. Much like superheroes, the adventure serials Indy is based on are cheesy, & I'm all for edits, and movies for that matter, that aren't afraid to embrace the cheese factor.

That said, there's stuff in this edit I wish were cut more. I'm totally fine with an Indiana Jones movie where he goes after aliens (& tying into Roswell was a nice touch), I just hate the part about how the aliens gave the Acatori agriculture & the like. Casual cluelessness like that really hampers by buzz when I'm trying to have a good time (even the first scene of indigenous people attacking Indy & Mutt has Indy reverse-blowdarting a guy).

Still, if you want steamlined, as-is version of Crystal Skull, check out this one.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Honestly, not nearly as bad as anybody remembers it. With the weight of lofty expectations, the fourth one was a disappointment, but I was impressed at how kind time has been to this film.

There’s still a lot of traditional Indy in this film, elements like villains, fun bickering, the pulp-like action that still uses a lot of practical effects (very welcome in a day where EVERYTHING is CGI), the quips, and a wonderful sense of awe, wonder, and pacing.

Admittedly, this version, from seasoned faneditor Spence, did cut out a solid 11 minutes to help with the pace and remove some of the most silly egregious elements.

Spence doesn’t try to rectify the story as such, an impossible task since it’s the core of the film, but he does make surgical cuts and changes to keep the film feel like more of a true sequel.

Spence is a master at the craft, 99% of the edits are seamless, you can hardly tell the changes. The film feels faster and there’s a true sense of urgency throughout like a real Indy sequel.

The fanedit allows the film’s positive qualities to stand out more, the action is a really fun romp and the two chase setpieces end up being wonderful (the one opening with the warehouse and late 2nd act jeep chase in the jungle), the banter and relationship between Marion and Indy is wonderful as well. And even though a lot of people hate Shia’s performance, there’s a lot of fun in seeing Indy in the father role a direct correlation and flipping of roles to the Last Crusade, which is a lot of fun here. If you still hate Shia’s performance, that’s on you. I got a kick out of it this time around with the role reversal. It’s fun seeing allusions not only to previous Indy films but also to Lucas’s American Graffitti.

You can’t fix the movie entirely, the nuking of the fridge will always be there (even if it's much much better this time around), the ending will always be the ending, and the plot will always be about aliens and sci-fi elements. What Spence does do is he cleans enhances the positives and numbs the negatives as much as he can and it's truly a revelation that this is so good. This version is the go to version of the film here forth and is actually worth rewatching.

Film Rating: 2
Fanedit Rating: 3

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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