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

Updated
crystalskullspence_front
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 Maybe it's comparing it to what passes for modern "adventure" filmmaking, but it's sort of outdated style kind of works in its favor.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

8 reviews
 
75%
 
25%
5-7 stars
 
0%
3-5 stars
 
0%
1-3 stars
 
0%
Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.9(8)
Visual Editing
 
9.9(8)
Audio Editing
 
9.9(8)
Narrative
 
9.4(8)
Enjoyment
 
9.5(8)
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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Well, what can I say? THIS is the Best Cinematic that he ever did, the audio, visual, the quality, everything, were looking like the Indiana Jones trillogy, really, well done, I really recommend this edit.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
R
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Overall rating
 
8.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
This is a fantastic edit of a movie which gave very little enjoy from the offset. Spence has taken out a lot of the flab from this movie and it's incredible to see how what's left is so much tighter. This doesn't change the central problem that Indy as a character is about historical magic, not futuristic sci-fi and that the introduction of Mutt and re-introduction of Ravenwood weighs down the story as well as Indy himself. If you accept that, then you can focus on what Spence has achieved here: The gophers and monkeys aren't excised entirely, but you don't resent them when they do briefly pop up. The edits feels entirely seamless and you mostly feel a sigh of relief when the movie is over instead of groans and agony. TLDR review? Spence has polished a turd. Bravo, sir!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I loved this edit. It solved all issues i had with the original move. It was faster paced and the dumb gags that dragged on the movie were way cut back. This really felt like a classic Indiana Jones film. The edits were seamless, I couldn't even tell. it goes to show both how good an editor Spence is and how unnecessary the removed stuff was.

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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Overall rating
 
8.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
First, my opinion of the movie in terms of an Indiana Jones fan:
I had high hopes this edit would salvage the situation, but it didn't - meanwhile, I think my expectations were simply too high.
Now don't get me wrong, I cannot and will not blame "Spence" for that!
But "Kingdom Of The Crystall Skull" just is not what I wanted it to be (namely a new adventure with Indy), it's more like visiting old friends. The movie takes not enough risks (even though there's loads of potential) to expand its universe or characters, but repeats old tricks or blinks eyes to the past. That's all nice, but "nice" is not "great". I think this kind of (supposed) satisfying of target audiences is the only thing George Lucas is able to do these days (or since the mid 90ties)...
Now my opinion on the technical side of things:
That all put aside, I definitely think the Spence edit is still an improvement over the original because it keeps in the movie's strenghts, has a good pace and doesn't bore as much as the original movie. The cuts are flawless, the story and the characters are all intact, and there was no moment I thought "now THERE was something wrong now!" - congrats, Spence!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
As I have stated before when I review I don't go into all the techie stuff because I am not that well versed in editing etc. I look at Fanedits for enjoyment and how much they entertain me. For me when I saw this at the theatre when it was originally released it was a snoozer for me. And as usual the "fan" part of fanedit wins again. I enjoyed everything about this edit and I do wish this is what I saw at the theatre. After being away from the fanedit scene for about a year this was a welcome return for me. On a scale of 5 popcorns , 5 being best this is a 5. Thanks for the work and share

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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View all user reviews