Raiders of the Krystal Skull
It’s not a desecration of the franchise. It’s just feels . . . tired. So the attempt is to bring some life into a tired film.
I had been working (and still am) on a fanedit of THE READER and another one called JOHN CARPENTER’S THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT.
But it was in the midst of fanediting when that dark day happened: Infodroid dropped out of his Indy 4 fanedit.
Suddenly what had been a sleepy tread about KOTCS became a tragic adventure.
What was going to happen? would Indy 4 ever have a fanedit made? who will take the reins?
It was all very tragic and exciting. Especially with the workings of new member Professor Hebrides who would post assemblies of his work in progress and who did much too good a job promoting his edit because suddenly all I had was Jones on my mind.
As always your help was invaluable.
Bonus short film “Skhzein”
Audio commentary by The Hollywood Saloon.
But if Indiana Jones looks tired, its exhaustion stems in part from two forces outside Spielberg’s control.
The first is almost 20 years’ worth of rip-offs: The Mummy did Indy no favors.
And whose fault is it that Crystal Skull reminded me of National Treasure: Book of Secrets?
Second: These same two decades brought huge advances in computerized visual effects, many of them trailblazed by Lucas and Spielberg themselves. It’s natural they would use them on Indy.
But there are points in the film where the effects look so airless and digitized – so fake – that they ruin the illusion of down-to-earth, jaw-cracking swagger that made Indiana Jones such darn fun.
None of the complex CGI sequences in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” can hold a candle to the moment in another film when a young Indy, confronted by a black-robed swordsman chuckling ominously, watched and waited while the guy twirled his scimitar, then pulled out his revolver and simply shot him dead.
But that was a long time ago, in a film that feels far, far away.
So the attempt is to bring some life into a tired film.
- New color treatment.
- The Spell of the Skull. Indiana sitting in front of the skull got a new treatment.
- Spalko’s Gift. Never liked Spalko’s demise. felt too much like a forced Raider’s melting face imitation. Changed it to a more mysterious outcome.
- Trimmed the Pyramid puzzle.
- The Rocket Sled. re-arranged it and added a POV shot I created. hated the sound of the clock ticking so lost that while I was at it.
- No Mac “You don’t know him!, You don’t know him!, You don’t know him!”. We know him.
- Trimmed the quicksand.
- No CG scorpions. In an Indy movie? c’mon! real tarantulas, real snakes, real bugs like fortune cookies. Sadly could not get rid of the ants.
- Added flashes to the machine guns at the gate ambush. those guys were shaking those gatts like pepper mills. without flashes it looked silly..
- Doomtown. Got rid of the original PA Voice. Now it’s just a siren until Indy runs back in and we get the countdown.
- Remixed the motorcycle chase. I hated the music cue. It felt silly instead of exciting. Used a classic raiders cue.
- No living dead at Orillana’s grave. There are no Nazca Ninjas, you big silly.
- Indy doesn’t try to figure out the skull when he finds it. It sounded confusing and forced to me.
- No monkeys and no Tarzan-Mutt.
- Trimmed the truck chase.
- Trimmed the sword fight.
- Trimmed the fist fight
- Trimmed the waterfalls.
- Trimmed the refrigerator
and maybe there’s more. As far as the new title, I wanted to invoke the original. I also didn’t like the “C” in Crystal so it’s Krystal.
Did you have a problem with SE7EN?
Most of my thoughts on this edit have been expressed by earlier reviewers. Overall the film felt too fast for my tastes but I enjoyed it more or less. The opening news reel was odd, there was little to no character development, action scenes were much better, skull spell effect was sweet, ending was a bit ludicrous.
Quality was fine, editing was ok, narrative was a mess and it was only marginally more enjoyable for me than the theatrical cut.
A/V Quality - 9
Editing - 8
Narrative - 5
Enjoyment - 6 (original 4)
Recommended drink: Russian Standard vodka
Review by Rogue-theX — September 17, 2010 @ 2:06 pm
This review is based on my opinions and my viewing experience. Nothing is meant as an attack. Spoiler warning.
AUDIO: Sounded great on my system, absolutely nothing to complain about.
10 out of 10
VIDEO: Image quality was superb, even after being rebuilt for a single layer. love the new color treatment, tho some of it could have been even closer to the original films.
9 out of 10
EDITING: Perfection. loved it, nothing to complain about…well almost nothing. to be continued.
8 out of 10
ENTERTAINMENT: THE ENDING KILLED IT!!! Sorry but I had to be blunt JORGE, the entire experience was an awesome ride up until that point. Love the opening action scene, slam, bam and get on with it, HELL YEAH!!! just like old times. Basically same story for rest of the edit up until the ending, that really drove a stake into the viewing experience for me, I wasn’t expecting an alternate ending at all and then that happened. Menu’s kick a$$. Seriously. KICK A$$!!!
7 out of 10
8 out of 10 overall
SIDE NOTES: Maybe if I pretend that ending never happened it will go away. Please don’t take offense JORGE, because I absolutely LOVED everything else you did with this edit.
Review by L8wrtr — September 1, 2010 @ 1:42 am
Indy 4. Redeemed? Kind of.
We all hated Indy 4, and for good reason. It was excessive in the wrong areas, incoherent in others and full of WTF moments. But worst of all, Indy rarely acts like Indy.
Raiders of the Krystal Skull was the first FanEdit that I watched from this site (not counting Revisited and the Phantom Editor’s work which i had seen before coming to FE) but I had already read of Jorge’s reputation so I selected a movie I knew was in need of help to see what could be done with a movie that had reached this impressive level of inaneness.
Watched on a 52″ Plasma, the image was great. No obvious artifacting or compression and audio sounded fine. No monkeying with the levels. Jorge’s foley work during the motorcycle chase was simply 1st class. I noticed the improved music choice instantly. This however was soured somewhat by the dubbed Russian. The effect was too deep and the level too loud. Every time it happened I was taken out of the moment.
For the most part, Jorge was merciless with the editor’s virtual blade, and in a bloated mess like Indy 4, this is a good thing. I was disappointed that Doomtown remained but to be fair, Jorge has cleaned it up tremendously well, to the point even that it is almost tolerable, but ultimately it is a pointless story point which only exists to deliver that amazing shot of Indy standing under a mushroom cloud. As Q2′s edit demonstrated, the sequence is entirely unnecessary.
Fortunately I was then immediately rewarded with the loss of the ‘Indy is a Red’ subplot which never paid off in the normally deft hands of Spielberg. Losing the Red subplot also meant losing Broadbent’s admirable performance which was intended to fill the void left by Denholm Elliot’s passing. Sadly it added nothing to the film. I was sad to see him go, but the result is worth it. The up-down aspect continued when I saw that the motorcycle chase sequence went through the library.
But at that point my disappointments ceased and the quality of Jorge’s edits really took force. From that point on through to the climax I was able to focus on what little story there is.
Jorge increased the pacing and intensity. The edit focuses on action, but not just action, but PLAUSIBLE action. I can’t count how many times I realized, many minutes after the fact that some idiotic thing had been removed. Equally as important, Jorge cut out an impressive amount of the stupid and juvenile jokes and dialog. The result is that once the journey starts, the movie begins to feel somewhat like an Indy film. Indy still makes some un-Indy choices, you can’t get away from the fact that he was terribly written, but Jorge manages to contain the damage.
The edit holds tight right up to the finale. I greatly admire Jorge’s intention here. It is Bold with a capital B. But as with most of the reviewers, it just felt flat for me. It’s not worse than the original ending, but I’m not sure I’d say it was an improvement either.
Raiders of the Krystal Skull makes an interesting contrast against Q2′s edit of the same film. They both shine where the other falls short and it is a tough say which I prefer because they both demonstrate different qualities. Like Q2′s edit, this is overall an improvement over the original and in some areas it’s staggeringly better, but it loses big points for me with the inclusion of Doom town (which is handled well, but remains pointless) and the odd ending.
Review by TV's Frink — March 7, 2010 @ 5:22 pm
This sucker surprised me a few times.
First off, I had never watched a Jorge fanedit before, so I was very excited when this was announced. Since there was no real WIP thread, my expectations were simply a result of Jorge’s reputation. And then the reviews came in, and while there were some positives, it sounded like this was a disappointment. My expectations were dramatically reduced, which in hindsight seems to have been a good thing.
Turns out I really enjoyed the edit. I liked parts of the original but the overall experience was not what I was hoping. While this still isn’t exactly what I was hoping for, it was much, much closer. I even think I will watch this again in the future. The runtime is short, but I didn’t have a problem with that. Some specific thoughts:
Opening nuclear film: I thought this was out of place. Not only is Doom Town unimportant to the movie, but it doesn’t open the movie either. On the plus side, the short film comes before the true opening (the Paramount logo), and because it is a separate chapter, I will just skip it next time.
New “proper” opening: I loved this. No car chase, but rather we start with the Russians arriving and gunning down the soldiers as the titles are shown. This worked great.
Warehouse: Really works well. I actually didn’t mind seeing the ark in the original, so I sort of missed it here, but not a big deal.
Doom Town: I actually kind of like this sequence, except for the fridge. And while the fridge is ludicrous, so is some of the other Indy action in the series. So while I wouldn’t mind a cut with Doom Town gone completely, this didn’t bother me too much.
Motorcycle/Library chase: I thought this worked very well, except for the Russian dub. It surprised me and for a bit I didn’t quite understand what it was supposed to be. Unnecessary but not too harmful ultimately.
“No Nazca Ninjas, you big silly:” In addition to this cut description making me laugh, I definitely liked how this played out.
Ox trims: Much better.
Jungle chase/Waterfall: The trims to the chase and fighting work well. No scorpions, no monkeys, no Tarzan all worked great. The ants didn’t bother me too much in the original, except I was so sick of all the bad stuff that came before the ants I was in no mood at that point. In this version I think the ants work much better as a result. The waterfall is still kind of silly (still don’t understand what Marion is thinking) but it works better, and I actually like the immediate cut to the craft in the water with them climbing onto shore.
Pyramid puzzle: I like this version better.
Ending: I’m a bit conflicted on this. I like the idea, but I think it would have worked better without the voiceover and LOTR shot. Keeping it more ambiguous would have been fine, and the additions stand out a bit too much.
A/V seemed very good. I can’t comment on the 5.1 upmix, as I was listening on headphones.
The DVD is nicely done. I sampled the commentary and it sounds like it will be worth the listen. I don’t like that it’s hidden on the trailers page, but not a big deal. The only other complaint I can think of is at the end of the movie, after the Remixed logo, the DVD stopped. No end credits and no return to the menu. I was especially surprised to see missing end credits – I thought this was considered a no-no.
Thanks for this, Jorge. It was well worth the time. 8/10