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
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 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.
When I noted how much time had been cut from the film, I was a little dubious as to whether a decent storyline could be pulled from this film, but on the whole yes, it does still remain intact, but not without a few issues.
The new start seems to be a device to simply explain the most pointless action sequence in the film – Boom Town. I personally would’ve gotten rid of that whole sequence, it adds nothing to the plot and is simply ridiculous. however, I do appeciate you removing the silly car race.
The Warehouse has been trimmed up nicely and entire other sequences, such as Indy teaching and Jim Broadbent are entirely absent. They aren’t missed.
Mutt is much more likeable and Indy seems to get along with him much easier than before. Ox is trimmed down to the necessary – but now barely has any lines at all. Mac – well Mac doesn’t say much now.
There is some choppy editing in places and at a couple of points, it felt like we’d entered a scene in the middle of a conversation. For example, after Mutt and Indy are captured and Indy is all strapped up – he seems unsurprised to be seeing Ox and speaks to him as if he’s already seen him once. When Mac is explaining about double agent, this too, feels like we’ve entered a middle of a conversation. This also presents a few later problems when people refer back to conversations that seemingly never happened. Notably between Indy and Mutt.
Certainly during the jungle sequence, the kick to the face to Diatchenko felt abrupt and near the end of the sequence, unless I missed something the skull suddenly drops down in Ox’s lap. But I did like lack of Monkeys and Tarzan-Mutt. Oh and good work on getting rid of natives at Orellana’s tomb.
The added effect I assume from 2001 during ‘spell of the skull’ was interesting. I’m on the fence as to whether it’s OTT and beating the audience a bit too hard with ‘do you get it????!!!’
So, to your ending. What I assume is your own V/O and then a picture of Cate from a certain other film trilogy….ehm, no. Sorry, but this didn’t work for me. I couldn’t quite understand the V/O…and am I to assume that Spalko got a happy ending?
So, all in all, this is an improvement on KotCS, but not by a massive amount. Still Boom Town remains and there are some choppy elements. I think having seen the work that ID was doing, whereby he started at Orellana’s tomb and then did a sort of ‘two days earlier’, he got rid of a ton of offensive items….his additions from ‘The Fountain’ made it very interesting. So perhaps that was what I was expecting.
Anyway, thanks Jorge for finally getting an edit of this film out there!
I’m going to give this a 7/10 – with the original getting 5/10.