Riddles of the Lost Gods

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8.7 (11)
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45%
5-7 stars
 
0%
3-5 stars
 
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1-3 stars
 
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Overall rating
 
8.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.6(11)
Audio Editing
 
8.6(11)
Visual Editing
 
9.1(11)
Narrative
 
8.2(11)
Enjoyment
 
8.3(11)
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(Updated: June 06, 2023)
Overall rating
 
7.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
4.0
Visual Editing
 
7.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
Thematically, the fountain intro is perfect. That said, it is too dark to really see anything but thats a problem with The Fountain and not the TMBTM. It fits perfectly to see Orellana infighting with his men but the whole sequence leading up to the top of the pyramid drags pretty hard. And the native in the headdress offering his throat to slit, I don't really see what this adds to the film. It is never payed off later in the rest of the film and really only exists to be unnecessarily mysterious for no reason I can discern. Overlaying Oxley's slow motion Mayan dialog also serves to be more distracting and narratively confusing as well.

I like Orellana getting to the top and looking up at the "interdimensional portal" and I like the idea of your transition from that moment to the modern day of 1957. That said, it is pulled off a little oddly. It goes from the portal in the sky to a start/point in space, which pans down through the darkness and into a bright and beautiful day at the entrance to the Hangar 51 base. Again, not a bad idea and not horribly achieved. I do think that if there was more of a gradient between the black of space and the blue sky, it would have been more of a smoother transition.

At the base, Indy is pulled out first, then Mac. I'm neutral to the order in which they are removed from the car. Continuity error fixed!

We then get to the dialog swaps. Spalko: "Where do you think I'm from?" Indy: "Mars". Might have worked if Ford's line delivery was more appropriate to its new placement, but it stands out pretty hard. Then you get Spalko saying: "No last words Dr. Jones?" to which Indy responds: "You got it pal" (then drops gun) which does not work at all.

I did enjoy how you made Indy's miscalculation of his whip swing onto Spalko's jeep and his crashing into the truck behind him, result in knocking out the passenger of the truck rather than Indy punching him out.

Great repurposing of the line "you are of great interest to the bureau" to a different Indy reaction and then leading into him getting fired to packing to leave to getting on the train. Very lean, very efficient. Exactly what needed to be retained for moving the plot forward logically.

Cutting the KGB car chase was a bit of a loss due to just how much of this film is exposition delivered in boring two shots with nothing to really break up all the info dumping. But Iove the edit of indy receiving Oxley's letter in the diner and then cutting from one letter close up to the next letter close up at Indy's house. Simple, invisible, and visually symmetric. Worse than death, the scenes in between were never alive!

From the plane arriving in Peru and cutting straight to the graverobbing after Indy and Mutt's market conversation felt a little rushed. I'm not sad to see the film transition in this way, but it felt like they knew exactly where to go. Like they knew something we didn't and assumed we did. Because up until this point we have learned about the unfolding plot simultaneously with the characters. I also love how the reverse shot of the graveyard works just as well.

The sanitorium dialog was used really well at the arrival to the cemetery though. Its dark and the new dialog fits pretty spot on. It did sound like it was recorded in a different room though, and needs a little more reverb applied to make it fit.

Once we get to the Soviet jungle encampment, having Marion be threatened right off the bat is probably the most intelligent idea made in this cut. Now rather than Indy just doing what he is told and staring into the skull, his reason for doing so is Marion. Way better.

Indy's staring contest with the skull: this all looked great. But I couldn't help but be pulled out of the scene with the very obvious slowed down "return....return" line that was inserted here. It was just a little too on the nose for me. I think you could even keep this in the film if you just lowered the volume/tweaked it a little more so as to not stand out so much.

Something I REALLY loved was Indy + the gang getting chased by the natives in the cave entrance to the pyramid crater and how the noise of the commotion made it out of the waterfall entrance for Spalko and her cronies to hear and have their attention drawn up towards the cave entrance. Great idea and great implementation.

Nips and tucks in the jungle chase were appreciated. Spalko landing on the ant hill before Indy is way more plausable. No driving the jeep into the tree. Love it. As well as the fx shot of the jeep falling through where the tree used to be. Angels do exist.

Nips and tucks in the pyramid crater. Love how you reversed the wide shot of the crater to match the next shot where they reach the top.

Spalko's lines about "turning you into us" coming back to haunt her as she was killed/transported was a nice touch. Again I think it was a little clunky in implementation, but it worked really well regardless.

Interdimensional portal transition to Indy and the Gang being jetisoned out of the pyramid was great too.

Then we get the Avenger's beam and portal opening in the sky. Great idea and pulled off really nicely. Parts of it do come off pretty abrupt when you cut from the pyramid debris starting to rise to giant boulders floating around and then dropping back down again. I feel like you already showed the top of the saucer so having a quick shot of the inbetween elevation to make the difference between the shots a little more feasable, wouldn't be too horrendous.

Then we get to Mutt's last line of dialog on the mountain top. No matter how much I wish that was the actual dialog he spoke in the theatrical cut, it's poor implementation wrenches you out of the smoothly going experience. Ending on the freeze frame was also a little off putting.

Conclusion: This a short but sweet cut and if anyone is looking for the least painful way to watch Indy 4 but also know what was cut, and therefore remember the context of certain scenes, this one provides a remixed and quick to the point ride. This is definitely better than the theatrical cut, in fact aside from a few spots here and there, I think this is one of the best cuts out there.

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(Updated: August 09, 2021)
Overall rating
 
7.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Audio Editing
 
7.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
6.0
I watched a 720p MKV, which I believe is the highest quality available at this point. Source is SD.

Visual editing was generally very good, though I did feel that the opening didn't really match up well with the look of the rest of the film and maybe could have had a bit more done to accomodate that. The opening does feel more in keeping with the look of an Indiana Jones film, but it's also very dark, whereas what follows is bright and orange. The transition from that footage into the actual film though was really well done.

If I'm being honest, there were several bits of audio editing that I noticed. In the opening the sound in general was often either quite brittle or absent, I assume from trying to remove the original score, and would have been better off having sound FX rebuilt. There were also scenes in the movie where it was obvious dialogue had been cut short because all ambience would drop out and the score would suddenly swell. Lines have been tweaked or changed throughout and often go by unnoticed, but some are obvious because of the tone of Indie's voice, or the lip syncing being off or the volume being inconsistent. The most jarring instance of this is Mutt at the end: "you're not my dad". Not sure it's worth being taken out of the edit for the sake of that line, personally. The editor has acknowledged on his IFDB page that not all of the dialogue-swapping is perfect.

(edit spoilers follow)

The narrative worked to a point, but after seeing the opening I was expecting there to be a more dramatic change to the ending - chalk that up to false expectations, I guess. But considering we're still left with Aliens/interdimensional beings, the opening feels a bit superfluous and more of a mood setter than anything. I wasn't 100% on what TMBTM was going for with Blanchet's character at the end... was she meant to have been sucked into this other dimension with the aliens, rather than being burned up? Because we still see her being burned up. The voice-over harkening back to what she said to Indiana is also quite loud, and stands out as not being part of the original mix. I wasn't a fan of the freeze-frame ending either. Felt like an odd choice.

Enjoyment: I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit disappointed, but some of that is me expecting something different. It has been a while since I've seen the film, so it was nice to see a tighter take with an alternative spin. I guess i just wish it had gone a bit more mental with plot alterations. This isn't the first Crystal Skull edit I've seen, and I think I've also just come to a point where I realise it's a bad film and it can't be fixed. You take away what's offensive, and you get something that's quite bland and uninspiring. It's hard to believe this was directed by the same man who gave us the original trilogy. Crystal Skull is just entirely unremarkable and there's nothing to salvage that hits above middle-of-the-road entertainment.

Thanks again to TMBTM, who is a very talented and creative editor. I'm sorry I can't be more positive about this one.

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Overall rating
 
8.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
A different take on editing Indy 4.
Inspired? Yes, adding Orellana's backstory shifts the focus from Indy to the aliens. History, almost, repeats itself: Indy is simply one more explorer to go down this path. This fleshes out the worship and protection of these gods / aliens. In the original it feels to me that these gods are from a forgotten past, but if so the presence of warriors protecting them makes no sense. For that the worship needs to exist in the present and not only in the past. TMBTM shows us that worship continued into the recent past, making it an easy step to assume it continues into the present. This also clarifies who wrapped Orellana and his men and why (they couldn't have wrapped themselves after all, at least not the last man).
Do I prefer this over the other available edits? No. I feel the focal shift to improve the alien story and extensive cuts reduce Indy's story too much. In all, an impressive thinking-outside-the-box edit that adds a good backstory. Perhaps the backstory would feel better proportioned in a 3-hour extended edit?

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Overall rating
 
8.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
It's been a couple of years since I watched TM2YC's take on Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The Covenant Edition immediately replaced the theatrical cut for me and I've done my part to spread the word for people to at least give it a shot. Lo and behold, I come back after a long while to find Riddles of the Lost Gods! How does this take on the fourth Indy adventure fare?

One word: WOW!

Firstly, the new opening sequence is a revelation and, for me at least, completely changes my outlook on everything that follows. Something along these lines is how KotCS should have started in the first place! From then on I love all the ideas TMBTM approached this cut with and tries to implement, and many of them are accomplished fantastically.

Unfortunately, this cut isn't perfect. As much as I like the mission statement, at times it feels as if the Editor was a bit too eager to trim and many parts of the film - particularly in the first half - feel rushed. The Area 51 sequence and the Camp sequence in particular could both have been drawn out a bit more. In the latter's case, while I understand the logic of the rearrangment to have Marion introduced before Indy is subjected to the skull, I think a slower-paced version more like the theatrical cut might've been better - as it stands, Marion's introduction is really abrupt. And while I see what the Editor was trying to accomplish with redubbing some of the lines, they're quite noticeable and, outside the last line, IMO kind of unnecessary.

That said, I really REALLY enjoyed this version of the film. I think my perfect version of KotCS is somewhere in between Riddles of the Lost Gods and the Covenant Edition, and together I'm fully convinced that not only could KotCS be saved (both cuts, IMO, do so) but a really enjoyable Indiana Jones film CAN be coaxed out of this magic lamp.

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
8.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
6.0
As with any boxset there's always the film that no one really wants, and as with the Star Wars prequels Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Scull really doesn't get a lot of love. for me it's not a terrible film but the series was probably better left alone.

TMBTM take on the film is interesting, the opening 10mins with footage from The Fountain is nicely done and feels more like a Indiana Jones film than parts that made the final cut. thankfully such scenes like the cgi goffers and the infamous nuked fridge have been removed from this edit. not having Mutt as Indy's son is done well but after seeing this film about 4 to 5 times i don't think this is the worst part of the film.

the problem i have with the edit is the short run time, at just over 80mins and with additional footage added big chunks of the film have been cut and you can feel it. if you had seen this edit at the cinema you'd walk away thinking that there was a lot of additional footage cut that would have improved the film. it's not that the editing is unprofessional this is a TMBTM edit so the usual high standard is there to be seen. for me i was to often reminded what was cut and there are some great scenes omitted that i rather enjoyed from the original (the cafe fight been one)

As with some of the Star Wars prequels by removing everything you don't like sometimes doesn't improve the film. so overall i'd say this fanedit is on par with the original version in terms of enjoyment but is definitely worth checking out.

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DVD
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