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ShogunMaster Says CRYSTAL SKULL Is 'the Indiana movie that you were dreading'!!

Merrick here...
Well, I've suspected this for a while now. Lucas' public statements about downplaying expectations for the film didn't exactly smack of confidence or enthusiasm. Numerous reports of tepid-to-zero reaction from audiences who saw CRYSTAL SKULL's latest trailer in front of IRON MAN suggested the movie wasn't energizing folks the way it should (my 14 year old son...who loved the previous entries in the series to varying degrees...looked at me and said 'That looks slow' when we saw the new INDY 4 trailer on the big screen). And, multiple reports from sources on the shoot smelled...uneasy. They were always about what was happening, rather than how cool the movie looked, or how exciting it seemed to have Indy back in action. Still...I kept my mind open & held out some level of hope that, somehow, all would shake out nicely by the time we saw the actual, finished product in theaters. Previews don't tell everything, after all. At least, most of the time they don't. Which brings us to ShogunMaster's review. There was definitely a screening of CRYSTAL SKULL within the last day or two...we know this for certain, and presumably this is how ShogunMaster saw it. I'm told by other AICN staff members (don't know if he wants his name formally associated with this info) that other people have contacted him from the same screening & that their feedback has been "uniformly rough". It's safe to assume more reviews will arrive in the coming days. With this in mind, here's ShogunMaster with our first review of INDY 4. Please note:


Well, I haven't seen a review of this yet and having seen the movie this morning, I feel I'm as qualified as anyone to post a quick reaction to it. In short, this is the Indiana Movie that you were dreading. I remember seeing the two trailers and though I was excited to see the old man in action again, I was kind of worried that they seemed to be missing 'something'. That something was tension. During the whole of the movie, there was not a single moment that I thought our hero Mr. Jones (actually Colonel Jones as he was a hero in WWII now) was in any sort of peril or even significant inconvenience. In most cases, you were so many steps ahead of the characters that it was really just an arduous wait for them to get through it.
Well, sadly the hopes of seeing Abner Ravenwood were unfounded. Though we do get to see the big Ark weilding warehouse again (it's Area 51 just incase you were unsure), the Ark is not the main object that they are there for (they do show it ofcourse; ya gots ta). LeBeef is ofcourse Indy's son. And other than quick references to Indy's Dad and Marcus (both dead) there isn't much to link with the the old stuff. The storyline is basically about an alien corpse from some crash in some town call Roswell, that has magnetic properties that may or may not be the ultimate weapon in the future. The Nazi's are replaced by the Soviets who are obviously bad and want said weapon to do bad things with. The alien corpse prize is replaced with the crystal skull from the corpse (the actual skeleton of aliens is crystaline, and the Crystal Skull is literally an alien's remains) and chases and such ensue as they try to figure out how to 'Return' the skull to the Lost City of Gold and let it's supernatural abilities run rampant. I found it funny that they mentioned the Lost City of Gold as it accidentally referenced the old Allen Quartermaine days (a crappy knockoff of Indy Movies incase you missed them) and this was very much similar in most respects. The big problem with the movie is that the traps or perilous moments are completely ass-inine and ridiculous. From a quicksand trap that Indy has time to yack on about, to being saved from said trap by LeBeef using a snake as a rope. BTW, this snake is as crappy as a Mad TV prop when they don't CG it up, and that is another failing of this movie. The fake stuff doesn't mix with the real stuff at all. In the opening scenes where they are outside of the warehouse and Indy is pulled out of the trunk of the car (you'll recall the previews), they go from a real outdoors set to a fake indoors soundstage (pretending to be still outside). The jungle chase in the duck amphibious vehicles (I wonder if those will go in water at one point or not?...) looks like the whole jungle was made of plastic. And then we go with the actual acting and characters. Well, everyone will be pleased to hear that LeBeef was horrible. He'd start crying about skeletal remains representing people that had died thousands of years ago (boohoo). Once Indy figures out Beef's heritage, he is non-stop complimentary towards every non-screwup thing he does (they would pause for mugs of adulation; just horrible). The Double Agent dude is comically horrible. Marion was actually really great when she was first introduced (about half way) and she and Indy have some good banter. But after that five minutes, she was sporting a big muggy smile as they continued on their adventure and she was never scared, worried, or nervous, even with the stupid moments that she tries to help (duck in a tree; you will cringe when you see it...). Cate Blanchett wasn't overly horrible, but her characters' abilities of psychic prowess were never successfully used and she whenever she caught Indy she was never really intimidating or bad. And then we have Indy himself. He has a few lines that work and a million that don't. He just never shows signs of worry or distress. Again, no Tension. He also has a weird tendancy to help the bad guys figure out the clues; never figured out why. Anyway, I don't want to rant on forever, as it doesn't matter what I say, you will see this movie regardless. And even though it's not as bad as Allan Quartermane, it's definitely not a good Indy Movie. But for those of you that feel that the new Star Wars Movies robbed your childhood, expect some molestations from Uncles' George and Steven... If you use this, call my ShogunMaster....

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