Today’s Comic: “Meanwhile, at Lucasfilm LTD…”

May 23, 2008
Today’s Comic: “Meanwhile, at Lucasfilm LTD…”

About this comic

Sorry about the lateness of the comic today. Was out late last night seeing Indy 4. You MIGHT be able to guess my overall sense of the movie from the comic, but I will leave the interpretation up to you. Enjoy!

UPDATE: A bunch of you have asked that I detail my review of the movie. Knowing full well that I will surely cover a lot of this on ELR this week, and other places, I figure I can put a bit of it here for review purposes.

**WARNING: May contain things that SOME might see as spoilers, though its mostly just common knowledge about the movie. Read at your own risk.

PLOT POINTS:
Indiana Jones has always been about ancient relics, human mysticism, and tomb raiding. It was never about X-files level alien lore and magnetic heads. It just felt entirely out of place in the Jones universe. So follow the breadcrumbs with me here: The Ark. Shakara Stones, Holy Grail,….Magnetic Alien skull. Dumb.

Indiana being a dad to Laboooof with Marian, no problem. Predictable, but reasonable. I’ll get back to those people in a sec.

STUNTS AND ACTION:
Arguably the best part of the previous installments where the incredibly fun and amazing action scenes and associated stunt work. The bits that made Indy more than a curious archeologist…it made him a bit of a super hero. A super hero grounded by gravity and natural law…which I think is an important distinction to make at this point in my review.

Indy 4 had those moments. The fire ants were awesome, crawling around caves and stuff is always fun, car chases are good too. But you know what? Those are the only good ones I can think of in this film.

Indy 1 had tombs full of traps, giant rolling boulders, spikes that can kill you if you trigger them, constant gun and fist play with Nazis, machine guns, the ultimate truck chases, fighting with Arabs, huge German dude getting hacked by a plane, tons of snakes, blow darts, rocket launchers, melting faces, and tons of whip action!

The second film had mine carts, fire pits, heart removal, glowing stones, mind controlling blood, jumping out of planes, poison, gross food, man eating alligators, spike walls, slave revolts, rock grinders, and tons of whip action!

Third movie? Well, you get the point. It just seemed like this new one had hardly any of that stuff. What we got instead were set pieces that were borderline shark jumpers. I’ll give you an example. Indy hides inside a led lined fridge to survive a nuclear blast in Nevada. Everything is vaporized, and his fridge is tossed 25 miles up the road, crashing end over end in a horribly violent manner. Indy gets out and walks away. The other movies do not support this kind of thing at all. Indy can take a beating, but that was ridiculous.

A few more scenes that, again, for me anyway, take the series out of its regular universe of story telling. The Tarzan crap in the jungle with the monkeys. Sword fighting on top of speeding trucks. (Everyone remember the light saber fight on the floating rocks near the end of Starwars Ep 3? Dumb, lame looking, and moment killing…the car sword fighting is just like that. Thanks, George.) Pulling indy out of quick sand with a big rubber snake. The big alien ship. Multiple CGI gopher jokes. Multiple cheap crotch smacking jokes.

The use of the whip TWICE in the whole movie, equaled only by bad gopher jokes. Once you’ve seen in the trailer already, and once to save someone. Lame. It just felt like the conventions of the previous films, which we have all grown to love, were missing here.

ACTING:
Harrison Ford showed none of the intensity he brought to Indy in past films. He looked like he was simply phoning it in. Slow and boring. Karen Allen is even WORSE this time around with her acting. She was passable in Raiders, but horrible here. She also looked crazy and weird. Fan service at its worst. And why no Sallah?

Now for the big shocker…I thought Laboof was the best actor in the film. Was surprised by this. John Hurt is great as always, but he was mostly relegated to being nutty till the very end, so nothing in the role that was amazing. He is just always good no matter what. And I never have anything bad to say about Cate Blanchett. She eats up every role she gets and the audience is better for it.

I know not everyone will agree with me. And for the record, I don’t HATE the movie. But it is in a firm 4th place amongst the Indy films. 5/10 from me.

103 Responses to Today’s Comic: “Meanwhile, at Lucasfilm LTD…”

  1. Eric says:

    Pondering it, but since sleep and I are apparently on a trial separation, all I keep thinking is that you’re telling us you’re going to wake up in the morning.

  2. Bud the Chud says:

    Well fine, I will have to just imagine a comic then. Ok here we go… hmmm…. well thats just not funny at all. Crap I’ve lost my ability to imagine well. All that came to me was the simpsons, and they stopped being funny years ago.

  3. GoofyMonkey says:

    Hey! A little less attitude and a little more comic mister! Don’t make me pull this car over and come back there!! If I have to I will turn around and go home!

  4. Rob Dalton says:

    So does that mean that the comic will be up in the morning, or that YOU will be up in the morning?

  5. Samantha Jane says:

    *hugs for Scottypants* =)

  6. crosscut says:

    I think Scott’s alarm clocked failed. ;-D

    OR…. Indiana Jones was SO good last night he is getting an early start on the long weekend.

    OR… Indiana Jones was SO bad, he is devistated and has given up on all things, including the comic.

  7. crosscut says:

    Guess I should have hit the back button in the browser…

    Funny stuff Scott.

  8. Rico says:

    Funny comic – but I loved the movie.

  9. JDonny says:

    Yeah, I really liked it. I’m sorry, but I find inter-dimensional travel and alien beings a lot more plausible than a big gold box of Jew magic or a magic cup.

  10. Linkage says:

    You think the girl is ugly? No offense, but what is the matter with you?!

  11. vaughn says:

    yeah karen allen is not ugly scott!! your nuts dudes!

  12. crosscut says:

    I think he meant Sirgourny (spelling?) Weaver

  13. drinkh2so4 says:

    I havent seen the movie yet, but the alien part is actually part of the Crystal Skull myth. If you didnt know the crystal skulls actually exist and there are like 5-8 of them that have been found. In Mayan myth the gods came down and brought the original crystal skull and they made the other 12 using the original as a blueprint. Now people believe the original is to perfect to be made by man so apparently aliens did it.

    Its all a huge bunch of malarky yes, but this time it wasnt a drunken crazy old man Lucas that came up with it.

  14. Ryan H says:

    There was a Hometown Tales podcast about the Crystal Skulls. It was right after the name was announce several months ago. Podcast #183

  15. Zone99 says:

    I liked it. I thought that, for a good portion of the movie, it was pure Indy. Live action, good stunts, historical contexts. It did take a turn into ‘Temple of Doom’ land a bit and did feel rushed in a couple of places but overall, enjoyable.

    One thing I really enjoyed about Raiders and Lost Crusade was that the mystical element was really downplayed. In Raiders, you didn’t see anything out of the ordinary until the end and in Lost Crusade, you didn’t see anything mystical at all. IT was left completely up to the viewers imagination.

    This one fell down a bit there but overall, a good film.

  16. Hawkito says:

    Sorry Scott, but by the background it looks more like Skywalker Ranch. ( ;

  17. Erik says:

    Indy 4 jumped the shark with the Tarzan scene but it wasn’t until the very climax that it fell apart. The story line was about as interesting as Star Wars Episode 1, but the movie itself was better because the acting wasn’t wooden and boring.

    Without spoilers: the skulls were powerful relics from the past. That’s OK, that’s what Indiana Jones is all about. They took the concept two steps too far and turned it into an episode of the X-files.

  18. Lifeisaglitch says:

    Thanks for the spoilertastic comic Scott…YEAH IM PISSED

    =_= *grumbles*

  19. PurrNaK says:

    For the record, in the coffee shop near the beginning of the movie the mustard/ketchup squeeze bottles didn’t exists in the timeperiod the movie was in. Also, when the kid gets up and knocks the bottles over it cuts to a reverse view of the table and the bottles are no longer knocked over. I could live with this… maybe indy picked them up? Nope. Flash to original view and the kid sitting down and the bottles did fall over and THEN indy picked them up.

    As for the spoiler with no warning. Think of it as a warning against going to the movie.

    I enjoyed the movie but come on freaking aliens? Since when do the german/russians know what they are talking about in Indy movies?

    Freaking Aliens? I can’t believe they went there. And on top of it they used “The Mummy” effect to end the adventure.

    I quit. I’m never going cold into another movie. I’m going to download them all and just go to the good ones.

  20. Yep…from what I’ve heard this is exactly the crap we have to expect.

  21. Scott says:

    Lifeisaglitch: Spoiler? you DO live under a rock after all.

  22. Bearbutt says:

    There are a few places & people I trust for reviews that match my tastes. Scott is one of those, and his review here seems to match my other trusted sources.

    So I’m not going to rush out & see it… but if others go, and I am around, I’ll tag along.

  23. lapowell says:

    So this should be a dollar theater viewing? Or even straight to video:( How disappointing.

  24. Starman says:

    Scott, your review is exactly, TO THE LETTER, exactly how I felt about this film.

  25. ggeorge759 says:

    is it my imagination or is George Lucas turning into Uwe Boll

  26. Azar says:

    A couple of the major things that bothered me were just some of the obvious, we don’t care about reality moments of the movie.

    Magnetic head, alright thats fine, but the burlap sack is able to stop the magnetism, when I huge metal cryogenic box couldn’t? Magnetic gold (even though they make reference to that) but the guns aren’t magnetic, until you take the bullets out of them. Etc.

    Though, to be honest, I like Shia LeBuff as an actor, thought he was pretty awesome here, pretty awesome in transformers. But the reason I think that, is because he can play a serious part without drowning the character in over dramatic crap. He adds to the cool factor, by bringing something of realism to the characters, by reacting the way a normal human being would. I agree best actor in the movie.

  27. Novan Leon says:

    I agree with Scott’s assessment 100%. It didn’t even try to be believable.

    That said, I really enjoyed the movie. I think this is because I came into the movie with very low expectations (thanks to George Lucas’ involvement) and most of it seemed so ridiculous I soon began to appreciate it as a pure comedy/parody than a serious Indy movie.

  28. The Progn0sticator says:

    Going to see it tomorrow, I might be in a good position as I have no expectations for this film, while I loved the first 3 and hold them all dear to my heart, a 4th movie always seemed out of place, and so if this movie is even remotely good it’ll surpass my expectations. Though, I want it to be excellent, most of your points Scott probably wouldn’t bother me as much as they do, at least about the unrealistic nature of it all, the Indy movies while grounded in reality, were very over the top and ridiculous so taking that one step farther doesn’t seem to be a deal breaker to me.

  29. Novan Leon says:

    Yeah Scott, you should probably be careful about posting a spoiler at the top of the homepage in the form of a comic.

    Not that I care but others might.

  30. Razz says:

    I think it was a year and a half ago when I heard the “Original” sub-title for the forth movie; a friend started with “It’s going to be called Indiana Jones: The Spacemen…” and at that exact moment I saw the Fonz wearing those damn swim-trunks and leather jacket, soaring over a shark.

    Right then. At spacemen.

    I kind of thought they were going to re-write it. :(

  31. Xilorith says:

    The Tarzan thing in the jungle completely threw me out of the experience. I think the snake joke went a little long. I actually liked the SciFi take on things. I think it was better and Temple of Doom, though not by much. I will buy it on DVD….er BluRay…..er whatever is coming next and I am glad I saw it. It was a good popcorn movie.

    Plus I got to see the large screen version of the Dark Knight!!!

  32. TPNDrew says:

    While I will reserve judgment until I see the film (probably when it comes out for rental on XboxLive) I can say that it in no way makes me want to see it. One thing that was not made clear, however, is that the crystal skulls are real. I dont believe in little green men, but those who have analyzed the real crystal skull seem to think that they are extra terrestrial in origin. I have not actually heard that this point was ever addressed. Oh well. I trust your judgment, Scott.

  33. kyle says:

    i like peanut butter in my chocolate, not chocolate in my peanut butter. OR i like fantasy in my sci fi, but no sci fi in my fantasy.

    also you could really feel the rushed production schedule in the movie, the pace was way to fast.

    still that one line, “they weren’t you” is the best line since “i know”. really, the writer will never do anything better than that in his entire career.

  34. kyle says:

    mut williams is the new jar jar binks. or lil anakin?

  35. Jamwes says:

    The first rule of Indy 4: Do not talk about about Indy 4.

    (Maybe this way we can all forget it ever happened.)

  36. Eric Covington says:

    You have to realize, their last couple of movies where of the arc of the covenant and the holy grail, how else were they supposed to top themselves other than Aliens? Aliens top ancient and religious artifacts hands down. XD The movie was mostly fan service anyways, every now and again pausing for a minute or two to look at pretty CG. The stunts where still pretty good, and true to the Indy Style. But yah, the aliens was just a bit much.

  37. Yit says:

    I agree with everything you said Scott.

  38. Stratos says:

    whatever…i’m not a huge fan of the series or anything…but i did really enjoy this one, and you forget that the alien skulls tied to the long lost city of el dorado…which TOTALLY FAIR GAME, and its LONG be discussed that ancient marvels (aka pyramids) were constructed by alien civilizations….and it just so happens that roswell is a pretty well known mystery within the US…so how can you moan about that…you see an “alien” in the movie for 15 secs….i thought it was genius how they tied everything all together…sorry…

  39. @drinkh2so4
    @TPNDrew

    Do you mean to imply that you believe there are any crystal skulls in the real world that are more than 150 years old?

    There are not.

  40. Azar says:

    The Saucer take-off is what did it for me. I actually liked the Alien idea, but it was the whole lack of seriousness. They basically were like, “Hah, yea we stopped trying back at the monkeys and climbing ants.”

  41. Lifeisaglitch says:

    @Scott

    Come on man you just confirmed aliens…

  42. Draxin says:

    I have to admit, I had heard nothing about aliens until today.

    I also have to admit I don’t really give a crap. This Indy movie was getting “WTF” reviews from the get go. I may see it, out of boredom, but I was not expecting a classic indy film we all know and love…

    If any of you were, you might want to take a look at the last three star wars films and seriously ask yourself exactly WHAT you were expecting.

    Aliens… almost seems subtle. I was expecting Dracula with laser guns.

  43. Draxin says:

    Also, to clarify my above post, I’m not insulting anyone or retorting any direct comment. Although I think you’re being a wee bit silly if you’re upset about “spoiler content” (since I dont find it to be that much of a spoiler), I can certainly understand why people would be excited for this movie then ultimately let down.

    I’m merely stating my own presumptions about the movie. I may see it and love it. But everytime I think of Indy 4, my heart jumps with excitement and then I think of Anakin Skywalker. And then I cry.

  44. Jeremy says:

    I agree with all of that, there was actually points in the Indy film that I was yawning 0.o YAWNING … I never would have dared to yawn watching the old indy films but this one was not up there. I think it just shows that Spielberg and George need all rights to anything they created when they were actually sane taken away to preserve the childhood memories that we hold so dear.

  45. Eric says:

    @Scott: I dare you to start the poll over again. :D

  46. iellie says:

    Hey scott. I AGREE! The movie was a flop of an Indiana Jones film. I personally wish it had never been made. I want those few hours of my life back, and my money!

  47. Rico says:

    I have to say I disagree a lot Scott. Especially with what you had to say about Harrison Ford’s performance. I thought he looked like he was having a blast and very energetic. Keep in mind, Indy (and Ford) are both 20 years older. But even with that, he was obviously having a ball here. He has said many times this is his favorite role and it showed. Say what you will about the plot, but I loved seeing Indy again. :)

  48. Smitehammer says:

    When he was tracking down magnetism in the vault, and they found that crate, I felt sure he had lead them to the Ark of the Covenant instead and was going to use that to kill all but the ones with foresight to hide their eyes — the main villains that would chase him the rest of the way. Ah well. At least we got to see it referenced. The snake in the sand pit was ridiculous and too cheesy, and I have to agree with Scott on the refrigerator bit. They would have been better off with him finding out a way to outrun the bomb or finding a test bomb shelter and being discovered by the military after the blast. Or not having that part in there. I must admit it was better than I expected. It’s nice to see a fun movie like that every now and then. One I don’t have to over-analyze and think through the plot for three days after I’ve seen it. They don’t make many movies like that anymore.

  49. Felix says:

    I think the real problem with the aliens in Indy4 is that in the previous movies they always used religious artifacts. They all had certain powers, which were not explained because they were religious, made by god or something like that. There was no way and no need to explain them. This time they said aliens “made” the crystal skulls. The problem with aliens is that they aren’t abstract but rather concrete, therefore there is a possibility to explain their actions and powers. However Spielberg and Lucas decided not to do that and no character in the movie seems to care at all.
    The happy ending is so cheezy and very Spielbergy, I hate it.

  50. Polychronopolus says:

    I agree Scott. Last Crusade is still my favorite. Oh well, I just saw on an interview, that a 5th movie isn’t out of the question for Ford.

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