Where do you stand on Crystal Skull?

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I strongly disliked Crystal Skull, but I do think a few tweaks could have majorly mended the flick. It really seemed to break a lot of the classic Indy formula.

The Indy girls never return, very akin to most Bond girls, yet this rule was broken. While I do think IF one should return, sure, it's Marion...I just don't like that she did nor how her role was written. I mean, I get it, they're elderly now...but she's just so doting and almost portrayed as an airhead now. My dad once described the film (which he liked actually) as feeling very much like one of those sitcom reunion episodes where they bring back all the old actors...but it's just basically camp. I also cannot describe just how much I hate Indy getting married, It just feels so...unlike him, even if he is much older now. A great example of what was to come? Every film opens with some sort of nod to the Paramount logo, this one gives us...a prairie dog...

Of course there's the infamous fridge scene and yet again...I get it. I get it's intended to show Indy entering the Atomic Era. What better way then a mushroom cloud? The imagery works, I get the sentiment. It's the 50's now, all the troupes are there. UFO culture and myth, nuclear weapons, Russians and the Red Scare, even greasers. I just didn't like HOW it was done. Again, it feels like a rough draft to me. I can absolutely suspend my disbelief, it's Indiana Jones...of course I can...but the fridge just went further to me than anything prior. Even Steven admitted it was a stupid idea. I mean I get there's supernatural elements in these films, I get there's absurd stunts like the mine cart landing perfectly back on the track (which I argue, sure, it's HIGHLY unlikely...but not impossible) but that's my issue with the fridge. It's just straight-up impossible.

The Russians are completely bumbling. In the classic trilogy, you have immensely menacing foes. Heck, Indy often gets completely beaten up, breaking a lot of the action troupe and really lending a lot more suspense than a lot of other action franchises. I don't dislike Spalko, I think an all-out female villain is a great idea,
but she just never does much. I mean, you give her this sword...and she never, not once, guts someone with it? I wanted her to absolutely impale that obnoxious back and forth triple/quadruple/what the heck is even happening agent...easily my least favorite Indy character. And that ultimately goes for the whole film, it seems extremely toned down when in comparison. I mean there's really only what? Two graphic violent scenes, the men burning alive and the man being eaten by ants. It just seems gutless. Indy kills ONE guy, intentionally, and bizarrely it seems like the one antagonist that doesn't really DESERVE killed. He's just protecting his native land. Does Indy even HAVE a gun in the film? I mean they couldn't even kill that freaking monkey...it felt like a cartoon. Also, in my re-write, each Indy has a sort of creature feature moment. But....bugs have already been done. I totally re-wrote the river scene into a school of piranha scene because...duh. You're in the Amazon! You're on the river! It's never been done before! Plus was it just me or is three waterfall drops two too many? One is more than enough, three feels like a Scooby Doo. And you're telling me there's a giant Jungle Cutter machine...and NO ONE goes into those blades? Really? This is INDIANA JONES and sure, some may argue that would be way too expected and unoriginal...but it's a franchise DEDICATED to tribute other films.

Then lastly, sure, like said...there's supernatural aspects to all the films, but the Crystal Skull just doesn't work for me. George so desperately trying to say they're not aliens is hysterical in the making of. Steven didn't want aliens, hence why the film took SO LONG to make. It feels like he just sort of gave up, "Oh alright, fine George," and said "Okay, inter-dimensional beings, fine, what do they look like?" "Aliens..." LMFAO! See for my interest in archaeology, by no means am I saying that the former McGuffins were actually powered. But at least they more than likely existed...in a manner of speaking. If you really know anything about the Crystal Skulls, they are interesting, but a COMPLETE hoax. I've even seen Max, the Crystal Skull, it goes on tour and the owner...is a COMPLETE nut. And so, wait, if the skull wants to go back to the temple...shouldn't the creature be grateful to Spalko, not kill her? I never understood that. I've seen some argue it doesn't intentionally kill her, but come on...look at that face. It's downright angry.
 
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KotCS’s biggest problem is that it hardly ever feels like there are stakes or real danger. It’s a live action cartoon version of Indiana Jones.

But I’ll always love it for giving me modern Indy toys and a decent period of time with a good amount of merchandise.
That's such a sad truth, isn't it? I so agree, the best thing about Skull was the fact we got modern toys/Legos. Yeah it def. does just have a cartoonish feel, that grit and violent quality is just gone. I mean Red Letter Media said it best, the first two films have have a monkey die and people eat monkey brains, this one has goofy CGI monkeys that, look kids, it SURVIVED! It's like Steven lost his edge on this film. I mean the Crystal Skull even looks goofy. I NEVER bought into that Ancient Astronaut mumbo jumbo, I really actually find it fairly insulting. Archeologists study among mankind's greatest accomplishments and here come these pseudo-science types to say, "Nah, we're too stupid to do this stuff, it had to be aliens." I saw GREAT ideas in concepts in Crystal Skull...and they were just so poorly executed IMO.
 
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Granted, his age being what it was and trying to still seem relevant in an action movie was handled somewhat comical in addressing it. But still, there was a lot going on that required us to ignore this fact. At some point it just felt unrealistic for someone that old to being doing all this stuff.

The story though intrigued me, and while some of it seemed to hinge too much on fiction aspect. There were tidbits of of he original tale that seemed to be left intact. If they hadn't changed he look of the skull it might have felt a little more grounded in reality.

The difficult part of doing this particular story is that you have to up the ante in Sci-Fi and action intrigue in order to sell it in Hollywood. Not to mention you're going to most likely upset those looking for a normal Indy story.

I was actually surprised they went this route, considering people viewpoints on the subject in question at that time. Even now, when we are starting to accept we are not alone, there are still a lot of people who don't or simply want to avoid it.
 
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I like how Crystal Skull take the son finding his father story from The Last Crusade and turns it into a father being found by his son story. Last Crusade is told from Indy's point of view as the son. Crystal Skull is told from Indy's point of view as the father.
 
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I'm definitely in the minority among Indy fans in that I really enjoyed KOTCS - and felt it was far superior to TLC; I saw it three times theatrically when it was released (Summer 2008). For one thing, I didn't think it was a copy of any of the previous films, which was very much in it's favor.

I thought it was great that they set the film in the 1950's, so that it reflected Harrison Ford's actual age at the time. Also really liked the storyline(s) involving the Russians, the alien artifact(s), the giant mutated insects, etc. - a lot of the film was a cool homage to 1950's monster/sci-fi movies & The Wild One (Marlon Brando), among other films.

It was also interesting that it took forever to get everyone's schedules lined up to actually get this film made. I remember reading a newspaper blurb about a forthcoming 4th IJ film circa 1993. And, the film wasn't released until 2008.
 
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I checked out of the movie almost instantly. There was the chase scene in the warehouse with Indy...where he was swinging with just a little too much ease. It really bugs me in movies when you can tell that gravity is going to be kind to the characters. That the wire work is going to be noticeably lifting characters around. Yes his final swing to the truck was a little too short and for a second there I was thinking...okay...maybe it was just that one shot....but it never stopped.

And then they nuked the frelling fridge. I mean seriously...possibly one of the single dumbest moments I have ever seen in a movie and it happened right away. This moment officially retired jumping the shark as a phrase.

I remember walking out of the theater when it was over and there was a guy who had dressed up as Indy for the movie. He looked so dejected. His whole group was just kinda standing there, looking miserable and not talking.

As far as I'm concerned, there are 3 Indy movies. The first one is an amazing movie...the next two aren't perfect but have their moments.

There's nothing interesting or redeeming about this movie. It's action scenes with no stakes because they feel so obviously fake that you can't get invested in them. They for some reason decide to make Marion the "love of his life" simply because she was the first Indy girl. Did they watch Raiders? He pretty much made it clear what he thinks of her, she's the girl of right now and nothing more. She's always been that. Then there's the "it's like poetry it rhymes" thing with Mutt. As we learn in TLC Indiana was the dogs name...so wouldn't it be funny if Indy's son had a dogs name that he adopted as well?? But we can't be too subtle with it, we need to make sure the audience knows...."Mutt." Really? That's what you land on? "Dog" was a little too on the nose for you huh?

Sometimes...when you have a perfect ending of a franchise, like riding off into the sunset at the end of a series....it's best to just leave it as is. Let the franchise end on a high note. Don't dig it up 20 years later and throw your hero in the trunk of the car. Sometimes it's interesting to see how time has changed these heroes we once knew, the lessons they have learned and how they have grown. Like Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven. And sometimes doing a movie like this just makes the hero you once cared about a depressing experience of a movie.
 
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I agree, there's really no more a perfect ending to a series dedicated to classic action-adventure serials than a ride off into the sunset. It's picturesque. To me, that's so ideal of a climax and a perfect summary to the trilogy that that's just where it ended. They could make a DOZEN more and that's where it'll end to me.

Yeah I really was annoyed by the cliched happily ever after wedding ending. It just feels less a product of Indiana Jones and more a product of the creators changing sensibilities. I just don't like that.
 
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You guys have nailed all my issues with the film. The Aliens plot point was just kinda dumb. The nuclear age was an interesting thought, but poorly executed. The rest felt pretty cartoony as you've said, but decent overall for me. This was right in the middle of Shia Labeouf's hayday. He had Transformers in 2007, Crystal Skull and Eagle Eye (pretty good) in 2008, and then the next 2 transformers movies and then went off the deepend. I always thought he was a very intense actor and probably could have pulled off being the next Indiana Jones (which if they didn't say it out loud, they sort of implied with this movie).

They still have another Indy movie on deck last I heard... Harrison Ford is almost 80 .... sheesh
 
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They still have another Indy movie on deck last I heard... Harrison Ford is almost 80 .... sheesh
Dang, I feel bad for Harrison...did he lose all of his money or something? Because that's the only reason I could see him being trotted out for another Indy movie at this point. Can we start a kickstarter? Raise some money to keep Harrison from coming back for more Indy?
 
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Dang, I feel bad for Harrison...did he lose all of his money or something? Because that's the only reason I could see him being trotted out for another Indy movie at this point. Can we start a kickstarter? Raise some money to keep Harrison from coming back for more Indy?
He wants to do it. He would have made 15 Indy films if Spielberg and Lucas could have agreed on something. Lucas wouldn’t budge on aliens and Harrison just finally gave in so that he could play the role again.

Aliens weren’t the problem with this movie. Shia was not the problem with this movie. Lucas’ storytelling and Spielberg’s direction are the problems with this movie. Like the prequels, they *aimed* this movie at kids, rather than making an action movie that was also accessible for them. There’s no stakes, no real intrigue. It’s a live action Indiana Jones cartoon.
 
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Yah.... Hollyweird just doesn't have any creativity left. Anything even relatively fresh now seems alien. Jojo Rabbit and District 9 come to mind. Not that those were so unique, but they felt like a new story. There are other movies out there but the studios can't take a chance on a 500 million dollar movie tanking and they don't seem to want to fund smaller budget movies that won't make a billion dollars.
 
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He wants to do it. He would have made 15 Indy films if Spielberg and Lucas could have agreed on something. Lucas wouldn’t budge on aliens and Harrison just finally gave in so that he could play the role again.

Aliens weren’t the problem with this movie. Shia was not the problem with this movie. Lucas’ storytelling and Spielberg’s direction are the problems with this movie. Like the prequels, they *aimed* this movie at kids, rather than making an action movie that was also accessible for them. There’s no stakes, no real intrigue. It’s a live action Indiana Jones cartoon.
So you're saying in their attempt to create a whole new generation of fans they marginalized the fans they already had? Hmmm.....seems familiar....
 
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Yah.... Hollyweird just doesn't have any creativity left. Anything even relatively fresh now seems alien. Jojo Rabbit and District 9 come to mind. Not that those were so unique, but they felt like a new story.
Though I liked KOTCS, I agree there aren't a lot of really great movies coming out at this point - though I still like some of them. Agree completely that District 9 was brilliant; haven't seen Jojo Rabbit yet, but plan to - hopefully soon.
 
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There were some moments when I saw KOTCS in the theater in 2008 where I just thought "what the hell is goin' on???????!!!!" There were things like..

Mutt swinging through the trees with the monkeys---thought I was watching a video game not an actual movie
the weird guys leaping up out of the ground to fight Indy and Mutt-- where did they come from?? who the heck are they???
endless running (felt like I was watching "Last Of The Mohicans" where everyone is running all the damn time!).....
just a plot that felt supercontrived with a poorly executed spy vs. spy double agent thing that just didn't work for me with Mac...

BUT.........the one positive for me was the opportunity to see some figures from the movies I do like as a result of a new movie.
 
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There is only one younger actor who I think could pull off Indy's swagger: Bradley Cooper. I know Ford is Indy, but he can't be doing this at age 80. Anyway, was glad KOTCS brought us more toys.
 
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Shia was not the problem with this movie.
Actually have to disagree here, never cared for his acting much even in Even Stevens. It just seemed to force as overbearing hyperbole. IMO and his caricature acting didn't quite fit any of his roles that i had seen.
 
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Actually have to disagree here, never cared for his acting much even in Even Stevens. It just seemed to force as overbearing hyperbole. IMO and his caricature acting didn't quite fit any of his roles that i had seen.
Eh, agree to disagree. I never watched Even Stevens. The first thing I saw him in before Indy was A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints and I thought he was awesome in that. I thought Disturbia was decent. I feel like he really started to become the actor he wanted to be in Lawless and he’s been really great in just about everything since.
 
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Not to get too OT, but A Guide to Recognizing your Saints was incredible; very underrated film. I saw it sometime in the 200X's (on DVD), and need to re-watch it at some point. Very gritty & well-done NYC-based drama.
 
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It's my 3rd favorite Indy movie. Happy that it gave me a chance to buy action figures as others have said.
 
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Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a mixed bag for me. I loved the opening of the film and the entire part leading up to the ending of Indy using the refrigerator to protect him from the atomic blast. It was a great fun ride. Some of the Shia/Mutt Williams parts were meh (I did love the 50s diner scene) but I think Shia tried too hard to make the film about him in a sense and thus the focus was lost on Indy and the race to find the skull. I think at the time of making KOTCS I feel like Lucas and Spielberg were in belief that Shia/Mutt would be taking over the mantle of Indy (especially the scene in the end where Indy's trusty fedora blows towards Mutt's feet) but after seeing the reviews of the movie and the disapproval of the fans I believe Lucas/Spielberg changed their minds (since we now have Indy 5 set to start)

I also didn't care for the character of Mack, I thought he was mainly a useless distraction and was so far away from the often crazy adventures that Indy got into with Marcus and Sallah, in fact I would have preferred if they had Sallah return over the character of Mack.

I think the villain of Irina Spalko was tame as compared to the Nazi's of ROTLA and TLC as well as Mola Ram from TOD. the previous villains had a more fleshed out/ real world feel to them whereas Spalko came off as a power hunger Russian scientist. I know the Nazi thing was overplayed and the Cold War was the talk at the time period of KOTCS but still the evil was just not there. I mean Spalko seemed to be the spoil more for Mutt than Indy as clearly Indiana Jones was at one point working with Spalko to determine what Ox was talking about and to find the skull. Indy and Spalko had more of a rival treasure hunter feud similar to Indy and Belloq.

all in all it's enjoyable and I do watch it from time to time for a chuckle but not in my top personal favorites.
 
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Man it really seems Mac was not a hit with anyone. Heck I'd have preferred if they has freaking Short Round return. Hah! I have always wondered something...that being just where he disappeared to.

So I re-watched Crystal Skull on Netflix and I oddly enjoyed it a lot more. Now do keep in mind I still don't like it much and still feel it's the weak link and needs a MASSIVE re-write, but I agree DarkArtist, I enjoyed the opening act and even some of the second a LOT more this go around. There are def. cringe bad scenes all peppered through, but where it really falls apart is the climax. I guess some things grew on me over time, but admittedly when it's bad...it's real bad IMO. I downright check out.
 
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I agree, Mack didn't make sense because we didn't know him nor their history. Yet we're supposed to understand why the betrayal means anything.
I think the mian reaon for creating a new character for this, is just that, a throw away. After all you don't want to turn previous character into a double agent type, it would ruin it for a lot of fans if Sallah was this character.

You might have had a case with Shortround, feeling like Indy abandoned him years prior. eh who knows.
 
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I don't hate KOTCS, but it's definitely my least favorite of the four films. It has its moments but, overall, seems very dis-jointed. There are some great parts and some great imagery in the film. For instance, I love the Ugha warriors coming out of the walls and ceilings. I dig the cemetery warriors and that whole scene with Oriana's grave. I enjoy the "mystery" aspect of the Crystal Skull itself...the final revelation of "inter-dimensional" beings etc....not so much. There are a lot of the same aspects of the film that folks don't like and I share many of the same dislikes (i.e. Tarzan Mutt). Oddly enough, I don't mind the fridge part at all. To me, it's no more ludicrous than jumping out of plane in a rubber raft. One scene that really bothers me though, is the duck boat scene. Not so much going over the waterfalls, but landing in the tree. I don't know, I hate to say this, but I think that, much like the SW prequels, George Lucas was the biggest problem with this film. He lost his mojo somewhere along the way.
 
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I don't know, I hate to say this, but I think that, much like the SW prequels, George Lucas was the biggest problem with this film. He lost his mojo somewhere along the way.
He lost his mojo when he fired all the people around him who disagreed with him. He's come up with some great ideas over the years, but he lost sight of things being collaborative. Getting that pushback and constrictive criticism is what allowed him to come up with an even better idea as a result.
 
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He lost his mojo when he fired all the people around him who disagreed with him. He's come up with some great ideas over the years, but he lost sight of things being collaborative. Getting that pushback and constrictive criticism is what allowed him to come up with an even better idea as a result.
Exactly!
 
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Oddly enough, I don't mind the fridge part at all. To me, it's no more ludicrous than jumping out of plane in a rubber raft. One scene that really bothers me though, is the duck boat scene. Not so much going over the waterfalls, but landing in the tree. I don't know, I hate to say this, but I think that, much like the SW prequels, George Lucas was the biggest problem with this film. He lost his mojo somewhere along the way.
What's actually kind of wild? The Myth Busters tested if it was possible to do the raft scene from Temple of Doom...and by God, it was successful. It worked! Now I'll never say it's likely, but it is indeed achievable. That's my issue with the fridge, I get the 50's iconography and sentiments, but it's not unlikely...it's impossible.

But I def. agree, the bungee tree was horrible. One of my least favorite scenes, salt to the wound is when it then somehow springs back and miraculously fly swats Russian men off the cliff. It's so cringe! Marion in the entire film just feels tagged for brand recognition and nostalgia. She's just kind of there, this being her only real moment of contributing to the immediate situation.

Yeah George infamously surrounded himself with a sea of yes men sycophants. I mean on Crystal Skull, even Spielberg gave up after years of arguing and let Lucas have his way. One of the things that made the original two SW films (in particular) so incredible was the collaborative nature they had. They weren't governed by one man, people didn't hesitate to call George out and say "Hey, this sucks...it needs a re-write." I'm convinced that if Lucas had complete control on the Star Wars original trilogy, it wouldn't have been remotely as successful. People like Gary Kurtz and Lawrence Kasdan really kept George on a leash. And look what happened when he was set loose? The original yes man may very well have been Marquand, so we get teddy bears. Then the prequels happen and I'm not entirely sure any idea was challenged. It almost feels like the literal first draft made it to screen.
 
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I can buy into all the sci-fi B-movie stuff but the one element that bothers me is Mutt and the fact he is Indy's kid. I would have enjoyed it more if Mutt was Marion and Oxley's kid and Indy felt the call to adventure to save his colleague and the love that got away. As written, Indy is a deadbeat worse than Han Solo in TFA.
 
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Well, I wouldn't say he was a deadbeat, since he didn't even know about Mutt but yeah, the whole movie could have done without the whole "Jones family" aspect. I have to agree with MysterioMaximus too. It was great to see Marion again, but she really felt kind of forced into the story and didn't really add a whole lot. It looked like Karen Allen was having a blast, but I don't know, Marion just seemed kind of dumbed down a little.
 
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I can buy into all the sci-fi B-movie stuff but the one element that bothers me is Mutt and the fact he is Indy's kid. I would have enjoyed it more if Mutt was Marion and Oxley's kid and Indy felt the call to adventure to save his colleague and the love that got away. As written, Indy is a deadbeat worse than Han Solo in TFA.
See I agree with Billy, I wouldn't call him a deadbeat like Han Solo was written to be. You can't be a quality dad...or a dad at all...if you don't know you're one. Indy just was oblivious, that's more on Marion than Henry. I'm...OK...with Mutt being his son. I'd rather NOT have it, but I can live with it. Plus I can't deny, I did laugh at the whole "You're going back to school" line after prior saying there's nothing wrong with it so long as he's happy. Hah! I don't dislike Mutt as a character, which come to think I never touched on him in my initial post. I actually even kind of liked him, I rather liked the motorcycle chase, it's just where they took him that I wasn't wild about. I can swallow he's Indy's son, it's just a bad aftertaste for me, but the Tarzan stuff? Oh boy!

I may have already said this, but something that really displays clearly the original from this is during that Tarzan chase. Raiders doesn't just get you attached to the cute little "evil" monkey...but then kills it and prominently shows its lifeless corpse in a totally ominous scene. Crystal Skull has a whole horde of CGI monkeys attack the villains, Spalko tosses one off a cliff...and pans AWAY from the chase to SHOW it MIRACULOUSLY lived. If that doesn't show how much the franchise lost its B-A-L-L-S, I don't know what does.

Marion just came off almost...senile...to me. And like said, she's just kind of there. She literally contributes only one thing to the entire quest, that being the rubber-band tree. I mean an Indy girl returning breaks the formula, which as said...IF one were to return, Marion makes most sense...it's just I think I'd rather have not had one return. And I just loathe the wedding. It seems so anti-Indy, even if he is elderly now.
 
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I can buy into all the sci-fi B-movie stuff but the one element that bothers me is Mutt and the fact he is Indy's kid.
If Mutt were my kid he would know the business end of that bullwhip intimately..... Hey it was acceptable back then....don't judge.
 
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I think the future of real quality Indiana Jones stories lay within the expanded universe now. I mean some want Harrison, but I think it's a half meansure to bring him in. Some want re-cast, a younger version, but that's naturally controversial. On the page, none of that matters. I've become very fortunate recently, very, with my writing career. I don't want to get too ahead of myself and say what it is because for all I know, it'll explode in my face. It's happened many times before. But as you guys know, I'm pretty open with my interests and one happens to be classic comic book superheroes. I mean....duh....look at my name. Hah! I have a sort of personal project I'd love to work on with an artist I have, but wanted to throw it out there. What do you guys think of a potential Indiana Jones/Captain America crossover? If awful, please be honest. LOL!
 
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He lost his mojo when he fired all the people around him who disagreed with him. He's come up with some great ideas over the years, but he lost sight of things being collaborative. Getting that pushback and constrictive criticism is what allowed him to come up with an even better idea as a result.
While I agree with this. I think what pushed him into "My way or the highway" mentality was FOX. If it hadn't have been so grueling experience for him on ANH, he likely would have accepted more input. There's also the possibility that's he's a bit of a perfectionist, and by getting rid of adversarial ideas he's creating a more streamlined process. Which also explains why he felt the need to go back and "fix" the OT to the extent he did.

At this point you might as well do a story about Atlantis and the under water villagers that live there. lol

I don't get why they keep going back to "known" heroes and reboots though, when you could just introduce a totally new character and adventure. I means if you're going to change the landscape of Indy, and what he is in favor of a new audience anyways. You might just as well make a all new character, perhaps someone named Josh Gates..
 
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I think the future of real quality Indiana Jones stories lay within the expanded universe now. I mean some want Harrison, but I think it's a half meansure to bring him in. Some want re-cast, a younger version, but that's naturally controversial. On the page, none of that matters. I've become very fortunate recently, very, with my writing career. I don't want to get too ahead of myself and say what it is because for all I know, it'll explode in my face. It's happened many times before. But as you guys know, I'm pretty open with my interests and one happens to be classic comic book superheroes. I mean....duh....look at my name. Hah! I have a sort of personal project I'd love to work on with an artist I have, but wanted to throw it out there. What do you guys think of a potential Indiana Jones/Captain America crossover? If awful, please be honest. LOL!
An Indy/Cap crossover would be a dream if well written.

Someone once said, on the Indy forums, something to the effect of “we either love the character, or we’re Harrison Ford fetishists.” That really stuck with me. I love Ford, but I’d also love to see the character live on in new adventures. I’d accept a recast, honestly.
 
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I like it, it's just my least favorite of the four. I mean, it's still entertaining and, it's Indiana Jones...it's just not really on par with the others IMO.
 
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I don’t know where I stand on Crystal Skull personally. I didn’t see it in theaters I saw it on TV. The whole alien thing bugged me though the action sequences were neat for the most part. The nuking of the fredge was a bit much though.
 
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