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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull [Blu-ray]
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The newest Indiana Jones adventure begins in the desert Southwest in 1957 the height of the Cold War. Indy and his sidekick Mac (Ray Winstone) have barely escaped a close scrape with nefarious Soviet agents on a remote airfield. Now, Professor Jones has returned home to Marshall College only to find things have gone from bad to worse. His close friend and dean of the college (Jim Broadbent) explains that Indy's recent activities have made him the object of suspicion, and that the government has put pressure on the university to fire him. On his way out of town, Indiana meets rebellious young Mutt (Shia LaBeouf), who carries both a grudge and a proposition for the adventurous archaeologist: If he'll help Mutt on a mission with deeply personal stakes, Indy could very well make one of the most spectacular archaeological finds in history the Crystal Skull of Akator, a legendary object of fascination, superstition and fear. But as Indy and Mutt set out for the most remote corners of Peru a land of ancient tombs, forgotten explorers and a rumored city of gold they quickly realize they are not alone in their search. The Soviet agents are also hot on the trail of the Crystal Skull. Chief among them is icy cold, devastatingly beautiful Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), whose elite military unit is scouring the globe for the eerie Crystal Skull, which they believe can help the Soviets dominate the world... if they can unlock its secrets. Indy and Mutt must find a way to evade the ruthless Soviets, follow an impenetrable trail of mystery, grapple with enemies and friends of questionable motives, and, above all, stop the powerful Crystal Skull from falling into the deadliest of hands.
Nearly 20 years after riding his last Crusade, Harrison Ford makes a welcome return as archaeologist/relic hunter Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, an action-packed fourth installment that's, in a nutshell, less memorable than the first three but great nostalgia for fans of the series. Producer George Lucas and screenwriter David Koepp (War of the Worlds) set the film during the cold war, as the Soviets--replacing Nazis as Indy's villains of choice and led by a sword-wielding Cate Blanchett with black bob and sunglasses--are in pursuit of a crystal skull, which has mystical powers related to a city of gold. After escaping from them in a spectacular opening action sequence, Indy is coerced to head to Peru at the behest of a young greaser (Shia LaBeouf) whose friend--and Indy's colleague--Professor Oxley (John Hurt) has been captured for his knowledge of the skull's whereabouts. Whatever secrets the skull holds are tertiary; its reveal is the weakest part of the movie, as the CGI effects that inevitably accompany it feel jarring next to the boulder-rolling world of Indy audiences knew and loved. There's plenty of comedy, delightful stunts--ants play a deadly role here--and the return of Raiders love interest Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood, once shrill but now softened, giving her ex-love bemused glances and eye-rolls as he huffs his way to save the day. Which brings us to Ford: bullwhip still in hand, he's a little creakier, a lot grayer, but still twice the action hero of anyone in film today. With all the anticipation and hype leading up to the film's release, perhaps no reunion is sweeter than that of Ford with the role that fits him as snugly as that fedora hat. --Ellen A. Kim
Stills from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Click for larger image)
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Top Customer Reviews
The movie started with a bit of promise (other than the infantile CGI prairie dog). I'm not as offended by the nuclear fridge scene as many are, because I know those mock towns weren't built at Ground Zero (or they would have been vaporized). They were built at a distance to judge the effect of the blast on places some miles from the explosion. So while it's not credible for Indy to survive being tossed around that much, he didn't exactly survive a nuclear explosion. Some of the other early scenes, such as those where Indy is actually discovering something, are also good.
About halfway through the movie, despite my fervent desire to like it, I realized it just wasn't working for me. No suspense. No real sense of urgency or danger. Low stakes. Too many marginal or pointless characters. Too much cartoon nonsense going on, far less believable than anything from the previous films (the stupid monkey vine swinging, Marian's idiotic tree-driving stunt, the multiple waterfall drops...none of it scary, none of it remotely convincing, or even fun). Marian's long-awaited big reveal was one of the biggest, flattest duds in film history.Read more ›
In 2008's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" Spielberg and Lucas, after an absence from the series of nineteen years, tried to recover some of the old spark. If they didn't entirely succeed, it wasn't for lack of trying.
The fact is, though, that by now we've all become so used to the action-adventure epic that Spielberg and Lucas helped create, it's hard even for them to top themselves. As a result, much of "The Crystal Skull" seems tired or recycled. Yet that is, I'm sure, exactly what the filmmakers wanted. It's supposed to remind viewers of the old days, and it does so at almost every turn.
Needless to say, the most important ingredient in the movie series is back: Harrison Ford as Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr., archaeologist and adventurer supreme.Read more ›
Otherwise, it's a 0 star experience.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The difference between a great movie experience and an ordinary one is slight and hard for me to define. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Linear Thought
I only wanted the statue since I don't speak Spanish. The statue was worth the $11 and makes a nice decoration in my Screening Room.Published 20 days ago by ROBERT HUTCHINSON
A bad Attempt at bringing back a great movie franchise. Bad CG and ridiculous scenarious.Published 1 month ago by Nick Deyo
FYI this a review for the disc set, not the film. The product information is incorrect, there is no "multi-format" version of this item. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Arch Stanton
Okay. I'll freely admit that this isn't a good movie. It does has flaws. But is it really the worst of the Indy movies? Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
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