Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008 )

IMDb

sweet memories

It’s interesting to watch this kind of sequels, or prequels, of old, past heroes, classic films. It’s interesting, because we can make a balance of changes, what was and what is, changes in who created the films, in the viewers, and in myself.

I grew up watching over and over certain films (and certain types of films) which molded, to a larger or shorter extent, the film taste of my generation, generally speaking. These films included the old Indy films. They were new, they must have positively shocked the audiences of those days – i was born the year of the second film so i can’t evaluate how were things before; in fact i’m excessively attached to those films to be able to comment fairly on them, as films, just as my personal memory of them. But while than we had novel ideas, fresh creators getting into a new mood, new cinematic entertainment, now we have nothing of that, of course. Now we have the same group of creators, but without new things to give us. So they use their own personal memories of what they’ve done, and they use the tender relation between the audiences and the films – the target young public of the 80′ is still going to the movies this days, plus the younger generations, such as my own.

– So the product we have here is interesting to watch, despite its relatively poor value as a film or even as entertainment: in the last 20 years new things happened in cinema, new codes were implemented and accepted by the regular audiences. Die Hard, Lethal weapon, the influence of Bruce Lee’s fighting style in the occidental action films, or more recently the Bourne franchising, were all series that progressively changed what audiences expect from new films coming out. If you watch the whole Bond films, chronologically, you’ll find how those expectations changed throughout the years. This means that the fresh Indy films from the 80′ are classic films, extremely well done, but meanwhile, things were added to what was done there, and a ‘new’ Indy film cannot be as pleasant to current audiences than the old ones. Audiences changed.

– People involved also changed. Oh we have Spielberg, Lucas and Harrison Ford in the adventure. We even have Karen Allen, the original Indy lover, who closes the circle, and links generations, and the films. But they are no longer young. By now i think they were amusing themselves, and giving themselves the opportunity to revive old days, more than they were really trying to bring the best possible film out of the experience. That’s why we have all the references to the old Indy films: the initial warehouse, the Arc, Marion Ravenwood, indy’s father, marcus, the bike scene in the library (indy says exactly the opposite about how to be an archaeologist that what he had said in ‘last crusade’) and so on… Indy buffs will fill this list for you in detail. Apart from those, we have outer film references. This is interesting. Spielberg references the head of his 82 ET, the alien dead body looks for just a second really like the other. An interesting one is the Brando link: Mutt Williams is, of course, Brando from ‘the wild one’ the first time he shows on screen. That film is from 1953, this is supposed to take place in 1957. Also the café fighting took the fighting factions from 1984’s Coppola’s The Outsiders. So, instead of having a research on those days outfits, etc taken from reliable sources, we have the visual historical aspects taken from other films. It is well known that Indiana Jones, in its origin, was supposed to be an old fashioned hero, based on old adventure stories. So it was never rooted on life, rather on fantasy. I appreciated the coherence.

– For last, something that did change in the last 19 years was myself. I was ready Not to question certain things than that i may question now. Indiana Jones’ adventures were always about self sublimation, rooted in rather unreal stories, fictional, not historically supported. That was OK. I accepted that. Here i questioned things, i think i lost part of my innocence (faith?).

I should just mention that one thing really impressed me here, which was the camera work. Spielberg was also very skillful in the way he moves it and makes us find/follow/feel what he wants us to. Here I think he has moments of brilliance, some of them better than in the old films. The nuclear explosion bit was great in this, and the warehouse initial sequence as well.

My opinion: 3/5

This comment on IMDb

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