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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 10:54 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:57 pm
Posts: 90
Another amusing, and po-faced account of a Hollywood blockbuster. Less censorious critics have still been somewhat unkind to this revival of an ageing franchise, and at least the Cinema Vicar has common vote here.

Didn't Dr Jones cross the fiery lake of burning sulphur in an earlier installment?




... While all the violence and profanity in Crystal Skull were indeed morally invasive I was personally offended not only by the three uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive but by the single use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive. And by Ford himself, no less. The use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive even sounded as though it was inserted just to increase the "bad" of the film. Thus I felt this film should be restricted from anyone seeing it, but my opinion is meaningless to the CAP Analysis Model...

Granted, the use of God's name in vain is indeed sinful but so is use of the three/four letter word vocabulary theft deception etc. The bottom line? A sin is a sin. Each sin, whether murder or lying, carries the same consequence if unforgiven. It is not God that places weight on different sins, we do. For example, I personally feel murder of babies to be unimaginably more sinful than the arrogance of road rage. We think one sin might be more severe than another. But by His Word God doesn't think that way. To God any of the plethora of behaviors he decrees sin can send the unforgiven sinner to the fiery lake of burning sulphur. That is the way the CAP analysis model is engineered...

Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. (Harrison Ford) is back ... and so is Marion Ravenwood .. er .. Williams (Karen Allen). But this time not in a theme of heart-ripping voodoo hoodoo or Ark-borne mystic supernatural powers (though we do get to see a cleverly placed glimpse of the Ark). This time Russians, led by Dr. Col. Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), abduct Jones and his new compatriot, George "Mac" McHale (Ray Winstone) to force Indy to help the Russians discover secrets of time gone by. I hear John Rhys-Davies wanted too much to return as the "Indee! Indee! 'I am the monarch of the sea'" Sallah who lowered Indy into the snake-filled tomb in Raiders and appeared also in Last Crusade. But that may be just as well since Rhys-Davies simply would not make as good a sneak double agent (or triple agent?) as Winstone.

In 1957 Nevada, Jones gets pulled into a theme with Roswell/Area 51 underpinnings, into Hangar 51 -- the warehouse of all the dark military and artifact secrets of the past -- to find the remains of an alien in an effort to find the Crystal Skull which legend promises the one who returns it to its rightful place will ... Well, you'll find out if you watch this PG-13. By the way, along the way the one who returns the Crystal Skull stands to find the great Lost City of Gold.

Here is where the story starts losing credibility. Jones uses gunpowder and double-ought shotgun pellets to locate the alien remains since it is a strong magnetic source. Because of that distortion of science we see, many may think the lead pellets of shotgun shells will be attracted to a source of magnetism. The same poetic license is used to fabricate gold and copper coins being attracted to a magnetic source. For the ones hungry for the truth, under standard temperature and pressure ambient conditions gold, copper and lead are not attracted to a magnet, only iron (steel), nickel and cobalt.

Of course, Indy escapes the clutches of the Russians and returns to his classroom where Dean Stanforth (Jim Broadbent), who replaces the late Denholm Elliott as Marcus Brody, informs Indy that he must take a mandatory leave of absence. Indy now knows too much. By the way, while a few of the characters from other Indiana Jones films are brought back, the umbrella-flapping Dr. Henry Jones, Sr. is not. Only a desktop picture of him is seen.

But before Elvis leaves the building newcomer 19-or-so-year-old Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), a "James Dean" teen with an attitude, comes to Jones to find answers to his abducted mother's (Ravenwood's) letter. LaBeouf doesn't save the world this time by fighting valet robots (I, Robot) or giant machines (Transformers) nor does he find the treasure by digging Holes. He saves the world by fighting along side Indiana Jones. LaBeouf demonstrated he knew his place along side the great Ford. Yet together Ford and LaBeouf make a fairly good thespian team. Maybe this is so the aging Ford might step aside while the adventure continues -- in another Indiana Jones feature? A "Mutt Williams" feature? I don't know. There is just something not right about trying to make a "Mutt Williams" from "Indiana Jones." Who knows? It might work.

We find that the letter from Mutt's mother, Marion requires Indy to travel to South America to find Professor Harold Oxley (John Hurt) who has been trapped into treasure-hunting involving crystal skulls and a Lost City of Gold. Next we see the animated red line on a map inching its way to South America.

In South America Indy finds Oxley but Indy's path crosses again with the Russians and again with a ghost from the past, Marion. SPOILER: This is where a special connection between Indy, Marion and Mutt is revealed. The Bible tells us that if a man has sex with a woman that he must marry her ... and stay married. Get married is what Indy and Marion do but decades after-the-fact. Just remember, a noble destination does not excuse an ignoble path. Sex outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage is just plain wrong. If you don't believe me, ask God. His Word about sexually immoral behaviors can be paraphrased into one sentence: any sexual contact (including visual), conduct or activity outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage is immoral. And if you don't like that rule or get all huffed up about me saying it, argue with the One who wrote the Rules, the One who will sit on the Judgment Throne just on the other side of our last breath.

A central action sequence is signatory to all Indiana Jones films such as the hijack of a vehicle from the convoy transporting the Ark in Raiders>, the mine cart ride in Doom and the hanging from a tank gun barrel in Last Crusade. In Crystal Skull it is a car chase through the South American jungles. Lots of slapstick switching of offensive/defensive advantages. Lots of gunfire to kill. Lots of bumbles that cause the upper hand to switch from good guys to bad guys and back again. And again. And again. Included is a "Tarzan" vine swinging sequence by LaBeouf. A couple Russians are eaten alive by army ants. Indy, Mutt, Marion and Ox drive off a cliff into a river with three waterfalls and survive. There are a number of other action sequences but none carry as much power as the central sequence.

But as an episode of escapism and excitement, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull just doesn't quite make it. As Jones put it in Raiders of the Lost Ark, "It's not the age, its the mileage." This film is more of a leisurely Sunday drive in a comfortable old jalopy than a race in a T-180. Comfortable? Yes Exciting? Not really. It just doesn't quite have the "grab your attention" and "pull you to the edge of the seat" properties found in places of the first three Jones films.

I am not going to belabor the plot or story any further since the movie just opened. But I will tell you it is more of the same "Indiana Jones" shenagigans but a little more bland. There is lots of action (violence) ...

I do not have analyses of the other three Jones films but I might do so just to make a comparison between them to reveal how much they have coarsened ... just like almost all other sequels.


Wanton Violence/Crime

reckless endangerment, repeatedly
drag racing
kidnapping, twice
assault, repeatedly
firearm threats to control, repeatedly
dead bodies
sword to the throat
gunfire to kill, frequently, some rather graphic
action violence of varying intensities, repeatedly
men on fire
nuclear blast effects
reckless driving to escape
pursuit to unlawfully capture
death by poison
attack, repeatedly
flesh decaying
firearm to the face
hit to the face
sword fight
long sequence of attempted murder by vehicle
death by ants, twice
death by vortex
death by incineration, starting with the eyes
fighting, repeatedly, some quite graphic


12 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary

Sexual Immorality

nudity (male) behind steamed glass shower wall, genitals not seen
attention to crotch, twice
Child by immoral sex
semi-thong nudity, many


booze, once
drinking, once
smoking, three times
drunkenness, once

Offense to God

"Depends on who your god is"
"Only gods can read them because only gods live up there"
three uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive and one with it

Murder/Suicide (M) - 87 out of 100
multiple murders, twice

Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Crystal Skull is rife with violence of varying intensities. Kidnapping. Dead bodies. Sword to the throat. Men on fire. Nuclear blast effects. Attacks. Action violence. Firearm to the face. Gunfire to kill. Graphic fighting. And more. Lots more.

Impudence/Hate (I)
Twelve times someone utters one of the three/four letter vocabulary words. Even Ford. And more so that his one time in Temple of Doom while trying to get across the rope bridge...

Sexual Immorality (S)
While no gender-specific nudity is seen, Ford is seen nude from the near-pubic area up behind a steamed shower glass wall as he is being scrubbed to remove radioactive contamination. This, along with the semi-thong nudity of a few dozen warriors, the innuendo and all the drawing of attention to the crotch make up the sexually-oriented content.

Drugs/Alcohol (D)
The Drugs/Alcohol content is basically limited to a scene with booze in it, drinking once, smoking a few times and one instance of drunkenness. But according the the American College of Physicians any exposure to these substances in and as entertainment can embolden the adolescent to abuse them.

Offense to God (O)
I've already told you about the multiple uses of God's name in vain, once with the four letter expletive.

Murder/Suicide (M)
At the entrance to Hangar 51 the Russians gun down two security guards. What is seen is first the guards then a snap breakaway to the Russians blasting away. No bullets are seen hitting the guards and no gore is seen. In another sequence a number of people are murdered, again with the murdered people offscreen. Though the actual death-inducing action is not seen, suggestion and implication can sometimes be more morally invasive than actually seeing oncreen deaths happen.

For the full version of this diatribe - with chapter and verse! - see ... lskull.htm

"It's too short!
We need more monkeys! "

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 2:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:11 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: Cheshire, UK
I heard that the BFI were board were very concerned about the prominence given to the Switchblade/flicknife but that does not seem to get a mention here.

Have CAP Entertainment missed something, is their analysis less than comprehensive?
Not good enough.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:30 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 75
Location: South Yorkshire, uk
Where were :roll: the Goddamn thong scenes?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:27 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:11 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: Cheshire, UK
When the South American natives were restless they tended to be wearing something approaching thongs.

The fact that magnetism does not work with gold was mentioned in the film and, as I remember, Jones decided it was more than magnetism. Not sure what the magnetic component of cartridge powder is though.

We quite enjoyed IJ4 but I thought the very SF ending didn't quite work though, in some ways, it was in tune with the times. I can see the temptation - Von Daniken, Roswell, pulp SF of the era etc - but maybe a more enigmatic climax would have fit the series better.

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