Saturday, April 25, 2009

FILM: How does Indy 4 compare with the others?

*Posted May 30, 2008*

Here's our breakdown of the 4 Indys

Paramount Fade: Indy has 4 has, hands down, the worst mountain fade (a freaking CG gopher hill) followed by some out of place soundtrack tunes from American Graffiti. Not a great start. The mountain in Raiders is the best, followed by the gong in Temple, then the Utah mountain in Crusade. 1, 2, 3, 4

Opening Action Sequence: Indy 4's warehouse scene was a blast. A little Ark music (plus a glimpse), some humorous chit-chat between Mac and Indy, the great intro to Spalko, and then non-stop action. From running on boxes to crashing cars (bonus points for how Indy jumps in and throws Spalko out of the jeep) to crashing through windows, this is one big treat. But seeing Indy in a modern town/home is uncomfortably out of place. And then the stupid fridge scene. Raiders has the best opening with the boulder, followed by Temple's James Bond-ish diamond chase, then Indy 4, then Crusade's flashback of Indy's first adventure. 1, 2, 4, 3

First Chase: This is the motorcycle scene with Mutt, and thanks to a sweet bike and Indy going from bike to car to bike, is one of the best. But the best is again Raiders with the basket chase. Next is Indy 4, then Crusade's boat chase. Does Temple really have a first chase? Their second big sequence is the innertube down the mountain slope. 1, 4, 3, 2

Second Chase: You won't find anything that beats the Mine Car chase from Temple of Doom, but the Jeep chase in 4 is still good. It's hard to keep track of 3 different jeeps, but Spielberg pulls it off. However, the backgrounds look fake and the monkeys are ridiculous. In Raiders, the truck chase is second best, followed by Crusade's castle escape/motorcycle chase. 2, 1, 3, 4

Finale: Sorry aliens, yours is the worst ending. As I mentioned in the top scenes, it goes Ark opening, bridge cutting, then three challenges. 1, 2, 3, 4

Sidekick: Mutt vs. Sallah vs. Short Round vs. Henry Sr. Seems pretty straightforward to me. I liked how Mutt said "Oh shit" like Indy in Temple, and how Indy said "this is intolerable" like his dad, but the Sallah argument is tough. Sallah was made ten times better because of his appearance in Last Crusade. Is his role in Raiders enough to place second? You bet, but just barely. 3, 1, 4, 2

Villain: Belloq is the best because he is almost Indy's equal, but Spalko's powerhouse performance puts her in a close second. Her accent even seemed good. As for the other two, I always go with brains over brawn. 1, 4, 3, 2

Damsel: Marion set the bar in Raiders, and didn't come close to it in this one. But her few scenes with dialogue put her ahead of Elsa's looks and Willie's.....there was nothing good about Willie. 1, 4, 3, 2

Creepy-Crawlies: The ants were fake. That should settle the debate. What makes it worse is that we already saw hordes of insects chase and engulf people in the Mummy. They improved upon that a little bit, but not enough to beat the bugs. 2, 1, 3, 4

Music: The only two memorable ones from Crystal Skull is Spalko's theme, which rocks, and the two skull themes, both of which were very subtle. But they reuse the Ark theme for the warehouse (no complaints here) and Marion's theme. The scores for the ark and grail and much stronger and more emotional than the skull theme. But the overall best music is Temple of Doom (mine car chase, nocturnal activies, and the temple theme win the battle). 2, 1, 3, 4

MacGuffin: The skull is kinda hokey, especially since it wards off Indians and killer ants, screws with the mind, and looks like it's made out of plastic. Plus in the other 3, the artifact was the source of the great finale and all the supernatural power. In the end, once the skull was brought back, it was the flying saucer that was the real find. 1, 3, 2, 4

Snake reference: I thoroughly enjoyed the dry sand pit snake scene. When the other movies make mention of his fear (Jock's plane, around the campfire with Willie), they always involve a funny Ford face, but this time we also got some funny Ford lines. 4, 1, 2, 3

Overall Opinion: My personal opinion of the quadrilogy goes 1, 3, 4, 2. Do my categories agree?

TOTAL: Raiders: 18 Temple of Doom: 35 Last Crusade: 36 Crystal Skull: 40

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