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From Struzan to Spielberg! Quint visits with the world's best movie poster artist and recounts Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark Q&A!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. How I found myself in Drew Struzan’s small studio behind his suburban home is hard to explain. It just so happened that my timing was impeccable. Like most amazing things in life luck played a big part of this quite extraordinary situation.

Did I know when I booked a short LA trip to visit a TV show set and see a screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark with Steven Spielberg in attendance that I’d also get to meet the greatest living poster artist of all time? No sir, but lady luck smiled upon me and my good friends at Mondo were headed over there to get Mr. Struzan to sign and number his amazing Frankenstein prints. Check it out below:

 

 

That’s a thing of beauty, isn’t it?

I can barely describe the sensation of walking into Struzan’s Pasadena studio. When the smell of his paints hit my senses it was like a ton of bricks fell on me; an instant rush of nostalgic love of Struzan’s incredible work on the posters of my childhood overwhelmed me. Indiana Jones, Marty McFly, Kermit, Luke Skywalker… they all flashed before me. I must have been grinning like a loon.

 

 

Struzan’s studio was a hodgepodge of oddities, froma Darth Vader statue to cow skulls to vintage Disney puppets and an Abe Lincoln life mask hanging from the wall. It’s exactly as it should have been, in other words.

 

 

 

Watching Mondo’s Justin Ishmael quietly geek out as he discussed the lost art of poster design with the master was enough to set me off, too, but then I was assigned the task of helping stack the posters as Struzan went through them, one by one, signing and numbering them. I took over for the last leg, calling out which number we were on as Struzan powered through the final fifty posters. So, if you nab a poster numbered between 275 and 325, my fingers touched them (I swear my hands were clean!).

 

 

It was surreal, to say the least. From Mr. Struzan’s house I ended up having lunch on the Warner Bros lot with a good, nameless friend and showed Justin around the place, including a tour to the very awesome Warner Museum. If you ever arrange a tour of the WB lot, I can’t recommend stopping by this amazing museum enough. They have props and wardrobe on display from all sorts of films, from classic to current.

For instance, I got a close up look at The Joker’s outfit from Dark Knight, noticed for the first time that the top two buttons on the vest are different from the rest, one of them being a pressed penny. That small detail gave a subtle impression of chaos. The museum also housed Sam’s piano from Casablanca, John Wayne’s rifle from Stagecoach, giant costumes from Where the Wild Things Are and all the costumes from The Departed.

Upstairs was the Harry Potter wing, filled with many wizardly oddities, including the creepily frozen Hermione from Chamber of Secrets, Dementor maquettes from Azkaban, kitty plates from Order of the Phoenix and, in a weird bit of syncronicity, Drew Struzan’s original artwork for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone poster. Close up you could make out where Struzan blacked out (at the request of the studio) a Quidditch game happening amongst the Hogwarts tower.

I gotta give a little shout out to my buddy Leith Adams whose passion for preservation of cinema history should be praised from the rooftops. He’s a very smart man working tirelessly to keep these iconic pieces of movie history preserved for future generations, rescuing artifacts to keep them safe and sound in a museum… much like a certain famous adventuring archeologist.

 

 

How’s that for a segue? My day closed with the bit LA Times/Hero Complex screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark hosted by my buddy Geoff Boucher. Screening was a 2K restoration from the original negative with the one and only Steven Spielberg on hand to answer some questions about one of his best films.

Now, I’ve covered the basic information from the Q&A in this article here, so it’s no longer a surprise that Harrison Ford showed up, but it was quite something to experience that audience excitement when Spielberg was interrupted by Harrison Ford’s voice. That split second of silence as the realization built to a standing ovation was priceless.

 

 

Now on the stage Harrison Ford was kind of typical interview Harrison Ford… slow, serious low key answers, but the real sparks came out when Ford and Spielberg interacted. With some playful jabs you could actually get a sense at their friendship.

This came out specifically when Spielberg was recalling how he cast Ford as Indiana Jones. Tom Selleck was cast, but then the network wouldn’t let him out of his Magnum PI contract. We know this part really well, but I don’t know if I’d ever heard the conditions of Spielberg figuring out that Ford should be cast in the role.

Lucas had Spielberg over to watch a rough cut of Empire Strikes Back and Spielberg pointed at the screen and said, “There’s our Indiana Jones. He’s Han Solo.” Lucas thought Ford might be too associated with Han Solo to work in the role (Spielberg actually imitated Lucas’ voice here and it was kind of hilarious), but Steven said that Ford’s an actor, that’s what actors do… create different characters.

So, the decision was made. Ford joked that, “Yeah, I’m an “actor” but apparently the only time I can act for you is Indiana Jones. I have to wait for Tom Hanks to get a series…” The audience cracked up and Spielberg protested, dropping the bomb that he offered Ford the role of Alan Grant in Jurassic Park first, even going so far as to having a piece of production art made up with Ford as Grant and the children running from a T-Rex. Ford’s reaction was a simple “whatever” shrug.

When asked about a further Indiana Jones adventure there was one “Wooo!” from the audience and Spielberg pointed in that guy’s direction and said, “There’s the one bridge I didn’t burn down with the last one!” The official line sounded very much like the line before Indy IV happened. Spielberg said he’d want to do one, but nothing’s set up yet. Ford said he was absolutely return for another Indiana Jones movie, “but I ain’t going to Mars!”

As mentioned in the initial article, the main takeaway from the night was Spielberg reiterating his position he mentioned in our big interview, that he won’t be doing any further digital alterations to his old films as they hit Blu-Ray.

In particular his comments on how he felt like he was “robbing” everybody’s memories of the original version hit true. Much like our interview he prefaced this by saying that George is George and he wouldn’t have it any other way (he even said he’s never had a better creative collaborator on anything in his career), but his own personal philosophy is to let the films be the films they are.

Lucas and Spielberg are an interesting contrast. I’d pay good money to see them in a conversation together on stage in front of an audience of fans debating their different stances on digital/creative tinkering of their films. It would be respectful, I’m sure, but hearing these two discuss this topic together would be fascinating.

Ford told a great story about brilliant DP Doug Slocombe on the set of Raiders. Slocombe shot the first three Indy movies and, I feel, is one of the key missing elements in Crystal Skull. Anyway, on the set of Raiders of the Lost Ark Slocombe never used a light meter, a cinematographer's key piece of equipment. It's how they tell how an image will read on film. Ford held up his hand like he was about to do a karate chop and had his thumb cocked out infront of his palm to demonstrate how Slocombe took readers... Instead of using a light meter he gauged the density of the shadow of his thumb against the palm of his hand. How gangster is that shit?!?

The last bit of interesting stuff brought up at this Q&A was Spielberg’s observation of the differences of studio filmmaking in the ‘70s vs. today. He said back in the ‘70s the studios looked to the filmmakers, directors and writers, to come up with the movies and made them that way. Today the studio comes up with the kinds of movies they want and then hires the director and writer. He even admitted to falling victim to attitude of the studio knowing what’s best as the head of his own studio and has to remind himself to let the filmmakers take the creative reigns on their projects.

I hope Spielberg feels the love out there for him over the last few months where he’s actually come out and interacted with fans, be it in a small way with our little chat or in a much more massive way at Comic-Con. He comes across as a humble guy who genuinely listens to the fans (maybe sometimes too much, hence Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) and owns up to bad decisions instead of doubling down on them.

From my interactions with the fans I can tell that this approach is a breath of fresh air and we are thankful for this outlook from The Beard.

So, that was my big first day in LA. From Struzan to Spielberg. Hey… that’s a good headline for this thing…

Stay tuned next week as I turn Ain’t It Cool News into Ain’t It Community News with a set report and a series of legitimately certifiable 1:1 interviews with the entire cast, including one that is hilarious, but untranscribable… so it’ll be the first time I post a full interview in audio format.

Stay tuned!

-Eric Vespe
”Quint”
quint@aintitcool.com
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Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 15, 2011, 4 p.m. CST

    Was the "studio" in The Mist a close approxiamation

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    of Struzan's actual studio? Kinda looks it.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Was in attendance for "Raiders"...

    by Jason Moore

    ...absolutely one of the greatest experiences of my life.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Oh shit. And almost first.

    by Jason Moore

    Not that I care about such things...

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Who cares about first.

    by LLL

    Awesome post, Quinter.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Spielberg realizes that his films are great

    by Samuel Fulmer

    And don't need any further alterations. Now if only Lucas could figure it out. I'll be buying ET next year, I think I'll skip on the new Star Wars releases.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 4:13 p.m. CST

    open

    by Quint

    Absolutely. Very intentional on Darabont's part.

  • He admitted he was disappointed in himself for changing E.T. due to complaints about the guns and "penis breath". I think he's still down on "Temple of Doom" because of the firestorm it ignited. Too bad, because the tone of his "fun" movies changed after that...

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 4:34 p.m. CST

    For all Indy IV's flaws...

    by Fortunesfool

    It's still vastly superior to most of the dirge that passes for 'cinema' these days, and his new mate JJ could learn a thing or too about his 'craft' from studying it more closely, rather than just trying to copy and past it.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Awesome. Thx Quint.

    by scrote

  • this it? http://www.davidjnegron.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/movie-art-rex-attacks-jurassic-park.jpg

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 4:40 p.m. CST

    cartmanez

    by Quint

    Looks like. Gonna throw it in the article! Good find!

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 4:47 p.m. CST

    "Indiana Jones and The Tomb of The Gods" would make a great Indy 5

    by CARTMANEZ

    sort of 'Indiana Jones and The Mountains of Madness' pity they did it as a comic as it wouldve made for a great Indy film

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 4:49 p.m. CST

    They made a feature film based on Struzan

    by Mattman

    Too bad he shot his kid in the end.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 4:51 p.m. CST

    no problem quint..

    by CARTMANEZ

    glad to help

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 5:07 p.m. CST

    If Tom Selleck had been Indy…

    by CARTMANEZ

    i wonder if hed have been Deckard in Blade Runner? im sure i read somewhere that Scott cast Ford due hearing how awesome he was in a movie that had just filmed called Raiders of the Lost Ark

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Speilberg is 'the Beard'?

    by soma_with_the_paintbox

    I thought that was Lucas. George would actually be suited more to something like 'the Wattle' or 'the Chin(s)'. Anyway, great writeup Quint. Speilberg is great because he understood from the very beginning that competent visual storytelling is a fundamental building block, not some rarefied province of the auteur. He's had decades with that mindset and look at the fantastic places he's gone. Too many new directors don't care about that so you get entire careers hampered by bad habits--which some are delusional enough to pass off as a signature style or part of their personal vision.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Amazing anecdote about Slocombe

    by D.Vader

    Holy shit, that's Jedi-level expertise.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Never too early for Fudgepack Friday!

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    Since it's already Friday in Asia, why not get it going now? Today's contestant: Christina Hendricks. Is her pillowy ass open for business?

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 7:38 p.m. CST

    Ohh, he lives in Pasadena --

    by MooseMalloy

    -- for some reason I always thought his home/studio was somewhere in the SFV.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Quint, me and you need to have a good long talk.

    by Yelsaeb

    You dare poop on Janusz Kaminski? I'm flabbergasted. I think Kaminski replicated the un-replicatable style of The Slocombe quite nicely. Sure it had its fair share of lens flair and the like, but it had a strange style to it. Just a hint of something that made it so.....Indy. Something in the cinematography's core that retained the signature style of the previous three. Again I am agast at the problems folk have with Indy 4. It's a prime piece of sc-fi action adventure cinema. Whatever problems people have with the tone and what not fall short with me. I really find nothing about Indy 4 that separates it from the others.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 8:45 p.m. CST

    The look of "Crystal Skull"...

    by Jason Moore

    To be fair to Kaminski, I think "Last Crusade" is where the series started to go wrong look-wise. It's too bright and flat compared to "Raiders" and "Temple". Those two looked AMAZING. And I think part of the reason people think there was too much CG in Indy 4 was because the whole damn movie looked fake due to the way it was shot.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Yelsaeb

    by Etienne72772

    No doubt, the cinematography of Indy IV actually did replicate Slocombe's in the previous Indys. But there was something lacking about it - it seemed too sterile, somewhat too sharp. The old Indy serials had a bit of grain that seemed to impact the feel of the film in a way that was not apparent in the new one. And I have to tell you, that wasn't really the reason the movie stunk. Three reasons: 1. Labeouf was not a well-written character; 2. The crazy professor guy was not a well-written character; and 3. Marion was not a well-written character. Ford had nothing to work with - but it wasn't his fault. He did the best he could.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 8:58 p.m. CST

    "Ah, they can mock something up with photoshop in an hour."

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    "I've seen it before, two big heads..."

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 10:36 p.m. CST

    yelsaeb - Quint is a dink

    by THX1968

    Just a gigantic dink. He can't critic a work without trashing, or comparing to, another artist to make his point. This quality exists in nearly everything he writes. So far, far away from being any kind of journalist. Just fanboy crap.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 10:57 p.m. CST

    Indy 4's look

    by gotilk

    I thought the sets looked too artificially lit. And some of the wide shots looked far too fake for my liking and against the grain, stylistically, when you place them beside the previous films. The car coming close to going over that cliff was one example. In the old films, you would have seen the road, the tire coming close to the edge, a reaction shot of someone(s) in the car, then a shot looking over the edge of the cliff looking down into an abyss rather than a distant, impossible wide shot from above looking down on it happening. Just because a shot CAN be done, doesn't mean it's right for a particular film. I criticize, but actually found a lot to love in Indy 4. I just think a lot of bad choices were made. And the worst ones weren't even named Shia.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 11:13 p.m. CST

    Indy 4 was depressingly set-bound and artificial

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    The previous Indy films were genuine TRAVELOGUES, with gorgeous location footage of exotic countries, yet Crystal Skull was claustrophobically set-bound to a degree no Spielberg movie has been since Hook. That's what made the jungle chase setpiece lack tension...instead of worrying that the stuntman or actor is going to fall off the jeep or truck, you just assume they're going to land on the soft foam mattress next to the green screen. In Raiders' desert chase, everything in that scene is done "for real"... real stuntmen climbing UNDER the truck, getting dragged BEHIND the truck, falling off the BACK of the truck...the only bit of F/X fakery in the scene is when Indy rams the Nazi jeep off the side of a clearly matte-painted cliff. But everything else was REAL. That's what's killed a lot of contemporary chase scenes in movies, and what made the climax of Daeth Proof so thrilling.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 11:17 p.m. CST

    Struzan

    by Vermifax

    Struzan's artwork should be used for all the Blu-Ray releases of the 10 films (Star Wars & Indy Jones). It keeps the mythos alive. Don't use crappy production photos.

  • Sept. 15, 2011, 11:37 p.m. CST

    @soma

    by KyleG

    Lucas is 'The Neck', Speilberg is 'The Beard'.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 1:14 a.m. CST

    Struzan

    by BikerScout

    I'll forever be a lifelong fan of Struzan. His poster work of the 80s influenced me as a kid to get into drawing and now I make my living as an illustrator. I have several of his posters framed in my study & I also have a signed copy of his book Oeuvre from 2004. Just fantastic & instantly recognisable work. As for Spielberg - another huge influence on me as a child and the one director who I find it very difficult not to like, even when his work isn't quite up to par with his classics. I quite enjoyed Indy IV. Admittedly not to the same level as Raiders but it had some fun sequences. The warehouse scenes are great, and I geeked out at that little glimpse of the ark in the broken crate. I agree with some of the comments about the artificiality of the KotCS look too - I assumed it was all because of green screen. I heard LaBeef was a malfunctioning animatronic & they had to make do with what they could. Shia LaBruce?

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:10 a.m. CST

    thx

    by Quint

    So, a critic isn't allowed to compare any two movies or sequences to each other. Gotcha. As long as I'm getting the rules of journalism straight from an anonymous talkbacker I'll be able to sleep at night.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:13 a.m. CST

    Kaminski

    by Quint

    Can be amazing. But Indy 4 looked more like Hook than any of the previous Indiana Jones films. Look at the introduction of Dr. Jones against the artificial sunset sky. It's Sweet Tarts colors. No consistency with the original films... but I forgot, I'm not allowed to compare anything to anything or THX will call me a fanboy again.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:37 a.m. CST

    Slocombe with his light meter...

    by justmyluck

    http://bit.ly/olTRFL He would have been about 40 in that pic. With (much) due respect to Ford, I'm pretty sure what Slocombe was specifically measuring with his hand was the contrast ratio of his lighting (2:1, 4:1, etc.) on the skin. Many DPs get to a point where their lighting situations are matched with a particular film stock and T-stop. I'm pretty sure Slocombe's hand thing was observing the contrast ratio (how shadows will fall on the face). Of course, contrast ratio can be measured with a light meter, too. In defense of Quint's comment on Kaminski and CRYSTAL SKULL, I completely agree. as soon as I saw the INDY 4 trailer, I'm pretty sure I posted a comment here that the look of the previous INDIANA JONES movies was not being replicated. It looked like they were TRYING (using Panavision lenses and sparing severe Kaminski-esque color temperature cooling, desaturation, ENR or flashing), but it wasn't enough. It's Kaminski and he has a style, and an inflexible working method is usually a result of limitations --- It was wonderful again to hear Spielberg won't be dicking around with the HD releases of his movies. Considering he's able to do whatever he wants, another Bravo! As for the 2002 version of E.T., some of the CG fixes weren't objectionable, so it would be cool if they were archived as an extra - if only to put ILM's work in a time capsule. For instance, the replacement of the guns with walkie talkies was annoying, but there's actually a nice bit in that shot where added leaves on the road were made to blow with a puff of wind as the bicycles took off. -- I have both of Struzan's books (maybe there's more?), and I look through his posters sometimes when I need inspiration. It's great to see he hasn't completely retired and is still doing labors of love. He really is the master of his field and era.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 3:48 a.m. CST

    Isn't Lucas "The Neck"?

    by BenBraddock

    As in fat

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 4:27 a.m. CST

    I love it... EVERYONE seems to think they are

    by gotilk

    the ONLY person who knows the real definition of journalism. And a LOT of them think if you're in print, you're automagically a journalist, and if you blog, you'll NEVER be one. They also think this *not having an opinion* thing is something that's been a part of journalism for almost its entire history, or even it that it's a defining characteristic. POPPYCOCK! That *rule* (PHHHT!!) is fairly recent. And it is still a matter of debate. Meh. I know what I like to read, and I like reading Quint's stuff. I say do what you like, do it to the best of your ability, and leave deciding *what you're called* up to those with the time on their hands to deal with such trivia. (you know... folks like... um.... me? heh... whoops)

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 4:55 a.m. CST

    Journalism is writing for media.

    by justmyluck

    Media can be anything. Many newsprint journalists are writing from press releases sent to them, which they summarize, maybe quasi investigate, comment on or critique. I'd call what Quint is doing, ''journalism-plus-diary''. And isn't an electronic diary a 'journal' worth an 'ism'? He's flying all over the place to report on geek news for us mouse-clickers and, in full disclosure, of course it's to the benefit of the studios (and that's going to blunt anything overcritical of the hand that feeds). Most journalists have to walk that line to maintain inside access. What Quint is doing is still much more than regurgitating press releases (yep, AICN does that, too). You could say that geek/fan journalism is reporting on fluffy pop-culture, but that fluff is big business, and business is money, and money is serious as a heart for studios and distributors. So, yeah, they indulge media geeks to bring them into the fold, but the hopping around and reporting is still journalism, and no different than Variety or The Hollywood Reporter. Sure, it's not reporting from a rooftop in Iraq during an American bombing, but we're not here for that, are we?

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 6:04 a.m. CST

    Ah, these films

    by Mr Gorilla

    I loved the new INDY. In fact, I'd be tempted to drop TEMPLE OF DOOM if I was going to do a marathon. I've just been looking at the new Star Wars blu-rays. That whole saga really is one amazing achievement. I'd forgotten how brilliantly they did Coruscant in REVENGE OF THE SITH - much better than the previous two. It's really such an ambitious film. J

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 7:39 a.m. CST

    I am so jealous right now...

    by ATARI

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 7:47 a.m. CST

    Quint, my boy, I envy you!

    by Mr Nicholas

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Ford and Jurassic Park

    by FloristGump

    Maybe I was the only one listening nearly 20 years ago, but Ford not doing JP is OOOOLLLLDDD news. He turned it doewn mainly because Grant was a 'guy in a hat', and he'd done one of those. Although, granted (no pun), it would have ruled with Indy in the role (although Sam Neill was excellent.

  • interacting and communicating with the fans can also be a very negative thing for the work and his image in the long run.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 11:20 a.m. CST

    if Ford had done JP....Kev Costner in The Fugitive?

    by CARTMANEZ

    i bet Alan Grant wouldnt have been in JP3 either JP wouldve pretty much been a modern day Indy - Indiana Jones and The Jurassic Park then again Neil was great in the role anyway...perhaps having Indiana Jones running from dinos wouldve been too much for us geeks...geek overload

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 2:06 p.m. CST

    I wish Spielberg would record some commentary tracks...

    by ODM

    No need to spoil the magic of the movies, far from it... I just want him recount some cool on-set stories and stuff like that. I geek can dream...

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 4:35 p.m. CST

    my Indy 5 pitch - "Indiana Jones and The Trip to Mars"

    by CARTMANEZ

    Indy is on some dig in a deep cave in the USA someplace and uncovers some ancient odd looking metallic artefact. - suddenly it electrocutes him and he falls unconscious he wakes up.….on Mars! There he finds breathable atmosphere and comes under attack from curious Martians and also comes into contact with humans - some of whom have arrived there many years ago thanks to finding similar artefacts over the years on earth. Indy and the others rise up against the martians and try to find ‘the portal’ A mythical hole in the Martian surface to leads to an ancient wormhole at the core of the planet that will transport them back to earth,… After cool battles (like in Cowboys & Aliens) only Indy remains alive and he makes it to the wormhole and is about to uncover the truth behind the human races origin (but cant stay around to check out fully what it is as hes under attack) before jumping through… He wakes up…hes in lush overgrown jungle - suddenly there is an almighty roar and he looks up to find a T-Rex charging him… To Be Continued in “Indiana Jones and Time Tunnel of Fate"

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 5:07 p.m. CST

    THREE O'CLOCK HIGH is my favorite Struzan poster

    by beamish13

    I've got a beautiful framed one in my office

  • I can't accept that one. As far as I'm concerned, Lucas' chubby little fingers were all over that film. Spielberg and Ford merely did the best they could with what they had to work with.

  • Sept. 16, 2011, 7:21 p.m. CST

    love that Lucas tried his best to sink Raiders, too

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    'that actor has already acted in another film!' I guess you're meant to do just one role, then you're euthanized and used as fertilizer for the next batch of Ryan Reynoldseseses

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 6:24 a.m. CST

    ive dont really get the Indy 4 negitivity

    by CARTMANEZ

    i actually consider it the 2nd best indy film after Raiders (nothing can top Raiders as its a classic..but id put Skull before Doom then Crusade) i liked that it was sci fi and set in the 50s as a throw back to all those great alien B movies of the time...plus all the 50s stuff as i really dig that era - Elvis opening, Brando Wild One homage, the diner, red/commie paranoia, the bomb, Soviet villians etc etc.... i liked all the homages to the previous Indys - The Ark, Michaelson, Connery pic, etc...as well as homages to previous movies in the cast/crew resume - Fords white T shirt interrogation (FUGITIVE), 'knife to a gunfight' (UNTOUCHABLES - ok thats connery but he was sorta in this spiritually), the diner fight and chase in the streets and the even the fridge escape (BTTF), aliens with elongated heads messing up John Hurt again (ALIEN)... the WOTW tripod music when they are figuring out the obelisk...Indy has a calling to the place of the landing site like Neary in CE3K The Area 51/Doom Town opening was great (the way indy and the Pat Roach replacement crash onto that jet engine and the red digital countdown starts before blasting out really brought home that Indy was being blasted into the 'modern' age - this is not the 30s anymore....plus in the house with all the mannaquins was really eerie - like something out of Twilight Zone) the last 30 minutes or so from the ant attack when they get into the caves was classic Indy totally mysterious, unexplained. i know other films have done the whole chariot of the gods stuff (AvP for one) but the way they did it with this was just flawless - the paintings on the walls 'someone came...', the massive hidden 'landing site' with the strange looking obelisk (revealed at the end to be the center of the saucer), the weird otherworldly way the doors to the throne room opened, the williams music in those scenes, the sinister look and feel of the skeletons, indys fear (nice star wars line), the way the room broke away to reveal the metallic underneath, the soviets being sucked into the portal along with Blancetts disintergration (they may have helped the mayans with knowledge but they were not ET/CE3K friendly!!) .....the way it was revealed the obelisk was in fact part of the ship and opened the pathway to the other dimention ("To lay their just hands on that golden key; That opes the palace of Eternity") and then the final reveal of the 1950s style Flying Saucer thats been buried underground for 1000s of years (Invaders from Mars/Thing From Another World homage?)and the surreal image of it coming up from under the hidden uncharted jungle and winking out of this dimention with Indy there watching (another iconic Indy image along with the mushroom cloud at the start)...then the boulders crashing down with bombastic Williams score (the score when it starts to break out of the ground was like something out of '2001').... it was all pretty unnerving and tapped into the imagination like the last 20 mins or so of Raiders. IMO people that hate on indy 4 due to the CG gophers/monkeys, Shia, nuked fridge etc are sort of missing the bigger picture - it managed to tap into the imagination, building up to an awesome finale in a similar way to Raiders and Crusade (Doom with its fairly uninteresting Shankara Stones was always abit more of an action movie finale - but im a sucker for Doom and prefer it to Crusade anyday)...and in a way i kinda like that the majority consider it a major disappointment...it makes Skull feel abit more special for those who really liked it :)

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 8:14 a.m. CST

    hmm...something tells me smokiegeezer was disappointed with Indy 4

    by CARTMANEZ

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 9:47 a.m. CST

    full Ford/Spielberg interview

    by CARTMANEZ

    http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2011/09/16/indiana-jones-sequel-jurassic-park-harrison-ford-steven-spielberg-raiders-of-the-lost-ark-video/

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Ford would have punched those dinos in the face

    by chien_sale

    or say "yea you have claws?" POW Bazooka missile in the face

  • Sept. 18, 2011, 9:54 p.m. CST

    also I want this Frankenstien poster!

    by chien_sale

  • Sept. 19, 2011, 4:45 p.m. CST

    soma_with_the_paintbox

    by mr_bellamy

    "Speilberg is great because he understood from the very beginning that competent visual storytelling is a fundamental building block, not some rarefied province of the auteur." <p><p> Beautifully worded, and QFT. Hope you don't mind if I steal that.

  • Hope Spielberg finally learned his lesson and cut him loose.