Film Junk Podcast Episode #169: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


0:00 – Intro/In-house Stuff
5:38 – Headlines: R. Kelly Uses Little Man as a Defense in Court, Spike Lee Trash Talking at Cannes, Waco Movie, Uwe Boll’s Darfur Movie?
23:25 – Junk Mail
43:45 – Stuff We Watched This Week: Diary of the Dead, The Bourne Ultimatum
51:00 – Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
1:15:15 – Trailer Trash: Eagle Eye, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
1:21:30 – This Week’s DVD Releases
1:23:55 – Outro

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  • swarez

    There is a really good release of Starman in Europe. Nice widescreen transfer and a commentary by Carpenter.

  • @Jay, if the primary reason for watching Indiana Jones is getting a sense of Wonder (I’m paraphrasing you), then where was the Wonder? Admittedly, the opening Mushroom Cloud was indeed capital “W” Wow. But not an ounce of wonder in the second half of the film…just going thru the motions. Maybe the 1950’s saucer image worked, but little else there to distinguish it from The Mummy, National Treasure or whatnot…soulless.

  • swarez

    I don’t buy the whole, “It’s made for kids” excuse people use for this film. Take a look at the older films and you’ll see that they are much harder, darker and more violent than this one and nowhere do we see a stupid scene like the monkey scene or the gofers. I noticed right away when the Russians shoot the soldiers in the beginning that we never see the soldiers get hit, in the older films it would have been shown. These films have never been “for kids” and shouldn’t be now.
    This is just more proof that Spielberg and Lucas are ruining good stories with their fucking family sentimental bullshit they’ve somehow got after having children.


    and to respond to the podcast…I dont have a problem with the aliens or the story…just with the awful script and the way it was presented. The “unbelievability scale” was not the INDY scale, it was on the MUMMY MOVIES scale…it was too much, over the top is fine…the indy OT is over the top…but completely bugnuts insane is not ok. Also, yeah with the way Spielberg talked about this movie I thought I walking into an OLD SCHOOL movie TECHNICALLY CRAFTED LIKE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN 20 YEARS AGO…which I know might be nieve on my part, but I figured spielberg would be able to do anything he wants so it would be possible. apparantly not.

    In it’s defense…Harrison was trying the best he could with what he had, and he’s still got it…the fight with the russian, that was way too short, proved to me that he could do it…why couldnt lucas have fell into a temporary coma during pre-production…the russian fight in the ants, the shot with bomb, the motorcycle chase, the snake scene…it had good stuff in it…but not enough to make it “good”

  • the grail doesnt give you permanent everlasting life…it just keeps you alive…the knight stayed alive by drinking from it…it like a medicinal miracle…drinking from it heals you of “everything” and they you start to age again after you’ve been healed.

  • @Kurt and everyone else,

    I guess I’m starting to realize that maybe I just don’t hold as much stock in the Indiana Jones series as you guys do.

    I hated the Mummy, but I thought National Treasure was fun to a degree. The only reason I can see the comparison of this Indy film to those is they all draw from the same tradition. Pulp adventure. Sure it wasn’t as good as the other three, but I didn’t really go in with those expectations. I don’t care if a sequel soils the bed. It really doesn’t ruin anything for me. Having said that, I didn’t feel that this Indy film didn’t soiled the bed at all. It was as likeable, for me, as Jurassic Park: Lost World. Just fun to watch in the theatre. And anything that bothered me was so minute that it really didn’t matter.

    As for these films not being for kids…come on guys. I really think our generation has totally lost our sense of discerning childhood from adulthood. It’s like we expect every fantasy/comic book/adventure franchise to be 100% geared towards us. Throw in some groundhogs for a total of 10 seconds? BLASPHEMY. It’s all about the man-child. Everything must be darker, everything must be bloodier, etc. etc. The days of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the movie are gone. (Except in Tim Story’s Fantastic Four films, which again, were torn apart because of their simple existence as kid friendly adventure films.)

    Don’t get me wrong, I love my violence and gore, but I’ll watch a horror movie if I want that. I really don’t expect to see Indiana Jones slowly driving a sword into the gut of a Russian as his eyes dim, blood pouring down the bladed onto the hands of our beloved hero. It’s just not this movie. At least for me it isn’t. It’s the same reason I didn’t think there needed to be blood in the Chronicles of Narnia films.

    All of these comparisons to the old films (not enough score, not enough hearts being ripped out of chests, not enough whips) just make me think everyone’s caught up in the nostalgia of old Indy.

  • elton

    absolutely. is it just me or is the feed/ download not working?

  • The direct download link above should be working, but the iTunes feed may not have updated itself yet. There are a couple different iTunes feeds for Film Junk for some reason and they each seem to sync at different times.

  • jay c., I dont completely disagree with you…I’m just getting old, and I really dont much care for CGI anymore…as for the original indy movies being just nostalgia…Im going to be 30 soon, and I still watch all 3 on a regular basis and listen to the respective film scores all the time as well…all 3 indy movies have stood the complete test of time for me, right up untill the day before crystal skull was released…I wasnt remembering how much I liked indy in my youth…I was remembering how much I’ve LIKED indy for the past 20-some years consistently. Eh…at least they didnt make “special editions”…if you want to get real geeky about things, I think it’s safe to say that Star Wars fans got it a major-uber-fucking-hell of a lot worse. At least crystal skull is 20 years removed from crusade…which if it does soil a bed, its a different mattress at this point all together.

  • @Jay

    I only go by what was done in the original 3 movies, which for me have aged remakably well. I see the ‘kid’ elements in all three films, but let me give you a few examples of why the original 3 indy films were dark and why Skull pulls all the punches.

    The original films actually expected a lot of maturity from young kids when watching the films, The Mummy, National Treasure and Skull all dope things down to the lowest common denominator. Yes Pulp is supposed to be lowest common demoniator, but in 1981 Spielberg & Lucas actually brought pulp up to art. yes Art.

    Raiders – Indy drinking ‘hard’ when Marion dies. There are two quite graphic head-shots in the Nepal bar, and while the melting sequence is obviously fake, it is bloody and creepy. Furthermore, when Alfred Molina bites it, it’s pretty visious, as is the dead tracker brought in by the natives, as is the offscreen death of the big German mechanic. The film is quite bloody actually.

    Doom- Heart Ripping, in a kids film. Oi! also the blood of death drinking, the beating up of kids, etc. Pat Roach (here big Indian Goon) getting killed by the grinding wheel is bloody without being over-the-top graphic. Also think of how creepy the guy being hung on the fan with the whip is in the middle part of Doom. Also the alligators, etc.

    Crusade – Even as you can see Spielberg backing off with this one, making it more or less bloodless, you certainly see the pretty graphic results of a guy with his head chopped off.

    When I complain about how cuddly Skull is, it is because I’m going by the rules set the by original three films. I don’t think Spielberg or Lucas are backing off from the gore as a challenge or original thought (and if they did, they failed the challenge insofar as the stakes in Skull seem fuzzy), in this genre territory, both of them just have nowhere else to go as artists.

    I don’t think Skull ‘soils the bed’ in the same way that Lucas did with Star Wars (and my main gripe there is the actually constant revisionism of the Original Trilogy to make it ‘look newer and CGI Filled’ and changing key story points and character tone, etc. etc.

    Skull for me will simply be ignored as a Jones adventure.

    The LAST CRUSADE had the characters RIDE OFF INTO THE SUNSET, that’s pretty final for me.

    Same with Alien series. I love the first 3. All of them are equally good in my opinion. But they definitively killed Ripley in 3. And I pretend the 4th one doesn’t exist, same for the vs. movies.

  • swarez

    A big part of the film being lighter than the ones before it is because of the stupid ass PC movement that has castrated and dumbed down kids movies these days. Why is it forbidden to see some sort of dark material in kids movies these days, without involving fantasy animals or magic? Take The Goonies, The Monster Squad and Raiders. All of those films are family adventure films but they don’t talk down to their audience.
    It’s the fear of rampaging parents who’d rather blame someone else for their kids behavior instead of doing their job themselves.

    Have the 80’s produced some massive number of mass murderers or drug addicts because of those family films? Cause I can’t understand why the things those films showed back then are bad now.
    Remember that Jaws is a G rated movie, something it would never be today. It’s also a film Spielberg would never do today because of its graphic nature and there are kids who get eaten in it.
    Bah! Grow a pair Spielberg and keep your kids out of the movies you make.

  • “A big part of the film being lighter than the ones before it is because of the stupid ass PC movement that has castrated and dumbed down kids movies these days.”


    You seem to be forgetting one very important element of today’s youth. Video games.

    Sure their movies may have been toned down, but I submit that Grand Theft Auto 4 would not have been acceptable in the eighties. They may not have a shaman pulling out a human heart in the movies, but they’ve certainly made up for it by being able to kill a cop and run over hookers in photo realistic graphics. (Think of the controversy when Mortal Kombat was released)

    I think kids are getting most of their entertainment from their XBox nowadays.

  • Swarez

    To be fair GTA is not made for children even though they do play it.

  • I think the ultimate would be some sort of special podcast starring Jay and Sean as frenchies.

  • I’m sure I could wow you with my hazy memory of high school french.

  • The way you say ‘Amburgeur does sound like you’ve pronounced one or two french words in your day!

  • Oh and I own Starman as well. The commentary with John Carpenter and Jeff Bridges is classic stuff.

  • Connery doesn’t die because they actually pour the water from the chalice directly on the would and it immediately heals up. Greg is right about it being only eternal life if they choose to stay in the tomb (or whatever it’s called).

    And the biggest problem with Skull (of many) is that there are no stakes for the final act. Nothing to be concerned about. The whole final act is pointless. Does it really matter if the ship flies away or stays buried? Nope. No one’s life (or all of humanity in the case of the first three movies) is at stake. Give Blanchet her damn skull and go home. Who gives a shit!?

  • You should make a podcast that only covers Jay’s best moments, it would have all his screaming singing and weird sounds.