Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – Blu-Ray Edition

Those of us in our 30s and 40s grew up with Indiana Jones films being fun examples of the action/adventure genre. We are now a little older (like Harrison Ford), a little bit wiser (I presume) and the same kind of tricks and lighthearted adventure film might not do the trick anymore. When we were younger the crazy and cheesy stuff out of these films made us laugh and want to run through the jungles in a fedora. They captured our imaginations. It's hard to reproduce that feeling almost 20 years later.

It is rarely possible to top the hype and quality of an iconic film (or film series – think of the Star Wars disasters) many years later. No matter who directs it or stars in it. It just does not seem to work. Not only does Steven Spielberg (E.T., Schindler's List) fail in these respects, but he also gets the small things wrong.

Unlike many of the other action adventure films the story does matter in the Indiana Jones series. It does not have to be rocket science, but it does have to draw us in and involve us in the adventure unfurling before our eyes. Getting caught up in the chases, fights, creepy locations, and trying to solve the mysteries is what made the Indiana Jones films fun. This is lost in "Kingdome of the Crystal Skull". Yes, there are plenty of fights and chases in the film, but they just feel loosely strung together with no beginning or logical end to the story in sight. It all felt a little haphazard to me. There was no substance to it that I could hold on to. For instance, hardly any screen time is devoted to the Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford – Star Wars, Frantic) meeting his son (Shia LaBeouf – Transformers, The Greatest Game Ever Played) for the first time story. Again, it was just tacked on.

Besides the story being silly (Why oh why did they have to go the alien route), which I won't go into too much for fear of ruining what little mystery it has going for it, the dialogue was awfully phony in sections. Maybe it was due to these two reasons that even the actors seemed a little off. Harrison Ford seems downright uncomfortable at times and Karen Allen (Marian) seems a little rusty to say the least. The performances by Shia LaBeouf and Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There, Notes on a Scandal), as the villainess Irina Spalko, are good, but wasted.

Special Features:
– Indiana Jones Timelines- Explore the movie through interactive timelines that include video featurettes, in-depth information and unique imagery. Your adventure begins with one of these three timelines:
-Story Timeline: Showcases the key events of the "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" storyline.
-Production Timeline: A Making-of chronology for "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull".
-Historical Timeline: Dives into the real-world historical influences that are referenced in the film.
-The Return of a Legend-The evolution of the new film and a tribute to the legendary hero and his creators.
-Pre-Production-Follows Steven Spielberg as he creates animatic sequences, Shia LaBeouf as he learns to swordfight and captures the reunion of filmmakers and cast on the soundstage.
-Production Diary: Making Kingdom of the Crystal Skull-Join filmmakers, cast and crew for a complete look at the making of the film.
-Shooting Begins: New Mexico
-Back To School: New Haven, Connecticut
-Welcome to the Jungle: Hilo, Hawaii
-On-Set Action
-Exploring Akator
-Wrapping Up!
-Warrior Makeup
-The Crystal Skulls
-Iconic Props
-The Effects of Indy
-Adventures in Post Production
-Closing: Team Indy
-Pre-Visualization Sequences
-Area 51 Escape
-Jungle Chase
-Ants Attack
-Galleries
-The Art Department
-The Adventure Begins
-Cemetery and Jungle
-Akator
-Stan Winston Studio
-Corpses, Skeletons & Mummies
-Aliens & Crystal Skulls
-Production Photographs
-Portraits
-Behind-the-Scenes Photographs

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