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INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Printable Version

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- call me roy - 01-27-2018

AWhat was Darabonts script about? In terms of the “man on the run” aspect?

Spielberg doing a North by Northwest is iffy, I rather him do his version of that type of that story but North by Northwest is one of my favorites.

Just, leave it alone.

Most of Hitchcock, don’t touch.


- fatherdude - 01-27-2018

AIn the broadest of strokes, Darabont's version has a similar plot to the final movie: Area 51 prologue, crystal skulls, Russian baddies, lost city in the Amazon, etc. But the execution is night and day. The dialog is snappier, the action scenes more thrilling, the villains nastier, the stakes higher...I could go on. It's literally as if Lucas said, "I want the bad version of this."

The Hitchockian element comes from Darabont's approach to the Red Scare stuff. Basically the business of Indy being under suspicion by the FBI while Russian agents are trying to kill/frame him gets mined further, complete with a fight with a disfigured hood atop a clock tower and a scene straight out of a private eye movie where Indy ends up chasing clues to a locker in Grand Central Station.


- rexbanner - 01-27-2018

Didn't Darabont's script have a moment that implied - or maybe even explicitly stated - that the Ark and the Grail were linked to the extraterrestrials?



It's nearly a decade since I looked at it, but that one inclusion made me very sceptical of any  'Darabont's script was gold!' takes.




- Belloq87 - 01-27-2018

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post

the action scenes more thrilling

There's a fine line between "more thrilling" and "more goofy."  I think some of what Darabont describes in his draft could have been borderline laughable (even by the standards of the series) if not executed in just the right way.




- carnotaur3 - 01-27-2018

From what I can remember, the dialogue in Darabont's draft was too wink wink, expositional, and writerly. I almost couldn't get passed it. That said, I liked the moment of Drunk Indy hanging out with the Marcus statue.




- fatherdude - 01-27-2018

A[quote name="RexBanner" url="/community/t/155331/indiana-jones-and-youre-actually-fucking-serious-pre-release-discussion/2190#post_4459956"]Didn't Darabont's script have a moment that implied - or maybe even explicitly stated - that the Ark and the Grail were linked to the extraterrestrials?
[/quote]

Not that I remember.


- fatherdude - 01-27-2018

A[quote name="Belloq87" url="/community/t/155331/indiana-jones-and-youre-actually-fucking-serious-pre-release-discussion/2190#post_4459959"][QUOTE name="FatherDude" url="/community/t/155331/indiana-jones-and-youre-actually-fucking-serious-pre-release-discussion/2200#post_4459951"]
the action scenes more thrilling[/QUOTE]
There's a fine line between "more thrilling" and "more goofy."  I think some of what Darabont describes in his draft could have been borderline laughable (even by the standards of the series) if not executed in just the right way.
[/quote]

Here is CRYSTAL SKULL's capital offense in my book: its bizarre lethargy. The movie has no momentum, no suspense, no pulse. It's inert. And that's pretty much the last quality an Indy movie should have. It is unforgivable.

And I swear, I get that same, weird self-disnterest from the material when reading Koepp's script. It's on the page, somehow. And it's the movie's fundamental problem. I would have happily traded it for a hundred goofy moments. Darabont wrote a script that wanted to be shot. Koepp wrote a script that dispassionately satisfied the conditions of its stakeholders.


- Overlord - 01-27-2018

ACrystal Skull is written backwards. Indy helps the Russians, he follows in someone else's footsteps (Hurt's character was the real explorer and had the real Indy adventure ...offscreen), and he acts towards Mutt and Marion in baffling ways that are the opposite of what we expect.

The opening moments of the horrid CGI prairie dogs and Indy being in the trunk of a car demonstrate the writer didn't know or didn't care about the structure of Indy movies.


- engineer - 01-27-2018

Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post

From what I can remember, the dialogue in Darabont's draft was too wink wink, expositional, and writerly. I almost couldn't get passed it. That said, I liked the moment of Drunk Indy hanging out with the Marcus statue.



Oooh, that's when I checked out.  One of my favorite moments in RAIDERS is when Indy thinks he's lost Marion in the truck explosion and the next shot is him drinking with that monkey.  A hero is never more interesting than when he thinks he's failed.  On the hypocritical side of that, I wouldn't like to see the aged Doctor Jones stumbling through his college warbling at statues.  Sorrow is one thing but abject weakness took too much from him, for me.   Booziness is fine for more comedic characters but not so much for my action heroes.  Like, say, McClane can forever be in a state of perpetual morning-after hangover but I'd never want to see him staggering out of McSorley's on a Friday night.




- Belloq87 - 01-27-2018

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post


Here is CRYSTAL SKULL's capital offense in my book: its bizarre lethargy. The movie has no momentum, no suspense, no pulse. It's inert. And that's pretty much the last quality an Indy movie should have. It is unforgivable.

And I swear, I get that same, weird self-disnterest from the material when reading Koepp's script. It's on the page, somehow. And it's the movie's fundamental problem. I would have happily traded it for a hundred goofy moments. Darabont wrote a script that wanted to be shot. Koepp wrote a script that dispassionately satisfied the conditions of its stakeholders.

Darabont's draft absolutely has a drive and an energy.  I just think that sometimes gets channeled into moments that threaten to sail way over the top.  I can't imagine a scene where Indiana Jones is eaten by a giant snake not being a step too far into cartoon land.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlord View Post

Indy helps the Russians, he follows in someone else's footsteps (Hurt's character was the real explorer and had the real Indy adventure ...offscreen), and he acts towards Mutt and Marion in baffling ways that are the opposite of what we expect.

Indy constantly being in a position where he's helping the villains remains one of the most baffling and wrong-headed elements of Koepp's script for me.




- serpico jones - 01-27-2018

A[quote name="FilmNerdJamie" url="/community/t/155331/indiana-jones-and-youre-actually-fucking-serious-pre-release-discussion/2200#post_4459899"]
Love Darabont as much as the next film nerd. But I found it... noticeable how he stopped being Spielberg's to-go script doctor after publicly bad-mouthing Lucas.

And I gotta tell ya. I'm really surprised Kasdan wasn't brought in for Indy 5.
[/quote]

Kasdan has retired. Solo was always meant to be his final film.


- shaunh - 01-27-2018

What a way to go out.




- Overlord - 01-27-2018

A[quote name="Belloq87" url="/community/t/155331/indiana-jones-and-youre-actually-fucking-serious-pre-release-discussion/2190#post_4460017"]

Indy constantly being in a position where he's helping the villains remains one of the most baffling and wrong-headed elements of Koepp's script for me.
[/quote]

I don't understand how all these people, including insanely talented guys who were there from day one (Lucas, Spielberg, etc) couldn't IMMEDIATELY sense how absolutely wrong those scenes were in terms of Indy's character.


- fatherdude - 01-27-2018

Quote:

Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post



Darabont's draft absolutely has a drive and an energy.  I just think that sometimes gets channeled into moments that threaten to sail way over the top.  I can't imagine a scene where Indiana Jones is eaten by a giant snake not being a step too far into cartoon land.



The "top" in an Indiana Jones movie is pretty damned high, and perhaps even irrelevant.  So much of this stuff is really about tone and engagement - whether or not you give a damn about what's happening on screen.  Would the snake-eating scene have played out as ridiculous?  Perhaps.  But I suspect that I would have cared about the surrounding movie a lot more than I did CRYSTAL SKULL, and that's 90% of suspension of disbelief.



The people who defend CRYSTAL SKULL's most outlandish moments by pointing out that the previous movies had equally outlandish moments are not wrong, but they're missing the point.  The other movies are too enjoyable in the moment for the outlandishness to be something you could possibly focus on.  CRYSTAL SKULL isn't engaging enough to distract you from stuff you shouldn't be dwelling on.  I think CITY OF THE GODS is free of that defect, so I'm not as bothered by the crazier elements which, to be fair, might well have been dialed back somewhat had the project made it to prep.




- shaunh - 01-27-2018

Curious to the response of this:



Why does this




not grate like this




It's not nostalgia... is it?




- fatherdude - 01-27-2018

The fact that Marion knows they're going to survive is the glaring issue with the CRYSTAL SKULL clip.  Both scenarios may be equally preposterous, but at least in TEMPLE OF DOOM the characters aren't aware they're in a movie.



Also, even with the ropey effects, the TEMPLE OF DOOM clip just looks more tactile thanks to some actual location footage. CRYSTAL SKULL's reliance on background plates combined with Kaminski's...style...gives the whole thing an artificial sheen that distances us.  It looks more like SKY CAPTAIN than any of the other Indiana Jones movies.




- Belloq87 - 01-27-2018

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post
 

Also, even with the ropey effects, the TEMPLE OF DOOM clip just looks more tactile thanks to some actual location footage. CRYSTAL SKULL's reliance on backgrounds plates combined with Kaminski's...style...gives the whole thing an artificial sheen that distances us.


This would be my response.  TOD's sequence - outside of a couple of shots - looks great and realistic.  CS's sequence looks digitally enhanced and manipulated to death.



One looks like a handsomely-made adventure movie.  The other looks like digital garbage.




- noirheaven - 01-28-2018

While I don't adore the Darabont screenplay I do agree with others who insist that its incorporation of a number of elements, such as the Red Scare/FBI suspicions of Indiana Jones, is vastly superior to what Koepp peddled with his screenplay. In Darabont's, storyline threads like the FBI investigating Indy actually go somewhere. In Koepp's they're given lip service for a few pages and then dropped.



Darabont's screenplay has problems with excess. If you recall the recording sessions of Spielberg, Lucas and Kasdan going over what they wanted to do with the Raiders of the Lost Ark screenplay there is a lot of excess there, and to their credit they chipped away at it until they came up with something streamlined that worked like gangbusters.



I think with Indiana Jones adventures, I'd rather there be too much excess, too much goofiness, too much "what-did-I-just-read?!" involved than the tepidness that Crystal Skull relies on so heavily.



They could have culled elements and sequences out of Darabont's screenplay while retaining the essential qualities of its superior storytelling. Now, I don't think it would have produced a classic film but it probably would have been significantly better than the Koepp-penned screenplay. And to defend Koepp for a moment, I think his screenplay was more just assembling the parts that Lucas and co. wanted more than anything else, rendering it a bit of a mess on even the most superficial of levels.




- fatherdude - 01-28-2018

Yup.  If CRYSTAL SKULL's biggest problems were excess and too many cute winks, then it would already be 350% better than what we got.  CRYSTAL SKULL doesn't even work, so we don't have the luxury of emphasizing flaws of that category.  We're too busy being mystified at why an Indiana Jones movie is boring us to tears while looking like it was made in a hard drive.




- Belloq87 - 01-28-2018

I really would like to get my hands on the Jeff Nathanson draft that apparently came after Darabont and before Koepp; Nathanson retains "Story by" credit on the final film, whereas Darabont doesn't.




- fatherdude - 01-28-2018

WGA arbitration is often a nonsensical business and must have been particularly tricky in the case of this project.  It wouldn't surprise me if Nathanson got a Story By credit just for being the second-to-last screenwriter, and it only goes as deep as that.  It's also possible Darabont did not even fight for credit.  Based on the myriad of elements in Darabont's draft that are also in the final movie, we can be sure all screenwriters involved with this project were working from an outline provided by the Beards, which makes authorship more ambiguous.  Bringing Marion back was apparently a Darabont idea, and one that Spielberg insisted be part of the outline thereafter.  With a process like that, it's hard to know who "owns" what at the end of the day.



But yeah, access to Nathanson's draft would be fascinating.  The big high-level differences between Darabont's script and Koepp's are the inclusion of Mutt and Spalko as well as much more of embrace of the alien angle, which makes me wonder if any of that came out of the Nathanson interlude.  And like anyone with a soul, I just have an innate impulse to read a screenplay titled INDIANA JONES AND THE ATOMIC ANTS.




- Belloq87 - 01-28-2018

Yeah, I'm mostly interested in the Nathanson draft because it's the bridge between what Darabont and Koepp did, and it's the script we know the least about.




- Overlord - 01-28-2018

AIt's not nostalgia. One is shot well and is awesome, the other is weirdly hued garbage.

In every Indy film the opening sequence is unrelated to the main plot. Except for Crystal Skull. The first 15 minutes of the film are so wrong on every level.

It isn't poetry. It doesn't rhyme.


- serpico jones - 01-28-2018

AUseless trivia: Frank Darabont was essentially the showrunner for the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles which was something of a revolutionary show for its time. Pablo Hidalgo recently pointed out how Lucasfilm produced detailed, expensive and amazing documentaries for each episode on the DVDs.


- shaunh - 01-28-2018

Much appreciated, all.




- Overlord - 01-28-2018

A[quote name="Serpico Jones" url="/community/t/155331/indiana-jones-and-youre-actually-fucking-serious-pre-release-discussion/2220#post_4460328"]Useless trivia: Frank Darabont was essentially the showrunner for the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles which was something of a revolutionary show for its time. Pablo Hidalgo recently pointed out how Lucasfilm produced detailed, expensive and amazing documentaries for each episode on the DVDs.[/quote]

And that show was dreadful. Maybe 2 or 3 watchable episodes (Daredevils of the Desert, Phantom Train, and Peacocks Eye).


- engineer - 01-28-2018

List of things I actually liked about CRYSTAL SKULL:



The opening moments with the hot-rod kids and the trucks


The introduction of Indy in the trunk (I liked that it picked up in the middle of something)
Cate Blanchett being some sort of psychic (I really wish they'd done better things with that)


The nuke stuff


Intro of Mutt as The Wild One (again, they should've done better with that)


The diner/college campus chase


The Marion reveal (yet again, I wish they'd done better things with her)
.....and then nothing much for an hour or so, until......


The reveal of the flying saucer, which I actually think is a fun image.



Too bad six out of eight of the above are all in, what, the first thirty minutes?




- fatherdude - 01-28-2018

ADarabont actually wrote a Young Indy teleplay involving crystal skulls (though not aliens) that went unproduced because the show got cancelled. I believe it was a major reason he got the Indy 4 job after George went back to the skulls as a McGuffin.


- arjen rudd - 01-28-2018

AThe biggest thing that made Darabont’s script so much better was Marion. What he wrote had a terrific approximation of the Marion that appears in Raiders, all grit and energy and pseudo-30s sex banter with Indy.

As to whether Karen Allen was up to that, opinions may vary. But it reads great. A prominent Shia LaBouef role was no substitute.


- serpico jones - 01-28-2018

A[quote name="FatherDude" url="/community/t/155331/indiana-jones-and-youre-actually-fucking-serious-pre-release-discussion/2200#post_4460347"]Darabont actually wrote a Young Indy teleplay involving crystal skulls (though not aliens) that went unproduced because the show got cancelled. I believe it was a major reason he got the Indy 4 job after George went back to the skulls as a McGuffin.[/quote]

George Lucas apparently became obsessed with crystal skulls while working on that show.


- Overlord - 01-28-2018

AObsessed with making a movie about them or about the actual skulls?


- serpico jones - 01-28-2018

A[quote name="Overlord" url="/community/t/155331/indiana-jones-and-youre-actually-fucking-serious-pre-release-discussion/2200#post_4460393"]Obsessed with making a movie about them or about the actual skulls?[/quote]

The actual skulls and the history behind them.


- commodorejohn - 01-29-2018

AHonestly, the most bleakly funny thing about Crystal Skull is the bit where Indy talks about the whole crystal-skulls fringe theory in some detail and then immediately goes "oh, yeah, but this is obviously a totally different thing here so just forget about all that shit."


- noirheaven - 01-29-2018

Yes, evidently Spielberg insisted that Marion come back, more so than Lucas. I recall reading an interview circa spring/summer 2006 of Spielberg where he was talking about certain projects on his plate and of course "Indy 4" as it was known was the big one, and the next one, after giving himself a brief rest following the one-two punch of War of the Worlds and Munich.



Anyway, Spielberg spent a major stretch of the interview seemingly thinking out loud about how much he wanted to make "Indy 4" into a kind of Indiana Jones version of "Robin and Marian," the 1976 film with an old, haggard Sean Connery version of Robin Hood reuniting with Audrey Hepburn's Maid Marian.



Just him talking about that made me at the very least truly curious about what an "Indy 4" would look and sound like, especially if it carried with it that sense of melancholy, at the years that had gone by, between the two. It was clear that Spielberg wanted Marion back.



Consequently when I saw the film opening day I was deeply disappointed that pretty much none of those thematic currents are present. Marion is not the approximation of her "old"/"young" self, as in the Darabont screenplay referred to above. She's just a constantly smiling adventurer who kind of pokes fun at Indy.



Maybe Karen Allen couldn't have pulled off what Darabont's screenplay had for her character, but in any event, what we got was disappointing on that front.



Also agree with Engineer that most of the things I think of fondly are front-loaded in Crystal Skull. As many of us have said before in this thread, the film never really recovers from the moment they hit what's supposed to be Peru.




- fatherdude - 01-29-2018

I think it's an issue of real estate.  Having a movie focused on Indy and Marion would have worked, or Indy and his son, or Indy and his college friend driven mad by the skull, or Indy and his untrustworthy British buddy from WWII.  But the movie just kind of throws all that into a blender and calls it a meal.