Raiders of the Lost Skull http://www.fanedit.org/ifdb/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/300x300s/1b/c3/5c/563_raiders-of-the-lost-skull-front-134491498745.jpg
The anticipation for Indy 4 prior to 2008 was crazy, and arguably the end product was just as big a letdown as those other Lucas related films. I recall people walking out saying “it was ok I guess”. But we all know it wasn’t. This edit attempts to make Indy 4 at least watchable, and at best enjoyable.
Changes in Version 2 (August 2012)
•Audio Remix in 5.1 surround (better integration of Raiders of the Lost Ark soundtrack)
•Addition of Ants/Fight with Russian scene during the Forest Chase
•Removal of Indy’s College promotion/wedding. Movie now ends at the top of the mountain
•New end credits sequence, featuring the score from Raiders of the Lost Ark
•Improved colour correction
•Minor tweaks and improvements throughout
•New motion menu for Bluray and DVD release
•New cover art/poster
- NTSC DVD-5
- AVCHD (DVD-9)
- Blu-Ray (BD-25)
- Motion Menus (BD and DVD)
- 5.1 Surround Sound
- Trailer (BD and DVD)
a) Do it in 1080p HD using the BluRay
b) Try something fairly radical with the score. Most fans of Raiders would agree that the classic score is so perfect, so I decided to integrate it into the film to try and better match the tone of the two films. William’s KOTCS score wasn’t too bad, but it certainly didn’t have the magic that Raiders has. So there you go. That’s my reasoning.
There are hundreds of changes, but here is a general feel for the major ones.
Edits to entire film.
1-Film Score: The large majority of the score has been completely replaced with the score from Raiders of the Lost Ark. This was a painstaking process, matching each musical beat to this new edit of KOTCS. The intention was to improve the tone, and evoke the old feeling of Raiders through that classic music. As a result of these changes, many sound effects also had to be replaced to allow the new music to be integrated naturally into the film
2-Colour Correction: The entire film has been colour corrected, scene by scene, toning down the over saturated look of the film. This was achieved by fixing the white balance, and bringing the skin tones back within a more ‘natural’ range. This helps bring the film more in line with the other 3 films colour-wise
Major Changes to Characters.
- Silly/goofy humour removed (eg falling off the speed train etc)
- Cheesy lines removed (eg “I’m sorry, I meant drop dead comrade” “damn i thought that was closer”)
- Poor line deliveries removed (eg “It’s Oriana himself”)
- Improved action pacing (indy using his whip looked rather slow in the original...)
- Removed her monologue when she first meets Indy. Also indy doesn’t get introduced, so his “who was that woman” makes more sense later.
- Entirely removed her sword fight with Mutt
- Removed as many bad lines as possible
- Tried to make him less silly.
- He no longer sword fights or swings with monkeys.
- Just tried to make him less annoying in general
- Removed as many silly moments as possible.
- There were quite a few poor acting moments from Marion. I just cut what I could, but it was impossible to fix everything.
- Got rid of most of his “JONSEY”s from the film.
- Removed painful banter with Indy “bet ya 10 bucks we get out of this etc”
- Removed annoying dialogue like “you don’t know him YOU DON’t KNOW HIM etc”
- He’s no longer a triple agent etc. stupid idea.
- He no longer falls on the ground for no reason, then lies on the ground for no reason before being sucked into the vortex to another dimension. Added an explosion to make a reason for his fall, then he gets sucked in almost straight away.
- Removed as many stupid moments as possible. Including dancing with the Russians and twirling his stick around when he first meets indy in the tent.
-The “HELP” scene in the quicksand is gone.
Select Changes to individual scenes (not an exhaustive list, but a general idea)
- Removed Gophers, Elvis Song, Car race to make the tone more menacing. Makes the impact when the Russian attack more intense.
- Shortened dialogue with Spalko.
- Shortened gun powder scene
- Tightened up warehouse chase, and added new sound effects/music etc.
- Removed completely.
- Cut all dialogue alluding to the bomb. This was challenging and required a mask over indy's mouth.
- Cut obvious and unnecessary dialogue “first Marcus, then dad”. Thought it was more powerful to just show this visually.
- Cut stupid expression on indy’s face after “taking them away”.
- Reintroduced ark theme to replace skull theme
- Used music from Raiders basket chase instead of “shake rattle and roll”
- Many small edits, including tightening the jump from car to motorbike
- Cut library chase.
Traveling by plane (both scenes)
- Replaced music with travelling by plane music from Raiders. This meant replacing all sound effects of planes/boats etc
- Cut scene with the ‘living dead’ spidermen in the graveyard.
- There would have been no poison on the end of the dart that indy blew into that guys mouth anyway.
In the tomb.
- No more CGI scorpions
- Removed unnecessary dialogue
- Indy no longer goes to steal the knife.
- Indy doesn’t do the working it all out scene “he put it back where he found it” etc. This becomes obvious later, and just slows things down.
- Modelled the interrogation on infodroid’s unfinished edit. Used footage from The Watchmen and Raiders to show what the Russian might do if they used the skull etc.
- Also used the sound design from when the ark is being kept on the ship In Raiders. Seemed suitable.
- Ox is less stupid
- Marion is (a little) less hammy
- Much shorter (no more stupid ox)
- No snake. This was hard to achieve, but I’m willing to live with it to avoid having that stupid snake scene.
- Shorter, punchier dialogue between the three when having their argument.
- No more comedy triple kick, or losing the knife. When indy kicks the guy, he goes down first time, then it’s straight to business. Indy doesn’t waste time.
- Very challenging scene to edit. Removed sword fight, mutt in the trees, as many shocking CGI shots as possible, ants, and fight with the Russian, Marion and her stupid facial expressions. This scene plays faster now, but at least feels like an Indy scene, instead one of the worst scenes in cinema history.
- Ants/fight with Russian reinstated.
-The jump off the cliff has been ‘zoomed in’ to give the impression the jump was not quite so high, and hopefully looks just a little more believable that they would attempt/survive such a stunt.
- Only 1. It’s still stupid, but 3 times less stupid.
Inside the Temple
- The natives no longer live in the walls
- Got rid of everyone screaming everyone else’s name.
With the aliens
- The skeletons do not merge into a CGI abomination. They remain skeletons.
- Mac doesn’t have a lie down for no reason
- Added “Water! Water!” from Temple of doom as they try to escape the temple.
- Removed Alien ship completely. They went to another dimension through a portal, so no need to see a ship.
- Deleted for version 2. Credits now start, with the closing credits music from Raiders, on top of the mountain.
So there you go, a bit of a rundown of some of the more significant cuts. Those of you who know the film well will notice many more. Hope you enjoy it!
Ah the power of music!
Aside from positive reviews I sought out NJVC's Indy 4 edit mostly out of curiosity to see how well the score was replaced. Audio is always the most challenging aspect of fan editing with music sometimes difficult to isolate. However I was blown away to see how well NJVC integrated the Raiders score, simply marvellous!
With the original score, right from the opening scene you feel like your in an Indy film. Thankfully this continues as cues are carefully selected.
Cuts are seamless and with 32 minutes cut I was surprised that the film didn't feel rushed.
Highlights for me include the opening, Indy's Crystal Skull nightmare sequence (which brilliantly utilises some of the footage cut earlier in the film including the iconic shot of Indy and mushroom cloud), editing of the jungle scene which is reduced to the bare minimum and the ending which now feels more epic with the replaced score.
Nit-picks would be not seeing the new title (Return of the Crystal Skull) in the opening credits and the one shot of the flying saucer in the nightmare sequence.
This edit is more than watchable, NJVC has created an enjoyable Indy adventure!
I am not an expert as far as fanedits go, but I have watched some fanedits.
About IJKS, I did not dare to watch one until I read the description of your project.
Changing the music was a superb idea, and it works. From start to finish.
The cutlist was great and despite some messy stuff during the car chase, I could enjoy (enjoy!) this edit of the movie during all of it.
The ending was superb and the hard work must pay off.
Thank you! All thumbs up.
Some small criticism would be that the use of Raiders "Mystery" theme was excessive, but that is a small shadow in an overall pristine work.
Thanks again, never thought I would enjoy any of this material.
The looks of audio and video are also excellent.
Shame on Kaminski, shame on Koep, glory to you, man!! NJVC!!
NJVC's edit of KOTCS is a handy replacement for the loathsome original. There is no reason anyone should be watching the original with this in their collection. NJVC has succeded in the stated goal to make this feel more like Raiders but it still feels like a very drab and boring relation to that masterpiece.
Audio/Video Quality: The audio and image quality is absolutely stunning (Near faultless). The new score is wonderful although I thought the original wasn't so bad. I thought it just needed more of the stronger themes, not replacing entirely. However while the colour correction is an improvement it doesn't go nearly far enough. The image is still wildly over-saturated and of course the artificial glow that is filtered over everything is still present. But the glowing halos over every part of the image that even approaches white is almost impossible to remove.
One of the best scenes is the skull montage in the jungle camp which contained the only error I could see. The montage contains sequence from Raiders and since those shots are in a slightly different aspect ratio they are bleeding out round the edges. A shame that the only error is in the best edited bit. Knocked off 1 point but would've been a frction if that was possible.
Visual Editing: This is a huge improvement on the original. Trimming out alot of stuff that needed to go. e.g. flying saucer, gofers, doom town, motorcycle skiing. But IMO it also removes stuff that didn't need to go and leaves in other bits that did. e.g. removing Spalko's (Wonderfully tongue-in-cheek) awesome scene stealing monologue but then immediately after, leaving in her using telekinesis? I thought characters like Spalko, Mutt and Mac got a bit lost somewhere. Also I was hoping that Mac's constant flipping of sides was going to be streamlined more.
Audio Editing: Clearly a ten out of ten. I'm sure the work and effort that went into the score replacement was huge but it seemed effortless. The score always matched the action and the replaced sound effects were undetectable to my ear. The way the score comes in over the credits is sheer magic.
Narrative: Sadly this is where the edit fell down for me. The original's plot is so convoluted and boring that it's barely watchable. From the the post rocket sled de-brief to the quicksand scene it's still 40 minutes of our heroes jumping all over the globe in an attempt to disguise that every scene is a drawn out exposition of the plot...
EXCITING CHASE! / Sit in AirForce base explaining the plot / Sit in Indys home explaining the plot / Sit in Cafe explaining the plot / BRIEF CHASE! / Walk through market explaining the plot / Stand in cell explaining the plot / Explore tomb while explaning the plot / Tie Indy to chair while explaining the plot to him / MILDLY FUN QUICKSAND SCENE!
But even after all that I'm still unclear about what happened to who and when and how? So I'm unclear what could be done to fix this but something needs done to up the pace in this segment.
I've checked the original and the original exposition sequence lasted 47 minutes but I feel it needs cut almost in half to stop the audience falling asleep.
Enjoyment: The first 15 minutes and and the last third are top draw Indy entertainment but the exposition 40 minutes I've mentioned is so boring that I struggled to get to the last third. I think this is the reason this film may be unfixable at anything like feature length but for a 90 minute cut this is probably as good as it's gonna get.
This probably sounds like quite a negative review but make no mistake that NJVC has improved this film dramatically. I've given it an enjoyment score of 6 but the orginal cut would be something like a 2 (If I was being generous). And lastly the way NJVC ended this thing is a masterstroke, removing the cheesy wedding and replacing it with something, warmer, more subtle and more in keeping with how a Indy film should end... hurrah!
This is the third edit of Indy 4 I've watched, and while they all have their pluses and minuses, I think this might be my favorite due to the new score alone. I'm not an expert on movie soundtracks, but this just *felt* more like an Indy film with the music choices that the editor made, and the integration was really well done. Reading some of the reviews, I was very concerned about the audio, but the new music and sound fx were very well balanced with the existing dialogue. I'm assuming the reviewer comments about poor audio levels were made based on v1, as opposed to the v2 I watched.
The other new and exciting thing the editor did was the use of additional footage during the crystal skull spell sequence, including some very clever usage of Doom Town. By far my favorite editing of this scene!
Beyond that, there was the usual mix of editing choices that I both agreed and disagreed with. There were a few things that I have seen done better, but by and large the editing choices were well done.
A/V quality and editing were generally excellent. I only watched the DVD9 for now, but I look forward to adding the AVCHD to my collection if I'm able to obtain it.
I was actually able to fully enjoy this movie for the first time. Still the worst of the series, but now deserves it's place alongside the others in my collection. I no longer even mind Mutt as a character, with his obnoxiousness toned down. Quite a feat.
The Raiders score works very well. It feels more like a true Indy film. The cringeworthy moments are gone. Well done!