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01 June 2008 @ 11:21 pm
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull  
I caught it yesterday, and I don't really know what all the complaining was about. It was an Indiana Jones movie: one ginormous, kinesthetic chase, with occasional pauses for people to be snarky or tender at each other, before the bad guys pop up again and all fast moving hell breaks loose again.

Not Raiders, no, but I'd put it on an equal level with Crusade.

Things I adored:
The way they had Indy's first appearance pan down on his thinning, greying hair. "Yeah, he's old. So what!". Ford was great, exactly the sort of guy who gets older and older and more leathered and still kicks your ass. I do wish they had carried it through even more strongly and had him take out the bad guy in the surrounded-by-ants scene in a more more distinctly "age and treachery beat youth and strength" rather than a straight punch up.

Karen Allen. Still great and snarky and sunny, and the wedding was a lovely, sentimental and appropriate tie up to the series.

Some people didn't like the opening sequence, but I found the abrupt switch from the smiling, happy to drag race soldiers to cold blooded murdering to be very effective; I remained nearly totally unspoiled for the movie so I wasn't expecting it at that moment.

Things I did not:
Like the rest of the series, the racial subtext is dodgy as hell. Actually even worse in this one, as the others at least made a gesture at having a non-white character who was a person rather than the inhuman Other. The metaphoric identification of the Indians with the army ants was particularly icky (they swarm out of the earth, they are driven away by the skull.)I tend to do the "oh John Ringo no" thing with it, and enjoy the rest of the movie, but I can't say that it's not pretty lame.

There were a couple of moments when Shia Lebouf was balancing between the trucks that were very *violently* green screen, which was a bit shocking in an 2008 ILM movie, and the prop skull looked seriously plastic at times (which it obviously was, but it shouldn't look like plastic filled with tinfoil!)

Things that were just weird: was I the only gamer who was having *serious* Alpha Centauri technology discovery flashbacks when Nazi Louise Brooks (tm someone) was giving her soliloquy about "our thoughts will be your thoughts and you won't even know it?"

We had a zillion previews, most of which I have forgotten, except that Hancock looked a hell of lot more interesting than it did in the first trailer.

On Friday, I took my warrior into Karazhan for the first time, and it was surprisingly much less stressful than just about any 70 dungeon I've was in. I was offtanking, so I was never responsible for more than one baddie at a time, and I got to tank Midnight and Moroes, and I much enjoy tanking bosses. Plus I have my first shiny Kara purple.
mikkeneko on June 2nd, 2008 07:56 am (UTC)
Kara is wonderful! Interesting boss fights and spooky scenery, many badges and delicious loot!

In general, I really enjoy 10-man dungeon raiding more than 25-man, and definitely more than 5-man. It's an excellent balance between keeping the raid small enough that the chaos doesn't get overwhelming, and providing you with enough space that you can really take advantage of the way different classes can synergize with each other. Think of it -- with nine classes, in a 10 man raid you can theoretically have one of every class (albeit not one of every spec of every class.)

Also, unlike in a regular dungeon, or worse, a heroic dungeon where there's absolutely no room for mistakes, in Kara you can afford to bring along a few gimp or under-par players as long as the main group is solid. That combined with the incredible range of loot and the sheer length of it, from easy to hard, makes Kara a delightfully fun and absolutely essential step between new-70s and raid-ready. (ZA provides the same function for between early-raiding and end-raiding, but it's a lot more limited in scope.)

Long Live Karazhan!

This also, incidentally, is why I react with appropriate scorn at the players -- all hardcore raiders, I might add, who whine endlessly that it's just not right to have 10-man dungeons accessible at end-game content in Wrath of the Lich King. Because, dammit, if they have something good, then nobody else should be able to have it.
Lauratavella on June 2nd, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
Also, unlike in a regular dungeon, or worse, a heroic dungeon where there's absolutely no room for mistakes, in Kara you can afford to bring along a few gimp or under-par players as long as the main group is solid.

This is definitely a big part of it. I've gotten downright phobic about doing most 70 dungeons because there's no space in most 5-mans for me to be anything but main tank, and as main tank if I lose control of any of my targets suddenly the healer is dying and we wipe. And I *suck* at holding more than two targets. There is nothing to make the dungeon experience more miserable than repeated wipes because you fuck up. I know it can be done, I ran Shattered Halls with a warrior tank who *Arms*-tanked his way through those 5, 6, 7 pulls with minimal crowd control to help, but I cannot do it.

Bosses on the other hand I love, because I can run my rotation and all I have to worry about is throwing in disarms and shield block and timing shield bash and spell deflection properly. I have nooooo problem holding them even when plenty of damage is incoming.

Catie: [Fic] The Water-Stone of the Wisecatystorm on June 2nd, 2008 11:20 am (UTC)
The bit where they drove between the bus and the car wasn't green screened as far as I know, they actually did that stunt and were wearing wires - at least according to the making-of special that I saw.

But insofar as the actual sfx went, I was more impressed by how much stuff they DIDN'T do CG, so it really did keep the feel and flow of the first three films.
Lauratavella on June 2nd, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
It was a particular bit of that scene, the bit where Shia has one foot on each car and is being whacked by plant life. The background was very obviously greenscreen, with the characteristic difference in saturation that you see in old greenscreen, and it was startling to see because the rest of the effects were so good and invisible.
Catie: [FMA] Ed's head hurtscatystorm on June 2nd, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
I totally misread your post; I thought you were referring to them on the motorcycle riding between the bus and the car. xD;