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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - The Fox Cut

TheFoxMan

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Poster Art by ArtisDead

This is my first edit. Have been a big fan of this community for a few years and thought I would finally try my hand at this. I am a video editor by profession, typically working on commercials and marketing videos - so this was a fun side project!

I started with Spence’s edit and built from that so a lot of my changes will be copied from his list.

After seeing Dial of Destiny and really enjoying it - I realized I could no longer pretend Crystal Skull didn’t exist. There are too many emotional moments in Indy 5 that require some impact to come from Indy 4. One of the best scenes is when Indy talks to Helena about Mutt. I’d love if there was a version I could watch or show my kids that introduces Mutt and brings Marion back in to the series so Dial of Destiny can be the proper conclusion it’s meant to be.



Cuts and Additions:
Changelist:
- Change the color/white balance to look more like the old films.
- New transition from the Paramount Logo to the convoy arriving at Area 51. Cut out Elvis all together. After Dial of Destiny didn’t do the Paramount logo into a mountain transition I felt this was easier to tolerate. It also gets us into the action quicker.
- New credits beginning after the Russians shoot the guards at the gate.
- Cut Mac's lines about betting on getting out of this.
- Cut "I meant drop dead comrade" and the punch that precedes it.
- Cut entire dialogue with Indy and Spalko outside the warehouse. I feel like Harrison’s acting was always a little off in this sequence. Now she walks past him and directly to the warehouse. I think this works because later during the FBI interrogation, Indy asks “who is that woman” and describes her even though he had already been introduced to her.
- Cut some of the searching around the warehouse.
- We only see the hand of the alien for now, as an attempt at keeping some mystery.
- Cleaned up the Mac is a Bad Guy reveal.
- Made Indy start running quicker after shooting the guy in the foot.
- Cut a short bit out of Indy’s mishap with swinging with the whip. There was always an awkward flailing shot that you could tell was wire work, as well as a groan he makes that I didn’t like.
- Cut Mac's "You don't know him!" bit.
- Removed a cutaway to Spalko and Mac getting in a truck.
- Cut the groundhogs watching the rocket sled
- Cut Indy falling off the rocket sled
- Cut all of nuke town - Indy now looks down on the city with the assumption that is the base he ends up at
- Cut the bit where they're scrubbing the radiation off of Indy.
- Interrogation scene re-edited to remove the line about hiding in a refrigerator. This was an idea by DonkeyKonga
- Used a shot amazingly edited by DonkeyKonga to cut out the line about surviving a nuclear blast.
- Cut Mutt repeating "That's my mother" so he only says it once.
- Sped up the gap between "knife" and "gunfight"
- Cut the bit that looks like Indy is skiing behind the motorcycle
- End the scene after Brody’s statue is destroyed. Indy gives Mutt a disapproving look and the scene cuts to his house. Library is cut.
- Part time line is switched to trailer version
- Lots of trims to the crypt sequence to speed it up and get the story moving.
- Cut the bit where Indy tries to keep the ancient knife
- Cut "saucer men from mars"
- Cut out Spalko looking at the alien body with the crystal skull
- Cut Ox dancing at the campfire.
- Cut one shot of Indy in a trance that looks silly
- Trimmed Marion's introduction so it's more quippy and feels like banter from Raiders.
- Cut the snake being used as a rope. Also changed the dialogue in this scene a bit to make it less jokey
- Cut some of the back and forth in the back of the truck.
- Cut Indy slicing into his pants.
- Cut Marion grinning.
- Seriously trimmed up the jungle chase sequence to move faster and have less obviously silly moments.
- Monkeys are gone as well as much of the CGI sword fighting. I tried to keep in the shots that looked practical.
- Changed the soundtrack during the jungle chase. I always felt the Mutt theme was too lighthearted and didn’t provide any tension to the scene.
- Some minor cuts to the ants scene for pacing and to remove unnecessary silly jokes (like Spalko crushing an ant with her knees)
- The big Russian is no longer carried away by the ants. He just dies when they crawl all over him.
- Mutt now says "mom, there's a waterfall" instead of "mom there's a cliff"
- Marion drives off the cliff and they end up overturned at the bottom of the river. I cut out all waterfalls and the rubber tree.
- Cut out when the Aliens start consolidating into the one Alien. Spalko just burns up after the soldiers fly into the sky and Indy and Mutt barely escape. Not that it makes the most sense, but I’m not sure it has to. It’s clear the aliens are doing something bad when the eyes start smoking and the room starts spinning. She kind of dies with no pomp and circumstance but neither did the villains in Dial of Destiny.
- Cut out Ox saying “Dad?”
- Cut out Indy getting his job back and the dean running through the halls and getting the Bible. The movie now cuts directly from Akator being destroyed to the wedding. I also feels this keeps Indy’s issues with the FBI open ended. It’s not like they would just drop their suspicions if he told them everything that happened. It then kind of lines up with him leaving the college to go teach in New York in Dial of Destiny.
 
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That opening bit was awesome! Removing the teenagers at the beginning and going straight to the Russians breaking in really grabs the viewer's attention. I like how fast the opening sequence moves now. I will say i felt like the cut to black during the nuke the fridge could be done better somehow - like maybe cut to black at a different point, and have a much louder explosion sound? As it is it felt a bit jarring, but otherwise I like the effort to make this more exciting.
 
That opening bit was awesome! Removing the teenagers at the beginning and going straight to the Russians breaking in really grabs the viewer's attention. I like how fast the opening sequence moves now. I will say i felt like the cut to black during the nuke the fridge could be done better somehow - like maybe cut to black at a different point, and have a much louder explosion sound? As it is it felt a bit jarring, but otherwise I like the effort to make this more exciting.
Thanks so much! Appreciate the feedback - this is my first attempt at something like this so I'm sure I will constantly go back and tinker with it as I get more comments. Thanks for watching!
 
That opening bit was awesome! Removing the teenagers at the beginning and going straight to the Russians breaking in really grabs the viewer's attention. I like how fast the opening sequence moves now. I will say i felt like the cut to black during the nuke the fridge could be done better somehow - like maybe cut to black at a different point, and have a much louder explosion sound? As it is it felt a bit jarring, but otherwise I like the effort to make this more exciting.
I just re-worked the nuke section - don't have a new version uploaded yet, but I am enjoying all the feedback I am getting. DonkeyKonga and I are working on perfecting the jungle chase as best we can!
 
Very nice, excellent detail in your change list.
I just did a re-edit of the jungle chase - the same link above was replaced so should show the new version. I feel like it wasn't clear Mutt lands on Indy's car at the end and I think this version clears that up a little better!
 
I have a question for anyone reading this - I am going to make one last changed based on some feedback and then I need to be done or I will go crazy…haha!

While I am making that change I have gone back and forth on whether or not I should cut out the big Russian being dragged away by the ants. My goal with this whole edit is to make the movie feel a bit more grounded and while I never hated that scene, I wonder if it’s better to show the ants swarming him when he falls and then leave it at that. You know he’s dead.

Thoughts?
 
I wonder if it’s better to show the ants swarming him when he falls and then leave it at that. You know he’s dead.
I'd say that's a lot better. The Indy franchise has some fantastical elements, but they're more or less linked directly to whatever magical maguffin is being sought. Ants, even abnormally big ones, overpowering and carrying a grown man into a nest is a little too out there IMO. Them swarming over him is horriying enough.
 
@DonkeyKonga has approved this edit secretly from his honeymoon. Congratulations, @TheFoxMan! Welcome to our family! Just don't tell Donkey's wife.
Thanks to both you and Donkey for your patience and expertise with me on this project. I think collectively, all three of us made this better than I could’ve imagined! Now go enjoy your honeymoon @DonkeyKonga!!
 
Cuts and Additions:
Changelist:
- Change the color/white balance to look more like the old films.
- New transition from the Paramount Logo to the convoy arriving at Area 51. Cut out Elvis all together. After Dial of Destiny didn’t do the Paramount logo into a mountain transition I felt this was easier to tolerate. It also gets us into the action quicker.
- New credits beginning after the Russians shoot the guards at the gate.
I dig the intro sequence. Very smooth! What retail release did you use for the basis?
 
I dig the intro sequence. Very smooth! What retail release did you use for the basis?
Thanks so much! It was the original Blu-ray release. I originally started this as a fun project while on vacation not thinking I would ever release it. Once it became much more in-depth I wish I had used the more recent 4K release because the color grading is so much better. At some point when I get some downtime I may try to swap that out because it looks great.
 
Thanks so much! It was the original Blu-ray release. I originally started this as a fun project while on vacation not thinking I would ever release it. Once it became much more in-depth I wish I had used the more recent 4K release because the color grading is so much better. At some point when I get some downtime I may try to swap that out because it looks great.
If you decide to rework this release using the 4k I'd be all for it. There's less sheen in the 4k compared the original bluray. Very cool editing here either way!
 
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