Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: The Spence Edit

Updated
 
10.0
 
9.6 (16)
5127 1 6
crystalskullspence_front
Faneditor Name:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2008
Original Running Time:
122 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
110 minutes
Time Cut:
12 minutes
Subtitles Available:
Available in HD:
Synopsis:
Going to see Crystal Skull on opening night is probably the worst cinematic experience I've ever had. You could just feel the room deflate, all the energy disappear, the excitement turned to disappointment. I hated it.

However, time has been kinder than expected to the film. Maybe it's comparing it to what passes for modern "adventure" filmmaking, but it's sort of outdated style kind of works in its favor. There's a lot of things that do work about it. Harrison Ford and the rest of the cast are game. Though it's kind of a "left hand" movie from Spielberg, he's still the greatest movie director of our lifetimes, so it's still got some great visuals and action. The story could be intriguing.
Intention:
Make the film "fun", remove some silliness, bring it closer to the original films.
Other Sources:
Various Indiana Jones Soundtracks by John Williams
Special Thanks:
Artisdead
Bored at 3:00AM
Editzilla
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
My two main gripes with it:
1. The modern CGI and cinematography isn't very good, even for it's time, and sticks out like a sore thumb. It's just kind of ugly. It also doesn't "feel" like Indy.
2. There's little sense of urgency in between the shooting and punching. Everything just sort of happens and crawls along until the next action scene.

There's been some great fanedits of this, but a lot of them either remove more than I would like, or less than I would like. The focus is often on removing the things that, from a story perspective, "don't work" as opposed to just making watching the film a fun time.
Cuts and Additions:
Changelist:
- Change the color/white balance to look more like the old films.
- New transition from the Paramount Logo to a newly created mountain shot. "Hound Dog!" plays from the beginning over it until we transition to the car.
- Cut Mac's lines about betting on getting out of this.
- Cut "I meant drop dead comrade" and the punch that precedes it.
- Cut the line about "wubbalyoos".
- Cut Spalko trying and failing to be psychic. This goes nowhere, and she never successfully does anything telepathic in the film so the whole concept is dropped.
- 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 Mac's "You don't know him!" bit.
- Removed a cutaway to Spalko and Mac getting in a truck.
- Trimmed a lot of silliness in Nuketown, Indy is now significantly more concerned.
- Cut a lot of the tumbling of the fridge, so it seems like he maybe could have survived.
- Cut the bit where they're scrubbing the radiation off of Indy.
- Cut Mutt repeating "That's my mother" so he only says it once.
- Sped up the gap between "knife" and "gunfight"
- Lots of trims to the crypt sequence to speed it up and get the story moving.
- Cut the bit where Indy tries to purloin a knife.
- Cut "saucer men from mars"
- Cut Ox dancing at the campfire.
- Trimmed Marion's introduction so it's more quippy and feels like banter from Raiders.
- Cut the snake being used as a rope. Mac and Spalko show up after Indy says "why the hell didn't you make him finish school?!"
- 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.
- Some minor cuts to the ants scene for pacing and to remove unnecessary silly jokes (like Spalko crushing an ant with her knees)
- Only one waterfall, which is a combination of the three original ones.
- Some light trims to the end section of the movie for pacing and to remove unnecessary gags.
Faneditor Name:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2008
Original Running Time:
122 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
110 minutes
Time Cut:
12 minutes
Subtitles Available:
Available in HD:
Synopsis:
Going to see Crystal Skull on opening night is probably the worst cinematic experience I've ever had. You could just feel the room deflate, all the energy disappear, the excitement turned to disappointment. I hated it.

However, time has been kinder than expected to the film. Maybe it's comparing it to what passes for modern "adventure" filmmaking, but it's sort of outdated style kind of works in its favor. There's a lot of things that do work about it. Harrison Ford and the rest of the cast are game. Though it's kind of a "left hand" movie from Spielberg, he's still the greatest movie director of our lifetimes, so it's still got some great visuals and action. The story could be intriguing.
Intention:
Make the film "fun", remove some silliness, bring it closer to the original films.
Other Sources:
Various Indiana Jones Soundtracks by John Williams
Special Thanks:
Artisdead
Bored at 3:00AM
Editzilla
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
My two main gripes with it:
1. The modern CGI and cinematography isn't very good, even for it's time, and sticks out like a sore thumb. It's just kind of ugly. It also doesn't "feel" like Indy.
2. There's little sense of urgency in between the shooting and punching. Everything just sort of happens and crawls along until the next action scene.

There's been some great fanedits of this, but a lot of them either remove more than I would like, or less than I would like. The focus is often on removing the things that, from a story perspective, "don't work" as opposed to just making watching the film a fun time.
Cuts and Additions:
Changelist:
- Change the color/white balance to look more like the old films.
- New transition from the Paramount Logo to a newly created mountain shot. "Hound Dog!" plays from the beginning over it until we transition to the car.
- Cut Mac's lines about betting on getting out of this.
- Cut "I meant drop dead comrade" and the punch that precedes it.
- Cut the line about "wubbalyoos".
- Cut Spalko trying and failing to be psychic. This goes nowhere, and she never successfully does anything telepathic in the film so the whole concept is dropped.
- 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 Mac's "You don't know him!" bit.
- Removed a cutaway to Spalko and Mac getting in a truck.
- Trimmed a lot of silliness in Nuketown, Indy is now significantly more concerned.
- Cut a lot of the tumbling of the fridge, so it seems like he maybe could have survived.
- Cut the bit where they're scrubbing the radiation off of Indy.
- Cut Mutt repeating "That's my mother" so he only says it once.
- Sped up the gap between "knife" and "gunfight"
- Lots of trims to the crypt sequence to speed it up and get the story moving.
- Cut the bit where Indy tries to purloin a knife.
- Cut "saucer men from mars"
- Cut Ox dancing at the campfire.
- Trimmed Marion's introduction so it's more quippy and feels like banter from Raiders.
- Cut the snake being used as a rope. Mac and Spalko show up after Indy says "why the hell didn't you make him finish school?!"
- 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.
- Some minor cuts to the ants scene for pacing and to remove unnecessary silly jokes (like Spalko crushing an ant with her knees)
- Only one waterfall, which is a combination of the three original ones.
- Some light trims to the end section of the movie for pacing and to remove unnecessary gags.

Trusted Reviewer review

1 review
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
It's the 1950s and Indy is back fighting Evil Commie Agents and hunting for Flying Saucers -- what's not to love?

Apparently lots, based on fan reactions at the time and the large number of fan edits this specific entry in the Jones Franchise has spawned. Myself, I have a soft spot for KOTCS. At the time of its release, I thought LaBeouf was completely miscast and I was disappointed with the emphasis on CGI over Practical Effects. But as for the actual story, I liked it. I thought it was far more interesting than Last Crusade.

And over the last 15 years since it's release, I think Crystal Skull has aged very well when compared to many of the other CGI bloated adventure movies that have deluged the screen since 2008. Despite it's short comings, Crystal Skull is still a Steven Spielberg movie, and at it's heart, it still has a very strong emotional core. And I gotta admit now after a passage of time, Shia's performance is solid.

As for Spence's fan edit... from the moment I saw the new Paramount Mountain opening, which made me SMILE broadly, I knew I was in the right hands. Every concern or nitpick I had with the original has been addressed and corrected as far as the source material allows, without sacrificing character or story structure. The pacing is significantly tighter and faster in all the action beats. All the cuts and trims are seamless, as I would expect from a craftsman of Spence's skill and experience. The audio levels are solid, and the new musical additions are joyously welcomed. The new colour grading injects energy and vibrancy into the adventure.

This is an easy 10s across the board for me.
From the Paramount logo to Indy's March as the credits rolled, I was fully immersed and entertained.
Great stuff!!!
:)

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User reviews

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Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.9(16)
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9.7(16)
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9.6(16)
Narrative
 
9.1(16)
Enjoyment
 
9.1(16)
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Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
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10.0
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10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I saw this movie the day it premiered and although I remember thinking it was just ok, I've since read many a review about how terrible people thought it was, and so I never thought to revisit it. But while I was watching this edit, I paused and went to find reviews from when it came out because the whole time I was thinking "This is great! How did anyone ever say this was bad!" I don't know how much of it is me enjoying Spielberg's direction in a kinder light or Spence's tight editing, but I had a blast watching this. It moves at a perfect pace, with enough time to enjoy all the characters while still keeping the momentum. I didn't notice a single frame out of place with the exception of Shia swinging in from nowhere but that was absolutely the right choice. It's a classic fun silly Indy adventure, what could be better! The only thing that tempered my enjoyment was the (obviously no fault to the editor) anachronistically bad CGI; Dead Man's Chest came out in 2006 and Transformers came out in 2007, how does this 2008 movie have such bad VFX compared to those?

Truly had such a good time watching this, I was never a Crystal Skull hater but now I think I'm a Crystal Skull lover!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
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(Updated: September 19, 2023)
Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
I watched this after the original trilogy and it felt like a natural continuation of the same silly, exciting adventures. A major improvement to what was a decidedly unmemorable film. I'm glad some of the illogical nonsense moments were left in because I feel they fit right in with the rest of the franchise. The only bit that took me out was Mutt swinging out of the jungle which felt like it came out nowhere and reminded me that there was something removed. If I hadn't seen the original I don't think it would stand out though. Characters suddenly popping back into the action isn't uncommon in these films.

With this edit in my collection I can now feel like the Indiana Jones film series is a consistently enjoyable adventure all the way through. Thank you, Spence!
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Overall rating
 
8.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
7.0
Visual Editing
 
7.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
so i watched this one straight after 15MaF crystal skull edit i will say on many levels i had preferred this one due to it not cutting as much because im just a fan of longer movies and i think a lot of the jokes arent as bad as others im also someone that grew up with this movie with it releasing 4ys after i was born.

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Yes
Format Watched
Digital
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(Updated: August 07, 2023)
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Watched this in anticipation for the indie 5 coming out to theatres.

The watch was definitely enjoyable, and I the only times where I could notice edits having occurred were when I thought "oh that scene dragged on for a lot less than I remembered". However, the edit can only do so much for the source material.

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Yes
Format Watched
Digital
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Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
One thing you can say about Spence's edits is that they all feel genuine. What I mean by that is that rather than radically altering the story of the film Spence sticks to what's already there, and just uses light trims to punch things up. If you've watched their take on Justice League, Falcon & Winter Soldier, even Rise of Skywalker to an extent, you know what I mean.

The same can be said about this edit as well. I didn't want to watch a radically changed version of the movie (yet), I wanted a streamlined version of the movie as is, & Spence delivers. Even the "I like Ike" bit, something a lot of editors would cut out, is kept here, & it makes me appreciate this edit more. Much like superheroes, the adventure serials Indy is based on are cheesy, & I'm all for edits, and movies for that matter, that aren't afraid to embrace the cheese factor.

That said, there's stuff in this edit I wish were cut more. I'm totally fine with an Indiana Jones movie where he goes after aliens (& tying into Roswell was a nice touch), I just hate the part about how the aliens gave the Acatori agriculture & the like. Casual cluelessness like that really hampers by buzz when I'm trying to have a good time (even the first scene of indigenous people attacking Indy & Mutt has Indy reverse-blowdarting a guy).

Still, if you want steamlined, as-is version of Crystal Skull, check out this one.

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
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