Upon Further Review’s First MiniReview!

We’ve been thinking of a way to get shows out more often despite our busy schedule, and finally decided that having minireviews from time to time–in which one of us does a quick five or six minute bare bones take on only one topic–might be a way to tide you fine people over between our full shows. Accordingly, we’re happy to present our first minireview, posted by Greg from his hotel room in Calgary (where he’s attending the World Fantasy Convention), in which he heads back to the mid fifties (or mid eighties, depending on your point of view) world of Indiana Jones with his review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Please let us know whether you like this format–and don’t worry, it’s meant to supplement, not replace, our full-length productions!

Reviewed in this show:

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


  1. Dewhurst:

    Ah yes, the ever subjective movie review.

    I’m not sure your comments on the “feel” of Indiana Jones really went anywhere. You seem undecided. Do you have a concern with “throwbacks” or using film techniques from a prior decade? As far as I knew, the three original movies were ALREADY throwbacks to a previous era or form of story telling (maybe you are suffering from the backlash of a throwback to movies that were already throwbacks?).

    Having watched the content on the two-disc DVD edition I would say you are correct when you surmise that Harrison Ford seems to enjoy his role as Indiana Jones.

    Not sure what you mean by him not seeming to have aged much. If you compare Raiders and Crystal Skull, he looks ages older. If you meant that he still seems enthusiastic about the role (in contrast to Ol’ Sean as 007), then you may be right, but I’m not sure what that has to do with age?!?! Maybe you mean he still feels like Indiana Jones (almost like we never even left him), not like someone who “was” Indiana Jones and is now trying to figure out how to be him again? In that case, I also think he doesn’t really seem to have changed.

    LaBeouf was the addition that I was afraid could really hurt, but he turned out all right in this movie (although nothing really great).

    You say that the plot is “ridiculously absurd”, and I wish you would have made a small attempt to elaborate on it, because I don’t know what you thought was the absurd bits that stressed credulity. So I can’t really comment on specifics, but I can say that I found the plot about as believable as Temple of Doom (of the original three, this one was by far the least believable, as far as I was concerned).

    On first viewing of the movie, I thought the dialogue was a bit iffy as well. However, on subsequent viewings I have revised my opinion, and although I cannot say the dialogue is brilliant, I can say that it is a bit more solid than I had originally thought. Yeah, I didn’t really feel the “I like Ike” part either. Not sure it actually came off as “incredibly stupid” though, that seems a modicum too strong (simply dumb may have been better). On Blanchett’s character, I think you may have been too harsh on the dialogue and script. She played the comic book-esque villian, and I don’t think the character was meant to be anything other than that.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the throwback to the old adventure stories and adventure heroes of the earlier decades of the 20th century that underlie the original films, so we would be irreconcilably divided on this throwback contention (whether it be a perk or a liability).

    You gave it a final vote of 5/10. I think it was about the equivalent of Temple of Doom, which, for me, ranks in at about a 7/10.

    Also, what is a popcorn movie exactly? My personal image of a popcorn movie is Godzilla from the mid-90’s. Frivolous, but lots of fun to watch (although incredibly improbable). So, Indiana Jones would probably qualify for this. Personally, I refer to it as an Action-Adventure movie, and very rarely use the term “popcorn movie”, as I have a hard time figuring out when to leverage that judgement, and when to avoid it.

    My overall rating of this MiniReview, about a 4/10. It was moderately interesting, but certainly nowhere near the standards set in the usual podcast. However, I look forward to more, and I look forward to seeing how you revise the MiniReview concept in the future!

  2. admin:

    Sorry you didn’t like the minireview, but thanks for the comment.


  3. Dewhurst:

    Well, it isn’t that I didn’t like it. As you can see, it sparked plenty of thought in me.

    I tried to end the comment hopeful, realizing that you are probably just beginning to explore this shortened form of podcasting, and will embrace the possibilities in subsequent Minis.

    But now, as you know, there is a second MiniReview to peruse. Which I shall do so now.

  4. classic chris:

    love the mini reviews!!! while the sound quality isn’t great, i really appreciate you getting these out to keep all of your loyal (and new) fans satiated. personally, i haven’t seen the crystal skull movie yet, but this review is pretty well in line with everything else I hear from my trusted sources.

    thanks, again, for taking the time to crank these out!

    Will you indulge me with a little plug for your facebook page?

    UFR fans, if you use facebook, make sure to join the UFR group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=30520299052

  5. DrumIntellect:

    I don’t think you were calling it a popcorn movie. It sounded more like you were saying if you wanted to see a popcorn movie – a silly non-heavy movie – this would be good to watch.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the show.

  6. admin:

    Chris: Thanks, and we’ll have a Facebook widget of some kind up and running as soon as we can (again, we can’t thank you enough for setting that up!). And we’re working on the mini-review sound quality…harder because when we do them we’re not in studio, but we’re trying.

    DI: Thanks as well…and yeah, that was basically the idea Greg was trying to get across. Silly and non-heavy would definitely fit. :)


  7. classic chris:

    just as a point of clarification, i was asking for forgiveness for inserting my facebook plug in my post. but if you could get a widget or something up, that would be cool too :-)

    re: sound quality, my friend and fellow UFR fan, AJ, shared something with me a while back from a professional voice-over guy (maybe even the late, great “…in a world…” guy) with how he does his recordings on the road. If I find it I’ll send it along. It had some great tips!

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