I disagree. He's told early on that Abner is dead, but he's still VERY motivated to find the Ark. And his father has to talk him into letting go of the Grail rather than risk death. No such motivation exists for the skulls.
I'm talking about what initially fires his pursuit, not the shifts of interest that later ensue (keep in mind, he only became enamored with the Grail when he saw that the damn thing actually worked)...
Concerning your latter assertion, one thing that has always bugged me about Last Crusade is Indy's skepticism: we are to believe that a man who has seen the paranormal in two prior films is all of a sudden skeptical of the mystical power of the Holy Grail ("bedtime stories", etc.).
This was a problem for me even before Last Crusade. Indy shows great skepticism of the supernatural in Raiders, but Temple shows us that he's already experienced wild paranormal phenomena prior to the events of the first film. I've never really understood why Temple was made a prequel. Just change the date shown on-screen at the very beginning, and it would have worked equally well as a sequel to Raiders. But as it is now, it creates a continuity error between the two films.
I thought they made it a prequel because Spielberg and Lucas wanted a different girl in every movie (like James Bond). Since Indy ends up with Marion at the end of Raiders, they thought it would make more sense to make it a prequel. Doesn't explain why Marion isn't mentioned in Crusade, though.
^I'm pretty sure that what Brian is referring to is the reason given in either the making-of the Indy movies book or the documentary on the DVD or both. I guess you just have to assume that Indy and Willie had a brief romance.
Just pretend ToD doesn't exist, and that solves a lot of the problem, no?
I finally got to see Indy 4 (on BD rental), and it's alright. Fun enough for the first viewing, but nothing special -- at least it's not as annoying as certain aspects of ToD.
Don't think I'll be buying the BD (unless it hits the $5 bargain bin some day
). Besides, maybe this one will play better on DVD instead to help mask away all them wrinkles, etc. Ford (and Allen) looks awfully haggard for the character's age, if I got it right, though he doesn't look as old to me in the one or two interviews I saw briefly in the extras.
When the rest of the series comes to BD, I'll probably only pick up Raiders and Last Crusade, if at all possible.