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Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures Blu-ray Review



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#1 of 54 Neil Middlemiss

Neil Middlemiss

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Posted September 15 2012 - 02:21 PM

When you pick up Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures,which of course you certainly should, and when you sit down to watch them, beginning with the carefully and expertly cleaned up Raiders of the Lost Ark, it will strike you; even when these films aren’t firing on all thrusters (parts two and four), they are tremendous entertainment. It has been over 31 years since Raiders took the movie-houses by storm,  earning over $200 million (around $600 adjusted for inflation) on its original run at the domestic box office from a production budget of just $18 million (and becoming a beloved classic), and it, and the sequels, hold up very, very well. The first three installments ably mixed adventure, mystery, humor and wonderfully worked characters in such a way that paid homage to the serial adventures of the 30s and 40s yet brought a cinematic action sophistication that immediately connected with audiences.

 

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Studio: Paramount Pictures
Year: 1981, 1984, 1989, 2008
US Rating: PG, PG, PG-13, PG-13
Film Length: 115 mins / 118 mins / 127 mins / 122 mins
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 1080P High Definition

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French, Spanish, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese


Release Date: September 18, 2012
Review Date: September 15, 2012

 

“Mr. Jones! I've heard a lot about you, sir. Your appearance is exactly the way I imagined.”

 

The Collection

4/ 5

Back in 1981, Harrison Ford donned the world’s most famous fedora and whip for the first time in gratifyingly entertaining adventure as the now legendary Indiana Jones. Ford’s portrayal of the bullwhip-cracking, fedora adorned adventure hero has been highly consistent through now four adventures – with a fifth looking sadly out of reach. As with his lovable rogue character Hans Solo from the Star Wars films, Ford provides Indiana Jones with a skill and prowess that is matched only by his vulnerability and venerable charm. Brains and brawn as foundation for the hero make him much more interesting a man to follow and to root for. As comfortable throwing a punch to get out of a jam as he is to decode a cypher to save his skin, Indiana Jones is without question one of cinemas greatest characters and as much a delight to watch today as he was 30+ years ago.

 

 

 

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(Indiana Jones and the) Raiders of the Lost Ark

4.5/ 5

 

When Professor Jones isn’t teaching University students the importance of the careful archeological research and patient examination of history, he is Indiana Jones, globe-trotting treasure hunter and guardian of historical artifacts. When he is approached by the U.S. Government to find the legendary Ark of the Covenant – an artifact of significant biblical importance – and thwart the Germans who seek the Ark as a means to create an invincible army, Indiana sets out for adventure. From Nepal to Egypt, he follows ancient clues and markers to track down the treasure while racing against the well-equipped, well-staffed and well-armed bad-guys.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is immeasurably entertaining cinema. Spielberg’s directorial boldness and George Lucas’ love of Saturday morning serial adventures as inspiration for the tales by themselves guarantee a good time, but add to that another inevitably apropos score by maestro John Williams and Lawrence Kasdan’s lean and adept screenplay, and what comes about is an instant classic. The film is high-adventure with an intelligent plot, springing from location to location, mettlesome sequence to sequence, employing fine onscreen talent and gifted behind the camera personnel, and delivering thrills at every turn.

George Lucas, amidst the surge of his original Star Wars Trilogy, conjured the story of a renowned Professor of Archeology equally at ease in the jungles of South America as he is at the head of a classroom at Marshall College; a protagonist with cunning and brawn, intellectual dexterity and guardian of historical artifacts. A fascinating and loveable character dispensed to the corners of the globe on thrilling quests to discover, understand, preserve, and protect relics of significance. In Indiana Jones, Lucas found a character into which his love of matinee serials (the Doc Savage series, for example) could be gleefully poured. Partnering with his good friend Steven Spielberg, the two men ignited the thrill of adventure in moviegoers the world over.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is unquestionably one the best movies ever made. It is filled with some of the silver screens most iconic images; Indiana running from a giant rolling ball at the opening, our hero landing face to face with a cobra in the Well of Souls, and of course the closing image of a branded wooden container being wheeled into a labyrinthine storage facility. It is a delight from start to finish. Of course, much of what audiences have rightly loved for years are courtesy of Spielberg’s master choreographic hand. Within sequences, particularly high-energy chases, Spielberg weaves together with deliberate whimsy or chaos or elegance (whatever the moment requires), camera movements, actions of characters, even background elements that ebb and flow to create visual music. It is his most magical skill behind the camera, and Raiders shows it off proudly.

Harrison Ford’s portrayal of Indiana Jones is legendary. Refined and rugged, regimented and rogue, Ford imbues Indiana with a sublime balance of opposites making him as much an everyman as a square-jawed hero. Starring as Marion Ravenwood, the love interest from whom Indiana seeks an object to help him on the quest to find the Ark is Karen Allen. Spunky and courageous, Allen gives her character a tough exterior but not so much that she is too far removed from damsel in distress. But rather than a helpless damsel, she is gritty and unforgiving, giving the Marion character more dimension and appeal than this genre often gave ground to. Supporting players are all memorable, from Denholm Elliott’s inquisitive Dr. Marcus Brody to John Rhys-Davies Sallah, both of whom aid Dr. Jones at home and abroad. Indiana’s spoil, besides the small German army, is Paul Freeman’s Dr. René Belloq – a collector of relics who will happily come by his treasure in the most dishonest of ways. And of course, who can forget Ronald Lacey as the bespectacled and malevolent Major Arnold Toht – into whose hand is burned an outline of the headpiece of the Staff of Ra. A fine cast for a marvelous film.

 

 

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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

3.5/ 5

 

Set before the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the film begins in Shanghai 1935, where Indiana Jones runs afoul of criminal boss Lao Che (Roy Chiao). Following a daring escape, Jones, his side-kick Short-round, and the unhappy tagalong American singer, Willie Scott, take to the skies but are soon betrayed. They cleverly escape the doomed flight and stumble upon a secluded Indian village in strife. The village children have taken away by evil spirits and the village also robbed of a sacred and precious stone. Indiana takes up the cause to recover the artifact and solve the mystery. Indiana finds his way to the mysterious Temple of Doom where Mola Ram (Amrish Puri) and the Kahli cult are attempting to use the stolen stone, with four others that make up the Sankara Stones, to grant Ram the power to enslave the world. 

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is likeable, but following in the adventuresome footsteps of one of cinema’s most entertaining films, Doom falls short. A murkier MacGuffin – the plot device central to each of the stories - and the presence of both a side-kick, short round (newcomer Jonathan Ke Quan), and the high-maintenance and often shrill companion Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw)), the adventure is unfairly saddled.  

George Lucas reportedly wanted Doom to be a darker adventure, much as Empire Strikes Back was tonally darker than Star Wars, but where Empire’s revelations took the story into organically darker territory, Doom has no such natural inclination. Quite frankly, with melting faces and dead bodies with spikes through the torso, Raiders could be plenty dark at times but it was balanced by a clear sense of what the adventure was about. Raiders had clues to follow, maps to read, and mysteries to solve. Doom forgoes the archeological core in favor of ‘right place, right time’ set-up and it just isn’t enough.

Ultimately, The Temple of Doom is a film that can baffle the mind. It isn’t a bad film, not in the slightest; however, Indiana Jones is a character created entirely as an ode to the Saturday morning serials popular in the first half of the twentieth century. Wildly imaginative and outlandish entertainment filled with spirited adventure, sequences of heroic triumph and perilous cliffhangers that kept kids tuned in from week to week and Temple of Doom veers too deeply away from that and away from the more tempered, populist ground of Raiders.

Spielberg doesn’t seem to be as inspired either. He was reportedly not as happy making Doom as Raiders and sought ways to lighten up Lucas’ darker and sometimes brutal script with a little slapstick humor here and there. Lucas was in the throes of a painful divorce when coming up with the story for the Raiders sequel, and his lack of joy in life at that time bleeds into the end product. That’s not to say there aren’t some great moments. The parachute-less escape following the opening is a wild ride, the mine car chase brilliant, and the climactic wood and rope bridge sequence well-devised, but in sum, Doom disappoints.

As well-made and enthusiastic as the first follow-up to the Raiders adventure is, The Temple of Doom just doesn’t quite pass the test in the end. Perhaps overpowered by mysticism, a dulled purpose (compared to seeking the Ark of the Covenant) or simply lacking the refined adventure of its predecessor, at the end of the day, this first sequel would demand a proper follow-up.

 

 

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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

4.5/ 5
 

Upon news of his father’s disappearance whilst in pursuit of the legendary Holy Grail, and with his father’s diary containing a lifetime’s worth of research, clues and maps in hand, Indiana Jones sets out to follow the clues and hopefully his father’s footsteps to save him, and the Grail, from the clutches of the Nazi’s who seek the biblical treasure for their own nefarious purpose. Following the trail from Italy to Germany and beyond, it is up to the adventuresome archeologist to save his father and save the day.

Director Spielberg is reported to have agreed to return to the world of Indiana Jones for two reasons. The first was a commitment he made to George Lucas that they would make three pictures, and the second was “to atone” for The Temple of Doom.  And so Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was born. With Spielberg’s skilled directorial hand, a wonderful storyline mixing mystery and family, and top notch performances from the entire cast, the rousing and fast paced adventure film managed to captivate audiences and rekindle the love for Indiana Jones. The Last Crusade is a true return to form, with maps and clues feeding the mystery and adventure, and the new dynamic of the father/son relationship taking the emotional center of the film. It is a winning combination.

The casting of Sean Connery as Dr. Henry Jones, Indiana’s father, is a stroke of genius. A familial foil to the usually in-command Indiana, Connery is at once able to frustrate and intimidate the wise archeologist adventurer. The interplay between them, courtesy of a fine script by Jeffrey Boam (and others along the way, though the polishing and refinement by noted playwright Tom Stoppard is among the most valuable contribution), is a highlight of the film.

The story takes Indiana Jones along with Dr. Marcus Brody, appearing for the first time since Raiders, and Indy’s father’s colleague, Dr. Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody), to the beauty of Venice, the dangers of Germany and the golden dust of Hatay, where they meet up with Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), also appearing again for the first time since the first film. Each location provides landscape for action sequences; a fast-paced speedboat chase through Venice’s canals, the intimate fire-tinged shell-game inside the Brunwald Castle on the border of Germany and Austria, and perhaps the series’ most exciting sequences as Indy races a parade of vehicles and an advancing tank to rescue his father from inside the ‘belly of the beast’.

John Williams delivers another knock-out score, complimenting the more comedic tone of the film and finding a theme of lush reverence for the Holy Grail. Interestingly, the score for The Last Crusade contains a number of early markers that would become the basis for his scores to George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels, heard most notably during the aforementioned ‘Belly of the Steel Beast’ sequence.

The Last Crusade is a polished, joyous jaunt whose stature in the library of Indiana Jones adventures has grown in the years since its successful release in 1989 (and subsequent huge box-office haul). Steven Spielberg was operating in top directorial form showcasing his superbly choreographed sequences – both action and dramatic – and giving the father/son relationship between junior and senior license to become the witty heart of a delightful escapade. The Last Crusade is the best of the series. Though Raiders may have an edge up for being the originator of the series, this film is darn-near perfect from beginning to end.

 

 

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

3.5/ 5

 

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull wastes no time in letting us know that we have moved past the 1930’s and 40’s and are knee deep in the 1950’s. A car full of young Americans is barreling down a long stretch of Nevada’s dusty highway with Elvis’s ‘Hound Dog’ blaring from the speakers as they spoil for a race with a convoy of army trucks and cars. America has changed and, as we soon discover, so has the enemy. The story kicks quickly into gear when we discover that the army convoy is actually a detachment of Russians bent on infiltrating a top security Nevada army base, with Indiana Jones and his friend ‘Mac’ George McHale (Ray Winstone) held captive. Their captor is the formidable, heavily-accented Irina Spalko, played by Cate Blanchett.

The story focuses on a mysterious artifact stolen from the base and the quest to find a Crystal Skull, which Indy had written off as pure myth after several failed attempts to locate it. But after he is approached by a Marlon Brando looking, brash young man, Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf) with news of the disappearance of an old friends as well as Mutt’s mother, and with word of the potential discovery of the mystifying Skull, Dr. Jones sets off on an adventure to once again save the day.

It had been nineteen years since the leather jacketed, fedora wearing and bullwhip cracking archeologist had swung his way across the big screen and audience demand was at an all-time high. Despite a massive international box-office take of almost $800 million - $317 of which came from clamoring domestic audiences alone, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull still managed to disappointed many and divide audiences.  Some of the criticisms of this fourth adventure are valid, though some seem unwarranted. Watching the action unfold, it is clear that the spark of adventure-born marvel has waned a little, but how much of the disappointment comes from a failure of the film to deliver, and how much comes from audiences having changed over the nearly 20 years, is an interesting question. Audiences tend to be savvier these days; used to ever more elaborate action sequences and visual effects feats with CGI that were impossible at the height of Spielberg’s magic creating days. Spielberg himself helped usher in the era of computer generated imagery (CGI), along with James Cameron (The Abyss), with his enormously successful adaptation of Michael Crichton’s dinosaur-yarn, Jurassic Park. The ‘good old fashioned’ days of optical effects, miniatures and daring stunts don’t seem to hold up on screen quite the way they used to (for many). The use (some could rightly claim overuse) of CGI visual effects in this film do more harm than good – that the traditional filmmaking techniques used in the original gave a more touchable, tangible flair to the excitement. Regardless, Kingdom finds itself straddling the divide between old and new, trying to find a way to recapture the glory, mixing traditional filmmaking techniques with more modern methods, and losing something in the middle of it all.

There is no doubt that the fun in this film is plentiful. There are several set-pieces, quite lengthy ones, which have the branding of Spielberg and his playful sense of humor, especially the Jungle Chase. But for every moment that emblazons the screen with adventure reminiscent of the original trilogy, an odd creative choice or flourish comes along – as with Mutt’s vine swinging moment during the tail end of the jungle chase.

Harrison Ford, 65 at the time of filming, is every bit as convincing as the professor of archeology-cum globe-trotting treasure hunter. We may have expected to see a slower, obviously older Indiana Jones, hobbling a little or holding the base of the back in pain as a result of age, but Ford’s age doesn’t show. Sure, reference is made to the time that has passed, the nineteen years both in the characters’ lives and ours, such as when Jones quips that getting out of trouble is “not as easy as it used to be”, but the movie does not exploit or focus too heavily on that fact, and that allows us to more readily accept that Indiana Jones is back doing what he does best. Add to that the return of Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood, and an odd-turn performance by John Hurt and Kingdom gets some solid additional flavor to the outing.

For many, it is likely the plot device that gave the most reason for pause. The ‘otherworldly’ element, with extra-terrestrial or inter-dimensional beings as the source of the MacGuffin, seems to have asked just a little too much of audiences. I can sympathize, though magical stones, immortality and relics that would afford invincibility to an army are just as far-fetched as beings from beyond the planet. The ‘alien’ effect in addition to scenes that have inspired unflattering colloquialisms, such as ‘nuke the fridge’, which describes a moment so beyond believability that excitement for what follows is dampened, appear to have left audiences with feelings similar to those that followed the release of The Temple of Doom.

Diminished magic aside, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull remains an entertaining film (and not at all the disaster that the more hyperbolic proclaim). Spending time with a cinematic icon, watching Harrison Ford in his element, seeing Spielberg enjoy a good time making a fun action film, and even to witness the likeable (to many) Shia LaBeouf bring a fresh face and twitchy banter with Indy, is still a far better time at the movies than too much of what has graced the multiplexes in recent years. The film’s climax will leave some scratching their heads but it really shouldn’t as it is consistent with evolving Indiana Jones from the serial adventures which formed the original inspiration to the ‘red threat’ pulse that ran through ‘exploitation’ films of the 1950’s.

My advice since the film premiered has been to resign yourself to knowing that this adventure will not deliver in quite the way the Indy adventures did back when we, and the world, were different. But there is much to like about this adventure even as we hold out hope for a fifth outing.

 

The Video

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark: 4.5 out of 5
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: 4 out of 5
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: 4.5 out of 5
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: 4.5 out of 5

Last year, when I interviewed Ron Smith, Vice President of Preservation and Restoration at the time, he revealed that they had:

 

“…done some preservation/restoration work on Raiders just ’cause…we actually wanted to make a print.  You know, we wanted to be able to make a print of the film and we wanted to also be able to have a digital cinema version.  We basically had the desire to show that in a movie theater.”

In the intervening months, the work on cleaning up Raiders was complete and a print created for re-release in theaters (and on IMAX screens) to the delight of fans everywhere.

Each of the first three films enjoyed a 4k scanning of the original negative though Raiders of the Lost Ark was given far more attention, carefully color corrected and examined frame by frame to clean up and repair any damage. The faithful attention paid to Raiders results in a beautiful image retentive of native film look and a mouthwatering clarity – all the while preserving the original look of the film.

Spielberg and Lucas blessed the work and what we have is a sight to behold. I cannot claim to recall how Raiders appeared on the big screen back in 1981 (I would have been 6), but as presented here, in 1080p High Definition, the original Indiana Jones tale has never looked better.  Some online commentary has made an issue of the color timing, with screen grabs comparing the DVD release – and its bluer hues – to grabs from the Blu-ray with hues that tend toward warmer tones. The actual movie as it appears on my HD display (73” display) doesn’t quite match any of the screen grabs. What I see is a superb image, lush colors, excellent detail and a color palette that appears wholly fitting of the tale being watched.

The Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade required less attention than the original film, but the scanning of the original negatives at 4k has benefited the first two sequels. Blacks are more precise, flesh tones natural, jungles healthily green, and the level of detail finer than it has ever appeared at home. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull uses the same master as the 2008 release which was superb at the time and remains so today. Some of the C.G.I in this film I find a little shaky, but that aside, the fourth adventure looks terrific still in HD.

 

The Sound

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark: 4.5 out of 5
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: 4.5 out of 5
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: 4.5 out of 5
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: 4.5 out of 5

As with the video, Raiders of the Lost Ark received a mighty amount of time and attention, specifically receiving a newly designed mix based upon Ben Burtt’s originals and designed with great care by Burtt himself along with Jeff Cava. The original source elements were used (transferred at 96kHz.) and the sound design produced to meet the surround standards used today. The film sounds just as we expect – booming punches, piercing cracks of the whip and the gloriously original array of sounds from the masterful Ben Burtt that accompany the various relics, adventures and misadventures. The result is to be applauded. There is dynamism to the audio that I have never heard on this film. It is throatier, with a fully enveloping surround that zips sound around, bouncing, punching, zinging and exploding in all the right measures. The audio is alive.

Raiders is the most celebrated audio making excellent use of the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, but each of the other films is equally as veracious. Temple of Doom is outstanding particularly during the mine car chase, with sheering metal, screams and crashes, punches and smacks converging expertly. The Last Crusade is excellent from the get-go, as River Phoenix take on the young Indiana Jones in the deserts of Utah, chased by relic plunderers on horseback then upon and through the circus train cars, and is glorious from shot to shot. The squeals of the tank tracks as it turns and the boom of the explosions from the turrets in the chase sequence near the end is meticulous and superbly produced. Finally, in the last chapter, the audio is of high quality throughout, but never more so than when Indy and Mutt are chased through the campus of the University or when the ‘visitors’ spin their way out from beneath the Mayan temple built to honor them.

 

The Extras

4/5

 

A fine collection of extra features omits a number that had been available on the previous DVD releases and a few that were available on the original Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Blu-ray release back in 2008. It is a shame that a full porting over of everything could not be accommodated to please the completists out there (and the reasonable folk who just want it all in one place). We are treated to a few new special features produced for this release and the formerly unavailable 1981 ‘Making of Raiders’ documentary. What we have is over seven hours of featurettes and documentaries, multiple trailers and behind the scenes peeks.


Disc 1

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Teaser Trailer (HD)
Theatrical Trailer (HD)
Re-Issue Trailer (HD)

Disc 2

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Teaser Trailer (HD)
Theatrical Trailer (HD)

Disc 3

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Teaser Trailer (HD)
Theatrical Trailer (HD)

Disc 4

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Theatrical Trailer #2 (HD)
Theatrical Trailer #3 (HD)
Theatrical Trailer #4 (HD)

Disc 5

Bonus Features

On Set with Raiders of the Lost Ark (57:53): Broken into two parts (From Jungle to Desert and From Adventure to Legend), this newly created special features plays without narration save for the words of those offered in interview segments from back in the day or when heard on the set. These rare glimpses into how key moments in the film were staged, with Spielberg offering instruction, Harrison Ford bantering or discussing the role and other fascinating moments that allow us to see as observers. We also see deleted scenes interspersed (though having these accessible separately would have pleased most fans).

Making the Films

§ The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981 documentary previously unavailable on DVD) (57:47): This special feature is particularly interesting. Though the image is of quite poor quality, we hear Spielberg discuss seeing The Greatest Show on Earth, Lucas talk of his inspirations, Frank Marshal (producer) talks about how it came together – and we see it all as it was all those years ago.

§ The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark (58:52): A similar discussion of the making of the film but more recent and more reflective. As you will find with each of the ‘Making Of’ extras, there is a grand amount to be learned of the film coming together – covering a lot of ground.

§ The Making of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (41:08): Covering the elements that could not have fit into Raiders and how that then became source action for the sequel, this ‘Making Of’ is very interesting. Some of the discussion about how this film turned out is quite frank.

§ The Making of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (35:03): Again, featuring fun on the set, the alternate original premise (Indy in a haunted house/castle), and great discussions about how the film that ended up on screen came about, this previously available special feature is worth revisiting.

§ The Making of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (HD) (28:48): Spielberg felt that at the end of The Last Crusade that his time with Indiana Jones had come to a close. But fervent fan interest and the desire of Harrison Ford to give them what they want conspired, along with the hardwork that Lucas and team put into breaking a story worthy of the legacy. It is nice to see the joy on Spielberg’s face.


Behind the Scenes: A collection of behind the scenes featurettes which cover almost every conceivable element of bringing these films to the big screen, with the Music of Indiana Jones being my personal favorite.

§ The Stunts of Indiana Jones
§ The Sound of Indiana Jones
§ The Music of Indiana Jones
§ The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones
§ Raiders: The Melting Face!
§ Indiana Jones and the Creepy Crawlies (with optional pop-ups)
§ Travel with Indiana Jones: Locations (with optional pop-ups)
§ Indy’s Women: The American Film Institute Tribute
§ Indy’s Friends and Enemies
§ Iconic Props (Crystal Skull) (HD)
§ The Effects of Indy (Crystal Skull) (HD)
§ Adventures in Post Production (Crystal Skull) (HD)

 

Final Thoughts
 

The Indiana Jones Complete Adventure on Blu-ray is a wonderful set with all four films together for the first time on Blu-ray, lovingly prepared and never looking better for your home theaters. A fine collection of films that, even when they are not at their best, still provide high entertainment and bring home the magical suspension of disbelief that we so eagerly embrace in entertaining cinema. Archeology has never been more appealing and Indiana Jones has never looked or sounded so good. Highly Recommended!  

 

Overall (Not an average)

4.5/5

Neil Middlemiss
Kernersville, NC


"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science" – Edwin Hubble
My DVD Collection

#2 of 54 kenkraly20212

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Posted September 15 2012 - 02:25 PM

Great review Neil. Looking forward to getting my copy of the blu-ray collection of Indiana Jones this Tuesday.

#3 of 54 Richard--W

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Posted September 15 2012 - 08:16 PM

Thanks for this review. This positive review means I'm buying the box-set on Tuesday. I held off waiting to see if the reviews mentioned re-editing or title-changing. But it appears Raiders of the Lost Ark is still Raiders of the Lost Ark and not Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Nor has the melting face or the vast warehouse at the end been digitally redone. Etc.

#4 of 54 Fabien Renelli

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Posted September 15 2012 - 09:30 PM

Excellent review of the set. I'm eager to get mine.
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

#5 of 54 johnSM

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Posted September 15 2012 - 11:22 PM

Great review Neil - thank you! My enthusiasm to get this set has just ramped up a few notches yet again. October 8th can't come soon enough here in the UK!

#6 of 54 Russell G

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Posted September 16 2012 - 03:52 AM

Nice review. I still plan on waiting for a sale to get this since I'm behind on my viewing as is, still great to know they all look and sound great. Shame they couldn't of bunged on all the extras from the previous release, my shelves are getting pretty full!

My wallet cries me to sleep!
 
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#7 of 54 Johnny Angell

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Posted September 16 2012 - 05:56 AM

Thanks for this review. This positive review means I'm buying the box-set on Tuesday. I held off waiting to see if the reviews mentioned re-editing or title-changing. But it appears Raiders of the Lost Ark is still Raiders of the Lost Ark and not Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Nor has the melting face or the vast warehouse at the end been digitally redone. Etc.

When we recently saw it in the theater, it was "Raiders...". The reflections in the cobra scene had been removed.
Johnny
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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#8 of 54 bryan4999

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Posted September 16 2012 - 06:36 AM

When we recently saw it in the theater, it was "Raiders...". The reflections in the cobra scene had been removed.

I saw this several times at the Cinerama Dome in the 1980s and I have to admit I never noticed the reflected cobra until I had the laserdisc years later. Is it possible it is one of those cases where it wouldn't be visible in a release print, 3 or 4 generations past the OCN? Speaking of the laserdisc, I liked the color of the first pan and scan laserdisc better than the widescreen laserdisc or the DVD. I watched some of that pan and scan laserdisc this morning (yes, I keep just about everything), there was some speckling from laser rot, I suppose, but I thought the color looked closer to the blu-ray screen caps than the DVD.

#9 of 54 Worth

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Posted September 16 2012 - 08:05 AM

I saw this several times at the Cinerama Dome in the 1980s and I have to admit I never noticed the reflected cobra until I had the laserdisc years later. Is it possible it is one of those cases where it wouldn't be visible in a release print, 3 or 4 generations past the OCN?

No. I remember it quite clearly from theatrical screenings in '81. That and Belloq seeming to swallow a fly.
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#10 of 54 Brandon Conway

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Posted September 16 2012 - 09:14 AM

The title has been changed on packaging for over a decade now, but never on the film itself. It gets discussed on every release.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#11 of 54 Steve Tannehill

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Posted September 16 2012 - 11:28 AM

No. I remember it quite clearly from theatrical screenings in '81. That and Belloq seeming to swallow a fly.

The cobra reflection is now gone, but Belloq still swallows the fly.

#12 of 54 Anthony Neilson

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Posted September 16 2012 - 11:57 AM

Does anyone know why he swallowed a fly?:)
I've been going to bed early . . .

#13 of 54 theonemacduff

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Posted September 16 2012 - 11:57 AM

Are any of the special features direct ports from the DVD set? It would be nice if you could put an asterisk or something next to those that are ports, and maybe a list of MIA special features? Sorry, I know I'm a high maintenance reader..... Great review, btw.

#14 of 54 Mark B

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Posted September 16 2012 - 12:05 PM

Does anyone know why he swallowed a fly?:)

I hope he swallowed a spider to catch the fly but I don't know why he swallowed a fly.

#15 of 54 Neil Middlemiss

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Posted September 16 2012 - 01:01 PM

Originally Posted by theonemacduff 

Are any of the special features direct ports from the DVD set? It would be nice if you could put an asterisk or something next to those that are ports, and maybe a list of MIA special features? Sorry, I know I'm a high maintenance reader..... Great review, btw.

Thanks for the compliments all.


I found where someone has done an extensive job figuring out what didn't making it to the new set. I can't vouch for its accuracy, but it looks comprehensive:


Hope that helps.


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#16 of 54 Frank Ha

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Posted September 16 2012 - 01:20 PM

I hope he swallowed a spider to catch the fly but I don't know why he swallowed a fly.

Perhaps he'll die.
"And in the end, the only thing you really own is... your story.  Just trying to live a good one" - The Drover 

#17 of 54 Frank Ha

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Posted September 16 2012 - 01:29 PM

Neil, thanks for the nice review. I think I'll go ahead and place an order on amazon. Sorry for the double post.
"And in the end, the only thing you really own is... your story.  Just trying to live a good one" - The Drover 

#18 of 54 Dave H

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Posted September 16 2012 - 02:06 PM

I'm looking forward to picking this up Tuesday. Raiders is one of my all-time favorite films as I was just 10 years old when it came out and saw it about a dozen times between 1981-1982 as it was re-released several times and would sometimes go to the local dollar show (where the prints were incredibly worn and dirty, but it really added to the character of the movie it seemed!). I also look forward to visiting the sequels although I was no fan of "Skull" but perhaps a second viewing and different expectations will make it more fun.

#19 of 54 Worth

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Posted September 16 2012 - 02:10 PM

Does anyone know why he swallowed a fly?:)

He says he didn't... http://www.theindyex...n_interview.php

Can you tell us something about...working with the most famous fly in the world? Ah, yes. I don’t think anybody noticed it during the shoot, there wasn’t any hilarity at that point in the film, and I think if you look at it carefully, if you freeze the frame around that point, you’ll see that actually some frames are missing. Yeah, I think I noticed that, just a little too jerky. Yeah, I think they just took out a couple of frames when the fly flew off, just to make the joke. I got a very nice review from Pauline Kayland [sic] who noted what a devoted actor I was to go through it, with eating the fly and all. Yeah, we were thinking that, how professional, he just stood there and ate it. (Laughs) So that was their trick.


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#20 of 54 moviepas

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Posted September 16 2012 - 08:21 PM

Indiana Jones - The Complete Adventures (Blu-ray) (Deluxe Edition) 

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Format Blu-Ray 5 Disc
Genre Action / Adventure
Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Languages English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
Rating M
Available 12-10-2012
Actors Blanchett, Cate,
Connery, Sean,
Ford, Harrison,
Capshaw, Kate,
Allen, Karen,
Rhys-Davies, John,
Labeouf, Shia
Sourced Australia
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INDIANA JONES:THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES ARRIVES ON BLU-RAY FOR THE FIRST TIME, COMPLETELY REMASTERED AND INCLUDING A METICULOUSLY RESTORED VERSION OF RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK  
Own all four Indiana Jones adventures in this Limited Edition Deluxe Blu-ray collection. Collection includes: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Supervised by director Steven Spielberg and renowned sound designer Ben Burtt, Raiders of the Lost Ark has been meticulously restored with careful attention to preserving the original look, sound and feel of the iconic film. The original negative was first scanned at 4K and then examined frame-by-frame so that any damage could be repaired.
The sound design was similarly preserved using Burtt’s original master mix, which had been archived and unused since 1981. New stereo surrounds were created using the original music tracks and original effects recorded in stereo but used previously only in mono. In addition, the sub bass was redone entirely up to modern specifications and care was taken to improve dialogue and correct small technical flaws to create the most complete and highest quality version of the sound possible while retaining the director’s vision. The result is an impeccable digital restoration that celebrates the film and its place in cinematic history.
The installments in the franchise have won a combined seven Academy Awards. Relive every heart-pounding thrill like never before as all four films arrive together, for the first time presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio accompanied by a collection of documentaries, interviews, featurettes and new bonus features.
The Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Archeologist and university professor Indiana Jones must retrieve the mythic Lost Ark of the Covenant before the it gets into the hands of Adolf Hitler who plans on using its power to guarantee his global conquest.
The Temple Of Doom
Indiana Jones finds himself on a new adventure, trekking across Asia with a gold-digging woman and a young child to rescue a village's missing children and find a magic stone. But, along the way he must contend with an evil cult. 
The Last Crusade
Renowned archeologist and expert in the occult, Dr. Indiana Jones, returns for the 3rd and final Indy film. Teaming up with his father, Indiana sets out to try and find the Holy Grail. Once again, the Nazis are after the same prize, and try to foil Indiana's plans.
The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Famed archaeologist/adventurer Dr. Henry 'Indiana' Jones is called back into action when he becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls.
The Deluxe Edition's oversized rigid outer box resembling Indian Jones’ journal including:
-Indian Jones Complete Adventures on Blu-ray
-144 Page Leather Journal
-Set of 4 Postcards
-Film Cell
-Club Obi-Wan Matchbook Replica -Zepellin Tickets
-Pan America Ticket
-Menu from Pankot Palace
-Photo (Indy & Dad) -Photo (Indy & Marion with message)
-A3 Sized Grail Rubbing
Special Features
Raiders of the Lost Ark Teaser Trailer
Raiders of the Lost Ark Theatrical Trailer
Raiders of the Lost Ark Re-Issue Trailer
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Teaser Trailer
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Theatrical Trailer
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Teaser Trailer
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Teaser Trailer Theatrical Trailer
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Theatrical Trailer #2
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Theatrical Trailer #3
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Theatrical Trailer #4
On Set with Raiders of the Lost Ark
- From Jungle to Desert
- From Adventure to Legend
Making the Films
-The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark
-The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark
-The Making of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
-The Making of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
-The Making of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Behind the Scenes
-The Stunts of Indiana Jones
-The Sound of Indiana Jones
-The Music of Indiana Jones
-The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones
-Raiders: The Melting Face!
-Indiana Jones and the Creepy Crawlies (with optional pop-ups)
-Travel with Indiana Jones: Locations (with optional pop-ups)
-Indy’s Women: The American Film Institute Tribute
-Indy’s Friends and Enemies
-Iconic Props (Crystal Skull) -The Effects of Indy (Crystal Skull) -Adventures in Post Production (Crystal Skull)

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