- Actors: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies, Sean Connery
- Directors: Steven Spielberg
- Writers: George Lucas, Gloria Katz, Jeffrey Boam, Lawrence Kasdan, Menno Meyjes
- Format: Anamorphic, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
- Language: English, Spanish
- Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
- Dubbed: French
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Number of discs: 4
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Paramount Home Video
- Release Date: Oct. 21 2003
- Run Time: 546 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 392 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00003CXC5
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The Adventures of Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark / The Temple of Doom / The Last Crusade) (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import]
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The Adventures Of Indiana Jones
As with Star Wars, the George Lucas-produced Indiana Jones trilogy was not just a plaything for kids but an act of nostalgic affection toward a lost phenomenon: the cliffhanging movie serials of the past. Episodic in structure and with fate hanging in the balance about every 10 minutes, the Jones features tapped into Lucas's extremely profitable Star Wars formula of modernizing the look and feel of an old, but popular, story model. Steven Spielberg directed all three films, which are set in the late 1930s and early '40s: the comic book-like Raiders of the Lost Ark, the spooky, Gunga Din-inspired Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and the cautious but entertaining Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Fans and critics disagree over the order of preference, some even finding the middle movie nearly repugnant in its violence. (Pro-Temple of Doom people, on the other hand, believe that film to be the most disarmingly creative and emotionally effective of the trio.) One thing's for sure: Harrison Ford's swaggering, two-fisted, self-effacing performance worked like a charm, and the art of cracking bullwhips was probably never quite the iconic activity it soon became after Raiders. Supporting players and costars were very much a part of the series, too--Karen Allen, Sean Connery (as Indie's dad), Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Amrish Puri, Denholm Elliot, River Phoenix, and John Rhys-Davies among them. Years have passed since the last film (another is supposedly due soon), but emerging film buffs can have the same fun their predecessors did picking out numerous references to Hollywood classics and B-movies of the past. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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There's no point in rehashing the plot here, given that these are three of the most popular movies ever made, I rather doubt there's anything I could add to the discussion. Instead, I'm going to limit myself to the technical aspects of the release, and the extras. First off is the picture is spectacular; I'm sure compared to the original releases it is excellent, but when compared to the fullscreen television versions we're used to seeing it is breathtaking. The movie literally looks like it was shot yesterday, as the colors leap off the screen. The resolution is superb on my regular DVD player, what it would look like on a progressive scan player, I can only imagine.
The sound is equally outstanding; as anyone who has seen these movies knows, sound effects and score are essential to the success of these films. Both are superbly rendered in 5.1 surround, such that every punch, gunshot and whip crack has never sounded better. Likewise, John Williams' award winning scores all sound fantastic.
Then there are the extras. First off, I have seen statements at various locations on the internet that deleted scenes are part of the set. This is simply not true, each movie is presented exactly as it was released in the theaters, and the fourth, bonus disc does not contain any deleted scenes. This is somewhat disappointing, as I have to assume there are ample scenes which didn't make the films. While I wouldn't advocate modifying the originals, deleted scenes are always fun to watch as a separate feature.
What the bonus disc does contain are documentaries detailing the conceptualization, casting and filming of each of the three episodes. In addition, there are several short features covering sound, special effects, etc. There are aspects of these documentaries that I really enjoyed, particularly the evolution of each episode from concept to script; Spielburg's and Lucas' insight into the creative process was well presented and interesting. However, these features would have been better had they discussed some of what was abandoned as the story evolved; some of the most insightful commentary from directors often comes from what is left behind, as it casts light on what makes it onto film. Finally, the original theatrical trailers are included; more than anything, they are amusing, as they seem downright primitive when compared to the extravaganzas we see at the theaters today.
To sum up: fans of these movies are going to buy them regardless of what I say, but you can rest assured that you are getting your money's worth. While I think the extras could have offered a bit more, what made it on to the discs is interesting in its own right. Moreover, the presentation of the films, which is what really matters, is second to none. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the picture and sound on these movies is as good as any I have ever encountered.
Oh to be in that alternate universe and see that film. This is a glimpse into what might have been if Spielberg and Lucas had had their way in casting Raiders of The Lost Ark (it's discussed in the extras on the fourth disc. See below for more information). Luckily, neither one was available so we got stuck with Harrison Ford and the marvelous John Rhys-Davies. Both were originally penciled in the roles played by Harrison Ford and John Rhys-Davies. Indiana Jones really needs to look into a solid life insurance policy. All three of his big screen adventures come roaring to life on the Indiana Jones Trilogy boxed set released by Paramount. These seminal films capture the excitement of the films that producer/creator George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg grew up watching as kids. While all three films have all the energy and stunts like the serials and B-Movie adventures that the two grew up , they also have a wit, charm and sense of irony missing from the era that bred Indy's predecessors.
Raiders is probably the best loved of the three films. Indy (Harrison Ford)is called in by the US government when it is discovered that Hitler is digging in Egypt to find The Ark of the Covenant. The dig is being led by Indy's rival the amoral Belloq. Complicating matters is a medallion. The Staff of Ra shows the the location of the Well of Souls and the only person that could have it is his jilted lover Miriam (Karen Allen). When he goes to Nepal to get it, the Nazis show up there as well.
She's still bitter about the end of their relationship and wants in as a partner on this adventure. Indy travels to Egypt to enlist the assistance of his friend Sallah (John Rhys-Davies)in retrieving the Ark.
The transfer for Raiders looks a bit rough and it's actually not the best looking film of the bunch. That's no surprise given the age of the film, the stock it was shot on, etc. Although this is digitally remastered with digital clean up, I think the laserdisc edition looks slightly better. Still, to have the entire film on one disc is a big plus and it looks worlds better than the VHS widescreen released a couple of years ago.
Temple of Doom is actually the first film chronologically but the second made. It's set in India where Indy must battle an evil cult that is worshipping the goddess Kali. The cult has also been enslaving the local population's children making them dig for the sacred stones lost when the cult was destroyed by British troops some time before.
A marvelous transfer with some minor digital and analog blemishes, Doom captures your attention from the opening song and dance number Anything Goes sung in Chinese. Although Kate Capshaw's character Willie is annoying (Lucas claims the dark tone of the film and the relationships were influenced by his ongoing divorce), Spielberg makes the set pieces the real stars of the film. The chase in the mine is a classic and was the basis for the Disney ride.
The Last Crusade is actually quite daring. Returning to the formula of the first film, Spielberg and screenwriter Jeffrey Boam turn the formula inside out in many respects. Spielberg had always wanted to make a Bond film (which is how he ended up making Raiders)so what better way to spice up the third film by casting Sean Connery (James Bond)in the role of Indy's headstrong father Professor Henry Jones.
While the first film is humorous, there's an adult humor at work here as well. Last Crusade deals with a lot of serious themes but in an entertaining manner. The opening sequence with the late River Phoenix playing the young Indy is a blast. We learn a bit about why Indy became the person he did. It's a brilliant gambit and adds considerable depth to the third film. While not as popular as Raiders, the character development and depth of the script is significantly greater than Raiders.
Last Crusade looks terrific although I did note some problems with picture crawl and some minor edge enhancement issues. It still looks and sounds great regardless of the minor flaws.
The interactive menu for all three films is quite clever; the images change from a "sketch" of what a character or scene would look like to the actual image from the film.
The fourth disc has all the extras. There's a number of featurettes on the stunts, opticals and music of the film. I was most interested, though, in the feature length documentary (which can also be viewed in three aparts to compliment the films). There's audition footage of Tom Selleck and Sean Young, Karen Allen and Tim Matheson as well as quite a bit of footage shot on the set during the sequence in the Well of Souls. Watching that footage wiil give you new respect for snake handlers.
On the whole Indy has never looked so good. Although I felt that Raiders didn't look quite as good as the other films, that's just a matter of critical opinion. The transfer looks exceptional despite some limitations/blemishes inherent in the DVD transfer process. Highly recommended.
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