DVD Review: Indiana Jones - The Adventure Collection
By Jeff Swindoll May 15, 2008, 14:26 GMT
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 ...more
They may have named the dog Indiana, but Dr. Jones’ latest adventure is sure to be some of the big box office hits of the summer and no dog.
To whet the appetite of the movie-going public Paramount releases this set of the first three adventures of our erstwhile archeologist.
If you don’t know who Indiana Jones is he’s the character created by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to ape the matinee serials of their youths.
The adventuresome archeologist, as portrayed into icon status by Harrison Ford, wears his trademark fedora, cracks his bullwhip, and has a deadly fear of snakes.
I’m going to chat a bit about the films in their chronological order so they might seem out of order to some.
In 1935, Jones helped a village in India retrieve their sacred stones (1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom). In 1935, he went after the Ark of the Covenant (1981’s Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark as Lucas prefers to call it now, it was just Raiders of the Lost Ark in theaters in ’81). In 1938, he and his father, Henry Jones, Sr. (Sean Connery), went after the Holy Grail (1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).
Now Dr. Jones returns to the big screen to pursue the legend of the crystal skull (this year’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull).
Paramount brings out this new “Adventures Collection” to collect all of his previous adventures (as well as releasing them separately) to prime the audience for this latest big screen adventure.
This new set, don’t be too fooled by the “first time available” sticker on the cover, adds some new special features but also jettisons a third disc of special features (over 4 hours worth touts the box of the first release) that were with the previous DVD release.
All three of the films are presented in anamorphic widescreen (2.20:1) and are enhanced for 16x9 televisions. There are also some special features are appear on all of the discs so I’ll relate them here: each contains a preview for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, photo galleries and a 1 minute trailer for the Lego Indiana Jones game, and a link to download a playable demo.
Raiders features a new introduction by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas (7 minutes), the 11 minute “Indiana Jones: an Appreciation” where the cast of Crystal Skull discuss the trilogy, the 8 minute “Melting Face” featurette about the titular special effect, and a 4 minute storyboard of the Well of Souls sequence that plays the scene and shows you the boards.
Temple of Doom features a 6 minute introduction, a 12 minute featurette “Creepy Crawlies” about the bugs of Temple and the critters in the other films, the 10 minute “Travel with Indy” about the locations in all the films, and 2 minutes of storyboards of the film’s mine cart chase.
Last Crusade features a 6 minute introduction, a 9 minute excerpt entitled “Indy’s Women” that has Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw, and Alison Doody reminiscing with the American Film Institute, the 10 minute “Indy’s Friends and Enemies” highlights the memorable characters and villains from the series, and 3 minutes of storyboards for the film’s opening sequence.
The films are stored in three slim cases in the nice box so those looking for space savings on their DVD shelf could also consider that.
This set does offer a nice collection of material for those that don’t have the first DVD release. However, those with that set won’t really consider this an upgrade since the special features, although well done, are rather sparse compared to the other set.
Buyers should also consider that when Crystal Skull hits DVD (and hopefully Blu-ray) that they’ll probably be another collector’s set.
I’m going to rate this one highly, but you know that another release is coming. Buy it if you don’t got it and want it, but you may want to keep your old set and wait for Crystal Skull to hit the DVD market.