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Indiana Jones the Complete Adventures
Reviewed by
Andrew Bistak
on
Indiana Jones the Complete Adventures Blu-ray Review. If you're a fan of Indiana Jones and want the definitive version of this franchise, than look no further, Indiana Jones The Complete Adventures is here.
Rating:
5.0

Features 10
Video 9.0
Audio 9.0
Special Features 10
Total 10
Distributor: Paramount
Running Time: 464 Minutes
Reviewer: Andrew Bistak
Classification
: M15+

10


Indiana Jones the Complete Adventures

The world's most famed fictional archaeologist who was aptly named after the family dog has finally arrived on Blu-ray... Indiana Jones the Complete Adventures which is probably one of the most anticipated releases of 2012. This must have Blu-ray collection contains all four films which include Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade plus Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Add in a bonus Blu-ray with all the special features from all four films and this release (myself included) is the dream of all Indiana Jones fans.

Video & Audio Quality

However where this collection shines is through the careful restoration of the first three films was lead by Steven Spielberg and sound designer Ben Burtt where the original negatives were scanned at 4K and each and every frame was inspected for damage and then restored. By comparing the original Raiders of the Lost Ark on DVD to Blu-ray, the video quality is considerably clearer and successfully made the transfer to 1080p High Definition. This also includes the sound quality which now supports 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.

As a result, everything sounds spectacular and truly cements this collection as the definitive Indiana Jones collection. Equally as good are the following two films, Temple of Doom and the Last Crusade which boasts sharper images, vibrant colours, deep blacks and some stunning attention to detail. Just like the similar restoration process used in the original three Star Wars films, Indiana Jones is equally as good and almost makes all three movies of this franchise appear if they were just filmed. Gone is the dust, grit and damage.

The Indiana Jones Saga

In terms of story, the hero of this franchise is archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) who traverses the globe looking for ancient mythical and powerful objects before the Nazis, a Kali-worshipping Thuggee Cult and the Russians get their hands on these artefacts for their own nefarious plans. The first movie (and still the best) is The Raiders of the Lost Ark which sees Indiana (or Indy to his friends) hired by the US government to find the legendary Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Set in 1936 and just before the turbulent era of World War II, Indy is joined by former lover Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and the loveable sidekick Sallah (John Rhys-Davies) to find this artefact before his nemesis Dr. René Belloq (Paul Freeman) finds it for the Nazis. With action, intrigue, romance and comedy, Raiders of the Lost is reminiscent of those 1930's serials which featured treasure hunters and pulp action heroes as they embarked on a larger than life adventure. This formula was successfully revamped by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg which in turn created one of the best action films ever created and this 1981 movie still holds up well today. It is more than just a classic but defined Hollywood action films for years to come.

As this first film proved so popular with movie goers, Spielberg returned to the franchise with the Temple of Doom that unfortunately became a scream fest thanks to the lovely Kate Capshaw who played a singer thrust into an Indiana Jones adventure. A prequel to the previous film, the story begins in Shanghai where Indy is setup by a local crime boss that sees all hell break lose in a nightclub. Fleeing Shanghai with Willie Scott in tow and Indy's 11-year old sidekick Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan), they soon find themselves in India after a spectacular plane crash.

Considerably darker than the previous film, Indy and co are forced to save a local village from the bloodthirsty Thugee Cult who use black magic and human sacrifice to assist their leader Mola Ram (Amrish Puri) find the missing Sankara stones in order for this cult to real the world. When I saw this film as a kid, I thought it was quite intense, especially due to the graphic onscreen violence when Mola Ram sacrifices a local to his dark god, however several years later, this was unfortunately my least favourite of the franchise due to the over the top and unrealistic action scenes plus Kate Capshaw screaming her way through the entire movie.

This thankfully changed with the third film, The Last Crusade (1989) which returned the franchise to its roots with Indiana Jones teaming up with his father, Dr. Henry Jones (Sean Connery) as they searched for the Holy Grail in order to thwart the Nazis from obtaining this relic. Nobody wants immortal Third Reich leaders! Where this movie did shine is through the great chemistry between Sean Connery and Harrison Ford which created this realistic father son relationship. The film also saw the return of John Rhys-Davies as Sallah and the late Denholm Elliott as Marcus Brody, two close associates to Indy which added some great comedy into the story.

Michael Byrne was also perfectly cast as the villain who played a Nazi General and would stop at nothing to retrieve the grail for the Third Reich. Another standout actor was Alison Doody who played the lovely Dr. Elsa Schneider and used her feminie charms on both the Jones' to help her find the Holy Grail. It created this interesting dynamic between all three characters plus several conflicts. Another great highlight of this film was River Phoenix who played a young Indy and gave the viewer the secret origin of how the famed Fedora hat became an integral part of the Indiana Jones mythology. Unfortunately Phoenix passed away three years after the filming.

Almost ten years after the third film, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg returned for what seems to be the final chapter in the series with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The story saw Indy team up with his former love from the first film, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) but also his "unknown" son, Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf). Regrettably LaBeouf's character seemed too forced and contrived but thankfully no way as bad as Willie Scott from the second film.

The villainess in the film was Irina Spalko, a Russian scientist that was played delightfully, albeit quite clichéd by Cate Blanchett. Spalko forced Indy and his "close friend" Mac (Ray Winstone) to help them find a Crystal Skull of alien origin which was hidden away in an ancient pyramid in Peru. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was the most glossy of the films and unlike the previous films which seemed more raw and gritty, this new incarnation with CGI looked a little too clean. Nonetheless, it was still a fun movie and proved that Indiana Jones still had a place with modern movie goers.

Special Features

However this collection would not be complete without a healthy dose of special features and Paramount have included almost everything and anything to do with the Indiana Jones franchise. From the original trailers of Raiders of the Lost Ark to "Making Of" documentaries on all films, these special features will give fans hours upon hours of Indiana Jones facts from the inspiration behind the hero to how the various films were created.

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 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)

Final Thoughts?

If you're a fan of Indiana Jones and want the definitive version of this franchise, than look no further, Indiana Jones The Complete Adventures is here. The result of the restoration process of the first three films is quite amazing and it looks and sounds amazing on FULL HD with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. With larger than life characters and stories, this collection boasts everything you need in good movies, even though one movie contained excessive screaming and maybe too much CGI in another but nonetheless, it doesn't get any better than this. Add in more special features than you can poke a stick at and after you've watched all four movies and the special features, there's probably nothing you won't know about this amazing franchise and best of all, you've had a blast from start to finish.

Highly Recommended!






 
 



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