Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Volume Three - The Years of Change

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Sean Patrick Flanery as Indiana Jones

Special Features:
See below

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital Stereo Sound
Running Time: 11 Hours

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

"Disc One: Tales of Innocence

In Italy, Indy's espionage work takes him behind enemy lines where he embarks on an important propaganda assignment that he hopes will bring a swift end to the war. Along the way, he engages in a comic rivalry with Ernest Hemingway over the affections of a beautiful Italian girl. After being wounded in action, Indy is transferred to North Africa where he joins the French Foreign Legion. While trying to uncover the identity of a traitor in his own ranks, Indy battles hostile Berber tribesmen and engages in an innocent flirtation with author Edith Wharton.

Companion Historical Documentaries:
- Unhealed Wounds: The Life of Ernest Hemingway
- The French Foreign Legion: The World's Most Legendary Fighting Force
- The Secret Life of Edith Wharton
- Lowell Thomas: American Storyteller

Disc Two: Masks of Evil

A top secret mission for French Intelligence brings Indy to Istanbul during the First World War. Exploring the city's dark and dangerous streets, he is thrust into a web of betrayal and murder when he discovers a vile plot to assassinate French espionage agents. Evil of a more enduring kind awaits him in Transylvania where he engages in mortal combat with bloodthirsty Vlad the Impaler and his horrific army of the living dead. With his very life at stake, Indy must garner all his strength and wits in order to defeat the fiend and save mankind.

Companion Historical Documentaries:
- For the People, Despite the People: The Atatürk Revolution
- The Greedy Heart of Halide Edib
- The Ottoman Empire: A World of Difference
- Dracula: Fact and Fiction

Disc Three: Treasure of the Peacock's Eye

The war in Europe ends but a new adventure begins for Indy when a mysterious man's dying words—"The eye of the peacock!"—send him on a thrilling treasure hunt for one of Alexander the Great's most treasured possessions. Pursued by a dangerous one-eyed man, Indy follows the trail of the diamond from London to Alexandria to the South Seas where he has a run-in with a murderous band of Chinese pirates. The shipboard battle that ensues is a spectacular display of swords, guns and flying fists. Marooned by the pirates on a remote desert island, Indy is captured by savage headhunters, but before they can turn him into a shrunken head and cannibal stew, he is rescued by anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski and makes a life-altering decision.

Companion Historical Documentaries:
- Bronislaw Malinowski: God Professor
- Anthropology: Looking at the Human Condition
- New Guinea: Paradise in Peril

Disc Four: The Winds of Change

Working as a translator in Paris brings Indy in contact with T.E. Lawrence, Prince Faisal of Arabia and Ho Chi Minh. The brutality of realpolitik devastates the idealistic young Indy, and he returns home only to discover the ugly face of bigotry as encountered by his boyhood friend, Paul Robeson.

Disc Five: Companion Historical Documentaries:
- The Best Intentions: The Paris Peace Conference and the Treaty of Versailles
- Woodrow Wilson: American Idealist
- Gertrude Bell: Iraq's Uncrowned Queen
- Ho Chi Minh: The Price of Freedom
- Paul Robeson: Scandalize My Name
- Robert Goddard: Mr. Rocket Science

Disc Six: Mystery of the Blues

Going to college and working in a seedy speakeasy brings Indy into contact with jazz great Sidney Bechet, who teaches him how to play the blues. Unfortunately, he also crosses paths with up-and-coming thug Al Capone and it's only with the assistance of his dorm roommate, future Untouchable Eliot Ness, that Indy is able to solve a vicious murder and prevent himself from ending up in a pair of cement overshoes.

Disc Seven: Companion Historical Documentaries:
- Jazz: Rhythms of Freedom
- Al "Scarface" Capone: The Original Gangster
- Prohibition: America on the Rocks
- On the Trail of Eliot Ness
- Louis Armstrong: Ambassador of Jazz
- Ben Hecht: The Shakespeare of Hollywood
- Hellfighters: Harlem's Heroes of World War I

Disc Eight: Scandal of 1920

In New York City, Indy covers a lot of ground as he stage-manages a Broadway musical, parties with 5th Avenue high society, reads poetry with Greenwich Village bohemians and trades barbs with the literary wits of the Algonquin Roundtable. Composer George Gershwin accompanies Indy in his adventures as he attempts to ensure that the show goes on despite temperamental stars, malfunctioning props and the fact that he's dating three very different women at the same time. The film includes wonderful production numbers and a marvelous musical score.

Companion Historical Documentaries:
- Tin Pan Alley: Soundtrack of America
- Wonderful Nonsense: The Algonquin Round Table
- Broadway: America Center Stage

Disc Nine: Hollywood Follies

While working for a Hollywood movie studio, Indy finds that he is no match for wily, megalomaniacal director Erich von Stroheim when the two lock horns over the ever-increasing budget of Stroheim's film Foolish Wives. Though battered by the film industry, Indy decides to give it one more chance and goes on a location shoot with legendary director John Ford. Ford and his cronies, including aging gunman Wyatt Earp, help him to see the magic of movies and moviemaking, and when an actor is accidentally killed, Indy pitches in to save the film.

Companion Historical Documentaries:
- Erich von Stroheim: The Profligate Genius
- The Rise of the Moguls: The Men Who Built Hollywood
- Irving Thalberg: Hollywood's Boy Wonder
- The World of John Ford

Disc Ten (Interactive Disc):

Special Features:
- Extensive Interactive Timeline that details the history and locations of Indy's adventures and previews footage of the companion documentaries.
- Historical Lecture: New Gods for Old
- "Hunting for Treasure" Interactive Game"

"The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Volume Three - The Years of Change" is not rated.

Mini-Review:
This is the "Young Indiana Jones" set that I've been waiting for. Why? Because it has "Mystery of the Blues" in it. What's so special about that? Well, it features Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones for the only time between "The Last Crusade" and "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." We see him with a full beard, fedora, leather jacket, and whip eluding bad guys in 1950 (7 years before the events of "Crystal Skull"). When it aired back in the '90s, it was quite a treat because it was thought to be the last time that Harrison Ford would ever play Indiana Jones. Fortunately that was incorrect. On the down side, we see Indiana Jones playing the saxophone and reminiscing about jazz. (Hey, beggars couldn't be choosers.) You'd think that a cameo by Harrison Ford would be a MAJOR selling point of this DVD set, but it's not mentioned anywhere. It's not in the promotional materials, not in the DVD cover, or anywhere else. Either they want it to be a surprise or there's some contractual reason they can't promote his appearance. In any case, it may be very easy to miss if you're not looking for it.

Like all the other Young Indy DVD sets, there are a ton of cameos by noteworthy actors and directors. You'll find Anne Heche, Jane Krakowski and Jeffrey Wright co-starring with Flannery. Directing episodes are Bille August ("Les Miserables"), Mike Newell ("Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"), David Hare ("Strapless," screenplays for "The Hours" and "Damage"), Terry Jones ("Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and "The Life of Brian"), Deepa Mehta ("Water"), Joe Johnston ("The Rocketeer," "Jurassic Park III"), Nicolas Roeg ("The Man Who Fell to Earth," "Don't Look Now"), and Michael Schultz ("Car Wash," TV's "Everwood"). Writers include Rosemary Anne Sisson ("Upstairs, Downstairs"), Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption") and Jonathan Hensleigh ("Die Hard with a Vengeance").

And just like the other DVDs, the bonus features are entirely focused on the historical aspects of Young Indy, not the actual making of the series.

This is a great DVD set for Indiana Jones fans. Treat yourself before hitting theaters in May!

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