Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection

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

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Rating: PG and PG-13

Starring:
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones
Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood
Paul Freeman as Dr. Rene Belloq
Ronald Lacey as Major Arnold Toht
John Rhys-Davies as Sallah
Denholm Elliott as Dr. Marcus Brody
Alfred Molina as Satipo
Wolf Kahler as Colonel Dietrich

Kate Capshaw as Wilhelmina 'Willie' Scott
Jonathan Ke Quan as Short Round
Amrish Puri as Mola Ram

Sean Connery as Professor Henry Jones
Alison Doody as Dr. Elsa Schneider
Julian Glover as Walter Donovan
River Phoenix as Young Indy

Special Features:
New introductions to each film by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas
The Indy trilogy: A Crystal Clear Appreciation
The Mystery of the Melting Face, Snakes Alive!
The Well of Souls storyboards
Creepy Crawlies
Discover Adventure on location with Indy
Hold onto your hat! The mine cart chase storyboards
Indy's women reminisce
Indy's friends and enemies
The birth of an action hero! "The Last Crusade" opening scene storyboards
Spectacular photo galleries for each film
LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures game demo

Other Info:
Widescreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Languages
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 5 Hours 59 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD description:

"Includes: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark: Special Edition, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: Special Edition, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Special Edition.

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 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."

Mini-Review:
There's no real point in reviewing the "Indiana Jones" films we already know they're classics. The real question is whether or not this DVD set is worth buying again if you already own them.

I didn't time all the featurettes, but there's probably an hour's worth of new video spread between the three DVDs. It all features vintage footage I haven't seen before as well as new interviews with Lucas, Spielberg, Ford, Karen Allen, and other cast and crew. There's also a little bit of "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" spread throughout these featurettes. For example, in "Creepy Crawlies" they discuss the snakes, bugs, and rats of the old films while hinting at the critters from the new film. (If you've seen the LEGOs or Shop.IndianaJones.com, you already know what they are.) In "Indy's Friends and Enemies" they talk a little about Mutt Williams and other KOTCS characters. But "The Indy Trilogy: A Crystal Clear Appreciation" features all the cast of the new movie talking about their favorite moments from the classic films. Cate Blanchett, John Hurt, and Shia LaBeouf all talk about Indy and it's a lot of fun to hear their own fond memories of seeing Indy the first time. These interviews alone make the new special features unique.

But it's not all about the new movie. There's a lot here that the most die hard Indy fans haven't seen before. Each film has an "introduction" which is a heck of a lot more than a simple introduction. It's more like a 15-20 minute "making of" documentary featuring new interviews with Lucas and Spielberg. There's a lot of awesome old behind the scenes footage and photos in here. Another featurette is "The Mystery of the Melting Face" where they talk about how they filmed the memorable demise of Toht while attempting to recreate the effect today. "Discover Adventure on Location with Indy" talks about all of the locations they shot the original film at (as well as KOTCS). But especially notable is "Indy's Women Reminisce." It features footage from a panel where Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw, and Allison Doody were united on stage for an interview with AFI. Their insights into their characters are interesting and they are joined on stage at the end by Harrison Ford himself (wearing the fedora and jacket). Rounding out the bonus features are galleries, storyboards, and a demo of LEGO Indiana Jones for the PC.

So what's missing? There's no discussion of the music of John Williams, no interview with Sean Connery, no John Rhys-Davies, or other such stuff. You have to go to the old DVD collection for that.

If you're a die hard "Indiana Jones" collector like I am, then you'll find these bonus features make the movies worth buying again. I enjoyed them a lot. But if you're a casual fan and you own the old DVD set, then you may be satisfied to wait until "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" arrives on DVD.

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