Blu Review: Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures

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Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures is what every fan of the archaeologist adventurer has been waiting for since the inception of Blu-ray. It features every film in beautiful high-definition with Raiders of the Lost Ark getting the special restoration treatment. The film looks beautiful both at home and on the big-screen. I took my boys to see it in the theater. The film brought tears to my eyes as I thought about the first time I saw it so many years ago and what it meant to me. This was a life-changing event for me much like seeing Star Wars was a few years earlier.

I want to stop and focus on Raiders for a moment since it’s the one that got the most attention. It doesn’t lose any of its classic grainy film look. It’s just cleaned up and more vibrant. The latest restoration of Jaws for Blu-ray somehow looks better, but maybe that’s because it needed more work to begin with.

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Strangely, they didn’t tidy up any of the visual effects the way George Lucas is known to do with his space saga. The movie is still effective exactly how it is. However, it would be interesting to see the effects-heavy ending with some of that ILM wizardry put to work on it.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is just as much fun as it always has been. This is probably the second least favorite film in the franchise behind The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull for most fanatics. It’s still a thrilling rollercoaster ride with some great humor thrown in. 

indy-2Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to this day wraps up the first three films in the “original” trilogy perfectly. It brings back Sallah and Brody and takes us back into the desert to battle Nazis. It also introduces us to Indy’s father, who couldn’t be anyone else BUT James Bond. Sean Connery delivers a humorous and heartfelt performance as the father of the most famous archaeologist adventurer. Harrison Ford and Connery trade quips and bicker amongst each other in such a convincing manner, you’d think they were really related to each other. It also brings the subject of the quest full circle back to a Christian artifact. Many viewers would agree they were the most successful entries in the series.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is definitely the most hated of the series. I get in an argument at least once a week with some crazed Indy fan who whines about how this movie single-handedly destroyed their enjoyment of the entire franchise or wishes it was never made. Some people are so ungrateful. Steven Spielberg delivered a fun adventure that looks and feels very much like it belongs right next to the rest of the films.

indy-3The complainers about Indy surviving an atomic explosion after being catapulted through the air to land safely in the desert have selective memory loss. Apparently they don’t remember other fantastical moments in the series like the Ark of the Covenant melting people and disintegrating a troop of Nazi officers. How about jumping out of a plane in a raft and landing safely in a river? When was the last time you walked across a canyon on an invisible bridge? Also, the search for three magic rocks is waaaaay off base when compared to ancient alien astronauts. It’s unbelievable here, but we sure can accept if for Prometheus.

Bonus features for the set include “Making of” documentaries for every film and several “Behind the Scenes” featurettes. There are teaser and theatrical trailers for each film on each disc as well. There’s enough bonus material to merit a fifth disc. Strangely, many of the extras for The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” are not found here. Completists might throw a bit of a fit over that. I say just keep your original copy of the movie on Blu-ray if you really want it.

indy-4The Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures Blu-ray set will look immaculate sitting next to your Star Wars Blu-ray set. The packaging is the same material and style. They look like they belong together with their matching Lucasfilm logos on the spines. It’s strange how movies that continue to make an immeasurable impact on people can fit into such a small space on a shelf. They also remind me of how much thanks I owe to George Lucas and Steven Spielberg for a memorable childhood. Any fanboy or girl who grew up with these films and says differently is lying to themselves.