482 min./4 movies (plus extras)/5 discs
Rated: PG and PG-13
SRP: $99.98 (Blu-ray)
Available September 18
Grade: 3.5 stars (out of 4)
There’s much rejoicing in fedora-land. A few years after the Indiana Jones movies received the box set treatment on DVD, now comes the same on Blu-ray. This five-disc set includes a disc of behind-the-scenes features covering all four movies: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, Last Crusade, and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
As for the movies themselves, there’s no point in rehashing opinions on them here. Say what you want about creators Steven Spielberg and George Lucas and their brainchildren, but the expository analyses have been done, redone, and redonedone. The point here is the worthiness of their release on Blu-ray.
The packaging is creatively done, as the five discs are inserted in ”pages” in a storybook, with the slip-in case being shaped like said book. It’s solid and compact, about diary-sized — though there’s no autograph from a certain Nazi leader inside. The packaging is a four-star effort.
The sound and picture are incredible, with Raiders receiving the full frame-by-frame restoration and Temple and Crusade getting the color-corrected digital remastering. Harrison Ford’s famed scar, the melting faces, and the writing on the ancient tablets never looked so fabulously detailed. Granted, this is 5.1 audio, and not the 7.1 seen on other new releases. It doesn’t matter that much; the sound still blows your mind.
This set is for three rather large categories of people: (1) those who didn’t invest in the DVDs because the VHS still hold up (can’t say that for much longer), (2) the die-hard Indy fans (they are legion), and (3) those who haven’t seen the movies (there exist rumors of such people) or have seen them but don’t have copies of them. For the passive fan who invested in the DVDs a few years ago, this set probably isn’t worth your money. Sure, the Blu-ray extras are cool and fairly lengthy at 7+ hours, but there’s nothing in them that screams “must-buy!” And that, perhaps, is this set’s biggest downfall. Still, hard to complain about that because the main point is the awesomeness of the movies (sure, some being more awesome than others in the franchise) and the treatment given to them for the Blu-ray release. In turn, ultimately, this is a spectacular set.
Ray Sidman is a former associate editor and longtime reviewer for Comics Buyer’s Guide. Read his reviews in CBG each month. You can read more Ray’s Reviews here.
(Image (c)2012 Paramount Pictures/Lucasfilm)