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Complete series, movies 1-4. Includes bonus materials. 6 discs in one case.
The trailer that begins each of the three DVDs is indication enough that the release of Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection, a boxed set of the original trilogy of blockbuster adventure films concocted by director Steven Spielberg and executive producer-story writer George Lucas, was timed to coincide with the May 2008 theatrical release of the long-awaited fourth installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Whether that’s a crass marketing ploy or simply good business is hardly the point, because considering the quality of the movies (in a word, they’re good), the affordable price, and especially the raft of new special features accompanying the set, there’s enough here to make this an appealing purchase for those who don’t already own them and a tempting one for those who do.
The first of the three films, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), is also the best, a certified classic loaded with non-stop action, grand spectacle, a hero for the ages (played by Harrison Ford), a beautiful love interest, humor, horror, and a potent storyline that brings together a profound religious-archaeological icon (the Ark of the Covenant, nothing less than "a radio for speaking to God") and the 20th century’s most infamous villains (the Nazis). Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), the second entry, is generally considered the weakest of the lot--certainly it is the most dark and disturbing--but it’s still very entertaining, while The Last Crusade (1989) is closer to Raiders in many respects, with fine acting contributions from River Phoenix (as the teenage Indy) and Sean Connery (as Indy’s father), a strong James Bond-type feel, and the return of the Nazis, who this time are competing for another antiquity of incalculable value and significance (the Holy Grail).
Contains all three films in their original format, restored and digitally remastered
A new, feature-length documentary of the making of the trilogy
From the Lucasfilm Archives:
The Stunts of Indiana Jones
The Sound of Indiana Jones
The Music of Indiana Jones
The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones
Weblink to exclusive content including dozens of behind-the-scenes photos, an animatic sequence from Raiders and a PC game preview
KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (2 discs)
Nearly 20 years after riding his last Crusade, Harrison Ford makes a welcome return as archaeologist/relic hunter Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, an action-packed fourth installment that's, in a nutshell, less memorable than the first three but great nostalgia for fans of the series. Producer George Lucas and screenwriter David Koepp (War of the Worlds) set the film during the cold war, as the Soviets--replacing Nazis as Indy's villains of choice and led by a sword-wielding Cate Blanchett with black bob and sunglasses--are in pursuit of a crystal skull, which has mystical powers related to a city of gold. After escaping from them in a spectacular opening action sequence, Indy is coerced to head to Peru at the behest of a young greaser (Shia LaBeouf) whose friend--and Indy's colleague--Professor Oxley (John Hurt) has been captured for his knowledge of the skull's whereabouts. Whatever secrets the skull holds are tertiary; its reveal is the weakest part of the movie, as the CGI effects that inevitably accompany it feel jarring next to the boulder-rolling world of Indy audiences knew and loved. There's plenty of comedy, delightful stunts--ants play a deadly role here--and the return of Raiders love interest Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood, once shrill but now softened, giving her ex-love bemused glances and eye-rolls as he huffs his way to save the day. Which brings us to Ford: bullwhip still in hand, he's a little creakier, a lot grayer, but still twice the action hero of anyone in film today. With all the anticipation and hype leading up to the film's release, perhaps no reunion is sweeter than that of Ford with the role that fits him as snugly as that fedora hat.