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Indiana Jones trilogy reviews (merged)

Old 10-07-03, 09:07 PM
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Indiana Jones Trilogy: my review

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

Now I preface all of this as I'm a HUGE Indiana Jones fan who has bought them on VHS, laser and bootleg DVD. I've seen them each hundreds of times...yaddah yaddah.

...And I can safely say that I never want to see these films ANY OTHER WAY.

Video: Absolutely fantastic. I have never seen Raiders look so good. I wasn't fortunate to see the HD broadcast version but if it looked anything like this...then you guys were damn lucky. From the opening scene of Indy and his tribe walking through the forest, I noticed something that would follow the rest of the movie: it has an almost 3D like quality to it. It's that damn clear. They did a fantastic job of cleaning it up. There were certain specific visual thing that I had never noticed like textures of clothing, dressings of sets, etc. I'm not big on edge enhancement but I'd have to say if there was ANY, it is extremely slight. I may have noticed it during the opening credits and possibly when Indy is digging for the Well of Souls and the sunset is behind him. I do not have an HDTV but a 36" Wega with squeeze. But this is all minimal.

Audio: Absolutely fantastic. Again...from the beginning of the movie, you are not only COMPLETELY immersed but you'll also notice that it's a brand new sound mix. I'm extremely picky when it comes to these Paramount remixes in 5.1. I haven't heard one that was any good. This was absolutely phenomenal. The dialogue was clear and crisp and right in the center where it belongs. I'd say the front channels were dedicated equally to music and effects which I was surprised about. I thought the music would take a more enveloping role in the movie but it kicks into the surrounds at the right moments. Speaking of the music, as a big fan of Williams' score, I can say that it is much more distinct in the mix than I've heard it in the past. There were certain parts of cues that may have been buried in the past but sound clearer. But that's also a testament to the entire mix. Dialogue I hadn't heard clearly before is right where it should be. I liken it to the SE versions of the Star Wars movies. Just great.

Extras: nothin on this disc. But the menus are full motion and when you start up the disc it gives you a little montage of different scenes that have an effect on it (hard to describe). Chapter screens are full motion as well.

As for any changes, well...like i said before...the snake ain't there any more. They seemed to have darkened that one shot just a touch and blended the snake in with Indy's jacket. I watched it 3 times and even slow motioned it and thought I saw it...but I think they just did a very good job of blending the two together. Other than that, I didn't notice any other changes. As I stated before, there were parts of the sound mix (effects, dialogue) that seemed new to me but weren't necessarily newly recorded but just brought to a different part of the mix for this release. For example, I noticed all the sound differences on the new version of Jaws...and some in Superman. This was NOTHING as radical. Again...it could have been all a part of the original mix but buried or muddled.

TEMPLE OF DOOM/LAST CRUSADE

Rather than post another long review...there's nothing else to say.

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. Beautiful sound and video.

Same menu scheme.

The EXTRAS Disc

On to the extras:

Well, this was where I was going to be picky. If you read the other Indy threads, I posted a VERY long list of extras that could have been included. Paramount decided to forego all of the other 4 making of specials that were readily available for their own newly produced documentaries.

General thoughts: Donít expect any thorough laserdisc-like documentaries on this disc. These ended up being overproduced, IMHO. It was hard to not compare these documentaries to the Jaws documentary simply because it was so well done. Now, we get music playing under some of the participants to enhance (???) their recollections. Frankly, I found it just plain annoying. Also annoying was the use of too many clips from the films themselves in each documentary (especially Raiders). Youíre also not going to find them going ďin depthĒ into any aspect of the making of the films. They really gloss over most of the films and let one or two people recount their memory if they have anything specific to say. But again, those anecdotes are left short and everything feels like footnotes. The new interviews are good but there was little new information included. There are also key participants (still living) who were not interviewed. Also, the only people who seem to have aged well are Steven and Kate. Everyone else does NOT look good at all. Methinks it had more to do with hair/makeup and lighting than how these actors/technicians actually look. Everyone is very bland including their backgrounds. Each documentary also presents its footage and introduction to actors as they are presented in the movie. Itís chronological that way.

The real treasure of these documentaries is the behind the scenes footage. Donít let ANYONE EVER say that there is not enough footage to create longer discs. I can safely say that 90% of the footage on these discs has never been seen before. It can at times be grainy but completely fascinating. Some show glimpses into deleted scenes for all 3 movies but they are extremely brief and no one seems to want to discuss deleted material. There are no deleted scenes shown. But it is fantastic to see the cast and crew goofing off and interacting with each other during the filming of the movies. Temple footage is filled with Kate and Steven flirting and after a while it gets a little sickening.

The different featurettes are actually quite interesting as they center on specific aspects of the filmmaking process. But like the other documentaries, all of their contributions are very much glossed over and feel rushed. They also include historical footage from the filming of the 3 movies.

Trailers are very cool. Last Crusade is the only one that has any deleted footage in it and that is just glimpses. Iím happy that all were included except for the one Temple of Doom teaser which is noticeably absent yet was included on the VHS/Laserdisc versions of Raiders. Very weird.

All in allÖit was a good bonus disc. But not great at all. Iíd have preferred watching B-roll footage from the making of the 3 movies than the interviews or movie clips. I can only compare it to Chinese food. Itís fun while youíre watching it but afterwards, you really donít remember what you sawÖor care to see it again.

Let's hope Paramount releases those other 4 documentaries as a supplement sometime soon. They'll get my money.

Last edited by digitalfreaknyc; 10-08-03 at 10:32 PM.
Old 10-07-03, 09:15 PM
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Awesome!
Old 10-07-03, 09:21 PM
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Thanks for the review! Can't wait for this puppy.
Old 10-07-03, 09:56 PM
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Great - looking forward to my own.
Old 10-07-03, 09:58 PM
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does this have the original sound effects, like that sound that the whip makes, ect.
Old 10-07-03, 10:01 PM
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I. CAN'T. WAIT!!!

Thanks for the review. I don't think I've been this excited about a DVD release in a long time (if ever).
Old 10-07-03, 10:23 PM
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Originally posted by Rypro 525
does this have the original sound effects, like that sound that the whip makes, ect.
As I stated in the review....yes.
Old 10-08-03, 08:28 AM
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Snake isn't there anymore? Explain. I haven't been following any of this until now and I'd like to know what's up.

Also, I'm guessing the DVD cover says "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark" but does the movie itself have this altered title?
Old 10-08-03, 09:08 AM
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When Indy falls into the chamber he looks up and sees a cobra in front of him, remember that scene? Well, the audience not only sees the cobra, but the reflection of the cobra on the glass case in front of it that is seperating it from the actor (which isn't supposed to be there.) On the DVD they've cleaned up their mistakes and erased the reflection of the snake.

What I'm curious about is if they erased the pole that pushes the truck up in the air when it explodes (the truck supposedly carrying Marion's basket.) That always sticks out like a sore thumb to me.
Old 10-08-03, 09:51 AM
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The pole is still there...as is the "seat" that Indy sits in during the truck chase.
Old 10-08-03, 11:02 AM
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So, EVERYTHING is there, except the snake reflection? Great to hear.

Amazing, considering this is a Lucas/Spielberg work.
Old 10-08-03, 11:46 AM
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yep...very weird. And Harrison even mentions it in the documentary. And they showed the scene again..and I saw nothing.

I'm wondering if I play with the brightness on my TV if it would show up.
Old 10-08-03, 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by DavidH
So, EVERYTHING is there, except the snake reflection? Great to hear.

Amazing, considering this is a Lucas/Spielberg work.
So what you're saying is the swordsman doesn't shoot first?
Old 10-08-03, 01:08 PM
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Added a review of the extras.
Old 10-08-03, 03:05 PM
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I'm guessing Temple of Doom & Crusade look.sound awesome as well, I really don't care about extras that much I'm just thrilled to hear the a/v is top notch
Old 10-08-03, 04:05 PM
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Originally posted by Canadian Bacon
I'm guessing Temple of Doom & Crusade look.sound awesome as well, I really don't care about extras that much I'm just thrilled to hear the a/v is top notch
I'll let you know tonight after I watch them.

I'm assuming the transfers will be very similar and I'll have very little to report after watching them.
Old 10-08-03, 10:30 PM
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RE: Temple of Doom and Last Crusade...

Rather than post another long review...there's nothing else to say.

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. Beautiful sound and video.

They may have not gotten the extras right but the movies are damn near perfect to me.
Old 10-09-03, 08:01 AM
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I wonder why they waited so long to release these. That habit of playing the score ad nauseum behind interviews is a royal annoyance. Just let the people talk.

I swear I remember a blurb on some dvd site somewhere that stated no alterations were going to be made to fix "mistakes." Well, i'm just glad Indy doesn't hold a walkie talkie instead of a pistol.
Old 10-09-03, 08:35 AM
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I'm relieved to hear that the A/V is very high-quality, but I stand by my original opinion that Paramount and Lucasfilm could have done more in the extras department.
Old 10-09-03, 10:46 AM
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Originally posted by PalmerJoss
I'm relieved to hear that the A/V is very high-quality, but I stand by my original opinion that Paramount and Lucasfilm could have done more in the extras department.
And after viewing all of them, I completely agree with you. The featurettes SHOULD HAVE been part of the main documentaries. There was no reason to split them up.
Old 10-09-03, 10:56 AM
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I don't like split up documentaries either. I rather it be one longer piece without having to deal with the menu. I think they just split them up to make you think you are getting more.
Old 10-09-03, 11:02 AM
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Hey digitalfreaknyc,

What is your A/V setup that you used for the review?
Old 10-09-03, 11:18 AM
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Green Jello...

As i stated above...36" Wega...Malata player...5.1 setup. Nothing fancy...but looks and sounds great to me..on my limited budget.
Old 10-09-03, 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by DavidH
I don't like split up documentaries either. I rather it be one longer piece without having to deal with the menu. I think they just split them up to make you think you are getting more.
There is that, and there is also a financial motive. If a featurette is less than 30 minutes long, any interviews contained in it are considered to be part of the actors' contractually obligated promotional duties. However, a documentary over 30 minutes is considered a new motion picture, and the actors can demand payment and residuals for their services.
Old 10-09-03, 01:16 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Z
There is that, and there is also a financial motive. If a featurette is less than 30 minutes long, any interviews contained in it are considered to be part of the actors' contractually obligated promotional duties. However, a documentary over 30 minutes is considered a new motion picture, and the actors can demand payment and residuals for their services.
Yeah, but the main documentary on this is over two hours, so I don't think that played a role in the decision to split things up...unless there are people in the short featurettes that don't appear at all in the main documentary.

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