BluRay/DVD Reviews

THE ADVENTURES OF INDIANA JONES – The Complete DVD Movie Collection

By • Oct 21st, 2003 •

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Paramount Home Entertainment

A four-disc boxed set featuring the three features films directed by Steven Spielberg, plus over three hours of bonus material on a fourth disc:

(INDIANA JONES and the) RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC – 1981. 115 mins. Rated PG. Widescreen, formatted for 16X9 screens. THX, Dolby Digital

INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM – 1984. 118 mins. Rated PG. THX and Dolby Digital. Widescreen enhanced for 16X9 screens.

INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE – 1989. 126 mins. Rated PG-13. THX and Dolby Digital. Widescreen enhanced for 16X9 screens.

INDIANA JONES BONUS MATERIAL – 2003. 187 mins. Not Rated. THX and Dolby Digital.

The original INDIE installment seems a little dated now, particularly in terms of Spielberg’s use of the actors, but also in terms of action and dialogue. Still, it’s a classic, an immense tribute to the serials of old. In the time that has elapsed since then, one can see the director hone his craft. Moreover, in the three-hour fourth disc doc, Sean Connery tells of insisting his character be enriched and enlarged, and one comes to respect a director who invites heavyweight talent into his camp, and then listens. I believe I see evidence of that in Bryan Singer’s work as well. Since past prototypes of this kind of directorial behavior include Charles Chaplin and Stanley Kubrick, it can’t be that unwise a path to follow.

An awful lot of former cast and production staff members show up for the documentary, including Alfred Molina (currently starring in the latest revival of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF on Broadway) who was the duplicitous jungle guide in the original film’s first act.

And I recently read Klaus Kinski’s autobiography, in which that deceased madman proudly proclaimed: “Steven Spielberg offers me a part in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Someone brings me the script from Hollywood to Paris. But much as I’d like to do a movie with Spielberg, the script is as moronically shitty as so many other flicks of this ilk. At the same time, Claude LeLouche is nagging me to do his film LES UNS ET LES AUTRES (BOLERO). I’d be willing to do this project, but not for the shabby pittance that this rat offers me. Besides, the American movie VENOM is still in the running – all three at once. I pick VENOM because the salary is very high, even though I hate London, where the flick’s to be shot.” Really, such a right-minded individual, whose choices are made for the right reasons…and outside of Herzog, he got what he deserved. [Incidentally, LES UNS ET LAS AUTRES is available from Image Entertainment, and VENOM, the least of the three films mentioned in Kinski’s diatribe, though still fun, is available from Blue Underground.]

The doc mixes in lots of footage shot on the set, seemingly on 16mm stock, and what is used doesn’t seem to be reprinted off the original 16mm negative, evidenced by the scratches on the film. Probably a work print, and possibly the negative is too difficult to unearth. But this gives it an intimate feeling, and after all that’s one of the enduring qualities of his hugely entertaining series, it’s human accessibility.


Credits:
Including the following production credits:
(# 1) Music by John Williams. Exec Producer George Lucas and Howard Kazanjian. Screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan . Story by Lucas and Philip Kaufman. Produced by Frank Marshall. Exec Producers Lucas and Marshall.
(# 2) Associate Producer Kathleen Kennedy. Music, Williams. Screenplay by Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz. Story by Lucas. Produced by Robert Watts.
(# 3) Screenplay by Jeffrey Boam. Director of Photography Douglas Slocombe.

Cast:
And featuring these considerable talents in front of the screen:
(# 3) Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Julian Glover, Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliot, Alison Doody.
(# 2) Ford, Kate Capshaw, Amrish Puri, Elliot, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone and Ke Huy Quay.
(# 1) Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies, Elliot.

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