Dick De Jong
May 6, 2008
INDY, INDY, INDY
On May 22nd, that man in the fedora once again swings into multiplexes around the country as the adventure continues in the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones serial.
If you need a refresher course on the Indy saga, on May 13th Paramount is releasing a Special Collector's Edition box set of the original trilogy of movies that kept audiences in the 80's on the edge of their seats.
Beginning with the Raiders of the Lost Ark, we were introduced to the intrepid archaeologist who could snap off a one liner as deftly as he could crack his bull whip.
Watching it again, I had forgotten that the famous escape from the hurtling boulder and then the chase by the blow gun toting tribe of Hovitas occurs in the first ten minutes of the film.
And then there's the spunky, pugnacious Karen Allen who can go toe to toe with Harrison Ford. I'm glad to see that she is reprising her role as Marion Ravenwood in the Crystal Skull.
As Spielberg reveals in the Special Features, the Temple of Doom was his least favorite of the three because it was so dark in temperament. Though it does hold a special spot in his heart because that is where he met his future wife, Kate Capshaw, who played the film's femme, night club singer Willie Scott.
The Last Crusade mixes adventure with family as Junior reunites with dad, Sean Connery, in the search for the Holy Grail. The two pull off the relationship wonderfully even though Connery is actually only twelve years older than Ford.
This movie begins with a flashback to 1912 Utah as unscrupulous treasure hunters chase the young Indy, River Phoenix, on to a speeding Circus train full of lions, and rhinos and snakes, oh my. "Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?"
Technically, the film transfer of the Last Crusade seems the richest of the three, especially in great locations like Venice. "Ah, Venice."
All New Special Features
Paramount had released an Indiana Jones boxed set in 2003. What makes this the Special Collector's Edition are the new extras.
For example, in the Introduction on the Raiders DVD, we see the young wunderkind Steven Spielberg from 1980 telling us this new movie is not real life. Cut to 28 years later and a graying mega Steven is recounting how he wanted to make a globe-trotting movie like James Bond.
Recollections of good friend, collaborator, Executive Producer, and even grayer George Lucas, are intertwined in this mini-doc about the origins of the series. Peppered in amongst the behind-the-scenes shots of the filming are tidbits like Tom Selleck was originally cast as Indiana Jones, but he was preempted by his TV series, Magnum P.I.
The other two discs also include new Intros by Spielberg and Lucas. In addition, each DVD takes a famous scene like the Mine Cart Chase in the Temple of Doom and presents a side by side combination of the storyboard with the final footage.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Denholm Elliott, John Rhys-Davies, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Sean Connery, Alison Doody, River Phoenix
Length: 359 minutes for all three
Video resolution: 480p
Aspect ratio: 2:35:1
Dolby Digital 5.1
Dolby Digital Stereo
Dolby Digital Stereo
English SDH, French, Spanish