194 of 201 people found the following review helpful
I am giving this ***** because the DVD set itself is very good, it is loaded with bonus material. And it should be rated for what it is, ignoring any previous DVD releases.
That said, I would not suggest spending more money to get this set. The bonus material could bore you. I prefer interviews & documentaries produced at the time the films were made. The labeling on the box is designed to deceive by stating "Includes All 3 Films, First Time Available - Special Editions". Like there was no special edition before.
Oh, the slim cases are nice, but I like the original brown box more.
I will group the "12 All-New, Must-See Special Features" (their wording, not mine)by catagory.
1) New Introductions to the films by Steven Speilberg & George Lucas.
STORYBOARDS, unless something differs greatly from the film, I have trouble sitting through these:
2) Snakes Alive! The Well Of Souls. - From Lost Ark
3) Hold On To Your Hat! The Coal Mine Chase. - From Temple of Doom.
4) The Birth Of the Action Hero! The Last Crusade Opening Scene.
MEMORIES, modern interviews with those who worked on the films back then. These are always a little jaded for me.
5) The Indy Trilogy, A Crystal Clear Appreciation. - The cast & crew of the new movie talk about how well they like the original three.
6) Indy's Women Reminisce. - a reunion of Indy's main women.
7) Indy's Friends & Enemies. - Steve, George, & the writers discuss character creation, including a look at the new movie.
8) Creepy Crawlies. - Steve George & Frank Marshall remenisce about snakes, bugs & rats.
BEHIND THE SCENES, new documentaries about the making of the originals:
9) The Mystery Of The Melting Face. - a re-creation of the original special effect in "Ark".
10) Discover Adventure On Location with Indy. - A slightly misleading title as this is also a modern day travel around the world, showing where the films were originally shot.
11) Photo Galleries from each film.
And then there is:
12) LEGO Indiana Jones.- promotional demo games.
Again, this makes a very good DVD release, but nothing worth replacing your older set for. I prefer the original box set extras, especially the bonus 4th disc some stores sold that contained an original 1980's documentary about the films!
121 of 129 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2003
George Lucas produced something other than Star Wars? The younger crowd may not be aware of this, but anyone like me growing up in the 70's -80's would. The answer: Absolutely! (We can forget & forgive his mid-80's mistake "Howard the Duck.")
This collaborative effort from Steven Spielberg & George Lucas brought new life into the action genre. It is equally important to remember that the films also propelled Harrison Ford from Star Wars's loveable "scoundrel" to a silver screen staple. Here is my take on the series so far (barring Indiana Jones 4 which is on & off...hopefully off due to Ford's age and the closure in "Last Crusade.")
Raiders of the Lost Ark:
From the intro Paramount logo shifting into a real mountain, to the mishaps in recovering the golden idol from the temple, "Raiders" pretty much set a tone for what was to come -action. What it brought in after the opening sequence is something not often seen in action movies -story. Not just story, mind you, but intelligent story (dispelling the myth that audiences are stupid.) It is an awkward sight to see Jones transformed from the adventurer to the lecturer, until he is told of The Ark of the Covenant -supposedly holding The Ten Commandments and a source of ultimate power -and chases after it. The rest & former are long embedded in film history. The Nazi's are after it as well and Jones has the fight of his life.
The beautiful Karen Allen (Starman) portrays Marion (who I personally would like to have seen resurface in later films) and the rolling boulder (reminiscent of the asteroid thundering through a starship in 1979's B-movie "The Black Hole.")
Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom:
For me, this was the oddball movie. Jones saves child-slaves from an evil cult. That's about as well as I can sum it up. It fails its predecessor and succumbs to mediocre "sequel fever." I don't expect everyone to share my view, nor do I want you to. All-in-all, it's a high action flick and will pass some time well, even with the miscast future Mrs. Spielberg -Kate Capshaw (Space Camp).
The chase through the mine is an exciting thrill-ride and the tension of bridge scene afterwards makes up for the lower points of this movie.
Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade:
To place this movie alongside the first would be justice served. Here is the return of the intelligent story and type of action/drama mix that resurged the Jones Saga. It opens with young Indiana Jones (River Phoenix, "The Mosquito Coast") stealing a lost artifact from a band of robbers. Ultimately, he is too young to thwart them; however it reveals the character of Jones from an early age and introduces his father, Henry (Sean Connery). Now, fast forward to the Jones we have come to know and Jones is trying to find his father who went searching for the Holy Grail. The movie is a whirlwind trip through Biblical History and pure adrenaline pumped action. The chemistry between Ford & Connery shines throughout the exotic locations and explosions providing comic relief as much as back-story. I can't say enough about this film, so I will stop here.
So much is revealed in this movie, from the origin of the name "Indiana," to the deepest parts of each character (something rarely seen in films -character depth.)
Fortunate enough to have seen it (and I admit I'm not that much of a fan of these DVD revelations on the making's of the movie because it oftentimes destroys the fantasy of it all) I have to bend and tell you it is worth it. The original trailers are laughable (they weren't at the time the movie came out and I mean that in no disrespectful way) and a trip down Nostalgia Lane. One thing that sets this apart is that the documentary is not boring. Most are in DVD Extra-discs (probably because new movies have no real history -save maybe for The Matrix.)
For the cost, quality (remastered, et al.,) this is one box set that I am happy to comment on and also, one that I believe was done right and released right. (Check out other trilogy box-sets, which I won't name here, and you'll find so many versions and "Director's Cuts" that you'll be baffled at what to buy. This set is complete...plain & simple. Enjoy
137 of 154 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2008
Being a big fan of the Indiana Jones films I find myself conflicted about this new box set. While it's no surprise that the studio decided to re-release the films to coincide with the release of the new Indy film, they have royally screwed over fans by including a new collection of extras thereby forcing them to buy the films over again if they want them. So, is it worth it? Short answer: no. Nothing is going to beat The Adventures of Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark/ Temple of Doom/ Last Crusade) - Widescreen Edition's two-hour making of documentary and many of these new extras are nothing more than left over bits from it.
On the Raiders of the Lost Ark disc there is an "Introduction" that features Lucas and Spielberg talking about the genesis of the film. Spielberg wanted to do a globe-trotting James Bond-type story and Lucas introduced the idea of an archaeologist. They both agreed that they wanted to pay homage to the old 1930s cliffhanger sequels.
"Indiana Jones: An Appreciation" was done on the set of the new Indy film as Lucas, Spielberg, Harrison Ford, and Karen Allen reflect on the character and the trilogy - its impact on them and popular culture. Cast and crew from the new film also give their impressions and everyone recounts their favourite scene from the trilogy.
"The Melting Face" takes a look at how they pulled off the climactic scene when the Ark is opened and Toht's face melts. The effects artists who did it take us through the process and there is vintage footage of it being done.
"Storyboard: The Well of the Souls" shows illustrations from this sequence with footage from the film to show how close the two match.
There are "Galleries" that feature character sketches, props, behind-the-scenes photographs taken on the set, effects shots, like Matte paintings, and models used, various designs for the film's logo, and finally, posters from all over the world.
The Temple of Doom disc features an "Introduction" by Lucas and Spielberg. The director says that he had always wanted to make a trilogy of films and Lucas wanted this one to be darker and edgier, like The Empire Strikes Back (1980). They admit that Temple of Doom got terrible reviews but at least Spielberg met his wife on that one - Kate Capshaw.
"The Creepy Crawlies" examines how each film has some creepy element to it: Raiders with snakes, Temple of Doom with bugs, and the Last Crusade with rats. There are segments from each film are shown with a trivia track option.
"Travel with Indy: Locations" examines the various exotic locales seen throughout the films. We see how Hawaii doubled for South America and so on. This featurette can also be viewed with an optional trivia track. Associate producer Robert Watts takes us through key locations while dishing production anecdotes.
"Storyboards: The Mine Car Chase" allows you to view the illustrations for this sequence along with the actual scene from the film.
The "Galleries" section is identical to the one on the Raiders disc only pertaining to Temple of Doom.
The Last Crusade disc starts off with yet another "Introduction" where Spielberg admits that he wasn't crazy about the idea of the Holy Grail and suggested using it as a metaphor for the father-son relationship between Indy and his father. Lucas and Spielberg talk about the casting of Sean Connery and what he brought to the role.
Easily the most entertaining and engaging extra of the entire set is "Indy's Women: The American Film Institute Tribute" reunites the leading ladies from each film: Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw and Alison Doody. They talk about their characters and working with Spielberg. They all look great and speak candidly about their experiences. In particular, Capshaw and Doody talk about the reaction to their characters.
"Indy's Friends and Enemies" takes a look at the sidekicks, love interests, and villains in the trilogy. Spielberg speaks admiringly of the leading ladies and the strengths of each character. This featurette also explores the role sidekicks and villains play in the film with plenty of clips.
"Storyboards: The Opening Sequence" shows the sketches for the film's exciting opening action sequence with a young Indy (Phoenix) alongside the actual scene in the film.
Finally, the "Galleries" features a nice collection of snapshots from various aspects of the film like the galleries on the other discs.
The extras on these discs are well done and interesting to watch but do not warrant you double-dipping unless you are a hardcore fan that MUST have everything. If this is the first time buying the Indy films and you don't know which set to get, purchase the first one because each film does not share disc space with extras and for the two-hour making of documentary which is superior to all of the extras on this new set combined.
187 of 215 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2003
I read the first 70 reviews of the DVD 4-pack. I would like to comment on some comments.
1. Defective disks? All 4 of mine played flawlessly - on a $60 player.
2. Bad sound and picture? Mine looked and sounded great (although only on basic stereo TV).
3. Paper label on back cheap? Yep. Pulled it off and threw it away. So? Some other expensive DVD's I've bought came the same way.
4. Missing rat scene? Mine had it. A particular reviewer gave a 1-star rating based on a "missing" rat scene.
5. No commentary or deleted scenes? Nope. Some people seemed surprised (after they bought it). If you can't read an advertisement (or cheap paper label) BEFORE you buy something, perhaps you should not be trusted with a credit card.
Truthfully, commentaries are over-rated in general, although I like them. The problem is that the commentor is constrained by time as the movie plays along - should he only make short 5-second comments about obvious and insignificant things ("this is where the head explodes"), or a 2-minute oration about some specific point while the movie leaves him behind? The documentaries on the bonus disk allow as much time per subject as needed (more or less).
6. One "reviewer" said nothing about the movies or DVDs themselves but instead went off on a diatribe about how full-screen movies are in fact some kind of rip off due to "widescreen only" TV's in the next few years. Apparently (I'm inferring) this will cause (gasp!) black bars at the side of the screen rather than top. OK...
7. Another "reviewer" who has not actually seen the DVD's wrote about having to return them because he bought the full-screen version by mistake, not knowing there was a wide-screen version. Hmmm. It has "widescreen" or "full screen" in the title, too.
8. Another "reviewer" complained that he likes full-screen formats because he has a 4:3 TV and apparently the bars on widescreen versions are annoying. Did you know that if you had a widescreen TV, you would have plastic TV at the top and bottom instead of black bars and glass? This one made no sense, but he was from France, so OK:-)
9. The one guy I CAN relate to claimed this set was a rip-off because he only wanted ROTLA and thought the other movies were bad. I would not call it a rip off - you don't have to buy it, dude - but I, too, was only interested in ROTLA, but figured the bonus material would be good enough to warrant the other disks. Just barely. ROTLA is excellent. TOD is almost unwatchable due to the character of the little kid. I thought LC was marginal, saved only because it had Nazi's again.
193 of 223 people found the following review helpful
Saturday-morning serials were, on the whole, awful. Cheaply made, with numbingly unimaginative and repetitive plots, they were filler that encouraged weekly movie attendance. A 15-part "thriller" could be cranked out for $100K to $250K (the total running time was rarely more than 90 minutes), so it easily returned its investment.
The worst thing about them was that, as "cliffhangers," very little actually hung over the cliff. The near-fatal situation the hero found himself in at the end of each episode was revealed at the beginning of the next to be not particularly threatening, as he (or she -- think of Pearl White) had gotten out of the way _before_ the explosion, gun shot, rock fall, car crash, etc, etc.
In one Buster Crabbe serial there's no way he can _possibly_ escape death -- and, indeed, the opening of the next episode is a complete reshoot that allows him an escape! Yet the kids never seemed to learn, and came back week after week. The two Superman serials -- why hasn't Warners reissued them on DVD? -- are well-above-average in this respect, as Supes could save the victim from just about any danger. Not to mention getting into a few tight spots himself.
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" was the Saturday-morning cliffhanger serial millions of kids deserved, but never got. It's the epitome of this genre, and is unlikely ever to be exceeded, let alone equalled. It delivers the real thrills those cheap serials didn't, and remains a hoot, especially when the Nazis get what they so richly deserve at the end.
Opinions on the sequels vary. "Temple of Doom" is a terrific adventure film, but many viewers objected to its dark tone (which was Spielberg's and Lucas's intent -- they didn't want to repeat the first film). Its real problem isn't the violence (it's no more violent than "Raiders," which initially received an R rating for Belloc's head explosion), but its lack of any dramatic substance. It's 95% action -- there's little personal interaction or conflict. (Classic-serial fans will note that most of the "gags" are taken from a Republic serial, "Manhunt of Mystery Island." Which is one of the serials trashed in Firesign Theater's "Hot Shorts." It, too, deserves a DVD issue.)
Anyone who doesn't enjoy "The Last Crusade" is nuts, because we have the great fun of seeing Sean Connery as Indy's father. Connery is that rare combination of a really good actor _and_ a legitimate "movie star," who steals every scene he's in. "Crusade" lacks the startling novelty of "Raiders," but it's the best-plotted of the three films, tightly connecting the Grail search with Indy's and his father's lives.
The transfers are wonderful, especially "Raiders," which has never looked so vivid and rich. Spielberg and Lucas haven't altered the films, not even changing the title card of the first (which now "officially" has the "Indiana Jones and the..." prefix). Nor, alas, have the special effects been redone. You can still see the matte/Rotoscope lines, which are especially noticeable in the "supernatural" effects at the end of "Raiders." Considering the extensive (and sometimes unwelcome) changes Spielberg made to "E. T.", this is surprising.
The Indiana Jones movies are three wonderful excuses for fattening yourself on popcorn. The real stuff, not microwave.
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2003
As you have probably already read, the DVD set is a little light when it comes to the extras. However, the transfer on the films themselves is amazing! The picture and sound quality is so good, that it is almost unreal. This DVD set is truly a must buy for any fans of Indiana Jones or of action films in general.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" is the best film of the trilogy in my opinion. We get to see the loveable, bullwhip-cracking, archeologist Indiana Jones for the first time. Harrison Ford was the perfect choice for the role of Indiana Jones, and he gave the best performance of his career. Karen Allen is outstanding as Indy's love interest Marion Ravenwood. I love how she can powerdrink any man under the table, and actually gets involved in the story. Allen did not play the typical " damsel in distress" which made the role so good. Only Steven Spielberg could have created a masterpiece like "Raiders of the Lost Ark". The non stop action, special effects, overall story, and acting are all top notch. Indiana Jones is one of the most memorable characters to ever come out of Hollywood.
The Temple of Doom
"Temple of Doom" is obviously the second film of the trilogy. People often criticize this film very heavily. While it was not as good as "Raiders of the Lost Ark", it is still extremely enjoyable in my opinion. Steven Spielberg, despite the opinions of others, did a good job with this film. It is much darker than Raiders which makes it somewhat original. It is also funnier, and has some very suspenseful scenes! The one that comes to mind, is Indy and company jumping out of the plane on the raft, and sliding down the mountain. The action is non stop and the acting is good all around. Also, I love the visuals for this film. Underneath the palace in the caverns especially. You also get a first hand look at the wilderness of India. Temple of Doom is not as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark, but still very enjoyable and fun to watch. Kate Capshaw was the film's only downfall, because she spends the majority of the film whining about bugs, getting wet, etc. Sometimes you just want Indy to tell her to shut up. Suprisingly, the film's best role behind Harrison Ford, Jonathan Ke Quan as Short Round. He is mainly known for his role as Data in "The Goonies". This kid did an amazing job and will have you laughing for the majority of the film.
The Last Crusade
"The Last Crusade" is almost as good as "Raiders of the Lost Ark". The overall story, non stop action, and father/son relationship between Ford and Connery really make it a treat to watch. Harrison Ford is back for a third time, as the loveable bullwhip-cracking archeologist Indiana Jones, and he does a great job once again. The thing that I really love about this film, we get to see more than one side of the character and look into Indy's past. River Pheonix had a nice cameo as the young Indy. I liked how we got to see how Indiana Jones came to be. Sean Connery is one of Hollywood's true legends. He steps up and really nails the role of Henry Jones. His obsessive nature over the grail is great, and how can you not love the relationship between Indy and his dad. " I told you...don't call me Junior!!!"
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Finally, the Indian Jones Trilogy has made it to DVD. And it was worth the wait! With amazing picture quality, superb sound, and a few nice touch-ups thrown in throughout the series (one notable example being the snake/glass scene in "Raiders") this DVD set is definitely worth its meager price. All of the special features are contained on a fourth DVD with three extensive "Making of..." documentaries on each film. Additionally, a few short featurettes are included on various aspects of the technical crew, from stunts to sound. The documentaries are very interesting to watch for anyone who loves the films. One learns all sorts of interesting facts and trivia and gets to watch footage from the filming sessions. It's nice to see how the idea started small and developed into a gigantic success.
That being said, it's disappointing that there aren't more special features to be had in this set. I would have liked to have seen Director's commentaries on each film and deleted scenes. This set definitely does not have some of the extra features that other sets include, but the documentaries make up for this fact to a certain extent.
All in all, what's really worth the price of this set are the restored films. Having seen these movies only on VHS and TV myself, it was stunning to see them without any defects or tracking lines. And the sound blew me out of my seat. One can really gain an appreciation for the sound effects editing and the score with this release. At a price of just $15 a film (plus the extra DVD with the documentaries), this set is definitely worth the investment and should be in everyone's collection.
54 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2003
I returned this item 3 times because disk 3 ALWAYS comes defective and does not play the entire movie.
Amazon.com refused to send me any more replacement because the problem is widespread. They don't know when the studio is going to fix this problem.
If you don't wanna risk yourself to get in the same problem as mine, WAIT for a while (until the studio fixes the problem) to purchase this set.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2003
Finally, one of the holy grails for DVD fans has become available. Each film has been given its own disc, featuring remastered video and audio, with a fourth disc of supplemental material assembled and produced by DVD producer, Laurent Bouzereau. So, how does it rate to other special edition sets out on the market?
The good news is that the folks at Lucasfilms have gone over the prints of each movie and cleaned them up digitally (look close and you will no longer be able to see the pane of glass that protects Harrison Ford from the cobra in Raiders of the Lost Ark). Thankfully, this is the extent of the digital work. Lucas and Spielberg have kept their grubby paws of these films and not toned down the violence or given the wonderfully dated special effects a CGI facelift. The transfers of each film look flawless; they are clear of any specks of dirt or other blemishes. The soundtracks have also been overhauled. Fans can now enjoy John Williams' rousing scores on aggressive, THX-approved 5.1 surround soundtracks.
The bad news: no audio commentaries were done for the trilogy. While Lucas reportedly was all for 'em (see the Star Wars prequel DVDs), Spielberg nixed them in lieu of an extensive documentary. All of the extra material can be found on a fourth DVD.
More bad news: no deleted scenes.
However, "Indiana Jones: Making the Trilogy" is an impressive two-hour documentary that covers all three films in detail. Bouzereau went out and interviewed anyone who had anything to do with the films. He even interviewed the usually unattainable Harrison Ford and Sean Connery! The documentary can be viewed in its entirety or broken up into separate chunks for each film. As expected, Raiders is given the most weight as Lucas, Spielberg, Ford, et al talk about their recollections making this landmark movie.
The DVD also includes four featurettes:
"The Stunts of Indiana Jones" an 11-minute look at the extensive stuntwork that was done for the trilogy.
"The Sound of Indiana Jones" examine Ben Burtt's innovative sound effects for the films.
Legendary composer, John Williams is the focus of "The Music of Indiana Jones," a look at the musical soundtracks for the trilogy.
Finally, "The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones" examines the special effects work on the films.
Rounding out this disc is a collection of trailers for all three films.
While the extra material doesn't compare to, say, The Lord of the Rings special edition DVD sets, this is still a good collection of extras. Good not great. The documentary and the detail included in it, more than make up for the lack of audio commentaries. Most importantly, all three films look and sound great, preserving them forever.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Since the advent of the DVD format, no films (with the possible exception of the Star Wars Trilogy) have been more widely anticipated than the Indiana Jones movies. Now, at last, they are here, and for the most part they live up to expectations. All too often, DVD releases, and in particular those from films released before DVD's, have a sterile, over processed quality to them, but these films have maintained their freshness and sense of adventure in fine style.
There's no point in rehashing the plot here, given that these are three of the most popular movies ever made, I rather doubt there's anything I could add to the discussion. Instead, I'm going to limit myself to the technical aspects of the release, and the extras. First off is the picture is spectacular; I'm sure compared to the original releases it is excellent, but when compared to the fullscreen television versions we're used to seeing it is breathtaking. The movie literally looks like it was shot yesterday, as the colors leap off the screen. The resolution is superb on my regular DVD player, what it would look like on a progressive scan player, I can only imagine.
The sound is equally outstanding; as anyone who has seen these movies knows, sound effects and score are essential to the success of these films. Both are superbly rendered in 5.1 surround, such that every punch, gunshot and whip crack has never sounded better. Likewise, John Williams' award winning scores all sound fantastic.
Then there are the extras. First off, I have seen statements at various locations on the internet that deleted scenes are part of the set. This is simply not true, each movie is presented exactly as it was released in the theaters, and the fourth, bonus disc does not contain any deleted scenes. This is somewhat disappointing, as I have to assume there are ample scenes which didn't make the films. While I wouldn't advocate modifying the originals, deleted scenes are always fun to watch as a separate feature.
What the bonus disc does contain are documentaries detailing the conceptualization, casting and filming of each of the three episodes. In addition, there are several short features covering sound, special effects, etc. There are aspects of these documentaries that I really enjoyed, particularly the evolution of each episode from concept to script; Spielburg's and Lucas' insight into the creative process was well presented and interesting. However, these features would have been better had they discussed some of what was abandoned as the story evolved; some of the most insightful commentary from directors often comes from what is left behind, as it casts light on what makes it onto film. Finally, the original theatrical trailers are included; more than anything, they are amusing, as they seem downright primitive when compared to the extravaganzas we see at the theaters today.
To sum up: fans of these movies are going to buy them regardless of what I say, but you can rest assured that you are getting your money's worth. While I think the extras could have offered a bit more, what made it on to the discs is interesting in its own right. Moreover, the presentation of the films, which is what really matters, is second to none. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the picture and sound on these movies is as good as any I have ever encountered.