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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not-so-Special Edition... great film, anemic extras
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" is universally considered to be an extremely entertaining action/adventure movie, so I won't waste your time reviewing the film itself. If you've already seen it, you know it's awesome; if you haven't... well, to quote Indiana Jones himself: "Trust me." It actually does live up to the hype. What's truly important for those thinking about...
Published on August 9, 2008 by Adam Richter

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BD review from box set, not movie itself....
It's been said by many (except for possibly the caps-lock rage guy further down), so I won't rehash except to say this is one of my favorite movies ever, and I think the best in the series. I found the blu-ray to be sadly underwhelming - at most it makes the movie watchable on a 57" screen, but that is all. I don't mind grain - especially in older movies, because that...
Published 14 months ago by feeniks©


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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not-so-Special Edition... great film, anemic extras, August 9, 2008
By 
This review is from: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (Special Edition) (DVD)
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" is universally considered to be an extremely entertaining action/adventure movie, so I won't waste your time reviewing the film itself. If you've already seen it, you know it's awesome; if you haven't... well, to quote Indiana Jones himself: "Trust me." It actually does live up to the hype. What's truly important for those thinking about purchasing this "special edition," however, is a discussion of the bonus material.

The extras on this disc definitely do NOT warrant purchasing this edition if you already own the previously-released Indy Trilogy DVD set. The extras can basically be summed up in a word: "meh." Each of the handful of featurettes is around 10 minutes or less, and there are no surprises. Some brief "making-of" clips from the filming of "Raiders" are semi-interesting, but are all very short. Another featurette is just a bunch of actors from the series making bland comments about how great Indiana Jones is, set to overly-familiar clips from the various movies (Watch Indy run from the giant ball! Now watch him shoot the swordsman!). The endless repetition of clips from the movie is one of the tiresome aspects of DVD bonus material, and serves mainly to make you so sick of the film that you don't want to see it again for awhile!

The best featurette is the one about how they did the "melting face," but even this is short and, really, no great shakes. Next is the apparently mandatory "for interest to fanatics only" stuff like storyboards and a gallery of production stills. Finally, there's a brief commercial for the Lego Indiana Jones video game, which actually (and tellingly) is one of the more entertaining of the extras.

Considering the importance and success of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," and the fact that it's being sold as a stand-alone "special edition" after having long been available as part of a trilogy set, the overall paltriness of the bonus features is a letdown. The extensive, well-produced extras on George Lucas's "Star Wars" prequel DVD's, with lengthy, thoughtful featurettes and deleted scenes, should have been the model followed here. Instead, it seems like Lucas and company were more interested in cashing in on "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" hoopla (a trailer for this latest sequel plays automatically before the main menu pops up) rather than rewarding loyal fans with something definitive and satisfying.

Buy this disc for the awesome movie, if you don't already own it; otherwise, pass. Trust me.
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51 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Raiders Special Collector's Edition due out May 13th, 2008! Great movie, good DVD, March 7, 2008
By 
This review is from: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (Special Edition) (DVD)
The details of new DVD editions of the three classic classic Indiana Jones movies with all-new special features have been announced. They'll be available separately for the first time on DVD, or as a set. They were previously only available on DVD as a set.

The new releases will coincide with the new movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which comes out on May 22nd. They'll have new special features designed to introduce new Indy fans to the old movies, and to introduce old fans to the new movie.

The Indiana Jones movies are George Lucas's recreation/update of the serialized adventures of the 1930s and '40s. The first three were made in the '80s and set in the '30s. They feature Harrison Ford as a mild-mannered archeology professor who moonlights as an adventurous seeker of priceless antiquities. This takes him to exotic locations across the world, and gets him in some very tight spots of the kind that only a movie hero could get into, or out of. He invariably finds himself opposed by dangerous men with evil plans for the powerful objects only he has the skills to recover. There are elaborate set pieces with creepy critters, ancient traps, fights with weapons from bare hands to airplanes and tanks, and sometimes supernatural forces. Along the way Jones manages to have some romance too.

Raiders was the first in the series. In 1936, having barely survived an unsuccessful attempt to find (OK) and bring home (whoops!) an ancient idol from Peru, Indiana Jones is recruited in a race against the Nazis to recover the Ark of the Covenant (yes, the one mentioned in the Bible, but with lots of added mythology), which is reputed to have the power to make an army invincible. The ark is located in the Well of Souls somewhere in Egypt; the key to the exact location is a medallion located, naturally, in a seedy lodge/bar in Nepal, in the possession of Indy's ex-lover. All kinds of sparks fly, literal and metaphorical, as the pair, joined by another confederate in Egypt, use their knowledge of ancient myth and sheer bravado to work right under the noses of the Nazis to find the ark and remove it to safety. Almost. There are several reversals along the way, close escapes, a huge near-finale, and icky stuff--spiders and, especially, snakes, thousands of them, of which Indy unfortunately has a bit of a phobia.

Some of the more memorable moments are tinged with humor, if not outright hilarity. Indy's reactions make the snakes as amusing as they are scary. We see how to fight an expert swordsman, if you're in a hurry. The way the Nazis got a copy of (half) the medallion is painfully funny. The fate of the ark is a wry comment on Washington bureaucracy.

Raiders was an instant classic. I'm sure there are people who don't like it, but I've never met any. It's fine for most kids (PG violence and mild sexuality), and it's plenty smart enough for all but the most snooty adults.

The original title is just Raiders of the Lost Ark, which is preserved in the movie itself. The longer title makes it easier to market as part of the franchise.

If you just want Raiders and don't want to wait until May, you could get a used copy of the old Raiders DVD (people sell them out of the sets). The difference is in the extra features. The bonuses from the old set are on their own disc, so what you get when you buy just the old Raiders DVD is pretty bare. The new release, on the other hand, has the following, all new:

-- "Raiders of the Lost Ark: An Introduction" by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas

-- "Indiana Jones: An Appreciation," in which the cast and crew of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull pay tribute to the original trilogy

-- "The Melting Face," a recreation of the famous effect from the climactic scene that certainly left an impression on me (was new then), with Spielberg and Lucas on the evolution of visual effects and CGI

-- storyboards for "The Well of Souls" sequence

-- DVD galleries of illustrations, props, production stills and portraits, FX/Industrial Light and Magic stuff, and promotion/marketing materials

-- "Lego Indiana Jones," a demo and trailer for a game based on the trilogy

If you like a few extras, you'll probably like this new DVD, though maybe not enough to upgrade from the old one, or to wait until May. I like audio commentaries, myself, and since they're easy to produce and tend to bring out points not covered in other features, I subtract one star for a special edition without any, but I look forward to the rest. If you don't care about commentaries, this may be a five-star DVD for you.

There have been rumors of deleted scenes, but none are included.

Some will want to wait for a high-def release, which may make sense if you have the equipment or plan to get it. Many speculate that a Blu-ray release will come out for Christmas, but that's guesswork.

There's also some speculation that an edition with all four movies will be released for Christmas. They may bundle the four together, but I doubt that there will be a better edition of this movie soon, if ever, on standard DVD. Keep in mind that the previous set came out over four years ago, and if not for the new movie, that would probably be the only release during the decade of standard DVD. The next upgrade may be high-def only, and may not happen for a while.

If you do want the whole trilogy (highly recommended), the new set is here, the old set is here. If you want to pick up one of the others from the new set, the new edition of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is here, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade here.

I was in college when Raiders came out. There was great anticipation because of the people associated with it, after the great success of Star Wars. A bunch of us went to the old full-size theater downtown to see the premiere, waited outside for hours. We weren't disappointed. It was a wild, gripping ride from beginning to end, lots of excitement, good characters, clever moments for comic relief, and romance. More memorable than some entire semesters!
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77 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spielberg and Lucas create the best action movie of all time, July 9, 2002
After the box-office disappointment of 1941, Steven Spielberg teamed up with longtime friend George Lucas to create one of the greatest action adventure films of all time! The premise for the film, a throwback to the old Saturday morning serials, was thought up by Lucas, who told the idea to Steven and the two of them came up with the idea of Indiana Jones, a character famously named after Lucas's dog. To think they originally wanted Tom Selleck to play the role of the rugged, charming "collector of rare antiquities". Instead, Harrison Ford took the role, fresh from the latest Star Wars film THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK as the dashing Han Solo. Ford is the perfect guy for the job, running around in tombs, chasing after Nazis and searching for lost treasures, all with fedora, whip and sardonic grin all in place.
The action is masterfully handled by Spielberg, especially in the classic opening scene where Indy avoids a series of lethal booby traps to obtain a rare idol, only to have a giant boulder start rolling after him. Indy's reply when asked how he's going to catch up with a truck is "I don't know, i'm making this up as I go!" That classic line sums up the off-the-cuff action sequences which are all reminiscent of the building tension and excitement of the spirit of the old serials of the 50's. John Williams' score for the film has become one of the most instantly recognizable movie theme tunes ever composed, except for JAWS and STAR WARS (Anyone who asks what's so great about John Williams, just ask them to hum notes from any movie, and it'll be Williams) and is one of the most popular soundtracks of all time. And the supporting cast of Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies and Denholm Elliott elevates the film to true classic status.
Considering the scope and scale of the film, the job Spielberg and Lucas did creating the picture is nothing short of amazing. The film spans 5 major locale changes and would shoot in 4 different countries in just 73 days for $20 million (production wrapped 12 days ahead of schedule to boot!). For what was fast becoming a relatively average production cost by 1980, Spielberg and Lucas packed the running time of RAIDERS with non-stop action that creates an exciting adventure, that's my (and many other's) favorite film of all time.
RAIDERS was released in the summer of 1981 and became the biggest hit and highest grossing film of that year. Between THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RAIDERS for George Lucas and RAIDERS and E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL for Spielberg, the two filmmakers were now at the peak of their profession, having individually (and together) proven themselves as hitmakers on 9 films by the time they would return for the next Indiana Jones adventure in 1984 with INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, which is exciting, but not as fun, and INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, which is another one of my all-time favorite films. The huge influence that the eventual trilogy had on action movies is still seen today, with inferior rip-offs THE MUMMY, THE MUMMY RETURNS and TOMB RAIDER, to name a few. But those films don't come anywhere near the brilliance of RAIDERS. This is cinema par excellence.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I Don't Know, I'm Making This Up As I Go" ~ The Birth Of An Icon, January 24, 2008
While it may have been the role of Hans Solo in `Star Wars' that planted the name of Harrison Ford within the collective consciousness of the American (and world for that matter) public, it was his portrayal of the adventurous Indiana Jones in the '81 blockbuster `Raiders of the Lost Ark' that made him the iconic film legend he is today.

The first of three epic adventures, `Raiders of the Lost Ark' is in my estimation the best of the series so far (a fourth is now in production so who knows). If this is your genre of entertainment you have found your pot-of-gold. Amazing special effects, superb cast, an unforgettable soundtrack and a script and storyline overflowing with clever, quotable dialogue and heavy supernatural undertones that are absolutely mesmerizing.

Simply the "Best of the Best!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Action/Adventure Film Of All Time!, July 31, 2000
By 
Bertin Ramirez "justareviewer" (San Ysidro, California United States) - See all my reviews
As far as action movies go, this is the best of them all. Spielberg scored big in '81, he almost single-handedly resurrected the Saturday matinee serial. The film is a fast-paced roller-coaster ride with break-neck action sequences and drenched in cliffhanger suspense. Harrison Ford is the ultimate action hero; brooding, heroic, fearless and resourceful. Along with James Bond, Indiana Jones is the most enduring action hero of the past century. One of the great screen entertainments. The unforgettable now classic opening action sequence is a knockout. But it is followed by one unbelievable action sequence after another, in fact this are the most incredible series of action sequences that have ever populated an action film. But the film is also romantic and filled with tongue in cheek humor. Karen Allen is perfect as Indy's tough talking girl, in fact none or the female costars of the following Indy sequels even came close. It is also a technical landmark, with groundbreaking use of editing, cinematography and sound. And the special effects, astounding at the time, look kind of cheesy today but fit perfectly into the essence of the Saturday matinee serials. Also one of the films biggest assets is the now classic John Williams score that also became one of the most famous of all time. Besides being the film that put archaeology back in vogue, it also revived the action genre after almost a two decade slump. This box office smash was followed by two sequels, while both were good, none of them captured the essence and top-notch escapism of the original. From a scale of 1-10 I give this film a 10!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Snakes....I Hate Snakes....", March 7, 2002
George Lucas was hot off of his first two installments of his "Star Wars" series, when he hooked up with mega director Steven Spielberg to create a whole new series of films. Little did they know that this creation they've made would be so incredibly successful and beloved. Lucas' "Star Wars" hero, Harrison Ford, was on board as our star. This 1981 classic takes place in 1936, and Indiana Jones is a school professor who is also an archaeologist, which takes him on many dangerous and scary adventures all over the world. In this one, Indiana gets involved with the nazi's who are planning to use the mysterious powers of the ark in order to help them win the war. Along the way, Indy meets up with a feisty young lady(played by Karen Allen). This adventures gets Indy in a series of thrilling and death defying moments. The movie obviously draws inspiration from those old time Saturday morning serials of yore. Harrison Ford was the right choice. Is there anybody better?. Tom Selleck was the lead for this role, but dropped out because "Magnum PI" came up. Thank goodness for us, huh?. This series has become one of the most memorable and hailed film series in movie history. And rightfully so. There's no better evening entertainment than letting Indiana Jones take you all over the world on one exciting adventure after another. Get this movie and the rest of the trilogy as well. As perfect as perfect can get. Let's hope that Indiana Jones will someday ride again. Now, play that theme music and let's get going!!....
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Classic Action Movie, May 25, 2001
"Raiders..." is one of my all-time favorite movies. Harrison Ford plays Dr. Indiana Jones, college archeology professor. In his spare time, he also hunts for lost historical artifacts. Set in 1936, "Raiders..." finds the U.S. government concerned over reports that the Nazis are close to finding an ancient artifact of enormous historical and religious signifcance. It may also have great power. Intrigued, Indy takes up the quest to find the artifact first. What follows is a classic Saturday-matinee adventure that never lets up. It's got action, suspense, romance and humor. There are a number of famous scenes, here (i.e. Indy fleeing the huge stone ball or Indy and the sword-wielding assassin) and the acting is fine. Ford gives Dr. Jones a modest, boy-next-door charm to go with his two-fisted, death-defying persona. Karen Allen plays Marian, Indy's old flame, and is a terrific match. She is tough and self-sufficient one moment, vulnerable and sexy the next. On top of all that, you've got George Lucas writing and producing, and Steven Spielberg directing. Great stunt work, too. There isn't much more you could ask for.
Is there anyone out there who is actually unfamiliar with this movie? If there is, and you're reading this, where have you been? Get it and watch it. It's just pure fun from beginning to end. The only downer is that they only made two more Indiana Jones movies after this, and Harrison Ford isn't getting any younger. There are scads of James Bond movies, so why can't they get it together and make a few more of these. But I digress. Get "Raiders..." if you haven't already got a copy. It's one of the very best. On a scale of one to five stars, this flick gets about ten. It's THAT good.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest movie ever, June 5, 2000
By A Customer
Almost everyone has seen Raiders of the Lost Ark, and anyone who hasn't, should see this movie right away. Absolutely the defining film for the action/adventure genre. A handsome and dashing hero, a feisty yet beautiful woman, entertaining sidekicks, and evil Nazis as the villains... what more do you need? Oh, did I mention great action with a touch of the superhuman? Indiana Jones has to be considered to be Harrison Ford's defining role, the one that really established him as a movie superstar. In order to truly appreciate this film, you've got to see this is widescreen. I never saw it in the theater, and you can't appreciate Steven Spielberg's genius or the sweeping panaramic views without the widescreen verstion. For some movies, pan and scan doesn't matter.... but for the great ones widescreen is the only way to go!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The very definition of a heroic movie icon, December 8, 2007
Hollywood, Universal Studios, movie heroes, and modern classics - when these are mentioned, somewhere in the mix is the scene we have all viewed at some point or another - the archaeologist dressed as a lion tamer running from the huge rolling ball. Harrison Ford, along with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, have done more than bring us a fantastic action/adventure that truly entertains, but they have created something that has gone down in cinematic history as a cultural movie icon - the creation of one of the greatest on screen heroes of all time - Indiana Jones. If you have never seen Raiders of the Lost Ark, you are missing arguably not just perhaps the best Indiana Jones movie, but one of the best modern classic films ever to hit the big screen.

Indiana Jones is almost like James Bond in a sense - he is smooth, inventive, tough, cool with the ladies, and visits the most exotic of locations - perhaps even more exotic than what Bond is used to. Armed with a gun and bare fists, its the whip that has become the trademark for Indiana Jones. It's something that could come off as silly, but it worked so well, and it appears that nobody else dares to take the risk of copying in other films out there.

The hero isn't the only thing that makes this film work so well, it's the artificats. The very beginning of Raiders is extremely engaging, pitting Indiana and some of his "not so loyal buddies" into a South American cave occupied by booby traps and big spiders. The artifact Indiana is seeking is a golden head, but it's just an opener for what is yet to come - The Ark of the Covenant - and I can't think of any greater artifact one could want. Historical information is shed on the Ark throughout the film, and to make matters very intense, Indiana's nemesis "Beloch" and his Nazi allies want the ark for themselves. It becomes an all out war between both parties, filled with incredible action and adventure.

As a whole, Raiders is amazing entertainment. It has a wonderful story, highly memorable characters, romance, action, adventure, archaeology, and teriffic pacing. I don't think there is one scene in this movie that is not interesting. Probably some of the best things about Raiders is the action and the characters. The fights are memorable such as Indy vs the big Nazi guy, and the incredible truck chase scene that follows. The characters deliver lines one after another that fans will (and do) quote for times to come. If that's not enough to satisy, the story is so much fun and engaging as well.

I think everyone loves this movie, no matter who you are. This is the kind of movie that goes beyond what kind of genre film you enjoy, its easily in a list of some of the best films of all time that are must see.

Acting - 4.5
Action - 5
Characters - 5
Story - 4.5
Overall - 5
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD et al?, December 3, 2000
By A Customer
Okay. I grew up on this trilogy alongside the other one. Yet, what are they both missing? DVD Formats! Sure the title change can fit in no doubt. And the most memorable scenes, The Giant Boulder, The Bar Fight, The Map Room, And The (LSD Influenced?) Ritual of The Ark's Opening. Out of the three, this is still the most impressive of them. The Best of The Best, next to Star Wars Episode V.
Raiders got me into Nazi Germany's History, The Occult, and The ethics and ideas of ancient Christian & Jewish Civilizations when it came out to video in 1984. I would buy it on Widescreen VHS but I choose to wait for a DVD Release. If I were forced to buy Raiders on Widescreen VHS it would be for the same reason I bought SW: EP. 1 on VHS. That being, I didn't have a choice (Other than Formatted to fit the screen which I've Hated) because Lucas wants to wait until he finishes the prequels to Star Wars. If Raiders, Temple Of Doom, & Last Crusade have to wait until the prequels are finshed as well, then maybe we should take Lucas and Speilberg to the bar fight and "Shoot Them! Shoot Them Both."
I did see Raiders for the first time in it's 2.35:1 Widescreen ratio on Sci-Fi recently and was more impressed with it than when it was hacked into the 1.33:1 Fullscreen ratio. Movies are never formatted to fit the screen, they're HACKED, CHOPPED, FORMED, PROCESSED, DISTORTED BEYOND RECOGNITION, etc. But if you can't wait for a DVD Release, go ahead and buy the VHS Widescreen Format. VCRs will soon be a thing of the past so C'mon George & Steven let's take that nice metalic disc format and get to the versions we really want!
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Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (Special Edition)
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