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Indiana Jones: The Complete DVD Movie Collection

Paramount's comprehensive Indiana Jones Movie Collection offers good news and not-so-good news — the movies look and sound incredible, with audio that's been remixed in Dolby Digital 5.1 and images that have been meticulously restored and brightened. But even though there's a whole fourth disc devoted to extras, a lot of movie geeks are going to have a serious beef with the lack of definitive supplements — commentary tracks, deleted scenes, storyboards, abandoned concepts, juicy set lore, and so on. As for the films themselves, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) is so ingrained in the cultural fabric by now that there's really nothing to write about it that hasn't been said a million times before. George Lucas dreamed up the ultimate adventure hero, and along with Steven Spielberg crafted a perfect collection of set pieces. Raiders cemented the blockbuster obsession that Star Wars kicked off. As for the follow-up Temple of Doom (1984), it has deeply embedded problems, and there are popular reasons for disliking it. The dialogue is ham-fisted. It's surprisingly brutal in the middle. And Kate Capshaw's scream-queen is a drastic step backward from Karen Allen. But there are things to enjoy, including Ford's terrific performance, John Williams' score, the movie's unexpected tonal shifts, and the final 40 minutes, which are inventive and cathartic and full of righteous fury and pain and thrilling action. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) is a mixed bag as well — there's some wonderful chemistry between Ford and Sean Connery, who plays dotty, arrogant Dr. Jones paterfamilias. River Phoenix does an uncanny and quite funny Harrison Ford impression, glaring and smirking as young Indiana Jones. And kudos to the late Jeffrey Boam for writing some lively, character-driven, funny dialogue. It's just a shame that it resorts to mockery, and it contains very few actual thrills. Paramount's four-disc The Adventures of Indiana Jones: The Complete DVD Movie Collection includes all three titles with new anamorphic transfers and improved audio, along with a bonus disc. Supplements on the last platter include the feature-length documentary Indiana Jones: Making the Trilogy (2:06), four featurettes on stunts, sound, music, and special effects, theatrical trailers, and an exclusive DVD-ROM Web link. Four keep-cases in paperboard slipcase.
—Alexandra DuPont

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