Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection – DVD Review

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Available at Amazon.com

Surely by now you know who Doctor Indiana Jones is. You just have to. He’s a smooth talking professor that never seems to age. He knows everything there is to possibly know about history and the artifacts of the world. He can pretty much get any woman in the world that he wants even if they hate him. He spends lots of time with his father and even hangs out with the kids of different countries so it is next to impossible to say he isn’t a good role model. Oh, did I forget to mention that in his spare time he carries a whip and comes to the rescue of those who need him even if it means risking his own life?

Yeah he does that too.

Raiders Of The Lost Ark



We are first introduced to Dr. Jones here and see that he is a professor of archeology that is in constant search of precious world treasures. That is when he isn’t in a classroom teaching students. At the current time he is traipsing after the Ark Of The Covenant. Yes, that Ark. The Nazis are in hot pursuit of it and know that whoever possesses it will be given great power, and Indy just can’t let that happen.

Indy’s ex-girlfriend Marion, who is his love interest in this film, just so happens to have a major piece of information to the Ark’s whereabouts and he must do what he can to find it. Not only is it of utmost importance to Indy to find the Ark, but also to keep it out of the hands of evil for you see the Nazis are also pursuing Marion in hopes that the information she has can become theirs first. It is a race against time and one against grave danger as the artifact which holds perhaps the greatest power known to man is at stake.

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This would be the favorite Indiana Jones film from the trilogy for many fans around the world, but not me. It comes in second, but don’t get the idea that I don’t like it because it is absolutely fantastic. One of the greatest scenes in cinematic history comes from Raiders and it’s that of Indy running away from the giant boulder that could crush him at any second. And who can forget that wonderful line, “Snakes? Why did it have to be snakes?” So many memorable things come from this film and it is action-packed from moment one to the finish, but it still can’t take my top spot on the Dr. Jones countdown.









Special Features

Introduction by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas – This feature runs close to eight minutes and has both men talking about how they came up with the idea for the film and what they were aiming at with it. Lots of clips from the film, but also a bunch of old footage from the early eighties and behind the scenes pictures from the set.

The Indy Trilogy: A Crystal Clear Appreciation – In this eleven minute and forty second feature, all three films are looked at now that a fourth one is upon us. Interviews from casts and crews discuss how they feel about each film and how they knew it would work from one to the other.

The Mystery Of The Melting Face – One of the coolest scenes in the film happens in the end when one of the bad guys’ face completely melts away after looking into the Ark. The process of how it was done is shown and discussed in this nine minute featurette.

Snakes Alive! The Well Of Souls Storyboards – The storyboards are shown along with the actual scene at the same time.

Photo Galleries – Lots of different galleries with tons of cool pictures including: illustrations & props, production photographs & portraits, effects/ILM, and marketing.

The Temple Of Doom



Now here comes my all-time favorite. Perhaps it was because this was the darkest of the three films and went down a path that was much more sinister and evil then the others, or maybe it was just because Short Round is awesome. Either way, Temple Of Doom reigns supreme as my favorite Indy film and it is for many reasons that I could watch this one in constant repetition as opposed to the other two films that will only gets a few viewings from me each year.

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Our good professor starts off in Shanghai having a grand old time until trouble comes his way yet again and he must make a daring escape behind a rolling giant coin. This leads to his departure in a plane that no longer has its original pilot and brings about another cool scene in which Indy, Short Round, and the love interest Willie make their way to the snow covered peaks below in a floating life raft. Awesome.

Thanks to their misfortune, Indy and his two friends end up in a village that sees its people in grave despair because their children have been kidnapped and forced to work in mines for the evil Mola Ram. Being the Good Samaritan that he is, Indy vows to rescue the children and also bring back the three sacred stones which are also in the mines but belong to the village. This leads to a big time fist fight, evil Indy, and a simply fantastic mine cart chase scene.

You’re going to find those people who absolutely detest this film and those who like it but consider it the worst of the three. Maybe I’m different, and that’s OK with me because Temple is my favorite by far. Raiders is second and then follows The Last Crusade. But this one has everything you could ask for. Action, adventure, a little bit of horror, romance, drama, and a lot of comedy. Sure, Willie’s constant screaming can get annoying but the interaction between Indy and Short Round is phenomenal and that is especially evident when they are trapped in the shrinking room filled with bugs and spikes. “We…are going…to DIE!”

Special Features

Introduction by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas – It was actually agreed upon by both men in 1977 that they needed to do three total films for Indiana Jones if they went through with the first one. I’m glad they kept their deal. Lucas makes a good point how they wanted to make sequels, but wanted to make sure to keep each film as its own separate entity. This feature lasts six minutes.

Creepy Crawlies – All of the different and disgusting animals from snakes to bugs to rats are talked about here in this twelve minute feature. It can even be played with pop-up trivia boxes.

Discover Adventure On Location With Indy – This ten and a half minute feature goes on about the different and exotic locations that are shown in each film. Very interesting stuff here listening to cast and crew talk about their experiences in each place. This feature can also be played with pop-up trivia.

Hold Onto Your Hat! The Mine Cart Chase Storyboards – The storyboards are shown along with the actual scene at the same time.

Photo Galleries – Lots of different galleries with tons of cool pictures including: illustrations & props, production photographs & portraits, effects/ILM, and marketing.

The Last Crusade



Finally, there is the family affair. I say that not only because Indy is going on an adventure alongside his father, Professor Henry Jones, but because it is aimed more towards being family friendly. The first film saw a tremendous journey for one of the most coveted artifacts of all time and took a little knowledge to understand what was going on. The second film took a swift turn down a darker path and showed the more evil side of Dr. Jones. The Last Crusade (which now it obviously wasn’t) is garnered more towards being a family film that everyone can enjoy.

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Indy has been on a trek to find the Holy Grail ever since he was a young boy, but understandably so, could never find it. It is the same trek that his father had been on for years until he disappeared. A little bit of research reveals that the Nazis are again at their worst and have kidnapped Dr. Henry Jones since they are sure he knows the whereabouts of the Grail and want it for themselves.

This leads to some really cool scenes including a sweet dogfight in the air and leading all the way to the ground. The back and forth banter between the elder and younger Joneses is downright hilarious and makes for some of the best chemistry throughout the entire trilogy. The Last Crusade was to mark the end of Indiana Jones and his escapades which is obvious by the word “last” being in the title, and this film would have been just fine as a final sendoff. But the fourth film is on the way and the legend of Dr. Jones continues.

Special Features

Introduction by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas – It appears that Lucas is the one who had the main idea for Indy to go after the Holy Grail, but it was Spielberg who brought in the idea for Indy to go find his dad too. It really is a damn good thing these two guys got together. Both men discuss the third (and at the time, final) film in the trilogy for this six minute and thirteen second feature.

Indy’s Women Reminisce – Here is “The American Film Institute Tribute” to Indiana Jones and his love interests. In 2003 for the celebration of the trilogy release on DVD; Marion (Karen Allen), Willie (Kate Capshaw), and Elsa (Alison Doody) sat down together to discuss their man and their respective characters. It’s pretty neat seeing all of them together and listening to their thoughts on the characters they played. This feature runs for nine minutes and twenty-two seconds.

Indy’s Friends And Enemies – All of the side characters from the three films are discussed here in this minute feature. The list includes the villains, Indy’s women, villagers, sidekicks, and especially Short Round.

The Birth Of An Action Hero! The Last Crusade Opening Scene Storyboards – The storyboards are shown along with the actual scene at the same time.

Photo Galleries – Lots of different galleries with tons of cool pictures including: illustrations & props, production photographs & portraits, effects/ILM, and marketing.

The films are shown in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and they look absolutely beautiful. Each one has gorgeous color and appears to have been totally remastered making them all look as if they were filmed just yesterday.

The films are heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and the sound is also flawless in this set. All dialogue can be heard perfectly clear while the music and sound effects from each punch to each bullet fired to each explosion and even the cracks of the whip are heard gloriously.

LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Game – The trailer and playable PC demo are included on all three discs for this game and it looks incredibly awesome. You’ll be able to take Indiana Jones in LEGO form and go through all three classic films which are of course also in LEGO form.

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There is a bit of a problem when it comes to this new collection of Indiana Jones‘ films. If you already have the 2003 set, is it really worth buying this one for simply a bunch of different special features? I hate to say it, but the answer is yes. And for those that never bought the original trilogy with the bonus disc and are wondering which one to get; then I have your answer too. Both of them. I’m sorry folks, but I now own both sets and even though you’ll have the films twice over; the special features are excellent on both sets and well worth forking out extra cash to get them all. Hell, this actually makes my third set of the Indy films because I got the VHS tapes from McDonald’s years and years ago when they were selling them as a special with their extra value meals. Everything about Indiana Jones is simply awesome and I can’t wait to see the new film. It isn’t right of me to downgrade this set merely because another one already exists, but with different special features. Of course it is a ploy to get more money out of fans, but its well worth it. You dare call yourself an Indy fan and not get this? You betrayed Shiva!

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Paramount presents Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection. Directed by: Steven Spielberg. Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Sean Connery, Paul Freeman, Ke Huy Quan, Kate Capshaw, John Rhys-Davies, and more. Written by: Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders Of The Last Ark), Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz (The Temple Of Doom), Jeffrey Boam (The Last Crusade). Running time: 259 minutes on 3 discs. Rating: PG. Released on DVD: May 13, 2008. Available at Amazon.com