Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull arrives in theaters on May 22nd, and shockingly, Paramount is releasing a new DVD set of the original Indiana Jones trilogy this Tuesday, May 13th. I mean, I am flabbergasted that Paramount would release a new DVD set so close to the release of their new Indiana Jones movie; it’s as if they want to milk some extra cash out of one of their most prized franchises. I just didn’t see it coming.
A few years ago, I picked up The Adventures of Indiana Jones: The Complete DVD Movie Collection, which came with the three movies digitally remastered as well as a bonus disc (that I’ve never watched) that is, according to the box, “the ultimate anthology of Indiana Jones special features to accompany this classic DVD collection.” That’s interesting that that set was the “complete” and “ultimate” collection, when now we have Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection DVD set…
Anyway, this new Adventure Collection offers only three disc and doesn’t make any bold statements about being “the biggest and baddest,” but presumably that’s being put off until all four Indiana Jones movies are released in a single DVD set in the fall. Maybe then Steven Spielberg and George Lucas will actually provide commentary for the films.
Yes, this new DVD set still doesn’t offer director’s commentary for the films, which is a bit surprising. It does, however, have introductions by Spielberg and Lucas before each film, which, I guess, is meant to make up for the lack of six hours of commentary.
While the bonus disc from the previous edition is missing, there are bonus features offered on each movie disc. The features includes interviews with the Indiana Jones women (Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw and Allison Doody), Spielberg, Lucas, Ford and the screenwriters; an examination of the famous “melting face scene” from Raiders of the Lost Ark; a featurette on the locations; and another featurette that covers the bugs, insects and other creatures found in the movies. The teaser trailer for the new Indiana Jones movie also plays at the beginning of each disc, cementing the fact that this box set is specifically intended to drive ticket sales.
Basically, the bonus features are pretty standard fare.
There are some interesting moments, but for those of you who already own the Indiana Jones movies, it doesn’t make sense to purchase this new set. The bonus features are not amazing, and unless you are so die-hard that you have to have every piece of material ever made on the subject, they aren’t worth shelling out an additional $35.
At the same time, the movies themselves have never looked better. I haven’t watched Temple of Doom yet, but Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade both look amazing. The picture is crystal clear and looks as brand new as movies filmed 20 years can look.
If you don’t have the movies and don’t care about bonus features, this new Indiana Jones box set offers the three movies in their finest form. However, if you don’t think that Paramount doesn’t have a box set due to be released in the fall with all four movies and a slew of special features, however, you’re kidding yourself.