HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
HTS Overall Score:82
This is the movie that started it all in my childhood. I have fond memories of being a young child in the 80’s and going over to my Aunt’s house to watch “Raiders of the Lost ArK” in all of its VHS glory. Lucas and Spielberg had always been big fans of the serial adventures that had become a lost art by the 80’s and were heavily influenced by them in their decision to create the Indiana Jones universe. Full of grand sweeping adventures with a hero that defied nature, ala Buck Rogers, saves the damsel in distress and foils Nazi plot in the same 2 hour span of time. I mean how could you NOT get any more heroic than that? Spawning 3 sequels “Indiana Jones” has become as well known a household name as Han Solo or Luke Skywalker, with thousands of adoring fans as well as copious amounts of fan fiction and parodies to boot.
The third sequel tried to reboot the franchise with Shia Lebouf taking over the reins from Harrison Ford, but the lackluster response to the 4th installment seems to have halted that train (thankfully) and with these individual releases, fans of the original trilogy can buy them singly and complete the set WITHOUT having to add “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” to their shelves. Many people consider the 4th installment to not be canon and as such have been waiting eagerly to collect the ones they enjoyed and not have to purchase an all-encompassing 4 film set that is housed in cardboard sleeves.
Here is where we first meet Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), a bit of comic lore, being a meek minded archeology professor by day, but when out on dangers digs, can swing a whip with ease, punch a Nazi in the face, kiss the girl and wield a pistol with the best of them. Army intelligence confides in Dr. Jones that Hitler and the Nazi’s are close to finding the legendary Ark of the Covenant and intent on using it’s incredible powers in the war effort. Now it’s up to Indy and an ex-girlfriend, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), to thwart the Nazi’s and find the Ark before they do and avert the Axis powers from gaining control of the war.
Goofy, lighthearted, and full of action “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is a gem among movies, it has something for just about everyone. Back in the day before PG-13 was created (Ironically it was “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” along with another film that garnered the creation of the PG-13 rating) it hovered as that type of film that could appeal to the adventure loving child or the adult looking to relive those old serial adventures of old. Masterfully written, it is still considered the best of the 4 movies (although the 3rd hovers pretty close to overtaking “Raiders” at times), the one liners are absolutely fantastic and the chemistry between Indy and Marion is just spot on perfect. Sallah (John Rhys-Davies)) become such a fan favorite that he was written into the subsequent films upon request. Harrison Ford was already a decently big name actor from the Star Wars Days, but with Indiana Jones becoming such a huge hit this pretty much solidified his career for the next two decades. It’s strange that after revisiting so many childhood films that have lost some of their luster due to age, and still being able to just lose myself in the gleeful fun of “Raiders” is a testament to how well the film has aged over the years with Lawrence Kasdan’s fantastic screenplay and Lucas/Spielberg’s masterful eye for special effects and direction. Easily the best of the trilogy it is still my favorite of the 4 films and a welcome addition to anyone’s collection.
Rated PG for Action Violence
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=14030[/img]Looking stunning in its 2.40:1 AVC transfer, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is the same fantastic transfer that was put on disc with entire “Indiana Jones Boxset”, albeit this time there’s an Itunes Digital copy to boot. Fans of the original discs will notice a slightly boosted contrast and a light orangey yellow color timing to the film. The original DVD’s were always a bit darker than I remember my childhood VHS tapes and it appears that this transfer has correct that issue. It’s still hotly debated over whether the color timing and contrast boosting is accurate, but it still looks fantastic to me. A nice layer of grain covers the entire image, never obscuring detail, but instead giving a very filmic look to the picture. Black levels are inky black when need be and show no signs of crush or any other digital manipulation other than a teensy bit of haloing in a few scenes. Absolutely stunning and rich with detail, I could not ask for a much better transfer of such an iconic film.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=14031[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio track is just as stunning as the video track, with great surround usage is pulses with energy and life, giving new meaning to the word immersive. The crack of Indy’s whip is crystal clear, actually allowing you to hear the double snap that the tip makes and sent goose bumps up and down my arms. The dialogue is excellent, centered in the center channel and balanced well with the rest of the track. The LFE channel is alive with constant chatter throughout the movie. The deep tribal drum beats of the Peruvian forest ripple with low frequency and the thud of stone doors closing shake the walls. Never before have I heard “Raiders” sound this good and it’s a revelation to my ears.
• Theatrical Trailers
These re-releases of the original trilogy is fantastic for the picky collector, for those of you who have waited to pick up only the ones dear to your hearts instead of spending movies on one or more films that you didn’t really care about. The same discs as the original boxset, you can be assured that no quality is lost in these single releases and that with the inclusion of the Digital copy you might actually gain something. The best of the franchise this a must buy for anyone who doesn’t already own the set.
Starring: Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Lawrence Kasdan, George Lucas (Story)
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish, Portuguese DD 5.1, Spanish, Portuguese DD 2.0
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Runtime: 115 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: Dec 17th, 2013
Buy Raiders of the Lost Ark Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Watch It
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