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Title: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Movie: :4.5stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :halfstar:

HTS Overall Score:82




[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=14028[/img]
Summary
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.

[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=14029[/img]

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.



Rating:

Rated PG for Action Violence


Video :4.5stars:
[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.








Audio :4.5stars:
[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.




[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=14032[/img]
Extras: :halfstar:

• Theatrical Trailers











Overall: :4stars:


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.


Additional Information:

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
Rated: PG
Runtime: 115 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: Dec 17th, 2013


Buy Raiders of the Lost Ark Blu-ray on Amazon



Recommendation: Watch It




More about Mike
 

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Thanks once again for the review Mike. I was an adult when this movie came out and am not ashamed to say I saw it a dozen times at the theater. I own every release of this title all the way back to the Sony promo 8mm tape. I hadn't purchased the Blu-ray boxset yet and am glad that they are being released as single releases of the same quality.
 

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Thanks for the review. I remember seeing this when it came out in the theater many moons ago. I did enjoy the movie and now that I have blu ray, I can check this movie out at home.. :)
 

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I bought the box set knowing that someday they'd eventually get to the point of individual releases (the 4th installment has never seen the light of day). Raiders of the Lost Ark is iconic and rightly so...and the refresh on transfer is perfect. It's a must buy.
 

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I have been waiting to see if this movie on Blu-ray would be worth getting. I am with you Mike in that the movie seemed darker to me than what I remember it. It is nice to see that they fixed that area. I am going to definitely get it now as I love this movie.
 

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Love this movie. Hollywood escapism at its best. It is precisely because of movies like this that I got into home theater.

Thanks for the review!

Regards,
sga2
 

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I bought the box set knowing that someday they'd eventually get to the point of individual releases (the 4th installment has never seen the light of day). Raiders of the Lost Ark is iconic and rightly so...and the refresh on transfer is perfect. It's a must buy.
I have been looking for it locally but no joy. Looks like an internet order is in order.
 

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In re-reading this review I had a moment of clarity from many years ago, 1981 to be exact.
My best friend and I had a policy of taking the afternoon off work and going to see all of the "Big" hollywood movies on opening day, first showing so we could view the film before it became worn and patched up. Also, the first showing was usually cheaper and at noon or 1:00 there were very few screaming kids. I know I know.

This habit started with Jaws and ran for many many years until we slowed down a bit in the 90's and stopped altogether in '95 after Apollo 13. Life changed that year for both of us and we or I have not done that since.

Never the less three of the biggest openers for me, in order were 2001 (A bit Earlier I know but we ran away from school and snuck to downtown Chicago to attend at the Cinestage), Star Wars and lastly Indiana Jones, the one review here.
This movie had such a lasting impressing on me, how could they fit all that action into under 2 hours ? I was amazed, tension, action, romance, adventure, science, history and well everything. I had thought that Star Wars would ever be equaled at catching my attention during the opening scenes but I was so wrong, Indy did the same.

This movie is brilliant and I remember that day like it was a photograph.
 
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