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Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark Blu-ray Review

raiders-of-the-lost-ark-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

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The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

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Okay, so what if The Big Bang Theory ruined the plot of Raiders of the Lost Ark, it’s still a darn good adventure film. In 1981, two heavyweights of the box office blockbuster, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg collaborated on this unlikely hit about an archeology professor, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) who is also a globetrotting adventurer seeking ancient treasures while dodging ruthless and dangerous rivals, booby traps, and snakes.

Directed by Spielberg with a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan based on a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman, Raiders of the Lost Ark is a pretty straightforward action flick with lots of nail biting set pieces and a great sense of adventure and humor. The story follows Indiana Jones and his old flame Marion (Karen Allen) as Indy is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis get their hands on it and turn it into a super weapon against allied forces. Along the way there are plenty of opportunities for Indiana Jones to use his bullwhip to swing, battle enemies, avoid booby traps, cling to speeding trucks, and get into fisticuffs with just about everybody. It all leads up to a spectacularly campy ending that just about anyone could see coming, but still offers up some great visual effects for the time and an applause-worthy finale.

Raiders would launch a successful franchise that would go on longer than anyone expected, culminating in the regrettable, refrigerator nuking Indiana Jones and the Legend of the Crystal Skull, with Harrison Ford long past his prime to play the role. While there were plenty of good times and great adventures along the way, none of the films that followed ever reached the level of quality of the original.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

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This is merely a reissue of the very same disc we were given in the Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures. As such, we get the same, superb AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement on Blu-ray with clean, crisp imagery, a film-like texture, and marvelously nuanced shadows.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

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The audio is supplied in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), French, Portuguese, and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 dubs, and French and Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 dubs. The lossless English 5.1 track is also finely done and provides an exciting aural experience. The John Williams score bursts from the speakers with a natural and airy sound and lush ambience, the lows are hefty during the action sequences as dialogue stays above the fray.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

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Not much here at all. They’ve only added the digital copies, but no DVD.

The supplements:

  • iTunes Digital Copy and Digital HD UltraViolet
  • Teaser Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • Re-Issue Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]

Raiders-of-the-lost-Ark-BD_5

George Lucas seems determined to rewrite history, like renaming Raiders of the Lost Ark “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark”. Whatever. If you were around for this film when it first ran in theaters like I was, you know the name and you also know what a thrill it was. You can now experience it all over again in a magnificent Blu-ray transfer from Paramount in this single-film reissue.

Additional Screen Captures

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