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Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection (DVD Review)

11 May, 2008 By: Rachel Cericola

Street 5/13/08
$49.99 three-DVD set, individual movies $26.99 each
Rated ‘PG-13’
Stars Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, John Rhys-Davis, Denholm Elliot, Kate Capshaw, Sean Connery.

Before the adventure continues, it may be time for a refresher course. A boxed set of the first three “Indiana Jones” movies has been available for years, but Paramount is re-releasing the trilogy as a new boxed set, and individually for the first time, with new special featuers, in anticipation of the May 22 theatrical release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Although The Adventure Collection lacks the retrospective documentaries from the original release, the new set still represents a rip-roaring ride through the trilogy, with plenty of gems worthy of an expedition helmed by Dr. Jones himself.

All three of the discs kick off with a new introduction, which includes Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, as well as other familiar faces and behind-the-scenes characters from the classic trilogy: 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Each one manages to convey the excitement that was to come, as well as unveil a few tasty nuggets, such as how the trilogy was part of a handshake deal between the two Hollywood heavyweights.

Temple of Doom was supposed to be the darkest and edgiest of the three films. Instead, we see Spielberg reminiscing about the bad reviews, and even Lucas acknowledges that it’s not the greatest.

Notable extras include “Creepy Crawlies,” a fun Temple of Doom featurette that includes all of the snakes, spiders and other vermin most probably don’t want to remember from the series. Fans won’t want to miss this one, but might want to enable the “pop-up trivia” feature to take their eyes off some of the funkier of the trilogy’s stars.

Last Crusade has a featurette about Indy’s “Friends and Enemies,” and has an excerpt from AFI’s panel discussion with all three actresses who played love interests.

Fans still will have to wait for commentary tracks. There also are no deleted scenes or bloopers, which must exist — and would shine a hilarious light on this fun film series.

One other disappointing aspect is that each disc devotes space to a preview of the new film and the a trailer for the Lego Indiana Jones video game. 

All three films are classics, so if you haven’t started collecting, this is your prime opportunity. However, those who coughed up the $50 for the last box might not want to crack the whip to get this collection. Only diehard fans will appreciate the new extras featured.

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