This week's prices are as follows:
Store: Individual movies each/box set
Best Buy: $12.99/$34.99 (exclusive comic books with individual discs)
Deep Discount: $19.79/$38.89
Costco: $37.99 boxReview at DVDTalk
(says the video and audio is identical to the 2003 releases)
Here's where things get a little tricky: we do get a decent collection of new extras here, but the excellent bonus disc from the 2003 box (which contained more than three hours of featurettes and promo material) is nowhere to be found. For the optimists: those who own both sets will have plenty to dig through...and none of it overlaps, conveniently enough. For the pessimists: the new material is hardly worth double-dipping for, especially with the combined lack of a technical upgrade.
Raiders of the Lost Ark leads off with an Introduction with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas (7:48), mixing a bit of behind-the-scenes footage and production photos with recent talking head-style interviews. We're also treated to "Indiana Jones: An Appreciation" (11:40), featuring interviews with cast members of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as they look back on the trilogy with admiration and respect. This one can't help but feel promotional for obvious reasons, but it's worth a look nonetheless. Up next is "The Melting Face" (8:49, below left) a brief technical featurette about the infamous death sequence in Raiders. This is one of the more enjoyable extras in the bunch, revealing a few practical secrets without giving too much away. Winding things down is a Storyboard Sequence for Raiders' "Well of Souls" scene (4:13), a handful of Photo Galleries (featuring illustrations, props, marketing and more) and a Game Trailer for "Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures". A Trailer for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull also plays prior to the main menu.
Temple of Doom begins with another Introduction with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas (5:48), featuring more behind-the-scenes footage and retrospective thoughts. "The Creepy Crawlies" (7:59, below right) is up next, highlighting some of the hair-raising animals featured in each of the three films. "Travel With Indy: Locations" (9:02) is a like-minded featurette, bouncing around from film to film while discussing some of the landmark locales (NOTE: "Creepy Crawlies" and "Travel With Indy" both include optional pop-up trivia tracks). This second disc winds down with another Storyboard Sequence (this time, for Temple of Doom's "Mine Cart Chase" scene [2:30]), more Photo Galleries and the Trailers for the Lego game and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
The Last Crusade begins with another Introduction with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas (6:13), and follows up with "Indy's Women: The American Film Institute Tribute" (9:22), a roundtable discussion with leading ladies Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw and Alison Doody. "Indy's Friends and Enemies" (10:46) continues the character focus, highlighting some of the memorable supporting characters from all three adventures. This third and final disc wraps up with another Storyboard Sequence (this time, for Last Crusades's Opening sequence [3:40]), more Photo Galleries and both Trailers already mentioned above. This is undoubtedly the lightest of the three discs, if only due to the lack of attention paid to the singular film at hand.
All bonus features are presented in anamorphic widescreen, while older snippets of promo material and behind-the-scenes footage are smartly window-boxed. Thankfully, optional English, Spanish and French subtitles are also included here, rounding out the overall presentation nicely. Overall, these new extras don't hold a candle to those found on the excellent 2003 bonus disc, but they're fairly entertaining and informative in their own right.
Five years have passed since Indiana Jones debuted on DVD, but this double dip proves that some studios get it right the first time. The films themselves have aged quite gracefully, from the rough-and-tumble Raiders of the Lost Ark to the dysfunctional family affairs of Last Crusade. This three-disc set offers a handful of new bonus features, none of which overlap directly with the previous release. But with scarcely 90 minutes' worth of extras (compared to double that on the 2003 bonus disc) and the lack of a technical upgrade, it's tough to recommend as a good value for the money. Even so, this compact collection has still been packaged with care, earning at least a weekend viewing for those interested in the new extras. Those who don't own Indy yet should either buy the 2003 release...or wait for the inevitable boxed set after Kingdom of the Crystal Skull makes its way to DVD. Rent It.
I was planning on passing on these, and still kind of am, but I got a $10 gift card to Circuit with GTAIV last week which would mean I could snag Raiders for two bucks and change, which isn't bad, so I may pick that up, who knows.