On September 18, 2012, almost a year after Lucasfilm Limited (LFL) and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray, LFL and Paramount Pictures released Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures, a five-disc box set which, for the first time ever, includes all four Indy films in the Blu-ray format.
Like its Star Wars counterpart, Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures features each of the George Lucas-produced, Steven Spielberg films (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) on its own Blu-ray disc, along with a fifth disc which contains a mix of all-new extra features and “carryovers” from the 2003 and 2008 DVD sets.
I’ve been a fan of “the Man in the Hat” since Raiders was released in June of 1981, and even though I already own the four films of the series and the three Adventures of Young Indiana Jones DVDbox sets, I pre-ordered The Complete Adventures Blu-ray set back in April. The box set arrived a few days after its release and now that I have watched all four films and the bonus disc, I can report that:
- The packaging resembles that of the 2011 Star Wars: The Complete Saga in its basic design: each Blu-ray is stored in a sleeve-like page of a package which resembles a small hardcover book. The “book” fits into a sturdy cardboard slipcover; both feature a Drew Struzan illustration done in the style of the late Richard Amsel, the artist who created the original poster for Raiders of the Lost Ark back in 1981.
- The four Blu-ray discs which contain the features don’t offer too many extras. Unlike Star Wars: The Complete Saga, the Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures set doesn’t have any audio commentary tracks (Spielberg never does audio commentaries on any DVD or Blu-ray of his filmography). They do, however, have the trailers for each of the four films, a feature not included in the Star Wars Blu-ray sets.
- Though most of the extra features on the bonus disc are “holdovers” from the series’ previous DVD releases (2003 and 2008), viewers will see an all-new documentary titled On Set – Raiders of the Lost Ark, as well as The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark, a 1981 “making of” featurette which was not released in the DVD format.
In contrast to what George Lucas and his Industrial Light and Magic team did with the Star Wars Blu-ray set, Lucasfilm (now about to be owned by the Walt Disney Company) and Steven Spielberg have not altered any of the four Indiana Jones movies. All the movies are presented in the original widescreen format in which they were released in theaters, and no CGI additions have been made to the three films which were made in the 1980s; Raiders of the Lost Ark’s 1981 title card remains “as is” even though Lucasfilm has marketed it as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark since the late 1990s.
- NEW – On Set with Raiders of the Lost Ark
- From Jungle to Desert
- From Adventure to Legend
- Making the Films
- The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981 documentary previously unavailable on DVD)
- The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark
- The Making of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- The Making of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- The Making of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (HD)
- Behind the Scenes
- The Stunts of Indiana Jones
- The Sound of Indiana Jones
- The Music of Indiana Jones
- The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones
- Raiders: The Melting Face!
- Indiana Jones and the Creepy Crawlies (with optional pop-ups)
- Travel with Indiana Jones: Locations (with optional pop-ups)
- Indy’s Women: The American Film Institute Tribute
- Indy’s Friends and Enemies
- Iconic Props (Crystal Skull) (HD)
- The Effects of Indy (Crystal Skull) (HD)
- Adventures in Post Production (Crystal Skull) (HD)