Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection Steven Spielberg

Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection Steven Spielberg
The fedora, the bullwhip, the ophidiophobia, the over-exaggerated sound effects, yep, no one does adventure quite like Indiana Jones. So it makes sense that creator George Lucas and director pal Steven Spielberg have dusted off his hat for one more quest, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull — and of course, re-released the first three DVDs for one more ride (but not the last, I can assure you). Not to be confused with 2003’s Complete DVD Collection, this quickly assembled box set (containing Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade) still doesn’t offer commentaries but does manage to get Lucas and Spielberg to introduce each new film with plenty of insight any fan would accept as compensation. Spielberg talks about his love for James Bond and making international action stories like the ones he grew up with, while Lucas calls them b-movies with explicit satisfaction, but the first thing we hear is that these films are not based on reality. This sets the tone for Harrison Ford’s Indy and his various cohorts eluding rolling boulders, finding ancient arks that melt faces, battling evil Indian cults that can remove hearts by hand, falling off rope bridges, escaping Nazis (twice!) and discovering and using the Holy Grail. Far-fetched on just about every level, but Ford’s Clark Kent-like professor/Superman Indy persona give us the kind of escapism and hope that maybe, just maybe our past university archaeology instructor did the same on his weekends. It also helps that Spielberg knows how to ham things up to keep us entertained, with unforgettable one-liners, comedic action (Raiders’ definitive shooting of the swordsman) and wide-eyed, gooey sentimentality that only he can pull off. A salute to the franchise is given in a new tribute taken right from the Crystal Skull set, featuring gushing praise from Ford, Karen Allen, Cate Blanchett, Shia LeBeouf, Ray Winstone and Jim Broadbent, while various informative, but not exactly essential, featurettes covering location, friends and foes, Indy’s women and best of all, "The Melting Face!” are good time wasters. But again, it’s the analysis by the two big guns in the three introductions that matters most, revealing juicy titbits like the much more ominous Temple of Doom was designed by Lucas to follow The Empire Strikes Back’s darker template. Good to know! Plus: galleries, storyboards, Lego videogame trailer and demo. (Paramount)