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DVD Review: Indiana Jones - The Adventure Collection

It pretty much goes without saying that Indiana Jones rules, and you'd have to be crazy to NOT be looking forward to the latest Indiana Jones movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. My wife and I will be trying our best to see the midnight showing... but this review is not about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Nope, this is a review about Indiana Jones - The Adventure Collection, which is a new box set of the previous three Indiana Jones flicks. And if you're saying to yourself "I thought there was already an Indiana Jones box set", well you're absolutely right. So why would they release a new box set? You're guess is as good as mine, but I'm sure that it has absolutely positively nothing at all to do with the upcoming release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull....

Okay, so lets take a look at how this new box set differs from the previous one. The first thing I see is that this new one has slimline DVD cases. I like the slimline cases, so that's good. Next, I notice that this only has three discs, where the previous set had four. Yep, the previous box set had an entire disc dedicated to extra features (although it was far from packed with features, coming in at a total of about three hours), where this new set just crams them onto the movie discs. And finally, the movies themselves haven't changed a bit. There is no added footage or cleaning up of the film or any new type of digital remastering. It's the same movies.

Since the only significant difference between the two sets is the extra features, lets look them over. The original set had a feature-length documentary on the making of the trilogy and four featurettes, one for stunts, one for sound, one for music, and one for "Light and Magic". The new set lists a ton of special features on the back of the case, but I came to find that this is a bit misleading. First off, three of the listed features which sound pretty cool (Snakes Alive! The Well Of Souls, Hold On To Your Hat! The Coal Mine Chase, and The Birth Of the Action Hero! The Last Crusade Opening Scene) turn out to simply be storyboards. Storyboard?! Why would I give a crap about storyboards?

Next, four more of the extras (The Indy Trilogy, A Crystal Clear Appreciation, Indy's Women Reminisce, Indy's Friends & Enemies, and Creepy Crawlies) are basically just people reminiscing, telling us about their memories and how the movies affected them. While there aren't bad, they also aren't anything worth paying money for. Parts are interesting and enjoyable, but there's really nothing in there that'll blow your mind or offer any new significant insight into this beloved series. Hey, remember when Indy had those spiders on his back? Yeah, that was cool.... now moving on....

Let's see, next we have The Mystery Of The Melting Face, which is like a behind the scene featurette of one scene from one of the movies. I'll don't want to give away anything, so I'll leave it up to the reader to figure out which scene. This one is actually kind of pointless. Does anyone in this day and age not know how that scene was done? Next, there is Discover Adventure On Location with Indy. Adventure? Not in this extra feature, which simply shows you where the movies were filmed.

Uh-oh, we're kind of running out of extra features here. Let's see, what's left... we have photo galleries from each film. Does anyone ever look at those? If so, why? Is the Internet just too complicated for ya? And finally, there are in introductions to each film by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Nothing really special about those either. I didn't notice anything being revealed that I haven't seen before. And that's about it, aside from showing a game demo of the new Lego Indiana Jones game. Yes, the game looks amazing, but still it's just showing a demo, it's not like you actually get to play it or anything.

As you can probably tell, I was a bit disappointed. The box said "3 special edition DVDs", so I was expecting some really special stuff, like extra footage or something, but we didn't even get freakin' commentaries. All we got was some new featurettes, which are good, but not what I'd consider "special". Thus if you're like me and already own the original box set with the forth bonus disc, then this set is not worth getting. If you don't own the previous box set, then go buy that one! Go buy that and skip this new one, because the movies are absolutely awesome and worth owning, but the previous set simply had better extras.

Indiana Jones - The Adventure Collection, released by Paramount Home Video, is available starting May 13, 2008.

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