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Noooooooo tweaking on this Blu-ray!
on 11 October 2012
If ever there was a must have Blu-ray box set this is it. With the exception of Star Wars , this box set is quite possibly the most sort after Blu-rays out there and I wasted absolutely no time at all when this dropped through my letter box and was in my Blu-ray player in under a minute!
Can never decide which is my favourite Spielberg movie , Raiders or Jaws , but just glad that I now finally own them both on Blu-ray.
Picture transfer is once again just breathtaking. Crisp , clear although the first thing that I noticed on Raiders was that the whole film seemed to have what can only be described as a "gold filter" over the camera lens , which has a noticeable effect with the colour compared to the VHS and DVD releases.
This is by no means a bad thing , but I have read numerous (although somewhat exaggerated) complaints about it , but for me , it just makes the film feel more like the old action serials that it intended to be like , and the colours warm and more pleasing to the eye...For me anyway.
Only have the one minor gripe about the transfer which is , ever since the introduction of Hi-Def images , particularly on older films , they do tend to show up flaws in camera work. Notably in Raiders , the scene where the tarantula runs across Alfred Molina's chest appears to be completely out of focus , and the scene where Indy is hiding behind some wooden crates before he steals the undersized uniform is really quite grainy (or speckling effect) , but these are the only flaws I've noticed with the first three films and if you blinked , you'd miss them , so will quite happily let it go.
Truth be told , my real apprehension of this transfer was with Mr Lucas's itchy fingers attached to the films.
Have to say , I was a little nervous about buying this box set before reading any reviews about it , but his involvement in the restoration is not apparent.
Absolutely "Nooooooo" tweaking here , apart from the deleted reflection on the glass from Indy's encounter with the cobra that was done a few years ago , which I think is universally agreed is a good use of CGI tinkering and can't possibly believe anyone , not even a hardline purist , would complain about it.
The sound is presented in 5.1 DTS master audio and sounds fantastic. John Williams , with yet another iconic score , just sounds staggering and the gunfight in Marion's bar sounds like Indy's firing a cannon with every gunshot.
The almost cartoon-like "THWACK" with every punch , which was always purposely exaggerated , sounds even more so with the new sound and is definitely more satisfying to hear.
Although I do find a little too much use of the subwoofer with this transfer which seems to be used on everything , which is more unusual rather than a complaint , but hey! Thats the neighbours problem !
The extras are excellent and most die hard fans would have already seen the majority of the 7 hours worth , most of which have been transferred straight from the VHS and DVD releases , which again is not a bad thing as I like to have them all in one place rather than having to keep older formats just for a particular feature.
The only new addition to the features that I've noticed is the "On set with Raiders of the Lost Ark" documentary with some rarely seen gag reels , deleted and alternative scenes which was an absolute joy to watch , and even though I consider myself a die hard fan of these films , I must have missed these over the years as I'd never seen them before.
If , like me , you ever wondered how Indy survived the long journey atop of a submarine without drowning , then one of the deleted scenes gives you the answer... Kind of.
I could waffle on about the other movies but will just say , ALL of them are beautifully transferred , and Temple of Doom is fully uncut for the first time on UK shores with a minute or so of extra gore and violence... And swinging through trees with monkeys aside , I like all the films.
Not quite as good a transfer as Jaws or the Alien Anthology box set , which has set the bar very high indeed for quality in older movies on Blu-ray , but I really am talking about minuscule differences here and its very difficult to select the best quality out of those three.
Its a shame that Paramount hadn't stuck to their guns as they had announced that all their films released on Blu-ray would be in 7.1 sound , and to be fair , every film from them that I've bought has been... this being the only exception so far , although this is probably down to Mr Lucas's bizarre reluctance to use 7.1.
Still , in my humble view its perfectly fine and definitely deserves a very worthy 5 star rating for an outstanding transfer to Blu-ray , and think you'll be very impressed with this box set nonetheless , and for me , this is a definite purchase.