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The Adventures Of Young Indiana Jones Vol.2 (9 Disc Box Set)  [DVD]
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A nine-volume set charting the early adventures of one of cinema's greatest icons - Indiana Jones. In this series, the young adventurer's experiences in the trenches of Belgium during WWI form the main backdrop to the storylines, as he meets such luminaries as Sigfried Sassoon, Charles De Gaulle, Albert Schweitzer and the Red Baron.
George Lucas The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Volume Two, The War Years continues the extraordinary narrative, historical, and production achievements found in Volume One. As with the first series, each feature-length programme (re-editing material from the original, one-hour broadcasts to smooth out the chronology of Jones experiences as a child and young man) resembles a theatrical experience more than episodic television. Each drama is remarkably rich in layered detail, shedding light on major events, figures, and ideas from a pivotal era in world history. Where Volume One largely focused on the early childhood of Indiana Jones as he travelled the world in the company of his parents, meeting the likes of Picasso, Tolstoy, Freud, and T.E. Lawrence, Volume Two is exclusively concerned with Jones experiences during World War I. This time, Jones (Sean Patrick Flanery, introduced in the final episodes of Volume One) is serving in the infantry of the Belgian army under an assumed name, eventually rising in rank from corporal to captain and becoming a spy after paying extensive, nightmarish dues on the wars front line in Europe. The series captures some of the horror of World War Is most infamous battles, directly inserting Jones into the thick of the action at Verdun, the Somme, the Middle East, and elsewhere. In time, Jones is repeatedly recruited to become a secret agent, going undercover in Austria to help forge a separate peace between the last Habsburg emperor and the allies, and playing a crucial part in the survival of British and Australian forces crossing a merciless desert. Along the way, Indy befriends Bolsheviks preparing for the Russian Revolution, has a romance with Mata Hari, attempts a prison break with Charles de Gaulle, and has a wonderful encounter with Albert Schweitzer. As with Volume One, this follow-up box set includes an astonishing number of excellent special features, primarily dynamic documentaries about many of the real-life people and incidents introduced in the stories. These extras provide much depth and analysis without being at all dry; a creative history teacher would do well to incorporate them (and, for that matter, the shows themselves) in a class about the 20th century. --Tom Keogh
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Top Customer Reviews
This review is a combined one for all three seasons of Young Indiana.
I remembered watching some of these as a youth. They sparked a free-spirited ambition in a lot of boys and girls of the era I'm sure. When I saw them on offer at amazon I figured I'd snap them all up to re-live some of my past, being an Indie fan anyway.
Turns out, I'd probably not seen over 50% of the full series as I couldn't remember a lot of it.
Season one sees Indie (Henry Junior) as a boy, played by Cory Carrier, who never really seemed to carry on in acting. His father was talently played by Lloyd Owen who sounds the spit of Sean Connery's depiction in the earlier feature-films, which really helped with the feeling of continuity. Margaret Tyzack rounds out the key characters from my opinion, playing the part of Indie's tutor, Miss Seymour. I don't feel Indie's mother was much of a character and was incidental to most of the series.
During the season, you see him being the insolent youth you expect, perhaps rather big-headed and overly arrogant in his portrayal (perhaps reasons why Cory didn't go on to much more?). They travel from place to place, meeting various important and note-worthy people from that era.
As you enter season 2, Indie quickly ages into the dashing figure of Sean Patrick Flanery, and we see his portrayal through "The War Years" where he progresses up through the ranks in the Belgian Army with his pal Remy. Again, various note-worthy occasions, and the odd dash of archeology, but mostly it's his cheeky mis-adventures through the era that endears. I would say this is my favourite season and contains the episodes that I recalled from my youth.Read more ›
Bad points: This series always fell a little flat for me. I would have like a bit more archaeology and felt they could have brought more of this into the series, rather than the endless meeting of historically famous characters which became rather tedious after a while. The programmes were educational maybe, but I would have preferred a little bit more adventure.
Good points: The production values are amazing. A lot of money was clearly spent and it shows. Sets and special effects are very good and it seems that actual locations were used wherever possible. The global acting talent on display is awesome but Sean Patrick Flannery isn't overshadowed. He makes a great young Indy with just the right balance of naivety and cockiness and looks enough like Harrison Ford to convince that he is a younger version.
Another selling point for this dvd is the huge amount of extra documentaries about the real-life events that Indy experiences. As I said before, they are both compelling and educational. Amongst other things I found out what a War of Attrition actually was (such an unbelievably vile idea I still can't comprehend it).
I'd highly recommend this dvd to anyone with an interest in the WWI period, although diehard Indy fans (like me!) may find it a little drab. Ordinarily I'd give it three stars, but it gets an extra one for the documentaries.
Rather than critique all eight 'movies', I shall focus on what I think is the best one: 'Oganga'. What appeals about this episode (East and Central Africa December 1916/January 1917) is that it covers a lot of ground. It commences with trench warfare, (and like the 'Trenches of Hell' - first episode) with a limited budget does a fair job of showing the horrors of the war. What both these episodes share is the idea of creating a human background: yes, there is a high body count (Indiana himself polishes off quite a few), but there are a number of supporting actors that do only support but whose partial verbal characterized presence helps to create a more natural feel; there are some very nice touches and great attention to detail rather than the usual awkward unrealistic silent treatment of the supporting cast. This is something that is missing from so many so-called Hollywood blockbusters, but here, with a budget of $1.5 million. Disobedience of orders leads to a successful engagement, and Indiana is suitably smug (again, one of the strengths of the series is that he does have feet of clay and is capricious and weak as the next man; he displays the rashness of youth, conceit of rank).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The show is great, I watched it as a kid in the 90s. Unfortunately there seems to be issues with disks skipping and freezing across boxsets.Published 12 months ago by Ally Wright
I have been after this for years after watching it on the TV still as good as I rememberPublished 14 months ago by malcolm atkins
Problems with a lot of the DVD's not playing, obviously a mastering problem as got a replacement from Amazon and still the same issues. Read morePublished 14 months ago by K. King
Best of the three boxset good stories great actingPublished 16 months ago by Mr. Leslie J. Skelcher
Hours and hours of entertainment. My two boys really enjoy these adventures.Published 18 months ago by mrs H Paine