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Indiana Jones & Raiders of the Lost Ark [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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Harking back to 40's and 50's TV and Movie serials, where the main character always wore a hat (so the stuntman could hide his face) and managed to save the world on a regular basis, Spielberg's unabashed action adventure story focusing on the adventures of Archaeologist Professor Indiana Jones is a welcome relief from the slavish fashion for realism that was often served to us by Hollywood in the 60's and 70's.
Focusing on action and adventure, an exciting story, outstanding performances, especially from Ford, Rhys Davies and Paul Freeman, a witty script, and pitch perfect direction from Spielberg, we are presented with an almost flawless film (forget that maddening submarine paradox if you can) from the terrifically exciting opener set deep in the Jungle to the stunning finale with that pleasing nod to Wells's Citizen Kane. The villains are wonderfully menacing, especially Ronald Lacey as a sinister and threatening Nazi henchman. Their search for the Ark of the Covenant, obstructed by Indie all the way, is a master class in efficient filmmaking.
Spawning 3 sequels of varying quality, Raiders has aged well and is still the best of the four by some margin, however that doesn't mean Doom or Last Crusade are not good because they are. However Crystal Skull is a big disappointment, even with that huge budget.
Wrapped up efficiently in 111 minutes, Raiders is superb entertainment for all.
I have a hard time believing that anyone hasn't seen this movie so I'll skip the plot and go straight for the main reason you should watch it again. The transfer to DVD is absolutely stunning, probably the most impressive clean up I've ever seen. It really looks as though it could've been filmed yesterday.
The sound has been given a nice makeover as well. Forever a classic, this movie can't be seen too many times.
The Blu Ray transfer looks really great, with lots of rich earthy colours, reds, browns, sandy yellows, greys & dark leathery brown, these tend to make up most of the costume design. The picture aspect ratio is 2.40:1 (Wide screen) with a 5.1 audio sound.
The supporting cast are also very well written and good fun too, from the heroes to the villains. The tone of the film is adventurous and the pacing certainly gives the whole thing a massive injection of energy. There's a slight theme of magic v rationality, as the initially skeptical Indiana Jones is confronted with the dangerous reality of the power held within the lost ark he is seeking.
There is not much in the way of character development, though the relationship between Dr Jones and the feisty and rather attractive Marion Ravenwood changes over the course of the film.Read more ›
However, I think what really marks it out is that so much happens; there are so many episodes crammed in: opening; intro to the Ark issue; Himalayas; Egypt; discovery of the ark; escape; boat trip; chase; opening of the ark; ending, and lots of sub-elements as well. You rarely get so much different stuff packed into a movie. Despite, this, it never feels rushed; it's superbly edited.
With its extra polish ,from the years inbetween, "The last Crusade" is as good, but honestly, this is just outstanding, and really deserves its place among cinema's greats.
Oh, and maybe it did spawn "Warehouse 13", another pat on the back.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Erm yes! This is Raiders of the Lost Ark. What more is there to say! CLASSIC :)Published 2 days ago by Paul Bohanna
You can't beat a good classic like this, I have loved this since I was little so am very happy to have it downloaded on my kindle now. Can't beat a bit of humour and action.Published 15 days ago by Karen