Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull HD Movie

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3D model of a human Crystal Skull, claimed to be of pre-Colombian Mesoamerican origin on black background

As I have mentioned previously, my age (or lack thereof) has prevented me from seeing any of the Indiana Jones films theatrically, where they were really meant to be seen. Nonetheless, I was brought up with easy access to the films and then eagerly purchased the 2003 DVD release of the re-mastered films. Talk more about Indiana Jones’ movies and rank from best to worst! Invite more people on your website and increase visibility by using StreamOZ social media services. 

The franchise, created by powerhouse team Steven Spielberg and George Lucas harkens back to films of the early 1930s and 40s and evoke memories of daring-do and classic Hollywood. The first film, (later re-titled for video) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark was a major success, so a sequel; Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was fast tracked. The latter was far more violent than the first (culminating in a scene where a cult leader rips a guys heart from his chest, while it continues to beat!), and divided opinions quite heavily. Five years later Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade hit theaters, and saw a return to the more ‘fun’ aspects of the first film and wrapped up the trilogy in a nice way.

However, as is the nature of Hollywood and fickle audiences, nearly twenty years later we have Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It’s a film that didn’t need to be made and after watching it, probably didn’t deserve to be. Its biggest flaw is that after twenty years, innumerable story treatments and script re-writes, this is what we got. A half-baked and yet convoluted story, a Frankenstein-like creation that clearly plays out as a culmination of ideas from script #1, script #2 and so on.

Set in the 1950s, during the height of the Cold War, Indy is set up by the Soviets to find the remains of an alien that crashed in New Mexico. A rousing chase sequence follows which then leads to an entirely improbable, but nonetheless entertaining sequence involving a nuclear test site and a lead lined fridge. It is at this point that the plot becomes more and more meaningless and more and more about moving from one action sequence to the next, each time lessening the emotional investment within. I don’t wish to ruin the film, however I must say that the film culminates in an event that is both entirely out of character for an Indiana Jones film and which broke any remaining goodwill I had towards the film.

I enjoyed the well of souls melting Nazis from the first film. I accepted that a man can continue to remain conscious after heart removal from the second and I liked that the Holy Grail can bring a man back to life. However, what transpired at the end of this film…this was not a jump that I was willing to make, nor accept, nor enjoy.

Despite this, I would be interested in another Indiana Jones movie to be made (and rest assured, due to the immense amount of money this film has made, the pressure is on once again), to give the once great character a final, proper send off, which Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade did perfectly well, all that time ago.

Video

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is presented in the widescreen scope aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded in MPEG-4 AVC.

According to one of the behind the scenes featurettes, the film was completely filmed and then edited entirely on film. However, based on the near perfect presentation, you wouldn’t know it wasn’t filmed completely in the digital realm. The image is very sharp and clear, apart from a few instances of soft filters applied to hide some of the actors’ ages (especially Karen Allen). Throughout many sequences of the film, the colour has been desaturated slightly and bathed in a golden yellow sheen, to evoke 1950’s America, a wholly deliberate effect.

If I had any complaints, I would have liked a little more film grain throughout, which would have helped to blend this film with the previous three. However, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a winner in the picture department.

Audio

The main audio track here is an English Dolby TrueHD, encoded at 24 bits.

From the start of the film, featuring the introduction of the new THX logo, I knew I was in for a treat and it didn’t disappoint. For all my complaints about the film itself, at the very least it sounds like an Indiana Jones film. Sound designer Ben Burtt dug into the archives and found the original recordings for iconic effects such as Indy’s whip, so at least the film sounds like it’s from the same universe as the previous entries.

Surround sound usage is high, as is some great use of the low frequencies. The action sequences, including the sequence in Nevada sound brilliant and mastered very well, making you want to pump out a few extra DB’s on that amplifier.

John Williams returns to provide the score and whilst the Indiana Jones march is as brilliant as ever, Williams fails to create any new, entirely memorable cues.

Overall, a suitably bombastic track which will make Blu-ray aficionados happy.

Extras and Final Thoughts

Extras

Paramount continues to fondly craft their Blu-ray releases. they could are late to the sport, however after they turn out such prime quality packages as these, it’s exhausting to not forget their past transgressions.

The overwhelming majority of extras area unit conferred in 1080 HD and per se look wonderful. the employment of scenes from the previous Hoosier State Jones films well and really whet the appetence for the inevitable Blu-ray unleash of these. Let’s hope it’s sooner instead of later.

Steven Spielberg continues to avoid recording audio commentaries, thus it’s left to the eighty minute ‘Production Diaries’ documentary to inform the stories. As is common with longer documentaries currently, it’s slash into six separate featurettes, however clearly meant to be watched with the ‘play all’ choice. This documentary is a awfully in-depth documentary of the whole cinematography method, just about from the beginning, right up to the top of production. this could answer the bulk of queries individuals had regarding the film!

‘The come Of A Legend’ featurette talks in brief regarding the long gestation of the film, however fails to travel comprehensive regarding the amount of drafts and their authors (including Frank Darabont), however quickly brings U.S.A. up to hurry to the ultimate draft by Spielberg regular, David Koepp. it had been fascinating (and simply a bit telling) to repeatedly hear the crew say they thought they were finished with the Hoosier State Jones movies, however I laughed a bit once Spielberg nonchalantly threw it out that “fans demanded it” – thus it’s our fault eh, Spielberg?

‘Pre-production’ featurette could be a transient journey from the time that the picture show was greenlit to only before cinematography. it had been nice to examine Karenic Allen, nonetheless a bit dissatisfactory to not see Sean Connery. However, supported however the film clad, most likely for the simplest he didn’t.

The following featurettes; ‘Warrior Makeup’, ‘The Crystal Skulls’, ‘Iconic props’ take a additional comprehensive approach to those terribly specific components of production than what’s offered within the longer, additional over-arching main documentary. far and away the foremost fascinating is that the ‘Crystal Skulls’ which works how to justifying their hokey inclusion within the script.

‘The Effects of Indy’ Featurette is perhaps progressing to be the foremost disputable of all the extras. For all the pre-release speak however the film would, for the foremost half, avoid CG effects and suppose old-fashioned sensible effects, the reality is discovered here. It’s no surprise to anyone that there’s plenty of CG within the film, from wire-removal, digital backgrounds commutation matte paintings, to totally CG animals and creatures. whereas it’s all the same fascinating to examine the creation of the consequences, several of the issues inherent within the film may be derived back to the strategies discovered here.

‘Adventures In Post Production’ featurette could be a fast outline of the ultimate stages of the film, from the changes created to parts of the story, to the ultimate sound combine together with John Williams’ score; it’s all glossed up here.

‘Closing – Team Indy could be a nice send off for the crew WHO unremarkably solely get to be seen {in name|in name solely} only over the closing credits. It’s nice to place a face to the name.

The 3 ‘Pre-visualisation Sequences’ area unit usually uninteresting, however show however ready the sequences were.

I have invariably loathed Still galleries, nonetheless there area unit on the face of it many photos here. I neglected to travel through all of them.

The Hoosier State Jones Timeline is a motivating use of baccalaureate Java, with fairly in-depth material discovered on each behind the scenes and story parts of the film.

Finally, we’ve 2 Theatrical Trailers, conferred in 1080p with Ray M. Dolby five.1 sound. I bear in mind simply before unleash, the ultimate theatrical delivery being delivered a mere 3 close to weeks before the film’s unleash, little question to undertake to forestall a Phantom Menace sort backlash.

Overall

Review Equipment Used:

Display: Sony KDL52X3100 liquid crystal display (1080p resolution/ 24p playback)

Player: Sony BDP-S500 Blu-ray, PlayStation three (24p playback)

Sound: Sony STR-DA5300 Receiver (7.1 configuration), Sony SSX70ED front speakers (x2), Sony SSCNX70ED center speaker, Sony SSFCR7000 surround speakers (x4), Sony SAW3800 Subwoofer, (Front) Sony SAWM500 Subwoofer (Rear)

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