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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Indiana Jones - The Adventure Collection'
(Harrison Ford, et al / 3-Disc DVD / PG / 2008 / Paramount Pictures)

Overview: The trailer that begins each of the three magnificent DVDs is indication enough that the release of 'Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection,' a boxed set of the original trilogy of blockbuster adventure films concocted by director Steven Spielberg and executive producer-story writer George Lucas, was timed to coincide with the May 2008 theatrical release of the long-awaited fourth installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!

DVD Verdict: One of the greatest action/adventure franchises of all time, the original "Indiana Jones" trilogy returns to DVD in an excellent three-disc collector's set! Chances are, if you own the original four-disc set, you won't be purchasing this collection. But if this is your first time buying it, then the wait is definitely worth it! All three films come together with terrific picture and sound, and come with great extras that are sure to entertain!

'RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK' (1981) - Ahhh yes, the film that started it all, "Raiders" is a fantastic adventure film that brings back the excitement of the 1930's movie serials! Featuring terrific acting from Harrison Ford and a stellar ensemble cast, thrilling action sequences and visual effects, and another memorable score by John Williams, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg crafted a fantastic film full of awe, wonder and excitement, cementing Indiana Jones as one of the greatest adventure heroes of all time!

'INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM' (1984) - As he had done with the second installment of the "Star Wars" trilogy, Lucas wanted to create a darker, edgier film for the second installment of the "Indiana Jones" trilogy. But what worked for "Star Wars" does not work for Indy and the gang. While the film features some terrific action sequences, a great friendship story between Indy and his sidekick, Short Round, and another fantastic score from John Williams, the film goes to far into the macabre, featuring gruesome images (a man with his heart ripped out, then bursting into flames; men getting ripped apart by crocodiles) and humor (A gross dinner scene) that was unnecessary for an "Indy" film, and gave birth to the PG-13 rating. Still, the film features some good moments, making it a worthwhile film, though it is still the weakest of the first three films.

'INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE' (1989) - The best of the sequels to "Raiders" (And my personal favorite of the "Indy" adventures), "The Last Crusade" is a fantastic film that returns Indy to fighting Nazis in search of religious icons. What makes this film great are the terrific action sequences, some great spiritual references, and fantastic chemistry between Harrison Ford and Sir Sean Connery. These elements come together to create a fantastic adventure epic that redeems the franchise, and is both exciting and moving at the same time. Terrific entertainment!

And so in (my) conclusion, "Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection" is a terrific set for those who don't own the films already, and helps to get us all ready when "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" comes out on May 22. This set is highly recommended and comes with a stack of Special features, all noted below in detail. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, and comes with the Special Features of:

Raiders of the Lost Ark
An Introduction [7:40] Spielberg and Lucas explain how they wanted to make an international action-adventure movie like the James Bond films and that Tom Selleck was originally cast in the lead role before Harrison Ford. The filmmakers also talk about their budget and scheduling constraints, and how they ended up with Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones.
Indiana Jones: An Appreciation: Indy 4 Looks Back at the Original Trilogy [11:32] The producers and cast of the upcoming fourth film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, talk about working on the films and their first impressions.
The Melting Face [8:32] This feature, which is undoubtedly the best extra on the disc, details the special effects from Raiders. The film’s effects artist recreates Toht’s melting face effect and explains how he came up with the technique, as well as making Belloq’s head explode.
Storyboards [4:09] A comparison of some of the scenes from the film against their original storyboards.
Galleries: Spec art for Illustrations & Props; Production Photographs & Portraits: behind the scenes photos of the cast and crew on-set and some special effect make up applications; Effects/Film (props and effects photos); Marketing: poster images and sketches.
LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Game: trailer for the LEGO game.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
An Introduction [5:50] Here we learn that Lucas came up with the idea of doing the Indy films as a trilogy before Raiders was made and that he wanted Temple of Doom to be darker, much like Empire Strikes Back was to Star Wars. The duo wanted the movies to be episodic, but didn’t want to have to explain why Karen Allen wouldn’t be in the second movie, so they decided to do a prequel.
The Creepy Crawlies [11:50] This is the stand-out extra on this disc, which you can play with or without pop-up trivia. The filmmakers describe how it was working with the snakes, bugs, and rats from the film trilogy, while star Harrison Ford explains Indy’s fear of snakes. A nice touch here is the interview with animal wrangler Jules Sylvester, who worked on the first two films.
Travel With Indy: Locations [10:30] You can play this feature with or without pop-up trivia. Here we learn about the numerous exotic locals of the film trilogy and how Sri Lanka was substituted for the scenes in India. There’s also some tidbits about where the upcoming fourth film was shot.
Storyboards: Comparison of scenes from the Mine Cart sequence against the original storyboards.
Galleries: Spec art for Illustrations & Props; Production Photographs & Portraits: behind the scenes photos of the cast and crew on-set and some special effect make up applications; Effects/Film (props and effects photos); Marketing: poster images and sketches.
LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Game: trailer for the LEGO game

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
An Introduction [6:13] No surprise, it was Lucas who wanted Indy to go after the Holy Grail in this third film, while Spielberg wasn’t really into that, so he decided to make it a father/son movie, with Indy’s dad as the grail expert. Spielberg details how he came up with the idea of Indy’s estrangement with this dad — played by Sean Connery — and how he acts when he’s with his father.
Indy’s Women: The American Film Institute Tribute [9:23] In 2003, to celebrate the release of the Indy trilogy for the first time on DVD, the three female lead stars of the trilogy — Karen Allen, Kate Capsaw, and Alison Dooby — united for a discussion with AFI’s Jean Firstenberg. Each lady talks about their relationship with Indy and what they tried to bring to their respective characters.
Indy’s Friends and Enemies [10:46] This takes a look at Indy’s trusty sidekicks, numerous lady loves, and, of course, the various villains he’s up against. Raiders screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan talks about the Indy/Marion relationship; the Temple of Doom writers explain how Indy’s relationships are just those for the moment. There’s also some behind the scenes clips of the upcoming fourth film.
Storyboards: Comparison of the Opening Sequence against the original storyboards.
Galleries: Spec art for Illustrations & Props; Production Photographs & Portraits: behind the scenes photos of the cast and crew on-set and some special effect make up applications; Effects/Film (props and effects photos); Marketing: poster images and sketches.
LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Game: trailer for the LEGO game.

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