I can see no better way to kick start this blog than to talk about Indiana Jones. Some people have Star Wars, some have James Bond but for me Indiana Jones is the one character who would come out on top every time.
Raiders of the Lost Ark is my favourite film of all time. A bold statement I know and one I don’t make lightly. Why is it my favourite film of all time? Firstly it’s the film I’ve watched the most times but mainly it’s because no matter how many times I watch it, the action, adventure, comedy, romance and horror, all balanced perfectly in under two hours, makes me feel like a child again. When good was good, evil was evil and anything was possible.
The score for the film is incredible; the villains are all the more villainous due to the atrocities the Nazi party carried out in reality and you have a central hero who is essentially the every man. Indiana Jones is not particularly charismatic and doesn’t possess super strength. He makes mistakes, gets hurt and when he does you feel every punch.
Out of the four films, Raiders is the one which I have no issues with and despite each having their own qualities and being generally entertaining, fun movies, I feel like none of the others have captured the magic of Raiders.
I’ve been very lucky lately in that in preparation of the Complete Adventures Blu-Ray set that has recently been released, Raiders of the Lost Ark was released on IMAX screens for one week only, minus the 3-d conversion, thankfully. Needless to say, I was there on the first night, so excited to see my favourite film of all time on the big screen and it was amazing! It didn’t really show off the digital conversion as the screen was so massive but still, it was Raiders on the big screen! The soundtrack was nice and loud too and it made me realise just how scary the film actually gets at some points, in particularly the scene in the well of the souls when Marion keeps running into all those corpses. I was listening for the cries of traumatised children at this point but couldn’t hear any, the screen was that loud.
Anyway, after seeing Raiders in IMAX I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the complete adventures blu-ray set. I went all out with it too and paid the extra £20 for the “limited edition” set. Honestly, since I have been buying Blu-ray this is by far the best set I have bought. Forget Star Wars, this is THE set to buy. It comes in a cool box with extra goodies such as a matchbox from “Club Obi Wan”, a frame from Raiders, a menu from Pankot Palace (monkey brains and all), postcards and pictures of Indy and his father, the Grail diary from Last Crusade which is awesome and other little treats along with the films themselves.
I’ve watched Raiders twice since getting it, followed by the other three over the course of that week. This leads me on to another reason why you need to buy this set; I was so shocked and amazed to find the original uncut version of Temple of Doom. More gore and more swearing, awesome!
The Grail Diary
Obviously then you have The Last Crusade which is probably a close second to Raiders simply because of Connery and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which most people would say shouldn’t even be in this set. It’s not the greatest film let’s face it and it frustrates me so much that firstly, Lucas turned down a much better script from Frank Darabont over this and that it took so long for them to decide to make this film that they really were stuck as to where they could go with the characters so felt the need to do things like introduce a son. The fact that Marion just rolls over the second she sees Indy annoys the hell out of me and that reaches its pinnacle when he calls her “babe”. Urgh. However despite annoying the hell out of me, it still is much more entertaining than a lot of films being made at the minute and an Indy with aliens is still better than no Indy at all, at least to me.
Other than the films you get a disc full of special features too, which I’ve recently started watching. So far the making of documentaries has been the best thing I’ve seen out of them. Full of deleted scenes, out takes and pretty candid interviews from all those involved. It’s so interesting watching Spielberg talking about his hesitance of making Temple of Doom so dark and hearing of the little on set jokes and situations that happened whilst filming, John Rhys Davies’ story of his deleted execution scene from Raiders being one of the funniest stories.
I am in love with this set and suggest any Indy fan, no matter how big or small needs to at least get the complete adventures standard set. My only disappointment would be the fact that the young adventures weren’t included. That would have taken this set up to 11.
A snapshot of some of the goodies