“Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection” wraps up the first three Indy movies in a slicker package — all in service of promoting the upcoming “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” of course.
While the DVDs’ graphics and menu layouts have been replicated from the 2003 box set release, each film now gets its own set of featurettes, animated storyboards and image galleries. Archival footage and modern-day interviews emphasize Spielberg’s and Lucas’ collaboration in addition to covering topics specific to each film.
The introduction to “Raiders of the Lost Ark” details how Spielberg turned to B-movie techniques because he desperately wanted to prove that he could be “fiscally responsible” after a series of projects that went over budget. “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” is fairly upfront about the film’s comparatively smaller box office (though Lucas and Spielberg both avoid taking responsibility for the film’s darker tone) and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” focuses almost exclusively on the father-son relationship at the film’s core.
“The Melting Face!” takes childlike glee in breaking down the creation of the climactic (and gory) shot from the end of “Raiders,” while “Indiana Jones: An Appreciation” includes interviews with nearly the entire “Crystal Skull” cast including Cate Blanchett, Jim Broadbent, John Hurt and Ray Winstone. “Location Scouting” offers unique perspective on the challenges of finding Indy’s exotic locales, though the pop-up video option takes up too much of the screen and provides little additional information — most viewers will probably prefer leaving it off.
However, while this newer set is an overall improvement that spreads special features across all three discs, they still lack audio commentaries, deleted scenes, outtakes and other DVD staples. The definitive collection will probably come with the “Crystal Skull” DVD release — and the “complete” box set that will surely follow.