While Indiana Jones mania will unleashes tomorrow and will have the country in its grip for the next few weekends or so, a lot of people are looking back at the first three films to bone up on the Jones-man. With that in mind, Paramount didn’t hesitate to rush out a DVD set that feels like a shameless double-dip and a commercial, but it actually has some good stuff on it. If you’ve already purchased The Adventures of Indiana Jones set on DVD, which came out in 2003, you won’t need to pick this up. But, if you’re a newcomer to the previous three Indy films, you’ll probably want to pick up Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection.
Now, both sets have their pros and cons. The 2003 set has a fourth bonus disc, which has over 90 minutes of Indiana Jones material, including old screen tests, interviews and such. It’s a bit like the extra bonus disc in the Star Wars set, without the awesome Empire of Dreams documentary that I wish they had done a version of for this set. However, the downfall of the 2003 set is that the picture transfers aren’t perfect. Don’t get me wrong, because they look really good, but DVD-philes will notice the compression from time to time. Other than that, it’s a great set.
Now The Adventure Collection has better looking transfers, especially on Raiders, but each disc begins with a self-playing trailer for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. That’s where it suffers from feeling like a giant commercial. Each disc also has all-new bonus material created just for this release, adding up to roughly 30 minutes per disc. Each disc gets introduced by Spielberg and Lucas, which often turns into them reminiscing about the movie, and then there are film-specific bonuses like “The Melting Face!” featurette about Toht’s head in Raiders, and so on. Overall, the new material isn’t bad, but it would have been nice if they could have included all of the bonus material from the previous release as well.
Which brings us to the rumors that the Indy series, including the newest movie, might be appearing on Blu-ray in October. Chances are that they might create a mega-Indy box set, complete with tons of material. Even with the 90 minutes of stuff that have appeared in both sets, there has to be a ton of stuff in the Lucas archives, because that guy holds on to every scrap of paper and bit of film. So is this release really a double dip? If you consider the new bonus material and the excellent video transfers, then no. You can’t really fault a company for capitalizing on a new product, and while this might serve as a vehicle to help promote Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it’s still well worth picking up and adding to your treasure hoard.