Review by John Larkin
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK Limited Edition 4K Steelbook is available at retailers everywhere.
Last year Paramount released all 4 INDY Films in 4K UHD for the first time in a box set that drew a lot of criticism for its subpar packaging. The Box holding all the films together was apparently on the cheaper side and so couldn't handle the weight of the steel-books and bent and crumpled easily when handled. I guess I lucked out by not picking it up and waiting for these new separate releases of the film.
Paramount is releasing each film individually each month until September. June brought us the first installment, the classic RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) now re-titled INDIANA JONES AND THE RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK to better define its place in a franchise that didn't exist yet when the film was first released. It's reminiscent of Disney's move to remove the episode numbers from the Star Wars Films to simplify things. STAR WARS EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is now just STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
I much prefer the classic poster artwork for these individual steel-books as opposed to the more abstract artwork that was on last years release for the box set. (See below)
My favorite Indiana Jones Film is a constantly changing thing. I love the original three so much that each of them have taken the moniker of favorite depending on the time and place I'm asked. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK will always remain the most popular and highly rated and for good reason. Spielberg's pacing and direction are still the gold standard for action adventure films today with a perfect blend of humor and drama to make for an enjoyable cinematic ride. RAIDERS remains a technical wonder as well. It won four oscars in 1982 for sound, editing, production design and visual effects.
The new 4K transfer is beautiful and would have made cinematographer Douglas Slocombe proud. This is without a doubt the best the film has looked in any home video incarnation. Skin tones, fabrics and overall detail are astounding. The color is richer and the blacks deeper.
The sound is also exceptional, the final sequence on the mountain is the not surprisingly the standout sequence with exceptional and shocking sound design that really holds up after over 40 years.
There is no blu-ray included on the set nor any extras. If you want those you'll have to pickup last years box set release.
I'm looking forward to seeing what Director James Mangold (LOGAN, FORD VS. FERRARI) comes up with for the fifth installment next year. Harrison Ford turns 80 this year so I wouldn't be surprised if CGI and body doubles play a big factor in the film's execution.