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Blu-ray Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The fourth and in all likelihood the final installment in the Indiana Jones franchise sees a 65-year-old, virtually indestructible, Harrison Ford still slugging it out with the bad guys 27 years after he first cracked his iconic whip on the silver screen.

To be honest I wasn’t holding out much hope for this film considering Ford’s age and the huge amount of time that has passed since the last Indi movie. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that nothing changes in the alternate universe of Indiana Jones – he’s still a dead eye with his whip, ever ready with a sharp quip (that usually gets him a smack in the mouth from a bad guy), and devoted to hunting down the weirdest and most powerful artefacts in order to prevent the baddies getting their hands on them.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull sees Indiana, his ex-squeeze Marion Ravenswood played by Karen Allen (last seen in Raiders of the Lost Arc), and their greaser motorcycle racing bad boy son Mutt (Shia LaBeouf) race deep into the Amazonian jungle in order to find the legendary and mysterious crystal skull. They need to get to it before the Russians lead by evil villainess Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett in a rather nasty black bob wig) get their nasty hands on it. The crystal skull is obviously incredibly powerful and the Russians have every intention to do vile and iniquitous things with it. The dysfunctional but ultimately successful family unit battle the Russians, Peruvian ninjas, Mayan tribesmen, and killer ants to save the day – it’s a spectacular treasure-hunting adventure!

If you are a fan of the first three Indiana Jones movies, you will revel in the nostalgia evoked by this film. Spielberg as director, Lucas as executive producer, and Ford as hero make a great team, and do not disappoint with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has a run time of 126 minutes and is rated 13 (PGV). This Blu-ray release, the 2-disc Special Edition, presents the film re-mastered in High Definition (HD) and comes packed with special features including:

  • Pre-Production — a discussion about the script, locations, costumes, and final casting.
  • Indiana Jones Timelines — the three timelines History, Production, and Story are narratives told through a series of screens.
  • The Return of a Legend — this featurette contains interviews with director, producers, actors, and crew. Also lots of behind-the-scenes footage.
  • Production Diaries — this 6-part featurette (all in HD) contains a comprehensive breakdown of the production process.
  • Warrior Makeup — talks about the make-up used for the film’s temple warriors.
  • The Crystal Skulls — this featurette discusses the historical story elements about the crystal skulls and how they were created for the film.
  • Iconic Props — a discussion on the props used in the film including Indiana’s famous bullwhip.
  • Adventures in Post-Production — a featurette about the final, post-production tweaks made to the film.
  • The Effects of Indy — the team at Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) talks about the film’s major CGI elements.
  • Closing: Team Indy — a curtain call for cast and crew.
  • Pre-Visualization Sequences — a featurette showing the draft CGI rendering of three different action scenes.
  • Galleries
  • Production Photographs
  • Behind-the-Scenes Photographs
  • Portraits
  • Trailers

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was kindly supplied for review by Nelmari Claassens, SterKinekor Entertainment Marketing Manager for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Go to www.bluraydisc.co.za to view the latest Blu-ray news, reviews, and competitions featured on the Blu-ray newsletter. Sony Pictures can be found on the Web at www.sonypictures.com.