Raiders of the Lost Ark (DVD, 2008, Special Edition; Widescreen) Reviews
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Raiders of the Lost Ark (DVD, 2008, Special Edition; Widescreen)

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It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage: Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Jun 4, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:A rollercoaster ride with explosions and romance seeking the greatest artifact outside the Holy Grail.

Cons:The same as the serials, a few plot holes, plausabilty, who cares?

The Bottom Line: A classic. It stands the test of time, apparently better than Indiana himself.


Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Directed by Steven Spielberg Written by George Lucas and Phillip Kaufman.

When George Lucas was spit balling ideas looking to make a classic, he had two favorites; One, inspired by Joseph Campbell’s classic Hero With a Thousand Faces, was about an orphan who found the power within himself to bring down a Galactic Empire. The other was about an Adventurous Archeologist.

Well, counting from 1977 that is ten movies, ungodly millions of dollars in toys and tie ins, and several metric tons of books. Not a bad day’s work.

When George Lucas was sitting and scratching out ideas about if Luke Starkiller was going to be a dwarf, Harrison
Ford was doing small parts on TV and working as a Carpenter for the studios. In fact, Ford read for the part of Han Solo because Lucas liked doing ensemble readings. He was working as a carpenter on the set, and Lucas asked him to fill in.

When the part of Indiana Smith was ready, Lucas really wanted Tom Selleck, but Magnum P.I. had him contractually obligated. But Han Solo had the right kind of sauce…could Ford pull off the sophistication?

Well, history has spoken on that issue.

Picture it, Hovitos territory, South American Jungle, 1936. An prominent archeologist consults the tattered remains of a map. Sudden treachery! A bearer pulls a gun! Propelled by lightning reflexes, a whip lashes out! The scoundrel flees. And thus, we meet Indiana Jones.

After traversing a gauntlet of death (by the way, I want ancient Mayans to design my home security!) and loosing the treasure to Rene Belloq, a less than scrupulous antiquarian, Indiana, or Dr. Jones returns to his teaching position. There he is approached by agents of the Government who want him to investigate why Nazis are interested in his old mentor, Dr. Ravenwood. From the few clues they provide he deduces that the Nazis are after the Lost Ark of the Covenant, the resting place of THE Ten Commandments, and a direct link to G*d.

So Indie is off on a quest that takes him to Nepal, to Cairo, to Tattooine…sorry. But that gorge where he threatened to bazooka the arc, that’s the same place R2D2 got lost…my inner geek got away for a bit there, I’m better now.

Indiana faces Nazis, hired Arab thugs and evil monkeys. He also faces his past, in the form of Marion Rookwood, his old flame.

Like the serials it was based on, Raiders delivers twists, turns and a thrill a minute. Like the serials, you know he will win, and its all about seeing how.

The tech between 1981 and 2008 is a world different. In terms of special effects, it is a different millennia (snort!) and Lucas did most of the ground breaking in the field. He pretty much made the special effects in his own movies obsolete. So how does Raiders of the Lost Ark hold up 27 years later? Well, better than I did.

It is amazing. Even though I can quote half the movie, it looses none of its impact. Now that is cinema graphic craftsmanship!

Indiana is just as suave, just as daring, just as timely as he ever was, and the movie has that wonderful quality; you can watch it over and over again, and it is always enjoyable. It’s as good a choice for Friday evening today as it was in 1981 and considerably better than 95% of the new releases out there today.

So, with the release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, this is a great time to break out the trilogy and get reacquainted with everyone’s favorite archaeologist.


Recommend this product? Yes


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