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A fourteen year old boy watched Indiana Jones ride into a bold orange sunset nearly twenty years ago, and felt one of his first moments of simultaneous elation and sorrow for a third time, Dr. Henry 'Indiana' Jones, Jr. had thrilled beyond expectations but as his form atop a horse blurred from view came the realisation it was over... the Indiana Jones trilogy was complete and whatever adventures the famous archaeologist had from then on would be left to our imaginations...

Then came the imitators, and a television series about the adventures of a young Indiana, but none of them held the magic of the seemingly mystical combination of Lucas, Speilberg and Ford.

Then whispers began that Dr. Jones would be back. Again and again attempts to bring 'The Man In The Hat' back failed and it seemed, from all parties, to be nothing more than wishful thinking. These men have always maintained that they have as much fun making these movie as we do watching them, but they had changed, aged, and we with them. Indiana Jones became a beautiful, nostalgic dream that everyone, including those who brought him to life, liked to indulge from time to time.

Indiana  Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullThen, amidst a flurrying period of 'what was old is new again' confirmation came that Indiana Jones was back... and boy is he!

Set in the late fifties, the period of communist paranoia, McCarthyism, atomic bomb testing, and motorcycle 'hoodlums,' one might mistake the first few minutes as a complete departure from what we remember. But rest assured, rapidly and with a magic that makes you forget its been 19 years, Indiana Jones re-enters the picture, up to his neck in trouble - and despite having a few more creases and silver hair, he starts this story running and barely stops for breath.

Indiana Jones finds himself at the hands of Russian bad guys, hell-bent on harnessing the supposed paranormal powers of a mysterious crystal skull. As Indy flees, collecting old friends and new along the way, he begins a race to find the skull and return it to its rightful place before Irina Spalko (a wonderfully over-the-top Cate Blanchette) and her Russian troops can use its power for world domination.

Harrison Ford maybe 65, but within five minutes of him being on screen (and the fact he kinda winks at the audience, acknowledging the passage of time) any doubt he can still lead you on an adventure that'll leave you breathless will disappear. He is as agile now as he was in 1989, and the aging on his face only serves to enhance one of his character's most endearing qualities: the man is always out of his depth.

The supporting players are as enjoyable to watch as all those that have come before them. Ray Winstone eats up his vice-ridden character and comes away with his fair share of the laughs; and Shia LaBeuof continues to infuse his easy-going everyman persona effortlessly into a fifties greaser with a comic, something to prove, chip on his shoulder. Sean Connery, Denholm Elliot and John Rhys-Davies are missed, but the return of Karen Allen's Marion Ravenwood more than makes up for what's not there, and helps deliver a wonderful bookend feel to the series that The Last Crusade as brilliant as it is - did not provide.

John Williams is as vital to these films as the aforementioned trio, and again proves that while many try to replicate the feel of these films, like any time-honoured recipe, without the exact ingredients it won't be the same.

Spielberg has spent the better part of the last 15 years exploring darker material, but you'd be hard pressed to know it as he slips back into this genre unto itself as easily as Ford fits into that hat. Every frame holds within it a delicious glee that radiates out the joy Spielberg has often stated he feels when making Indy pictures. The world's most famous director said a couple of years ago that this film would be the delicious dessert after the bitter herbs of Munich. He has made good on his promise they all have and it was worth the wait. Thank you, gentlemen. I feel fourteen again.

Component Grades
4 stars
5 Stars
DVD Experience
4.5 stars


DVD Details:

Two-Disc Collector's Edition:

Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1

Other Features: English: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

* Commentary - no commentaries
* Featurettes -
o "The Return of a Legend" (17:37)
o "Pre-Production" (11:47)
o "Production Diary: Making 'Kingdom of the Crystal Skull'" (80:11)
o "Warrior Makeup" (5:37)
o "The Crystal Skulls" (10:13)
o "Iconic Props" (10:04)
o "The Effects of Indy" (22:44)
o "Adventures in Post-Production" (12:47)
o "Closing: Team Indy" (3:45)
o "Pre-Visualization Sequences" (14:10)
* Gallery
o "The Art Department"
o "Stan Winston Studio"
o "Production Photographs"
o "Portraits"
o "Behind-the-Scenes Photographs"
* Trailers - Original theatrical trailer for Crystal Skull
* Demo - XBOX 360 demo

Number of discs: - 2 - Keepcase Packaging{pgomakase}