Spielberg (1981, Paramount Pictures, )
Starring Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, and John
Indiana Jones goes to Egypt to find the Biblical Ark before the
February 23rd, 2015 on
DVD, for the 25th time
I This is still one of the best
adventure movies of all time. While I still love the glitzy action films
of today, back then they put a lot more thought into the story, and this
movie has stood up so well since it was first made because of that. Not
sure my 11 year old son thought so, though.
April 6th, 2008 on
DVD, for the 24th time
I preparation for the new Indiana
Jones movie -and the Crystal Skull- I watched the movie that started it
all. It is just as good and corny as always. I love the humor in this
installment more than any of the others, because it is much less forced.
Indy is sarcastic and sardonic. Marian, with her witty comments "he has
your looks", "I can be reasonable", and so on, is hilarious. I also
love that in everything Indy does, he gets caught. From the opening
scene, through the map room (where Sallah actually gets caught), into the Well of
Souls, on the ship (where Marion gets caught), and onto the island! But
he always manages to turn defeat into victory.
I don't know how Indy couldn't believe
in magic and "hokus-pocus", after all he has seen in the Young Indiana
Jones Chronicles, and especially Temple of Doom, where he witnessed more
than his fair share.
In case I don't see the others again
before the next movie comes out, I just wanted to see Marion again,
since she will be in that movie, too. I can't wait to see them interact
November 4th, 2003
on DVD for the 23rd time
The first film is what sets the tone for
all the rest of the Indiana Jones movies. There is a great mix of
action, love, nasty surprises, and comedy. I never remembered the comedy
being so prevalent through this film. I always complained that the
Crusade had too many obvious jokes, but this one is barely more subtle.
The interaction between the characters is classic, even though they are
barely bruised by the end. I love the way Indy finds the tiniest places
where he isn't bruised so that Marion can kiss them!
The thing I noticed most about the DVD
edition of this movie was the sound! I've never heard this movie in
stereo like this -at least not since I first saw this in the theatre. In
my own home, it was amazing. I kept turning my head as things went from
left to right. It was truly amazing.
Of course, I am still getting used to
the widescreen version. It's awesome to see all the extra footage on the
left and right of the screen, which I missed for so many years. One
thing that is truly brought out because of the widescreen is the
prevalent use of shadows, all over the place, especially in the Well of
Souls, but elsewhere, also.
My description of the movie, below,
seems to be written in a rather abrupt manner, and I wonder why, since
it doesn't really capture the passion that exists in this movie.
Everything Indy does is full of passion, from losing and finding Marion
again, to searching for the Ark or the statue at the beginning.
I don't think I could pick out a
favorite scene, though I don't think I've enjoyed a truck or car chase
in any movie as much as I do this one. All of the moments are terrific.
I love the way the story evolves naturally, since the German burned the
image of the Eye of Ra into his hand and they were able to create one of
their own, or that the Wrath of God would destroy the people who opened
the Ark in bad faith.
I just love this movie, and will
continue to love it for a long time, I think.
With the zoom feature of the DVD, I was
able to finally find the legendary R2D2 and C3PO hieroglyphics just
before Indy and Sallah take the Ark out of its stone box. Ha!
There are two special features for each
movie on this collection, as well as some compiled ones, all on the
fourth disk. The trailers, as usual for a movie like this, look so
old! I can never believe how these things got people to go see the
movies! The behind-the-scenes feature showed a lot of neat stuff, and
gave us some cool details about what happened during the filming.
However, there was way too much footage from the movie, and way too many
interviews focusing on the people who were talking. We know what these
people look like -how about having them do a voice-over on some
additional behind the scenes footage, which we haven't seen,
instead? That is even more true with the smaller featurettes. I liked
them, as they had some good stuff and neat information, but I don't
understand why they thought we needed to see so much of the movie once
again -since we know what the movie looks like.
February 5th, 2000 on Video
for the 22nd time
This is the movie that started it all! Indiana Jones became a
household name after this movie, and action was given a new name.
And widescreen gives it a whole new look. The best use of the
widescreen was when Indy and Sallah take the Ark out of its stone box. In the
regular version, it seems like it's floating in a bad special effect.
In fact, it is being lifted out of the box by unsteady hands.
The movie is so much full of fun and action, great effects, and
great acting. It is also very consistent within itself. My
favorite part is the truck chase. It is one guy against half an army,
though the army is nice enough not to send too many guys after Indy at
one time. He bumps them off one by one, including two cars, and a
motorcycle. I was exhausted after that one, sort of like the pod
race in the Phantom Menace.
The opening scene is great. It shows how experienced Indy
is. It's like primitive James Bond. He knows all the sorcerer's
tricks, and is able to avoid all the traps. Those who try to rip
him off are always caught in the traps. Indy gathers sand to weigh
against the statue he is about to take, but it's too heavy. It causes
the temple to collapse, and he barely makes it out of there. But Beloq is waiting for him at the exit. An arch-rival, Beloq steals
the statue from Indy's hand. Indy once again barely escapes alive.
Exhausting for the viewers. What about the archaeologist?
Back in the US, Indy is asked to go on a search for the Lost
Ark, and to acquire it before Hitler does. Indy knows where the headpiece
to a staff is located, one that will tell him where the Ark may be buried.
He goes to Nepal to see an old acquaintance, but she is not too happy to
see him, as he broke Marion's heart ten years ago. Germans show
up and try to forcibly take the headpiece from her, but Indy shows up just
in time. They defeat the bad guys, but her bar is destroyed by fire.
Marion becomes his new partner.
Off to Cairo they travel, where the German dig is larger than
even Indy thought. He has a friend who is a digger, and whom the
Germans have hired. But Indy has the inside scoop. He believes
Marion is killed in a truck accident, and discovers Beloq is behind the
Indy goes down to the map room and finds the location of the
Ark, then gets a dig team out to that spot. On the way, he discovers
that Marion is not dead, but being held captive. He can't release
her, because they would start combing the place looking for her.
Indy gets to the Ark just at Beloq notices his dig team, and
rushes over to take possession of it, leaving Indy and Marion in a room
full of snakes. They escape, of course, and blow up the plane that
is supposed to take the Ark to Berlin. Instead, it heads off by truck.
Indy commandeers the truck, and sets off to London by boat. The boat
is boarded by German troops, and they take the Ark. Indy swims over
to the submarine, and somehow gets inside as they travel to the place where
the Beloq will open the Ark.
There, Indy threatens to destroy the Ark, but when Beloq calls
his bluff, he can't do it. He is captured, and Beloq opens the Ark.
Inside, instead of the stone tablets, is dust -they've fallen apart!
The wrath of God appears then, and kills all the Germans. It appears
that Indy has seen this trick, too, because he finds a way for him and
Marion to escape alive. They somehow make their way back to the US
with the Ark, where it is impounded, and probably lost forever.
Whew! All that excitement. I'm always exhausted after
seeing the movie. And always completely entertained.