Musings & Thoughts for Monday, June 21, 2021, or: It’s D (for Delivery) Day for the Indy 4K Box Set

(C) 2021 Paramount Home Media Distribution and Lucasfilm Ltd.

Hi there, Dear Reader. It is late morning here in New Hometown, Florida on Monday, June 21, 2021. On this second day of astronomical summer (meteorological summer began on June 1), it is hot, humid, and typical of the Florida wet season. The temperature is 82˚F under sunny skies, but with humidity at 64% and the wind blowing from the south-southwest at 7 MPH, the heat index is 87˚F. Today, we can expect scattered rain showers – it is, as I said, the wet season – and the high will be 90˚F. Tonight, light rain is possible, and the low will be 75˚F. Today’s Air Quality Index (AQI) is 62 or Moderate.

Well, today is the day when my Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection box set finally arrives. As I write this, the five-disc set (four 4K UHD Blu-rays, one for each feature, and one 1080p Blu-ray with the Bonus Features) is on a UPS delivery van with a delivery window of between 1:30 and 3:30 PM. UPS is sharing a moving map which shows the approximate location of the delivery vehicle; from its present location, it looks as though it might arrive well before the 1:30 PM ETA.

Promo banner by Paramount Home Media Distribution and Lucasfilm Limiited

Although I was disappointed by Paramount Home Media Distribution’s decision to prioritize the street release of the more expensive steelbook version of the Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection set over the more numerous DigiPack/slipcover variant, I am happy and relieved that after a 13-day delay, I will finally see Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in the 4K UHD format.

Of course, this is a quartet of films that I am not only familiar with over the 40 year history of the Indiana Jones franchise, but I also own it on the two older disc-based formats (DVD and Blu-ray). It’s one of my favorite film series – on par with Lucasfilm’s Star Wars saga and slightly more beloved than the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World series – so I try to upgrade them every time a new “physical media” format is introduced.

Here are some of the specs of the Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection box set, if you are interested:

Video

  • Codec: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
  • HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
  • Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
  • Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

Raiders of the Lost Ark 4K

  • English: Dolby Atmos
  • English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 kbps)
  • Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Japanese: Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Russian: Dolby Digital 2.0

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 4K

  • English: Dolby Atmos
  • English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
  • Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Japanese: Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Russian: Dolby Digital 2.0

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 4K

  • English: Dolby Atmos
  • English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
  • Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Japanese: Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Russian: Dolby Digital 2.0

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 4K

  • English: Dolby Atmos
  • English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
  • Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles

  • English, English SDH, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Russian, Swedish, Thai

Discs

  • 4K Ultra HD
  • Blu-ray Disc
  • Five-disc set (4 BD-66, 1 BD-50)

Digital

  • Digital copy included

Packaging

  • Slipbox
  • DigiPack, Inner print
  • Figure/replica/props/memorabilia included

Playback

  • 4K Blu-ray: Region free

The Bonus Features disc, sadly, is essentially a slightly redacted version of the fifth disc in the 2012 Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures Blu-ray box set; it merely ports over most (but by no means all) of the extras from the 2003 DVD box set, the 2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull home media release,and the 2012 Complete Adventures bonus disc.

Will I watch any of the Indy 4Ks today? More than likely, yes. I’ll probably watch Raiders of the Lost Ark first, mostly to see how good the 4K remastering is on the 40-year-old classic. Whether or not I watch the whole thing depends on my mood. I usually can’t stop watching Raiders I start – at least on home media – because it’s my favorite of the existing quartet directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by George Lucas.

I know that many fans of franchises love to rank films in a series based on their personal subjective opinions. I am not particularly fond of “ranking,” but if anyone is interested, here is my take on the Indiana Jones films:

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  3. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  4. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Now, to be clear: I don’t dislike the two films I ranked the lowest. I enjoy them, and they are both better than most action-adventure films made between 1984 and the present. I just like the other two a bit more.

(C) 1994, 2021 Florentine Films and PBS Distribution

Last night I sat down to watch Our Game (1840s-1900), the first inning of Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns on Blu-ray in its entirety. I enjoyed it, even though I am still not 100% on board with Burns’ decision to tinker with the aspect ratio of the series’ presentation. The first nine “innings” were aired in 1994 in the standard 4:3 “full screen” format; the remastered version changed the aspect ratio for widescreen TVs.

The beneficial effect of the cropping is that viewers get to see more fine details that they could not see before in the PBS/MLB TV broadcasts and reruns until the remastering was done last year for the June 2021 Blu-ray reissue and MLB TV reruns. For instance, if a shot in the 1994 version showed you a car in a parking space but you couldn’t see the license plate, in the new remastered version you not only see the car, but the license numbers on the plate.

The downside, of course, is that when you crop a near-square picture to fit into a rectangular space, you lose some information at the top or bottom of the frame. So in a talking head shot, and there are plenty of those in Baseball, you’ll see that the speaker’s top of the head is usually out-of-frame.

I was slightly irked by the cropping, but eventually I let go of my irritation and just focused on the story Burns and writer Geoffrey C. Ward tell in the first episode of this remarkable series about America’s national pastime.  

I started watching Our Game at what I figured was a reasonable hour (8 PM), but I woke up early yesterday, and I was so relaxed while I watched the show that I fell asleep not too long before it ended. I’ll try to finish the episode later this week though.

Okay, that’s all the news that’s fit to print, so I will close for now. At last look, my box set is only a few blocks away, so maybe it will get here before noon. So until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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