4K UHD Blu-ray Box Set Review: ‘Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection’ (2021)

The Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection 4K UHD set (2021) is on the left; the 2012 Indiana Jones; The Complete Adventures Blu-ray set is on the right. Photo by the author

If adventure has a name, it must be Indiana Jones. – Tagline for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

On June 8, 2021, Paramount Home Media Distribution (owned by ViacomCBS) released Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection, a box set that marks the debut of the first four Indiana Jones movies on the 4K UHD Blu-ray format in time for the 40th Anniversary of the premiere of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Remastered and restored under the supervision of director Steven Spielberg and with cooperation from Disney-owned Lucasfilm Ltd., this five-disc collection brings Harrison Ford’s iconic archeologist/soldier-of-fortune and his globetrotting quests for relics with a supernatural flavor to home media in the best audio-visual experience yet.

Promotional image of the Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection set. Photo Credit and (C) 2021 Paramount Home Media Distribution and Lucasfilm Ltd.

From legendary filmmakers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas comes one of the greatest film franchises of all time in 4K Ultra HD. Collected together, all four original Indiana Jones movies have been visually remastered with HDR-10 and Dolby Vision, and state of the art Dolby Atmos for optimum picture and sound quality. Dive into the spectacular stunts and groundbreaking effects with seven hours of special features on one bonus disc. Spanning the globe, on death-defying archeological endeavors, if adventure has a name…it must be Indiana Jones.

Paramount Home Media Distribution’s Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection includes:

  • Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
  • Bonus Features disc (in 1080p Blu-ray)
  • A fold-out map/poster
  • Insert with codes for digital copies of the films

Marion: You’re not the man I knew ten years ago.

Indiana: It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.

Unlike Paramount/Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures 5-disc set from 2012, Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection eschews the DigiBook packaging scheme – which was also used by Lucasfilm and the defunct 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment for 2011’s Star Wars: The Complete Saga box set – and uses the less expensive Digipack design instead.

And although Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection reuses the “hybrid” poster art that combines Richard Amsel’s “smiling Indy” from a 1982 re-release poster with additional art by Drew Struzan, the new box set’s color scheme (white background supplemented with art rendered mostly with the red, orange, and yellow colors used in the iconic “Indiana Jones” logo sets it apart from the Complete Adventures released almost nine years ago.

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

Although the Digipack, at 6.81 x 5.51 x 1.1 inches, is slightly larger than the Complete Adventures DigiBook set (6.69 x 5.39 x 1.02 inches), Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection’s packaging is a bit less sturdy than its 2012 forerunner. The outer slipcover is thinner and lighter, and the discs now come in more conventional disc trays rather than the more elaborate – but somewhat problematic – disc sleeves that resemble pages in a “book.”[1] As a result, there is a trade-off that consumers have to accept with the Digipack 4K UHD sets: the discs are easier to remove from the packaging and are less prone to scratches or smudging from fingerprints, but the packaging is less attractive and more likely to show wear-and-tear than the sturdier DigiBooks or the pricier Steelbooks.

My Take

(C) 1981 Paramount Pictures & Lucasfilm Ltd.

On March 16, I pre-ordered my Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection at Amazon, well in advance of the June 8 “street release” date. However, because there is a backlog in disc production in the Mexican disc replication facility that makes all of the Blu-ray-based media (including games and movies) for the North American market, there was a delay in shipping the Digipack sets out. As a result, I received my box set with the 4K UHD discs, the Blu-ray with the bonus features, the insert with the codes for digital copies, and the fold-out map late on Monday evening.   

Indiana: Meet me at Omar’s. Be ready for me. I’m going after that truck.

Sallah: How?

Indiana: I don’t know. I’m making this up as I go.

I did, however, watch Raiders of the Lost Ark in its entirety, and I must say, this is the best home media release of this 40-year-old classic that I have seen.

Because my 4K UHD TV is not connected to the small ONN soundbar that I have in my room, I can’t vouch for the quality of the Dolby Atmos audio mix. My TV has decent speakers, but obviously they have limited audio performance compared to the home theater system out in what I call the “common room” where the family TV is set up.

However, visually, Raiders (which Lucasfilm markets in posters and promotional material as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark) has literally never looked better.

Not on VHS.

Not on DVD.

Not even in the 2012 Blu-ray set, which was personally overseen during the remastering process by director Steven Spielberg and sound designer Ben Burtt.

From the introduction of Harrison Ford’s legendary “Man in the Hat” scholar/adventurer in the jungles of Peru to the peril-filled “raid” to find the lost Ark of the Covenant in the Sahara desert in Egypt, the sharp resolution and color balance in the 4K format gives the viewer a “you are there” vibe. You notice details (such as blades of grass or textures of the fabrics used in the costumes) that simply could not be rendered vividly in earlier formats.

Raiders has always had a beautiful color palette thanks to the talents of ace cinematographer Douglas Slocombe and director Steven Spielberg, and it looked good on DVD and high def Blu-ray, but Indiana Jones’ world is so vividly brought to life in this beautifully restored edition that the only way it can be improved is if Paramount and Lucasfilm added Smell-o-Vision to the viewing experience.  

I will watch the other three films in the Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection this week, and I’ll supplement this rather perfunctory review with individual reviews for each adventure of the series in the near future.

Even though I wish Paramount Home Media Distribution had packed this set in slightly less fragile packaging, I can’t complain about the content. Yeah, okay, the Bonus Features could have included some new material about how the 4K remastering was done, or even upgraded to 4K like the features. But on the whole, I’m glad I bought this reissue; I’ve been a fan of Indiana Jones for 40 years, and watching these amazing, inventive, and entertaining movies takes me back to my high school and college days. And, of course, seeing them on 4K makes the experience even more enjoyable.

I thereby give Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection a wholehearted recommendation as a must-own set for fans of this popular series.

Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection 4K UHD Box Set Specifications

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

[1] Aesthetically, I prefer DigiBook packaging because the packaging is sturdier – even the outer slipcover is tougher than the pressed paperboard used in Digipack ones – and looks nicer than plain plastic trays with disc-holder tabs to keep the Blu-ray discs in place. The flip side of those disc sleeves is that they grip the discs so tightly – especially when you take them out of the packaging for the first time – and in such a fashion that you can’t avoid putting fingerprints on the playable surfaces of the discs. Worse, DigiBook Blu-rays are more prone to get scratches than Blu-rays in Digipacks.  

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.

7 thoughts on “4K UHD Blu-ray Box Set Review: ‘Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection’ (2021)

    1. Man, Retro Dee…Now I really feel old! I’ve been lucky to see all four in theaters.

      I like Temple of Doom. A lot. It’s not my favorite, but I don’t dislike it. It’s just – to me – a little less fun than the first one. I’m really glad that it’s your fave. It is a movie that could have been made with Charlton Heston in the title role back in your favorite decade!

      I’m particularly fond of “Raiders” cos it’s the first movie I ever invited my mom to see. It was part of her Mother’s Day present back in 1981. From then on, we had a tradition of seeing Indy at the movies on Opening Day or, if that was not doable, Opening Week.

      The one movie that my mom did not see in theaters was the 2008 entry. By then, her health had declined to the point where she preferred to wait till the DVD or Blu-ray came out.

      I’m glad to have heard from you, fellow blogger!

      Liked by 1 person

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