Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

Featured In Issue 136, November 2008

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Adventure violence and scary images
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Two-Disc Set: BD-25/BD-50
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Not Indicated
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Steven Spielberg
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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Get ready for a blast from the past when Indiana Jones And his young protege Mutt Williams (LaBeouf) set out to discover The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. Everyone's favorite archeologist, Indiana Jones (Ford), heads off to the wilds of Peru in search of a mystical crystal skull, which is fabled to have been carved from a single piece of quartz and posses mystical powers. Jones must find the skull and deliver it to its rightful place before the evil Soviet agent, Irina Spalko (Blanchett), gets her hands on it and assumes its mystical powers. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features on Disc One of the DVD and Blu-ray Disc™ two-disc sets include two featurettes—The Return Of A Legend (18 minutes) and Pre-Production (12 minutes)—and previews. On Disc Two there is a production diary which contains the following making-of featurettes: Shooting Begins: New Mexico (14 minutes); Back To School: New Haven, Connecticut (ten minutes); Welcome To The Jungle: Hilo Hawaii (six minutes); On-Set Action (27 minutes), Exploring Akator (14 minutes) and Wrapping Up! (seven minutes). Additional featurettes are Warrior Makeup (six minutes), The Crystal Skulls (ten minutes), Iconic Props (ten minutes), The Effects Of Indy (23 minutes), Adventures In Post-Production (13 minutes), and Closing: Team Indy (four minutes); three Pre-Visualization Sequences—Area 51 Escape (four minutes), Jungle Chase (six minutes), and Ants Attack (five minutes); eight still galleries; three trailers; and Lego Indiana Jones The Original Adventures game demo for your Xbox 360.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.39:1 DVD exhibits a very sharp image, with fine details in close shots captured well, and even long shots looking natural and clearly defined. Shadows are delineated well, and black levels are deep. A wide assortment of colors are used, even though brown and green hues dominate, and colors are generally nicely saturated. Contrast is balanced well, and color lightness seems accurate. Fleshtones are natural with good distinction between various hues. Compression artifacts are rarely a distraction, and while edge enhancement is used, it is so minor that it is rarely noticeable. This is a very enjoyable picture. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc shows superb resolution and a very clean image, with nicely defined colors, giving it a very realistic appearance. Black levels are deep and consistent, and shadows are delineated nicely. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack's mix is very lively, with the surround channels active almost constantly throughout and nicely crafted pans across each stereo wall. Localization is somewhat constrained in the surround channels, but phantom imaging can be heard everywhere around the room. The LFE channel is used often throughout the presentation, with bass dropping below 30 Hz in the channel. Bass is defined well, and the midrange is crisp and articulate. Dialogue is always intelligible, but there are moments when the voices are obviously ADR produced, sounding slightly more forward than usual. There is a good sense of dimensionality throughout the room, and dynamic range is fairly impressive—a superb experience. The improved fidelity afforded by the lossless Dolby TrueHD™ encoding provides more fluid-sounding vocals and better definition of low-level effects. Combined with the exciting mix, it makes for an expansively engaging soundtrack. Pans are better defined and imaged effects are more easily localized. (Danny Richelieu)