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Blu-ray Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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Rousing and entertaining are at least two things going for Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Unfortunately, logic isn’t something that made the 18-year trip from the previous sequel. The addition of aliens and a completely unnecessary nuclear blast that has to be seen to be believed (or not believed in this case) bring this one down to the Temple of Doom level, but it does have its moments.

Read the full movie review.

The Blu-ray presentation is everything a modern film should be. Colors are simply gorgeous (and flesh tones are dead-on accurate), and the stunning contrast created with incredibly rich black levels is nearly miraculous. Sharpness is as high as it could be. The video is remarkably clear. On occasion, there is some blooming or haziness, both of which are representative of the original theatrical presentation.

Dolby TrueHD is the chosen audio format, and it’s a good one. Bullets whiz by constantly during the action. Bass is outstanding, delivering a deep, strong rumble where needed. Movement is tracked flawlessly in all channels, and every action scene is alive in your home theater. That sounds like a marketing line, but it’s the truth. Any of the action sequences are true demo material.

Split into two discs, this is a packed Blu-ray. The only thing missing is a commentary, unfortunately the norm for Spielberg. Return of a Legend is a featurette that discusses why Indiana Jones was brought back. It runs slightly over 17 minutes. A nice interactive multiple-segment timeline is great for fans. A short featurette on pre-production follows, and rounds off disc one.

Disc two begins with production diaries — a lot of them. Split into six sections, they run nearly 90 minutes in total. It’s a loaded piece that should cover it all, yet there’s more. Six individual featurettes focus on specific areas of the film, including props, make-up, and visual effects. They last a little over 50 minutes combined. Some pre-visualization and a stack of surprisingly excellent galleries that are worth looking through end the second disc.

Originally, Spielberg promised that the film would still be done using traditional methods and CG would be used only when necessary. Unfortunately, when you have someone surviving a nuke inside of a fridge, that type of promise must go completely out of the window.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for His current passion project is the technically minded You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.