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Steven Spielberg
Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott, Alison Doody, John Rhys-Davies, Julian Glover, River Phoenix, Michael Byrne
Writing Credits:
George Lucas, Philip Kaufman, Menno Meyjes, Jeffrey Boam

Have the adventure of your life keeping up with the Joneses.

Relive the fun and excitement of keeping up with the Joneses in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In a prologue that reveals a young Indiana Jones (River Phoenix) in one of his first adventures, this thrilling screen epic continues as an adult Indy embarks on a perilous quest to find his cantankerous father, Professor Henry Jones, Sr. (Sean Connery). The Nazis are on the trail of the Holy Grail, and have kidnapped Indy's father, the foremost authority on the Cup of Christ. Follow Indy as he inches through the rat-filled catacombs of Venice, battles Nazi flying aces in a thrilling biplane dogfight, and braves the thunderous fire-power of an unstoppable tank. And behold the Holy Grail's power to give and take life, as Indy and his father race against time in this classic film.

Box Office:
$48 million.
Opening Weekend
$24.400 million on 2327 screens.
Domestic Gross
$197.171 million.

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 126 min.
Price: $99.98
Release Date: 9/18/2012

Available Only as Part of the “Indiana Jones: the Complete Adventures” 5-Disc Set

• Trailers


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures) [Blu-Ray] (1989)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 14, 2012)

Following the glory that was 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom left a bad taste on many viewers’ mouths. It still proved to be a success, but it actively turned off parts of the audience and it left the future of the Indiana Jones franchise in doubt.

All involved came back five years later for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. While this movie didn’t quite repeat the popularity of the original and it presented a few flaws, it nonetheless recaptured the spirit of the first film and proved to be a satisfying conclusion to Indy’s run in the 1980s.

Crusade opens in 1912 with an introduction to a teenaged Indiana Jones (River Phoenix). This gives us a glimpse of the distance at which his father keeps him, but mostly it just acts as a fun way to start the flick. From there, the movie jumps ahead 26 years to the adult Indy (Harrison Ford) who soon learns that his dad (Sean Connery) has gone missing during a quest to find the Holy Grail.

Aficionado of rare antiquities Walter Donovan (Julian Glover) recruits him to continue this crusade, though Indy treats it more as a rescue mission to find his dad. This leads him first to Venice, where he searches the catacombs along with his father’s partner, Dr. Elsa Schneider (Allison Doody). They attempt to stay one step ahead of some zealots who oppose their quest for the Grail, and they eventually head toward Austria to retrieve the senior Jones.

When they get to that land, they find Henry Jones Sr. and bust him out of a castle. From there the movie follows the continued trek to find the Grail and keep the Nazis away from it. The quest includes help from Indy’s boss, Dr. Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott), and his loyal assistant Sallah (John Rhys-Davies).

Probably the biggest concern with Crusade stems from its “been there, done that” quotient. Like Return of the Jedi often echoed Star Wars, Crusade bears more than a passing resemblance to Raiders. Indy goes up against the Nazis again to retrieve a mystical artifact, and this takes him to the same part of the world at the end. Both enjoy the same generally light-hearted tone and a climax that brings Indy up against supernatural forces.

I get the feeling that director Steven Spielberg and producer George Lucas didn’t handle the moderately negative reaction to Temple terribly well. Its dark tone caught fans off guard and didn’t please many of them. Because of this, the pair may have retreated to the safety of the first flick’s attitude. Crusade feels more connected to Raiders, but that’s a mild problem since the pair seem so similar; it might have been nice to see Crusade stretch a bit more.

However, the results are usually a lot of fun, so I can forgive Crusade its less than creative side - once we get past the first act, at least. From the wild adventure with young Indy and the antics in Venice, Crusade presents a lot of action in its opening 40 minutes or so, but it doesn’t quite connect. The action seems more perfunctory and less inspired than I’d like.

Once we get to Austria, though, the movie improves considerably. A lot of this comes from the formal introduction of Connery. He and Ford enjoy an absolutely splendid chemistry and really click together. Their rapport helps carry the movie’s slower moments, and they create a nice bond that makes them a wonderful father and son team despite the fact Connery’s only 12 years older than Ford. The pair shine together and create the movie’s highlights.

Yeah, acts two and three of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade occasionally feel like moderate retreads, but Spielberg executes those moments so well that I don’t care. The film lacks the freshness of Raiders but it still proves to be a lot of fun during these sequences. Ultimately, Crusade lacks great originality, but it remains a lively and satisfying adventure.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A/ Bonus NA

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I felt pleased with the presentation.

Sharpness usually looked excellent. The only notable exception came from a brief but odd blurriness that affected parts of the frame during a scene with Indy, Sallah and Henry in a car late in the second act. This was evident on the DVD version as well and may be part of the source photography. Otherwise, the picture appeared nicely detailed and crisp. I noticed no signs of any defects in this clean and distinctive image.

Colors looked solid. The movie didn’t present the world’s broadest palette, but it included a good enough range of hues that consistently came across as tight and vibrant. The tones never seemed overly heavy, and the film gave them good definition. Black levels seemed deep and dense, and low-light shots demonstrated fine clarity and never became too thick.

I saved the subject of jagged edges and shimmering for last, as those have already become controversial. Due to some screen caps from the Blu-ray, concerns arose about roughness around some edges. Had I not heard about these alleged issues in advance, I would’ve had no clue that I was supposed to see anything unusual. Watching the movie from eight feet away on my 50-inch TV, I noticed no signs of jaggies or moiré effects.

Indeed, I thought the image was significantly tighter than in the past. The opening credits have always been ropy on home video. They looked that way on the two laserdiscs I owned and they came across that way on the DVDs. I suspect that the font used for the credits causes the “concerns” more than anything else.

Nonetheless, I don’t see the supposed issues on my TV. I thought the presentation was tight and concise, and I couldn’t detect any jaggies or the like as I watched the film in motion from an appropriate viewing distance. Seeing the movie that way, I thought the image looked pretty terrific.

In addition, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade excelled. The mix offered a broad and engaging experience. Music showed nice delineation and spread, and the effects created a good sense of atmosphere. A lot of directional dialogue appeared throughout the film, and those pieces popped up in a natural way. Effects seemed appropriately placed and blended together smoothly. Those elements moved cleanly across the channels to demonstrate a fine feeling of place.

Whereas both of the first two flicks offered occasional instances of split surround material, Crusade upped the ante in that regard. It didn’t seem to present more active rear speakers than the others - Raiders contributed an awful lot of audio from that realm – but the elements were more naturally blended due to the stereo nature of the surrounds. These helped bring the back speakers into the flick in a more involving way, and they added a lot to the movie, especially during its many action sequences.

Audio quality appeared fine and never showed its age. Speech was distinct and concise, and I noticed no issues connected to intelligibility or edginess. Music remained vibrant and dynamic, as the disc once again displayed John Williams’ score with vivacity and solid clarity. Effects were as clean and rich as ever, and they never suffered from any signs of distortion or other problems. Bass response was deep and firm and brought good punch to the package. The audio of Crusade wasn’t just good for its age. This was an excellent soundtrack that almost never felt like something made 23 years ago.

How did this Blu-ray compare with the Special Edition DVD from 2008? Audio appears more robust and smooth, while visuals come across as more concise and accurate. All areas show improvement.

Because it comes as part of a five-disc/four-movie collection, almost no extras show up on the Last Crusade platter itself. We get a teaser and a trailer.

Note that I didn’t give this disc a grade for bonus materials because of its place in the “Complete Adventures” package. When I review the “Bonus Features” platter, I’ll offer an overall supplements grade.

While Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade didn’t live up to the heights of Raiders of the Lost Ark, it definitely topped Temple of Doom, and it finished the 1980s trilogy well. The movie boasted wonderful interactions between its lead actors and seemed quite entertaining and enjoyable. The Blu-ray delivers excellent picture and audio. I enjoy the flick and feel very happy with this release.

Note that as of September 2012, you can purchase Last Crusade solely as part of this “Complete Adventures” set that also includes 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1984’s Temple of Doom, 2008’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and a disc with bonus materials.

To rate this film visit the Indiana Jones Collection review of INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main