Raiders! The Story Of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Overall, this was a solid image.
I didn’t factor the archival material not shot explicitly for Raiders into my grade. Those elements demonstrated a mix of flaws, but it didn’t seem fair to criticize the disc for problems that seem inevitable with that kind of stuff.
As for the new shots, they presented good sharpness. These elements usually looked crisp and detailed, and they betrayed few signs of softness. Those bits portrayed no problems with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes remained absent. Outside of the archival materials, print flaws failed to mar the presentation.
Not surprisingly, the movie’s palette tended toward natural tones. The hues came across with positive clarity and definition, so they were more than adequate within their subdued goals. Blacks also seemed deep and firm, while the occasional low-light shots appeared well defined and clean. I felt this was a positive presentation.
Given the film’s focus, I expected little from the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Raiders, and it usually displayed the limited focus I anticipated. Dialogue remained the core, as the majority of the film’s information came from interviews or other conversational bits. Music spread to the sides pretty well and a few effects added pep, but the track stayed dialogue intensive.
Audio quality seemed fine. Speech was consistently crisp and concise, with no issues connected to edginess or intelligibility. Music and effects remained background elements to a substantial degree, but they seemed well-reproduced and clear. Ultimately, the audio of Raiders worked for the film, even if it lacked much ambition.
We get a mix of extras here, and we open with two audio commentaries. The first features writer/director Tim Skousen and producer/director Jeremy Coon. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at aspects of the shoot, interview subjects, editing and deleted scenes, music, and related topics.
Overall, Skousen and Coon offer a fairly good view of the film. They give us a reasonable number of insights and tell us a bit about the challenges they encountered. Whle not a great track, the commentary works.
The second commentary features film subjects Eric Zala and Chris Strampolos. Both also sit together for their own running, screen-specific view of their experiences during the creation of the adaptation, working on the modern-day shoot, the documentary itself and varios connections/relationships.
Though the commentary starts slowly, it picks up pretty well before too long. Zala and Strampolos manage to delve into the requisite topics in a manner that gives us a mix of new insights. I’d have preferred a bit more about the original 1980s shoot, but the track still adds good material.
10 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 32 minutes, 29 seconds. These offer info about the original 1980s shoot as well as efforts for the modern-day airplane scene. As was the case in the final film, the latter elements don’t interest me much, but the glimpses into the work done by the kids prove to be interesting.
We also find outtakes from “The Adaptation”. This collection runs 19 minutes, 33 seconds and shows behind the scenes footage from the original shoot. I can’t call any of this material fascinating, but it’s still fun to see what the kids went through back in the 80s.
Next comes a Q&A from the Alamo Drafthouse premiere of “The Adaptation”. From May 2003, it lasts 40 minutes, 43 seconds and features Zala, Strampolos and fellow “Adaptation” filmmaker Jayson Lamb. They chat about various aspects of the production. Some of this appears in the commentaries, but we get enough new insights to make the Q&A worth a look.
Trailers offers promos for Raiders, 20,000 Days on Earth, A Band Called Death, The Final Member and I Declare War. Finally, a booklet presents storyboards from the “Adaptation”.
A second disc offers a DVD Copy of Raiders. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
As a look at an unusual film remake, Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made comes with ups and downs. Still, it does more right than wrong, so even though it may be inconsistent, the documentary mostly works. The Blu-ray provides generally solid picture and audio as well as a pretty good collection of bonus materials. I’d like a little more insight from it, but I find Raiders usually entertains.