The real discovery in this five-disc set (the fifth is a disc of extras) is the meticulous restoration of "Raiders," where a team of digital experts scrubbed the 31-year-old movie movie clean of artifacts, dust, dirt and scratches to make the film appear as crisp, clear and detailed as when it first unspooled in movie theaters in 1981. The sound also has been punched up, as the movie's original sound designer, Ben Burtt, supervised a new soundtrack, featuring a fuller, more enveloping musical score by John Williams. The soundtrack also expanded some of the movie's original effects (but never altered) to a new 5.1 surround-sound field. The result is a pulse-pounding rumble when the boulder comes rolling toward Indy in the movie's famous opening scene.
"Temple of Doom" and "Last Crusade" were merely remastered for Blu-ray but not restored like "Raiders," as those later films were in better condition, but they still look as pristine as any film on Blu-ray. "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," which is only four years old, looks as good as it first came out on Blu-ray. Unfortunately, you can't buy these movies separately but only in its $100 set.
All of the extras from the previous DVD release of the films, including making-of featurettes, were ported over to this set's fifth disc. And all of the featurettes from the "Crystal Skull" Blu-ray are included here as well.
The real treat for diehard "Raiders" fans is the inclusion of a new documentary on the making of the movie that includes deleted scenes and outtakes that have never been released before, including a scene of Indy fighting a swordfighter with his whip (Spielberg had Indy famously shoot him instead).
This is one of a series of blockbuster films to arrive on Blu-ray, with Spielberg's latest classic, "E.T.: The Extraterrestrial" set to be released on Oct. 9, while "Lawrence of Arabia" arrives Nov. 13. "Jaws" has been released on disc with an equally remarkable restoration, and the "Star Wars" saga was released but with Lucas' widely-derided changes.
However, this is a pitch-perfect port of the Indiana Jones movies for a new generation, with none of the re-edits, computer-graphic touch-ups or horrifying revisionist-history makeovers that plagued the "Star Wars" films on Blu-ray.
Consider this simple swashbuckling adventure from one of Hollywood's most creative directors.