DVD Reviews: Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures, Cabin in the Woods and more!

By September 20, 2012
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Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures — Like most movie geeks, I have my pros and cons on the Indiana Jones front. The original Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) is, of course, one of the most smoothly enjoyable adventure films of all time, and I won’t even hear arguments on this topic. I have my issues with the prequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), mostly in the shrill screenplay department, but it still packs a ton of amazing action into a two-hour frame, and Harrison Ford is clearly having a lot of fun with the character by this point. The plainly more mature Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) is a charming, if slightly clunky, return to the lighter Raiders tone, and it’s also the funniest of the Indiana Jones movies, thanks mainly to the presence of the always lovable Sean Connery. The late-arriving Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) is the obvious “whipping boy” of the franchise, and while I would agree that it’s the silliest (dare I say sloppiest?) film in the series, I also see plenty of enjoyable components that remind me of Spielberg’s 1980s heyday.

The Blu-ray set comes with a fifth disc full of featurettes, only an hour of which are actually “new,” but there are hours of great little tidbits to be found throughout the supplements. Steven Spielberg, for his part, continues to refuse to do audio commentaries. Darnit.

 

The Cabin in the Woods — One of the year’s biggest treats for horror fans both hip and old-school. On the surface it’s just another “idiots in a cabin” set-up, but things quickly spiral out all meta-physical-like, and that’s when the real fun begins. The Blu-ray offers an audio commentary with co-creators Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, a half-hour comic-con Q&A, and several behind-the-scenes pieces — but if you want to really know what I thought of the movie, check out my review at FEARnet! (Thanks.)

 

Bait — I’m the first guy to take notice when a movie offers “a shark invading a supermarket after a tsunami,” but aside from a few unintentional chuckles, there’s not much to love about this low-end Australian import. If you like the SyFy Channel flicks, you may find it more amusing than I did.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3 — I don’t even remember the Part 2. How much story could a Beverly Hills chihuahua actually have?

 

The Game — David Fincher’s third film (it came between Seven and Fight Club) doesn’t seem to get much love these days, but that might change now that Criterion is (finally!) releasing this film in their patented fashion. Extras include a commentary built from interviews with several cast and crew members, an hour of behind-the-scenes footage (also with commentary), and a few little bells and whistles for the awesome cinephiles who are more than happy to spend five extra bucks to see a Blu-ray done right. As usual, hat tip to Criterion Collection.

New catalog Blu-rays! Halloween 2 and Halloween 3: Season of the Witch! Tim Burton’s Ed Wood! The crazy fun Pacino / Keanu flick The Devil’s Advocate! Stallone’s Judge Dredd (just in time for the new Dredd)! Mario Bava’s amazing Black Sunday! The ultra-goofy Queen of the Damned!

VOD options: Arbritrage, starring Richard Gere, went over well at Sundance. That’s a new VOD title this week. If you’re OK with digital purchase (not rental), you can also acquire Prometheus and Dark Shadows this week. Also still good: V/H/S, Bachelorette, and Solomon Kane.

Next week: a movie with like FIVE superheroes in it at the same time!

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Scott Weinberg
Writer. Movie critic. Producer. Semi-actor. Wise-ass. Film advocate. Horror geek. Cat fan. Twitter junkie. Follow me at @scotteweinberg.