Tag Archives: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones Blu-ray collection arrives in September

While that fourth movie (which shall not be named) has been available on Blu-ray for a couple of years, the original Indiana Jones trilogy has not been available in HD until now.  Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures arrives on September 18 in remastered HD, with particular attention given to Raiders of the Lost Ark.

From the press release:

In June of 1981 director Steven Spielberg and executive producer George Lucas introduced the world to Indiana Jones when the unforgettable Raiders of the Lost Ark debuted in theaters. Exploding to instant acclaim, the film has now been carefully restored, alongside remastered versions of the archaeologist’s other thrilling adventures—Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Prepare for excitement, adventure and snakes—why did it have to be snakes?—all with pristine picture and sound when INDIANA JONES: The Complete Adventures debuts on Blu-ray September 18, 2012 from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Paramount Home Media Distribution.

Supervised by director Steven Spielberg and renowned sound designer Ben Burtt, Raiders of the Lost Ark has been meticulously restored with careful attention to preserving the original look, sound and feel of the iconic film. The original negative was first scanned at 4K and then examined frame-by-frame so that any damage could be repaired.

The sound design was similarly preserved using Burtt’s original master mix, which had been archived and unused since 1981. New stereo surrounds were created using the original music tracks and original effects recorded in stereo but used previously only in mono. In addition, the sub bass was redone entirely up to modern specifications and care was taken to improve dialogue and correct small technical flaws to create the most complete and highest quality version of the sound possible while retaining the director’s vision. The result is an impeccable digital restoration that celebrates the film and its place in cinematic history.

The installments in the franchise have won a combined seven Academy Awards®. Relive every heart-pounding thrill like never before as all four films arrive together, for the first time presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio accompanied by a collection of documentaries, interviews, featurettes and new bonus features.

There ya go. Thankfully Spielberg is overseeing the Raiders restoration rather than Lucas (I can just imagine him trying to replace Short Round with a CGI Shia LaBouf or some other such nonsense).  Then again, Spielberg did replace guns with walkie-talkies in E.T. – so who knows.

Preorder Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com

The Atari 2600 celebrates 30 years of low-rez fun

As my 35th birthday approaches, an old friend is celebrating 30 years… the Atari 2600! Retro Thing is doing an “Atari Week” feature, with several pieces about the first device that defined “video game” for Generation X:

The Atari 2600’s impact upon the gaming world was immense. No less than eight variations were produced over its stunning 14 year lifespan, along with three Sears-branded models and over a dozen clones. The system sold in excess of 40 million units, and AtariAge lists well over 1300 different game titles. This is all the more incredible because the system was envisioned to have only a two or three year lifespan before being replaced by something more sophisticated. That day never came. Even though Atari made repeated attempts to surpass their initial design, the 2600 remained the pinnacle of the company’s console gaming success.

I have many warm (and a bit fuzzy) memories of the 2600:

  • Begging my parents to drop me off early at my piano teacher’s home so I could play her son’s 2600 before I had one of my own.
  • The hilarity of Basketball’s square ball.
  • Being awed by the ability to play Space Invaders without having to drop a quarter at the arcade. (and the syncopated rhythm when there’s only four attackers left)
  • Finally getting an Atari of my own for Christmas. Thanks..uhh… Santa!
  • Staying up all night at a friend’s house to beat Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Playing, enjoying, and beating E.T., years before the internet told me I was supposed to hate it because it was the “worst game ever.
  • Checking out my friends’ latest acquisitions each Saturday at the Cub Scout meeting. Including Journey Escape – Now THAT game was a stinker.
  • …and finally giving it up for the Commodore 64 a few years later. [links to an archive of my C64 site from several years ago]

The Atari 2600 seems so quaint in comparison to what we have today, but it was capable of some truly amazing things given it’s limitations. It had a meager 128 bytes of memory – to put that in perspective, this blog post alone is 20 times that. Your average home computer today with a gigabyte of memory can hold over 8 million times that amount. The ability to create anything with those limitations, let alone some of the classics that were produced for the 2600, is nothing short of incredible.