It was just a year ago that filming on Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull wrapped up filming. Anticipation mounted through the holidays and on into spring when we'd see Jones on the movie screen again.
More than 20 years passed, and recognizing Harrison Ford is now 66. Should we lower our expectations of what he / Indy could still do? In my opinion, no. The fourth movie of what is now obviously an installment, has as much going for it as any of the previous. Not the best, and at times not the worst. It lives up to what we've come to expect of Indian Jones, even after all these years. Read the review of the complete theatrical release here.
The movie aside, I found the DVD extras for the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull two-disc Special Edition quite entertaining and enjoyable. Chocked full of fact and details on the making of the movie. There is quite a bit of information to learn about a film that was so super secret it was filmed under the code name "Genre."
The dozens of behind the scenes clips take us through filming and onset with Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas, Guy Hendrix Dyas, the stars and many others. You are there when things kickoff in Santa Fe, New Mexico and ride along though places like Hawaii and onto four different production stages in Hollywood, California.
For Indy fans, you're gonna get the scoop on a lot of inside details about the movie. Why is Harrison in the trunk of a car? Because George wanted him to have an ignoble intro after being gone for 20 years. Working with spies and cold war double agents in stead of Nazi's, Lucas wanted a female villain this time. Their choice for the role, Kate Blanchet, actually came up with the look for Irina Spalco - A character was inspired by Marlene Dietrich. You get behind the scenes, er uh, over 250 custom made boxes with classic stencils that were shown in the *Area 51* warehouse as they film the opening movie scenes.
The extras carry you to just about every stage and scene in the move. Guy Hendrix Dyas is there at every new location giving us his first-hand overview of location, the technicalities behind it and insights into some of the challenges they faced putting them together. From the Library scene that was actually a University Dining Hall that redone with books and tables to the shooting on Big Island Hawaii that doubled for jungles of Peru. You get comments from the crew, director, and stars commentary on each. What was especially illuminating was to Ford doing most of his own stunts.
My favorite parts were the behind the scenes on the sound-stage shooting they did in Hollywood. Some of the most spectacular parts of the movie were done there. The caves and water scenes were cool, but when they get into the filming for the disappearing spiraling stairs. Building a massive functional to-scale structure, We see the lengths that these guys go to when making a movie. How do they do it? You'll have to get the DVD set to believe it.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull two-disc Special Edition DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with THX Certified Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround, French 5.1 Surround and Spanish 5.1 Surround and English, French and Spanish subtitles. The two-disc set includes the following special features:
-- The Return of a Legend -- The evolution of the new film and a tribute
to the legendary hero and his creators.
-- Pre-Production -- Follows Steven Spielberg as he creates animatic
sequences, Shia LaBeouf as he learns to swordfight and captures the
reunion of filmmakers and cast on the soundstage.
DVD Disc 2:
-- Production Diary: Making Kingdom of the Crystal Skull-Join filmmakers,
cast and crew for a complete look at the making of the film.
-- Shooting Begins: New Mexico
-- Back To School: New Haven, Connecticut
-- Welcome to the Jungle: Hilo, Hawaii
-- On-Set Action
-- Exploring Akator
-- Wrapping Up!
-- Warrior Makeup
-- The Crystal Skulls
-- Iconic Props
-- The Effects of Indy
-- Adventures in Post Production
-- Closing: Team Indy
-- Pre-Visualization Sequences
-- Area 51 Escape
-- Jungle Chase
-- Ants Attack
-- The Art Department
-- The Adventure Begins
-- Cemetery and Jungle
-- Stan Winston Studio
-- Corpses, Skeletons & Mummies
-- Aliens & Crystal Skulls
-- Production Photographs
-- Behind-the-Scenes Photographs
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull also will be available as a single disc DVD presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with THX Certified Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround, French 5.1 Surround and Spanish 5.1 Surround and English, French and Spanish subtitles.