Here we go, another Indiana Jones movie premiering – and so of course, here is another collection of the previous Indiana Jones movie releases, all in a neat and tidy slipcase, almost exactly the size of a single VHS cassette in slipcase… Please, Grandma, what was VHS; I seem to hear my grandchildren of the future gathering around my senior-citizen issue rocking-chair and asking. Pah, my little darlings – let me tell you about Umatic format, with the millions of little screws holding the whole darned thing together – now that was a video format with hair on it’s chest!. Indiana Jones, hair on chest. Pardon the momentary distraction… back to the topic at hand – the new Indiana Jones movie collection.

The movies themselves hold up rather well; how original it seemed when “Raiders of the Lost Ark” returned to pure entertainment; how cheerfully bare of anything socially relevant and meaningful! Just pure fun, returning to a cliff-hanging Saturday morning matinee adventure serial, with improbable feats, wicked villains, a stalwart hero, exotic locations, hidden treasure, lots of creepy crawly critters and a gorgeous and feisty leading lady… OK, Willi Scott in “The Temple of Doom” screamed too much – obviously a little short in the feisty department. And having children in peril is somewhat of a no-no. Cliff-hanging – oh, boy – the scene over the gorge just about defined that particular element.

The Last Crusade featured the incomparable Sean Connery, and a return of some familiar sidekicks (Marcus and Salah), plus those infatigable all-purpose villains, the Nazis. What would thrillers have to do for villains if they didn’t have Nazis? I swear, I think there must be a secret cave under Hollywood somewhere, where the last few remaining Nazis are kept on life-support, perhaps fed on the blood of virgins and wheeled out on a dolly for appearances as the Only Remaining Politically Correct Villain Which Will Not Permanently Piss Off the General Movie-Going American Public – and tax the movie making credentials of those last two or three directors who still make movies for that niche audience, of course. I am certain that the whole series did wonders as far as recruiting archeologists – who wouldn’t want to be Indiana Jones?

Returning to the topic at hand – each individual movie has the relevant extras included on the disc (not as a separate disc, as was done in the last slip-cased all-in-one release) and each of them with a promo for the new Indy release. Ok, so consider the point made and pounded in with a sledgehammer already. The best of the lot is a short feature on how they made the incredible melting face in “Raiders”, and a retrospective discussion titled “Indy’s Women Reminisce”. Fortunately for this feature they only included the three ladies from the movies – not from the “Young Indiana Jones” TV series. (In that case, they might have needed a stage the size of the Met Opera to hold them all.)

Indiana Jones – The Adventure Collection is available from Amazon.com. The new installment of the franchise premiers May 22 – like the hardcore fans need to be told!

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book “To Truckee’s Trail” is available here, and her upcoming “Adelsverein Trilogy” will be available in December, 2008. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com.

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