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Raiders of the Lost Ark

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 4 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Paramount's 4K Indiana Jones Collection wows with superior restoration, original art, and classic storytelling.

    Raiders of the Lost Ark 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

    True 4K
    Dolby Vision
    Dolby Atmos
    Dolby TrueHD
  • Video
  • Lovingly remastered to 4K with Dolby Vision, showcasing enhanced effects with inherent anamorphic softness and optically-printed elements a generation down, yet brightness dominates from the opening, embodying a gorgeous restoration effort.

  • Audio
  • The on-location work's background noise enhances the atmosphere, complemented by excellent effects like thunder and gunshots. The soundstage's immersiveness, with a muscular quality and dynamic range, preserves the film's sonic character, making shoot-outs with gunfire notably positional.

  • Extra
  • The 9th disc impressively hosts Raiders 2-part Doc and more, amid iconic artwork of Jones & Sallah with the ark, highlighting the rich bonus content one shouldn't miss.

  • Movie
  • A thrilling, globe-spanning adventure with Harrison Jones, showcasing iconic stunts, a witty script, and a quest against Hitler for the Ark, highlighted by a comically absurd Nazi salute from a monkey.

    Video: 94

    The video presentation of the 4K UHD Blu-ray of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" offers an exceptional viewing experience that stands out about its predecessors. The film has been given a native 4K image upgrade, complemented by Dolby Vision, which elevates its visual flair to a whole new level. The remastering process was meticulously undertaken, with a focus on preserving the movie's original aesthetic while enhancing the clarity and detail of the effects shots. This careful restoration ensures that the film's visual effects are updated subtly, maintaining their authenticity without appearing out of place or overly modernized.

    Despite these significant improvements, certain inherent characteristics of the original film stock and cinematography techniques are preserved. Viewers might notice some anamorphic softness around the edges of the frame, a common trait in films of this era shot with anamorphic lenses. Additionally, the optically-printed opening titles and transition sequences inherently exhibit a slight decrease in quality due to their generation loss from the original negative. These elements, however, do not detract from the overall high-quality viewing experience but instead add a layer of nostalgia for fans and purists who appreciate the film's original cinematic texture.

    The vibrancy and depth of color brought forth by the 4K resolution and Dolby Vision HDR are immediately noticeable from the film’s opening jungle scenes. Brightness levels are expertly managed, ensuring that the image remains vivid and dynamic without overpowering darker tones or details. This balanced approach to brightness accentuates the film’s visual effects and set pieces, making them more immersive and engaging for the viewer. The commitment to preserving and enhancing 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' for this release is evident, offering both longtime fans and newcomers an unparalleled viewing experience that respects the film's legacy while embracing modern technical advancements.

    Audio: 91

    The audio presentation of the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" on 4K UHD Blu Ray remarkably enhances the classic adventure with a strikingly improved soundstage that immerses viewers right into the heart of the action. Despite some background noise inherent in the on-location recordings, these elements inadvertently contribute to the film's atmospheric depth, making each scene more engaging. The effects work is impressive, delivering fabulously resonant thunder, deep, booming gunshots, and convincingly thudding punches that frequent viewers will appreciate. This meticulous preservation and enhancement of the original film's sonic character speaks volumes about the care put into its audio remastering.

    The technical upgrade brings a full, muscular quality to the soundtrack, with excellent dynamics that breathe new life into every scene. The soundstage's expansion is particularly noticeable, creating a more immersive auditory experience that pulls the listener into the myriad environments of Indiana Jones' thrilling quest. The dedication to maintaining the original's auditory essence while expanding its dynamic range showcases an admirable balance of respect for nostalgia and cutting-edge audio technology.

    Notably, shoot-outs in the film have been finely tuned to provide a palpable sense of positional action, with gunfire effects receiving a small but significant bite in the subwoofer that adds to the overall excitement. These details exemplify the audio presentation's success in both preserving and enhancing the auditory experience. The clarity and placement of sounds within the mix not only pay homage to the film's legacy but also elevate it, offering a thoroughly satisfying auditory journey for both longtime fans and newcomers alike.

    Extra: 82

    The extra presentation of the 4K UHD Blu-ray of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" delivers an impressively curated selection of content, spearheaded by a substantial Raiders 2-part documentary that serves as a testament to the film’s legacy. The additional making-of documentaries provide an in-depth look into the creation of this cinematic milestone, complementing the main attraction beautifully. The packaging enhances the experience with a visually striking two-panel inner print featuring Sallah and Indiana Jones, setting a tone that is both nostalgic and immersive. This collection is an absolute treasure trove for aficionados of the franchise, missing out on it would mean overlooking a significant portion of the film's rich history and the meticulous efforts that went into its making.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Raiders 2-part Documentary: A feature-length exploration into the making of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
    • Making-of Documentaries for Indiana Jones: Detailed insights into the production of the iconic film series.

    Movie: 95

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" elevates this quintessential adventure classic, beautifully showcasing its globe-trotting escapades and heart-pounding action sequences. Every frame of the film benefits from the enhanced resolution and color depth, breathing new life into its iconic set pieces and locales. Harrison Ford's introduction as the charismatic and daring archaeologist, Indiana Jones, is brilliantly highlighted, with the improved visual clarity emphasizing his nuanced performance. The narrative embarks on a thrilling quest with Jones hired by the U.S. Government to beat Hitler in the race for the Ark of the Covenant, a journey that reunites him with his old mentor, Dr. Abner Ravenwood, and delivers an exhilarating blend of history, mythology, and pure cinematic entertainment.

    The technical upgrade pays meticulous homage to the film's original aesthetic while providing a fresh perspective that respects its source material. The witty script and memorable characters, from allies to adversaries, shine through with renewed vigor, thanks to the crisp and vibrant transfer. This presentation ensures that both new audiences and longtime fans experience the magnetic charm and suspense of the storied chase for the Ark with unparalleled detail and immersion. The 4K restoration manages to retain the grainy texture that fans cherish, preserving the film's nostalgic feel while enhancing its visual appeal for a modern viewing experience.

    Furthermore, moments of levity and iconic scenes, such as the surprisingly comedic exchange between a capuchan monkey and a bemused Nazi officer, are rendered with clarity that enriches their impact on the narrative. These details contribute to an overall improvement in storytelling dynamics, making "Raiders of the Lost Ark" not just a film but an expansive cinematic experience. The 4K UHD Blu-ray doesn’t merely offer a higher resolution but invites viewers into deeper engagement with its adventure, as every stunt, expression, and exotic location comes alive with unprecedented precision. This version stands as a testament to technological advancements enhancing cinematic legacies without detracting from their original spirit.

    Total: 78

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" by Paramount, as part of the Indiana Jones 4-Movie Collection, stands as a testament to the technological advancements in home cinema viewing. The film, often hailed as one of the greatest of all time, has received a native 4K restoration that is nothing short of spectacular, bolstered further by Dolby Vision enhancement that brings out the richness and depth of the movie's iconic visuals. This release pairs superb video quality with meticulously remastered audio, ensuring that both picture and sound are delivered with an unprecedented level of clarity and fidelity. In addition, the choice to revive the original artwork for the packaging, over more modern alternatives, is a commendable nod to nostalgia and the film's enduring legacy.

    While some may hesitate to invest in the complete collection just for this title, the quality of the 4K remastering alone makes it a worthwhile consideration, especially for aficionados or those yet to own any previous versions on Blu-ray. Paramount’s dedication to preserving the film's classic appeal, without compromising on technical excellence, ensures that this release stands out. Furthermore, this iteration of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" remains faithful to the film’s essence—melding simple yet enthralling fantasy storytelling with a deep focus on character development, making it more than just a visual upgrade but a comprehensive revitalization of a beloved cinematic masterpiece.

    In conclusion, Paramount's 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" sets a high standard for home cinema experiences. By combining advanced restoration techniques with an unwavering respect for the source material, this release offers both longtime fans and newcomers alike an unparalleled opportunity to experience one of cinema’s most treasured adventures in its finest form yet. It represents not only a significant achievement in film restoration but also reaffirms the timeless allure of Indiana Jones’ inaugural journey.