Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

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Released 21-Oct-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Adventure Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Animation & Audio
THX Optimizer
Web Links
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1989
Running Time 121:40
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (63:16) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Steven Spielberg
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Harrison Ford
Sean Connery
Elliott Denholm
Alison Doody
John Rhys-Davies
Julian Glover
River Phoenix
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI Box Music John Williams


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
Catalan Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Spanish
Croatian
Greek
Hebrew
Portuguese
Serbian
Slovenian
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, closing credits over ride into sunset

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is the third film in the Indiana Jones trilogy, and from a plot perspective probably the most complex of the three, focusing not only on the relationship between Indiana Jones and his father, but also including a prologue (captioned "Utah, 1912") featuring Indiana Jones as a young boy (played by the late River Phoenix). Some of the elements of the prologue are instrumental in shaping the character of Indiana Jones as a man, and we discover many things, such as why he hates snakes, why he has a scar on his chin, why he is so passionate about recovering lost artefacts, and even why he wears a leather jacket, hat and carries a whip. Hint: it's not because he is into fetish ...

    The main part of the film is set in 1938, a "couple" of years after the events in Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Therefore, the film references many of the elements of the first film - including the Nazis, the recovery of an important Christian artefact, Dr. Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott), and there's even a reference to the Ark Of The Covenant when Indiana Jones is in the catacombs beneath the library in Venice.

    After a brief but exciting plot bridge that connects the prologues to the main film, we find Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) back at university, teaching class. However, he discovers someone has sent him a strange parcel in the mail. Before he can find out what's in the parcel, he is taken to see a rich philanthropist and historic object collector, Walter Donovan (Julian Glover). Walter informs Indiana of some recent discoveries that point to the location of the missing Holy Grail - the cup that Jesus drank from at the Last Supper. However, the project leader has disappeared, and he is none other than Indiana's father, Professor Henry Jones, Sr. (Sean Connery). The parcel, of course, turns out to be Prof. Jones' missing Grail scrapbook, which everyone is looking for (but Indiana doesn't know that yet).

    Indiana and Marcus travels to Venice to search for the missing Dr. Jones, where they meet up with his assistant, Dr. Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody). What follows is a typically exciting adventure through Austria, Germany and the "Republic of Hatay" (this was a small country that actually existed between 1938 and 1939 and its capital was Alexandretta). Some of the exciting scenes include Indiana and Elsa avoiding rats underneath a library in Venice, travelling on a German blimp, Indiana getting an signed autograph from Hitler himself in Berlin, a desert scene involving a huge tank, and the search for the Holy Grail at an awe-inspiring location (which I won't reveal, even though I am sure most of you have already watched the film).

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Like the other two films in the box set, this is a superb widescreen 16x9 enhanced transfer, presented in the intended aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

    Detail levels are superb, and colour saturation is pretty much perfect. Contrast appears to have been enhanced, as the transfer has a very "three dimensional" look with deep blacks and strong highlights.

    The film source appears to be remarkably clean, and I suspect scratches and marks have been digitally edited out in the restoration process. I noticed two very fine vertical lines at the very beginning of the film, and there are minor amounts of grain. In addition, there is a minor amount of telecine wobble at the beginning and end of the film.

    The only video and compression artefacts that I noticed are minor edge enhancement, Gibb's effect ringing (particularly around the opening titles), and slight shimmering on the manhole around 35:07.

    There are several subtitle tracks on this disc: English, Spanish, Croatian, Greek, Hebrew, Portuguese, Serbian, and Slovenian. I turned on the English subtitle track briefly. Dialogue accuracy was about average, and there are several instances in the film where the spoken dialogue has been simplified in the subtitles.

    This is a single sided dual layered disc (RSDL). The layer change occurs mid-scene in Chapter 18 at 63:16 and results in a slight pause whilst Indiana and his father are talking on the motorcycle. This is not the ideal place for a layer change, but fortunately the pause is very brief.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are several audio tracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded (192Kb/s), and Catalan Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

    The original soundtrack was encoded in Dolby Stereo, so the Dolby Digital 5.1 track has obviously been remastered. I would have liked to have seen a dts 5.1 audio track, but to be honest the Dolby Digital 5.1 track sounds marvellous, and I'd be struggling to think of any obvious areas that needed improvement.

    This is a nice, solid and enveloping soundtrack. There are numerous instances of Foley effects panning across the screen, as well as directed to surround channels (particularly thunderstorms). Given that the original soundtrack was in Dolby Stereo, surround activity is fairly monaural, but there are some instances of front to back (and vice versa) panning of Foley effects (like airplane engines).

    Dialogue was fairly clear throughout most of the film. However, I noticed a slight instance of clipping distortion around 9:51 when Sean Connery shouts "Junior!" to young Indiana. There are no issues with audio synchronization.

    The subwoofer was well integrated into the overall soundtrack, and is mainly used to support the low frequencies in the special effects (particularly in the thunderstorms and explosions).

    The original music score by John Williams comes through in all its glory and is mixed into all channels. I noticed that the strings sounded a little "glassy" and brittle during the opening titles, and I suspect this is because of the PAL 4% speedup, since the strings sounded okay on my R1 copy of the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Paramount has obviously decided to optimize the quality of the transfer and minimize the amount of extras on the disc. A good decision, and one that I thoroughly approve of, since all the extras are on a separate bonus disc. What we have is a two hour film spread across a dual layered disc using up nearly 7Gb of storage. The transfer rate averages at 6.60 Mb/s but varies from as low as 4 to as high as 9Mb/s over the duration of the film.

Menu

    The menus are 16x9 enhanced, and extensively animated with background audio. In addition, there are animated menu transitions.

THX Optimizer

    This is a set of calibration screens to allow you to optimally adjust your display to the same levels as those used to encode the film.

Web Links

    You are promised an "exclusive web link" if you put the disc into a PC with a DVD-ROM player and install InterActual Player. I didn't bother, since the InterActual player installation is very bare bones and it's just as easy to surf directly to dvd.indianajones.com.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on:

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on:

    The R1 and R4 discs appear to be identical except for PAL vs NTSC formatting, and foreign language content.

    The video transfers are virtually identical in quality, except edge enhancement is slightly less noticeable. The average bitrate of the transfer is slightly higher for R1 (7.2Mb/s), and the R1 bitrate seems to range from 4-10Mb/s.

    The audio transfers are also very similar, except the R1 has slightly better bass definition due to the lack of PAL's 4% speedup. I would rate the R1 audio transfer as reference quality, and the R4 audio transfer as "near reference quality."

Summary

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is the third film in the highly acclaimed Indiana Jones trilogy.

    The video transfer is superb and of near reference quality.

    The remastered 5.1 audio track is excellent.

    There are minimal extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDCustom HTPC (Asus A7N266-VM, Athlon XP 2400+, 512MB, LiteOn LTD-165S, WinXP, WinDVD5 Platinum), using RGB output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum/AVIA. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and surrounds: B&W CDM7NT, front centre: B&W CDMCNT, surround backs: B&W DM601S2, subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

Other Reviews
Michael D's Region 4 DVD Info Page - MickJT (Have a look at my biography)

Comments (Add)
Foley effects? - REPLY POSTED
1989 - wolfgirv