Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 12/5/23;
Disney/Lucasfilm;
Adventure;
Box Office $174.48 million;
$29.99 DVD, $36.99 Blu-ray, $44.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sequences of violence and action, language and smoking.
Stars Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas, John Rhys-Davies, Shaunette Renée Wilson, Thomas Kretschmann, Toby Jones, Boyd Holbrook, Olivier Richters, Ethann Isidore, Mads Mikkelsen.

If ever there were a time for a new “Indiana Jones” movie, it was the 1990s.

Building off the momentum of the first three films, they could have been solid, dependable adventure yarns at a time when Harrison Ford’s age wouldn’t have been an issue.

Instead, the post trilogy “Jones” movies took so long to get made that the adventure seemed to take a back seat to a need to make the film feel extra significant in some way, as if it were a tribute to all that came before it.

As a result, 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, coming 19 years after the previous film, felt a bit like a TV-movie reunion to an old show, rather than a vibrant relaunch of the franchise. As it were, it still took more than a decade to get a fifth installment off the ground, and by then the property had been sold to a new studio, Steven Spielberg stepped aside as director in favor of James Mangold, and a global pandemic hit, all while Ford was pushing 80.

So it’s not much of a surprise that what would eventually be called Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny would also be touted as the final “Indiana Jones” film.

While Dial of Destiny lacks some of the cornier elements that hampered Crystal Skull, it also feels a bit less connected to what an “Indiana Jones” movie should be about.

Mangold, to his credit, tries to capture some of the spirit of the 1980s films with a prologue set during World War II, using visual effects to de-age Harrison Ford into an age-appropriate Indy.

Here, the famed archeologist and old pal Basil Shaw (Toby Jones) have stumbled upon a compound where the Nazis are hoarding priceless artifacts. Among them is half of the Antikythera, an ancient mechanism created by Archimedes.

After a harrowing escape from a doomed train, the setting shifts 25 years later to 1969. It’s just after the moon landing, and Indy is now a bitter old man on the verge of retirement. He gets a visit from Basil’s daughter, Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), who wants to take up the search for the other half of the Archimedes dial. Indy resists, but soon finds himself ensnared in a cat-and-mouse game between Helena, who turns out to be a thief looking to sell the dial for a profit, and a former Nazi scientist named Voller (Mads Mikkelsen) who was recruited by America to work on the space program. Voller believes the dial can be used to locate fissures in space-time that can be used to travel into the past, and he intends to change history by helping Germany win the war.

On the surface it all makes for an enjoyable adventure movie, but it doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny. And the third act takes a narrative leap that, while serving a thematic purpose for this particular story, employs a plot device that brings the franchise to a place it probably should never have gone.

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Dial of Destiny has its moments, looks great, has a fantastic musical score from John Williams, and it hits a few nostalgia buttons with cameos and callbacks to the earlier films. But it will mostly leave fans wishing the “Indiana Jones” movies had just stopped with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (George Lucas’ “Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” TV series notwithstanding).

The Dial of Destiny Blu-ray contains the same five-part making-of documentary that came with the film’s digital release months ago. The component featurettes offer a comprehensive look at the production, from location shooting to visual effects to casting, which is interesting from the perspective of the craftsmanship involved. But it also has some earnest interviews from the filmmakers who mostly spout the polished praise for each other that are hallmarks of these kinds of concurrently made extras that lack the insight of retrospect.

In the 4K Ultra HD combo pack, the documentary is available only on the Blu-ray of the film. Both the 4K disc and the Blu-ray offer the film with a score-only track so viewers can hear the John Williams music without any dialogue or sound effects. While it doesn’t quite make up for the debacle over the film’s short-handed CD soundtrack release (which now fetches hundreds of dollars on eBay), it is a nice tribute to the maestro.

Harrison Ford Action Thriller ‘The Fugitive’ Headed to 4K Ultra HD Nov. 21

As part of the year-long centennial celebration for the 100th anniversary of Warner Bros., the 1993 action thriller The Fugitive will be available for purchase on 4K Ultra HD Disc and digital for the first time on Nov. 21 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of its release, The Fugitive, from director Andrew Davis (A Perfect Murder, Holes), stars Academy Award nominee Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Kimble and Tommy Lee Jones as Deputy U.S. Marshall Sam Gerard, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.  The film also stars Sela Ward, Joe Pantoliano, Andreas Katsulas and Jeroen Krabbé.  

The film is based on the television series “The Fugitive,” which was created by Roy Huggins and ran from 1963 to 1967.

The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Score.

The 4K restoration of The Fugitive was completed at Warner Bros. Discovery’s Motion Picture Imaging (MPI) and was sourced from the original camera negative.  The restoration was overseen by director Andrew Davis.

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The Fugitive Ultra HD Blu-ray disc contains the following previously released special features:

  • Introduction by Andrew Davis and Harrison Ford
  • Commentary by Andrew Davis and Tommy Lee Jones
  • “The Fugitive: Thrill of the Chase”
  • “On the Run with the Fugitive”
  • “Derailed: Anatomy of a Train Wreck”
  • Theatrical Trailer

‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ Posts Underwhelming $82 Million Box Office Through Extended July 4 Weekend

Walt Disney Studios/Lucasfilms’ Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the fifth installment and Harrison Ford’s last appearance in the action-fantasy franchise that began in 1984, is projected to top $82 million in North American revenue through the extended five-day July 4 weekend. With an additional $70 million in foreign ticket sales, the movie, co-starring Phoebe-Waller Bridge, should exceed $152 million — significantly shy of its reported $295 million production budget.

The fiscal gap is notable considering the movie shortly faces top-shelf competition in the form of Paramount Pictures’ Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One starring the unstoppable Tom Cruise on July 12, and Christopher Nolan’s atomic bomb drama Oppenheimer on July 21.

Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Animation’s Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken opened the July 4 weekend to an estimated $12.8 million in revenue, about par with industry projections.

Sony Pictures Animation’s former box office champ Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse added another $11.6 million in ticket sales, to up its global haul past $607 million. Disney/Pixar Animation’s Elemental finished just behind with $11.3 million in revenue, to up its three-week theatrical tally past $191 million.

Season 1 of Taylor Sheridan’s ‘1923’ Headed to DVD and Blu-ray Aug. 8

Season one of “1923,” a prequel chapter in the Dutton family story from “Yellowstone” created by Academy Award nominee Taylor Sheridan, arrives on DVD and Blu-ray Disc Aug. 8 from Paramount Home Entertainment with more than two hours of bonus content.

The drama series, from MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios, streams exclusively on Paramount+.
 
“1923” stars Academy Award nominee Harrison Ford and Academy Award and Primetime Emmy winner Helen Mirren. In addition to Ford and Mirren, the cast includes Timothy Dalton, Brandon Sklenar, Julia Schlaepfer, Jerome Flynn, Darren Mann, Brian Geraghty, Aminah Nieves, Michelle Randolph, James Badge Dale, Marley Shelton, Sebastian Roché and Jennifer Ehle.
 
From a whirlwind romance out of Africa to the rugged mountain frontier of Montana, the series chronicles the unhindered passion and the shocking truths of the American West. Against the backdrop of a rapidly changing post-war world, Western Expansion reveals the depths of human greed and the forced assimilation of Indigenous Peoples. The drama recounts the journeys of a multi-generational ensemble as they fight for their legacies to endure and hope that those they depend on will return to the places and people they call home.
 
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Bonus content includes “Behind the Story” for each episode, “Unstoppable Change: The Adventure of 1923,” “I Am the Land: Teonna Rainwater,” “Reflecting Humanity: The Art & Craft of Editing 1923,” and “Inside the Series.”

‘Air Force One’ and ‘The Mask of Zorro’ Due on 4K Ultra HD Steelbook March 7

The action classics Air Force One and The Mask of Zorro will be released on 4K Ultra HD Steelbook March 7 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Both titles feature Dolby Vision HDR.

Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman star in director Wolfgang Petersen’s (Das Boot, In the Line of Fire) thriller Air Force One (1997), about a steadfast U.S. President who has just told the world he will not negotiate with terrorists. When Russian neo-nationalists hijack Air Force One, the President is faced with a nearly impossible decision — give in to terrorist demands or sacrifice not only the country’s dignity, but the lives of his wife and daughter. Special features on the 4K disc include the theatrical trailer. Special features on the Blu-ray disc include commentary with Petersen.

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The Mask of Zorro (1998) is celebrating its 25th anniversary. In the film, when a power-crazed despot schemes to buy California from Mexico, it takes two Zorros — the legendary Don Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins) and his chosen successor Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas), a dashing bandit-turned-hero — to battle the tyrant’s unscrupulous plans. Can even their combined skills, bravado and derring-do be enough to achieve de la Vega’s ultimate goal: revenge against the man who killed his wife, kidnapped his daughter and held him prisoner for 20 years? Special features on the 4K disc include 10 deleted scenes and theatrical trailers. Special features on the Blu-ray disc include commentary with director Martin Campbell; the “Unmasking Zorro” documentary; two additional deleted scenes; and a music video by Marc Anthony and Tina Arena.

Paramount+ to Debut Latest ‘Yellowstone’ Origin Story ‘1923’ Dec. 18

Paramount+ has announced a Dec. 18 U.S. and Canada premiere date for the new original drama series “1923,” the latest installment in the “Yellowstone” origin story.

The series will premiere the following day on Dec. 19 on Paramount+ in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Premiere dates for other Paramount+ international markets will be announced at a later date.

From Academy Award nominee Taylor Sheridan, “1923” introduces a new generation of Duttons. Led by Harrison Ford as Jacob Dutton and Helen Mirren as Cara Dutton, the series will explore the early 20th century when pandemics, historic drought, the end of Prohibition and the Great Depression all plague the Mountain West and the Duttons who call it home. 

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In addition to Ford and Mirren, the series also stars Brandon Sklenar (“The Offer”), Darren Mann (“Animal Kingdom”), Michelle Randolph (“A Snow White Christmas”), James Badge Dale (“Hightown”), Marley Shelton (“Scream”), Brian Geraghty (“Big Sky”), Aminah Nieves (“Blueberry”), Julia Schlaepfer (“The Politician”) and Jerome Flynn (“Game of Thrones”). 

“1923” is the latest addition to Sheridan’s growing slate on Paramount+, which, in addition to “1883” and “Mayor of Kingstown,” includes the upcoming series “Tulsa King,” “Lioness,” “Bass Reeves” and “Land Man.”

‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ Headed to Limited-Edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook June 14

The action classic Raiders of the Lost Ark will arrive June 14 in a limited-edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook from Lucasfilm and Paramount Home Entertainment. 

Director Steven Spielberg’s cinematic classic starring Harrison Ford as legendary hero Indiana Jones also stars Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott and Alfred Molina. In the film, Indy (Ford) and his feisty ex-flame Marion Ravenwood (Allen) dodge booby-traps, fight Nazis and stare down snakes in their incredible worldwide quest for the mystical Ark of the Covenant.

Available individually on 4K Ultra HD for the first time, the Raiders of the Lost Ark Steelbook is the first of four planned limited-edition releases of each “Indiana Jones” movie. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom will debut on July 12, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on Aug. 16, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on Sept. 20.

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With packaging celebrating the iconic original theatrical artwork, the films are presented in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision and HDR-10 and Dolby Atmos audio. Each Steelbook also includes access to a digital copy of the corresponding movie, as well as a mini-poster reproduction.

Indiana Jones 4-Movie Collection

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Paramount;
Adventure;
$47.99 Blu-ray, $90.99 UHD BD, 5-disc set.
Rated ‘PG-13.’
Stars Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Denholm Elliott, John Rhys-Davies, Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Sean Connery, Julian Glover, Alison Doody, Shia LaBeouf, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent, Cate Blanchett.

 This latest collection of the “Indiana Jones” films contains some of the greatest action-adventure films ever made, and also Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Timed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Indy adventure, 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, the set for the first time offers the four films of the franchise on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Raiders, as well as 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, have been remastered from the original negatives and are presented here in stunning 4K resolution, with upgraded color timing and sound mixing as well. The films, particular the earlier ones, have never looked this vibrant on home video before.

Raiders is undoubtedly on the short list for any discussion of the greatest action movies of all time. A throwback to classic adventure serials, the film was conceived of as an homage to classic pulp storytelling by creator George Lucas, who then brought on pal Steven Spielberg to direct.

The first follow up, Temple of Doom, was much more grim in tone, no doubt a subconscious manifestation of the personal troubles the lead filmmakers were dealing with at the time of its production.

Last Crusade follows more in the Raiders mold, bringing on Sean Connery as Indy’s father as a subtle nod to Spielberg’s desire to make a James Bond film. The film is perhaps a bit of an overcompensation for criticisms of how dark the second movie was, indulging more in humor than the previous movies.

Crystal Skull pays homage to classic sci-fi ‘B’ movies that tries to recapture the magic of the original trilogy 19 years later, but ends up feeling more like one of those reunion movies TV shows used to do, checking in on what the characters are up to years later.

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While the new remasters would be reason enough for fans to pick up this set (if they can find a copy — supplies were rather scarce its first few days of release), there are a few drawbacks to the set. The cardboard used in the packaging is rather flimsy and subject to crimping from overhandling, though it does come with a nice folded insert with a map of Indy’s adventures on one side and a collage of the four films’ theatrical posters on the other.

Also, the Ultra HD set contains only 4K discs for each of the films, no regular Blu-rays, though redemption codes for digital copies of each film are included. There is a separate Blu-ray collection available, but this appears to be little more than a re-issue of the 2012 Blu-ray collection, now with digital copies. The Blu-ray versions appear to be the same as from 2012, and not the remastered versions.

Each film’s 4K disc also includes a few trailers, but nothing else in the way of extras. As with 2012, the 4K set includes a bonus disc, which is a regular Blu-ray compiling a number of featurettes for each film. This is the exact same disc as the 2012 set, so the new collection really is basically just a 4K upgrade of the 2012 set with worse packaging. Given the number of extras from earlier DVD releases and the standalone Crystal Skull Blu-ray that weren’t included on that bonus disc, it’s a shame they were also weren’t included on this set.

However, with production on a fifth Indy film, there’s always a chance that a future five-film Indy set will be more of the true archive edition that fans would embrace.

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Blu-ray Disc, DVD Releases Spur Viewership of ‘Birds of Prey’, ‘Call of the Wild’, ‘Fantasy Island’

Home viewership for Warner Bros.’ Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, 20th Century Fox’s The Call of the Wild, and Sony Pictures’ Fantasy Island soared after the three films were released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on May 12.

Birds of Prey, a superhero sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad, shot to No. 1 on the “Watched at Home” chart for the week ended May 16, up from No. 8 the prior week.

The Call of the Wild, an adventure film starring Harrison Ford and based on the classic Jack London novel, soared to No. 4 from No. 13 on the chart, which tracks transactional video activity compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

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And Fantasy Island, a Blumhouse Productions horror film starring Michael Peña and scream queen Lucy Hale, debuted at No. 6 in the wake of its May 12 release on disc.

Also new to the weekly chart is Universal Pictures’ The Invisible Man, which debuted at No. 14 after it became available for digital purchase through retailers such as Redbox on Demand, FandangoNow, Amazon Prime Video and Google Play.

The film, about a woman stalked by her “invisible,” and supposedly dead, boyfriend, had initially been released to home audiences in mid-March, when movie theaters went dark due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, at a premium VOD price of $19.99. Consumers can now buy it for $14.99.

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Sony Pictures’ Bloodshot, a superhero film based on the Valiant Comics character of the same name, slipped to No. 2 on the “Watched at Home” chart from No. 1 the prior week.

Another Sony Pictures film, Bad Boys for Life, dropped a notch to No. 3 from No. 2, with Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog rounding out the top five after finishing at No. 3 the prior week.

  1. Birds of Prey (Warner)
  2. Bloodshot (Sony)
  3. Bad Boys for Life (Sony)
  4. The Call of the Wild (Fox, 2020)
  5. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount)
  6. Fantasy Island (Sony)
  7. I Still Believe (Lionsgate)
  8. Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony)
  9. The Gentlemen (STX/Universal, 2019)
  10. 1917 (Universal)
  11. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
  12. Dolittle (Universal)
  13. Little Women (Sony, 2019)
  14. The Invisible Man (Universal, 2020)
  15. Knives Out (Lionsgate)
  16. Rick and Morty Season 4 (Warner)
  17. Gretel & Hansel (Warner)
  18. Underwater (Fox)
  19. Ford v Ferrari (Fox)
  20. Yellowstone Season 2 (Paramount)

 

Source: DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group
Includes U.S. digital sales, digital rentals, and DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD sales for the week ended May 16

 

Fox Releasing ‘Call of the Wild’ on Disc May 12

The wilderness adventure film The Call of the Wild will arrive on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray May 12 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. It is available now for digital purchase.

Adapted from the novel by Jack London, the film tells the story of Buck, a big-hearted dog (created using CGI animation) whose blissful domestic life is turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Canadian Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s. As the newest rookie on a mail delivery dog sled team — and later its leader — Buck experiences the adventure of a lifetime, ultimately finding his true place in the world and becoming his own master.

The film stars Harrison Ford, Omar Sy, Dan Stevens, Karen Gillan, Bradley Whitford, Cara Gee, Michael Horse, Jean Louisa Kelly, Colin Woodell, Adam Fergus and Abraham Benrubi.

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The Blu-ray and digital editions will include the featurettes “Origins,” “The On-Set Experience,” “State of the Art” and “The World of the Wild.” The featurette “A Man and His Dog” is offered as a digital exclusive.

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