Monday, September 10, 2012
My first ever viewing was in 1982 watching it on VHS with the family at Grandma's house.** I then recorded it off of TV and watched that copy to death. Obtained the DVD when it came out. The soundtrack by John Williams has found a permanent place in my music collection and is never removed from my mp3 player. To say I am a bit of a nut for this film is a bit of an understatement. While I don't own a fedora or a whip, Dr. Jones will forever be my number one favorite fictional character.
So if I have seen this film so many times, would one more time really be worth it? With the recent release of a cleaned up imax print in theaters I knew I had to see it again for I had never actually seen this film on the big screen. The cleaned up print they delivered was amazing. I saw details in the film that I had never seen before. The gold idol he steals in the opening? The detail in it's eyeballs alone was beautiful. Marion's scarf she wears in Nepal? Who knew there were sequins and detailed design in it?
Ben Burtt apparently went back to the sound masters and created a new mix for this release. At points I was moved to tears at how beautiful it sounded. The boulder in the temple? You felt that thing coming at you. When Marion flips the mirror and catches Indy in the chin? Ouch. Every punch, shot, or even bad guys getting run over was even more visceral at the level of sound involved.
I did not think it possible to improve on the greatest film ever made, but this release delivered to me a religious experience (no pun intended with the power of the ark)that I have rarely if never felt in the cinema. Thirty one years later and this film still impresses me.
*How exactly did Indy travel on the submarine to the Nazi island? Surely that ship submerged during it's trip. (I know of the deleted scene with the periscope lashing but that small hole has always bugged me) Also, is anyone else still a little creeped out by Indiana's earlier statutory relationship with young Marion?
**Mom even covered my eyes when the big Nazi gets chopped up by the plane prop, but she let me see the melting bad guys at the end. When I asked her about it this recently she exclaimed that 7 year old me didn't need to see useless gore, but understanding the power of the Ark/god was vitally important.
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