On Blu-Ray: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
First of all, the new Blu Ray THX logo is awesome. It’s got colorful greens and CGI animation. But that’s not what we’re looking at. I’m not assuming the original trilogy will look like this because it’s 20 years difference, but Indy IV looks like the classics should look in hi-def.
It still looks like film, and you can see grain in blue sky outdoor shots. Most of the locations though are solid, as they would be in theaters unless you’re sitting way up front. The lighting works intentionally, not like everything is just exposed. When Spielberg back lights people, you know they’re going to have halos.
You can see lots of details, like all the sand on the floor of the warehouse and the temples with all their dead debris. That alien chamber glows beautifully. The skulls actually look like crystal, perhaps further enhanced by actual crystals in the TV set creating the image.
The lush parts look lush. The ‘50s city is full of foliage and shiny leather and colorful metal. The jungles are actually less bright green, but that might be because they’re mostly soundstage.
You can definitely tell what’s on a soundstage. Those old tricks to hide it don’t work anymore. But it’s quaint. It looks like they hand crafted the vines and foam rocks to make sure it looked ancient and foreign.
It could be that the worst Indiana Jones film ends up looking the best in Blu Ray just because it was filmed at the height of visual technology. But I’m hopeful that they’ll do a good restoration job on the originals and this will be just to tide us over.