Following the rather dark Temple of Doom the filmmakers wanted to return Indiana Jones to a lighter tone and give the action hero a proper send off.
Following a pre-credit sequence which reveals a young Indiana Jones (a pre-cursor to the TV show that would follow) and his father Henry Jones (Sean Connery) fascination with the search for the Holy Grail, the fabled cup that Jesus Christ drank from at the final supper. Cut to present day and Henry Jones has disappeared following his own trail of clues to the grails location. The search for Jones will take Jones Jr, to the very heart of Nazi Berlin and facing his biggest fears.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is undoubtedly my favourite entry in the Indiana Jones saga, although I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps it's the seemingly genuine interplay between father and son, or a compelling adventure quest, or the films somewhat lighter tone. Regardless, Last Crusade has, like all of the Indy films, held up extremely well.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is presented in the film's original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with AVC MPEG-4 compression.
Similar to Temple, Last Crusade re-uses the 2003 Lowry Digital master, which is still in pretty good shape. It's a little bit of a shame we didn't get an updated transfer, since it doesn't look that much better than the previously 'available' 1080i HDTV transfer, but cest la vie.
That said, this is a very, very good transfer. Again, it does look a tad 'digital', with a slightly abrasive look, but this is really nit picking. The image is really sharp, with a near complete absence of film artifacts or film to video issues.
Despite only being 20 years old, there's some really dodgy composite work on some of the visual effects, and this Blu-ray transfer really makes them stick out like a sore thumb. In some ways I'm a little disappointed that some effort wasn't expended to reduce them a little.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is presented in DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, at 24 bits.
Again, this is the same 5.1 mix as prepared for the DVD release, but whereas that was a lossy transfer, this is a completely lossless mix. At times Crusade features quite an aggressive audio mix, but dials down some of the more outlandish sound effects which featured prominently in Raiders.
I noticed no issues with audio sync, or intelligibility. Surround activity is significant and very impressive for a catalogue release. Bass performance is quite good, but a little more restrained that some of the best catalogue remasters, including Raiders of the Lost Ark.
With Hollywood legend John Williams returning to score the film, naturally the Raiders march features prominently, but includes a new introspective cue entitled "Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra" which is repeated throughout. It's a very impressive score and probably my favourite of them all.
Bar two Theatrical Trailers (both presented in 1080p), all of the bonus material is included on the fifth disc of the collection, along with bonus features for the other three Indiana Jones films. In this section, I will talk about the bonus features exclusively relevant to The Last Crusade. Further features are peripherally concerned with all the films, and will be discussed during the review of the final film; Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Included from the previous DVD release is the 30 minute The Making of The Last Crusade documentary, produced by Spielberg regular Laurent Bouzereau. It's shorter than its predecessor and breezes over some elements of production that I would have liked to dwell on, but overall this is a decent enough production.
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