Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 260, March/April 2022

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Not Indicated
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Steven Spielberg
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark" is the action-packed classic that set the standard for the modern-day action-adventure. Globe-trotting archaeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is hired to find the mystical Lost Ark of the Covenant. Love interest Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), rival (fly-eating) archaeologist Belloq (Paul Freeman), and the ultimate screen villains, the Nazis, complicate the adventure. "Raiders" was the top-grossing movie of 1981 and was the winner of five well-deserved Academy Awards®. (Michael Coate)

Special features include three trailers: a teaser trailer, a theatrical trailer and a re-issue trailer.

The 2.35:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD Dolby Vision/HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on Eastman film stock in anamorphic Panavision® using the Panavision Panaflex-X camera system and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. First reviewed in Issue 78 as one of three motion pictures in The Complete DVD Collection, then in Issue 170, October 2012 as a Blu-ray Disc release. This new restoration is a significant upgrade in picture quality. Grain management reveals a consistently fine grain structure that is never objectionable. The film was previously restored and remastered with work performed in 4K resolution, to preserve the original look. The original negative was scanned at 4K and then examined frame by frame so that any damage could be repaired. The team color corrected and cleaned the negative frame by frame. There was extensive manual touchup that was employed to correct running scratches and damage that were on the negative. As a result, colors are vibrant with excellent hue gradations and density that enhance the realism of the settings and production design. The wider color gamut exhibits finer color spectrum differentiation and hue shadings such as in the lush greens and earthy hues. Fleshtones are accurate. HDR contrast is superb with stunning but natural white levels, natural blacks and revealing shadow delineation. The imagery exhibits excellent clarity, sharpness and dimensional depth throughout. Resolution is revealing of fine detail throughout, such as in facial features, clothing (along with Indy's fedora) and object textures. This classic film has never looked better! (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel repurposed soundtrack was derived from elements of the previous Blu-ray Disc release, which featured a new sound design that dramatically enhanced the sonic immersion presented by the DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel format. The sound design was preserved using Ben Burtt's original master mix, which had been archived and unused since 1981. New stereo surrounds were created using the original music tracks and original effects recorded in stereo but previously used only in monaural. In addition, the subwoofer bass was redone entirely up to modern specifications, and dialogue was improved as well for better spatial integration. The remastered work was THX certified. This new Dolby Atmos soundtrack delivers a compelling soundfield that is immersively engaging, with a surround field that puts the listener into the dimensional soundscapes. Sound effects are at times directionalized as in the discretely panned gunfire in the bar ruckus and the thunder and lightening that accompanies the opening of the Ark and the destruction that follows. Sound effects and atmospherics are impressively refined in sonic presence, and the overall weight of the sound is absolutely engaging. John Williams' orchestral score sounds impressively dynamic, expansive and full, with good fidelity and dimensionality throughout the soundfield. Dialogue throughout retains intelligible.

The Immersive Sound element features a strong extension of the orchestral score plus various atmospherics and sound effects, including the cracking of Jones' whip, the rolling boulder pursuit of Indy in the escape sequence with the idol, tribe chase sounds, arrow whooshes, an airplane taking off from the water, gunfire directionality, raging fire, ambience of an outdoor bizarre, sounds of the digging site, lightening and thunder, slithering snakes, explosions, fire, electrical blow-outs, the ark attack and fire blaze, deadly floating spirits and other sound effects and ambient din. This is an effective extension to the height layer that enhances spatial dimensionality.

This is the new holosonic® spherical surround reference for this iconic film. (Gary Reber)