Way back in the early days of DVD, there were a number of directors who weren’t ready to take the plunge, but once everyone realized it was indeed the next step beyond VHS, many happily came aboard.
It usually takes a big movie or two to make a new format stick, and who knows how much Jaws and Indiana Jones will take Blu-Ray forward, but the Indy series will be coming to Blu-Ray on September 18.
As Variety writer Marc Graser notes, the Indiana Jones Blu-ray saga has apparently been quite an undertaking. The films will be in 1080p high definition, with plenty of bonus features and Spielberg and Ben Burtt, best known for his sound design magic in Star Wars, went over the original Raiders negative together, to make sure it looks and sounds the way it did over 30 years ago.
Indeed, Burtt and Spielberg even checked frame-by-frame to make sure whatever damage was done to the negative was ultimately fixed. For the sound, the duo also apparently returned to the original master mix, which hasn’t been touched since the film came out in 1981, but of course will be redone up to modern specs with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.
Having revisited Raiders of the Lost Ark several years ago, it’s amazing how well the first film holds up. All this restoration work is merely the icing on the cake to make the Blu-ray viewing experience even more amazing, but Spielberg really did capture magic when he made Raiders, and I welcome going back to it anytime, like I do with Jaws, the ultimate maritime classic.