Monday, March 03, 2008

Lucasfilm doing it for the kids

"What's that?" "Kool-Aid. Delicious Berry Blue Kool-Aid."

Recently I touched on the issue of Lucasfilm releasing a new Indiana Jones box set to advertise the latest movie in the series, but now it's gotten even more ridiculous. While the new DVDs will have new extras (I'll get to those in a moment), the true star of this press release is Lucasfilm vice president Howard Roffman, who manages to give a pair of pop-your-eyes-out spins in his only quote:

An entire generation of movie lovers will get to see these classic films in a digital format that makes them even more amazing than when they were first in theaters [...] .

So...they're coming out on Blu-Ray? Is that what he means by this new-fangled "digital format"? Nope, just the same standard DVD that's been available to an entire generation of movie lovers for five years. Could he be talking about a new transfer? Actually, no -- since the press release explicity states the movies were remastered for their 2003 release. Maybe he's just hopeful that this generation of movie lovers never noticed that the Indiana Jones movies were available on DVD.

These new, individual DVDs are a fantastic way to introduce young audiences to the unforgettable, action-packed adventures of the most daring archaeologist in the world.

"Yeah, hey parents? Turns out those Indiana Jones box sets you bought five years ago are no good for today's kids, trust me ... and we'd really like to make some more money." Who would fall for this? A greater insult to consumers may be what Lucasfilm and Paramount are passing off as "exclusive extras." Outside of photo galleries, illustrations and storyboards, here is what you get:

--Introductions to all three movies by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas (possibly delivered without either man setting down their cup of coffee)
-- Indiana Jones: An Appreciation-The cast and crew of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" pay tribute to the original trilogy. (can't wait to hear Shia Lebouf's thoughts on Sallah)
-- The Melting Face-A recreation of the amazing physical effect of the villain's melting face in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," including Steven Spielberg and George Lucas commenting on the evolution of visual effects and CGI. (translation: Spielberg and Lucas joke about the Star Wars prequels)
--Creepy Crawlies-Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Frank Marshall reminisce about snakes, bugs and rats. (yes, this is the only real extra on Temple of Doom. Is Spielberg refusing to talk about this movie now, I mean outside of those icky snakes and rats that is. Are there any rats in Temple of Doom? So it's just a har-har convesation about all the yucky moments in the series? Fantastic.)
-- The Women: The American Film Institute Tribute--The three Indiana Jones women (Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw and Alison Doody) reunite for a discussion. (The AFI did a tribute to Alison Doody?)
-- Friends and Enemies--Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Indiana Jones writers discuss how they created the most iconic characters in film history, including a look at new faces in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." (Spielberg: "Tell me, are there any snakes, rats or bugs in the new movie?")

The DVDs also include a preview for the video game "LEGO Indiana Jones," which may be the best news of the new year. Have you played "LEGO Star Wars"? Only one of the most addictive games ever. And I mean, Short Round already looks like a LEGO character -- there's a lot of potential here. For the game, not the DVDs.

1 comment:

Burbanked said...

I felt sad about this DVD release as I do about every single double-dipping announcement that comes down the pipeline, but then when I read about the lame extras, I felt - for one of the first times ever - a bit better about having bought the boxset.

This will happen with just about every new/old movie that comes out, or just about every 20th, 30th or 42nd anniversary of a classic film. I should be used to it by now but for some reason I'm not.