Monday, May 23, 2011

Movie of the Week - Raiders of the Lost Ark

This week’s movie is Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

The first in the Indiana Jones Series, the film is about Indiana Jones, an archeologist tasked with the mission of finding the Lost Ark of the Covenant in 1936 before the Nazis, as it might be a powerful weapon. The creative team of director Steven Spielberg, writer Lawrence Kasdan and producer George Lucas (Kasdan and Lucas also did The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi together as writer and producer respectively) is the equivalent to an early 80s’ dream team of adventure talent. On the film, Spielberg has composer John Williams and editor Michael Kahn (both of whom pretty much work on everything he does), classically brilliant cinematographer Douglas Slocombe (who shot the first three in the series, Last Crusade being the last film of his career) and production designer Norman Reynolds (who like Kasdan and Lucas, also worked on Empire and Jedi). Adding another iconic character to his resume, Harrison Ford stars, with Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliot, Ronald Lacey, and George Harris in support (and look out of Alfred Molina during the opening sequence). What makes this film great is how much fun it is. Indiana Jones incorporates all the best things about blockbuster moviemaking: excitement, great action, laughs, locations, drama, and wonderful characters. Plus, the aesthetics of the film are top notch as well. Who does not recognize Williams’s score instantly? The film taps into our childlike wonder (and for me has a ton of nostalgic appeal, as it is one of the films I grew up with). Ford is utterly fantastic as Jones (playing the character a lot like Hans Solo, but who cares, both are great). This is one of the best adventure films, blockbusters, and straight up films of all-time. It is a must see for everyone. Check out the trailer.

Available on DVD, Trilogy DVD Box Set and to Rent

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