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4K Ultra HD Review: Raiders of the Lost Ark (SteelBook Edition)

June 14, 2022

By John Corrado

There are few films as synonymous with the adventure movie genre as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Steven Spielberg’s 1981 film that first introduced audiences to Harrison Ford’s archeologist Indiana Jones and spawned three sequels (with a fourth on the way next year).

Following the release of the complete collection in 4K Ultra HD for the film’s 40th anniversary last year, Paramount is now putting out a standalone 4K edition of Raiders of the Lost Ark for the first time, in a limited edition SteelBook package. And it’s a very nice edition, that notably features different artwork from the one that was included in the exclusive SteelBook collection released last year.

This edition goes back to basics with a version of Richard Amsel’s original theatrical poster art on the front cover, for a nice classic look. There is an illustration of the Ark of the Covenant against a globe gradient on the back of the case, and on the inside is a film still of Indy in the cave holding the Ark. A foldout mini version of Amsel’s alternate poster design is also tucked into the case.

And the film itself is a stone cold classic. Watching Raiders of the Lost Ark again over forty years after its initial theatrical release, it’s still easy to get caught up in the film’s iconic sequences, which are brilliantly staged by Spielberg. We can see the influences of John Ford and Cecil B. Demille in his direction (in its own way, this is Spielberg’s answer to DeMille’s The Ten Commandments), and the film is one of several that proves why he is still lauded as an undisputed master of blockbuster entertainment. From the iconic John Williams score, to Douglas Slocombe’s striking cinematography, Raiders is simply one of the best of the best in terms of adventure movies and summer blockbusters.

This is the same 4K remaster (with Dolby Vision and HDR-10) that was included in the collection, and it presents an often stunning image, that impresses both in terms of clarity and depth. The disc has little in terms of bonus content, so this is otherwise a very bare bones release, meaning that the main appeal is the packaging and the chance to get the film itself in 4K if you didn’t already shell out for the complete set. But the attractive SteelBook packaging should be enough of a draw for collectors or serious fans, with matching standalone editions of the next three films set to be released in the coming months.

Bonus Features (4K Ultra HD):

The only bonus features on the disc are a trio of trailers. There is no Blu-ray in the package, though a code for a digital copy is included, along with the aforementioned mini poster.

Teaser Trailer (1 minute, 3 seconds)

Theatrical Trailer (2 minutes, 33 seconds)

Re-Issue Trailer (1 minute, 45 seconds)

Raiders of the Lost Ark is a Paramount Home Entertainment release. It’s 115 minutes and rated 14A.

Street Date: June 14th, 2022

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