Special Effects in the 80s

Earlier this week, we featured a little infographic counting down the biggest movie sets in the history of cinema. This look into the practical sets from decades past shows both how impressive and large some physical sets used to be, and also just how few giant film sets are built today, in favor of digital effects. But even the world of special effects wasn’t so technologically advanced. And much like extensive practical set building, the use of less-sophisticated but still impressive special effects is something that seems to be missing from today’s movies.

So if you need to escape the present day for awhile, check out this vintage one-hour NOVA special that takes a look at the magic of special effects in the 80s, focusing on films such as Return of the Jedi and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Watch the NOVA segment on special effects below! Read More »


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Return of the Jedi star wars Matte Painting

With the invention of computers, it’s almost comical to think about filmmakers using paintings to fill in the backgrounds of their movies. These days, you slap a green screen in back of the action and fill it in digitally. But for the majority of the history of filmmaking, that obviously wasn’t the practice. Massive matte paintings were originally used and as special effects and refined miniature techniques started to become more prevalent, smaller paintings could be made with live action inserted into them using multiple exposures.

Some of your favorite movies of all time used this tactic. In a video recently unearthed from 1985, you can watch the practice used to create films like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. Read More »


There are many reasons to be sad Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert are no longer with us. One reason, way down on the list, would be their occasional specials dedicated to the films of a particular director. Every once in a while, the legendary Chicago critics would dedicate an episode of their show not to a bunch of new releases, but to the art and beauty of one single filmmaker’s body of work.

One such example is a 1984 episode aired close to the release of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, on the work of Steven Spielberg. This is thirty years ago, which is nuts considering how much Spielberg has done since. But in 1984, Siskel & Ebert were already looking back at his development and filmmaking language in an episode of the show. Watch the Steven Spielberg Siskel and Ebert episode below. Read More »

Perillo Temple of Doom header

Dave Perillo‘s adventure through the Lucasfilm catalog continues next week. The talented artist tackled the Star Wars Trilogy with posters for Star WarsThe Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and started Indiana Jones with Raiders of the Lost Ark. It doesn’t take a genius to realize what’s next, Steven Spielberg’s 1984 sequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It goes on sale Monday December 16 via Acme Archives. Check out our exclusive reveal below. Read More »


Paramount Home Video and Lucasfilm have officially announced the release of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade individually for the first time ever in High Definition. As you may recall, the original Indiana Jones trilogy films were previously only released as part of the Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures box set, forcing fans to own the much despised fourth installment Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

(A side rant: the box set didn’t feature the television series The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, yet still claimed to be the “Complete Adventures.”)

Now the first three films will be released on bare-bones Blu-ray discs (with a digital copies available through iTunes) on December 17th, 2013. Digital HD versions via streaming and download services will be available earlier on November 19th, 2013. Read the full press release with full special feature details after the jump, and see all the new cover art.

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Joss Whedon Temple of Doom

Watching the films of some of our most revered filmmakers, it’s often difficult to point out exactly why their work is so much better than others. It’s when they discuss their work, how they did it and views on other films that we truly see where their genius comes from.

Joss Whedon did a long interview with Entertainment Weekly this week and lots of the opinions expressed there have been highlighted. The possibility of killing characters in Avengers: Age of Ultron and his problem with The Empire Strikes Back are two examples. Now a new quote has been called out where the director of The Avengers points at one specific scene in Steven Spielberg‘s 1984 film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as a perfect example of what’s wrong with not only cinema today, but culture in general. Read More »

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For years Steven Spielberg didn’t embrace DVD and all of his classic films stayed on VHS only. Eventually, he had a change of heart. The same can be said for the DVD to Blu-ray conversion. Spielberg was originally tentative to allow his films onto the new high definition format but has since changed his mind. Jurassic Park is already out. Jaws is on the way, as is E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and, most likely, others are too. The most exciting release, though, may be the set of Indiana Jones films which will be released on Blu-ray September 18.

A new trailer for the release has come online showing a bunch of fantastic behind the scenes footage, some of which was reportedly not on the DVD box set released several years back. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Any artist who can graphically represent the Indiana Jones films in an interesting visual way, and also manage to completely ignore Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, is a-okay in my book. That’s why you should check out the  following trilogy of posters by French graphic designer Maxime Pecourt after the jump. Read More »

Briefly: We’ll have to wait for the full details and box art, but today Paramount announced that a box set containing Blu-ray editions of all four Indiana Jones movies:  Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Hit the jump to read the studio’s brief announcement. Read More »