New Blu-Ray Releases You Should Check Out: 'Indiana Jones' 4K Box Set, 'Super 8', 'Godzilla Vs. Kong', 'In The Line Of Fire'

Welcome back, Blu-ray fans. It's time for another round-up of new Blu-ray releases you should check out, including the must-have Indiana Jones 4K box set, the 4K 10th anniversary release of Super 8, MonsterVerse entry Godzilla vs. Kong, and the excellent '90s thriller In the Line of Fire, which is also dropping on 4K for the first time.

Indiana Jones 4K Box Set

At last, the Indiana Jones series is on 4K. Steven Spielberg's four films (yes, there are four, we're not ignoring Kingdom of the Crystal Skull around these parts) have never looked better than they do here, cleaned up in a manner that makes them look brand new. But looks will only get you so far. The real draw of the series is just how damn fun the films are (yes, even Crystal Skull). Raiders of the Lost Ark remains a perfect film – a crystallization of pulp adventure heroes, with Harrison Ford oozing charisma and Steven Spielberg firing on all cylinders. And while the sequels never reach the levels of perfection as Raiders, they each remain worthy in their own right. Yes, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a mess, and full of cringe-worthy xenophobia. But it also features some pure A-grade filmmaking – the opening sequence, with Indy in a nightclub, is some of the best cinematic work Spielberg has ever done. Last Crusade is more or less a rehash of what everyone loved about Radiers, but the set pieces are a blast and the father-son relationship between Indy and his dad, played by Sean Connery, is wonderful. And then there's the bastard stepchild Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It has issues, no argument there. But even that film is chock full of Spielbergian touches that elevate matters.

Own or Rent?

This should be a no-brainer: buy this immediately. Sure, they're making a fifth Indiana Jones movie as we speak, and will probably release yet another box set with that entry included. But can you really wait that long? No, you can't. You need to watch Raider of the Lost Ark on 4K right now so you can remember how amazing movies can truly be.

Special Features Include:

On Set with Raiders of the Lost Ark

  • From Jungle to Desert
  • From Adventure to Legend

Making the Films

  • The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981 documentary)
  • The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • The Making of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  • The Making of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • The Making of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (HD)

Behind the Scenes

  • The Stunts of Indiana Jones
  • The Sound of Indiana Jones
  • The Music of Indiana Jones
  • The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones
  • Raiders: The Melting Face!
  • Indiana Jones and the Creepy Crawlies (with optional pop-ups)
  • Travel with Indiana Jones: Locations (with optional pop-ups)
  • Indy's Women: The American Film Institute Tribute
  • Indy's Friends and Enemies
  • Iconic Props (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) (HD)
  • The Effects of Indy (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) (HD)
  • Adventures in Post Production (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) (HD)

Super 8 4K 

Super 8 is J.J. Abrams' love letter to Steven Spielberg and the movies Spielberg produced under his Amblin banner, and these days, it feels like no one talks about it much anymore. I remember it being a big deal when it arrived in the summer of 2011, but since then, Abrams has moved on to even bigger things, and Super 8 has mostly faded into the background. I'm not saying Super 8 is some forgotten masterpiece. But I do think it's a (mostly) solid sci-fi thriller, and I'm pleased that it now has a 4K release to mark its anniversary. The premise involves a group of kids in 1979 who discover an alien monster is lurking in their town, and Abrams uses this setup to stage a bunch of Spielbergian tropes like neglectful fathers, childhood dangers, and kids riding their bikes into certain death. The movie kind of falls apart in the last ten or fifteen minutes, but getting there is still fun. It's also kind of a baller move that Abrams said, "I'm going to make a tribute to Steven Spielberg and get the real Steven Spielberg to produce it."

Own or Rent?

Super 8 is currently streaming on Paramount+, so I suppose you could watch it there – if you want to get yourself yet another streaming service. But the new 4K transfer is definitely worth checking out. I'm going to say buy this one. Besides, up-and-coming filmmaker J.J. Abrams could really use the money until he breaks into the big leagues!

Special Features Include:

  • Feature film in 4K Ultra HD
  • Commentary by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, and Larry Fong
  • The Dream Behind Super 8 (HD)
  • The Search for New Faces (HD)
  • Meet Joel Courtney (HD)
  • Rediscovering Steel Town (HD)
  • The Visitor Lives (HD)
  • Scoring Super 8 (HD)
  • Do You Believe in Magic? (HD)
  • The 8mm Revolution (HD)
  • Easter Eggs (HD)
  • Deconstructing the Train Crash (HD)
  • Deleted Scenes (HD)

Godzilla vs. Kong

The MonsterVerse has been on shaky ground. The 2014 Godzilla had some amazing visuals, but the storytelling and character development was blah. Kong: Skull Island was fun, but also far too interested in referencing other movies. And Godzilla: King of the Monsters took a great premise and ruined it. With all that in mind, I approached Godzilla vs. Kong with caution. I wanted to be entertained by two chonky boys smashing each other against skyscrapers, but based on everything that came before, I was worried. Thankfully, Godzilla vs. Kong delivers. Sure, the character development remains atrocious in these movies, but Godzilla vs. Kong seems to finally be aware of that, so much so that all of the human characters feel as if their roles have been significantly reduced. But best of all, Kong makes for a much better protagonist than Godzilla. Godzilla should feel otherworldly and monstrous, and that's how he remains here. He's mostly a background player, popping up whenever the film needs an action scene. Most of the time, though, the film focuses on Kong, and the big ape feels like a real living creature here, not just another CGI creation. We can easily sympathize with Kong, especially since he mostly just wants to take naps, eat, and be left alone. Yes, there's a nonsensical plot here about the hollow earth, but it doesn't matter. All that matters is that at one point, Kong gets himself a giant ax, and Godzilla blasts his laser breath directly into the center of the planet. What more could you ask for?

Own or Rent?

Godzilla vs. Kong will probably eventually work its way back onto HBO Max, where it premiered in May. But if you read this column you know that I'm a firm believer in the idea that movies just look better on discs than they do on streaming. Is it all in my head to justify my unhealthy Blu-ray habit? Perhaps! But I'm sticking with it. If you dig Godzilla vs. Kong, buy it.

Special Features Include:

    • Kong Discovers Hollow Earth
    • Kong Leaves Home
    • Behold Kong's Temple
    • The Evolution of Kong, Eighth Wonder of the World
    • Godzilla Attacks
    • The Phenomenon of G?JIRA, King of the Monsters
    • Round One: Battle at Sea
    • Round Two: One Will Fall
    • Titan Tag Team: The God and the King
    • The Rise of MechaGodzilla
    • Commentary by Director, Adam Wingard (only on 4K and Blu-ray)

    In the Line of Fire

    Once upon a time, Hollywood would get big stars to appear in adult-oriented movies that weren't adapted from comic books, or old TV shows, or other movies. I know that's hard to believe, but it's true – and it wasn't that long ago! One movie that fits this bill is In the Line of FireWolfgang Petersen's satisfying thriller from 1993. Clint Eastwood is a Secret Service agent who has been in the game since JFK was president. In fact, he was in Dallas the day Kennedy was assassinated – and he carries guilt around inside. If only he had acted quicker, JFK might be alive. Now, all these years later, Eastwood has to deal with a new potential assassin – a creepy lunatic played brilliantly by John Malkovich. Eastwood is his usual charming, carefree self as the lead, but Malkovich steals the show, making his would-be assassin slimy, nasty, and altogether fascinating.

    Own or Rent?

    In the Line of Fire may not be the type of movie that screams "4K release!" But it now has one, and it's definitely worth picking up to relive the glory days of '90s thrillers. It's a damn good movie all around, and the 4K transfer looks great.

    Special Features Include:

    • Newly remastered in 4K resolution from the original camera negative, with HDR10
    • All-new Dolby Atmos audio + original theatrical 5.1 + original theatrical stereo
    • Special features:
    • Audio Commentary with Wolfgang Petersen
    • 5 Deleted Scenes
    • "The Ultimate Sacrifice" Featurette
    • "Catching the Counterfeiters" Featurette
    • "How'd They Do That" Featurette
    • "Behind the Scenes with the Secret Service" Featurette
    • Theatrical Teaser