Raiders of the Lost Ark appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Across the board, this Dolby Vision presentation looked excellent.
Sharpness was strong. The only examples of softness resulted from the source, as some shots – like a few during the opening or at Marion’s bar – have always been a smidgen fuzzy. Otherwise, the film delivered tight, concise visuals.
I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes weren’t a factor. Print flaws also remained absent, and with a natural layer of grain, I suspected no issues connected to digital noise reduction.
Colors looked solid. With a moderate emphasis on tans and ambers, the hues were pretty vivid and fit the production design well. The disc’s HDR added emphasis and strength to the colors.
Blacks were dense and deep, and shadows appeared nicely delineated and concise. HDR brought added heft to whites and contrast as well. I felt really pleased with the image.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Raiders of the Lost Ark seemed splendid for its age. The movie employed an almost shockingly active soundfield that presented a great deal of auditory information.
The score enjoyed solid stereo imaging, and the track offered much localized material. The mix featured a lot of different auditory pieces that were placed appropriately in the environment.
These included a lot of elements from the rear speakers. The surrounds added a great deal of information to the track, and they helped make it an engulfing affair.
Audio quality slightly showed it age but usually seemed very positive. The dialogue occasionally was a little hollow, and I noticed periodic examples of awkward looping. Nonetheless, the lines betrayed no signs of edginess, and they mostly sounded natural and distinct.
John Williams’ rousing score came across as bright and dynamic, with great definition for the various parts. Effects also showed a bit of thinness, but not often.
The various elements mostly seemed accurate and concise, and those pieces presented surprisingly vivid low-end. The bass of Raiders packed a real punch and helped bring a lot of life to the mix. In the end, this became a well above average track for a flick from 1981.
Note that this 2023 4K UHD release of Raiders simply reissues the 2021 disc. That came only as part of a four-movie collection, but this doesn't act as the film’s first 4K UHD solo release.
2022 brought the 4K disc on its own as a steelbook.
Because the 2021 version came as part of that five-disc/four-movie collection, almost no extras show up on the Raiders platter itself. We get both a teaser and a trailer from 1981 as well as a reissue trailer. The last one doesn’t provide a date of re-release, but I’m guessing this was from 1983, as if I recall correctly, the movie hit theaters again in the spring of that year.
Initially I didn’t give the Raiders 4K UHD a grade for extras because it existed in that collection. However, since this platter stands on its own, I awarded a “D-“ to represent that you get almost no supplements here.
42 years after its debut, Raiders of the Lost Ark remains one of the greatest movies ever made. It absolutely defines the action adventure and presents a virtually perfect piece of excitement. The 4K UHD boasts excellent picture and audio but it lacks bonus materials. Here we get a top-notch rendition of a classic film, though fans who wants supplements will need to go with the four-movie set to see those.
To rate this film visit the DVD review of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK