Comparison between the 4K Blu-ray (identical worldwide and presumably soon to be common on streaming providers with UHD option) and the Blu-ray version (first released in 2012, only repacks were re-released in the new set in 2021 as well).
In our report on the 4K Blu-ray of Raiders of the Lost Ark, we already detailed what can be found in the UHD premiere, which is available since 10 June 2021. Various minor digital adjustments have been made to optical effects and transitions to matte paintings using modern technology.
The second part, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, continues this line seamlessly. The most extensive interventions were clearly made in the finale. Again, most of the differences can be classified as quite accomplished, subtle and with real added value. The replaced shadow in Indy's case is again a bit bumpy and may be annoying for some.
Finally, two disclaimers:
1) Both the referenced image comparisons and especially our screenshots, which are heavily compressed in size, should be taken with a grain of salt when it comes to a quality verdict. On the one hand, the detail gain is only visible on good UHD equipment. On the other hand, these are HDR->SDR converted images. The additional color space results in a different picture when played back on the TV in HDR, so that the SDR screenshots, which tend to be a bit darker, only show "half the truth".
2) Of course, we compared the complete film specifically with the new 4K set, which also includes Blu-ray repacks of the old discs in Germany. At this point, however, special thanks go to the users in the Blu-ray.com forum, by whom many of the mentioned differences were noticed for the first time and were analyzed in more detail. Due to the deliberately rather inconspicuous nature of such changes, we would also like to give no guarantee here that all digital changes were found and listed in the report.
Hard to capture on single frames: The framing was stabilized a bit in Willie's performance. Especially in her own credit, the camera actually wobbled around a bit. It certainly still does in the 4K version - but just a bit less than before.
Ahead for the following screenshots: We have for the most part additionally filed these in 1080p.
-> Fullscreen comparisons on Screenshotcomparison.com - Part 1 and Part 2
After the airplane explosion was seen 1:1 identical with somewhat outdated effects, the subsequent inflatable boat tour was a bit of a handful. In the side shots, especially Willie's hair used to show gray haze from copying in. This has now been inserted a little better. Also Indy's hat no longer has any trailing effects.
As with the first film, we have also added zoomed shots of the relevant places last.
A change was posted a here but we can't really follow it. As the star scale enters the image, the "crop" is said to differ. In the full frame comparison, you can see at least a slight distortion in the image, though this basically applies to the whole film. Whether that's what was meant by it isn't entirely clear, though. Otherwise (also previously with Star Wars) the comments of this Twitter user were reliable and he calls this place a "major change", so we have included it without guarantee after all.
In the first exterior shot of the temple, you could still see (especially on the left by the rocks or even by the top center) some gray edges from being copied in. This has now been blended in much more coherently.
The Loren chase has several effect shots, of course, especially when you see Indy and co in close-ups (as in the scene in the rubber dinghy illustrated at the beginning). However, no noticeable, after-the-fact enhancements can be detected here.
What was clearly completely rebuilt, however, is the shot that occurs here, in which a car of the pursuers rolls over in close-up. It still looks virtually identical at first glance, but on closer inspection, really no two frames here are exactly alike. The car has been digitally remounted on the rails from scratch.
Another lorry overturns after running over a pursuer thrown onto the tracks by Indy. Before crashing into the wooden scaffolding on the left of the picture, a black mark always used to appear briefly at the spot where the trolley then crashes. This mark is no longer visible.
In addition, first a screenshot of the shot directly before: Indy and co were of course also copied in here. But this happened relatively smoothly before and was only discreetly polished in 4K.
As the trio flees from the waters, copy edges were again touched up specifically around Willie. In the follow up shot with water gushing into the frame from below, Indy's chopped up body again stood out in the frames. This has now been blended much more skillfully.
In the first shots from the outside, our three heroes were obviously copied into the picture. To fade this in a bit more cleverly, they have now added some shadows on them for the 4K version.
Some copy edges around the falling boulders and Indy are now no longer visible.
Here there were already shadows around all three characters. In 4K, however, these have been replaced by new shadows. The different shape can already be seen well especially with Indy, but in motion this of course comes across differently again. In both cases, it was obviously tricked, but whether the modern 4K variant ultimately really looks more realistic, can be discussed quite critically.
102:07-102:10 + 102:18
When Short Round broke through the bridge, the shot of his wriggling legs was always quite crudely recopied. Even in 4K, it was hard to improve on the fact that his foot, for example, is half cut off in the middle of some frames. However, the distinct double contours and edges around the legs have now been toned down.
The minions dropping down to the crocodiles now have less black edge around them. The ravine, especially at the top center of the image, has also been better integrated now. However, the guy at the end of the bridge also has a piece of his arm removed from the middle of it in the 4K version.
After a shot from the same perspective already looked pretty well tricked in the Blu-ray master in the meantime, someone falls into the water again here. Again, around him and the gorge at the top center on Blu-ray still clear edges have been visible, in 4K now no longer.
Again, someone falls past Indy into the depths. The transition from canyon to water has been darkened a bit and thus stands out less.