G.I. Joe – Real American Hero: Season 2.0 (DVD) + G.I.
Joe – The Movie (1987/Blu-ray w/DVD + DVD)
B-/B+/B- Sound: B- Extras: B-/C+ Episodes/Film: B
G.I. Joe, like Transformers, was a powerhouse in the 1980s in its comeback after
its decline the decade previous. From
toys to television, G.I. Joe had it
all and even managed to get a full length animated feature film. Finally on DVD we have the next addition to
the G.I. Joe TV on DVD catalog with G.I. Joe Season 2.0, as well as the feature
length film on Blu-ray and DVD that so many fans hold dear to their hearts.
series has not changed much between Seasons
1 and 2, but this time around
the G.I. Joe team finds themselves battling a new enemy as the evil super
genius Dr. Mindbender attempts to dethrone Cobra Commander from his place of
power. Dr. Mindbender has somehow
managed to combine the DNA of the most evil dictators throughout history to
make one colossal foe named Serpentor.
Serpentor turns out to be worse than Cobra Commander had ever been
leading an army of Battle Android Troopers against the G.I. Joes. General Hawk and his team of Joes will not go
down without a fight and world domination will not come so easy to team Cobra.
G.I. Joe: The Movie is essentially the series kicked
up 10 notches as the battles are absurdly huge, yet awesome and the plot holes
are as big as ever. We have the film
open with the Joes versus Cobra in an all out battle that makes little sense
other than to start the film with a bang.
Later there is an assault at the Statue of Liberty and a trial of Cobra
Commander by Serpentor for CC’s incompetence.
Just when it looks like Cobra Commander is going to receive a harsh
sentence by Dr. Mindbender and Destro, a mysterious woman named Pythona enters
the picture. She states that she needs
Serpentor’s help in retrieving an energy device called the BET that will help
team Cobra rule the world. The BET
becomes the catalyst that will reignite a huge battle between the Joes and
Cobra; the next big battle sequence taking place on a snowy mountain top where craziness
goes down. Needless to say G.I. Joe: The Movie is amazingly
awesome as it takes everything from the series and increases the action, drama
of the television series the technical features are in line with the previous
releases, being improved upon in comparison to the older sets but nothing truly
fantastic. The picture appears as the
series was intended in a full frame aspect ratio, but continues to have issues
with grain, scratches and debris. The
colors, however, do truly stand out as vibrant with framing blacks that help
the image pop in a crisp, clean way. The
sound is a standard Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo that brings nothing special to the
battle field, but gets the job done. The
dialogue track is clean and clear with the music and sound effects nicely mixed
in. It would have been nice to
experience the series in a 5.1 mix seeing as the series is high on action, but
never the less everything turned out fine.
extras are nice and not as limited as other 1980’s releases, but far from
perfect. The extras include Green Shirts: The Legacy of G.I. Joe;
Knowing is Half the Battle
PSAs; Archival Hasbro Toy Commercials.
The featurette looks into the craze that G.I. Joe has caused over the years and explores different facets
including the fan, toys and much more. Whereas it was good it should have been
longer and more in depth. The PSAs are
hokey, but fun. The Hasbro commercials
are always a welcome dose of nostalgia that rounds of the set of extras.
G.I. Joe: The Movie on Blu-ray is good looking, but
not perfect and the DVD just falls short.
The picture is presented in a 1080p 1.78 X 1 high definition that looks
great when compared to the films DVD release as well as the TV series. The colors are vibrant with crisp lines and
framing blacks. For the most part I
found the picture crisp, clean and clear but oddly enough there were hazy moments
and a degree of debris still existed.
For the films age and the destructive period (for animation that is)
that the animated feature is from it looked nice and I noticed no compression
issues or other worrying features. The
sound remains (sadly) simple in a 2.0 Stereo track that is not impressive and
pours from the front speakers. It is a
balanced mix of music, dialogue and action; but as the film is packed to the
brim with action the feature should have been upgraded to a 5.1 mix for sure
(purist be damned!).
is merely a downgrade of the Blu-ray that adds insult to injury as it is
presented in a 1.33 X 1 full screen that feel weaker than the Blu-ray’s 1.78 X
1 Widescreen. The DVD appears grittier
and just does not live up to the Blu-ray in either areas of picture or sound.
extras for G.I. Joe: The Movie are
the same on both DVD and Blu-ray as they include Audio Commentary with GI Joe
writer/story consultant Buzz Dixon; PSAs; Printable Script and an Art Gallery. The commentary is nice but other than that
the extras are weak. It should be noted
that the Blu-ray also comes packaged with the DVD in case you have yet to
upgrade all your players.
recommend both the television series and the Blu-ray version of the G.I. Joe Movie as they are full of
imagination, action and wonderful nostalgia that just gets better with time.
- Michael P. Dougherty II