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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Action > TV > G.I. Joe – Real American Hero: Season 2.0 (DVD) + G.I. Joe – The Movie (1987/Blu-ray w/DVD + DVD)

G.I. Joe – Real American Hero: Season 2.0 (DVD) + G.I. Joe – The Movie (1987/Blu-ray w/DVD + DVD)


Picture: 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.


The TV 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 and absurdities.


In terms 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.


The 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!).


The DVD 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.


The 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.


I 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


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