G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra - Blu-ray Review - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 28 Old 11-14-09, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra - Blu-ray Review

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra
Starring: Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Sienna Miller, Rachel Nichols, Ray Park, Byung-hun Lee, Christopher Eccleston, Dennis Quaid, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Arnold Vosloo, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Director: Stephen Sommers
Studio: Paramount
Runtime: 117 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Blu-ray Release Date: November 3, 2009

Movie

A set of four highly lucrative warheads, produced by James McCullen (Eccleston) and his company, MARS, is presented to NATO for their bidding. These warheads are demonstrated to employ a nano-technology that is capable of leveling a full armored tank within seconds. When NATO purchases the warheads they put a special task force of the U.S. Army, led by Duke (Tatum) and Ripcord (Wayans), is put in charge of transporting and delivering them. While en route to their destination the task force’s humvees are ambushed by a team of high-tech soldiers called Cobra, led by Baroness (Miller). Cobra end up annihilating the whole task force in order to take the warheads into their possession. However, Duke and Ripcord secure the warheads and are saved by several mysterious soldiers, Scarlett (Nichols), Snake Eyes (Park), and Heavy Duty (Akinnuoye-Agbaje) who take Duke, Ripcord, and the warheads back to their top secret command center.

In this secret base, Duke and Ripcord are introduced to General Hawk (Quaid), who heads an organization known as G.I. Joe. After seeing how advanced the Joes are Duke and Ripcord convince General Hawk to allow them to join the team by providing some intel provided about Baroness that could ultimately lead to the Joes finding Cobra. As the two finalize their training in becoming G.I. Joes Baroness, Storm Shadow (Byung-hun) and a set of nanotechnology-injected soldiers infiltrate the Joes base to carry out their original objective to steal the warheads. Succeeding in their task Baroness and Storm Shadow take them to their base and with the warheads in hand, Cobra set their plan in motion to threaten the human race and ultimately dominate the world. It is now up to the G.I. Joes to save the world from the clutches of Cobra.

I personally found this movie to be over the top and while there doesn’t seem to be much storyline I found myself having a hard time keeping track of what was going on. It seems so simple to get, but at the same time, a lot of the movie just didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Things within the plotline happen to quickly and follow after one another so quickly that it just feels messy. I suppose that a lot of this had to do with the movie being driven by the action sequences anyway, which were too numerous to count. Surprisingly though, the action sequences were the saving grace of the film and gave me reason enough to stick it out through the film. The acting, dialog and some of the casting in this movie seem off to me. I really think Channing Tatum was improperly cast as Duke and I also can’t get passed Marlon Wayans as an action hero of any sort. Aside from mainly those two, I thought pretty much everyone else were better fits for their characters.

Rating

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra is rated PG-13 for strong sequences of action violence and mayhem throughout. It seems to be an accurate assessment since the whole movie is nearly non-stop action and fighting.

Video

This film was shot with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and receives a high-quality transfer for this blu-ray release. While the transfer is solid, it also is less forgiving for some of the heavy-laden CGI effects. Detail throughout the film is consistently high and allows the viewers to easily notice the facial and clothing detail for each of the characters. Black levels were also particularly impressive, as well. Many of the outfits in this film are comprised of black, but never does it just look black. There is a lot of level of detail and shades of black that are visible and consistently so. There are also plenty of dark sequences allow shadow detail to really appear. Color reproduction is very good as well, being very natural looking, but never flat. Nothing seems over saturated and the transfer really allows specific instances of bold colors to really pop, i.e. Scarlett’s deep red hair.

However, the film’s overall presentation reveal some of the computer generated effects and sequences a bit more making them appear bogus. I remember originally downloading the high-definition trailer before G.I. Joe’s theatrical run and noticing some of the blatantly obvious CGI shots in the trailer. This originally made me fearful to watch this movie because it seemed as though it would be quite distracting. After my viewing with this film, I can say that many of the CG sequences were very noticeable and borderline distracting. I think it was especially bad during the entire Paris street change sequence. Sequences blending live action and CG effects are sometimes blurred and don’t quite look natural. Notwithstanding, the transfer is not really to blame for the obviousness of the CGI, the director and the post-production team should’ve been a little more stringent in making the effects look more natural.

Audio

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is as aggressive as all get up. The action in this movie is nearly non-stop and the sound mix follows suit with an equally bombastic audio mix. Surround sound usage is incredibly lively and especially when action sequences are in full-tilt, the aural experience is truly something to be excited for. Whether it is vehicles zooming on and off screen, gunfire and pulse weaponry blasting, each speaker channel envelops the listener in the fight between the Joes and the Cobra. Explosions? There are exuberant amounts of that from beginning to end. To lay foundation for the explosions and weight of the high-tech weaponry the low end kicks in and authoritatively pounds away allowing the viewer to, not only be aurally immersed, but physically, too.

On top of it all, dialog remains crystal clear even with all of the activity going on. The audio mixers did a great job balancing out the dialog so every word can be heard. Whether or not you like the actual dialog is a different story. My only nitpick about the audio mix is the lack of subtlety and again that may not necessarily be the fault of the mix itself, but just the in-your-face nature of the film.

Extras

The extras for this release are quite disappointing. Disc one contains the movie and the only thing supplemental on that disc is an audio commentary with Director Stephen Sommers and Producer Bob Ducsay. Disc two contains ‘The Big Bang Theory: The Making of G.I. Joe and ‘Next-Gen Action: The Amazing Visual FX and Design of G.I. Joe, along with the digital copy of the movie. The really disconcerting thing is since they put the extras and the digital copy on the same DVD that means the two real substantial extras are limited to standard definition.

Overall

Growing up watching G.I. Joe and as a fan of the comics, I can’t say that it entirely lived up to my standard. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot in the movie, but I did expect some nostalgia to occur during the movie. Truthfully, little to no nostalgic moments occurred; it seemed too far removed from the comic or the cartoon. I still enjoyed G.I. Joe, but I can’t quite say I was taken for a ride, like the movie intended. I think I was too distracted by many of the noticeable CG portions of the film and the lack-luster writing/acting in this film most of all. However, the action sequences, which were plenty, really were fun, especially when supplemented by an audio mix like the one this movie has. While it certainly has plenty demo-worthy scenes in it I wouldn’t suggest everyone go buy this film just to have more demo material.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
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post #2 of 28 Old 11-14-09, 09:09 PM
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Re: G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra - Blu-ray Review

I own this on Blu-ray and have already watched it twice. While not a very good storyline... it has some pretty good special effects and fairly good surround. I think it is definitely a keeper and look forward to the next movie in the series.

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post #3 of 28 Old 11-14-09, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra - Blu-ray Review

Sonnie, I bought this one, too. I am not sorry I bought this film, but I was just hopeful that it was going to be more in the story department. The surround track was definitely the highlight of my purchase.

As I said, I watched the cartoons and read the comics growing up so I am still interested in seeing where the next movie(s) go. I hope now that a good amount of character development is in the way, they can focus a bit more and provide a bit more substance to the movie. We'll see though! I'm sure they won't disappoint me in the audio/video department either.

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post #4 of 28 Old 11-14-09, 09:20 PM
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Re: G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra - Blu-ray Review

Yeah... a good storyline would have made it much better. Truthfully, Tatum is not the best actor for his role IMO. It is almost as if he reads his lines. My wife is a fan of his from Step Up... maybe he can dance, but he can't act.

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post #5 of 28 Old 11-14-09, 09:24 PM
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Re: G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra - Blu-ray Review

I actually liked it! Just keep in mind what it is... it's a kids toy/cartoon. Based on that it was actually much better than I expected. My grandson was all smiles! And that's really all that mattered to me.

The fact I also had a good time at the theater was a bonus!

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

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post #6 of 28 Old 11-19-09, 12:58 AM
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Re: G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra - Blu-ray Review

Great review again Jon and have to say I really liked this film, the special effects are pretty good and yes far fetched but a good popcorn movie all the same, sounds brilliant through my system too...I keep buying too many BD and am running out of storage room for all my discs
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post #7 of 28 Old 11-19-09, 08:52 AM
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Re: G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra - Blu-ray Review

I'm watching this Blu-ray tonight.
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post #8 of 28 Old 11-19-09, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra - Blu-ray Review

I am okay with "far-fetched", as I am generally easy to please, but somehow G.I. Joe didn't entirely do it for me... It was decent enough that I wouldn't mind watching again in the near future. In fact, I'm hopeful that my 2nd viewing of the film will allow me to simply sit back and enjoy the movie more.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
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post #9 of 28 Old 11-20-09, 02:45 AM
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Re: G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra - Blu-ray Review

Quote:
wbassett wrote: View Post
I actually liked it! Just keep in mind what it is... it's a kids toy/cartoon. Based on that it was actually much better than I expected. My grandson was all smiles! And that's really all that mattered to me.

The fact I also had a good time at the theater was a bonus!
Bill, you hit the nail right in the middle of his head with your post. Cannot be more perfect than this.
* It's for all the kids, even the ones that remained inside of us... *

Cheers,
Bob
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post #10 of 28 Old 11-20-09, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra - Blu-ray Review

I will definitely keep that notion in my mind the next time I watch this film. While I thought about the cartoon correlation being directed towards the younger crowd while I watched the movie, I never really thought about it as a live action movie catered to the "inner kid".

Maybe I'll watch this again this weekend.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
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