Plot: What’s it about?
As if the Joe team doesn’t enough to deal with in the form of Serpentor, Tomax & Xamot, Baroness, Destro, and Doctor Mindbender, now they must protect the entire human race from a 40,000 year old retile species that has resurfaced. This reptile race was forced underground during the Ice Age, when humans began to evolve and take control of the planet. While waiting for the right time to reemerge, the snake people devised a plan which included special spores which rendered men into weak creatures and an amassment of a military force. To achieve the latter, the reptiles’ leader used mental telepathy to make Cobra Commander begin his missions to create an army and take over the world. But the Commander has begun to hate the Cobra forces since Serpentor took over, and now that the reptile leader has emerged, he’s one rung lower on the ladder of power. As far as the spores, the reptiles need a high tech invention called the Broadcast Energy Transmitter, which can allow the spores to mature fully. But guess who has that invention? That’s right, the forces of G.I. Joe! Can the Joe team overcome the reptile race, overcome personal differences, rescue lost men, and ensure the future of the human race?
At last, the forces of G.I. Joe have landed on our beloved format in full force, with a disc that is well worth it’s asking price. Just like the television series it is based on, this movie is animated so don’t expect Saving Private Ryan. What you can expect is action, adventure, team work, and appearances by all the characters you’ve collected action figures of. Even my personal favorites the Dreadnoks have featured roles, as do those insane twins, Tomax & Xamot. If you watched the show and this movie before, this will bring back all those memories, especially since this release contains those “…and knowing is half the battle” television spots. This is one release my collection would not be complete without and Rhino has issued a terrific disc for this title, perhaps their best release to date. As far as the animation, it is along the same lines as the show, meaning adequate but not that impressive. If you line your expectation to Saturday morning cartoons instead of Disney, then you won’t be disappointed. I recommend this release to fans of the television show all over, and if you liked the Joe adventures but never checked this movie out, then this is your best chance so move out!
This epic adventure was directed by Don Jurwich, who also served as voice director and producer for the television series, so he knows we what we Joe fans expect. When I first saw this movie years ago, I was pleased that it followed the same lines as the show, instead of just being a one shot deal out of left field. The characters have the same personalities and what not and the tone feels the same, which means if you liked the show, you’ll like this movie. Jurwich also served various positions on such shows as Josie & The Pussycats, George of the Jungle, and The New Tom & Jerry Show. While most of the voice actors are unknowns or regulars from the television show, there are a few noteworthy celebs lending their lungs. Former professional wrestler and only real life G.I. Joe member Sgt. Slaughter gives the voice to his namesake in the movie, which is a very nice touch, since no one else sounds like him. Don Johnson (Tv’s Miami Vice) and Burgess Meredith (Rocky) also provide the voices for a couple characters.
Video: How does it look?
G.I. Joe: The Movie is presented in the original 1.33:1 or full frame aspect ratio. The animation doesn’t seem to have lost a single frame in the move to digital freedom, and the overall image is very good and exceeded my expectations. The colors seem crisp and bright at all times, though some minimal bleeding does occur. This is minor and present in only a few scenes, so I won’t complain that much. The contrast seems correct also, the image is never overly bright nor obscured by darkness. There is some edge enhancement present, but it is in no way distracting.
Audio: How does it sound?
This release contains a terrific Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, which gives the audio a more open and expansive tone. This is an action packed film of course, so the speakers have a lot of work to do, especially when the battles kick into overdrive. This track isn’t as powerful as a pure 5.1 track would be, but it still offers a nice audio experience. The elements remain distinct and clear at all times, and the volume never dips and rises, so no remote fiddling is needed here.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release contains promotional trailers for two other G.I. Joe projects as well as a pair of vintage commercials for the 12″ dolls. I wish the ads were for the 3 3/4″ action figures since the show spawned them, but I’m not bitter. The main draw in this area is twenty-five public service announcements, which are those awesome “…and knowing is half the battle” pieces. You can access these through subject matter, which is a nice touch.