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While I haven’t had a chance to crack open my nice pretty Blu-Ray copy of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, GeneralsJoes contributor Mysterious Stranger was kind enough to spend some serious time last night going through the standard DVD 2-Disc release for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and provide his thoughts and insight.

Keep in mind, unlike me, he is not necessarily a devout follower of the Rise of Cobra mythos, and had his own expectations before going into it, but by and large, he had a very favorable response to the movie in general, and the DVD release as well.  Click the “Read the Rest of this Entry” link below for the nitty gritty!

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is a film over 25 years in the making and it was well worth the wait.  I went into this film with an open mind with my only expectation being that the producers treat the characters and mythos with respect.  While its not what I would have liked to see in a G.I. Joe film it certainly didn’t disappoint.  From opening titles to end credits, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is an action-packed thrill ride very reminiscent of the original cartoon and comics.  The producers have taken the key elements from both incarnations of G.I. Joe and melded them into a film that both introduces the franchise to a new audience while giving more than a few winks to the fans.  There are those among the fanbase that are upset that this isn’t the G.I. Joe that they grew up with and to a certain extent I agree.  But as the cartoon became a new canon alongside the comics so too has the movie taken its place as a new universe in the G.I. Joe mythos.

By now most of you have already seen the film and have your own opinions of its merits so I won’t try to win you over.  Instead I’ll tell you that if you loved the film in theatres you’re going to love it on DVD.  As I watched it last night I was brought further into the movie-verse.  I picked up on a few things I had read about online but missed in the theatre such as the Stato-viper helmet that briefly appears in the climactic sequence over Washington D.C.  And I was able to appreciate the subtleties more this time around as well.  Being my second time seeing the film, my preconceived notions were gone as I knew what to expect.  So I was able to enjoy the film for what it is, a good, fun G.I. Joe movie.

The version I have is the standard 2-disc Digital Copy DVD version.  The transfer is clean and crisp and looked really good on our 27” flat screen TV.  The sound is clear and mixed very well and even though we don’t have a surround sound system (yet) I didn’t feel I missed out on anything in the 5.1 setting.  The menus are pretty basic which is fine by me.  I appreciate a nice flashy animated DVD menu but sometimes they can get in the way of their purpose – to take me to the movie.  But here we get a simple background with the menu options on the bottom, all easy to ready and navigate.

Disc 1 has the film and the commentary with director Stephen Sommers and producer Bob Duscay.  This is the one extra I didn’t check out.  I love commentaries and eagerly anticipate this one because I know Sommers is a passionate movie-maker so I know it will be good.  But after refreshing myself with a straight viewing I wasn’t quite ready to dive into it again right away.  But I will be checking it out as soon as possible.

The second disc has the other bonus content.  In addition to a digital copy of the film we get two behind the scenes featurettes.  The first The Big Bang Theory: The Making of G.I. Joe is a fun behind the scenes look at the production of the film.  Hasbro’s Brian Goldner opens the featurette with a few words about what they wanted from the film and then we get to the movie magic.  Running about 30 minutes this short covers most of the major set pieces as well as some discussion on the characters and story.  But mostly it’s a lot of segments showing hot they blew stuff up.  A very interesting and fun piece.

The second featurette, Next-Gen Action: The Amazing Visual FX and Design of G.I. Joe goes even deeper into the CGI and designs of the film.  Running about 20 minutes we hear from several of the lead designers and see some great animatics and design sketches.  Definitely an intriguing watch if for no other reason than to see just how much of the film is CGI.

There is also an interactive 3-D feature that requires a webcam that I didn’t try.  I believe it takes you through to a game online but I don’t have a webcam so I couldn’t try it.  If you  do please let us know what its all about.

And that’s it for extras.  One thing that I’m quite disappointed about is the lack of deleted scenes.  We know there are some scenes from the opening of the film that were shown in trailers but were cut from the finished film.  Why those weren’t thrown in this package is baffling especially when you consider that deleted scenes, along with commentaries are pretty much standard DVD extras nowadays.  But I imagine we’ll get them in a later “ultimate” edition of the film around the time the next movie comes out.

For the first home video edition of the film I’m quite pleased.  Sure there could always be more but that’s always the case.  G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is a fun film that I’m finally glad to have in my collection and this DVD edition is a welcome addition to my DVD shelf.

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