Michael Scott

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Cobra: Collector's Edition


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Movie: :4.5stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :3.5stars:
Extras: :4stars:
Final Score: :4stars:



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Movie

I know not everyone is going to agree with me, but I find Cobra to be one of the most glorious guilty pleasure action flicks of all the 80s. It’s got Stallone in his prime, Brian Thompson as a lunatic “New world order!” type of villain (complete with him sharpening a giant knife while staring maniacally into the camera), it’s got hot girls, Stallone shooting everyone he sees with his pearl handled 1911, and all sorts of just AWFUL one liners. Yup, it’s the 80s, it’s got muscles, and it’s got babes and guns. What more could a teenage boy growing up back then want? Yeah, I know, it’s really not a GREAT movie by objective standards, but it’s so hilariously fun that you can’t help but love it for the sheer Velveeta and Gouda levels of cheese being shown on screen. Scream Factory is now picking through Warner’s back catalog titles (who once was one of the biggest producers of catalog titles on Blu-ray until a few years ago) and giving Cobra a new video remaster as well as a slew of extra features to round out the Collector’s Edition status of the release.

Lt. Cobretti (The Cobra) is a one man wrecking crew, complete with pearl handled 1911s, a laser sighted machine gun, and a penchant for blowing bad guys away instead of talking to them. Back in the 1980s crime was running rampant and Cobra is the only cure. Marion Cobretti (Sylvester Stallone) does the jobs that no one else wants to do. Picks up the sickos and scumbags that most cops are too nervous to confront, and drinks beer while driving a classic truck. However, is skills are put to the test when he is pitted against a crazed serial killer (Brian Thompson) who is looking to bring about a new world order of criminality, and will stop at nothing to make his delusions come true. Cobretti’s big break comes when a witness named Ingrid (Brigitte Nielsen) is the killer’s next target, which means the tough as nails detective has to keep her safe and lure out the killer by using her as bait.
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There’s not a mainstream 80s movie out there that is as gloriously over the top as Cobra is. It’s just maniacally exaggerated to the extreme, with rough and tumble cops with the power of a full assault team, crazed killers who just wreak of mental unstability, and weapons that are more menacing and visceral than they are in other movies. We get long linger shots of machine guns as they’re firing, with quick cutaways to the villains faces as they get blasted into smithereens. Then there’s the raging sound track that just pulses and pounds away at the listener from every angle. The entire movie is about as excessive and over the top as Robocop is, just with a gritty detective story rather than a satiracal take on modern (at least at the time) social foibles.

The excessive nature of the film runs over into the acting as well, with Stallone playing Cobretti as cool and collected as he possibly can. The man is next to invincible, and Stallone chews up the scenery like it’s candy. He’s got a snarl and sneer on his face, can one hand weapons like a pro, and just exudes that cheesy disgust that 1980s cop films liked to place on their hero’s personalities. It’s utterly narcissistic, and utterly fun at the same time. No matter how many times I watch Cobra I can’t help but get involved with the 80s cheese and sheer insanity of it all. It’s also fun to see Stallone and his then wife Brigitte Nielsen together on the screen (and it wouldn’t be their only collaboration), but also to see the ultra violence just ooze from every pore. Cobra may not be the best of the best for 80s films, but it’s a delicious bit of 80s guilty pleasure and one of my absolute favorite action films of that era.




Rating:

Rated R By the MPAA




Video: :4stars:
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Scream Factory announced a 2K remaster for the old 80s flick, and it actually looks really nice. I wasn’t too sure how it would look since Cobra is notorious for being a very soft looking film on whatever format it is on. Well, after closely looking at the wold Warner Brothers release and comparing it against the Scream Factory edition, I’m happy to announce that this is a worthy upgrade. I was never pleased with the old WB transfer and the new 2K transfer, while still a bit soft at times due to the photography used for the film, shows noticeable improvement in grain structure, clarity and overall colors. The black levels are solid, and really come close to being rather realistic at times. I don’t notice any major artifacting, and the waxy smoothness of the WB release is replaced with a much more natural texture for faces and backdrops. Colors are warm and clean, but never overly vibrant as Cobra really thrives at being a gritty and grungy looking film that is bathed in a lot of darkness. Overall clarity is excellent for the most part, and while I noticed some funky contrast levels at times, I think it may be due to the filming style rather than anything Scream Factory did.





Audio: :3.5stars:
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It sounds to my ears that Scream Factory has ported over the 5.1 DTS-HD MA mix from the Warner release, and that comes with all the gloriously over amped up sound effects from that time period. The mix is HOT, with lots of gunfire, explosions and ambient sound effects cooked a bit on the warm side (to say the least), the LFE channel rumbling hot and heavy. The track can be a bit harsh at times, with some strain on the vocals at the high end of the sound spectrum, but it’s not that wildly noticeable unless you really listen to it. The action sequences are really a treat, with that sort of roaring chaos that the 80s was known for, with bullets tearing through everything, big clashes of blade against blade, and a ground breaking level of LFE. Sadly it’s a bit unbalanced and overcooked, which is the main reason why I didn’t score it higher, but
Cobra is a chaotic movie, and what better to pair it with than a slightly imbalanced chaotic track.






Extras: :4stars:
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BRAND NEW 2K REMASTER OF THE FILM FROM ORIGINAL ELEMENTS
• NEW
Stalking and Slashing – an interview with actor Brian Thompson
• NEW Meet the Disease – an interview with actor Marco Rodriguez
• NEW Feel the Heat – an interview with actor Andrew Robinson
• NEW Double Crossed – an interview with actress Lee Garlington
• NEW A Work of Art – an interview with actor Art LaFleur
• Audio Commentary with director George P. Cosmatos
• Vintage Featurette
• Teaser Trailer
• Theatrical Trailer
• Still Galleries – stills, movie posters and lobby cards





Final Score: :4stars:


Cobra is a glorious bit of narcissistic 80s cheese, with Stallone writing and starring this explosive flick. His ego is all over the front page, but it’s so fun that you can’t help grinning from ear to ear while the “bad boy cop” guns his way through bad guys like they’re paper mache (even though he would have been fired on the spot for most of his antics, unlike how most 80s films seem to portray these bad boy heroes), and all the while getting the girl in the end. I know it’s not his greatest works, or one of the 80s greatest films, but I adore Cobra beyond belief as it is one of the most FUN pieces of 80s trash out there. Scream Factory has delivered the goods with a ton of new special features for the film, as well as a fancy slipcover and a great new video encode for the win. Highly Recommended.



Technical Specifications:

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Thompson, Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson, John Herzfeld, Lee Garlington, Art LaFleur
Directed by: George P. Cosmatos
Written by: Sylvester Stallone (Screenplay), Paula Gosling (Novel)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH
Studio: Scream Factory
Rated: R
Runtime: 87 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: January 22nd, 2019







Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 
Last edited:

Todd Anderson

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This is just classic 80s cheese. :T:popcorn::hsd:
 

tripplej

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Thanks for the review. yeah, 80s all the way! :)
 

Jack

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I love this movie, thank you for letting me know there is a decent transfer. It will be mine.
 
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