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G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    71
    from 5 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • GI Joe's upgrade offers slight improvements; best for fans, buy on sale.

    G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    81
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra's UHD release offers marginal improvements with brighter, slightly richer visuals, but underwhelms in detail and fails to impress in the landscape of modern home video technology.

  • Audio
    90
  • Paramount sticks with the DTS-HD MA 5.1 track for 'G.I. Joe,' missing Atmos but offering dynamic, room-filling action scenes with precise sound effects and solid bass.

  • Extra
    70
  • The UHD release features only the Sommers/Ducsay commentary, omitting prior extras. Their insightful track covers production challenges, locations, and GI Joe lore.

  • Movie
    72
  • Paramount releases 'G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra' on UHD with no new extras, as its action-packed saga of elite soldiers battling villains with advanced weapons and nanotech unfolds, embracing its origins while stirring mixed reactions.

    Video: 81

    Paramount's release of "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" on 4K UHD Blu-ray presents the film with a 2160p/Dolby Vision upgrade that, while it offers a somewhat brighter image and marginally improved color and detail, doesn't significantly outpace its Blu-ray counterpart. The film was originally finished using a 2K Digital Intermediate, limiting the potential for a substantial leap in visual fidelity in its 4K rendition. Despite being sourced from high-quality cinematography on 35mm film, including various camera and lens configurations, the upscaling process to 4K highlights inconsistencies, particularly making CGI elements more conspicuous against the slightly enhanced live-action backdrops. The HDR grading ostensibly provides deeper blacks and heightened contrast; however, this often results in black crush, obscuring details in darker scenes.

    In terms of color reproduction, there is a modest enhancement in vibrancy and saturation thanks to Dolby Vision, with certain hues like greens and reds appearing slightly brighter and flesh tones gaining a healthier glow. Yet, these improvements don't necessarily equate to a transformative viewing experience, as the overall palette still skews towards an unrealistic, vivid extremity that seems more cartoonish than cinematic. Additionally, while blacks are deeper, they lack nuance, contributing to a loss in texture and shadow detail in many sequences. The metallic and blue-tinted aesthetic of the film does benefit somewhat from this HDR treatment, offering a crisper representation of silver props and set pieces.

    Despite these incremental upgrades in clarity, detail, and color dynamics, "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" on 4K UHD is predominantly a subtler evolution rather than a revolution in home cinema presentation. Textural details in close-ups and practical effects exhibit slight improvements, but wide shots and CGI-heavy scenes reveal the limitations of the original digital intermediate and the upscaling process. The movie’s visual effects, nearly a thousand strong, varyingly betray their age and construction when scrutinized under the enhanced resolution and contrast levels the format provides. The 4K release will likely appeal most to dedicated fans or completists rather than serving as a showcase piece for the uninitiated or those seeking a definitive leap forward in home video quality.

    Audio: 90

    Paramount's release of "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" on 4K UHD Blu-Ray brings with it a carryover of the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack from the original Blu-ray, rather than an updated Dolby Atmos or DTS:X mix. The soundtrack, lauded for its dazzling execution, remains a potent force in home cinema, delivering a full-bodied surround sound experience that brilliantly utilizes each speaker to immerse the audience in the film’s action-packed sequences. Noteworthy is the track's remarkable capability to render a high-impact auditory spectacle through its meticulous placement of sound effects, creating a palpable tension that envelops viewers in every firefight and explosion, enhanced by a subwoofer that admirably conveys the weight of each on-screen action.

    Despite the unmodified audio presentation, the soundtrack impressively supports the film’s dynamic range, from the seamless directionality of bullets flying across the soundstage to the thunderous roar of explosions that demand—and reward—subwoofer engagement. However, listeners may find themselves reaching for the volume control, as the track's overall level presents somewhat lower than expected, necessitating a slight adjustment to fully appreciate its depth and impact. The precise balance and clarity of dialogue amidst the cacophony of action further underscore the auditory prowess of the mix, albeit occasionally overshadowed during moments of intense action.

    The array of additional audio options and comprehensive subtitle choices cater to a wide audience, ensuring accessibility while maintaining the immersive quality of the main track. Despite some disappointment over the absence of an Atmos remix and the need for volume adjustments, the existing 5.1 DTS-HD MA track exemplifies excellence in home theater audio. Its adept handling of directional effects, combined with substantial low-frequency extension, provides a satisfyingly authentic representation of the film’s high-octane ethos.

    Extra: 70

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" presents a barebones package in terms of extras, focusing primarily on a singular yet substantial audio commentary from Director Stephen Sommers and Producer Bob Ducsay. Recorded with a casual and informative tone, Sommers and Ducsay delve into their mutual history, production challenges exacerbated by a Writers Guild strike, casting decisions, exotic filming locations, and the integration of visual effects—frankly addressing both successes and shortcomings. Their discussion extends to the adaptation process from animated series and comic books to live-action cinema, highlighting efforts to satisfy longstanding fans through careful design choices and the inclusion of numerous Easter eggs. Despite this engaging commentary, the release conspicuously lacks any additional bonus material previously available in older editions, such as behind-the-scenes features, making it a straightforward yet somewhat disappointing offering for enthusiasts seeking comprehensive insights into the film’s creation.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary: Featuring insights from Director Stephen Sommers and Producer Bob Ducsay

    Movie: 72

    Paramount's release of "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" on 4K UHD Blu-ray arrives with a notable upgrade in video quality, showcasing a 2160p/Dolby Vision presentation that elevates the visual experience of the film. However, it's worth mentioning that the audio aspect does not see a similar update, as the release retains the existing DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack without introducing any new auditory enhancements. Additionally, the bonus content is somewhat sparse, with only the commentary track from the original Blu-ray release being carried over, and lacking the additional bonuses that were part of the DVD inclusion in previous releases. This approach may leave some fans longing for more substantial extras to complement this high-definition viewing experience.

    The film itself, directed by Stephen Sommers, takes viewers on an elaborate action-packed journey, encapsulating both the spectacle of large-scale combat sequences and the nuances of a narrative built around cutting-edge nano-technology weapons and an elite team tasked with preventing global catastrophe. While the story ambitiously attempts to transition the G.I. Joe franchise from its traditional American roots to a more diversified, international tableau, it concurrently treads familiar territory with mixed results—receiving criticism for its dialogue, storyline coherence, and visual effects consistency, which were managed across six different companies. Despite these aspects, certain sequences stand out for their inventiveness and execution, presenting a blend of high-octane action and technological marvel that align with the movie's ambitious premise.

    In essence, "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" occupies a unique position within the action genre. On one hand, it boasts commendable moments of creativity and flair typical of Sommers' directorial style, seen previously in successes like "The Mummy." On the other hand, it grapples with achieving a cohesive vision amid the challenges of adapting a beloved toy line into a cinematic narrative, a sentiment echoed by its mix of reviews and reactions. With its 4K UHD Blu-ray release, the visual enhancement might attract fans seeking to revisit or discover the film in its most technically refined format yet, albeit with expectations tempered by the movie's existing critique and the sparse selection of special features included. This release caters to those intrigued by a visually upgraded viewing of an action film that simultaneously delights and divides its audience, pushing the boundaries of its source material's legacy in varied measures.

    Total: 71

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" offers an upgrade that, while featuring Dolby Vision color grading for enhanced tonal balance and brightness, does not present the dramatic improvement in textural appearance one might expect from such a release. The new 4K transfer is described as slightly below average, and disappointingly, this edition persists with the original DTS-HD 5.1 audio track, without offering any new auditory enhancement. Moreover, the release is notably scant on extras, with the notable absence of the DVD extras from prior releases and only a director's commentary available, which, frustratingly, isn't even included on the 4K disc but on the Blu-ray. This oversight might leave enthusiasts longing for more content to deepen their appreciation of the film and its production process.

    Directors Stephen Sommers and Bob Duscay provide a commentary that sheds light on their collaborative history, the challenges wrought by an expedited pre-production due to a Writer’s Guild strike, and insights into the film’s locations, visual effects (including some admissions of less successful efforts), and actor performances. They delve into the dual challenge of paying homage to the beloved G.I. Joe franchise while aiming for relevance in modern military action cinema—a goal that, according to some reviews, leaves the film struggling to find a consistent tone. Despite these efforts to engage fans with background and Easter eggs, these features may not sufficiently compensate for the release's shortcomings.

    In conclusion, while "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" in 4K UHD Blu-ray may appeal to staunch fans or completists of the franchise, its limited enhancements and sparse extras make it a less than compelling upgrade for the average viewer. The slight improvements in video quality are tempered by the retained audio track and a disappointing dearth of supplemental materials. The inclusion of an insightful director’s commentary does provide some value-add for enthusiasts interested in production challenges and franchise homage. Yet, the overall package seems best suited for those with a deep affection for the film or franchise, and even then, it's advised to seek it out at a discount rather than at full price.