Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cobra! The Blu-Ray Review!

COBRA (blu-ray): I think what I enjoy most about many of Cannon's 80's films is how they unabashedly live in surreal, alternate dimensions. At least one of the later Death Wish movies was actually shot in England, doubling for a New York where roving gangs were destroying neighborhoods at will and elderly victims kept bazookas, surplus machine guns and boxes of ammo in the front closet "just in case."

In Cobra, Sylvester Stallone plays Marion Cobretti, a tough cop on the "zombie squad" assigned to protect a sexy model (Brigitte Neilsen). Brig has run afoul of a gang of motorcycle-riding murdering psychopaths who are nonetheless social enough to gather en masse in abandoned warehouses, clank together their axes and knives and spout generalities about tearing down society. There is literally no reason for the gang to risk their lives chasing down the model (someone vaguely says "she's a witness!"), but chase they do, rolling into the cross-hairs of Stallone's big machine gun and dying by the dozens. During the cross-country chase no other police bother to check out Sly's miles-long massacre, allowing him to eventually face off with the lead killer and exchange sweaty threats in an automated steel foundry.

It's a movie where Stallone's character repeatedly manhandles/abuses his weasley cop boss (played by Andrew Robinson, the giggling killer in Dirty Harry) without any real consequences besides stern looks. Where "Cobra" gets permission to roll his witness out of town because at least then the killers will be chasing him and not causing trouble in the city (!). Where the destruction of Cobra's cool black Mercury carries more emotional weight than the wanton slaughter of innocent hostages. Remember when DC Comics would to tell a story out of continuity ("What if Bruce Wayne's parents never died?") and called them "imaginary stories?" That more or less describes the world of Cobra to a tee...

PS: Maybe it's just me, but blu-ray doesn't really enhance this thing much... it still feels fuzzy and murky. And the image quality isn't much, either.


Blogger Valaquen said...

A fun film, not on par with other 80's action gems like Aliens, Predator, Conan, or even Commando, but it has a nice, frightening performance by Brian Thompson ('famous' as the punk who gets his heart gouged out by Arnie in The Terminator) as the lead baddie. As for the bluray image, I'd chalk it down to the film stock they were using; that, or the transfer isn't all that great.

8:48 PM  

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