Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
Crime is a desease. Meet the cure. Like Sylvester Stallone's Rocky and Rambo, the hero of Cobra is another original: Lt. Marlon Cobretti, a one-man assault force whose laser-mount submachine gun and pearl handled Colt .45 spit pure crimestopping venom. Rambo: First Blood Part II director rejoins Stallone for this thriller pitting Cobretti against a merciless serial killer. The trail leads to not one murderer but to an army of psychos bent on slashing their way to a "New Order"- and killing the inadvertent witness to their latest blood spree. Fortunately, Cobra is her protector. And full throttle screen excitement doesn't get any better.
For more about Cobra and the Cobra Blu-ray release, see Cobra Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on August 16, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson, Brian Thompson, John Herzfeld
Director: George P. Cosmatos
» See full cast & crew
Cobra Blu-ray Review
Make sure this disc slithers into your Blu-ray collection.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, August 16, 2011
Call the Cobra.
Action pictures from the 1980s were all about one-man fighting forces with only one-word vocabularies: "shoot." Arnold Schwarzenegger dwarfed them all, but Sly Stallone held his ground in a handful of exciting Action pictures, perhaps none of them as mean, lean, and straight-to-the- point as Cobra. Director George P. Cosmatos -- who also helmed the adrenaline-charged and somewhat more commercially-viable and audience-friendly Stallone Action vehicle Rambo: First Blood Part II -- carves out Cobra with a machete rather than with the precision of a surgical scalpel; the movie is packed with excessive violence and frightening imagery, but not to the point that the picture's subtle tender underbelly goes completely unnoticed. Cobra is primarily about brute force on both sides of the law, clichéd in places perhaps but a prime example of 1980s shoot-first violence-over-plot excessiveness that defined the genre and, arguably, the decade. Cobra is one of the least subtle pictures on the planet; with a flawed gung-ho hero, unstoppable insane villains, and over-the-top violence at both day and night and in wide open and confined spaces alike, the film makes the mere act of living a frightening proposition if its fictional world in any way parallels this one. Cobra's is a world where exist the sort bad people who dream up terrible situations and contribute to the (real? phony?) film's chilling raspy-serious-Stallone-delivered opening monologue: "In America, there's a burglary every 11 seconds, an armed robbery every 65 seconds, a violent crime every 25 seconds, a murder every 24 minutes, and 250 rapes a day."
Crime is running rampant in the United States. Unfortunately, the tide has turned from petty acts of vandalism and violence to the outright disgraceful slaughter of innocents by the bushel. A man threatens to destroy a grocery store and kills several civilians in the process. The police are powerless to stop him, but one man, nicknamed "Cobra" (Sylvester Stallone), is capable of turning the tide, of beating this new brand of hardened and heartless criminal at its own game. After taking out the grocery store killer, Cobra returns home and learns of a string of violent attacks on civilians. There's no rhyme or reason, no motive, no pattern. Cobra believes it to be the work of a group of people, not a single deranged individual. When an innocent woman named Ingrid (Brigitte Nielsen) is attacked by these thugs but survives and escapes the ordeal, she falls into police protection. She's escorted to safety by Cobra and his partner, Sergeant Gonzales (Reni Santoni). However, the members of the underground anarchy movement realize they have no choice to but to track down and murder Ingrid before she can testify against them. No problem given their violent tendencies. However, they didn't count on the cold, calm, and calculated Cobra standing in their way, ready to protect his witness at all costs.
Cobra's love of all things excessive truly knows no bounds. Few pictures are as purely over-the-top exaggerated as this, and the film thrives on oversimplifying its plot and ramping up its straightforward guns-blazing ultra-violent scenes. In Cobra, firearms appear far more menacing than they do in most other movies. Cosmatos certainly doesn't glorify the weapon -- not the 1911-pattern handgun that bears the Cobra logo grips nor any of the other deadly shotguns and submachine guns that appear in the film -- but he does put them front-and-center, allowing his camera to linger on the weapon's shiny bluing and the business ends of the barrels and then cut away to the face of the user, whether the calm and cool but ultra-deadly Cobra or the maniacal, can't-reason-with-'em adversaries whose eyes say "kill" with every devastating glare. Cobra's violence is made even more frightening by excess muzzle flash, amped-up sound effects, terrifying close-ups of bladed weapons, devastating car chases, and sharply foreboding music. The film leaves no stone unturned in its quest to create some of the most violent images in film; it's not the blood and guts that makes Cobra, but the instruments of violence that will make visible said blood and guts. Indeed, whereas most other movies of the decade -- say Commando -- are all about the man, Cobra seems to be more about the absence of humanity and the tools man uses to destroy harmony and restore it all at once.
Cobra's excessiveness bleeds over into the acting. Sly Stallone plays his character with a deadly cool efficiency; his lethality combined with his confidence and relative calmness makes him almost robotic in his effectiveness as a law enforcement officer with an edge. On the other side of the equation are the sadistic and hateful villains; the picture's red-hot scary tone is set early on as members of an underground cult clank metallic weapons together in some secret location, but the face of the organization -- the madman known as "Night Slasher" -- is mean and hateful and psychotically enraged to a level rarely before though possible. It's all about his dour "kill kill kill" facial expression. It's the ultimate in overboard bad guy acting, but it fits right in with the picture's tone. Further generating fear is the pure lack of reason and motivation behind the killer's attacks. Outside of a token and hollow explanation near film's end, the pointlessness of the terror the bad guy outfit brings down -- combined with Cosmatos's effective use of shadow, perspective, and willingness to linger on weapons -- makes the picture all the more terrifying. It's amazing how Cobra can be so downright frightening yet absolutely entertaining at the same time. Isn't the very definition of movie magic?
Cobra Blu-ray, Video Quality
Cobra's 1080p transfer isn't glamorous by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a workmanlike effort and a fair representation of the film as it was meant to be seen. In fact, it's doubtful that Cobra will ever look much better than this for home viewing. This stable transfer retains a healthy amount of grain that provides a filmic texture while accentuating the nice-looking details that are visible throughout. Obviously, fine detailing isn't as lifelike and refined as what's expected of a fresh-from-theaters release, but facial and clothing textures -- not to mention surrounding environments or the well-worn bluing on firearms -- certainly benefit from the boost in resolution. The film's colors are quite dull, but that's Cobra; it's never been a showcase for vibrant, blinding colors, but Warner's transfer delivers a healthy, stable palette. Although there's some background noise present, the image is free of excess noise reduction, edge enhancement, blockiness, or banding. Black levels are fair, and flesh tones are fairly accurate. This won't be -- and shouldn't be -- the first disc off the shelf when it's time to show off that new display, but all things considered Cobra looks awfully good on Blu-ray.
Cobra Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Cobra features a typically-80s soundtrack, and Warner's DTS-HD MA 5.1 presentation is up to delivering all of the film's gloriously over- amped sound effects. Though a touch on the harsh side, music delivery is spacious and satisfying. Atmospherics are strong -- if not a bit unnaturally increased in volume -- whether beeps and blips and rolling carts and patron chatter and loudspeaker announcements at the supermarket or more discrete elements like a clap of thunder. The surround channels carry a nice and balanced assortment of these sorts of goodies, and they also chime in rather extensively in support of the film's hardcore action scenes, too. Gunfire potently tears through the listening area, and gunshots and subsequent impacts hit through each speaker. It's a nice all-around effort, and with strong and center-focused dialogue throughout, Cobra's Blu-ray audio presentation proves more than satisfactory.
Cobra Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Cobra debuts on Blu-ray with a slim assortment of extras, headlined by a running audio commentary track.
Cobra Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Cobra isn't one of the hallmark 1980s pictures, but the argument can be made that it should be. It's not as quotable, memorable, or well made as Commando, Predator, or Die Hard, but its excessiveness in all things deadly and violent really does nicely summarize the decade-in-film. It's a picture that's rough and scary but at the same time comfortable and highly entertaining. Warner's Blu-ray release of Cobra features a 1080p transfer that's quite good, a fundamentally sound lossless track, and a couple of extras. Recommended.
Blu-ray bundles with Cobra (1 bundle)
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to Cobra. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to Cobra in the search box below.
Similar titles suggested by members
Cobra Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Four Sylvester Stallone Films Coming to Blu-ray - April 23, 2011
Warner Home Video have revealed that they will release on Blu-ray four Sylvester Stallone films: Cobra (George P. Cosmatos, 1986), Demolition Man (Marco Brambilla, 1993), The Specialist (Luis Llosa, 1994), and Assassins (Richard Donner, 1995). At the moment, it ...
Cobra Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
Cobra Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Cobra Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.