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DVD Shopping Bag: G.I. Joe The Movie on Blu-ray

Answers to Questions

By Robert T. Trate     July 26, 2010


When G.I. Joe The Movie aired on television I was super excited. I was after all 12 years old and a huge G.I. Joe fan. When I say I had just about everything, I did. My parents even got me a subscription to the G.I. Joe magazine where I first learned about the newest character Lt. Falcon. What I didn’t know at the time was my era of G.I. Joe was about to end. It was probably time as I was moving into junior high school and the latest thing to catch my attention didn’t like G.I. Joe, girls. I might have held on for a little bit longer if it weren’t for one thing, Cobra-La, what my younger brother called too weird and spaced out. G.I. Joe was over for us but after all this time I still had a few lingering questions. Why Cobra-La? Why Don Johnson? Who came up with this stuff? Why wasn’t the movie as cool as the opening sequence and so on? Shout! Factory has released G.I. Joe The Movie on Blu-ray for the first time. The reason why the series isn’t on Blu-ray is yet another question. Thankfully with an informative Buzz Dixon commentary and a Comic Con confrontation I got a few of those answers.
Cobra-La… WTF?:
Buzz Dixon opens his commentary by paraphrasing Fry from Futurama, “I accept the blame, but not the responsibility”. His commentary is everything I hoped for when it came to answering questions about G.I. Joe The Movie. That little disclaimer at the beginning of DVDs and Blu-rays allows the artist to go all out and be honest about a property. Dixon highlighted several of the actors’ work as well as the joy he had working on the series. He did state that he was in fact the writer of the film and not Ron Friedman. Dixon is billed only as a story consultant. It was a legal issue that credits Friedman. Dixon did point out that Friedman was the creator of Nemesis Enforcer though.
The story that lead to the inception of “Arise, Serpentor, Arise” and G.I. Joe The Movie came from a story that Dixon had written called “The Most Dangerous Man Alive”. It was the very heart and foundation of how Cobra was created. Cobra Commander took this man who conceived Cobra as a fascist movement and locked him away. His perversion of the Cobra concept was vastly different than the one conceived (the character not the writer). Hasbro loved the idea but told Dixon to throw in the new Cobra Emperor. Dixon was confused because no such character was talked about. This new figure was on its way and had to be worked into the story. Dixon pitched two ideas for his creation in the story line and they would go on to be both “Arise, Serpentor, Arise” and G.I. Joe The Movie. The story of the “Most Dangerous Man” was scrapped and the rest is history.
Awesome Random Facts from the Movie:
Duke (Michael Bell) was originally going to die. When the announcement of him coming out of the coma is stated at the end Dixon says, “Bull”. Oddly enough it was Duke’s death that gave Hasbro the idea to kill off Optimus Prime.
There were 86 speaking characters on the show. It was the most for any show at the time and a record until The Simpsons.
You can’t pull a grenade pin with your teeth, despite the fact that Duke and another character do this in the film.
The character of Beachhead (William Callaway) was based on Jack Webb and R. Lee Ermey.
There was no table reading of the movie nor any re-writes of the script during the recording.
There was a written topless scene for Zartan’s (Zack Hoffman) sister Zarana (Lisa Raggio). It was supposed to be shot from behind but the studio said no and gave her a swimsuit.
The Cobra-La battle cry was not properly accomplished by Richard Gautier, the voice of Serpentor. No fault to Gautier, his voice was just too low.
The G.I. Joe Series on Blu-ray:
Since Shout! Factory was present on the Comic Con floor, last week, I stopped by and met with their representatives. All were extremely nice and really excited about G.I. Joe The Movie being released on Blu-ray. They were quick to inform me that as of Saturday afternoon they had only one copy left on Blu-ray. Since the topic was on Blu-ray I decided to ask when the complete series for both G.I. Joe and Transformers going to be released. Sadly the answer was never. The film cells are long gone and the only thing left are the one inch tapes. The fact that G.I. Joe The Movie is completely on Blu-ray is because of a fortunate accident. The film itself was mislabeled and found in the back of warehouse. The box sets that Shout! Factory have released are as good as they will ever get. They could convert them but Blu-ray players already upgrade the performance of DVDs. If you were holding out until then, as I was, your wait is over.
Top 5 Picks of the Week
1. G.I. Joe: The Movie (Special Edition) [Blu-ray]
2. Batman: Under the Red Hood [Blu-ray]
3. Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated
4. Rambo (Extended Cut) [Blu-ray]
5. Neighbor (Unrated Director's Cut)
Abilene Town (B&W) ~ Randolph Scott
Appointment With Danger (B&W) ~ Alan Ladd, Jack Webb, Harry Morgan, and Phyllis Calvert
China 9 Liberty 37 ~ Warren Oates
The Crimson Mask [Blu-ray] ~ Robert Clohessy, Josh Burrow, Chrishell Stause, and Lee Sellars
Dark City (1950) ~ Charlton Heston, Lizabeth Scott, Jack Webb, and Harry Morgan
Kentucky Rifle ~ Chill Wills
Hannie Caulder (1971) ~ Raquel Welch, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Culp, and Christopher Lee
Ip Man (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] ~ Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Fan Siu-Wong, and Lynn Hung
Ip Man
Ip Man (Collector's Edition)
The Job ~ Ron Perlman, Taryn Manning, and Joe Pantoliano
Johnny Handsome [Blu-ray] ~ Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Elizabeth McGovern, and Morgan Freeman
Just Another Pandora's Box (Ws Sub Enh) ~ Ronald Cheng
Lock Up [Blu-ray] ~ Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, John Amos, and Sonny Landham
Neighbor (Unrated Director's Cut) ~ America Olivo, Christian Campbell, Mink Stole, and Pete Postiglione
The Only Way ~ Jane Seymour, Ebbe Rode, Helle Virkner, and Ove Sprogee
Rambo (Extended Cut) [Blu-ray] ~ Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Matthew Marsden, and Graham McTavish
Union Station ~ William Holden, Barry Fitzgerald, and Nancy Olson
Way of the West (B&W) ~ William Desmond
Dragon Ball: Season 5 ~ Stephanie Nadolny, Tiffany Volmer, and Sonny Strait
Fist of the North Star: TV Series 1 (6pc) (Full)
Hell Girl: Two Mirrors Collection 2 (2pc) (Ws)
Love Hina: The Complete Series (Viridian Collection) ~ David Umansky, Dorothy Melendrez, and Barbara Goodson
Magic Knight Rayearth Seson 2 ~ Hekiru Shiina, Hiroko Kasahara, and Konami Yoshida
Queen's Blade The Exiled Virgin: Vol. 2 ~ Atsuko Tanaka, Aya Hirano, Ayako Kawasumi, and Mamiko Noto
Soul Eater: Part 4 ~ Micah Solusod, Brittney Karbowski, and Laura Bailey
Batman Legends Begins 1 (Full Ecoa)
Batman: Animated Series - Last Laugh (Ecoa)
Batman: Under the Red Hood [Blu-ray] ~ Bruce Greenwood, Jensen Ackles, John Di Maggio, and Neil Patrick Harris (see Tim Janson’s review)
Batman: Under the Red Hood (Amazon Exclusive Limited Edition with Litho Cel) [Blu-ray]
Batman: Under the Red Hood (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Batman: Under the Red Hood (Single-Disc Edition)
G.I. Joe: The Movie (Special Edition) [Blu-ray] ~ Michael Bell, Don Johnson, Arthur Burghardt, and Peter Cullen
G.I. Joe A Real American Hero: The Movie
Nanoboy: Adventures of the World's Smallest Superhero! ~ Mona the Vampire, Charley Bones, Lily Duncan, and Fang
Super Duper Sumos: They've Got Guts!
Fanboys [Blu-ray] ~ Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, Kristen Bell, and Sam Huntington
Operation: Endgame ~ Zach Galifianakis, Rob Corddry, Ving Rhames, and Adam Scott
Operation: Endgame [Blu-ray]
Reefer Madness DVDTee (Size L) ~ Dorothy Short, Lillian Miles, and Dave O'Brien
Criterion Collection
Eclipse Series 22: Presenting Sacha Guitry (The Story of a Cheat / The Pearls of the Crown / Desire / Quadrille) (Criterion Collection) ~ Sacha Guitry
Atom Age Vampire DVDTee (Size XL) ~ Alberto Lupo
Atomic Brain DVDTee (Size XL) ~ Frank Gerstle, Erika Peters, and Judy Bamber
Beyond The Darkness: Buio Omega - Blu-ray / DVD Combo ~ Kieran Canter, Cinzia Monreale, Franca Stoppi, and Sam Modesto
The Burnt House [Blu-ray] ~ J.D. Brown, Monica Knight, Jon Reiss, and Philip Raymond
Circle ~ Michael DeLuise
Death Kappa (Ws Dub)
Death Kappa - Blu-ray / DVD Combo ~ Misato Hirata, Mika, and Ryuki Kitaoka
The Dead Matter ~ Andrew Divoff, Tom Savini, Jason Carter, and Sean Serino
The Dead Matter: 3-Disc Deluxe Edition
The Guernica Tree ~ Mariangela Melato
Live Evil ~ Tim Thomerson, Mark Hengst, Ken Foree, and Tiffany Shepis
Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated ~ Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, and Karl Hardman
Prowler [Blu-ray] ~ Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney, and Farley Granger
Puppet Master Axis Of Evil ~ Levi Fiehler, Jenna Gallaher, Taylor M. Graham, and Tom Sandoval
Clash of the Titans (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) (see Tim Janson’s Review)
Clash of the Titans ~ Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelsen, and Alexa Davalos
Crack in the World (1965) ~ Dana Andrews, Janette Scott, Kieron Moore, and Alexander Knox
Metropolis (Size XL) ~ Brigitte Helm (not the new one)
Ray Bradbury's Chrysalis ~ John Klemantaski, Darren Kendrick, Glen Vaughan, and Corey Landis
Repo Men ~ Jude Law
Repo Men (Unrated) [Blu-ray]
Welcome To Earth ~ Jason Alan Smith, Kate Orsini, Zeke Rippy, and Davis Mikaels
21 Jump Street: The Complete Series (18-Disc Set) ~ Johnny Depp, Dustin Nguyen, Holly Robinson Peete, and Peter DeLuise
21 Jump Street: Season Three ~ Johnny Depp, Dustin Nguyen, Holly Robinson Peete, and Peter Deluise
Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Movie Collection, Set 5 (2010)
Battlestar Galactica: Season Three [Blu-ray] ~ Edward James Olmos
The Black Arrow - The Complete Series ~ Simon Cuff, Dorothea Phillips, Gordon Rollings, and Nigel Havers
The City: Season 2
High Tide - Armchair Thriller Series ~ Ian McShane, Kika Markham, Wendy Morgan, and John Bird
Hunter: The Complete Series ~ Fred Dryer, Stepfanie Kramer, and Charles Hallahan
The Mothers-in-Law: The Complete Series (8pc) ~ Eve Arden, Kaye Ballard, Herb Rudley, and Roger C. Carmel
Poirot: Classic Collection Set 4 ~ David Suchet, Hugh Frasier, and Philip Jackson
Red Vs Blue: Season 6 Reconstruction ~ Burnie Burns, Geoff Fink, Joel Heyman, and Matt Hullum
Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The Final Season
Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show - First Season ~ Phil Silvers, Allan Melvin, Harvey Lembeck, and Paul Ford
Stargate Universe SG-U: 1.5 ~ Robert Carlyle, Justin Louis, Brian J. Smith, and David Blue
Stargate Universe - SGU: Season 1.5 [Blu-ray]
Sweeney: Season 1 (5pc) ~ John Thaw
The Australian Story aka: Kangaroo ~ Maureen O Hara, Peter Lawford, Finlay Currie, and Richard Boone
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [Blu-ray] ~ Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang, and Chen Chang
Monster and the Ape ~ Robert Lowery, George Macready, Ralph Morgan, and Carole Mathews
Rambo: The Complete Collector's Set [Blu-ray] ~ Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Brian Dennehy, and Richard Crenna
Sabrina Teenage Witch: The Complete Series ~ Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick, and Nick Bakay
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.


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RaithManan 7/27/2010 3:18:57 AM

Yeah that is true about the Duke/Optimus Prime complex.  When Prime died in Transformers: The Movie---well pretty much 90% percent of the original toyline characters, I was 15 and it marked the first time I spouted profanity as to what was happening and yet it was also a cool ass picture at the height of G-1's popularity. 

But trying to force feed new characters like they did in the movie to setup season 3 is where fans lost interest as Hasbro made the choice to move on from Optimus, Megatron and company....only to bring Prime back in the season finale after trying to officially kill him off a second time in season 3.  Though Ultra Magnus was the one character fans was interested in before the release of the movie because his toy was being heavily promoted at the time and released during the tail end of season 2, who fans had hoped he would have been the official new leader after Optimus died as opposed to the much maligned Rodimus Prime.

But as its been stated even in the 20th anniversary of Transformers: The Movie, Prime's death caused an international uproar, leading the producers of G.I. Joe: The Movie to alter Duke's death into a coma-inducing direction, inspite Duke taking a snake spear directly in the heart.  But its interesting here that Serpentor was another force-fed character by Hasbro, except atleast they actually had a chance to develop him and might have been embraced better by fans had they gone with the original intended direction in bringing him into the series.  And while I liked him, I was a Cobra Commander guy and clearly they tried to replicate the Megatron/Starscream relationship into G.I. Joe and that was a bad move as it took away from what was established between Cobra Commander and Destro, basically relegating Destro to being third and sometimes fourth banana over the next 2 seasons.



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