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COBRA

COBRA ($25) is far from the best film that Sylvester Stallone has ever made, but it does turn out to be a serviceable and entertaining enough action flick. In COBRA, Stallone portrays unorthodox police detective Marion "Cobra" Cobretti whose methods, while effective, leave a lot to be desired. Cobra causes his superiors no end of headaches with the media, but he is the only man who can get the job done in the worst situations.

The plot of COBRA follows a police investigation of a serial killer. The department has been working overtime on the case, yet they are making no headway. As a last resort, Cobra is brought in to protect the only eyewitness to one of the crimes. The screenplay (by Stallone) and the film’s compact 87 minute running time doesn’t leave much room for character development, nor does it elaborate on the film’s intriguing villains. These villains turn out to be an army of psychos who are bent on creating a New World order through the slaughter of innocents. Director George P. Cosmatos has put together a number of well thought out action sequences, although at times, certain things in the film remind one of a music video. The cast of COBRA includes Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson and everyone’s favorite villain Brian Thompson.

Warner Home Video offers COBRA on DVD in both Letterboxed and full frame presentations on opposite sides of the DVD. The full frame presentation is acceptable if one must watch a film in anything other than its intended aspect ratio. Image quality and color are comparable to the Letterbox presentation. The Letterboxed presentation restores the film’s 1.85:1 theatrical framing and includes the anamorphic enhancement for wide screen televisions. For the most part COBRA looks good on DVD, but there are instances of grain and places where the image looks a little soft. However color reproduction is quite good, with no evidence of color noise, especially during the film’s climatic sequence. Digital compression artifacts remained in check throughout most of the presentation.

For this release, the soundtrack has been given a respectable Dolby Digital 5.1 channel re-mix. The mix itself has good stereo separation and focused dialogue, but the surround channels don’t have the punch of newer tracks specifically mixed into Dolby Digital. Other soundtrack options include a matrixed Dolby Surround compatible track, plus French and Spanish language tracks. Also available is an audio commentary featuring director George P. Cosmatos. The commentary includes sufficient background information and Cosmatos really seems to be enjoying himself watching and talking about COBRA. Subtitles are available on the DVD in English, French and Spanish. The interactive menus offer access to a behind-the-scenes documentary, theatrical trailers, production notes and cast biographies.

 
COBRA 


Cobra (1986)

ENHANCED FOR 16:9 TELEVISIONS 


DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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