• Cobra

    Released by: Warner France Blu-Ray
    Released on: 2/2/2011
    Director: George P. Cosmatos
    Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielson, Reni Santoni
    Year: 1986

    The Movie:

    "Le crime est un poison. Voici l'antidote."

    COBRA, coming smack-bang in the middle of the action flick crazed 80’s has always been a faintly ridiculous film. This is essentially Stallone’s “Clint Eastwood/DIRTY HARRY” penis-envy film. With Reni Santoni playing his partner (named Gonzalez - just like in Eastwood‘s iconic 1971 classic) and the great Andy Robinson as Cobra’s duplicitous stick-up-the-butt superior officer, Stallone was clearly exploiting a couple of Eastwood‘s moves. The casting of Robinson is particularly clever - the actor has a sly blast playing a “by the book” jerk more concerned with politics than putting away dirtbags.

    The plot is almost non-existent. Crazed thugs who resemble knuckle-dragging ugly cousins of Arnold Schwarzenegger, intent on creating a “new world” go on a senseless rape and murder fiesta in Los Angeles. This is all simply an excuse for Stallone’s Marion 'Cobra' Cobretti to go on a rampage after the gang decides to use all of their resources to hunt down and kill a hot fashion model (a very hot pre-train wreck Brigitte Nielsen) who has witnessed the gang committing a murder.

    COBRA manages to be both utterly absurd and thoroughly entertaining. Stallone, in his skin-tight jeans, fingerless gloves and sporting both cool shades AND a toothpick is an 80’s bad ass fashion icon. Plenty of snappy one liners and some stellar action sequences involving both the very cool 50’s car Cobra drives and all manner of gunplay complete the picture. In many ways COBRA is the 80’s action genre distilled to almost zen-like simplicity. Babes, guns, one-liners and “stuff that blows up good” mixed with a hilarious dose of fascist right-wing ideology are brewed to perfection here. The clichés are all here too: sleazy media guys, politically motivated two faced police bosses, subhuman baddies and a hot chick in distress. The climax, involving both a steel mill/iron forge AND exotic bladed weapons is a bit of a minor masterpiece. And Stallone taking out a crew of bikers in a small town is almost as over the top as the final reel of DEATH WISH 3.

    I call COBRA essential.


    Warner France delivers COBRA to Blu-ray in a decent upgrade. The VC-1 encode, 1080P 1:85:1 transfer increases detail in the image without going overboard in the DNR department. Extensive remastering does not appear to have been done but the colors have more “pop” and it is a definite improvement over the less-than-excellent dvd. Film grain is evident and appears natural. The DTS-HD Master Audio lossless 5.1 track sounds excellent and robust and is well balanced.

    Extras are the same as the USA DVD: film trailer, interesting commentary with director George Cosmatos (it’s a relaxed track with a few strange tangents but worthwhile with some interesting information) and a short vintage making-of documentary. The Doc is particularly fascinating because Stallone seems to be saying that the film is making a statement on the criminal justice system. I have a feeling that today some of this would make Stallone cringe. The extras are not in HD however and in the case of the documentary this is some particularly brutal video quality. Haloing, jagged images and just all around ugly describes this image on a good HD set. Its watchable - but barely.

    Both the film and the extras were playable on my PS3 so those wanting to scoop this one up should be aware that they DO NOT need a modified player. It is most easily obtainable by heading on over to Amazon France. There are no PAL/NTSC or region locking issues.

    Click on the images below for full size screen caps!

    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Region free??? SOLD!!!!
    1. Alison Jane's Avatar
      Alison Jane -
      That third picture is badass!

      Great screeshots... Horace.
    1. VinceP's Avatar
      VinceP -
      Don't forget this will have a US release in August.
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      Was that actually confirmed anywhere? I don't doubt it's coming (it makes sense, and it'll probably be the same disc contents) but can't find any info on it.
    1. Horace Cordier's Avatar
      Horace Cordier -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jane View Post
      Was that actually confirmed anywhere? I don't doubt it's coming (it makes sense, and it'll probably be the same disc contents) but can't find any info on it.