IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation'

Monday, 29 July 2013 11:05 Written by  iamrogue
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IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation'

If you've ever wanted to bring the world's fiercest modern warriors into your home, then prepare to yell, "Go Joe" and fight Cobra from your own couch.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation comes to Blu-ray in 2D and 3D this Tuesday, July 30th, bringing the war between the Joes and their nefarious enemies to multiple platforms in high definition.

For half a century, the Hasbro toys have brought real American heroes to kids of all ages, serving up patriotic representations of our fighting forces.  G.I. Joe has, over time, grown in popularity and expanded from a line of armed services action figures to a vast mythology depicting a fictitious war across comic books, animated television series, video games, and live-action feature films.

The first such live-action feature was 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.  While this year's box office hit G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a sequel to The Rise of Cobra, it also retools the franchise, deliberately stripping away some of the first movie's cartoonish elements, bringing in a new ensemble, and upping the ante on action.

Directed by Jon M. Chu (Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Step Up 3D), G.I. Joe: Retaliation finds the G.I. Joe fighting force decimated, with the survivors depicted as outlaws and traitors by the U.S. government, now under the sway of Cobra's master of disguise, Zartan, posing as the President of the United States.  With Zartan pulling the strings, Cobra Commander is able to rebuild his forces and control the warheads of advanced nations all over the globe in a villainous bid for worldwide domination.  It's up to the remaining Joes to stop Cobra and save the world.

Dwayne Johnson (Fast & Furious 6) joins the franchise as the new face of the Joes, with Bruce Willis (Red 2) also lending support as General Joe Colton, the original Joe.  Other new castmembers include Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights), D.J. Cotrona (Dear John), Elodie Yung (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), Joseph Mazzello (The Social Network), Walton Goggins (Django Unchained), RZA (The Man With the Iron Fists), and Ray Stevenson (Thor).  Returning The Rise of Cobra stars, meanwhile, include Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street), Ray Park (X-Men), Byung-hun Lee (Red 2), Jonathan Pryce (Tomorrow Never Dies), and Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy).

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is available in a two-disc Blu-ray Combo Pack and three-disc 3D Blu-ray set. The Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in hi-definition on Blu-ray, while the theatrical version is in standard definition on DVD. Both include UltraViolet, which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the standard definition theatrical version of the film to a wide range of devices including computers, compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.

In addition to offering the sequel in unparalleled 1080p high-def visual quality and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 surround sound audio perfection, the G.I. Joe: Retaliation Combo Pack comes fully loaded with a veritable armory of special features for fans of the film and property.

Director Jon M. Chu and producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura offer up insights and anecdotes on a shared commentary track.  A battery of deleted scenes show off unseen story points as well as character moments such as Roadblock (Johnson) cooking up cheese balls.

The main course at the bonus material table, though, is G.I. Joe: Declassified, a feature-length documentary chronicling the making of Retaliation.  The doc is divided into eight different chapters covering various aspects of production.  "Mission Briefing" covers pre-production, focusing especially on storyboards and pre-visualization, while "Deployment" examines costumes, stunts, and more as principal photography kicks off.  "Two Ninjas," "Desert Attack," "The Monastery," and "Fort Sumter" all cover the creation of specific action setpieces.  "Cobra Strikes" inventories the sequel's villains, and "The Lone Soldiers" follows the three primary Joes as they evade capture and mount a counterattack against Cobra.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation thunders onto 2D and 3D Blu-ray Tuesday, July 30th.

To see IAR's exclusive clip from the Retaliation Blu-ray, click right here.

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