Transformers: The Movie debuted on August 8, 1986 and changed the franchise forever. In addition to thrusting the timeline forward from the 1980’s to 2005, it was the film that (spoiler alert) killed off the franchise’s core heroic character Optimus Prime!
Featuring a star-studded cast that included Judd Nelson, Eric Idle, Leonard Nimoy, and Orson Welles in his final role as the planet-eating titan Unicron, Transformers: The Movie was to be the first of a series of Hasbro/Sunbow films to hit theatres around the world. However, poor box office receipts of this and the My Little Pony film, caused Hasbro to shift the release of G.I. Joe: The Movie to home video instead.
In the intervening years, the film has garnered true cult status and has become a favorite of Hasbro, Transformers, and Sunbow fans around the globe! Plus, who can forget the soundtrack which featured song’s like Stan Bush’s “You’ve Got the Touch” and Weird Al Yankovic’s “Dare to be Stupid”?
This marks the first new region 1 release of the film since 2006’s 20th Anniversary edition and the first time the film has ever been offered on Blu-Ray. This also marks the first time that the film will be available in digital format. No word on what additional special features will be included at this time.
The new 30th Anniversary editions are currently up for pre-order at Amazon.com:
The Batman ’66 TV series premiered 50 years ago today!
BAM! POW! ZAP!!!
These words first appeared on television screens across the United States on January 12, 1966 as renowned comedian Frank Gorshin menaced Gotham City as “The Riddler“. Advertised as “in color”, this campy take on the superhero genre was chock-full of pop culture references, celebrity cameos, and social commentary. The result was a series that became an overnight pop culture sensation leading to the phrase that the top pop culture influences of the 1960’s were “the Beatles, Bond, and Batman.”
The series even spawned a 1966 feature film that pitted the Caped Crusaders against FOUR of their greatest foes! (Sadly, Julie Newmar was unavailable due to filming commitments and so Lee Meriwether took over the role of Catwoman.)
The series also put forth some of the most memorable super villain performances in genre history. From the aforementioned Frank Gorshin as the Riddler to Burgess Meredith as the DEFINITIVE Penguin to Caesar Romero’s laughing “Crown Prince of Crime” version of the Joker the series had no shortage of “criminal charisma.”
While many fans today might decry the show as “goofy” or “cheesy” there is an artistic brilliance to the series that cannot be denied. From its vibrant use of color (in 1968 only 25% of US households owned a color TV), it’s pop culture sensibilities, and the calibre of the celebrity guest villains, Batman was unlike anything that had hit the screens before and it made overnight sensations out of its leading duo Adam West and Burt Ward. Airing two nights a week with each story divided by a cliffhanger, audiences were powerless to resist the power of the Dynamic Duo. Continue reading →
Yesterday was a great day for the Joe Community– the release of the G.I. Joe Retaliation on Blu-Ray and DVD. True, the film had been available digitally for two weeks but this was the first chance for fans to be able to run out and purchase a tangible copy of the film for their home library. As with most major home media releases, there were a bevy of different retailer exclusives from steelbook cases to bonus feature discs of interviews. (Most of these are broken down excellently by Justin over at YoJoe.com in his DVD/Blu-Ray Buyer’s Guide.)
However, only one version really caught my attention– the Extended Action Cut offered by Best Buy which promised more action and about 15 minutes of footage that wasn’t shown in theatres. So, in the midst of the rain I ran out over my lunch hour and snagged a copy and, after what seemed like an eternity at the office, sat down to watch it last night.
This isn’t entirely related to G.I. Joe but I just had to point out that the 50th anniversary installment in the James Bond franchise drops on DVD and Blu-Ray today. Why is this important to fans of America’s first action figure? Simple– the Bond franchise is the longest-running film series in history and has set the bar for so many elements of modern action cinema! From the use of practical effects and world record-breaking stunts to exotic locations and dynamic villains, the Bond films have entertained millions for the past 5 decades! Plus, the 007 series has had more than a “passing influence” on many aspects of G.I. Joe.
Years ago, a young Joe fan who happens to be writing this article was introduced to the world of 007 by his father, thanks to ABC’s frequent airing of the films on Sunday nights. As a kid, I was floored by the similarities between the early appearances of Cobra in both the Marvel Comics and the first Sunbow mini-series and the use of SPECTRE in the Sean Connery films. From the incredible lairs that evoked memories of the design of Ken Adams to the elaborate plots to disrupt the western world, Cobra was the kid-friendly version of a Bond villain. Heck, look at the Sears exclusive Missile Command Headquarters and you’ll see an homage to the volcano base in You Only Live Twice.
Regardless, the Bond films left a strong impression upon me and really have shaped my view of what makes for a good spy/action movie. It’ll be this bar that will be measured against when I watch G.I. Joe Retaliation in just a few weeks. Yes, the Bond movies have evolved over time– from the secret organizations of the 60’s, the near-parody of the 70’s, and all the way to the grim realism of the new Daniel Craig era. Like G.I. Joe, Bond is a product of his time reflecting the realities of the world in which he finds himself. He just happens to do it with style and flair. This past Christmas, my father surprised me with what has become my favorite gift in years – the Bond 50 Blu-Ray set. For days afterwards, I poured over the special features and the films like a relapsed dieter at the last Twinkie warehouse. The marketing department behind the set was clever, however. They left one empty tray in the box for the latest film in the franchise– a spot that will finally be filled tonight!
So, if you’re so inclined, run out today and snag a copy of Skyfall. Sit back in your favorite chair, pop in the disc and be prepared to watch 007 prove that “nobody does it better.” It’s a great way to relax and prepare for the arrival of G.I. Joe: Retaliation in just a few short weeks.
I’ll step off my soap box now and let you resume your regularly schedule G.I. Joe website. However, if you’re so inclined, here’s the trailer for Skyfall followed by the “mother of all Bond compilations” to watch. Enjoy!
Have you seen my wallet? After a few of the announcements in the “genre world” this weekend, it’s probably hiding under the couch in fear. Simply put– there are too many “geek products” hitting in the next few months for my mind and budget to comfortably process. Here’s a quick rundown:
1) The G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Figure Subscription Service. Yes, I wrote an editorial about this on Friday and have caught some flak as a result. For just under $300 + shipping, hard-core Joe fans can snag 12 exclusive paid figures and 1 free bonus figure that will only be available through the FSS. Places like BigBadToyStore.com have listed preorders for the figures at a logical markup which might be more cost effective for fans in the long run who aren’t interested in all 12 known figures and don’t want to have to take time to sell off the others on Ebay. Regardless, collectors are looking at $300+ easily for this set of items.
2) Star Trek The Original Series Soundtrack Collection. This is something I never thought I’d see released. The INSANE folks over at Lalaland Records are releasing a 15 CD set of EVERY note of music to appear in the classic 1960’s original Star Trek series. Yes, that’s right– every single note. However they’re also including the unused-by-recorded season 3 episode soundtracks as well! As a music and soundtrack nut, this is HUGE. Lalaland just got me for their incredible release of both Batman: The Animated Series vol 2 and The expanded score to The Phantom and now they throw this down? You are evil evil people. This will easily be $300.00 but well worth it for the HOURS of music.
3) Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1 Blu-Ray collection. Not nearly as bad but Marvel Studios is dropping their 10 disc set of Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe including Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain American: The First Avenger, and (what may be the greatest comic movie ever made) The Avengers. Not only that but the set boasts new cool deco artwork for the DVD cases and a replica of the Cosmic Cube in one awesome box. Yeah… Amazon’s got it for around $140.00 but still it’ll add up.
4) IDW’s Complete G.I. Joe Collection. What happens when the current G.I. Joe comic publisher decides to release the entire Marvel Comic series in prestige edition hardcover format? This does— $50.00 300 page volumes that collect Larry Hama’s now LEGENDARY run on the series into one definitive format. Add in the mix that Joe scholar Mark Bellomo is point man on the project and these are sure to be the stuff of comic collector dreams. The irony is that I just got my copy of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vol 15 in the mail last week! Now it’s time to start all over again.
5) HALO 4: Legendary Edition. Hey! What does a video game have to do with G.I. Joe? Isn’t this a G.I. Joe website? Yes it is– now sit down and read! For many video game fans, HALO 4 quite possibly the most anticipated game release this year. (Call of Duty Black Ops 2 will give it a run for its money at retail.) The HALO saga is a rich story– filled with ancient races, timeless mystery, and more FPS action than fans can shake a joystick at! 343 Industry’s first installment of the new trilogy drops in November and the top edition of the game is going to set you back a cool $99.oo! It’s not as bad as previous Legendary editions but it’s still going to add up. However, the Covenant (and apparently the Forerunners) must pay!
6) New Marvel Universe! It’s been a long time since anyone could say that new Marvel Universe figures were hitting stores. Suddenly Toys R Us has 4newexclusivecomic packs, a new X-Factor 5 pack, and new casesof figures are finally hitting retailers! Just snagging individual pieces here and there is going to easily run a Marvel maniac over $150.00 total. (Heck the SDCC Masters of Evil was $30 and I shudder to think what the Super Helicarrier cost some folks.)
7) Regional G.I. Joe exclusives! I’d be remiss in my duties if I didn’t mention two awesome Joe shows that produce some great non-Hasbro manufactured exclusives. The Canadian Joe Con was this past weekend and fans who weren’t fortunate to be able to truck up north can still snag the 2012 Con set including 5 exclusive figures, 5 file cards, and a slick chromed vehicle for $200.00. These tend to go fast so don’t delay if you were debating adding these “Northern Neighbors” to your Joe collection.
2012 Canadian Joe Con Set
It doesn’t stop there, however… the crew at the Coil Club is rapidly preparing for Coil Con 2012 and has revealed images of Zilant, the exclusive Cobra Guerila fighter! With SLICK colors and a solid design, he’s likely to become a highly sought-after piece in the future.
Coil Con 2012 exclusive: Zilant, Cobra Guerilla Fighter
So, what does all of this mean for my wallet and the wallets of many? Some very hard choices coming up? Figures vs. action figures vs. video games? Heck, I’m not even factoring in two major life-changing purchases that I have to make in the next few months. This also doesn’t take into consideration recent Comic Con exclusive or G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention purchases– all of which add up to some SERIOUS dollars! Or, if you’re a DC/Masters of the Universe/Mattel fan then you’ve just been hit up with Club Infinite Earths, Club Eternia, and Club Black Freighter subscriptions! All-in-all it is both a good and a bad time to be a bit of a geek. Good in that there is a LOT out there right now but bad in the regard that most of my collecting friends and I aren’t independently wealthy!
Now, if only I could find a way to either get PAID to run the site or win the lottery. I’m open to suggestions.
Any other big “geek purchases” that I left out? Anyone?
It’s about time that Joe fans had some good news! The good folks over at Shout Factory posted this announcement today posted over at TVShowsOnDVD.com:
Following the Season 1, Volume 1 release earlier this week, Shout! Factory has alerted retailers that G.I. Joe: Renegades – Season 1, Volume 2 is coming to DVD on September 25th. On the same day, Shout! will also release all of that content combined onto a single release in Blu-ray Disc format with G.I. Joe: Renegades – Season 1. The 2-disc DVD title is $19.93 SRP, and the high-def 3-disc BD version costs $49.97 SRP. . We have art below that for the DVD version, but we’re still waiting on the Blu artwork:
I for one would like to say: “WOO HOO!!!” While I didn’t have access to the series when it debuted on Hasbro’s HUB network, I was able to get caught up by “other means” and have recently concluded rewatching the entire series on Netflix via Xbox LIVE. Honestly, Renegades is one of THE best incarnations of Joe in any media and one that really deserved more support than it received from both Hasbro and the HUB.
Hopefully there will be some actual SPECIAL FEATURES on the Blu-Ray.