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Masters of the Universe - 25th Anniversary Edition - Blu-ray Review

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Masters of the Universe - Blu-ray

2 stars

He-man and the Master of the Universe has to be one of the most successful merchandising/entertainment properties to come out of the Eighties there ever was. Every kid in the world clamoured for another episode at the time, and bugged their parents relentlessly for the sturdy actions figures and Castle Grayskull play set. Making a film based on the property should have been a no-brainer—a licence for success.

Unfortunately, the film rights would be secured by Cannon Films, a company notorious for is B-grade action movies and with a reputation for biting off more than they could chew. Had they stuck to the low budget fair of yore, it may have been for the best, but they had their sights sets on larger prey—only they didn’t wanna pay enough to actually make it worth doing. By some miracle, Mattel allowed the film rights to go to these people, and the rest is history.

"if you’re expecting anything like the cartoon, my suggestion is drink something first—strong"


 

In an oh so inspired (and fiscally clever) bit of tale telling, this adaptation of Masters sees our Eternian hero and his cohorts sucked through a portal to Eighties’ Earth by the Cosmic Key. Skeletor wants the key for himself and sends his minions after them. But the key is in the hands of a teenaged couple, who happen upon it, and it’s up to He-man to rescue them and Earth from Skeletor’s clutches before it is too late!

Snore, right? One of the most imaginative combinations of old school fantasy and science fiction ever conceived and they set it on Earth, focus the movie so tightly on the teenagers that the star of the film, the villain, and everything people would actually come to watch it for, are relegated to serving their trite and insipidly over sentimental main plot.

He-man, played by Dolph Lungren, has the charisma of a rectal exam in this, as does most of the cast. Courtney Cox I’m sure wants to forget this ever happened. The only one that manages to barely rise above the risible is Frank Langella as Skeletor.

Masters of the Universe - Blu-ray

It is truly painful to see the rampant cost-cutting throughout this production (something they did to even greater franchise-killing effect on the last Christopher Reeve Superman movie). There is nothing in the film that honours the source it’s trying to cash in on.

Now that the negativity is over, and let’s face it it’s hard to be positive about this crap, there are certain cult opinions that this movie falls into the so bad its good category. It’s up to you to decide whether or not there’s some kitsch element to derive from this, but, if you’re expecting anything like the cartoon, my suggestion is drink something first—strong.

Masters of the Universe - Blu-rayMPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
106 mins.
Director
: Gary Goddard
Writer
: David ODell
Cast:
Dolph Lundgren; Frank Langella; Meg Foster; Billy Barty; Courteney Cox; Jon Cypher
Genre: Fantasy | Action | Adventure
Tagline:
The Live-Action Motion Picture
Memorable Movie Quote: "Of what consequence are you now? These people, this world, they are nothing - the universe is power, pure unstoppable power - and I am that force, I am that power."
Distributor:
Cannon Film Distributors
Official Site:

Release Date: August 7, 1987
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 2, 2012

Synopsis: Dolph Lundgren stars in this live-action film version of the popular television cartoon series (based on a collection of Mattel action figures). Lundgren is He-Man, a well-muscled super-hero, battling the evil Skeletor (Frank Langella) for control of the universe. Skeletor has designs on conquering the planet Eternia, a ravaged utopia ruled over by the Sorceress of Greyskull Castle (Christina Pickles). He-Man is summoned to stop Skeletor's plans. But when the wily dwarf Gwildor (Billy Barty) utilizes his Cosmic Key, He-Man and Skeletor finds themselves transported to California. There, a waitress named Julie (Courteney Cox) and her boyfriend Kevin (Robert Duncan Mitchell) come across the Cosmic Key and become embroiled in the intergalactic battle between He-Man and Skeletor.

Masters of the Universe - Blu-ray

25th Anniversary Edition

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - October 2, 2012
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A, B

This is a 25 year-old film, and in the tradition of over-exaggerating, the 25th Anniversary Edition Blu Ray is as bad as the movie printed on it. There is NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING celebratory added to this release. The picture itself is the best the film has looked since the theatrical release, but for those used to sheen and gloss, Masters delivered a faithful, untouched print, heavily grained, with no signs at all of de-noising or edge enhancement. Colours are superior to the DVD, as it fine detail and shadow detail. The sound won’t rock your speakers, either, but is a faithful lossless approximation of the original stereo track. Special features total a trailer and an energetic commentary from the director ported over from the DVD. Way to celebrate 25 years!

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Feature-length commentary track with Director Gary Goddard

Special Features:

  • Trailer

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