Commando Review

(posted in blog)

The second Blu-ray I decided to rip in my quest to digitize my entire movie library was Commando, the 1985 Arnold Schwarzenegger classic. There are a handful of films that essentially define my childhood, and Commando is easily one of my favorites. When I was a kid we had a copy on VHS that was recorded off the TV, and I must have watched it at least a dozen times.

Just check out this shot of Arnold from the beginning, given to us after several panning close-ups of his bulging biceps:

Arnie

This film gives us Arnold Schwarzenegger at his most Schwarzeneggiest. It has possibly the highest density of action-hero one-liners of any film ever; Arnold gets practically naked for no reason while infiltrating an enemy base; a battalion of bad guys with machine guns and rifles all targeting one person can’t even land a single shot, while Arnold just sprays-and-prays waving his arms around and kills an entire private army single-handed. If those descriptions don’t already have you drooling to watch this movie, then I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

The Blu-ray release I have has decent quality visuals, though with quite a bit of film grain and other noise that I think affected its compressiblity quite a bit. It had a similar starting file size to The Blackcoat’s Daughter of 29GB, but while that film compressed to well under 3GB, Commando clocked in at 7.4GB after compression.

Sadly, there are no audio commentaries on my release. I understand there is an older DVD and a newer anniversary Blu-ray release with a director’s commentary which I would have loved to listen to. I may try to find a cheap copy of the DVD and take just that audio track for inclusion as an alternate track on my rip, assuming the cut of the movie lines up.

All said and done, I love this movie. I watched it with my kids and they sat through the whole thing, which is rare, so I think from a raw entertainment perspective this is a timeless cheesy classic that still holds up 35 years later.

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