Film Length: 125 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 High Definition 1080p
Disc Type: BD-25 Single Layer
Codec: AVC Mpeg-4
Audio: Uncompressed 5.1 PCM, English & French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish & French
Release Date: April 3, 2007
When G.I. Jane was released in 1997, Demi Moore was at the height of her fame and power in Hollywood and with audiences. She had catapulted herself to the top spot amongst the Hollywood elite and had managed to command almost unlimited earnings. One could certainly argue as to the quality of her films, but few could argue against her seemingly limitless popularity. Strangely, G.I. Jane marked a turning point in her career as her popularity suddenly waned. Ridley Scott, director of G.I. Jane, on the other hand, almost immediately sprung from this film into a new era of popularity as a filmmaker. It seems that one person’s downfall is another’s brass ring.
G.I. Jane follows the pursuits of Lieutenant Jordan O’Neil as she attempts to become the first woman to become a Navy SEAL. O’Neil battles sexism, harassment, brutality and humiliation as she breaks the mold, shaves her head and proves the establishment wrong in her quest. The battle of the sexes, indeed.
G.I. Jane has loads of potential that is often overshadowed by the massive amount of publicity that originally accompanied the film in its theatrical release. I remember Demi Moore’s shaved head being such a major news story in 1997 that one would have thought that the woman had lost a limb in the name of acting. Of course, we’ve since seen Natalie Portman pull of the same stunt in V for Vendetta, so the impact of Ms. Moore’s bald head is now somewhat diminished. What we are left with, is a Ridley Scott film with some good performances and a bit of a precursor to the style he would adopt in subsequent years with Gladiator and Black Hawk Down. Technically, the film is exceptionally well made, but the story just gets a bit boring over repeated viewings.
G.I. Jane arrives on the Blu-ray format looking about as good as it possibly could. If that doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement, then let me say that I’m confident that the film looks exactly the way it was filmed, but isn’t even slightly reminiscent of anything resembling eye-candy. This film is very soft and filtered and seems to have been shot with a very hazy look from beginning to end. Almost every room is filled with smoke or some kind of ambient haze of some sort. About the only scene that isn’t soft, is the aforementioned head-shaving scene. It definitely looks like a different and more detailed filming technique was used there to pump up the emphasis on the head shaving in question. For the remainder of the film, however, we are treated to images that border on completely monochromatic and have very little in the way of pop. If I could levy one complaint at the transfer that keeps it from achieving a perfect score, it would be in the occasional print defects that show up from time to time. There were just too many scratches and pops on this print. We’ve seen time and time again that proper restoration can bring these slightly older films back to pristine condition. The Blu-ray format demands just that.
PCM audio is, again, the best choice on the G.I. Jane Blu-ray. There is quite a bit of challenging material on this disc and the PCM tack is a clear improvement over the Dolby Digital track. Much of this film centers on military training sequences with lots of panning effects and nicely placed music. The occasional helicopter flies by and machine guns rattle effectively in the surround channels. Dialogue is perfectly presented and there is a nice amount of deep bass during the more immersive action sequences. Unfortunately, the film is predominantly front-loaded in its sound design and the rear channel activity is fairly limited.
Here’s what’s included:
That’s right, there are no extras on this disc.
The Final Analysis:
With a mildly enjoyable story and an excellent technical presentation, G.I. Jane on Blu-ray is really something of a mixed bag. The total lack of extras is sure to be a big disappointment with fans of the film. I give G.I. Jane a marginal recommendation for those who have never seen the film and on the strengths of its technical presentation.
Equipment used for this review:
Panasonic DMP-BD10 Blu-Ray Player
Panasonic PT-AE1000 Front Projector
Carada 93” diagonal 16x9 Criterion Series/Brilliant White Screen – www.carada.com
Rotel RSX-1056 Surround Receiver
Rotel RB-1080 Amplifier
M&K MX-125 Subwoofer