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

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It’s crappy live-action cartoon fun as only the boys at Cannon could produce, kids — and the fact that they sadly misread the demand for a sequel only makes it funnier (it almost happened, too: auspiciously, though, Golan-Globus didn’t want to pay such outrageous licensing fees to Mattel, so all the costumes and sets for the intended follow-up were instead employed in the 1989 Jean-Claude Van Damme flick, Cyborg). 25 years later, the folks at Warner Home Video have decided to give us a High-Def release of this campy cult classic to Blu-ray, in a presentation that is far better than this film probably deserves.

The video aspects here are quite nice — with good color/contrast balance all around as well as some fairly deep detail. Sure, there is that inevitable bit of grain to be found here, but that was all-too-common in a film of this production value (read: low) as produced in such a period (read: the ’80s), so it can’t be held against this one. Masters of the Universe‘s kooky optical effects couldn’t hold a candle to today’s intricate but just-as-phony digital effects, but then, that’s what I enjoy. At least I know these were decidedly more tangible than something constructed with a mouse. An admirable DTS-HD MA 2.0 soundtrack accompanies, and brings out what little this moving picture disaster has to offer quite well.

Included here as bonus items are an audio commentary with director Gary Goddard and a too-darn-serious-for-its-own-good theatrical trailer, both of which were previously issued on Warner’s old SD-DVD release of the film.

The lack of any new special features is a disappointment. One might expect more from a “25th Anniversary Edition” than a new transfer. But then, even a couple of recycled supplemental goodies is far more than I’ve seen on some so-called “Special Edition” issues in the past (So I Married an Axe Murderer: Special Edition — a release with absolutely no special features whatsoever — comes to mind), so I guess beggars can’t be choosers in this case.

In fact, I think we should thank the Power of Grayskull that we even have this one on Blu-ray at all.

About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.