Screen Comparisons: Scream Factory’s New COBRA Release vs 2011 Blu-ray

We put Scream Factory’s new 2K Scan head to head with WB’s Prior Disc — Here are the results

This article contains several comparisons which contrast the older Warner Bros. Blu-ray transfer with the new Scream Factory restoration. The frames aren’t necessarily exact matches, but should give a solid indication of the visual differences.

Scream Factory’s new edition of Cobra is now available.

Cobra is a film which has grown in my opinion over the years, and I think the same could be said of its general appeal. Stallone is kind of doing his Dirty Harry thing while cutting pizza with scissors and hiding behind aviator shades. I didn’t like it at first, but gave it another shot when Warner Bros. released it on Blu-ray — and truly wondered why I hadn’t initially fallen in love with this wild and action packed thriller that combines generous action backdrop with a slasher/stalker narrative.

That aging 2011 WB Blu-ray has been succeeded by a new Collector’s Edition release from Scream Factory, featuring a new 2K scan of the original film elements and a slew of bonus features. Here are my observations comparing the two editions.

In many places the brighter brights of the older transfer tapped out the color information, resulting in “white out”.

In the comparison below, note the grocery shelves behind Stallone, or the shiny spot on the giant Pepsi can where color gradation had been lost. The new transfer dials those back into the visible spectrum.

Top: Old WB // Bottom: New Shout! Factory

This effect is even more obvious here with the white wall in the background, not mention the general color balance of the shot.

Top: Old WB // Bottom: New Shout! Factory

Speaking of color palettes, here are some more shots which demonstrate the difference — this new disc has a more natural look.

Top: Old WB // Bottom: New Shout! Factory
Top: Old WB // Bottom: New Shout! Factory

The evening hues of the shot above are a much different look from the more clinical white of the prior transfer, but I think the more natural sky and in particular the clarity of the blinds show that this is the right look.

These next few shots demonstrate differences in brightness in contrast. Note in this first comparison that you can now see the lens in the photographer’s camera.

Top: Old WB // Bottom: New Shout! Factory
Top: Old WB // Bottom: New Shout! Factory
Top: Old WB // Bottom: New Shout! Factory
Top: Old WB // Bottom: New Shout! Factory

A few more additional shots for a general sense of how some other scenes (and in particular close-ups) compare.

Top: Old WB // Bottom: New Shout! Factory
Top: Old WB // Bottom: New Shout! Factory
Top: Old WB // Bottom: New Shout! Factory
Top: Old WB // Bottom: New Shout! Factory
Top: Old WB // Bottom: New Shout! Factory

The Package

Wisely, Scream Factory realized that there’s no topping COBRA’s iconic original poster artwork, and used it for this edition’s slipcover, even though their usual play is to commission a new painting. As a result there’s also no reversible cover — unusual for a Scream Factory Collector’s Edition release.

Special Features and Extras

Warners’ previous Blu-ray release of Cobra included a vintage Making Of documentary and a trailer.

Scream Factory’s new edition keeps that documentary, includes two different trailers (albeit not the one from the old disc), and adds a megaton of new interviews and extras. Here’s the full list:

  • NEW 2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements
  • NEW Stalking And Slashing — Interview With Actor Brian Thompson (26:00)
  • NEW Meet The Disease — Interview With Actor Marco Rodriguez (24:05)
  • NEW Feel The Heat — Interview With Actor Andrew Robinson (14:15)
  • NEW Double Crossed — Interview With Actress Lee Garlington (9:05)
  • NEW A Work Of Art — Interview With Actor Art LaFleur (8:23)
  • Audio Commentary With Director George P. Cosmatos
  • Vintage Featurette (7:50)
  • Teaser Trailer (1:20)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1:55)
  • Still Galleries — Stills; Movie Posters And Lobby Cards (4:35, 5:19)

A/V Out.

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Except where noted, all 16:9 screen images in this review are direct captures from the disc(s) in question with no editing applied, but may have compression or resizing inherent to file formats and Medium’s image system. All package photography was taken by the reviewer.

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