With failures like "Striptease" and "The Scarlet Letter", it was all the more shocking that Demi Moore actually delivers a solid, impressive performance in the lead role for "GI Jane", a film that she did her best(and bulked up) to win. Moore plays Lt. Jordan O'Neill, a woman who decides to become one of the first women to enter the Navy Seals program - of course, everyone from the top to the bottom of the millitary expect her to last mere moments before she gives up. What makes the movie so entertaining is the way that it sets up the characters involved, and how they play off one another. O'Neill has not only her sergeant(a fantastic Viggo Mortgensen), but the senator who may not be as supportive as she first seemed(a wonderfully sharp and energetic Anne Bancroft).
Does it really go too far in-depth to the subject of women in the millitary? Not really, but what it does lack in depth, it makes up for in entertainment. Maybe that's not an entirely strong compliment, but simply, it does what it does well, and I think it reaches what it set out to accomplish. Suprisingly, it's not produced by Jerry Bruckheimer("Crimson Tide", "Armageddon"), although it certainly has the similar look and feel to one of his pictures. "Tide", in my opinion, was the perfect thriller: intelligent and offering a solid helping of thrills throughout. "G.I. Jane" offers the thrills, but it's a little empty inside. Just a little bit. There could also have been some editing at points; during the final battle, the movie begins to feel long.
VIDEO: An early Disney title, this is certainly watchable, but it's not without some flaws. While the image remains adequately sharp, there is a consistent feeling as if the image could be stronger and sharper, especially in some dimly lit scenes. There are a number of scenes that are intentionally smoky and hazy during the movie, and the DVD handles them acceptably well. The daylight scenes on the base generally fare best, with the film's bleak color palette looking striking.
Although the image on this transfer doesn't look as sharp as it could, there aren't any other problems beyond some slight shimmering. Cinematographer Hugh Johnson went on to direct his own film in 1998 with "Chill Factor", which didn't fare terribly well at theaters.
SOUND: While the image quality is so-so, the sound is nothing less than thrilling. The intense score by Trevor Jones fills the room nicely, and comes through clearly and with solid impact. Although many sections of the film are mainly dialogue, when the action gets intense, the audio also begins to go full-throttle. There are a number of strong sounding sequences, such as Jone's score powering away in the background of the first training sequence in chapter 5, or the rumble of thunder as the characters are given a test in chapter 6. There are many other examples, especially the film's ending sequence as O'Neill must actually go into battle. Strong audio that manages to be nicely powerful. Dialogue sounds clear and easily understood.
MENUS::Very early work from Disney(not that their menus have really improved all that much) that offers only the most basic of design - just the cover art as the background of the main menu.
EXTRAS: Unfortunately, all we get is the trailer.
The Film B
Video 83/B = (332/400 possible points)
Audio: 89/B+ = (356/400 possible points)
Extras: 65/D = (195/300 possible points)
Menus: 65/D = (130/200 possible points)
Value: 75/C = (225/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: B
DVD GRADE: B-