Long a favorite of fans of 80's-style (although "NS" was released in 1990) action pictures (or those who have seen Kevin Smith's "Clerks", where a video store customer picks up the box and excitedly says "Oooooh, "Navy Seals!"), "Navy Seals" stars Charlie Sheen and Michael Biehn as members of the elite Navy SEALS unit, this one in particular gets assigned to the Middle East on a mission to retrieve weapons.
There's not a great deal of plot to the movie, it's simply a string of fairly well-done action sequences, impressively done with the film's own budget as the Navy reportedly did not assist the production. Characters? Even the leads are one-dimensional personalities who spout every action movie "line" in the book. The SEALS take a vacation at the golf course and drive around in carts in a scene so weakly played for comedy that it's almost priceless.
And that's what makes this movie almost watchable. The film doesn't seem to take itself particularly seriously, and appears to know that it's after nothing more than to show several good action sequences and not make the in-between too slow or pointless to sit through. A funny note - cinematographer John A. Alonzo worked on a very different movie the year before - "Steel Magnolias".
VIDEO: MGM actually does good things here as they present "Navy Seals" in a new anamorphic transfer in the film's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio that, for the most part, looks very good. Sharpness and detail are often good, if not great as scenes only rarely look the slightest bit soft.
Print flaws are acceptably minor, simply consisting of some minor speckles every so often that generally go by without much notice. Pixelation is also at a minimum, with just a few traces appearing. For a great deal of the movie, the image remains natural looking and solid, looking very respectable for an 11 year old picture.
Colors are fairly strong throughout the movie, looking natural and crisp, with no problems. Although not without some flaws, I think this is the best looking MGM catalog title of the tons that they've released lately, most of which have looked average or worse.
SOUND: "Navy Seals" is presented in Dolby 2.0, and although the sound presentation remains somewhat limited, it at least does do a decent job at presenting the chaos of the more intense sequences with good detail and generally acceptable audio quality. Explosions, for example, don't pack too much force, but don't end up sounding flat, either. Dialogue remains fairly natural and clear, with no issues related to harshness or other flaws. A new 5.1 soundtrack probably would have proved entertaining.
MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, with very basic film-themed images serving as backgrounds.
Positive: MGM actually does very nice work with the presentation. Although the sound isn't up to the standards of newer action films, the picture quality is strong. Fans of the film will probably be thrilled with the opportunity to own it at $14.99 and less at most stores.
Negative: The movie isn't particularly great, although it does have some fairly well-done action scenes and good cinematography.
The Film **
Video 88/B = (352/400 possible points)
Audio: 86/B = (344/400 possible points)
Extras: 70/C- = (210/300 possible points)
Menus: 70/C- = (140/200 possible points)
Value: 81/B = (243/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: **
DVD GRADE: B-