Springfield, the capital of the great State of Illinois. It was the place Abraham Lincoln came to in 1831 to being his law practice and later his political career, sitting in the legislature there as part of the General Assembly. Of course, Lincoln is not the only great Springfieldianite to contribute positively to the fabric of American society. The Flower City was also home to Civil War general and later President Ulysses S. Grant, founder of General Foods Marjorie Merriweather Post, and the famed frontman for Morris Day and the Time Morris Day. But now the reputation of the City of Springfield is forever tarnished as Mayor J. Michael Houston has given the keys to the city to Cobra Commander. Yes, that Cobra Commander. (more…)
Jonathan Lemkin, former pen to such modern day hits as Hill Street Blues and Beverly Hills 90210, has been hired to write an “All Roadblock, All The Time” draft of G.I. Joe 3: The Half The Battling. No, that’s not the title, but the first part of all that is true.
If I learned anything from G.I. Joe, it’s that heroes and villains should almost always be named in direct correlation to their stereotype (let’s call the karate guy “Quick Kick” and the sailor dude “Ship Wreck”) and that – say it with me now – “knowing is half the battle” (Yo Joe!).
Head on down past the break, as we have a few laughs and experience this (curiouser than expected) figure together. Big Joe/Cobra fan or not, you’ll come to want him. Badly. His shiny head is so irresistible. (more…)
Director Jon Chu got to talking recently on the matter of dropping out of his proposed He-Man and the Masters of the Universe live-action adaption and what he expects out of G.I. Joe 3. You don’t have to like Mr. Chu’s movies (I know I don’t), but the dude sure has a penchant for talking passionately. It’s too bad he doesn’t have the same passion for creativity and talent. Ouch, was that harsh? No, harsh was sitting through 2 hours of G.I. Joe Retaliation.
When Jon M. Chu (Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never) landed the directors chair for G.I. Joe: Retaliation a couple of years ago, many fans were skeptical he could pull off a decent military based movie. Although the film has its issues, it’s leagues ahead of the first in the franchise and has raked in $365 million worldwide.
The production team still has to hire a writer and get a script cranked out. Early word is that producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura wants the next G.I.Joe installment to focus on the Ninja side. G.I. Joe 4 concept work and early production should keep chugging along even though Chu also has the new Masters of the Universe reboot on his directorial plate.
Will Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Colton (Bruce Willis), and the others be back? It’s still a little early to tell on that one, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they at least made a cameo appearance.
What do you want to see in another G.I. Joe movie? I want more Cobra, bigger secret volcano bases and crazy world killing weapons.
The one persistent thought that went through my mind while watching G.I. Joe: Retaliation was that the childhood adventures I puppeteered with my G.I. Joe figures where much more creative and fun than anything cooked up by the filmmakers in charge of this franchise. Of course, I would throw Transformers, Star Wars guys, He-Man and other toys into the mix, an impractical possibility on a corporate and imaginative level, but it was infinitely more satisfying than what they’ve put up on screen. Twice. And in spire of all the different players I threw in during my playtime, infinitely more logical too.
But if there’s a single improvement that G.I. Joe: Retaliation makes over it’s predecessor, The Rise of Cobra, it’s that it feels like someone put two minutes of research into military tactics and structure, not to mention two minutes of research into the actual franchise it’s based on. Basically, it looks like how a G.I. Joe movie should look, at least until Ray Stevenson as Cobra merc Firefly unleashes a flurry of mechanical a fireflies with exploding butts while riding a motorcycle that separates into several independent rocket propelled grenades. But I digress.
This sequel is set several of years after the original, and the “Nanomite Wars” have come and gone. Duke (Channing Tatum) now leads G.I. Joe, and the President (Jonathan Pryce) is still Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) in disguise. But now’s the time that Cobra is putting their master plan into motion. Framing the Joes for the theft of a nuclear weapon from Pakistan, Zartan takes the chance to use his executive privilege to eliminate them, and then calls for the worldwide disarmament of all nuclear weapons. But before you can say “peacenik,” three Joes survived the Cobra blitz, and Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) leads Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianna Palicki) come back to America to, well, retaliate.
First off all, while I appreciate the effort to make this grounded and suggest that this takes place in something resembling the real world, the idea of the Joes saving defectors from North Korea and securing loose nukes in Pakistan seems rather a far cry from the old storylines involving Cobra’s weather control machine and stealing the DNA of the world’s greatest tyrants to create a super Cobra-leading tyrant. It’s just jarring is all, like suddenly seeing Stephen Colbert host the CBS Evening News.
But that would be bad enough if they hadn’t of kept a lot of that silliness from the first movie. There’s a rather elongated scene where Roadblock and Duke play Call of Duty and suck, and at one point Cobra Commander tells Destro that he’s “out of the band.” Justified’s Walton Goggins also appears as the warden of Cobra Commander’s prison, and it seems like for a minute that he’s in an entirely different movie all together. In fact, I would say that G.I. Joe: Retaliation is actually made up of about three or four different movies making it a Russian nesting doll of a blockbuster. There’s the war movie, the fugitive movie, the kung-fu movie, and something resembling a combination platter or RED, The Rock, Die Another Day, Battleship, Olympus Has Fallen, Red Dawn and xXx: State of the Union. Basically, the screenwriters have Netflix and proved it.
I give kudos to Dwayne Johnson through because Retaliation‘s many faults he’s still a reliable and magnetic leading man. Poor Channing Tatum gets the shaft (again) despite the fact that some of the rumors of Retaliation’s delay revolved around capitalizing on the actor’s rising stardom, Duke’s total screentime doesn’t mount to a hill of beans. But if you can say anything for Tatum it’s that his limited presence makes more of an impression than D.J. Cotrona, and he has more of a character than Bruce Willis’ General Colton, who basically comes across as Bruce Willis with a rank. (I’m genuinely surprised he didn’t get a “Yippee Ki-yay!” at any point.) The film does make good use of Adrianna Palicki’s assets, but probably not in the way that she, or any other even marginally feminist viewer of G.I. Joe might like. One wonders if the term “irony” passed through the minds of director Jon M. Chu when he followed up a scene of Lady Jaye bristling at Gen Colton’s characterization of her as a secretary, with a scene of Jaye in sweats using her sex appeal to lure the President’s chief of staff into a kidnapping.
Speaking of Chu, I wonder if he was in over his head. His past experience capturing poppin’ fresh dance moves in the Step-Up series of films and the Justin Bieber documentary doesn’t exactly prepare one for making a big Hollywood action movie. But the action in Retaliation, I have to say, is fine. Where the film is lacking is tight editing, pacing and direction. Logic would have also been nice, but I don’t expect miracles from these things. Really though, when the doomsday plan seems horribly stupid and the machine by which you’ll achieve it has a super lame function, is saving the world really such a big deal. And by the way, ninja’s are cool because they’re mysterious, so going into the lengthy backstory of the ancient Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow rivalry is as counterproductive as it is lame.
But did the film do anything right? As I said, Johnson was solid, and I liked the tangible parts of this world, like how all the vehicles used looked real. And by the way, thanks for actually giving us a Cobra Commander we can recognize, although I still miss Chris Latta‘s patented screeching voice ordering Cobra’s retreat. But if there is to be a G.I. Joe 3, and there’s no reason to expect that there won’t be, maybe we can try something serious, something that seems less jokey all the time. And we need to reaffirm the proper definition of terrorist. A terrorist group, like Cobra’s supposed to be, isn’t going to squander time putting a puppet President in place, so that the fake President can organize a world conference to get rid of nuclear weapons. If they can get to the President, they’re going to kill him on live TV for the shock value and damn the consequences. (Although the White House draped in Cobra flags is till a cool visual.)
So let’s consider how a G.I. Joe movie should really look. Below is a clip of the opening to the animated 1987 G.I. Joe The Movie. Now forgetting all the insane snake people, Nemesis Enforcer and Cobra-La bull$#!% that follows in the next 77 minutes, this three minute intro has everything a G.I. Joe movie should: big action, a simple, understandable plot and some damn satisfying patriotic imagery. “Yo Joe!” indeed.
Yes, it’s time for yet another blast of marketing from the land of G.I. Joe: Retaliation. This time, however, it’s not just another round of posters or a spam of 20 second clips. In fact, it’s a whole damn 4 minutes of footage from the movie! Check out classic enemies Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow going at it, along with a better look at that cliff fighting scene that’s become so familiar by now.
If you’re looking for a good, swift kick in the G.I. Junk, check it out below:
You gotta love red-shirt ninjas. They are the best of both worlds, the ultimate bad guy with a “Kill Me” sign on his back.
Check out the movie in full and complete form come next week, on March 27th.
And a big thanks to GeekTyrant for pointing this one out to our mostly drunk staff.
In a few more weeks we’ll see the fruit of studio demands to add more action, more 3-D, and more Channing Tatum to G.I. Joe: Retaliation. In the meantime, here’s some action-packed footage featuring Tatum, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Park, Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis. Curiously, a lot of Palicki’s action scenes seem to be more about her looking hot than kicking ass, but hey, whatever.
Here’s the action reel:
Here’s the lot synopsis in case you’ve forgotten:
In this sequel, the G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy, Cobra, they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence. The film stars D.J. Cotrona, Byung-hun Lee, Adrianne Palicki, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce, RZA, Ray Stevenson, Channing Tatum with Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson. Directed by Jon M. Chu, and produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Brian Goldner, written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick based on Hasbro’s G.I. Joe characters.
Source: Geek Tyrant
G.I. Joe: Retaliation may have dropped off the radar for a bit, but with the release date only a few weeks away, they’re putting every effort into making sure you’re interested enough to buy some tickets and go watch the thing. The latest marketing ploy – five new videos focusing on five of the movie’s characters. Check out people fighting and things exploding, all done in snippets of less than 30 seconds:
Snake Eyes –
Cobra Commander –
Put all that together with some more footage and you get a full-on film! And that construct you can check out when it hits theaters on March 29th.
Thanks to GeekTyrant for the heads-up.
The release of the G.I. Joe sequel, G.I. Joe Retaliation is just under two months away. With the big delay that the movie saw last year, they’re looking to step up their marketing and perhaps bring back some of those who’ve lost interest since then. So to do that, they’ve got a new viral marketing campaign put together. Check out the video below to see how you can join up with Cobra and prove your loyalty to the bad guys.
If you head over to the Cobra Special Forces website, you’ll find some downloadable content as well as a listing of events that are apparently pro-Cobra. Most of these are things like sporting events and concerts and, to tell the truth, I’ve no idea what attending one will get you. Maybe a free ticket? Probably not…
So join the cause of evil! Or just wait around until March 29th and watch the film instead.
Thanks to /film for the heads-up.