The first full trailer for Zoolander 2 has walked the Internet Runway and is just as delightfully funny as the first. All the characters are back as Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel McDonald (Owen Wilson) go head to head against Fashion’s greatest villain, Mugatu (Will Ferrell). (more…)
Justin Bieber has just tweeted a picture that hints he might have joined the cast of Zoolander 2. While my first impression was that this was just another Bieber prank, like the time he tweeted out the Batman V Superman script hinting he might be Robin, there’s evidence in the form of Ben Stiller‘s Instagram that this might not just be another Bieber run around. (more…)
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.
With Thanksgiving this week, our thoughts will turn to the gift getting holidays soon enough. Yes, all day everyday, it’ll be all we think of. (You know it’s true!)
The Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim is no exception, and fresh from the Bastards’ e-mail inbox comes a reminder that the network has a pair of holiday specials coming up that you might find interesting. Here’s the press release:
Adult Swim stuffs your stocking with two holiday specials this December from NTSF:SD:SUV:: and Robot Chicken.
Thursday, December 6 at 12:15 a.m. (ET, PT): NTSF:SD:SUV:: – “Christmas Activity” – While celebrating Christmas together at Kove’s house, the team is attacked by the evil Alaskan Santa Claus.
Sunday, December 9 at midnight (ET, PT): Robot Chicken Holiday Special – “Robot Chicken’s ATM Christmas Special” – The Robot Chicken Christmas Special has Santa nearly missing Christmas; Kano from Mortal Kombat shares the holidays with Mrs. Cage; Justin Bieber’s new song is bound to be a Christmas hit; The writers give G.I. Joe a very special Christmas.
Sounds like good watching. To set the mood, let’s revisit Robot Chicken’s hilarious opening sequence from last year’s Christmas special, an especially sadistic mash-up of Santa Claus and James Bond.
Nerdy Bits: Female Venom Cosplay, Firefly Wedding, Legend of Zelda as a Western, The Inspiration for Heath Ledgers Joker and MOAR!
Every day the internet produces an astounding amount of goodies and gems. Most hilarious, some amusing, but all worth at least a few seconds of your time. We here at Nerd Bastards try to bring you the best bits of news and nerdery the webz has to offer, with a bit of snark thrown in. But sometimes not everything makes the cut. Monday through Friday we’ll be bringing you our inbox leftovers, our forgotten bookmarks, the nerdy bits that simply slipped through the cracks. You can submit items to Nerdy Bits by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOVE: Cosplayer Freddie Nova shows off her Harley Quinn and Venom costumes. (Photographer: Adam Jay of SuperHero Photograph). Oh how neat, now I wanna try Cosplaying as Venom. Though… the latex may not fair well on my balls. [ComicBoobMovie]
This NerdBastard is having a hard time getting any kind of excitement going for the next installment of Columbia Pictures MIB III. Maybe someone can help me out in the comments section below and let me know why I should give a crap about this movie.
The first one was great, totally unexpected, fresh and fun. The second one . . . not so much. I’m pretty much over the whole:
“Oh My!!! Look who’s really an alien!!!!”
Really, does anyone give a greasy monkey shit that Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are gonna make their alien debuts?
(Quick side note – For some reason it pissed me the hell off that the spell check in WordPress actually had the correct spelling for Justin Beiber’s last name in there. Screw that, if I spelled his name wrong then leave that shit alone.)
The movie opens May 25th, so you’ve got 23 days to change my mind or join me in the other theater for a second, third, or fourth veiwing of The Avengers.
Umm, what?! Jon Chu, director of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Step Up 2 the Streets and Step Up 3D, is the new director of G.I. Joe 2 reports Deadline. This is laughable. Personally, I thought the first G.I. Joe was giant pile of smelly crap. I was so bored I feel asleep, in an action movie no less. But choosing Chu as director for the sequel, what is Paramount thinking?
Chu was one of many directors being considered for the film, including Gary Grey and Jaume Collet-Serra. I’m betting Chu got the job because of the mountains of cash Never Say Never made. But, maybe I’m being too harsh. I did hate the first film, and I haven’t seen one of Chu’s films. Maybe I’m judging too quickly. Chu does sound excited for the project,
The one thing I felt was missing from the last Joe was the power of the punch. You want Joe to be tough. They are fun, but they are tough. I feel that you don’t want to make Joe too kidsie.
[G.I.] Joe, to me, is iconic. It is as American as Coke and the Boy Scouts. To have that kind of history in a brand is so rare these days. And that is so powerful. So you can’t treat Joe like its just another action movie. You can’t treat Joe as just another petty commercial movie. Joe has history. Joe has always been a part of what America is, and now the world. What it means to be a leader and a hero. For me, it is about the fun stuff like Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes, and all the gadgets. All of that stuff. But it has heart. Its heart is what America, and what heroes and leaders around the world, strive to be. I think that is what the brand needs. It needs the respect to be treated in that way.
Okay, reading that makes me a little more confidant in this man as a director. A little. I think he has a great appreciation for the franchise and seems to have more of a clue what G.I. Joe is about than the last creative team, but still, the Bieber movie? I’m gonna need some proof. First off, I think some recasting might be nice, but word is they’re seeking to bring back the originals. Bor-ring.
What are you guys thinking? Did you love the first G.I. Joe and can’t wait for more? Are excited by the choice of Jon Chu? I really need some feedback here because I honestly, it’s hard for to me to give a rat’s ass about this sequel.
FYI: Article starts with loosely related Jusitn Bieber rant.
I’m sorry but if you like Justin Bieber then you’re an asshole. I hate him and you should too. Not just because it’s the culturally thing to do, but because he’s a gay little-boy, studio whore. His factory made music and music like his is the reason we can’t have nice things on the radio. Oi, sorry I had to get that out. Slow him down 800 percent however, and maybe, just maybe his music won’t sound like audio diarrhea. In fact, if your into some of that ‘Pure Moods’ shit it might be just the thing to light a candle to when you break out the tissues and a bottle of Astroglide for those special alone times. What am I talking about? I’m referring to when the Internet went crazy over Justin Bieber’s anthem “U Smile” slowed down 800 percent. It was creepy cool, but we didn’t write about it because it wasn’t nerdy enough to acknowledge. But take classic Sci-Fi themes and slow them down in the same manner, and we have nerdy material worth posting.
The masterful minds at i09.com took the effect to the tunes of Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Babylon 5, Buffy, Star Trek, Star Wars and more. As i09 says: “The overall effect of these slowed-down classics is one of spookiness — but they might also recharge your “sense of wonder.” We couldn’t agree more. Ominous, and foreboding, but totally awesome. A neat technique that will elevate your nerdiness in a beyond weird spiritual level. And, that’s without the use of mind altering substances.