Midnight Movie Review – G.I. Joe: Retaliation

I write this with a heavy heart: the new G.I. JOE movie sucks.GIJoe2

I went to see the midnight showing (that was actually at 9pm. Remember when you used to have to wait until midnight for a midnight showing of a movie on opening weekend?).

I am pretty much biting my tongue completely off not to give away the hugest of all spoilers in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Although to be honest, I wish someone would’ve just told me. I think I could’ve relaxed and enjoyed the movie a bit more.  But probably not much more.

So what’s wrong with the movie exactly? Take your pick: it’s disjointGIJoeTheRocked, bland, and tension-less – just kind of big and dumb.  Will my 9- and 10-year-old sons like it? Oh heck yeah. After all, there are lots of fight scenes and raining ninjas and blowing shit up. (I give it a very soft PG-13, for any parents who might be wondering – it really could’ve almost gone PG)

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Palicki’s Lady Jaye

But I was hoping for more…something.  More anything but absurd action. After all, these characters are pretty holy to me – I grew up on G.I. Joe. In South Florida, running around as the only girl in a neighborhood of boys, we played G.I. Joe all the time. I was Lady Jaye.  I know these characters and love them, but the film? Not so much.

There were some good things about the movie. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson brought his normal charming blend of charisma and swagger as Roadblock. Bruce Willis is gleeful as the original General Joe.  Channing Tatum and D.J. Cotrona are both hot (although Cotrona’s Flint left me pretty cold). Adrianne Palicki played my namesake Lady Jaye with as much flair as could be mustered for a pretty one-dimensional role.GIJoeSnakeEyes

And Snake Eyes? Well, he’s still the most bad-ass mother fucker on the planet, isn’t he? And without ever saying a word. Ray Parks communicates all he needs to by leaving a string of dead and unconscious bodies in his wake.

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Would’ve been better off using this doll

The bad stuff I’ve pretty much already pointed out. But I would be neglect in my duty if I didn’t mention the mind-numbingly awful performance of RZA from Wu-Tang. He makes an appearance as the “Blind Master” about half way through the film and single-handedly kills all the momentum in the movie. Seriously. Screeching halt.

Not that it had a great deal of true momentum to begin with, but whatever it had was gone by the time RZA finished with his scene.

True Joe fans will be disappointed by this film. They can’t help but be. Non-Joe fans may not care as much. As a silly action movie, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is not really too bad. But not really too good either.

Now you know.  And knowing is…well, you know.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation Extended Clip Makes it Rain Ninjas

G.I. Joe is a uniquely screwed up property, in a way that only cartoons born in the 80s can be. There’s a cornucopia of increasingly improbable military vehicles (it’s a tank AND a helicopter!), a rainbow selection of unnecessarily specialized operatives (So what if you’ve got a boxer, hypnotist, and alligator handler? We’ve got a comedian, wrestler, and football player!), and ninjas.

Ninjas by the dozen! Ninjas of every hue (including pink…really)! Ninjas with armor that’s so heavy, they’re samurai! Ninjas who don’t speak! Ninjas who wear only white! Ninjas who consistently and successfully wield knives at gun fights!

What I’m getting at is that, if you’re really going to send a love letter to the original cartoon and do it right, you’re going to have to get some “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” mixed in with your “Platoon.”

Lucky for us, the current creative team seems to get it IN SHURIKEN.

The Few, The Proud, The Viperous

Damn it. I shouldn’t be looking forward to this movie. It’s going to suck harder than Tatum Channing in that dream I had the other nigh…

Hey! Look! Viral video for G.I. Joe: Retaliation! LOOK AT IT AND IGNORE EVERYTHING PRECEDING THIS LINE.

Mmmmm. H.I.S.S. Tanks and Rattlers. This is all I wanted in the first movie – wacky military vehicles.

New G.I. Joe: Retaliation Trailer Brings the BRAAAAAAAAAHHHHHM

Is there a single trailer in existence that doesn’t use the “Inception” BRAAAHHHHM now? I’m still shocked it wasn’t in “The Hobbit.” Sure, it’s a sneaky BRAAAAHHHHM, silent, like a ninja; but it’s right up front, there’s no getting around it.

It’s Pavlovian at this point – audiences don’t know they’re watching a trailer unless they hear it.

Oh yeah, new “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” trailer. Blah, blah – London has a very bad day care of the business end of the Lance of Longinus. Rock makes fun of Channing Tatum and his crappy, duck-faced catch phrasing. Bruce Willis shoots stuff and blinds people with his bald pate.


Whereas I’d been originally excited as Hell when I saw Cobra Commander in his battle helmet and thought “The bastards might have gotten it right!” The studio’s decision to pull this and release it next year has completely sapped my interest. And this is coming from a guy who owned at least 3 years worth of G.I. Joe toys in the 80s. I’m still more excited for the G.I. Joe Kre-Os than this mess.

The Threeway: Top 3 Things Missing From My Geek Resume (Anthony’s Take)

I consider myself a Good Geek. I have doted on properties till I knew minutia that made other geeks back away in awe (or more likely fear). You want to know what the Transformer’s favorite bar is? Maccadam’s Old Oil House, of course. You want to know what ninja clan Snake Eyes was a member of? The Arashikage Clan! EVERYONE knows that (except Adam). You want to know in what episode of “My Little Pony” Jon de Lancie showed up playing what was essentially their version of Q? …OK, fine, no one wants to know that last one. BUT I STILL KNOW IT!

But I am but one geek. I can’t know everything. Still, these omissions haunt me. This is my confession. Continue reading

The Threeway: Top 3 Things Missing From My Geek Resume (Adam’s Take)

I know I’m a geek. I’m the guy everyone calls when they get that “Star Trek” question in trivia. Need to know the lyrics to the “Silver Spoons” theme song? I’ll sing it to you. Trying desperately to remember which 80s robot with an acronym name was on the show “Small Wonder?” I can give you the breakdown (and remind you of the one from “D.A.R.Y.L.” as well).

But, even I have gaps in the geek resume. It’s like that scene in “Jurassic Park” where they tell you what DNA is – and how there were missing pieces in the Dino Code. If Seth Green or Chris Hardwick are the geek gods, then I’m the DNA offshoot. Instead of a complete code, I meshed in extra “Star Wars” novels or something. Hell, I hadn’t even seen all of “Wizard of Oz” until a few years ago.

So, what’s missing? Continue reading

Nothing Can Stop the Mouse – Disney to Buy Your Childhood for $1

What do you love? What childhood property do you cherish?

The mouse wants it.

Strictly rumor-bait at this point (albeit rumor-bait from “very well-placed sources” who “are close to the parties involved”); Disney is reportedly in preliminary negotiations to buy Hasbro.

So Transformers, G.I. Joe, My Little Pony – huge chunks of the toy aisles – could soon be in the mouse’s gloved grasp.

It makes sense – Hasbro currently makes toys for both Marvel and Star Wars, so getting them “on board,” so to speak, is in Disney’s best interests. That Transformers and G.I. Joe – two of my beloved childhood properties could get swept up in the deal…well, neither has been treated all that well in the past few years, so maybe Disney could bring some order to the brands. Still…I’m wary.

Toy Porn: NYCC News – Turtles, and Wizards, and Soldiers! Oh My!

OH MY GOD! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle LEGOS? Our first look at the Goblin King playset from the upcoming Hobbit movie? Blind-bagged G.I. Joe Kre-Os that include G.I. freaking Joe (with his original box)?

I just…I don’t…there’s too much – just go look at the gallery after the jump and let the toy nerdiness wash over you. Continue reading

Toy Porn: G.I. Kre-O

In advance of next week’s NYCC 2013 toy preview, Hasbro has deemed fit to release the following poster:

I can’t express how much glee this fills me with. Kre-Os recreating the iconic cover of Marvel’s G.I. Joe #1? Kre-O versions of my favorite 80s vehicles (I loved these more than Transformers, which is saying a lot.)?

Between that Scarlett Kre-O and the possibility of a Kre-O Cobra Night Raven, I just can’t stop “squeeeeing.”