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.

The Threeway: Top 3 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Couples (Janie’s Take)

Valentine’s Day. I’m not a huge fan of flowers or chocolate. My valentine got me a box of 3small9mm hollow-point ammunition for this holiday o’ love. So nobody should be very surprised that my choices for Top Sci-Fi/Fantasy couples are a little nontraditional.

#3: Flint and Lady Jaye in GI Joe I don’t know what is going to happen in the upcoming GI JOE: Retaliation movie between Flint and Lady Jaye.  I’m not thrilled about the actors playing either of these characters- especially Flint (D.J. Controna ain’t no Jai Courtney, plus has a name that sounds like dancing & drinking – which, Flint&LadyJayereally is not a problem for me, but still…)  Anyway, in the cartoon, they were obviously more than friends, but also always had each other’s backs. Plus Lady Jaye kicked ass.  Always.  Let’s hope for the same in the movie.

#2: Master Chief and Cortana in Halo 4.  I am not a true gamer by any sense of the imagination. But when my 11-year-old son begged me to get him Halo 4 (“The best game EVAR, Mom!!!”) a few months ago, I agreed – with the stipulation that I watch him play for a while to make sure it was okay.  Cut to 2 weeks later:  I am spending every spare hour playing (“Die you alien motherfu— um, you scum!!!”) the game with my son – addicted, akin to some sort of assault rifle-toting crack whore. Continue reading

The Threeway: Top 3 Nostalgic Cartoons (Janie’s Take)

I love this threeway. I mean, who doesn’t think back fondly on Saturday morning cartoons? (Especially now that we’re all adult with kids of our own and realize Saturday morning cartoons for what they really were: a babysitter so our parents could sleep in.)

I’m writing this without knowing what my two compatriots are going to list for their Top 3; my prediction:  both of their lists will include Transformers. I’m not mocking, mind you, that would’ve been my #4. Or possibly School House Rock — which taught me more than college ever did.  Nevertheless, here are my top three:

#3: The year was 1984. I was eleven.  I was just discovering that boys were not all stupid (although I would re-revise that opinion in later years).  Ralph Macchio had totally changed my world in Karate Kid.  My favorite Saturday morning cartoon that year? Kidd Video.

That’s right, posers. Kidd Video. In case you weren’t one of the 26 people who watched that show. Here’s a little taste for ya…

Can you believe it? – they were taken to the Flip Side to become some fat guy’s “musical slaves”. Does it get more dramatic than that?

But what was especially important to me was that this show was half cartoon/half live action. No fully animated shows – that was for children much younger than me, a tween. And Kidd – was he just like totally hot or what? And they were in a band.   Sadly the show was only on the air with new episodes for one year.  Kidd Video we hardly knew ye…

#2 Super Friends in all its various titles (Challenge of the Super Friends, All-New Super Friends, World’s Greatest Super Friends… I’m sure there were also other variations I can’t remember). 

The Justice League of America vs. The Legion of Doom. I can still hear the theme song in my head.  This awesome show (awesome, even despite  Zan, Jayna and Gleek) permeated my childhood.  I can barely remember a Saturday morning without it.

#1: G.I. Joe – especially in the early years (you know, before I discovered Kidd Video).  I was raised in South Florida – the only girl in a neighborhood full of boys.  So believe me when I say I could jump, run, play football, climb trees, hop fences and shoot fake guns like the best of them.  We played G.I. Joe all the time.  I was Lady Jaye.  And I kicked ass.

The cartoon had its faults, of course, like the fact that bullets and lasers blazed everywhere but no one ever died.  But I loved it; we all loved it. Available action figures just made it more awesome.  That, and all those PSA tag lines, memorized by a generation:

“Now you know – and knowing is half the battle.”