Tag Archives: Paramount

“Knowing is half the battle.”

Now available in toys stores everywhere, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra© action figures! Reenact your favorite scenes from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra© with this great selection of figures and vehicles, only from Hasbro!

It turns out the only reason the Joes pulled half of the crazy crap they did in this movie was so Hasbro would have enough toys to last them until the next one comes out. It has to be, because this movie was so over the top insane that that could be the only reason. It might even be the only reason they made the movie in the first place. I remember watching Kill Bill, where Uma Thurman slices up the Crazy 88s and thinking to myself, “Wow. This is so over the top insane!” For some reason, saying it then was different from saying it now.

G.I. Joe is an elite group of soldiers – the best of the best, if you will – taken from military groups all over the world, who for some reason still report to the U.S. government. As team leader Dennis Quaid says, “When all else fails, we don’t.” When it’s discovered that weapons magnate James McCullen is using nanotechnology to build an army of super soldiers, the Joes spring into action, and even manage to have a few laughs along the way.

Caught in the middle of all this international intrigue is Duke Dukington, played by Channing Tatum. Tatum’s casting was a stroke of genius, as it’s almost impossible to tell him apart from a plastic action figure. Duke has a personal stake in all of this, when he realizes that his former fiance Anna is helping McCullen carry out his nefarious plans. This leads to some great flashbacks sequences and shots of Tatum staring off into space and looking conflicted. Rounding out the cast are Marlon Wayans, Rachel Nichols, Said Taghmaoui, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who all manage to play their parts with a straight face.

We’ll return to our review of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra© right after this message from Hasbro Toys, makers of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra© action figures!

G.I. Joe is so full of trite action movie conventions that after about 45 minutes, you stop trying to count them and just go with it. I’m still trying to figure out if that makes the movie better or worse. But it’s not all bad. Hmm. Good stuff, good stuff… oh yeah! The movie does have a few impressive visual FX sequences that are a lot of fun to watch. And some of the comedy doesn’t feel as forced or as cheesy as other movies like this. But seriously, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cobra Commander? Why not cast Topher Grace as He-Man? Or Haley Joel Osment as Lion-O. And is it just me, or is it getting to the point where if a movie has Marines or the President of the United States in it, you know it’s not going to be good?

I gave this movie a chance. I mean, c’mon, I went and saw it even after I had seen the trailer. And it’s important to remember that I don’t hate G.I. Joe. Without it, I wouldn’t fully understand what makes movies like No Country For Old Men so special. I think movies like G.I. Joe serve an important purpose, because without the bad we wouldn’t recognize the good, or how hot Rachel Nichols is.

In the end, I give No Country For Old Men an A G.I. Joe a D. For me, it’s like one of those crazy 10-layer candy bars. By themselves, chocolate or peanuts or caramel or pretzels or marshmallows are all good things. Mixing a few of them up is also good. But when you eat them all together, you crash and end up in a diabetic coma. That’s what G.I. Joe is like. The over the top action, bad acting, bad jokes, miscast characters, two-hour runtime and marshmallow filling all sent me into a diabetic coma. I would approach this only as a TBS Saturday afternoon movie, and maybe not even then. So now you know. And knowing is half the battle! G.I. Joooooooooe!

“I’m leaving this galaxy for one less complicated.”

Not sure if any of you have heard, but they finally got around to making a Watchmen movie. Well, I got a chance to see it this weekend, and I have to say, it’s just fine. It’s a little hard writing anything about it, as this has been one of the most highly-anticipated films of the last twenty years. It’s been hyped-up for so long that it can’t help but feel a little anti-climatic once it’s all out there for you to see. But, we’ll try anyway…

Watchmen takes place in an alternate United States in the year 1985. In this world, masked superheroes are a part of everyday life. When the Comedian, a former member of the superhero group, the Crimebusters, is found murdered, the vigilante Rorschach takes off on a mission to uncover his killer. What he discovers is a conspiracy that will kill millions, and destroy the lives of countless superheroes.

Previous incarnations of Watchmen had been scrapped due to budget disputes, creative differences, and the fear that a film could never do the comics justice. Luckily, director Zack Snyder was able to present audiences with a story that stayed true to the source material, and at the same time worked as a film. Fans of the comics should be more than pleased. A few subplots were stripped away to keep the movie from running five or six hours, but the core story is all there, in all its depressing, introspective glory.

I wonder if Snyder made a conscious deicision to cast smaller names so that the actors wouldn’t overshadow the movie. Whether or not he did, it worked out for him. These are people you’re getting to know for the first time, and the chemistry is really something to watch. Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Comedian, I’m looking at you.

The film’s special effects look great, and are presented in a way that’s unique to the film and not just a 300 retread. The first scene, in which the Comedian meets his demise, and any of the scenes of Dr. Manhattan on Mars are great examples. I know it’s kind of obvious to say that the movie features some impressive eye candy, but the movie features some impressive eye candy. Not the least of which is Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre. Seriously. Hubba hubba.

UNDER-17 ALERT – The movie also features violence and glowing blue private parts that may be offensive to some viewers. Billy Crudup and his magic johnson are almost cartoonish, so it wasn’t distracting in any way. Reports of exactly how over-the-top violent the rest of the movie is I found a little exaggerated. Don’t get me wrong, there are some choice scenes in there, but Kill Bill or El Mariachi this is not.

Because we’ve seen the trend over the past couple of years, it’s easy to say that Watchmen is another film featuring deeply-conflicted superheroes, although the comics started that trend when they were first published in ’86. When it comes to that depiction in the film, however, I felt things fell a little short. The world Snyder’s created feels real, but I couldn’t help but feel that I was looking at everything through a thin layer of gloss. This sort of character was presented more genuinely in The Dark Knight. There was this sense of brooding that I was expecting but never got. That’s not to say that the movie did a poor job, just that other movies have done it better.

Casual fans will probably be put off by the film’s mighty mighty 163-minute runtime. But rest assured that things don’t drag, and the world is so rich and textured that it’s easy to get lost in it all. This is one of those epic movies that you’ll want to catch in theaters, and shell out the $50 when it comes out on blu-ray, because it’s going to make your socks roll up and down. A-


Corporate Headquarters

Do you like Star Trek? Well, we love it! And we’ve got a scoop that will make your lightsabers quiver in semi-sexual anticipation!

Surprise! Originally posted over on Ain’t It Cool, these pictures give fans a sneak peek at Star Trek XI, which will be warp driving into theaters May 2009. The pics are top secret, so if Paramount says anything make sure to tell them these aren’t the droids they’re looking for!

Paramount’s Next Move

Ever since Warner Bros. bitch-slapped HD-DVD last week, announcing that they would be dropping the high-def format in favor of Blu-Ray exclusivity, people have been keeping their eyes on Paramount to see what they’ll do next. The London Financial Times is running a story saying that it’s very possible the studio will use a “get out” clause in it’s contract that would allow them to either dump HD-DVD or go format neutral. It’s also been reported that Paramount/DreamWorks will not be announcing any new high-def titles at CES, although they are “still supporting HD-DVD.” I’m sure no one should worry or take this as a sign that Paramount is going to drop HD-DVD faster than the New York Jets drop footballs. There should be a lot more on this tomorrow.