Saturday, August 08, 2009

G.I. Joe

I have been to see the new movie G.I. Joe.

I enjoyed it.

It was fast-paced, stupid, explosive, stupid, silly, stupid, cliched, stupid, fun, stupid, and just all-around entertaining.

An aside: My biggest laugh probably came when the character of General Hawk gave the line "Knowing is half the battle". I cracked up for a full ten seconds, while people around me stared like I was nuts. I should point out that the people around me were mostly under the age of 25--they had no experience with the PSA's that appeared at the end of every episode of the G.I. Joe cartoon series that aired back in the 80's that ended with the line.

I acknowledge that the acting was wooden, the characters forgettable, and the exposition was mere filler in between the mind-boggling action sequences. What did anyone expect from a movie that features Dennis Quaid as the lead?

With a few rare exceptions, you cannot expect more from a summer blockbuster. You expect cheap entertainment, while the major studios expect strong opening box office returns that they can use to finance the "art films" that gain them the Oscars. They will then make up any losses from the movie by releasing the expanded 2-disc DVD of the movie 6 months later, with enough contained extras that people will want to own it. How else can anyone explain why 3 versions of Pearl Harbor were released on DVD?

Meanwhile, these movies, that often are the People's choice award nominees, typically outperform the Oscar nominees at the box office by a figure of more than 5 to 1. Sensing a trend, anyone?

We go to the movies in the summer to be entertained, and to spend a few hours in air-conditioning that we don't have to pay for. If we get a little education from it, that's just a bonus.

If critics complain that the new G.I. Joe movie wasn't screened for them, well maybe that's because the producers didn't want it to be savaged by the critics who panned Transformers 2 for being the exact same thing that this movie is.


Ask the folks who come out of G.I. Joe and Julie and Julia how much fun their movie was...

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