Saturday 19 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Action · G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

None August 20th, 2009


You can probably tell by the subtitle of this movie that at least one sequel is in the planning stages already. You can also tell that, like "Transformers," the film is inspired by a line of toys. You also know whether or not you want to see it. If you do, you should; if you don't, I'm not going to change your mind.

"G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" is directed by Stephen Sommers ("The Mummy," "Van Helsing") who is one-fourth of the most hated quartet of contemporary American filmmakers, along with Brett Ratner, Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich.

Why? Because their movies are big crowd-pleasers full of sound and fury that signify nothing but huge popcorn sales. A lot of people would avoid "G.I. Joe" because of Sommers' involvement. I say the flick would have been better had he been involved more.

Sommers is also a writer, and his scripts for "The Mummy" and "Deep Rising" are a lot of fun. Scribbling for "Joe" was provided by Stuart Beattie ("Australia," "30 Days of Night"), David Elliot and Paul Lovett ("Four Brothers"), and they don't capture the goofy fun with which Sommers enlivens his screenplays.

As it is, "Joe" is a bombastic entertainment, eye candy with some spectacular special effects "” although it is already beaten by the trailer for Emmerich's "2012." If you go see Sommers' latest, do you need a brain? Yes, but only to find your way back to your car when it's over.

I guess you want to know a little about the plot? I'm trying to remember if it had one. Oh, yeah, Duke (Channing Tatum, "Fighting") and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans, "Dance Flick") are special ops soldiers on a mission to deliver something to Gen. Hawk (Dennis Quaid, "The Express"), but it is almost taken away from them by Duke's ex-girlfriend, Ana (Sienna Miller, "Stardust"). She's the obligatory bad girl in hot black leather. Insert your own "worth the price of admission" joke here.

So Duke joins Hawk's team led by another attractive female "” the good one "” Scarlett (Rachel Nichols, "Star Trek"), and the rest of the movie is taken up by Bad Guys, led by Zartan (Arnold Vosloo, "Blood Diamond") and his minion, Dr. Mindbender (Kevin J. O'Connor, "There Will Be Blood"); stealing the MacGuffin; and Good Guys getting it back again. Chase. Explosion. Destruction of Eiffel Tower for the second time this summer. (Do we really hate the French, or what?) It all concludes when one of the villains takes the place of the President of the United States (Jonathan Pryce, "Bedtime Stories"). What is the real nature of his evil plan?

To be continued.

It's an old-fashioned Saturday matinee serial writ large. You don't have to feel embarrassed by enjoying this kind of movie as long as you don't try to convince your friends that it would make an ideal topic for a doctoral dissertation. Having fun with a Sommers movie doesn't disqualify you from pondering the meaning of Bergman and Fellini any more than your taste for fine wine will be corrupted by a cold beer. Just add a hot dog to the beer and kick back.

"”Doug Bentin

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