Sunday, August 9, 2009

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, as many of you know, was only screened for a handful of critics who could be relied upon by the studio to give a good review. As a film critic, I want to thank the studio for sparing many of my peers from having to watch what can only be considered dreck based simply on the trailer. This film is the reason I don't review mainstream cinema.

Back when I first started writing for Film Threat I was asked if I would be interested in reviewing the big studio pictures. I declined for several reasons, all of which continue to be true. The first reason was that I don't like many mainstream films. They do what they do fine (for the most part), but to quote Suicidal Tendencies, I want more. The second reason, and this is even more important, is that these films get enough press as it is, and if I'm reviewing something like G.I. Joe, I'm not reviewing The Dysfunctional Book Club (a film I just reviewed). My review of Iron Man ain't gonna matter one bit, but I may actually be able to get something like Hacks new viewers. (Which, by the way, is exactly what I did.)

Back to the Joes. When a studio doesn't screen a film for critics it should be a red flag to viewers (many of whom will see it anyway). This flag screams, "We have no confidence in this film!" That should tell potential viewers everything right there. If the studio has no confidence in a film, why should you spend your money on it? The answer is: You shouldn't. When a studio does such a thing I just wants to get the biggest opening weekend possible, without any negative reviews, and then hope the picture recoups money overseas and on DVD. It's a ploy that has too many variables to actually determine a success rate, but it is worth noting as to why it is used.

Many people, some of them my friends, will see this film regardless of the studio's confidence level in it. They'll complain it was crap, and I'll toss off a snide remark or two. Worse, they may be apologists for it saying the usual things. "The story sucked, but the effects were awesome." You know those lines. You've heard them before and may have even said them.

It's the Joes. People are going to see it. I just think it's ridiculous so many people are so eager to prove they are suckers.


  1. I'll wait for the dvd, so we can cuddle on the couch together as movie mayhem ensues. "Go, Joe!"

    My favorite line in a review of the movie comes courtesy of The San Francisco Chronicle:

    "Yes, this film is best enjoyed if you're an 11-year-old boy - or a grown-up man who just drank four cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon."

    I'm willing to argue that one could cut the age in 1/2, as well as increase the amount of alcohol consumption needed to enjoy this "film."

    Christ, it has a Wayans Bro in the damn cast, if that isn't an indication of the "depth" of this film, I don't know what is.

    And knowing is 1/2 the battle?

  2. I think it would be funny to go to the theatre with a bag full of dice and every time Snake Eyes comes on screen I would yell "Snake Eyes!" Then I would toss two dice at the screen. It would be like watching "Rocky Horror Picture Show," except there'd be less homosexuals in attendance.