Thought For The Day 7/29/09

“G.I. Joe” will be out next week, an event which will likely mark a “sink or swim” moment for the burgeoning subgenre of “action films based on animated TV programs which actually advertisments for action figures” (someone needs to “name” this) in as much as it’s the first one to come out post-“Transformers” and trends are gauged by how much the subsequent entries play out. Remember, when the first “Batman” movie hit in 1989 everyone assumed the start of a “superhero boom” and HUNDREDS of comic book movies were optioned… but most of them never got made and most of those that did didn’t pan out very well. The genre slid into dormancy for years, only to eventually reawaken after the one-two punch of “Blade” and “X-Men” and the subsequent “Spider-Man” knockout.

Here’s my question: What exactly does “G.I. Joe” have to do to be considered an artistic failure, objectively? I mean, once it’s out it’ll be only the SECOND entry into the entire genre, and let’s face it: You KNOW it’s going to be better than “Transformers” because EVERYTHING is better than “Transformers.” So… is that it? Does Joe automatically get to be the “best ______-movie EVER” and that’s that, or does there need to be some other standard applied because this particular test is too easy to pass?

15 thoughts on “Thought For The Day 7/29/09

  1. untravaersil says:

    Im actually betting Joe will be worse than transformers, if only because the absolute cheesiness that is the ______ genre will only age worse with time, and that I was less familiar with transformers, which therefore didn't rape my childhood as much.

    As for the genre name, maybe something named after a particular purveyor of bad film. Bruckheimers?


  2. FistfulOAwesome says:

    Every movie ever made is judged against every other movie ever made. I will judge Joe (although not really since I won't watch it since all the preview clips show it to be a piece of crap) against the Star Wars Trilogy, The Dark Knight, Jurassic Park, and every other great movie ever made. Because at 2 hours and 7 bucks, I'm allowed to demand the best, and so should everyone else (need something to unwind on the weekend, you might say? What's stopping you from renting a classic at half the price (and less if seen with friends).


  3. Gray says:

    How about just calling it best “toy-ad cartoon based” movie SO FAR instead of ever? I guess it means the same, it just gives a different impression ^^


  4. Robert says:

    I’m going to be a little skeptical when it comes to G.I. Joe. Though I was never a huge fan, I watched a few episodes and played with the action figures when at my cousin’s house. He was probably as big of a Joe fan as I was a Transformers fan.

    But the reason for my skepticisms is the one thing I remember most fondly about both the show and the figures. The uniqueness of every single character, exampled in their costumes. The everyone looks the same uniform is true to the army yes, but not to Joe. This rubbed me the wrong way with X-men and rubs me the wrong way here too. But unlike what they did with X-men they seem to be doing something Joe to further take away from original intentions, by giving everyone the same power with those suits. I say seems because I’m not sure, but what I remember about Joe is everyone had different powers and weaknesses and in the end it was team work that won the day. That’s also what separated them from cobra and it completely undermines the “Real American Hero” if the suit is doing all the work and you’re not the one whose special.


  5. Christian says:

    At 24, I'm too young to get in on the “my childhood in tatters!” rage.

    So, basically, all I see are movies starring Megan Fox and Marlon Wayans.

    I skipped Transformers, and I'll skip this one.


  6. NobleBear says:

    If you dressed the Joes like Xmen (themselves a matrix rip) and put them in a hack wannabe Team America plot what you'll get is…exactly what will hit theaters in a week.

    The uniforms really kill it for me, not merely because it homogenizes the look of otherwise very distinct characters but because it sends a message that what they have to offer as elite specialists is no longer adequate, we have to give them super powers because they couldn't hack it otherwise. That is both denigrating and retarded.


  7. Bob says:

    Regarding the outfits, what I'm hearing from people who've seen it (or portions of it) the Joes only use the Iron Man type suits the first trailer was hyping so hard for one or two action scenes. The rest of the time (supposedly) they're basically wearing semi-futuristic versions of various military “greens” and/or kevlar-look flexi-armor.

    Incidentally, these snippets I've heard thus far have 9 times out of 10 come with qualifiers essentially saying that they thought the movie was surprisingly good. The early consensus seems to be that it's basically an action-heavy (and supposedly more violent than anyone was expecting) “army-man” movie aimed at very young boys – which IMO is exactly the tone GI Joe should have. (My #1 gripe with Transformers, at the end of the day, is that it doesn't seem to understand that these characters are for grade-schoolers, not college-age douchebags.)

    FWIW, Devin Faraci over on Chud has a HUGELY positive review up, in which he more-or-less describes it as a live-action version of what little kids playing with Joe figures would make up. I'm inclined to believe him – not just because that sounds like the best way to do this, but because “hyperactive kid with a bucket of action figures” handily describes Stephen Sommers usual approach to action. Perhaps he's just been waiting for the right material…


  8. Robert says:


    Well wow, you have allivated quite a bit of my negative veiw on the subject. I think I'll see it, more than that, I might enjoy it too. Same goes for my cousin…I'll let him know what you said.

    I trust you, seeing as I've agreed with you more often than not.


  9. seiberwing says:

    For one, it has to be fun. Transformers wasn't great and Transformers RotF blew, but it had Giant Freaking Robots to keep people entertained. GI Joe has no such escape hatch.

    If it's a subpar or even mediumpar action movie with nothing to make it particularly Joeish, it's a failure.


  10. kenpai says:

    Has anyone noticed all the German and other foreign weaponry? G36, glock, AUG, some other bullpup AR OH AN DOUNT FURGET TEH EM16! I get that special forces use varied weapons, but it's hard to say a real AMERICAN hero while Joe's sporting a Austrian Glock variant. I'd love to see him with a classic Colt 1911 variant


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