Wednesday, October 14, 2009

G.I. Joe - The Tale of Plastic Toys and Sinking Ice

By now it should be obvious to anyone that Hollywood is scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas. The same plots are being chewed over and over, sequels are abundant (mildly put), remakes are being made a couple of years after the original, all Japanese/Korean/French/insert-any-country-here movies worth seeing are instantly rendered for the English speaking market, comic books are on the verge of exhaustion (heh, they're instant movies - screenplay and storyboard ready, just pour some sugar and stir)... The reasonable question "what have we missed to turn into a soap opera spanning 30 years" sadly got quite an unreasonable answer - toys. Yeah, the Transformers™ until recently only had an animated feature, so there's a lot of ground to break. Gotta love the studios' assumption that we're all just retards who are dying to see their favorite childhood toy in reeeeeal action. The result? PG-13 starts to seem like an overkill, we need PG-3 - not as a precaution against those toddlers sneaking into the theater and watching some PG-7 movie, but as a warning to those of us who have come of age and who are probably stuffing the most money in tickets, effectively encouraging the shit-regurgitating industry to throw at us Transformers and whatnot... "Whatnot" here being (hold still!) the announced "Monopoly" project to be directed by Ridley Scott (sic!) and what will probably serve as the perfect "I told you so!" target for decades, "Naval battle". Although that pales in comparison to the chilling thought that someone may think of making a full feature out of a naughts-and-crosses game. If that happens, however, I want my share of the income!

Anyway, "Naval battle" may end up in some capable hands and actually turn up at least bearable. This isn't the case with "G.I. Joe", which probably is the punishment for some bad thing I must have done in a previous life. To whatever higher power there is - I got it, I repent, you can safely stop now with the torture. Seriously, it was THAT bad. The PG-13 rating is a fucking joke - do not, I repeat, DO NOT take your kids to watch G.I. Joe, unless you don't care about their mental development and health. The "script", for lack of a better word, was ridiculous, nothing, and I mean literary nothing makes any sense - not one single line. The only enjoyable moments were the inevitable reminiscences to "Team America", which caused several outbursts of inappropriate to the gravity of the respective moment homeric laughter on my part. Not that there was anything original, mind you - for example, you could find a scene quite similar to the exoskeleton chasing sequence in the Japanese anime "Vexille". The acting... well, let's put it that way - Marlon Wayans (of all people) put up the best performance, how's that? As to the "Firefox"-inspired scene with the voice commands on that plane - luckily for everyone it wasn't programmed to take commands in Swahili or Sanskrit, Celtic is common knowledge, you know. Facepalm moments are abundant; the sinking ice is just one of them. There are also plenty of opinions that the movie isn't consistent with the mythos, but I couldn't care less about toys and the marketing stories behind them.

Of course, measures had been taken to keep the interest of the already mentioned in previous reviews wet-palm teenage crowd, these including impressive looking breast-plate armor suits (with accent on breast) - if you stare at them long enough, you may even notice other body parts - and tight latex-looking outfits for the girls. Yawn. And that's bad judgment on the part of the movie makers too - if they are grown enough to develop interest in ladies, they have probably also outgrown the action figures. This is actually good news, as they will be spared this and all future profound movies about the fights and struggles of plastic toys.
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Transformers 2: Revenge of the fallen

After watching this, I'm deeply convinced there is only one possible reason why the previous Michael Bay pictures were successful (or at least successfulish, G-d forgive me for coining this word). The way I see it - the amounts of explosives ordered would violate some conventional weapon treaty, so he had to stick at least something else (chase scenes, dialog, whatever) in these never-under-three-hours bloated action flicks. Seriously, the guy's a obviously a pyromaniac and needs to be treated, not encouraged to indulge his passion for all things KABOOM.

Sadly, the Transformers 2 movie somehow slipped under the UN armaments control authorities radar and delivered on-screen the equivalent of what seems like 30 megatons of TNT. There was nothing else in the movie, just explosions, things blowing up, things blowing other things up, detonations, bursts and blasts. That and abundant shots of Megan Fox' bouncing anatomy in slow motion (hey, the movie's PG-13, let's give them teen wankers some jerk off material).

Ok, I got carried away a little (but then again, who wouldn't?), there were also a couple of transformations, but these were impossible to watch without ending motion-sick - too many too colorful parts moving too fast in too many directions, so I had to take my eyes off the screen and breathe deep to avoid adding my own colors to this kaleidoscopic vertigo. Umm, I seem to remember a couple of attempts at humor - not very funny, I mean, the uber-robot got a pair of huge brass cojones and I'm supposed to laugh? The laughs came from other places - like seeing Jordanian territory from the site of the great pyramids at Giza. Now that's what I call good eyesight, last time I saw a map, there was still a Sinai Peninsula in the way (and several smaller obstacles like the city of Cairo and the whole Israel state). Never mind that the three stars in the Orion belt could just as easily point at sun dawn to Libya, depending on the day and the month. Nice to revisit the site of Petra, though, it's been some time since Indiana Jones dropped by.

The Transformers 2 definitely has the best bang-for-the-buck ratio, the downside is you only get bang, nothing else – not even some mindless pop-corn and soda summer fun. Unless you're obsessed with Megan the abovementioned Fox cleavage, but in this case you wouldn't mind some twitching spare parts in the background anyway.
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