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News Around the Net!

I followed a link the other day to the 10 Most Insane, Child-Warping Moments of ’80s Cartoons.  Pretty funny stuff there.  I’d also like to direct your attention to this list of the 10 Star Wars Toys that Unintentionally Look Like Other Celebrities.  (It’s worth your while if only so that you, too, can be stunned by the resemblance of General Riekaan — from The Empire Strikes Back — to Senator John Kerry!!)

I’ve just discovered a phenomenal web-comic called Let’s Be Friends Again.  It’s mostly about comic books.  I love it to death, and it’s well worth your precious time, so check it out.

Have you seen this ten-minute fan-made live-action G.I. Joe film, Battle For the Serpent Stone?  I’m a big proponent of fan-films, and this one is of pretty high quality.  It’s quite an achievement — take a look.

Here’s a link to an terrific interview with IDW Comics editor Scott Dunbier, discussing his work in putting out the gorgeous new hardcover Bloom County: The Complete Library, Volume One (1980-1982), the first of five books that will collect every single strip (many of which have never before been collected) of Berkeley Breathed’s masterpiece comic strip.  I lust after this collection, and very much hope that Mr. Dunbier is able to move forward with collections of Outland and Opus as well.

This is a great story about an annoying movie theatre patron.  I wish there was a theatre like The Alamo Drafthouse here in Boston, because I would be more than happy to spend an enormous amount of money watching movies there and nowhere else.  I am sick to death of having my enjoyment of a movie interrupted by some jackass talking, texting, or some other such nonsense.

Harvard University is offering a class on The Wire??? Sign me up!!

I never believed it would happen, but filming on the two-film adaptation of The Hobbit is coming closer and closer to getting underway.  Click here for an interesting interview with director Guillermo del Toro with some updates on how things are progressing.

Despite my renewed appreciation for the final run of episodes of Battlestar Galactica, this hilarious evisceration of the plot points in the last 45 minutes of the finale is impossible to argue with.

Here’s a terrific list of one fellow’s Top 15 Episodes of Batman: The Animated Series.  It’s an interesting list.  I absolutely adore episodes such as “Over The Edge,” “Mad Love,” “Robin’s Reckoning,” and “Heart of Ice,” and I was also pleased to see some lesser-known gems like “The Ultimate Thrill” and “Growing Pains” make the cut.  (However, while “If You’re So Smart, Why … [continued]

Browse Josh's Portfolio and the Comic, Reviews or Blog archive.

Summer Movie Catch-Up: Josh Reviews G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

August 19th, 2009
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Growing up, my two favorite cartoons, by an order of magnitude, were The Transformers and G.I. Joe.  That makes it sort of hard to believe that this summer saw the release of  a live-action, big-budget movie version of both of those beloved (by me, at least!) old TV shows.

Wish I could say either one of them was any good!

Although, I must confess that I enjoyed G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra way more than I expected to, and a good deal more than the really undeniably terrible Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.  I mean, take a look at these two trailers:

Doesn’t Transformers look awesome, and G.I. Joe pretty terrible?  But the reality is that G.I. Joe wound up being a far-more entertaining and coherent film.

Heh.  Coherent.  That’s a funny word to use to describe G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, a film that is completely over-the-top and ridiculous from the first frame to the last.  But, whereas Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was a film that made absolutely not one lick of sense (and click here if you don’t believe me), with nothing even remotely resembling a logical progression from one scene to the next, G.I. Joe is actually a pretty straightforward adventure film.

Army grunts Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) witness the complete annihilation of their convoy by a highly advanced terrorist organization, and get swept up in the efforts of G.I. Joe, an elite multi-nation fighting force, to stop the bad guys.

Again, I realize the silliness of my calling this film “straightforward.”  Though it’s live-action, this movie is a complete cartoon, filled with soap-opera entanglements for almost all of the main characters and one crazily insane action sequence after another.  But in contrast to Transformers, there is a coherency to the plot.  There is some sense as to how one event leads into the next, and while I had to check imdb to figure out some characters’ names (for instance, I had no idea that Lost‘s Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was supposed to be Heavy Duty), I didn’t have any trouble telling any of the myriad good guys and bad guys apart from one another (again, in marked contrast to Transformers).

The actors all seem to be having a lot of fun, and the cast is, for the most part, pretty solid.  I have never really understood the need for comic relief characters in films like this, but Marlon Wayans’ Ripcord isn’t too terribly annoying.  Channing Tatum’s Duke is fairly stiff, but I guess he’s supposed to be.  Dennis Quaid (looking more and more like Harrison Ford with each passing year) chews great scenery as General Hawk.  … [continued]