Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Aragorn, Aug 5, 2009.
Someone else who hasn't seen Transformers 2.
I saw both flicks and while I thoroughly understand and appreciate viewers who prefer GI Joe, objectively speaking, I'd say TF2 was a better crafted film.
Yeah, being skull-fucked for a solid hour with explosions and nonsense is such a great "craft."
It's gotten 39% so far on Rotten Tomatoes ... ouch.
It seems that some people weren't able to follow what was going on.
Destro was in charge of MARS not COBRA. CC took down MARS, took revenge on Destro for what happened to him, and has the pieces in place to strike against GI Joe and try and take over the world.
The barroness is evil, the nanomites are what took her over to make her "good". This is the very reason why hers were designed to be near impossiable to remove. She is a plant.
This was also why Duke's unit was chosen. CC wanted to take him out as payback, but when Duke joined up with GI Joe, it set up the whole scheme even better.
I wonder what this means for a sequel.
If you think that you were "skull f*cked" watching TF 2, that's your business. But I knew exactly what that film was going to do before I went into the theater to watch it. And you should have known it, too. TF 2 was advertised as a bigger, louder, more juvenile, more obnoxious version of TF1 (and TF1 was not a very good film, either). And that's exactly what TF2 was. I'm not saying that TF2 was a "well-crafted" film, just that it's "better" than Joe.
Joe was essentially the same approach -- the same mindless, pointless violence, thin plot, carboard characters, cool gadgets, etc. -- without the same production values of TF 2. The CGI of Joe was much, much worse. The acting wasn't any better. And I nearly fell asleep during long stretches of the film, such as the whole "training" sequences.
Again, I've no problem with someone saying they prefer Joe to TF2 (to each their own, of course -- and I was mostly entertained by both films), but, in my mind at least, TF2 is the better-crafted film -- such as it is.
Honestly, I'm thoroughly intrigued by people who think TF2 is terrible, and yet accept the same (or similar) faults from Joe.
^ I don't think either of these movies deserve the "juvenile/silly/mindless" comments that they're getting. Being fun, colorful and entertaining doesn't mean they're a lower from of movie.
Interesting. I didn't see it that way, but it seems to work.
It was pretty obvious. CC started messing with controls in his lab at the very moment when she started to get "flashed". I'm surprised more people didn't notice that.
^ The funny thing is I noticed all that, I just didn't see it with that perspective in mind.
Haven't seen this yet. I don't get the dumbing-down approach, though, the burgers and fries approach. Yes, you can make a fun movie that way, but damn. G.I. Joe through issue #50 was some good storytelling, especially the Snake Eyes stuff. Does Hollywood think its the kids that need the dumbing-down, or the adults?
So I went against my usually much higher standards for movies (aka snobbery) and gave this one a look. I didn't think it was a complete waste of time. It was stupid, but pretty decent for a summer action/popcorn movie. I definitely think it's good for kids.
The biggest problem is that it completely lacked substance. I was shocked by how shallow it was. Maybe it's because I'm not used to watching this kind of movie, but even in Sommers' "The Mummy", there was terrific chemistry between the romantic leads so you could love and care about them.
All the relationships in this movie were just pitifully undercooked. It was like X-Men without any heart and much less coherence. I often say characters are more important to me than plot, so I can forgive and even really like a movie with a disappointing plot if the characters are believable, interesting, and endearing enough that they're easy to root for ("Star Trek" being the best recent example of a movie I felt that way about).
With this movie, for once I liked the plot more than the characters. I liked the plot because it's more simple and traditional than the overwrought AllSpark nonsense in "Transformers". Evil villains try to take over the world, good guys try to stop them, and we get constant scenes of characters from each side squaring off, including one in each team's secret lair. It's perfect in its simplicity.
But the following things irked me...
- Channing Tatum and Rachel Nichols were awful. Tatum's Duke is probably the most bland and disappointing 'hero' of a protagonist I've ever seen. When he yelled at Cobra Commander, his hatred was completely unconvincing.
- The excessive CGI at the end. It was fun at first, but they really overdid it with that underwater stuff, which was the point where I couldn't really tell or care about what was going on anymore.
- Ripcord hitting on Scarlett and her ending up liking him more afterwards. So fake. So lame. A scene of more pathetically unconvincing wooing I cannot recall. The writing and acting in that scene was just shamefully poor and amateurish.
- I don't like how Cobra Commander totally exposed and explained his identity to Duke, revealing a connection to Duke and Baroness. I think it would have been better to leave him more of a mystery. Duke being able to call him by his real first name sucked.
- In fact, I didn't like any of the characters having past connections, except Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes (although it was weird how dialog-less, and therefore empty their flashbacks were. The story with their master might have been poignant if it hadn't had so much more action than dialog).
- Cobra Commander's two different masks were both crap. If they didn't want him to wear his traditional one because they think it looks like a KKK mask, they should have just given him the helmet with the reflective front.
Maybe the characters would have felt more real and sympathetic if there were more scenes of them getting to know each other, but since the one scene like that (the aforementioned Ripcord and Scarlett debacle) was so horrible, I guess we were better off without them. Instead, almost all character development happened in flashbacks which were so blatantly obvious, cliche, and devoid of subtly, originality, and depth, that I ended up liking them in a campy way.
The movie really does have all the depth of an outdated, lazy, hackneyed action cartoon, and I found that rather charming. I just wish it looked more like one. It was too dark, and other than the ninjas and the women, everyone had really boring costumes. It's hard to get into a movie where there's no character I can connect with, sympathize with, or even simply admire for his or her coolness (although Cobra Commander sorta worked that way to a very small degree), but there were a few highlights...
- I loved how General Hawk used the trademark G.I. Joe catchphrase so casually.
- I believe Cobra Commander's voice was as perfect a cartoon villain voice as there ever was in a live action movie. It reminded me of Optimus Prime in the new Transformers movies. If I didn't know better, I'd think the same person who did the voice in the cartoons (which I've never seen) provided it.
- My favourite moments were when Baroness pulled down her glasses over her nose and smiled at Duke (really sexy and cool) , and Cobra's delightfully cartoonish villainy (in dialog and actions) at the end.
The one big compliment I'll give this movie without any reservations is that unlike the first "Lord of the Rings" and "Transformers" movies (and please understand I'm not saying I think it's objectively better than either, although I did enjoy it more than "Lord of the Rings"), it actually made me anxious for a sequel. Part of that is because of the cliffhanger nature of the ending, but also because I see so much potential in the stories and characters (especially Cobra Commander, who only really got to shine a little at the very end) that this movie sets the stage for. The movie was dragged down by time spent establishing who the characters were, especially with flashbacks. With that out of the way, they might be able to tell a much more streamlined story next time.
While I said after "Star Trek" that I just hope the sequel gives the characters a better plot, I hope a sequel to this will give a plot better characters. If the people in this movie would just be injected with a serious dose of humanity, plausibility, personality, and resonance (instead of nanites ) and get some dialog that actually has some wit and effective humour, we could get a sequel that really rocks and maybe even approaches the fine balance of action and heart that made the second X-Men movie so exceptional.
Nope! Looked horrible. I wasn't planning on seeing G.I. Joe, but some friends invited me.
I went in with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. I didn't quite expect it to be so over the top (those vast underground bases!) but I could live with it. Good dumb action movie with comic book overtones.
Just as I expected, pretty bad. The biggest summary of this movie:
First off, what they did right?
Zartan - I like Zartan a lot. Visually, he looked nothing like the Zartan from either the comic or cartoon but he had his mannerisms. I like his transformation as well since it made sense that literally, his bones would have to change for him to look like someone else. His whistling was a little creepy but I like it.
Baroness and her brother - Many people don't know that in the comics, the Baroness did, in fact have a brother. Not Cobra Commander but she did have a brother.
Duke - They got him down pretty good as the All-American guy. A little younger than anything though.
The Nightraven - Spot on!
The Sharcs as well!
The casting was pretty good IMO. I like Scarlett with her crossbow (a nice nod). Snake Eyes was great. Heavy Duty as well. I like the nod to Breaker and him chewing gum. And the little cameo of Jinx.
Biggest nod was to the Neo Vipers and the nano-technology. Something that came up in the new comics (Devil Due's) and that was fairly well done. I also like Dr. Mindbender.
But I can't give over how...narrow minded the producers/script writers/whoever was. I mean I really wonder how much Larry Hama had over this script.
I didn't like the Baroness and Duke's relationship. I didn't like they gave Cobra Commander a name, though I can kind of understand going from a used car's salesman to a soldier makes sort of sense but I liked him being a used cars sales man.
I didn't like Snake Eye's decision on being mute. I think they should have left that out.
But going back to how narrow minded the script writers are...unlike Transformers, it isn't hard to throw cameos out there of OTHER soldiers. Even names.
It makes no sense why they didn't have any of their artic special teams out there. Snow Job (change the name), Frostbite or even Iceberg. I mean come on! The team isn't 4 people. Or Torpedo, Wet Suit, Shipwreck, I mean they could have at least thrown names out of specialized soldiers they have (Shipwreck not so much).
Secondly, why was Ripcord the only pilot the Joe's had? I mean aren't they the best of the best? Why couldn't they send planes up. They have Ace, Wild Bill, and a few other great pilots. Why just Ripcord?
That killed the movie for me is how very small they made the universe.
It struck me that towards the end with the big battle sequence we saw a ton of pilots. It just happened that was the pilot they had on hand at the time at the Cobra base. I actually appreciated the fact that there weren't 1,000 Joes running around for us to keep track of. I think that was part of what took away from Transformers. You'd see Random Character X go do something and then ... he's gone. Jolt, Sideways, Arcee's twins etc. all got that treatment in RoTF and I'd rather see the likes of Ace, Wild Bill and so on get better treatment than that.
That said, I wouldn't have minded if during the final battle we heard some call outs similar to the pilots in "Star Wars" calling out to each other to get in formation and so on, but ultimately it would have been more of an easter egg for fans than anything else.
Is this franchise going to be one and done or be financially successful enough for sequels?
It mostly paid for itself in one weekend. I'd expect a sequel if I were you.
I suspect that between the worldwide box office, home video and toy sales (a portion of which, as with Transformers, goes to Paramount), this will certainly make back its budget and get a sequel green-lit.
For what it was worth, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It's not high art, and it's certainly not even good, but I was never bored.
As opposed to being skullfucked with the nonsense and underwater ballet and rotting metal instead of actual explosions?
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