And so it begins– G.I. Joe Retaliation reviews on RottenTomatoes

G.I. Joe Retaliation March 28

This week film critics will begin posting their reviews of G.I. Joe Retaliation as it FINALLY makes it’s debut in US theaters. For many moviegoers, review aggregator RottenTomatoes.com has become the all important measuring stick for what to expect in terms of the movie-going experience.  So, this week G.I. Joe fans will watch the all-important “Tomato Meter” as it ticks up and down with each new critics input over a film that we’ve been eagerly anticipating for the past nine months.  However, as of last night, the film has started to earn a score and it’s hopeful.  VERY hopeful.

G.I. Joe Retaliation @ Rottentomatoes.com – Currently sitting at 88%!

Granted the Tomato Meter is a pretty black and white indicator; a critic either is ranked as liking a film or not which is translated into either “fresh” or “rotten”.  However, 88% is a pretty strong start for a film that follows on the footsteps of what is now regarded as a critical clunker.  (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra has a whopping 34% with all critics and only 23% with top critics.)  Yet things seem different this time around.  Whereas the trailers for RoC focused on the completely ridiculous Iron Man ripoff Accelerator Suit sequence, the media blitz for G.I. Joe Retaliation has focused on a combination of ninja action and strong character performance from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  Non-Joe friends of mine have commented to me in recent weeks that this film actually looks interesting.  (Yes, I do have “non-Joe” friends.)  Many of them have expressed interest in checking it out whereas all RoC earned from them was a “that’s a rental.”

The point of all of this is that the tide of the G.I. Joe brand might be turning.  Rise of Cobra dealt the brand some pretty strong blows.  Retailers saw the brand as a struggling after the glut of movie-related product failed to ignite strong sales and went to clearance.  Casual film goers saw G.I. Joe as a kitchy kids franchise with no really substance to hold older viewers.  Even the fandom became divided over those who hated the film and those who felt compelled to defend it “because it was the only G.I. Joe film we had.”  (Yes I realize that there are also fans out there who liked the film.)  Regardless, G.I. Joe Retaliation offers the brand and the fandom something we’ve not had in a good long while– hope.  Hope that recognition of our favorite characters will once again be seen in a positive light and that audiences and consumers will see the G.I. Joe brand as something that has some real life to it once again.

Keep watching that Tomato Meter, folks.  That’s what the casual internet-savvy audiences will be using as their barometer.

March 28 is just a few days away.  We’re almost there!

5 days to G.I. Joe Retaliation – motion

Twitziller counts down the final few days until G.I. Joe Retaliation with today’s reason to be excited – the use of “Motion”.

G.I. Joe Retaliation motion

A properly choreographed fight sequence is very much akin to an intricate dance. The individuals involved flow and shift with each other’s moves to form a seamless piece that is more effective than the sum of its parts.  As a long time fan of martial movies, I’ve seen this time and time again– both in the films and in the interviews that accompany them on DVD.  However, the same can also be said for action sequences in general in film– they’re all about motion.  It’s what separates a film from other visual media like comic books.  The effective use of movement enhance a scene where as too much motion can utterly destroy it.  (Anyone remember the motion-sickness inducing car chase as the end of the Bourne Supremacy?)  Director Jon M. Chu seems to employ motion effectively in the clips we’ve seen thus far– keeping his camera perspectives steady for the most part while letting the visual focus be on the actors and the subjects of the scenes.  The audiences eyes are draw to the motion of the film, not the motion of the camera trying to capture the action and the result looks like it will be a visual feast for the eyes.

It’s good to see the G.I. Joe brand being treated in such a respectful fashion rather than as a “live action kids cartoon” this time around.

Check out the rest of Twitziller’s images below as the countdown to G.I. Joe Retaliation continues!

6 days until G.I. Joe Retaliation – Cobra Commander’s battle helmet

Twitziller counts down the final few days until G.I. Joe Retaliation with today’s reason to be excited – Cobra Commander’s battle helmet.

G.I. Joe Retaliation Cobra Commmander battle helmet

Let’s face it- Cobra Commander looked ridiculous in Rise of Cobra.  His mask, seen on screen for all of 5 minutes, resembled a silver bed pan more than anything he’d ever worn before.  Thankfully the production designers this time paid attention to the source material and the incredible Retaliation Cobra Commander was born.  Now if they can just erase that whole “Rex Lewis” garbage from existence.

Check out the recent JBL Review of the G.I. Joe Retaliation Cobra Commander and peruse the rest of Twitziller’s images below:

7 days until G.I. Joe Retaliation – Roadblock

Twitziller is counting down the final seven days until G.I. Joe Retaliation with today’s reason to be jazzed: ROADBLOCK!

day 7 - roadblock

As a kid, I had a core group of favorite Joes– and the center of the group where Gung-Ho and Roadblock!  In some ways they were the Riggs & Murtaugh, Butch & Sundance,  .  On of my favorite stories featuring them was in Marvel Comics G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vol 1 #39 – #41 which involved a mission to Sierra Gordo.  Two of my favorites were front and center– what’s not to love?!

When it came time to play one of the largest Joes in the sequel film, Paramount went to one of the biggest names in entertainment – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  It’s a brilliant move as who else would be able to wield the giant M2 (as seen above) and yet still exude the charisma to play the team’s resident heavy machine gunner and chef?  The Rock brings with him not only a fan base but a strong confident portrayal of a fan-favorite character with the action-hero chops to back it up.  Seriously– the casting director should get one heck of a Christmas bonus for this!

Now if only Gung-Ho can join him in the sequel!

Check out the rest of Twitziller’s images below:

8 days until G.I. Joe Retaliation – tank battle

Twitziller takes us into the final stretch with today’s reason to be excited about the debut of G.I. Joe Retaliation: the tank battle!

day-8-tank-battle

I just want to say “it’s about time!”  Growing up as a young Joe fan I always had a soft spot for the tanks of the toy line.  The MOBAT, the Mauler, the HISS– these were the things of legend in a kids military toy line!  When G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra debuted in theatres the final act of the film featured CGI submarines fighting in CGI water with CGI sinking ice.  Yawn.  This time around, we’re seeing some real tanks (at least the Ripsaw) in a REAL tank battle!  It’s the kind of final that kids played out time and time again in their back yards with their own toy tanks.  This time, however, it’ll be exploding on the big screen and that’s just fine with me!

Check out the rest of Twitziller’s “40 Reasons to be Excited About G.I. Joe Retaliation” series below:

G.I. Joe Retaliation score available on Google Play store

G.I. Joe Retaliation soundtrack score

My dislike of Apple isn’t very veiled. So, when it was announced that the G.I. Joe Retaliation soundtrack album was available prior to April 2 on iTunes, I knew I had to seek another venue for obtaining it. Thankfully, a quick search on my Android phone revealed that iTunes wasn’t the only game in town!

G.I. Joe Retaliation by Henry Jackman – Google Play $9.49

Here’s the track listing one more time for those who might have missed it before:

Prologue (2:00)
Arashikage (1:38)
Get Me The GI Joes (2:34)
Friendly Fire (1:42)
Exile (3:34)
Presidential Facade (2:38)
Einsargen (2:44)
Making Things Go Boom (2:10)
Storm Shadow (2:12)
Bad Dojo (5:05)
Lady In Red (3:18)
Fighting Ugly (1:51)
Fort Sumter (2:37)
Scare Tactics (2:29)
I Want It All (0:51)
End Game (4:10)
Honor Restored (2:49)
Firefly (4:19)
Zartan (7:25)

Enjoy!  I know what I’ll be listening to right up until March 28, 2013!

9 days until G.I. Joe Retaliation – 3D

Twitziller continues the countdown as we approach one week out from the opening of G.I. Joe Retaliation in theatres.  Today’s reason to be excited: 3D!

day-9-3d

Nine months ago the words “3D conversion” were akin to heresy in the G.I. Joe community.  After a long wait, the release of G.I. Joe Retaliation was unexpected delayed with Paramount Pictures citing a much-needed conversion to 3D as the reason.  Fans were outraged and rumors began to circle: the film tested poorly, more Channing Tatum was being added, Cobra had succeeded in getting it pulled from theatres, etc.  Regardless of the rumor, it seems that 3D had been part of director Jon M. Chu’s plan all along and he shot the film with 3D in mind.  According to recent interviews with the producers, once the studio execs saw the footage they insisted it be converted over to 3D– even if it meant the film was no longer a summer tent pole feature.

While many fans might doubt the reasons for the delay, it’s the release of clips such as the 4 minutes of mountain top ninja battle action released earlier today that really show how amazing this film will look when the “third dimension” is added.  Oh yeah, this is going to be amazing!

You can view the rest of Twitziller’s countdown below:

4 minute clip from G.I. Joe Retaliation online!

I’ve tried to stay spoiler-free when it comes to G.I. Joe Retaliation.  Really, I have.  I’ve only watched the shorter clips and have avoided asking those fortunate souls who’ve already seen the movie for details.  However, some times there are things so amazing that they prove that I’m really a weak weak Joe fan.

Remember that preview footage that was shown exclusively with the Hansel & Gretel film?  Well, the crew at ComicBookMovie.com have come through for the fandom and have been able to post the video on YouTube.

Seriously– be prepared for some pure AWESOME.

WOW! WOW!!  WOW!!!  From the pacing to the camera work to the scoring I was getting chills while watching this!  While it may be “just an action sequence” it’s the kind of amazing martial arts prowess that I’ve come to expect from the G.I. Joe comics.  Seriously– words are pretty much failing me right now.

Why is it not March 28th yet?!!!

The G.I. Joe Retaliation review that matters

Larry Hama

Larry Hama

In the next week there will be a lot of critics who turn their eye toward G.I. Joe Retaliation and offer their thoughts on the film’s merits.  Some will be familiar with the property and others will not– and therefore these reviews have the potential to be a bit of a mixed bag.  Sure, the critic for the Springfield Herald might have enjoyed the film but he might not have any idea of who the charaters are, etc.

Yesterday, Larry Hama, the fan-dubbed “godfather of G.I. Joe” was treated to a screening of the film.  The author of the majority of the file cards and comics from the A Real American Hero as well as the current ARAH comic from IDW, no single individual has contributed more to the characters of G.I. Joe than Larry.  He posted his spoiler-free thoughts on the film last night on Facebook:

I liked RETALIATION a lot. Vast improvement over ROC. Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow are much more up front, and the whole thing is a lot more character-driven. Not only is there no sinking ice, but the big finale involves physical action with people rather than choreography of CGI vehicles. The Rock is perfect as Roadblock, and Bruce Willis’s take on Joe Colton is brill (he has some of the best lines.) There’s no sign of Scarlett, but the actress who plays Lady Jaye is quite good. Jinx is amazing. Flint is kind of meh. Overall, the direction is terrific and crisp. I can tell what is going on all the time, and everything LOOKS great. Ninja fight sequence in the mountains is amazing, in that you never lose track of what is happening, and there’s a ton of fast visual input. Is there stuff I didn’t like? That would be quibbling. The positive outweighs the negative here. And I walked out feeling that the characters had been treated with respect.

Larry’s background not only time in the US Army and extensive martial arts training but even work as a guild-sanctioned actor.  To hear that he felt the characters were treated well and that the film’s direction is solid may help reassure a lot of fans who were still on the fence about a live action sequel in the wake of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

March 28 is rapidly approaching people!!!

10 days to G.I. Joe Retaliation – Cobra motorcycle

Twitziller is taking us into the final 10 DAYS until the premiere of G.I. Joe Retaliation with today’s reason to be excited: the Cobra motorcycle!

day-10-cobra-motorcyle

To call this thing a motorcycle is a misnomer as it appears to be “a collection of missiles that Firefly just happens to ride.”  Seriously– this thing is off the hook insane!  Sporting a Cobra logo (which is more than can be said of almost anything in the first film) and a wicked pair of machine guns, you’d think that this two wheeled craft was finished and ready for the streets.  Nope, someone at Cobra decided that the guns weren’t lethal enough and side-mounted launchers were just too passe.  You’d think this bike was assembled by the Techno-Vipers of the Alexx Shorts series of reviews!

Retaliation drops in 10 days.  Seriously– after all of the initial waiting and then the 9 month delay we’re now looking at 10 days.  How can you not be excited about this?

Check out the rest of Twitziller’s “40 Reasons to Be Excited for G.I. Joe Retaliation” images below: