This week in theatres, summer draws to a close with one of the last blockbusters of the season, G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra. Plus, new arrivals include Julie & Julia, A Perfect Getaway, Paper Heart, and The Cove.
G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra
The year is well over half-way through and I think it’s safe to say that this is one of the worst years I’ve ever seen for summer blockbusters. I can’t actually remember the last time I was so disappointed by every major popcorn film that I had been anxiously awaiting.
Now as we trudge into August, the last major blockbuster is upon us, and it looks like it’s going to put the final nail in the coffin.
Much like the Transformers films, G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra is based on another of Hasbro’s popular toy lines, which in turn was also one of the more well-known cartoons of the 80s. In the film, which is set ten years from now, we follow G.I. Joe, an elite military force with two new recruits; Duke, played by Channing Tatum, and Ripcord, played by Marlon Wayans.
Following these recruits, the movie shows us what it means to be, well, “Real American Heroes.” The real story, however, is all about their role in fighting criminals like Destro, the arms dealer, and the rising threat posed by an organization known as Cobra.
As you may have guessed, the film is meant to be pure action fluff at its greatest, and that’s perhaps made all the more obvious by the fact that G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra was directed by Stephen Sommers, the man behind The Mummy and The Mummy Returns.
While I love a good blockbuster, and all the action and explosions that come with them, this is still a genre with more than its fair share of duds. Summers himself has directed more than hisr share of bad films, and G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra is looking like yet another one for his resume.
Paramount may have even already admitted how bad the film is since they didn’t screen G.I. Joe to the press, and instead just invited a handful of critics who it could be said might be more forgiving to a film like this.
There’s no question the film will top this weekend’s box office, but is it worth it? That remains to be seen. Among the few critics who reviewed it, G.I. Joe has a couple of good reviews, but the overall mood follows Emanuel Levy’s observation.
“This cartoonish flick is not as cheesy or silly as Sommers’ former work,” Levy wrote on his website, “but it’s like a long, noisy, relentlessly violent videogame lacking plot and character, with the robot-like actors marginal in the overall design.”
Chris Tilly of IGN Movies UK was slightly more satisfied with the film, at least in terms of action. “In spite of many misgivings, including ropey CGI, convoluted storytelling and a smattering of horribly over-the-top performances, G.I. Joe is a blast from start-to-finish.”
Julie & Julia
Writer and director Nora Ephron, who made the classic romantic comedies You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle, is back with an intriguing tale of two women, tied together by their passions, and their mutual urge to do something interesting with their lives.
In this unique story, Meryl Streep plays Julia Child and Amy Adams is Julie Powell, two women separated by over fifty years, but traveling a similar course. Based on Julie Powell’s real-life experiment, the story follows Julia Child’s rise to fame as a chef and author, and Julie Powell attempt, over the course of a year, to cook all 524 recipes in Child’s famed book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Julie & Julia is not blowing critics away, but it is getting solid reviews.
“In the end, Julie & Julia doesn’t stack up as much more than a pleasant summertime diversion,” Alonso Duralde of MSNBC wrote, “but it’s hands down the best such trifle that Ephron has ever concocted.”
A Perfect Getaway
Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich play a young couple on their honeymoon, backpacking in Hawaii, who have to try and survive their vacation when a murderer starts killing hikers.
Crossing a documentary with some far out storytelling, Paper Heart is the tale of Charlyne Yi, a girl who says she doesn’t believe in love and decides to cross America looking for some kind of understanding. Enter actor Michael Cera into the plot, Seemingly Yi’s perfect man, but the question looms as to whether she can solve her riddle, and keep the boy.
In this chilling thriller of a documentary, ocean preservation advocate Louie Psihoyos and dolphin expert Richard O’Barry work to infiltrate a secret cove in Taji, Japan where people are killing thousands of dolphins a year. Although horrifying, the film peers into the depths of burtality in the hopes of exposing this crime to the world.