G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation
Release date: June 29, 2012
I would be lying if I said this trailer didn't look pretty cool. LEMME FINISH! It looks "pretty cool" ... (wait for it) ... in comparison to my [shitty] viewing experience of Transformers: Dark of the Moon this past summer. The G.I. Joe and Transformers franchises will always get lumped together, which, for the most part, is completely warranted. After all, they're both toys from the '80s, they're both manufactured by Hasbro (for more on Hasbro's other shitty new film, Battleship, see last week's entry) and they've both been turned into popular (ugh) and "successful" (ugh-ugh) CGI-laden action movies. But I think there's a difference (albeit a small one). Transformers takes itself WAY too seriously. Whether it's Michael Bay's [shitty] heavy-handed direction, the long runtimes or the weird [shitty] origin story, the three Transformers films feel heavy and humorless (and, of course, RACIST and INSULTING and SHITTY). G.I. Joe, on the other hand, seems to know exactly what it is. Fun and mindless and downright sprightly by comparison. Full disclosure, I've never seen Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and I've only seen about two-thirds of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Even without all the "facts," I can tell that G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation looks silly (yes) and illogical (Yes) and easily digestible (YES), but, also, FUN. Right? Maybe? Also, a final thought -- there's a redhead in the preview (is it Lady Jaye/Adrianne Palicki?) who looks like Jessica Rabbit. So, obviously, this is already a HUGE improvement over Megan Fox.
Jack the Giant KillerRelease date: June 15, 2012
Is it just me, or is anyone else out there sick of the "dark" fairy tale reimagining? "This isn't your mother's Goldilocks!" Why? Because, at the end of YOUR disgusting movie, she gets disemboweled by a pack of grizzlies? So let's all stop taking something whimsical and colorful and quaint and turning it into a grave, dirty, brooding period piece. It seems like every fantasy film now looks like Snow White and the Huntsman when they should look more like Tangled or How to Train Your Dragon. But I guess those movies are solely the purview of Pixar and Dreamworks, huh? And was anyone else expecting to hear yet another techno-infused Led Zeppelin song? Jack the Giant Killer is directed by Bryan Singer, and, I mean, I guess that makes it ... better? But it still looks ... weird? Remember, for every X-Men and The Usual Suspects he gives us, we're also saddled with Apt Pupil and Superman Returns. Good with the bad, is what I'm saying. Which one is this?
The Expendables 2
Release date: Aug. 17, 2012
It's just a teaser (only one "extended" scene between Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone, as well as a rapid-fire succession of headshot clips accompanying the cast's names), but ... uh, wow? That first movie was such a mess -- so much promise squandered by a stupid story and HARRIBLE action direction -- that I can't quite endorse The Expendables 2 (although, really, who am I to endorse ANYTHING, except a GIF of Jessica Alba's ass?). Stallone isn't directing this one, however; Simon West (he of The General's Daughter and Con Air fame) has that honor. And, I don't think it's an improvement. The bright side to all this, of course, is that more action stars, including Chuck Norris (a previous holdout, as he was too busy giving Mike Huckabee a blumpkin in 2008) have signed on (presumably wanting their piece of the pie [money pie] after the first film performed so well). Although the "Hemsworth" title card is a little disingenuous when you realize it's for Liam Hemsworth, not his older brother Chris (Thor himself). Sure, Liam will have a bright future (he IS Gale F'ing Hawthorne in The Hunger Games, after all), but should he really be mixed in with the likes of Sir Jean-Claude Van Damme? That guy made Timecop! Also, for the third movie (there will be a third movie), please cast Kurt Russell. THANK YOU.
Happy holidays everyone! See you in 2012? "No more pull-ups!"