Monday 10 August 2009

Ali & G.I. Joe...return of the movie musings!


I'm years late for this one, that's for sure. Anyway - you see the DVD for proper cheap, you dig Michael Mann, you dig Will Smith (best when he's doing something that doesn't involve the line "aww hell naw!"), so what are you gonna do - you buy it of course.

Of course I know of Ali, but I've really only ever known of him as "that boxing hero who now has Parkinsons" - and not being a boxing fan (not a critic of the sport either), this was a good chance to get the 'crib notes' run down of this sporting legend.

I guess the film didn't quite pop as much as what I felt it should have - but it's really hard to explain that point, so I won't try to - put simply, there was just something (for me anyway) that was missing.

That said, it was still a rather good film - Michael Mann is a great filmmaker, and Will Smith is superb in the role of Ali. He could do with more of these kind of roles - something meaty to get his teeth into, but something which is also open and inspiring to a wide audience.

I've not got much to say about it really - man, it has been a while since I did one of my "movie musings", eh? Anyway - I liked the flick, Mann & Smith were great, nuff said.

G.I. Joe...

I'll put this right up on front street - Transformers (the first one) was considerably better than GI Joe. Transformers 2, purely because of the first one, was also better than GI Joe (although not necessairly by a lot).

I was aware of Transformers, but never watched it as a kid, and didn't have a lot of interest in it - but certainly never begrudged those who were all about it, I never do, as I have many things I'm all about - a mutual courtesy of fan respect, I guess.

I was also aware of GI Joe (but perhaps a bit later) ... in fact I think I got (and still have) a couple of action figures from the GI Joe range ... in fact I think I might have (whether it was official, or a knock-off) a MASK motorbike with some spiked-armour-wearing dude that goes with it ... such was my sporadic toy-getting life outside of my real 1980s childhood cartoon passion - The Real Ghostbusters.

Anyway - it's been seven weeks since us lads had a cinema trip (annoyingly I was physically unable to get out and see Public Enemies, and I don't think Moon ever showed at our Cineworld).

Let's lay this out simply though, just like the movie...

1) Rachel Nichols is fit - "tick".

2) Channing Tatum, I found, was insufferable and, at least in this movie (the only time I've seen him) acted like a concrete block set atop an oak pedestal - "cross".

3) Most of the action was between standard satisfaction and actually quite enjoyable ... but said wham-bangery was far too frequent. It's like ACTION - 2 minutes of dreadful dialogue - ACTION - ACTION - two people look at each other - ACTION ACTION ACTION - bit of plot - ACTION - the end ... "check-minus".

4) It's violent - "tick" - but perhaps, due to the frequent action, a bit over-cooked on the punching ... which feels at odds with the 12A rating at times ... "check-minus".

5) The aforementioned dialogue is dripping with greasy cheesiness - "cross".

6) What the fuck was the accent coming out of Ecclestone's mouth? I've never heard Scottish like that before - "cross".

7) "The Doctor" was awesome, and a much better villain that Ecclestone - "tick".

8) The (very frequent) CGI was of varying quality - sometimes it was fine and what you'd expect, but other times it looked positively 1995 - you know, when CGI was more popular, the 'new toy', but was oftentimes poorly utilised and looking really obvious (otherwise known as "The Phantom Menace effect", ha) - "cross".

9) Why couldn't "the rise of Cobra" have come much sooner, and then have the rest of the movie as what I assume the inevitable sequel will be about - the parts put into play at the end of this movie looked far more interesting for two hours than 'threatening missiles which we do practically sod-all with' (seriously, what you see in the trailer is it with the missles) - "cross".

10) Dennis Quaid is awesome - everybody knows it - so why was he so relegated to the background in this flick? - "cross".

Not sure why I'm grading this like an American school kid's essay, but whatever...

Yeah ... it has some good & enjoyable parts, but it's also got about three tonnes of cheese, and a script that doesn't convince anywhere near as much as that for 2007's Transformers - which did a far better job at explaining the mythology, setting up the protagonists (both Autobot and human), having a lot of fun along the way, and maintaining a consistent pace.

GI Joe is really big, really dumb, really loud ... but it's not really fun. It's sometimes fun, and sometimes yawn-inducing (I did yawn a surprising amount, and I wasn't even tired) - and like with Transformers 2 (which sadly didn't convince the audience as much as the first one did) there were plenty of people heading outside for a slash during action scenes.

That said, Transformers 2 was in a bigger screening room and had a far denser audience ... at least the air conditioning was working for GI Joe ... although I was a bit on the cold side ... but when we went to see Transformers 2 it was stuffy and hot ... and crowded.

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