I'm at the point where I kinda don't want the GI Joe movie to ever come out -- which would enable the networks to continue playing the commercials for it all day, every day.

That way we can all just come together as a global community and forget all of our differences and resentments and anger and jealousy so we can all say in one unified voice and say,
"Who let Marlon Wayans into the Marines!?"
To be honest, I've had serious questions about the leadership directions of America's most publicized non-existent elite commando force ever since they started letting pro wrestlers have leadership positions sometime in the late 80's.

And while I'm sure Sergeant Slaughter made many executive decisions during his tenure that added value to the effort in the fight against Cobra, the fact that 9/11 still happened leads me to question the overall effectiveness of this supposedly elite anti-terrorist detachment.
First off, lets dispense with this whole "Officially our unit doesn't exist" bullcrap, shall we?
Every time these "secret commandos" go walking down the street in their full uniforms (such as they were -- there used to be a guy in the group who wore a bright red football jersey with camouflage pants, an ensemble that would only enable the wearer to conceal his strategic position from the enemy if he were stalking him at, oh I don't know ..the men's casual wear section of Wal Mart, maybe?) it's like every 10 year-old kid in the world knew exactly who they were.
I consider myself a fairly patriotic American and I have nothing but pride for the men and women who choose to put their lives in danger to protect our rights and freedoms -- but I have serious questions about the viability of our government's ability to adequately protect our troops if they are unable to conceal the code names of our top ranking terrorist-fighting commandos from a bunch of middle schoolers.
Then again, I suppose it's entirely possible that as soon as the camera cuts away and the GI Joe emblem flashes across the screen Alpine leaps into action and quickly snaps the children's necks for blowing his cover, at which point he stands over their still twitching bodies and quietly mutters under his breath, "I told you to never say my name. Why didn't you listen, Mike? WHYYY!?" -- but aside from that possibility, the alarming amount of information leakage surrounding this unit is nothing short of an embarrassment.

And I know a bunch of you are all out there saying, "Hey lighten up, it's just a kid's show" -- but there's an entire issue here at work. This idea that sort of lives side by side with the toy industry and their iron kung-fu grip on children's programming over the last few decades that basically says
Heroes should be visible.
The motivation for the toy companies here is obvious, but when you break it right down, it's a theme that's permeated fiction since it's inception -- that your protagonist is special. That everyone's story is unique and special, and that every one else around them is somehow aware of that special-ness -- which is why the world's best secret agent is also an international playboy, every vampire is good-looking, and there is an entire genre of movies dedicated to the idea that going to High School is the equivalent of living in some kind of high-energy Broadway Musical.

Life, as we all well know is rarely like that -- which is why I think we tend to gravitate towards fiction that idealizes things. That elevates everything to amazing and unbelievable levels.

But as we find with Hollywood blockbuster after Hollywood blockbuster lately, it's a tough thing to keep going, especially if you want to make it convincing. The best epic adventures and stories (and there have been quite a few over the years) are not only grand in scale, but tend to have a little bit of heart to them at the same time. But lately it seems like that part has gone out the window. I know effects and explosions sell tickets, but in the end it's the connection you make with the characters that earns our loyalties -- and it seems like over the past few years that idea has just gone flat, like a soda that's been left out on the counter too long.

It's easy to blame the studios, to point the fingers at ego-driven directors or the marketing machine that helps create hype out of crap -- but at the end of the day it's still making a movie. It's still writing a book, or playing a song. In the end there's still a choice to be made by talented, creative people to either do the best job they can or to just go in and collect a paycheck.

It's the reason why certain movies catch on with viewers while others don't. It's the same reason they don't advertise Jason Statham movies that much. His audience trusts his choices (even when those choices include the word "Transporter" in them) -- because the guy appears put out a dedicated, seemingly heartfelt effort every time they put a camera in front of him. It's the same reason it's OK that Conan O'Brien isn't always funny, or that The Daily Show can retread a topic to death and get away with it.

Worldwide terrorist organizations named after snakes threatening the security of the world with nano-technology that eats metal (or movie studios who expect us not to remember that Keanu Reeves was battling against the exact same threat in the form of a giant computer-generated alien that looks suspiciously similar to the Snake Eyes character in the new GI Joe flick)
-- that never happens.
But people touching your lives, making you stop and think about just how little effort it takes to be compassionate and caring, regardless of how large an effect it has on others -- whether it be holding open a door, making someone smile with a joke or a selfless gesture, inspiring others by example, or just being there when it seems like no one else will.. that sort of thing happens all the time.
We don't always recognize it for what it is, but trust me -- it's there.
Because for every person out there who wants to sell you a bill of goods or take advantage of your trusting nature, there's really 10 more who will get out of bed in the middle of the night to drive you home when you have had too many at the bar. There's a little kid who will hug you for no good reason at all. There's all sorts of people who value you for who you are and what you do that it makes it hard to believe that we can still find ways to feel vulnerable, scared, and alone as often as we do.
Which is why I think the time for GI Joe has come and gone.
Besides, those guys were always kinda creepy anyways.

[Listening to:  Paul Gilbert - "Silence Followed By Deafening Roar" ]


wigsf said…
This past weekend, Canada's old timey cartoon cable channel, Teletoon Retro played a GI Joe marathon.
This is what I learned. Neither GI Joes or Cobras have decent aim. They're always shooting at each other but rarely ever getting hit. All of that training they go through, you'd think their marksmenship would increase.

As for this new movie, I'm going to skip it and wait for the sequel where the Joes have to battle Cobrala.
Adam said…
It always bothered my that GI Joes used laser guns on the TV show. And that they performed airdrops from F-14 fighter jets. That just doesn't make sense. Oh yeah.. and I liked Destro just fine, but had difficulty buying the whole 'silver face/head' thing. What was that all about?
Adam said…
wigsf - maybe GI Joe and Cobra took marksmanship lessons from the 'A-Team.'
Satorical said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Satorical said…
Of course, those 80s cartoons were a reboot of something that made sense: a doll for boys, based on WWII soldiers.

The bigger question is wtf Christopher Eccleston and Jonathan Pryce are doing in the new movie.

CE was the best Doctor Who ever, and now he's doing this? JP is far worse. He went from lead in one of the five best movies of all time to the worst Bond super-villain ("Really? That's your nefarious plan?"). Now he's going to play the US President in GI Joe?! He's WELSH, ASSHOLES!
Adam said…
...English, not Welsh. Same difference, though!

(I need to quit posting on this blog and give someone else a chance).
JerseySjov said…
i dont really have a comment about gi joe because my brother was more into ninja turtles, but oh jeez the redubbed psas are making me pee my pants over here.
Hex said…
wigsf -- the whole "firestorm of red and blue lasers that never hit anyone" and the insistence upon showing parachutes opening after any plane got shot down always bugged me. it's strange though, because one of my son's favorite shows is the animated Star Wars Clone Wars spinoff, which frequently features surprisingly realistic and sometimes even brutal scenes of soldiers dying in battle. Sometimes it seems like a bit much, but recalling just how annoyed I was even as a little kid that the Joes and Cobras would shoot at each other for hours without anything happening I find myself happier about it.

Adam -- the whole show sort of didn't make any damn sense, and yet at a certain age it was cool anyways. I remember one episode where they shot missles at a category 5 Hurricane and stopped it dead in it's tracks. No wonder I'm screwed up these days.

Adam II -- Considering how drunk Preppard was when he was making the A-team, it's a wonder he was able to "miss" so accurately.

Satorical -- There's a lot of guys in this you wouldn't expect. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is apparently in it, as well as the much underappreciated Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. I've been working on a crackpot theory about this whole "studio movie for the paycheck" trend that seems to be going on lately, and how it's hurting movies overall.

Adam III -- comment all you want, we gots plenty of room.

Jersey -- Porkchop sandwiches!!
The Kaiser said…
I want them to start making up some new shit. Stop mining my childhood for crappy cartoons to turn into crappy movies with bazillion dollar special effects and come up with YOUR OWN IDEAS.

P.S.- I always assumed that the red and blue lines were tracers. I'm wondering now how fucked up it is that I had any idea what tracers were when I was 6. Regardless, their inaccuracy was shameful.