Thursday, August 27, 2009

GI Joe & Up: The Movies

In the last week I took in two movies: “UP” and “GI Joe, The Rise of Cobra.” I loved one and was lukewarm towards the other. You might be surprised which was which.

First: “GI Joe, The Rise of Cobra”

There’s only one sequence in GI Joe worth watching; it’s the chase scene through the city of Paris where Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans are operating like supercharged supermen in those super cool accelerator suits. I’ve never seen anything like that before—outstanding special effects.

They should have used the suits throughout the entire movie, because everything else in it—the fight scenes, the combat sequences, the love scenes, the one plot twist; heck, the entire plot—it’s all been done before.

That accelerator suits sequence though, I gotta say, that one 15 minute thrilling pursuit scene made the entire movie worth watching. I would even subject myself to another ridiculous GI Joe sequel just in case they include more accelerator suit scenes. I don’t know why, but those suits really struck my fancy. Man, strap me into one and let me go play; I could die after that.

Other than the super suit segment however, I really don’t know what all the fuss is about. I suppose female viewers are enthralled with Mr. Tatum, but he turned me off at the very beginning of the thing when the captain character he played called his army Special Forces squad to attention. His squeakily executed delivery of the order “A-ten-tion!” elicited a massive groan from me, which started Divine to giggling in the seat next to me. I don’t think anyone else in the theater even realized why I was so disgusted.

Why oh why can they not hire some halfway decent military advisers to show these Hollywood pretty boy types how to accomplish the simple things, like barking out orders, standing at attention properly, or just delivering a passable salute? For me, as soon as I see them screw up the basics like that, I’m distracted for the rest of the movie.

But, if someone didn’t know any better about such things, or if it’s not a problem observing the violation of basic military tactics or sloppily done drill and etiquette, then watching a pseudo-military movie like GI Joe probably will be just fine. After all, GI Joe is based on a comic book, so suspending belief and going with the fantasy flow is what it’s all about—I guess. Now, those accelerator suits—yes!


I had never even heard of “Up” before we decided to see it. My girls were visiting for the day, and at the mall passing by the upstairs quadlplex, I noticed the marquis poster for “Up.” It looked cute and my girls were delighted at the offer to watch a cartoon film. So, in we went.

From the very start, this movie by Pixar charmed the pants off of everyone in the cinema. It’s rare, but at times during the showing of a really good movie there’s a feeling of camaraderie that develops among theater viewers. I actually felt that connection while watching “Up.” I kid you not, and normally, I cannot stand my fellow theatergoers.

And you KNOW it’s a good family flick when even younger children remain captivated from to start to finish. Our group included three small kids—a 5, 6 and 8-year-old—and all three watched completely entranced the entire length of the film. My two girls and I sat in one of those extra wide love seats, one on my lap and the other tucked up next to me, and they continuously asked questions and commented on what was happening on screen. Usually, during most movies we’ve gone to see, even during the supposedly kid friendly ones, they start to lose interest after 30 minutes, at which point they usually realize they need a potty break, or just get antsy and are overpowered by the “little kid urge” to explore their immediate surroundings. Remarkably, they did not do this during “Up.”

The primary protagonist throughout most of the story line was a grumpy old widower man, the type of character you wouldn’t think that most kids would empathize with. However, the makers of “Up” introduced us to this cantankerous old fellow when he was still just a shy cute little boy. Once we got to know and grow affection for him as a lad we couldn’t help but to continue liking him.

My favorite Pixar film used to be “Monsters, Inc,” but no more; it’s now been replaced by “Up.” In fact, if I had to rate it against all the movies I’ve seen over the last 2 or 3 years, believe it or not, kid’s cartoon movie or not, “Up” would be my number 1. Go watch it, no matter what age you are; unless that is, you are completely against cute, slightly sappy movie fare; otherwise, you will love this one as much as my girls and I did.


Katana said...

I like channing tatum... but i only have cheap appreciation for him. his acting's not great, but he's a great lookin fella. I havent seen GI Joe yet, and i doubt I will, but I figured it was just like Terminator - you REALLY have to suspend disbelief.

Up was cute... but I couldn't get into it. The whole putting your life on hold and waiting until you're almost too old to enjoy life to do those things you set out to do... well, the concept bugs me.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Geez Kat, you got the premise of UP completely wrong. It was about life long love and "stuff happens." Remember the change jar, where they kept trying to save up to go on their dream trip? Come on woman, get with it. They were a cute couple, completely devoted to each other, had that dream in common and never got around to it because of circumstances, espcially her passing. Finally, even though he was old and used up, HE DID IT! Are you sure you saw the movie that I did?

Becky said...

Wasn't "Monsters, Inc" the movie we went and seen together?!

PhilippinesPhil said...

Indeed it was. I treasure to this day those few months that you stayed with us.