8/04/2009

In yet another sign that "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" will be a cultural masterpiece, Paramount studios has officially decided not to show the film to critics. "After the chasm we experienced with Transformers 2 between the response of audiences and critics, we chose to forgo opening-day print and broadcast reviews as a strategy to promote G.I. Joe," said Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount. "We want audiences to define this film."

While this strategy has produced some success with smaller films, it almost invariably shows that the studio hopes to hide the poor quality of the film from movie goers and have them base their decision on the $300 million advertising alone.

So, let's recap:
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Tommy from "3rd Rock from the Sun") plays the villainous Cobra Commander.
  • The trailer says very little about the plot or story arc instead showing lots of shiny explosions.
  • Everyone wears black leather which, since "The Matrix", is the 60-year old movie director's idea of cool.
  • The film apes several scenes from Transformers including the scene where a robot somersaults over a missile flying down the street in slow motion.
  • Marlon Wayans plays a dramatic role.
  • Harry Knowles of Aintitcoolnews loves it (he also loved Van Helsing which got 22%).
  • The Baroness (Sienna Miller) awkwardly shoehorns in the catchphrase "Real American Hero".
  • Sienna Miller was forced to wear rubber padding to play the big busted Baroness because the director, Steven Sommers, likes "girls with big boobs" (Yes, Sommers denies it, but only a year after she said it).
  • The studio is so afraid that people who watch the film will share their opinion they've decided not to show it.
UPDATE: The plan worked. G.I. Joe, while getting a 39% on the RT scale, made over $56 million in it's opening weekend. Even if it tanks in it's second weekend, it should make back it's estimated $150 million budget and a sizable profit once it hits DVD. As Kermode says, "It's the death of narrative cinema" and opens the way for other classics like "Candyland" and "Stretch Armstrong".
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2 comments:

Monkey Migraine said...

I knew it was going to be bad when I heard two words: "Wayans Brother."

But I think Kermode is right, that we've entered a new era. I thought the studio was stupid for not screening the movie, but they've discovered that (at long last) movie critics are truly irrelevant. The public just wants nice big explosions, and familiar stuff, not decent films. So they don't need to screen movies to critics anymore, especially if they think it will harm the movie. And the studio still makes money. Sad, but true. Especially since "Star Trek" proved you can make a movie with big explosions that doesn't insult the viewer.

Mauricem said...

You're right. I was sad to hear that the general public is so easily swayed by shiny, pointy objects. Star Trek was a classic example of a movie that appeals to many audiences: not just the fans or the public, but both.

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