Now with Exotic Animal Sidekick!

The trailers for the new G.I. Joe movie look pretty cool.  Oh, I know it’s easy to look down on this sort of absurd, over-the-top adventure flick.  But damn it, I’m not going to do that.  Fun action-adventure flicks are not automatically stupid.  A good adventure film takes just as much care and skill to produce as a quiet English period drama.  There’s a lot of lousy and ridiculous action adventure movies, but there’s a lot of lousy English period dramas too.  So don’t tell me it’s stupid and expect me to automatically agree with you.  Although it can be, and often is.

But this flick looks awesome because G.I. Joe is awesome.  Not just G.I. Joe, but the entire concepts of 80’s toys are just cool.  Whether it’s G.I. Joe, Transformers, M.A.S.K., or Care Bears, there’s just something magical about this stuff.  And I admit here that I did actually like Care Bears and owned a few because Care Bears are cute and they let me know it’s okay to have feelings.  Plus, have you seen that first Care Bear movie?  It is a dark journey, man.  Even a little scary.  (Hey, I was a kid at the time.)

The thing I love about 80’s toys is that they are crazy weird, but they’re crazy weird in a way that the world should be.

G.I. Joe is about an elite commando squad who fights an organization of superterrorists whose ultimate goal is to take over the world.  Terrorists in real life are just stupid.  They have no goal other than to blow people up and create havoc.  But Cobra is there to make money, to get power, to rule the world.  And instead of suicide bombers and grainy video tape footage threats, they have hovercrafts and specially trained soldiers and colorful minions.  One of their most important members is a guy who has a metal face.  And that’s just neat.

Wouldn’t terrorism be easier to stomach if its leaders were created via experiments with raw protoplasm, a dash of sorcery, and the combined DNA of history’s greatest conquerors?  I think so.  Anyway, Cobra wouldn’t do anything as pointless and destructive as the World Trade Center attack.  They’d be too busy building death rays and weather machines.

Also, I love the whole concept of the Joes.  In what other military unit does a shirt and no shoes (Quick Kick) qualify as a uniform?  (Don’t ask, don’t tell, indeed.)  And while the Navy Seals are very damn cool, they still can’t compete with a single mute ninja.  By the way, isn’t it cool that G.I. Joe employs the handicapable?

G.I. Joe is the only military unit I know of where having a unique animal sidekick is considered a perk.  Shipwreck has a parrot.  I can just imagine his interview now.

SHIPWRECK: Look, I’ll join your supersecret military unit, but only if I can bring this bird with me into battle.

HAWK:  You’re in.

Ah, to live in such a world.  I’d have a kangaroo myself.  And they’d call me Outback, the Australian Joe.

sigh.  Stupid reality.  Sometimes you really get on my nerves.

Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,


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  1. jboyd01
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Was it Shipwreck or Duke who ended up getting drugged by Cobra and having all those creepy hallucinations? And don’t forget Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors (that guy went on to make Babylon 5).

  2. Posted August 1, 2009 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors! Was trying to think of the name of that show the other day, must re-watch. It’s amazing how slow 80’s cartoons are compared to nowadays!

  3. jboyd01
    Posted August 1, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    They’re slow but they are full of great messages for the kiddies…Guns and Nazis are bad (Megatron was a Walter PPK and when he transformed he looked like he was wearing a stormtrooper helmet)…breasts are dangerous (the pink robot from Ultraman whose breasts were missles)…if you are a hysterical megalomanic with a high pitched voice you too can run a multinational terrorist organization (Why wasn’t Destro in charge of Cobra?) …and lastly, sometimes you have to make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good (Snake Eyes when he died to keep the poison from killing the rest of the Joes way before Optimus Prime got shot on the Big screen) …the only really sucky thing about GIJoe was the way no one ever got killed just like on A-Team. Scarlet could have dropped a 5-megaton bomb on COBRA HQ and noone would have died.

  4. A. Lee Martinez
    Posted August 2, 2009 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    All good points.

    Destro was not in command of Cobra because his name was Destro and NOT Cobra Commander. See how that works? It’s science, kids!

    Also, I have to say death in fiction is a highly overrated plot device. Those classic G.I. Joe episodes work just fine without having a body count. And would the A-Team be the same without those shots of cars flipping over, only to have the passengers climb out afterwards? I think not. That was part of the charm.

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