G.I. Joe: Showing is half the battle

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In perhaps the least shocking surprise of the year, Paramount has declined to pre-screen G.I Joe for reviewing press.

This, of course, is the international symbol that a movie is not only lame or not good, but likely bad enough to cause severe birth defects for generations to come. G.I Joe has been shown for interview purposes to junket press, like Channel 20’s own Greg Russell, and for a small cadre of hand-picked bloggers like sweaty uber geek Harry Knowles, but, by and large, those of us ink-stained wretches who get paid to opine about such things got shut out.

Well fine, Paramount, be that way. I’ll take my action figures and go home. It’s not as if I was exactly clamoring to see boyhood buddies like Snake Eyes and Duke turned into some sort of idiotic “extreme” sports drink-swilling adenoidal goons leaping through windows in cgi robot pants. Truthfully, this spares me from 9-odd minutes of Dolby stereo-induced tinnitus, as the explosions and dumb dialog rattle my brainpan like a beach house in a hurricane. I mean, come on, it’s a PG-13 action flick directed by Stephen Sommers, the “genius” behind the recent Mummy movies, and featuring the walking harbinger of doom that is Marlon Wayans: Truffaunt this thing surely ain’t.

Still, it’s galling to watch as studios grow increasingly paranoid about their expensive products, and keep attempting to strangle the pipeline of information any way they can, which means doing an end run around on those pesky critics. Several movies a year are deemed “critic proof,” but it’s usually saved for beyond-cheesy horror pics in the dead zone of winter, not big budget summer fare.

The weird thing is, those nerdy Interweb hacks who just a few years ago were the bane of the L.A, suits' existence, are now coveted, since, if you can parse through the semi-literate ramblings, their less discerning palates tend to be more open to big goopy mouthfuls of junk food like G.I Joe. Judging by the Rotten Tomatoes score, most of them gobbled this one up.

Let’s make a deal Hollywood; You stop insisting that your ludicrous brain-dead spectacles are something more than extended toy commercials, and we’ll stop pretending to give a crap.

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