Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Yo, Joe (Resolution)
This hasn't been the best month of my blogging career.
Work has kicked me in the teeth, That Nicka ruined my liver and I've set a new personal record for partially finished posts that are already dated. D'ya know how HOT it was last Saturday? And, did you know that I went to an outdoor wedding?
Well, it's back down to 78 degrees today and all the stuff about Mrs. Bootleg's girlfriend going without panties for the heated evening has lost a little something in the last 72 hours.
Thankfully, m'man Movie Joe Reid is cranking out the goodness with a vengeance.
Check out his post on the new G.I. Joe movie. He goes right down the cast and offers up his opinions, with alternate actors and throwback thoughts on the original series.
It goes without saying that I have some thoughts on Joe's thoughts. And, speaking of Joe, you'll all surely recognize this format:
Channing Tatum as Duke I'm ambivalent about. Duke's not such a deep and complicated character that he needs to be an award-winning thespian or anything (I'm pretty sure "Yo Joe!" is the extent of his personality), so casting an attractive slab of granite like Tatum isn't a bad idea. It does signal a significant youth-ifying of the story as a whole which on the one hand is more realistic (America's elite fighting force would probably not be a bunch of grizzled old vets), but on the other strains credulity when you're talking about fantastical taking-over-the-world plots.
I gotta disagree right off the bat, Joe, as I never understood why the cartoon seemed to introduce a new Joe commander every season. First there was Duke, then that d*ck Flint (and his annoying pre-pubescent younger brother, Lady Jaye) and finally General Hawk. If they write the Duke character as something like "Lt. Falcon" from the criminally underrated animated movie (voiced by Don Johnson…1987 Don Johnson!) and play up the whole "young punk who eventually earns his keep", I'll be on board the S.S. Cliché without any argument.
I guess the degree of cartoonification (or not) in this role [Cobra Commander] will probably dictate the tone the movie will take (I don't know how you make someone like Cobra Commander realistic without making him totally boring but whatever), so there's a lot of wait-and-see here.
Dictatorial Realism Step #1: Put him in the hood and avoid this costume at all costs. Step #2: Have him kill a Joe (Brendan Fraser, please) early in the first act – and really push that PG-13 threshold – to establish his assholery. Step #3: There are several Joe villains who are arguably more interesting than Cobra Commander, so play up the paranoia. It's a challenging motivation for cinematic villains, but the one's who pull it off well can easily carry mediocre material or turn good stuff into greatness.
The Baroness should be one of those roles an actress can really dig into. There had to have been better actresses available who could have invested the part with the kind of largesse it deserves. Think Angelina Jolie in Alexander crossed with...well, Angelina Jolie in Wanted, from the looks of it.
I'm going to get soundly thrashed by the movie snobs out there, but (a) I like Sienna Miller's casting as The Baroness and (b) if I were to replace her, I'd go with someone like Milla Jovovich, who's carried an action franchise on her back (hey, I didn't say it had to be good) and looks more convincing as the conniving, vindictive biiatch with a bazooka.
But as someone who grew up with the cartoon, I always thought Destro was...well, black.
To this day, I am positive that I read something…somewhere…that stated that Destro WAS supposed to be Black. I remember this, because it always confused me when the Hasbro action figure with the v-neck collar showed off what appeared to be the pink pecs of a white man. It's been 25 years, dammit…we need a ruling!