WE’RE BACK! This is Adam Frazier and you are listening to Skull-Face Island, the official movie podcast of Geeks of Doom! As always I’m joined by the Toad to my Wet Sprocket, David Allen… and the Island’s foremost expert on vintage racquetball goggles, producer Tim Grant.
Today on the Show: We’ll discuss Jon M. Chu‘s latest film, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, as well as Danny Boyle‘s psychosexual thriller, Trance. We’ll also boot-up the Geek-O-Matic TeleFax for all the latest news on James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy and Christopher Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi thriller, Interstellar.
Finally, if you’ve been a regular listener of the show, you’ve probably noticed we’ve been absent over the past couple of weeks. Well, there’s a good reason for that – and you’ll hear all about it in today’s third segment where we talk to The Prince of Darkness himself, Satan. It looks like Hell is coming to Skull-Face Island… I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
Obviously a nine-month delay didn’t hurt the box office gross for G.I. Joe Retaliation. The Jon Chu film was the number one film at the box office earning upwards to $41 million, and since those kinds of numbers bring a smile to any studio head, it’s no surprise that there is going to be a G.I. Joe 3 in the works.
Variety confirmed the story, which seemed highly unlikely given the critical reaction the film received when it was originally scheduled for a summer 2012 release and the nine-month delay that was ordered for the film to undergo 3D conversions. But since the film was successful, not so much from a critical standpoint, we are getting a third G.I. Joe film.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation Directed by Jon M. Chu
Screenplay by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, Ray Park, Bruce Willis Paramount Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 110 Minutes
Release Date: March 28, 2013
Directed by Jon M. Chu (Step Up 3D), G.I. Joe: Retaliation is the sequel to Stephen Sommers’ instantly forgettable 2009 film, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
At the conclusion of that film, Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), having had his physical appearance altered by nanomites, infiltrates the White House and assumes the identity of the President of the United States of America (Jonathan Pryce).
Chu’s sequel begins with Zartan in control of the United States government. The master of make-up and disguise frames the G.I. Joes as traitors and launches an all-out attack on the Joes, wiping out their ranks (including Channing Tatum‘s Sgt. Duke) in one fell swoop.
Meanwhile, Storm Shadow (Lee Byung-hun) and Firefly (Ray Stevenson) infiltrate a top-secret subterranean prison to free Cobra Commander. Previously portrayed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the supreme leader of COBRA is played by Australian actor Luke Bracey this time around and voiced by Robert Baker.
Cobra Commander’s plan is simple: eliminate the world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons so COBRA can rule the world unopposed by using Zeus, a sub-orbital weapon of mass destruction that’s twice as powerful as a nuclear bomb.
Just last week, Paramount abruptly decided to pushG.I. Retaliation from its original June 29th release to March 29th 2013, to convert the film into 3D. Many, including ourselves, did not buy the act for one bit. Some news confirms that the film is not testing as well as the studio had hoped and also opening up against the likes of The Amazing Spider-Man, which opens five days after G.I. Retaliation, had forced Paramount to make its decision to push back the release date. But there is more to it than that, much more.
Part of the reason why the film isn’t testing as well as the studio would have hoped is because the first film’s major protagonist, Duke (played by Channing Tatum), is barely in this sequel. Test audiences loved the on-screen chemistry between Duke and Roadblock (played by Dwayne “˜The Rock’ Johnson). Tatum’s recent success has made him a huge draw and a very likable person amongst audiences, so it was a surprise that he’s not going to be a big part of this follow-up. This, along with the reactions from those same test audiences saying the entire movie was either bad or just mediocre, doesn’t spell box office gold for Paramount.
Those among us who were looking forward to seeing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Bruce Willis team up to kick some Cobra ass next month in the increasingly badass-looking sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation are in for a mighty disappointment. Nikki Finke at Deadline reported today that Paramount Pictures has decided to pull Retaliation from its June 29 release date and delay it until March 29 of next year so that the film can undergo a 3D conversion.
“We’re going to do a conscientious 3D job because we’ve seen how it can better box office internationally,” an unnamed executive at Paramount told Finke. “Jim Cameron did all of Titanic”˜s 3D in post “” and look how well that movie turned out.”