Valdosta Daily Times

Features

April 9, 2013

‘G.I. Joe’? G.I. No

VALDOSTA — “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” (Action/Science Fiction: 1 hour, 50 minutes)

 Starring: Dwayne Johnson, D.J. Cotrona, Channing Tatum and Bruce Willis

 Director: Jon M. Chu

 Rated: PG-13 (Violence, brief sensuality and language)

 

Movie Review: While entertaining, this film, like is predecessor “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” (2009), is lacking in the believability department. It fails to convince.

This outing, the President of the United States (Jonathan Pryce) deems members of G.I. Joe radical enemies of the state. However, the president is really Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), a Cobra agent of disguises. Zartan orders the attack to annihilate G.I. Joe forces. Led by Roadblock (Johnson), a few remaining Joes intend to stop Cobra forces from ruling the world.

Chu (“Step Up 2: The Streets,” 2008) directs this screenplay as if it were the 1980s cartoon, except the characters deviate from the cartoon series drastically in appearance and style. The plot has holes. In between those gaps, moments of uneven characterizations are prevalent.

This film appears more apt to deliver eye candy and comedic action sequences than a military, serious action plot. Numerous scenes are laughable.

Enter Bruce Willis. He arrives, spouting one-liners like John McClane from “Die Hard.” This is not a solid movie in part because of slack character development. When a major character dies, it is not moving in the least. These people are just puns to facilitate a weak global story.

Willis may be humorous, but his tactics do not save this wayward action flick. This one is just entertainment that is easy to observe and easier to clear from the mind once finished.      

Grade: C- (Retroactively bad.)

 

“Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor” (Drama: 1 hour, 51 minutes)

Starring: Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Robbie Jones and Lance Gross

Director: Tyler Perry

Rated: PG-13 (Strong language, violence, sexuality and drug content)

 

Movie Review: In cinemas, too many subplots can be overload. This is the case with Tyler Perry’s “Temptation,” a drama about marriage, love and lust.

Judith (Smollett-Bell, “The Great Debaters,” 2007) is a therapist at a matchmaking service in Washington, D.C. Her husband is Brice (Gross, who has starred in Perry’s television productions). The couple has loved each other since they were children living in a rural area. Now in a big city, they have nice jobs, but Judith wants more. The couple’s lives change when Judith meets Harley (Jones), a billionaire interested in expanding his business ties with the company for which Judith works. Harley is a major temptation for Judith that will alter her life tremendously.

People can resist anything except temptation. Those words should be the tag line for this drama with too many sub-stories. Perry tries too hard to make each character’s life as relevant as the next. He also tries to make meaning of all matters, major or trivial. This complicates matters, as each persona becomes a lead and complicates the focus of this tale. Each character has depressing problems, a too plentiful occurrence.

The film has a few bright spots. Jones is cunning as a devious romantic pursuer. Gross provides a few good dramatic turns. However, their characters exhibit uncharacteristic behavioral changes near the end that appear out of place. This is especially true for Smollett-Bell - Judith’s personality appears different in multiple scenes.

One character maintains her comical appeal throughout. She is Renée Taylor. She plays Gross’ boss. She provides a little humor when matters become overly dramatic.

In a scene, Smollett-Bell’s Judith describes her boss (Vanessa Williams) as going through an existential identity crisis — confused about who she is. Well, “Temptation” suffers from that same crisis. It waffles, using subtle but clichéd African-American themes that are commonplace in Perry’s films. Think of that as a different type of infidelity.                      

Grade: C (Interesting, but it is a minor confession.)

Text Only
Features
  • 140418-AR_Paul_Townsend001.jpg Graphic novelist draws on inspiration

    A few moments with graphic artist Paul Townsend is all you need to understand that his mind swirls with stories that he’s willing to explore on paper – no matter where they take him.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pompeys Pillar.JPG Pompeys Pillar

    Along their journey west to the Pacific and return east to St. Louis, Lewis and Clark left numerous marks recording their presence in order to validate a claim to the land for the United States.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • 1vsusr2014.jpg seen.yer-shoh

    Two of the most revealing exhibits each year at the Valdosta State University Fine Art Gallery are the fall and spring senior art shows.

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • Film Review Draft Day_Rich copy.jpg ‘Draft Day’ scores a field goal at the theater

    Our reviewer looks at the movies "Draft Day'" and "Rio 2."

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • emerging1.jpg Emerging Artists: VSU shines spotlights on student performers

    Three years ago, Valdosta State University Theatre & Dance created a twist on its seasons’ conclusions.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • bicycle safety.jpg SGMC, Kohl’s to host Bike Smart safety event

    SGMC, Kohl’s Department Store, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department and Safe Kids Lowndes County will host Bike Smart!

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140410-AR-Wake_Compound001.jpg Bringing wakeboards to Lowndes

    In college, many dream of their future career paths and, while some may seem far fetched, some people are able to make theirs a reality. Luke Tilt and Quinn Silvernale were able to do just that.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140401-Ballet003.jpg Beautiful Dancers

    The Ballet School in Valdosta offers children with special needs the chance to live out their dreams of being a dancer. For many, this may have seemed like a far fetched dream given their physical limitations, but as the Ballet School proves, there is no such thing as a physical limitation.

    April 13, 2014 5 Photos

  • Dido and Aeneas 1.jpg VSU Opera, Chamber Singers Present ‘Dido and Aeneas’ April 19-20

    The Valdosta State University Department of Music will present “Dido and Aeneas” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 19, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 20, in the West Hall Rotunda. Seating is limited to 100 people per performance.

    April 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Film Review Captain A_Rich copy.jpg A salute to ‘Captain America’

    Our reviewer looks at "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," 'The Grand Budapest hotel' and "Bad Words."

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results