Friday, May 25, 2012

Noooo, Joe!

 This was to be the summer of the comic book when it came to movies. It probably still is, but for many fans, Hasbro and Paramount delivered a "bummer" right to the gut. After the boffo success of The Avengers, and the certainty that The Dark Knight Rises will be huge, there were a couple other comic book movies sandwiched in between- The Amazing Spider-man, and GI Joe: Retaliation. Of these four movies, I was looking forward to The Avengers and GI Joe: Retaliation. I could honestly pass on Spidey and I could wait for Batman to get to DVD.  Alas, I am still one of 30 people in North America who has not seen The Avengers yet (but my wife and kids are going while I am at work! Yeah- luvs ya, honey! Thanks!), but I was honestly looking forward to the new Joe film by director John Chu.

This new Joe movie promised a move away from so much sci-fi gadgetry and a focus on wild, military action (meaning summer movie style violence!) with a Cobra Commander who looks more like Cobra "I'm not Starscream" Commander and a Snake Eyes without lips on his mask. It also appears to have less "we are the world" flavor to its ranks. Now instead of a June release this summer, Joe fans will have to wait till March 2013 (doesn't that sound far away?) because Paramount and Hasbro said they want the movie to show better returns internationally and the best way to do this is to convert the film to 3-D.
 According to a tweet from Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson, some scenes are being re-shot or added for the 3-D.

While the movie may do better at the box office, I have my own ideas on why Hasbro and Paramount are delaying this movie. 1) "You sank my Battleship!" What looked like Transformers on water has tanked. Big budget, lousy returns. 2) "Shawarma." The Avengers has been Marvel's biggest movie to date in every way that matters. And who is making a chunk of the kid toys from this flick? Hasbro! Do you think they want to push to convince stores to stock up on super heroes and mega soldiers and find that one of them (the mega soldiers, I'm betting!) ends up taking space on the shelves- space the retailers could have used for more Batman, Prometheus or, oh I don't know- Avengers toys, maybe?
3) "Who's tha King?!" Right now it's Avengers. But this summer still has Spidey's re-boot, Batman's finale, and the origin-smashing Prometheus all waiting. Who knows- something else like "Ted" might just go gangbusters, too? (No, please, no!)

 What this says to me is that even with a turn from the first movie's style and approach, and even with stars like the Rock, Bruce Willis (in an El Camino!), Ray Park and Channing Tatum, and even with a slick marketing campaign that was ramping up and a lot of entertainment news coverage- at the end of the day, the suits who call the shots didn't have faith in their product to deliver. I really hope I'm wrong.

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