Category Archives: G.I. Joe: Retaliation

G.I. Joe Retaliation – A Real American Book! Podcast Episode #01

Tim Finn GI Joe Retaliation podcast

Today we’ve got something different and special if last week’s text review of the theatrical cut of G.I. Joe: Retaliation wasn’t enough to sate your critical appetite. Late last year my friend and editor Nick Nadel sat down with me to discuss the ups and downs of the G.I. Joe: Retaliation Best Buy Exclusive Extended Action Cut.  We chatted for 2 hours, so this 37.5 minute cut represents (hopefully) me trimming the fat from the meat while still keeping the steak understandable.  Note: spoilers abound, and someone says the s-word at the very end.  We had a great time, and I Ioved putting on my editor’s cap, so when there’s time we’d like to record another.  Let me know what you think in the comments, and spoilers will probably pop up there, so there’s your light warning.  Download or stream.

Download 90.2MB mp3, 37 min 33 sec:



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Filed under G.I. Joe live action films, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

G.I. Joe: Retaliation — the A Real American Book film review by Tim Finn

retaliation_review_03_40percBLOGI’ll start with a short review.  Please note, this is for the theatrical cut, 110 minutes.  For the Best Buy Blu-ray Extended Action Cut, check back in a week.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a fun movie and a good adaptation of the Hasbro brand, capturing both the spirit of the Sunbow cartoons and the Marvel comic book.  It has solid performances, convincing visual effects, and manages to both act as a sequel to Paramount’s hugely flawed 2009 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, while also somewhat ignoring that and rebooting the franchise as a new first installment.  Much credit goes to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who’s great as Roadblock, the film’s heart, and director Jon M. Chu, for exciting action sequences and properly mining G.I. Joe for many of the things we’ve always wanted to see onscreen.  I certainly raised my eyebrow when Chu was announced for the director’s chair based on his previous filmography, but I recognize that professionals have skills that don’t always correspond to past work.  The man who directed one of my favorite commercials went on to direct three of my least favorite films, so it can easily go the other way.  (That would be Michael Bay, the Aaron Burr/Got Milk? spot, and Transformers.) Don Jurwich, who directed the animated G.I. Joe, had previously worked on Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo.  If there had been an internet in 1983, would we have reacted poorly after seeing Jurwich’s name in the Joe TV credits reel?  Some additional credit goes to writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (both of Zombieland), who turned in a decent action script that needed to serve several masters.  There are story problems, but the bar was set low by The Rise of Cobra. Continue reading


Filed under G.I. Joe live action films, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

G.I. Joe blog update – Feb 2014

Hi all, sorry it’s been quiet.  Busy with school and store.  Three items today.

1) I’m putting the finishing touches on my long-promised film review of G.I. Joe: Retaliation.  Should be up next week.

2) I’ve finished editing an audio podcast of a completely different film review of G.I. Joe: Retaliation.  This one’s me in conversation with editor Nick Nadel, and we talk about the Best Buy Blu-Ray Extended Action Cut.  Will post after the text review.

3) A Real American Book is on Twitter!  Follow me @GIJoeBook.  Don’t miss another update!

Thanks for your patience and your readership.  Here is a tiny doodle of Destro.

G.I. Joe sketch of Destro by Tim Finn

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Filed under Behind the Scenes, G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Upcoming: “Retaliation” Review

GI Joe Retaliation Roadblock by Tim Finn

I saw “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” last Friday. I’ll post a proper review soon after I collect some thoughts, but for now, I enjoyed it, and as many have said, it’s a big step up from the 2009 film.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About G.I. Joe

Destro Duke GI Joe action

My article for TheFw is up.  Read it here!

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Filed under Animation, Comic Books, G.I. Joe Behind the Scenes, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Toys and Toy Art

G.I. Joe: Retaliation Trailer

The first trailer to G. I. Joe: Retaliation went live the other day, and a few people have asked what I think of it.  First, here it is:

It’s difficult to discuss this without making comparisons to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, a flawed and disappointing, yet enjoyable, movie.  A proper review of that earlier flick is a topic for another day (um, I have 15 pages of notes, so it will be a long day), but suffice it to say Retaliation looks to ignore much of what didn’t work, accentuate what does, and still move the story ahead (it is a sequel, after all) without alienating those who missed Rise of Cobra.

Things I like: 
-The White House subplot is capitalized on.  (Ha!)
-Lots of action
-Dwayne Johnson’s charisma, and the fact that he’s taking taking the film seriously, but not too seriously
-Bruce Willis
-The lesser actors from the first film are not present
-Machine guns rather than pulse guns

Things I like but as an over-protective fan, need to be won over on:
-Ninja cycle with guns
-Willis should have hair
-Cobra doesn’t seem to have leadership?
-But seriously, something seems familiar here…

Seriously, I can’t be the only person who immediately thought, “Wait, I’ve seen Snake-Eyes ride a dark motorcycle with guns on it right-to-left before,” can I?

G.I. Joe Retaliation comparison

1990 Ninja Force TV ad and "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" comparison

Much is yet to be revealed (and they’re still making the film, so much could change), but this early out, a tip of my hat to director Jon M. Chu, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, production designer Andrew Menzies, and the folks at Hasbro for what looks like a fun and more faithful G.I. Joe movie.


Filed under G.I. Joe live action films, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra