ROCKS 20E: GI Joe The Movie

Discussion in 'Other Cartoons & Collectables' started by LiamABC, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    WELCOME EVERYBODY TO THE FIFTH AND FINAL DISCUSSION IN THE TWENTIETH STRAND OF "R.O.C.K.S." - REWATCHING OLD CLASSIC KIDS SHOWS! A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this.

    The next few weeks we're (finally!?) covering one of the biggest shows from the 80s, G. I. Joe

    For this show, owing to the sheer number of characters involved, we're doing something slightly different to the usual format. Instead of the usual "establishing episodes/highlights/feature-length adventure", we're going to cover all the 5-part storylines. This week we're concluding with G. I. Joe: The Movie

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these episodes, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full episode online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the show in whatever manner you want.
     
  2. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I think The Movie was technically my first exposure to G.I. Joe. I recall seeing the episode about Bazooka seeing a sea serpent at the same time. If I am not mistaken both video tapes were rented at the same time.

    Overall I like the movie. It has some great scenes. The opening Credits are also very good...although I don't like the song as much as the TV series song.

    Personally I am not a fan of Cobra-La but I will say it was nice for them to try something different with new villains. But I must admit I would have just preferred another plot of Cobra stealing the B.E.T.

    Another issue is the inclusion of the new G.I. Joe members. Much like Transformers The Movie, this movie focuses to much on them rather than the characters everyone new from the TV show.
    At least they didn't go to the extremes of Transformers...but then again they didn't have that many new toys to get on the shelves.

    One of my favourite scenes is Beachhead training the new recruits. The scene with Law and Order was especially funny.

    The opening with Pythona infiltrating the Cobra base was very good.
    As was the scenes with Serpentor addressing his Cobra forces and Destro, Baroness, Mindbender and Tomax and Xamot turning on Cobra Commander.

    Lieutenant Falcon training with Slaughter's Mercenaries and infiltrating the Terrrordrome was also excellent. Although them doing it without weapons was a bit much.

    Actually this movie was my first exposure to Sgt. Slaughter. Little did I know at the time he was an established wrestler and I would become such a wrestling fan. I was quite fascinated when I discovered he was based on a real person and a wrestler.

    I really don't understand why they bother to introduce new characters then failed to bother making figures of them. In this case Big Lob and Pythona.

    Cobra Commander being a Cobra-La citizen, being sent out into the world to form Cobra was a bit odd. It's nothing like the character from the comics. Which was quite confusing as around the same time I seen the movie I also had a G.I. Joe comic showing Cobra Commander unmasked and his son and he was human...nothing about Cobra-La.

    Another issue is Duke. I liked Duke in the series. But it was odd focussing on him so much when after the 5 parters he wasn't featured as much in the series, mostly focussing on Flint as the leader then basically being omitted after Arise Serpentor…
    Growing up I always assumed he died after the battle with Serpentor. When I eventually got my own copy on VHS I was pleased to learn he only went into a coma and recovered at the end of the movie.
    As I have learned in recent years they added the line about him being in a coma as Hasbro learned from the backlash following Transformers The Movie.

    It's pretty cool that the DIC G.I. Joe series would rectify some things from the movie. Mostly Cobra Commander and Serpentor, putting the former back in charge of Cobra.

    When discussing G.I. Joe, Transformers usually come up. I recently discovered that Transformers actually started because of G.I. joe!
    Hasbro made the 12" G.I. Joe doll/figure.
    Takara license the figure to sell in Japan to the Asian market but it wasn't too popular.
    So Takara changed the figure by making it of clear plastic and putting chromed parts inside it and called it Henshin Cyborg.
    Due to oil prices the Henshin Cyborg figure was shrunk down to 3.75" and called Micorman. Microman would eventually be marketed in the US as Micronauts. Of course the Micronauts and Kenner's Star Wars figure would eventually lead to G.I. Joe becoming 3.75".
    The success of Microman would eventually lead to the launch of two more lines of changing robots called Micro Change and Diaclone.
    Hasbro would then form a licencing deal Takara to release Diaclone and Micro Change as Transformers to massive success.
    Sadly G.I. Joe does not have the huge appeal it used to have...mostly due to the live action movies and current real world politics. However Transformers continues to be immensely successful.
    Hopefully G.I. Joe...or at least some of it's characters like Snake Eyes, Cobra Commander can have success and become relevant again. I hear a live action Snake Eyes solo movie is in the works.

    Whilst I do like G.I. Joe the Movie I think G.I. Joe Resolute from 2008 is a far better animated movie that fits with the original cartoon and comics. I would highly recommend watching it.
     
  3. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    This was my first exposure to the show too, back in 2003, my best friend showed it to me on VHS. Funnily enough I got him the DVD for Christmas last year, so we watched it when he was over for new year. And I just watched it again today.

    When I first saw it, I was a little uncertain of who was who, much as I was with Transformers The Movie, which the same friend showed me in 2002, again as my introduction to that show. This being the first thing I saw of the show, seeing Serpentor doing his thing with those snakes, I could imagine the character being a cool toy. But then when I saw him in episodes for the first time last year, I was confused as the snakes on his back were nothing more than a part of his clothing. Pity. In any case, having seen the whole series now, the concept of the Serpentor character seems out of place with the more down-to-earth militaristic feel of the show, he'd have been better suited to being a villain in He-Man or even Thundercats, or something else like that. Also in both movies, I didn't have any knowledge of the concept of old and new characters!

    While we're on the subject of comparisons with Transformers, the two movies have a lot of parallels - unsurprising given that they're both written by the same guy, Ron Friedman (at least the first drafts were - in the Transformers movie at least, Flint Dille did a lot of the subsequent rewrites and I suspect Buzz Dixon may have done something similar here). And we know from the earlier 5-parters that Friedman tends to recycle his ideas a lot. Golobulus and Cobra-La are basically this movie's answer to Unicron, the BET is the Matrix Of Leadership, and of course Falcon is Hotrod to Duke's Optimus Prime, right down to the manner of the latter's respective heroic sacrifices.

    And that brings us to the more controversial points. The writers asked the studio if they could actually kill off the character of Duke for this movie, as they were discontinuing his action figure. The studio said sure, and then told them to kill off Optimus Prime in the Transformers movie. Of course, the latter got released first, and was met with many tearful children's reactions, and they knew that they couldn't pull the same stunt again with Duke so they had to revise some dialogue to turn it into a coma that he could later be said to have recovered from. You can tell it's a quick job, painting over the cracks, because the animation tells a different story. Buzz Dixon has said that if you watch it with the sound off, Duke is very definitely dead, and he's right. Also it makes more sense of Falcon's line at the end, "thanks big brother" if he's saying it to a dead man. It might have been better if they'd either committed to killing Duke or redoing some of the animation - even adding in a scene at the end where we could see him regaining consciousness.

    Ironically, I rather suspect that if the G. I. Joe movie had aired first, and they'd killed off Duke as planned, the audience would have accepted it. They still wouldn't have been happy, but they would have got it - and after all, it would only have been one single heroic sacrifice quite late in the movie, rather than Transformers which basically has the entire original cast slaughtered!

    Actually back on Falcon for a moment and his being Duke's half-brother, it's taken me a while to see any kind of family resemblance in the animation - possibly because his outfit makes him look more like Flint. He shares a mother with Duke, maybe he shares a father with Flint? Actually I heard that he was originally planned to be Hawk's son. Which is also funny because before I started watching this show I had this vague idea from what I'd read that there were two Hawks, the general and a lieutenant who took over as CO - not sure where that came from. I guess because in the early episodes, high ranking officers were rather removed from the active field of battle, so when they talked about someone called Hawk being the new CO, and another reference to a General Hawk, I figured General Hawk would be a background character like General Flagg, Colonel Sharp, Admiral Ledger etc and that the active CO Hawk would be a more junior officer. We live and learn.

    As for Duke - yes, because this was going to be his sendoff, they made sure he took centre stage and got plenty of heroic moments, reminding us of his importance in the team. And rightly so, I'd missed him in season 2. For the most part the characters from the two seasons are pretty mixed in this, not that many of them have major parts - tricky I guess to include everyone. The most important characters on the Joes' side here are Duke, Hawk, Roadblock, Sgt Slaughter and the new recruits (and the Renegades). After that, I guess Flint, but then most of the others only have a line or two.

    Still, overall it's about as good as these things can be. Given that these feature length movies are usually designed to introduce new characters and also crowbar in as many old ones as possible, this does a pretty good job.
     
  4. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Speaking of lines. Chuckles the new recruit doesn't have any lines. In the movie Chuckles comes across as just another recruit with no real personality as such, except for doing some rather unorthodox things like manually throwing the missile from the H.A.V.O.C. and being on top of the Tomahawk under the rotor blades. But in the Marvel comics he was a very intelligent agent involved in going undercover and espionage. A bit of a James Bond character. In fact Chuckles is in the first G.I. Joe comic I ever read which involved him confronting some military officials who had been secretly doing some illegal deals with terrorists.

    Serpentor was a good villain but did seem out of place in G.I. Joe. He would have been a better villain in Thundercats, He-Man or DC or Marvel comics against the likes of Batman and Spider-Man or even TMNT.

    It's quite ironic Duke was killed off due to discontinuing his action figure. As much like Optimus after discontinuing his toy he would be brought back and receive some more new toy versions. In Generation 1 Optimus Prime had the original, Powermaster, Actionmaster and Classics reissue of the original.
    After the movie between 1988 and 1994 duke would receive 5x more 3.75" figures. I really wanted a Duke action figure but the only one I seen in the shops was the Space Brigade version I found in Woolworths around 1993/4.

    It was kind of cool but it wasn't as cool as the regular version from the cartoon. Strangely enough though a few months later I found the Chinese version of the Duke from the 80's in a shop called Dunnes (they used to sell toys sometimes) about 40 feet from Woolworths where I got the Space Brigade version. I also got the Chinese Cobra Commander in the same Dunnes around the same time.
    [​IMG]

    @LiamABC I noticed I called Slaughters Renegades Mercenaries. Must have got mixed up with the character Mercer or maybe Slaughters sub group of action figures Marauders.

    One big problem with Falcon is he looks so much like Flint. Not just in terms of looks in the cartoon but in terms of his toy being on the shelf it seems an odd choice. They should have made him a bit more unique looking. Facially at least. I guess it's good he at least had a proper military uniform. They should have made him look more like his voice actor Don Johnson from Miami Vice.
     

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