G.I. Joe: Retaliation screening report from KERN Radio – Spoilers Ahoy

So last night I put out the call, and I had some great responders who listened to the KERN Radio segment on AICN last night in order to get some details about the apparent reaction to the G.I. Joe: Retaliation screenings.

From the sounds of “Caller X” and his feedback from the film…well, it sounds like things weren’t good.

In fact, it’s sounding more and more likely that there will be some reshoots done over the next nine months in order to bring Duke back to life.  At this point it’s unknown whether these reshoots will also make drastic changes to the script or film itself, but something tells me they’re not going to do anything dramatic.  I’m not sure if 9 months is quite enough time to change things significantly, especially if the stars filming schedules don’t allow it.

For Spoiler sake, I’ll keep the actual reports after the jump.  You can read them below.  THERE ARE SPOILERS BELOW.

First, from C_Money_Collins:

I caught on General’s Joes front page about the radio interview and just happened to be at a computer. I summarized the segment below. I hope it helps. -Stan “c_money_collins” Collins

Bare in mind that this is me typing as fast as I can and paraphrasing. These aren’t exact quotes, but it does get the guys point across.

It was the lead topic on the show, Hercules the Strong from AICN phones on from where ever (Texas? Ancient Greece!) Show was very loose format. The host (Mr. KERN) actually asks the callers to attempt to derail the show. There was also a couple of other regular guests on. They also have a website www.askmrkern.com. They said the site is new and will have a show archive.

Here we go…. SPOILERS FOLLOW! (Well maybe, I guess.)

The guy we all wanted to hear from, the guy that actually saw the movie, is on the line immediately after the first commercial break. He actually called the show to get interviewed after he saw the movie and it got pushed back. The host riffs for a little bit and gives and spoiler alert. The caller is an industry insider and is only identified as “Caller X.”

The host ask for initial impressions.
Caller X: The movie couldn’t have been fixed by release date. It felt very thrown together. Roadblock/Duke relationship is the best part and it ends in the first ten minutes. Duke Dies.

Did Tatum getting killed off pose a problem for you?
Caller X: The questionnaire after the movie asks about the character, if we wanted to see more. (We knew this already.) He said that added Tatum would probably be better because of the chemistry between hm and Roadblock and that the character was developed in the first movie. He mentions Jinx as having no character arc at all and Flint as being portrayed as a jerky kind of guy, but there is no character development on him at all. Joe Colton 3-4 scenes, these felt like a reshoot already. The scenes are decent but feel like and after thought. Something just added on.

They talk about the writers and the director.

Herc to Caller X: Could it play as comedy? (after finding out the writers wrote Zombieland)
Caller X: No. it doesn’t seem like it. There are some one liners. The movie feels thrown together. Roadblock/Duke shooting bet make a shooting bet. If Duke loses,he will have to babysit Roadblock’s kids. This is the only mention of Roadblock’s family for the whole movie. So they tell something about a character and then don’t mention it again.
Cobra Commander during cryogenic prison escape scene says, “Sorry Destro we are kicking you out of the band.”

Will 3D make it better?
Caller X: It might make some things better. The ninja fight would probably be good, but to fix the movie in nine months, they will have to do major reshoots and rewrites.

Final thoughts:
Caller X: Movie in bad shape. Felt like reshoots had already happened. Willis and ninja fights felt like things that were tacked on.

Herc asks the caller a question from the AICN forums about characters that were in the first movie, Baroness, Scarlet and Destro.
Caller X: Baroness and Scarlet are not mentioned at all. Destro seen in a “prison tube.” 3 seconds. That’s it. Not mentioned again, no lines. The entire GI Joe teams dies in the desert, it’s only like 40 Soldiers. No mention of other Joes or anything. there were a bunch in the first movie. There seems to be a continuity problem

End of segment and talk about Retaliation.

There it is. It was pretty brief, but no one cares about GI Joe like we do, which I think is an important point to make. Hopefully, they can get the movie out and it will be worth watching. Godspeed GI Joe:Retaliation movie production team.

Also received a report from Brent, a GeneralsJoes reader:

Totally sucks, Justin. Looks like the movie sucked. Duke does die in the first 10 minutes. The guy who watched it said the movie was horribly done and put together very sloppily. No Scarlett or baroness references at all. No pit references. Only destro is CC turning to his tube and saying sorry destro, we kicked you out of the band. He said a lot of things just didn’t make sense and he doesn’t know how they are going to fix it. I guess John Chu wasn’t the right choice after all.

Adam also chimed in through the GeneralsJoes Comments:

What spoilerish details I gleaned from the 3 minutes “Caller X” was on the show are below. What the interview stressed more than anything was that the movie feels like it’s already had a series of re-shoots. Ninja battles and Joe Colton all seem like afterthoughts. Destro has an in-tube cameo before being pulled out of the film with a corny one-liner. No character development takes place. Roadblock doesn’t seem concerned that his daughters think he’s dead. Jinx is in the movie as some sort of place holder. The PIT doesn’t exist anymore for some reason. There is not any real international cooperation before or after the extermination. 

Of course none of this is what we wanted to hear, but I cannot thank these guys enough for sharing this information.  Some good detail and some solid reasons for the opinion on the film.  Obviously none of us will really know all of the facts, it sounds like there were certainly some plot and structure issues, and hopefully they’re also spending some of the next nine months trying to repair some of that.

Regardless, if this is the foundation they’re building on, it will be very interesting to see how things get righted between now and March.  I’ll still be right there in the theater on March 29th to gauge my own opinions.

A huge thanks to the GeneralsJoes readers who dictated this and reported it back.  You guys are the best!


28 thoughts on “G.I. Joe: Retaliation screening report from KERN Radio – Spoilers Ahoy

  1. Thinking back to WOJM Special Edition #11: GI Joe Retaliation 10 Minute Preview Footage, it could be that the preview Dave Tree talked about was already being scrutinized to see if the plot and some footage could be salvaged. We’ve flipped with joy over the 2 minute trailers we’ve seen. He was just as happy with 10 minutes. But people who have seen the whole movie are less positive.

    It sounds like GI Joe is the anti-John Carter. Andrew Stanton didn’t know to direct in an order that allows the marketers to tell a story in the trailer, resulting in just a bunch of stuff happening relating to the movie that doesn’t get viewers invested. John Chu clearly knew how to point a camera and create shots that summarize the scenes well enough that a clear story can be told in high impact fragments. Unlike John Carter, though, it sounds like the whole of Retaliation was less than the sum of its parts.

  2. BEEN SAYING , killing of cuke was a bad bad idea and replacing the entire cast as well. The Characters are too important , hate the actors , maybe okay but killing the characters was very bad. I liked the cast from the first movie, just thought the script wasnt so good. ( power suits anyone? )

  3. Knew that this movie was going to be a p*ece of shit. I give a standing ovation to the idiots at Paramount for destroying this film.

    When it does come out, I’ll probably wait for the reviews (w/o spoilers) and ratings.
    I didn’t pay to see Rise of Crap, and no way will I pay to watch this movie, unless they can make miracles in 9 months.

    Hollywood = Idiots

  4. Well, this certainly puts a spin on things. Paramount in THIS case ends up looking like a college professor trying to save a graduate student from ruining his own thesis. Paramount must have been looking at the gamble with the director very hopefully, and then the final product is shown, analyzed and they have a meeting with Hasbro and their partners only to realized the only way to fix the problem is to do a re-write. Looks like they need a watcher in the wings to make sure some directors can pull together a actual movie. 9 months is enough time to fix a movie that was bad, but too long just to add post-hoc 3-D technology. That gives me faith that they are working to make it RIGHT, which is ALL THAT MATTERS.

  5. Pingback: ‘GI Joe Retaliation’ Poor Screenings the Real Cause of the 9 Month Delay? « Articles « | G.I. Joe News & Discussions with the Gloves Off! | The Terror Drome

  6. Completely agree. Regardless of how anyone feels about Duke that character is one of the stake holders in this mythos along with SE, SS, and CC. Even casual fans know him and would probably find it odd that he got killed. Retire him fine but don’t kill him. Then put the team under Flint or another leader but Roadblock? I mean come on. Why does Hollywood always think they are so smart and can “improve” on something? What’s wrong with doing a really fantastic job of telling an already awesome story?

  7. Excuse me if I’d rather watch the movie myself than believe “caller X” an “industry insider” calling in on a tiny radio show. Still amuses
    me all the negative reports come out after the movie was delayed.

  8. First off is this guy a fan of GI joe if so how much of a fan (nut bar? Or normal?) ? Also was it a completed product he saw? Christ the score wasn’t even done yet. Part of me just can’t believe they would of let the movie get this far! The lack of characters from ROC would of been seen in the script! What they should do is release the screener on the web and see what the fans think.

  9. You sure Caller “X” wasn’t Stephen Sommers trying to get some payback ;)

  10. Remember back a month or two when we had that convo about this film, box office expectations and etc? Now that this is out, I can clue you in to a little of the buzz that’s been surrounding this movie for awhile. Some of you wanted to know why I’ve been so “down” on this film and Chu. This is why:

    -At the time of Paramount announcing it has been delayed, the film still wasn’t finished.
    -The word for months was that Chu was in way over his head, “amateurish” was a frequently used word. To me, this was confirmed by the trailers. I saw nothing but generic pop culture cliche in them.
    -Another director was brought in either a couple or a few months ago (depending on who you talk to) as a “consultant” to try and make something coherent out of the stuff Chu shot.

    Chu was a bad choice, plain and simple. He lacked(s) the experience for something this large and complex. There’s a reason fanboys are rarely tapped to make major motion pictures of their beloved properties. Enthusiasm is never a substitute for skill. Sometimes (as with Joss Wheedon, Jon Favreau and J.J. Abrams) you luck out and find someone with both fanboy enthusiasm and skill, but it is a rarity. This is why the disrespect Sommers is subjected to over R.O.C. has always bothered me. Considering the writer’s strike, rushed time-frame and other constraints, he managed to make a surprisingly enjoyable film. Stephen Sommers had the necessary experience and skill to make that happen. He doesn’t deserve the geek vitriol from a bunch of whiners who have no idea what it takes to make a watchable film. Maybe now we’ll all gain a better understanding.

  11. Hahahahah! Sadly, he doesn’t/didn’t need to do anything to make Retaliation look like a POS. It speaks for itself.

  12. I may be wrong, but the official movie site now has Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson as the title stars now before I think it was Byung-Hun Lees as the header.

  13. Not sure what to think about any of that. The spoilers are so random and small. What about Firefly? Storm Shadow? Snake Eyes? Zartan? Lady Jaye? Those plot points? No comments on them? Only “we miss Duke”?

  14. rise of cobra was somewhat enjoyable at times but it was a mediocre film at best but that’s just a matter of opinion. yes sommers is a filmmaker with some skill, hey i loved The Mummy, but skills as a filmmaker doesn’t always guarantee someone making an enjoyable film, Van Helsing was terrible! another example Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” was amazing but “The Hulk” sucked.
    I agree Paramount may have taken a step back in replacing Sommers with Chu instead of taking a step up. what they should have done was taken all the money they threw at The Rock and Willis and used it on enticing a proven director and scriptwriter.

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  16. No character development in a Summer action movie starring The Rock and Bruce Willis! Well, no wonder it’s been delayed. They need to add more character building moments like those that made Bay’s Transformers films so successful.

    I find it real hard to believe this is the reason for delay. Advanced screenings being poor just sounds like “insiders” coming out of the woodwork so they can be first to break a story.

    Also, him getting picky over continuity for a soft reboot of a series where the first film was almost universally maligned is pretty silly.

  17. The first movie was a train wreck. There are any number of contributing factors. The script was awful. Neither the producer or the director has any real knowledge of the franchise. Sub-par special effects, etc. etc. etc.

    What I don’t get is that given the sub-par nature of the first film, Why didn’t paramount / Hasbro bring in couple of top-notch screen writers and an experienced director to get it right this time? Why would they gamble the future of the franchise on a team of writers and directors with no big budget experience? Why give the keys to the kingdom to a couple of guys with empty resumes? Why take the risk?

  18. Am I the only one not surprised by the poor reviews? Don’t get me wrong, I’m bummed too. I would love a great Joe movie. But after the Rise of Cobra it was hard to be hopeful.

  19. I wouldn’t call ROC a surprisingly enjoyable film. Sure there is plenty of blame to go around, but Summers is not innocent here! It was beyond just the script that was bad, the designs were bad, and if he really made an attempt to pull a performance out of any of those actors, it failed miserably.

    It’s also convenient that you are the most vocal against this movie, and apparently have secret insider knowledge :(

  20. The spoilers are minor at best, sounds like they didn’t want to talk about specifics which honestly is what I wanted to hear about, but didn’t have time. I’m wanting to know why the film felt thrown together and what about it is disjointed (besides RB’s kids not being mentioned again which is a pretty valid one there). Destro was kind of expected honestly so I don’t see the big deal, oh well. However it is disheartening to hear Jinx was just a placeholder (and potentaly Lady Jaye too). The fact that firefly and others werent mentioned is a bit disconserting too.

  21. Most vocal? I said no more than others and a good deal less. My lone dissenting opinion stood out because I found the trailers to be representative of hackneyed filmmaking. Matter of fact, I stopped talking about it when I realized I was harshing the buzz of others.

    I’m in the industry. I hear things. This production had long since become a punchline in certain circles. “Convenient” isn’t the correct word for it, but you don’t care about correct usage here because you’re just trying to be a smart ass and pass off your own opinion as fact.

    Here’s a fact for you: according to most metrics (including surveys conducted by the studio, box office receipts and dvd sales) most people who saw R.O.C. found it enjoyable. It works as a decent film. By that I mean that it tells a coherent story, with good pacing and a mostly successful attempt at character development. It’s only whiny geeks with outsized expectations who think it’s horrible film. Was it Dead Poets Society? Of course not. But it sure as hell wasn’t Ishtar either.

  22. well, they where going to have a sneak peek preview at the Military Base i’m station, so I’m positive the movie was completed. The fact that Duke was killed is a big let down, specially he’s one of the main characters of ARAH, and Chanin Tatum is considered a leading actor on all his movies, def a bad thing to kill him off.

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