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‘G.I. Joe’ Won’t Be Screened For Critics

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G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra opens this Friday and Paramount says they’re targeting their marketing efforts on the “heartland”. Which means, more specifically, places outside of New York and LA. Their marketing efforts have even included a test screening for over one thousand military service members in Maryland.

One group that the studio won’t be screening it for, however, is film critics, a move which usually signifies that the the finished product is terrible. It’s basically a strategy to combat negative reviews. Paramount’s spin machine is going into hyper-drive to explain the decision.

In Variety, Vice Chairman Rob Moore is quoted as saying:

G.I. Joe is a big, fun, summer event movie – one that we’ve seen audiences enjoy everywhere from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to Phoenix, Ariz. After the chasm we experienced with Transformers 2 between the response of audiences and critics, we chose to forgo opening-day print and broadcast reviews as a strategy to promote G.I. Joe. We want audiences to define this film.

This sounds like code speak, for, “We know this movie sucks and we just want to make a boatload of cash.”

Judging by G.I. Joe director Stephen Sommers‘ previous work, which includes The Mummy and Van Helsing, I think that’s a foregone conclusion. Quality doesn’t matter with these kinds of movies anyway. Transformers, which received a extremely low rating of 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, is the highest grossing movie of 2009, with worldwide earnings of over $810 million.

The trailer for G.I. Joe (posted below) makes it look like a re-hash of about a dozen other movies. The destruction of the Eiffel Tower, for example, is a pretty direct ripoff of the White House explosion in Independence Day. And Dennis Quaid looks like he’d rather be getting a root canal rather than spouting lines like “We have never had a threat like this before.” I have also posted the trailer for Independence Day for comparison.

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