So there will be a sequel to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, possibly subtitled Cobra Strikes. That naturally led to supposition that Joseph Gordon-Levitt might return as Cobra Commander. Given that most of the characters from the first film are said to be no-shows this time (Storm Shadow, Snake Eyes and Duke are the returnees) his presence would be welcome.

But now Joseph Gordon-Levitt has put an end to the conversation, saying that he won’t be back, either. So Jon M. Chu will have a pretty clean slate for the sequel — whether that is good or bad I’ll leave up to you, ardent fans of the first. The director has insisted that “we’re really trying to break it down and take the shine off and show that my Joes were the ones in the mud, the sand and the trees and in the epic worldwide adventures” so that could be a good thing. [Collider]

After the break: we knew there would be a sixth film in the Fast and the Furious series, and now it appears that Justin Lin, who directed the third, fourth and fifth movies, will be at the helm of #6, too. Read More »

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Lee Byung-hun Returns for ‘GI Joe 2′

Briefly: The Hollywood Reporter confirms that Lee Byung-hun (The Good, the Bad, the Weird, I Saw the Devil) is set to return as Storm Shadow in the announced GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra sequel.

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VOTD: 50 Movie Spoilers of 2009 in 4 Minutes

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The Fine Brothers love to spoil everything, In past years, we’ve featured their popular videos 100 Movie Spoilers in 4 minutes and Spoiling Every Best Picture Winner in Oscar History. After seeing all of the big movies of 2009, the brothers are back once again.  Their latest video spoils 50 movies released last year (including all ten best picture nominees) in one take, in under 4 minutes. Watch the video now, after the jump.

And if it isn’t completely obvious already, please be warned that the following video contains spoilers.
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TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN

The Golden Raspberry Foundation has revealed its nominations for the worst films and performances of 2009. The contenders for the latest batch of Razzies include most of the films you’d expect to see on the list: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Pink Panther 2 and All About Steve. All bad films, sure, but it seems like the list could be a little more interesting. Where’s The Informers, which is a total disaster? Where’s Amelia, the would-be prestige picture that drones on like the buzz of an airplane propeller?

Really, the only notable thing about this batch of Razzie noms is that Sandra Bullock could be one of those rare individuals to find themselves nominated for both a Razzie and an Oscar in the same week. We’ll see if that happens tomorrow morning, when the Oscar nominations down down. In the meantime, the Razzie nods are after the break. Read More »

VOTD: The Ballad of GI Joe

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Funny Or Die’s GI Joe parody probably has a bigger all-star cast than the actual movie. Written by Daniel Strange & Kevin Umbricht, The Ballad of GI Joe shows us what the GI Joes do in their off time for fun, through a brilliant musical number.

The list of stars features include: Laz Alonso as Doc, Alexis Bledel as Lady Jaye, Billy Crudup as Zartan, Zach Galifiankais as Snow Job, Tony Hale as Dr. Mindbender, Vinnie Jones as Destro, Joey Kern as Tomax and Xamot, Chuck Liddell as Gung Ho, Julianne Moore as Scarlett, Henry Rollins as Duke, Alan Tudyk as Shipwreck, Olivia Wilde as The Baroness, and Sgt. Slaughter as Himself. Watch the video embedded after the jump.

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GI Joe Sequel Will Soon Go Into Development

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GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra earned an estimated $100 million worldwide despite mostly negative buzz and reviews (39% on Rotten Tomatoes). The film surpassed studio expectations domestically, earning $56.2 million stateside. All of this can mean only one thing – a sequel is already in development.  Paramount Picture’s vice chairman, Rob Moore, confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that a sequel “will soon go into development.” According to the report, all of the movie’s lead actors are “contractually obligated to return for another film,” though director Stephen Sommers is not.

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Stephen Sommers GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra hits theaters today. As more reviews come in, it is becoming more clear why Paramount was afraid to screen this film for critics. The Tomatoemeter rating on Rotten Tomatoes has drops even further with each new review tabulated. At 1:30am on Friday morning, it stands at 52%, and the US reviews won’t begin to be added into the mix until later today.

I hope to check out the film this weekend, but I’m not expecting much. If this film has anything going for it, it’s that everyone is going in with low expectations, which will likely result in “more fun than I was expecting” responses. “Better than Transformers 2″ seems to be the one sentence review quote I’ve heard over and over. But with Transformers 2 considered one of the worst reviewed blockbusters of all time, is that statement really saying much?

Discuss: I want to hear what you guys think. What did you like? What did you hate? Were the action sequences worth the price of the ticket? Did you play with the toys as a kid? I did. Are you a GI Joe fan today? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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Paramount Pictures has decided to not invite critics to the nationwide screenings of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, in what one might suspect is an attempt to quash bad reviews. A very targeted select group of online outlets were chosen to screen the film (were any women invited?), and the buzz coming out of their reports has been surprising – the movie isn’t horrible, it might even be a little fun. So why isn’t Paramount screening GI Joe to press if the few critics that did see the film enjoyed it? It’s a question that has been the subject of conversation in the movie geek circles on Twitter last week.

But the bigger question is… does not screening a film for critics mean that a movie is bad? In today’s by the numbers, I take a look at the films released over the last year that were not screened for critics. And by not screened, I should clarify — I mean outside of NY/LA junket screenings.

The graph above shows the 16 films from the last 12 months that weren’t screened for critics nationwide. Click on the image to enlarge.

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