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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans star in a scene from the movie "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra."
Special effects are expensive and the lives of the extras are cheap in "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" (Paramount/Spyglass), director Stephen Sommers' slick but uninvolving action excursion. Though developed from a line of Hasbro toys, the relentless—if almost entirely bloodless—action violence of this futuristic combat fantasy makes it unsuitable for kids.
 
The convoluted and flimsy plot centers on the machinations of evil Scottish arms dealer McCullen (Christopher Eccleston), who is bent—as so many screen fiends seem to be—on world domination. Supplying him with the necessary technology is a disfigured mad-scientist-type known as the Doctor (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).
 
Out to thwart these two is an elite international military force, known as G.I. Joe. Dennis Quaid is wasted in the role of their leader, General Hawk.
 
Joining the good guys—and thus getting to try out all their fancy gadgetry—are gifted special forces operatives and buddies Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans).
 
A series of flashbacks reveals that McCullen's current moll (Sienna Miller), now known as the Baroness, is Duke's ex-fiancee, Ana. Other peeks at the past feature the questionable spectacle of two preteen boys engaged in a vicious kung-fu rivalry with ultimately fatal side effects.
 
The film contains pervasive action violence, brief gore, at least two uses of profanity and about a dozen crude or crass terms. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III—adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13—parents strongly cautioned; some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
 
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Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


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Alphonsus Rodriguez: Tragedy and challenge beset today’s saint early in life, but Alphonsus Rodriguez found happiness and contentment through simple service and prayer. 
<p>Born in Spain in 1533, Alphonsus inherited the family textile business at 23. Within the space of three years, his wife, daughter and mother died; meanwhile, business was poor. Alphonsus stepped back and reassessed his life. He sold the business and, with his young son, moved into his sisters’ home. There he learned the discipline of prayer and meditation. </p><p>Years later, at the death of his son, Alphonsus, almost 40 by then, sought to join the Jesuits. He was not helped by his poor education. He applied twice before being admitted. For 45 years he served as doorkeeper at the Jesuits’ college in Majorca. When not at his post, he was almost always at prayer, though he often encountered difficulties and temptations. </p><p>His holiness and prayerfulness attracted many to him, including St. Peter Claver, then a Jesuit seminarian. Alphonsus’s life as doorkeeper may have been humdrum, but he caught the attention of poet and fellow-Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins, who made him the subject of one of his poems. </p><p>Alphonsus died in 1617. He is the patron saint of Majorca.</p> American Catholic Blog People mess up, and it’s especially hard to watch as our children and other young people go down paths we know are likely to lead to heartbreak. Providing gentle guidance when it’s needed, and love even when that guidance isn’t followed, helps them to start fresh.

 
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