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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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Augustine of Hippo: A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. 
<p>There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother, the instructions of Ambrose and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. </p><p>Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism. </p><p>In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).</p> American Catholic Blog Pope Francis said, “The Church gives us the life of faith in Baptism: that is the moment in which she gives birth to us as children of God, the moment she gives us the life of God, she engenders us as a mother would.”

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