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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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Anthony Zaccaria: At the same time that Martin Luther was attacking abuses in the Church, a reformation within the Church was already being attempted. Among the early movers of the Counter-Reformation was Anthony Zaccaria. His mother became a widow at 18 and devoted herself to the spiritual education of her son. He received a medical doctorate at 22 and, while working among the poor of his native Cremona in Italy, was attracted to the religious apostolate. He renounced his rights to any future inheritance, worked as a catechist and was ordained a priest at the age of 26. Called to Milan in a few years, he laid the foundations of three religious congregations, one for men and one for women, plus an association of married couples. Their aim was the reform of the decadent society of their day, beginning with the clergy, religious and lay people. 
<p>Greatly inspired by St. Paul (his congregation is named the Barnabites, after the companion of that saint), Anthony preached with great vigor in church and street, conducted popular missions and was not ashamed of doing public penance. </p><p>He encouraged such innovations as the collaboration of the laity in the apostolate, frequent Communion, the Forty Hours devotion and the ringing of church bells at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays. </p><p>His holiness moved many to reform their lives but, as with all saints, it also moved many to oppose him. Twice his community had to undergo official religious investigation, and twice it was exonerated. </p><p>While on a mission of peace, he became seriously ill and was brought home for a visit to his mother. He died at Cremona at the age of 36.</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, help me make my life more about you and less about me. May others see you in me—your image and likeness. Teach me ways to increase my time with you, my service to others, and my love for my family, for strangers, and for the poor. You are the light in the darkness. With each new day, may we be light to one another.

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