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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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Peter of Alcantara: Peter was a contemporary of well-known 16th-century Spanish saints, including Ignatius of Loyola and John of the Cross. He served as confessor to St. Teresa of Avila. Church reform was a major issue in Peter’s day, and he directed most of his energies toward that end. His death came one year before the Council of Trent ended. 
<p>Born into a noble family (his father was the governor of Alcantara in Spain), Peter studied law at Salamanca University and, at 16, joined the so-called Observant Franciscans (also known as the discalced, or barefoot, friars). While he practiced many penances, he also demonstrated abilities which were soon recognized. He was named the superior of a new house even before his ordination as a priest; at the age of 39, he was elected provincial; he was a very successful preacher. Still, he was not above washing dishes and cutting wood for the friars. He did not seek attention; indeed, he preferred solitude.</p><p>Peter’s penitential side was evident when it came to food and clothing. It is said that he slept only 90 minutes each night. While others talked about Church reform, Peter’s reform began with himself. His patience was so great that a proverb arose: "To bear such an insult one must have the patience of Peter of Alcantara."</p><p>In 1554, Peter, having received permission, formed a group of Franciscans who followed the Rule of St. Francis with even greater rigor. These friars were known as Alcantarines. Some of the Spanish friars who came to North and South America in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were members of this group. At the end of the 19th century, the Alcantarines were joined with other Observant friars to form the Order of Friars Minor.</p><p>As spiritual director to St. Teresa, Peter encouraged her in promoting the Carmelite reform. His preaching brought many people to religious life, especially to the Secular Franciscan Order, the friars and the Poor Clares.</p><p>He was canonized in 1669.</p> American Catholic Blog Remember the widow’s mite. She threw into the treasury of the temple only two small coins, but with them, all her great love…. It is, above all, the interior value of the gift that counts: the readiness to share everything, the readiness to give oneself. —Pope John Paul II

 
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