I've figured out what it is about Stephen Sommers' movies that I absolutely despise. It's the fact that at no point in any of his films do I feel like any of what I'm watching is real. And it's not the mummies and the vampires and Sienna Miller's cleavage that make me think that -- it's the way the actors talk to each other, the way the music never stops, and the way that at no point does any character close his mouth. Every last moment is filled with dialogue, which isn't how the world works, and the constant music fills in any scenes they accidentally forgot to record dialogue for. At least Michael Bay had one or two scenes in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen with no music or no dialogue, and it seemed to be entirely on purpose. Meanwhile, Sommers has actually made a movie that may be worse than Van Helsing, which is saying something. Specifically, it's saying that there is no slam-dunk movie idea that Sommers cannot ruin, or at least make enjoyable only by slightly dim children.
Tarzan, in whatever version it finds itself, has long been on my shit list. Most put the blame squarely on the shoulders of that 2003 (I don't think it made it into 2004) WB series of the same name (which, perhaps because of the beefcake, I totally watched), but in reality, it happened the minute Disney decided to screw with the single greatest attraction, ever, the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House at their Disneyland resort, by turning it into the ultimate lameness that is the Tarzan Treehouse. The pirates learned the hard way not to fuck with the Swiss Family Robinson, and I hope someday Disney does, too. Where was I going with that? Oh yeah. A new Tarzan is in the works, folks -- this one a re-imagination of the classic, Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.
While all of the attention is on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen right now, this August will see another 1980s toy property come to the big screen: G.I. Joe. Sadly, you may not recognize anything but the name, because visually it seems to have very little in common with the most popular version of its mythos, and unsubstantiated rumors have been circulating that the director, Stephen Sommers, has been pulled from editing the film. How did this happen? How did G.I. Joe, one of the most basic, straightforward concepts in 1980s children's television, become such a nightmare?