Friday, August 7, 2009

"GI Joe" is AWOL for Critics

It's the biggest movie of the summer that practically no one has seen. "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" opens Friday, but Paramount Pictures isn't screening the blockbuster for critics beforehand.

Instead, the studio says it's intentionally aiming the movie at the heartland, at cities and audiences outside the entertainment vortexes of New York and Los Angeles. Paramount held a screening Friday for 1,000 military service members and their families at Andrews Air Force Base; it's also focusing marketing efforts in places like Kansas City, Charlotte, N.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

With a reported production budget of $175 million and a cast that includes Dennis Quaid, Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "G.I. Joe" follows the adventures of an elite team using high-tech spy and military equipment to take down a corrupt arms dealer. It comes from director Stephen Sommers, whose previous films include "The Mummy" and "Van Helsing."

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