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posted: 8/1/2013 3:03 PM

'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' gathers an epic cast

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By Jeff Tuckman
Daily Herald Correspondent

"G.I. Joe: Retaliation" -- G.I. Joe is an action figure created by the Hasbro toy company more than 50 years ago. Director Jon. M. Chu has given us a film with explosions, gunbattles, martial arts and excellent special effects.

It begins with a bang, as the special forces G.I. Joes try to secure nuclear weapons in Pakistan inside a military facility.

At the same time, the Cobra organization has seized the White House, now inhabited by a fake president. He has ordered a strike on the Joes and eliminated most of the special forces unit.

The survivors include Duke (Channing Tatum), Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Jaye (Adrienne Palicki) and Flint (D. J. Cotrono).

They fight back against Cobra, out to take over the world. They seek the help of Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and retired General Coulton (Bruce Willis).

They plan to defeat Cobra by going after their leaders at a nuclear weapons summit meeting.

It's worth renting or buying this film just for the exciting ninja scene set in the mountain peaks of Japan.

The special effects really kick in when Cobra blows up London in an amazing fashion. Above all, it's a story that pits American democracy against super villains.

"Bee Gees: One Night Only" -- This historical concert of the brothers Gibb was filmed at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Nov. 14, 1997. The Bee Gees have sold more than 220 million records and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This Blu-ray edition has been remastered so the fans can relive the Bee Gees' hits as never before. The songs include: "To Love Somebody," "Words,"

"I've Got To Get A Message To You," "I Started A Joke," "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart," "Massachusetts," "Night Fever," "You Should Be Dancing," "Staying Alive," "How Deep Is Your Love" and many more.

The bonus features include interviews and more songs.

"Shoah" -- Criterion Collection. Jewish-French filmmaker Claude Lanzmann took more than a decade to create this nine-hour masterpiece presented on six discs.

The Holocaust story has never been told like this before. Lanzmann does not use historical footage. His amazing documentary uses interviews with survivors, perpetrators and bystanders from 14 countries. They tell what happened.

Although it is difficult to hear and watch, "Shoah" is a film for the ages. It will stand the test of time and is a real piece of history. It should be shown in schools and libraries.

The collection also includes three other films by Claude Lanzmann, interviews, trailer and a booklet.

"Drive-in Double Feature: Cult Horror Night" -- One of the fun things to do at the drive-in, besides eat the food, was to watch scary movies on a bad speaker hooked to your car.

Even though you probably don't have a car in your family room, you can still eat popcorn while watching Bela Lugosi as a mad scientist in two of his countless films: "The Corpse Vanishes" and "Voodoo Man."

Available Next Week: "Bruce Lee Legacy Collection," "Charlie Chan Collection," "Fridays: Best of," "Oblivion," "On The Road," "Smash: Season Two," "The Place Beyond The Pines" and "The Sapphires."

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