Hey, lots of you have been sending me your comments on Facebook. That's fine, but...

... I'd prefer if you embedded the comments below the articles. That way we can see more fights when people disagree!

And besides, I do my best to respond to all your comments, so check back often for what I say about you behind your back... and tell your friends to come along, too!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (or, Why Brilliance is Allowed to be Dumb)

Lots of complaints about Transformers. That it's too loud, that it doesn't have enough of a story, that it's characters are really caricatures.


It's a movie about giant robots that turn into cars. The main character is a big-rig truck with a gas cap codpiece. What do these people expect from a two and a half hour long commercial that proudly proclaims it is produced by Hasbro two minutes into the thing?

Folks, this is a movie about toys, made for the following groups of people:

1) People who like Transformers. They have the following requirements to vote this a "good" movie: that cool "goo-ga-ga-ga" sound when the robots transform (check), Peter Cullen as the voice of Optimus Prime (check), and Megatron griping out Starscream at some point (check). As we see, the movie, judged under these terms, is cinema gold.

2) People who like Michael Bay movies. They need the following: big explosions (check), editing at a speed that makes you think someone was mainlining Mountain Dew during the moviemaking process (check), and babes lit in this weirdly sepia tone (see below, check).

3) People who like Megan Fox. They require: Megan Fox (check, lit weirdly in sepia, see above). If she is draped across a motorcycle like some kind of over the top add for one of those Biker magazines you see at newsstands right above the tattoo magazines and right below the magazines that are always covered in plastic, so much the better for this group.

4) People who like blockbusters. They require: a movie that will be better on a 70-foot screen than on their home TV (check).*

As we can see, from this point of view, Transformers delivers the goods. It is not Shakespeare. Though that could be fun, too. Picture Optimus and Starscream having a covert love affair, knowing that they can never be together because they are from different families, and at the end of it all Starscream pretends to drink anti-Allspark so that everyone will think he's dead, leaving him free to marry Optimus (this, obviously, would only happen in a few states like Massachussetts or Vermont). But when Optimus hears of Starscream's death, he pulls out his super cool mega-swords and plunges them right into his engine block. And then Starscream, informed of Optimus' fate, hurtles himself at the sun, where he dies the death of a Greek hero, except for he's a robot, he's Japanese (I think that's where the toys came from originally), and he's the bad guy (not because he's Japanese, but for totally unrelated reasons).

Okay, come to think of it, maybe Transformers DID miss its mark, after all.

*Yes, I know there ARE some people who like their Blockbusters with plot or character or whatever. But, really, that's just gravy, right?

1 comment:

lucius marcus said...


I have to disagree with you! Especially the DUH part. People are looking for something beyond spectacle, even in the summer blockbuster.

please watch and listen to jj abrams talk about Jaws, etc.


Befriend me on Facebook!

You're Visitor No.