Quantcast
subscriber help

artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Transformers (review)

Toy Story

You know how movies are always front-loaded with the little ads and announcements for all the production companies that had a hand in making them? “A Monster Movie Production of a Visual Popcorn Film — In Partnership With La Brea Studios and Megarich Partners LLC”? Well, this one, the opening credits inform us, was created “in association with Hasbro.” And you have to laugh. There it is, right out in the open, no beating around the corporate teat hoping to feed your consumerist greed: this is a two-and-a-half-hour cartoon advertisement for toys. We knew it would be — what else could it have been, since the original material was the same?

How perfectly appropriate, then, that Michael Bay should be tapped to direct this. All his movies look like advertisements already, usually like Air Force recruitment propaganda fetishizing hardware. He’s the perfect guy, isn’t he, to make a $150 million cartoon?
Turns out he is: this is the movie Michael Bay was born to make. And I say this in all seriousness and with all due respect, particularly as a longtime hater of Bay’s superficiality and inability not to put a glossy plastic sheen on the most profound of subjects (like patriotism, as in Pearl Harbor, and justice, as in Bad Boys II). But here? Why, glossy plastic sheen is exactly what’s called for. No, really. It’s giant robots stomping around and beating the crap out of one another. We must thank the gods of cinema that Bay — and screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (who both wrote Mission: Impossible III and The Island) — didn’t feel the need to inject anything meaningful or complicated into this giant Erector set of a movie. There’s absolutely nothing smart, deep, or subtle to be found in Transformers. Which is precisely the way it should be.

I never thought I’d ever say such a thing, but we must admire Bay for being resolute in his inconsequence. Transformers works only because it is gloriously, emphatically meaningless and cheerfully, genially brainless. It’s like a big dumb dog — you just can’t hate it.

The story is completely beyond the point, but basically, there are two opposing factions of alien robot things that come to Earth to wage their war. Don’t ask why — it doesn’t matter; it’s just totally freakin’ cool, okay? They can make over backward human technology to their own purposes, so that a giant alien robot, like the one hilariously named “Bumblebee,” can suddenly look like a beat-up (but still cool) old Camaro, and then later decide that it wants to look like a waaay cooler late-model Camaro. Also, giant alien robots — at least the “good” ones who want to protect humanity from the “evil” ones — are totally into helping a guy get laid. Like Sam Witwicky (the ever charming Shia LeBeouf: Surf’s Up, Disturbia), who acquires the Bumblebee Camaro and soon finds it helping him woo the lovely Mikaela (Megan Fox), who is ridiculously unbelievable as a high school junior, but didn’t I say this was wildly brainless? (She actually gets to do some cool action-movie stuff later on, and generally fares much better than the standard action babe sidekick usually does.)

I suppose if you wanted to look for something accidentally intelligent and/or substantial here, you could possibly frame an argument for this being something of an ode to the competence of the American military, on the grunt level, as long as they’re divorced from and out of communication with a thoroughly ineffectual leadership. Like how the cutie American army sergeant, Lennox (Josh Duhamel: Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!), and his ragtag team manages to kill a buttload of evil alien robots, but the minute the bungling Secretary of Defense (Jon Voight: National Treasure, SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2) gets involved in the mess, things go straight to hell… until Lennox saves the day again. But I’m probably reading too much into that: it’s harder to fetishize an old guy in a suit leading a meeting of other old guys in suits than it is to fetishize a handsome young man in military fatigues wielding some kickass firepower. The one comical aside about the U.S. president — he’s apparently a Ding Dong-eating moron — is probably just a coincidence.

Last week I wondered whether the tediousness of Live Free or Die Hard didn’t signal the end of the action movie; now I’m thinking that probably, yes, the slam-bang toy box of hardware and wiseassery that has dominated at the multiplex for the last two decades may be over. Because Transformers feels like the pinnacle of the genre: I’m not sure there’s anywhere to go from here. When a giant alien robot can tell a horny American teenage boy, in all earnestness, “Sam, you hold the key to Earth’s survival,” I think it means we’re done.

But at least we went out on a bang.

(Technorati tags: , )


MPAA: rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, brief sexual humor, and language

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb
explore:
  • The eternal paradox of Michael Bay. My review for this film is very similar to M-A’s in tone and content – I think we’re basically coming from the exact same place – and yet her review is positive and mine is negative. The same observatons and conclusions produce opposite responses – both (I would like to think) from rational and observant people. Is this perhaps the true purpose of Michael Bay? Is he the Schrodinger’s Cat of auteurs – his work at once wretched and transcendent, kicking ass and sucking balls in equal measure? I don’t know any other director whose work can prove so confounding. Maybe M-A is right: if Transformers totally demolishes any sense of rational observation and critical application, where can the action movie possibly go from there?

  • MaryAnn

    if Transformers totally demolishes any sense of rational observation and critical application

    I didn’t say it does that. It just needs to be appreciated on its own level — unlike some of Bay’s other movies, this one is not trying to be anything more than what it is.

  • “There’s absolutely nothing smart, deep, or subtle to be found in Transformers. Which is precisely the way it should be.”

    That genuinely hurt to read, MaryAnn. I was more in the position of hoping that there would be something more than that in this movie (though in Bay’s hands, there was no hope for it), but this is the pitfall of being a longtime Transformers fan — how can I hope that a Transformers story might convey meaning and still be taken seriously?

    Still, a statement like the one you’ve written genuinely stings. I don’t know what’s worse, right now — having my childhood attacked on screen, or attacked by reviewers who claim the TF universe isn’t even worthy of better treatment than to hand it over to Michael f—ing Bay.

  • Tim G.

    I have to admit MaryAnn, ever since slamming your review of Knocked Up I’ve been coming back to see your thoughts on other recent movies. I’m not sure what else needs to be said about Transformers. Your review pretty much nails my expectations for the movie and I can go into the theater tonight knowing I’m in for a good time.

    I have no pretenses that Transformers is anything but a dumb, fun and frivolous action franchise about giant robots blowing stuff up. Unfortunately many 80s fanboys don’t get this (I myself am a child from the 80s). Giant robots blowing stuff up isn’t the platform one would use to discuss serious issues. There are plenty of other ways to tell those stories, and for every Waitress or Children of Men, I’m just as happy to watch some Smokin’ Aces, Grindhouse or the sublime Hot Fuzz.

    All these fanboys like LVJeff here remind me of the hilarious Transformers debate from Kevin Smith’s Clerks 2. Thankfully you’re the Randall to his Elias. I offer my humble apologies and admiration for your recent reviews.

  • MaryAnn

    I think LVJeff was being sarcastic. At least, I hope he was…

  • I’d like to think of myself as a fanboy with some common sense — to compare where I’m coming from to dopey nearsighted stubbornness like what was presented in Clerks 2 is dismissive. At the very least, one could broaden one’s ideas to understand the difference between “fanboy” and discerning fan. Realisitically, yes, we are talking about a toy commercial. But any story, given a chance, could be crafted into something worthwhile.

    But this is what I mean by an uphill battle. Say Lord of the Rings is just some dumb fantasy, and fans will be up in arms, but they have ammo — LOTR is written by Tolkien, a respected author. TF isn’t written by anyone, but just the same there were those of us who believed it could be more than the big dumb toy commercial.

    Let’s just say I don’t believe every story is doomed to be tied to their roots. That would be a very limiting point-of-view.

    And my previous post had a little attempt at humor in it, but my sentiment is sincere — just because I was once really into TF doesn’t mean I didn’t have the right to hope that it could be better than the throwaway trash that was given to us.

  • amanohyo

    As sappy and stupid and corny and silly as it was, when I watched the original Transformers Movie at the ripe age of 11, I cried when Optimus Prime died. I’ve actually managed to get a few other people to admit that they did the same.

    Expensive, watered-down, over-the-top summer special effects thrillrides have their place, but I’m pretty sure that no kid is going to cry when they watch this movie (unless they spill their soda or wet their pants).

    I understand and share LV Jeff’s sentiments. It’s sad for a Transformers fan to see moviemakers take the Batman and Robin approach instead of something a little more serious and respectful like Batman Begins. Pardon my fanboyishness, but we’re not talking about The Power Rangers here.

    To be fair, it’s not as if I expected anything else from Bay, and I’m glad he managed to make the movie fun. But ultimately I would still prefer seeing a movie that reaches and fails than an unambitious cookie-cutter success, even if the story is based on something as silly as little toy robots. (I’m probably alone in that opinion, as this movie’s inevitable success will no likely prove).

    P.S. I still cry every single time I watch The Iron Giant. Something about dying cartoon robots really gets to me I guess…

  • Tim G.

    For the record, I think LotR is trash. Heh.

  • JSW

    I’m with LVJeff on this one. Sure, Transformers started out as a simple advertisement for a toy line, but it’s grown into a hell of a lot more like that and writers like Simon Furman, Bob Forward and Larry DiTillo have crafted a universe around these transforming robots that put many more well-respected sci-fi works to shame. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I do know that Transformers deserves to be a hell of a lot more than just a mindless display of special effects, which appears to be what we ended up with.

  • Doa766

    I used to go to the theater 3 or 4 times a month, but now with dvd and lcd and 5.1 I hardly ever go anymore, maybe 4 or 5 times a year, but I guess this one is for the big screen and your review convinced me

    I hate Bay with all my heart but I guess everyone should get a chance for redemption, I mean if Uwe Boll ever makes a really good movie we’d be sorta pruod of him, after ripping on his “movies” so much

    but the only summer films we should be looking foward are the simspsons movie and the bourne ultimatum

  • Shadowen

    Huge TransFan, and while the movie rocked balls–it actually got an ovation in the theater–I wish it might have tried for something more than a MacGuffin. I think the energy crisis the original Transformers faced back in 1983 would be a useful metaphor this day ‘n’ age, neh?

  • MaryAnn

    Say Lord of the Rings is just some dumb fantasy, and fans will be up in arms, but they have ammo — LOTR is written by Tolkien, a respected author.

    Yeah, but Tolkien is respected for a reason… that reason being that he wrote some transcendent fiction.

    Let’s just say I don’t believe every story is doomed to be tied to their roots. That would be a very limiting point-of-view.

    I don’t think anyone is saying that. *Any* material has the *potential* to be great — as another commenter pointed out, the big-robot-from-outer-space idea became a tremedously moving film in *The Iron Giant.* But it’s enormously different to start out with a novel that is a work of transcendent genius and expect that the movie version of it might be the same, and to start out with a piece of throwaway corporate marketing and expect it to become a work of transcendent genius when it is adapted to film.

    There’s also a world of difference between something that moved you as a child, and something with the capability of moving you as an adult. I point everyone to this.

  • JT

    This movie gave me a massive headache.

    All the action was ultra zoomed-in motion blurs of stuff breaking or blowing up. What is so great about that? I thought the CGI was terrible, because if it doesn’t immerse me in the movie, it becomes a distraction. And not for a moment did I get a sense of ‘end of the world’ dread such as in movies like War of the Worlds or even Children of Men.

    I didn’t expect Transformers to be written as well as those movies, but if the writing sucked (which it did), there were ways Michael Bay could have engendered suspense/tension/dread by actually showing us damage on a large scale. Instead, when the jets are flying above the city towards the end, everything looks fine. What kind of shitty apocalypse is this?

    The ominous music they used throughout was very very annoying, and they couldn’t even turn it down when characters had dialogue! Couldn’t understand a lot of what they were saying. The ‘good’ robots were so adamant about not killing humans, yet at the end, Optimus Prime was scraping buildings like crazy and probably killing hundreds of people in the process.

    I don’t even know what happened at the end. Sam shoved a cube into Optimus Prime and Megatron died? WTF? Idiotic fucking nonsense that’s not so bad, it’s good. It’s so bad, it’s fucking terrible. What an enormous piece of shit.

    There were just two good things about watching this in the theater:

    1. Shia LeBeouf. Love seeing this kid act.

    2. The teaser for the untitled JJ Abrams project. This 1 minute teaser was more enjoyable than the entire Transformers movie. The whole theater went ‘What the fuck…?’ and laughed when it ended without revealing the title. JJ is god.

  • MaryAnn

    And not for a moment did I get a sense of ‘end of the world’ dread such as in movies like War of the Worlds or even Children of Men.

    You weren’t meant to. It’s not that kind of movie.

    The teaser for the untitled JJ Abrams project

    What was this? They didn’t show this at the press screening I attended…

  • JT

    I don’t want to ruin it for you or anyone else who reads the comments. It was a short teaser shot on a hand-held camera – incredibly realistic and definitely piqued my interest. The trailer ended with the words ‘Produced by J.J. Abrams’ and then a release date of January 2008. There was no title.

    There’s more information here.

  • I’m one of those geeky Transformers fans, and while I’ve seen it be something more (in the comics, Simon Furman did a lot more with the material, and later writers did some really cool shit as well), as long as I’m going into it knowing that’s it just going to be cool popcorn ‘splosions and kick ass special effects, I’ll be fine. As other commenters have pointed out, we Transfans are used to different universes with different takes on beloved characters from our youth, some cool, some sucky, and some with an interesting mixture of both.

  • An article in Slate magazine about the “original” Transformers animated movie which, bizarrely enough, was Orson Welles’ last film.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2169619/nav/tap3/

    I should also state for the record that I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Transformers fan. I think the article aptly sums up what some of the hard-core fans see in the old cartoons, though.

  • “But it’s enormously different to start out with a novel that is a work of transcendent genius and expect that the movie version of it might be the same, and to start out with a piece of throwaway corporate marketing and expect it to become a work of transcendent genius when it is adapted to film.”

    I think you’re misreading me a bit. The comparison was made just for the sake of comparison — I could’ve easily used Batman in place of LOTR. My point was that it’s harder to defend the potential of the Transformers because of its origins, and this discussion is further proving my point. And why am I saying this? Maybe I’m just asking to be thrown a bone here. Would I ever have expected “transcendent genius”? No way. Something decent? Sure. Like amanohyo said, we could always take the Batman Begins approach over the Batman and Robin approach.

    “There’s also a world of difference between something that moved you as a child, and something with the capability of moving you as an adult. I point everyone to this.”

    I remember finding that comic and posting it on OFCS :-) It’s a great comic, but again, I’m not defending TF as something artistic. I’m just saying that I’m saddened to hear the dismissive notion in the sentences you wrote: “There’s absolutely nothing smart, deep, or subtle to be found in Transformers. Which is precisely the way it should be.” Because I don’t believe either sentence is true. I myself might’ve said “generally little” as opposed to “absolutely nothing,” and I definitely don’t think it’s “precisely the way it should be.”

    But you can’t change your writing style, so I’m just saying ouch. It’s insult to the injury that was the movie. Again, you know, not asking for much, just throw me a bone here :-P

  • Jesse

    I’ll agree that Transformers started out as the 80s version of Pokemon, a fairly shameless way to indoctrinate children into buying their merchandise. However, Transformers quickly became something much more than that, not just in terms of a pop culture icon.

    I grew up on the second generation Transformers: Beast Wars and Beast Machines, which were pretty exemplary. I hear that Beast Machines wasn’t received too well by veteran fans, however I strongly suggest it to anyone who likes some deep, meaningful action. If you’re not going to commit to the whole series, I strongly suggest The Weakest Link from season 1, which I’d nominate as one of the best episodes of anything in Saturday Morning history.

    Transformers evolved as a story. Even the later seasons of the classic cartoon were getting into more serious territory. Now in recent years, I’ll argue, with Transformers: Armada and Super Link, they’ve taken a serious dive, actually becoming more like Pokemon than they ever were before. Transformers being directed by Michael Bay and churned out as an empty piece of Hollywood action is sort of the clincher, in my eyes, that they’ve abandoned all the work they did in the 90s.

  • mjk333

    Recently watching the original cartoon was a more painful nostalgia trip than some other shows from my childhood (the gems in the series are pretty spread out), and as someone who generally prefers that variations on the original be as minimal as possible, I don’t really expect much from this movie other than giant robots beating up on each other (particularly with Bay in charge).

    However, I’ll point out that Bumblebee’s name made a lot more sense when the original vehicle form was basically a VW bug.

    I agree with Shadowen that the energy-crisis theme of the original storyline would have had a lot of potential today, too. Oh well, I suppose I’m still more likely to go see this movie (as a matinee) now than I was when it was first announced. So long as I can stay in the proper “giant robots beating each other up” mindframe. :)

  • MaryAnn

    it’s harder to defend the potential of the Transformers because of its origins

    Not for me. I think I’ve more than demonstrated (over the years and in the aggregate, if not necessarily in this review on its own) I understand and appreciated and LIKE that things that appear to be silly and meaningless — like comic books and cartoons — can be much more important and much deeper than people give them credit for. What I’m saying here, though, is that I did not come into *Transformers* with any appreciation that it COULD be anything more than a cartoon for toys. Maybe that’s not fair, but I have no exposure to these deep and meaningful examples of *Transformers* some of you seem to be talking about. So this is me being, as I always am, honest, at least about my own prejudices.

    I would have been delighted to see this franchise have something meaningful to say. But surely no one can be surprised that a Michael Bay version of *Transformers* is not the place to find this. What IS surprising is that Bay did NOT attempt to say something meaningful here, as he has with some of his other films. What is surprising here is that Bay does not seem to be trying to turn this into something that it is not, at least in this script.

    “There’s absolutely nothing smart, deep, or subtle to be found in Transformers. Which is precisely the way it should be.” Because I don’t believe either sentence is true.

    I can appreciate that for other values of *Transformers,* this may be true. But as the characters and situations are represented in this script, it is not true. And Bay does not attempt to inject something into the movie via the visuals that is not there in the script.

    What I said doesn’t necessarily need to be about *Transformers* on the whole, just *Transformers* as it is represented by this silly, overblown, brainless script.

  • “What I said doesn’t necessarily need to be about *Transformers* on the whole, just *Transformers* as it is represented by this silly, overblown, brainless script.”

    There I’m in complete concurrence. I stated in my own review that Bay’s direction bothered me less than the script. In fact, I got the idea that Bay was doing what felt like an honest job with it — I’ll at least give him that.

    But after seeing the movie, the bad script stuck out pretty strongly to me. Whatever better potential was in the source material evaporated when that thing got the go-ahead.

  • Hasimir Fenring

    There’s absolutely nothing smart, deep, or subtle to be found in Transformers….What I said doesn’t necessarily need to be about *Transformers* on the whole, just *Transformers* as it is represented by this silly, overblown, brainless script.

    I’m glad you cleared that up, because I don’t think LVJeff and I were alone in reading what you wrote as applying to the entire Transformers concept. The ‘original’ film, mentioned above, deals with maturing and assuming adult responsibilities (Hot Rod), respect for one’s elders (Kupp), personal sacrifice (Ultra Magnus), and other themes that might be considered ‘deep’. I have seen that film again as an adult, and while my reactions were certainly different and my enthusiasm much muted, it still made me care when Prime died. Which is more than I can say about this film, in which I cared about nothing but the end credits arriving as soon as possible. Okay, I loved that they got Prime’s original voice, which I recognised immediately, but that’s honestly the only good thing I can say about it.

    I must confess my bias of utter loathing for M*ch**l B*y and everything he has touched with his cursed hand of suck. I disagree that he was the right person for this material. B*y didn’t want to make this movie. He wanted to make the same movie he always makes, as you pointed out: military fetish porn, with long loving shots of weapons and the destruction they wreak and much film expended on the comrades-in-arms aspect. Now I love a good military movie, and the hardware is a big part of it, isn’t this movie about giant robots fighting?

    ***SPOILERS AHEAD*** The ‘high-tech’ hacking plot isn’t connected to the rest of the movie. Why do the human ‘characters’ get so much more screen time than the title characters? Why, when the second (first?) Decepticon (the bad guys, in case the movie put you in a coma before they mentioned that) went roboto-a-roboto with the first Autobot (the good guys), does Bay IMMEDIATELY CUT AWAY to the two human ‘characters’ fighting that godawfully-annoying mini-robot? I sat back agape as the first battle royale erupts and the director loses interest in the the title characters to show us the cardboard humans he’s created for himself. People were walking out during the ‘Bumblebee uses ’80s hits to help B*y’s alter-ego get some nookie’ scene. And Optimus Prime didn’t even get to vanquish Megatron. Oh no, that gets in the way of Bay’s teen-age fantasy. Who vanquishes the evil menace? Why, Bay’s stand-in, of course, the real hero of the film. It’s like Episode III ending with C3PO showing up and defeating Anakin because Obi-Wan wasn’t up to the task. I definitely didn’t pay to see Optimus Prime be proved inadequate next to Shia LeBeouf, no matter how appealing the latter was in Constantine.

  • Jason CabriAszi

    1. It’s a movie based on a cartoon created by a toy company

    2. It’s a movie

    3. It’s a special effects summer blockbuster

    Why don’t you idiots go critique pans labryinth or something. God you should all commit suicide.

  • Mike

    Wow this generated a lot of comments. I guess fanboy movies always do. I pretty much agree with Jason’s post directly above me. It was summer popcorn movie, I had low expectations because I have a special place in my childhood for the super-cool transformers.
    I thought the movie was great – way better than my expectations. The human characters were on screen too long, but they were at least entertaining, and I was suprised and happy that the robot war was as violent and exciting as it was. I mean, several transformers DIED, they had kick ass (realistic?) weaponry, and lots of people were mowed down in the process. I may be too much of a violence fan, but at least they didn’t cartoon it up with no one getting hurt, which is what I was expecting.

  • Mike

    Oh yeah one more thing – MaryAnn got it right too – this was Mike Bay’s finest hour. Until he directs “The Ledgend of GI Joe”, I don’t see how he can top this.

  • Mike, Again

    and another thing…. as summer blockbusters go, Die Hard 4 was much sillier and way more unrealistic. Basically a couple of computer nerds, and eventually, just one nerd with a laptop take over the ENTIRE gov’t and commercial infrastructure of the united states. They even hack into an encrypted secure voice comm on an F-35 within seconds! At least Transformers had the alien techmo-thingys to explain their godlike computer powers.

  • I personally liked the super subtle product placement in the movie. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy a Hummer H3, a Camaro, an X-Box 360, a Panasonic SD memory card, an Apple computer, and I’m going to drink some Mountain Dew while I purchase all of the above.

  • MaryAnn

    Why don’t you idiots go critique pans labryinth or something. God you should all commit suicide.

    This kind of “commentary” is not at all welcome here, Jason. If you’re not interested in discussing movies, then there’s no reason to come around here.

    Die Hard 4 was much sillier and way more unrealistic

    No, it isn’t.

  • Bryan

    I honestly can’t believe you people. This movie had everything you could ask for. There was plenty of great action. There was plenty of good popcorn comedy, the robots stomping around the yard and the car with the radio stations. The kid was phenomenal. He is us, the ones who grew up with Transformers and he gave the movie the human element and kept it grounded and from being just a special effects extravaganze. The GI Joe guy and the girl were also good too. The story didn’t get too deep. Sacrifice, heroism, government conspiracies. But not too much. And the robots were everything I could have hoped them to be. Optimus was perfect. Megatron was perfectly evil, ripping a robot in half and while chasing the kid around. How could you not feel for Bumblebee when he lost his legs?

    Compare this movie to Spiderman 3 and Pirates 3, which were total let downs. People comparing Transformers to Batman and Robin? Did any of you actually watch Spiderman 3? Sandman was the only redeeming part of the movie. Pirates 3 did nothing to redeem Pirates 2 which totally destroyed the franchise. The first movie was an amazing fun popcorn movie. I don’t see much difference between the first Pirates and Transformers.

  • Bryan

    I just read your comment on the front page how the actor Shia Lebeouf reminded you of a young John Cusack. My gf and I said the same thing as we were watching the movie. Kudos.

  • Devestator

    This movie reminded me of the Power Rangers, except less action and more stupidity.

  • WCG

    MaryAnn

    First off, I have just discovered your reviews and find them helpful and pretty insightful (with the exception of 300, a film I found crushingly disinteresting–but let’s agree to disagree). In any case, three cheers for Flick Filosopher.

    I agree with you that the doofus approach to the story was a prudent one when it came to the robots, from the Jurassic Park-esque chases to Optimus Prime’s trite philosophizing (although I thought some of that might have been shooting for kitschy irony). The easy dichotomy underscored the conflict so we could focus on the spectacle without worrying about motivations.

    However, I think in some ways the screenwriters restricted themselves to this approach by splicing a formulaic disaster movie between all the dust-ups. Unnecessary characters with little development and boring storylines took up valuable time we could have spent on getting to know the robots a bit better. We were so busy following the two teenagers (War Games and Deep Impact, anybody?) AND the interchangeable soldiers (Independence Day and Predator?) AND the two hackers (a pretty pointless Abbott and Costello routine they could have written around–by the way, was it just me or did these two just disappear at the end?) AND Jon Voight that the Autobots and Decepticons were both robbed of screen time. Also certain bits went on too long, such as John Turturro’s scenery-chewing and the Autobots moping around the back yard.

    Why couldn’t this have been a bit more of the boy-and-his-machine movie? The only human story we really needed was Sam’s; Sgt. Bicep McGroinpull and his motley crew from Qatar were distracting. It could still have been a kick-ass action flick with T&A, but substitute the tired Secret Base With An Alien scene lifted straight from crapola like Independence Day and Stargate with some footage of Autobots interacting and learning about this strange new planet.

    Keep up the good work!

  • MaryAnn

    Unnecessary characters with little development and boring storylines took up valuable time we could have spent on getting to know the robots a bit better.

    Funniest thing I’ve heard all day!

  • WCG

    Yeah, that does sound pretty pretty when you say it out loud. :) I liked it, but I dunno, I just thought the writing was lazy–no deep message needed, but the robots’ characters could have used a little more weight. Is giving a giant robot a rounded personality any sillier than giving one to Spider-Man or E.T.? If the movie is titled “Transformers”, shouldn’t it be more about them than recycled disaster flicks? What struck me as funny was that it reminded me so much of “Deep Impact”: as the creator of “Armageddon”, Bay aped the same bad movie twice.

    The writers of the above threads seemed agitated that the movie somehow missed an opportunity to say something. Whatever. I was just bugged by the fact that I had a hard time caring what happened to anyone in the flick. I think a movie can lack a brain and still have a heart.

  • WCG

    *pretty funny*

    I suck at proofreading.

  • JSW

    You know, I’d be interested to hear Maryann’s take on the original 1986 movie. Sure, its plot isn’t any more coherent than Bay’s flick, but it has a lot more heart and is impressive just for the sheer amound of stuff they managed to throw at the screen.

    Where else can you see a movie set across six different planets, one of which is filled with armies of robot sharks under the command of five-faced aliens who enjoy carrying out mock trials for no readily-explainable reason, to a planet-wide scrapyard inhabited by robots voiced by Eric Idle who speak entirely in TV slogans and jingles and have a tendancy to spontaniously butst into song-and-dance numbers to Weird Al Yankovich songs, all leading up to a planet that eats other planets, transforms into a giant robot and is voiced by Orson Wells? Sure, none of it really makes any sense, but the sheer chaos of it all prevents you from noticing and any explanation would just diminish things anyway.

    ‘Till all are one!

  • JSW

    Oh, an this is all to a soundtrack of 1980s hair metal (except for the Weird Al stuff, of course.) I just felt that needed pointing out.

  • MaryAnn

    Is giving a giant robot a rounded personality any sillier than giving one to Spider-Man or E.T.?

    No, it isn’t. But those movies made all of their characters interested and well-rounded. None of the characters in *Transformers* are, except accidentally, as with Shia LaBeouf’s character, who is interesting only because the actor is.

    You know, I’d be interested to hear Maryann’s take on the original 1986 movie.

    Someone wants to send me a DVD, I’ll review it.

  • TTT

    I can’t believe some of the hackneyed, self-contradictory, would-be defenses of the 1986 Transformers movie I’m seeing on this page. So that movie “had heart”? It discussed themes such as “maturing” and “respect for elders”?

    Bollocks. There is a difference between SAYING you will cover something and actually covering it. Hot Rod called Kup an “old timer,” that doesn’t actually say anything about inter-generational attitudes. It just means it was one of the relatively few lines of dialogue spoken amidst the prolonged brutal massacre of the entire 1984-85 cast so as to showcase all the 1986 product the kids were meant to want to buy (Galvatron, Ultra Magnus, Springer…) Don’t talk to me about “heart” when the story was expressly written to burn established characters on a pyre of greenbacks. Seriously, the entire point of the ’86 movie is to make kids stop wanting what they used to want, sever their emotional bonds, and instantly move on to the Next New Toy. At least Michael Bay tried to CREATE something instead of deliberately destroying it.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I am about as hardcore a Transfan as one can get, having followed faithfully since 1984 and *all the way through*, not like some fair-weather fans who got “too cool” for it around 1987 and only resumed paying attention to new story material once Bay’s name was announced 2 years ago. And I’m telling you, the Michael Bay movie is, by TF storytelling standards, remarkably clever, competent, and emotionally resonant.

    Yes, it’s still dumb, to some extent deliberately. Transformers has always had to deal with that, even at its best. So do many other modern mythologies, including, very conspicuously, Star Wars. It ALL requires a heavy suspension of disbelief and the allowance of rampant goofiness, made possible by just liking how much fun you’re having.

  • MBI

    It is time for me to admit, as a longtime reader of this site, that you and I share none of the same values, Flick Filosopher. We have no common ground.

    Jesus Christ, I don’t remember you giving the Charlie’s Angels movies a pass. What the hell changed?

  • amanohyo

    Well, I can’t speak with the authority of some of the true, hardcore TF fans here, but I can say that whatever its original marketing purposes were, the “prolonged brutal masacre” of the original movie made me care more, not less, about the old cast. And although when I take off my nostalgia goggles and watch the original movie, it’s not the gripping dramatic masterpiece it was when I was 11, I still feel swept up in an interesting and detailed world. I still feel emotionally involved at key moments in the script.

    However you feel about the soulless wreck of the new movie, no one can deny that the original movie was far more ambitious in its emotional reach. At the very least, the original movie was, in fact, about the Transformers. The center of this new movie is not the Transformers, it is Sam, and his story is an extremely boring one. When the fight between Megs and Prime started I thought, “Finally! An action scene I actually care about.” I don’t want to spoil the majesty for anyone, but let’s just say that the audience isn’t given a whole lot to care about.

    TTT says that this new movie is “by TF storytelling standards, remarkably clever, competent, and emotionally resonant.” Maybe we were watching different shows growing up, but I seem to remember the Transformers having actual personalities, personalities that contributed to the plot. What exactly are the remarkably clever and emotionally resonant aspects of this movie? The score certainly wants us to feel something so badly as Bumblebee crawls around and whimpers, but we don’t. The Iron Giant can make me break down in tears with a single word, and I wouldn’t bat an eye if Megatron ripped apart every Autobot in this movie with his bare hands..er claw…things.

    No, the only possible defence of the movie is that Bay isn’t trying (or is incapable, or both) to make anything deep or original or emotionally involving, so it’s unfair of us to expect it from him. There’s certainly a time for stupid fun, but as it turns out, this movie isn’t even fun (unles you’re a special effects geek, then it’s short bursts of fun between vast wastelands of boredom). No, for most of us, it’s incredibly, mind-numbingly boring and forgettable. Maybe loud noises and lots of moving parts that serve no purpose wrapped around a script written by a twelve year old are enough to convince most people that they are being entertained… I guess so. But us old-fashioned movie lovers need to care about the characters (even the robots that the movie is named after) before we can find any fun in all the intricate, expensive stupidity.

    Now, I do understand that many people do, in fact find the movie to be good, stupid entertainment. I guess I just think it’s sad that people have sunk to the point where they will happily give their time and money to be entertained by stupidity when so much of it is readily available, free of charge all around us.

  • MaryAnn

    Jesus Christ, I don’t remember you giving the Charlie’s Angels movies a pass. What the hell changed?

    Nothing’s changed. What does a movie about giant alien robots beating the crap out of one another have to do with idiot bimbo Barbie dolls beating the crap out of men?

  • MBI

    If there’s a significant difference between “Charlie’s Angels” and “Transformers,” I’d like to know what it is.

  • MaryAnn

    One is about giant robots, which don’t exist. It is complete and utter fantasy. The other is an anti-feminst nightmare, PG-13 porn masquerading as “female empowerment.” That’s a hugely significant difference.

  • PaulW

    The things I liked about the movie:
    1) the small details like Bumblebee’s fuzzy air freshner labeled “Bee-otch” and Barricade’s sticker “To Punish and Enslave.” That last one got the biggest laughs at my theater.
    2) John Tuturro taking his role WAAAAY too seriously.
    3) Optimus Prime’s voice. Just hearing Cullen speak made me weep with joy (touched with melancholy, which is possible you know).
    4) Autobots trying to hide in someone’s backyard.
    5) Megan Fox looking like a younger sister to Jennifer Connelly. But maybe that’s just me…

    Things I hated:
    1) The final battle sequences got too hard to keep up, you couldn’t tell which robot was fighting which. When one of the robots died you couldn’t tell who it was.
    2) Not enough sniping between Megatron and Starscream. Literally and figuratively.
    3) The fact that the Allspark kept making ‘evil’ violent robots whenever it accidentally touched earth tech. They could have shown the Allspark healing BB’s vocal system, or spawning mini-robot kittens that purred, alongside creating destructive soda machines.
    4) Megatron as airplane? Seriously? He’s either been a gun (unfeasible in the movie) or a tank (which would have made more sense).
    5) When Megatron and Optimus finally threw down roboto-a-roboto, they didn’t show much of it. And the monologuing was a tad trite.

    Overall, I liked the movie. I didn’t love it, but at least it didn’t rape my childhood.

    Now, if they can make Arcee out as a PT Cruiser for the sequel. ;)

  • PaulW

    Getting a copy of the animated Transformers movie from 1986? Well, I checked the NY Public Library catalog and… wait they don’t have it?! Nertz. Well maybe you can request a copy via ILL…

  • MBI

    Okay, I’ll grant you that Charlie’s Angels is much higher on the sexism scale. But I think that Transformers more than makes up for it in blatant racism. Even without the racism and sexism, both are unfuckingwatchable. I mean, I like dumb movies too, but there are degrees of dumb, not all dumb is created equal. This is unjustifiable. I can’t believe people are defending this movie. It has an 8.2 on IMDB. Don’t people believe in anything anymore?

    I want to scream.

    I need a drink.

  • Philidor

    After a good beginning – an approaching aircraft worked well in Carpenter’s The Thing, and it worked again here even without shooting at a dog – the movie bogged down in nonsense.

    The opening establishes a killer robot which has destroyed an army base effortlessly, shooting rays like the Tripods in War of the Worlds. The next robot smashes glass in a car dealership to encourage purchase by the lead kid. The anti-Christine?

    Why is the robot interested in the kid’s love life? And how does it already know the kid’s importance to the plot when, as it happens, the evil robots have to use a nasty little gremlin with R2D2’s computer skills to find the information?

    That little robot is like something else I’ve seen in a movie, but that hasn’t come to me yet. I’m pleased I caught the empty building from Blade Runner, even without the dripping water, but…

    This movie was a quiz for recollection of other movies.

    The only very clever idea was throwing open a rusty old gate, walking in, and shortly finding a new, huge, well-lit, fully-staffed building with no visible parking lots.

    And the robot battles. What robot battles? Much approach, instantaneous contact, and then pieces or whole combatatants flying off destructively. That’s not a battle; that’s Superman 2 with fewer grimaces.

    The movie was over after the mistake of having the mechanical scorpion out of Ray Harryhausen stand in the open to be shot by the arriving planes instead of following through on its intent to charge among the buildings and make its long-delayed capture of escapees from the destroyed base.

    I wanted that movie to be what it thought it was, a lot of action with a few humans. But under the end credits were the true stars of the movie, the characters who insisted on showing their personalities, the ones whose reactions were the real emotional center. The kid’s parents, of course.

    Uhm… I was disappointed.

  • Kyfas

    (This comment is also based on reviews i’ve seen in other sites)

    Well, for a start, i must say that i’m 18, a so i saw very litle of transformers when i was a kid (but yes, i still remember a few images). I’m therefore not comparing this movie with the cartoons. I just see it for what it is. And i absolutely LOVED it!

    I understand if someone doesn’t like it. No movie pleases everyone in the world, but it rather anoyed me some arguments used by people who didn’t like it.

    Most of people who didn’t like it, seem to be desapointed with the lack of action, saying it was death boring, and that it was not an inteligent movie..

    Well, by ‘action’ you must meen meaningless violence. In other words, you wanted to see te transformers figth each other from the begining to the end, as i get the impression from this quotes:

    “If only they could cut everything else out but the scenes involving the transformers fighting and maybe I’d watch it again…”

    and

    “The plot should have been simple.. Transformers crashland on earth. Megatron sees potential in this planet and tries to enslave everybody. Human armies are crushed, cities are destroyed. The autobots are earths final hope. Theres a big clash between autobots and decepticons. The autobots are initially defeated. Then Starscream backstabs Megatron and the decepticons are weakened and Prime comes and saves the day. And the only humans in the movie are the ones who are stepped upon or the ones who get blown away.”

    (what a nice picture of the human kind…)

    Sorry, but that wouldn’t have worked at all. A good movie must have balance. And too much figthing scenes CAN be boring (LOTR- Two Towers: figthing sequence -> most boring part of the film. Too long, too tiring.)

    In fact, i enjoied seing the transformers most when they were not figthing. Figthing scenes in this movie can get a bit blury. I hope they make it beter in the next one.

    As for the humans, i thougth great to give them a litke more credit, because this is OUR planet, and there’s milions of us around here, and we are NOT defenceless. It was great that in this movie they showed that we cat make serious damage to the decepticons.

    You shouldn’t get too tied to the past and to the cartoons. Some times, a movie works better (or at last, works well enough) if its not too similar to the original series. (Some remakes, like The Count of Monte Cristo, worked quite well.) And i don’t remember such a negative reaction to the fact that Final Fantasy had nothing to do with the computer games that gave it it’s name…

    But back to Transformers. The humor! Whatever you say, this movie is FUNNY! End of story.

    Well, for those of you who didn’t like it, and say that the ones that liked it don’t give good arguments, i hope i did. If not, feel free to criticize.

  • MaryAnn

    I need a drink.

    Join me at the bar, MBI…

  • JSW

    I would’ve liked a decent plot in the Transformers movie as much as anyone but I knew not to expect one from a Michael Bay movie. I was at least hoping that we’d get some decent action sequences, and we didn’t.

    I like movies with well written plots. I like movies with good action scenes. I prefer movies with both, although they tend to be few and far between. Transformers had neither. Its special effects were decent, but nothing that we haven’t seen in every other action movie for the past five years, and beyond that the movie simply had no redeeming virtues at all.

  • samuraiz

    I just saw this movie in China, and I have a question y’all might be able to help me out with-

    Who was the enemy nation the Pentagon types assumed was responsible for the hacker attacks? Every time they said the country’s name, it was blurred out- not bleeped, just rendered incomprehensible, to make you look at the person sitting next to you and ask ‘what did they just say?’

    I’m assuming it was China because they bothered to censor it, but I didn’t catch what was written in the Chinese subtitles and I’m not seeing any confirmation through my googling.

  • Samuraiz, I think they blamed pretty much everyone during the course of the movie (China included).
    Just to chuck my opinion into the mix, I just saw the movie, and it was one of the few films I’ve seen in recent years that had me leaving the cinema with a smile on my face. It was a bit long – by about 20 minutes – but it was a perfect, brainless blockbuster. If you’re looking for films that fit perfectly into their genre, then this is one of them. Amazing effects, cheesy lines, contrived plotlines, no story, but boundless entertainment. Cracking stuff.
    And for those claiming that TF is some seminal work, come on guys! I can understand fans of Batman, 2000 AD, and other comic creations of real depth having a problem with the way their heroes have been depicted, but TF was a vehicle for selling toys. sure, it did develop to a point where it had merit, but let’s not get carried away (if anything, the crass commercialisation of the original was perfectly mirrored by Bay’s masterclass in product placement). I’m not dissing the film, just stating that we should judge it for what it is: a high octane, rollercoaster ride, which kids – old and young – are going to love!

  • shane

    Transformers is brainless fun. Die hard 4 is also brainless fun. But Die Hard 4 is 20 times better than Transformers.

    I had my brain turned off when I was watching the Transformers. But the nonsense and sucky script still got to me. Nothing makes sense. I almost threw up.

    So much potential gone to waste. Why the Alice in Wonderland script? Why? They deserve so much better.

  • Andreas

    I recently saw »Transformers« in Germany. Not alone, i convinced a good friend (who hates Michael Bay movies as much as i do) to come with me. Okay, here i am. I’ve seen it. Like you told me. It was a nice experiment, but i have some subjective complaints about your recommendation. Unfortunately my english isn’t nearly good enough to articulate them adequate. Apparently we have a different taste in movies, because i can’t understand why Brian De Palmas »The Black Dahlia« isn’t even worth a proper review while you recommend movies like »Sunshine« and »300«. But… »Transformers«? This isn’t a matter of taste. As a part of the audience, you can find movies good or bad and recommend a movie or not, justified only by your taste. As a critic, it doesn’t matter for me if you like it or not. Even if i don’t get an academic analyse of the movie, you should tell me why you like it. And the only reason, the one argument on which your based your review, is that you don’t think ”Transformers« is worth a better screenplay, a better director, better actors, better designed action sequences. Or you would not have liked it as much if they tried. So the best way to make a good movie out of a worthless concept is to hire bad writers and a director you hate for his work, and in the end you get a dumb dug you can’t hate instead of a not so dumb dog who constantly tries to give his existence some meaning. I hate this dumb dog. Not because he is dumb. I also like dumb dogs. But it’s a dog without a heart or soul. It doesn’t even get dumb things right. »Cellular« for example is a funny B-Movie, because it’s smarter than you would expect. The people who wrote and directed it cared about the audience. »Serenity« also doesn’t offer you new insights about the meaning of life, but i love it. I love it because Joss Whedon, his actors and his crew loved the characters, the screenplay and the movie and respected their audience. In »Transformers«, you don’t have to care about the people and simply be blown away by the action sequences, who are not only poorly staged, directed and completey undermined by absurd roboter dialogue, but also forgets to bring the people (or robots) in dangerous situations. Shia runs through the streets while around him cars and other people fly through the air and robots crash into und through buildings. It’s loud but not at least suspenseful. Back to your review. »Transformers works only because it is gloriously, emphatically meaningless and cheerfully, genially brainless.« I think you’re wrong here. It would have worked better with a better screenplay and a better director. A simple theory, i know, but what’s your argument? What if Joss Whedon decided to make a proper movie out of the »Transformers« concept? If the only argument is that the »Transformers« aren’t worth another director than Michael Bay, why the hell you recommend it?

  • MaryAnn

    What if Joss Whedon decided to make a proper movie out of the »Transformers« concept?

    Then it would have been a completely different movie. I judged the movie that was on the screen, and — in my opinion, and mine alone — I thought it worked on those terms. That’s all.

  • stryker1121

    Just saw the movie this week. I’m a child of the ’80s who watched Transformers religiously, although I don’t count myself a fanboy by any stretch. I wasn’t expecting anything deep w/ Bay’s name attatched to this project but dear God…this movie sucked. All the attempted comedy was grating…I know humor’s subjective and all…but Bay is a dork. The elongated Transformer “hide-and-seek” scene outside Sam’s house; Turturro’s scenery chewing; Bernie Mac’s jive-talking car salesman; the hideous banter between Sam’s parents; the annoying Anthony Anderson hacker character; that little pisher “comic relief” mini-robot (up there with Jar Jar for irritating secondary characters IMO), Bumblebee “pissing” on Turturro….dammit.
    Even Shia Lebouf’s doofus shtick got old in Bay’s ham-fisted hands. I look forward to seeing him in Indy 4, in the hands of a competent director.

  • Robert

    I just saw this today and am glad I found a theater that’s still playing it. Really enjoyed it and basically concur with MAJ’s assessment.

    All the action was ultra zoomed-in motion blurs of stuff breaking or blowing up. What is so great about that? I thought the CGI was terrible, because if it doesn’t immerse me in the movie, it becomes a distraction.

    Dang, I was amazed, absolutely mesmerized, couldn’t take my eyes off. And besides Megan Fox, the robots were cool too! ;-)

    Seriously, I thought the CGI was amazing. What a feat it was to map out and execute all those incredibly complex sequences.

    And not for a moment did I get a sense of ‘end of the world’ dread such as in movies like War of the Worlds or even Children of Men.

    The sense I got is that they were trying to prevent it from getting that far, though I suppose it could have been expanded.

    Couldn’t understand a lot of what they were saying.

    Though I didn’t have similar problems, let’s face it, this wasn’t the kind of movie where dialogue missed was utterly crucial.

    I did find myself wondering why robots need to move their mouths to speak…and why do they even need mouths…and why are they human-like bipeds…and

    The disembodied voice of WSOD telling me – SHUT UP IT’S A MOVIE…

    ;-)

    The ‘good’ robots were so adamant about not killing humans, yet at the end, Optimus Prime was scraping buildings like crazy and probably killing hundreds of people in the process.

    I noticed this too but to me it added a sense of realism to the battle scenes. What else do you think would happen if 60-foot tall robots that weigh hundreds of tons and have death-ray weapons were to go at it hammer and tong in a crowded city, particularly when one side of combatants doesn’t care what happens to the humans? Battle is chaotic. In real war civilians die despite the best intentions of the “good guys”. Hell, they even end up shooting their own comrades. Their only alternative would be to not fight the Decepticons and watch them annihilate the population of the planet.

    I don’t even know what happened at the end. Sam shoved a cube into Optimus Prime and Megatron died? WTF? Idiotic fucking nonsense…

    No, he shoved it into Megatron – or more like he got it near him and it was sucked in bit by bit and destroyed him. I guess the idea was that Optimus wanted Sam to shove it into him so he’d take out Megatron along with himself rather than Sam risk his own life confronting Megatron. I did actually have difficulty following who was a “good” robot and who wasn’t during the final battle, but I did follow that bit of business.

    Why don’t you idiots go critique pans labryinth or something. God you should all commit suicide.

    This kind of “commentary” is not at all welcome here, Jason. If you’re not interested in discussing movies, then there’s no reason to come around here.

    I actually had a chuckle over this Usenet-flavored comment.

    Barricade’s sticker “To Punish and Enslave.” That…got the biggest laughs at my theater.

    One of a number of what I considered genuinely funny bits.

    Megan Fox looking like a younger sister to Jennifer Connelly. But maybe that’s just me…

    I was thinking Lindsay Lohan’s prettier older sister – and I think Lindsay is dang fine (even if an out-of-control burnout candidate). Another 20-something playing a high-schooler, but hey…. .drool

    But I think that Transformers more than makes up for it in blatant racism.

    Well, we’ve got the immensely one-dimensional Bernie Mac once again making a buck playing as someone else pointed out a jive-talking brutha. And on the other end I’ve noticed this trend where they make a point of casting a black guy in the “last hope supergenius” role. And of course he was wearing glasses so you know he’s smart.

  • Robert

    MAJ: A question if you ever see this. I’m curious what you see as the distinction between this movie that you liked as a fluffy SFX spectacular, and Final Fantasy – which was also mostly about visual spectacle and short on substance that you clearly didn’t like?

  • Kyfas

    You people keep comparing movies that have nothing to do with eachother. It’s pointless.
    Besides, Final Fantasy is not “short on substance”.

  • MaryAnn

    MAJ: A question if you ever see this.

    I read all the comments posted on this site. Just an FYI.

    I’m curious what you see as the distinction between this movie that you liked as a fluffy SFX spectacular, and Final Fantasy – which was also mostly about visual spectacle and short on substance that you clearly didn’t like?

    Well, for one: actors with a lot of screen charisma. Shia LeBeouf goes a long way toward making fluff enjoyable.

    For another, attitude. FF was serious as a heart attack, while *Transformers* is goofy in a fully self-aware way.

  • Robert

    Kyfas said:

    You people keep comparing movies that have nothing to do with eachother. It’s pointless.

    The thread of connection being that both are CGI-heavy movies, and I was familiar with MAJ’s general assessment of each.

    Besides, Final Fantasy is not “short on substance”.

    All I can say is that in one sense it struck MAJ and I similarly – stock, trite, clumsy dialogue and characters, a story line that I didn’t find all that compelling, centered around mystical hoodoo.

    But I found the visual spectacle and the realization that it represented a shift in the realm of what’s technologically possible mighty cool.

    This wasn’t enough for MAJ to find it worthwhile. And she got humorously catty re: the central character – “Dr. Beautiful” (wolf whistle) and her personal weather system or something to that effect is how she put it, which gave me a chuckle. I read somewhere that some large percentage of the rendering time for the movie was in fact spent on Aki’s constantly breeze-caressed locks. It didn’t seem to matter if she was outdoors or sitting on the can. (okay, they didn’t really show that)

    Now if they had made Aki a red-head instead of a brunette, I wonder if MAJ would have been kinder. ;-)

  • Kyfas

    LOL
    What is that got to do with anything?
    But i have to agree with you. FF is not all that bad. I enjoyed it. Although i have to admit that that “personal weather system” thing made me laugh.
    Simulate hair and its movements is extremely dificult, so lets give them the benefit of doubt.

    Anyway, i agree with MAJ when she says Tranformers is lighter than FF, but that’s not what makes a movie enjoyable. Don’t you (anyone that reads this) like horror movies? Well, possibly not… But for me, the weight of the movie is a category, not an adjective.

  • Robert

    Kyfas stood up and said

    What is that got to do with anything?

    Not sure which “that” you’re referring to. You asked what the connection between FF and Transformers was insofar as my mentioning them.

    Btw, when I said I felt FF was short on substance, from my comments hopefully it came across that I meant the theatrical plot/dialogue elements. Actually I guess the plot was passably adequate, but the dialogue was pretty lame. Nonetheless, the uniqueness of it as a technical feat made it entertaining to me, pretty much the same way I enjoy Star Wars flicks.

    Btw MaryAnn, when I check the box for e-mail notification, none arrives.

  • MaryAnn

    Now if they had made Aki a red-head instead of a brunette, I wonder if MAJ would have been kinder. ;-)

    Nope.

    i agree with MAJ when she says Tranformers is lighter than FF, but that’s not what makes a movie enjoyable.

    Being “light” is not what makes a movie enjoyable. But when a movie is overladen with a ridiculous sense of its own importance with little actual evidence within the film of anything meaningful — like FF — that’s a huge problem.

    Btw MaryAnn, when I check the box for e-mail notification, none arrives

    Hmm. Works for me. Could your email address be wrong?

  • Robert

    Hmm. Works for me. Could your email address be wrong?

    While I don’t lay claim to infallibility, certainly not every time. Me have ‘um IQ higher than shoe size…even if I do wear a 15W. :-)

  • Kyfas

    Robert, when i said “What is that got to do with anything?” i was refering to your last sentence: “Now if they had made Aki a red-head instead of a brunette, I wonder if MAJ would have been kinder”.

    But never mind. It’s not important now.

Pin It on Pinterest