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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

omg: Michael Bay’s next movie is totally gonna be a work of art, promise

I so needed a laugh today. And then I came across a USA Today article from a couple days back called “Next ‘Transformers’ is due for a switch,” which had me snorting with derision all the way through. You can almost hear writer Anthony Breznican snickering in places. Listen:

With shooting underway on a third movie and plans to debut next summer, Michael Bay and Co. acknowledge missteps with the last one and aim to upgrade the shape-shifting robot franchise with a more coherent story, less goofball humor and a pledge that characters who die will stay dead.

Oh, that’s beautiful: the transforming-giant-robots-from-space threequel will be, grading on the Michael Bay curve, a veritable masterpiece, like something Shakespeare might have written. It’s gonna be coherent!
And then, following immediately on in the same paragraph — and this is where I hear a snicker — is this:

It will also be in 3-D.

Comedy gold.

Also, it stars an underwear model.

But Bay is contrite, chastened even, in the face of the criticisms lobbed at Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen:

“I’ll take some of the criticism,” says Bay, standing at a set built to resemble a dilapidated nuclear reactor. “It was very hard to put (the sequel) together that quickly after the writers’ strike (of 2007-08).”

He’s noble, but he’s not that noble: it was mostly the writers’ fault.

The new film features Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf) taking his first tenuous steps into adulthood while remaining a reluctant human ally of Optimus Prime. “Shia has this great line: ‘You know, I’ve saved the world twice, but I can’t get a job,’ ” di Bonaventura says.

See? I told you it was like Shakespeare had written it.

About the reason for the underwear model:

“I love Megan and I miss the girl,” LaBeouf says, flecked with fake blood and dirt during a break between shooting. “But Sam and Mikaela became one character, and here … you have discovery again from a new perspective.”

Sam and Mikaela — *sniff* — they were like one person. It was like frakkin’ Romeo and Juliet, even. Hey, Shakespeare again!

I hope the Academy is paying attention, because it looks like one of those slots for Best Picture nominee for 2011 is already filled.

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