Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Transformer's Review

[SPOILERS AHEAD]

It's 1AM on Tuesday. The movie came out 2 days early. Not sure why.

Anyway. I got to see the 8 PM showing of the movie most kids waited 20 years for.

Let me start by saying I was a GI Joe fan as a kid and I had passing interaction with the Transformers craze. I know the characters and that's about it. But, I was really really really excited about this one.

Stupid me.

This film is so good and so bad at the same time... the effects are amazing and the movie goes by quickly. Sadly, you can see Speilberg's AND Michael Bay's stink links all over it... and all at the same time. The main actor (Shia LaBeouf) steals (and carries) all 2.5 hours of this film, even when Turturo and Voight are choking on the ass gas emanating from Bay's poor direction and inability to rewrite crappy dialog.

You know... considering Turturo's career is almost over as an actor, he should probably reconsider these sorts of poorly thought out and poorly executed characters.

Just a suggestion.

The number of Bay/Bruckheimer stereotypes going on inside the GOVERNMENT in this film made me think I was watching Enemy of the State (directed by Tony Scott, but certainly with a little Bruckheimer-Devil on his shoulder twisting Scott's vision, much the way he twisted Bay into a D-class director).

But I digress.

The film opens chaotically, but fairly. In no time, we are pushed from character to character, trying to make sense of the ADD-riddled non-sense that Bay calls a scene. He can neither point a camera, nor direct an actor. What exactly was his function on this film?

Soon enough, we learn that there are ROBOTS on the planet, but we don't know why yet.

Mystery is good. That's fine. Continue.

Sadly, the mystery is blown in a ubiquitous exposition scene and the rest of the film is just masturbation.

So. Without talking ad nauseum about the story, let's talk about the film's vapidness.

The Decepticons don't get any screen time except when it's time to fight and I have no idea who any of them are, indicating the production team's "inexperience" with special effects. And when the Autobots get screentime, they either can't talk (Bumblebee for instance), are ghetto (Jazz is black so all the negro children will buy his toy), or are bumbling idiots (everyone else but Optimus Prime). Making me think that perhaps no one that made this film was ever a child.

And apparently neither ILM or Speilberg has ever made a film with robots in them.

The Decepticons are nothing more than "bad guys" with no motivation, no dialog, and no names. A piece of information so evident that apparently at hour 1.9, someone in the editing room said... um... we should put their name on the screen as the Deux ex Machina rolls out for Act III.

Of course, there's plenty of sappiness in the film, too. The set-up for the finale is so obvious, I don't know what to say. If you don't see it coming, you need to return your brain for repair. And since no real emotion can emanate from the film, all you get are disingenuous feelings from everyone except Sam. So many human characters get shotgunned at the screen, so quickly, I don't recall a single name in the movie, BUT SAM... and you certainly don't care about anyone but Sam (not even his parents or his girl).

Having considerably grown up since working on HOLES -- when Prime and the rest of the "cast" introduce themselves to Sam, asking about magic glasses (god, I wish I were making that up), they all take on really insipid 10-year old marketing antics -- Shia must have felt right at home with the immature and insecure character "introduction" with annoying sickly and saccharine nicknames.

"I'm Jazz, because I like Jazz. I'm Tugboat, because my ass is fat. I'm X-Ray because I've got one eye. I'm stinky, because... I stink. I'm Michael Bay, because I'm a tool."

So many moments when you were supposed to be on your feet cheering, the film is merely "ho-hum." Bay misses every important emotional beat. Either because he can't focus what the movie is supposed to be about, because he can't choose what tone to give the film (it literally flips every 10 minues), or because the graphics and fight scenes are pretty much the same over and over... with no mounting tension. Every robot moves the same way and they all dodge bad guys the same way.

Does Bay know what a storyboard is?

Hell. Megatron is supposed to be the BAD GUY of the film and he gets ONE mention an hour into the movie by Optimus Prime and then we don't see him until hour TWO. At which point he utters five barely memorable lines and battles Optimus Prime in the same tired melee you've seen five previous times in the film between two other clumps of CGI.

Frankly, I'm confused as to why I said this film was good. It was enjoyable, but it barely qualifies as a movie. It has sounds and lights and noise that comes out of things that scream and bleed, but that's about it. There's no real cohesion and nothing resembling quality.

It's like a bag full of moist crap and everyone is marveling at the moisture.

The only true satisfaction I derived from this film came, when the first DECEPTICON (I think it was Soundwave or Buzzsaw or whoever the Helicopter is... yeah the movie was the inarticulate about it's content) came on the screen and transformed.

My wife grew up in South Korea and didn't come to the states until 1989, well-past the expiration on Transformer's fandom. So. She knew nothing of what was coming.

Nothing.

And her surprise and excitement was well-worth the price of admission.

So.

My advice to you.

Take a retard or caveman with you, so you can watch him enjoy the film.

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