Sunday, July 08, 2007

Transformers: I just have three questions

The following is an actual transcript from the Telegraph newsroom:

Travis Fain (author of the often-insane Lucid Idiocy blog): So, I saw "Transformers."
Me: What did you think?
T-Fain: "F***in awesome."

Now, we do sometimes have conservations with more heft and less profanity, but I really don't think there's any other way to sum up quite what Michael Bay has accomplished here. It might just be the loudest movie I've ever seen, and quite possibly the perfect summer blockbuster.

I was beginning to think that that was a dead art. Look at what we've been subjected to so far this summer; Spidey 3: boring and, much worse, wussy; Pirates 3: boring, boring and more boring until the final hour of battling pirates; Shrek 3: Meh. Bay, however, has managed to craft a movie that was surprisingly funny, never boring and just a whole lot of mindless fun.

Even if I wanted to criticize him, which I don't, he's pretty much rendered all such efforts moot by having a character in his movie declare: "This is a hundred times cooler than Armageddon." Now that's chutzpah.

But, even if I can't bring myself to critique this work of high art, I did have three questions that maybe the few people who bother to read this can help me out with.

1. Does it make me either sexist or racist if I can't bring myself to believe that the future of the Earth depends on the computer-hacking skills of Rachel Taylor and Anthony Anderson?

I might be more willing to believe that Taylor's blond bombshell was indeed a scientist of this caliber if they didn't take the time to so perfectly moisten her lips before each scene (and don't even try to tell me I'm the only person who noticed that!) As for Anthony Anderson, I love the guy. Ever since "Hustle and Flow" I've just smiled every time he's appeared on screen, and he's very funny here. But Mr. Anderson has made his trademark being a big goof, not exactly the kind of guy you'd call when the world was about to end.

2. (OK, from here on out I have to concede that I know next to nothing about Transformers, the toys or the TV series. I'm certainly not mocking anyone who did or still does; it just wasn't my thing.)

Did anyone else think, when John Turturro first appeared, that he was going to turn into a giant Decepticon? There was just this look in his eyes that made me think, even though he was clearly having fun, that he was more than a little robotic.

3. And finally, only one question of logic, which should really have no place in a movie like this and will probably just manage to make me look stupid. But bear with me anyway.

If both the Autobots and the Decepticons are from space, how is it that the Decepticons all seem to speak in something that vaguely resembles Chinese? There's surely an answer to this in all the Transformers lore I have somehow managed to miss out on.

But really, does it matter anyway? Michael Bay has crafted a nearly perfect ball of popcorn, and for that I can really only say thanks.


Sterfish said...

My answers for you:

1. Nope. But they probably figured there would be nothing wrong with a secondary hottie (after Megan Fox). Plus, it was kind of nice to see Anthony Anderson instead of a Kevin Smith-type actor.

2. I wouldn't be too surprised. I mean, his job meant he hung around Megatron all the time.

3. Well, the Decepticons only speak it amongst themselves and only speak English when they have to (such as when Barricade asked Sam about his Ebay auction). Megatron speaks English from the get go. I guess all those years hearing humans speak got to him.

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks, Sterfish ... Those answers make about as much sense as they possibly could ... I would have included an entirely appropriate mention (given the movie we're talking about) about the rather incredible physique of Ms. Fox, but it really speaks for itself

renee said...

I actually was bored during the incredibly long battle sequence at the end. The movie was pretty good and I like action movies (even if they can't possibly happen like the new Die Hard) but this one went on way too long.

Justin said...

I thought it was great too. Should have my own review up today or tomorrow.

Mercurie said...

I have to admit that I'll probably wait for it to come out on DVD. I just don't have any real impetus to go see Transformers. At least I know I probably won't be wasting my money when I rent it!

Reel Fanatic said...

I can see what you mean, Renee, but I think I'm just juvenile enough that no sequence of battling robots could really be too long

J. Marquis said...

I haven't seen it yet but my friend posed the question why do these intergalactic robots need to pose as cars? I assume that was all about product placement and the way the toys worked...

By the way, I thought Ocean's 13 was great. Which is pretty amazing considering I almost asked for my money back after slogging through the previous installment.

Reel Fanatic said...

I should break down and give that a chance, J. Marquis, but like you, I was just so sickened by the simply craptastic second installment that I just couldn't bring myself to watch a third

Arbusto said...

Loved it!

Divinity said...

Marina posted some wonderful pictures of a True Fan from the pre-screening:
The bf and I enjoyed the movie a lot even with the craziness of the fanatics. There were at least a dozen folks in the audience with their laptops out watching episodes of the cartoon and/or the animated movie in preparation for the film and the guy next to me kept explaining how he had been waiting for this movie for "twenty f**king YEARS".
I'm always excited to see Turturro on-screen ever since he directed "Romance and Cigarettes". The fan-girl in me is always on the make... :P

William K. Scurry Jr. said...

I hate to say it, but Bay's visual chaos ("Bayos") is the perfect idiom for "Transformers." I'd love it if they gave the sequel to Jon Mostow, but I think he'd go too dark for a family pic.

Reel Fanatic said...

The ending of this one clearly (and rather shamelessly) sets up for a sequel, and I agree that Mr. Mostow would certainly be a wise choice ... Given that this one has already set the 7-day record, though, I can't see anyone but Mr. Bay being tapped for the next installment

kristy said...

I just came across your blog from clarkandmichael- and I'm impressed!

I thought Transformers was great! It took my breath away at parts! I'm in love with Shia though, so I think I'm biased.
The token nutty black guy and hot girl (a yes on the lip-glossed lips) was sad...
The entire scene with John Turturro being an ass was really weird and I think that should have been edited better.
The part where Josh Duhamel rode the motorcycle and slid under the decepticon- what the heck was that?!

-your newest reader

Anonymous said...

my name is isaiah douglas and I know you are making a new tranformer so i would like to name the new tranformer moive tranformer rollout if you don"t make another tranformer you must be crazy because that moive was slamming you made every person and friend talk about it to much if i was the person who gave it star i would give you 10 the new moive your making the movie would it be a new person name jetsreem who was bad into he saw someone was about to die off a cliff he save him and then change is sign good then fuise with the boss of the good crew.