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Let yourself go in your adult diaper, Michael Bay invites you.
June 26, 2009 12:20 PM   Subscribe


 
Obviously those people over at RottenTomatoes.com don't know what they're talking about.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:22 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Could Transformers:ROTF(L) be one of the greatest achievements in the history of cinema, if not the greatest?

No.
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:22 PM on June 26, 2009


God, even the stills could trigger an epileptic seizure.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:23 PM on June 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


Could this post be one of the greatest achievements in the history of MetaFilter, if not the greatest?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:24 PM on June 26, 2009


Isn't he being sarcastic? Is my sarcasm meter busted?
posted by spicynuts at 12:24 PM on June 26, 2009


Yes, the reviewer is being sarcastic in proportion to how bad they believe the movie really is. I get the impression they think it's very bad.
posted by lyam at 12:26 PM on June 26, 2009


Great Movie? ..or The Greatest Movie?
posted by LordSludge at 12:26 PM on June 26, 2009


One of the greatest achievements in the history of cinema, if not the greatest?

I see what he did there.
posted by zarq at 12:28 PM on June 26, 2009


In an early episode of thirtysomething, Elliot did a riff on how microwave ovens impart all the abstract qualities of heat to food - yet somehow not genuine hotness.

I feel that way about Megan Fox.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:28 PM on June 26, 2009 [77 favorites]


I think we've discovered why your popcorn's turning out funny, Joe.
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:29 PM on June 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


The tragedy is that there actually is a cool Transformers story to tell on film, but we'll never see it since Michael Bay wound up in charge. The screenwriting duties should have been given to Simon Furman and Simon Furman alone. The director should have been someone who had a method with a little more gravitas than "whacking off to explosions," which seems to be Bay's one and only move. J.J. Abrams would have been good. Maybe Michael Mann or Bryan Singer or Ridley Scott - someone who understands that whiz-bang action and a decent story are not mutually exclusive.

I won't go see the sequel. The first movie was so dumb, I didn't even want to rip & burn the DVD. You got that, Bay? The first movie was too stupid to steal! For crissakes, the first thing Optimus Prime does onscreen is to name-drop eBay. That pretty much told me everything I need to know about how this franchise would play out.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:31 PM on June 26, 2009 [15 favorites]


I really enjoyed the first Transformers, and I hate hate hate Michael Bay. It's moronic, but it's a hell of a lot of fun. Giant! Robots! Fighting!

Everything I've been hearing about the new one points to this being a return to "Bad Boys II" form. Bloated (visually and temporally), offensive and sadistic.

Isn't he being sarcastic? Is my sarcasm meter busted?

I didn't get sarcasm so much as humor. I think the reviewer genuinely enjoyed the film for how over the top it was every single way.
posted by brundlefly at 12:32 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Imagine that you went back in time to the late 1960s and found Terry Gilliam, fresh from doing his weird low-fi collage/animations for Monty Python. You proceeded to inject Gilliam with so many steroids his penis shrank to the size of a hair follicle, and you smushed a dozen tabs of LSD under his tongue. And then you gave him the GDP of a few sub-Saharan countries.

I wasn't sure whether I thought this review was merely bad or terrible. Then I read the above and it was obvious. And most of it is just as labored. The author sucks at his job just as much as he is accusing Michael Bay of sucking.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:32 PM on June 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


I love that the general suckiness of everything coming out of Hollywood is leading to the Golden Age of movie reviewing.
posted by bonecrusher at 12:34 PM on June 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


My younger brother was excited about Transformers 2, made fun of me for suggesting that it might not be that great, and left the house last night expecting to enjoy it. When he returned, he said "The entire movie was like a woman with enormous breasts running in slow motion while behind her two blenders have non-consensual sex. Also the camera is spinning around."

His final judgment: kind of lame.
posted by Rinku at 12:37 PM on June 26, 2009 [58 favorites]


So is this movie supposed to be better or worse than Bad Boys II?
posted by dortmunder at 12:37 PM on June 26, 2009


As the only person in the world who's convinced that Rock Star was a brilliant parody, I'm thinking I might actually enjoy this movie.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:37 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


This article is an interesting study in meta. It's so long and belabored and every time it came up with a metaphor that I thought was un-toppably bizarre, it outdid itself. Eventually I wasn't certain if I was reading a review of a movie, or if it was at a deeper level of criticism of the concept of criticism.

Bravo.

It's as if sour cream was a baritone saxophone..
posted by Plutor at 12:38 PM on June 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


Good or bad are not useful concepts in discussing Michael Bay's films. "Exploded" or "not yet exploded" is useful, however.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:38 PM on June 26, 2009 [57 favorites]


One Friday night last year, a friend of mine who had recently become a father invited me over for an evening of drinking beer and Guy Time (his wife and child were out for the night, and boy oh boy was he looking forward to a bit of a break). What, we thought, could be a better accompaniment to such an evening than the first Transformers flick, especially given that we had fond memories of having seen (and enjoyed) Armageddon in similarly time-wasting circumstances? Well. That goddamn movie was so bad that the more we drank the less drunk we felt. Trying (and failing) to enjoy it was exhausting. If you ever see me watching the sequel, take a close look at the person sitting next to me; I guarantee you they will be holding a gun.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:40 PM on June 26, 2009


It's like an exploding robotic boot stamping on a pair of exploding giant boobs, forever.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:41 PM on June 26, 2009 [35 favorites]


Metafilter: an exploding robotic boot stamping on a pair of exploding giant boobs, forever.
posted by hippybear at 12:44 PM on June 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I thought it was pretty funny.

I expect the movie to be downright awful, but I'm still seeing it. I have a history of liking awful movies.
posted by graventy at 12:45 PM on June 26, 2009


Favourited Joe Beese's comment, except I do think Megan Fox is freaky hot. Meow.

Also, Michael Bay sucks. WORD.
posted by chunking express at 12:46 PM on June 26, 2009


Also, if you freeze-frame the scene (in the first one) where one of the Autobots pees on John Turturro, I swear you can pinpoint the exact moment when part of his soul dies.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:47 PM on June 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


When in Wham-O going to start marketing toys through big-budget Hollywood blockbusters? I'm waiting for Frisbee the movie!

Or maybe they already have...
posted by Pollomacho at 12:47 PM on June 26, 2009


I think I'll eat a pot cookie, and then see this movie. I bet it'll be fucking fantastic.
posted by hincandenza at 12:47 PM on June 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Wait...that wasn't written with tongue firmly planted in cheek?
posted by JaredSeth at 12:49 PM on June 26, 2009


That Hulk review was damn funny.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:49 PM on June 26, 2009


What, we thought, could be a better accompaniment to such an evening than the first Transformers flick, especially given that we had fond memories of having seen (and enjoyed) Armageddon in similarly time-wasting circumstances? Well. That goddamn movie was so bad that the more we drank the less drunk we felt. Trying (and failing) to enjoy it was exhausting.

This was exactly my experience watching House of 1000 Corpses, possibly the most depressingly shitty cinematic experience of my life. But then, I never finished watching Transformers....
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:51 PM on June 26, 2009



I think I'll eat a pot cookie, and then see this movie. I bet it'll be fucking fantastic.


That cookie would qualify as "Medicinal Marijuana" in this case.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:52 PM on June 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


That review may not be the pinnacle of human achievement in the field of film criticism, but it's pretty damn funny.
You try in vain to understand how the pieces fit, you stare into the cracks between the narrative strands, until the cracks become chasms and the chasms become an abyss into which you stare until it looks deep into your own soul, and then you go insane.

after you fall into a brazen despair that the walls of reality have become toxic ice cream of a million flavors, you will gasp with a greater realization: that once the world is reduced, forever, to a kaleidoscope of whirling shapes, you are totally free. Nothing matters, effect precedes cause, fish spawn in mid-air, and you can do whatever you want.
This is beautiful stuff.

But I'm still not going to see that movie.
posted by adamrice at 12:53 PM on June 26, 2009


Could Transformers:ROTF(L) be one of the greatest achievements in the history of cinema

Quantum Theory tells us that before you enter the theater, Transformers:ROTF is simultaneously one of the greatest achievements in the history of cinema and a lukewarm load of donkey wank. It is the act of entering the theater and seeing Transformers:ROTF that resolves the indeterminacy and reveals only the lukewarm load of donkey wank.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 12:54 PM on June 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


> Quantum Theory tells us that before you enter the theater, Transformers:ROTF is simultaneously one of the greatest achievements in the history of cinema and a lukewarm load of donkey wank. It is the act of entering the theater and seeing Transformers:ROTF that resolves the indeterminacy and reveals only the lukewarm load of donkey wank.

Schrödinger's Crap?
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:56 PM on June 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


That cookie would qualify as "Medicinal Marijuana" in this case.

No, it's laced with pot, not cyanide.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:57 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I went opening day with my 11 year old son, the Transformers fanatic. The movie was unbelievably loud, stupid, chaotic, and plotless with non-stop sight gags involving farts and testicles as stand-ins for humor. My son absolutely loved it.

Jetfire coming to life was a pretty cool transformation, though.
posted by jamaro at 12:57 PM on June 26, 2009


The thing is, it actually may be one of the greatest achievements in the history of cinema. But it cannot be the greatest, because that title belongs to Transformers one, which actually did make me wish I had a (soiled) adult diaper, to throw at the screen.
posted by metastability at 1:00 PM on June 26, 2009


A long time ago I remember watching a shitty John Woo movie (think it was Hard Target, from browsing the IMDB description) and I remember watching a guy shoot an arrow at a tree, which made it explode.

An arrow. Making a tree explode.

I recall thinking to myself 'This has got to be the stupidest, most ridiculous movie ever made and I can't understand how anyone could watch this shit and forget for a second that none of this is even physically possible.'*

I see now the error in my judgement. Based on the career of Michael Bay to date, people seem to be perfectly willing to continue watching stupid, impossible shit explode randomly, so long as there are boobs in the movie somewhere.

(And that was well before the star stood up on the seat of a moving motorcycle to use a machine gun. Also stupidly, ridiculously impossible. I mean, fuck, if you let go of the handlebars you've just let up on the throttle, yet the bike accelerates? WTF, Woo?)
posted by caution live frogs at 1:00 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is the precise argument that I make about Charlie's Angels 2. I encourage you all to watch it again. It's one of the weirdest art movies ever made. Hell, it even has Crispin Glover in it.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:01 PM on June 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


oops there was supposed to be a * before that last small-size comment. I suck at footnotes like Bay sucks at plot development.
posted by caution live frogs at 1:01 PM on June 26, 2009


I never quite "got" the Transformers thing, despite mechanical inclinations. I have been in a room where the CGI-laden bit of nonsense DVD was playing. Still, I will be hauled to this by my friend, who must see big budget movies wherein the "beats" of the film are almost entirely the punctuation mark to a crescendo of explosions.

Bay first came to my attention as "that guy who is systematically transforming the already shabby horror films of decades past into bland and unmemorable remakes," such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror, The Hitcher, and Friday the 13th. He will soon be flattening A Nightmare on Elm Street under his paws, which can transform gold (if not gold, at least the tarnished brass of nostalgia) into lead with a kind of inverse Midas touch that I am sure will eventually reach out to grab Child's Play.

Bay is only an avatar, not wholly responsible, the Nyarlathotep to the blind, insatiable idiot god Hollywood, which listens only to the tuneless pipings of focus groups and marketing agents and is the true source of the boundless appetite which comes, always, to gobble corpses dusty from their grave and spew them out as shambling, glistening ghouls, whose chief horror, once you brush past the adrenaline-drenched nightmare of their clumsy swipes, is that they might still bear the awful, distorted, but still recognizable miens of those once dear to you.

Be that as it may, I cannot help but feel a clammy revulsion when I come across what he has wrought.
posted by adipocere at 1:03 PM on June 26, 2009 [13 favorites]


I saw it on opening day, because I'm studying for the bar and, well, screw that.

The movie is outrageously stupid. The movie is also damned entertaining. Those two things are not mutually exclusive. Just because something is puerile doesn't also mean that it can't be fun. Beats the hell out of property law, I assure you.
posted by valkyryn at 1:04 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


> A long time ago I remember watching a shitty John Woo movie (think it was Hard Target...

The really sad thing is that I would argue that Hard Target is Woo's best Hollywood movie.
posted by you just lost the game at 1:04 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


What worse is USA Today had a contest "draw your Transformer". Um no. I'm not shelling out my ideas for free.
posted by dasheekeejones at 1:05 PM on June 26, 2009


Metafilter: two blenders having non-consensual sex.
posted by Decimask at 1:10 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Beats the hell out of property law, I assure you.
posted by zarq at 1:12 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was kind of happy that the first thing Ebert cited in his review as something he liked was something I worked on, even if it was was the humping robot.

It's very difficult to sit in dailies and listen intently to your VFX supervisor while the humping robot clip endlessly loops on the big screen right behind the man, though.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:15 PM on June 26, 2009 [18 favorites]


The first movie was weird for me, because it's one of the few films that I've seen where I was enjoying it as I was watching it, and walking out of the theater I believed that it was 'pretty decent with a few minor complaints' but on the ride home, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that what I had just seen was, in fact, not really all that good.

Little things, like them making out on Bumblebee while Optimus Prime watched, or the Autobots hiding from the kids parents...

It seemed ok at the time, but more and more dumb in retrospect.

This new one seems dumb right up front.
posted by quin at 1:17 PM on June 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I love that the general suckiness of everything coming out of Hollywood is leading to the Golden Age of movie reviewing.

No, I don't think so. If all movies are shit, then only shit people will want to watch movies.

We may enjoy a brief period of nasty but clever negative reviews as the excess capacity of reviewers with brains repurposes itself, but it can't last.
posted by grobstein at 1:24 PM on June 26, 2009


Actually, I think "Beats the hell out of property law, I assure you" would be a great movie tagline for Transformers ads for next week. How to we convince the studio that they should quote valkyryn?
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:24 PM on June 26, 2009


Beats the hell out of property law, I assure you.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you valkyryn, your 2009 World Champion in Damning-With-Faint-Praise!
posted by dersins at 1:24 PM on June 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


> Beats the hell out of property law, I assure you.

Studying for the bar and want to blow off some steam? There's a scene in The Day After Tomorrow (now there's a good bad movie!) where the main characters have to burn a bunch of tax law books for warmth. The lawyer friend I watched it with pretty much cheered.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:30 PM on June 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


a brilliant art movie about the illusory nature of plot.

Ouch.
posted by lekvar at 1:33 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]




This is some of the best film criticism i've ever read.
posted by azarbayejani at 1:38 PM on June 26, 2009


The more pathetic Sam gets, the more Fox's lips pout and her nipples point, like little Irish setters.

This made me laugh.
posted by Bonzai at 1:38 PM on June 26, 2009


"The entire movie was like a woman with enormous breasts running in slow motion while behind her two blenders have non-consensual sex. Also the camera is spinning around."

...leading to the new standard in cinema criticism: "Sure it was bad, but was it blender-rape bad?"

I remember watching a shitty John Woo movie (think it was Hard Target, from browsing the IMDB description)

A) "Hard Target" is not a John Woo movie. It is a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie.

b) John Woo Never Came to Hollywood. Got that? Never. It didn't happen. I'm not listening. Hard-Boiled was his last film. Tragic to lose a director so young and promising, but them's the breaks. At least he never fucking came to Hollywood.
posted by rusty at 1:41 PM on June 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Also...

Metafiler: More and more dumb in retrospect.
posted by rusty at 1:43 PM on June 26, 2009


That was a very funny review.

I saw and reviewed the first film, and the second sounds like the first only much more so. The first was like being trapped in a mental illness simulator experiencing a full-blown schizophrenic episode while giant robots proved Neitzsche right, It took about three hours for the dizziness to subside afterwards, and for colours to return to normal.

But that wasn't the worst thing about it. The worst thing about it was the fact that Bay has no idea what the pleasure of Transformers really is (and I write that as someone who lived for Transformers when about 10). Giant robots smashing things is only a component of Transformers. Cars and planes doing car and plane stuff is another component. The joy of it coms in the Transforming, in the opportunities presented by the dual form, and in the mechanical pleasure of seeing one thing turn itself by hinge and socket into another thing. That is awesome.

And Bay barely touches on it. The transformation is a blur of CGI-detail, too quick to see. The transformed robots barely resemble the objects they transformed from. By letting Bumblebee transform into ANY car, Bay exchanges the beautiful and rich plot potential of him being limited by his second form for a cheap gimmick aimed at the crowd who thought 2 Fast 2 Furious was a bit deep. What Bay produced, in the first film, was a giant-smashy-robot film, with a bit of Teen Herbie thrown in. Not a film about Transformers.

And why in the name of Unicron does Optimus Prime have lips? Is this a concession to audiences deafened by the film?

I'm actually tempted to go and see the sequel, just to experience how bad it really is.
posted by WPW at 1:44 PM on June 26, 2009 [18 favorites]


But is there going to be a Big Ass Badgers sequel?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 1:45 PM on June 26, 2009


Two and half hours? What the hell? Can't anyone edit movies anymore?
posted by octothorpe at 1:48 PM on June 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was much happier when I read it Transformers:ROFL
posted by jeffburdges at 1:53 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I sure hope Michael Bay sets his sights on My Little Pony next.

"Careful, Scootaloo, that brush looks like it's going to..."

BOOOOOOOOM!!!!!
posted by orme at 1:53 PM on June 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


“It's like driving at 100 m.p.h. and crashing into EVERYTHING and not being able to die.” -IMDB post (via)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:54 PM on June 26, 2009 [19 favorites]


b) John Woo Never Came to Hollywood.

Not true! He came here in '98 to film the Replacement Killers, after that he went back to China and never left.
posted by quin at 1:55 PM on June 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


That bit that adamrice quotes above sounds more like a review of a salvia trip.
posted by zoinks at 1:55 PM on June 26, 2009


I am shocked to learn than a Hollywood summer-blockbuster movie based on a series of half-hour animated commercials for toy robots from the 1980s is in any way flawed as a work of art.
posted by ixohoxi at 1:58 PM on June 26, 2009 [10 favorites]


And why doesn't Batman dance any more? Remember the Batusi? A-cha-cha-cha...
posted by WPW at 2:03 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


So is this movie supposed to be better or worse than Bad Boys II?

From Cinematical Seven: 'Revenge of the Fallen' Absurdities We Kind of Love:

2. The enormous Bad Boys II poster in Sam's dorm room. If it just appeared on someone's wall at a point in the film, that would be one thing -- a little arrogant, but not really notable. That's not what happens here. The poster for Bay's Bad Boys II -- presumably belonging to Sam's motormouth techie roommate -- is enormous, and fills the screen on at least two occasions. The self-regard is astounding. Has a director ever put in product placement for his other work in a movie before?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:06 PM on June 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I remember the original Transformers animated movie being in the IMDB top 100, no?
posted by empath at 2:08 PM on June 26, 2009


Haven't seen it yet, and don't think it's going to make it on my Bucket List. :-)
posted by garnetgirl at 2:08 PM on June 26, 2009


This fake review started out with great promise ("I LOL'ED"), especially the part about Woody Allen's sentient tumor. But alas, the third act seemed overbaked and ultimately unsatisfying (like most action movies).
posted by jeremy b at 2:10 PM on June 26, 2009


But that wasn't the worst thing about it. The worst thing about it was the fact that Bay has no idea what the pleasure of Transformers really is (and I write that as someone who lived for Transformers when about 10). Giant robots smashing things is only a component of Transformers. Cars and planes doing car and plane stuff is another component. The joy of it coms in the Transforming, in the opportunities presented by the dual form, and in the mechanical pleasure of seeing one thing turn itself by hinge and socket into another thing. That is awesome.

This is exactly right. I loved transformers when I was a kid because the transformation was like magic. How can it be a train and a robot and a fucking space shuttle? It doesn't make sense.

I could always care less about the storyline, really.
posted by empath at 2:12 PM on June 26, 2009


Is Shia's hand going to fall off? It's been bandaged up for a long time.
posted by 6550 at 2:13 PM on June 26, 2009


I thought it was pretty clear that Transformers was all about getting action footage of an AC-130, as artillery cannons firing from the side of a modified transport plane was much cooler than the rest of the film.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:15 PM on June 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's moronic, but it's a hell of a lot of fun. Giant! Robots! Fighting!

I always wonder if people were watching the same movie as me when I read stuff like this. It's not surprising the first movie was dumb, but what's truly amazing is how boring it was, and how little action there was. I counted 70 minutes or so of bullshit before we even MET a Transformer. Then there were hardly ANY of them, because they basically only had one for each model GM wanted to promote.

What's so horrible about these, and other modern day action movies, isn't how dumb they are (although the thing that action movies have to be dumb is a total fallacy- go watch "Die Hard", "T2", "robocop", "Total Recall", or any of dozens of others from the golden age of the 80s and early 90s). What's horrible is how LITTLE action there is, and how poorly executed it is, because of the lack of imagination involved, the bloated runtimes full of useless exposition and unfunny jokes, and the godawful CG effects that have replaced real stunts and explosions.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:28 PM on June 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


The self-regard is astounding. Has a director ever put in product placement for his other work in a movie before?

I'm pretty sure Capt. Willard had a poster of The Godfather in his hotel room.
posted by DakotaPaul at 2:31 PM on June 26, 2009


Is Shia's hand going to fall off? It's been bandaged up for a long time.

I was actually wondering if Michael Bay's hand was going to fall off, but for different reasons.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:32 PM on June 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


In case you missed Artw's link to the Guardian review, it's got some gems far lovelier than the linked riff. For example:
Bay has a great love of flashy effects, stroboscopic editing and loud crashes; he famously calls his cinematic technique "fucking the frame". That phrase might be brutal, but it's accurate. And there's no doubt about it: he really has given the frame a right old seeing-to this time. Bay has turned up at the frame's flat with some unguent massage oils, scented candles and a hundredweight of Viagra. It isn't long before the headboard of the frame's bed is crashing repeatedly against the wall, while the frame gazes up at the ceiling ... and I think the frame is faking it.
If it wasn't for the "faking it" bit at the end, I bet Michael Bay would take this as a high compliment.
posted by gompa at 2:33 PM on June 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


The original Transformers animated movie was fantastic. Sure, the cartoon was largely a way to sell toys to impressionable kids, and the original series doesn't stand up all that well in hindsight. But somewhere along the way, they actually managed to tell a good stories. And the robots in the animated series were actual characters, not caricatures.

My biggest disappointment with the first movie was that Starscream didn't betray Megatron, and then fall victim to his own incompetence. It's just not Transformers without that.
posted by heathkit at 2:37 PM on June 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


I sure hope Michael Bay sets his sights on My Little Pony next.
If fact, the results of this possibility have been explored.
posted by deanc at 2:39 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is one of those movies I will definitely watch. On a plane. After taking my usual Valium. And I will no doubt be distracted for the requisite period of time.
posted by tkchrist at 2:44 PM on June 26, 2009


But somewhere along the way, they actually managed to tell a good stories. And the robots in the animated series were actual characters, not caricatures.

This is the most depressing thing about the redesign of my childhood. When did fart and piss jokes become what kids want? Star Wars special edition, Transformers, the new Indy movie, all of them broke with the genre that had previously been established. Are kids today that different than we were 25ish years ago?
posted by khaibit at 2:48 PM on June 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


I would totally watch a movie that promised me giant robots fighting: Transformers 1 & 2 do not promise me that – they promises a frenzied blur of motion that I can’t make out that is supposedly some robots – like a CGI version of the fights from Batman Begins, but without a fun film around them. So I’ll be giving them a miss for now.
posted by Artw at 2:51 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are kids today that different than we were 25ish years ago?

I suspect it's more the result of Nth degree target marketing replacing any actual artistry than the kids changing.
posted by Artw at 2:52 PM on June 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Has a director ever put in product placement for his other work in a movie before?

It's more frequent than you realize. It was pretty prevalent in the mid 50's to 60's. Next time you see a movie where the characters are going past or into a movie theatre, check out the posters by the doors. It how the director gets in the movie, without actually showing up on camera and getting mocked for doing a "Hitchcock cameo."
posted by chambers at 3:01 PM on June 26, 2009


I watched this a few days ago... it's a tutorial on how to achieve the 'Summer Blockbuster look' via colour correction. It's a bit technical but does explain why people in Bayland have orange skin and green hair.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:08 PM on June 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


Oh and the one thing that annyoed me more than anything about the original Transfomers, more than the extended 'comic relief' that brought the action down to a grinding halt for about ten hours, more than the fact that cgi physics has the robots having no weight and seeming made of tinfoil (actually that's a complaint you can make about a lot of films, is that, especially considering that Bay is supposed to be an action director is that all the action is filmed with BluryShakeyOVision turned up to 11 so, yes, you cannot see what is actually going at all.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:13 PM on June 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


> “It's like driving at 100 m.p.h. and crashing into EVERYTHING and not being able to die.” -IMDB post (via)

So it's like being the poor girl who's stuck in the passenger seat in the car in Deathproof?

*shudder* God what a horrific scene that was.
posted by Decimask at 3:23 PM on June 26, 2009


Epic review.

An alternative view from Mark Kermode
posted by Erberus at 3:26 PM on June 26, 2009


I was actually a little disappointed by Kermode's review... but then I realized you can't really judge everything against this. It's like comparing every hill to Everest.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:52 PM on June 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Michael Bay presents: EXPLOSIONS!!!
posted by spoobnooble at 4:16 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


TF2, among all its other problems, has the same problem Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull had last year. There's a point during the early part of Indy 4 where someone mentions that Indy had worked for the OSS and fought in World War II.

Where the fuck was THAT in my goddamn Indiana Jones movie?! Where the hell was Indiana Jones Goes to War? I would've watched the fuck out of THAT movie instead of the one I got!

Likewise, where was the whole thing in TF2 where the Army Rangers hooked up with the SAS and fought Decepticons, oh, I dunno, all the way across Europe? The SAS guys didn't even have names, even in the credits. Where were the hacker kids from the first movie, obnoxious as they were?

People gotta stop focusing on adding cast without adding character involvement. Sheesh.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 4:16 PM on June 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Have we talked about the Stepin Fetchitt accusations here yet? If stupid is what you want, it looks like Skids and Mudflap will provide all you need:

Jive-talking twin Transformers raise race issues

...Skids and Mudflap, twin robots disguised as compact Chevys, constantly brawl and bicker in rap-inspired street slang. They're forced to acknowledge that they can't read. One has a gold tooth. As good guys, they fight alongside the Autobots and are intended to provide comic relief. But the traits they're ascribed raise the specter of stereotypes most notably seen when Jar Jar Binks, the clumsy, broken-English speaking alien from "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace," was criticized as a racial caricature.

Wall Street Journal film critic Joe Morgenstern described Binks in 1999 as a "Rastafarian Stepin Fetchit," a reference to a black character from the 1920s and '30s that exploited negative stereotypes for comic effect. Extending that metaphor to the "Transformers" sequel was AP Movie Critic Christy Lemire, who calls Skids and Mudflap "Jar Jar Binks in car form." And Manohla Dargis, film critic for The New York Times, takes it a step further, writing that the "Transformers" characters were given "conspicuously cartoonish, so-called black voices that indicate that minstrelsy remains as much in fashion in Hollywood as when, well, Jar Jar Binks was set loose by George Lucas."

Director Michael Bay insists that the bumbling 'bots are just good clean fun. "We're just putting more personality in," Bay said. "I don't know if it's stereotypes — they are robots, by the way. These are the voice actors. This is kind of the direction they were taking the characters and we went with it."

...Screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman said they followed Bay's lead in creating the twins. Still, the characters serve no real purpose in the story, and when the action gets serious, they disappear entirely, notes Tasha Robinson, associate entertainment editor at The Onion. "They don't really have any positive effect on the film," she said. "They only exist to talk in bad ebonics, beat each other up and talk about how stupid each other is."


"We're just putting more personality in. I don't know if it's stereotypes" is just so perfectly classic.
posted by mediareport at 4:33 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


They're forced to acknowledge that they can't read.

The twins couldn't read the alien symbols that Sam kept seeing in his head. None of the Autobots could, so the protagonists revive a long-dormant Transformer who could read "the language of the Primes." Turns out he couldn't read very well, either.

The twins could apparently read and write English as they had crude jokes printed on their sides in vehicle mode ("Suck My Popsicle" if I unfortunately recall, another waste of perfectly good grey matter).

I found the twins irritating in that they were yet two more unnecessary characters in a story that was desperately grasping for severe pruning (as well as grasping for well, a coherent plot) but Cohen et al. are grasping, period.
posted by jamaro at 4:52 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just checked Netflix.
Average rating: 4.5.
Rating of members like me: 3.4.
That's with under 8k ratings, probably including people who haven't seen it but like robots or Megan Fox, so that unusual difference can really grow.

And: The author, "Charlie Jane Anders," is a "she."
posted by Pronoiac at 5:03 PM on June 26, 2009


"We're just putting more personality in. I don't know if it's stereotypes" is just so perfectly classic.

This is even more classic: These are the voice actors. This is kind of the direction they were taking the characters and we went with it.

Well if VOICE ACTORS are doing it, it can't POSSIBLY be racist!
posted by DU at 5:03 PM on June 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Cohen et al. are grasping, period.

Huh? Thanks for clarifying the reading thing (I'm going next week when I can see it for free), but it's not the main accusation here at all. Are you seriously arguing that there's no way to make an argument that two minor characters who do nothing but talk in cartoony ebonics and fight as comic relief aren't the latest iteration of a long line of sleazy racial caricatures of black folks going back over a hundred years?

Talk about grasping...jesus.
posted by mediareport at 5:26 PM on June 26, 2009


"I'm only the director! How could I possibly get voice actors to do something they don't want to do!?"
posted by Pronoiac at 5:29 PM on June 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


In my opinion, there has only been one Transformers movie. And it had Leonard Nimoy and Orson Welles. This new crap is worse than ... Gobots.

No offense to Leader-1, mind you.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:45 PM on June 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


"Hi, this is i09. We've just published another article full of ridiculous hyperbole and given it an outrageous headline so people will link to us a lot!"
posted by crossoverman at 5:52 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: just putting more personality in. I don't know if it's stereotypes.
posted by hippybear at 5:56 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Where the hell was Indiana Jones Goes to War?

Careful - people were asking where The Terminator Crushes Human Skulls Underfoot was, look where that got us.
posted by Artw at 5:56 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


In the first Transformers, when Optimus Prime argues that they should defend the human race, because "there is goodness in them," at that moment the camera cuts to Megan Fox's cleavage as she gets out of a black government SUV. Megan Fox's bosom saved us all.
posted by mecran01 at 6:31 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Careful - people were asking where The Terminator Crushes Human Skulls Underfoot was, look where that got us.

I know, not nearly enough skulls.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:48 PM on June 26, 2009


Hard Target is a beautiful masterpiece.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:43 PM on June 26, 2009


Damn right it is. It's got Lance Henriksen who is just criminally underrated as an actor.
posted by quin at 7:54 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Firstly please reserve the acronym TF2 for the superior in every way; game, performance, experience space known as Team Fortress 2. This game played in 32 player mode on pimped HD gaming gaming rig is an example of how to do an action film right.

Back to topic ... temporarily.

I loved this Charlie Jane Anders piece and before hitting this MF post I had already posted the article to a bunch of friends so I don't have to explain to them why I don't want to see T:ROTF.

One of my friends said of Charlie's review, "its a remix of the trusty old "it's so bad it's good" genre of mental gymnastics !!!11!!" But I remused "At no point is good mentioned ... I got the impression that if you enjoy this movie its because you have experienced brain damage while watching the movie"

That line read back makes me remember the first movie. Throughout most of Transformers, I was thinking - I really wish I was playing this as a 'good game' and not watching it as a 'bad movie'. And that is the modern action film's problem; they are trying to be as sensorially involved as games but they are burdened by the film format and audience expectations.

I know the term sensory overload is bandied about and applied to action films all the time but that is not my experience at all. The modern action film is a sensorially confusing experience where a lack of interest in artificial imagery is reached far before my senses are overloaded. The low temporal resolution of 24fps, the blurriness of the moving imagery, the locked camera viewport and the artificiality of the scenes turn the act of watching into a task of resolving images from confused to involving.

I guess I prefer to play games for that kind of mental exercise. The images are more truely modeled at higher temporal resolutions and have more engaging virtual consequences.

At the other end of the scale I get more heart in mouth moments watching youtube than watching summer blockbusters.

Could summer action films fail any harder?

I think the upcoming "Avatar" by James Cameron is going to be very interesting.
posted by vicx at 8:46 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Has a director ever put in product placement for his other work in a movie before?

Kubrick did it pretty often. 2001 shows up in the in the record store in Clockwork Orange and on Danny's sweater in The Shining. Peter Sellers says, "I am Spartacus" in Lolita.
posted by octothorpe at 9:20 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ingrid Bergman referenced The Seventh Seal in his adaption of The Magic Flute.
posted by shii at 9:47 PM on June 26, 2009


Firstly please reserve the acronym TF2 for the superior in every way; game, performance, experience space known as Team Fortress 2.

You reserve it for your game, I'll reserve it as "the internal job system name for the movie I just spent nine months on, during which no one at my office called it anything else," and we'll both be OK with that.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:58 PM on June 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Okay, I'm back. As I predicted, I was "treated" to Transformers 2. I'll start with the good bits:

Fairytale of Los Angeles, your humping robot was good. I did have a giggle. Also good was the actress who played Shia's mother; she supplied about 75% of the laughs in the film. Also, you did not have to have seen the first film to watch this movie. As far as I can tell, all that is required is a single eye, a visual cortex, and a brainstem.

Ah, but the rest ... somewhere, someone responsible for this film should have this tattooed on their body, the appropriate Shakespeare quote. Sound, fury, you know where I am going with this.

Skids and Mudflap? Wow, umm ... I thought I had purged myself of these, but I had one of those "embarrassed to be white" moments as I spotted that one of them had what appears to be a gold tooth. Two illiterate robots, whose jive was only slightly freshened up from Airplane, and one of them has a gold tooth. At that moment, my fondest wish suddenly became that nobody would notice this, that this little detail was all in my mind. Please let this be one of those acid flashbacks about which I have heard so much, let the popcorn start rustling and whispering that I'm going to die, anything to convince me that this has not actually happened.

Megan Fox, casually threatening to burn out the remaining eye of craven little robot she has chained up was completely out of left field. I do not expect a great deal of moral compass from action movies, but c'mon. What's next, attaching batteries to his testicles? "What are you talking about, adipocere? Robots don't have testicles!" You would be so wrong. We get to see robot testicles. Okay, a pair of wrecking balls, but, yeah, given their placement — robot testicles. It's not just farting robots, it's robot nards, too.

And the explosions. Things just kept blowing up. Continually. I am almost certain that the last ten hours of the film featured about one explosion every ten seconds, or something else going BANG!. The Dolby sound system ensured that the continual rumbling shook loose some earwax and any remaining hopes I had for Hollywood. Most of the explosions served no point upon which I could fix, but I do have some guesses as to their purpose: 1) drown out uninteresting dialogue. 2) remind us we're in a Michael Bay movie (as if all of the posters for Michael Bay movies on the dorm room walls were not enough), 3) the spaces between the explosions were actually some kind of signal, like I could count between things blowing up as some kind of Morse code, which actually translate to some kind of lovely poetry about the virtues of silence.

I know LaBeouf had a hand injury during the span of time over which the movie was made (note: I did not say "during filming"). And I am not someone who goes hunting for continuity errors, but if he's out in the middle of the desert, and he whacks his hand one, please let someone tear off a strip of shirt, or towel, or damn near anything, but just do not let what appears to be bandages wrapped around a fairly solid two-finger splint appear on his hand in the span of about five seconds. Just something. It would have taken a few hours to shoot and resulted in about ten seconds of screen time, I know, but c'mon, don't just pee on me and tell me it's summer sprinkles.

Also, the fighting. I expected a lot of bang-bang-clang-clang. What I did not get is that, with the endless CGI blur, I could barely tell the Autobots and Deceptikons apart in a fight. So the battles consisted of ineffectual humans shooting their almost always worthless weapons and getting hurled offscreen while a bunch of dirty metal whirled around and I heard the sounds of someone forging hopefully something with which I could stab out my ears, then eyes. I've seen better matches in a Survival Research Labs video. And their machines were more interesting.

Right now, if I do not dream all night of Stuff Just Blowing Up, I will have fond fantasies wherein I create anti-dollars, money that I can somehow give to a movie theater which will react with regular cash and cause it to evaporate, that's how much I want not to have even incidentally contributed to the "success" of this film.

Michael Bay should be forced to change his new name to Tigra Bunny, because he likes the cars, the cars that go boom, and as far as I know, it may be the only thing for which he will be remembered.
posted by adipocere at 10:34 PM on June 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


+1 nice L'Trimm reference
posted by Pronoiac at 10:45 PM on June 26, 2009


I just heard that Michael Bay and M. Night Shyamalan are co-directing Transformers 3.

Spoiler alert: Optimus Prime was exploded the whole time.
posted by Riki tiki at 10:50 PM on June 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


I thought it was about as good as the first one. Which isn't really saying much.
posted by stavrogin at 11:01 PM on June 26, 2009


And the robots in the animated series were actual characters, not caricatures.

YES. My biggest disappointment with the first movie was that it was all about the humans and their reaction to Transformers showing up on Earth, and not from the Transformers' point of view. The Transformers were only given as much personality as necessary to interact with their human costars, no more. You take away that, and the joy of the actual transformations, and this might as well be any generic Space Robot story. It was never about the humans on the animated series.
posted by emeiji at 11:50 PM on June 26, 2009


Just got back from watching it, having never seen the first. I actually had fun - a very campy, dopey sort of fun - for the first two thirds of the movie. The Soundwave robot/character was just eight tons of sleek, sexy menace, and the fights - especially the one where Optimus dies - were enjoyable.

The last third of this movie is a joke, and I'm not sure whom it's upon. It is every single bad war movie cliche and overused Vietnam film camera angle fused into one, continuous, hideous, and very boring mess. What the hell was with Sam's near-death experience at the end? Why the dagger-plunge insertion of the Matrix?

From about fifty candidates to choose from, only two scenes at the end pay off: rail gun vs. Devastator = awesome, and Bumblebee killing the cat-robot. Chopping off the entire last hour, rolling just those two scenes sans context and then immediately cutting to the credits would have made for a pretty good film.
posted by Ryvar at 12:24 AM on June 27, 2009


I like how in this podcast interview with Bay the interviewer gently teases him about making a low-budget art movie and Bay takes it seriously and says he will. Yeah, and I'm still waiting for those George Lucas art movies he promised when he was done with the 'Wars prequals.

Oh and that Megan Fox's audition consisted of her coming over to Bay's house and then washing his Ferrari while he filmed it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:08 AM on June 27, 2009


I'm confused - did people actually go to this movie expecting to see a coherent storyline? Cause I went expecting to see numerous things asploding, huge robots fighting, awesome cars being driven in a highly irresponsible manner, and slo-mo bouncing boobs (y'know, like in every single Michael Bay movie ever), and thus found it ultimately satisfying. It was about an hour too long, though.

Hm. I appear to have rather low summer-blockbuster-related moviegoing expectations.

Various disclaimers: I would rather be force-fed my own liver, raw, than watch a film in which various characters cry a lot and talk about their feelings. Also, embarrassingly, I really rather liked Bad Boys II. BRB, fleeing in shame.
posted by elizardbits at 5:10 AM on June 27, 2009




From a WSJ Article:

It’s interesting that you want to focus on acting. Megan Fox, one of the leads in “Transformers” has criticized your films for being special-effects-driven and not offering so many acting opportunities. Do you agree?

Well, that’s Megan Fox for you. She says some very ridiculous things because she’s 23 years old and she still has a lot of growing to do. You roll your eyes when you see statements like that and think, “Okay Megan, you can do whatever you want. I got it.” But I 100% disagree with her. Nick Cage wasn’t a big actor when I cast him, nor was Ben Affleck before I put him in “Armageddon.” Shia LaBeouf wasn’t a big movie star before he did “Transformers”—and then he exploded. Not to mention Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, from “Bad Boys.” Nobody in the world knew about Megan Fox until I found her and put her in “Transformers.” I like to think that I’ve had some luck in building actors’ careers with my films.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:42 AM on June 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


The movie was terrible and had a couple of robotic Stepin Fetchits. Even more Stepin Fetchity than the first movie, even. Really awful.

However, Megan Fox is pure hotness and anyone who says different is nutso. She's also a big comic book geek. But nobody's perfect.
posted by Justinian at 10:58 AM on June 27, 2009


I actually just saw this movie, and a few things surprised me:

1. There's no story whatsoever. No, really. "Giant robots want to destroy the earth" is pretty much it. The characters kind of bounce off each other pointlessly. Remember that old fashioned football game from the 70s, the one with the vibrating metal football field, and the little players would move in random directions? That's what the character interaction of this movie is like, plus cheesy dialogue. But of course, no one goes to a Michael Bay film for the story, so that's an unfair criticism. People go to Michael Bay films for the effects, which leads us to ...

2. The effects sucked. It's called "Transformers" so you'd think the actual transformations would be interesting to watch. They're not. What you see are vehicles that clumsily morph into giant lumps of technical-looking things moving around to a deafening ORR-ARR-ARR-ARR until voila, big robot. The fight scenes were shot either too closely or with too many cut shots per minute, which made it confusing to follow what was happening.

Yes, there were plenty of ear-bleeding explosions, and I counted five "running from explosion in slow motion" scenes, but I might have missed a couple. I know Bay is famous for this device, but really, it's his only device. And when you've only got one trick you don't want to overdo it.

3. The two Chris Tuckeresque illiterate robots. W. T. F.

4. Nice how Obama hid away in a secret bunker when the bad guys reared their heads, and Obama's special envoy was supposed to be a craven bureacrat pushed out of an airplane by military guys who clearly know better than him. The only way Bay could have been more subtle is if he used CGI effects to simulate Obama, cowering and weeping, hiding behind Optimus Prime as Decepticons attacked the White House.

5. Actually, I think Michael Bay is best suited for directing music videos. He has no attention span, no feel for dialogue, and likes to make boobies bounce in slow motion. He should give T-Pain a call.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:11 PM on June 27, 2009


I used to defend Michael Bay and his movies, here on Metafilter. I'd argue they were short of narrative and plot, but so what?!

After seeing Transformers 2, I can't do that anymore. His movies are just big, dumb blondes (whatever sex you prefer), meant to be looked at and not thought about too much.

Yes, the stereotypical black Autobots were disturbing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:18 PM on June 27, 2009


The sad part? The film has already grossed $200 million, it might suck, but Bay will still get work doing the next film.
posted by mrzarquon at 1:52 PM on June 27, 2009


I will never see this move, just because it has Shia LaBeouf in it. He is like an ugly, brain-damaged Keanu Reeves.

Glad to hear that I wasn't missing anything on the special effects.

I would totally watch Megan Fox wash a Ferrarri though!
posted by zekinskia at 1:56 PM on June 27, 2009


I would totally watch Megan Fox wash a Ferrarri though!

In that case, I'd recommend leaving the theatre after you see her painting a design on a motorcycle about 10 minutes in. Because apart from the slow-mo-boob-bounce near the end, that's about as sexy as it gets.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:27 PM on June 27, 2009


Nick Cage wasn’t a big actor when I cast him, nor was Ben Affleck before I put him in 'Armageddon.' Shia LaBeouf wasn't a big movie star before he did 'Transformers'—and then he exploded. Not to mention Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, from 'Bad Boys.'

Nicholas Cage won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Leaving Las Vegas the year before he was in The Rock. Ben Affleck was in Good Will Hunting the year before he was in Armageddon, and was in Shakespeare in Love, which won Best Picture the same year as Armageddon. Will Smith had only been in a couple of movies before Bad Boys, but I'd argue that Independence Day the following year, which made kazillions more money, made him a huge star. Maybe he has a point about Martin Lawrence, but I don't know that a string of Big Momma's House movies after Bad Boys makes him a big movie star. Shia LaBeouf was the lead in Disturbia the year before Transformers, and other than Transformers he's been in Eagle Eye and a crappy Indiana Jones movie.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:46 PM on June 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


other than Transformers he's been in Eagle Eye and a crappy Indiana Jones movie.

It breaks my heart that the last part of that sentence even has meaning in English.
posted by hippybear at 6:19 PM on June 27, 2009


Jesus that was awful. Here's the thing -- I can't stand the new way Hollywood loves to film fight scenes. The whole "you are the fist" up close whatthefuckisgoingon is unbelievable bullshit. It's particularly bad in the newest Batman, but it happens in almost every movie now.

When you have two robots that are almost ENTIRELY indistinguishable fighting using that style, you are wasting my time. I can't tell who is winning, I can't tell if that was a fist punching a face or an elbow to a knee, I can't tell shit.

Hey, ILM, I think it's neat that you've decided that transformers must have more polygons and moving parts than ever seen before on earth, but couldn't you at least paint them different colors? The Decepticons are all pretty much grey. The main Autobots have slight coloration, but not enough to help, and then the little ones are all grey.

On a separate issue, the Autobots are the dumbest robot team ever created and I'm glad Obama was taking a stand against them in this movie. Why did you leave Megatron in one piece, in a place where any robot could easily get to him? Why did you leave the only thing that could revive him in the hands of humans? Hell, why is there an elite force of humans and robots at all? All humans do is die and ineffectually shoot.
PLOT SPOILERS -- Hey, instead of killing the guy who betrayed us, let him escape. Instead of shooting the sun cannon he built, let's ALL DIE to hide the key. END PLOT SPOILERS

These are the dumbest robots ever created.

Don't even get me started on the two jive-talking robots who CAN'T READ. Lord.
posted by graventy at 9:35 PM on June 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm happy to hear you say that, graventy. While I had zero expectations for a consistent or coherent plot - and those expectations were met - I'd been hearing people raving about how "amazing" the special effects were but I was just left with the same impressions you were - fights were a blur. This is IL&M we're talking about here, though. Could they have put all this time and energy into designing the robots only to say, "And now, shoot the fight scenes within inches of the actual combat, and make sure to jump from one camera angle to the next every 3 seconds"? I blame Bay. For everything!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:31 PM on June 27, 2009


The most WTF moment in Trans2 was when the humans travel to National Air and Space Museum. You know, the one in downtown Washington, DC. Later they run out the back of the museum and suddenly they're in a desert junkyard of abandoned aircraft. That's right, there's a fucking desert behind the National Air and Space Museum in downtown D.C., on the east coast.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:54 AM on June 28, 2009 [2 favorites]




Skids and Mudflap, twin robots disguised as compact Chevys, constantly brawl and bicker in rap-inspired street slang. They're forced to acknowledge that they can't read. One has a gold tooth.

!
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:34 AM on June 28, 2009


One has a gold tooth

It's even incorporated into the toy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:40 AM on June 28, 2009




For some reason I'm imagining God and the Devil seated before a giant screen tv, on which various scenes from around the world are on display. The two are decked out like sports fans, with caps, pendants and jerseys. Behind them, on their respect sides are crowds of angels and demons, each with with banners proclaiming either humanity's magnificence or moral decay.

As a commercial about Trans2's huge profits flashes on the screen, Satan's leans back in his chairs and smiles cooly, while God leaps from his chair, spilling popcorn and beer, screaming "WTF, WTF?!" The angels slump into dejected silence, their banners fallen at their feet as a row of demons pull off their jerseys to reveal painted letters on their chests that spell out "MICHAEL BAY FOREVER"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:55 AM on June 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


I've been asked, via MeMail, to post the following links in this thread that the user in question was reluctant to post themselves for personal reasons. So I'm posting them here, along with the user's descriptions of them. I haven't clicked on them myself, so I wash my hands of whatever suckitude or awesomeness they may possess:

"A parody of 'The Touch' from the original Transformers soundtrack, 'Bay's Touch' is an enthusiastic ode to Michael Bay (director of the new Transformers film, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom DeSanto)."

"The filmmakers behind Bay's Touch - the musical tribute to Transformers Director, Michael Bay...respond to the video's cult popularity/infamy and being embraced by Hollywood insiders: AICN, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, IMDB, Defamer, Film Threat, Movie Week, and The National Review."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:12 AM on June 28, 2009


I've been asked, via MeMail, to post the following links in this thread. . . .

Well-played, anonymous coward. I won't spoil the surprise. Watch the first video first, watch the second video second.
posted by grobstein at 11:42 AM on June 28, 2009


I was super-jazzed for the first Transformers because up until that point we'd never had a 'giant robots destroying buildings and killing humans' movie.

Yet I spent a good portion of it staring at my friend, mouth agape saying "What.The.Fuck.Is.Going.On?" I had to actively retard myself to get any sort of enjoyment out of it and even then I was giggling at the sheer .....I don't know.... amazing-stupidness of it. Nothing made sense- at all. All I could think was 'A human made this movie - we're screwed"

But after reading this stellar review I think i'm going to have to get dumb and go see ROTF just to amaze myself with human stupidity again.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 7:02 AM on June 29, 2009


Having seen the movie I was disturbed that the protagonist was held down and orally raped not once, but twice. And one of those times there was a slow pan over his tight jean encased crotch. Now I'm happily into that sort of stuff as a sexual fetish, but a major point of the story was Shia trying to avoid being skull fucked. The actor did a good job of shrieking and acting like he was several sorts of creeped out, but given that this movie is targeting the male, aged 12-16 set, and probably written by consultation with focus groups of the same, apparently the generation after me is going to be pretty kinky.

And why was there a femme-bot attending his college? She was there and aggressively humping him before the bad guys officially tracked him down. The only theory I got is that this being a mysterious college of exclusively hot women (and by the way, I'm not touching the sexism in this movie with a ten foot pole) it was the best possible way to hide out.

Then there's the mass genocide of the Deceptacons. I get that they're an evil race bent on world domination and destruction, but the scene where they are fretting about the 'hatchlings' is unintentionally sympathy making. I think I was supposed to think that the alien menace wasn't allowed to feed and thus we just had to hold out and they'd die, but babies are babies, and the robot aliens were very human like in all their other motives. Certainly if my babies were dying, I'd probably try to do terrible things to save my species from eventual destruction.

And speaking of species destruction, anyone notice how the troops happily invaded a village in Egypt and proceeded to have a massive fire fight on top of unarmed, uninvolved civilians? While I noticed they studiously only showed male human casualties as definite deaths (even though the village was inhabited by women as well), the moral difference between the Deceptacons killing their own to bring back Megatron and the human and Autobot willingness to sacrifice innocents in the name of their ever so special prime was more than a little jarring.

And then there's the global conspiracy angle. In order to pull off hiding that giant alien robots are routinely doing billions of dollars in property damage, that means that all the world's governments are so ready to co-operate and share intel that world peace has been achieved. I mean if there is so much trust that countries let a multinational force of soldiers (for example Egypt not minding a few helicopters from Jordan popping by to check things out, and China tolerating a fight in Shanghai that did not involve the easily mobilized Chinese military) the refusal of the Autobots to share their technology is pure spite.
Incidentally, why does president Obama get any say over a global issue enough to ask anyone to leave the planet? That’s just terrible writing. It would have been easy enough to make it a special envoy from the UN (and make a lot of sense, given that losing a major city like Shanghai would probably give the Chinese very mixed feelings about the whole alien thing, and they have voting cred).

This is of course leaving aside the fact that a global conspiracy that hides a major war is actually more improbable than a race of transforming alien robots.
posted by Phalene at 10:15 AM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


And why was there a femme-bot attending his college?

What, femme-bots aren't supposed to learn? Why so speciesist?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:30 AM on June 29, 2009


And one of those times there was a slow pan over his tight jean encased crotch.

Shia TheBeef's crotch?

Aw fuck now I want to see the movie.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:53 PM on June 29, 2009


You'll have to suffer through a lot of Megan Fox's T&A, so it may not be worth it for ya.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:03 PM on June 29, 2009


You'll have to suffer through a lot of Megan Fox's T&A

You say that like it's a bad thing.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:13 PM on June 29, 2009


Actually not a lot of Megan Fox T&A. There's a part in the first ten minutes where she's bent over a motorcycle in cut-offs, and towards the end of the movie when she's running in slow-mo from an explosion wearing a tank top, there's a Jello moment. In between, it's pretty much Megan Fox being pulled by the hand here, pulled by the hand there, stumbling around with a look of "WTF?" on her face the whole time.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:27 PM on June 29, 2009


There's the scene where she changes clothes and I could have sworn there was some when she was in the shop with the little Decepticon. I could be wrong though, the movie was a giant blur.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

I was speaking to the gay dude, so yeah, it might be.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:47 PM on June 29, 2009


There's the scene where she changes clothes

Ah, of course. When, after arriving at her boyfriend's destroyed house, and he goes into the garage to talk to Bumblebee, she inexplicably changes into a white dress on the front lawn and pulls a bouquet of flowers out of nowhere, standing there, grinning.

Man, even explaining exactly what happened without exxageration after the fact, it's unbelievably bad.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:50 PM on June 29, 2009


Actually, I thought that made sense in a way, because she was clearly looking for verbal acknowledgment of their commitment, so she got all prime and proper like a wedding.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:56 PM on June 29, 2009


Who does that? She was waiting to hear "I love you". So she changed into a wedding-ish gear on the front lawn? Is Michael Bay single?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:58 PM on June 29, 2009


Who sinks a killer enemy in the ocean rather than, I dunno, smashing him to bits?

Who makes a killer female transformer to seduce a guy, rather than just, I dunno, grabbing him?

Who overthinks Michael Bay movies?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:39 PM on June 29, 2009


I do! And then I sit back, kick up my heels and smirk with smug contentment.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:57 PM on June 29, 2009


And then I sit back, kick up my heels and smirk with smug contentment.

If only this could be achieved without first watching a Michael Bay movie. . . .
posted by grobstein at 7:19 PM on June 29, 2009


Please. Please. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY Stop talking about this movie; Absolutely do not, under any circumstances see this movie.

If you have seen it and/or you know someone who has seen it, please immediately go back to the theater and demand your money back.

Nay, better yet, there be lawyers here at Metafilter. I'd like to start a class action suit to get everyone's money back along with some level of compensation for emotional and psychological damages.

Else then end of times will draw nigh, the sky will blacken, the third horseman of the apocalypse will appear: and yea, before ye, there shall appear Transformers III: the Rise of Bile.
posted by filmgeek at 8:13 PM on June 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


I saw the movie tonight. Usually, if I have a complaint about a film, it is an aesthetic complaint, but my complaints about this one are moral. I found myself watching it, and thinking about the amount of money that was spent on it, and how much it was making, and that it was at the service of as pure and indefensible a piece of idiocy as I have ever seen, and I found myself thinking, this is it, this is what actual sin looks like.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:44 PM on June 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Who makes a killer female transformer to seduce a guy, rather than just, I dunno, grabbing him?

Wile E. Coyote, Genius.
p.s. For a while there I thought you were going for a Spongebob Squarepants thing.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:05 PM on June 29, 2009


You'll have to suffer through a lot of Megan Fox's T&A, so it may not be worth it for ya.

Who cares? It's Shia.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:09 PM on June 29, 2009


Some film makers do reference their work in their other films, but usually in a lighthearted and playful way. Bay does it in his characteristic blatantly stupid and over the top way.
posted by asok at 9:13 AM on June 30, 2009


Who cares? It's Shia.

This film is so shia, it makes me want to labeouf.
posted by crossoverman at 5:43 PM on June 30, 2009


Who cares? It's Shia.

This film is so shia, it makes me want to labeouf.


It's so shia you have to join the mahdi army to get in.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:29 AM on July 1, 2009 [1 favorite]




Who sinks a killer enemy in the ocean rather than, I dunno, smashing him to bits?

Who makes a killer female transformer to seduce a guy, rather than just, I dunno, grabbing him?

Who overthinks Michael Bay movies?


Shaft!
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:18 AM on July 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


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