I had a bit too much to drink on Friday night, and for me “a bit to much to drink” is holding hands with me having a late night. I had to get up fairly early on Saturday morning and by Saturday night I was committed to not repeating my Friday night - told myself I’m taking it easy. Taking it easy meant that I was going to order a movie via OnDemand from Time Warner. Without much direction on what to get I had to know what I didn’t want, I didn’t want something that would make me think, I needed mindless entertainment.
After navigating through the Time Warner guide that can use some updating I had narrowed down my choices. First choice was – Fast5, it took only about 6 seconds to realize I’d have to be in the mindset of Friday night to purchase this. Second choice was – Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, the third installment to the series. The latter it was, and before I knew it Michael Bay and all his exploding glory was getting ready to play on my screen for the next… wait… how long… 144 minutes… um… almost 2.5 hours!?
5 minutes into the 144 I knew I might regret this purchase. Not sure if the regret came from the fact that they were intercutting actual footage from John F Kennedy’s 1969 space launch speech with a modern day actor, or the fact that Megan Fox had been replaced with someone who actually made me ask “Wait… what happened to Megan Fox?” It’s my own fault, I should have known this, I was warned twice…
Warning Shot #1:
Transformers (July 3rd, 2007)
I was traveling when this movie was released so I didn’t see it right away, but I remember being excited for it. The Transformers were my favorite toys as a kid and the trailers for this film made it looks like some justice may be served. This seemed like a perfect equation for a major reason… Michael Bay. Say what you want about Bay but he brings it when it’s time for action. The other things this had going for it –
Steven Spielberg: When I see Spielberg’s name on anything I still get excited to see it.
Shia LaBeouf: At this point he wasn’t the Shia he is today. This movie actually really helped bring him into the household name conversation. Before TF he had a surprise hit “Disturbia” which helped give him some weight and add to the “Oh we want to see him act discussion.
Megan Fox: I’m not about to give her acting credit but the fact is she added to this movie… yes, for aesthetic purposes. She was still relatively unknown, so we didn’t dog on her as much as we do now.
The Bad Ass Robots: It was cool to see Optimus Prime on the big screen trying to look real. The special effects seemed pretty cool too.
Seemed like a good equation? Yeah. A light-hearted family action movie that can be seen by various age groups and people. Kids, Adults, Comic lovers, Cartoon lovers – It’s a destined hit. And it was: $319 Million in the US and $719 Million worldwide. How can so many people be so wrong? This has to be good.
When I finally saw it about halfway into it’s theater run something happened that I didn’t expect – I didn’t really like it. It was just ehhh’ and from what I heard I thought I’d love it. It seemed as though everyone liked it. What happened?
I recall walking out and thinking it was corny, not terrible but ultimately corny. I specifically remember a scene when Shia’s Transformer is hiding around his house and Shia was trying to hide it from his parents. It was a goofy forced comedic moment that basically summed up the movie in a whole. But that’s to be expected in films that Spielberg has his name on. I just wasn’t ready for it.
The first TF – I give it a C+. Average film.
Warning Explosion #2:
Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen (June 24th, 2009)
Where do I being? How can I say this? This movie fucking sucked so bad. I’m honestly trying to wrap my head around this and figure out how to explain why and how this movie is bad. For starters I went and saw it with my girlfriend and good buddy who is a director and loves action/adventure films. That good buddy fell asleep during this movie and I contemplated walking out, in hindsight I don’t know how I didn’t. Seriously, my friend fell asleep in a movie that has insanely loud noises, Shia yelling a lot, robots, and action (to name a few).
That’s not a reason as to why this movie is so bad it’s just an example that the perfect storm of shit pushed us into a corner – a sleeping corner and a contemplative walking out corner.
Somehow this movie is the most profitable (in the US) out of the 3. It made $402 Million domestic and $836 Million worldwide, that is a lot of money. To confirm I’m not crazy – Rotten Tomatoes has it coming in at 20% - meaning 80% think this movie is as bad as I do.
I think it’s pointless to say what’s wrong with this film because it’s a list that’s so full it would look like that one scene in Charlie and the Chocolate factory when Willy Wonka asks the kids to read the rules before they enter his place. I think I can actually try and put some meat behind why this movie is so bad.
A) Megan Fox’s completely irrelevant ass posing while working at a car shop with her father, not only was it weird for her to be straddling a motorcycle the way she was, but she was dressed like Jessica Simpson in The Dukes of Hazzard.
B) Mid filming Shia was in a car accident, which required him to start wearing a cast on his hand. At minute who gives a shit, Shia inexplicably has this random cast he’s sporting. Seriously, it’s as if he was running in one scene and the next scene he’s got this cast on. Okay, that may sound like I’m loser nit picking but I think it says a lot. This movie gave up on the average from part 1 and decided to just make it all about the action. It’s kind of understandable… but is it?
I need to stop talking about this movie; it’s giving me a headache. The main thing I can do now is to ultimately tell you what I decided at the moment I saw that movie. I decided never to see another TF again. No way.
The second TF – I give it an F. Not just any F, one of those F’s that’s a low F, not scratching the surface for a D, F.
Enter Saturday and my detoxing body.
I didn’t hear much about TF3 but I did hear that it had more action than part 1 and 2, and it was also shot for 3-D. 3-D translates to higher ticket prices which translates to more $$$. In fact this movie made $352 Million in the US and $1 BILLION worldwide… 3-D makes cash. However, there was no Fing way I was going to go down that road so I stuck with old school 2-D.
Getting back to my regrets I mentioned above. How can any movie that doesn’t have Kevin Coster Dancing with Wolves be 2.5 hours? Bay has been treating these films as though they’re looking for an Academy Award for best picture. I guess, that’s actually kind of cool to a certain extent, but it takes up a lot of my time.
That time that was taken up with was filled with utter insanity. Insanity in the sense that I felt as though I was watching a real life video game unfold… seriously. I could see how kids would find this movie amazing – I talked to my buddy (buddy who fell asleep in part 2) and told him I could imagine this film as a ride at Universal Studios, and I don’t mean they make a ride for the film… The film IS the ride.
They tried so hard for there to be a plot – there is none. They tried so hard for comic relief – there isn’t. They tried so hard for a serious film – it isn’t. They tried so hard for the new chick to be a good actress – she’s not. This movie isn’t a lot of things, but it is a ride. That’s the main reason I didn’t stop watching it, If I stopped watching it I’d be one of those kids who leaves an amusement park because the rollercoaster’s are to scary. I wasn’t going to be that kid… It’s an experience and I wanted to show Michael Bay that I could handle this shit.
I did handle it, and truthfully I kind of hope this would be the last film in the series even though I don’t think it is. How could it be? Why stop when there is so much of a cash return? It just seems that we’ve watched all we need to watch with this, even Shia seemed like he was done with this blow em’ up shit.
To this movies credit I did walk away minus a headache. Granted I was reclined on my couch drinking Tea, but ultimately it did the trick and gave me mindless action that I was looking for. Which kind of makes me wonder if the whole point of this series is to dumb you down for 2.5 hours a piece while exposing you to more action than… well… a different Michael Bay film.
Shit, now that I think of it this movie served its purpose. My recommendation for watching any Transformer movie: Drink too much the night before so you’re forced to lie like a zombie. Like I said… it’s an experience.