Tuesday, July 10, 2007

More than meets the eye!

I know, I had promised all sorts of trip-related adventures yesterday, but last night I went to see Transformers and it *must* be blogged about. I mean, the stories will pretty much always be relevant but my Transformers experience is only significant for the moment.

Now, before I went to the movie, I prepared myself by getting in the mood for a Michael Bay film. You see, Michael Bay doesn’t make great works of cinema – his characters aren’t richly-drawn, his stories are often nonsensical, and the cinematography usually focuses so much on jump-cuts as to induce motion sickness. But all that said, he makes *great* boy-movies! For some reason, there are certain movies of his that, despite being truly horrid, I get all googly with boy-ness every time I see them*. Naturally, there are some of his movies that I really can’t stand** and some that I have no interest in seeing either way***. So while I was hoping that Transformers would fall into the “Armageddon” group, I went in fully expecting it to suck as much as I originally thought it would.

As it turns out, if you can suspend your beliefs about the Transformers, deal with the fact that all the Transformers turn into the wrong vehicles, ignore some basic laws of physics, and basically forget that the cartoon ever happened, the Michael Bay version is pretty darn entertaining. Yes, it is chock full of its share of problems, but Bay gets around those by reaching into his Michael Bay Bag o’Cinematic Tricks and pulling out his usual tools for victory.

First – cast a hot brunette (in this case, the aptly-named Megan Fox). Always a Michael Bay standby, the hot brunette is a staple of his films from Vanessa Marcil in “The Rock” to Kate Beckinsale in “Pearl Harbor”. In Transformers, however, Bay also obviously had Fox train in the art of contortionism, because she spends much of the movie bending her body at weird angles so as to maximize exposure of her midriff/boobs/butt, depending on the shot. Here’s an example:

Seriously, she's bending herself like this throughout the entire movie. Not that I minded, though.

Second – Blow a *ton* of stuff up! Seriously, this is the area where Bay really knows how to push my buttons. I mean the action sequences in this movie are pretty darn impressive. Plus, everything gets blown up, from cars**** to skyscrapers to electrical substations! WOOOO!

Finally – Throw in some zingy one-liners, preferably self-deprecating ones. For example (POSSIBLE SPOILER STARTS HERE) when the rest of the autobots crash into earth, they look like meteors crashing. One of them hits a radio storefront and then you see this fat kid running down the street with a video camera recording the whole thing while yelling “This is so much cooler than Armageddon!”. Plus, the scene with Sam’s mom talking about nicknames for masturbation = hysterical. (POSSIBLE SPOILER ENDS HERE).

Those three elements combine into one heck of a movie. I definitely recommend seeing it in the theater though, to maximize the “blowing stuff up” factor. In fact I’ll probably go see it again before it leaves the theater. This movie might, in fact, be enough to get me buying a high-def DVD player. I can only hope that they settle the HD-DVD vs Blueray format war before then…

Oh, and just in case you hadn't seen it yet. *This* is hysterical.

* The Rock, for one, and Armageddon most of all
** Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys
*** The Island
**** Although from what I could see the vast majority of cars getting destroyed were non-GM brands (e.g. Ford, Chrysler, Volvo) – the message obviously being “If you don’t drive a GM brand, your car will be destroyed by a race of giant alien robots!”

3 comments:

towwas said...

Huh - I assume I wouldn't like Michael Bay movies, but the two I've seen (The Rock, The Island) I actually really liked. So, figure that out. Maybe I'm a boy.

J-Vo said...

But the real questions is....is the Transformers jingle part of the soudntrack???

grrrbear said...

Sadly, no jingle. Remember, the key to enjoying this movie is predenting that the cartoon *never existed*.

I cannot emphasize enough how important that is...

After all, Elmo seems equally disinterested in both...

I have a hard time believing that Elmo was traumatized by Katy Perry's decollatage after discovering that he had already "been arou...