Observations on the Road to...

Monday, July 16, 2007

The difference between a reason and an excuse.

I just read a pair of reviews of Transformers from Aint it Cool.

Harry's review

Vern's review

Here's the thing folks. The movies that have been released so far this summer (beginning with the week Spider-Man 3 came out), have done fairly alright. Knocked Up in sofar is my favorite of the summer. And what I mean by favorite, I mean to say the best all-around film (and that begins with I believe to be the singular most important aspect in film: the story)

Other's will say Transformers, others may tell you Live Free or Die Hard, Ratatouille, and so on, and so forth.

Walking out of the theater with my friends after watching Transformers, the general consensus was that it was a pretty good film. Except for one friend, Kimo, who thought that there was "a little too much humor." I wasn't exactly ready to embrace the film, or tear it shreds that night, but I have since thought about it.

Bumblee. Isn't he supossed to be an actual Volkswagen Bumblebee? Isn't that part of who he is? The reasoning that I have heard as to why Bumblebee is a Camaro is that VW Bumblebee's surely aren't as fast as Camaros are (ie chase sequences). Well no shit! But that's where being creative actually comes in, and if you're Michael Bay (director), or any one of the writers or producers (that includes you, Steven Spielberg), you get creative, and don't put up a front about the fact that Camaros are faster than VW Bumblebees. Not all car chases have to reach 90 mph.

Jean Luc Godard said that all you need in order to make a movie is a gun and a girl. Well, we got a girl in Megan Fox, but what about a gun? What about the fact that Megatron turns into a jet, and not a gun. That's bunk that they turn him into a jet. So the fuck what if it's silly to have the leader of the Decepticons turns into a stupid giant gun. Wouldn't you say a walking talking robot Camaro pissing on an NSA agent is silly? Because it is. And most certainly if Megatron were to transform into a gun, that would warrant the inclusion on Soundwave.

I have no real qualms about the plot considering most of the times, because if I remember right, the cartoon centered on the search of the cube(s) anyway, but still things with the military and the hackers were... well, they tried to fit so much. Just focus on the one human-robot relationship that should actually mean anything: a boy and his new car which just so happens to actually be a robot from another world. Focus on that, and cultivate it, and see where other human interaction fits in. Until then keep the story on the robots. And also, why do we see Optimus Prime's lips? He's supossed to have his mouth shield covering his mouth at all times. If it's to show his humanity, then that's just stupid, because he just looks out and out ridiculous with those tiny ass lips.

So here's the bottom line: I thought it was decent, but like Harry said in his review, I believe this movie could have been so much more.

People look at most studio films, and especially at the action films released during the summer months, like Transformers and look at them as being "blockbusters movies," or "popcorn movies," and say they're supossed to be corny with stupid jokes, and big explosions, and a bunch of "Ooooo-ing" and "Awe-ing."

My reply to that is so what? Is that a reason? Or is that an excuse?

At the end of Traffic, Catherine Zeta Jone's husband in the film tells Dennis Quaid's character that he doesn't see any difference from an excuse and a reason. And I must say that in either case, it's time to stop putting up with this shit, and just make a good action movie. Screw the excuses/reasons. Summer action movies don't and shouldn't have to use corny moments, and stupid jokes to qualify it as a successes. That's just being lazy, and uncreative.

Is it so wrong to have higher standards out of the modern summer blockbuster action movie?

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