So yes, it is true that I have been avoiding the Transformers movie for a while.
I had a few reasons for this. For one I pretty much know it will suck. There is very little to debate with this. The other big reason is the fact that I do love Transformers. I was a fan of the show as a kid and still to this day love the original animated movie. I, like many people my age have quite a few fond memories of the mighty Autobots and the villainous Disepticons and I knew from the very first trailer that Michael Bay didn't give two craps about the show or its lineage. Whereas I and countless others would love to see a TRANSFORMERS movie, Michael Bay just wanted to make a GIANT ROBOTS ATTACKING EARTH movie (hence his lame t-shirt). But in my eyes, the two are not one in the same.
I stand by this sentiment as I hesitantly begin to watch the film.
Last night I torrented it (I couldn't bare the thought of actually paying to see celluloid disappointment).
I'm going to watch it now and keep this as a running commentary of my thoughts as i do so.
If the lameness of this film kills me- you will know what did it. You will know it was the sheer hackery of "Mr. Bay and His Ridiculous Robots" (as I will now refer to the film.)
Okay. here goes.
0. Not a good start. It's kinda hard to seem bad ass when the big Hasbro words come on screen- grungy metal font notwithstanding.
1. "Before time began there was the cube."
Is it lame that I am already annoyed at the film's lack of proper continuity? Maybe it's just the fact that it is actually Peter Cullen that is reading this little monologue- regardless, I'm annoyed. Yes I will give you that the complicated history of the show/comics is a little steep but seriously, taking the concept of energon cubes in this direction seems kinda stupid. What was wrong with "The Matrix" (not the movie)? I wish it would once again "Light Our Darkest Hour."
2. "ENGLISH MAN! SPEAK ENGLISH!"
Does anyone else find it strange that the random Spanish speaking guy was talking about eating alligators? Was he orginially supposed to be from the Bayou and in a hasty re-write they grazed over the fact that alligators are actually NOT a part of a balanced Mexican diet?
I also find it laughable how obvious the make-up is on these "war worn soldiers" - who apparently were smearing oil all over themselves in the hot Iraqi desert. Oil fights. The true horrors of war.
3. What is it with every Michael Bay movie and this music. Has anyone else noticed that the man has used the same score for his last 10 movies? I miss "You got the touch."
4. "You sure she didn't just fart?"
Classy. You know, as good of an actor as Josh Duhame is (ummm) even HE can't wipe the vague look of embarrassment off of his face as gives this line read.
5. "Have your crew step out or we will kill you."
Apparently as super advanced as the Disepticons are, they haven't mastered that pesky "fake pilot" glitch that is always such a dead giveaway.
I know I shouldn't be distracted by this but- I just wonder where they got the models to make the holograms for this cause this guy looks like that Dad on the show about the family with the father in the military? What that show called? I forget so I'll just call it "Captain Dad" ...yeah that sounds about right.
6. My first look at a Disepticon.
I sure hope all the other Transformers don't look so much like Johnny 5 from Short Circuit.
You know when I was a kid I don't remember them looking so bug like... even the Insecticons- who were SUPPOSED to be bugs. This will make them have so little personality. I am pretty sure their faces all look this jumbled and crowded (two adjectives I didn't think I'd use when describing something based on an old 80s cartoon.)
7. "Okay, Mr. Witwicky- you're up."
And here we have our hero. Shia LaBeouf. Great. Why does he already seem like a bumbling character from a 1950s movie starring Jerry Lewis?
If it was that movie the teacher would fit right in. Gimmie a break. Did this nerd EVER exist? Sweater vest, 50s glasses, bow tie, balding AND nasally voice? "People! Responsibility." All he is missing is the white tape on the bridge of his eye wear.
The fact that Michael Bay can make a film have this much forced exposition so quickly is truly heroic.
What high school still has show and tell? Does no one find this strange?
I know that I shouldn't love the stock "evil blond football boyfriend" but I do. They are like a fine wine- which is ironic because I don't drink. NEVERTHELESS- They are a staple of any lame movie involving teens. They are the most unrealistic characters that are so overwritten and overacted. It's just funny to me how far bad movies will go to make you hate someone so quickly. Everyone of them is always so two dimensional that you worry that if they turned to a profile the cardboard cutout would blow over. They are always SO beefy and SO dumb and SO prejudice against our scrappy hero.
I'm not saying there are not bullies in real life, but are they ever so easily definable? It takes a person ONE line nowadays to make one into Johnny from Karate Kid. If I can do anything with my films, I hope to make the bullies seem even just slightly more human.
Why would Shia LaBeouf's character be talking about this stuff? His Grandfather? The Arctic Circle? I'm confused- lost in a haze of information that Michael Bay has told us we need to remember for the sake of the plot.
Did we really just have a random flashback to Shia's grandfather in the Arctic? Does Michael Bay have any clue what he's doing because already it feels like he's just making it up as he goes along. "AND THEN WE CUT TO A FLASHBACK OF AN OLD GUY WITH A FROSTY BEARD AND HE'S YELLING STUFF!"
8. "He wound up going blind and crazy in a psycho ward, drawing these symbols and babbling on about some uhh giant Ice Man that he thought he discovered."
Subtle LaBeouf Real subtle.
Gee- I wonder why he would divulge such personal family information to a class of kids who all think he's a joke? Do you think it will come up later? The musical sting sure makes me think so.
9. I'm so glad that they made a reference to "The 40 Year Old Virgin" - way to seem relevant to the kids Bay.
10. Did Bernie Mac just call that old woman a bitch? 'Seems a bit harsh. I'll go easy on him though as it appears that he is some type of war veteran (hence the shiny dog tags).
11. Okay okay okay, I really don't want to nit-pic too much but I'm confused as to how Bernie Mac could actually sell a car that just magically drove onto his lot. He didn't have the title for the car or any kind of proof that he ever owned the car in order to sell it. How did Shia LaBeouf take it off the lot?
12. Did Bumble Bee transform into his robot form, go into a highway gas station and buy the "Bee-Otch" air freshener or is that part of him that transforms too?
13. I find it amusing that even just the shot of Bernie Mac getting up was a good enough excuse for Michael Bay to use his heroic "rising and circling" shot. Way to waste your signature shot on one of "the original kings of comedy" Bay.
I wonder if the shrill noise that shattered all those windows also shattered Bernie Mac's ear drums? Am I mean because I wish that it had? How great would that be if there was a 10 minute deleted scene in which Bernie Mac's ears bleed and he flips out because his life is just not the way that he wanted it to be- "And now THIS happens! AGGGHHHH!!!!"
14. "NSA's recruiting right out of high school these days."
I love how much Hollywood has fallen in love with the idea of hip nerds and high school hackers. How many movies are gonna use this plot device? Can we please see an action film involving the government and computers that doesn't have one of these? Remember when Ryan Phillippe played one in that movie AntiTrust? Tim Robbins was in that. Excuse me, ACADEMY AWARD WINNER Tim Robbins.
I also love how no one else seems to notice how out of place the hot blond Australian hacker is. I'd like to spend a moment imagining her spending hours in her room, isolated from the world, becoming a world class hacker while all the other, more pretty blond Australian girls went to parties and got boyfriends.
Okay I'll say it: Jon Voight needs to be put to sleep. He's been crying for help since Anaconda.
15. Great. A peek inside Shia LaBeouf's room. This is always a treat. Let's pause it (17:28) . I love to look at the teenage hero's room because it tells us so much. Not only about the hero but also the filmmaker's lack of connection to a realistic kid's room. There are always randomly incongruent band posters- "Oh, he's the kid who likes both Nine Inch Nails AND Snoop Dogg?" and as I'm sure we'll see, an endless amount of expensive accouterments. Do you remember LaBeouf's room in Disterbia? It was about ten grand short of being Ritchie Rich's room. There were so many expensive and contemporary toys just lying around, placed ever so carefully as to look tossed about and disheveled. My gut tells me that this room will be no different.
Hmmm. There seems to be industrial shelves as though he lived in a "cool warehouse" of some kind. The ever present random computer stuff. He's got a giant fish bowl for some reason. I see what looks to be a foosball table. Wow- here's something I haven't seen since the last movie starring anyone under 25, on his wall is a DANGER: KEEP OUT sign. This has been a tradition since the Nickelodeon days. Somehow every set designer got the idea that kids all have stupid signs like this in there room.
16. You know, as lame as LaBeouf is in this film, I still don't buy that he's lame enough to have "LadiesMan217" be his screen name. Do you think that anyone that worked on this film has ever actually BEEN online? But maybe I'm wrong, maybe LaBeouf is just a really big Tim Meadows fan.
Even that Dog feels stupid. I can tell.
17. Whoa- that car just let out a huge plume of smoke. Doesn't the father think that 4000 bucks is a bit steep to teach his son a lesson about "his first car" if it's just gonna break down minutes after he takes it off the lot? Or do you think that it's just BumbleBee teaching the dad a lesson about caring for his lawn more than he cares for his own son? That Bumblebee, he's such a rascal.
18. Tyrese is a red beret? Wow. They are the toughest of the tough.
19. "What's you book about? Sucking at sports?"
Isn't that the kid from Elephant? Yikes. Wait- what? Why is he climbing that tree? What's going on here?
Man- watch out LaBeouf. That guy has a backwards baseball hat AND a sleeveless shirt. That means he's tough.
20. "I can't even tell you how much I'm not your little bunny."
You tell him honey!
Poor kid from Elephant- LaBeouf just ditched him. Here's another deleted scene, the scene where poor "Miles" has to walk for four and a half hours muttering "What a prick! He just totally ditched me! Why am I even friends with that A-hole?"
21. "I was wondering if I could ride you home-UHH- give you a ride home!!"
I hate when that happens. Oh wait- THAT NEVER HAPPENS!
LaBeouf's cheesy Porky Pig stuttering is embarrassing to us all. I hope he knows that.
22. What was the point of that whole "the car breaks down" scene. Were the screenwriters plotting this out and saying: "Then the car fakes like it's broken down- but it's not- so they get out of the car and look at the engine AND IT'S AWESOME! Then the girl says 'I'll fix your car' but then decides not to and walks away and then LaBeouf gets back in the car and it starts! Another clever song plays and she gets back in the car!"
Wow- when I say it like that it makes so much sense.
Why is BumbleBee so preoccupied with getting LaBeouf laid? Seriously, what's up with that? Doesn't he have like- some kinda mission or something?
23: "I think umm... there's a lot more than meets the eye... with you."
OH F*CK YOU! Is this suppose to make me happy? 'Cause it doesn't. At all.
24. Soundwave is lame- the joke about George Bush is lame- the fact that on AIR FORCE ONE a woman sees a random boom box in an elevator and isn't freaked out (because uh, IT COULD BE A FREAKING BOMB?!) is lame.
25: STEP ASIDE HOT AUSTRALIAN HACKER! THIS IS A MAN'S JOB!
26:Why does Jon Voight suddenly have a Southern accent? He didn't have that before!
27: Soundwave talks like a Jawa. I'm sure this won't be annoying in 5 seconds...
No wait... I was wrong.
28: It was a good thing that BumbleBee headed to that random construction site. It's also a good thing that he is so covert that he doesn't notice the owner he spent so much time trying to get a date for is following him and discovering his secret.
29: Where did the dogs go? They just disappeared.
30: NO HOT AUSTRALIAN HACKER! WE WILL NOT LISTEN TO YOUR LOGIC! GET OUT! WE WANT PROOF!
Seriously, there is no reason why she is not modeling. She's WAY too hot to be a hacker.
31: I think the stupid cop is Endless Mike from The Adventures of Pete & Pete. I'm really glad that Michael Bay included this scene. It really moved the story along.
32: "LEFT CHEEK! LEFT CHEEK! LEFT CHEEK!"
Uh oh, glasses guy just bit it in the desert. I had the Scorpion transformer when I was a kid. He was huge. I wondered back then what exact machine the Scorpion either was or turned into. Aren't the Transformers supposed to be jets and cars and stuff?
Because let's face it- a robot in disguise as a giant Scorpion isn't much of a disguise at all, is it?
33: "There's only one hacker in the world who can break this code"
Uh oh. This does not bode well. Who is it gonna be folks? Who indeed?
34: Oh crap! It's Anthony Anderson. This movie just keeps getting worse and worse!
35: What happened to LaBeouf's bike? Did they just want him riding a girl's bike randomly? This doesn't make sense.
34:"ARE YOU USERNAME LADIESMAN217?!"
This wasn't supposed to make me laugh, was it?
35: Here's another deleted scene I want to see: The girl crying on the ground after LaBeouf practically clotheslines her off her Mo-Ped!
"THERE'S A MONSTER! HE JUST ATTACKED ME! C'MON!"
"Ahhh. I just need a minute. I think I shattered my pelvis when you through me off my MOVING MOTOR SCOOTER!"
"Oh. Okay. Sorry."
"IT'S NOT OKAY! IT REALLY HURTS! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?!"
"WELL SORRY'S NOT GONNA MAKE MY PELVIS NOT BE SHATTERED! AHHH!"
"Umm. We should probably run away now."
"Okay. Let's use my Mo-Ped to escape- oh no, we can't because when you dragged me off, it crashed and is broken now! I HATE YOU!"
36: What kind of metal are these Transformers made out of? As a person who has totaled two cars in my life, I know how easy it is to seriously jack a car up. These guys are doing flips and stuff. I ran into a light poll once and it demolished my car.
37: Wait- where did LaBeouf's pants go? What the hell is going on? Did Soundwave steal his pants? Why? I'm confused.
And how does Megan Fox know where they keep their metal saws at the 2nd random construction site to be featured in this movie. Doesn't this take place in LA? Why does it keep going in and out of suburbia and into downtown LA and then for some reason the City of Industry?
38: Man. LaBeouf kicked Soundwave's head REALLY far. And this kid couldn't play football? That was a heavy metal object that he just practically launched into orbit.
39: So they learned to talk from the radio? Uhhh- what channel was Optimus little rant about "The Cube" on?
40: So if Bumblebee can just swap bodies any time he wants - who the hell was driving the new car and where did he go once Bumblebee changed into his car? That doesn't make any sense.
Or- wait- do they mimic the cars they see? I don't get it.
This is bad storytelling Bay. Transformers shouldn't be this confusing.
I guess this is all too much for me because all I'm thinking is: I wonder what the kid from Elephant is doing right now. Hmmmm.
41: "This is easily a 1000 times cooler than Armageddon I swear!"
1. Uh, you are such a douche Michael Bay. Self referential stuff is below even you.
2. Almost ANYTHING is a 1000 times cooler than Armageddon.
..except Deep Impact.
42: Yeah kid- that giant robot is the f*cking tooth fairy. Good job.
It's a good thing that there were those giant trees for the giant robot to hide behind.
43: "But you can call us Auto-Bots for short."
So I guess it's just BumbleBee who is forced to use that lame 'radio' gimmick. 'Sucks for him.
Uhh. Jazz is SO LAME. I remember he was voiced by Scatman Crothers. He's gotta be rolling around in his grave right now.
44. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS?! EVERY AUTO-BOT IS LAME AS CRAP!!! IronHyde just said: "I just wanted to show him my cannons." and then Ratchet just basically said: "Oh, the boy is horny!" This is really really bad. Even for a movie with Anthony Anderson.
45: It's always useful to have that eye laser thing for simplification of stupid exposition. I wish every movie had that. The Godfather would be so much shorter.
46: Well Frosty Beard is back. Great.
47: Man Anthony Anderson is one fat f*ck. He just ate that whole plate of donuts.
48: "That's gonna rust"
Apparently auto-bots don't like to get pissed on. Why was that exchange so freaking long?
Honestly I am getting kinda pissed. Why doesn't LaBeouf just tell him about saving the world?! Who the f*ck cares if the parents see the giant robots that are trying to save the world?
Was the mom just talking about masturbation?!
CRAP!!!! THIS WHOLE THING IS TAKING TOO LONG!!! We've been at the house now looking for these glasses for like 30 minutes!!!!
Did the mom just make a dirty pun with the 'bush' line? Man this movie sucks.
49: What the hell is John Turturro doing in this film? Did he not get the memo that Anthony Anderson was in it?!
I do not get why Michael Bay was so insistent in putting this much humor in the movie- all of which is totally devoid of actual HUMOR.
50: "So what do you kids know about aliens, huh?"
I would love to get a count of movies where one character awkwardly fakes a laugh when intimidated and the intimidator laughs WAY too hard in response then suddenly stops. I guarantee you that almost every movie on that list would suck.
This film would be no different.
Seriously though, this is one of the weirdest performances that John Turturro has ever given. And this is Barton Fink we're talking about.
51: Is Shia really that pissed about the girl having a record? Why? Who cares? Didn't he just like her because he thought she was hot? Why get all moralistic all of the sudden.
52: Am I watching a transformer piss on John Turturro? Is that what I am seeing right now? Because if it is- I think I'm gonna be sick.
53: Man our government sucks. They just lost a GIANT ROBOT.
54: So they're capturing BumbleBee. I hope no one looks up and sees Optimus hiding under the bridge. It is kinda funny how they got away from the cops for like two seconds and then got busted again.
Optimus is now holding the glasses. They magically became HUGE. A minute ago he held two people in his hands, now he's holding a pair of tiny glasses so either his hand got small or the glasses grew to gigantic proportions.
55: "Auto-Bots... Roll out."
It sounded much cooler back in the 80s.
And as far as the deep message about freedom or whatever nonsense Optimus was talking about, that never sounded cool- even when I heard it ten seconds ago. Wait- ESPECIALLY when I heard it ten seconds ago.
56: So Megatron wanted to use Earth's technology to make a new army? But he landed on Earth in the 1930s. Umm, I hate to tell him but our technology wasn't all that great then. I would love to see an army made up of old Model Ts and Bi-Planes.
Soundwave would have to be one of those old record players with the big cones attached.
57: No one is watching the room where the switch to the turn Megatron on is?
58: I love how these army guys have no problem with treason, they just pulled guns on a federal agent like it's nothing.
59: This movie has some of the worst CG I've ever seen. I kinda wish that I could say that John Turturro just being in this movie is computer generated. Sadly, that is not the case.
60: When I first heard that Frank Welker wasn't going to do the voice of Megatron I was a little disappointed. Now I see that he was just the smarter man. Distancing himself from this movie might be the smartest move of his career.
61: I'm watching a transformer on what appears to be some kind of inline skates. How the mighty have fallen.
62: "SUCKER BURN!"
It's just sad seeing John Turturro trying to act like an action hero.
63: "Just listen to me- you're a soldier now!"
These big fights between the transformers don't feel epic at all. They should. Right? I think so.
How do Transformers feel pain? They're robots! It's like that Simpsons joke where the robot catches fire and screams:
"Why?! Why was I programed to feel pain?!"
64: There is something sort of jacked up about having plane Megatron crashing into a building. I know that 9/11 was 6 years ago but still- maybe it was something to be a little sensitive about.
65: "Is it fear or courage that compels you fleshling?"
Where did Megatron learn to talk? With lines like "I smell you boy!" you'd think it was from crappy movies about transforming robots like... well, like this one I guess.
66: "One shall stand. One shall fall."
Actually with each classic Transformer's quote, it hurts a little less.
67: I love how Optimus never considered the concept that if putting the cube in his chest would kill him it might kill Megatron too.
I guess it took those Shia brains to figure that one out. And he's a genius.
All the same, Megatron went down like B.
68: I know I'm supposed to be sad that Jazz died but seriously, he was SOOOOO lame. I'm glad he's dead. Good effing riddance to bad effish rubbish.
69: "You talk now?"
BUMBLEBEE: "I wish to stay here with the boy."
OPTIMUS: "If that is his choice."
SHIA: Uhh- I kinda don't just want half a car if that's cool. Sorry."
70: Uh- so the kids make out and the Transformers just watch? That's kinda creepy.
71: Wow. Linkin Park brings us to a close. How appropriate. One dated, out of touch turn deserves another I suppose.
So that's it. I finished the movie- in all of it's pathetic glory. I'm left with so many questions- like what happened to John Turturro? How many people died in this P.G. 13 movie? What happened to the kid from Elephant? Do you think he lived to climb another tree? What about that fat guy who was running around talking about old Michael Bay movies? Is the hot Australian hacker okay? Will she ever find the power to over-come her insecurities and leave the comfort of her computer to be united with her one true love, Justin Long from Die Hard 4?
This movie is like an enigma wrapped in a riddle.
...No wait, on second thought, it's just a steaming pile of sh*t.