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29 June 2009 @ 11:48 am
Transformers  
I was going to write up my thoughts on Transformers 2 this morning, but then I read jimhines' review, and instead I'll just link you there, as he's already said most of what I would say.

Some of my own thoughts:

First, it was a fun, empty action flick with lots of giant robots beating the crap out of each other. Optimus got to kick some Decepticon butt, and that was an improvement over the first time around.

Yes, the movie absolutely could have been made without Mudflap and Skids, and it would've been improved. HOWEVER, I seem to be the only one who remembers that brief news story that came out in the middle of filming, how GM had a new car they were introducing to their line up, and they basically contractually forced the car to be included in the new Transformers movie. At the time, the people creatively behind the movie were very careful in how they responded publicly. They supposedly figured out a way to include the car (whatever that model is, which both Mudflap and Skids change into) that worked without bringing down the movie, etc. (Not so much, guys.) Because they have to be circumspect. Because GM gives them a truckload of money to use their cars exclusively in the movies. It's all about marketing, much like the 80's cartoon was for Hasbro.

Yes, like many I found the characters in question distasteful, and completely unnecessary. Cutting them from the movie would've made it about 40 minutes shorter, tighter, and less offensive in places. But, alas, money really does make Hollywood go round (I say from the outside looking in) and Bay and Co. did what they had to do at the time, though an argument could definitely be made about a smarter choice in character inclusion. Although I can no longer find the article in question, I remember the last minute addition taking place after filming had already begun, meaning the writers had to sandwich in the new character(s), and IMO, you can tell. They contribute absolutely nothing to the story. Indeed, they are the Jar Jar Binks of Transformers.

That said, I enjoyed the heck out of most of the movie. People are also commenting a lot on the rampant sexism of the movie, Mikaela and the other chick and all the usual Michael Bay shots of them. Um. It's a Michael Bay film, guys. You kind of know going in what to expect - it isn't going to change probably as long as he's making films. *shrugs* Personally, I like Mikaela's character quite a bit. Despite the gratuitous shots on her sprawled suggestively across the seat of a motorcycle, there's a sense of, hmm, reality, I guess to her character and personality, IMO. I know, I know, but wait before you laugh!

She's this absolutely drop dead gorgeous, beautiful young girl, and yet she has so little self esteem, it's tragic. And you know what? That is so real, it hurts. Physical beauty doesn't instantly fix most women's self image issues, unfortunately. Mikaela's background, her family, her use of her body to get attention and feel somewhat better about herself - all so very, sadly true. It makes me sympathetic to her as a character. Then you add to that her loyalty to Sam, her bravery (come on, sticking by his side while giant robots are trying to kill you, that takes guts!) - I actually like her. I wish we got more of her personality in the movie than we do, but what there is to see, I really like. I would've liked to see her kick some butt with Bumblebee again, but you know, can't have everything.

I adored Jetfire! Very, very nice. :D

Devastator - WTF was that, guys? Bad enough you screwed up and gave some random Decepticon his name in the first film, but then you try to appease the fans by including him in the second, and turn him into a giant...um, sand sucker/blower? W. T. F. Okay, there are a couple of things you don't screw with for all of us fans - Optimus Prime kicks ass, pretty much always, Megatron and Starscream will always be, as Jim puts it, a snippy S&M dom/sub villain pairing, and Devastator should be freaking Devastator. It's not hard. Go back and watch the cartoon, and just DO THAT. DON'T MESS WITH IT. Sheesh.



And that's pretty much all I have to add to what Jim already said in his review. I saw two previews that absolutely rocked:

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince looks freaking amazing, you guys! A-MAZ-ING.

We also had a Last Airbender teaser. I'm still not pleased at the casting!Fail, but...it gave me chills. The CGI looks freaking AWESOME. I admit, I am cautiously hopeful.

Also, there was the GI Joe trailer. I still think this is going to suck so badly. I will still probably see it. I know, I know. I'll pay cheap ticket prices. I might wait to rent it.
 
 
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Jim C. Hinesjimhines on June 29th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
Devastator should be more than a giant Dyson Vacuum!

I'm sad that we missed the HP preview. We snuck in midway through the previews, after dropping off the kids. But we did see the G.I. Joe one, and everything I've seen makes me think you're dead-on with your assessment.