Friday, June 26, 2009

Escape to the Movies: Transformers 2

I'm really rather proud of this one, though I wish there were more synonyms for the word "douchebag"...


http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/escape-to-the-movies/797-Transformers-Revenge

One thing I'd like to get into here that I DIDN'T get to "bring up" in the review for purposes of time. (SPOILER WARNING, I guess) The "2nd act obstacle" for Shia Labeouf is being stalked around college by a "hawt" sexually-aggressive classmate who turns out to be a Decepticon who can transform into a human chick. Yeah.

Two questions about that:

1.) Isn't the whole point of the "robots in disguise" thing that these things are mechanical beings and have to "dress up" as whatever car, appliances or vehicle best matches their relative dimensions? In other words, if they can hide as people... why don't they ALL just do that!? Wouldn't that make slipping unknown amongst the natives a million times easier?

2.) Megatron, as evidenced by this film, really SUCKS at resource-management. He has a soldier who can look exactly like a human, who could be sneaking into military installations or ANYWHERE else, but instead it's job is to collect The Kid? Something that it's already been demonstrated that ANY of the grunts can easily do? Later on, in the middle of a big firefight, he summons up Devastator, a behemoth made of seven(?) combined construction-vehicles who stands about 300 to 350 feet tall. HIS job? Dig a hole.

19 comments:

Vincent said...

I agree that the Decepticon chick raised too many annoying questions. Apparently, in the novelization of the film, it's explained that the Decepticon chick got her appearance from an animatronic, life-like version of Alice in Wonderland from a theme park. Crappy explanation I know.

In the toy line and comic books, there were some Transformers who were able to take on fleshy forms. They were called the Pretenders. Clearly, Alice was a Decepticon Pretender, but the existence of Pretenders was never explained in the film. In fact, my biggest criticism of the film would definitely be the inclusion of Alice. I wish they had cut her out of the movie completely, and just had the normal Decepticons kidnap Sam without his having to deal with Alice first.

Seraphmaclay said...

Yay, Double Bob Day! Though thanks for tearing this apart, if any movie deserved it, it would have to be this one.

-Sara

FistfulOAwesome said...

BRAVO!!

You have literally gone over everything I've been arguing on other sites. I completely agree with you on every one of your points (since I've been arguing them where ever I post). I'm not even going to bother writing posts on this movie from now on. I'm simply going to link to this video since it covers everything I want to say. Outstanding!

Once more, BRAVO!!

Ghostmayhem said...

Holy flying shit, I actually got the reference at the beginning...
Somehow...

Also, both your reviews (the brief text one and this stroke of genius) were side-splitting.

...In a good way.

I can't really explain why, but the amount of hate you have for both Bay and half-assed rehashes of classic kids shows (for good reason, mind you) is just absolutely hilarious.

Keep up the great work, Bob ;-)
Oh, and good luck in the Screwattack contest. I'm fairly confident you'll beat Psychotaku (funny though he is).

Anonymous said...

Great review as always but you need to slow it down (did you have a time limit?) It's amazing how some douchebags are insulting you for this review, yet they don't have any proper rebuttals for your complaints. Have you seen Spoony's review? You should see some of the comments that he's had too!
Game Overthinker FTW!

tyra menendez said...

the concept of "anything can be made into a good (insert media here)" was the entire concept of alan moore's early career. swamp thing was originally a b movie horror monster, in comic form, then morphed into some kind of super hero (just like the two movies). when alan moore got a hold of it, he turned it into gothic supernatural plant-god story, which is pretty much the same rout the tv series took. watchmen? a realistic take on old charleston properties that he couldn't get the rights to, so made into "original" derivatives.
and for anyone who disbelieves, still, go to your local books store, go to the graphic novel section and find will eisner's "best of the spirit". in those pages you will see stories with the character of "ebony". that is a "sambo" character. he was small, black, monkey-faced, spoke "jive" (a precursor to ebonics), wore a zoot suit that was too big for him, and was generally the ignorant comic relief character. this was from the 1940's and common. see if you can find some of the old looney tunes episodes that featured similar characters. most of them have been removed from the public, for the reason that they are a racist charicature.

slopeslider said...

I think most people confuse racist with stereotypical. Racist:
BURN THEM NAGGURS THEY DONT DESURV TAH BREEF OUWR AIR!
Stereotype: White men love little boys, Black men are uneducated gangstas, Asians are skinny with narrow eyes, British have f'd Up teeth, etc.

-Kenpai

mstieler said...

I'd equated Alice/hot chick/Pretender/whatever to be similar to what Ravage dumped into the base, though possibly a bit more advanced.

mr menendez said...

holding with those stereotypes, is itself racist.
racism doesn't mean you want to kill everyone that's a different color than you. racism means you don't see them as being equal to you, for whatever reasons. those reasons are usually stereotypes.

Anonymous said...

I guess LaBeouf's comments about preferring to eat glass over playing the Wii, the "amateur" gamer's console, really rubbed you the wrong way, huh, Bob?

What did it for me was that he'd screw his own mom if it wasn't so wrong. Yeesh.

slopeslider said...

To Menedez:
You can have stereotypes without being racist, but you cant be racist without stereotypes.
Example: Not everyone who see's a hispanic and thinks they probably live in a house with 10 others thinks That Hispanics are a lower race or White's are better, astereotypical thought is a different Than a racist who see's a hispanic and thinks "Those Illegal Alien Wetbacks over there need to go back to Mexico or wherever and stop stealing our taxes and Robbing Us AHMERIKINS of our Jobs and money!
"
Both used stereotypes but the latter was racist.

Bob said...

"Anonymous"-

LaBeouf strikes me as a teriffically screwed-up-but-zen-about-it guy offscreen, and his ascent to nebbishy-leading-everyman status seems like a huge misuse of him. Spielberg seems to have drafted him to be the new Richard Dreyfuss, when he'd be better suited as another Dennis Hopper.

Jai said...

Great review, Bob -- it's always encouraging to see that someone seems to genuinely enraged by Bay's "respectful" and "innovative" treatment of what SHOULD otherwise, by all rights, be a fantastic idea for a movie. The movie didn't make a single damn lick of sense, and judging by the people I've talked to it doesn't seem to matter if the moviegoer knows everything about Transformers or nothing about Transformers: Everyone seems to be equals, in that everyone was deeply confused by what this movie chose to do.

Jai said...

I should add that Devastator can barely even move around, let alone "devastate" (Unless you're a trailer park or some ancient bricks). He is unable to put a scratch on even the smallest and (Self-proclaimed, no less) stupidest of Autobots.

Is it true that the Twins have more screen time and dialog than all of the other Autobots (Including Optimus) combined (Surely they have more than Optimus, at least)? It sure felt that way.

Bay's treatment of the property is summed up nicely by the shot (Which is REPEATED later on... with some differences) of a dead Optimus Prime being harshly dropped from a flying helicopter dozens of feet up straight onto the ground. Then the helicopter flies into the sunset, and there's probably a joke about balls or something being humped five minutes later.

shinrigaku said...

First time commenting on this blog, but I feel a little straightening is in order.

Racist vs. Stereotypes (definitions not supplied by a dictionary, just my own words)

1)Racist: To act in a different manner because of the race or perceived race of someone
2)Stereotype: A preconcieved notion on a group of people including but not limited to appearance, personality, habits, etc.

In response to slopeslider, it is quite possible to be racist with or without stereotypes. It's just very common to express racist tendencies with stereotypes. I could theoretically say "I don't like Asians because they look shifty" and it would be racist (judging on percieved racial identity) without necessarily using stereotypes. Personally, I think that race is a poor concept in the first place, considering that anthropologists still argue what defines race as a concept.

Outside of that, I was pretty disappointed with the movie. Plot holes, crude and humor often wedged into the movie with a crowbar, and one of the most jerky and unnecessary stories that I've ever seen; my annoyance with the movie is summed up in two parts.

1)Maybe I'm getting old, but I just couldn't follow the fights. I just couldn't tell one Transformer from another in a heated battle. Too many moving parts, flying metal, and jerky camera work. It may have been accurate as to what a giant metal robot battle would be like, but it led to a major disconnect with the scenes for me
2)Linkin Park is ok. The song "New Divide" is not my favorite song, but it's decent enough. It, however, does not at all need to be the main theme in EVERY SCENE!! It honestly takes any feeling derived from the song and tosses it away when it's played at every "bad-ass" or "valorous" moment. Anyways, that's my two cents. Thanks for posting; it's a welcome form of entertainment during my stay in Japan.

shinrigaku said...

Switch "Plot holes, crude and humor" to "Plot holes, crude humor wedged into..." Man, I need to proofread before posting -_-

slopeslider said...

Crap.... I am now one of those guys that people register JUST so they can reply to...
Your right Shinrigaku, good example.

Nice name btw
-Kenpai

GamerFromJump said...

Wouldn't it make more sense for the wrecking balls to be, I dunno, a weapon option? It worked for Animated Bulkhead. Sacrificing sensible design for the sake of a crude joke is just retarded.

Anonymous said...

EVERYTHING< and I mean EVERYTHING you said is 150% true!!!

I'm a huge TF fan and this movie was like an INSULT to me!

OH and btw I see you put the picture mostly of the Generation 1 series, so I want to ask if you watched any other series?

If you haven't I strongly sugest Beast Wars and Animated.

Beast Wars is a continuation of Generation 1 series and Animated is a series on it's own but it has a hell of a lot references to a lot of the old series(mostly G1) that an old school fan like you will like, a lot :)