Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Monday, June 29, 2009

NOT a Review: Why I won't be seeing "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"

If you ever read my blog, you know that I love movies and robots. The casual observer might think I'd be head-over-heels for the new Transformers movie. But I can't and won't.

Because I saw the first one.

Because it is universally hated by everybody who cares what they see, but widely accepted by those trying to kill $8 and a weekend night with nothing else at the box office.

Because of this hysterically bad clip. This is what the PR people released as a solid representation of the film, to whet your appetite. An RC car robot doing his best Joe Pesci impression. Somehow, I'm not really hungry for that.

Because Jordan couldn't even write a review (and his reveiw for "17 Again" was spot on.

I imagine the greatest entertainment value available from this movie is indirect; i.e. reading the hysterical reviews. <=NOTE: The last link has some offensive (but well deserved) comparison to a baser genre of film, if you take my meaning.

But most of all, because I don't want to support it.

The following was written by a friend of a friend.
"Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen" and its predecessor, aside from being devoid of any substantive narrative quality, are pointlessly violent, meaninglessly vulgar, and shockingly sexed-up movies despicably marketed to children. Ads for the film run during virtually every commercial break on Nickelodeon. Burger King is featuring Transformers kids' meals. Advertisements for myriad toys feature bright-eyed, curly headed tots. It is even included on Nick Junior's "Flicks for Kids" list! All this in spite of the production's claims that the target demographic is older teenagers and adults. My nephews (ages 4, 7, and 9) knew the exact date the film would be released long before the slated date. And they watch "Sponge Bob" and "iCarly", not Spike, Adult Swim or even major networks like ABC and Fox. The youngster networks run ads that, conveniently, skip the pin-up-esque shot of Megan Fox straddling a motorcycle in barely-there shorts.

KidsInMind.com, an online resource for "ratings that work" rated the film as follows on a 10 points scale: Sex/Nudity-6, Violence/Gore-7, Profanity-5. Compare to other action films with clearly much older target demographics: "Terminator Salvation", "X-Men Origins", "The Dark Knight", "Iron Man", etc. Each one listed rated lower in both profanity and sexual content though were comparable in violence. "Transformers" was even rated on par in sexual content with "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past", an inuendo-filled film, incidentally, marketed to adults. "Transformers" rated higher in sex/nudity than "Casino Royale". Reflect on that for a minute: a James Bond film ranks lower in sex/nudity than a film based on a Saturday morning cartoon!

I do not attack responsible and meaningful depictions of violence and sexuality or such use of profanity, but this film is irresponsible and superficial. Add the advertising of a more mature film to young children and you can tack on "exploitative" to the list of adjectives. This production does not deserve a contribution from you at the box office. Your admission ticket tells Bay and Spielberg that you think this is okay and you'll keep stuffing their pockets for being skeez bags.
So I'll never see it. Out of principle, I won't see it in the theater. And when the special effects glut is on a smaller screen home viewing, what's the point? Besides, I watched part of the first Transformers on a TV that displayed twice the regular frame rate. The special effects failed to be impressive at that picture clarity. It looked uncomfortably like a video game. No fun at that point.


Steve said...

I mean, it is transformers after all. What were you expecting? I watched Transformers when I was like six years old. I don't suppose you can take the mentality of transforming cars and guns and dinosaurs too much higher than that.

SamYam said...

I knew I was right when I said it was cinematographic masturbation.

Angela said...

Glad you decided this before you saw the movie. All I've even heard from people who saw it was that it was way too long. Gotta have enought time for all that sex and violence.

siovhan said...

You didn't really miss anything. I love Transformers, and was disappointed in this movie. Go see UP instead.