Monday, July 4, 2011

Transformers 3: Compendium Post

I was meant to blog something about Transformers: Dark of the Moon post-screening last week but busyness got the better of me, and also 'cos the film was so X-TREME that it temporarily disabled my ability to construct critical thought in a timely manner. So here's a bumper post of all things Transformers 3 from the past week (hopefully that'll cover this film, and Michael Bay, for the next while).

Firstly, some loose, potentially spoilery observations about the film:
  • There was a valid, but cautious reason to be pumped: Michael Bay had taken criticisms of no. 2 to heart and vowed to make a better film. He said the "dorky comedy" would be toned down. When the trailer first appeared, it looked like a darker film with no comic relief Transformer in sight. While there might be less comedy than the previous film, it's still there - in abundance - and very bloody annoying and only funny for how unfunny it is. See any scene with John Malkovich, Ken Jeong (WTF dude), Alan Tudyk, Shia's parents, and those two smaller "sidekick" robots. All of this comedy-driven exposition swallows up nearly half the entire running time.
  • The 3D was promising in the opening scenes on the moon, and generally better than any post-converted 3D film (a given). But as the film wears on, like most 3D films, you'll mostly forget about the 3D (and remember that it's not a pleasant experience).
  • Interestingly, shooting in 3D does reign Bay in. Shots are held longer, but not consistently so. You definitely won't forget that it's a Michael Bay film.
  • Stupid but irresistibly "wow" moments: Shia being flung from Bumble Bee in slow-mo then thrown back inside as it transforms into a car again; those mad base-jumping stunts; Shockwave snapping the high rise in two.
  • Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: a shapely vacuum. Her intro into the film is already the stuff of legend (as is a scene that might suggest Bay is a closet tentacle-porn fan).
  • The film is 157 minutes long. What does Bay think he's making? JFK? Combined with one hour of non-stop destruction, the running time is so punishing the only reaction to feel after it's all over is SWEET RELIEF.
  • Twitter gets 2 mentions, Facebook only 1.
  • Those crappy generic radio-friendly rock songs on the soundtrack...

It might sound that I'm incredibly harsh on the film (yes, it's awful), but the fact of the matter is Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a fascinating film in many ways, inspiring both immediate repulsion and deeper-level discourse. It's been torn apart with acerbic wit by critics (Roger Ebert, Walter Chaw - a must-read!), but I find myself digging those fence-sitters, those writers trying to evaluate Bay in a mixed light and coming up with interesting points of discussion (Nick Schager, Jaime N. Christley). I also love Vern's "software upgrade" description of the film.

Now here's bunch of related stuff that don't require much reading:

Michael Bay reusing scenes from The Island for Transformers 3:

Optimus Prime or Darth Vader?

And if you're wondering what's next on the cards for Bay, he'll be making a "small little movie".

No comments:

Post a Comment