Monday, December 19, 2011

And the Award goes to... Transformers: Dark of the Moon

As the year is ending, from this point on until January or February, I'm going to do my own awards that represents everything in film around 2011 and I have to say that this year has the worst crop of films in any single year in movie history. When the year had been saturated by sequels, remakes and reboots, you reckon it's in the darkest timeline of all time. And that's what it is. Pointing out movies that had made some interest this year and somewhat doesn't.

As the title suggests, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is getting one award, not for being the Best Film (well why would you say that, you mindless 12 year old monkey?) or for Worst film, not for any usual category you see in every awards show. But the award for Biggest Impact by a movie towards all masses of Western Civilisation... For better or worst.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a film that sparked society's interest before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II came out. It was a movie that follows on one of the worst films ever seen by mankind. However they never acknowledged that fact not because they're dumb enough to not mind a film, but because every battle involving the Autobots and the Deceptacons, every babe depicted in that film and every bit of bizzare comedy is stupidly overwhelming that the audiences didn't care.

Following the bashing of ROTF, the film experienced "changes". First was Megan Fox who is replaced by Victoria Secret Angel Rosie Huntington Whiteley to be Shia Labeouf's love interest. Second was the fact that this movie is going to be shot in 3D and most of all the screenwriters Robert Orci & Alex Kurtzman was replaced by Ethan Krueger so they can add a comprehensible storyline. The director Michael Bay and Shia Labeouf found ROTF so crap, they later apologized and promised those "changes". But I'm not quite sure if that is the case.

You see, when the first Transformers came out, I didn't mind. Yes it has a lot of product placement and bizzarre bits of comedy and some horrible acting from Megan Fox, but at least it was enjoyable in a dumb sort of way. Then there's Revenge of the Fallen, a film so incomprehensible that any point of this movie, it should be considered a crime against humanity. And now we have Dark of the Moon which would earn a slightly lesser charge and who would be charged?

This guy.
Michael Bay. The director of not just the Transformers movies, but flops like Pearl Harbor, The Island, Armaggedon and Bad Boys. His reputation as a director is not on the levels of today's great directors such as David Fincher, Darren Arronofsky, Christopher Nolan or Quentin Tarantino, but at least he wasn't worst as Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer or Uwe Boll. However he reminds me of the band Nickelback in where all of his films doesn't have any substance and has some specific formula where the audiences is apathetic to. The formula goes like this:

When I ask any kid about Pearl Harbor, they say it was the best. I only asked because Pearl Harbor was way worser than ROTM. But the majority of kids say it's a masterpiece when they've never seen other great war movies Saving Private Ryan, The Deer Hunter or Apocalypse Now or never realize that  Pearl Harbor was so historically inaccurate, you can't even get interested to the context when you're trying so hard to be interested.

So here's Dark of the Moon which only sparked interest not because of the robots but because of Michael Bay. He blamed ROTF's problems on the Writer's Strike in 2007 and promised that Dark of the Moon was better than its predecessor. He's actually right. It was better than the last movie, but I still didn't like DOTM the first time I watched it hence it absolutely wiped out things I liked about the first Transformers.

Dark of the Moon, just like ROTF was trashed by reviewers everywhere. Professional critics were really harsh but at the same time it was hilarious to see them do so. Roger Ebert called it one of the worst experiences he'd ever had at the movies, Peter Travers bashed it a lot like ROTF, Mark Kermode described it as "pop pornography" and one internet reviewer compared DOTM to the 'world largest drum kit falling down an eternal flight of stairs'. 

When Michael Bay promised "changes" he did. But not a third of it. It was more of the same incomprehensible story of why the Autobots and Deceptacons are destroying every monument on Earth with a backup plot exploiting three things: history, women and a 12-year old's brain. The backup plot involves the war between the two robot alien races leading up to the manned landing on the moon in 1969. The reason why the States rushed the Space Race is because Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (who makes a cameo in this film) discovered a spaceship featuring Sentinel Prime, Optimus's mentor. Following the intro, we get a tracking shot of Rosie Huntington Whiteley's ass where the camera look upskirt while she utters the first words to Shia Labeouf "this is your new lucky bunny" and "hope you think positive". And finally we get the fact that these kinds of shots are so appealing to a white 12 year old boy who's only childhood relies on Eminem and candy. You know, it's not like he'd seen Citizen Kane or The Godfather to know much about movies. BUT if your excuse to demand a 12 year child to see your movie that contained the sexiest female alive, giant robots and people running around with as many distractions as possible that he would, in four frickin years time, he think it's the masterpiece of all masterpieces, then you are killing cinema.

And then there's the audience. I listened to's review so many times that the comment thread whopped up almost a hundred pages. They were debating that DOTM is actually good and while that's is a matter of opinion, there were so many excuses to why it was better and Bay is forgiven (zoom in if you can't see):

Many of the excuses for DOTM being "do you expect an Oscar winner?", "LEAVE THE BRAIN OUT OF THE DOOR" or "YOU'RE A CRITIC. YOU HATE EVERYTHING I LIKE". Dude where do I sign. Whoever made these excuses are chronic idiots. It's as if they have this theory that there's no such thing as a bad movie. Fact #1: that theory is in no way profound at all. Please stop it. Fact #2: that theory is made by people who goes into a theatre without looking at the session times, follows Adam Sandler's career and secretly thinks The Notebook as powerful. Fact #3: that theory let off DOTM way too easily. I want to survey as many 10th graders to why DOTM is their favourite film of the year and why movies such as Inception and Goodfellas were too confusing and boring respectively. They're Juggalos in film who grow like rabbits to defend Transformers without knowing who directed it and who wrote it.

Anyway back to the film and I have to say there are some redeeming qualities that doesn't feel any special to me. There's nothing visually stimulating even though the final setpieces and the 3D of the film are so cool. In fact the 3D in this film is one of the best I've seen. However they were so overlong and it was so out of context, that for a moment I thought I suffered through a headache. The cinematography for DOTM was better than ROTF and the editing was improved but it didn't really matter. Not even the actors could sacrifice any grace to save this film. Shia Labeouf's reliability with Transformers seemed useless as his character becomes a total jerkoff and Rosie Hungtington Whiteley could've been better if it wasn't for a screenplay that doesn't know where to go with the film. I mean My Little Pony had better plotlines than this franchise and that's saying I liked My Little Pony better than Transformers.

And don't get me started on the comedy. It was always the biggest flaw of the entire transformers franchise, but the worst thing about the entire franchise is that there's no heart or soul I could give a shit about. Trying to attract people with big robots destroying Chicago by day seems like an incredibly understood gimmick, but casting veteran actors Francis McDormand, John Malkovich in this film I thought "Why bother?".

So for making us spend $8.50 for watching a Bay extravaganza, huge product placement, a series of skits that would've fit into Robot Chicken and Family Guy, forcing Linkin Park to come into relevance and for consequently making a worldwide gross of $1.4 billion at the box office, Transformers: Dark of the Moon gets the 2011 award for Biggest Impact by a movie towards all masses of Western Civilisation... For better or worst.


  1. yeah this film was bad, a little better than the second film but it doesn't matter for me considering it's still a crap fest, I mean I saw a lot of movies this year, and this was the only one where I felt like I took a beating, I was just like "F**k it I'm done they gave up on this s**t, f**k it", great blog

  2. I gave a review on this film, and while I felt it improved upon ROTF, it really did not deserve to make as much money as it did. I just hope Michael Bays forever done with the transformers films now