Monday, July 09, 2007
Just Saw Transformers
Yes, I gave in. And let me tell you this movie is absolutely BRILLIANT. From a marketing, product placement, and flexible budget standpoint. Plot: This giant Rubrik's Cube can change ANY electronic device (read: product placement)into a living, mechanical organism. The decepticons are after the cube to...take over the universe...and the Autobots must stop them. The autobots can change into any vehicle they scan (read: automotive product placement) and try to fight the other bots out of view of humans (read: cheap shooting locations until the end, when you can bring them in public for an all-out fight). They also learn English by browsing the World Wide Web!!!!! (read: any website product placement) Brilliant!
From a storytelling standpoint, Michael Bay's brillance at storytelling isn't so shiny - He doesn't know the meaning of "restraint"; in other words, when to TAKE SOMETHING OUT so it's more powerful. The music blares the entire movie, only stopping to take in redundant, action-describing dialogue or obnoxious sound effects and explosions. For example, the ice is breaking underneath the explorers' feet, they yell, "THE ICE IS BREAKING". When they pick up the escaping soldiers, the voice-over says, "Get'em home" when a single cut back home could say that better. I mean, the actors WON'T SHUT UP! If you don't believe me, watch it again for clarity. They won't shut up!
Bay has a lot of style backed by no sense of timing. The whole movie rolls by at a breakneck pace to cover all the material specifically designed to cover the widest possible audience. For example: Captain Lennox of the escaping force talks to his wife and kid, saying he's coming home soon. 30 seconds. We see a reaction shot of the wifey at home. 5 seconds. They reunite at home. 10 seconds. Just because Commander Cody, or Lennox, or whatever-his-name-is can kick some robot ass, that doesn't mean I'm going to care about him. And people won't STOP TALKING! And what's with those football villians imported from the 80s?
But with all the money made on this bitch from advertising, Bay can now independently finance his dream film. And that's how this merry-go-round works. Can you blame him? I would've done it! Bay: will you give me a job?