Thursday, August 30, 2007

Movie Review: Transformers

I'll admit I can be snobby about movies. I don't typically go for the blockbuster movies, or popular flicks. However, I'm not enough of a snob to deny myself the joy of a purely enjoyable movie. Case in point, was Transformers. Transformers is pure mindless entertainment. Mindless in the fact that if you take about 30 seconds to think about the movie, you'll end up deconstructing it to a point where you'll probably ruin it for yourself. If you just look at the screen and realize what you're watching are giant robots that change into modes of transportation then you'll be fine, and you'll be able to really enjoy this movie.

Although I have somewhat of a biased since Transformers was one of the primary cartoons I watched when I was growing up, so I'm definitely a fan. What makes this movie enjoyable for everyone, not just fans, is basically the crazy special effects. The acting, story, etc. really take a back seat to the visualization of the Transformers. More importantly, unlike some movies, the Transformers actually appear all throughout the movie. You don't get glimpses or moments, but actual extended scenes, which make the effects of the movie all the more impressive.

At the helm of all these effects and such is the much criticized Michael Bay. Don't get me wrong, I'm not that un-snobby. Michael Bay is a trainwreck of a director. He goes for stupid attempts at sentimentality to add some sort of depth to his characters in his movie, which is frustrating because his characters are so one demensional that they really only exist in the movie world, and you can't imagine them outside of it.

In this case, you have Shia LaBeouf as the awkward teen, Megan Fox as the popular girl with a dark past, and Josh Duhamel as the Army Captain who just wants to see his newborn baby girl. What do all of these angles add to the movie? Absolutely nothing. They're simply there so that it seems like the characters have something to lose, other than just fighting/working with giant robots. You can tell this is a Michael Bay movie about 45 seconds into the film, and it is almost laughable at this point how cookie cutter his movies are in respect to how they're shot.

With all that said, this movie is on a huge scale, and Michael Bay does big movies very well. From the scope and the effects, I have to give him credit in that respect. As someone that has no idea how movies are directed or shot, to take on this type of project and make it a good popcorn flick with lots of action is impressive. He does deserve credit for that.

Most of the performances in Transformers were secondary to the action, but I will say Shia LaBeouf plays a good nerdy, spaz-type kid. He's apparently a big deal in Hollywood because he just signed on for the new Indiana Jones movie. While I'm not sold on that, he seems to be a functioning actor.

Another thing about the movie is that it is goofy. There are comic parts to it that are just plain silly. Unlike Spider-man, however, the comedy works in Transformers. I think it's because the actors are involved in most of the funny parts, not the robots. Although there are some moments that do involve the Transformers, and they're not too bothersome because they were toys, I suppose.

If you're all about just having a good action packed time this summer, then Transformers will not disappoint. Just keep that head mindless and enjoy the entertainment.

Directing: 5/10
Acting: 3/10
Plot: 5/10
Re-Watchability: 10/10
DVD Purchase:6/10

Overall: 5.8/10

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