Escape to the Movies: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

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Battle Catman:
Ah, I was waiting for that.

"If you like this movie, you're a retarded retard who's retarded."

Yep. Bob's articulate attack on people who disagree with him. Way to go, Bob. It makes you look real professional when you bash the audience for their opinions. I'm sick of Bob's personal butthurt attitude creeping into so many reviews. We get it, he didn't like a given film, but we don't need to know about his personal grudges with directors and such.

Maybe I'll see Transformers, just for giant robots stabbing each other in the face.

I liked Inception and Toy Story. I liked Balls of Fury and Titanic. I loved Memento, and I really liked the Transformers movies. I have a wide variety of tastes--you can't damn me just for my love of a specific genre (high-budget CG movies).

Look, Bob, I don't care if it's not intellectually gratifying or emotionally stimulating. I just want to see live-action CG robots blow each other up. I enjoy the occasional gourmet dinner but if I want a cheeseburger then goddamnit, I'm gonna buy a fricking cheeseburger. Rail on the movie itself but please don't insult me for my guilty pleasure, because most of us action-junkies are not schoolyard bullies who like to pick on be-spectacled fat kids for entertainment. We're human beings who can forgive (and sometimes prefer) a complicated plot in favor of good ol' combustion.

Although the gung-ho military advancement and the flag-waving isn't a high point of the movies, I'll give you that.

I really liked this review and it sorta reminds me of the music scene today. Everybody just listens to the same crap on the radio without ever finding something that only they like and build a personal music taste. I really hope people spend more time seeing different movies, listening to different styles of music and playing different games. The worst thing is when everything just a grey mosh.

LasseZ:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao3FuGEGcU8

This is so fitting!

I'm not sure if fitting is the right word for this. Although I do think it proves an amazing point. The scene you're linking to is from Network (1976), a film by Sidney Lumet who is famous for movies like 12 Angry Men (1957)[#6 on IMdB top 250], Dog Day Afternoon (1975) [#180 on IMdB top 250], Network (1976) [#190 on the IMdB top 250], Serpico (1973), amongst others. Lumet was nominated for 4 Academy Awards for directing, but did not win any of them. Lumet's work during the 1970s, which I would consider his most productive and creative years, is astonishing. He was truly an "actor's director" with a focus on cast and character that is generally lacking in the modern Hollywood studio system. Some of his best works are just about people and take place in just one location, such as Dog Day Afternoon and 12 Angry Men. He was a master of claustrophobic sets and tense atmosphere. Lumet films build up the tension slowly and explode in violence making the violent pay off both relevant and more explosive.

The film you referenced, Network, is pretty much the exact opposite of the contemporary Transformers films in every way. Network is about the breakdown of a news anchor, Howard, Beale, that happens live on TV. He snaps and rants against the world because his own life has fallen apart. Fearful of this the network that he works for isn't sure what to do with him, and then the ratings are phenomenonal. So, the network decides to build an entire show around his rants, until one his rants focuses on an upcoming corporate merger between his network and a Saudi Congolmerate. The network president, Arthur Jensen, steps in and has a meeting with Howard Beale, informing Howard that the world is just corporations and nations no longer matter. Beale sees Jensen as a god-like figure and changes his message to a new corporate envangelicalism.

Unlike Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Network has an actual plot, characters that the audience can relate to, and finally a strong message. Not to mention the acting by Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, Beatrice Straight, and Ned Beatty. (Finch, Dunaway, and Straight all won oscars for their work on this film.) The audience cares about Beale because they could relate to his problems and his situation. We've all been pushed to our breaking point. We've all wanted to yell and scream at the world. Beale became the mouthpiece for that frustration until finally he is subsumed back into the corporate swamp as they turn Beale's message into a marketable commodity.

To compare Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen to Network is completely unfair to all three films. Even if we treat all films as being a part of the same medium, then there is no room for comparison at all. Network is an Academy Award winning film, directed by one the greatest directors of all time, and was one of the best films of the year and one of the most profitable. Network not only commented on the ills of 1970s America, but also was prescient in its comment on later society. Watching Network today is just as powerful today as it ever was. And all of this comes from a satire about a crazy newscaster.

Not to mention that 1976 was not a bad year for films. Carrie, Rocky, All the President's Men, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and Taxi Driver all released in 1976. I'm not being nostalagic for a "better time", but merely pointing out the quality of films released in 1976.

What will Transformers 3 be remembered for? It'll be another over produced, special effects film from the year of comic book films and sequels. With a reported $195 million budget and a lack of characters, undiscernable plot, terrible performances, awful comic relief, and poor direction. Unlike Lumet's master work in directing, Bay is better known for his explosions and ability to devolve a woman, a human being, into nothing more than a fetish object.

Comparing Network to any of the Transformers films makes me weep for the state of the modern film industry. I don't think that the fans of Transformers are idiots, but I have to wonder how they would react to great films like Network or Dog Day Afternoon. Of course who wants to watch a movie about a crazy newscaster or a gay bank robber when you can see chunks of unindentifiable metal rolling round in front of exploding buildings in 3D? Don't mind me, I'm sobbing in the corner and you couldn't hear me over the Dolby Surround Sound System cranked up so loud your teeth rattle.

Also, I think this is the better scene from Network:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3vbCxj2ifs

haha, poor Bob had to go and see this abomination. As I am not a critic I do not have to, and will not ever have to, see this "film". I saw Transformers 1 when I was about 13 and it was forgettable but an average film. I saw Transformers 2 a few years ago and hated every second of it, I could not believe how terrible it was. Having learned from my mistake I get to avoid such an experience this time around.

anyone else having hysteria! flashback

Love how Bob called out people who think he's elitist after he completely insulted the intelligence of anyone who enjoyed the movie. Class act.

You want to know why people think you're an elitist Bob? It has nothing to do with your opinion on films or games, it has to do with the fact that you tear down people with differing opinions, both indirectly and directly. It's a childish move and completely unprofessional. Frankly, you have the same problem as Bay. You need to grow up.

EDIT: After checking out the thread a little bit more, I can see a great deal of people agree with me. Of course, you'll just continue to turn criticism into some stupid caricature. If you have any integrity, the next time you do a column dealing with criticism of your show you'll respond to this in a mature, sensible fashion. But with what I've seen so far, I really doubt it. Bob, I started watching you back when you were just some geek on youtube, before ScrewAttack and the Escapist. I thought your Game Overthinker commentaries were refreshing and interesting, but now you just come off as petty. Go back to your roots, that's your appeal, not these bitter rants.

Um, if Michael bay has a hard-on for the military then he is a REAL idiot about it.

Where is the significance of rank? Sacrifice? History or the sanctity of the command structure and UTTER Respect for the uniform. THAT is the military. Fidelity, brotherhood, enduring, loyalty and excellence of character and ability and what that means to the human condition.

You know what Bay DOES have a hard-on for: Military Equipment.

He likes guns, the likes jets, he likes rockets, he likes explosions what he clearly does not give a flying fuck about the men and women, organisations and traditions that use them.

I get it, most young guys join the Corps for the guns but the USMC makes much more of them, they make them an eternal member of a deadly fraternity. A Marine may be not much without his rifle, but a rifle is not much without a Marine. Bay just doesn't seem to get that, the way he approaches the military is a means to an end of getting some explosions.

MovieBob shouldn't have to make excuses for lack of deference to veterans. Michael Bay should.

I agree completely with Bob. I'm tired of watching films where the special effects are more important than the lead actor or protagonist. I'm tired of 2 hour long films that are only good because the girl is "hot" or the expolsions are big. Film making is about more than big explosions and sexy women. I'm tired of watching the camera linger on some girl's ass or breasts or the super slo-mo walk away from the explosion scene.

I want more. I deserve more as a film goer. I'm not talking about art films. What about Clerks? What about Inglorious Bastards? Fight Club? Inception? Twelve Monkeys? Movies with a plot, characters with depth, a script, dialogue. You know...a film. Caddyshack? Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? Character development? The Good the Bad and the Ugly? Cinematography and good editing? Blazing Saddles? A movie with a relevant message? Office Space? Dr. Strangelove? A movie that comments on society?

I'm not asking for much. Just a good film. Why should I, why should we, have to settle for mediocrity?

UNKNOWNINCOGNITO:

TheLastTatlFan:

UNKNOWNINCOGNITO:
I liked them. What exactly is wrong with these movies ? I fail to understand why it is terrible.

Check out his column. The title of it implies a fanboy-free analysis of why Transformers 3 is a terrible movie, and since the problems of the first and second movies were basically the same, I'm betting this breakdown of the third will apply to them all.

I tried looking around on google and threw his blogspot but could not find what you were specifying. Could you please direct me to the correct link ? Much appreciated.

The link to it is right under the video. The blue text that reads "Intermission."

No one thinks you're a snob if you don't like this movie. People think you're a snob if you don't like this movie and insult everyone who does.

LasseZ:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao3FuGEGcU8

This is so fitting!

So that's where people impotently yelling that they're mad as hell comes from.

CHILL THE F*** OUT BOB!!! Yes you are being Mr. L33t, and I have heard hormone flavored 16 year old girls complain less.

SlothfulCobra:

LasseZ:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao3FuGEGcU8

This is so fitting!

So that's where people impotently yelling that they're mad as hell comes from.

SIGH!

It's from Network (1976). It won 4 Academy Awards and was nominated for another 6. Yeah...

I was half hoping that this movie was going to be really good, just so that Bob would have to go back on his 'this movie will be really shitty!' assumptions for once.

That said, he'd probably give it a bad review in that situation anyway because Michael Bay has shit all over his precious comic books once again.

Oh yeah, and don't call people idiots for liking this film if you expect them to forgive you for being elitist two minutes later...

As for my opinion, I have no doubt that this will be an objectivley bad movie, but the giant explosions and robots fighting will probably cause me to enjoy it all the same.

We shall see...

Seriously? Did they really need to have Spock recite half the catch phrases from the Star Trek movies? I guess when you hire Leonard Nimoy you get the rights to all his lines from previous movies as well.....

Opinions will always be opinions. Christ, God knows I ponder each day how amazing it is that so many people can enjoy the shitty music on MTV and mainstream, corporate radio for only one example. Why am I such a perfect man, with such excellent taste in music, film, games, etc?

I agree with you, I really do. I'm sobbing as I write: "How can anyone pay 12€ to see Baysplosions, US Army fanboyism and two uninteresting people getting tossed around in a movie about Transformers? All this in incredible migrain inducing 3D! Why don't people strive for more??"

But that's just it. Say it out loud and you'll always get chewed out by the overwhelming popular opinion that happens to totally disagree with you.

That said, hang in there Bob! I for one like your show. Hope Captain America is good too.

Flameshields on!

the thing that killed this movie for me was the unnecessary comedic secenes and the every five second's slow-mo, plus megan fox could at least act better then the victory secret modle. I don't know I think I could edit this movie to be better and get rid of alot of junk other then that this movie is an okay xplosion movie, personlly I liked super 8 better but the year is not over yet maybe a oscar worthy movie will appear.

MajorDolphin:
Seriously? Did they really need to have Spock recite half the catch phrases from the Star Trek movies? I guess when you hire Leonard Nimoy you get the rights to all his lines from previous movies as well.....

Yeah, they actually had him say "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few", probably the most iconic line from Wrath of Khan. Ehren Kruger and Michael Bay are both a couple of exploitative hacks who deserve every bit of criticism lobbed at them. They should just go and make a Call of Duty movie considering how much Bay loves jacking off to pictures of tanks and military hardware

Also, Spoony and the Cinema Snob's reviews. They're deliciously nasty:

http://spoonyexperiment.com/2011/06/29/vlog-6-29-11-transformers-bark-at-the-moon/

http://thecinemasnob.com/2011/06/29/midnight-screening-transformers-dark-of-the-moon.aspx

Avistew:

Condor219:
I still don't know why they kept referring to the "Dark Side of the Moon". Is Vader there or something? Doesn't the moon rotate and orbit around the Earth, that rotates and orbits around the Sun (that orbits and rotates around the center of the universe)? How can there be a "dark side"?

The Moon rotates around the Earth, and on itself, but it takes the exact same time for it to rotate on itself as it does to rotate around Earth - as a result it always presents the same side to us, so there is indeed a hidden side of the Moon, that we cannot see from Earth. We'd need to fly into space, go past the Moon and turn around.

My guess is that by Dark Side they meant the side we cannot see.

I did not know this. Though technically it wouldn't be the "dark side", because that side furthest from Earth on the Moon would still receive sunlight when between the Earth and the Sun, but at least now I can excuse that.

Learn something every day.

it's called tidal locking.

Johnny Impact:

Instinct Blues:
I said it about the whole Transformers franchise because the show was basically just for selling the toys to little kids.....Its just obvious which ones are clearly desperate attempts of relieving people of their troublesome money............

The ones you personally are not interested in, right?

No just the ones that are clearly cash grabs and I wasn't only referring to Transformers in this post. I was referring to all forms of entertainment that are just to make ridiculous amounts of money for the company with minimal effort. For example Hangover 2 is one of those cash grabs.

P.S. I don't hate Transformers......I'm not sure if there was some miscommunication in which you thought I hated the Transformers.

This is what I meant by hypocrisy. Your repeated crapping on the toys, the show, and everything to do with Transformers history, coupled with your "to hell with respecting the material, keep that stuff out of my movie" comments regarding the live-action flicks, reveals that you do hate it. Which is perfectly okay. Just stand by your opinion.

I've never even seen the cartoon so I don't even know if I like it or not. I have to admit the toys look pretty cool, but I'm not really all that hung up on the Transformers history because I have never seen the show. I wouldn't care if they put that stuff in the movie, but I think its pretty clear that they weren't gonna do that from the first live action movie. So to ask for that now this late in the game when within the movie franchise they've set up other things that precedence over that because the people who are going to see have obviously seen the other two and if they started adding in fan service now people would be upset (aside from the 30 something nerds who are finally getting what they want). Also my bringing up that the Transformers cartoon was created to sell toys is not me crapping on it its just me pointing out the truth.

I'm more crapping on MovieBob than anything else because I'm tired of his fanboy fueled rants that pose as movie reviews and maybe somehow the cartoon got caught up in it. If you want a thought provoking movie about GIANT TALKING ROBOTS FIGHTING OVER EARTH maybe just maybe your hopes were a little to high.

Aiddon:

MajorDolphin:
Seriously? Did they really need to have Spock recite half the catch phrases from the Star Trek movies? I guess when you hire Leonard Nimoy you get the rights to all his lines from previous movies as well.....

Yeah, they actually had him say "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few", probably the most iconic line from Wrath of Khan. Ehren Kruger and Michael Bay are both a couple of exploitative hacks who deserve every bit of criticism lobbed at them. They should just go and make a Call of Duty movie considering how much Bay loves jacking off to pictures of tanks and military hardware

Also, Spoony and the Cinema Snob's reviews. They're deliciously nasty:

http://spoonyexperiment.com/2011/06/29/vlog-6-29-11-transformers-bark-at-the-moon/

http://thecinemasnob.com/2011/06/29/midnight-screening-transformers-dark-of-the-moon.aspx

I was sitting there watching that movie and I kept getting this strong feeling that they were ripping scenes and ideas from other popular movies. That line was just the most obvious. I may have to watch it again but I'm not exactly willing to shell out more money for it.

Btw, wtf is the industries obsession with falling buildings? 2012, BF3, MW3, and probably the longest scene in the entire Transformers movie series to name the most recent. I'd blame 9/11 but all of these buildings are breaking in half...

Condor219:
I did not know this. Though technically it wouldn't be the "dark side", because that side furthest from Earth on the Moon would still receive sunlight when between the Earth and the Sun, but at least now I can excuse that.

Well, they wouldn't be the first people to call it that. It's apparently its name in English.

CosmicCommander:
Damn, I need to get outdoors.

No, you really don't. There's not much out there that's worth experiencing anymore.

MajorDolphin:

I was sitting there watching that movie and I kept getting this strong feeling that they were ripping scenes and ideas from other popular movies. That line was just the most obvious. I may have to watch it again but I'm not exactly willing to shell out more money for it.

Btw, wtf is the industries obsession with falling buildings? 2012, BF3, MW3, and probably the longest scene in the entire Transformers movie series to name the most recent. I'd blame 9/11 but all of these buildings are breaking in half...

I actually would point to the WTC incident. Why? Because dipshits think it's automatically evocative and meaningful, but show NO respect towards the people affected by it because of the exploitation.

Scalia already lost all his cool points (and then some) for throwing the Wal-mart women's case out. Now things are gonna be a whole lot worse for a lot of people working for companies as large as Wal-mart for a very long time... all because of him and the other justices.

Bob a few things;

1. Dont throw your politics into your movie reviews. Your hatred of the right shows through rather regularly in your reviews. This site is not for you to voice your political views its for reviews of movies, all things geek, and Americana.

2. Way to insult your audience. Completely unprofessional, Busch league, amatuer, and childish all in one fell swoop (yes I spelled Busch league like the beer because that is where the entomology of the phrase comes from).

3. Get over the hatred of Bay. You really don't need to bash him for 3 minutes of the 5 minutes and 43 seconds of the review. Tell us why you disagree with his style of film creation and be done with it.

Overall I give your review a 2 out of 5. You start off pretty well for the first 1.5 minutes or so saying what you thought was ok about the movie and start in on what you thought stunk about the movie and then you bash the audiences who go to see it (see 2 above). You then spit vitriol @ bay, the political right, the action film genre, and Shia Lebouff for about 3 minutes and then you end up whining about how tired you are of the summer blockbuster, but then. Ohh yeah and dont forget the "dont call me an elitist" whine/rant.

So you did 5min 43sec of production and only about 1.5-1.75 mins are of any quality. Disappointed in you Bob, really disappointed in you. I generally like your movie reviews whether I disagree with you on the particular movie or not. This one was absolutey horrible and really rather insulting.

P.S. Whats wrong with Bay's love of the military. Theres so many directors and hollywood folks that love to hate us and think that we are hired thugs (see most James Cameron films)
thats its kinda nice to see someone in hollywood who thinks we are something thats fun to make look good.

MowDownJoe:

Samoftherocks:
What did Nimoy do?

He apparently makes a cameo in this film.

Yep. One of the tiny-human-head sized autobots watches star trek with nimoy featuring in it early on in the movie (first half hour or so).

Just saw the film and thought it was a lot better than Bob says it is. Sure its far from perfect but I found it really enjoyable. I find it kinda annoying how Bob just assumes that everyone who enjoys this film is dumb. I enjoy a nice intelligent film as much as I enjoy brainless action movies.

Still Life:

CODE-D:

honestly its a good movie, stop whining and go see it.

Yeah, if you want a shortcut to a lobotomy it is.

did you watch it, everyone is way too harsh on this movie. Maybe all your expectations are too ungodly high or your all just sad g1 fanboys(oh my childhood....boo hoo..)
hate you moviebob.

Aiddon:

MajorDolphin:

I was sitting there watching that movie and I kept getting this strong feeling that they were ripping scenes and ideas from other popular movies. That line was just the most obvious. I may have to watch it again but I'm not exactly willing to shell out more money for it.

Btw, wtf is the industries obsession with falling buildings? 2012, BF3, MW3, and probably the longest scene in the entire Transformers movie series to name the most recent. I'd blame 9/11 but all of these buildings are breaking in half...

I actually would point to the WTC incident. Why? Because dipshits think it's automatically evocative and meaningful, but show NO respect towards the people affected by it because of the exploitation.

Yeah, because movies before 9/11 never ever had falling buildings in them. [/heavy sarcasm]

Valkyr71:

P.S. Whats wrong with Bay's love of the military. Theres so many directors and hollywood folks that love to hate us and think that we are hired thugs (see most James Cameron films)
thats its kinda nice to see someone in hollywood who thinks we are something thats fun to make look good.

Actually, I think that James Cameron has gotten a bad rap for his depiction of military personnel in his films.

In Aliens, the Colonial Space Marines were pretty much the heroes of the movie. Especially Hicks played by Michael Biehn. Scared, out of their element, but in the end they succeed in defeating the alien threat. And nuking them from orbit

In The Abyss, 3 Navy SEALs go down to the underwater base and one of them (again Michael Biehn) goes insane because of pressure sickness. He isn't thinking rationally become paranoid and tries to nuke a perceived threat. One of the other SEALs helps defuse the nuke. The third just stands by. Overall I would say this is a neutral portrayl of the military. However, just to emphasize the point, the villian wasn't acting on orders from the Pentagon or anything, he just went crazy and acted on his own. While the focus of the film is anti-war, it is never anti-military.

In Avatar, the Corporation in charge of mining for Unobtainium has hired Ex-Military mercenaries to protect their base. These are not meant to be soldiers but private military contractors and mercenaries. Jake Sully is a former Marine as well. While there is a sense of Military vs Nature going on here. I will agree that this film does portray gung-ho military personnel as being evil, but again according to the movie they are just mercenaries. Of course the structure of the narrative for this forces the military to be the villian like the Union Army in Dances with Wolves or the new Imperial Japanese Army in The Last Samurai.

So overall, in the films that James Cameron has done that have had military personnel as a significant part of the plot, he is basically neutral on military matters when you look at these films. Of his other films, only True Lies has any military presence in it, and that is incredibly minor as the main characters are spies. Pirahna 2, Terminator, Terminator 2, and Titanic did not have any military presence.

On the other hand, Michael Bay's interest in the military is purely based on his love for the machines and not the people. All the characters in Michael Bay's films are broad stereotypes. The Rock gives some real character to military personnel, but other than Michael Beihn (again) and his SEAL team, the military characters in The Rock are all antagonists. Micheal Bay loves his explosions, cool hi-tech vehicles, helicopters at sunset, and even bigger explosions. The military is just a means to an end to accomplish his big explosion.

I really don't want to discuss Pearl Harbor because it lacks Bay's fetishitic approach to the modern military. However, it is the exception to Bay's fetishitic approach to the military. He has actual characters in this, but that was unavoidable because it's a dramatic love story.

So while Bay may generally show the military in a positive light, there are exceptions to that (The Rock), and the military in Bay's contemporary films are just a vehicle for producing explosions and action set pieces. He's not interested in the people, he just wants to make it look "cool". On the other hand, James Cameron has taken a fairly neutral appraoch to the military in his films. At least a balanced approach if you weigh the films based on who the villian is out of context.

Instead of seeing this movie, I begged my friends to come with me to go see Xmen. They were all iffy after Xmen: Origins, but I'm glad they loved the movie as much as I did.

I think it's a good trade off.

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