Sexism, Racism, Jingoism and Homophobia- That's entertainment!

Discussion in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' started by Vid Electricz, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Vid Electricz

    Vid Electricz Well-Known Member

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    I didn't see a topic of this nature on this board, so I thought I'd start one.

    I for one am both fascinated and perplexed by the sort of twisted hate and misogyny that these movies perpetuate. I find it hard to believe that people are actually entertained by this sort of stuff. If there's one thing that these movies do represent, it's the unfortunate future of action films (ie. soulless, emotionless husks filled with veiled hatred that exist solely for marketing purposes), because it's been proven that this kid of stuff sells.

    Like the juvenile school-yard bully who calls anyone out as a f*ggot or homo for not agreeing or lining up with his narrow world-view of how men, women and minorities should be viewed, These films similarly mock and degrade unapologetically and if you don't like it- well, you're just a PC, liberal cry-baby. Brainwashing of the masses at it's finest.



    Let's look at some of the wonderful ideals these movies promote (I know there are a million more examples. If you've got examples, post 'em):

    -Sexism: Specifically, the objectification of women- Women are trophies to be won or lost. They must always appear sexy and seductive (for all the adolescent boys and peter-pan syndrome boy-men watching).

    -Racism: If you're not white, you exist as a peripheral character. Most likely comic relief or some other stereotype (the stoic black man). In other words, you're disposable and you're a joke (blatantly racist buck toothed robots not withstanding).

    -Jingoism: America is the best and the military is #1. English, dude, English.

    -Homophobia: "You gonna go cry to your boyfriend? *****!" There's plenty more where that came from. Needless to say, these movies are riddled with the kind of sophomoric, juvenile macho-man, tough guy behavior that only the most ignorant among us (and little kids who don't know any better) buy in to.


    But it's all so FUNNY! Right? So if you don't like it, you're just too uptight!

    *Yawn*




    Since these boards seem to be crawling with people who absolutely love these movies, I fully expect the response of:

    "Lighten up. Not everything needs to be politically correct and "Disney-fied" Blah, blah blah, pus*syfication of America, blah, blah, blah."

    Actually, no. The problem with brainless movies like these is that they endorse and perpetuate negative stereotypes and outright mocking of sexes, races and behaviors that you don't identify with- and of course, the behaviors you are meant to identify with are those of the hero. The promotion of ignorant bliss all disguised as a good fun action romp!)

    People should really be insulted by this movie. Well, not by the movie itself, but by the attitudes of the film makers that they can just churn out any tripe and you'll gobble it up greedily.

    +10 points for the response:

    "Dude, it's just a movie. Chill." or

    "It's just an action movie dude, you're supposed to turn off your brain and enjoy it for what it is."

    Both awful responses for accepting this hateful garbage as entertainment.

    predictable. Anyone got an actual response? I'd love if this could encourage some discussion.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011
  2. Tony Stark

    Tony Stark Armored Avenger!

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    I've pretty much had all those thoughts about this series. Michael Bay is a tool. that's about all I can say about that.
     
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  3. DoomsdayApex

    DoomsdayApex Well-Known Member

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    If this were my first viewing of a Michael Bay film, I would be just as ecstatic as you are...

    At this point, I've just given up on Michael Bay growing up and developing into a well-rounded director. Now I just spend days on organizing my assassination plot. Michael Bay must be stopped before he reaches the TMNT franchise :ninja:
     
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  4. jonathancrane

    jonathancrane I love Marvel, DC & EC!

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    These problems are not exclusive to Bay, but most of the blockbusters or existing franchises. One on hand, the directors are responsible, but the bulk of the responsibility belongs to the automatons who make these films gross hundreds of millions, or in some cases, billions. Cinema is the mirror by which we judge ourselves. Until mainstream audiences wake up and demand more refined films, this is cinematic fast food is going to be force fed until some change is initiated.

    So, these social ills are created by committee: the screenwriters who create the myths and bigotry, the studio executives who greenlight the scripts, the director who arranges them, and the cinematographers who create the closeups of genitals or choreograph the erotic postures over cars.

    But, on the other hand, audiences have proven to occasionally embrace an extreme: they embraced AVATAR, a film that is very political, along with every other film blockbuster film by Cameron: portray the service men and women are war criminals who deserve to die.

    While all of my criticisms have been leveled against the majority of the blockbusters that promote these destructive social reactions, there are some blockbusters that have challenged the paradigm: any of the Star Trek TNG films have shown a future where equality exists; the ALIEN films; Star Wars films; the Lord of the Rings films; and there are many others.
     
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  5. Optimus_Prime_

    Optimus_Prime_ Well-Known Member

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    Dude it's just a movie, chill.
     
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  6. Episode29

    Episode29 Hooper Drives The Boat!

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    Such a boring attitude.

    Someone tries to start a legitimately interesting, timely discussion and this is your response?

    Not a big fan of the auteur theory, are you?
     
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  7. Zombie Jesus

    Zombie Jesus Member

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    Dude, it's just a movie. Chill.

    Also, it's just an action movie dude, you're supposed to turn off your brain and enjoy it for what it is.
     
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  8. Timstuff

    Timstuff Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a jolly fun time. [​IMG]
     
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  9. Spade

    Spade Seeking new challengers

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    There are pros and cons to what Bay says with this franchise. In some ways, he's perfect for Transformers. His heroic, determined leads and use of Americana go well with a robot civil war that's hard for your average moviegoer to grasp. It helps he's one of the best visual artists in the business. But he also pushes for the worst parts of these films. I'm not comfortable saying "it's just fantasy" when real world racism, misogyny, and homophobia is celebrated in (what's supposed to be) a toy promo for kids. That stops being a valid excuse when the director specifically rewrites the robot dialogue to make it more "urban;" it's intentional, and doesn't need to be added to a story about giant robots from the planet Cybertron.

    The short of it: I like some parts of this trilogy. But I get why some people outright dismiss these movies.
     
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  10. Vid Electricz

    Vid Electricz Well-Known Member

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    Holy smokes! Smart people DO exist on these boards!

    I agree with you, these problems are NOT exclusive to Michael Bay and the Transformers franchise, but it is quite shocking and off-putting to see such complete and utter trash packaged and presented in such an enormous, far-reaching blockbuster that seems to market to all age groups (kids, teens and adults-more so the two former ) and worst of all, universally accepted(!)

    People SHOULD realize that they are being insulted and scammed with these trashy films, but it's so much easier to take it sitting down I guess. Those movies where you have to pay attention that make you think are SO boring and don't have as many explosions and you can't text message through the whole thing...so of course, we ARE becoming a nation of automatons. Look at the literacy rate, look at the obesity rate!


    The people are watching this stuff will be laughing along mindlessly never once knowing or questioning what they're seeing. They might not know what they're watching, but their brain sure does. This is the subtle way that people are brainwashed so effectively that lets them retain the thought that they are in control of how they think or act/react about the things I've mentioned, when really, after years of brainwashing and desensitization by the media, they don't bother to really question anything. They know what they know and they're proud of that (ie. It's just an action movie where you turn your brain off).
    This goes double for the kids who watch this stuff. Kids are like little sponges that absorb stuff even though they don't know it... and little do they or the parents know that seeds for this way of thinking are planted in their heads.


    Harmless? Maybe. Breeding a world of monosyllabic dullards who can't tell you who Ralph Waldo Emerson is, but CAN tell you all about Optimus Prime and the Transformers. Sad.

    That last part was a little off point...and it's not to say that I don't love sci-fi and fantasy. I quite do, but of the quality and thoughtful variety (The Nolan Batman films, the first two Spider-Man films, Sunshine, Alien, Wall-e, etc...)
     
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  11. Timstuff

    Timstuff Well-Known Member

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    The shot of Rosie Huntington Whitley's ass was reparation for the shot of John Tuturro's ass in Revenge of the Fallen.
     
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  12. Hotwire

    Hotwire Dealin' W/ Demons

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    I think your reading into things a bit too much. What you imply requires that these things be done with intent and malice. Do you seriously think, Michael Bay and other film makers sit around before making a film and try to come up with ways degrade the people that thy are trying to portray?

    I'd like to point out that even James Cameron follows your second rule. Other than Dark Angel, he's never made anything where the lead role was not white. He must be racist.
     
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  13. Vid Electricz

    Vid Electricz Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that most people don't read into things enough...

    ...which is the EXACT problem with Michael Bay and co. He doesn't really think about anything before he does it. He does things "because they look cool" or because it's "funny", wherein the belligerently ignorant, juvenile, frat-boy attitude of entitlement prevails. But you're right, there is no fore-thought of malice, just blissful ignorance.

    Although I wasn't being literal with the smattering of examples I offered up there, I can see they were interpreted as such. I've got no qualms with James Cameron (I haven't seen Avatar, so I don't know), most hollywood films are white-washed anyway. That's a given. The problem, as I believe I explained, is that the secondary, minority characters in Michael Bay movies (and others, to be sure) are plainly used as jokes and stereotypes. That's the big difference.
     
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  14. OoAnd1

    OoAnd1 Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand the point of this thread.

    Michael Bay makes movies with stereotypes and many Americans find these movies very entertaining. That's a fact. There's no arguing against this.

    So what response are you asking for? You want someone to tell you why you're part of the minority that's different? Or are you just venting because you are?
     
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  15. def28

    def28 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I dont think Ive ever taken a Bay movie seriously. I know Bay doesnt.


    So...can someone point me to another giant robot movie with a 250 million budget thats more universally appropriate? Probably not. I saw this movie cause theres giant robots blowing **** up. I cant see that anywhere else. Could care less about everything else attached to this movie.

    U can find something offensive in every movie. If you find something offensive and it really does bother you then dont watch it.Yes Its a comedy for the most part so your not supposed to take any of that stuff seriously. Look at how many comedians use sex and racism in their jokes. Seriously I hear way more racist/sexist songs playing on the radio then whats found in this movie. If someone walked out of the flick and became a sexist/racist/homophobe then there are bigger problems going on with that person. Its not a movie thats trying to teach us how to live our lives. The violence in this movie is also pretty harsh and unapologetic, do you have a problem with that as well? Im sure alot of parents do.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  16. SPider-T0rch

    SPider-T0rch It's been awhile

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    Is there a point to this thread at all? If anything, it seems to me that it was made to try to justify the dislike of the whole movie. Honestly, I don't care if anyone hated DOTM, whatever their reasons are. However, it's like you're trying to put down people who liked the movie by pulling out the racism, jingoism, sexism, and homophobia cards.

    I sincerely doubt that Bay or any director of recent action movies are going out of their way to portray those things on-screen for the audience to mimic. If someone walks out of DOTM and starts to act out the juvenile humor from the movie, then the responsibility is on THAT PERSON, not Bay.

    This can be compared to the issue of violent video games. Parents are so busy pointing fingers at the video game developers for creating these games when they and their children are the ones responsible when they act out what the see in a video game. The creators shouldn't be attacked for what they made. Yes, their games may contain very offensive things but it is never their intent to make people go out and shoot each other.
     
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  17. moviedoors

    moviedoors Well-Known Member

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    How do you figure? What's going on beneath the surface is going to work its way into any artists work, whether its intentional or not.
     
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  18. Vid Electricz

    Vid Electricz Well-Known Member

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    Projecting much? I don't need any kind of validation. Nor am I asking for any kind of response in particular. If you read my initial post, you'd see that I would hope this would spark some intelligent discussion. A few people have contributed quite well so far...

    I really love your whole, "it is what it is...might as well just bend over and take it." attitude.

    What's the point of any thread on these boards? These aren't praise boards. The topics I brought up are just as valid for discussion as "What was Megatron's master plan?", if not more so.
     
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  19. Vid Electricz

    Vid Electricz Well-Known Member

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    This is barely worth answering to, as it seems you didn't read/grasp the initial post.

    Is there a point to any thread at all? As far as I can see, this is the only one looking at the underlying messages in the film. I realize these films have a lot of supporters, but there's no need to be so defensive about it.


    Yes, it's true that video games, music and movies have long been the perfect scapegoat for parents and teachers. The fact of the matter is, these violent games, while they might not be exactly hurting anyone per se, they sure aren't helping anyone either. Some people are more violent than others (always have been, always will be), but out society doesn't need the unnecessary encouragement, in my opinion. How many school shooting do you think there were in the 1950's?
     
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  20. PowersOfMind

    PowersOfMind Well-Known Member

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    I won't deny the truth of this, however you seem to be looking down your nose at people who are entertained by this and other films like it.

    This I happen to agree with. Bay has this T&A fixation,that's evident in a few of his films, though I think in this one it was a bit more noticable. As a woman, it made me feel slightly uncomfortable, but there were serveral other aspects of the film I enjoyed.

    Blatantly racist buck-toothed Robots?

    The problem I have with this us such: I think its the person viewing is the one with the problem. As a black.person i

    -Jingoism: America is the best and the military is #1. English, dude, English.

    -Homophobia: "You gonna go cry to your boyfriend? *****!" There's plenty more where that came from. Needless to say, these movies are riddled with the kind of sophomoric, juvenile macho-man, tough guy behavior that only the most ignorant among us (and little kids who don't know any better) buy in to.


    But it's all so FUNNY! Right? So if you don't like it, you're just too uptight!

    *Yawn*




    Since these boards seem to be crawling with people who absolutely love these movies, I fully expect the response of:

    "Lighten up. Not everything needs to be politically correct and "Disney-fied" Blah, blah blah, pus*syfication of America, blah, blah, blah."

    Actually, no. The problem with brainless movies like these is that they endorse and perpetuate negative stereotypes and outright mocking of sexes, races and behaviors that you don't identify with- and of course, the behaviors you are meant to identify with are those of the hero. The promotion of ignorant bliss all disguised as a good fun action romp!)

    People should really be insulted by this movie. Well, not by the movie itself, but by the attitudes of the film makers that they can just churn out any tripe and you'll gobble it up greedily.

    +10 points for the response:

    "Dude, it's just a movie. Chill." or

    "It's just an action movie dude, you're supposed to turn off your brain and enjoy it for what it is."

    Both awful responses for accepting this hateful garbage as entertainment.

    predictable. Anyone got an actual response? I'd love if this could encourage some discussion.[/QUOTE]
     
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  21. PowersOfMind

    PowersOfMind Well-Known Member

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    I won't deny the truth of this, however you seem to be looking down your nose at people who are entertained by this and other films like it.

    This I happen to agree with. Bay has this T&A fixation,that's evident in a few of his films, though I think in this one it was a bit more noticable. As a woman, it made me feel slightly uncomfortable, but there were serveral other aspects of the film I enjoyed. There are plenty of movies that objectify women, yet there are many that don't.

    Blatantly racist buck-toothed robots?

    The problem I have with this is such: I think the person viewing is the one with the problem. That's not to say that there aren't moments when I sit and think something may skirt or cross the line into racism.

    As a African-American I don't get why people automatically fly to the idea that the jive-talking robots are black. I don't know any black people that speak that way. I know there are those that do, but they don't make up the majority. Where does that come from? It's internal I think. Robots aren't defined by race on human terms, so why that specific designation? Unless you already have a pre-coceived notion of how blacks speak, why do you designate the idiot robot as black? To me that speaks to the idea that already ligers in the back of your mind.

    As for black men existing as peripheral characters: well in an overstuffed cast like this who isn't a peripheral character.

    If we were dealing with a smaller, more concise cast, on a definitivly more consise movie, I could get behind that.

    Bay loves his country and the military, deal with it. Again I think this is the wrong movie for you to use this argument on. In films where the military is supposed to pull out all the stops to protect itself and the country it hails to, of course they're going to appear more awesome than is necessary.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  22. Rock Sexton

    Rock Sexton Well-Known Member

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    Trust me, Michael Bay is a shallow individual to begin with so his movies are just a reflection of that.
     
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  23. Rock Sexton

    Rock Sexton Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure you going to get "intelligent" debate from people who liked the movie, considering the subject matter you listed that is littered all over these TF movies.

    Remember their whole argument is, "It's a summer blockbuster! Shut off your brain! Laugh!" ...... that essentially is the essence of Michael Bay - mindlessness.
     
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  24. roach

    roach I am the night

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    While you have brought up some good points i think you are using them to rake coals over Michael Bay. He didnt invent these things and wont be the last to use them.
    Name one big budget movie that didnt objectify women in one way or another?
    Name one where a minority was the lead?
    Name one that didnt feature an masculine, macho-tough guy???
     
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  25. Snare

    Snare Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like the original poster is finding sexism, racism and the other things listed, where they don't exist. If you have enough of an agenda, you'll find them anywhere. Chill out and have fun at the movies, then maybe you won't be so uptight.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011

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