Discussion in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' started by Vid Electricz, Jul 3, 2011.
I guess not.
I and many others will also happily discuss the use of storytelling tools in movies, but there's a time and a place (and a topic) for those things.
You want to discuss themes and messages and analyze a film, go ahead, but pick a film that encourages that sort of thing. Transformers isn't and shouldn't be that sort of thing.
Also, keep your film critic elite attitude to yourself pal. Like it or not, people actually do go to movies for the entertainment value, and judging them on that because they don't follow your ideas only casts light on yourself.
There is nothing wrong with having sexy and seductive women in the movies. Was the first scene with Rosie necessary? No. Was it awesome? Absolutely.
No. White people were also treated as a joke. And Epps was treated seriously. This arguement doesn't really hold. Also, if you're offended that black men are treated as comic relief and being stoic, what exactly are you looking for?
This movie takes place in America and involves the military. Again, what are you looking for? A scene where American soldiers kill innocent civilians just to balance things out?
I don't remember this line. I don't remember any instance of homophobia in all three films. It's a bit of a stretch to say these films promote homophobia based on that one line.
No, people really shouldn't be offended by these movies. Of all the problems with these movies, what you've mentioned are the lest of them.
For someone who is complaining about the "hate" this film promotes, you sure are good at dishing out insults. You seem to think everybody should have the same tastes in movies are you do. You seriously underestimate audiences. In fact it's a little insulting that you think movie goers are too stupid to realize what's going on on the screen. This may shock you, but a lot of guys don't get offended by seeing a hot chick in tight pants straddle a motorcycle.
Also, did you pay to see this movie? If so, you really aren't helping your cause by adding to the box office numbers.
You're right. Next time Bay is making a movie, he should really sit back and think, "Should I put this in the movie, or will it offend Vid Electricz".
Exactly. The first time I heard the twins I thought they sounded like back woods rednecks. The same with Jar Jar Binks. I find it funny how people heard these characters and though, "Wait a second. These people sound black." It's almost a subconscious racism projected by the viewer, which they turn around and claim it's racism by the film maker.
There's nothing wrong with going to the movies for "entertainment value." At all. I'm not trying to scorn anyone who does. I should have worded my quoted post more sensitively. It was extremely late, and I guess I was a bit punchy. I apologize to anyone who was offended.
With that said, however, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Vid Electricz wanting to discuss these concepts here. He didn't try to fill Review or Box Office threads with these topics. He created a new thread for those interested in analyzing the films from a sexist/racist, etc. contextual point of view. Why should his thread be bombarded with posts telling him to take his opinions elsewhere. If he wants to intellectualize the Transformers movies, go for it. It might to be fun to see where the discussion leads.
Also, any film is open for analysis. They're the product of an artistic vision - in this case Michael Bay's - and thus are completely open to interpretation. One of the best critical essays of last year was written about Top Gun. You may not like that, but it's true. Dozens of academic articles have been written applying auteur theory to the works of Michael Bay. There are common themes and artistic choices throughout his entire filmography. To dissuade someone else from examining the potential negative impacts of them is just as rude as his inappropriate broad generalizations of fans of the franchise. Both sides need to be more respectful.
Why is there no room for different types of discourse when it comes to Transformers movies?
Au contraire, my friend, the only people that are smug around here are the ones that insist you be a brain dead shill and not question anything. Then if you do question it, they insist you go read shakespeare, because clearly those are the only two options. That's smug. Calling people out on their bulls*it, well, it may make you uncomfortable and defensive because it's true, but it's not smug or self-righteous. This is all just a continuation of the trend where it's become "cool" to be ignorant.
Dude, you can call me an elitist or whatever you'd like, but the truth is that I'm a realist. If you love these movies so much that you feel compelled to defend them to death, go for it. If you feel insulted because I've merely called this movie on all it's bull...well, that's because you buy into it.
If you'd prefer to live life wearing rose colored glasses, that's entirely your option.
This is the best post I've ever read. You couldn't be more right if you tried.
I love it how everyone blames Bay for the way the Transformers franchise turned out, when in fact Speilburg is as much to blame as Bay is.
He's the one who twisted Bay's arm into directing this in the first place, after Bay openly admitted he didn't like TF or want to do it. Speilburg, as a well respected director as he is, should have known better...
If you're viewing of the movie can be greatly enhanced with weed and alcohol, like summer Blockbusters, you probably shouldn't put this much thought into them.
Well, he's right. It is a boring attitude.
I guess The Dark Knight and Inception were summer blockbusters that you weren't supposed to put any thought into either.
There was potential for this to be a great series, but that potential was flushed down the toilet in favor of cheap, mindless thrills and juvenile gags pandering to the lowest common denominator.
"It's Transformers dude. What were you expecting, Shakespeare?"
Batman may have produced some great(er) works of fiction, but Transformers always has and always will be mindless entertainment. It's a somewhat unique premise that's ultimate plot is very predictable and redundant. Giant robots start war, war continues, Autobots and Decepticons fight for resources, war comes to Earth...lather, rinse, repeat. I know you think because the characters were memorable to you at five it was brilliant, but it wasn't. There wasn't some intricate psychology behind Optimus and Megatron's rivalry. It was simple good versus simple evil. You're making the same mistake so many nerds make: they assume everyone else recognizes their properties brilliance and assumes because they see it, it must be there. It's a little silly. I mean c'mon, Optimus is a caricature of John Wayne. Jazz and Blaster rhyme and jive talk. Bumblebee is a loveable little love bug. Most of this is colorful nonsense. None of this is the breeding ground for great Sci-Fi like Inception.
So no, trying to appreciate something for it is rather than what you think it is is definitely not lazy.
First off, what offended me was your comment on how, since this is the Transformers section, you were not expecting any intelligent replies. Saying that implies that you feel that because we are fans of Transformers, that it somehow impacts our intelligence. It does not, and it is rather arrogant of you to think so.
Second, I never once made any of the comments you suggested to me as being smug, so I'm unsure why you threw that at me. Nor am I, "defending this movie to the death," but rather disagreeing with your accusations.
Third, the reason I called you an elitist, is because you seem to be looking sharply down your nose at anyone who does not share your opinion. The points you make are opinions, not facts. Therefore, treating them as such, is an elitist thing to do.
Lastly, I'm curious why had nothing to say to my counter arguments. I imagine you have a good reason, but dodging them, as it seems you've done, only makes you look like more of a snob.
Okay, so if it's all "mindless entertainment" and "colourful nonsense," why do all three films feature either spoken references or full-on visual allusions to 9/11? Why does DotM make a blatant reference to the 1986 Challenger explosion? It is more than possible to make light, silly blockbusters without dragging real world tragedies into the mix.
It's that approach to filmmaking that makes Bay such a fascinating, and problematic, artist.
I agree 100%. Spielberg has bizarrely gotten away scott-free - and with millions of dollars - despite being so closely associated with the series. While the content of the films has been steered predominantly by Bay's sensibilities, it is strange that Spielberg, a sensitive and respectful filmmaker if ever there was one, has been so hands off. Back in the 80s his produced works (Poltergeist, Gremlins, Back to the Future) all shared his humanistic slant. I would love to hear his reasoning behind the content of the Transformers films. Frankly, I'd be amazed if he's actually enjoyed a single one.
I know the part in ROTF where they mention 9/11, but where is the reference in the other two.
Actually, since this is a Transformers movie, wouldn't the destruction of the ship be a reference to the episode of the show where the Autobots are forced to leave Earth and everyone thinks their ship is destroyed?
Batman was never high art and Inception isn't great sci-fi. There's not much to Batman other than guy dresses up like bat to fight crazy criminals and there's not much to Inception other than a heist film mixed with reality based dreams. Nolan's films seem tend to make people feel smart with very little actual substance.
Why can't you have a movie about robots with souls fighting, a worker class versus a military class? One type of machine fights for tyranny and the other for freedom. Add a little Ghost in the Shell, cyberpunk and space opera and you could have a great sci-fi trilogy. Why does it have to be mindless and stupid like a Schumacher Batman movie?
The other two are visual references. In the first, it's the scene depicting Megatron, in jet form, crashing through a high rise. In DotM it's the crumpling of the Chicago tower.
Now, again, those two instances could obviously be waved off as making a mountain out of a molehill. However, it's the method in which Bay frames his shots and depicts the action that's troubling. Obviously, art is open to interpretation, but - for myself, and several others - these two sequences read like very intentional visual allusions. After all, Bay is attempting to sell disaster movie scenarios, and it's a very easy shorthand technique to contrast on-screen catastrophes with real world ones.
Now, I'm not against directors evoking 9/11 in popcorn fare. Spielberg pulled it off extremely well in War of the Worlds, and Danny Boyle with 28 Days Later. It can be done. But there's a crass sensationalism and lack of humanity to Bay's technique that I find distasteful.
As for the shuttle explosion, it may reference an episode of the show, but it's shot eerily similar to the Challenger explosion. I was honestly a bit taken aback when I saw it. Again, it's Bay's approach I take issue with, not the actual act of showing an exploding shuttle.
See, that's such a lazy attitude. I've actually never been a Transformers fan (cartoon or otherwise), but I can see when there is potential in a property to be great, if treated correctly. Heck, most anything has potential, but we still get stuff like "Smurfs". *sigh*
The way you described Transformers: Giant robot ware, rinse, repeat, etc... You could easily say the same thing about Batman: Guy in bat-suit fights colorful bad guys, rinse, repeat. Pretty good excuse for a mindless action flick, right?
Joel Schumacher showed how to do it WRONG. He dumbed it down and made it for the lowest common denominator. Christopher Nolan was creative and innovative and saw the potential in the character to do something great...and he did. All it takes is a little insight and thoughtfulness.
I still offer TDK and Inception as the gold standard for a summer blockbuster thus far (which isn't to say I don't enjoy action movies from time to time, but those were pretty great for what they were).
Take a look at the movie Wall-E. It's about robots, right? The first half of the movie has ZERO dialogue with two robots interacting and it was still interesting. It's called storytelling. Pixar does it well, sub-par film makers (Michael Bay) haven't got a clue. I'm not saying that Transformers should have been like Wall-E, but perhaps Bay should have taken a note from Pixar regarding how to tell a good, insightful story with characters you actually care about.
BINGO BANGO. You guys are speaking my language.
Where's the creativity and heart in these films?
Answer: There isn't any.
Yeah, that was rude of me to go for the ad hominem like that, but I really did try to make it explicitly clear in the initial post what I was talking about. Just looking at the responses, it's clear that many posters didn't quite understand that and instead interpreted it as an attack.
I can go through each of your counter arguments if you'd like me too, but to be honest (and I'm not insulting you here), the justifications and reasoning you've listed are only excuses validating the reason for the existence of sexism, racism, etc... for example, you comment about sexism:
Sexism. Sorry, pal, but sex sells. If that's a problem for you, you're going to be pissed off for a long time. Hollywood has been casting eye candy since they started, and they will continue to do so until the general public gets it through their skulls that looks aren't everything.
Yes, sex does sell. Our culture is obsessed with it. No one can deny that. It's not even that looks aren't everything (Most movie stars ARE good looking after all), the problem I have is the blatant objectification of women in these films that, like it or not, reinforces in many a pre-adolescent's (and men in general) minds that women are to be viewed as shiny trophies to be won or lost. I see it all the time, even today, Men who think they're James Bond talking about and treating women like pieces of meat. It would be stupid to say that all men are pigs, but they buy into the kind of mindless group-think that this movie promotes, then they are. It's not to say that movies are to blame, 'cause we all know that's not true, but along with a zillion other things, they are a contributing factor in how our culture operates.
I can tell, how these things make sense in the framework of the world that Michael bay has set up, but I'm trying to look at things from outside the box. Questioning why these things are the way they are and why more people don't care.
So yeah, sorry again for the needless slam.
If you like these things I wouldn't reccommend Transformers, it's a pretty shallow work of fiction. If Bay tried to make it intelligent the end result would be so different from Transformers you'd hate it more. Hell the plot to the last film was pretty much identical to two cartoon episodes from the eighties.
My wife is my trophy and I am very proud to have her. I won the heart of a woman who loves me, and it would pain me deeply to lose her.
This is what I think they were getting at. The fact that Rosie happens to hot, just like most actresses in Hollywood, is beside the point. Besides, what man would not be proud to have a hot girl on his arm, or girl with a hot guy?
Keep going with my excuses.
Didn't you say our society needs to realize that looks aren't everything? I've never thought of my significant other as a trophy that I won and therefore owned before, so we'll just leave that.
I presume your wife is a fully realized person with hopes, plans and dreams and a great personality, right? I'm sure she's got quirks and negative qualities as well. That's the kind of stuff that equals a fully realized character. And I realize that's a lot to ask of a character from a "mindless action flick", but others have done, so that shouldn't be an excuse.
The fact that the actress in this movie is an underwear model says it all. The fact that she's "hot" is not beside the point, it is exactly the point of her existing in this movie. This woman was never meant to have any characteristics other than "be hot, be sexy, be seductive...uh, be hot while running from explosions".
She's obviously and unabashedly there for guys to ogle.
Clarice Starling from Silence of the lambs, off the top of my head, is a well-developed female character, Marion from Raiders of the lost ark (from Spielberg, natch). Not a slinky underwear model who can only pout at the camera and look sexy to fulfill guys male power fantasies.
Because then you'd have another nerdy trilogy like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings.
Why can't us mindless d-bags have our own sci-fi trilogy?
I don't own her, but, as I said, I did win her heart. Cherish and treasure her, as she does me. We are very proud to have each other. For the record, she felt my statement was very sweet.
Now, please, move on to my other rebuttals. I'm real curious about the jingoism one.