Transformers: Less Than Meets the Eye

Roger Ebert's review of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen appears to be considerably more entertaining than the film itself:

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a dog-like robot humping the leg of the heroine. Such are the meager joys. If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination.

The plot is incomprehensible. The dialog of the Autobots, Decepticons and Otherbots is meaningless word flap. Their accents are Brooklyese, British and hip-hop, as befits a race from the distant stars. Their appearance looks like junkyard throw-up. They are dumb as a rock. They share the film with human characters who are much more interesting, and that is very faint praise indeed.

Ebert writes more about the movie on his blog:

The day will come when Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen will be studied in film classes and shown at cult film festivals. It will be seen, in retrospect, as marking the end of an era. Of course there will be many more CGI-based action epics, but never again one this bloated, excessive, incomprehensible, long (149 minutes) or expensive (more than $200 million). Like the dinosaurs, the species has grown too big to survive, and will be wiped out in a cataclysmic event, replaced by more compact, durable forms. ...

The action scenes can perhaps best be understood as abstract art. The Autobots and Decepticons, which are assembled out of auto parts, make no functional or aesthetic sense. They have evolved into forms too complex to be comprehended. When two or more of the Bots are in battle, it is nearly impossible to distinguish one from the other. You can't comprehend most of what they're doing, except for an occasional fist flying, a built-in missile firing, or the always dependable belching of flames.

I'm surprised that Ebert thinks the film will make a huge amount of money. My kids saw the first Transformers but have shown absolutely no interest in seeing them again, thus robbing me of several opportunities to see Megan Fox running in slow-motion. Films that feed dad's nostalgia for childhood don't go over well in my house. No amount of pleading on my part could get the family to see Speed Racer.


Ebert's wrong about this being "the last of its kind", and you're wrong about the level of success. From the LA Times:

Revenge of the Fallen' rakes in $387 million in global ticket sales and sets a record in the U.S. and Canada. A final gross of more than $800 million is all but certain for the live-action film.

And that's before DVD/iTunes/On Demand. The success of this film guarantees a steady crop of like films. I can't speak to the film itself, not having seen it - but my 15 year old daughter and her friends loved it.

That article is so interesting. Thanks. I learn a lot. But aside from that breaking report, let me share something new concern to you. Bernie Madoff will live in infamy long after he passes into the next world. The name of Bernie Madoff will go down in the list of history's greatest crooks, along with Allen Sanford and Richard Nixon for running a Ponzi scheme that totaled over $45 billion. In a rare moment for an American court, a harsh sentence was given a white collar criminal, as Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, which for the 71 year old means that he will die incarcerated. His attorney pled for a 12 year sentence, but the judge decided that the size of the fraud and scant cooperation from Bernie Madoff meant a harsh sentence was warranted, which no cash advance can repeal.

You should get your family to reconsider on Speed Racer: it was actually a pretty good movie, despite all of the cgi awesomeness.

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