Snarky Behavior

Transformers: Exactly as Much as Met My Eye

July 6, 2007 · 1 Comment

Today’s big “F-you” goes to director Michael Bay.

Really, way to go. You managed to take something I loved (Transformers) and put your dirty, cheap, Armageddony smudge prints all over it.

And even though I had wasted $20 in the past on your movies (Armageddon and Pearl Harbor), I gave you the benefit of the doubt. Even when people were claiming you had made quite obviously the worst summer blockbuster of all time, I held hope that I might still enjoy your movie. After all, Steven Spielberg was the executive producer! Surely he wouldn’t put his highly-valued lipstick brand on a proverbial pig?

(No really, click that last link. You will laugh. See what I did there?)

I really don’t want to waste too much breath on your travesty of a movie, but how could you make a live-action film about a cartoon and not include all of the things that made the cartoon watchable? Would it have killed you to use the Transformer sound effect more often? How about giving the robots a personality? Was that too much to ask?

The movie started off so strongly, but just tumbled off a cliff at about the 30-minute mark. Boo, sir. Boo.

Moving on…

Looking back over the last 15 years or so, I find the genre of movies released over July 4th to be a really fascinating insight into the psyche of American mass-culture. Here’s a list, since 1991:

  • 1991: Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  • 1996: Independence Day
  • 1997: Men in Black
  • 1998: Armageddon
  • 2002: Men in Black 2
  • 2003: Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines
  • 2004: Spiderman 2
  • 2005: War of the Worlds
  • 2007: Transformers

Now, I know I really shouldn’t include Armageddon as a “movie,” per-se, since it was really a statement of art — Michael Bay using an entire roll of Super 8mm film to wipe his ass. But EVERY SINGLE other one of these flicks (with the exception of Spiderman 2) is about a technologically advanced alien species from outer-space (or the future) hell-bent on destroying the Earth.

Isn’t that the greatest measure of our collective insecurity as Americans? In all seriousness, do you think there’s a remote possibility that Osama bin Laden watched Independence Day and thought: “You know what? They’d really shit their pants if we blew up an iconic building!”

And isn’t an even greater measure of our arrogance? That we are such the super-power that we can’t type-cast ourselves in any eminently dangerous scenario without thinking outside the boundaries of our own solar system, or time-space continuum?

What happened to the Dr. Strangelove and Citizen Kane insecurities? Is the specter of nuclear holocaust, an infinitely more realistic possibility than alien invasion, that “played out”? Is terrorism “too real”? Does “art” no longer imitate life?

Just something to consider.


I failed to mention this in my list, but I also found it amusing that the only big-budget movie released in competition with the July 4th blockbusters was 2003’s Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde. I’m pretty proud that I saw that instead of T-3 (despite Arnold announcing he was running for Governator).

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