July 4, 2007

Transform This, Bitch

No, that's not a quote from Transformers but it should have been. Apart from that slight mishap, I gotta say Transformers is kind of amazing. It's easily Michael Bay's best film - granted, not exactly a hard task but I do think he gets a bad rap sometimes when there are other directors, more prestigious directors, who make films and get praised every time purely because their movies are about depressed self-destructive people on drugs and not cars that turn into giant robots. Anyway, apart from this being Bay's best film, it's also:

The best movie in which a main character is called "Bumblebee"

The best movie in which the MacGuffin is moved from the desert to a highly-populated city because it's better to watch skyscrapers get smashed then cacti (I assume).

The best movie in which someone's character introduction are the words "I. Am. Megatron. !!!!!!!!!."

The best movie in which I felt empathy for a car that turns into a robot.

The best movie that features a discussion about masturbation and how it can be renamed "Sam's Happy Time" to dodge embarassment.

So, yes, Transformers is quite good. It's much much much better than Spider-Man 3 and I'm sure I'd much rather sit down and rewatch this than Pirates 3. It's actually, wait for it, fun! It's hard to believe that somebody tried to make a movie about cars than turn into robots and didn't decide to make it about their internal struggle and dilemmas. "But I don't wanna be a yellow camero! This is doing serious danger to my gender imbalance issues. My therapist will hear about this tomorrow!"

No, there are LAUGHS! There are AMAZING SPECIAL EFFECTS! There are TOUCHING MOMENTS BETWEEN HUMANS AND CARS THAT TURN INTO ROBOTS. There is even an incredibly bizarre moment when the president's face is obscured FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON!

I must say though, those special effects? WOW! I know it's not cool these days to get pumped up and geekified over special effects ("omigod that 'splosion was so cool!!!1") but DAMN! They are Am.Aze.Ing. And I don't split the word "amazing" up into a ridiculous-looking grammatically-incorrect turn of phrase very often. You know how they say the best visual effects are when you can't tell they're there? Well, it's quite obvious that they're there right in front of my eyes, but they look so freakin' real! There were some moments where I could have sworn they were using real models. There are even moments in the second half of the film where I (and my friend, for that matter) were feeling actual empathy for the cars that turn into robots. One scene inparticular between Bumblebee was sad and quite emotional. It's like the end of Terminator 2 but with chryogenic freezing instead of dissolving into molten steel.

The best scenes are actually the more quiet scenes that are just the Shia LeBeouf character corresponding with the cars that turn into robots. The scene at his character's place as he looks for the secondary MacGuffin is particularly well-done. Great humour there, too - from the humans and the cars that turn into robots. "Sam's Happy Time" is clearly the most amazing line of dialogue since anything in Casablanca. And, you know what? Casablanca doesn't have cars that turn into robots. Just so you know.

Lastly, the cast is generally fine. Josh Duhamel is basically given the biggest cliche possible and told to act accordingly, people like Jon Voight and Anthony Anderson do what they need to. Megan Fox only really shows any attitude towards the end. Rachael Taylor makes the transition from soap to star quite well, actually. And it's true what I always say, I only ever notice and Australian accent when it's surrounded by American ones. Shia LeBeouf? Well, I really like this guy. He's incredibly handsome and he has his bumbling-idiot routine down to a tee. I'm glad he's becoming famous because I've liked him since Holes. Of course, it could be that I have a lil crush on the guy, but whatever. I at least believe him as a High Schooler as opposed to the muscle queens we're routinely meant to suspend belief for.

So, in conclusion: Transformers has cars that turn into robots and I'd say that it's got a couple of Oscar nods in it's future too. That's all, thank you. B+


J.D. said...

I love your reviews. I think you're insane though lol. Was it fun repeating cars that turn into robots 8 times? No mention of the writing, or should it even matter? Damn it! Thanks to you I want to see it now! DAMN! (lol)

Kamikaze Camel said...

I did mention the writing! I said I really liked the scenes where it's just the characters interacting with the cars that turn into robots.

I started that "cars that turn into robots" thing at another blog because all the people posting were all "how can a Michael Bay movie be any good?" and while I wasn't necessarily saying it will be good I just thought that any movie in which cars turn into robots surely can't be a complete waste of time.

But, then again, some people just can't have a fun time at the movies. It's sort of impossible for them because they spend too much time picking holes in the fact that cars can't actually turn into robots in reality. :/

Transformers is just super fun. A great "summer" (it's winter here) popcorn flick that doesn't take itself seriously at all (it is about cars that turn into robots after all) and it's sole projectory is to blow shit up and blow it up with style.

Also, Shia's a cutey.

Rose said...

Lol, I saw this today. And I freakin LOVED it. The movie itself wasn't very good but like, it had SO MANY money shots that I didn't care.

Loads of fun

doug r said...

Yeah, that Oz accent thing is true. Noticed it near the beginning of Matrix Reloaded, that one security guard with the line something like "Sleep on your own time". You can tell it was hard for him not to add "mate".

rural juror said...

yes...shia is adorable.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Rose, agreed that it's not exactly the most thought-provoking and intelligent movie to ever grace the cinema screen but, as you say, there are just so many bits where I was taken aback. I did not except it (perhaps that's why I'm so positive towards it).

I was utterly shocked at that shot of the transformers battling on that freeway overpass/underpass thing. Why wasn't that used in the trailers?!

God. I'm still pumped. I kind of can't believe it.

I also, am not sure whether to give the movie credit for having an entire 20 minutes plus set at a dam and not having it explode and have all the water rush out or to say they wasted a big opportunity. On the one hand they didn't go with the obvious so that's good, but on the other hand the obvious could have been really really cool.

I know the movie has flaws (lots of them) but I'll be damned if I just don't give a hoot about them. When movies are this fun then I sort of don't care in the slightest.

Emma said...

Words cannot describe how into Shia LaBeouf I am. For that alone, I will venture out the cinema and watch a film about cars turning into robots.

zooplah said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that way about Shia. I just like the skinny nerdy guys, it seems. Maybe it's because I'm fat and unintelligent, so I'm just attracted to guys that are what I'll never be. However, I still think Josh is gorgeous (despite not being nerdy).