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the candler blog

Review: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Movies, Reviews

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen StillAs my twitter followers may know, I dragged my bones to the IMAX at 2 am last Wednesday to check out _Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It has taken me longer than usual to sit down and review the film mainly because the airwaves are clouded by so much of the same everywhere. In an effort to speed things along and get the candler blog back on track, I have decided to simply offer up my opinion on the film in short bullet points. Is this a cop out? Yes. Will you forgive me? I hope! _

Is _Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen a good film?_

In short, no. However, it is not the worst film ever. I would say it beats out X-Men Origins: Wolverine for overall watchability. The plot is almost non- existent and clunky at it’s most coherent points. Though the film may have generated an incredible amount of box office receipts, it does not stand out as a great action film to say the least. There are too many characters and the camera is always moving in a manner that makes it impossible to focus on anything. But don’t worry, there is a choice soundtrack to ground your auditory senses at least.

Are there any memorable performances in the film?

Shia LaBeouf proves once again why he deserves the spotlight in studio tentpoles. He is not a great action hero but he has an incredible ability to ease any scene. His comic timing timing is impeccable, and there is no off switch for the sincere laughs he brings. Hand him lemons and he manages to make lemonade time and time again. Megan Fox almost becomes more than a pretty face (read: tuchus), but the script doesn’t give her much chance. John Turturro is a little blander than he was the last go-around, but that can be said across the boards in this sequel.

Are the characters of Skids and Mudflap racist?

Absolutely, but that’s the wrong question to ask. The internet is abuzz with talk of these two “jive-talking” characters.  Why? Because it is easy to make a story out of this issue. The characters are absolutely stereotypes of urban street culture who never do much of anything in the film besides talk. Should you be offended? Hell yes. Is this new? Absolutely not, and I’m not saying this just hearkens back to D.W. Griffith days. Black characters are still maligned to a great extent in Hollywood films, look at, well look at pretty much anything. It seems that the easy target of a summer blockbuster and Michael Bay have simply boiled these emotions over. Great! But to all you writers out there who squawked about this last week, I hope you keep the convo up up in the future and don’t just drop race issues like any other meme.

Is it worth seeing this movie on the IMAX?

Yes. Just like last summer’s The Dark Knight, Revenge features scenes captured on actual IMAX 65mm film. The metallic bots rendered out at that size look gorgeous so it is definitely worth a peek. As with any 35mm to IMAX blowup, you are actually losing picture quality for more than 90% of the film, but at least it will sound amazing in that big ass theater! Also, of the two IMAX specific scenes in the film, neither of them are actually cut 100% IMAX. Believe it or not, while you’re watching these expansive scenes unfold, suddenly there will be 35mm film inter-cut at a different aspect ratio. This is most offensive when the shot that is cut in is fully animation and lasts all of 4 seconds at most. What the hell?! At $200+ million you couldn’t afford to keep the film in one aspect ratio at a time!? Which brings us to the final question…

Is Michael Bay the worst filmmaker/person ever?

Nah, we’ll keep him. His main issue is that he has no regard for cinema. Mr. Bay really just goes ahead and does pretty much whatever he wants. If he sat down and asked himself some very simple questions about whatever film he is making, I imagine his answers would look like this:

Is it a good film? Who cares, it’s entertaining. Am I maybe being a little racist? Nah, I’m not a racist, I have black friends. What will people say about my film in 10 years? It made a lot of money. Does my film have a message? Why would it need one?

You see, I honestly believe that he learned all he needed to a long time ago with The Rock, his best film to date. After that he has been convinced that he can show up and make a great film. I think if he retracted into a smaller action film, maybe a Bad Boys 3, he would find a way to make some sense of it. With all of this noise and hubbub surrounding the Transformers franchise, you get what you pay for: a lot of noise and hubbub.

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