Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nog Sees Bay's Giant Fighting (Racist?) Robots!

A sloppy and incoherent film deserves a similar response. For our reader(s), we present a transcript of myself and Dr.X discussing the film on Facebook, followed by three quotes from other critics! Enjoy!

Dr. X sez:

Critics be damned! T:ROTF ain't bad. It's not HAMLET, but it is by no means an abomination. Bay might learn how to use music a bit better, but, it's good dumb fun. I WILL see it again.

Nog at 3:27pm June 24

You're a glutton for punishment, brother. I'll stick with the critics and call it incoherent and offensive (the amount of cash behind it, moreso than the racism). But I'm certainly glad I viewed it once just to marvel that it exists.

Dr. X at 4:49pm June 24
Dude, the visuals on that thing were sick! Admittedly, not I understand what that Green Day comment was all about, but, really, who cares about any of that. I could have slept through the human parts (and hopefully they will excise them in #3!).

Also, I think it probably works better in Non-IMAX -- the size/ aspect ratio is part of what, I think, makes everyone have trouble discerning robot from robot. I know, from where I was sitting, the thing was beautiful!

And, honestly, besides the fact that they had kenny doing the voices -- were the dumbass Twins any more or less racist than things we see in all mediums? I'd go with shoddy caricatures and/ or Jar-Jaring... but, not racist. Stupid, almost racist, but not racist.

Plotwise, well, Ehren wrote it terribly and got top line on it, but it actually followed the cartoon/ comic perfectly. It was like any and every episode! So, to even a person who has seen one episode -- it makes sense. And, really, who else is seeing this?

Dr. X at 4:52pm June 24

But, yeah -- I mean, honestly -- is it a GOOD movie... in the sense of being critical about a filmic narrative and all apparatuses involved? Not so much. If this were vegas -- I'd give it a push. If this were At the Movies, the side hand.

But, is this a summer event flick that pushed jingoistic notions of AMERICA to the level of ridiculousness that only comes with the words "A MIchael Bay Film" at the front? Oh yah, man! And I loves it! And I would have him cut all that jingoistic military love -- but it's how he gets all his access.

--Even Bay's gotta pay the bills!

Nog at 5:11pm June 24

Yeah, I ended up seeing it local, non-IMAX, and much of it looks good, I'll give it that (although personally I felt some moments even within the big battles looked shoddy...I saw some ruins topple that looked like a shot out of Cecil be Demille!). And I still can't tell what's happening when the transformations occur or the robots clash!

I suspect there are a fair amount of people like me who enjoy a summer spectacle but don't know a damn thing about Transformers and wouldn't mind a marginally coherent story to go along with their shenanigans (although some parts I admittedly zoned out on...I don't even know how the parents suddenly arrived in the middle of the final battle!). At the same time, I do enjoy Turturro shouting about how no one will destroy the sun on his watch!

And I think a valid argument of racism could be made. But I prefer to slam it for other reasons!

Dr. X at 5:38pm June 24

I can see in the outward visualizing of the twins elements where people could say: Damn, that's almost minstrelsy -- but I offer this counter-argument: Bay did it with Jazz in the first movie, he did it with the Twins here... and, how is it any different than what Spike Lee does? Or Eddie Murphy with the PJs? Or The Boondocks? Or Dave Chappelle?

Answer -- he's white and they're black. And therein lies the double standard. The ownership BS doesn't hold for me. I mean -- if people wanna hate on the Twins (which is perfectly valid), they could hate them because they're stupid, obnoxious, don't actually DO anything... and essentially Jar Jar up the joint. Hell, Lucas didn't even take this much smack for Jar Jar!

And why does no one care that the THREE women-bots got less screen time than the dude from the office!? How does 'women-bots' even work?... Read More

Oh, and the parents got kidnapped in France when Soundwave found them by cell!

Dr. X at 5:39pm June 24

I did not much follow that entire sequence of event, myself -- except to say that Bay still thinks that the French equal: snails, mimes, and words no one can pronounce.

--Somehow, I think Peter Sellers got it a bit better. (But Peter Cullen somehow brings sincerity to this whole mess through his voice acting!)

Nog at 5:45pm June 24

And why is Rainn Wilson in the film at all?!

But Spike and Chappelle and Boondocks work with negative stereotypes for a purpose! (while Eddie's fat black lady movies and Tyler Perry's stuff do veer into mistrelsy, I'd say). Surely Bay realizes (and doesn't care?) that most audiences are going to associate those robots with many of the most offensive African-American stereotypes? (not to mention a few China jokes, Jew jokes, Hispanic jokes...I just can't ascertain if it's pure racism, insensitivity, anger toward critics, etc). But it sure is fun to bitch about! (also, what a brilliant moment where we see a poster of Bad Boys II on the wall!).

Nog at 5:50pm June 24

Also, was it just me, or did everyone seem to read most of their lines extra fast, especially the unecessary roommate character (perhaps because Bay wanted to get back to the shootouts!).

Dr. X at 5:50pm June 24


Methinks you've drunk some of that St. Anna Kool-Ade *laughs*. And the PJ's were one ofthe worst ideas ever conceived (and I still watch that crap every Friday and Saturday night!). I'm trying to remember the comic that protested because someone wanted to put him in a dress saying it was the last bastion of acceptable race-baiting.

Bay is not a thinker. He is barely cognizant of any higher functions. ... Read More

Bay is a boom boom man -- he brings the things that go EXPLODEY! And here's the thing about Bay and his non-PC ways... he realizes that 95% percent of people watching this thing (you know, the ones not on the net) don't give a @#!+ or are sick of PC... so, he went as non PC as one could get! And, admittedly, were the twins any worse than what we see on BET? Or from 1991 - now in rap videos? Or on Cribs?

I'm just not convinced he's doing anything worse than anyone else who exploits bling culture!

--See, look at the intellectual debate T2 has spurred!

Dr. X at 5:54pm June 24

I think they actually probably read their lines as well as they could be read, but, between the 'scoring' (and I use that word liberally when all you do is play the same Linkin Park bit and Green Day's "21 Guns" over and over and OVER again) and the actual quality of the dialogue... they probably did as well as they could.

I mean -- if I am going to bemoan something: why is Megan Fox even present? He only quasi-exploited her (by Bay standards) in her opening scene. She brings nothing to the story and couldn't act her way out of her...white jeans? Do people still wear white jeans?

I get that she's candy... but, she wasn't even used properly as bling bling eye candy... she was just kinda there... 'Acting.' It made no sense. ... Read More

--At least make her dance or something if they're gonna exploit her!

Nog at 6:31pm June 24

Yeah, you're probably right about the PC thing (although it's more scary and amusing to think that Bay's a dangerous racist who's tricked Hollywood into giving him a huge mouthpiece for his ignorance).

If you take out Foxy, you'd lose a few audience members (namely, me).

And here are other three other thoughts from the critics:

Peter Travers: "I know there are still 17 months to go, but I'm thinking Transformers 2 has a shot at the title Worst Movie of the Decade."

Roger Ebert: "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."

And my personal favorite is Quint from AICN: "...each one [action scene] felt like the choreography was based on a 10 year old holding up two Transformer toys and mashing them together over and over while making crash sounds with his mouth."


  1. Sommers MD (Witty, huh?)June 25, 2009 at 11:40 AM

    Where's Dr. X?

    All I see is the genius nonsuch of two *almost* scholars talking about a movie I have prepared a treatment for the Third Sequel!!

    --Will they take it? Who can say!?! But there will be a third!

  2. . . .Woah. (More after I've seen the thing.)

  3. On second thought, at this point I wonder if I should even bother. I mean, I like special effects spectacles as much as anybody else in the summertime, but. . .I mean, okay, no dancing by Megan Fox? But what about Shia LaBeouf? Does _he_ dance? Is there any dancing in this movie at all?

  4. Oh, any movie deemed potentially the worst of the decade must be seen at once!

    One of the robots dances a little to "I'm So Excited."

  5. Well, I think I'm gonna skip this one. If I saw 20 movies this summer, I'd still not see it. The first one sucked so bad and was so militaristic and cheap in its treatments of emotion, patriotism, and character that I just really feel it is my duty as an American to stay out of the theaters for this one.

    I'll treat it like Gigli and maybe put it in my queue if I ever start feeling curious about how bad it could possibly be.

  6. Good for you, Dr.C, fighting the good fight!

    Unfortunately, I'm part of the problem. I just can't resist seeing these terrible spectacles.

    (but, in my defense, I'll also be giving some cash to worthy films like The Hurt Locker).

  7. Nog, you are what we in the science fiction community refer to as an omnivorous consumer. The omnivorous consumer we most often talk about is an 11-12 year-old, but there are a few people who can utilize this skill at a much greater age.

    I don't hold it against you--I look at it as a sacrifice. You see these movies so I don't have to.

  8. Yep, and it's a huge (and very long) sacrifice whenever Michael Bay makes a film!

  9. Dr. X fanciful consumer!June 27, 2009 at 8:36 AM

    Y'all bitches.

    I'm on round three!

    --I see the movie to make up for those who don't!

  10. But Dr. C is the only one NOT seeing it, judging by the box office.