Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Transformers 2 Is Just 2 Much

Because I actually have to work today, I want to keep this short and sour. Seriously, going for a short word count here.

Let me just start of by saying that Transformers 2 is not a good movie. I am, for the most part, a Michael Bay apologist. I don't think any of his movies are QUALITY entertainment, but they are ENTERTAINING. Michael Bay knows how to direct action. He can make a blockbuster, special effects extravaganza. But Transformers 2 was any 2 of his old movies slammed together (like so many giant, alien robots within the film itself) and then turned up to 11.

At two and a half hours, Transformers 2 feels too long by at least a half hour, if not more. There are so many parts that could have been scrapped as they serve absolutely no purpose in the movie (besides earning some laughs at the utter stupidity of the situation). We see dogs humping, Transformers humping, a mother whacked out on pot brownies, Transformer testicles, Transformer farting, racially-stereotyped Transformers...the list goes on and on. Sure, I saw a lot of these things and smiled or even chuckled, but it was from a state of shock; I was reacting to all of the asinine imagery in the way the filmmakers wanted, but for all of the wrong reasons.

The plot is...not there? Kinda there? Maybe? I'm not sure. Long story short, Transformers have been to earth before. Transformers arrive, help humans build pyramids, build a machine to steal our sun even though they're not supposed to because it's OUR sun so the Transformers are divided and thus we have Autobots and Decepticons, yeah. Oh, and the Fallen? Why, exactly, is it that he can only be defeated by a Prime (did not realize the Prime in Optimus Prime was actually a last name, passed down the ancestral tree)? Because it's revealed to us in scene of exposition, of course.

A lot of the characters are back, but not necessarily for the better. Shia is still Shia, Megan is still hot, Turturro is still zany, but others are just...there. Josh Duhamel's character now exists to be that guy yelling orders on the battlefield--and Tyrese is there to spout one-liners and act as a wall for Josh to bounce lines off of--the end. A new hottie is introduced but, SPOILER, she's a Decepticon in disguise and gets run over by a Volvo (or something) during the first half. Shia has a roommate who decides to run with Shia and Megan as giant robots attack, and thus becomes a major character in the film--and by major character in the film I, of course, mean he's in the movie ONLY to provide comic relief in a movie that is filled to brim with comic relief.

The action is still big and flashy, but not all that involving. I was never really awed by any of it--unlike my first viewing of the first one. Big, CGI robots bash heads and there's sparks and explosions and fire--your typical Michael Bay fare--but there were a few points where I couldn't tell which Transformers were in the fight. I think everything just went so over-the-top that I stopped caring about anything; instead, I switch my brain to stand-by mode and just stared at the pretty pretties.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen will make lots and lots o' money (the Amigo here in Bemidji had it in 3 screens last night at midnight, and they were all sold out), but that doesn't mean it's GOOD. No, it's the very definition of a summer popcorn flick AND THEN SOME. It's too long, too over-the-top, it's just too much. Dial it back a bit, Bay. Give us a high octane special effects/action flick where we can actually respect the characters and the story, not pity them.

By the way, what is it with Michael Bay films looking like recruitment ads for the military? I understand that Bay gets to save some money because he's got the right friends in the right places--I assume it's one of those "make the military look badass and we'll let you use some tanks, jets, etc"--but at some point, it just gets to be a bit too much.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Some Art


Listened to the Mac conference that just wrapped up at the WWDC. I won't go into specifics, but here's my list of Tweets covering some of the info regarding iPhones.

# $99 for an 8 Gb iPhone 3G. iPhone 3GS (the S stands for speed) will be $199 (16 Gb) or $299 (32 Gb). It's 2x-3x faster than a standard 3G.

# iPhone 3.0 hits June 17th!

# Remote wipe command to delete data in case your phone is stolen or lost. iTunes will store deleted info in case you find it again. #wwdc

# Lost iPhone? Find it!

# Tethering = sharing intrawebs between iphone and comps (both mac and pc)

# Spotlight search. Also, rent and purchase movies, tv shows, music videos, and audiobooks. #wwdc

# MMS on 3.0 #wwdc

# Cut, copy & paste feature on iPhone 3.0 #wwdc

E3 Microsoft Press Conference

These are my Tweets while watching the Microsoft conference at E3 last week (online, not in person). Note: These are in reverse order so start at the bottom and read up.

# Peter molyneux appears. Magical! Artificial Intelligence in xbox too? Wtf? Whoa... Water reflection. Emotional reactions

# Oh god. That's actually really cool

# This is really responsive. Wii will get a run for it's money. Paint party? More like peg party! Wait, no, it's paint.

# Jab at Wii. Nice!

# Steve Spielberg shows up too? hmmm

# Codename: Natal. Controller-free games in entertainment.

# Doesn't that defeat the purpose of the Ride deck?

# Eat one wii-mote!!! LOL. Camera and spacial recognition

# Metal Gear franchise coming to 360...sans Solid Snake?

# Both Twitter and facebook will show up this fall.

# Twitter too

# Facebook on LIVE

# Full 1080p, insta-view, group watch, double distribution.

# Clarification: why did it take them so long to figure out this should be included.

# Netflix selected FROM the 360. Obvious choice. Why the long wait?

# No charge

# Last.FM coming to LIVE

# Spring 2010!

# This. Game. Looks. Fucking. Awesome! Creepy. The new Silent Hill mixed with Alone in the Dark?

# Episodic gameplay? Demo of AW.

# Alan Wake!

# Halo Reach!

# Halo ODST

# Forza 3. Meh.

# Never played a Splinter Cell. Might start.

# Splinter Cell Conviction

# Best reveal yet! LOL.

# Left 4 Dead! 2!

# Crackdown 2?!

# Sorry, Joy Ride. It's free!

# Bye bye boss in Shadow Complex. LOL. Now Joyride is up

# Epic XBLA title, shadow complex

# Cliffy B!

# Spring 2010

# Odin reveal!

# 360 run of FFXIII

# And the crowd loved it too. MW2 map packs on LIVE first. Final Fantasy XIII

# Snowmobile attacks. Nice. GTS=grand theft snowmobile

# Intense. Cannot wait for this!

# Omg. Gun-mounted radar. Graphics look stunning. Joygasm!

# MW2 demo?!

# Modern Warfare 2

# Tony Hawk presenting the deck for Ride.

# 10 premiers? Excellent! #e3

# Paul and Ringo appear at the conference. #e3

# The Beatles Rock Band starts off the Microsoft conference at #E3.

Watch the entire conference (just under 2 hours) here: Microsoft's E3 conference

I also wrote a couple of short articles concerning E3 info/updates/reveals that can be found at Platform Nation