Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

26 January 2008

Robots in Disguise

I want to preface this entry by saying that I had no intention of ever seeing Michael Bay's Transformers, but as it turns out, it's rather a technical marvel and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles decided to nominate it for three Oscars last Tuesday. This made it the movie with the most nominations that I hadn't seen yet. So I told Netflix they'd better send it my way.

Transformers isn't what I would call a bad movie. Well, maybe it is a bad movie. The thing is, Transformers just looks so fucking cool. The whole time I was watching this clearly very expensive film I kept muttering to myself how cool everything looked.

I am officially a Shia LeBoeuf fan now, too. He is so charming and cute. Jon Voight, on the other hand, who plays the Secretary of Defense or some such, is flat out horrible in this. It's like he never took an acting class in his life. Kevin Dunn and Julie White are Shia's parents, and they're both really fun. Bernie Mac has a cute cameo.

Mostly, though, this movie is really really stupid. All of the stupid dialogue is compounded by the fact that, quite honestly, I couldn't figure out what was going on half the time. And by the end I was completely confused. The plot, as much as there is one, involves a bunch of alien robots locating a pair of glasses, I think. But the glasses were never lost as far as I could tell. And then John Turturro enters the movie and all Hell breaks loose.
There are good alien robots, see, and bad alien robots. . . . Of course there are.
It's rather hard to tell them apart, though, quite frankly.
The plot also involves some kind of cube, and doing billions of dollars of damage to downtown Los Angeles. I didn't much care about that stuff, but when the alien robots—I can't remember what the bad ones are called—are changing (transforming, if you will) into other random things like iPhones and cd players and fighter jets and tanks and shit, I was all about it. That stuff is cool.
Thankfully, too, there wasn't any stupid love plot or mooning about why MJ doesn't love Peter Parker anymore. Instead the action was broken up by comedy, rather deftly rendered by LaBoeuf, White and Dunn.

It was long too. About two hours, twenty minutes. Too long for an action movie, certainly for one with this scant of a plot. Still, I was drinking, and it wasn't that bad.

P.S. My commitment to the Academy Awards means I'll also be seeing Norbit, Surf's Up, In the Valley of Elah (which I was really hoping to avoid) and what the Fug Girls have called Yet More Pirates of the Caribbean.