Anthony Scopatz

I think, therefore I amino acid.

Transformers

Why does Michael Bay get to keep on making movies?
—Trey Parker & Matt Stone, Pearl Harbor Song, Team America: World Police

The quote above, as funny as it is, is Completely true!

I saw “Transformers” last night.

Allow me to preface this. Yesterday started off wonderful and ended Awful. Job was being channeled pretty hard. It started off by me going rafting on the snake which was a lot of fun. It ended with me realizing that the garage I left my car at had scratched my car on the passengers side and I drove off with out realizing it and with my apartment flooding in about an inch of water.

So I went to see “Transformers”. I wanted to watch some pretend violence to relieve some of this frustration and I had already seen “Live Free or Die Hard”.

Ok, “Transformers” was terrible. There I said it. Now this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go see it.

Still, if they did everything else in the movie wrong what was done correctly with an amazing clarity of purpose was movement. The filmmakers captured the fluidity of movement of the autobots superbly. In some sense, this is the entire point of the Transformers story. The whole point is that there are these huge mechanical constructs but these ease with which the artefacts are able to alter their very shape is astonishing. It is even more impressive and shocking since they take the form of objects that are, if not stationary, quite rigid typically.

So they captured the basic element. However, all other elements of the movie were bad to physically painful. For example, the script. If the script were dropped on the Iran they’d stop their enrichment program from brain damage. Unfortunately, when airlifted into Idaho, the populous beacame smarter.

Like most stories, the main characters were not the most badass. This blows goats since they are the damn Transformers and should be sweet as hell and make you sticky as honey. Optimus Prime wasn’t even kinda cool.

The support characters were all much much better. Bubble Bee rocked the house, The main female lead was as amazing as all get out. The US Air Force squad were the most badass humans in the movie as they took down Two (2) Decepticons without any help.

This actually brings me to an interesting point. Almost all stories have the coolest characters take a backseat or adversarial role. This is because there is a perceived method by which the coolest people somehow take away from having a main character who has some hardship to overcome.

Some Examples: YT and Raven are waaaay cooler than Hiro in “Snowcrash”. Escaflone just kills off Balgus immediately (which is reason enough to stop watching). Any Final Fantasy game. Anything in a horror genre has to satisfy this sans maybe Army of Darkness. Star Wars: Luke is one pansy ass mofo.

There are some exceptions to this rule and these exceptions are dear to my heart.

The ancient world certainly function in this self-deprecating way. All of the Heros like Beowulf, Gilgamesh and Heracles are far and wide the most badass, most hardcore people around. Foxy Brown from the blaxplotation film by the same name starring Pam Geiger. And of course Dune.

In Dune, Paul is the most powerful and smartest character in the entire universe. To that end he literally starts off basically with his mom in the desert and then becomes a Benevolent Dictator for Life. No one in the Dune universe can beat Paul.

So you were right, this was an elaborate excuse to talk about how awesome Dune is. However I did get to point out that Micheal Bay really made something that could have been good and campy and turned it into something that was bad and crappy in part because of the fact that not even Optimus Prime was noticeably heroic. He seemed more like a soldier following orders. I pray they don’t make a sequel.

I was always more of a He-man kid myself.

Happy 4th of July!

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