Transformers 2 Challenge

I do not plan on supporting this gawdawful franchise, so I will not have my brain pounded to mush for a second round by Herr Bay. But just for kicks, I went into the archive and grabbed Cinecast Episode #54 where Andrew and myself talked about Transformers in 2007. I condensed things a bit and cropped the discussion out of the full podcast episode to a separate file below.

I challenge anyone who goes to the Transformers sequel to let me know if every criticism and comment on the first film does not apply to the sequel. The consensus out there is that everyone has finally woken up and smelled the coffee and have laid the critical boots to The Revenge of the Fallen.

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Rusty James
Guest

So do you think this film is really so much worse than the first one? Or do you think this is more a case of morning after regret?

I vote morning after regret. Reading D. Faraci's review it was uncanny the extent to which it parrallels my view of the first one.

But then he goes right back to the first one, I don't get it. He goes on and on bitching about the inexcusable run time- it's 4 minutes longer than the first one.

He complains about the endless filler- the first one has that scene where LeBoeff goes in his house to get something and it takes ten minutes of screen time.

He complains about the robots lack of presence as characters- you get the idea.

I don't get it.

Rusty James
Guest

And while I'm sure those twin robots are very racist stereotypes, I'm incredulous that this film is anymore racist than Bad Boys II aka M. Bay's best film.

Henrik
Guest

I have seen the movie. It’s extremely long, which sucks. It’s also extremely complicated and makes no sense, and lacks cohesion. But I have to say, I saw it in a massive theatre, and there were points in the movie where I found it very hard not to be impressed by the film. Mainly the visual effects. I actually really like CGI, and there are some stuff in the movie that I thought were quite impressive. It also feels more like the cartoon, the robots have almost stopped talking alien and speak english to eachother. They have more character and talk-time as well. One of the major problems is Megan Fox, anytime she is on screen you feel like you’re watching Baywatch. Seriously, they might as well have cast Pamela Anderson or Carmen Electra in the role, that’s what it feels like when you’re watching her, and it’s annoying. The ‘humour’ has a new-record for emphasis on dick’n'fart jokes, it’s quite amazing how many are in there.

But I saw an aircraft carrier get ripped apart down the middle for absolutely no reason. The visual is enough to excuse it for me. There is impressive stuff in the film, and the action is better than in the first one. Less cuts. I will go on record as to say that TF2 has better and more easily comprehensible action than Bourne Ultimatum did. Even though it’s big robots, I can actually invest more in this because the shots last 1.5 secs instead of 0.3 secs. The forest scene is quite good I think.

Way too long, way too much plot and even more subplots, horrible acting, impressive effects, impressive visuals. I’ll give it 1.5 or 2/4 I think.

Marina Antunes
Admin

Thanks to William Gibson (yes, THE William Gibson) for this read:
http://io9.com/5301898/michael-bay-finally-made-a

I now *WANT* to see this disaster.

Rusty James
Guest

I read your remarks on FJ.

What do you think about it in comparison to the first one? Are the problems more eggregious. Do you agree with Ebert that this is substantially worse?

Henrik
Guest

"I read your remarks on FJ."

Yeah, I realize my doublestuff, but you didn't reply there, but you did here, so it's worth it. I don't care where I discuss, but I am too lazy to consciously change my wordings of the same points on various websites.

I think I like it better. The annoying subplots in this one, aren't as annoying as in the first one (the hackers). And John Torturro makes more sense in this one. The consequences are more ridiculous, the action scenes are better and the visual effects are better. It has all of the same problems as the first one I think, in terms of acting and story and all that, but there were a few cool and/or impressive moments. It's not worth paying to see, and it's not worth the 2½ hour runtime to experience. It makes absolutely no sense to me, that some critics enjoyed the first one and think this one is horrible. I don't see where that's coming from at all, unless they were blinded the first time they saw it by the effects, and have grown tired of them this time around. The problems haven't gotten worse, but they haven't been fixed either.

Henrik
Guest

Don't rants like that come around for every major summer blockbuster ever made?

Transformers is not an art-movie. Now, had Shia LeBeouf turned to the camera and asked me if I wanted Optimus Prime or Megatron to win, then we would be talking!

Rusty James
Guest

One thing I liked about Walter Chaw's review, he saves a lot of his venom for the audience who likes this bullshit.

I don't know what it is about these films in particular but the transformers fan base pisses me right off. They're loathsom bottom feeders. Have you been to TMB recently? That site has never been a paragon of taste but the commenters these are nothing but uncouth misogynistic mouth breathers, advertising their own idiocy with every misspelled grammatically chaotic word that spews from their keyboard.

When I read Megan Fox wishing death upon white trash bible beaters I couldn't help but wonder who she thought was the audience for these movies. Who else would be sitting in the theater ogling her jiggling ass and laughing about illiterate negroes?

Henrik
Guest

Haven't been to themovieblog.com since Doug left, except to read The Wrestler review that was commented on here.

Goon
Guest

cut / paste from FJ:

I have three letters about this movie: lol

To expand 😛

First off, unlike the first movie, I did not leave the theater angry, I literally am laughing my ass off about this movie. And before I go on, I did like it more than the first movie.

The first hour, even for all the retardedness, I was quite entertained. The bad stuff was so wtf stupid I couldnt help but giggle at what I was watching, and the actual Transformer stuff I feel was actually a vast improvement over the first movie – they weren’t cutting away every 3 seconds, I could tell what was happening, and it was the actual robots I wanted to see doing stuff.

Once Optimus is off screen and after Jetfire gives his exposition and takes off though, it takes a massive nosedive into a movie even more boring and barely watchable than the first movie, and the final fight is even more bullshit. It’s absolutely hilarious that there is more time of Megan Fox running or screaming in slow motion than there is of Optimus or any other star Transformer, the military fetish continues as they take out major villains instead of the heroes, and the time with the humans is even more pointless and dragged out, even during the big final fight where shitloads of robots are being torn apart IN THE FUCKING BACKGROUND. I mean, wow, just wow.

The twins complaints I have to say, are overblown, they weren’t as Jar Jar or racist as has been said, and maybe thats because I can’t be offended by Tom Kenny. I did actually like Wheelie as comic relief. Shia’s performance wasn’t bad, and Fox was improved as much as she could be. The guy playing Leo was the most annoying movie character perhaps ever, and if only they could have killed him.

So compared to the 0 or 0.5 I gave the first, this is a 1 or 1.5 maybe. And even though Star Trek (which I was disappointed with) was a better movie, I will dare say this thing is such a bizarre spectacle that its a much more memorable couple hours. I won’t forget Transformers 2, but those calling it good I still say are absolutely kidding themselves. There’s no justification for applauding the latter hour and a half of this very very long movie.

Rusty James
Guest

So Goon, I expected you to sit this one out. Did you go on a lark, did some one drag you, did you get in free?

I'll eventually either double feature this movie or see it second run, and like you I find it very hard to believe it's any worse than the first one.

Every single criticism I've heard sounds like a replay of the first; right down to Black -Stereotype Robot which also happened in the first one, albeit in a mostly harmless incarnation.

Goon
Guest

Fucking hot outside and in the house – needed to go somewhere else to kill time (same reason I saw Jurassic Park 3). Also, Ebert and CJ anders' reviews made me feel I had to see it.

So it was sort of a lark, yes.

Goon
Guest

^but before (if you would) damning me for doing so, I also saw Speed Racer on a lark and it ended up being one of my faves of 08

Goon
Guest

As per the general theory of this article, I agree wholeheartedly, people are either waking up and realizing the first was bad and now this one is getting it, or they are continued to be blinded by nostalgia over the first one and are hilariously clueless and hilarous when trashing the new one for the very things they forgave the first time.

Rusty James
Guest

@ Haven’t been to themovieblog.com since Doug left, except to read The Wrestler review that was commented on here.

Yeah, I hadn't been there in a long time either. I started checking up on it again for Transformers 2 (surprisingly campea didn't like it) articles.

Rodney Brazzau is a fucking chump. I remember Kurt saying a good word for him around here (this was probably over a year ago) and I kind of shrugged and figured I had been overly judgemental towards him.

Nope. He's a condescending sanctimonious fanboy retard on an admin power trip. He can't write for shit either. And his postings are always something along the lines of "Why Dragonball Z Continuity Wouldn't Work in a Live Action Film. Part IX"

Rusty James
Guest

@ ^but before (if you would) damning me for doing so,

dude, I don't care I paid to see The Happening just so I could have an opinion about it. I saw Twilight opening thursday night with the gf. Hopefully all of us are supporting the films that deserve it but don't don't advertising budgets. There's no need to lecture each other beyond that.

Goon
Guest

Rusty, I just read Devin's review as well:

(for others: http://chud.com/articles/articles/19948/1/REVIEW-… )

It bottles the mind (yes, bottles 😛 ) how he can think so many things of this movie that somehow don't apply to the first. And I dare say the action set pieces in this one are better than the first, easily. The ones in the first hour have longer cuts, aren't blurred so much by debris and focus on the robots who are more visually distinguished from each other by size, shape and color. Even the final fight, for the absolute shitty mess it is, is more satisfying than Megatron vs. Prime from the end of the first one.

There's some alternate version of Transformers 1 that seems to have been screened only within peoples minds. This entertaining, cheese-free Transformers movie simply does not and never did exist.

Goon
Guest

One last comment:

What was with using Green Day's "21 Guns" like a zillion times?

Kurt
Guest

Nope, I don't know if I had good words for Rodney over at the Movie Blog. I was switzerland. Before our tastes were 180 Degrees apart, and nothing wrong with that; I don't like Transformers, He doesn't like Blade Runner. Mainly I just thought "Mostly Harmless" – the substanceless fanboy is about right – but after the District 9 stuff and the baffling 'uber-defensive' stance in his writing and commenting. Well, I just don't have the time of day for it. Plenty of good cinema and conversation elsewhere.

Jay C.
Guest

Rodney Brazzau is THE WORST movie critic/blogger/pundit on the internet. He is useless. He is condescending. He is overly defensive and dismissive. His cock is up John's ass so far it's visible in The Movie Blog video diaries. He is a tool.

As for Transformers 2, I'm just excited to have a new movie at the drive in to eat poutine to.

Goon
Guest

You should see Away We Go at a drive in then. I believe there is a scene with poutine, if you are keen.

Rusty James
Guest

sorry Kurt but on June 5th 2008 you said

"It should be said that Doug and Rodney over there are class acts though. Great guys, who want to bring people into the conversation, instead of drowning things with self-promotion and ego"

You've been p0wned

http://www.rowthree.com/2008/06/04/local-theater-

Mike Rot
Member

ha,

You have to do like me Kurt, and never contradict yourself.

There is no scene with poutine in Away We Go… its a punchline, but Jay still has to see it, drive-in or not. I cannot think of another film of late that has so divided audiences, and even splintered groups within those that like it or hate it. Maybe The Fountain. I think Andrew, Jandy, Kurt and I all recommend it but none of us agree on why.

Goon
Guest

Filmspotting lied to me, they said there was poutine. That's the last straw!

Henrik
Guest

Jays comment is fucking classic, and spot-on.

Henrik
Guest

Why isn't my name in bold in the sidebar like everyone else's!?

Henrik
Guest

Goon, I would buy you a beer (if you drink that is, it seems rare in Canada) and say congratulations. What you said would happen after the first one came out, has happened. All of these negative reviews could be reviews of the first one, like literally. People were fucking jizzing all over themselves for the first one, now that the second one comes out and does the same, all of a sudden it's the worst movie in the world instead of the best. It all comes down to having seen Optimus Prime in photoreal CGI before.

Goon
Guest

I believe that was part of my sequelitis theory 😛 – and how it also applies to a lot of people hating Spiderman 3, nitpicking every little thing despite forgiving so much stuff in the first one that wasnt very good, because in the first one they just wanted their Spiderman movie to be passable and for the swinging to be awesome, etc, for them to declare it best movie ever.

With TF it seems people got their rocks off with movie one and now more of the same just doesn't impress, and they havent figured out that maybe the first one didn't actually impress them that much either?

Even though I like Iron Man, I can see the future where if it more or less repeats itself, the nitpicking will be much more severe and unforgiving.

As I said to Kurt before, one of the problem with fanboys to me is that they are either way too critical or not at all. While I'd never rush to Transformers' defence, that DOES seem to be the case.

I'm not sure what's more insane – being like Devin and not realizing everything they hate about the second was wrong with the first…or accepting this movie as much or more as the first 😛 – its amazing people can still dismiss any criticisms or problems with "But it has robots fighting"

Goon
Guest

"(if you drink that is, it seems rare in Canada)"

You're joking right? 😛

Or maybe the non-drinking that dominates the lifestyles of the 3 hosts of Film Junk has given you a false impression.

Henrik
Guest

Yeah, that must be it ;).

I find the robots fighting in this one to be much more impressive than they were in the first one though. The first one didn't have an aircraft carrier get blown to bits either. Or Optimus Prime saying things like "I'll take you all on!". And characters like Wheelie reminded me of the show, as did hearing Frank Welker as Soundwave, even though he was using his Krulos voice (or maybe that's just more familiar to me, I still sometimes think Optimus Prime is Venger in disguise). Those minor, minor details made it more passable for me, but still no more than a 1.5 or 2/4 all in all. The first would be 1 or 1.5, I am bad at using ratings, as bad as I am using lists.

Rusty James
Guest

I think last weeks podcast gave us a clue as to why Greg doesn't drink.

Goon, do you have link for your prediction, I want to read it.

Henrik
Guest

I'm not sure it compares to Spider-Man though, because there is a legitimate argument to be made for the first third of the first movie to reach a level that none of the others can, because he didn't have the powers yet. I have heard this argument from very story-interested people, who have no experience or tolerance for comic books, saying that they all try and copy Spider-Man, and that the first third of Spider-Man is very engaging, much more so than any other.

There is no doubt that the origin of Spider-Man in its original form, is one of the strongest comic book hero origins ever made. The strength of it might, in some cases, excuse the love of a mediocre first movie as compared to the third. I will agree though, that in most cases, and I would think nearly all of the internet cases, it's as you say it is.

Goon
Guest

Oh I agree about the Spiderman origin story being engaging, I'm just saying that if the wrestling sequence had happened in the 3rd movie instead of the first, the way things went, people would be complaining and nitpicking that they treated wrestling like it was real, instead of going with it like in the first movie. A Green Goblin mask fiasco like people claimed about the first movie would be a dealbreaker in the 3rd movie. The wiggle room for goofiness in the 3rd room just didnt exist for people, which is bad when Raimi intentionally made it more goofy.

Henrik, yes about Wheelie and indeed yes about Soundwave. Having those voices, and having them speak English more frequently, having the Megatron/Fallen/Starscream evil villain monologuing and servitude, it was more tonally in line with what a Transformers movie probably should be – campy but still fun, and treating the robots like actual characters rather than just explosions or faceless alien invaders. The first hour of TF2 gives the robots the chance to be actual characters. I liked the Jetfire character, actually, for this reason, and maybe its why I'm not all in arms about the "minstrel" black robots. Tom Kenny's voicework gave them some semblance of personality at least.

But from the point where the humans are at the pyramids, it completely shifts back to the humans and every robot is back to the background.

I think one problem the fanboys are really going to have is that again, other than Optimus or Bumblebee, the 'star' good guy transformers have absolutely nothing to do. What other familiar Autobots were there besides Ironhide? I have no clue. I think people resent that they had so much of these black Transformers they'd never heard of before and little to no time with the ones they grew up smashing against each other.

Henrik
Guest

Yeah, I think that's a big problem as well. The major problem is that there has been 2 TF movies, and Megatron has had maybe 15 minutes of screentime, in the first he was dead for most of it, and in this he is not even the main villain! Wasted potential, almost on par with wasting Dr. Doom on the FF movies. I usually hate it when movies pretend to kill off characters to bring them back, but I thought that the Optimus death scene was pretty cool, and I was doubting wether they WOULD bring him back, or pay tribute to the animated film and bring in another toy. In the end, they had their cake and ate it too, by bringing him back but still making a new toy out of him for the end. Now that's the sort of screenwriting franchise-holders love!

The first movie doesn't have wrestling though. It may be a wrestler in the role, but it's just a fight where people have to sustain violence for a period of time. That's not wrestling! Does wrestling have volunteers as well?

The mask definitely would have been headline news on various idiot sites around the web had it been in the third, I agree.

Goon
Guest

"it’s just a fight where people have to sustain violence for a period of time."

That happens in pro wrestling all the time, actually. The Million Dollar Man did it, Chris Masters did it, Kurt Angle did it. They make it an ongoing thing so the bad guy wrestler can be put over as a bully. And the 'last 3 minutes with the champ' wrestling thing is a cliche thats been around for decades, from comics to Looney Tunes. I'm not gonna dig out my copy of SPiderman to grab a screenshot of a wrestling federation logo or uses of the word 'wrestle', but I'm still 100% on this one. Minor argument here, but trust me. Raimi was just playing it kayfabe and 'classic' because thats how he rolls. And its no problem to me, I liked that, its just an example though of the non-reality that gets forgiven in one movie but not in another.

The problem with Megatron in the first movie is that he's supposed to be a badass and completely through inaction, he's frozen and doesn't do anything. Doesn't monologue, bully his own men, kill other robots. He just escapes and shows up at the end and is killed pretty quickly. Fallen dies just as quick when he finally gets involved in this movie, but at least they have him sitting around talking smack a couple times. He's at least the cowardly heel.

Goon
Guest

I feel the urge to do an experiment when GI Joe comes out and assuredly gets ripped to shreds (the fanboys have already decided it sucks). I will parody the TF apologists and troll every bad review from someone who loves TF and say things like "you just cant turn your brain off and enjoy a fun movie" and "What did you expect, Citizen Kane?"

😀 😀 😀

rot
Guest

“you just cant turn your brain off and enjoy a fun movie” and “What did you expect, Citizen Kane?”

Wasn't that your argument for Iron Man Goon, to my complaint that over saturation of formula has made the superhero genre a tedious exercise of paint by number storytelling?

I don't see the distinction between Transformers and Iron Man, I truly don't. The final scene of both could be put side by side and they are the same beat by beat CGI bang em ups. The saving grace of Iron Man Robert Downey Jr, thats it, a couple quips, a charismatic actor, but everything else is the same dumb noise.

Goon
Guest

"Wasn’t that your argument for Iron Man Goon"

That's kind of insulting, considering I've spent a zillion words describing what I liked about Iron Man, and acknowledged at the same time I'm nowhere near in love with it to the level you guys put on me.

RDJ, good origin story, funny, and even though the robot fight was another big dumb set piece, it was done in the way I wanted out of Transformers but did not get. Some parts were bad-but-good in an enjoyable way. When Jeff Bridges "Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave!" its YTMND-inevitable fad funny, or 80s action movie funny, love it in spite of bad funny. And thats fine. I am one of those people cynical about Iron Man 2, because without the origin story to rely on they're going to have to do a lot better with everything else.

And as we've discussed in the dozens of threads about how Genre X gets away with cliches that Genre Y gets put over the coils for, I don't see Iron Man as any more paint by numbers than a good number of the dramas and other genre movies that get lauded around here. But since comic book movies are so easily identifiable and classable, and since they are blockbusters, to me they get singled out.

And again, I've said this a number of times and not just some "what did you expect?" nonsense, so if you didn't pay proper attention to me then, you're not getting any more words on Iron Man other than what I just wrote.

Goon
Guest

http://www.rowthree.com/2008/05/05/r3-review-iron

Check out my posts on the R3view of Iron Man, if you must. Gripes out one genre being treated differently than others, gripes accusing of attacking blockbusters for attacking blockbusters sake, pissing on Kurt's Robocop comparisons, and saying in my very first post "And all this from someone who really doesn’t care about Iron Man."

Nothing close to a free pass "turn off your brain" excuse. You can apologize any time, and suck it. 😛

rot
Guest

I remember quite vividly being told to lighten up, that mindless entertainment has a place to be and Iron Man was at least partially being defended on that basis, but okay.

To your point about why Genre X and not Genre Y…

My original argument was that more so then most genres, the superhero genre is the most conservative in their storytelling. Sci-fi has a lot of range to its storytelling, to how it parcels its story scene to scene, and so does drama (Wendy and Lucy is a drama and it is unlike something like Dances with Wolves).

It was never just that Iron Man was formulaic, but rather that it adhered to a genre formula that is over-saturated, to the point that it is paint by number, scene by scene, laid out is precisely dealing out the same story points that many of the superhero films do. This to me is the death of entertainment, to give me the same itchy and scratchy scenario over and over again. To a 12 year old who maybe hasn't seen that many films, it can be great, and certainly there is a gearing of these films to younger audiences, but for anyone who has seen their share of superhero films the formula sticks out sharply and it is just so mechanical.

The same glazing over that happened watching Transformers happened watching Iron Man, because they are both disinterested in the art of storytelling and would rather make a spectacle out of CGI moments.

rot
Guest

to be clear the thread you listed was not the one where we hashed out what is meant by 'art', in was in that context that you kept are arguing that Iron Man is mindless entertainment and I needed to lighten up.

Goon
Guest

I don't see supehero as a genre. It's a subgenre of action with occasionally an overlap into sci-fi. Comparing superhero movies to sci-fi movies is misguided, you're better off comparing it to other subgenres like zombie movies, or vampire movies, which can as well overlap into action and sci-fi.

If I have ever told you to lighten up (and we've said to Kurt before as some 'up' vs. 'down' thing) its at most been an offhand remark and never the featured argument.

To me the differences between TF and Iron Man are significant – because Bay treats his robots as if they explosions, and Favreau still has a man under his suit that he has spent time developing, whether you have come to like that character or not. I have at least some investment in Iron Man vs. Iron Monger that the film itself has built, whereas TF relies much more on the fanboys and their knowledge of Megatron vs. Optimus. Iron Man is not the smallest comic, but it certainly did not have that handicap built in to its model.

Let's use a pro wrestling analogy:

A pro wrestling match is on its base level is just two sweaty guys fighting. If you watch any match with no pre-knowledge of the two fighters you get to see some innovate moves or stunts, you have a good match, some fun, but nothing wonderful.

But if you already know the characters fighting, why they hate each other, see them trash talk in promos leading up to the event, then all the little moments of cheating and dirty tactics and hair pulling means a lot more, even if they go through the exact same motions as the match between two people you dont know.

This is why I believe in that argument about 'mindless entertainment' I put it in quotes, because even the blockbuster movies that are going through motions with the predictable obvious good guy wins ending, are putting in a kind of craft and effort that shouldnt be so hastily prejudged. That's why I think putting Iron Man and Transformers on the same level irks me, because I know that the things most people liked most about Iron Man were the things that either don't exist or everybody hates about Transformers – the actual characters. Iron Man has CGI spectacle, but it doesnt come until its been built up by watching this guy gradually build his own suit for over an hour. In a more accurate world, the first Iron Man movie is called "Tony Stark" and the sequel is called "Iron Man".

kurt
Guest

Rusty. Well. There you go.

rot
Guest

The range of character explored by Shia LeBeouf and Robert Downey Jr are practically equivalent in my eyes, any advantage Iron Man has over Transformers rests solely on the charisma of the main actor… if it was Shia LeBeouf in the role saying the dialogue, perhaps this would be easier to see, but it happens to be a very good and qualified actor limited by a script that asks only of him to make snarky remarks and stand here as the CGI elements work around him. I have no investment in Tony Stark because very early on I see that he is merely a puppet to a very rigid storytelling device and has no real life of his own. Even worse is Jeff Bridges and Gwenyth Paltrow who are so one dimensional they by comparison gives the illusion of depth to Stark.

I would most equate the superhero genre with the chick flick genre, by how rigidly conservative their range of storytelling operates. Girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl get boy in the end, you know every beat of the story, it has spoofs made of it, and so has the comic book genre, each are more than usual pandering to formula, not even to fanboys… there is something insulting to how conformist these stories end up being, like the audience won't know the difference, put the character in different tights, different power, but keep the formula the same. The worst chick flicks do this too, anything with Matthew McConaughy, it is literally paint by number set out, change the names, change professions, but otherwise keep to the formula and voila, your next big hit.

Kurt used the word pandering with respects to these films before, and I would like to adjust what he said, its not that they are pandering to fanboys so much as they are pandering to the familiar, in the hopes that fanboys will appreciate that maybe, but rarely do they pander like Rami with his Evil Dead, in a way indulgent and inventive, pandering to an aesthetic of novelty, no they pander to the familiar, and sometimes the fanboys, the audiences, don't want that, sometimes they do.

There is equal lack of inventive originality in Transformers as there is Iron Man, they are both pandering to the familiar in the hopes it will pay off… I don't see them as efforts to evoke something from the heart, something true, something special. They are corporate products, streamlined to make money. They bore me like fast food bores me, like a Dan Brown novel bores me, like corporate rock American Idol bores me.

There are legitimate cases where someone uses the familiar as a motif while trying something inventive and heartfelt, but Transformers and Iron Man are not those cases. I see merchandise not narrative.

Goon
Guest

I dont have time for a lengthly reply, but one thing to me you're ignoring through all of this discussion of originality or scope or depth of character is who does the formula well, and who does not. I can list off reasons why I feel Iron Man was overall, made well, and why Transformers simply was not, and it run the gamut of everything from casting to editing to the way effects were conserved for the right beats. I feel I know the subgenre well enough to distinguish what works from what doesnt, and that other people are looking at it through a more base level writeoff. And I guess to me thats frustrating.

But I'm used to it, because I grew up listening to death metal and black metal and it being casually written off by all the fairweather Hootie fans. I had rap CDs and had parents do the "its just talking" routine.

When I see such casual dismissals and (IMO) literally ignorant comparisons, what's coming through is "It's just noise", "its just talking", etc.

Rusty James
Guest

hm. how to say this. I am annoyed that M. Jackson's death has postponed Vern's review of Trans 2.

Kurt
Guest

What a shame. Michael Jackson's death steals the thunder from Farah Fawcett's death.

(And I've still not gotten properly past Adrienne Shelley's death, which was the most tragic…)

Goon
Guest

Is it bad that I thought today about how Michael Jacksons death will affect things like box office? Wondering if these big sort of cultural events keep people inside for the evening watching hours upon hours of worthless news coverage.

Goon
Guest

I present to you, the most eloquent pro-TF2 review I could find among the recent ones on flixster 😛

"A spectacular, eye-popping, heart-pounding and visually dazzeling epic action masterpiece. It's an amasing sequel that stands as one of the greatest ever made in it's genre next to Aliens, Terminator 2 and Empire Strikes Back. Director, Michael Bay strikes gold once again, crafting another astonishing triumph with some of the best speacial effects of today. It's an incrediable, outstanding, extroadinary and breathtaking action-packed thrill-machine. A smart, terifficly funny, exhilerating and mind-blowing adventure. It delivers more robots, more action, more laughs and more epic battles than ever before. This film screams out classic in so many ways. A fast, furious and full-throttle kintetic action flick loaded with pulse-pounding thrills and adreniline-pumping excitement around every corner. An absolute feast for the eyes and ears that will keep you entertainend right to the very end. A wickedly entertaining, explosive and truly unforgettable flim. Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox are teriffic and so is the rest of the cast who are back for the ride like Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro who is funnier than ever. "

Henrik
Guest

That reads like it was written by somebody from the marketing department.

Kurt
Guest

I think that review needs a few more adjectives, eh?

Rusty James
Guest

I think Ross liked it. He should make an appearance and post his thoughts.

By the way, I think it's officially safe to have an opinion on this movie without having seen it.

rot
Guest

The analogy to death metal works only if death metal exists to play off the familiar formula to sell more product.

At some point early on in the creative process there is a conscious decision to make a product not a story, and every decision in the process of what to do with Stark is only secondarily about developing an actual story with a beginning middle and end that could be conceivably unpredictable to a 13 year old. They use the formula like a religion, they plot their scenes around that skeleton and there is no breathing allowed. I will admit Transformers is a worse film that Iron Man, in that on top of the stasis of intrigue the action of Transformers is for the most part incomprehensible. So I can agree the craftsmanship varies between the two films, but the intentions don't. They are both corporate rock, they are both selling back to us the undeveloped familiar, hoping we won't notice.

Henrik
Guest

But even within that, surely you can see distinction in quality? Like the 100 meter dash, everybody does the same thing, and tries to do it the exact same way, but some are able to do it better than others.

If the formula is as rigid as you think it is, it should be extremely easy to pick apart which do it well, and which don't. Iron Man fails because Starks motivation is the enlightened Arab who is like a father, and the death scene is so cliché, it makes people roll their eyes, since it's so far removed from reality. It fails because the villain has little motivation or character (though Jeff Bridges hams it up as much as he can, quite entertaingly). Transformers is no better in terms of the formula, but when the formula is being used to show me an aircraft carrier being destroyed, I am more forgiving. Iron Man had much less interesting action, hardly any action. Flying fast? Shooting people and tanks. Not worth the bullshit.

Goon
Guest

"The analogy to death metal works only if death metal exists to play off the familiar formula to sell more product."

Um, no, you are taking the cynical "this only exists to make money" route as if there's absolutely no passion from anyone to make a better comic book movie than anyone else.

It's also kind of a flawed analogy anyways since death metal bands have longer careers than most pop bands because they don't mess with a formula too much that keeps them on tour and with a loyal fanbase. Cannibal Corpse lives, Better than Ezra dies.

"Like the 100 meter dash, everybody does the same thing, and tries to do it the exact same way, but some are able to do it better than others."

Henrik doesnt like Iron Man, but his analogy shows that he actually gets it. None of those runners gets to do much different in style if they want to win, but that doesn't mean they lack passion for what they do, or that their running isn't good or a worth escapist spectacle.

I'm not much of a sports fan myself, but with that analogy in mind, if you have this attitude about blockbuster movies, I would imagine you don't think too kindly of sports or their fans.

Goon
Guest

"So I can agree the craftsmanship varies between the two films, but the intentions don’t."

Again factually incorrect. Bay has outright stated that he hates the original Transformers cartoon/movie, whereas Favreau is clearly an Iron Man fan.

Henrik
Guest

"if you have this attitude about blockbuster movies, I would imagine you don’t think too kindly of sports or their fans."

Me or rot? I am a sportsfan.

Goon
Guest

rot. I mean if blockbusters are 'worthless' then I don't see why sports would escape.

I still watch pro wrestling from time to time, and I watch the Olympics religiously. Two very different things. I watch them because I like seeing what people of all shapes and sizes are able to do with their bodies. It's not about records or how many medals my country wins or loses. I loved getting excited about the USA beach volleyball team and how fucking unbeatable and unstoppable they were in particular though. I love watching certain events and wrestling moves (usually the very flippy lucha libre style ones) that just seem like they should be impossible to perform. You could (like MaMo) compare it to a circus – fair enough.

But I find theres an attitude out there that people have about sports that I see in a lot of film snobs towards mainstream movies. If its produced "for the masses" or if they're raking in loads of cash, then it must be worthless and without passion or artfulness. And to them I say "Suck a cock". Seriously. To me that attitude can fuck right off.

rot
Guest

I'm not saying an enjoyable movie cannot be rendered from a dependence on formula, I am saying my experience of Transformers and Iron Man are equatable on the basis of how bored they made me by their dependence on formula… they had the structure and I didn't feel like either added anything more to it.

The formula is the skeleton, and so long as I am not seeing the bones, it doesn't bother me. I just rewatched Sideways again last night, and I love that movie, but it is a Robert McKee 101 script of boy get girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, and the beats are right where you would expect them to be. But Payne is not slavishly dependent on that skeleton, he allows his characters and the story to breathe and move around, and the actors give a richness to their characters and set locations are striving for a lived-in realism and it all enhances the story, and makes it more than the sum of its parts.

I see the bones in Iron Man and they are glaring. Its not because its formulaic, its because it is slavishly formulaic, and because it doesn't move a millimeter away from these bullet points, again, with the exception of what Downey brings to the role. The entire film was telegraphed, I knew every beat of what was going to happen.

rot
Guest

ultimately if I can be distracted enough or genuinely cannot predict what will happen next, I don't care what form it takes. Like a bad poem trying to make everything rhyme in an awkward cadence, when I see that sort of a film, I am just waiting for the agony to end.

rot
Guest

"But I find theres an attitude out there that people have about sports that I see in a lot of film snobs towards mainstream movies. If its produced “for the masses” or if they’re raking in loads of cash, then it must be worthless and without passion or artfulness."

you are talking to one of the biggest supporters of Abram's Star Trek here. And with it I made the point that its success is it is moving so fast and effectively that the formula awareness lags behind, that I am literally experiencing the film moment by moment, and unlike Michael Bay, Abrams has found a pacing that is fast yet intelligible. Not to mention his visual style is a spectacle to behold, and even the lens flares add to this sense of not being able to fully absorb everything onscreen while it is onscreen, there is a dazzle to it.

Goon
Guest

I think we've spoken enough about Iron Man in particular. Again, I am aware its more formulaic than even a lot of the crappier comic book movies. I simply feel the things that it did well were done so well that it made it rise above that skeleton, and that Favreau indeed have passion for it. Without it, this c-level comic book character wouldnt have ended up with one of the most popular comic book films to date.

To reduce it so a sexist base level analogy 😛

Favreau built on his skeleton a average looking, average intelligence, but funny, nice girl next door that you may want to get with, but whose crush may not last.

Bay's skeleton houses a dumb hot slut that you feel dirty and terrible about even jerking off to. And she still gives you an STD.

Goon
Guest

"you are talking to one of the biggest supporters of Abram’s Star Trek here."

And I still don't get why, since that 'skeleton' you talk about is way more apparent to me, the characters are way more shallow, the spectacle isnt as strong, its not funny.

And the fact that it has the same writers as Transformers should be a clue 😛

Matt Brown
Admin

God DAMN, Goon, that is a nice piece of analogy.

rot
Guest

tangent, but I also listened to the commentary track of Sideways with Thomas Hayden Church and Paul Giamatti, and laughed my ass off. Its a particular kind of comedy, the art of self-effacing, but my god they are hilarious together.

"Sandra returns de-splooged"

"my ass looks like two pillow cases full of milk being violently thrust together"

on them in the hot tub:

"like two manatees sitting a tub of formaldehyde"

"what's that shirt I am wearing I look like a buccaneer"

it starts off a bit slow but when they get going it is so enjoyable.

Goon
Guest

"its success is it is moving so fast"

I dont know, with me, I still prefer a big dumb movie to allow me to breathe. Even Speed Racer takes a rest, and I love that rest.

Star Trek wants to move so fast that it skips past why I'm supposed to care about any of the people on screen. Because I don't care about them, I get bored. Iron Man took a very long time letting me embrace this asshole who was building a suit made out of armor. Star Trek couldn't wait to get to the fireworks factory, and I think its the far inferior film because of it.

Henrik
Guest

"the characters are way more shallow, the spectacle isnt as strong, its not funny."

NONononononono. Spock is more complex than the characters in Iron Man. Admit this to be true, or I will fight you on everything ever.

Iron Man has weak spectacle and is not funny either though.

But I think Star Trek and Transformers has alot in common, the non-sensical nature of plots, the cheap setups and payoffs that seem half-assed at best (nowhere near the awesome setups of say, Sideways. The two diner scenes set the shit up brilliantly, and the payoff for the certain wine is worth waiting for).

Your analogy sucks ass. The sports thing was good, but why the heck would you feel terrible jerking off to a hot slut? I can't relate to this moral high ground. Besides, you cherrypicked your analogy, just changing the films to girls, you're almost like saying you jerked off over Transformers and felt guilty afterwards, but you claim to not have liked it in the first place. So it isn't hot.

Goon
Guest

Sideways Tangent:

I was thinking of Sideways the other day because there was something on Filmjunk about how trailers ruin comedies.

Sideways has one of the most terrible trailers if you watch it again after seeing the movie. It has the biggest spoiler the movie could possibly have right in the middle of it. Clue – it involves Sandra Oh.

Henrik
Guest

I wish the region 2 DVD of Sideways had that commentary, I would kill to hear it. I love that movie.

Goon
Guest

"Spock is more complex than the characters in Iron Man."

No. And I believe the only reason people think otherwise is because people are walking into the movie already familiar with who Spock is and what he becomes. It's a shallow character given the most base obvious lip service to character development. His character acts irrationally a couple times within the film too, and yet people are trying to retcon this into character development, when its just the two hack screenwriters fucking up.

kurt
Guest

Thus far, I'm completely on board with the 'two hack screenwriters' observation above.

I didn't like Star Trek outside of the visuals and the acting (read: Screenplay is shite), and TF1 was not fun or even entertaining other than as a fireworks show.

Thus, I will be likely passing on anything with these two guys at the script-writing helm.

Henrik
Guest

"It’s a shallow character given the most base obvious lip service to character development."

SO IS TONY STARK. HE GETS HIS LIFE LESSON FROM THE ENLIGHTENED ARAB WHO DIES IN HIS ARMS AND TALKS ABOUT JOINING HIS FAMILY!!! Why is this not annoying you to no end?

That Sideways trailer was indeed dreadful. On par with The Wrestler trailer, which also gives away beginning, middle and fucking end. Fox Searchlight is fucking despicable. Filmmakers should refuse to let them buy their films, since they ruin them prior to release.

Goon
Guest

"why the heck would you feel terrible jerking off to a hot slut?"

I'll defer you to find the Brian Posehn comedy bit about telling your girlfriend you think Paris Hilton has a rat face, but still admitting to yourself you'd fuck her little rat butthole. It's funny because while I dont feel that way about Paris in particular, you can apply it to someone else.

Such is the rest of the analogy. It doesnt have to apply to me, but I can apply it to myself for other "slutty" movies. This is where the term 'guilty pleasure' comes from.

Also I used "you" instead of "i" in it. I may as well have used "one". Also its a joke. Another one I have had to spell out for you in extreme detail 😀 😀 😀 – i love when that happens.

rot
Guest

I know it seems like I have tourettes on this point, but watching Sideways I was reminded of Away We Go, I mean its not as good as Sideways but that kind of I don't know what you call it, comedy derived from honesty, I don't see it quite as satire because satire implies some distance and I think Eggers and Payne (and Pickett) are finding the comedy in reality, its just the pieces of reality they are taking are so absurd they seem like satire.

Satire to me is Bruno, at least what I gather from the ads.

and Goon I know exactly what scene you are talking about… it involves a motorcycle helmet.

Goon
Guest

"HE GETS HIS LIFE LESSON FROM THE ENLIGHTENED ARAB WHO DIES IN HIS ARMS AND TALKS ABOUT JOINING HIS FAMILY!!! Why is this not annoying you to no end?"

I already said why. Spock gets his character development through a few short scenes and then its 'pew pew pew' just manning the stations, not really saying much or doing anything. Stark's character development may not be so in depth, but theres such an extended time of his character living and breathing with other people on screen, and showing his sense of humor, that Stark is a far more endearing, more charismatic, better developed, character in the end.

And this is done with a character that very little of the mainstream audience is walking into the theater with pre-knowledge of. You can't say that for Spock, the public already have passed the ball to Abrams and he just had to run with it. He did just that, but he didnt actually rebuild or develop that character himself. Favreau and RDJ simply did way more work on their character than Abrams and Sylar McFuckface.

Goon
Guest

and don't even get me started on Chris Pine. I don't get any of the love for that dude. He's so bland he should be one of the GAP mannequins, or at best, one of the associate Chadpires in Twilight.

I will say this for Transformers 2, Iron Man and Star Trek: They are all significantly better movies than Twilight.

rot
Guest

its just a free-for-all now, you gotta a movie you hate bring it in to the mix!

Goon
Guest

This may be a controversial opinion around here, but I think it must be stated:

Swept Away was not a very good film.

Goon
Guest

But it was still better than Twilight.

Henrik
Guest

"Also its a joke."

It was an analogy, that somebody praised, maybe the topic was to be funny (crass, at best) but I won't let you die in the sin, you'll have to defend your poor jokes that make no sense, even if they are jokes.

rot
Guest

Ok I have a bad film, and Kurt said I should check it out, admittedly within the context that it was a film with Michelle Williams in it, but good lord, has to be the worst film I have seen in the 2000's… Prozac Nation. Christina Ricci does a fairly decent job with what she has but everything else is a trainwreck, this is the director of Insomnia?!!!!! wow.

Goon
Guest

I didnt realize Erik Skjoldbjærg made Prozac Nation. I read PN in high school and thought it was okay, and the movie was in production shortly after or around the same time. It took several years before they released it in any form. I'm sure its awful.

Kurt
Guest

I have a soft spot for PN, the film that took me 3 years to see due to Miramax (who dumped it on DVD 3 years after its TIFF debut). Yes, I love Insomnia (the original) and PN isn't near the level of that film, but I don't remember it being a train wreck. Of course it's been a while, and I"m not going to passionately defend the thing either.

Rusty James
Guest

@ I just rewatched Sideways again last night, and I love that movie, but it is a Robert McKee 101 script of boy get girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back

Rot, have you actually read Robert McKee's "STORY" ?

Rusty James
Guest

@ its just a free-for-all now, you gotta a movie you hate bring it in to the mix!

FUCKIN GHOST WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AaaaaaaaRGHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Goon
Guest

Hey Rusty, since I doubt he's a reader over here, what was your reaction to reading Damndirtyape's comments on FilmJunk about the Twins? With those comments and that picture, I have to say, I made an immediate judgment that the guy is probably a true out-and-out racist. I half-called him on it, and I dont know how that is going to go over.

Rusty James
Guest

@ Hey Rusty, since I doubt he’s a reader over here, what was your reaction to reading Damndirtyape

If I'm not mistaken he's posted here as "Necron something something" you might remember him from the Iron Man fracas.

But about his comments. He reflects a sentiment I've found prevelant among the Right which I think is a recent development. This seething barely contained bitter white man's resentment. It's a mindset that's at once quick to claim maximum offense all the time while completely unempathetic towards anyone else. There's no racism, it's just the blacks taking offense to everything like they always do. The constant barrage of insults they all suffer is the only true social injustice anymore.

So the very notion that a transformer can be an offensive caricature is immeadiately dismissed as PC fanaticism run amok. But their two week long temper tantrum over Letterman's Palin joke- that was a civil rights issue.

They stew about "affirmative action presidents" and "wise latinas" and Ms. Californias. They demand increasingly shrill public representatives in the form of professional tantrum throwers like Benn Gleck and Sarah Palin (seriously, point me to the liberal equivilent of these two figures). It's outrage fetishism, it's the cheapest laziest way to score political points and it invites fanaticism.

Goon
Guest

Oh god, I did not like Necro99 on here at all.

I still thing theres some white resentment there, but I'm glad the thread could get a little more back on track.

"seriously, point me to the liberal equivilent of these two figures"

Thats why I dont get the 'liberal media' crap. I guess since the media generally respects their gay or minority viewership its PC or something? I really don't get it. Maybe a vast majority of people in the media actually are liberals, but they dont make it so clear as Fox do through their editorials. I mean who is there really on TV, Jack Cafferty, Keith Olbermann?

The bluntly racial things Pat Buchanan gets away with week to week, that confrontation between Glenn Beck and Ellison, these things would kill most peoples careers, but they get brought back on week after week, and Letterman is apologizing over a joke he most assuredly did not write and doesn't need to apologize for.

I'm not going to pretend theres no hysteria among the left or irreligious – far from it – I always point to the group who wanted to ban the word 'gun' from reading lists as one of my biggest pet peeves of recent years, and theres an atheist group I pay attention to who have a major member who thinks we should ban burqas… but at the end of the day I put on TV and Ann Coulter is a regular guest on Hannity's show, is always out there, but Michael Moore puts out a movie every couple of years, you have to pay to see his views, and they're treated like they've got equal time, and are equally extreme.

You've got Coulter calling John Edwards a faggot on network television, and its Perez Hilton who ends up apologizing to the gay community in shame when he says it. It's just weird.

Goon
Guest

remember when Glenn Beck had a full special on Bible prophecy? That was pretty funny.

I went and found the video, and made the mistake of reading the youtube comments underneath. Read if you dare:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTaCbH6zXU0

Youtube comments have replaced Yahoo Messages comments as my no. 1 source of evidence that the human race deserves whatever terrible disease or disaster mother nature can cook up 😛 – If I were a religious man youtube comments would have me on my knees praying for nuclear holocaust 😀

Andrew James
Admin

Isn't Bruno more like farce than it is satire? Maybe it's a combination of the two. Satire is usually (if it's good satire) more downplayed and more of an undertone than straight up "attack comedy." I don't consider "Space Balls" to be satire – that's farce. Something like "Thank You for Smoking" is satire. Maybe I'm off base here.

“seriously, point me to the liberal equivilent of these two figures” – Was that rhetorical? No?

Janeane Garofolo and Howard Dean.

Rachel Maddow and Nanci Pelosi.

Keith Olberman and Barbara Boxer.

Dan Rather and Ron Reagan.

Andrew James
Admin

Alright, planning on stealing Michael Bay's "product" tomorrow by sneaking into the theater. I have no morals. Sue me.

…actually not true. I snuck into "Once" when it first came out and I loved it so much I went to the ticket office and told them what I did and paid for the movie. I also bought three tickets to "Let the Right One" but only used two. So me and the theater chain? They owe me one (especially after making me sit through "Taking of Pelham 123)."

Rusty James
Guest

@ Janeane Garofolo and Howard Dean.

Rachel Maddow and Nanci Pelosi.

Keith Olberman and Barbara Boxer.

Dan Rather and Ron Reagan

All terrible examples. Obviously there are liberal voices in politics, that's not what I'm looking for. If you've got a video of Rachel crying like a little bitch over losing an election. Or Keith Olberman decoding occult symbols on US currency. I'd accept either of them as equivelant to Hannity or O'Rielly. Not Glenn Beck. Beck is a scum bag by the standards of political pundits. If you're listening to Beck and exclaiming "at last a voice of common sense!" then you're fucking diseased. Confirmed.

Boxer and Pelosi have never been political phenomenons like Palin. Howard Dean owed his overnight success to being a salient antiwar voice in the Dem primary at a time when the country had turned against the war. I don't recall him resorting to Palin style "real america" identity politics.

It's not even about her shallow opportunism, it's about her audiences willingness to be pandered too.

Rusty James
Guest

and goon I thought appreciate this comment I found attached to the Glenn Beck / Hagee video

"I can assure you that since all (100%) of Bible prophecies have come true, most in absolute detail, we can be assured the others yet to come will also be true."

100% have come already true… so rest must be true also…

God doesn't do much percentages.

Goon
Guest

Indeed, epic failures of examples. I've got news for you, if you think Maddow is as unhinged and far left as Beck is unhinged and far right, you're not an independent, you are a flat out conservative.

The only one that to me comes close to the Palin example there is Howard Dean, because he was the closest thing to a true media outrage whore in the Democratic Party. BUT OH WAIT, THAT WAS HIS ACTUAL JOB. Is Palin the Chairperson of the Republican Party? No? Exactly.

Michael Moore calls corporate CEOs "stupid white men" and conservatives lose their shit. Hannity puts out a book with this title:

http://www.harpercollins.com/harperimages/isbn/la

and thats par for the course for what a republican can publicly call a liberal in the media without a hint of satire, farce, irony, or comedic exaggeration.

Goon
Guest

In all cases, by definition it's farce. But in the cases where SBC is going after someone with the intention of showing someones homophobia, or using the character itself to provoke the viewer into having some view he holds, its also satire.

I mean, I highly doubt that SBC hates feminists, so the part in Borat where he's provoking them at their meeting is not exactly satire, at least intentionally.

Mike Rot
Member

Andrew and I have been arguing behind the scenes over the following clip and the notion that O'Reilly is in anyway a legitimate source of news and debate.

this clip is from 2006, and take note midway through Bill says Krugman (my hero btw) has been painting Armageddon with his opinions about the ensuing recession. 2006.

<object width="320" height="265"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/MUOFTPbxuWA&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/MUOFTPbxuWA&hl=en&fs=1&&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="320" height="265"></embed></object>

Rusty James
Guest

@ if you think Maddow is as unhinged and far left as Beck is unhinged and far right, you’re not an independent

Come to think of it Andrew, I don't really have a good bead on your politics. Even though we've debated a lot. Are you socially progressive but fiscally conservative? Have you ever taken the political compass test?

You clearly lean more to the right than the left. But since you consider yourself an "independant" on what principals do you split with conservatives?

Were you a Bush supporter? Did you ever find a candidate to support in the 08 election? You once said you liked Lieberman… why?

Goon
Guest

Does Garofalo have a national TV show she gets to spout her views to millions of people every day?

Another major failure of all those examples is that you should be giving examples of people who have the star power, influence reach and audience of a Beck or Palin. Only Olbermann comes even close. You can find countless conservative extreme voices with legions of devoted followers like Michael Savage or Rush Limbaugh. Sure there's liberal hosts like Thom Hartmann or Stephanie Miller, but you can't tell me they are an equivolent because they simply don't have that rabid audience. I mean you may as well say Jeremiah Goldsworthy of Des Moines, Iowa is the equivolent of Glenn Beck and Michael Sloan of Toronto Ontario is the equivolent of Sarah Palin.

What did Rather do besides anchor a failed Bush story? That makes him the equivolent of Glenn Beck? Has Rather made a political editorial on anything ever?

Rusty James
Guest

@ Michael Sloan of Toronto Ontario is the equivolent of Sarah Palin.

Isn't Michael Sloan our esteemed Rot?

Rusty James
Guest

When I said I didn't think Palin and Beck have liberal counterparts I wasn't singling them out because for their political extremism or their inflamatory remarks. That stuff's a dime a dozen. And I don't think Palin qualifies as an extremist. Quite the opposite, I'd call an opportunist who lacks any clear principals. Save abortion which is not at all a brave position for a republican.

I singled them out for their craven pandering as Palin displayed recently over the letterman flap. You know what, I agree his remarks were uncalled for and I'm glad he apologized. But for two weeks this insufferable banshee of a woman screamed about it to any media outlet that would listen, crying about how letterman threatened to rape willow! While her pathetic fanclub, who should've been embarrassed lapped it up. Feigned outrage is like crack to thse people.

And the left's got it too. But they don't turn the person who throws their tantrum the loudest into their next superstar.

Andrew James
Admin

Just saw Transformers and can't bring myself to finish the review. The review from the first movie would suffice. But I would like to address the racism thing of "The Twins." It's only racist if you assume that the characters were representative of a minority culture. One was green and one was red and they looked more like Gremlins than anything else. But because one has a gold tooth and says, "punk ass bitch", it is immediately assumed that they are supposed to be representing black people. What a bunch of shit. They're a couple of robots attempting comic relief. To see colored skin in that is demonstrative of a stereotypical mindsight and much more racist than Michael Bay putting them in there. I would've never thought twice about it had I not previously read the comments on here.

Now having said that, I'm a white boy from the suburbs. My sensitivities and perspectives are obviously from a different point of view. But I saw the movie in the downtown theater, which, lets just say I was the minority there. And the folks seemed to be loving the humor (I thought the humor throughout was awful, but that's beside the point) of the Twins.

Besides, by the end, The Twins turn out to be pretty kick ass.

Andrew James
Admin

Oh and on the politics front which I don't have the energy or willingness to engage in, I will say that this 24 hour news coverage of MJ's death is far more insulting than anything Keith Olberman or Glen Beck ever say. Sheesh! Stop already.

Goon
Guest

I must say I'm pretty glad I don't have cable anymore. At least MJ is more deserving of coverage than the Anna Nicole Smith non stop coverage.

The twins are not kick ass. They're annoying. I will agree they are nowhere near as racist as its been made out to be, but I do believe they were meant to be 'black' about as much as Jazz was meant to be 'black' and Jetfire was meant to be an old fart. I mean seriously. Look at the URL robot and the Reverend robot on Futurama. They're robots, they're not colored black, but come on – we all know what's going on 😛

As I said on the FJ board, if they had been successful side characters, it would not be an issue. You can get away with any racial stereotypes or humor if you're successful, its when you fail that you start being questioned, because thats when people don't get your intentions and can't figure out what the joke was supposed to ever represent.

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