Friday, July 20, 2007

Transformers: Random Thoughts

The gang went to go see the new "Transformers" movie the other day, and suffice it to say that we had issues. Random thoughts about the movie that have been percolating since then will aggregate here.

  • Based on the casting of the teen to early twenties cast, we now know that Hollywood recognizes four basic types of Generation Y characters. The first of these is Geeks. A gang of the usual stock Hollywood male geeks -- except with contemporary technological skills -- make brief appearances in the film, basically as cosmetic accesories. Their job is to establish the amazingly sexy female quantum-physicist signal-analyst as a mathematical prodigy without having to show her doing any mathematics (aside from a little Hollywood "fast-typing" computer work). Also remember that all assembladges of movie geeks will include at least one hacker who can out-hack the NSA.


  • The second type of Generation Y character is the Jocks. Except that in "Transformers", our few token jock characters are the classic stereotypical movie jocks -- they are belligerent, arrogant, affluent, and Californian with prematurely sexually developed girlfriends. In fact, were it not for the fact that these jocks drive Hummers instead of classic convertibles, we might have suspected that they were human-replicants created by the Decepticons and designed to mimic the first visual-data radio transmissions of planet Earth.


  • The third type of Generation Y character is Women. Apparently all Generation Y women in movies must emphasize their resemblance to Lindsey Lohan as much as humanly possible and possess an eeire "fresh from the porno set" orange glow.


  • Finally, the fourth type of Generation Y character is Average Guys. These can be identified by their inevitable use of dissimulation when dealing with authority figures, an obsession with unattainable sexy women, and an unfailing ability to instantly inspire murderous rage in any and all nearby jocks.


  • By the way, all of the above characters will have so many cell phones that even their cell phones have cell phones.


  • "Transformers" does do some things right. The battle scene against the scorpion robot in the desert village was an absolutely perfect, classic science-fiction fight. The film also does us the visual favor of making the "African-American" transformer "Jazz" into an automobile instead of a giant ghetto blaster.


  • Unfortunately, "Transformers" does some very important things totally wrong. Perhaps the single biggest blunder of the entire film was the ridiculous amounts of visual clutter that the transformers robots displayed. Basically, unless one of these robots is standing perfectly still at attention with abundant lighting, it looks liks a random agglomeration of technological parts. As suprising as it sounds, the use of computer graphics actually made the transformers look worse than their conventionally animated predecessors (compare the original Optimus Prime to the 2007 Optimus Prime, for example). The decision to make the updated transformers appear like advanced versions of the robot Johnny 5 from the film "Short Circuit" will probably become known as one of the notorious film blunders of our day.

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