Friday, June 29, 2007

'Transformers": UPDATE

Just saw the film last night at a press screening. Unfortunately, the studio has imposed a July 3 review moratorium, and since I don't want to lose my preview privileges, I will comply. (Actually, since Dirty Harry over at Libertas gave me a shout-out yesterday, I kinda want to give him first dibs on a review anyway.)

As to the politics of the thing, Transformers is definitely right of center. Or at least goes out of its way not to kick Red State America in the teeth. The credits even thank "the men and women of the armed forces" along with the Pentagon, other government agencies and a few dozen U.S. military bases that double as shooting locations. When's the last time you saw that in a mainstream release?

That said, it's hard to take this movie seriously. The movie dares you to try and is fully prepared to mock you for seeing it as anything other than what it's intended to be -- the ultimate, noisiest, insanely entertaining ride you've had at the movies in years, a mission it fully accomplishes. (Honestly, the last film at which I can recall people standing and cheering during the screening was Red Dawn as a kid. Granted, preview audiences are easier to please than the regular crowd.)

The movie looks amazing, is frequently hilarious... (Yikes, dangerously close to becoming a review here.) Um, suffice it to say, there's a scene at one point that has the Secretary of Defense blasting away with a vintage shotgun at Johnny Five from Short Circuit deep in the bowels of the Hoover Dam. If you can't read that sentence without rolling your eyes and pining for the "serious filmmaker" pretensions behind something like The Good German, this flick is not for you. And by the way, you're an idiot.

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