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Yes, This Does Deserve Its Own Post, Actually

I could have just posted this in the comments to our own review of the movie, but the discussion there has gotten a little heated, and I wanted to make sure that everyone could see this. I really needed to call attention to the fact that the hilarious Topless Robot blog has published its much-anticipated, profanity-filled “Transformers 3 FAQ,” and it is a thing of beauty.

If you thought that Luke’s review here was hard on the movie, wait until you see the way this one thoroughly deconstructs it plot-point by absurd plot-point. It’s every bit up to the standard of the site’s legendary “Transformers 2 FAQ.” Michael Bay apologists, I’m dying to hear you defend the movie after this.

No, I have no affiliation with Topless Robot; I just think it’s awesome. Be sure to read the amazing ‘Green Lantern’ review there too.

68 comments

  1. I’d be more impressed if he could get his facts straight. His comments were funny but he was dead wrong on several things that happened in the movie specifically who killed who in the final sequence. If you’re going to lampoon a movie at least know what you’re talking about.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      Considering that all of Bay’s robot characters look exactly the same as one another, confusion as to who did what to whom is only natural. :)

      • I’m as tired of that excuse as I’m sure the Transformers haters are of hearing “What do you expect? It’s a movie about Transformers.” It’s not hard to tell Optimus, Sentinel, and Megatron apart.

        • Josh Zyber
          Author

          I haven’t seen the new movie yet, but I’ll tell you that in the last one, I found it absolutely impossible to tell Megatron, Starscream, and The Fallen apart. They’re all just a bunch of gray metal scrapheaps constantly smashing into one another. When Optimus dramatically killed one of them in the climax, I had zero idea who he’d just fought.

          Further, the fact that the robots in Bay’s universe can transform into *anything* they feel like (which is a totally bullshit violation of the franchise’s original concept) makes it even harder to tell who’s doing what at any moment.

          • As for this idea, bullshit violation or not, it works for the movies, they are robots in disguise and they can copy what they need to stay hidden, its a good modern way to bring the idea of Transformers to life on the big screen, I’m sorry but if Bumblebee looked like a damn actual Bug or we had Perceptor running around turning into a freaking Microscope it would be completely stupid, so to me this was a good change for a live action film

          • Shoot, I LIKED the first movie, its why I saw the second, but I had no idea what was going on through half the movie? Couldn’t tell the enemy from the good guys, couldn’t tell anyone apart, and the story made no sense. In fact, it wasn’t until I read Topless Robot that the movie made any sense whatsoever.

            The third one may be better. It HAS to be better – NOTHING is as bad as Transformers 2 was. Lets face it, the only thing that movie was was stuff blowing up and some crude jokes.

          • Really? I cant believe people had such a problem following what was going on, I had no issue with the story, following the characters, any of the Transformers, I knew who was fighting at all times, to me Megatron, The Fallen and Starscream all look completely different, I knew who they all were all the time…..obviously I didnt have the same problems you did and I’m sure others didnt as well, so I’m inclined to say its not the movie

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            Chaz, you’re taking this far too seriously. We’re just having a bit of fun at Bay’s expense.

            As for this last point, I don’t have a problem with the idea of the designs being updated. Hell, the size/scale relationship issues in the old cartoon always bugged me, even as a kid. A giant robot turns into a tiny tape recorder – yeah, that was dumb. So if Bay wants Megatron to transform into a plane rather than a handgun, I’m fine with that.

            However, there were certain designs that he shouldn’t have touched, such as Bumblebee being a Camaro now instead of a VW Beetle. The orignal was iconic. The new one is just product placement.

            And all of his robot designs are horrid. They’re not recognizable as the original characters, and I’m sorry but they DO all look the same. Many, many viewers have issues telling them apart.

            But the worst problem by far is this notion that the robots can transform into anything they feel like. That completely pulls the concept away from being “science fiction” and makes it just “magic.”

            How can a robot that’s built out of parts that turn into a jet suddenly just change into a car instead on a whim? Where did those new parts come from and where did the old ones go? Oh, right, magic. Ugh.

          • Ok, so now we decide to insert logic into a movie about giant robots that can turn into cars, trucks and stuff, now they need the other parts to change into different things? Come on now, IMO you are reaching for more reasons to hate these movies, we can go back to the “movie based on a toy line” if you want to, the cartoon was completely ridiculous and so are the movies, so really whats the problem, poking fun and hating something stupid like them changing into anything without parts isnt any different than Bumblebee looking like an old VW Bug and he’s an alien from another planet!

        • I had no clue that Megatron was in this movie until they finally called him by his name in the end. In fact, having blocked ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ out of my head completely, I didn’t even know that he was alive again!

          • vihdeeohfieuhl

            Luke, Are you sure you want to sacrifice your credibility as a film critic and say that you had no idea that Megatron was even in the movie until you heard his name called at the end?

            Why should anybody trust or put any stock in anything you say in your reviews if your viewing comprehension skill is so lacking, you don’t even notice a character on the screen? I asked why anybody should trust your reviews, but I just realized that I probably should have just asked why anybody would bother reading them.

            I mean no offense. I’m just stunned that a critic would admit something that would immediately damage their credibility. When Megatron is introduced in Dark of the Moon, it is absolutely impossible to miss! Even if you haven’t seen either of the first two Transformer films, the introduction of the Megatron character in DOTM is something that even the most casual and distracted viewer would have a hard time missing.

            The introduction of Megatron is DOTM is blatantly obvious — gratuitous even — and yet a film critic is freely admitting that they didn’t even know the character was in the movie until his name is called out at the end.

            I apologize again if you take any offense, but what exactly does that say about your ability to critique films, let alone watch them at all?

          • I agree, if your going to see a transformers film, whether or not you liked the second one is no excuse to not recognize one of the main bad guys. I’m fairly certain that when they show Megatron for the first time they mention his name.

            And I’ll agree in the 2nd movie it was pretty much impossible to tell the difference for the 2nd tier robots, but I never had a problem recognizing Star Scream, Optimus or Megatron.

      • Yeah, honestly thats a bunch of bull shit, I’ve heard you throw that around so many times in the other post but honestly its your problem not most others, I have had no issue ever telling any of them apart in the series so far and I’m sure a ton of fans havent either, so quit trying to use this as an excuse, especially to cover for this horrible piece of trash, I gotta agree with R. Highland on this about knowing your shit before you run your mouth.

        As far as this goes, I get a lot of people arent digging this movie, but man is this site really getting out of hand with haters, so much trash talk and bullshit has been posted about TF3 its ridiculous, I’ve seen more discussion and arguments and language thrown around about this movie than most posts put together on this blog, so I’m just simply not going to go and read this crap, if they want to bash it fine, if you want to agree fine, but quit making it out like no one is allowed to enjoy this movie, its really leading up to you guys just calling everyone a complete moron if they go and enjoy this movie, and honestly I’m surprised it hasnt been said already.

        I’m paying to see this in 3D tomorrow, none of this crap is going to change my opinion before I see it myself, my guess is that I’m going to completely disagree with this and the review from Luke as well, but I’m just getting sick of this constant bashing of the fans, of Bay and of Transformers…..we get it

        • CK

          I always hate having to justify liking a movie, so I completely understand your frustration. But, I think one problem is when people say that we hate it because we can’t accept that the movies are dumb/fun action movies and just can’t enjoy that type of thing. As if anybody who knows anything about the Transformers went in expecting something more than the Transformers. When someone says “Its just a movie about robots fighting”, “Its just based on a line of toys” or “Its just supposed to be a fun movie with stuff blowing up”, as if I don’t get that and if I could just accept it, then I’d enjoy it, they’re basically saying I didn’t like it because I didn’t understand it. Its similar to when you say you don’t like some artsy movie and someone tells you that you “just don’t get it”, as if its a problem with you, when you know that you did “get it”, you had issues with it and determined that you didn’t like it. You feel insulted at being bashed as a fan, but when the fans say that I don’t like it because I just don’t get what a Transformers or Michael Bay movie is going to be, I see that as being treated like a moron who just doesn’t “get” a movie that even many of the fans themselves will say is dumb (even if in a fun way). That attitude is a bit insulting. I can assure you, I understood going into it that it would have a minimal plot just meant to give a context for some fights and explosions, and I hoped for nothing more. In the end, however, I hated it… I “got” it, but hated it. It gets my hate because I wanted to enjoy it, but didn’t, because I think it was needlessly flawed on virtually every level, and I don’t like being insulted because I think it could have been done better; possibly in a way that even the fans might prefer.

          Its like if Bay had a hamburger restaurant, where he only makes burgers. The fans will say that Bay only makes burgers, nothing fancy, just a simple burger and nothing but, and that’s all he’s trying to make. The fans like the burger Bay’s prepared today, therefore, its a good burger, so the people who hate it can’t legitimately dislike the burger. Therefore, when someone says they hate Transformers, the fans will insist that its because we don’t like burgers, we want something more fancy, we wanted fries, we wanted bacon or cheese on the burger, we wanted a salad bar or whatever, but if we could accept that its just a simple burger and that’s all Bay is trying for, then we would enjoy it. Basically its our fault that we’re just idiots, snobs and grossly unreasonable. The problem with that is, I love a good burger, I went in wanting a burger, I’ve even enjoyed some of the burgers Bay has made in the past, I understand what a hamburger is and what Bay’s intentions are, but I didn’t see these as acceptable burgers. I didn’t like the way it looked, I didn’t like the way it tasted, I didn’t like the lips that shouldn’t be there.

          Someone doesn’t like it? Its because they just can’t enjoy a good, fun movie.
          Someone can’t tell the Transformers apart? Bullshit, I didn’t have a problem with it, so you didn’t either.
          Someone thinks the action scenes were presented in a way that made them unintelligible? I was able to follow it, so there is no problem.
          Someone thinks the plot was dumb or is just unacceptably not as good as it could be? Its just about a toy/ about robots fighting/ a fun action movie. I enjoyed it because I understand what it is supposed to be, so its some problem with you, because you can’t think it through.

          I don’t mean to be insulting, but good for you that you liked it, that you like action movies, that you could follow the action and didn’t have issues with how the characters looked. You shouldn’t be insulted for liking it, but I’d like to not be insulted for wanting better.

          • I’m not trying to insult anyone, people who are actual fans of the movie get insulted more than people who arent, especially when it comes to Bay movies.

            I finally got to see this yesterday and completely loved it, I didnt find it insulting in the slightest and I’m not sitting there just wishing things were better.

            Wishing things were better is the biggest thing people fall in to when it comes to movies, instead of just enjoying what the director gives you, you decided that it could have and should have been better, well thats all fine and good if it was YOU making the movie, so why not just enjoy whats there? I’m sure there are plenty of movies that are almost flawless for you right? We all have those films that we feel are perfect or close to it, when a movie is lacking something that you personally thought should be there, why does that make the movie bad? Because you couldnt decided how to make it better? Because you werent writing the script?

            Trust me, I’m extremely happy I can just take whats presented on the screen and enjoy it, I dont regret that ability at all, when I see all these people making up excuses as to why this should have been this way, this dialog should have been taken out, that shot was too hard to see, I feel bad for them honestly, movies are entertainment for us to just sit back, relax and enjoy, but instead too many people have to try and insert what they felt should have been in the movie to make it better and when you do that, you will always dislike what you are watching…..

            Bay unfortunately makes movies that most people feel they could somehow make better, well that isnt Bay’s fault that so many people feel self righteous and just cant enjoy what he’s showing you, but I’m thinking he doesnt care

            All my friends that got to see it over the weekend agree with me and loved it, just as good as the first one, so screw the critics :)

          • EM

            Chaz, instead of wishing that people’s reactions were better, can’t you just choose to enjoy their reactions as they are?

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            In the case of Transformers, it’s like Bay took a dump on a bun and called it a hamburger. And when anyone complains that they don’t want to eat that, the apologists accuse that person of not liking hamburgers.

            I like hamburgers. I also know what a good hamburger is. Michael Bay does not make good hamburgers. He makes shitburgers. I’m sorry, but I will not eat a shitburger and pretend that it tastes good.

          • BostonMA

            Chaz, you make a COLOSSAL mistake in what you label the meaning of film:

            I feel bad for them honestly, movies are entertainment for us to just sit back, relax and enjoy, but instead too many people have to try and insert what they felt should have been in the movie to make it better and when you do that, you will always dislike what you are watching…..

            that is completely incorrect. the medium of film may SOMETIMES be about sitting back, relaxing, and yes, “…turning off your brain for a couple of hours…” and watching mindless “entertainment” but that is absolutely NOT what the artform is ENTIRELY about.

            it’s one thing to admit that you don’t care for the boundary pushing, high end limits of film (you know, the ones that deal their audiences extremely important psychological and societal themes that have the potential to affect and even change a person’s everyday philosophy) and another to say that anyone who does is expecting too much as well as nitpicking.

            face it, Bay makes hackjob pieces of shit that are chock full of plotholes and continuity errors, not to mention horrible storytelling, terrible acting, and completely unfunny humor.

            if you are happy and fine with watching dogshit to waste away a few hours of your life then by all means go for it, but please do defend that action by dumbing down the power of cinema and what it can accomplish.

          • I’m not making a colossal mistake about anything, I wasnt referring to film in general, i was strictly talking about movies like this, some of my favorite movies are about as far away from Transformers as you can get. I love thought provoking movies, movies that attack your brain and make you think, movies that bring out emotions you didnt know you had.

            Why is it that people have such a problem with Michael Bay and his movies, more insulting gets flung around at people that like his stuff than any other director I know and I just dont get it, if we like it why is that a problem?

            I really like this quote:

            “face it, Bay makes hackjob pieces of shit that are chock full of plotholes and continuity errors, not to mention horrible storytelling, terrible acting, and completely unfunny humor.”

            Well I completely disagree with all of this, my whole theater was laughing at that “unfunny” humor, the storytelling was just fine, on par with old school Transformer cartoons, The Rock and Bad Boys werent hack job pieces of shit, sorry…..I’m not sure why people have to keep defending his movies, every time a new one comes out, the haters come out of the woodwork and have to tear it apart and go off on the people that like his stuff, my whole family and a bunch of my friends loved TF3 and agree with me that its one of the best action movies of the year, so needless to say I’m going to stay out of any more of these posts and leave it at that.

            I’m glad Bay is making stuff like this and I’ll keep supporting him, I love his movies and he brings action to the screen like no one else and there is nothing wrong with that….so have a great 4th and we’ll see you in another post :)

          • CK

            You accept whatever the director gives you? Then how would your opinion be of any use, if you take whatever is presented and enjoy it, and never think of how anything could be better? Of course you loved the third one, if you just arbitrarily like everything without critical thought. Should I assume that you don’t dislike anything you’ve ever seen or said that a movie was bad? You didn’t think Transformers 2 was “pretty bad”?

            Is Munich not, “the worst, horrible movie all around, slow moving, unbearable characters, bad dialog, I was SO damn bored with this thing I almost shut it off”? Was it not “boring, drawn out, no memorable characters to speak of, I had a hard time even remember who anyone was from anyone else in that film, will never watch it again” Mid-Week Poll: What is Steven Spielberg’s Worst Film? & Weekend Roundtable: Bad Movies from Good Directors

            Or, Uwe Boll, his “movies are absolutely terrible, I find them completely hilarious, I’ve shown the House of the Dead zombie gun scene to so many people because its the funniest/worst thing I’ve probably ever seen filmed before, Bloodrayne I actually enjoyed for its camp, bad lines and lots of gore :) Dungeon Siege had tons of problems, but Jason Statham can still kick ass even in a Uwe Boll movie so I had no issue watching that one as well, Bloodrayne 2 was extremely awful though, that one I’ll say for sure I’ll never touch again” Mid-Week Poll: Worse Director – Stephen Sommers or Uwe Boll?

            And, what about Van Helsing? “probably [your] most hated film, it just shat all over the Universal horror monsters” by Stephen Sommers, who is “akin to M. Night in the action genre, gets worse with every film” and “went from writing and directing [the Mummy] to doing so much shit …, Van Helsing is one of my most hated movies, its a gigantic joke from start to finish” Mid-Week Poll: Worse Director – Stephen Sommers or Uwe Boll? & Weekend Roundtable: Good Movies from Bad Directors

            Instead of just enjoying what the director gives you, you decided that it could have and should have been better, well thats all fine and good if it was YOU making the movie, so why not just enjoy whats there? I’m sure there are plenty of movies that are almost flawless for you right? We all have those films that we feel are perfect or close to it, when a movie is lacking something that you personally thought should be there, why does that make the movie bad? Because you couldnt decided how to make it better? Because you werent writing the script?

            When I see all these people making up excuses as to why this should have been this way, this dialog should have been taken out, that shot was too hard to see, I feel bad for them honestly, movies are entertainment for us to just sit back, relax and enjoy, but instead too many people have to try and insert what they felt should have been in the movie to make it better and when you do that, you will always dislike what you are watching…..

            The reason Transformers and Bay fans get insulted more is that they make up weak excuses for liking the movies, against people who can give actual reasons they don’t; that and research, research, research.

            I wasn’t sitting watching Transformers, just wishing it could be better either, I was wishing that I was being entertained; I didn’t start hating it until afterward. I will agree that “wishing things were better is the biggest thing people fall in to” with the Transformers and Bay movies, but not so much with other directors; good movies I don’t sit through and wish they were better. I don’t say its bad because I couldn’t decide how to make it better, or that I didn’t write the script, I wish that someone in the production had done so at some point before it was released. I say that its bad because I didn’t like it and thought that it was too full of flaws to say that it was good, many other people didn’t like it, and we can articulate why, but the only arguments people can give to defend it is excuses for why we shouldn’t expect so much and just turn off our brains and accept dumb movies.

            I’m glad for you that you can supposedly enjoy whatever’s presented to you, but when I see people making up excuses like “Its a movie where you have to turn your brain off”, “Its just about big robots fighting”, so that they can accept movies that even they will say are stupid and not really good, then I feel sorry for the rest of us too. Because, supporting and praising movies like these send a message to filmmakers that brain-dead movies are the kinds of movies to make for all of us and its the reason we don’t get better movies.

            It might not be Bay’s fault that people are self-righteous, but it says something if “most people feel they could somehow make [his movies] better”, and he doesn’t care?

          • Hey thats some good points there, when you look at everything like that I’m just as guilty as anyone else, I just not happen to find much fault in Bay’s movies, for me they are entertaining, for others they arent (more so not than otherwise I guess), but what I can say?

            I guess trying to defend movies like these will always be hard, hence why people say “you just didnt get it”, same can be said about professional Wrestling, I cant defend that to save my life and I’ve resorted to using that exact same quote to people that just dont understand why I like to watch it, I would put pro wrestling and mindless movies like this in the same category, they are hard to defend and most of the time people just dont know where you are coming from and why you like it and it really cant be explained to them, all they see is bad acting, hack jobs, unfunny humor or in the case of wrestling “insert gay reference here”, so how does one even try to reach people with that kind of mentality?

            I think the answer is that you dont and I’m just simply going to quit trying, I cant explain why I love watching Uwe Boll movies, I know they are bad movies, but I enjoy watching them, same goes for some (IMO) of Bay’s movies, Transformers can be in there, why do they focus so much on the humans and not on the Transformers? I dont know why they decided to do that, but it doesnt bother me. Why? I cant explain it and I guess I cant defend it, why is all the humor “unfunny”, I dont know why it is for you but to me its not, I cant defend it and I cant explain it, it just isnt and I enjoy it.

            Yes the excuses for defending these movies dont hold a lot of water, especially when you think about actual quality movies, but a lot of us like it and try to defend it but I guess it just doesnt work, so I guess I wont try and defend it anymore, I’m just gonna enjoy it and not worry about explaining why as no one will understand it :)

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            Chaz, from our perspective, it’s exactly the opposite. Anytime someone says that they don’t like Bay’s movies, the Official Michael Bay Civil Defense Union leaps into action to complain “Well you just don’t like action movies” or “You only like artsy fartsy Oscar winners about gay cowboys eating pudding. You don’t understand what REAL PEOPLE want to watch!”

            That’s really galling. I like a good action movie as much as the next guy, but Michael Bay does not make GOOD action movies. He makes terrible action movies. I don’t want to be told that I’m not in touch with what the common man likes because I have the good sense to be repulsed by a dipshit director who thinks it’s hilarious to stick John Turturro’s hairy ass in my face.

          • Jane Morgan

            In 2010, there were 200 movies that grossed more than $5M worldwide.

            Of these, 9 were well-made.

            (A) Should Hollywood only release good movies, regardless of profit?

            (B) Why the fuck can’t Hollywood get off their ass, and just make 200 movies of commanding quality per year?

          • BostonMA

            no Chaz, you did say that…”movies are entertainment for us to just sit back, relax and enjoy, but instead too many people”.

            if you want to admit that you made a mistake there due to your very different response in your next post then that’s fine but you certainly gave me the impression that you view film as a simple and non-complex way of deleting a couple of hours from your life here and there.

            anyways, Bay is a horrible, horrible director. you said in the response that i’m now responding to that you do enjoy emotionally connecting and cerebral fastening films also as well (again, this completely counters what you previously said about how “movies are entertainment for us to just…”) and that is fine if you like to enjoy both great cinema and pure feces (Bad Boys is one of the worst movies i have ever seen. it must have captured some sort of hallmark of what made the 90s great to be an adult in because i couldn’t stand a single minute of the film) but YOU MUST REALIZE that not EVERY single person, or even a good amount of movie goers feel the same as you. the high majority of serious film fans have come to understand what makes a GOOD film from a BAD one and as it goes, we very much dislike BAD movies because they’re BAD, and Bay’s movies are very, very bad.

            once more, if you’re fine with enjoying terrible movies from Bay, ignoring the awful characterization, piss-poor storytelling, and dog-humping humor then really (that’s great if the entire theater you were sitting in laughed as hard as you did…they obviously enjoy immature and unclever, toilet-comedy as much as you), that is A-OK.

            however, do not criticize anyone who chooses to want something more, a person who is NOT happy with “just taking whats presented on the screen and enjoying it” because not everyone can sit “back, relax, and enjoy” their brains being bashed to a near-comatose state and continuously insulted by moronic and absurd “filmmaking” (that time, i used quotations for a different reason) that push the meaning of film to a further and further casual state of simple “movies”.

            to end though, i will make this post completely fair and say that i do like The Rock. it’s a very good film that presents Bay, for once, as a competent director not over-indulging himself. his action is good and not crystal-meth smoking like his later films like The Island and TF2 would display, and the acting is actually very solid, particularly from Sean Connery and Ed Harris. but i won’t finish before outlying that this is a time that is now long ago, where Bay’s ego was held back by the screenwriters and producers to a good extent (Steven Spielberg should be ashamed of his involvement in the Transformers trilogy). it is clear that since 1996, Bay has either become more powerful in his director’s chair or decided to adopt the MORE, MORE MORE is good motto and consequently, his films have suffered because of it.

            who knows, MAYBE his next production; ‘Pain and Gain’, will be a return to okay-form for Bay, and if that turns out to be what happens, then i’ll be the first to semi-applaud him in his efforts.

            until then, i’ll stick by my decision to not take part in enjoying his horrible products because i personally prefer to use my very valuable time invested in QUALITY films that demonstrate the value of cinema and present a special power that has the potential to engage my psyche.

          • Well when it really comes down to it all, it doesnt matter what you or I think, you can be pro Michael Bay or hate Michael Bay with all your being but Transformers 3 just set the record for largest Independence Day opening gross of all time, we’ve all had the argument sometime in our lives that just because its popular doesnt make it a good movie but is that really true when this many people put a movie like this that high on a pedestal?

            As for being on the opposite side of the coin Josh, I’m not sure thats quite the case, its been about 98% Bay bashing around here with only a few like myself trying to defend him and his movies, outside of the elitist world that is HDD, its the other way around it seems, I dont know one person in my real world friends and family that didnt love this movie, so I’m not sure who these woodwork defenders of Michael Bay are online because I rarely ever see them.

            Regardless I’m not going to defend him and his movies any more, if you see complete stupidity, good for you, stay away and dont watch, its really pretty simple, instead I swear people go in knowing they arent going to like it and cant wait to get home and argue about how bad it was….but I enjoy them, millions and millions of people enjoy them and if they were really really bad like you say, his movies wouldnt break box office records and all these people wouldnt go see them, its like Green Lantern, that movie is tanking hard, in your opinion I bet anything Michael Bay is worse than this, but which one is the one thats killing it at the theaters? So needless to say I’ll keep watching his movies and so will TONS of other people out there, so next time, just dont bother going and save us all the trouble ;)

          • I think there are some fair points here. I liked Armegeddon and the first Transformers movies. They were fun action movies that it was okay to turn my brain off for a while and just sit back and enjoy.

            I think Pearl Harbor and Transformers 2 were, I’m going to say it, those shitburgers that Josh were talking about. I found Transformers 2 hard to follow, and thought that Pearl Harbor was just a horrible script with horrible acting. And I will point out reasons why.

            As such, I can look at stuff like this and get a good laugh.

            But if you like it, that’s fine. I won’t stop you. i won’t tell you that you are wrong (if I did, sorry, shouldn’t have done that).

            Shoot, even in the same genera, there are differences. Like, Josh and I both like Dune. (Okay, its Josh’s favorite movie). He LOVES the movie, I prefer the SyFy miniseries. What about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Many people prefer Gene Wilder, I prefer Johnny Depp.

            We are a web community that discusses movies. And sometimes those discussions can get quite heated. But we should at least try to keep it a bit civil.

            BTW, I HATE most artistic movies. I don’t think a movie is good simply because some director has decided to put something on film that has never been done before.

            The point I am trying to make is that I don’t dislike Transformers 2 because I am a Bay hater – there were movies of his I liked and movies of his I hated. And I don’t necessarially blame Bay completely for the garbage that was Transformers 2 – Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman probably had as much to do with it as Bay.

            However, if you liked them, that is fine. I don’t expect everyone to like movies I like, and vice versa. Shoot, my roommate and I have very different views on movies – she thinks Pumpkin is the greatest movie ever made, I think its a steaming pile of shit. I think Gone With The Wind, Star Wars, and Jurassic Park are the greatest movies ever made, and she is bored to death bu them.

          • CK

            “As for being on the opposite side of the coin Josh, I’m not sure thats quite the case, its been about 98% Bay bashing around here with only a few like myself trying to defend him and his movies, outside of the elitist world that is HDD, its the other way around it seems, I dont know one person in my real world friends and family that didnt love this movie, so I’m not sure who these woodwork defenders of Michael Bay are online because I rarely ever see them.”

            If it’s been 98% Bay bashing against only a few defenders around here, but its the other way around outside HDD, then what Josh said is probably true. “Chaz, from our perspective, it’s exactly the opposite. Anytime someone says that they don’t like Bay’s movies, the Official Michael Bay Civil Defense Union leaps into action to complain ‘Well you just don’t like action movies’ or ‘You only like artsy fartsy Oscar winners about gay cowboys eating pudding. You don’t understand what REAL PEOPLE want to watch!’”

            Its nice to see you two finally agree on something.

          • I agree with you CK, but while I may have wanted something more out of Bay’s Transformers there are enough moments in the first and third movies that at least touch on what could have been.

            The very fact that they have Optimus’s original voice actor in that role was enough for me to forgive some of what was done. The second movie is complete trash, but Bay kind of makes up for it with the third one. The Autobots act as they should have and don’t do much stupid crap as they did in the first two.

            The movies are a pale shadow of what could have been, but to be honest, unless someone like Christopher Nolan was to do a Transformers movie I don’t think we could have asked for much better.

            The original animated Transformers movie is still in my book the gold standard both for it’s animation (at that time) and the more adult content that was presented in that movie. If only optimus hadn’t died in it, it would have been perfect.

        • vihdeeohfieuhl

          I couldn’t agree more.

          ALL of the Transformers are easily discernible from one another. When Josh and others say things such as, “I haven’t seen the new movie yet, but I’ll tell you that in the last one, I found it absolutely impossible to tell Megatron, Starscream, and The Fallen apart. They’re all just a bunch of gray metal scrapheaps constantly smashing into one another.” It just kills me.

          I’m actually shocked that they would admit such a thing. Seriously, if they can’t tell characters apart that look and sound completely different from each other, how can they claim to be so refined and knowledgeable about film viewing habits. It’s not hard to tell the characters apart! My son, who’s barely older than a toddler can easily tell you which Transformer is which at any given point in any given battle!

          Furthermore, most of them all say something about how they are all just gray metal scrapheaps. This simply isn’t true! They all have different color schemes and other unique traits about their colors. Just because they aren’t all bright and bold red and blue like O.P., or yellow like B, doesn’t mean that the rest of them are just gray.

          If you’re not paying enough attention to the film to notice which color all of the characters are, and which Transformer is which, don’t you dare come out and try to act like you can form a relevant critical opinion of the film. I’m not going to place any value in anything you say if I know that your viewing comprehension was lacking so badly that you didn’t even know which character was which. This only tells me that you were highly distracted, and not putting enough mental energy into the film to even deserve to write about it.

        • vihdeeohfieuhl

          “Yeah, honestly thats a bunch of bull shit, I’ve heard you throw that around so many times in the other post but honestly its your problem not most others, I have had no issue ever telling any of them apart in the series so far and I’m sure a ton of fans havent either, so quit trying to use this as an excuse, especially to cover for this horrible piece of trash, I gotta agree with R. Highland on this about knowing your shit before you run your mouth.”

          I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly!

          ALL of the Transformers are easily discernible from one another. When Josh and others say things such as, “I haven’t seen the new movie yet, but I’ll tell you that in the last one, I found it absolutely impossible to tell Megatron, Starscream, and The Fallen apart. They’re all just a bunch of gray metal scrapheaps constantly smashing into one another.” It just kills me.

          I’m actually shocked that they would admit such a thing. Seriously, if they can’t tell characters apart that look and sound completely different from each other, how can they claim to be so refined and knowledgeable about film viewing habits. It’s not hard to tell the characters apart! My son, who’s barely older than a toddler can easily tell you which Transformer is which at any given point in any given battle!

          Furthermore, most of them all say something about how they are all just gray metal scrapheaps. This simply isn’t true! They all have different color schemes and other unique traits about their colors. Just because they aren’t all bright and bold red and blue like O.P., or yellow like B, doesn’t mean that the rest of them are just gray.

          If you’re not paying enough attention to the film to notice which color all of the characters are, and which Transformer is which, don’t you dare come out and try to act like you can form a relevant critical opinion of the film. I’m not going to place any value in anything you say if I know that your viewing comprehension was lacking so badly that you didn’t even know which character was which. This only tells me that you were highly distracted, and not putting enough mental energy into the film to even deserve to write about it.

  2. To Josh:

    They wanted to use the VW Bug in the original film but VW wouldn’t allow it because they didn’t want to be associated with a “war” film. That’s the same reason Jazz wasn’t a Porsche and was a Pontiac instead.

  3. I haven’t seen #3 yet, but as I said for #2 to all the haters… If you go to a movie like this expecting to see a plot, you’re about as dumb as you think the movie is. That’s not what it’s about. It’s a movie about big ass robots that turn into stuff and blow shit up.

    This is why I get sick of reading movie reviews and almost never take them seriously. Every movie has to have some deep hidden meaning to be entertaining anymore. blah blah blah. Cowboys and lesbians eating pudding. SNORE! At what point in life do you stop being able to just have fun and watch shit get blown up? Why does everything have to have some kind of deep philosophical meaning? Just sit back and enjoy the eye and ear candy. After all, that’s what summer blockbusters are all about.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      I’m sorry, Keith, but this argument just doesn’t hold any water. No, we don’t want every movie to be an art film about gay cowboys eating pudding. (If you’re going to make a South Park reference, at least get it right.) We don’t need every movie to be an Oscar winner with deep hidden philosophical meaning. We just don’t want these movies to be insanely, horribly, insultingly stupid.

      There must be some middle ground here. How is it that something like last couple of Batman movies can manage to be action-packed, exciting, and have tons of mega-budget eye candy visual effects, and yet also not be offensively stupid? What’s stopping Bay from doing that? It really doesn’t seem like a lot to ask from someone who’s been handed $400 million to make a movie.

      • Jane Morgan

        Spielberg was the guiding hand, shepherding all three Transformer screenplays, note by note, from concept to shooting script.

        That’s why all three feel like they were written by the screenwriter of A.I.

        If only Kubrick had left blueprints on how to make a giant robot movie…

        • But still, there’s a significant difference between Spielberg’s movies and Bay’s movies. So “Transformers” can’t all be “the Spielbergian touch”, can it? “Transformers” does have Bay written all over it, including action, mayhem and explosions.

          I don’t really recognize any “A.I.”-influence in “Transformers”, either.

          • Jane Morgan

            A movie is a director’s interpretation of a screenwriter’s story structure.

            Spielberg has a different sensibility than Bay. They each attach themselves to direct scripts that appeal to their individual taste.

            The A.I. commonality, at the script level, is shallow sci-fi, poorly written.

            With Transformers, if you hate the weakness of the story, blame Spielberg, as he was the one who gave Bay the “good enough” scripts to shoot. On budget, on deadline.

          • You go back and watch some of first movies like The Rock and Bad Boys, they dont even compare in terms of script to The Transformers movies, writers can make a whole lot of difference even for someone like Bay and I think that Ehren Kruger and the other two (even though they have written much better stuff in the past) didnt work out too well for the Transformer franchise ;)

    • I’m with Josh on this “expecting a plot argument”. As Topless Robot points out, people have a right to expect a movie that makes a modicum of sense. All films cheat reality to some degree (for example, most people don’t have articulate philosophical conversations in less than 2 minutes), but a $200 Million dollar movie should be air-fucking-tight in terms of structure, story, and character.

      Chris Nolan is a perfect example of well done action. Hell, even UNSTOPPABLE cheated but was fun because it all stayed within its own rules. The reality is the best movies manage to be exciting, and smart.

      Also, to Chaz’s point above about all the haters here, HDD may lean a little anti-Bay, but hey, we’ve all got our own opinions. As for me, I didn’t like the first 2 transformers films for all those crazy logic leaps. Revenge of the Fallen specifically made no sense (not because I couldn’t follow what they were trying to do, but as Topless Robot did so comically well, it breaks its OWN rules time and time again).

      That being said, the 3D of Dark of the Moon was excellent and improved Bay’s cutting style dramatically. And for the first time in the series, I enjoyed myself despite its many flaws. In a summer of boring movies, this is (sad as it may be) a highlight.

      • Oh trust me, I would take Nolan any day over Bay if I had a choice, Bay just makes highly entertaining brain dead movies and I enjoy that and it seems like people get upset when you do, I miss the days of old when action movies came from the 80s and they were all filled with terrible acting, great one liners and tons of shit blowing up and people getting shot, take Commando with Arnold for example, that movie really was terrible, one man blowing up tons of guys, having perfect aim, walking straight across a big yard without getting shot by ANY of them, its completely absurd and it really isnt any different than something like Transformers, I grew up watching great 80s junk like that, I know perfectly well they are horrible movies (as are the Transformer films) but that doesnt stop me from loving to watch them, sure Nolan can make infinitely better movies than Bay (he can also write great scripts too, which Bay cant), but Bay has his place and I enjoy what he gives me, some of the best action and shit exploding that I’ve ever seen and thats perfectly fine to enjoy if you like it :)

        • I don’t think anyone said there was anything wrong with enjoying these movies. I like big dumb action movies too. I’m seeing a lot more venom coming from fans directed at reviewers who DON’T like them than vice versa. As though our liking explosions or whatever should give these movies a pass in other areas, or they should be analyzed using their own set of criteria (I still think a Bay-Meter would be a good idea.) But where do you draw the line? Should the ratings for Yogi Bear or Kitty Galore be raised because “they’re not supposed to be Oscar winners?” I agree that negative reviews shouldn’t necessarily keep someone from making up their own mind about a film, but for me, in this case, I expected to be let down by this film. The reviews echo my fears. That’s enough for me to spend my theater dollar (or 10) on another movie. I won’t dismiss it entirely or anything, I’ll check it out on disc eventually, but I wasn’t going to see it in theaters unless I heard pretty unanimously that this was a massive departure from the last film.

        • You know, I think this is one of the best summery of a Michael Bay film I have seen. Yeah, many of his movies were badly written, but man, are they fun to watch! May watch Armegeddon this weekend. And I got the first Transformers movie on HD-DVD, so I may stick that in.

          Good call on 80s movies too. Yeah, many are badly written and corny, but they are still fun to watch! :-)

    • ‘Eclipse’ was better than both ‘Twilight’ and ‘New Moon’, so maybe Bill Condon can top that and deliver the best one in the series. We’ll have to wait and see. The poster for ‘Breaking Dawn’ is quite excellent. Let’s hope that’s an indication.

      • EM

        The poster for Breaking Dawn, unlike the posters for its predecessors, does not depict the characters. But don’t let that fool you; they’ll be in the movie. :P

  4. You know, I’m looking forward to this. It’s going to be daft big explosive fun. I enjoyed Transformers 1, I actually have come to enjoy Transformers 2, for all’s it’s idiocy in places. And I’ll probably enjoy 3. I’m with Chaz, for the most part. ;-) (I also never had any problem telling the transformers apart… though I do think the action can become a little indistinct in places. Not so much which robots are fighting, but what they’re actually doing in a fight sometimes)

    As for plot, and the mention of Nolan… Heck, I thought The Dark Knight was as stupid and inconsistent as Transformers 2, just that Transformers 2 gets away with it by not pretending to be pretentiously highbrow. ;-) (Though admittedly, at least TDK didn’t have crass humour) Heck, the Transformers movies are based on a toy line, and a series of cartoons that were generally pretty poor (Sorry Josh!). It’s amazing the films have plots as ‘good’ (I use that word somewhat loosely!) as they do. ;-)

    When I want intelligent thought provoking science fiction, I’ll watch Dune or Blade Runner, or 2001 etc…. When I want to switch my brain off after a long day at work, I’ll watch giant robots blowing crap up with a side-order of gratuitously shot attractive women alongside grin-inducing sub-woofer shaking surround sound… ;-) They all have their place lol!

    • Am I the only person who thinks The Dark Knight was overrated? Its a good movie, don’t get me wrong, but I will take Batman Begins over Dark Knight any day.

        • It’s not far off. The difference between the idiotic plotting and lack of characterisation in The Dark Knight vs Batman Begins (Which is excellent), is shocking. Especially considering it’s by the same people! You’re not the only one, William. ;-)

          And don’t get me started on Inception, which is basically eXistenZ and a few other movies blended, then with the creativity and imagination extracted to make it mass-audience friendly.

          I hate ending up defending Bay… lol! I can’t stand the arrogant SOB! But I’ll be honest, and say some of his movies do work, as mindless fun. Heck, The Island wasn’t even completely mindless (Even though that was because of all the films it ripped off)

      • I can’t believe all of you revisionists going back and complaining about Nolan’s “Dark Knight”. That movie is about as perfect as a movie about a man in a Bat suit is going to get.

        How can you all nitpick that to death when it has everything you could ask for in a superhero movie. The acting was great, and if anybody has a problem with Ledgers joker then you really need to go check your pulse.

        I mean what did you guys want from it that wasn’t already on the screen? I really feel that you guys just pick on a movie when it’s successful but if it bombs at least you can act like you enjoy it because everybody else just doesn’t get it.

  5. Locopath

    Everyone saying to just enjoy the Transformers movies for what they are, and not look for “deep philosophical meaning”, and just enjoy the action, are missing the point.

    I absolutely LOVE action movies, and don’t mind if stuff doesn’t always make sense. Example is the newest Star Trek movie. It more or less craps on the old “dignified” Star Trek approach of making you think about serious issues, in favour of a more Star Wars action adventure approach. That’s fine, I didn’t start whining that Kirk meeting old Spock was way too unlikely/convenient or that Scotty couldn’t transport someone onto a moving space ship many lightyears away. I accept that silliness to enjoy the overall story and action.

    But you can’t do that for Transformers. The contradictions and silliness aren’t minor things that can be ignored, they are the entire movie. I just don’t understand why we are following Shia around, nor his parents/roommate/girlfriends or whatever. I don’t understand why these robots are slaughtering each other on Earth, they seem to have all sorts of McGuffins to chase but never seem to have much impact. I not always, but often have trouble telling the robots apart and even who’s good or bad. The action scenes are just tough to follow, it’s really complicated busy scenes that are impossible to decipher for me. Robots show up and disappear and transform into random stuff and back again and then they die and then they come back to life. What the hell is going on and why? The lame, possibly racist “comic relief” is just icing on the crap cake.

    To summarise: for me, an action movie with a silly plot is fine, and forgivable, since an action movie is about having fun and not thinking too deeply. But Transformers is a series about not thinking at all, with horrible characters, no coherent plot/excuse for the action, incomprehensible action scenes, and awful dialogue and attempts at humour. It’s not about wanting “deep meaning”, it’s just I want to actually have a clue what’s happening, who’s fighting who, why they are fighting, and what the stakes are. In an action movie I want these questions answered, and I shouldn’t be asking why Shia La Beouf’s mother is eating a pot brownie, ya know?

    I don’t see a single redeeming thing about the Transformer series, even taken as a mindless action movie it fails utterly in my opinion. Even GI Joe was better then this!

    • Channing Tatum’s acting was worse than all three Transformers movies put together, even I cant admit that GI JOE was better than any of the Transformer movies, while I enjoyed GI JOE for what it was, its getting harder to watch that with the sub par FX work and god awful acting jobs by Tatum and just about anyone who wasnt Snake Eyes, sorry but Shia and the whole cast of Transformers pulled off much better characters and emotions than GI JOE

      I’m sorry if you have problems following the action and who’s who, I’ve already said this before but I had no issue with any of this, Bourne Supremacy and Quantum of Solace are examples of not being able to follow the action, Bay and Transformers cant even compare to the horrible editing and quick cuts that those two movies had, TF3 had no issues with following the action, it was slower, much easier to follow than before and all the villains and heroes were easily distinguishable this time around. If other people dont have a problem with this is it really the movie to blame? How do you determine that? Where is the line to say that yes it is the movie and not me thats having the problem? Sure plenty of people have used this complaint about the TF movies, but a lot of people also dont have this problem, so who is right? No one I guess, so I get tired of hearing these used as excuses when other people dont find any fault with it, it isnt much of an excuse if lots of people disagree now is it?

      • Locopath

        I actually like Shia and his acting! I just hate his character in Transformers. For me GI Joe was pretty bland and unmemorable but I don’t actively dislike it like I do with Transformers.

        I never had a problem with Bond but I dislike that style in Bourne too. It’s just a thing some people have trouble with and others don’t. We can agree to disagree but don’t pretend it isn’t an issue for many, many people. (Going by real life friends, as well as reviewers and commenters online)

  6. RCorman

    I’m waiting for the RiffTraks version of Transformers 3. Their commentary for TF2 was great and the only way I was able to finish watching that movie.

  7. Jane Morgan

    @ Josh

    “I like hamburgers. I also know what a good hamburger is. Michael Bay does not make good hamburgers.”

    Let’s not pretend that opinions are facts. Art is far more complex.

    Consider ‘Monty Python And The Holy Grain.’ Plot holes. Logic errors. Weak ending. And not all the jokes work.

    Monty Python is 90% Theater of the Absurd. Michael Bay is 70%.

    Why would you wish a filmmaker to not be himself?

    Isn’t the art form more interesting with a variety of cinematic philosophies.

      • Jane Morgan

        Consult the Book of Enhancements. Chapter 2, verses 9-21.

        “And Saint Attila raised the film grain up on high, saying, O Lord, bless this thy film grain, that with it thou mayst enlighten thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.”

        • Does that mean DNR is utterly evil? ;-)

          “And the Holy Grain Number shall be 3. Not more than 3, nor less than 3. And 5 is way out.”

          • And thou shalt always shoot at 24fps. 25fps is not 24fps. Therefore, thou shalt not film at 25fps. Shooting at 24fps and speeding up to 25fps is acceptable, but thou shalt never shoot at 25fps – 24fps being the perfered method. 29.976 is much too high, and is considered inferior to the one true way. 29.976 may look better to most, but thou shalt not follow that road, for shooting at 29.976 leads to shooting on video or digitaly, which is not holy. Shooting digitally also means no film grain. Film grain is essential to any movie, so thou must shoot on film or post-produce to film, as it will create the film grain. Shooting on film at 24fps is the perferable way thou must shoot movies.

  8. Scary Dave

    Chaz: “we’ve all had the argument sometime in our lives that just because its popular doesnt make it a good movie but is that really true when this many people put a movie like this that high on a pedestal?”

    In other words, what you’re asking is… the exact same thing. “Popular” MEANS “put on a pedestal by a lot of people” IT’S THE EXACT SAME THING! And YES, it’s still true! It’s… …dude, it’s the exact. same. thing.

    • EM

      Note also that the pedestal in question is “the record for largest Independence Day opening gross of all time”. Box office, especially opening box office, is a poor indicator of audience reaction, since the tickets are bought before the film is seen (except, of course, in the case of repeat business). The film I most recently saw in a theater, a 3D presentation of Cars 2, cost me more to see than my second most recently viewed film, Super 8, yet I liked Super 8 a whole heck of a lot more than Cars 2. And then there’s the whole issue of inflating ticket prices, which makes dollar-based records all the more dubious yardsticks of relative performance.

  9. Jane Morgan

    Box office is the only cinematic measurement that matters.

    Unless a movie makes a profit, the artistic talent behind said movie won’t have the creative freedom to improve their future works.

    What is more important for Darren Aronofsky’s fanbase? The reviews and the awards? Or the fact that ‘Black Swan’ grossed $327M worldwide?

  10. Josh Zyber
    Author

    I cleared out our spam filter today and reinstated a couple of comments by Tim. I can’t see any reason why they were flagged as spam.

    Tim, I didn’t want you to think we were censoring you.