Now Playing: Bay Brings Nothing New to the ‘Transformers’ Table

Earlier this year, Michael Bay admitted that the 2009 ‘Transformers’ sequel ‘Revenge of the Fallen“was crap” (his words). Of course, he placed most of blame on the Writer’s Strike, not himself. With the third and (supposedly) final ‘Transformers’ movie opening this week, Bay has claimed that ‘Dark of the Moon’ makes up for ‘Revenge of the Fallen’. My opinion: Don’t fall for his lies.

Bay cites the disjointed story as a major fault in ‘Revenge of the Fallen’: “We tried to do too many things in the second movie, which didn’t give enough time in any one of them. We were constantly jumping to the next piece of information, the next place.” Unfortunately, the third film does the exact same thing.

He also claimed that the lame comic relief that hurt the second film would be absent in the third: “One thing we’re getting rid of is what I call the ‘dorky comedy.’ So the twins, the two bumbling, slang-spewing robots? They’re basically gone.” He even went so far as to put his money where his mouth is: “The Twins are not in the movie. You will not find them anywhere… So I am offering a $25,000 REWARD to anyone who can find them performing in Transformers 3, on July 1, when the movie opens.”

This is only partially true. While the Skids and Mudflap characters don’t appear here (that I could find), they’ve been replaced with a couple of dorky Transformers with Scottish accents (one voiced by Craig Ferguson) and some new dorky pet-like robots that somehow have hair. They just don’t do anything stereotypical that might earn Bay another “racist” backlash. In fact, there are more dorky characters than ever. If anything, ‘Dark of the Moon’ replaces the high concentration of dorky robots with dorky humans. The new major players (John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Ken Jeong, Alan Tudyk and Patrick Dempsey) join the ranks of the returning dorky cast (Julie White, Kevin Dunn and John Turturro). And Megan Fox replacement Rose Huntington-Whiteley does nothing more than Fox could do – in other words, stand there looking pretty, pout, etc.

Bay has said that ‘Dark of the Moon’ is the final chapter of a trilogy: “This one really builds to a final crescendo. It’s not three multiple endings. As a trilogy, it really ends. It could be rebooted again, but I think it has a really killer ending.” Wrong again, Mr. Bay. ‘Dark of the Moon’ is hardly a “crescendo.” While it doesn’t have multiple endings, it does have an hour-long ending. And it hardly brings the saga to a close.

‘Transformers’ star Shia LaBeouf put the blame of the second film on the failed attempt to go bigger than the original. “We got lost. We tried to get bigger. It’s what happens to sequels. It’s like, how do you top the first one? You’ve got to go bigger. Mike went so big that it became too big, and I think you lost the anchor of the movie. … You lost a bit of the relationships. Unless you have those relationships, then the movie doesn’t matter. Then it’s just a bunch of robots fighting each other.” Well, ‘Dark of the Moon’ goes much bigger than either of the previous two movies, the relationships are just as shallow as ever (the only depth you get comes from the 3D), and there are even more scenes of robots fighting robots than ever before. Bay’s idea of making up for ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ is to give us an hour-long action-packed climax, but the story isn’t any stronger than the last film. Once again, it jumps from one piece of information to the next, it’s full of holes, and it never makes complete sense.

The only thing that ‘Dark of the Moon’ does that ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ couldn’t is show off how egotistical Michael Bay is when it comes to 3D. For as much as Bay has relentlessly touted the 3D in the movie, it sure isn’t very impressive. After a long-winded prologue that sets up a historical story shown again later in the film, the first present-day shot we see is a 3D close-up of Megan Fox Part II’s half-naked butt walking up stairs. Bay constantly places unfocused objects in the foreground and others deep in the background to make sure you see the depth of his 3D shooting. The one benefit that comes from ‘Dark of the Moon’ being shot in the 3D is the fact that it restricted Bay from using his usual quick-cutting shaky-cam style. In the previous ‘Transformers’ movies, audiences were repeatedly left wondering which robot just killed which other robot.

‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ is more of the same nothingness. The story, the fighting, the CG effects – all just more of the same. None of it is particularly remarkable. In fact, there’s only one memorable scene in the entire movie – and even then, only because it’s something rarely featured in a ‘Transformers’ movie: an actual CG-less stunt. A team of precision skydiving soldiers jumps out of crashing choppers in winged “bird man” suits that allow them to fly between the skyscrapers of Chicago. Being a true stunt performed by professionals, it’s the one scene from ‘Dark of the Moon’ that will stick with you. Everything else either resembles something from a previous ‘Transformers’ movie, a previous Michael Bay flick (much of ‘The Island’, ‘Bad Boys’ and ‘Armageddon’ is present here), or the hallway and hotel bar scenes from ‘Inception’.

Running 154 minutes long, there are at least 154 better ways to waste your time than devoting it to another ‘Transformers’ mess. The only audience I can see enjoying ‘Dark of the Moon’ is the same easily-pleased audience that caused ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ to gross over $400 million domestically. Do yourself a favor and stay away from it. The reason Bay apologized for ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ was to trick you into believing that ‘Dark of the Moon’ would actually be worth watching.

After Bay’s three-picture destruction of a series I wanted to love for nostalgia’s sake, I can only hope that someone will reboot these robots in the future and do them some justice.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆


  1. vihdeeohfieuhl

    Just throwing in my two cents…

    I completely disagree with almost everything Mr. Hickman says in this review.

    When I say this, keep in mind it’s coming from someone who despises the second Transformers.

    From a story standpoint, this one is an extreme improvement compared with the second one.

    When I read this review, I got the feeling that the reviewer wasn’t even watching the same film that I saw.

    “We tried to do too many things in the second movie, which didn’t give enough time in any one of them. We were constantly jumping to the next piece of information, the next place.” Unfortunately, the third film does the exact same thing.

    Actually, no, the third film does not do the exact same thing. This third film actually stuck with a central plot, and had some interesting subplots. It doesn’t suffer from having too much going on, and not having enough time to develop everything.

    “Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ is more of the same nothingness. The story, the fighting, the CG effects – all just more of the same. None of it is particularly remarkable.”

    This couldn’t be further from the truth! Trust me, if any of you go see this film in IMAX 3D, and walk away feeling that nothing in it was particularly remarkable, you were probably asleep. There are action sequences in this film that are like nothing we have ever seen before. The pacing of the fight scenes and battles is practically pitch perfect. The use of CGI within the streets of Chicago, and what was accomplished within many of the more explosive scenes is absolutely spectacular. It’s beyond remarkable and in reality, quite extraordinary that it was achieved.

    I was going to get into it more and offer rebuttal to many of the other things that the reviewer discusses, but I’ll just say this, go and see it and make a decision for yourself. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

    The overall story isn’t lacking much when compared to the first Transformers, and the action spectacle nature of it, as well as the battle scenes completely blow away anything that we’ve seen in either of the first two films.

    Ultimately, it’s easily better than the second film, and as good, if not better than the first one.

    2.5 stars (which is more than most of us care to ask for from a Transformers film). The aspects of it that most fans truly care about are five star through and through.

    • For whatever it’s worth, many of the early reviews coming in now side with Luke that this movie is almost as bad as Revenge of the Fallen.

      vihdeeohfieuhl, I do not say this just to be argumentative, however I must point out that what you’ve written here is remarkably similar to the things that apologists said about Revenge of the Fallen when that movie got negative reviews.

      I think that’s just par for the course. The movie is going to make a bajillion dollars no matter what. Reaction to it from both critics and audiences will be extremely divided. Some will hate it and others will defend it. And then, over time, most everyone will come around and admit that, “Yeah, I guess that did pretty much suck, didn’t it?” 🙂

      • vihdeeohfieuhl

        You could be right. Maybe I’ll end up hating it myself. I’m simply saying that if I compare my initial reaction to the second film (utter disgust to the point of practically inducing vomit) to my reaction with this film (indifferent when it comes to the character development and screenplay, highly pleased with the action and battle sequences), it’s hard for me to understand how someone could say that it is as bad as the sheer abomination that was Transformers 2.

        Does that make sense?

        • Sure, and that’s fair. Though I think that perhaps you set your expectations so low for this one (after the TF2 debacle) that just about anything would seem like a major improvement. 🙂

          I expect that we’re going to see a lot of polarizing reactions to this movie in the days and weeks to come.

          • vihdeeohfieuhl

            Okay. Fair is fair.

            I think you’re definitely right. The reactions are going to be polarizing.

            I just wanted to stress that the second one is so utterly god damned awful, that I don’t see how Luke didn’t notice any improvements at all.

        • vihdeeohfieuhl

          “For whatever it’s worth, many of the early reviews coming in now side with Luke that this movie is almost as bad as Revenge of the Fallen.”

          … A few issues with this statement. First off, Luke didn’t say that it was ALMOST as bad as the second film, my perception of his comments interpret him to be saying that it is worse (or at least as bad as) than the second film. Secondly, many of the early reviews that I have read have stated that it is a significant improvement from the second one.

          I’m not saying that it is a good film. It’s not. I’ll freely admit that. But the action sequences and the development and photography of them have been vastly improved. The story doesn’t contain any of the nonsensical drivel that plagued the second one, and there’s just too much overall improvement when comparing it to the second one for a reviewer to ignore and state that it’s worse (or as bad) as a prior film that was a complete disaster.

    • I was at the same screening, and I definitely wasn’t “asleep”. I didn’t think that any of the action was all that remarkable either. The problem with it is that it isn’t interesting, it’s assaulting. I’ve never felt, during a ‘Transformers’ movie the same way I felt when I saw the Hallway Scene for the first time in ‘Inception’. Bay doesn’t do anything here that he hasn’t done in the past movies.

      • vihdeeohfieuhl

        I’m sorry but that’s complete bullshit. There are many things in Dark of the Moon that he’s never pulled off in any of his previous films.

        It sounds to me like you had made up your mind that none of the action was going to be remarkable before you even went to see it.

        The fact that the film is filled with countless action sequences doesn’t mean that it’s assaulting. It’s not assaulting at all. It’s what is called for in terms of the subject matter.It’s a Transformers movie for chrissakes! Did you think you were going to see The Social Network? It’s supposed to have almost non-stop action. If you don’t find that interesting, why see the film at all.

        If I’m going to see a Transformers film, I’m going to switch my mind into popcorn mode and closely examine every single piece of eye candy in the film to the point that I will be fascinated by wondering just how in the hell many of the epic sequences were pulled off.

        • I’m tired of the “Well, it isn’t supposed to be an Oscar movie” excuse. This movie doesn’t only require you to shut off your brain it requires you to be as stupid as it is.

          And, to call the action “non-stop” is a bit of a stretch. Actually, a REALLY BIG STRETCH. There sure was a lot of action going on when the oh-so-hilarious bathroom stall mistaken gay joke was put in there, or when Sam’s parents arrived and performed their little schtick, or when tiny moronic robots follow Sam around talking in the exact same racist tone as Skids and Mudflaps did, or when we have to watch Patrick Dempsey try and act, or when Michael Bay tries to compare a girl to a sports car in one stupefying camera shot, or when we’re subjected to an overly long montage of Sam trying to find a job.

          Yeah. That action sure was non-stop.

          • vihdeeohfieuhl

            I never said, “It isn’t supposed to be an Oscar movie.” I’m tired of that excuse as well. When I asked if you thought you were going to see The Social Network, that was merely the first film I thought of off the top of my head, that contained no action whatsoever.

            This movie doesn’t require you to turn off your brain. No movie requires that, and no movie ever should. I hate when people talk about turning off your brain. I want my brain to be functioning at an extremely high level regardless of which film, or which type of film I’m watching.

            It also doesn’t require you to be as stupid as it is. If you felt the need to be as stupid as it is, you can only blame yourself. Under ideal circumstances — meaning when the audience has an open mind — this movie simply requires you to use different parts of your brain and for you to be cerebral about aspects of film that most movies don’t usually call for.

        • And no, it isn’t good action. Bay cuts his scenes together haphazardly at best. He has absolutely NO clue about spacial geography, or even cares about it. There’s no sense of space or time during his fights. It’s a load of hooey. Self-important, pretentious hooey.

          Bay has never once deviated from his formula. Action sequence, music swells, sweeping low-slung hero shot. That’s the entire movie.

          • Luke Hickman

            You triggered my forgotten hatred for his editing! IS he even trying to sync his cuts. He doesn’t understand the concept of continuity. If you played a drinking game where everyone had to take a shot whenever there was a continuity error, you’d have a theater full of alcohol poisoned carcasses by the time the credits began.

          • Jane Morgan

            If what Michael Bay does is so easy, why are there no other directors copying his style and achieving his level of box office?

          • Stephanie Meyer made a fortune writing terrible vampire fiction. Why hasn’t anyone successfully copied her and made a bunch of money?

  2. Luke Hickman’s reviews are always a pleasure to read. Informative, well-written, to the point … I enjoyed ‘Transformers’, I never saw ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ after the negative reviews, I won’t see ‘Dark of the Moon’. Thanks for saving me €9/$11, Luke!

    • Glad we got another lemming here, you enjoyed Transformers but OTHER people telling you the 2nd one was bad stopped you from seeing it? Come on now, make up your own damn mind….I’m super pumped to see TF3 and nothing Luke says is going to stop me from deciding for myself…

      TF2 was pretty bad, I liked it quite a bit the first time, but consecutive viewings didnt hold up as well as TF1 did, but I’m a Michael Bay fan and his action scenes, even in TF2, were fantastic, I had no problem seeing or telling who anyone was, it was all awesome to me, the story and horrible attempt at most of the humor in that movie was god awful though, that I can fully agree on….but I havent read one review that has said this WASNT better than the 2nd, sure its got some crappy reviews on Rotten Tomatoes but no one said its just as bad as part 2, but almost everyone said its turn your brain off, munch popcorn material with over the top action and hated it because of it…..well thats the exact reason I’m going to enjoy it

      Here is a review from one of my favorite guys to listen to, 99% of the time I agree with him and he doesnt sugar coat anything in his reviews, he’s balls to wall and will tell you exactly how it is whether its good or bad and he gave this 3/4 stars…..give it a read to get a whole different perspective, but make no mistake, even if he said it was horrible, I would still be making up my own mind while my ass is sitting in that seat

      • Luke Hickman

        Chaz, I love what you say here – “I’m super pumped to see TF3 and nothing Luke says is going to stop me from deciding for myself.” We all know what we like and what we don’t. No critic can tell you otherwise. That’s the beauty of it all.

        Even though I’m an active hater of TF2, I will defend TF1 until the day I die. It’s a whole lot of fun. They way Bay put the action on screen matched up identically with what I envisioned in my head while playing with the toys as a kid.

        If you remember when I posted my top ten summer movies post, TF3 showed up on it. I truly wanted to like it. I went into it not having read a single review. I thought it was going to rock. But it sure didn’t.

        I went in expecting to love it, but left with a deeper hatred for where the series has gone.

        • Its just hard to wrap your brain around one person loving Transformers, hating Transformers 2 and then loving Tranformers 3, only to have someone do the same thing yet hate the third as much as the other person loved it, it always amazes me how peoples brains work in this regard, you would figure that the first two films viewed in the exact same light by two people would have the same opinion about the third movie, but it obviously doesnt work that way, you should read the review I linked and see the opposite of what you thought, he felt the same as you did about the first two films, just funny to see such different takes on the third from the same point of view

      • Ha, lemming? As in the excellent video game? 😉 Funny comparison!

        I, for one, read reviews to save me some money. If critics I respect tell me ‘Transformer 2’ is bad, I won’t see it. I’m not going to throw money away.

        Why do critics otherwise exist?

        • Honestly I have no idea why Critics exist, if everyone decided for themselves we wouldnt even need them, I have a bunch of friends and we all love quite a lot of the same movies, but I would never trust their opinion because there is always stuff we disagree on, there are plenty of films that I love that my friends dont and there are plenty they love that I dont, you just never know, TF3 (or TF2 for that matter) could be or could have been one hell of an awesome movie to you…..sure we all want to save some cash and not spend it on crap, I’ve skipped my fair share of movies but thats because I personally wanted to save money, not because I listened to someone else tell me not to see it 🙂

          • Fair enough, but aren’t you undermining the whole reason of existence (as the French say “raison d’être”) of “High Def Digest” if you say we don’t need critics?

            All the reviews, all the opions … ? Josh, Luke, Nate … they’re all critics!

          • Chaz, you greatly misunderstand the purpose of artistic criticism of any type. The point isn’t to tell you what to think about something. The point is to give you another perspective on it, or maybe tell you something about it that you wouldn’t pick up on by yourself.

            Do you see every movie that gets released? Do you know everything about every movie ever made? Of course not. Neither does any critic, but they generally see a lot more movies and have a lot more background in film knowledge than the average viewer. Even if you disagree with a critic, you may learn something about a movie you didn’t know before, or be challenged to think about it in a different way.

            Take a movie like Starship Troopers. A lot of people dismissed it as a stupid action movie about dumb teenagers who shoot bugs with machine guns, or a bad adaptation of the Robert Heinlein novel. A good critic would point out that it’s actually an subversive political satire, a parody of WWII propaganda films, and a scathing indictment of Heinlein’s Right-wing sermonizing. Someone who missed that on first viewing would be encouraged to take another look at it from that perspective, and will find that the movie is a lot smarter than it appears. Maybe that person still won’t like it, but they’ll probably know more about it than they did before.

            Critics will also help to bring movies to your attention that you may not have heard of or know much about. How many people in this country would have ever seen City of God if not for critics praising it? That movie is awesome. (If you haven’t seen it, rent it today.)

          • Well thats all well and good, but to listen to someone who completely bashes a film when you were highly interested in seeing it makes no sense then, I’m glad they are trying to give me a different perspective, but take the review for TF3 here, its mostly a bash fest with no insight at all into the film, all it does is complain about the movie, how stupid it is, how dumb it is, how much it ISNT better than TF2…..

            How is that exactly making anyone look at the movie in a different light? All that does is make people not want to even bother, these kind of reviews I’m surprised anyone listens too, I cant listen to any review that goes that negative, that has that much hate, same goes for someone praising a movie like its the best thing ever made, I’m all fine with a critic that doesnt go into these extremes because it does give people a broad idea of what the movie might hold for them, it isnt blatant hate or love that actually get people to change their minds

    • vihdeeohfieuhl

      Thank you! I would agree with a lot more of the comments in your review than I would with the ones in the review from Luke.

      Revenge of the Fallen is absolutely abysmal. I’m really surprised that Mr. Hickman ignored so many of the marked improvements present in Dark of the Moon and essentially said that they are equally awful.

      I also completely agree with what you say about the 3D. I think it might be the most impressive use of 3D of any live action film. It’s possibly right up there with Avatar in terms of 3D quality.

  3. Jane Morgan

    Public Service Announcement: Heroin Is Bad.

    T3’s metacritic is 46.

    All the reviews at AICN are filled with high praise.

    There’s a shortage of huge-budget science fiction in the marketplace. Movies like Transformers 3, Avatar, etc… have no cinematic competition.

    When you consider the quality of storytelling in video games, a Michael Bay movie looks like a billion dollar Art Film.

    That said, half-naked hottie ass is a compelling argument for 3D.

    • When you consider the quality of story telling in Uncharted, Mass Effect and Infamous, Transformers actually isnt very good 😉

      Cant use the video game comparison there when there are plenty of amazing stories in games now a days, I’m guessing you arent too much of a gamer though?

      • Jane Morgan

        I love Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Uncharted, God Of War, GTA, Halo, etc…

        I was more referring to the storytelling of, say, Modern Warfare, Gears Of War, Fallout, Saint’s Row, Resident Evil, Bayonetta, etc…

        Good storytelling in games is rare, maybe 1-3 games per year, and the best game stories still don’t come close to the level of story craft that we get in 50+ movies per year.

        Hollywood doesn’t make enough great product. Either we consume fast food entertainment, or we starve. Thus, we’ve evolved a taste for junk.

        • Well consider stuff like Call of Duty and Gears of War, Transformers is the movie equivalent for sure, both have awesome over the top action and decent gruff action plot lines, they are usually really good games, I would say that Transformers is no different than these

  4. it’s transformers 3 , it was going to be huge pile of crap anyway. all three were aiming to be transformer movies and they failed all three times.

  5. I think I will just wait for DVD. I liked the first one. Second one was shitty and don’t have high hopes for this one.
    I saw Green Lantern last weekend and it was a lot better than the reviews so I could be wrong here.

  6. The good reviews for TF3 seem to love it for what it is, stupid summer action blockbuster, the bad reviews seem to repeat their view from the past 4 years, what else is new?

    This being a Bay movie already has people up in arms, it doesnt matter what the movie would be, because Bay is directing it, the haters automatically come out of the woodwork, quite a few that bitch and complain about movies of his they’ve never seen (not so much people here), hey you are either a fan of Bay or you arent, there is no grey area with this man, he’s loved or hated, plain and simple. Hate of Bay and his movies will definitely affect how you view TF3, its inevitable really, if you really dont like how he edits, shoots action scenes, directs, what have you, then you arent going to like this film….I’ve been a big fan of his since Bad Boys (well besides Pearl Harbor, the action was great though) and I personally love how he films action scenes, sure he is far from Picasso when it comes to story telling and directing dialog and stuff, but the man just has an eye for very unique and awesome action, as an example I suggest you go and watch the highway truck scene from The Island, I cant think of one movie that has an action scene filmed this cool, its amazing what he can do IMO, BUT tons of people hate the way he does things and all I can say is…..oh well, I’m glad he’s still making these types of movies!

  7. Brandon Erwin

    I’ve defended them before (and will continue too) but only on a personal level. Like I’ve said, I really enjoy the movies-but I don’t think they’re “good.” I think putting Michael Bay behind a camera is like putting Chuck Norris in front of one. The result is going to be a watchable stupid fun mess. I don’t blame people for hating the movies, I just never see myself feeling the same way about them. It’s eye candy with some Linkin Park on the side. Nothing more-Maybe less.

  8. I went into the movie without reading any reviews & an open mind.
    Honestly, I felt my brain cells evaporating with every minute that went by. I though the first movie was good & the second has it’s moments, but this one was just so long & tedious. The difference between this & a Uwe Boll film was the budget. For me it was a 2/10 movie. Might have given it 3/10 if I had seen it in 3D but i’m sure it would have done nothing to save this turkey.

    • Oh man, how does Bay get compared to Uwe Boll? That shouldnt even be possible, sorry but Bay makes infinitely better films than Uwe Boll, with or without budget

  9. Rolltide1017

    I’m just tired of people going into a Michael Bay movie expecting greatness. If there is one thing Bay has taught us over the years it is that he doesn’t strive to make a good movie, he just wants to blow stuff up. He’s the only director in the world who would take one of the biggest events in American history and turn it into nothing more the big explosions and a sappy love story.

    I would ask any critic coming out of a Bay movie that thought it was bad, why did you go in expecting it to be good? I get tired of the “it’s not supposed to win Oscars excuse as well but, Bay has proven time and time again that he only makes turn off the brain fluff. So, why do people continue to go into his movies expecting more? Seems to me that critics need to have a different mindset for Bay movies or just stay away. Fool me once, shame on you…

    • Luke Hickman

      I went in expecting to have a good time. Instead, I was force-fed a pile of crap – a huge pile of redundant, lowest common denominator, idiotic, convoluted (I’ve never used that word before), poorly made, poorly written crap. There’s more to a film than special effects, which is the only thing TF3 has going for it. TF3 is nothing more than Michael Bay masturbating on screen. Don’t get me wrong, I usually like Bay and love a good mindless fun action flick, but this was just awful. Do I hate it as much as TF2? Yes. Do I hate it more than TF2? Probably. Bay went around citing all of the mistakes with TF2, promising to have fixed them. Dude fixed NOTHING! This is the exact same movie! As a critic, I’m simply saying, “If you hated TF2 – which you probably DID – then don’t fall for TF3. It sucks epic ass.”

      • vihdeeohfieuhl

        Again, complete bullshit!

        All of the specific aspects of TF2 that he said would be “fixed” were indeed gone from TF3.

        It’s not the exact same movie at all! Are you sure you didn’t accidentally go to a screening of TF2? 😉 I seriously can’t begin to understand how you can say that many of the mistakes of TF2 weren’t rectified in this film. I can only presume that you convinced yourself prior to seeing it, that he wouldn’t fix anything, and that it would just be more of the same.

        You might be saying, “If you hated TF2, don’t fall for TF3.”, but the many other critics, and the high majority of audiences are saying the exact opposite. They are saying, “If you hated TF2, you will love this one.”

        It doesn’t suck epic ass! And it’s metacritic scores reflect as much.

        It’s funny that you and Aaron Peck are two of the only critics that hated this film. I’m assuming you two are friends, since you started a website together…hmmm…

        • ny post gave it zero stars , ebert gave it a star and he gave transformers 2 1 / 12 stars the critic from the washington post gave it 2 stars roeper gave it a D.

          • vihdeeohfieuhl

            I didn’t say that you two were the ONLY ones that hated it. I said that you were TWO of the of the only critics that hated it.

            Your remark about posting multiple links for reviews that tear it apart doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Anybody can dig up multiple links to reviews that tear practically any movie apart.

            My comment about you and Luke wasn’t snide. It was merely a talking point. You can talk all you want about the two of you hardly ever agreeing on a movie. Doing so only reinforces my point that it’s quite interesting that you guys share such a strong hate for it. I know how it can be when a friend and I build up a lot of hate for a movie and essentially make up our minds before we even see it. We are highly critical people that share a passion for film. If we start bashing a movie before we even see it, I know what that can lead to. We don’t even watch it with an open mind. We are only watching it to nitpick, tear it apart, and try to “one up” each other when it comes to cracking wise about it.

            I’m not saying that you and Luke did this. I’m simply saying that it’s an interesting talking point. If you really want to get into comparing metacritic and rottentomato scores, let’s take a look at Bridesmaids vs. Super 8. Bridesmaids is currently the best reviewed film of the year. Are you going to tell me that Bridesmaids can hold a candle to Super 8? Or even X-Men: First class for that matter? Absolutely not! Bridesmaids is a decent comedy. It has it’s share of uniquely hilarious moments, but it pales in comparison to many other movies I’ve seen this year. I already named Super 8 and X-Men, and just off the top of my head, I’ll also say Midnight in Paris.

          • vihdeeohfieuhl

            Have you read any of the reviews online besides your own and Luke’s. It’s currently at a decent for a film of it’s nature 40% on the TomatoMeter and a better than many other films of it’s kind 43% on Metacritic. I’m not the only one that thought it was entertaining. 90% of audiences did too. Just read Jane’s comment.

            I could post link after link for reviews that praise this movie up and down but here’s one of many:


        • And your snide comment about Luke and I holds no water. Go through our website and compare our scores. We hardly ever agree on a movie. Hmmm…

          • vihdeeohfieuhl

            It’s just ridiculous that you can’t see a Transformers movie for what it is.


            I don’t care if you go back in time 6 years and replace Michael Bay with any other director. The subject matter of Transformers doesn’t allow for any kind of transcendent movie to be made. Say it with me now…


            Transformers 2 is shit. Plain and simple. However, it’s not shit because of anything involving the Transformers themselves. It’s shit because of the racist caricatures, scrotum jokes, hairy asses in thongs, leg humping, and loads of other shit that IS COMPLETELY ABSENT from Transformers 3. A bigger, more important reason that it is complete shit is because it has NO PLOT WHATSOEVER.

            Transformers 3 has a pretty interesting plot. It definitely requires suspension of disbelief, but there’s a coherent plot at work nonetheless. Keeping this in mind, and also that IT’S A MOVIE ABOUT A LINE OF TOYS MADE FOR YOUNG BOYS, your hatred for it is downright foolish.

            I believe you want to punish the entire franchise for the sins of Transformers 2. Writing a scathing review is the only way you can do that. You have chosen to ignore any and all improvements, and have also forgotten that IT’S A MOVIE ABOUT A LINE OF TOYS MADE FOR YOUNG BOYS. You talk about how people say things about how critics shouldn’t expect an Oscar movie when they watch Transformers. And you counter that by saying that you should never have to “turn your brain off.” Well, I’m not saying that you should ever have to turn your brain off, or that I agree with those statements about how you shouldn’t expect an Oscar movie. However, I just don’t see how the actual subject matter of Transfomers A LINE OF TOYS MADE FOR YOUNG BOYS was ever going to give any filmmaker a decent shot at making an excellent film.

            I feel like something that I’ve said all along warrants being repeated. I don’t think that Transformers 3 or even Transformers 1 are great, or even good films. But I never wanted a Transformers film to be a great one. When I first heard that the toy line was going to be turned into a franchise of feature films, I didn’t ever consider for a second that they would be great films. Sure, Transformers 3 could be improved upon. If you cut out about 30-40 minutes (and I’m positive that you know exactly which 30-40 minutes need to be cut out, because you alluded to them in some of your comments, as well as your review), it would be a much better film. But what exactly would be the best possible Transformers film? I hear people talking about how they want them to take place on Cybertron, or how they want the Transformers films to not have any humans at all. Then I read reviews such as your own, as well as Luke’s where you talk about how it’s just mindless robot fighting, or how it’s just more and more robots smashing into each other, or 10 different other iterations of that statement.

            I’m sorry, but I just don’t see how a great film could ever be made when the subject matter at hand is a LINE OF TOYS MADE FOR YOUNG BOYS. I think that 10 different directors could have taken a stab at making Transformers films, and the end result would just be 10 completely different, and completely shitty in different ways Transformers films. I like to keep that in mind when I watch them. That way, I’ll only be truly disappointed when one of them…ahem Transformers 2…HAS NO PLOT WHATSOEVER, and contains all of the nonsensical and offensive horseshit that I mentioned earlier.

            Would you expect a great live action film to be made out of Voltron?

            He-Man? Power Rangers? TMNT? (Oh those films were great! Let me tell ya!) Bakugan?

            Didn’t think so!

          • Luke Hickman


            Believe me, I’m not trying to argue. I’m just sticking up for myself and my opinion. Your argument about a movie based on toys has no legs to stand on. If that was the case, The Social Network would have sucked epic ass too.

            And like Aaron says, read our reviews and you’ll see that sometimes we are polar opposites – heated polar opposites!

          • vihdeeohfieuhl, all this really comes down to is that you, Luke and Aaron have different opinions about whether the third movie actually “fixed” the problems with the second or not.

            I haven’t seen it myself yet, but I will point out again that many of the points you’re making here (“IT’S A MOVIE ABOUT A TOY LINE CATERING TO YOUNG BOYS!”) are the same ones that some people used to defend Revenge of the Fallen. There are still people who defend that movie, whereas to all of us here (including yourself) it’s just abjectly horrible.

            I think it’s interesting the way that Bay’s movies have this effect on people. I mean, I gave Revenge of the Fallen a pretty scathing review when it came out on Blu-ray, but honestly I’ve never seen THAT much difference between it and the first Transformers (which I also didn’t think much of, sorry). It’s basically the same movie, just with most of the flaws magnified an additional 10% or so. Yet to others (like yourself), there’s a clear distinction between one being great and the other terrible.

            That line between “AWESOME!” and “AWFUL!” is so thin in Bay’s movies that viewing them from just the slightest different perspective can cause someone to easily cross over.

          • vihdeeohfieuhl

            Luke and Josh,

            If you’re going to try and argue that point, then by all means tell me, exactly which toy lines catering to young boys would inspire grand cinema, and make for truly excellent films.


            “Your argument about a movie based on toys has no legs to stand on. If that was the case, The Social Network would have sucked epic ass too.”

            The Social Network is a film made from subject matter that is completely fascinating and absolutely adult. It’s film that was developed from subject matter that practically screams for an excellent movie to be made. Seriously, maybe it was just an accident, but comparing the subject matter of the events that took place leading to The Social Network being made to subject matter that stems from toys that young boys play with…do I even need to say anything else? I’m sure you feel silly enough.


            Do I have to say it again? I guess so. I’m not, and never have said that either Transformers 1 or 3 are great, I wouldn’t even call them good. I would say that if I look at them critically and judge them solely on the fundamental aspects of film that allow us to form a critical opinion, they are mediocre to average. (Besides, you know that approximately 90% of HDD readers disagree with you about the first one 😉 ) If I add in what they are able to accomplish visually and their achievements in sound and sheer spectacle, they become really good entertainment.

            You talk about how IT’S A MOVIE ABOUT A TOY LINE CATERING TO YOUNG BOYS is an argument that people used to defend Revenge of the Fallen. Well, good. It’s a great argument. I won’t defend anything about Revenge of the Fallen. Like I’ve said many times. It is an utter disaster. However, that doesn’t mean that it renders that particular argument any less effective. That argument can be used when discussing any Transformers film. Whether it’s one of the three that have came out already, or if we get multiple Transformers films, made from multiple directors in the future. Transformers films are about TOYS THAT LITTLE BOYS PLAY WITH. What else needs to be said?

            That’s the one and only creative reference any filmmaker will have at their disposal if they want to make a Transformers film. TOYS! TOYS MADE FOR YOUNG BOYS THAT ALSO GAVE US AN ANIMATED SERIES TAYLORED FOR YOUNG BOYS. Have you watched the animated series at all? Can you imagine if they just tried to film that in live action? It’s plain and simple; Black and white. There is nothing about Transformers that is ever going to allow for any filmmaker to make a great film.

            Tell me, when you first heard that they were making a Transformers movie, however many years ago, did you automatically think, “Now that’s going to be an excellent film.”? I highly doubt it. All anyone can ever hope for from a Transformers movie is an entertaining action spectacle. I’m not being a Michael Bay apologist. I think there are probably a few other directors that could give us something highly entertaining from Transformers, but there’s just no way that the subject matter of a toy line is going to allow for superb cinema.

          • vihdeeohfieuhl

            Luke? Josh? Any other takers?

            Tell us…

            Bakugan? Are you going to make a great film out of that? It’s easy right.

            Volton? Tell us how you’re going to make Voltron into a masterpiece.

            TMNT? I’d love to hear how you’re going to improve upon the brilliant classics that we’ve already been blessed with.

            Power Rangers? You can definitely tell us how a superb piece of cinematic art is going to be made using Power Rangers as a creative reference.

            Transformers? This one should be the easiest. You all seem to know exactly how a timeless classic will be made from Transformers. It’s a piece of cake, right? C’mon Luke… Transformers is as good of subject matter as the events that transpired that led to a film titled The Social Network being made.


          • they did a HE-MAN film masters of the universe. it’s an ok movie but it’s far better than anything the transformers did. so you liked the transformers movies and other didn’t. outside of this last one , they haven’t really been transformer movies. they have been michael bay movies and that’s where they fail.

          • vihdeeohfieuhl

            Yes, I think we are all aware that He-Man: Masters of the universe was made.

            If you want to use that as an example and say that it is better than even the abomination that Revenge of the Fallen was, by all means, have at it!

            He-Man: Masters of the universe is a movie that is notorious for being one of the worst films ever made.

            I hope you enjoy watching it, and that you enjoy the experience of watching a movie that is so atrociously awful that those involved in making it have tried to forget that it ever happened, and won’t even acknowledge taking part in it.

            Great example!

            This really gets the ball rolling on discussing just how great movies made from toys can be!

            Don’t forget to mention how fantastic the TMNT movies are!

          • Might I suggest incorporating a “Bay-Meter” into future HDD reviews? I.E. Movie Itself: 1 1/2 stars, HD Video Quality: 4 stars, HD Audio Quality 4 stars, Supplements: 2 stars, High Def Extras: 0 stars, Bay-Meter: 6 MUTHERFUCKING ‘SPLOSIONZ!

      • Well like I said, the review I posted said the exact opposite, if you hated TF2, then you will love TF3, so really its another love hate film, which arent all of Michael Bay’s movies?

        I’m just surprised that someone can see everything that TF2 did wrong fully repeated in TF3 yet someone else sees everything wrong with TF2 completely removed from TF3 hence making it just as awesome as the first, what frame of mind do you have to be in to have such polar opposite opinions about a sequel that both people hated?

      • RollTide1017

        Luke, sounds like you just described almost every Bay movie since Jerry Bruckheimer pasted away. JB kept Bay in check, ever since, it has been nothing but trash on the screen for the most part. Now I’ve had fun playing in some of his trash (loved the first Transformers, hate 2) but for the most part, Bay is not worth the time IMO. I’m just saying that critics shouldn’t waste their time because the critic in them will probably never like a Bay movie. Not saying critics can’t have fun in a Bay film but, there review should probably just say”it’s a Bay movie, what do you expect.”

        • Luke Hickman

          Rolltide1017, I have a hard time saying that because the dude is fully capable of pumping out FUN popcorn blockbusters. I’ve liked quite a bit of his films – so for me to say “it’s a Bay movie, what do you expect?” is not in harmony with my opinion of him. I’ve LOVED several of his movies, but this one is just plain awful. I’d love to see him do something great again – and I’m sure he will.

        • Jerry Bruckheimer died?! Has anyone told him that? He’s awfully prolific for a dead man. He’s currently got 19 upcoming movies in development! 🙂

          Perhaps you mean Don Simpson?

  10. the goddamn movie is called transformers not the shia / josh movie. i want to see a transformers movie. not the sam whindicky or whatever his dumb ass name is. you can have fun dumb movies. just tell the story don’t sit there and waste time with a dumb plot about the fing mother being stoned on pot brownies.and i read that we get to see sam’s boss and his gf’s boss. don’t care about them. i want transformers.

    • EM

      You mean you hope The Zookeeper features lions, gorillas, elephants, giraffes, and monkeys debating the merits of Transformers: Dark of the Moon?


  11. RollTide1017

    Hey, it currently has a higher Tomatometer rating the Cars 2 – 37% to 33%. Boy, how did Pixar screw up so badly. I expect this from M. Bay but not Pixar.

    • Luke Hickman

      I didn’t expect Pixar to ever fail this bad. Pretty surprising, right? But Pixar and Bay have the same thing going for them: no matter what the critics think, they will always gross TONS and TONS of cash. They are critic-proof money trees.

  12. I, for one, liked the movie, despite its many apparent faults. I like Transformers: Dark of the Moon as I would a small, retarded man-child who thinks Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a good film.

  13. I just posted this on another forum, but it applies here to the argument about Transformers being just a movie about toys that little boys play with, so we shouldn’t expect much from it. I’ll have to repeat myself a little.

    No one is asking for a movie like Transformers to be a literary masterpiece. No one expects it to have Oscar-caliber screenwriting and performances. All we ask is that it not be insultingly stupid.

    Is that really so hard? The studio spent $400 million dollars on this thing, and they can’t afford a screenplay that isn’t horribly stupid? Really?

    There has to be some middle ground between “Oscar Worthy” and “Freakin’ Godawful.”

    There are actually a lot of action and sci-fi movies out there that somehow manage to have decent stories, likeable characters, and actors who can do more than stare blankly at the camera while explosions go off behind them. Look at Die Hard, the first couple of Terminators, the first couple of X-Men (and arguably the latest X-Men, though I wasn’t a fan), Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Literary masterpieces? No. Movies that don’t suck all the intelligence out of your head and sap your soul? Yes.

    This doesn’t seem like it should be such a high standard for other movies to meet. So why do so few even try? And why do certain people so adamantly defend the ones that don’t?

    • Jane Morgan

      Michael Bay’s sensibility, in my mind, is similar to Théâtre de l’Absurde.

      The idea that Bay is in charge of Transformers is Tyler Durden-esque.

      The tragedy here is that contemporary film criticism, as illustrated by the reviews of T3, continues to epic fail, to predict audience satisfaction.

      In the age of social networking, customer reviews, and video on demand, professional critics are becoming even more of a niche.

      Michael Bay will still be working in ten years. Will websites like this still exist?

      • Were audiences satisfied by Revenge of the Fallen? The movie made $800 million, but do you know anyone who actually LIKED it? Unfortunately, box office success is no longer a reliable indicator of audience satisfaction. All it really indicates is that the studio marketing department was successful at building hype.

        Perhaps if audiences gave a little more credence to reviews, they might spare themselves a lot of disappointment.

        • Jane Morgan

          Box office success is only a measure of how many people were willing to pay money to see it in the theater.

          Transformers 2, on Rotten Tomatoes, has 47 positive reviews by critics. It has 72% audience approval, with over 3.8 million votes. That’s more people than the audience of Mad Men. Even on Amazon, T2 has more good reviews than bad. If the fanboy population is that large, no one else matters.

          Critical reviews, no matter how eloquent, can not compete with Michael Bay’s trailers. The man is a god when it comes to stimulating the lizard brain.

    • CK

      Good post, I hate when people will defend the movie with “Its just a movie about robots fighting. What did you expect?” As if anyone went into the movie not knowing what it was about and was expecting it to be The Godfather. The problem for me wasn’t that I was surprised that it was just robots fighting, it was that it didn’t work for me on even that simple level and while I can usually find something redeemable about just about any movie, I find that I simply can’t with these two.

      That said, despite my hatred for the first two Scrapmetal movies, I was thinking about subjecting myself to Bay’s latest act of aggression just out of curiosity to see something that was filmed in 3D. Disregarding any other flaws of the movie, I wonder if it would be worth seeing if one was only interested in a demonstration of 3D?

      • vihdeeohfieuhl

        Nobody is defending the movie by saying, “It’s just a movie about robots fighting.” We are defending it by saying that it is a highly entertaining piece of pop art. They appeal to senses that we don’t typically use when watching many other films.

        A film doesn’t have to be good to be enjoyed. This is why the term, “guilty pleasure” was coined. I am not saying that the first and third Transformers films are guilty pleasures, — the pleasure derived from them was anything but guilty — but they are films that can be enjoyed in spite of not being good films.

        For the high majority of people — if you need proof, just go through and read many of the comments written by Jane — the first and third Transformers movies work on the levels that audiences need them to in order to enjoy them. They offer all that we could ever ask for when we are considering that they are movies that come from a child’s toy.

        • CK

          I would think that labeling it as “highly entertaining pop art” is the goal of your defense, not a defense in itself. What you’re saying is that if someone asked you to defend your opinion on it being “highly entertaining pop art”, you would just restate the opinion, rather than an actual argument to support it.

          Your argument that it is only based on a toy is basically the same as what I wrote. What both arguments are trying to say is that one can’t expect too much from the movies to begin with, which should let the movies off the hook. If we were discussing movies based on Frisbees or Easy-Bake Ovens, then I’d agree with your argument and say that we couldn’t ask for much, because they have no characters or stories involved, but I disagree completely with the idea that these movies offer all we could ask for from a Transformers movie. In your argument, you seem to be implying that Bay is hindered by some inherent limitation of the source material, but I don’t have any issues with anything from the source material; except the “all-spark”, or whatever its called, which I can only assume is part of some previous incarnation.

          The Transformers looking like animated scrap-metal and being relegated to background characters, choppy editing, shaky cameras, the inane plot, juvenile humor, racist and annoying characters, unnecessary subplots and a ridiculous ending are not caused by it being based on a toy; that’s the filmmaking. Is there no one in Hollywood who could design a better looking Transformer? No one who could write a better story about warring alien robots who can transform into vehicles? No one who can film and edit a scene in such a way that it doesn’t look like they handed a camera to an 8 year old, hopped up on cocaine and sugary cereal, while riding a stampede of kangaroos through a tornado in the middle of a junkyard? Can we really not ask for more? Even Michael Bay has done better.

          As for the majority of people enjoying these movies, I’m not trying to say that anyone shouldn’t, just because I hate them; I like plenty that many people hate, so if you enjoy these, then keep watching them. There are just too many things that I hate about these movies to say they are anything more than slightly entertaining, at best. As for Jane’s comments, I find nothing compelling that adds to the discussion, much less proves anything.

          …As far as X-Men First Class goes, we seem to be in complete agreement, so we have common ground there, at least.

          • I just dont see all this crazy choppy camera work everyone is complaining about, you want choppy camera work go watch The Bourne Supremacy or Quantum of Solace, nothing Bay has done in any of the Transformers films have been as bad as those two movies, I had no issue following the action, who was fighting and what was going on, so I’m really not sure anyone is coming from on this matter

            But I love how all the blame falls on Bay for all of the flaws of the film, most of his other movies havent had infantile humor, Bad Boys, The Rock, The Island, they all had very decent scripts when it came to speaking lines, so why arent the writers blamed for any of this? Why is it always Bay? If he did this all the time his older flicks would have had the same problems but they really dont….so I’m sure another director could have offered a very different vision but you still have the people writing the story and dialog

          • CK

            Well, Chaz, I’ve read some say that it is more the editing, so I may be attributing more to the camera work than I should; but I do think they could have done a better job with the camera too. The last two Bourne movies and Quantum of Solace haven’t escaped my wrath either; and I’d probably be willing to say they’re worse. To me, the problem with Transformers and the ones you mentioned isn’t that I can’t tell what’s going on, as much as that I don’t really feel that I’m seeing what’s happening as much as I’m seeing THAT it is happening. In Bourne, I know that he’s being attacked with a razor, not because I can see it happening, but because they give a shot of the razor, then have a “whoosh”ing sound for the rest of the fight. I know what’s happening, but I don’t really feel like I’ve seen it; if that makes any sense. I watch a kung-fu movie and I get to see the performers seemingly fighting, whereas in Bourne, I just see a bunch of movement, implying that they’re fighting.

            As for blame, I may have made it sound like I only blame Bay, but I give plenty of blame to the writers as well. I might give Bay more blame considering he is the guy in charge and could have fixed it; also, I recall reading that even the writer of the second movie was offended by the twins, so I have to figure there’s something going on beyond them. Also, I don’t hate Michael Bay’s movies, I’ve enjoyed most of what I’ve seen, and when he was announced as the director of Transformers I was one of his defenders.

            The thing is that it isn’t one thing that I hate about the Transformers movies, its the whole package; even if you can say that this or that problem isn’t as bad as something else, its got all this other stuff piled on. There’s just not enough good to outweigh all the bad, IMO.

            And, again, I like plenty of movies that people seem to hate, so I’m not meaning to bash anybody or the movies they enjoy. Its just that I think Transformers was totally mishandled and could have been so much better.

          • Chaz, it’s kind of hard to have a discussion if you’re just going to lie about what these movies are actually like. 🙂

            Bay has no sense of spatial relationships at all in his action scenes. He films everything with the camera too tight and edits them in a rapid-fire cut-cut-cut-cut-cut ADHD rhythm so that no shot lasts more than half a second on screen. There’s no way to tell where anything is happening because it’s all just a blur of movement. (Allegedly, the 3D has forced him to adjust this style for the new movie, so I’m referring to everything else he’s previously made.)

            And yes, ALL of Bay’s other movies, every single one, have been just as dumb as Transformers. He has NEVER worked with a “decent script.” Not once. Ever.

    • vihdeeohfieuhl

      That’s just the thing. There is a middle ground. Transformers 1 and 3 are good examples of it. They are not “Oscar worthy”, but they are also not “Freakin godawful.”

      You are right when you talk about a lot of action and sci-fi movies that somehow manage to have good stories, and strong character development. However, all of the examples you site are movies that came from subject matter that had endlessly more potential than a line of toys. None of your examples are movies that were creatively derived from children’s toys. Comic books are fully developed, in depth, highly captivating creative references. The Terminator films came from an original concept from one of the most brilliant cinematic minds of this generation. (Say what you want about some of his recent choices, this simply can’t be denied).

      The second Transformers is the only one of the three that sucks the intelligence out of your head, while sapping your soul. I hate it for that reason. If I wanted to watch scrotum jokes and hairy asses in thongs, I would watch an idiotic gross out comedy. I don’t see myself ever wanting to watch one of them any time soon either. Trust me, the first and third Transformers do not contain anything like this. They offer a good balance. They aren’t good films, but they put a lot on the table, while only taking so much off of it.

      By the way, how can you not be a fan of the latest X-Men if you liked the first two. First class is by far the best of the franchise so far. It’s not even close.

      • TMNT was originally a comic book, and I would love to see THAT movie get made.

        p.s. I still enjoy the first one, the second is stupid as hell but fun, the third, meh, and TMNT should have been a mini-series.

      • In your opinion, the first and third Transformers were not godawful. I would argue otherwise. (For the first one, at least. Still haven’t seen the third.)

        The first movie may not have specifically had scrotum jokes or hairy asses in thongs, but it did have robots peeing on people and that insufferable scene where several 800-ton robots try to creep around in Sam’s backyard without anyone seeing or hearing them. All of the robot characters are indistinguishable from one another (how can you tell who won a battle when both the good robot and the bad robot look exactly the same as one another?), and the action scenes are a visually incoherent assault on the senses, as all Bay’s films are.

        I would also not cite Batman or X-Men comic books as having nearly as much depth at you would.

        I found X-Men First Class to be pretty boring and repetitive. It was better than the Wolverine movie, but about on par with The Last Stand. It can’t touch X2.

        • vihdeeohfieuhl

          So it’s okay for the Toy Story movies to have scenes where the toys can do things right in front of humans, and somehow nobody notices it, and yet it’s insufferable if the giant Transformers are trying to sneak around in Sam’s backyard at night, and it’s explained away as the after-shocks of an Earthquake? You’re willing to suspend disbelief for a Toy Story film, but not for Transformers? That scene was taylor made for young boys. Parents understood that. That was the beauty of the first Transformers movie. It’s became cliche now, but it was a film about, “A boy and his car.” Many aspects of it directly target young boys, ages 4-10. Many parents were able to recognize that, and identify with how some of those scenes would have made them feel if they were still a little boy. The feeling was similar to many of the scenes in the Toy Story films, and how they made people feel. I’m not just assuming this. I’ve talked to many parents about this very subject.

          The Batman and X-Men comic books, as well as The Dark Knight graphic novels are essentially limitless when it comes to the inspiration and creative influences that can be found within them.

          Did you really just say that First Class was on par with The Last Stand? I’m in shock. I’m literally speechless. Are you sure you want to have that on record? It could be potentially damaging to your credibility as a film reviewer.

          • vihdeeohfieuhl

            Yes, let’s put it in literal terms. Removing the entire concept of suspension of disbelief.

            Good idea!

            Okay, so in literal terms, a huge group of toys can gather under multiple traffic cones, cause said traffic cones to become mobile, cause a massive traffic disaster, and just keep moving on, and nobody would ever even think anything of it. They would just keep watching the moving traffic cones go right on by, and not do a thing.

            On the flip side, people living in the L.A. area would feel vibrations in their home and hear loud thuds. They look out the window to see what it is, but they don’t see anything. They attempt to justify it by hoping that it is just after-shock tremors.

            Wow! You’re right! Those two things are utterly incomparable.

          • then they should of named the first one A boy and his car. not transformers. because in everyone of the transformer movies , the transformers are in the background. its about sam and the dumb parents , and the army guys and sam’s gf at the time and the really tight close ups of action scenes.

          • The Transformers movies were not made for boys ages 4-10 but rather for boys aged 13-17. I’m not so sure that 4 year olds were all that impressed with Megan Fox’ ass hunched over the front of that car. Honestly, I think they may well have been better movies if they had been aimed at that younger demographic, and goofy shit like the Transformers hiding in the backyard would be infinitely more forgivable in that case, as it is in Toy Story. It’s a matter of what setting/universe you develop for the movie. They tried to set Transformers in a realistic world with actual people and actual danger, not a world inhabited by jealous toys.

          • vihdeeohfieuhl


            This simply goes back to my point about how critics (and general audiences) complain about the Transfomers being pushed into the background, and then in the same breath they complain that it’s just a movie filled with indistinguishable robots smashing into each other; how it’s too full of robot action/fighting; how the human characters play second fiddle and are never fully fleshed out; etc., etc., etc.

            You can’t have your cake and eat it to. And the filmmakers can’t satisfy everybody. You either want the Transformers (robots) pushed into the foreground while the humans take a backseat, or you want it the other way around. You either want a movie about Transformers to take place on Cybertron — or some other remote alien planet — and not involve humans at all, or you want the human characters to seem more important, thus, putting the Transformers into the background again.

            The same people that complain that the human characters are not more strongly developed, also complain that the Transformers themselves are not front and center. The same people that complain that there is too much robot fighting/action, are the same ones that complain that there’s not enough human character involvement.

          • For the record I am not a Transformers or Michael Bay hater. I liked the first movie well enough, and I can’t not watch Armageddon when it’s on. I wish he’d leave classic horror movies alone but that’s beside the point.

          • vihdeeohfieuhl


            You just don’t get it. I presume that you’re not a father. Am I correct?

            I have a young boy. He doesn’t notice Megan Fox at all. Her ass bent over the car doesn’t even register with him. It doesn’t with any young boy. You would know this if you were a father. Megan Fox was put in the movie solely so that teenagers and other guys would have something nice to look at. That doesn’t mean that the movies are only intended for males that enjoy looking at Megan Fox.

            I wasn’t ever saying that the entire Transformers film franchise was targeted at young boys ages 4-10. I said that scenes such as the one we were discussing were intended for boys in that age group.

            It’s good to know that you think that the Toy Story films were only intended for young children. Most people, including myself, felt that they were intended for audiences of all ages. Moreover, that they contained both scenes that were specifically target to young kids, and scenes that were geared toward audiences of other ages. You know? Kind of like the first and third Transformers movies. (The second one didn’t contain anything that was intended for anyone. It was pure shit.)

          • I fully agree that Toy Story was created with all age groups in mind, but it inhabits a very kid-friendly universe. On the other hand Transformers not only doesn’t aim to be a kids movie, it doesn’t, as you suggest, strive to offer much for adults. At best it strives to be terribly juvenile, which is exactly what I said, not sure how you misinterpreted that.

          • I find it strange that we seem to have a similar middling opinion of these movies, yet you are so defensive of them. the difference is, I guess, that you think that this is the best we could ever hope for out of a Transformers movie.

  14. Alex P.

    After watching Transformers 3 last night, I’m going to have to agree it was a disappointment. Yes there were improvements over the second movie (slowing down of the fight scenes, removal of two questionable characters, no moms taking weed brownies in college) but it still doesn’t make it a good movie.

    I think one of the problems with using an argument such as “ It’s a Michael Bay movie, what do you expect” or “ It’s a movie based off a toy line/ cartoon series, what do you expect” is that I feel this movie was trying to be smart and it had the potential. Michael Bay admitted his errors with the second and that it was going to better movie, going back to basics as the first but I still feel like the characters are still dumb down with silly slapstick humor that gets old quickly. A perfect example is when comparing movies of the same character are Batman and Robin with The Dark Knight. Same Batman character and general universe but we got two completely different movies because the vision of the director and writers. Someone could make the argument with Batman and Robin “ Well it’s a comic book character, what did you expect” but we have something like the Dark Knight that shoes us how something like Batman can be made into a very well made film.

    The first Transformers movie had its charm, and was witty and new to the audience. But It’s like he kept using the same formula and in Transformers 3, the jokes just felt tiring and just trying to get shock value from you but I admit there were some funny things here and there.

    The first movie had its sexuality with Megan Fox, but it felt like it was kept to a minimal, it kept itself in check. Here it just feels like its bam in your face, literally. I don’t feel it was necessary or help push the story. The reason I say this movie felt it was trying to be smart was because its plotline dealing (WHAT I’LL SAY HAS ALREADY BEEN SEEN IN TRAILERS) human knowledge and planning to see transformers on the moon since the 60’s and the work behind that. And also, there were several plot twists that I just lost count. They weren’t even necessary, or didn’t feel genuine.

    Overall this movie was a disappointment. I congratulate everyone who worked on the film because some of the effects I know took a lot of hard work and expertise and that was fun to watch but sadly they were not in a very memorable movie.

  15. Ivan Gomez

    I am going to do a movie about toys that kids play with, i am going to fill it with hartfelt moments and make every character distinct and recognizable with unique personality, maybe even a movie that can be critically acclaimed, maybe even nominated to best movie of the year on the oscars, hell i think this idea can give 3 mmmmmhhh, even 4 great movies without the need of a reboot, ok, those are my expectations.
    Now, i think i can put an astronaut there, a car, a dog, a pig, oh i got it, this is cool!!! a cowboy!!!
    Nah, it is not going to work, bad idea, but i already invested a few weeks thinking about it, so i feel that i can get a ton of money out of it, even if its not posible to make a good film out of toys for kids… I know!!!!!! i can hire Mr. Bay, he will make me money 🙂

    • vihdeeohfieuhl

      Hahahaha! Very funny! But that’s not a movie that was creatively derived from a line of Hasbro toys made for young boys! Now is it?

      That was an original concept. And furthermore, it’s a film about what toys might do, and how they just might behave, when the doors or closed, and nobody is watching. Does that sound like it might allow for a more inspirational film than one that is merely about a line of toys taylored to young boys?

      • Cowboy and spaceman action figures, plastic dinosaurs, Slinkys, Etch-a-Sketches, etc. are all toys for young boys.

        It was absolutely possible for someone to make a movie based on Transformers that could be well-written, have real emotions, appeal to both children and adults, and be both wildly popular and critically acclaimed at the same time. Why wouldn’t that be possible? The only thing anyone lacked was the will to try.

        Even so, no one actually expected that much out of Transformers. Everyone just wanted the movies to be decent summer popcorn and not too insultingly stupid. That’s a very low bar to set.

        You can argue that Bay just barely managed that much with the first film (though I would disagree). We can all agree that he failed miserably with the second. And now the third one is up for debate. This is really just an argument as to which side of the “AWESOME/AWFUL” line he’s fallen this time, and there are plenty of people already leaning toward “AWFUL”.

      • vihdeeohfieuhl

        I never said that those toys weren’t for young boys. I said that the Toy Story films were not creatively derived from a line of toys geared toward young boys. The Toy Story films come from an original concept.

        If it’s so easy, and it was absolutely possible, why don’t you tell us exactly what could have been done, or what another filmmaker might do in the future.

        If it’s really that simple, and it’s absolutely possible, why don’t you come up with a great movie made from any of the other toy lines I cited?

        It’s not as easy or possible as you think to make an excellent film when a line of toys is your creative reference.

        If this is really just an argument as to which side of the “AWESOME/AWFUL” line he’s fallen on this time, there might be plenty of people that are leaning toward “AWFUL”, but the high majority are leaning toward “AWESOME.”

        • CK

          I’d get rid of the more juvenile and goofy elements and try for something more along the lines of Iron Man. Bright, clean, flashy, but not to the point of bombarding the audience with so much that it becomes incoherent. My main points of focus would be:

          Simplify the plot. The Decepticons show up looking for the All-Spark (or whatever its call; even though I hated it), the Autobots show up to stop them and recruit Sam for his knowledge of Earth to help them. Battles ensue and guns blaze. This is just off the top of my head, I’m sure someone else could come up with something much better. Basically, less is more.

          Fewer human characters: Cut the cast down to two or three primary humans; Sam, maybe Megan Fox’s character (or equivalent) and maybe the government agent as a minor antagonist; maybe the parents in a smaller and hopefully less obnoxious role. Cut out Anthony Edwards, the Australian girl, the military guys and pretty much everyone but Sam for the most part. I think that would allow the humans to be more fleshed out and open up more time for the Transformers.

          More distance and fewer cuts: I’d film from a greater distance from the action to make it easier to tell what’s going on and give a better sense of scale to the Transformers. There were actually a couple moments in the first movie that showed them from a distance and I thought they were pretty good shots. Also, I’d let the shots go longer without cutting, which I think would make for a better experience, giving a chance for you to see the Transformers doing stuff instead of seeing that they’re doing stuff.

          Redesign the Transformers: To me the Transformers simply don’t look like the Transformers. There are so many parts to them that they look like they’re just a bunch of small metal pieces (sometimes not even like solid pieces) moving around, somehow connected to each other (like the rock monster on Galaxy Quest); they look like they might as well just morph like Mystique rather than have moving parts. I’d also take a lot of the crevices off of them, to give them a cleaner, more streamlined look. And Optimus Prime wouldn’t have lips!

          These are just off the top of my head, but I think it would improve things greatly.

  16. Onslaught

    The first half truly is awful, but I can’t deny the impressiveness of the sequences in the second half. Nothing makes sense in this movie. But for the sake of some damn cool visual spectacle moments, the last 50 minutes succeeds. The 3D was pretty impressive. Dim, but mostly impressive. I wasn’t sure if the out of focus thing was something I only noticed, or if others did, so that explains something.

    Also, the special effects are impressive. ILM did an amazing job with some of the stuff they did, even if it might seem been there, done that before. The scenes have gotten much more ambitious since the first, and they still wow me plenty of times. That said, on a humanistic level, this movie fails completely. The movie is one I would watch purely on a technical level, and for a love to see robots beat the crap out of each other. In which, it mostly succeeds. In the last hour.

  17. I heard a rumor that Bay and company tried to get the rights to use the music from the old animated Transformers movie (which by the way was an awesome movie made about these toys) and were turned down. While I find that absolutely hilarious, I find it difficult to believe Stan Bush is so well off he would deny that check. Anyone know if there is any truth to that?

    • I don’t believe that’s true. IIRC, Stan Bush petitioned to write a new song for the first Transformers movie, but was shot down. Whether he was rejected by Bay or by Dreamworks, I don’t know. (I also can’t verify that this story is true, but I heard it somewhere.)

  18. @vihdeeohfieuhl, I’m going to have to ask you to tone down the aggressiveness of some of your posts. I don’t like playing moderator here. I know that you probably don’t mean it, but your tone is coming across harshly in many of your comments.

    That said, I’m going to try to address several of your points from various comments together here:

    I disagree that the Transformers movies were really intended for young children to watch (despite being based on a toy line). They are far too violent for young kids, and too dumb for adults. They are designed solely for the undemanding teenage audience.

    As far as movies based on childrens’ toys go, I actually thought that the recent CG animated TMNT movie was pretty good. An intellectual masterpiece? No. Horribly stupid? Fortunately not. That’s all I would ask out of Transformers.

    On your point about critics contradicting themselves about whether the movies should be about the robots or the human characters, there’s really no contradiction there. The movies are called Transformers. The Transformers should be the main characters, not supporting characters in their own movie. As such, the characters should all have clearly defined personalities, and you should be able to tell them apart from one another.

    For all its cheesiness, the ’80s cartoon managed at least that much. The characters were all very distinct. You could tell Starscream from Megatron, both in looks and personality. Even when characters shared similar designs (like Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker did), they were still easy to tell apart.

    You can’t do that in the Bayformers movies. All of the robots are just big gray scrapheaps of metal. The only two characters who stand out at all are Bumblebee (because he’s yellow) and Optimus Prime. Starscream and Megatron – absolutely impossible to tell apart. In the big climax of the second movie, I had no idea at all whether Optimus was fighting Megatron, Starscream, The Fallen, or some other random unnamed robot. And THAT’S why people complain that the movies are just a bunch of robots smashing into one another, because we can’t even tell who any of the robots are! These are supposed to be CHARACTERS with PERSONALITIES, but they’re not.

    I don’t see how you can say that “high majority are leaning toward AWESOME” about the new movie when it just came out, and reviews and audience reaction have been mixed at best. Its box office so far is also underperforming compared to both of the previous movies, no doubt because people were so skeptical after getting burned by Revenge of the Fallen.

    • vihdeeohfieuhl

      There is absolutely a contradiction. I’m really surprised you don’t see it. I happen to agree with you that a movie titled, Transformers should primarily be about Transformers and feature Transformers as it’s main characters. However, the same people (critics and general audiences alike) that say that, are the ones that complain that they feature the Transformers too much, and need to develop the humans more. Again, you can’t have your cake and eat it to.

      Read Jane’s comments, and go to Rottentomatoes to find out how the high majority are leaning toward, “AWESOME.” 90% of respondents were satisfied with it.

      It most certainly has not been underperforming at the box office when compared to the first two. It is outperforming the first one by a wide margin, and some fall off is expected after the giant shit sandwich that was the second one. With that said, word of mouth will be a lot better, and you’re not going to see such steep falls week after week when compared to the second one. It probably won’t make as much money overall, but almost no second sequel (or third entry) makes as much money as it’s predecessor. The second one made as much money as it did, because audiences loved the first one so much. You won’t get that advantage with this one.

      • It isn’t about whether the characters are human or robot. The point is that the movies need to have clearly defined and developed characters, period. And they don’t. Instead, we just get indistinguishable hunks of metal smashing into one another.

        This movie is making more dollars than the first Transformers (largely due to the 3D upcharge). Adjusted for inflation, it’s selling fewer tickets.

        I put zero stock in the Rotten Tomatoes community audience scores. Just about any piece of crap can get a high rating there there, especially in the first few days of release when the fanboys turn out in droves to vote.

        Even Revenge of the Fallen is at nearly 80% favorable with RT users. And this is years later, after every sane person has recognized what garbage it is.

        Dark of the Moon’s IMDb user rating is currently at 69%. I expect that to fall as the fanboys thin out and more people see it.

        • vihdeeohfieuhl

          There’s no point in discussing it any further.

          I just want to point out that I don’t put any stock in box office figures adjusted for inflation. I think it’s the most ridiculous way of measuring the success of movies, and there’s absolutely no way to ever come up with accurate figures.

          Movies make as much money as they do when they are released for a reason. You can’t say that if you release such and such movie in another time period that it would make a certain amount of money based on ticket prices at the time. That goes both ways. You can’t take a movie that was released this year, put it in a time machine, and release it in a prior year, and say that it only would have made a certain amount of money if it came out that year. You also can’t take a movie from the past, throw it in the same time machine, release it right now, and say, “Look at how much money this film would have made if tickets cost this much back then.”

          The best example is Gone With the Wind. Everybody knows that it would be the biggest movie ever if figures were adjusted for ticket price inflation. This is a load of shit. If you release Gone With the Wind in 2011, it probably performs on par with Australia. It never sells a hundreth of the number of tickets it sold when it was actually released.

          I’ve researched it thoroughly, and statistics regarding average ticket prices are highly misleading as well. In a lot of markets, ticket prices haven’t went up in about three years. I happen to live in an area where ticket prices have been the same for about two and a half years now. However, the prices in other markets have skyrocketed. This throws the entire figure off. On top of that, there’s simply no way to account for matinee price vs. full price. When you here figures for average ticket price, and how much money a certain movie would have made if it were released during a different year, matinee vs. regular price is never factored in.

          The bottom line: It’s all guess work. You can’t say that if you released this same Transformers film in 2007 that it would have made less money than it’s making now. We simply have no way of knowing that. If you release this Transformers movie back in 2007, it alters every aspect of the circumstances that determine how many people ultimately attend it. If you release the fist Transformers movie in 2011, the same thing holds true. There is absolutely no way of knowing how much money it might make if it’s the first one being released this year amidst the approximately 9,738,543 other similar films being released so far this summer. People might be so burned out on comic book and action hero fare, that they don’t even give Transformers a chance. For all we know, it’s only making as much money as it is because of the widespread love for the first one. Obviously you’re going to take a hit because the second one was so godawful, but so many people loved the first one, they show up for this one in spite of the fact that so many similar films have already opened this summer.

          Look, I could go on and give an endless amount of other examples, but the point is that you have to take those figures with a grain of salt. They mean nothing. Nobody can say that any given movie would have sold any given number of tickets if it would have came out during any given year. It’s absolutely impossible. Changing the time period that a movie is released changes every single aspect of the fundamental events that utlimately determined how much money it made when it was released. And average ticket price figures are complete bullshit.

          • I’m not saying that this movie would have made any more or less money if it were released in 2007. All I’m saying is that fewer people have felt the need to rush out and see the opening of this movie than rushed out to see the first two. Skepticism based on the craptastic quality of the second movie is likely a big reason for that.

          • vihdeeohfieuhl

            Again, that’s not necessarily true. You could just as easily look at it this way, “In spite of the fact that audiences were greeted with a giant turd when they showed up for Revenge of the Fallen, More people are attending Dark of the Moon than the first Transformers.”

            Even if you do go by the useless, “adjusted for inflation” figures, DOTM is still slightly ahead of the first one in overall attendance at this point.

            When you factor in that ticket prices are higher in many major markets, as well as the fact that ROTF was so historically awful, it’s utterly amazing that DOTM is doing as great as it is.

  19. I’m curious, there have been a lot of lengthy, spirited debates about the worth of Michael Bay, seems to be a hell of a controversy around here, but does anyone honestly feel very strongly one way or the other about him or his films? As far as I’m concerned he’s simply mediocre and doesn’t really deserve this much attention good or bad. It’s like we’re arguing about what tofu tastes like.

    • vihdeeohfieuhl

      Good comment!

      I’m with you. I feel that he’s merely mediocre and doesn’t deserve this much attention regardless of which type it is.

      I think that Transformers will always invariably divide people because most men in our age group (which seems to be about 22-40 as far as I can tell) have some emotional or nostalgic tie to them. Therefore, Bay is probably getting a lot of the attention by default. Transformers would probably spark a heated debate regardless of which director made it. Everybody has their own idea of what they want Transformers to be, and no matter what happens, it’s inevitable that most people won’t get their way.

    • Jane Morgan

      Michael Bay is the third greatest filmmaker in the history of cinema.

      Here is my list, ranked by craftsmanship, which I will defend to the death.

      1 – Michael Mann
      2 – David Fincher
      3 – Michael Bay
      4 – Quentin Tarantino
      5 – David Mamet
      6 – Jean-Pierre Jeunet
      7 – Ridley Scott
      8 – John Woo
      9 – Oliver Stone
      10 – Coen Brothers

      * Anyone who disagrees with this list will be dismissed as ignorant.

      • vihdeeohfieuhl

        I stand corrected. Michael Bay is not a mediocre filmmaker! He is one of the best of all time!

        I guess all of the controversy makes sense now. I am not going to be dismissed as ignorant, so I must religiously abide by this list.

        Seriously, I love the choice of Michael Mann as number one. Heat just might be the only film I’ve seen in my almost thirty years on earth, that is absolutely flawless in every regard.

      • vihdeeohfieuhl

        Is there any chance that this list could be altered down the road?

        For example, does Tarantino have a shot of moving up at all?

      • Are you being serious or “mock-serious”? I mean, aren’t we allowed to disagree with your list? Will we instantly be dismissed as ignorant?

      • Jane Morgan

        This list will evolve as the art form evolves.

        Anyone who wishes to strenuously object may request a waiver.

  20. Ivan Gomez

    The problem with Bay is this in my opinion, he makes poorly scripted, underdeveloped, highly for your dollar, super high budget movies. And with every movie that comes out we hope that people notice so the box office gets low, so low that he finally hires people who questions him or chalenges him to try and make a coherent movie again. Unfortunately they keep coming on top, over and over again. Let me put it this way, we knew that pixar would eventually make a so-so movie, we just hoped it wouldnt happen, we where somehow surprised with Snider as movies where big in style yet felt original and a visual auteur in the making, and then he makes Sucker punch and… Its still original, it still has style but it just not comparable with his previous work, it feels off. I dont think we wanted that to happen either.
    So the “hate” on Bay is basically cause he stopped caring about making a “good” picture and it only focuses on “grand” movies.
    I think pixar and Snyder will TRY to make better next time around… Do you honestly think Bay will AT LEST TRY unless comercial failure???

  21. Bill Riley

    Wow, a lot of heated arguments getting kind of personal in here. So, here is my 2 cents.
    I just returned from watching it as I just had to see if it was as bad as the 2nd one, which I took my grandson to see a few years ago.
    Yes, it is. Really bad. I wish they had made it funnier, or at least, intentionally funny as I laughed my azz off at just how awful it was. Get rid of the special effects and what you have is another bad SyFy Channel Saturday Movie. Visually the effects were cool but ultimately silly without a good story to support it. Where/why did they replace that last chick with another airhead? Really, adults should only see this if they have to please a child.

    • Then again, if you have to please a child, you can show him/her a great movie. “Toy Story” (1, 2 or 3), “Aladdin”, “The Goonies”, “The Princess Bride”, “Hook” …

  22. the other day i came across mega python vs. gatoroid on netflix. made for 2 million or so. was on syfy a while back. it was dumb but fun. i would watch that movie 10 times before i would ever see another transformers movie.

    • Why dont we see how his Mission Impossible 4 turns out before slapping him with an even bigger action movie 😉

      As for Michael Bay, he’s one of my favorite directors, period….I dont care what anyone says about the man and his movies, he makes some of the best action in the business, sure his movies can be completely and utterly mundane and stupid, but the man has the best eye for action that I’ve probably ever seen in my life, just watching The Island last night re-enforced my opinion, well that and the fact that Bad Boys is one of my all time favorite action films, Transformers, The Island, Bad Boys, The Rock, some of the best action movies ever made!

      So yeah, I’m a huge supporter of Bay and always have been, no one can shoot an action scene like him

  23. Well just saw it in 3D and it was awesome on all levels, gotta say I disagree with this review 150%, every bit of infantile humor was gone from the 2nd one, the action scenes were epic and the funny stuff that was there had my whole theater laughing, it was great stuff and I’m really glad I didnt listen to this drivel of a review, I hope everyone that was interested goes and sees it for themselves, IMO it was just as good as the first film with better shot action scenes and the 3D was worthwhile too, win win here, so far its probably my favorite fun time of the year at the movies