Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Potpourri: Transformers Movie Review

Well, that's two and a half years of my life that I'm not getting back.

Did I say years? Freudian slip. That should say two and a half hours, but let me tell you - each hour felt like a year.  No, like more than a year.  A decade, at least.

We took the boys to "Breakfast and a Movie" (formerly "Flapjacks and a Flick," but now they have more than pancakes) and put it up to a vote whether we saw the Transformers movie or "Cars 2."  The kids selected . . . Kevin James' "Zookeeper."  Which - sorry, kids - was not on the table.  (It's not that I don't like Kevin James; I could watch his dance sequences in "Hitch" on a continuous loop.  "Makin' the pizzas.  Q-Tip, Q-Tip . . . and throw it away."  But I saw "Paul Blart:  Mall Cop."  Once.  And that was enough.  Fairly sure that the working title for "Zookeeper" was "Paul Blart 2."  So, like I said - NOT on the table.)  So we regrouped, and we went to see Transformers.  And I had oatmeal.  In a movie theater.  This was a first for me. 

It was good oatmeal.  And I felt virtuous for eating it - despite the fact that I added butter and brown sugar to it.  Which I never do at home - but they gave me little cups of both, along with cups of toasted pecans and cranberries.  I mean, what's a girl supposed to do?  THE BUTTER WAS ALL SOFT, AND WHEN I PUT IT IN THE OATMEAL IT GOT ALL MELTY AND AWESOME, AND (I CAN'T STRESS THIS PART ENOUGH) I ATE THIS HEAVENLY CONCOCTION IN A MOVIE THEATER.

Movie Tavern:  proof that Western civilization, while on the decline in some areas, is still alive and kickin'.

Still focusing on the bright side:  when we left the movie theater, Connor did not proceed to break his arm.  Given our track record vis-a-vis prior Flapjacks and a Flick, this represents progress.

Okay, the bad part.

MESSAGE TO MICHAEL BAY:  The adage is "less is more."  And, as adages go, it's a good one.  Here's an example of a bad adage:  "more is not enough."   And here's an example of a true adage:  "more is headache inducing."

First off, they had the sound cranked way too loud.  Second, the movie was in 3D.  Third, there was one action shot after another action shot after another action shot, with not much in between, except for the occasional slow-motion shot of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley sauntering and looking pouty.  Believe me when I tell you that the slow-mo sauntering and pouting were some of the best parts of the movie.  Really.  I actually like the girl, and I probably would have liked her even if she didn't represent SWEET RELIEF FROM THE ONSLAUGHT OF FX.

There was so much action - all of it very much in your face, thanks to 3D - that I found myself looking away.  A lot.  I think that my eyes may have actually started twitching.  At the half hour mark, I started checking Facebook.  Every five minutes.  Then I started IMDB'ing people in the peripheral cast who looked familiar.  And then I admitted defeat and played Sudoku on my Blackberry.  Except that I had to forfeit the last game, on account of how I backed myself into a corner and put two 7's on one line, on account of how I could not concentrate on account of the OVERLY LOUD AND OVERLY VISUAL MOVIE.

I couldn't even enjoy what I thought was the best action sequence in the film, because I could not get over how implausible it was.   SPOILER ALERT . . . .

[Seriously, this is your last warning.]

You have twenty buildings, at least, in a three square block radius, from which you can attempt a shot at something high atop another building . . . and you choose the building that is badly listing to one side?  Then you RIDE the side of the building as it goes over, notwithstanding that given the angles involved the laws of physics would cause you to hang in midair for a split second and then plummet straight down, through and into the building's glass exterior?  Oh, wait - after SLIDING down the INCREDIBLY STEEP ANGLE that is now the side of the building, you realize that the laws of physics are catching up to you, so you decide that you WANT to go through the building's glass exterior, so you shoot out the panes in front of you and neatly plop throught the holes.  Six or seven of you.  And none of you sustain any life-threatening, artery-severing cuts.


Without giving more away, there were a LOT of laws-of-physics-defying moments in this flick - and when we brought this up later, the Older Kid rolled his eyes and said, "Mom, Sentinel Prime explained that.  The Transformers' technology DEFIES the laws of physics." 

Ah . . . well, that explains . . . um, nothing, actually.

I soldiered through to the end, fighting the urge to walk across the street to Joann to shop for craft supplies.  I felt a little guilty about not enjoying the film, because it runs counter to my tomboy nature to not like action films - and, also, I thought that my spouse, just possibly, was enjoying the film, given that:  (1) he seemed to be watching it (he was pointing his face toward it, at least) and not objecting to it too much; and (2) he is an actual, factual guy, versus merely a tomboy (which is kind of like having visa status in Boy World - he was born a citizen, you know?).  I was somewhat relieved to learn, at the end of the film, THAT HE ALSO THOUGHT IT WAS TORTURE.  As we walked out, I said, "Okay, kids - Mom and Dad get to pick the next one."

And Dad said, "No, Mom and Dad get to pick the next two . . .hundred."

Needless to say, the kids thought that it was the best movie ever made.  Better than "Citizen Kane" and "Casablanca" - and much better than "Cats."  (Sorry - somewhat obscure "Saturday Night Live" reference.)
So, that's something, I guess - the kids had a good time, and Connor didn't break his arm.  It appears that I did not suffer any permanent neurological damage after suffering from a full-body twitch for two and a half hours.  And I had a pretty darned tasty bowl of hot breakfast cereal.

My spouse agreed that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was the best thing in the film (not that I expected that he would have a different P.O.V. on THAT).  Actually, we decided that it was a tie between "Rosie Huntington-Whiteley looking hot" and "Patrick Dempsey's character getting killed." (One of the bazillion things that my husband and I have in common:  our intense, albeit sort of situational, dislike of winsome male actors.  We find Patrick Dempsey incredibly irritating in everything other than "Enchanted" and "Made of Honor."  We also agree that Richard Gere is incredibly irritating in everything except "Pretty Woman," "Chicago" and "Shall We Dance," and Bill Pullman is incredibly irritating in - um, everything.)

I am hoping that this is the end of the Transformers franchise.  I mean, the final scenes were awfully final, you know?  But I have a sneaking suspicion that this will not be our last Autobot rodeo.

As long as I have my bowl of oatmeal, and my smart phone, I guess I'll be fine.

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