Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Transformers: Movie Critics vs. Fans

I don't think I've ever seen such a big divide in opinion over a movie between critics and fans as with Transformers 2. All the critics are like "no plot, incomprehensible story, only two or three redeeming moments" and so on. All the fans are going to see it just to see giant robots blow shit up.

I think this is a signal to society. Movie critics are largely unable to suspend disbelief when watching a movie that's clearly fiction. I've always disagreed with some critics, most notably those that work for The Washington Post, who hate absolutely everything.

Back when Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (or whatever it was called) came out, The Washington Post had this long article praising the movie for its CG and so forth, the entire time suggesting that readers should go see this movie when it comes out. Then when the movie actually comes out and the review is published... surprise, they hated it.

If you ever want to find a bad movie review, just look for a review of a comedy. Critics seem to forget the most important thing about a comedy (humor) and take it like it's a serious movie with a few jokes here and there for relief. The most effective way I know of to review a comedy was actually mentioned in the UHF commentary when Weird Al was mentioning the reviews the movie got. Basically, critics should review comedies with their back to the screen, and just see if the audience is laughing. If they are, then it works. Comedies aren't meant to be huge summer blockbuster movies. They're meant to be the moviegoer's comedic relief from all the huge summer blockbuster movies.

Just to drive the point home, and get back on my original subject in the process, here's Roger Ebert's review of Transformers 2. It's almost like he was expecting the movie to be awful before he ever watched it. He tries to take everything way too seriously, and in the process is unable to suspend disbelief, which is necessary for a movie that's fiction. Of course things are going to happen that don't make sense in the real world. Did he forget mid-movie what he was watching? It's not some random crime drama with lots of action, it's Transformers. Cars and trucks turning into giant robots to fight for humanity. What part of "cars and trucks transforming into giant robots" suggests a serious true to life action movie?

The nail in the coffin is his footnote at the bottom, copied/pasted here for convenience.
Footnote 6/24: Does it strike you as a lapse of Pyramid security that no one notices a gigantic Deceptibot ripping off the top of the Great Pyramid? Not anyone watching on the live PyramidCam? Not even a traffic copter?
Seriously, how does one confuse Transformers with real life this horribly?

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