Friday, July 6, 2007

Bitchin' Camaro - Transformers movie review

I've never been much of a Michael Bay fan - I recently saw The Island and thought it was a perfectly decent science fiction movie, acted fairly well by pretty people and Steve Buscemi, that was completely overwhelmed by gratuitous and grandiose explosions. His movies tend toward the slick and showy, supersaturated with color and parched for substance. In addition, I am not a robot-nerd/Autobot-fangirl; I never watched the cartoon or played with the toys; I wouldn't know an Optimus Prime if it walked up and bit me. But for some reason I wanted to see Transformers. And damn, now, if I don't want to buy a 1974 yellow Camaro with black racing stripes.

This movie was a hoot. I saw it at a sparsely-populated 10:00 a.m. matinee (I was the only female in the theater) and given how much the tiny audience was enjoying the show, I can only think that seeing an evening show in a packed house would be so much more fun. I chuckled out loud a couple of time (the robots make lame jokes!), I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped two or three times, and I drove home checking out all the passing cars, trying to imagine what kind of 'bots they'd morph into. Granted, some parts are pretty foolish, like when the Autobots strike poses and introduce themselves and the whole hide-the-giant-alien-robots-from-my-parents scene went on far too long. I really don't like chihuahuas. Every woman/girl who wasn't Sam's mom was far too hot to be human. Prime's voiceover seemed to serve no other purpose but set up Transformers 2. But really, this is a popcorn-flick: no thinking necessary - pure, lunatic entertainment. And boy does Michael Bay like to blow shit up!

It's a little difficult to tell what's going on in some of the Autobot vs. Decepticon battles what with all the CGI flailing and tumbling and buildings crumbling and assorted chaos, but the CGI is amazingly well-done; I especially liked Bonecrusher rollerblading up the freeway. Shia LeBeouf does a good job and really sells it (I'm thinking I may have to check out Disturbia now just because I enjoyed him so much here). I loved John Turturro's clip-on tie - hee. And Bumblebee is just fun. I understand that he was a Volkswagen Beetle in the original cartoon. I hope the hardcore Transformers fans are okay with the change because that Camaro, the older one, steals the show. "I love my car!" says Sam, and so say all of us.

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