Posts Tagged ‘Michael Bay’

08-10-2014 12;06;48AM

AMC Stubs Member Swag, “Don’t freak out, it’s just a mask.”

Part of me cringed that I subjected myself to two Michael Bay movies in one month, but surprisingly enough, this one wasn’t as bad as the Transformer franchise—don’t get me wrong, it was still Michael Bay doing Michael Bay, but it was the higher end of the low expectations. After god knows how many script rewrites resulting from leaked scripts exploding the internet in mass rage, mostly about the idea that the turtles weren’t going to be turtles, but extra-dimensional aliens that simply looked like turtles, because according to Michael Bay, they were originally aliens, after which Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird set his shit straight and we were given the mutant turtles we were meant to have. Now, the story, if you have not been watching the new ‘Ninja Turtles’ cartoon on Nick, you may be slightly thrown by the story as it is (I’ve only seen it enough to recognize it as the source), since it will slightly conflict with your memories of the cartoon and/or comics (kinda like how the ‘90s movie conflicted with people that never read the comic and only knew the cartoon), but it’s not that much of massive change (especially when you keep telling yourself what he originally planned, you’ll be ok with it).

We start off with a cel-shaded prologue through the start credits that gives a brief profile of the turtles being trained to protect the city while they hide beneath it (not to get into a thing of constantly review the 3D quality of movies, but this was actually impressive to see—well enough that I almost started wishing I had money to upgrade my PC enough to see what my cel-shaded games look like in 3D—still not saying he did the 3D as well as it could have been, but it was at least a lot better than ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’), we also get very brief notes that the Foot Clan lead by the Shredder is terrorizing New York. Credits/prologue ends, and we introduce Megan Fox’s ass in the role of TV news reporter April O’Neal who is interviewing a guy at a shipping yard about a recent robbery of chemicals which are hyped up to “you can’t even get this stuff on the black market” level. We then introduce Will Arnett as our comic-relief who begins the usual sexually objectifying of Megan Fox as is normally expected of any female in a Michael Bay movie (but it’s Megan Fox, and that’s pretty much her leading skill in acting), which then moves the scene over to reveal that April is only a fluff-piece reporter, who is only hoping to break in as an investigative reporter (she apparently doesn’t know why even Clark Kent quit the Daily Planet to become a blog writer—the internet is the new news source).

So nothing happens and her day ends with a bike ride home conveniently going by the shipping yard that happens to be getting robbed by the Foot, but then, someone stops them, and her camera-phone does badly with low light (worst product-placement ever), so all she gets is the vigilante’s calling-card of graffiti Asian symbols. She goes back to the office with this story and Whoopi Goldberg laughs at her absurd existence, and then so does Will Arnett while continuing to humorously attempt to get in her pants while she doesn’t notice.

We cut to a dude tide-up in ropes, who then gets attacked by dudes, that he beats ups because his choreography was designed to hit people and theirs wasn’t (it was actually a bit worse than a Star Wars light-saber fight where all the blows are nowhere near anything). He then breaks the ropes, and tells cheek-bones (played by Minae Noji) that her dudes suck, and she blames their sucking on the vigilante sucking less than them and it just wasn’t fair. So Shredder (played by Tohoru Masamune) who can understand English fluently but chooses to only speak Japanese ‘cause he just that kind of dick and wants to make you read stuff, tells cheek-bones to bait the vigilante by attacking innocents (like Michael Bay attacking your childhood innocents by making your favorite cartoons into his movies).

Conveniently, Megan Fox’s ass stumbles upon the Foot attacking a subway station, taking hostages (that she becomes a member of), and setting bombs (in a subway station that they’re in—why wouldn’t that be a good plan). Just in time to stop Megan Fox’s ass from getting shot by cheek-bones, a train comes, lights go out and everyone is beaten up. Lights come back and the vigilantes are only glimpsed climbing up a construction shoot that goes all the way from the subway station to the top of a multi-story building (I have no idea if that’s normal to have, but ok). Megan Fox’s ass follows them and starts taking pictures where Michael Bay comic-relief starts to spew until she passes out (which is understandable, Michael Bay comic-relief is a lot to try to take in).

She then realizes that the turtles are her pets from when she used to hang out with her dad in his lab that blew-up (this was apparently all a thing—welcome to info dumping—it doesn’t end here). After getting fired by Whoopi Goldberg for talking crazy she then goes to see her dad’s ex-lab partner who’s apparently rich-balls. This then rolls into an info dump that pretty much just spews out the rest of the plot so much you could just stop watching now ‘cause you already know everything that’s going to happen for the rest of the movie. So when the next scene is of him chillin’ with Shredder, despite what the music suggests, you’re not really surprised (it was pretty much a “no shit” moment).

Megan Fox’s ass then gets a message to meet the Turtles where they take her to meet Splinter (played by Tony Shalhoub for some reason—it’s really the most disjointing voice that just doesn’t fit at all). We then go into an info-dump that gives more detail of the turtles’ origins making the prologue a bit pointless (I really don’t think Michael Bay really understands the point to prologues to begin with). This then closes with Megan Fox’s ass conveniently realizing that her cell is being track at just the moment the Foot finds them. An absurd fight between Splinter and Shredder happens that makes the Yoda fight in Episode 3 look normal. Shredder expertly wields the armor that was just made for him like a scene ago, which seems to allow his bones to bend oddly (or it’s just a result of CGI fighting where they seem to think that moving fast makes you look like you’re made of rubber—I had this same issue with ‘Man of Steel’). Everybody almost dies, but not so much that we can’t go off for a couple days continue the rest of the story and come back and save you later when most people stopped even wondering if you were still alive or not.

All but Raph is taken, so he and April (because she knows where the lab partner’s rich-balls house is) go save the rest of the turtles then go all the way back to the city from where ever they were and stop the Shredder and lab-partner from poisoning then curing everybody. A large roof-top fight between the Turtles and the Shredder begins while the countdown for poison spewing starts (because no one can just poison spew without a countdown, there are traditions and protocols that must be followed). After slightly beating the Shredder with the flash-back spew reference they stop the count down. Shredder gets back up and just knocks down the spewer instead (‘cause screw those countdown protocols), which Megan Fox’s ass then threatens to drop and destroy the cure if he doesn’t stop (because that’s good threat that completely works in her favor and wouldn’t just get the whole city killed). Shredder falls to his doom, and the Turtles and Megan Fox’s ass disappear into the sewers. Splinter who we forgot was dieing is ok now, and we close with comic-relief, and no post-credit scene.

So… on the Michael Bay Grading Scale: 5 out of 5, there was just so much Megan Fox ass in 3D that you almost forget this is supposed to be a movie intended for kids. On the Everyone Else Grading Scale: 3 out of 5, which is pretty good in his case, the jokes weren’t as bad, the story wasn’t as bad, but it was still really bad. At best, I can say that it was way better than I thought it was going to be and would at least be a fun movie to take your kids to without too much regret, and isn’t anywhere near as painful to watch as any of the Transformer movies (at least the odd choice of voice actors are synced correctly, whereas Transformers usually just makes me think they’re all ventriloquists, or Popeye).

 

English: Bumble bee & Optimus Prime

English: Bumble bee & Optimus Prime (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Watched ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ yesterday in 3D. Now, most movies I’ve seen in theater lately, I’ve seen in 3D (obviously excluding the cheap shows), but I mention the detail of this one being in 3D because it was the first time I was significantly disappointed. For pretty much the whole movie, I could have been watching it in 2D and it wouldn’t have made much difference. I’m not even just talking about the lack of things flying off the screen (which this did lack), but it’s also the lack of significant depth. In a lot of movies, my stance on 2D vs 3D and how 3D is significant, is that the added depth puts you a bit more in the story, but with this, I still just felt completely disconnected from beginning to end. I saw ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ in 3D (no, I didn’t do a review, and this is probably the closest you’re gonna get), and that was damn near the most amazing thing I’ve seen so far, and a completely opposite from ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction,’ and I’m glad that was what I used to be my little girl’s first 3D movie experience.

This was a Michael Bay movie so naturally it’s difficult to talk about it without it being mostly about the visual effects, while barely mentioning the story because, essentially, that statement is the entire basic concept of a Michael Bay movie: visual effects scenes with a barely substantial story speckled through it. So, let’s start with that speckled story.

This, in case you don’t know, is the fourth movie in the Michael Bay Transformer movies, we start with a vague and mostly pointless prologue of the Earth surrounded by ships, and invading a Earth filled with dinosaurs, the after about a minute of that, we cut to a scene in the arctic where they uncover dinosaurs covered in metal (try real hard to remember this because by the time anything about his is even vaguely hinted at again in the movie, you will probably have already forgotten about it—and if that happens, also don’t worry ‘cause nothing in a Michael Bay story is ever that important). Prologue ends, and first act begins, it starts off a few years after the invasion of Chicago that took place in the last movie, ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon.’ There are signs everywhere telling people to report any suspected alien activity. Mark Wahlberg is a junk collector with his friend TJ Miller (from the show ‘Silicon Valley’ on HBO and a crap load of comic-relief roles), he goes into an abandoned theater in “Texas” (which I have been in before, and I’ve never been to Texas—weird), after rummaging through discarded theater stuff, they find a huge semi (I’m not sure how that was supposed to be considered normal), when the door was opened, spent ammo shells of many sizes spill out (and this is only vaguely glanced at, “Well that’s weird, eh, whatever”). So he buys the truck that the theater owner didn’t remember was there (vague nod at the first movie when Shia finds Bee at Bernie Mac’s car lot—that’s right, I’m making you go watch that bullshit now).

We then cut to some black op stuff where they’re hunting a Transformer on the Boblo Boat, which is revealed to be an Autobot because the black ops are on mission to destroy all Transformers for some reason (except the one helping them—he’s cool, apparently).

Back to “Texas” where we sort of meet Wahlberg’s daughter Nicola Peltz (from ‘Last Air Bender’ and movies/TV where her main talent is just being hot—do I need to remind you this is a Michael Bay movie?), she just got denied a scholarship and then here comes her father with a truck he just spent money on, “but don’t worry, it was the comic-relief’s money, but we’re still broke, so it doesn’t really matter.” We reveal that he’s actually not a junk collector, but a really crappy inventor, who understand electronics well enough to reverse engineer anything, but can’t seem to find any practical use for this to make money with (until the very obvious ending).

Next day, simply because, he already figured out the truck is a Transformer between scene-wipes because a car batter gives enough charge to activate the distress call. Hot daughter storms in the house upset that absurd-line-delivery dad wouldn’t let her call the government and get enough money to pay their bills and her school because he’d rather make money instead (Michael Bay plots—they’re fun).

And from this point shit just starts happening and the vague chance at story just got thrown out. Optimus is fixed, and black ops storm in, and shit hits fan, and hot daughter’s pedophile boyfriend who caries laminated copies of pedophile protection laws on his person at all times saves the day, which leads us into ending first act with flash-fossilizing the comic-relief (which left me with “Who the fuck kills the comic-relief in the first act?” to “Thank god, Michael Bay has no idea how to balance comic-relief at all”—I am still haunted by the garden trampling gag that just wouldn’t fucking end).

For most of second act it’s pretty much just people running around and stuff blowing up, with a barely crow-barred in, “Hey we made our own Transformers from that metal that you forgot about, and named one ‘Galvatron’ to give nerds a cheap boner.” We also reveal that the Transformer that the black ops are totally cool with is actually working for the “Creators” (which is never mentioned beyond this, strongly hinting at seeding a sequel—but I predict it’s a reference to the Quintessons—yes, I’m one of the nerds that got a cheap boner, leave me alone!).

Third act, we’re in “China” that had a lot of Detroit building scape for some reason (seriously, the Detroit People Mover doesn’t go to China, it barely even goes to Detroit, it’s entire purpose is to just get you from one parking structure to another to make parking easier, it’s basically just a giant middle-finger that circles downtown mocking everyone that wishes public transportation was a thing). We rescued the dinobots from the bounty hunter’s ship, and stuff blows up, and movie ends with Optimus launching into space to find out what the “Creators” are (see, sequel seed—most of this movie was just a sequel seed, not as blatant as the second movie where we just spent two hours mocking ‘Search for Spock,” but still, it was just set-up for another movie).

And that’s about it, other than the constant attempts of Michael Bay trying to use blowing stuff up as a plot device no matter how many times people try to tell him, “that’s not a plot device, that’s just stuff blowing up—it could have not blown up and it would have been the same difference to the story—except less boomier.”

I’m not sure how I should rate this, ‘cause somehow rating Michael Bay the same way I would rate other people just doesn’t seem fair—it’s like rating a special needs kid with the same grading scale of a genius. It’s like the Einstein quote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” But, I still expect a guy that spends and makes a crapload of money to be better than this, so, I’m going with two grade scales: On the Michael Bay Scale4 out of 5, there were at least a couple things in there that could have blown up that completely didn’t blow up at all; on the Everybody Else Scale2 out 5, not a single detail of the plot came together, it was all just set-up for the next movie, and seriously, look up the definition of “plot device,” the only thing it had going for it is when it actually mocked itself (which was both funny and sad), and when it crow-barred in nerd titillation (which was also a little sad).