Eric D. Snider

Transformers

Movie Review

Transformers

by Eric D. Snider

Grade: C

Released: July 3, 2007

 

Directed by:

Cast:

What a big, dumb, silly mess "Transformers" is! And how peculiarly enjoyable, in a bloated, overlong kind of way. It's like spending a day at the state fair: a little bit of actual entertainment, a lot of embarrassingly cheesy attempts at entertainment, and the faint whiff of bull crap everywhere.

The first words we hear are narration: "Before time began, there was The Cube." You know you're in for a treat when a movie starts like that. This Cube wound up on Earth, and two races of mechanical, shape-shifting beings -- the good Autobots and the bad Decepticons -- have come to our planet in search of it. The Decepticons want it for power and will gladly kill any humans who get in the way, while the Autobots, who won't harm humans under any circumstances, want to destroy it.

The aliens take the form of our mechanical devices -- cars, trucks, helicopters, and portable stereos (yeah, that seemed weird to me, too) -- but can also change (or "transform," if you will) into awesome-looking robots that can shoot lasers and stuff. One of the Autobots, disguised as a beat-up Camaro, gets himself onto a used-car lot, where he's purchased. I don't know how the transaction took place, given that the car just showed up out of nowhere and the lot owner wouldn't have a title for it, but there you go.

The proud owner of the Camaro is Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), a slightly spacey high-schooler whose dad has helped him buy his first car. Turns out the Camaro, whose Autobot name is Bumblebee, chose Sam on purpose, because Sam is in possession of a family heirloom that may hold the key to discovering where The Cube is.

The Decepticons suspect this too, having learned a lot by stealing top-secret U.S. government documents detailing artifacts found on an old Arctic expedition. The Decepticons want Sam; the Autobots want to protect Sam but use his knowledge. Sam is suddenly very popular, including with a hot chick from his class, Mikaela (Megan Fox), who is on hand for the sole purpose of giving Shia LaBeouf someone to kiss at the end of the movie.

Meanwhile, a group of U.S. soldiers are attacked by a Decepticon in the desert. The onscreen title tells us where this takes place: "QATAR," followed by the explanatory "THE MIDDLE EAST," because we're idiots who don't know where Qatar is. Familiar names like Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson play the soldiers, but don't get too attached. Most of them simply disappear once the movie doesn't need them anymore.

Back in the States, a room full of nerds is ordered by Defense Secretary Keller (Jon Voight) to figure out how these mechanical terrorists are hacking into the government's system. One of them, an apparently Australian blonde named Maggie (Rachael Taylor), declares with breathless certainty, "There's only one hacker in the world who can crack this code!" Good thing she happens to know him! And that he happens to live nearby! Whew! He's played by Anthony Anderson, and the two of them wind up involved in the military's efforts to stop the killer robots, with Anderson providing additional support in the form of wisecracks.

Part of the problem with all this is that the battle is really between the Autobots and the Decepticons, with Earth (well, Los Angeles, mostly) as the battleground. Introducing a third side, i.e., the military, just complicates things. Does the Army know that the Autobots are good guys? Can they tell them apart? Can WE tell them apart, lacking any prior knowledge of what distinguishes an Autobot from a Decepticon? Since the Army is shooting every robot it sees, including the good guys, does that make the Army bad guys?

The Autobots are led by a semi truck named Optimus Prime (voice of Peter Cullen). There is a momentous scene halfway into the movie when all of the Autobots, the heroes of countless men who were young boys in the '80s, gather together and introduce themselves to Sam. To a certain audience, it must be like seeing Clark Kent change into Superman for the first time.

And wouldn't you know it, the movie ruins it, just whizzes it down the ol' pant leg. One of the Autobots is a black guy (I guess) named Jazz, and he talks all jivey and stuff. Then there's one who gets fussy when a dog pees on his robot foot. They all sneak over to Sam's house to wait for him while he goes inside to retrieve the important family heirloom, and these massive figures, these powerful and noble-minded alien beings, start bumbling around like a bunch of girls at a slumber party. Doh! We accidentally ruined Dad's new lawn! Whoops! We stepped on Mom's petunias! An Autobot actually utters the words, "Sorry, my bad." The jivey one says, "What up, little b****es?" Later, in an act that perfectly summarizes the movie's mindset, one of the robots uncorks his oil pan (located in his crotch area) and "urinates" all over a villainous human. Har!

Optimus Prime does fill us in on the backstory, though. The Autobots and Decepticons lived in peace back on planet Cybertron, until the Decepticons betrayed everyone. And you have to wonder, how did no one see it coming that a group of beings called "Decepticons" might behave, I don't know, deceptively?

Here on Earth, the Decepticons are mean and have names like Megatron and Bonecrusher. One of them takes the form of a police car in order to blend in ... except that where it should say "To Protect and Serve," it says "To Punish and Enslave." Hardy-har, funny joke, but you're kind of blowing your cover with that, aren't you? I wouldn't tolerate that kind of nonsense if I were Megatron. I'm just sayin'.

The film was written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (the duo behind "The Legend of Zorro" and "Mission: Impossible III") and directed, if that is the right word, by Michael Bay. Bay has directed only six films prior to this, yet is as reviled as if he had made 50 bad ones. "Transformers" is closest in spirit to his "Armageddon," with its testosterone-fueled plot, its rag-tag assortment of disparate characters, its unnecessary tacked-on romance, and its frequently inane frat-boy humor.

Bay still loves to film the fight scenes in Confuse-O-Vision®, too, rendering incomprehensible action that might have otherwise been exciting.

I noticed, however, that even when I knew who was firing lasers at whom, I still didn't care very much. Yet the preview audience, which we knew to be full of lifelong Transformers fans, which had audibly reacted to seeing the Camaro's pristine engine in the same way they'd have reacted if they'd seen Halle Berry's breasts -- the audience that applauded every time a familiar (to them) Transformer was introduced, they went nuts at the battle scenes. It wasn't that what the robots were doing to each other was particularly spectacular -- goodness knows we've seen humanoids and mechanical creatures fight before -- but it seemed to be the sheer fact that it was THESE robots, the robots of the audience's childhood, that delighted them so.

Speaking as one who remembers the Transformers phenomenon of the mid-'80s but has no emotional connection to it, I say the movie is often laughably corny, no more thrilling than any typical action movie, and akin to "Independence Day" in its reliance on questionable science and dubious logic. I think it must be a film that succeeds only for a specific target audience: people who already love Transformers. For the rest of us, it's no bigger or better than a lot of other summer blockbusters, and quite a bit more senseless than many.

Grade: C

Rated PG-13, scattered profanity, a little vulgarity, a lot of sci-fi violence

2 hrs., 24 min.

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This item has 52 comments

  1. MSuskie says:

    Just as you said in your "Ratatouille" review that we've gotten to the point where one can review a Pixar movie just by saying, "It's a Pixar movie," the same goes for Michael Bay films. "So how's 'Transformers'?" "It's a Michael Bay movie."

  2. Neil says:

    Between Mike Bay and Steve Spielberg, this movie is doomed....

    My childhood, destroyed in 2 hours 24 minutes....

  3. ScottW says:

    Great Review. Just saw this last night and you are right on. It was hard to sit there during the silly scenes with the autobots fumbling around, the cheesy lines, and the Confuse-O-Vision as you call it. That Confuse-O-Vision puts me to sleep - none of it means anything or adds to the story. Yet the audience loved it, clapping, hootin and hollerin. In fact their favorite parts of the movie were, in my opinion, the low points.

    I enjoyed the lead up in the first hour or so.

  4. Zak says:

    "It's like spending a day at the state fair: a little bit of actual entertainment, a lot of embarrassingly cheesy attempts at entertainment, and the faint whiff of bull crap everywhere."-Best thing i've ever heard.

  5. Bigmonkey says:

    The audience applauded when the film ended. They APPLAUDED! I didn't mind the faulty logic, frat-boy jokes, etc. but applauding? What was in this movie that would make anyone want to cheer and shout in celebration? I don't get it. I just don't get it.

  6. Steve says:

    It must be sad to live a life so jaded. If you folks had kids of your own sitting next to you in the theater, if you could see the looks on their faces as they watched this film, if you could or would still allow yourself to experience some of that joy without feeling guilty, then you'd probably be living a happier life than you are.

  7. Neprhon Cajones says:

    Lighten up, Snidey fanboys, and remove your lips from his crotch.

    Supposed to be a fun movie.

    Some people can't remove the stick from their posterior. I guess they like it there.

  8. Joel says:

    I'm actually a little shocked by the average (C is average) review that Snider gave Transformers. I just saw it last night and I came out thinking it's the best summer blockbuster I have ever seen. Is it the greatest movie? Absolutely not. There are so many things which are simply gleamed over, whether it be Transformers lore, or simply the reality of how people actually act or react that this will never be considered a masterpiece in the same way that... Lord of the Rings is. However, I don't think this film is even trying to be like LOTR in it's attention to detail. When you're going into this movie you already know ahead of time that you're going to see sentient robots that can transform. The bar for your suspension of disbelief is set high, and as such, you're able to look past a lot of the little things that happen. (Like why Sam never questions why his car radio keeps turning on and changing stations...) On a purely entertaining level, I think this movie deserves a solid A. It's entertaining from beginning to end. All the complaints that I have about it on a truly nit-picking level are things that I would count against a movie of the LOTR calibre but not this...

  9. kevith says:

    I like fun movies just as well as the next person, but I do prefer that they be good. The two don't have to be mutually exclusive. Why should I be required to watch a bad movie if I want it to be fun or entertaining? The same principle applies to movies aimed toward children or teenagers. It is possible to make a movie for your target audience that also happens to be good, it's just that most studios don't seem to want to put in the extra effort.

  10. shannon says:

    You losers should stick with watching "The English Patient" and old Daniel Day Lewis movies...

  11. ScottW says:

    Overall, it was a fun movie. I actually saw it with my son and we had a blast…and I’d watch it again just to stare at Megan Fox for 2 ½ more hours (except, am I the only one wondering what was up with that threesome with bumblebee at the end?). I just thought it could have been better for the reasons I mentioned in my earlier post and perfectly articulated by Eric in the first paragraph of his review (yes, my lips are tightly fastened).

    However, judging by the audience’s reaction, user ratings on rottentomatoes, and some of the posts on this forum, the general audience prefers it dumbed-down. It’s the same general audience that enables movies like wild hogs to gross over 165 million. If I was a director or writer and money was my bottom line I’d be a fool not to throw in some of the very same scenes that I bothered to criticize on this forum today.

  12. Snooky says:

    Michael Bay....what a tool. He ruins everything he touches, like an anti-King Midas. He gets his hands on it, it turns to crap...

  13. Seasider says:

    Normally, I agree with Eric's reviews but on this one I think he's way off base on this one. It's a summer blockbuster movie that doesn't pretend to be anything else. Compared to the crap we've been getting this summer, this is a movie that actually delivers on its promises. I really don't know what Eric was expecting. It sounds like he just has some anti-Bay bias thing going on and made up his mind to not like before watching it. It's a movie about robots from space who change into cars and jets. Any extra effort to take the story any more seriously is a recipe for disaster (see Spiderman 3).

    I also find it odd that Eric tears this movie to shreds and yet gives Die Hard 4 a B. If there was any reason to be outraged about the action saturation of a movie, it's Die Hard. A franchise that was once prided itself on it's blue collar grit and R rated characters. Now we get a pussification of John McClane who is now a clean shaven boy scout cop who no longer smokes, drinks or swears. The movie should've been more Lethal Weapon and less Jack Bauer 24 on steroids.

    Sorry about the tangent. Transformers definitely had its plot holes, wasted characters and cheesy dialogue, but as a whole I thought the movie worked in doing justice to the source material. It is in my opinion Michael Bay's best work. The less time he spends with Jerry Bruckheimer the better. The movie is also a milestone in visual effects. If anything, the movie worth is the price of admission for the eye candy. Almost everyone I've talked enjoyed the movie because they feel the same way they felt the first time they saw those Dinos in Jurassic Park.

    As for the comment about preferring things dumbed down. Well it is a summer movie isn't it? People go to them because they want dessert. They don't want Citizen Kane. It's not because moviegoers are dumb or unintelligent (though some are), they're just in the mood to be entertained.

  14. Yulnaggoth says:

    I also normally agree with you, but I think you were a bit harse on this one. This movie has a shapeshifting, mace-wielding 60 foot tall armored robot that can annihilate a city block with his lasers and crumple tanks with his bare hands. How anybody can give it a mediocre score is beyond me.

  15. Teresa says:

    Um, excuse me, but guys weren't the only ones who grew up on Transformers. Us girls watched them too.

  16. steve H says:

    I agree with Snider. He hit the nail on the head with this one. Sure, the effects are good, the explosions are big, the chicks are hot and the product placements are pronounced, but that does not a good film make.

    The first half were entertaining - mostly because of LeBeouf's performance. The rest is a throw-away 'how much carnage/explosions can we back in the remaining disjointed hour?'.

    This is only worth watching if you're stoned, stupid, drunk, below 13 or a rampant transformers fanboy (which I was).

  17. Slash says:

    What if I am all of those things?

  18. Scotty says:

    I have to come down on the populist side of this debate. The movie is what it is--an over the top, silly, pseudo-sci-fi romp that's heavy on effects and light on realism. So what? We don't expect Die Hard movies to make sense, and you shouldn't expect this one to be any more realistic.

    In absolute terms, it probably earns a C for obvious logical flaws, weak characterization, and the extremely dumb "my bad" scene in the garden. But as a nicely paced action adventure it earns a good B+ to A- from me. Much more entertaining than either Spiderman or Fantastic 4.

    If this movie destroyed anyone's childhood, then it must have been a tenuously appreciated childhood indeed. Too big a hammer for a movie that made no claims to artistry.

  19. Zinegata says:

    Why do I sense this will be another "300", where critics again arrogantly deride a film yet the audience loves it?

    Transformers is a fun movie. It's exciting, has plenty of explosions, but always reminds you that you shouldn't take it too seriously with many moments of comedy. Parodoxically however, the film also contains a message - one ironic in light of the original animation's tagline, but one that's basic, human, and audiences will love.

    A classic? Perhaps not. But then again, the critics also dissed Star Wars.

  20. Neil says:

    Ok - in my first response (#2), I had not seen it - just expressed my fears, which Eric seemed to confirm.

    Well, excepting for the fact that Bay did this sort of keeping-things-the-same-for-the-fanboys thing while trying to pull off entertain-the-pubescents, it wasn't TOO bad. A lot of the dialogue felt forced - the allusions to the series/movie felt like they were being read for the first time and unnatural. Both "more than meets the eye"s seemed thrown in. The Autobots would go from heroic nobles to Bill Murray in The Man Who Knew Too Little, and back again. In 2.24, you never understand why OP's chest is glowing (maybe excusable if the movie didn't drag at points). The Australian chick (while stunning) and Anthony Anderson still confuse me as to how essential they were - in the 12 hours since I saw it, I've forgotten why were they in the movie. That valuable time could have been used to show more action, which is why you see this movie in the first place. Switching out original vehicles did make things confusing for those of us who grew up on the show - but, I suppose it was inevitable. On the other hand, OP without the faceplate made no sense. He looked like he had ape-lips. And where was the relationship between Megatron and Starscream? Bah.

    Anyway, so I'm ranting like an old man. I know and I don't care. Growing up, there was only one cartoon that I was sure to watch over and over again. Transformers. I didn't have "a tenuously appreciated childhood," I just had incredible memories. So much of my playtime and toys and imagination revolved around the Transformer characters. Seeing them turned into a thoroughly flawed movie is a problem...

    I'd have given the movie a B or better if this had been an original concept. But, with the potential and the existing concept, Bay screwed the pooch. For that the movie earns its C-.

  21. Tom says:

    Wow. I haven't seen this movie yet, but I can't remember one that the reviews were so all over the map for. I am definitely seeing this one.

  22. Thoughtful Observer says:

    I think it is interesting how many people who love the movie are saying "well, yeah, it was pretty weak, but it still deserves a good review, an A at least!" I'm not saying whether it was good or bad, I haven't seen it, but isn't the mentality that "well, I liked the movie so it should get great reviews" a little... well... pointless? I think Eric tends to be pretty logical in his grading, and reserves "A" status for the phenomenal (at least to him) ones that really are deserving of critical praise. I'm sure it is rather enjoyable for those who enjoy that type of movie. I personally can think of many movies that are bad movies that I like anyway. It's okay to like a bad movie. It's okay to think a movie that isn't amazing is good. And it's okay to disagree with a review without being so negative.

    And here is my biggest question: why can't a movie be entertaining and smart? Why is it only one or the other? Why can't a movie with a lot of action also have a clever script and make sense? Why must we either choose to be enlightened or entertained? Why can't we have both, especially in a huge, multi-million dollar blockbuster? It's not like they can't afford to hire writers.

  23. Slash says:

    Keep in mind too that movie critic sites are trolled by studio hired 'plants' to insert positive comments onto negative reviews.

    I've seen any number of 'positive' reviews planted in Eric's comment section that seem to fit the model.

    Not saying that everybody who liked this movie is a plant, but I'd bet at least some are.

  24. Dave the Slave says:

    I was too poor growing up to buy more than 2 or 3 transformers, especially when Ninja Turtles were less than 5 bucks!

    But I saw screen tests showing the advanced HDRI lighting and nifty compositing tricks they were planning on using and made up my mind I'd see it at the dollar theatre no matter what! :-)

  25. Shockwave says:

    Shannon,

    "Losers," ouch! That's very cute. Now why don't you go play out in the street while us grown-ups actually have a discussion here?

    As to the movie and the review: I thought the review was pretty accurate. I have read other reviews saying, "Yeah it's dumb, but it's a fun popcorn flick." It would have been fun if it was at least an hour shorter, and if the characters and the dialogue weren't so painfully bad. Structurally, it was a bleeding mess, with bits and pieces all over the place that don't add to anything. After the movie, scene after scene popped into my head and made me wonder, "What did that have to do with anything?" Worst of all, the Transformers themselves weren't on screen long enough to become characters, outside of the one-note character traits that define each robot as a whole. Imagine if the movie defied logic and made the robots fully realized characters that even non-fans and cinics would care about.

    Even movies like this can be good, if the drama isn't forced or tacked on. Bay doesn't understand that while storytelling is about emotional manipulation, that manipulation has to be subtle: the audience shouldn't feel like they're being manipulated. The part when Bumblebee was being captured played like Bay shouting "Cry, dammit!" through a megaphone. I guess Bay just doesn't know the definition of subtle.

  26. ABomb says:

    Here's what I learned from this movie (plant tongue in cheek here):

    Latino Americans really don't want to speak English, no matter how long they've been in the US.

    African Americans are tubby goofballs, no matter how intelligent they might actually be.

    Telephone service calls are handled by dirty, obstructionist furriners.

    If a vintage musclecar can't help you get the girl, try a vintage musclecar that's actually a giant alien robot with a soft spot for awful love ballads.

    Chevy = good. Dodge = bad. Ford = too poor to get in the movie.

    If a team of 50' tall robots shows up at your house, try to hide them in your backyard. But don't let them near the cheapass fountain.

    If teams of 50' tall robots are going to fight, and the military is coming, and you have an object that needs to get out on a chopper, go to downtown LA. That will cause far less mayhem than, say, going to the adjacent desert where nobody lives and there are no buildings for miles, and the military pilots can actually see what they are doing.

    Wow, what a waste of everyone's time...

  27. Zinegata says:

    Actually... I found most of the military actions in the movie to be quite realistic.

    The average footsoldier (contrary to popular belief) really can't do much damage on his own. Anti-tank weapons are too heavy to be carried in large numbers, and ordinary guns don't do much damage to tanks.

    What infantry in the real world do is to hide in difficult terrain (i.e. buildings and cities), and then call in artillery or airstrikes to destroy heavy vehicles, which is precisely what happens in the movie.

    That's why the decision to hide in Mission City (NOT LA - Some reviewers apparently weren't paying attention, and are also forgetting that Hoover Dam is in Arizona/Nevada and not California) isn't as stupid as it may seem. What's questionable is not getting the civilians the hell out of there, but there probably wasn't enough time, and can you honestly expect people to listen when you say "Please evacuate the city. Killer giant robots are on the way!"

    Frankly, as a military geek, seeing all the nice military hardware and soldiers who actually fight like real-world soldiers was a big plus.

    Again, I think this movie is much better than what many critics are saying. And frankly, critics are the sort of people who dissed Star Wars, Lord of The Rings (the book) and many other works of entertainment that people have embraced.

    Honestly speaking, I agree with an article I once read regarding critics - many don't really watch the movie. They just find the best way to diss it because that's what their life has become.

  28. Lowdogg says:

    I'm no plant. I liked the movie.

  29. NNG says:

    Why on earth is the movie so bloated? Top 3 Useless Scenes/Characters

    ALL THE HACKERS
    Why oh why do we have to endure Anthony Anderson as a new character popping up halfway through the film, in his crazy grandmomma's house and him scarfing down a whole plate of donuts? And what about Rachel Taylor's two male colleagues who get screen time and then disappear?

    SECTOR 7
    Oh gawd another "secret facility no-one knows about that contains alien intelligence". C'mon it's like watching Independence Day over again! And the wierd Sector 7 leader who gets stripped and chained to a lamp-post - I was checking my watch in disbelief at this point.

    AUTOBOTS IN YOUR FRONT LAWN
    Like some others, I also cringed at the overly long scene of the Autobots hanging around Sam's front lawn. Some film-making school should use this scene and assign students "how to make it shorter and sharper".

    Regarding the Hackers and Sector 7, I think I know what's going on: these flimsy characters are INSURANCE. Should Shia and Megan decide not to do Transformers 2, at least these guys or some of them could be persuaded to return, thereby giving viewers a sense of "continuity" and familiarity. It would help to push a new story along without the key characters of the first movie.

  30. BeeDub says:

    I'll probably see this one eventually, but I'll be buying a ticket to a different movie when I do. Michael Bay isn't getting one more cent of my money.

  31. Craig says:

    This is yet another case of a movie critic not really grasping or understanding the premises of a movie. Granted, this movie will not win any Academy Awards for its direction, plot, characters, or presentation. However, there is pop culture, iconic in its nature, written all over it. And while Michael Bay may have changed, may have even ruined the way we remember Transformers from our childhood, there is no doubt that it was one of the best conceived toy lines and cartoons ever to come to fruition. What male (or possibly female) between the ages of 18 to 35, aside from Eric Snider, can not say that this movie, while fraught with many discrepancies, Michael Bay-isms, and cheesy dialog, is awesome?

  32. Bickmo says:

    Despite this film being a mess, I enjoyed it. Why? Because Optimus Prime's voice was the same as in the cartoon! Yeah, I'm a big nerd.

  33. Dave the Slave says:

    Ya know, I actually really enjoyed the mindless brain-bubble gum. I thought it was a lot of fun. Until about an hour and a half into it that is, but it just kept going! On and on! By the time the credits FINALLY began to roll I had to book it outta there, funny mom clips at the end be damned!

    I just think Mr. Bay got confused. It started out good, people wanna see a grown up version of themselves playing with Transformer toys, instead of imagination we get special effects, and it was fun. (I dont know if theres a tasteful way to say this analogy so I'll just say it anyways-) but I think its like people that watch pornos. They watch em for a very specific purpose, theyre not looking for intellectual enlightenment, just quick cheap dirty thrills, and they get em right?

    Well the Transformers movie (at first) was my version of a porno i guess. I wasn't looking for great acting, intelligent ideas, decent music, etc. just big robots smashin stuff! And it was fun! ...but again, what porno lasts 2 and a half hours?? I loved this movie, then got so sick of this movie before it was even over... ug.. explains all the mixed reviews I think, people either have longer attention spans than I or a longer sex-drive...... wait... what?

  34. Josh says:

    I showed up expecting to see a movie about giant robots kicking butt, and the last half hour delivered. But the first two hours were almost totally worthless. This movie doesn't know what it wants to be when it grows up. Is it a romantic comedy about a whiny teenager trying to get laid? Is it a buddy flick about a hot Australian hacker and her mouthy black caricature of a friend? Is it an army movie? Or is it an action flick about giant f--ing robots pounding on each other? Here is a hint, if the movie is called "Transformers" I shouldn't have to wait an hour to see robots fighting. And when the robots finally do get a bit of screentime, what in the name of Unicron possessed him to insert a half hour scene that involves Prime destroying the garden?!

  35. Neil says:

    Craig, I'm 27. Right about in the middle of of your 18-35 group. I didn't think it was awesome. Why? Read earlier comments and Eric's review again.

  36. Jeff says:

    I went in wanting to like this movie, negative reviews notwithstanding. As I watched this movie, it felt like my brain was being attacked. Eric's 'C' was too generous. Seriously, space faring, intelligent robot Megatron crashed in the arctic because he forgot to account for GRAVITY? What happened? Running through his planetary approach checklist --
    Cosmic radiation, check.
    Magnetic field, check.
    Fuel, check.
    Now what am I forgetting? Oh no! Gravity! Aaaugh!

    It's enough to make a grown man cry, I tell ya. Oh, and could somebody please explain to Hollywood scriptwriters that you can't carbon date anything that's alien or non-organic? Non-organic alien cubes are right out.

  37. Lotus says:

    My whole family has turned against the famous Eric Snider when I told them he rated Transformers a C. Now they're going crazy trying to get me to watch it all because of the fact that this movie review seems as though it is true. I hope they realize that.

  38. Mary says:

    I disagree with Eric on this one. except for on a few points I personally LOVED this movie, and I've never watched or played with transformers in my lifetime, so it's not just for a target audience of ppl who love transformers. Of course I could have just loved it cuz I'm a big Shia LaBeouf fan. While I wasn't a fan of the robot who acted all jivey as Eric put it, I did love all the others. I also do agree that the girl (see I can't even remember her name) was only there as a love intrest for Shia to kiss at the end.

  39. Rhett says:

    To the person that didn't think Ford had enough money to be in the movie, what type of car was the police car ?

    Its a mustang. Where were you ?

  40. Russell says:

    Okay, I admit that I was entertained, but truly in an ID4 kind of way, superficially. I loved the beginning up until the point where the Autobots talked to Sam. From there my feelings were lukewarm as there was no longer a mystery surrounding the Transformers. B-.

  41. Rob says:

    I really dont care what people have to say about this movie. The truth is I grew up playing and watching Transformers and I remember being happy during that time. So all I can really say is Micheal Bay did a great job. Thanks to him I could relive that time when I was a happy 8 year old Who loved to hear "Its just you and me now Magatron" Thank you micheal bay

  42. Max says:

    I quite enjoyed this movie. As a person old enough to have watched the cartoons when they first came out, I found this movie to live up to all I might have expected. When it comes to rating movie versions of an 80s cartoon I would have to say that it hits the A mark. For those who feel this movie does not do justice to the cartoon of the Transformers, I would suggest you actually watch the old episodes now. I did so and it was not really what I remembered (Corny even). This movie definately captures the essence of the Transformers but makes it an exciting and watchable movie today

    It really strikes me that once again the critics are out of step with what people like, particularly after the film has registered the highest first-week box office returns for a non-sequel in US cinema history - does that tell you something? (The likely responses to this remind me of a Simpsons episode "Is it possible I am wrong? no it is the children who are at fault.") If you really feel this movie was so bad, you need to convince the thousands of people who disagree with you to stop making these types of movies so popular and demand whatever it is that you are wanting.

    (I am not quite sure what it was actually lacking from all of your comments-perhaps a shorter movie with more plot development, more robotic robots, with more depth to them, less cgi, whilst more fighting and more cgi etc etc - Yeah nice one, they should have actors on each others shoulders with funky suits acting as the robots..Down with CG!!).

    When I went to see it there were many people of different ages enjoying it and even yes, applauding and cheering. SO, and this seems like an Irish beer ad, if so many people liked this (as evidenced by lots of people above testifying to audiences clapping and cheering during the movie) and there was so few people who didnt enjoy it, perhaps and I am just guessing (Perhaps I am a little cynical or just foolish compared to the incomperable Mr Snider, who does not seem to think a second hand car dealer could ever commit a duplicious act) the movie REALLY was a good one... No..no the people are wrong, just Mr Snider and his small following of serial complainers are right.

    So, thats settled, lets get our review of Iron Man ready, before it comes out next year....

    Hmm, what an overblown waste of money Iron Man is. The plot was so predictable, the scenes of the suit of armour flying were just a senseless excuse to use CGI, and the plot was crap. The director, has no idea about this character and the actor who played Tony Stark was cheesey and predictable. The romance scene seemed tacked on.

    I think it must be a film that succeeds only for a specific target audience: people who already love Iron Man. For the rest of us, it's no bigger or better than a lot of other summer blockbusters, and quite a bit more senseless than many.

    I give it a C

    Hey no man, I was just messing with you, I didnt know that was really going to be your review....

  43. AdamOndi says:

    Oh, Eric. I wanted SO BADLY to prove you wrong on this one. I fondly remember the Transformers of my youth, and the trailers made this movie look awesome. When your review came out with its C grade, I desperately wanted for you to be wrong. And you were. This movie did not deserve a C. This movie deserved no better than a D.

    What an amazingly retarded lump of horse crap. I had to leave in the middle of the movie to evacuate my bladder, and by the time I returned, I had obviously missed nothing of importance. I could have probably gone and gotten myself a sit down dinner and missed nothing of importance. There was almost nothing of importance in the movie after the first Decepticon attack out in the desert. I was so incredibly bored by the end, that I nearly went and demanded my money back. I feel as though I have been personally violated by Michael Bay. I should have heeded the warning of the C grade.

    On the other hand, the night was saved due to the fact that my wife and I went and saw Ratatouille as well, and were delighted with it. Thank goodness.

  44. Laura F says:

    Man, I really wanted to like this movie. Yeah, I'm a girl and I didn't really watch the Transformers as a kid, but I'm geeky and find more in common with "boyish" things than others. I love Star Wars and Indiana Jones and LotR and Pirates of the Caribbean and Independence Day, even while acknowledging their various flaws. I'm not ashamed to be a nerd.

    And I had friends who thought this movie was the bomb. Two of them spent half an hour raving over how wonderful it was while I sat and watched them bounce around like puppies. I respect both of these fellows as intelligent and discerning nerds who aren't afraid to point out crap when they see it. One said that this movie automatically went right up into his favorites, which is pretty rare. And I thought that maybe, MAYBE . . .

    I wanted to like this movie. I knew it would be bad, and I really dislike Michael Bay a lot--he's such a hack. His movies have no pacing, no sense of character or plot--or when they do it's stolen from the source material and then ruined by his silly, silly action scenes, his illogical and juvenile vision.

    But, crap, man. I can't like this movie. It's massively silly. And not in a good way. I could have enjoyed two and half hours of giant robots fighting over something incomprehensible--goodness knows I liked Neon Evangelion for that reason. I could have enjoyed something like Independence Day, with the over-dramatic dialogue and last-minute solutions and heroic hurrahs.

    I liked the first hour or so, with Shia and his car, even though it was very obviously marketed for teenage boys and the stink of desperation was all over it.

    But then.

    But then.

    Racial stereotypes! Failed attempts at humor! Confuse-O-Vision! Entire scenes and characters that could have been cut with no loss! Battles where I had no idea who was fighting who, and who I was supposed to cheering for!

    Oh, and Jazz. Poor Jazz. Look at the token black hero! Listen to him spout his cliches, and then watch him die in the stupidest way imaginable! Let his leader mourn for him briefly, but rejoice because he's been replaced with idiotic fleshlings. Let's not give him a good battle where he shows his skills. No, no, that might actually be interesting.

    And what's up with every new thing the All Spark made being evil and immediately trying to kill humans? Didn't the All Spark make GOOD robots? I don't understand. It was never explained, and it bothered me.

    I was confused, and bored, and by the end I was a bit offended, too.

    And I'm white!

    I'm so glad I didn't spend money on it. (I watched Hairspray and then popped over to the next theater when it was done. And Hairspray, a silly, joyful musical, totally blew this load of "entertainment" out of the water.)

    Man, I wanted to like this movie.

  45. card says:

    #27: Zinegata - Were we watching the same movie? The movie where the military guy rode a motercycle then dropped the cycle off and slid on the ground for at least 50 meters on his back? Was that realistic?

    The dialogue in this movie was absolutely terrible. It was like I was stepping inside the head of a guy who spent his entire childhood dreaming about getting the hot girl and saving the world. It was awful.

    They should have replaced the Mikaela character with a girl who wasn't so hot and then the "more than meets the eye" statement would have applied there, as well. Otherwise, I felt that it was just thrown in.

  46. artie watkins says:

    another comment no one will read begins thus: anyone else notice the michael bay formula? that is, only one alloted hour in each of his unnecessarily long movies can be good, then the rest has to be pure action crap (action for action's sake). this one followed that formula exactly. the first hour=decent, the rest=blah.

  47. Kefka says:

    eh okay review, a fun stupid movie, though it could have been better

    maybe if the next one has a better director and maybe if Simon Furman could write for the next movie.

  48. Fuzzums says:

    Although I pretty much agree with everything Eric said, I did like this movie a lot! It was a hit with all my friends and family and I would love to see it again.

    Though I did want to throw a rock at the screen during that dumb garden scene.

  49. John Doe says:

    I would've liked this movie if it were nothing but a bunch of robots blowing each other up. However, I watched the first hour and couldn't stand it any more. I got Shia loserface acting like the same loser he plays in every other movie. No robots, and a bunch of secondary crap that didn't come close to establishing a plot. or characterization. Even if everything that happened after I left was purely amazing action, they already annoyed me to death with non-characterization and trying to establish a plot (that never came together). If I somehow get to watch this movie for free someday, I will be sure to skip anything that doesn't have robots in it. And scenes with Shia need to be treated like scenes with Jar-Jar Binks: they should be cut out and pretend they never happened. Someone needs to make that movie: cut everything out except the robots and make a scene where Shia dies (and repeat that scene every 10 minutes for comedy relief).

  50. Brother Reed says:

    I definitely agree with Eric on this one. I heard my brother raving about it (he saw it at least twice cause he liked it so much) and so I wanted to like it, I really did. And I didn't hate it, but well.. in some ways I hated it. Because it deserved to be so much more.

    The characters were whiny, annoying, braying, stupid people for the most part (there were one ore two that I liked) who completely hammed it up for the whole movie. And yet, somehow it was supposed to be about them. What about the TRANSFORMERS? Thing is, the Transformers would have made great characters! Everything Optimus Prime said was awesome! We believed him. We believed Bumblebee and felt bad for him when he was injured, even though we hadn't actually been given the opportunity to get to know him as well as we should. Unfortunately only Optimus, Bumblebee and Megatron got any personality at all, and the rest were often so poorly characterized that you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart if, like me, you don't have a childhood attachment to Transformers. If they had had enough faith in their subject matter to actually let the transformers be the main characters, then guess what? The action scenes would have been much more fun and carried some emotional weight because we would have cared about the fantastically-rendered hunks of junk engaged in combat for the survival of everything.

    Instead, we get sophomorish attempts at humor (how many pee jokes does one summer blockbuster really need?) some great action scenes that are hard to see, enough shaky cam to give the Sphinx a headache, and just... ugh, the whole thing was muddled. Heck, by the time I realized the story was picking up and we were going to see some Decepticons fighting Autobots, it was fully 1 hour 45 minutes into the film! That's just ridiculous. Even in King Kong we only had to wait an hour before things got good, and then there were 2 more hours left. There were moments of brilliance, but unfortunately, a few moments out of 2 1/2 hours doesn't cut it.

  51. Justine says:

    I loved the movie and saw it four times. I have two copies of the DVD and am going to get my hands on the third. And YES, I know how campy and corny and stupid and silly it is, but I still love it. There's something about it that won't let me deride it like I did Spiderman 3 (probably doesn't help my case that I refuse to watch that movie).

    I wish they did the movie better. Then again, I suppose they expected the waves of 80s-era fans and the pwntastic special effects to overshadow the script by several light years. For a while, it did. But four times is enough for you to know every wretchedly horrible thing about that movie.

    And I STILL love it.

  52. Dougrad says:

    It's good to know I wasn't the only one who disliked this film, especially since everyone else seemed to rave about it. I kept wishing it would end soon once the robots starting pushing each other into skyscrapers near the end. And the part where he's trying to hide the robots in the front yard of his house, which took about 20 minutes, was painfully too long and pointless. The movie was pretty boring all-around if you ask me.

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