Monday, June 19, 2006

oh the humanity!

I really should be excited about Transformers. Okay, I'm not a true believer and my transformers-loving phase as a child was relatively short, but the simple fact is: Giant Robots rock. Giant Robots that Transform into cars and trucks and planes and shoot each other with large laser cannons are even better than rock. And CGI as at the point where it is definitely feasible to have a live action Giant Robot film without it looking stupid.

So why aren't I excited?

Well, I took a look on IMDB - and warning bells started going off, followed by a four-alarm klaxxon, the one you usually hear just before Soviet paratroopers start falling out of the sky because those limp-wristed liberals kowtowed to the Satanic Russkies and took their finger off the nu-kleeer trigger.

Director: Michael Bay. Director of The Island, Bad Boys I & II, Armageddon, Pearl Harbour, The Rock ... and Lionel Richie's "Do it to me" music video. Now, I liked the Rock, and The Island was okay in bits (those bits weren't necessarily coherent mind you), and Bad Boys might be okay on a rainy day ... but Armageddon and Pearl Harbour were both shit of the highest order. In Pearl Harbour I was rooting for the Japs, and not because I'm a rabid America hater (I start feeling patriotic during the President's speech in Independence day for Christ's sake! I'm a sucker!) - they just seemed competent and smart and motivated ... compared to the good guys. But I maybe I could look past Michael Bay, it is a Giant Robot movie after all, not high art. But then we come to ...

The Writers:
John Rogers. Who wrote the screenplay for Catwoman. And The Core. And episodes of ... the Cosby Show. Sigh.
Roberto Orci - all he seems to have written is episodes of Alias. He also gets a credit for Mission Impossible III, which was a reasonable film (not as good as MI 1, ten billion times better than MI 2). But he's also down for The Island, so something can't be right ...

Ray of hope: I can't see any big names in the cast list so far, which is a good sign. The only names I recognise: Bernie Mac (??), John Turturro and Jon Voight. John Turturro, for one, is classy actor, by any measure a busy man (72 acting entries on IMDB, 95% movies, starting with Raging Bull. He was "Man at table"). Most people probably remember him from O Brother Where Art Thou, or Secret Window, or even Do the Right T
hing. But I remember him best for playing the alternately sneaky player/pathetic weasel Bernie Bernbaum in Miller's Crossing. I know I've waxed lyrical about the film before so I won't bore you again. But if you haven't seen it for sweet zombie jesus's sake tell me and I'll lend it to you.

Coitus Interruptus over: We've got a year to hope they'll get Transformers right. In the meantime, sate your Giant Robot hunger with The Iron Giant. Possibly the best work ever from each of Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr and Vin Diesel - and even I've been known to get a lump in my throat at the ending, which means the rest of you pansies will blub like fire-hoses.

EDIT: The venerable Monkey-Fluider and Brain Stabber Josh just helpfully let me know what a colossal pillock I am - John Rogers is the same John Rogers who writes Kung-Fu Monkey. So if Transformers goes completely aubergine we'll know how to blame - that's right, MICHAEL BAY! That bastard.

EDIT THE 2ND: John Rogers talks about Catwoman (briefly). Heh.

EDIT THE 3RD: John Rogers makes no apologies for The Core. Fine, you bastards, I'll withhold judgement until I've watched the whole movie through. Sheesh! Oh, and check out The Biology of B Movie Monsters. Some people will take the fun out of anything ...

EDIT THE 4TH: Okay, after starting listening to the beginning of the commentary by Michael Bay on Bad Boys, maybe, just maybe he isn't the anti-christ. I have new respect for a guy who can admit in the first 2 minutes that he did the best he could with a bad script (rather than trying to claim, in the face of the evidence, that it's a great movie and everyone loved making it so much, and it has such an important message ...), and who made a reasonable popcorn action movie for a ridiculously low amount of money ($17 million, which I'm assuming is production only - so ex promotion costs). And who reveals that the fast cuts in one scene were partly for pacing but mainly to cover up that the set was pretty much made of cardboard.

Verna: What you doing?
Tom Reagan: Walking...
Verna: Don't let on any more than you have to.
Tom Reagan: the rain.
- Miller's Crossing, 1990.


Josh said...

Hey, don't knock John Rogers -- it's not his fault the godawful projects he's been involved with have been the ones that got famous and made him lots of money, while the good ones (e.g. the Global Frequency pilot) disappeared. He's a smart guy, and a decent Transformers-lovin' geek to boot. I mean, his blog is called Kung Fu Monkey, for Christ's sake.

Herr Dummkopf von Kranken-Brainen said...

Oops. I guess that's why they call me MISTER Stupid.