Posts Tagged ‘Transformers’
Director: Peter Berg
Length: 2h 11m
Synopsis: Alex Hopper (Kitsch) is a thick-headed, stubborn, undisciplined underachiever. Natural, then, that his brother Stone (Skarsgård) forces him to enlist in the U.S. Navy with him. While procured Alex has fallen for and wooed a fetching blonde named Samantha (Decker), who just happens to be the daughter of his superior, Admiral Shane (Neeson). Meanwhile, the U.S. government has secretly sent a signal to a distant planet that closely resembles our own. Only shortly after being sent its receivers send their own signal back in the form of spacecrafts which land in the waters near Hawaii during a Naval training exercise that the Hopper brothers are part of. Alarm spreads. The aliens close off the immediate area near Hawaii with a dome forcefield, and the battle begins. The aliens on the outside of this area try to usurp the same equipment used to reach them in order to contact home, which cannot be allowed to happen for fear of calling on more aliens. Will our heroes save the day and defeat the cosmic invaders?
Transformers: Dark of the Moon has quickly become a box office phenomenon, pretty much just like most of us thought it would. However, what has been surprising is the relatively positive word of mouth the film has earned. After the critical failure of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen expectations were exceedingly low for the third installment. But even with this being the case audiences have seemingly been walking away feeling very satisfied.
Critics have by and large panned Dark of the Moon, amassing only a 37% approval rating on RottenTomatoes.com. On that same site, however, 90% of over 60,000 people voted to say they enjoyed the film. So for those of you who got a charge out of the movie we here at Movie-Thoughts thought it would be interesting to talk about several aspects of it that we weren’t able to fit into our review. Below you can find the conversation that took place between our writers Cliff Bugle and Marisa Carpico. Be sure to send us your comments! We want to hear your thoughts as well.
Director: Michael Bay
Screenwriter: Ehren Kruger
Length: 2 hours, 37 minutes
Synopsis: Despite saving the world twice, Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf) finds himself jobless after college. Not helping his self-esteem, his girlfriend, Carly (Huntington-Whiteley), is a successful museum curator with a troublesome relationship with her handsome boss, Dylan (Dempsey). Worst of all, Sam’s Autobot friends are off traveling the world on government missions while Sam is left behind wishing he could join them. However, Sam is pulled back into the Transformers’ world when the evil Decepticons hatch a plan that could destroy Earth.
An article on CNN.com, written by Todd Leopold, has raised the issue of how new social media (particularly Twitter but also blogs and the internet in general) has changed the landscape for film criticism. With word of mouth being able to spread farther and faster than ever and everyone’s opinion being posted somehow, somewhere, hired critics seem to have lost much of their influence and purpose — at least individually.
Movie review aggregation sites like RottenTomatoes.com and Metacritic.com collect reviews from wide-ranging sources (all supposedly professional) and calculate what percentage of them approve of a certain film and which ones don’t. In RT’s case it decided that any rating above 59% is considered “fresh” and anything below is “rotten.” In a way, Leopold suggests, this practice – while convenient for readers – devalues individual critics. Or to put it more accurately, it values all critics equally. Certainly some critics like Roger Ebert, A. O. Scott, and Michael Phillips would contest that their opinion weighs more than, say, anyone who writes for JoBlo.com.
The film industry itself does not seem to be valuing the opinions of critics as much as they used to. From the 1920s to the 1990s, critics were the main buffer between audiences and new releases. Now, people who have been to preview screenings are allowed to post their thoughts to the world via their blogs or twitter accounts. Niche bloggers write to niche readerships, and those readerships that are most interested in the opinions of their community than any critical consensus. So, studios are more interested in what these communities are saying than mainstream newspapers. Anymore, both a critical and fan consensus are discernible before a movie even comes out. Granted any fan consensus is more liable to change once a movie releases, but pre-release buzz is often powerful enough to affect first weekend returns.
What Leopold suggests is a solution for this overabundance of opinions is for film journalists to “adapt and adjust” by being more integrated into the social media world by blogging and interacting more with audiences. He also says that building a name is important, however that tidbit isn’t really new advice. Anyone who is looking to make a living as a writer – any kind of writer – is advised to “build their own brand” and market it the best they can.
Only time will tell if “real” film critics eventually become obsolete.
Quick Opinion: It doesn’t help the issue that many times per year critics prove to neither hurt nor help Hollywood make their financial returns and ticket sales. Films like Transformers: Rise of the Fallen received terrible reviews yet still made hundreds of millions of dollars, and films like Duplicity received very positive reviews but failed to even earn as much as they cost to make. As a website that strives to be a source of quality writing and film commentary, we here at Movie-Thoughts naturally find this issue to be of great concern to us. However, if we are able to blow through the upcoming threshold that will be the worst of this over-saturation of opinions, we believe that the quality and uniqueness of our content and attitudes will allow us to prove our legitimacy and relevance. We would like to say thanks to all of our regular readers for helping us in our cause, as we would just be an ordinary blog without you.
With the summer movie season nearly upon us (officially beginning with the release of Iron Man 2 on May 7th), I naturally got pulled into another conversation with a fellow moviegoer who felt the need to express his contempt for this time of year. According to him, and Iâ€™m sure many of you out there as well, the summer months are reserved for when Hollywood likes to flex its corporate muscles and make boat loads of cash by feeding the masses the intellectual equivalent of junk food. Basically, if itâ€™s loud and shiny, it sells. But the movie studios are not entirely to blame, as itâ€™s also the fault of the audiences who readily pay their hard earned money to sit stupefied at a screen while their senses get pushed to the limits (Michael Bayâ€™s Transformers movies were listed as examples several times during the conversation).
This is one way to look at it.
In thinking of what kind of strange changes could be made to drastically alter the movie industry, I tried to think about how different things would be if we simply changed the time at which movie reviews were allowed to be published. Obviously most of them are written and published before the movies they judge are released into theaters, but some studios decide every so often to not hold critic screenings for some of their films. When this happens it is usually taken to be an indicator that the studio is not confident in its product and therefore wants to spare the film in question any bad publicity for as long as it can, which is up until the end of its first weekend.
What if, though, there were no preview screenings for critics period? Some might say this would completely change what most people take to be the function of a movie critic, which is to act as a sort of consumer reporter that evaluates the quality of a product and relays its findings and opinions to the public. No one wants to go to a “bad” movie for obvious reasons – it’s a waste of time and money. Right? So if there were no advanced critic screenings then how would people know which movies are worth their time and money, and which ones aren’t? Moviegoers would be forced to rely more on their friends, family, and general word of mouth. This may seem hugely inconvenient, but some studies show that people already put more stock into word of mouth than in movie reviews (this Variety article proves very enlightening on this topic). Read the rest of this entry »
Considering the popularity of a certain type of actress working in Hollywood, one would think that given this popularity they would be the top talent in town; the mold from which all aspiring actresses should try to shape themselves into. The type of actress to which I am referring is the young and exceptionally beautiful leading lady. However, many argue that some of these women (Jessica Alba, Megan Fox, Lindsay Lohan, etc.) get by solely based on their immense attractiveness and not because of their acting talent (or lack thereof). Such a criticism is certainly harsh, but given the high degree of subjectivity inherent in the interpretation of acting performances such a criticism is nevertheless valid. Let us take a moment and examine one particular star actress of this type – Megan Fox. Read the rest of this entry »
Is the Change Good or Bad?
Cliff – This past June, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciencesannounced it would increase the number of nominees for Best Picture from 5 to 10, starting with the upcoming 82nd Academy Awards taking place March 7th. Reportedly, the reasons for the surprise change were to, among other things, increase viewership of the Academy Awards. The academy board of governors (which delegate certain awards such as the one for lifetime achievement) felt there were more than five films that deserved to be nominated for Best Picture last year, with The Dark Knight being the most popularly cited example.
It can be said that every year there are films that get “snubbed” by the academy that deserved to have been nominated for Best Picture. Last year was no different. The main reason for the change, which the academy admits is only one of many, is to attract more casual viewers. Many filmgoers have expressed either dissatisfaction or disinterest in the Oscars over the past few years because none of the movies they saw and enjoyed were nominated for any kinds of awards outside of special effects, sound, or editing -the kinds of awards that people tend to spend the time using the restroom or refreshing drinks. Last year The Dark Knight became the fourth-highest grossing film of all time worldwide (second domestically behind only Titanic). This alone should mean nothing to the academy, but the film was also one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year (ex., it earned a 94% on RottenTomatoes.com). For such a popular and well regarded movie not to get a Best Picture nomination seemed rather perplexing to many people, including yours truly. Luckily, however, Heath Ledger’s win for Best Supporting Actor helped alleviate some of this frustration. Read the rest of this entry »
Because Bay has proven commercially successful with Paramount with his last two Transformers films, the studio is now trusting him and his Dunes team to make low budget horror movies.
The Paramount relationship gets under way with The Butcherhouse Chronicles, a thriller that is being scripted by Stephen Susco (The Grudge) and is being likened to The Breakfast Club in a haunted house. The producers have also come aboard the Paramount project Property of the State, a Howard Franklin-scripted thriller about a young white-collar criminal whose attempt to straighten out his life is imperiled by an obsessive and menacing parole officer.
The latest Platinum Dunes film will be the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. They’ve also done The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Amityville Horror (2005), and Friday the 13th (2009), all of which earned many times their budget.
Director Michael Bay himself has made known the release date of the next Transformers movie, along with a letter to ComingSoon.net with a note to lead actress Megan Fox, which reads as follows:
Well its official: We have a great Transformers 3 story. The release date is now July 1st 2011. Not 2012.
Today is Day One. This morning started with an ILM meeting for five hours in San Francisco. Currently I’m flying with writer Ehren Kruger to Rhode Island to talk to Hasbro about new characters.
P.S. Megan Fox, welcome back. I promise no alien robots will harm you in any way during the production of this motion picture. Please consult your Physician when working under my direction because some side effects can occur, such as mild dizziness, intense nausea, suicidal tendencies, depression, minor chest hair growth, random internal hemorrhaging and inability to sleep. As some directors may be hazardous to your health, please consult your Doctor to determine if this is right for you.
Pain and Gain is right after shooting of Trans 3.
The summer of 2010 now has 2 huge projects slated for release, with the other being Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (no firm date yet set). Battleship (based off of the Hasbro game) is also scheduled to release around that summer.