Saturday, October 27, 2007

An Open Letter to Michael Bay

Transformers sold 8.3 million copies on DVD in its first week on sale. To honor that special occasion, I am re-posting this letter:

Dear Michael Bay,

I want to thank you for the time I spent watching your latest masterpiece, Transformers. As expected, it was very big and very loud and very long. Summer blockbusters usually don't live up to the hype, but I know you poured your heart into this movie and boy, did it show. The special effects were amazing. The intricate designs of the Transformers were astounding. And I know you know this because you were thoughtful enough to shoot everything close up, so we could really see it. Sure it was a bit difficult to make out the Autobots from the Decepitcons, but trying to figure out what exactly is going on in the middle of an action scene is part of the fun, right? I'm sure the choreography of the fight scenes were intricate and dazzling. And I very much appreciated the cinema verite hand-held camera work. The dizziness and headache that I got during the movie really helped me feel like I was part of the action, even long after the movie was over.

I'm glad you paid close attention to making sure the story was tight and made sense. There was not a wasted minute on screen. I know that each time Shia and the hot chick were arrested, it worked to ramp up the tension and didn't feel repetitive at all. It felt totally natural that a rogue fraction of the government would want to get in the way of our heroes saving the day because as we know, the government is evil. I'm sure Section 7 had good reasons for wanting to make sure Shia failed in helping Optimus defeat Megatron, though there wasn't enough time in the movie to explain it. I realize that it's hard to tell a full story in two and a half hours, so I'm going to chalk up the many plot holes to simply not having enough time. I mean, it took Peter Jackson three movies to tell the whole Lord of the Rings story, right?

I must also commend you on the amazing performances you got out of your cast. Sure, Shia was great but when is he not, right? I'm talking about the tour de force of John Turturro and Jon Voight. In my humble opinion, they gave the performances of their careers and will surely not be forgotten come awards season.

And may I say that you, sir, are truly a master of comedy. You have filled the movie with tons of comic relief, needed or not, because you know that movie audiences love to laugh. I think my favorite part was when the guy from Las Vegas had to fish the wallet out of the other soldier's pants so he could make an emergency call to the Pentagon all while in the middle of being attacked by a giant fucking robot. Not only was it hilarious, but it was well timed and concieved. And bravo to you for the set piece where the Transformers had to hide from Shia's parents. I thought it had been done to perfection in The Iron Giant, but boy was I wrong.

Despite your critics, I didn't feel that there was a moment in the movie that was overblown or forced. After all, what's a summer movie without a throbbing soundtrack that tells the audience exactly how they're supposed to feel at any given moment. I certainly don't want to work too hard in the theater. It's hot outside and frankly, I haven't got the energy.

It's also good to see that you're helping bring much needed ad revenue to some companies. After seeing your movie, I want to rush out and guzzle some Mountian Dew while driving a GM car. In fact, I'm writing this now on an HP computer with a Panasonic screen. I know that these products brought gritty realism to your film and wasn't just the movie studio selling out.

I'm happy to know that my $11 contributes to the total haul your movie has made in its opening week and therefore deemed it a success. I feel that a little part of me is in the movie, every time I hear about it. There were so many ways you could have taken the movie, but I'm glad you stuck to your guns and made a true Michael Bay movie. It's one that I know will stand the test of time and surely will land a spot on some AFI list for decades to come. I applaud your success and can't wait for Transformers 2. I don't know how you can top the original, but I'm certain that your cinematic genius will guide you.

Your fan,
DGB

6 comments:

ZenMom said...

You are spot-on on every point.

But, I still like it. :P

You're right, of course, that it was not anywhere near as good as a Transformers movie *could* have been ... but, well, at the risk of sounding "too Zen" ... it is what it is.

My four-year-old LOVES this movie. (Yes, I let my four-year-old watch certain PG movies. Get over it, super-moms.) He went through a phase when we watched it damn-near every day.

So, you can trust me when I tell you that I have seen it about 1,000 times.

I am acutely aware of every plot hole, forced moment, and desperate stretching of suspended-disbelief.

But, I still like it.

I can lament the movie-that-could-have-been ... or I can enjoy watching boy-crush Shia LeBouf and that hot-chick-who-can't-act run around on screen with some pretty darn cool special effects.

To be honest, they had me at the awesomely detailed transformations and Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime.

Everything else was gravy. Lumpy, watery gravy.

Like I said, the trick is lowered expectations. :)

How do you think I got through Hellboy and Hellboy 2?

Tangent: Have you seen Watchmen?!

I have to wait for DVD for that one and I am going all Pavlov's-dogs waiting for it's release!!!

Now THAT'S a movie I have higher expectations for! *fingers crossed*

Daddy Geek Boy said...

I was told by my geek friends to lower my already low expectations for Transformers...then lower them some more. I was still disappointed. Michael Bay is a horrible filmmaker, who is big and flashy to take away from actual film making. It's weird to call his films lazy, because they are such spectacle. But they just don't work.

Though it's okay that you like it. And I get why a 4 year old would like it.

The Transformations were awesome...but that's about 2 min of the whole movie. Shia was good though. And Megan Fox...well, come on!

I wrote a post on Watchmen, which you can find via the tabs on the right. It's a larger conversation than comments will allow. If you want to get into it, drop me an email. I'm always willing to geek out over movies.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

SOOOOO harsh.

I'm not kidding when I say that is by FAR one of my MOST favorite movies

Everything you complained about... I LOVEd... :)

So we still friends?

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Sorry... that was ME above!!! :)

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Shelle...of course we're still friends. But in order to protect our friendship, I think we're just going to have to never talk about Transformers again.

Keith Wilcox said...

Ok Ok, I relent! You have a point. Cinematic masterpiece? No, I guess not. That being said though, if you like stuff blowing up, and I do, then this is the movie for you. I find that hot girl (forgot her name again) completely annoying. To me that was the suck part of the movie. The second TF was even worse; it was nothing more than a showcase for her (I'm unimpressed at that). You make some great points. I'd go as far to say you're right on all counts. But, hollywood has a formula that works, so until it stops working they might as well keep it up. There don't seem to be any diminishing returns on it yet, right. Of course there are always people like yourself who actually pay attention to plot holes and repetitive comic relief. I suppose I should too. What can I say? I'm fairly unsophisticated :-)