Nov 022011
 

Or IS he?!

November 2, 2011

Why is Halloween so much fun?

If you’re a kid, you get free candy and get to dress up and essentially play all day and night. You get to watch horror movies and act out in the darkest way possible without getting arrested (for the most part).

But as an adult?

I’m going to warn you right now. I’m about to get all philosophical up in this post.

At some point, we stopped enjoying life. We go to work, cash a paycheck, and go about our routine. We’ll watch a television show or learn a hobby to pass the time, but we seem to have lost the spark of being able to play and enjoy life. This has to do with work and time as much as anything, and it’s not like we couldn’t make an extra hour in the day if we really wanted it. It’s just inconvenient. We work and act professional, and for most people this “professionalism” bleeds over into everyday life.

We become the suit we wear. The formality becomes normal.

And then Halloween comes around and we can wear a mask or a costume that, ironically, usually tells us more about us than anything else. Mary wanted to dress up like a bloody clown because she likes to creep people out. I dressed up like a calaca because I enjoy the mythology and symbolism of Dia de los Muertos.


+ Halloween+ by ~OMiyukixO on deviantART

It’s odd, but a lot of people get to be themselves more on Halloween than any other day. They let loose. It’s like they’re drunk without the hassle of drinking. There’s a general feeling that you can do anything on Halloween and it doesn’t count, so you get to see who is reserved, who is really a freak, and who likes to show off.

Maybe I’m over-analyzing it, but I think more adults need to just loosen up and have fun. Do something childish. My dad is a consummate professional in everything he does, but get him to a car museum and he turns into a little boy in a candy shop. I’m almost thirty and I work as an educator and freelance writer, but yesterday, my fiancée and I watched Tom and Jerry yesterday for a good hour.

Grow old. Just don’t grow up too much.


halloween yin by *Apofiss on deviantART

And now, to make up for the lack of articles in the last two weeks, here are some links made of awesome. Enjoy!

  • However, the best costume has to be Princess Vader. It’s so cute and epic it’s on a level on its own.
  • Here are some other epic costumes that also deserve honorable mention.
  • The airwaves are full of scary things. Like Jersey Shore. These broadcasts, however, are much scarier for other reasons.
  • I loved watching the Treehouse of Horror specials, but they seem to have gotten kind of lame lately. When I read this ranking, I was glad I wasn’t the only one who thought so.
  • I said everyone needs to calm down and just have fun with Halloween. It seems even Planned Parenthood got in on it. They released a very important memo about the dangers of vampire sex. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.
  • You think Halloween is creepy and scary movies are gory and unnerving? Try Halloween a hundred years ago. The costumes back then were pure, unleaded nightmare fuel.
  • These guys pulled the perfect prank. It’s creepy, unnerving, they caught it on tape, and they managed to not break any laws. Behold the horror of Timmy!
  • And finally, let’s get over Hump Day with a little metal. And Halloween. Halloween metal!

Oct 242011
 

Now shown? The dismembered corpses hidden under the house.

October 24, 2011

It’s the best week of the year, and with Halloween coming up, I thought a whole week of horror-themed articles are in order.

Let’s talk about the must have’s for any Halloween movie viewing marathon.

The thing to remember when trying to pick horror movies for mass viewing is that everyone is going to have vastly different tastes. Some people want gore. Others want something scary but funny. Maybe others love the suspense. With that in mind, this list is going to include a little bit of everything. It’s not a “The Best Horror Movies EVAH!” list. It’s what I think works when you have to satisfy a lot of tastes.

“Saw”

Genius inventor Jigsaw traps people in elaborate traps designed to metaphorically make them face something about themselves. This is usually a dark secret or a vice that makes them inadequate in the killer’s eyes.

Okay, so the sequels could have done without basically turning into a series of more and more elaborate scenarios that missed the whole thematic point of the original. So what if pretty much the point of the movies after the third one was to show how sadistic the writers could be?

The original movie is AWESOME. It barely shows any blood (unlike the sequels), and it’s more concerned with the characters actually finding a way out, unlike the rest of the series where we just get a sickening countdown until someone dies because, let’s face it. If you’re in a Jigsaw trap, you’re dead. Most the gore is implied, making this, surprisingly, a good intro to novice horror watchers. Trust me. They don’t show anything you wouldn’t see on a graphic episode of CSI.

 

“Re-Animator”

This is it. The gore-fest. The standard. Every movie with exploding bodies or dismembered body parts wishes it has the kind of humor, shock, and lasting power this movie has enjoyed.

Herbert West is a medical student with a secret. He’s working on a serum, his “reagent,” that can bring dead flesh back to life. His goal is to wipe out death, to make humans immortal, but the tests aren’t promising. Anyone brought back suffers from violent personality and animal-like hunger. That’s not going to stop the good doctor from trying, though.

This has to be not only one of my favorite horror movies, but also one of my favorite horror films. Not only do we get Jeffrey Combs at his hammy best, but the film is very much aware of what it is: a horror comedy. And it does it well. The gore is over the top. The humor is dark. The whole movie’s like finishing an onion blossom by yourself. It’s fried and you know it can’t be this good, but damn if it’s not tasty.

I showed this to a friend who is very squeamish about gore, and while she shrieked and yelped, she admitted she had a great time with it. It’s just so over-the-top that it works.

“Halloween” and “Halloween H20”

Okay, so this one’s two films instead of one.

Halloween is the classic story of horny teens getting offed by a masked killer on a meaningful holiday. Michael Meyers is one of the templates for every slasher after 1977. The films that came out afterwards? It gets crappier and crappier until the last few movies where the writers decide to throw in something about a Celtic curse and some psychic powers. Needless to say, those last few movies are… not good.

But…

If you watch only the first movie, the 1977 film that made Jamie Lee Curtis one of the undisputed scream queens, then jump twenty years to the unfortunately named Halloween H20, you get a decent storyline that actually has plot.

H20 still has the trappings of the slasher genre, but it’s smart enough to bring back Curtis as a more mature, grown up version of her original character. Think about it. She survived one of the most traumatic nights of her life and evaded a serial killer that is the stuff of legend. What would something like that do to a person? That’s pretty much what H20 is about, and it leads up to a climactic battle that caps off a 20-year old rivalry.

Just ignore the movie that came after this one, too. Trust me. It’s better if you don’t know.

“Feast”

Monsters attack diner. Diner Patrons fight back. Monsters start killing off patrons one by one. No one has a name.

Feast is both a parody and homage to horror movies. Every character is designated by a convenient subtitle like “Hero,” or “Harley Mom,” or “Beer Guy.” We even get a little leaning-on-the-fourth-wall subtitle telling us everyone’s chance of survival. Some of these estimates are clearly sarcastic.

The result is a movie that is actually a lot smarter than it looks. The patrons are very much aware of how screwed they are and they aren’t all dumb. In fact, they’re quite mortal and when I say anyone can die, I mean ANYONE. No, really. Just try and guess who makes it out and who actually bites the dust and when.

“In the Mouth of Madness”

Let’s say you got that one guy in the crowd that wants something a little meatier, something more psychological. Bust out some Sam Neil.

A prominent author (lovingly modeled after Stephen King) has vanished as his new book is due to hit the shelves. A series of strange murders tied to his books has the publisher worried, so they send a private investigator to find the elusive writer. The journey takes our investigator on a trip into a town that should be fictional, a town filled with beings and situations that cannot possibly be real. All the while, our hero and the audience have to wonder… Is it all real, or are we seeing things through the eyes of a madman?

The movie never really concerns itself with fully explains where the eldritch abominations from beyond time and space came from or why they chose to come through books and other media. It doesn’t explain why the author is seemingly the avatar of alien monstrosities. It doesn’t even bother showing you if things are real or just a dream.

It’s just going to throw weirdness after weirdness and you and you’re going to accept it. Why? Because it’s cool…

It just is. Trust me.

There are MANY more movies out there you could use. Of course there are: The Thing, Nightmare on Elm Street, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Psycho, The Shining, etc. These are just a few of the ones I think would be good for a party. If you just want to do some drinking games with dum kids getting killed, any old slasher film will work. I recommend something from the 80’s or somewhere between 1999 and 2009. Most of the schlock came from these years. The more obscure, the better.

Just remember. There are no bad movies. Just movies you can make REALLY funny with the right crowd.

To show you how to properly riff, here are Mike Nelson and Kevin Murphy doing what they do best.

Aug 232011
 

August 23, 2011

Well, it looks like we’re back on schedule… more or less. Expect regular postings of Divine by Zero and weekly updates to The Weekly Muse. Don’t forget: this is YOUR chance to stump the writer. Give me the three strangest plot elements you can think of on the list and I’ll try to put them together into a story. If you’re writer, photographer, or an artist of any sort, I challenge you to take the trip with me. It’s a great way to get the creative juices going.

And now, for the links!

  • Chris Farley was always one of those SNL comedians I both loved and hated. When he was good, he could do physical comedy like no one else. When he just wouldn’t stop, he became like that obnoxious guy at every party that tries to get attention by just being obnoxious. Still, his passing was a loss to comedy, and his personal problems leading to his death are a tragic story. Looking back, this amazing photograph of Chris Farley is even more sad.
  • Real punk is a lifestyle and genre that seeks to be everything the mainstream is not. It’s a statement about being true to yourself and not following anyone. This guy? I don’t think he gets it.
  • The next time someone says the rich are not that rich so they should not be taxed more, here’s a little list of what the top 2% could buy for the rest of us.
  • Glenn Beck has been in Israel less than ten days…. and he already caused an international incident. To my international readers, THIS MAN DOES NOT REPRESENT THE US IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM!
  • And finally, let’s take a look at perhaps the WORST orchestra in the world. It really doesn’t help that they’re playing such a recognizable song. See you tomorrow, folks!

Jul 192011
 

July 19, 2011

It’s going to be an interesting two weeks. Mary and I are moving in August. I have to get things for the high school summer camp. I started The Weekly Muse, and I’m getting ready to get a podcast up and running once I figure out the software. In the meantime, expect articles on time and general weirdness on the Facebook page and the Twitter feed.

And now, on to the randomness!

  • Who are the most violent people in the world? The answer might surprise you.
  • Herman Cain, a man who has whined about race more times than anyone in recent memory, now claims it should be legal to ban mosques from being built. His rationale? Islam combines government and religion and is therefore illegal.  By that reasoning, his party’s insistence on combining the Bible of law would make THEM illegal.
  • The Thing stands as one of the great horror films of the 80′s a truly disturbing movie where anyone could be the enemy. The paranoia made it awesome. That being said, and given my caution when it comes to sequels or remakes of classic works, I’m actually a little optimistic about the prequel, strangely also titled The Thing. Here’s the first trailer, and let’s hope it doesn’t suck.
  • Rebecca Black is coming back. And I think I just gave them a slogan. D’oh!
  • The new photos from the reboot of Spiderman have me thinking that they might actually know what they’re doing. Spidey looks, well, like he does in the comic. The costume changes are odd, but at least they have web shooters!
  • And finally… some of you already saw this, but here’s the official, cleaned-up version of the first teaser for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. Please, dear gods of the four winds, do not let this get threequel rot. I will hunt people down with a fork.

May 022011
 

It's like poetry... that makes you want to kill yourself.

May 2, 2011

Okay, I didn’t think the last article would make me think so hard about something that I had never intended to pursue further. No, I’m not talking about Ayn Rand and the idea of Objectivism as a path to a real Utopia.

Are the cast members of Jersey Shore comedic geniuses?

I posted a link to several videos where some cast members of The Importance of Being Ernest read lines from the show in-character. They often delivered said lines with a straight face, often with a bit of irony, but otherwise it was like watching Sir Ian McKellen do lines from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

Anyway, take a look at the first of five videos below.

Okay, a few things. The lines as delivered are hilarious. Why? I’ve heard these same lines from clips of Jersey Shore and I have no desire to watch the show. However, I would love to watch these two do more lines like this. Why? What’s the difference? Why is one funny and the other infuriatingly bad?

I once took a class on comedy. While it killed my ability to really find anything funny for six months since I kept asking myself, “Why is this funny?” it did help me analyze literature, film, and television in a way I hadn’t considered. Also, everything is somehow a phallus or about sex.

Mel Brooks once said that tragedy is when he cuts his finger because it matters to him. Comedy is if you fall into an open manhole and die. What does he care? Comedy, then, would seem to be a matter of empathy. If we don’t care about the jerk and something bad happens to him, we laugh. If we care about the jerk, then the comedy is gone. Think of a bad horror movie where you don’t like the white college students who go investigating every noise. When they get hacked into cat food, you actually laugh.

Well, I do anyway.


Jersey Shore by ~XhereXforXtomorrowX on deviantART

I looked up a few more quotes from the show and tried to imagine them being said by these two gentlemen. Needless to say, I think they highlight why empathy is lost on these tanned wastes of genetic material. Observe the wisdom of Jersey Shore.

Mike “The Situation”: You can hate on me all you want to, but what can you possibly say to somebody that looks like Rambo, pretty much, with his shirt off.

What can I say? Let’s see. “You’re a conceited prick who is hinging other people liking him based on his abs.” Oh, and Rambo was a Special Forces badass who was wronged by the government and went on to kill entire armies with a knife. How badass does drinking vodka make you, MIKE?

Angelina: I feel like this job is beneath me. I’m a bartender. I do, like, great things.

While bartenders do great things in the sense that they get me my drink at the bar, I wouldn’t say they do “great” things. Necessary, sure, but they’re not heroes. And I have full contempt of anyone who still says “like” in casual conservation. Yes, I’m a linguistic snob. Sue me.

Snooki: Every time I meet a nice guy, he dies. It’s the same with every pet, friend or relative I’ve ever had. EVERYONE DIES! Next it’s gonna be me. Its all just a big conspiracy!

One of the surest ways to spot a narcissist is to see how he or she reacts to events. When the deaths of others and their misfortunes are seemingly your fault no matter how removed you might have been from the event, that is narcissism. The only way she could be responsible for their deaths is if some being with the power over life and death were targeting her.

Mike “The Situation”: To call me fake, it’s just blasphemy to talk against the leader like that, in other countries you get hung for that type of shit.

I would never call The Situation fake. Shallow as a puddle of dog piss, yes, but not fake.

Snooki: I don’t go tanning anymore because Obama put a 10% tax on tanning. I feel like he did that intentionally for us, like McCain would never put a 10% tax on tanning… because he is pale and he would probably wanna be tanned.

Please see my previous note on narcissism.

Said in the right tone, these lines might work for comedy, but here’s the thing.

The cast members on Jersey Shore are stuck up jerks who respond to the most basic principles and seem, at least from what I’ve seen, to actively avoid complex thinking. These are the guys and girls who would join a frat in college just because they want to be close to the party. They think the worst possible things about women, relationships, and people in general.


Jersey Shore Quotes Poster by ~wiigamer024 on deviantART

They’re about as shallow as I’ve ever seen, and I cannot fathom actually watching any of them for more than five minutes, let alone an hour. I remember that television was once about drama, about wit, and comedy made of carefully timed situations. I remember that WRITERS were involved once.

When did we accept that just following people was interesting? Sure, some shows like Dirty Jobs, Pawn Stars, and others are actually interesting because the people we follow are, well, interesting. The parodies are funny because they point out how silly the cast members on Jersey Shore can be. Beck was funny until we realized he was being dead serious. A murder is no laughing manner, unless it’s a movie murder delivered in a highly ironic way to a character I feel nothing for. Real idiots are not funny. Fake idiots pointing out the comedy in someone actually thinking this is acceptable, though, are hilarious.

It just goes to show two things I’ve said for a long, long time. Real life is often the source of the greatest material for stories.

Also, we pay way too much attention to the idiots in society. Stop feeding them and they’ll go away or die.


Oscar wilde. Artist by ~Hallaserke on deviantART

Enough of that. Let’s get some links up in this!

  • Cracked has a scale on the good and bad side of song covers. I think the same could apply for literature. Want to make a fairy tale into a gritty cyberpunk tale? It could work. Want to take that beloved science fiction story in your head and turn it around into a steampunk noir adventure story? Have at it!
  • And finally, we have the new trailer for the last Transformers movie destroyed by Michael Bay. Just based on this promo, I can at least see some of the action instead of trying to make out colored blurs, but I’m not sold yet. I’m going to wait for it to come out, then see the response. Thoughts?

Apr 082011
 

She's everywhere! Make it stop!

April 8, 2011

Music’s dead.

At least, pop music is dead. I know, I know. Every generation thinks its music is crap. I’m too old if I start whining about the kids and their music and their Beibers and all that. Yes, I know that we’ve always had crappy music and the really good stuff is the stuff that gets remembered.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to dismiss the utter crap fest I’ve been hearing on the radio.

I stopped listening to the radio in about 1999, back when every other song was Backstreet Boys. I swore off radio and the closest thing I used for a while was Pandora. I really have only a cursory knowledge of popular music in the last ten years aside from what I see on TV, in movies, or happen to read about.

So, Rebecca, as a concerned artist, I want to tell you to stop.

You’re a celebrity. Congratulations. So’s Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Kim Kardashian. Nice list. They’re pretty much famous for making fools of themselves. And you’ve joined them whether you want to admit it or not.

Let’s go down the list of things done wrong, shall we?


Rebecca Black: Friday by ~mexicanpryde2000 on deviantART

Your parents paid for the music video and recording.

Someone else wrote the lyrics.

The video is just one notch above “middle school project with a camera and pirated copy of Final Cut.”

All you did was get dressed and sing. And you didn’t even do that! You got Auto-Tunned for half the song!

Look, I know Auto-Tunning is the latest, best thing to happen to people who want a music carrer. Without it, Ke$ha would be an alcoholic with a camcorder drowning in her own vomit. Even without it, she’s nothing special. You, Rebecca? You had a dream. You wanted to be famous. Did you practice singing? Train yourself in poetry and songwriting? Listen to the classics of pop music?

No. Your parents forked over $4,000 dollars to get your face plastered on a song where your own voice isn’t even heard. It’d be like me paying someone to write Charcoal Streets over a weekend, then putting my mug all over the cover.


Rebecca black by ~ItalianxGal on deviantART

Plus, the lyrics? I’d ask for my money back.

(Yeah, Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Ark)
Oo-ooh-ooh, hoo yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah-ah-ah
Yeah-ah-ah
Yeah-ah-ah
Yeah-ah-ah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

I already have a headache. It’s the lyrical equivalent of white noise. It also proves that if you have nothing to say, say nothing at all.

7am, waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs
Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal

Gotta have my bowl? Are you smoking weed? Are you on the dope!?

Seein’ everything, the time is goin’
Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin’

Yup. You’re stoned off your gourd, aren’t you, Rebecca?

Gotta get down to the bus stop
Gotta catch my bus, I see my friends

Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?

You remind me of that scene in Knocked Up where Paul Rudd’s character gets freaked out by the number of chairs in the room. Just pick a damn seat!

It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Also, people look forward to happy hour, 5 o’clock, lunch time, and the week’s episode of Criminal Minds.

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the weekend

Okay, a few things. First of all, you’re thirteen. You’re frakking thirteen years old. What “partying” are you doing? Unless you’re snorting coke off a Justin Beiber CD or smoking that bowl from earlier, you’re not “partying.” You’re hanging out with friends at Chuck E. Cheese.

7:45, we’re drivin’ on the highway
Cruisin’ so fast, I want time to fly
Fun, fun, think about fun

Well someone’s been reading The Secret. Hey, I can think about fun all I want, but it won’t make it so. I suppose one could make the argument that by moving faster, as you suggest, you could indeed use time dilation to make time outside your vehicle move at a much slower rate… But I doubt your songwriter knows how to spell relativity.

You know what it is
I got this, you got this
My friend is by my right
I got this, you got this
Now you know it

I’m sitting in a chair. My hands touch the keyboard. My fiancé is at work. Okay, now your turn to spout out more blatantly obvious observations. Also, any point to telling us your friend is on the right? And, from a grammatical viewpoint, what is “this” you are referring to? I’m sorry I don’t speak “street.”

Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?

Wait, you’re hanging out with high schoolers? You’re what? In seventh grade? How are these friends of yours driving?! …Hold on. I thought you were already in the car. What-

It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday

Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin’ forward to the weekend

Friday isn’t the weekend, Rebecca. On Friday AFTERNOON, you can start enjoying the weekend. People still work on Friday. If you’re so stressed in eight grade that you look forward to getting down on the weekend, you’re either in a very work-intensive middle school or you have no concept of what it really means to be stressed.

I’ve never seen a more blatant example of clutter in my life, too. There are words and phrases here that are just taking space. It’s like the writer simply got the beat for the song, then played Mad Libs trying to fill the void… and the void stared back and said, “Screw you.”


Friday by ~PeaceLoveMulan on deviantART

Look, these lyrics were obviously written by someone who wanted to appeal to teens who think the weekend is about partying all the time and dancing in a brightly lit room, but clubs are full of sweaty idiots who smell like Bud Light because they can’t stomach real beer. Real parties with teens typically have one idiot who brought a controlled substance.

Everyone has a dream. I have mine. You, Rebecca, obviously have yours. And I’m not being unfair by critiquing this. “But she’s just a kid,” I can hear some of my readers saying. “Leave her alone.”

No. You put this out there, you get the same amount of scrutiny the rest of us get when we put something out. I’m not about to give you a bronze medal just because you tried.

You, and Beiber, and Ke$ha, and your ilk are overproduced performers who go hyped to the top. You’re like Episode I, but more annoying because I can choose to not hear Jar Jar. I keep hearing this stupid song everywhere!

Let’s clean out those brain lobes with some linkage.

  • And finally, let me leave you with two of the most awesome things in the world: classic Michael Jackson and Transformers. See you Monday!

Mar 112011
 

"Wheeeeee! I'm makin' mooovies!"

March 11, 2011

If you know me, you know I love me a good bad movie. Cheap horror, cheap effects, and bad acting, and a plot so nonsensical it makes an Escher painting look like a freaking math equation…

And yet I hate Michael Bay movies.

The new trailer for the Transformers sequel, Transformers: Dark of the Moon left me asking a lot of questions. Can we create a formula to figure out how much money a Bay movie can make and still suck? Does Michael Bay realize we can see light in dusty conditions because dust floats in the atmosphere and the moon, well, doesn’t have one?

With the exception of The Rock, his movies are… well, let’s say you stuck your head in a dishwasher filled with C4 and soft-core porn and didn’t die from the explosion. The ensuing chaos of shrapnel, fire, and breasts would be a rough approximation of the chaos that is a Michael Bay-directed movie.

They actually suck the fun out of giant explosions.

Now, in a plot twist M. Night Shyamalan himself could not have written, Bay actually came out and admitted that Transformers 2 actually sucked.

No joke. Just look at the stories here and here.

The thing is… Bay says it’s the fault of the script. Really, Mike? The script? That was the ONLY problem? I’ll give Bay credit for admitting the movie sucked, but I don’t think it was all the script’s fault…


Lil Formers – More Movie by *MattMoylan on deviantART

BOOM = PLOT!

Bay has an uncanny ability to make explosions, fire, and destroyed infrastructure uncool. Every single one of his movies has to have some shot or sequence wherein the heroes are caught in an Apocalypse Now-style carpet bombing.

In Bad Boys 2, an entire mansion exploded from about ten pounds of explosive as though someone had set off a thermobaric charge in the living room. Transformers 2 had an entire five hours of explosions. I was sick of fire by the end. I literally wished humanity had never learned to harness its power.

Slow Motion = Drama

It doesn’t. I could film someone eating cake and play it in slow motion with loud, chorus-filled music, but it wouldn’t be drama. It would be a guy eating cake. I don’t want a guy eating cake. I want drama. I want tension. Even the “tense” scenes in Transformers 2, like the so-called hostage situation at the end, had people screaming, the camera moving around like it was manned by an epileptic mid-seizure, and we had no time to process the threat. There was no intimidating moment, just more screaming, more fire, and more movement.

I think I actually got seasick at one point.


Lil Formers – Transformers 2 by *MattMoylan on deviantART

Humping the Camera = Cinematography

The camera is a tool. CGI is a tool. Lighting is a tool.

We, the audience, want to see the movie, not be RIGHT in the middle of things ALL THE TIME. Sure, it might add drama to be right in the thick of things once in a while, but not when the camera’s spinning and shaking like a detoxing crack addict.

These robots are some of the most advanced and time-consuming special effects ever made, over 140 terabytes of memory for this movie’s digital effects. I believe that’s the same amount of memory used on a single Windows install disc.

Could Bay do ILM a favor and give us, the audience, time to process these images instead of zooming in so we can see the chipped paint? We want to see these mechanical monstrosities in their full glory, but we don’t need to be close enough to smell the oil.

They Want Plot? I’ll GIVE them PLOT!

Even after all this, after the stupid action sequences that left me deaf in my seat, it’s still possible to, perhaps, save this movie. Aside from a lot going on at the same time, the story has so many subplots and characters that it makes the Lord of the Rings trilogy look like Waiting for Godot.

More is not better. Just because Bay gave us three McGuffins does not mean the movie is three times better than the last one. Just because he added ten extra Decepticons at the very end, and brought back an old one from the first movie just to kill it off in thirty seconds, does not mean he’s created plot.

These are just things happening. Things are not plot. A plot is made up of a series of interconnected events and characters.

And yet, if you took a butcher’s knife to the final cut and sliced off maybe an hour or so, you’d have a better film. Not a great film, perhaps not even a good film. But a film. This may be the first time that a Director’s Cut would need to trim the movie down in order to actually make something watchable.


Megatron pwns Bay’s Megatron by *khaamar on deviantART

Michael Bay can blame the script all he wants. But he directed and produced the last monstrosity to rape my childhood, and I’ll be damned if he weasels out of the blame.

So, Michael Bay, thanks for admitting you made a crappy movie.

And screw you for trying to shift all the blame on someone else.

I grew up with Transformers. They are a part of my childhood that I cherish along with Bugs Bunny and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Things were simple. Big giant robots fight, good guys win, Earth is saved. Did I mention they were giant frikin’ robots?! When you’re five and someone tells you, “Hey, you see that truck over there? Well, it can turn into a giant armored robot that can tear tanks apart with his bare hands,” that is the coolest thing in the WORLD. You’ve taken a piece of my childhood and given it the same treatment as a Top 40 rap video.

It’s loud, flashy, and there are girls, but in the end I’m just wondering what I saw and why I didn’t stop watching.


Michael Bay is AWESOME by ~shibamura-prime on deviantART

And now for the mind-cleansing links…