Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The cycle continues...

2 ½ years ago, it became public knowledge that my best friend since childhood had been verbally and psychologically abused pretty much all her life and that the abuse was at a new high. My mom and I did what we knew was right to help, but our efforts did next to nothing. Since then, my relationship with my friend has never been the same and my mother’s friendship with said friend’s mother has pretty much disintegrated.

It hurt.

2 years ago, I tried to start one of those high school “relationship” things with one of my close friends. It was going great. We thought it would work out. I went away for the Summer and came back to find out that she had found someone else … some jerk from a neighboring town. As their relationship progressed, her moral thermometer began reading lower and lower. As I continually prodded and poked her into thinking about doing what was right, we drifted further and further away from each other.

It hurt.

This Saturday, another good friend unleashed upon me some information just as shocking and morally upsetting as the above situations combined. It left me reeling. I took a day off work because of it. It gave me a splitting headache.

It hurts.

This all leads to the fact that I always feel like the only stable person with a firm moral compass surrounded by a group of Christian friends whose lives always seem to come crashing down all around them because of their own dumb choices. It should be comforting to me personally, but it’s discouraging when I think that I am one of the only truly consistent people I know. I’m not saying this to brag … it’s just that nothing much changes with Phillip. Someone actually told me this today: “Phillip, you know what you believe and you stick with it.” Well, that’s good. You should try it sometime.

This evening had me really discouraged about many things. While I should be craving a healthy dose of the Holy Spirit right now, all I really want is an extremely stiff drink that will give me a hangover that would last until this is all over. Sadly, this situation won’t resolve itself without my help. Plus, my parents aren’t the drinking sort.

I walked out into the kitchen tonight to brew myself a cup of tea. I saw sitting above the sink a little card with a verse on it that I know is so true, but hard to get through my thick skull:
The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.

Psalm 145:18-19 (NASB)
I guess I’m just going to have to take these verses to heart and do as the Spirit leads. Even if it ends in heartache.

Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution"

The trailer for Ang Lee's new film Lust Caution is up on the Apple Quicktime site.

It looks very intriguing and very promising. I greatly enjoy Lee's work and am glad he is back to directing in his native tongue.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ingmar Bergman, 1918-2007

Today is a sad day for the world of film.

Ingmar Bergman, highly regarded as one of the greatest cinematic artists of all time, has died.

From his official site:
Ingmar Bergman's passing away represents a loss of unfathomable magnitude. His artistic accomplishments were ground-breaking, unique - but also of a scope that covered film and theatre as well as literature.
We remember him as a very bold person, always present, often biting in his comments. But he was often one step ahead of his contemporaries. Even when he grew old surprises from [him] were not unexpected. I believe it will take some time before we fully understand that he is no longer with us, but also the importance of his art to other people.
I read a story once about Bergman talking to David Lean (director of Lawrence of Arabia and Brief Encounter) and being asked what kind of crew he used on his films. Bergman replied, "I make my films with 18 good friends." Lean was interested and replied saying that he made his films with "150 enemies."

I haven't watched near as much Bergman as I should have by now, but what I have seen is the work of a true artist, "working out his salvation with fear and trembling", shaping the spiritual structure of his soul. If only more filmmakers like Bergman were as recognized and honored in the public square...
We live our simple daily lives. And then some terrible piece of information forces itself into our secure, safe world. It's more than we can bear. The whole state of affairs is so overwhelming, God becomes so remote.

-Winter Light (1963)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006, ****)

My words can't do the beauty and brilliance of this film justice.

It's out on DVD and available to rent at your local film rental place. I watched it last night and cannot stop thinking about it. It's just so great.

Perfect sequence upon perfect sequence builds up to a climax which is as weird as it is profound and as deep as it is shocking. The direction couldn't be better. The acting is superb (sans some complaints with Dustin Hoffman, the only American in the production ... figures). I can't stop listening to the soundtrack.

I'm watching it again toinght and I might write more about it later, but, as of now, the right words escape me.

Ignore the 54% on Rotten Tomatoes.

They're wrong.

It's brilliant.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cloverfield/1-18-08/"Monstrous" sighting at Comic Con


Click the pic for higher resolution.

Thanks to The Tail Section for the info.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Catching up on the Indie scene

I caught a showing of Red Road a few days ago and walked in with high expectations after seeing it on Rotten Tomatoes’ best-reviewed mid-year list. In case you are not familiar, Red Road is about a woman named Jackie who works for the government of Scotland monitoring the video cameras that have been placed on every street. If there’s no problem, she just watches people. A man walking his decrepit old bulldog. A cleaning lady dancing around to her iPod while mopping. Then one day she sees a familiar face. We don’t know who it is, but Jackie certainly does. The rest of the movie details her search for answers and justice.

Red Road (2006, ***) is paced very well and is even entertaining. I can most definitely see why it won the critic’s award at Cannes last year. When the end comes, the film is insightful and, according to some critics, bears shades of Michael Haneke’s best work (I can’t say this myself because I’ve only seen Cache … Red Road did have resemblance to Cache, though).

Red Road has a tragic flaw, though (minor spoilers await). About ¾ of the way through the film, there is an awful unsimulated sex scene that totally disrupts the (until then) brilliant pacing of the movie. It is a terrible fate of bad direction in a film that could have easily been a work of quiet restraint and moral fortitude. Until that point, the movie is quite well-directed. The movie reverts back to it’s regular pacing after said scene, but the scene in question takes up almost 10 minutes! It’s very distracting and, according to IMDB posters and myself, has a very alienating effect on the audience.

Too bad, because Red Road contains some beautiful visual poetry and excellent performances by two gifted actors.

I saw Sean Ellis’ original short film Cashback (2005, ***1/2) about a year ago through iTunes and was very impressed by it, even though I recognized it as flawed. The original short is the story of Ben Willis, an art student and recent insomniac, who works the late shift at a grocery store in London. Ben has a strange ability. He can stop time. But he doesn’t stop time just for fun … he stops time in order to revel in the beauty of the moment.

Ben talks about how he has always found the female form to be the most beautiful thing on the planet. So, when Ben can stop time, he undresses the women in the grocery store and does nothing but draw them. Ben is not creating pornography, but simply appreciating the beauty around him. When he wants to start time again, he puts everything back to normal and cracks his fingers.

(The main flaw of Cashback is that it revels in superficial beauty. The women in the grocery store all looks like models. A few are slightly overweight, but nothing more that you’d see in a JC Penny flier. I would have liked to see Ben revel in the beauty of a down-syndrome child just as much as these women. I like the concept, though.)

The new feature version of Cashback (2006, **1/2) contains all of the original short film and much more. The story of why Ben is an insomniac is told, along with many other diversions along the way including a really nice romance between Ben and Sharon, another grocery store employee. Some of these diversions are good, but most are unimportant, pointless, and at times exploitative and bordering on pornographic.

It’s weird, because there is a scene recognizing pornographic magazines as “fake” and not beautiful. Sean Ellis seems to know the difference between art and pornography, but, while I have a great problem with the latter, he certainly doesn’t seem to.

In the feature film, Ben is always ruminating through his narration about art, life, beauty, etc. If only there were lots of people that age having such deep and important thoughts as Ben Sadly, I only know two or three. Ben is the only person his age in the film who does, so I guess I can’t expect much more. I think our culture would be a much better place with more people like Ben Willis.

I’m guessing Sean Ellis, the writer/director, has the thoughts of Ben (after all, he wrote the film). But if he truly believes what Ben is narrating about, I don’t know why he has polluted his film with pointless diversions that sometimes are the completely opposite ideologically of what Ben is thinking. It confuses me. I encountered the same problem in The Last Kiss (USA version) and a few other films I can’t remember at the moment.

Thought it’s flaws are abundant, Cashback does have some intensely beautiful moments. The photography is just breathtaking at points and the last scene of the film is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in recent memory. Not just beautiful in a visual sense, but in every sense.

All in all, I wanted to like Cashback, but, even though it’s main story arc (which includes the original short and the romance) is wonderful, I found the film as a whole to be ideologically hypocritical and distracting. It’s a 102 minute film that should be half-an-hour shorter.

The photography leaves something to be desired.

There’s nothing special about the look of film.

The two lead roles could be much better actors.

But there’s just something about Once (2006, ***1/2) that makes you happy. It makes you walk out of the theater with a smile, hope for humanity, and hope for independent film. There’s really not that much I can say that hasn’t been said in other reviews … just look on RT. The movie is a critical darling, as it should be, and is something I think everyone I can appreciate. See it sometime, because it’s something really special.

And by the way, how often do we see a film with such wonderful morals? I was shocked by the film’s non-Hollywood ending that upholds honesty and marital reconciliation. Great film that could (and should) be a mainstream hit.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Black Fire

I spent about half-an-hour and the Philadelphia Museum of Art today just staring at this painting. It's called Black Fire and was painted by Barnett Newman. Trust me, it's much better and much bigger (8+ feet tall) in person.
Before I went, I had put a tour of the Modern and Contemporary Gallery on my iPod so that I could understand some of the works a bit better. The curator of the M&C Gallery had this to say about Black Fire:
Is that picture just half black and half just plain canvas? Is there more black area? His signature motif is the thing that came to be known as a “zip” … it’s that vertical band that goes down the painting. And where does the zip divide the area of blank canvas? Is there any black paint that’s accidentally (or not) dripped on to the blank canvas?

The going back and forth between just these two very minimal variables, black paint and raw canvas, can keep you thinking quite a long time about Newman’s work. Newman’s idea of his art was that it was about the highest mysteries, the most profound questions of life and death. For many people, understanding how an almost blank canvas could represent those questions is very disturbing and I think Newman’s point was that there is no way that anything you represent could begin to address those questions. It’s a painting that in refusing to show the things of this world that we know is saying, “OK. I’m about what else there is.”

Whatever that may be.
Imedietly after listening to her, I thought of something Andrei Tarkovsky said in Sculpting In Time:
Art is the soul shaping it's spiritual structure.
In the most abstract way, Newman found a way to express his spiritual journey. If you look closely at the painting, there are very small dots of black (along with a smudge or two) on the blank canvas. Maybe the "zip" and these small touches serve to say that even the best parts of life can sometimes become contaminated by darkness. Not fully, but who knows? The canvas was all white to begin with.

I used to think modern art was the dumbest thing ever, but I'm starting to find it extremely rewarding. It's tough thing to understand, but if you're around people who know their stuff, it can be very enjoyable. I enjoyed my time in the modern gallery today much more than in the European (although the Cezzane paintings were gorgeous). It's amazing how things that you once thought to be pointless and idiotic can come to life and take on meaning through new understanding.

Praise God for maturity.

Monday, July 16, 2007

"ABHORRENT!" -Dr. Ted Baehr

I’ve disliked “Dr.” Ted Baehr for years.

My dislike for him doubled when I read his profusely bigoted review of Eastwood’s Letters From Iwo Jima which denounced the movie as anti-American, leftist, socialist, anti-Capitalistic (a favorite of Baehr’s) propaganda.

I believe my dislike tripled the other day when I read his review of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Consider this tripe:
Regrettably, however, this means that even more children will be lured away from God and His Infallible Word, which says that witchcraft is evil and abhorrent. Instead of dreaming about the joys that God gives us through Jesus Christ, they will be dreaming of casting spells, using magic spells, riding brooms, and rebelling against their parents.
I know a lot of kids who read Harry Potter, many of them Christians. Not one of them has turned to witchcraft or the occult because of Harry’s influence. They may want to be able to point a stick somewhere, say some Latin, and have cool stuff happen (who wouldn’t?!), but that’s about it.

I find this next paragraph even more hilarious:
Watching 6- and 7-year-old children walk out of the press screening for the new Harry Potter movie (as well as the people with little witchcraft symbols and S&M dresses) is always an opportunity to reflect on the malignant corruption of our culture. Aside from the fact that these children are exposed to ugly creatures, fantastic violence and worthless incantations, this movie has dialogue that sounds like it comes out of Stuart Smalley’s Daily Affirmations on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. Namely, when Harry's godfather tells him, “You are not a bad person. Every person has light and darkness in them. You have a choice.” Imagine saying this to Michael Cho after he has had his killing spree. Or, Adolf Hitler.
UGLY CREATURES! You mean like the ones in The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings, two franchises you praised?!


“Little witchcraft symbols and S&M dresses.”

Let me quote that one again: “Little witchcraft symbols and S&M dresses.”

Just the fact that Baehr mentioned S&M in his review of Harry Potter just lowers him another notch on my list (and makes my stomach hurt with laughter). The man is a maniac who does not how to discern. Sure, he knows how to describe violence, review sexuality, and count how many times people say “fuck”, but he doesn’t know how to thoughtfully wade through Rowling’s themes which, as Barb Nicolosi said in her comments on HP5, are more inclined toward the “good, true and beautiful” than many other fantasy works of the day.

He also conveniently glides past Order of the Phoenix’s themes of friendship, family, and the elusive quality of evil. Great parallels can be drawn between the Ministry of Magic’s refusal to recognize the return of Voldemort and Evangelical Christianity’s growing denial of the power of Satan.

Ted Baehr needs to focus his attention on something worthy of his time … Philip Pullman would be a good start.

PS: Other people have weighed in on Baehr’s ineptitude recently including Peter Chattaway and Jeffrey Overstreet.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Inspiration ... or not.

For three weeks, I’ve been trying to develop a short film in my head. My goal is to outline a plot by the middle of August, have a script by the end of September and shoot through November. I’d like to have it finished by January so that I can submit it to some festivals.

Yes. Heavy goal. I know. Especially when inspiration is little-to-be-found in my not-so-creative mind.

I could make it something easy and simple. Just a straight forward plot with nothing of value emanating from the story. I don’t want that, though. I want it to be something more. I want it to have a little depth and be something of value. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece … it probably won’t be … I just want to do my best with it.

So, in my quest for inspiration, I went to Starbucks tonight to support my good friend Dan who was providing live music and sat at a table with Ian McEwan and Andrei Tarkovsky (both present in text only). I never got around to McEwan and only engaged Tarkovsky for about half-an-hour because I kept getting distracted by people I knew. I did learn this, though.

The main goal of art is to “explain to the artist himself and to those around him what man lives for”; to lead the creator and “consumer” into a better understanding of human existence. Tarkovsky goes on to give this example:
From the very moment when Eve ate the apple from the tree of knowledge, mankind was doomed to strive endlessly after the truth. First, as we know, Adam and Eve discovered they were naked. And they were ashamed. They were ashamed because they had understood; and then they set out on their way in the joy of knowing one another. That was the beginning of a journey that has no end. One can understand how dramatic that moment was for those two souls, just emerged from the state of placid ignorance and thrown out into the vastness of the earth, hostile and inexplicable.

‘With the sweat of thy brow shalt thou earn thy bread…’

So it was that man, ‘natures crown’, arrived on the earth in order to know why it was that he had appeared or been sent.
More coming later on ... I think.

Friday, July 13, 2007

More of the same

Hmmm ... really makes me want to buy a ticket.

Note sarcasm.

And isn't that supposed to be "grisly" instead of "grizzly"? Are there graphic images of bears being mutilated or something. Sheesh ... take some pride when labeling the rating of your torture porn.

(I think I saw this pointed out somewhere else as well, but I forget where.)

EDIT: Jeannette Catsoulis sums it up pretty well in her NY Times review of the film.
The person who ought to be most embarrassed by this airless dud is its director, Roland Joffé, a two-time Oscar nominee who in the space of just five years regressed from working with Tom Stoppard to associating with the kind of people who mix eyeball smoothies and force-feed them to defenseless women. To be fair to Mr. Joffé, however, the movie has reportedly undergone substantial alterations since its filming in Moscow in 2005. Perhaps he’s as disgusted by the eyeballs as we are.
And then at the end, Catsoulis sums up the torture porn genre with a little twist on the content warning:
“Captivity” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Characters are burned with acid, buried in sand, drugged repeatedly — and then have sex.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Evangeline's first film project

Evangeline Lilly (Kate on Lost) has chosen her first feature-length movie project, an indie flick called Afterwards. Quite frankly, after her performance on Lost, she could get a big role in a Summer blockbuster-type film, but:
I have struggled to find the right combination of factors, I was daunted by the notion that my only option might be to go do some big Hollywood film because that doesn't interest me whatsoever. I don't see any value in fame and I don't see any value in big blockbuster hit films. I have been looking for a quiet beautiful little project for three years.
It's nice to hear a comment like this coming from someone so famous. The more I watch the "quiet beautiful" things that Lilly talks about, the less desire I have to go see all the new and flashy blockbusters.

I'm taking a trip to Philadelphia next weekend and plan on spending Friday doing something that I never get to do: sit all day in an art-house theater and take in intelligent art. I couldn't be more excited.

Story courtesy of BuddyTV.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Kindness to Repentance

One of the reasons I love movies so much is because of their ability to hold a magnifying glass up to my own heart. To make me feel … to make me think … to challenge me mentally, spiritually, and personally.

Such was my experience last night when I popped in a movie from HBO Films entitled Longford into our DVD player here at home.

Longford (2006, ***1/2) is the story of Frank Pakenham, a British Lord known for his visits to prisoners. Lord Longford has been a Christian all his life and lives by the philosophy that "no human being is beyond forgiveness.”

When a convicted child murderer and sexual deviant named Myra Hindley requests a visit from Lord Longford, he has no qualms about looking in on her at the local prison. Despite the worries of his wife and many others who call Hindley a “monster” of the worst sort, Lord Longford goes in to visit the prisoner and develops a relationship with her. What follows is a very intriguing web of mystery, betrayal, and human drama almost catapulted to greatness by the performances of Jim Broadbent and Andy Serkis.

While watching Longford, I was struck by Pakenham’s faithfulness to his cause, the convict he was visiting, and his God. Here was a man of unwavering faith who believed so strongly that everyone should be offered a chance to receive grace and forgiveness, no matter what the crime that he was not discouraged, even after losing his job and a certain amount of public respect.

Near the end of the film, Pakenham makes a very bold statement (SPOILERS follow, if you plan on watching the film):
Forgiveness is the very cornerstone of my faith and the struggle to deepen my faith is my life’s journey. In that respect, [the prisoner that has taken all I have done for her and thrown it in my face] has enriched my spiritual life beyond measure, and for that I will always be grateful to her. If people think that makes me weak, or mad, so be it. That is the path I am committed to. To love the sinner, but hate the sin. To assume the best in people, but not the worst. To believe that anyone, no matter how evil, can be redeemed … eventually.
I lost sleep last night thinking about those words. They made me think about all the people whom I have ever hated; all the people I’ve been unable to forgive. It made me realize that instead of cleaving to the childish, infantile desires of my deceptively wicked heart, I should conform my feelings to the attitude that Lord Longford had toward Myra Hindley (which is, by the way, the same attitude that Christ has toward all we wayward sinners).

It is so hard to forgive sometimes, especially those people who are blatantly unrepentant of their wrongdoing. But, as the Word of God says, the kindness of God leads people to repentance (Romans 2:4). Perhaps our kindness toward those who have wronged us will be enough to soften even the hardest of hearts and lead them to full reconciliation … with us and with God.
Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.

But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.

Romans 2:1-8 (NASB)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

That mystery trailer...

If you saw Transformers at the theater, odds are you saw the un-named trailer for a film from J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alias) coming to the multiplex on 1-18-08.

If you haven't seen the trailer, you can watch it in HD (or LoD) at Quicktime.

Nerdy sidenote: My dream come true would be for this movie to be the Lost smoke monster run-amuck in some city ... wreaking havoc on people like he does so often in the show. But I'm willing to put that nerdy dream aside (even though the sound of whatever-it-is in the trailer sounds is familiar).

I can't say that I have ever been as intrigued by a trailer as this one, nor has a trailer ever been this shrouded in mystery. My interest is coming from many different directions:

1. J.J. Abrams is involved, which means the film has the possibility of being a very engaging, mythologically rich adventure.

2. The trailer looks like it has been shot with a simple mini-DV camera of some sort (although I'm sure it is just made to look that way), yet there are still special effects; almost as if someone is just standing by recording these events as they take place (a la the first 9/11 videos).

3. This means that, if the movie is anything like the trailer, we could have the possibility of a one-shot wonder on our hands (sort of like Russian Ark or Adrenaline).

I know I'm assuming alot here, but a one-shot wonder disaster film from Abrams' team would be ... wow. I don't have the words for it. I can't wait to see how this project (as of now called Cloverfield) develops.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Lindelof on Potter

Damon Lindelof, co-creator and writer of Lost, wrote an article for the NY Times today about how he thinks Harry Potter (along with any story with "grand mythology" [that would include Lost]) should end. The whole article is worth a read just for Lindelof's wit and charm, but here are my favorite parts...
The Brits have no such hang-ups. They demonstrate almost limitless patience (which explains cricket) when it comes to the rather touchy issue of “resolution.” We Yanks, however, do not want froufrou endings. We want things definitively tied up.

And by “things” I mean lots of people dead. And by “definitively tied up” I mean in excruciating ways that ideally involve lots of gratuitous explosions.


[J.K. Rowling] can’t whack Harry because there are rules that must be followed when it comes to how one ends a grand mythology. Good triumphs over evil. Hope overcomes despair. Paper covers rock. Harry wins. Voldemort loses. The Ewoks sing.

And this is precisely why Harry has to die.

Because it will be tragic. And emotional. And surprising. But most of all ... it will be fair.


Maybe if He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named tossed one final spell at Harry? Like a mega-Avada Kedavra curse that nobody had ever survived? And if Harry, like, did some kinda Matrix-slow-motion move and used his wand to deflect? And then his opponent like totally exploded everywhere into a thousand pieces of reptilian flesh? If, like, Harry blew on the end of his wand and said, “I told you not to curse, Voldemort.”

That’d be fine, too.

Friday, July 06, 2007


...the other day, while at work at the Pharmacy, I found out that PACE (a state-run prescription program for Pennsylvania citizens over 60) is funded by none other than The...

This surprised me. I thought it was nice. But not nice enough to take all my tithe money and buy Powerball tickets.

So...tonight I watched Venus (with the immaculate Peter O'Toole) and saw this little logo before the titles of the movie came up:

I thought, "Okay ... the usual. The company logo before the film starts."

THEN, I saw this little bit at the bottom:

For a moment, it made me mad. It reminded me of the other day when I watched this little movie...

...and discovered that America is one of the only civilized nations that doesn't have "free" health care. From my experiences at the Pharmacy, it would be so much nicer to only have to pay $6.95 for ANY prescription like they do over in the UK. And guess what? People under 12 and over 60 don't have to pay ANYTHING for prescriptions.

Anyway, if America had free health care, we might be able to have an organization like the UK Film Council to help people who want to make films and don't have the money. Wouldn't it be nice?

But, getting free health care is just a step toward socialism, I guess.

And we can't have that...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

"Are you Ladiesman217?!"

Things I thought while watching Michael Bay’s Transformers.

Before time began, there was ... the cube. We know not where it comes from, only that it holds the power to create worlds and fill them ... with life.

That was officially the worst opening narration ever.

Is it a requirement to have a loud, brassy, stereotype-driven black role in every Michael Bay film? I don’t see how this isn’t offensive to African Americans.

I didn’t know that the Transformers talked. Sorry.

Are the Transformers really going after LaBeouf because of an Ebay item? What an infantile plot device.

Is it possible for Michael Bay to let us forget the lead actress’ hotness for just one second, or must she always exist behind a layer of shimmery body gloss for the whole film. Seriously.

(And is she really that hot? Or is it just your tricky camera work, Mr. Bay?)

I’m sorry. You can’t make me feel emotional over a transforming robot named Bumblebee. It’s simply impossible.

Did Optimus Prime really just say “My bad”?

Was that really a Furby advertisement? I thought they were extinct.

Ahhh, John Turturro. You’re such a great actor. Now, you’ve reduced yourself to playing a stereotypical government agent who utters the most hilarious line in the film: “You’re a criminal. Criminals are hot!” And did that robot just pee on him?

How does one film something like this? It's got to be a logistical nightmare.


And so it goes. Transformers most definitely kept me entertained through it 2 ½ hour running time, but I walked out of the theater having seen what I expected: a cheesy summer action-fest that does nothing more than entertain. It’s a lot of fun ... even thought it's almost exasperatingly stupid, like all of Bay's films.

I guess I can leave room for that every now and then.