transformers2

Transformers :Revenge of the Fallen

I am not going to really review this movie. Why because no matter what it will make money and opinions of it will vary greatly. But I will say this it has spectacular explosions, a senseless story and that’s about it…frankly it is not worth my $11. That being said I agree that Transformers 2 is rife with many disturbing images and themes. Blogs are screaming racist, racism and the like. So what if Skids and Mudflap speak in slang and admit that they can’t read….but when did illiteracy become a Black stereotype? Michael Bay knows what he is doing so it is o.k. for an ice cream truck to randomly drop the B-word. Robots with gold teeth, buck teeth and bad grammar honestly I have been insulted far better in movies not as bad, maybe it’s me but robots are not made to be that flawed. This brings up the question I have been asking for the last 7 years… Can anyone make a good novie anymore?

This Michael Bay film makes fun of Blacks, Asians, Latinos, our over sexualized culture, and it offends our delicate sensibilities. Michael Bays seems to believe that these types of stereotypes and inappropriate language somehow make the movie more accessible to children. I don’t know where he got that idea, mostly likely he got that answer out of our wallets. I can’t believe that Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are the same writers of the brilliant Star Trek movie, which again only points back to Michael Bay. Maybe Mr. Limbaugh’s writers wrote some of those parts because they not only dehumanize of African-Americans but just about all other groups as well. Or does the robot animation make it o.k. to say things like “…we don’t really do much readin’!” I mean really who wrote that line? Black people we have enough progressive minstrel shows…right Spike? These stereotypes and more are really present in this film. And no the movie is not criticized because we lack of imagination, or that we are not a child a heart, there is no way to spin this Paramount…This is way worse than Jar Jar Binks did.

Right now many people are also yelling about the sexual themes and tone of this movie, the racial component is perhaps the overcompensation effect of having a Black President. But it is not an over reaction these films and more need to be taken to task. The directors need to do better and we as a people need to be better than this in a so-called “Post-Racial America”. This is not the first Michael Bay film with racial stereotypes so why are people upset now? The first Transformers Movie (which is a better movie by the way) has autobot Jazz, a break dancing, slang talking robot, who also happened to be the first robot killed. That robot also use the B word in it’s first lines as well. I was surprised he was eating chicken(maybe that was edited out)… still the audience would have laughed. You see it isn’t the stereotypes it is the fact that this film was made without intellect. If the movie itself were better everyone overlook the abundant flaws and would be talking about how good the acting was, or how well done the story was, or how surprised they were about this or that. It is the complete lack of those things as the only reason we are even having these discussions.

So let’s recap:

Violence, Inappropriate sexism, stereotypes, but the most disturbing thing of all is the more innocuous of all…. Bad Acting. I mean Shia Labouf is a star, but no one really knows why, can he please show some acting range. And Megan Fox is cute, you only call her hot because the media says so. Her acting is so sub par in this film I think Angelia Jolie is laughing her ass off saying “replace me….never.” Who listens to critics? They are hardly right, well they have this one right. Well it is the summer and we all need something to do, why go to the park when we could pay to be offended?

If you really want to see this movie great but don’t take anyone younger than 14, seriously. Because if you listen closely you’ll here the guys behind you enumerating all of the things they would like to do to Megan Fox. Note to Megan: Is this how you want to really be viewed? These questions and more will only be answered by the weekend box office tally.

Optimus Prime is the early favorite for Best Actor.

Jay Z could do a Death to Autobots track as a bonus.

Star Trek

It has been 40 plus years since the original Star Trek aired and some would say that the series has grown old maybe even stale. But the series has sparked so much imagination over the years that someone inevitably comes along and tries to perform CPR on it. Star Trek’s days of being socially conscientious are over, as well as its days of innovation. That being said I decided to go to see a movie it took me two weeks to get up the nerve after being utterly disappointed by Wolverine. So I decided to pull the usually empty lever of the Studio Film slot machine once again. The obvious choice would be for me to see Angels & Demons, but the buzz on Star Trek compelled me spend two hours with them.

I have to say that this so-called prequel is in a word “Brilliant”. Many reviewers throw around terms like “Superb”, “Excellent”, “Visually Stunning” much too loosely. However, for J.J. Abrams’ vision of Star Trek those terms actually do apply. Most people will think that this film is a testosterone filled  heartless movies, but they couldn’t be more wrong. This film has something in it for everyone, and I mean everyone. Yes, there will be those who have issues with completely minor errors like, time travel, or the inherent danger of indiscriminate singularity creation, but I digress.

This film begins with James T. Kirk’s birth in deep space with his father sacrificing his own life so that his son and others could live. Kirk is later seen as a rebellious Iowan youth (think Rebel Without A Cause). Then we are treated to see how a young Half-Vulcan, Half-Human Spock’s is developing on the planet Vulcan. The young Spock is having trouble wrestling with those pesky emotions (Vulcan’s suppress them) while the other Vulcans believe that having a human mother is some type of handicap. Director J.J. Abrams plays Kirk’s father and Spock’s mother off of one another the entire movie and rightly so. Spock (Zachary Quinto) rebels at the high council when a crack is made about his mother and he decided to join the less prestigious Starfleet. Next we see an older Kirk (Chris Pine) as he continues to pursue women and a life built on destruction, but during a bar room brawl he catches the eye of Capt. Pike, who was an admirer of his father, who convinces him to join Starfleet. And from there we are introduced in order to the central characters of Star Trek: Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban), Hikaru Sulu (John Choo), Montgomery Scott (Simon Pegg), Yuri Chekov (Anton Yelchin). Choosing lesser-known actors allows the director to focus less on glamor shots and more on the acting. It takes a lot of guts to pull off that kind of trade-off clearly this movie was made with purpose. The casting on this film is topnotch except for Spock’s Mother (Winona Ryder), but she only has five lines. But casting Eric Bana as (Nero the Romulan Commander) was genius.

The script by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci from plot to sub plot is impeccable. All of the cliches and themes are there, but they are beside the point because this script does more than offer a great tale… it offers insight and back story to the characters themselves. They took a risk switching out the well-known and traditional enemy the Klingons for the lesser known Romulans, but it was a magnificent choice that opened up many more possibilities for the future of the franchise. There are some surprises, an unusual love interest (and I don’t mean between Kirk and Spock), and a slightly more emotional Spock.

Quite simply J.J. Abrams has accomplished what George Lucas could not by trying to reignite the Star Wars series. Frankly this movie puts the last ten-years of retread, rehashed, comic-book, sci-fi movies to shame. How: Story Development, Character Development, New Worlds, Surprise Guest Stars, Amazing Effects, and a Love Story. This movie has it all, yet it moves along so well you’ll think that it was 3- hours long instead of a run time of 127 minutes. Interestingly enough if you are a Trek fan that watched the movie and really paid attention you will realize that this is not the Star Trek you grew up with. What the writers have slyly done is created an Alternative Universe Star Trek, which couldn’t be done if the canon was discarded or the script was sub par. If you didn’t notice that then you really need to see it again and this one of those rare movies that is worth seeing again. Superstar actors be damned this is the kind of movie Hollywood should be making! J.J. Abrams should get very serious consideration for an Oscar and credit the writers. Whatever the case, the history of Star Trek has been forever changed.

10/9.5