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Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
The invasion we always feared. An enemy we never expected.
Science Fiction

The Autobots continue to work for NEST, now no longer in secret. But after discovering a strange artifact during a mission in Chernobyl, it becomes apparent to Optimus Prime that the United States government has been less than forthright with them.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Panopticon Defects

Sometimes you simply get proved wrong. I was wrong and I admit it.

When I saw the first Transformers movie, I thought I was seeing something that advanced the cinematic vocabulary. The movie was still otherwise worthless, and the advance was in the service of crass goals. But an effective evolution in how we see things is a big deal. What I saw was expert editing that in the action scenes gave us just a bit less information than we needed to understand what was going on. These edits had compositional energy so that in general we got caught in the swirl of the battle, experiencing the fog of war.

This, I thought was a big deal, because there is only so much you can do visually. You are delivering an entire world and interacting within that world at the same time. It should be impossible. I qualified my comment at the time by remarking that this also saves money; since you never have time to fully comprehend a special effect, they can be designed or rendered with less fidelity.

The second film continued the tradition, with less freshness. This one abandons it altogether and presents itself no differently than your average Marvel bravado. It has a different editor, so that makes sense. But for the first time, the franchise has decided to enter the premium ticket market with three D and IMAX. Ticketbuyers who pay the extra moola want clear confirmation that the extra detail is worth it. So the whole enterprise has had its one redeeming value ripped out. The world we glimpsed was coming has had its transport beams destroyed.

Posted in 2012

Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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