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Film Reviews Transformers is the big summer action movie for 2007 Film News And Views - Film Reviews - Transformers is the big summer action movie for 2007 Film Reviews,,Transformers is the big summer action movie for 2007,recommendation,shopping,advice,simple,movies,films,film news and views,news and views,film industy,movie reviews,film news,film,news,views,television,made for tv movies,interactive entertainment,hollywood,hollywood news,celebrity news,insiders perspective,film reviewer,watch film,film trailer,new releases,new release,new release movie,new release film,movie reviewer,opinion,viewpoint,forum,discussion
Transformers is the big summer action movie for 2007

by Robin Rowe on Jul 09, 2007

Transformers is the big summer action movie for 2007. If you thought Spider-man 3 was fun, but just too damn long and the same old story, you need to see this movie. In fact, if you wouldnít dream of going to see Spider-man 3, you still want to see this movie. Transformers accomplishes something that few high-testosterone movies ever do. Appeal to chicks. My girlfriend sat open mouthed, grabbing my arm to whisper, "Look! Look!", during the whole movie. But, thatís jumping aheadÖ

The screening Iím attending is an advance press screening, which is a more typical reviewer experience than the rough cut screening with the director that I saw for Shrek 3. Transformers director Michael Bay didnít make an appearance at the screening, but I interviewed him earlier. Check out my companion story, An Interview with Michael Bay. (For my story on the editors of Transformers, see the July issue of Editorís Guild Magazine.)

As I enter the soaring modern lobby of the three-story Hollywood Arclight Cinema, a beautiful Amazon of a woman with an outrageously short crew cut is waving at me enthusiastically. Itís the Paramount publicist. My girlfriend Gabrielle is talking to her. Gabrielle, who cannot be happy unless sheís ten minutes early, nudges me on, "Hurry, get us seats!"

As I sit in the center seat of the first row in the theater, which is a fantastic seat at the Arclight, Iím greeted with a demanding question from the six-year-old sitting next to me. "Whoís youíre favorite Transformer?!!" Iím completely stumped. Iíve never read the Transformers comic books or watched the TV show. "Bumblebee!", he squeals. Iím rescued as Gabrielle arrives and exclaims, "Heís so cute!". The boy blushes and hides his head as Gabrielle tickles him.

There are bad robots, the Decepticons, and good robots, the Autobots. If youíve seen the Transformers trailer (and who hasnít?), you know that Disturbiaís Shia LaBeouf (Sam) is just your average teenage boy whose first car turns out to be a sentient alien robot. What would otherwise be the heartwarming but dull introduction to the story of Samís family life and buying his first car is intercut with a huge alien robot attack on an American base in Qatar. For geographically challenged Americans, Qatar is north of Saudi Arabia and east of Bahrain on the Persian Gulf. Qatar, a former British protectorate, has been ruled by the al-Thani family since the mid-1800s, with oil revenues that give it the highest per capita income in the world. If you want more, do what I did and check out the CIA Factbook online.

Likable Las Vegas sidekick Josh Duhamel is captain of a special forces unit with sidekick bad-ass dude Tyrese Gibson from 2 Fast 2 Furious. The furious cutting from the captainís story in Qatar to Sam in suburbia (not Disturbia) keeps the story moving. The hero goal for the rest of the movie is to retrieve the magical alien artifact and keep it from the Decepticons, who would use it to enslave the Earth by transforming our machines into an army of crazed alien robots. The plot is simple and direct, with built-in stakes and urgency. Perfect for an action picture. No time for weeping over breaking up with Mary Jane like Peter Parker in Spider-man 3. Itís go, go, go!

Within two minutes of the opening credits weíre in Qatar flying in tilt-wing Osprey transports (the latest in rad marine helicopters that look and fly like airplanes), scrambling F-22 Raptors, and under a big-ass attack. This is how an action movie is supposed to work. Director Michael Bay gets to play with all the cool military toys thanks to Pearl Harbor, which maybe didnít thrill critics, but the Department of Defense sure liked. Bay doesnít like directing it fake with blue screen like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. The military gear is expensive and thereís lots of it, lots more than Apocalypse Now. Itís the biggest military coordination with a motion picture ever. Battle tanks get blown around like confetti, and the shit is realÖexcept for blowing them up, of course. After all, an M1 Abrams costs $4.5 million.

My girlfriend Gabrielle, who doesnít like any action films except for National Treasure, started thinking midway though the movie that this is a film we should get on DVD. Gabrielle was wired on the drive home, like she drank two cans of Monster. "I feel like I ran a race!", she said. Myself, I feel like Iíve been through a sauna. The Arclight, one of the best theaters in Hollywood, unexpectedly had the heat on instead of the air conditioning. The theater had installed extra woofers to put out lots of bass for realistic sound effects from the helicopters, so perhaps the heat was for realism, to place us in the desert fighting in Qatar? In the theater it was pushing 85 degrees (29 Celsius) by the end of the movie. Transformers is so good, the audience ignores the heat.

As Gabrielle summed up afterwards, "That was fun!". Thatís what an action movie should be. The six-year-old loved it, too. The movie opens July 4th, like it says on the poster. Wait, noÖthe movie opens July 3rd. Wait, there are late night screenings on July 2nd! Like the movie, the opening is moving fast and coming right at you. Donít miss it!


  September 22, 2019

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