Michael Bay Says There’re 14 Transformers Stories in Development…

Michael Bay says that there’re 14 Transformers stories in development (most of which are probably intended to be made into movies) and on hearing the news something shriveled up inside me, like an organ that no longer served a practical purpose.

So, I guess I’m saying Transformers are the cocyxx of the movie ‘body.’

They have bothered me for various reasons.  One being that you can tell they take serious money to produce, yet there’s surprisingly little to show for all the effort.

I have yet to see a Transformers movie that in any way resonated with me mentally, or provoked a discussion about anything (other than irritation about never getting the time spent viewing the movie back again).

And I also understand that the Transformers are vehicles–pardon the pun–to sell toys, but do they have to do so so blandly, as if the idea of an engaging story were enough to scare off the people who flock to see the movies to the tune of billions of dollars?

Disney does the same thing–in terms of producing movies with the intention of getting toys based on them on store shelves before whichever holiday season happens to be just around the corner–but their Pixar, Marvel Studios and other divisions typically tell interesting stories as well.

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Transformers: The Last Knight – Official Trailer 1

I hate to say this about any movie, but Transformers: The Last Knight needs to fail (or at the very least, do not so quite so well) at the box office. 

And I want that to be the case for the best possible reasons, namely the movies have so far been terrible, and apparently nothing else will change that beyond one of them belly-flopping at the box office.  

As long as they’re successful, Michael Bay will direct.  As long as they’re successful we’ll be “treated” to multi-million dollar movies less involving–from a story standpoint–than the cartoons and toys that inspired them. 

And I don’t necessarily blame Bay because while the success or failure of a movie rides on the director’s shoulders, in the end it’s the viewers–people like you and me–who really make that determination. 

And I intend to do my part: I promise that I will not pay to see Transformers: The Last Knight–nor will I pirate it, because that’s doesn’t help the situation–even out of curiosity, to see if it’s as bad as I expect and the rest of the movies in the series has been.

So do your part to stop Hollywood from burying us in CGI-fests that are less interested in telling any sort of cohesive story than they are to get us to buy some piece of junk our children will abandon for the box it came in, and instead support movies that at least pretend to have some sort of narrative thrust. 

Why I Don’t Care When Transformers: The Last Knight Is Coming

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 10.54.08 AM

Suppose someone that you though of as a friend slapped you upside the head, for no apparent reason, every time they saw you.

It’s less an issue of pain–it was never enough to cause physical harm–than one of blatant disrespect.  Eventually you’ll come to the point that you have two options:  Either resign yourself to this daily assault on your person or attempt to take control over what has become a pretty untenable situation.

That’s how I feel about the Transformers movies. Time after time I’m being hit upside the head by barely-there characterization, nonsensical plots and sexism.

To be honest, I’ve given up on the franchise every since  Transformers: Dark of the Moon, where it became apparent that director Michael Bay accepted that logic and a half-decent plot were secondary to butt-loads of CGI tomfuckery.

But I don’t blame Bay (not entirely, anyway).  Reason being, do you blame the drug addict when his so-called friends–knowing full well he has a problem–decide to party with him anyway?

No I blame ‘us,’ by which I mean everyone who keeps paying to see these damn movies in theaters.

If the producers for a moment thought that they would start losing money, they’d change it up in a heartbeat.

But that’s the problem: They know that they can turn out as much Transformers crap as they want, people–seemingly the bulk on them in China, so there’s that–will continue to pay to see it.

So how can I blame Michael Bay for making bad movies when really bad movies are apparently what we think we deserve?

Postmortem: Pacific Rim (2013)

Screenshot 2016-01-01 14.04.32.pngWelcome to the first post of the New Year!  I figured that I’d go back in time to rewatch Guillermo del Toro’s giant robots versus monsters epic, Pacific Rim.

If you ask me the true test of whether or not a movie is a good one is that of time, namely if it can stand up well to repeated viewings.

And despite the fact that del Toro’s Pacific Rim underwhelmed domestically–the bulk of its $400 billion dollar box office was due to its popularity internationally–it’s damn enjoyable and stands up to revisiting very well.

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Project Almanac – Trailer

Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things.  They also shouldn’t play with time machines.  Project Almanac is a story about a bunch of teens that do just that (play with time machines, not dead things) and how they have to work to correct all that they have inevitably screwed up.

The movie hasn’t even premiered yet, and Michael Bay, who produced it, is already issuing apologies for its content.

Gotta be some sort of record.

‘Unhung Hero’ Review

Unhung Hero

Stuff You Put On The Internet Is There For Forever.  Consider That Before You Make A Movie About How Small Your Penis Is

Brian Spitz‘s Unhung Hero opens on two guys in a spartan hotel room in Papua, New Guinea.  One’s black, and the other’s white.  After a moment the black guy sits down and prepares a syringe, while in the next scene the white guy is standing with his pants open, which tells me everything that I need to know.

And since it’s a little bit unlikely that he’s hiding a bunch of clowns in his pants, and the movie is about a guy who thinks his penis is too small…

But as far as I am concerned, I’ve had enough.  My stomach twists in knots at just the suggestion, never mind the “reality.”  And I wasn’t even ten minutes in.  Which reminds me, it’s not unheard of for hard-core heroin users to inject themselves in the penis, which tells you the the high it brings much be remarkable if it’s able to override such a powerfully ingrained revulsion.

I really wanted to watch a movie though, and since Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain turned up on Netflix as well I figured that I might as well give it a try, since I wasn’t (directly) paying to see it.  And it was really bad, beyond my wildest dreams of what ‘bad’ could be.  And when write bad I don’t mean in an enjoyable or campy sense, but a distasteful and meanspirited one. I mean, it looked gorgeous in the way Michael Bay movies tend to, but beyond that, nothing.

No redeeming characters, characteristics or features what-so-ever.  It’s worth mentioning that I have seen movies where Hitler appeared in a more sympathetic light, and that’s not hyperbole.

But here’s the kicker:  There’s a character in that movie, Adrian Doorbal, played by Anthony Mackie, who get’s an injection in his member as well (which is strangely enough, played for laughs).

At this point I just accepted that if I even turned on a Bugs Bunny cartoon, Bugs would have Elmer Fudd tied down as he tried to inject something into his cartoon penis.  And I have always said that if you cannot avoid something, you might as well face it as best you can.

So gave Unhung Hero another try, because there is virtually no way, despite the penis injection scene, it could be worse than Pain & Gain.

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Five Reasons That Will Contribute To Guillermo Del Toro Directing Doctor Strange

This post is entirely speculation, though it is based upon logic as well as current news.

Notice that in the title of this article I sad “could” as opposed to “would” because the last I heard was that Del Toro was busy working on Legendary Pictures’ upcoming fright-feature “Crimson Peak,” as well as executive producing the FX series based upon the trilogy he wrote with Chuck Hogan, “The Strain,” “The Fall” and “The Night Eternal.”

But I have been reading the tea leaves and checking the entrails regularly, and here’s what I have seen:

1.  Despite Rumors To The Contrary, Guillermo Del Toro Will Not Be Doing “Justice League Dark” Anytime Soon

Why?  Because NBC is working on “Constantine,” a series not based on the Francis Lawrence movie of the same name, but the DC (formerly under their Vertigo imprint) series, also of the same name.  While it’s possible that the character could appear in both places at the same time (this is, of course assuming that the television series has a long life), it’s probably not going to happen.  The character of John Constantine is the lynchpin that the team revolves around, and without him the concept is pretty much dead in the water, besides being somewhat esoteric.

Matt Ryan/John Constantine

Matt Ryan as John Constantine

And that’s even considering how much Warner Bros would have to invest from the budget end of things, which would probably be huge (though they could do it with a partner, as long as it’s not Legendary Pictures, since they and Warner Bros. somewhat acrimoniously parted ways.  That being said, they still work with Village Roadshow Pictures).

2.  DC/Warner Bros. Doesn’t Seem To Have Much Of A Plan Toward Developing Their Characters

Whether or not someone likes what Marvel is doing with their characters, you have to admit that they not only have a plan, but they are executing it really, really well.  This is primarily because the head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, has apparently developed a plan to develop their characters, and is following it.  Marvel’s roadmap is divided into Phases:  Phase One consisted of “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” ” Captain America: The First Avenger,” and “Thor” and culminated in “The Avengers.”

Notice the pattern:  First there’s an introduction of the characters–which may or may not have more than one film in the future–and a film that brings them all together.

Phase Two consists of “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The Guardians Of The Galaxy,” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Phase Three will consist of “Ant-Man,” “Captain America 3,” “Thor 3” and “The Avengers 3.”

As I said, you don’t necessarily have to like what Marvel is doing, but what you can’t deny is that there is a plan at work.

Warner Bros/DC?  Not so much.  What seems to be driving them is profit above all, which I understand, but that’s not a plan.  Though it didn’t exactly start that way because for awhile it appeared that DC was building toward a Justice League feature–and probably still are–which began with “Green Lantern.”

Oh, but wait!  Green Lantern?  Don’t I mean Batman?  No, I don’t because Christopher Nolan’s Batman films aren’t necessarily part of DC’s greater cinematic plans because Nolan quite deliberately kept them separate from the rest of the DC Universe, which was probably not a great decision in retrospect.

Though that’s why “Green Lantern” was so important:  It was the beginning of DC/Warner Bros. establishing a larger canvas on which to display their properties.  If Green Lantern had worked they could have brought Ryan Reynolds back as the character in other DC films, such as the Justice League, or even the upcoming “Batman Vs. Superman” feature.

But it was not to be because Green Lantern was unable to recharge either his lantern or the box office, where it earned almost $220 million on a $200 million dollar budget; not enough to make a profit.

So DC rebooted Superman, in “Man of Steel,” without a doubt the most violent Superman film ever made.

Which could perhaps explain why that film made “only” $668 million dollars.  It’s a lot of money, but for a character as iconic and as firmly established in the public consciousness as Superman, it actually wasn’t that great a performance.

For the sequel, “Superman Vs. Batman,” DC will not only feature Superman and Batman, but Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor as the villain.  It seems apparent that they are trying to follow a strategy similar to Marvel, except more compressed.

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