Posted by: smirkdirk | June 29, 2011

Transformers 3D – A Review of the Reviews

Optimus Prime carries poor Peter Travers’ back to his old man bed for a nap. Too much populist effluvia for the lil’ fella. He’s blown a gasket.

Just got back from Transformers 3D. Pretty good. Not great, but recommend for sheer spectacle.

Actually, I feel the need to prop it because between Roger Ebert’s 1-star review and Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers’ ridiculous Zero Star review, I really want to know what exactly these guys were expecting. Without even a joking wink,they’ll happily shove us and our 10 bucks off to Thor and Green Lantern with no guilt, but bring in Michael Bay and its like the end of the world. If Transformers 3 is so bad, I wonder what they give “Transmorphers”?

It sort of pisses me off because if we pair these ultra-negative reviews of Transformers which is easily the special effects spectacle of the year, with the glowing reviews of Tree of Life – and every actual person I know who’s seen Tree of Life (and plunked their money down to see it – something a critic rarely has to do) calls it “unwatchable” – these two reviews together really just come off as intellectual snobbery with no real purpose except to go against the grain, and maybe, possibly garner hits for their respective websites… ya think?, a music publication, currently has Travers’ zero star review as the main article on their front page, and no doubt it will probably stay there for most of the weekend. Wait, so even as he curses this money-making, whoring tripe, he and his own publication ride its coattails for advertising dollars? Say it ain’t so Joe.

I suppose that Ebert and Travers, even as I type, are shaking their heads over how many more Tree of Life’s could have been made with that Transformer 3 money. You know what? No thanks, and go fuck yourselves.

It’s friggin’ robots that turn into cars based off a Saturday morning cartoon from the 1980’s. Considering its pedigree its pretty fucking good. Why can’t they review it based off of that? My eyeballs were happy. (We also had a pretty pumped crowd in the theatre so it’ll probably be one that’ll be more fun to catch this opening weekend, rather than later in the summer.)

Let me nitpick one of the reviews:

Ebert – “…incomprehensible Autobots and Decepticons sliced up into spurts of action with no sense of the space they occupy.”

This is a favorite complaint of Ebert’s regarding any action movie he doesn’t like. Here it holds no water. There was no moment in the action – (which could arguably be said to go on to long – I won’t argue that, but it could be argued) – where I didn’t know what was going on from shot to shot or what space I, or the robots, were in. In fact, several times the action went into slow motion so you could enjoy exactly what was happening in full, slo-mo, ultra-dramatic detail. Maybe Ebert needs a new prescription for his glasses, but with a few exceptions, this common complaint of his is beginning to become suspiciously frequent.

Do you think perhaps that its sour grapes, as Travers alludes to in his review? Disappointment that critics really have no effect on the grosses of this type of film – that it is in fact critic proof? So instead of fairly rating it on the popcorn, and bubble gum that it is (a concession they’re more than willing to give 2nd tier superhero flicks Green Lantern and Thor) they instead rate it poorly only to prove to themselves their own cultural impotence? So they have yet another thing to shake their heads sadly over? They’re in mourning. So sad it is, and what a great thing the average movie goer is missing out on in not listening to them, not reading them, not giving their money to the “unwatchable” Tree of Life?

In his review, Peter Travers considers the possibility of his own irrelevance, but misunderstands the reasons for that potential irrelevance.

The movie is far from perfect, but so are these asshole reviews.

Eh – but enough bitching. U2 had a new unreleased song in the movie that worked as the ‘love theme’. Here’s them performing it in Miami a night ago where they namecheck the movie and Michael Bay.



  1. I love all of Bay’s Transformers movies… I think if the director can give the audience what they want, and it’s what he likes to do as well, then that’s the best relationship between the director and the audience šŸ˜€

  2. Interesting point about the relationship between the director and audience. When critics are so damning and insulting with their incredibly, undeserving lowball ratings does it occur to them that perhaps their insulting not just the film, but its audience? And they wonder why people pull out the word “elitist” on them all the time?

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