As you might have heard by now, Transformers is coming to IMAX, which is pretty good news for someone like me because -- despite my issues with the film -- I enjoyed the movie for what it was. As I wrote back in June, I enjoyed the movie primarily because Shia LaBeouf has a good screen presence and the giant transforming robot action was loads of fun. But I did have my issues with the movie; here are three problems the IMAX super-screen won't fix.
1. The Bad Acting
I've already expressed my disdain for Anthony Anderson's increasing use of comedic crutches (see: yelling) so I won't go on at length other than to say that an IMAX-sized Anderson skull shouting at the top of his lungs every "punch line" in heart-pounding Dolby surround sound is too much of a good thing.
In other news, I'd like to know how Jon Voight managed to keep a straight face during his screen time. Neither guilt nor hilarity can be glimpsed upon his face, proving what kind of actor he really is. Director Michael Bay must have intense methods in dealing with his actors. I'm thinking threat of electrocution was key.
As for John Turturro, his performance could end up as an even more embarrassing one (anything is possible). In the original release you could whistle in your seat maybe, look up at the roof, tap your foot frantically and pretend it wasn't really happening. But now ... it's there and even more in your face. As for two actors I did like in the film -- Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox -- maybe we'll see more zits this time around.
2. The Bad Dialogue
This is where I give Shia a lot of credit. It isn't just the bad dialogue he is forced to deliver, it's how well he handles the bad dialogue he's fed from other actors. That's no small task.
Unfortunately, he can't carry the weight in every single scene. Note to Michael Bay: a robot asking another robot "You want a piece of me? Huh?" will always be funny whether or not you intend it to be so. Also, "What's crackin', bitches?" should never leave a robot's hard drive. Not even a pimp robot on high-rising goldfish shoes should utter those words. Finally, I have a rule I live by and it's kept me warm on cold winter nights for many a year. Whenever Tyrese screams, "Bring it!" in any movie at any time, I slam my fist on my knees uncontrollably and laugh for 45 minutes straight. It's better than whiskey.
3. The Surplus of Humans
Too many humans and too many human subplots. Did we really need the military angle focused on so intently? Did we really need the ridiculous young, hot Australian hacker thread? Did we need Jon Voight or the desert troops? Did their stories go anywhere that actually added to the film? Can I ask any more questions in a single paragraph? The answer to all of these questions is, of course, the same: No.
Naturally, this only takes away from the Transformers' storylines and arcs and really, that's what people really wanted to see. What's Megatron's story? Why did he call out Starscream like that at the end? Why does he seem so backed up? Audiences are treated to plenty of movies that feature two-dimensional human characters. We don't need another. We want to know more about the robots. For example, I'd really like to know how Transformer babies are made, but maybe that's going in a direction we'd all be better off not visiting. Especially not in IMAX, eh?
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Dre writes three times a week for Film.com. He can transform into a zombie in front of the TV like that. Email him!