Two Angry Nerds: Transformers

two angry nerds — dan cohen and jason stives — bring us their first column … about Transformers

Its hard being a nerd. We are snooty, sometimes snobbish, but we know what we like. That being said, we have gripes with the world of pop culture, goddammit! Here at Pop-Break, we have done many things geek related but we have never vented. Today, the venting begins as Jason Stives and Daniel Cohen take on all things already on the minds of fellow nerds but this time we throw away the pocket protectors and just dig into what really grinds our gears. This week:

With all its success a few years ago, why does Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen still absolutely suck as a sequel and an overall film?

Daniel Cohen

With Transformers: Dark Of The Moon just around the corner, I’ve been recently having nightmares about my past experience watching the horror that is Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen. I often find myself waking up in a cold sweat as images of bad acting, shaky cam action, and awful jokes flash in my head. I just need to vent and let it all out.

First of all, the atrocity begins with Mudflap and Skids, the stereotype robots who say things like ‘pop a cap in his ass.’ Really!? Wow. I just can’t fathom Michael Bay in post-production thinking that was funny. How does a human being let that through in the editing room? Oh, and let’s not forget the part where one of them is shot while an ice cream truck and cleverly retorts, ‘brain freeze.’ Holy Moses. That’s worse than any of Mr. Freeze’s ice puns from Batman & Robin.

The characters Skids and Mudflap give one angry nerd nightmares.

Here are a few other things that raised my blood pressure: Dogs humping pillows. Robot’s humping Megan Fox. Megan Fox’s acting. John Turturro’s underwear. Mom getting high on brownies. The excruciating run time. Impossible to follow action. The loud and obnoxious score. Sam’s annoying roommate Leo. Robot Heaven. The blabbering incoherent farting robot. And let’s not forget one of most degrading and painful images ever to appear on screen: A close-up of Transformer balls swinging back and forth like a pendulum. If seeing ‘rosebud’ in Citizen Kane is an iconic film image, then so is this for all the wrong reasons.

Probably the thing I hate most about Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen though is that it’s the 11th highest grossing domestic film of all time. Can anything save Transformers: Dark Of The Moon? Well, there are already good signs. No more Megan Fox or Leo, and no stereotype robots. That’s a good start. I pray the run time is no more than two hours. And honestly, don’t even try humor anymore. The jokes in the last movie were painful enough. Just focus on Optimus Prime, the only intriguing character in the series. As far as the humans go, Shia LaBeouf and Josh Duhamel are fine, but can we please limit John Turturro and Sam Witwicky’s parents. I think I’ll be okay because I’m more prepared to enter a shit show, whereas with the last one, I had no idea what I was walking into. Bottom line: Transformers: Dark Of The Moon can’t be worse than the last movie, right?

Jason Stives

Well, I may not be as vindictive about Revenge Of The Fallen as my cohort; but his points are more than valid. I think to this day my psyche and tolerance still hasn’t fully recovered from wise cracking racist robots and a digger with a set of mechanical testicles the size of Michael Bay’s ego.

All of the things mentioned already are true, pot brownie eating mothers, robots humping Megan fox’s legs, Megan Fox, Megan Fox. Did I mention the star of Jennifer’s Body as a lynch pin to the film’s shitiness? What Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen suffered from the most was over self indulgence. While I admit that Michael Bay is the king of over-the-top, there was a time where I loved the mindless action films he put out, I mean, I still rank The Rock and Armageddon as two of my favorite action films to this day. Whatever he got right to varying degrees with the first film, he somehow mistepped on the second one.

Neither of our nerds were thrilled with Megan Fox in Transformers 2

Plus there is the subject of the Fallen of the title, a built up baddy of Galactus-like proportions that in the end gets its Decepticon ass handed to it by a character who was suppose to be dead. Not the best way to display a creature you spent an entire film and marketing campaign trying to promote as being worse than Megatron.

Speaking of Megatron, what a lackey in this one! For a guy who promised to take down humanity in the first one (and convincingly so), he was relegated to a backup plan to a greater power. Some may view all these points as snobbish but you know what, I’m not apologizing. Action films are indeed suppose to be the time you turn off the mind for a couple hours, but when you insult my intelligence with robot ball jokes, John Turturro in a thong, and horrible acting from someone married to a washed-up 90210 actor then you’ve pissed me off and an apology is demanded.

I’m not the only who feels this way. Yeah, the movie made a ton of money in 2009, but that doesn’t mean everyone who came away from it liked it, and critically it sure as hell was butchered to Green Lantern-like proportions.

As I said, there needed to be some apologizing for this burning turd and not from me. In fact, I just let the film’s star and director do that for me and they did, which brings us to Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. At this time, I am mere hours away from seeing this third installment in regular widescreen format (screw paying 17 bucks for Imax and 3D), and already this films seems to be doing better commercially and critically in the span of hours of it being released. The concept intrigues me, the idea that the American/Russian space race was all a ploy to find out that the Decepticons crashed on the moon. The trailer definitely makes the film look epic, I mean EPIC! So it doesn’t matter what format I see it in, if it’s good it will hold up and I’m hoping that I can just turn off for a bit and enjoy some hardcore robot on robot ass-kicking.

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.