Posted on 01/01/12 07:03 PM | Last edited on 01/01/12 07:03 PM
Originally, this was supposed to be the blog for my top 5 films of the year but the next film on my list got me writing for a while so I'll release this one now and do 4-1 for tomorrow.
What better way to start things off with a controversial choice. As I mentioned in my last blog, there was going to be one film on this list that will no doubt be on many people's 'worst of the year' list. Number 5 is that movie. Even though this film made a lot of money at the box office, that doesn't mean that it got good reviews. I'll go as far and say that this was the most hated movie of 2011, and most unfairly hated I might add. Now this and none of its predecessors are masterpiece films but I feel like people expect way too much out of them. Not only was this film the best in the series so far, but it was a huge improvement over its predecessor. If you haven't guessed yet...
5. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
I don't think anyone likes any of these 'Transformers' movies now, which I find really disappointing because I distinctly remember a lot of people liked the first film when it came out back in 2007. Seriously, what the hell happened there? Then of course came Revenge of the Fallen which got incredibly bashed and scored multiple Razzies. I've gone on record and said that even I think that film's a mess but I wouldn't dare call it the worst of the year. Let's face it, aside from Star Trek, Harry Potter 6, and the Hangover, 2009 wasn't really that great of a year for summer movies.
And now Dark of the Moon has come out, yet again getting bashed by critics, and rather harshly I might add. Revenge of the Fallen obviously was a mess of a film, but I fail to see why Dark of the Moon is worse. This was by far the best out of the series, and it heavily improved on most of the faults from Revenge. Now let me set the record straight, I'm not putting this on here just to be a fanboy. Why? Because aside from these movies, I am not a fan of Transformers. I've only seen the original cartoon once and I haven't since. Also, for those of you who don't think I get the picture, don't okay because I do get it. Even I get it that this, as well as any film in this series, is far from perfect, but I'm honestly putting this film at this spot because I genuinely think it's a really good movie that is FAR better than what critics are saying.
One of the biggest problems with Revenge of the Fallen was that it had a very weak plot. It really wasn't until halfway into the movie when it was revealed just what the Decepticons were looking for here on Earth. In Dark of the Moon, the plot is much better (for one thing, it doesn't take them long to explain the plot) and even if it isn't exactly that great, it works for a film of this genre. If anything, it does kind of fall similar to the plots of the last two films but that would be the only problem I see with it. Also, Revenge of the Fallen suffered from having way too much humor in it. Now, I'm fine with most of the humor in Revenge of the Fallen, but did we need to have a joke every five minutes? Here, it's toned down enough that it still works well without being too awkward. The filmmakers were smart enough to get rid of many of the annoying characters from the last film. Some are still there (primarily the parents) but their roles have been reduced.
So one of the main complaints towards this movie is that it's too long. So, we're not going to say that a film like Avatar was too long? Honestly, I don't feel that runtimes should really be a reason why one should like or dislike a movie. Really, the main thing people criticize this movie for is its 'wooden characters and dialogue'. When it comes to this, I would argue this; who seriously goes into these movies expecting strong characters, story, and dialogue? That's the main problem I have with the criticisms directed towards this movie in that I feel that critics expected too much from it. I never go into any of these movies expecting something like 'Amadeus'. This film, as well as the first two Transformers films, are perfect examples of summer blockbusters that don't need to be well-written to be entertaining. No film is perfect.
I know that none of the performances in this film are Oscar worthy, but again I feel that it works for this kind of the film. There's no better example of this than of the two leads. Unlike a lot of people, I don't hate Shia LaBeouf and I think he was perfect for the role of Sam Witwicky. As for the new female lead Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, I don't see how she is worse than Megan Fox. To be honest, Fox makes Whiteley look like Audrey Hepburn by comparison. She was ten times better than Megan Fox mainly because of one reason; her relationship with LaBeouf was much more believeable. Fox's character really didn't seem that interested in Sam. It seemed like she was just dragged along when things started to go down and really, for Whiteley's first film, she honestly isn't that bad of an actress. True, this may not've been the best choice for a film debut, but she wasn't that bad. I salute Bay and Spielberg for making the decision to get rid of Fox.
I also want to talk about three things in the film that have been heavily criticzed by some people while I find it utterly ridiculous to list as a valid complaint towards this film. The first is a line spoken by Sentinel Prime. The line, 'The needs of the many outweight the needs of the few', was spoken by Spock (Leonard Nimoy) in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Ironically, Nimoy voiced Sentinel Prime in this movie. Many are saying that they butchered the line but aside from the fact that a line never determines whether or not a movie is good or not, I would argue that it was a unique take on the line. In Star Trek II, Spock says this to remind Captain Kirk that 'the needs of the many' are more important than that of just one person. In Transformers, Sentinel is the villain whose goal is to restore the planet of Cybertron so when the Autobots try to stop him, he thinks that they don't care about their fellow Transformers. This line wasn't just added just because it would be cool to have Nimoy say it again, but it is actually given a sinister take on the meaning.
The second thing that many have noticed is that during the highway chase in Washington DC, Michael Bay uses two shots from the 2005 film 'The Island'. While it is undeniable that those shots were from that film, how do I put this lightly? Oh yeah, Bay directed that film too. The thing is, an extra got seriously injured while they were filming this so I'm fine if Bay decided to use a shot, mainly because it was from a movie he did. Sure, if it was from some other director's movie, that would be a big problem but because it was from one of Bay's movie, I don't mind.
But the complaint that angered me the most is that many consider one of the tracks from the score, 'It's Our Fight', a ripoff of the trailer music made by Zack Hemsey for Inception. Yes, the tracks are similar in style but I fail to see how it ripoffed Hemsey's work. This may be because I'm getting so tired of everyone calling this as such because in all serious, this was the best score of the year. Believe me, there were some really good scores this year from films like Patrick Doyle's score for Thor or Henry Jackman's score for X-Men: First Class. But the reason why I think this is the best score of the year is because composer Steve Jablonsky's score equally mixes emotional and serious themes with some really epic action music. With this film, Jablonsky has become one of the best composers of the industry in my opinion.
Now I do have one main complaint with the film in that I feel that it was rather mispromoted. Before it came out, it was being marketed by those who worked on it as a 'really serious' film but in the end, it was still just your basic Transformers movie. I don't think that's honestly a bad thing, but if they really wanted to make a really serious movie they should've done some more stuff. Aside from one of the main characters, the only major characters who die in this movie are just the Transformers themselves. Sure, the death of Ironside was unexpected but maybe the film would've been more serious is they killed off one of the main characters, perhaps Josh Duhamel or Tyrese Gibson's characters. I mean, Gibson doesn't appear until an hour into the movie.
But that's really the only real complaint I have with the movie, and it doesn't affect my opinion of the film in anyway. I would also like to point out that out of all of the films I've seen this year, Transformers Dark of the Moon is the best 3-D movie of the year because it it was actually filmed in 3-D. I've figured it out that if a movie is post-converted into 3-D then usually it isn't really that good. This film used 3-D the right way. That's where I'll end talking about this film. Will my opinion matter in the long run? Nope! This film will still get nominated for multiple Razzies and will probably win many of them. This will still be on a lot of people's 'Worst of the Year' list. But I feel that Transformers: Dark of the Moon has been rather unfairly criticized mainly because I think that many people expected too much from it and like him or not, Michael Bay is the best action director out there today. I'm happy that this film got a billion dollars and I'm proud to have contributed to that total twice (both times seeing it in 3-D).
Well, I actually have to end the blog here because this went on longer than I thought. So, check back soon for the conclusion where I list the Top 4 films of the year.