For a movie no one liked and got universally panned an awful lot of you went to see it this summer. Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen proves the adage that I guess we critics really don’t matter (even though I believe I was one of the few who thought it was ok – not great.) It’s become the highest earner of the year with over $400 million smackers in domestic box office, bringing it’s worldwide take to a staggering $800 million dollars. What happened to the idea that negative word of mouth is a bad thing? Obviously not. Between Transformers, G.I. Joe and Star Trek, Paramount Pictures the studio that couldn’t deliver a hit if their life depended on it, is now rolling in the franchises. They may all be crap, but audiences are lapping it up.
Ok, before I start my rambling, incoherent review of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, let’s start with a PSA Announcement. (In my Voiceover voice) Parents, if you don’t know how to control your kids in public, KEEP THEM AT HOME!! God, one of these days, I’m going to get into fisticuffs with these bad, annoying movie goers. But there’s nothing worse than a Parent who won’t control their freaking kids. I swear there was this kid who was talking at the top of his lungs through the ENTIRE movie. It was driving me mad.
One woman got up and left in the beginning of the movie saying “I can’t take this anymore” and yelled at the woman learn to control your kid. Then about a 1 1/2 in, I snapped and yelled at the woman to keep her Kid quiet. Her response almost sent me over the edge, what was it you kind readers ask? “I already asked him to be quiet. He’s 4 years old, what do you expect me to do?” What kind of response could I have to that? It’s called freaking DISCIPLINE! Take the brat out of the theater! Go home! Of course I didn’t say these things, but I desperately wanted to. At first she threatened to take the kid out of the theater and he was like, “No, no… I want to stay.” So of course she did NOTHING, I HATE parents who refuse to control their devil spawn in public. I think we act as enablers for these bad parents, because we are all too scared to say anything. If more people speak up, maybe, in my dream world these parents would get the message that people will no longer put up with these monsters.
Last year, Hollywood proved once and for all that we can have big Tentpole films that are both Big, Intelligent, Original and Fun. This year it looks like they reverted back to form and are going for whatever is “safe.” The only movie I think I’m really actively looking forward to seeing is GI Joe and the Bonnie and Clyde Movie (forget the name). Everything else is just, eh. Here’s a list of summer films that I’m not looking forward to seeing – I think they’ll probably be entertaining and will get huge box office numbers, but will they actually be good or great – no.
I’ve never been a fan of the prequel or the “reimagining,” and I not sure how far the new Star Trek film is on the “reimagining” piece of the puzzle but I’m just not feeling this cast. All of the footage looks pretty amazing, lots of good space battles, the ships look huge and beautiful. This is another one of these films that’s been mishandled by the studio, I was interested in seeing this movie last year, after it got pushed back I lost interest and no matter how many times I see the trailers for this, I can’t seem to get excited.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
I loved the first Harry Potter film so much that I ran out and read the first two books and got hooked on the series. I became an obsessive Pothead, devouring 100,000 word fanfiction, trolling the Potter forums for any information on the upcoming books and movies. Book 3 came out and was great, but book 4 floored me. The last hundred pages of Goblet of Fire was filled with inventive action, mystery and drama. It perfectly set up the rest of the series to become this bad ass, over the top action piece. Then came Order of the Phoenix and everything completely fell apart. Nothing really happens in Order after all the talk about how evil and bad the Death Eaters and Voldemort we don’t get to see any of it until the end of Phoenix. The book felt like it was there to simply be filler. An 800 page book that’s nothing but filler. While the books became progressively worse, so have the movies. I blame Alfonso Cuarón who completely changed the look and tone of the film. He got rid of the bright colors and beautiful cinematography from the first to films and replaced it with this “gritty,” “grimy,” “realistic” view of the world. Of course the critics went crazy for the new tone, but me, I HATED it, it made the Potter world “common.” And that’s not what I wanted.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is an even worse book than Order of the Phoenix, the Wizarding War is completely in the background, I understand the point of the book is to show how kids and people in general live during War time – that life still goes on, but JKR spends 4 books setting everything up perfectly and never follows through. She totally destroys Ron’s character in HBP, I used to be a Ron and Hermione shipper but after HBP I’m convinced that not only shouldn’t they be together, because any relationship they have would be completely abusive, but they shouldn’t even be friends. The entire plot of HBP could have been solved in a few pages if anyone actually believed Harry about Draco. In the past 5 books everyone complained that Harry never went to any teacher with his suspicions, in HBP he tells almost everyone in the book what’s going on and no one takes him seriously. They are supposedly at war, everyone knows Harry’s at the center of it, and he’s more than earned the benefit of the doubt (yeah he screwed up at the end of Order) and their reaction is always, “oh, Voldemort would never use a teenager?” Really? The most evil Wizard in history would never use Teenagers?
Even though I loathed the book, I still forgave it, thinking ok, we still have Dealthy Hallows and that’s really going to be over the top great – boy was I wrong. JKR cared more about “Swerving” the audience then following a logical story progression in the last 3 books. She actively did the opposite of everything she sets up previously. Characters aren’t consistent, no one really dies a “heroic” death, no big battles, just terrible. I also hate MIchael Gambon as Dumbledore. I’m hoping the films take some liberties with the materials and at least show us that, yes, they are at war and not just talk about it. Then there’s the way WB has poorly handled the release of this movie. They don’t show a trailer or anything from the movie until a month before it’s November release, then at the last minute decide to push it back by 8 months. For all of these reasons and more, I’m not looking forward to seeing Half Blood Prince.