Jul 3, 2011
Review of a Movie I Ain't Gonna See: Transformers 3
What I find most offensive of all is not the millions of dollars spent in morally debased, deliberately stupid and neuron-killing entertainments such as this one, or that seriously good actors like John Turturro and Frances McDormand sully themselves by eating from this trough (I never begrudge actors their job choices, but there should be a limit). What I find incomprehensible is who decided that Shia LeBoeuf is a movie star. The man looks like a surly and maggot encrusted version of the Pillsbury Doughboy, with the difference that the corporate mascot has more charisma. LeBoeuf is not only a blight to look at, but has no discernible talent. Why would anyone believe that women want to be with him? Or that he is heroic? That Steven Spielberg/Michael Bay are enamored of him is unfathomable to me, and my theory is that sometimes directors prefer toothless leading men because they offer no real competition in the quién es más macho department, or they confuse "everyman" with what my friend Rebeca used to call tofu ice cream, meaning people of extreme blandness (remember Mark Hamill in Star Wars?). The only thing that made Star Wars palatable to me was Harrison Ford, for he seemed to be the only sentient being with personality in the entire franchise (except perhaps for Yoda).
Spencer Tracy, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden, Harrison Ford, George Clooney, Shia LeBoeuf? If anything goes to show how far we have fallen in Hollywood's rejection of urbane, sophisticated, mature, sexy manhood, he has to be it; he and tofu ice creams like Robert Pattinson, Ryan Reynolds and that blob of ground meat with eyes called Taylor Lautner. Are Hollywood machers afraid of bona fide movie stars with a soul and an edge, charisma and charm, because the 15 years old at the mall can't relate? It's the end of the world and you know it.
Of course not even a resurrected William Holden would make me want to sit through a Michael Bay movie, which leads me to my second point. Computer graphics as deployed by Hollywood today remind me of the Nazi Party. Technically admirable, extraordinarily effective and impressive to look at, perhaps, but soul crushing in their heartlessness.
Hollywood seems to be following the wrong instinct (they are laughing all the way to the bank, and if they were to read this sentence they would be crying with laughter, but still). We humans have a deep, primal and unique instinct for storytelling, but movies like Transformers are not telling stories any more. They are so debased in their quest for profit supremacy, in their appalling conquest of every movie screen known to man, that they are not even formulas anymore. They are as much storytelling as reading a supermarket list. They are just crunching numbers. You might as well look at the box office receipts and get your movie adventure hard-on right there.