So I was watching the coming attractions and compiling a list of movies I will not be seeing: Year One, Land of the Lost, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra (and GI Joe: All the Ones that Come After This One)... and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The audience reacted favorably to all of them but particularly to this last one and I wondered, could I have been mistaken in dissing it? Everyone I knew who had seen it loved it! (Of course, these were people I never solicited for advice about movies or anything else of consequence, but hey, everything doesn’t have to be Citizen Kane to be enjoyable, right?) After all, the people who wrote the screenplay were also involved, in varying degrees, with Lost, Fringe and Star Trek, so how bad could it be?Well, we start off with the portentous (and pretentious) prologue about the war and the All Spark. If James Earl Jones says it, maybe it sounds special, but when I say it, it sounds like an off-brand emergency generator (“You’re never in the dark with the All Spark! Available at Wal-Mart and other fine stores.”) The attack on the base was cool and I’m going, “Hey, that’s Sucre from Prison Break! That’s Aaron from 24! That’s the guy from... that other movie—and that one’s a rapper!” The movie was actually enjoyable in an exceeded-my-lowest-expectations kind of way—and then the Transformers showed up en masse and things went south from there.I found myself asking, How much does a Transformer weigh? They’re hanging off bridges and buildings—How do they support the extra weight? I reasoned, if the All Spark can start out the size of the Vehicle Assembly Building and fold up into something the size of a basketball that Sam can carry with no apparent difficulty, maybe they have some ability to distribute their mass across other dimensions—but then I decided that was too much thinking to explain a movie based on a cartoon. That was inspired by a toy.The absurdities kept piling up (We’ve got something a homicidal race of robots wants—let’s hide it in a heavily populated area!) When the battle starts, I kept wondering, Why are these people still coming into a danger zone instead of running the other way, like people do in a real emergency? And—And I decided I was right the first time. And I’m sure I’m right about the others on my no-watch list. And if I’m wrong…I can live with that. Happily.

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