Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

Kindly direct email to:
dorianwright [at] gmail[dot]com

"Reading his blog is like watching a beloved 50's Rat Pack Vegas act"--Larry Young
"One of the few comics blogs I always make time for"--Antony Johnston
"Dorian Wright is intelligent and slightly bitter, like a fine coffee."--Kevin Church
"Absolutely huggable."--Bully
"It's always fun to see Dorian be bitchy."--Chris Butcher
pomobarney's photos More of pomobarney's photos

Current Diversions


Doctor Who
Paperback Book Club

200404   200405   200406   200407   200408   200409   200410   200411   200412   200501   200502   200503   200504   200505   200506   200507   200508   200509   200510   200511   200512   200601   200602   200603   200604   200605   200606   200607   200608   200609   200610   200611   200612   200701   200702   200703   200704   200705   200706   200707   200708   200709   200710   200711   200712   200801   200802   200803   200804   200805   200806   200807   200808   200809   200810   200811  

Comment Policy
Offensive, harrassing or baiting comments will not be tolerated and will be deleted at my discretion.
Comment spam will be deleted.
Please leave a name and either a valid web-site or e-mail address with comments. Comments left without either a valid web-site or e-mail address may be deleted.

Atom Feed
LiveJournal Syndication LOLcats feed

This page is powered by 

Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Yes, I Am A Nerd 

You know how I've mentioned before that one of the problems with comic publishers is that they don't do a good enough job of separating out their children's lines from their general audience lines from their mature readers lines? Well, it's not a fault unique to comic publishers. Film-makers apparently have difficulty telling the three audiences apart as well. If you doubt my word on that, go and see Transformers, and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.

The Transformers film is an attempt to take a children's toy line and make it palatable for the general audience, but somehow along the way they ended up making a film for, well, guys my age, who played with the toys when they were kids, and now want the property to be as "serious" and "mature" as they imagine themselves to be. What you end up with is a film pretending to be for children, but with enough overtures towards sex and violence as to firmly place it in the "not for children" category. Let's take, for example, some of the violence. The film ends with a giant robot battle through a busy, densely populated city. The death toll from this fight must enter into the thousands, minimum. Yet that is all glossed over, because we're supposed to feel bad that one of the robots got hurt. It's a strange "Saturday morning" approach to the consequences of carnage, that simply doesn't fit with the "this is serious" tone it's supposed to be taking place in. The sexual references in the film are more of the sniggering adolescent variety, and don't fit in at all with either the "kid's movie" aspects or the "serious adult action film" aspects, but they did seem to make the many dads with young kids in the audience uncomfortable.

That tonal inconsistency is probably the most profound when the toy commercial aspects of the film come most to the fore. We're not meant, really, to identify with any of the human characters. At best, they're broadly sketched and one-note. The robots, ironically, are the only characters with which any effort has been made to develop their personalities. And even that was limited. Amongst the Decepticons, the only robot to have anything resembling a personality on display is Frenzy; the other evil robots all have interchangeable "evil thug" personas. You suspect the only reason they even have names is so that there is something to put on the toy boxes. It's also particularly notable whenever Optimus Prime or Megatron are speaking. To the delight of hard-core Transformers fans, I'm sure, their dialogue sounds like something directly lifted from the cartoons. And that's when you realize that something which kinda-sorta worked in a campy half-hour toy commercial for the 12-and-under set utterly fails to work in a serious adult action film clocking in at two hours plus. It becomes cringe-worthy, and you start to hope that Bumblebee's inability to speak English was a trait shared by all the robots.

The height, however, of this inconsistency of tone, is a scene in which Shia Labeouf must explain, totally straight-faced, the back-story behind the film to skeptical government agents. It's an utterly ridiculous scene, and an utterly ridiculous story he's expected to tell. And the other actors must react to him as if he's putting all the pieces into place and now everything in the film makes sense. It's utterly absurd in it's postmodern decadence, and I can only pity Mr. Labeouf, as I can only imagine the number of times the scene had to be shot and reshot, the number of takes ruined by Labeouf or the other actors cracking up at the sheer stupidity of what they're expected to swallow.

Had these tonal problems been solved, the film could have been enjoyable, perhaps even fun. There's nothing wrong with "dumb" action movies, especially when they're not trying to be anything other than what they are. But as these problems keep coming up, I found myself being less and less well-disposed to the film. My inner 12 year old was okay with the idea of big robots slamming twelve kinds of hell out of each other. But, if you're going to make a movie for twelve year olds, make a movie for twelve year olds. Don't make a movie for thirty year old men who can't get over a toy they liked when they were twelve.

The only redeeming grace for the film, is that without it, we probably wouldn't have gotten these little guys made:

Labels: ,


Featured Links

Blue Marble Bounty
Hallowed Tree Furniture
Jed Dougherty
John's Journal
Inner Light Community Gospel Choir

Latest Links

Stuff Geeks Love Armagideon Time Living Between Wednesdays Benjamin Birdie
Get Off The Internet
Ken Lowery

Comics Blogs

New Comic Weblogs Updates

Again With the Comics
All Ages
Artistic License
Batfatty Vs. the Chocodiles
Bear in the City
Benjamin Birdie
Blockade Boy
Broken Glass Makes Me Laugh
Bully Says
Chaos Monkey
Clea's Cave
Collected Editions
Comics Ate My Brain
Comics Fairplay
Comic Treadmill
Crisis/Boring Change
Dave's Long Box
Delenda est Carthago
Doctor K's 100-Page Super Spectacular
Eddie-torial Comments
Flesh-Head's Treehouse
Gay Comics List
Gay League
Milo George
Giant Fighting Robot Report
Heroes & Villains
House of L
House of the Ded
The Hurting
In Sequence
Inside Out
Invincible Super-Blog
Irresponsible Pictures
Jog-The Blog
Johnny Bacardi Show
Kid Chris
Lady, That's My Skull
Ledger Domain
Let's You and Him Fight
Living Between Wednesdays
Motime Like the Present
Near Mint Heroes
Noetic Concordance
Of Course, Yeah
one diverse comic book nation
Polite Dissent
Precocious Curmudgeon
Pretty, Fizzy Paradise
Prism Comics
Progressive Ruin
Project Rooftop
Random Happenstance
Random Panels
Read About Comics
Revoltin' Developments
Roar of Comics
Seven Hells
Silent Accomplice
Snap Judgments
So I Like Superman
Sporadic Sequential
Super Underwear Perverts
Suspension of Disbelief
Trickle of Conciousness
Vintage Spandex
Welt am Draht
When Fangirls Attack
Word on the Street
Written World
Yaoi 911
Yet Another Comics Blog

Comic Creators and Publishers

Bloodstains on the Looking Glass
Boom! Studios
Brit Doodz
Channel Surfing
Comic Book Heaven
Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba
Ferret Press
Tim Fish
Flaming Artist
Kaja Foglio
Steve Gerblog
Highway 62
Illusive Arts
Innocent Bystander
Ralf Koenig
The Less Said The Better
Steve MacIsaac
Man's Adventure
Grant Morrison
Mostly Black
Tom of Finland Foundation
Viper Comics
Mike Wieringo's Sketch Blog
X-Ray Spex

Web Comics

Adam and Andy
Best of Friends
Captain Confederacy
Deep Fried
Dork Tower
The Gay Monsters
Get Your War On
K Chronicles
Kyle's Bed and Breakfast
Pass Fail Studios
The Rack
Split Lip
Tom the Dancing Bug
The Web Comic List

Culture & Politics

Kevin Allison
Armagideon Time
Dario Argento
BBC News
Big Bad Blog
Brian's Drive-In Theater
Camp Blood
Captain Corey
Center of Gravitas
A Child of Atom
Commerical Closet
Paul Cornell
Crocodile Caucus
Culture Pulp
John Oak Dalton
Dark, But Shining
Dark Loch
Dave Ex Machina
Philip K. Dick
Digital Digressions
Feminine Miss Geek
Film Experience Blog
Final Girl
Fortean Times
Gay Gamer
Gay Porn Blog
Rick Gebhardt's World
Get Off The Internet
Good As You
Homefront Radio
Insufficient Homosexual
Joe My God
Chris Karath
Kung Fu Monkey
LeftyBrown's Corner
Little Terrors
Ken Lowery
Miraclo Miles
Mr. Dan Kelly
My Three Dollars Worth
No Sword
Phil Ochs
One Hundred Little Dolls
Or Alcoholism
The Outbreak
Outpost Gallifrey
Pop Culture Gadabout
Pulp of the Day
The Rude Pundit
Screw Bronze
Sock Drawer
Something to be Desired
Street Laughter
Stuff Geeks Love
Tales from Treasure Island
Terry Pratchett
This Boy Elroy
This Modern World
Toner Mishap
Trusy Plinko Stick
Turning the Light Around
TLA Video
Unnatural Devotions
Vintage Beefcake
Warren Ellis
Wax Banks
Where Threads Come Loose
Where Threads Come Loose-Links
Whiskey and Failure
Wisse Words
You Know What I Like?

© 2007 Dorian Wright. Some images are © their respective copyright holders. They appear here for the purposes of review or satire only.