Kevin Carr’s Weekly Report Card for 06.26.09

FSR's Weekly Report Card


Studio: DreamWorks

Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, language, some crude and sexual material, and brief drug use.

Starring: Megan Fox, Shia LaBeouf, Rainn Wilson, Hugo Weaving and John Turturro

Directed by: Michael Bay

What it’s about: Giant robots. Blowing shit up. With hot chicks.

What I liked: If Michael Bay is good for anything in modern American cinema, it is for making whip-ass action movies. Throw in some giant robots with mad ninja skills, and you have the makings of an awesome action flick.

The action in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is easily some of the best you’ll ever see, and it’s arguably better than that found in the first film (mainly because you get to actually watch the climactic battle at the end rather than hearing it while dunderhead characters whine at each other). And this is the reason to see this movie. Robots blowing shit up! That’s what it’s all about.

Oh, and there’s plenty of eye candy to go around, with a spotlight on Megan Fox, and that’s okay in my book.

What I didn’t: While the action was awesome and the robots were uber-cool, the story sucked. And when I say sucked, I mean SUCKED! Blame it on the writer’s strike or blame it on Michael Bay not giving a crap and wanting to get to the robots blowing shit up, but Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is one of the most convoluted scripts I’ve seen in a Michael Bay movie… and that’s saying something.

Whenever the robots aren’t blowing shit up, the movie stumbles around with disjointed, awkward attempts at comedy. Bay might be able to nail a 30-second “Got Millk?” ad, but his grasp of witty banter in the long-form is non-existent.

And while I loved looking at the hot chicks, it was like eating dinner at Hooters… all tease and no payoff. Maybe if they had Megan Fox running around in a string bikini, it’d be great, but she’s not really as appealing as she could be, given her staggering lack of any acting talent whatsoever. I’d rather look at her almost nude pics from the Jennifer’s Body shoot.

Finally, the film’s biggest sin is the unnecessarily long running time of 2 1/2 hours. Word is that Bay wanted more time to trim the movie down, but I can’t see why a couple hours in the editing bay couldn’t have spared us at least a half hour of crappy dialogue and unfunny busted comedy moments. Sure, it’s fun to look at, but this ego piece of epic proportions has more in common with last year’s Speed Racer than any Baygasm freak might like to admit.

Who is gonna like this movie: People who like watching robots blow shit up… and looking at hot chicks who never get naked.

Grade: B-


Studio: New Line Cinema

Rated: PG-13 for mature thematic content, some disturbing images, sensuality, language and brief teen drinking.

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Alec Baldwin, Abigail Breslin, Joan Cusack and Sofia Vassilieva

Directed by: Nick Cassavetes

What it’s about: Abigail Breslin plays a girl whose parents had her genetically engineered as a natural donor for her sister who is dying of lukemia. When she needs to donate a kidney, she sues her parents for the right to make her own medical decisions.

What I liked: This movie was well shot and well acted. That’s my equivalent of saying “the costumes were nice” after a crappy community theater performance.

I suppose that people who like to go to movies so they can have a good cry are going to love this film. Yes, it will tug at the heart strings. Yes, it will bring up some interesting issues to discuss. No, it’s not going to be remembered as fondly as The Notebook. But at least it’s better than Cassavetes last effort, Alpha Dog.

What I didn’t: I’m a cynical S.O.B., so I wasn’t taken in with this film’s heart string tugs. Maybe if it featured a dog with cancer that died like the one at the end of Marly & Me, I might have liked it more. However, the emotional jabs just seemed a bit too calculated and deliberate to fool me.

Also, the premise of the film involves parents that basically create a child to be an organ and tissue farm for their other daughter. Call me crazy or overly conservative, but that’s just sick. As a parent, I fully understand the love for a child and the desire to keep that child alive at all costs… but not at the cost of another child.

Cameron Diaz’s character of the mother is utterly reprehensible throughout the film. It’s clear where her loyalties lie, and I could not bring myself to look at her with a sympathetic eye. Her behavior is just plain frakked up, and I couldn’t get past it to really enjoy the movie.

Who is gonna like this movie: People who looooooooove tear-jerkers.

Grade: C-

Kevin Carr crawled from the primordial ooze in the early 1970s. He grew up watching movies to the point of irritation for his friends and was a font of useless movie knowledge until he decided to put that knowledge to good use. Now, Kevin is a nationally syndicated critic, heard on dozens of radio stations around the country, and his reviews appear in a variety of online outlets. Kevin is also a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA).

Read More from Kevin Carr
Get Film School Rejects in your email. All the cool kids are doing it:
Previous Article
Next Article
Reject Nation
Leave a comment
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!