Transformers: The Dark of the Moon

Culture Warrior

From the second half of the twentieth century onward, our view of NASA and its associated lore in movies have been inseparable. The astronaut, a uniquely American frontier hero whose myth and iconography made them the cowboy of the second half of the 20th century, has a position in our cultural memory that is inseparable from cinematic imagination. From pre-moon landing science fiction that dreamed of potential encounters with distant worlds through an organized space program (Planet of the Apes, 2001: A Space Odyssey) to reenactments of history celebrating the space program and the individuals involved (The Right Stuff, Apollo 13) to NASA/moon landing documentaries (For All Mankind, In the Shadow of the Moon) to later, more divergent science-fiction films that have emerged since the prominence of NASA has lessened (Armageddon and so on), NASA, space exploration, the moon landing, and its imagined associations have retained a prominent place in cinematic mythmaking prompted by continued fascination with the frontier of space and humanity’s place in it. Hell, we’ve wondered about the moon since the beginning of cinema. That our collective experience of space in both fiction (i.e., narrative cinema) and non-fiction has been via the moving image (i.e., watching the moon landing on TV) is perhaps what most thoroughly cements this porous association between NASA and its cinematic myth.

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as BlurryProjector and TheGeneralRulz in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, they ponder the wildly wide-spread Mark Harris article, “The Day the Movies Died,” alongside the new infographic proving movies have gotten worse. We really need a scapegoat, huh? Is marketing really to blame? Are movies really getting worse? If so, how do we, the fans, fix them?

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as ArtHouseParty and Jonesin4Indy in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the two wander into dangerous, job-threatening territory with the question of whether movie websites are helping the boon of remakes, reboots, and otherwise unoriginal flicks hitting theaters. There’s a story crisis in Hollywood. Are movie websites partially to blame?

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One doesn’t have to do with the other, but both are happening. The extra who was injured when a cable ripped through her vehicle and her skull last month is now suing Paramount Pictures for negligence. Gabriel Cedillo might also want to think about suing them for the name they’ve changed the movie to. It was inevitable, following the pattern of Revenge of the Fallen that we’d see a Noun of the Noun name, but why they saw fit to cause hundreds of Pink Floyd references crop up is unclear. The new title, of course, is Transformers: The Dark of the Moon. [Cinematical]

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