Friday, July 1, 2011

Blowing Up This Week

The major movie over this weekend, and the big fourth of July event film is, but of course, Michael Bay's third entry in the Transformers series.  Right on schedule two years after the dreadful (and looong) and noisy Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which arrived two years after (nearly to the day) of the very first Hasboro-inspired sensory onslaught, the journey of the Autobots and their odd attachment to Shia LaBeouf continues, this time famously missing Megan Fox (I suppose comparing her director to Hitler didn't win her any favors; she's recast, or whatever, by British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.)  What's fascinating, more so than the movies themselves is the career of Michael Bay.  After a successful run in music videos, and now with nine feature films to his credits, and well as numerous successful outings as a producer, he's the most successfully hated director perhaps in Hollywood history.  None of his features (outside of the ill-fated 2005 outing The Island, an awkward Logan's Run-type story) have been commercial duds, and despite critical raping nearly every time out, here's a wiz-bang, blow 'em up auteur that intrigues, that despite tyrannical press releases, always manages to garner not just buttloads of box office, but draws in an unusually high-prestige cast nearly every time (Steve Buscemi, John Turturro are regulars; and actors from Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery and Billy Bob Thornton and Ewan McGregor have taken the Bay trip; Transformers: Dark of the Moon adds highbrown thespians Frances McDormand and John Malkovich to the Bay mix.)  His films have also netted 13 Oscar nominations, winning one for the sound editing of Pearl Harbor.  Part of the fun of his movies (even when they're epic failures) is that I think we all secretly or not so secretly want them to fail due to the mindless indulgences and illogical storytelling, but his popcorn sensibilities and pure artificial goofiness sometimes have an almost infectious charm; 2006's Alcatraz lark The Rock is my favorite just because it's implausible absurdity ekes a grin every time.  And while the case may almost remain whether his derision is called for or not, I suppose I would be lying if I said I wasn't going to see his latest, and while I fully expect to hate it and pick it apart for my own amusement, yet that itself, no matter how mean-spirited, has a certain charm as well.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon has already grossed $64.6 million, thanks it's early Wednesday opening and Tuesday night sneaks and midnight screenings.  It will, like it or not, be the top-seller this weekend, and likely the top seller of the summer.  Also available in 3-D.

Also opening this week:
  • Larry Crowne- A generically nauseating comedy starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.
  • Monte Carlo- Tweener fantasy starring Selena Gomez.
  • The Perfect Host- Creepy looking indie starring David Hyde Piece (limited release.)
  • Terri- Awkward looking coming of age tale with John C. Rielly (limited release.)

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