By July 5, 2007

“This is comic book stuff.”

Duke and I saw the Transformers movie yesterday. I am not going to go into the actual movie here, as some of you may not have seen it yet and I want to avoid spoiling it. I’ll just note that The Patented DrFaulken Movie Prediction System™ was correct again.

On to the trailer summary.

The Patented DrFaulken Movie Prediction System™
For those of you who haven’t been to a movie in the theater with me yet, I have a very trusted and accurate system for judging if the film will be good or not. I follow the previews before the film. I award one point for a good trailer. I deduct one point for a trailer for a movie that I wouldn’t want to see, or runs counter to the movie’s genre. For example, seeing a trailer for Pride & Prejudice before Alien vs. Predator is minus one point. By the way, the MPS properly determined that AvP would be utter shit.

  • Hot Rod: starring Adam Samberg from Saturday Night Live (and Dick in the Box fame) as a wannabe stuntman. I am not usually a fan of SNL-cast movies, but this one looked enjoyable. +1.
  • I Am Legend: the classic sci-fi story comes to the silver screen. Will Smith stars as the last (?) human survivor after civilization crumbles. There has been a lot of flak over Smith getting the role, but I think this movie is going to rock. +1.
  • The Game Plan: quick, what’s shrinking faster than the Rock’s muscles? His career. The Game Plan pits the Rock against a little girl who claims to be his daughter. This is the Scorpion King version of Vin Diesel’s The Pacifier. Come on guys, we liked you because you flexed nuts and blew shit up. “Twins” and “Kindergarten Cop” type movies only work for Arnold. Fucking -1.
  • The Simpsons Movie: I wasn’t excited about this film until I saw the trailer yesterday. The film looks like a hoot, and the colors were so vibrant on the big screen I might actually see this in the theater. The end of the trailer had everyone laughing out loud for quite some time. +1.
  • Untitled JJ Abrams monster movie: the link is to a write-up of the trailer and a synopsis of this ultra-secret film by LOST creator JJ Abrams. The trailer does not have a title, and does not have any real information about the film, which is due out in January of 2008. I thought that it was a trailer for a new Godzilla movie, but that does not seem to be the case. The best part of the trailer is at the end, the theater was shocked silent. +1.

Trailer total: +3. Hell yeah. The trailer synopsis fit Transformers overall: some great action, some good comedy, and a few rolleyes/groaner moments. Michael Bay did an outstanding job of referencing the Transformers cartoon and movie without turning the film into a live-action recreation of original material. For example, sometimes the familiar transform sound effects can be heard intermingled with the newer, more mechanical sound effects when the Transformers change modes, but not always. It’s a gentle nod to the fans, if you know what you’re looking/listening for.

I try not to tell my friends if I like a movie or not, but give them a sliding scale on when they should see it:

  • Pay full price at the theater.
  • See the matinee.
  • Rent it.
  • TiVo it.
  • Don’t see it. Don’t even let your worst enemy see it.

If you prided yourself on staying inside all day and memorizing sonnets and reading Satre as a child, then you will not enjoy Transformers. However, if you jumped your BMX bike off of a crude homemade ramp while screaming out “AUTOBOTS, TRANSFORM AND ROLL OUT!!!” and your best friend was a Ravage cassette tape in your back pocket, then you need to see Transformers ASAP. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

Posted in: movies, review

10 Comments on "“This is comic book stuff.”"

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  1. Ed says:

    How was it in comparison to the original movie? Nothing quite as shocking as seeing some of your favourite characters jacked in the first 15 minutes after all.

  2. drfaulken says:

    I see the animated movie as a loss of innocence. Instead of the “everyone is okay at the end” like in the cartoons and comics, the movie had some serious events. At least, from my perspective, as I saw it for the first time as a child.

    The live-action movie is more action; there is some grit in there, but not anything near the scale of the animated film. I think this is mostly due to the franchise’s current momentum: Transformers: The Movie came at the pinnacle of Transformers popularity, the Michael Bay film is sort of jump-starting the IP again.

  3. I Am Legend looks interesting; it will be fun to compare it to The Omega Man (also based on Richard Matheson’s “I Am Legend”). I don’t have a problem with Smith in particular getting the role, as no one can match Charlton Heston.
    The Omega Man (1971):

  4. bc says:

    One movie that I saw this weekend where your MPS would fail was “Ratatouille” (Pixar). I forget the details (I may have just blocked them from my brain), but the MPS rating was somewhere around minus one billion.

    But the movie was awesome.

  5. drfaulken says:

    Very possible — Snakes on a Plane failed my test, for example. Also, if the previews suck but fit into the genre/context of the film, that doesn’t necessarily make it a minus according to the TPDMPS. If the previews before Ratatouille were stupid kid movies (such as the aforementioned “Game Plan”), then they fit within the genre of the feature film and may not rate a -1. It’s a bad sign to have a kid’s trailer before an action movie, or a comedy-romance trailer before a horror film.

  6. Ninja Mary says:

    I memorized sonnets and read Camus as a kid..

    God I was a dorky kid..

    But the point is: Transformers does indeed rock. Go see it.

    We saw the movie at a Southside theatre. It did not have the same previews. I think we were missing a couple.

  7. Fathir says:

    Wait, isn’t 4 +1’s and a -1 a +3? Or does Game Plan fit the genre? I’m afraid I’m a bit rusty on my PDFMPS skillz.

  8. drfaulken says:

    DOH! Right you are, Ken!


  9. bc says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I used the system on the Harry Potter movie tonight, and it came out with a perfect +4. 🙂

  10. mal says:

    “…AvP would be utter shit”. Hey! It wasn’t that bad. There were some good fight scenes between the two species. The arctic setting was superb. The Queen Bitch was in excellent form. And any movie with Lance Henriksen can’t be all bad. Even Lance Hendriksen caricaturing himself. Lance does the very best Lance that I’ve seen. As an added bonus, for those of us with kids, they could watch this movie without peeing in their pants. You’ve got to start them somewhere!

    Anyway, AvP2 is rumored to be the AvP that the first one should have been. So don’t give up on the franchise yet.