They don't make robots in Africa! Whoop-doo!
We're nearly through the first month of summer, and it feels more like February of last year. I've heard of June gloom before, but this is ridiculous. The acronym for Transformers 2 is ROTF, and Michael Bay must be rolling on the floor, laughing hysterically at all the bad press he's been given as of late. Racist robots, magic hand bandages, and mysterious emails that harangue Paramount for not publicizing the film properly have run rampant through the Internet. Yet all this hasn't stopped the film from breaking the Wednesday box office record with $60.6 million. Heck, that's more than most summer movies make in a month. Not bad for a film being called the worst of its kind ever produced. Most of the fans feel let down, and I haven't heard anyone claiming an unabashed love for it. Doesn't matter, Transformers 2 is well on its way to earning $170 million during its first five days out amongst the inbred populace known as these United States. That's quite a feat for something currently less loved than The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas on the tomato meter.
Transformers 2 isn't the only disappointing big robot film of the summer. Terminator Salvation also failed to stir up much controversy outside of its star's public temper tantrum. Which begs the question: Do robots suck? Are they incapable of giving us what we want in terms of a rousing summer popcorn flick? Or have our own personal fears about a robot Armageddon, as prophesized in everything from RoboCop, to The Terminator franchise, to The Matrix trilogy, caused us to subconsciously reject these by-products of the Hollywood system? By all accounts, Michael Bay's Transformers 2 is one of the most gleefully bombastic films ever produced. Each frame is built from a thousand points of blistering light, and it offers more visceral information per second than any other object known to man. Still, our hearts denied it acceptance. Most audience members have given it an F-. Our nation is torn, at a loss, and it makes little sense.
That's why I've contacted robot export Hal Lexport to get to the bottom of this. Why have our giant robot movies failed us?
Lexport explains, "There is an emotional disconnect between humans and robots. We are flesh, they are metal. We cannot beat them, and the Terminator movies have proven this time, and time again. No matter how far John Conner goes in stopping the future from occurring as it has been predestined: It still happens! Arnold is still sent back in time. The bombs still go off. At the end of the day, John Conner (JC), this Christ-like figure, is having his heart ripped out of his chest and replaced by that of a Tin Man. It's the Wizard of Oz dilemma. We want what's behind the curtain until we actually see it. That plays directly into our subconscious, which is distracted by the yearlong campaign most of these movies revel in. It's the anticipation and hype. We must see it on opening day, or else we will die. We lead ourselves to think that what lies behind the curtain is going to be the end all of our existence. But when we get there, it's just a man plying us with smoke and mirrors. It's the biggest sham. That's our movies today. And with both Transformers and Terminator, we are given the shaft. The robots win in the end. Its true of Conners' plight, as well as Sam Witwicky's. Sure, the Autobots are a source of good. They mean us well. That is, until they start fighting those darn Decepticons. You can't count how many civilians die at the hands of these robots, both good and evil. When the lights come up, the robots still have it over us. They won. They will be around when we are but ash. That is not an uplifting message. And it's especially horrifying in this day and age. The world is in shambles. North Korea is planning too shoot a missile at Hawaii on July 4th. That is constantly playing in our minds as we watch the never-ending explosions as sold in Bay's film. It is unnerving. And it becomes unpleasant."
Some people think Transformers 2 sucks because it has no plot. When I posed this to Lexport, his response was culpable, "The movie itself is working from a robot's point of view. I know there are credited screenwriters who claim ownership of this material. But these individuals have relied heavily upon preprogrammed script writing software that tells them what to do. It is coming from the mind of artificial intelligence. Sure, someone made up the program, but that information comes from a very small faction of human brain trust. It is then strained through a circuit board, and turned over to keystrokes. When you apply too much pressure to any arterial brain-like application, it's bound to shoot forth in a very unrealistic, artificial arch that makes sense only to maze makers, as it were. There's no human reasoning injected into this mix of bombastic bravado. There are too many characters. The computer can't comprehend this overload, and compensates in a bewildering pattern of action sequences that go nowhere and make little to no sense. The Transformers 2 script works like Spam. It is a molestation and abuse of our electronic messaging systems. When you rely on scripting software to give you plot points, you will fall into a black hole of insincerity and false emotions."
He continued, "The film was doomed from the get go, and is only saved by its visual imagery, which again, while manipulated by human hands, comes from the seedlings of the Robots we see destroying us on film. Take Arnold Schwarzenegger's cameo appearance in Terminator: Salvation. It's not a flesh and blood actor. It's a digitally reconstructed image of a once powerful man. Applying this manipulative, life-like iconography into the film is a push toward realizing the goals and aspirations of the fictional Skynet operative. McG wanted to utilize this seemingly new technology to woo the crowd. It didn't work in his favor. The audience remained less responsive to this animated figure because they knew it wasn't real. The performer has become the robot, and now there is a threat that we can all be replaced by CGI constructs. We can be manipulated and squandered away. Our privacy is no longer ours. Sure, this technology is uber-expensive, and they only managed to get a realistic looking Arnold on screen for a few seconds at a time. But the technology is there. It exists. The world is accelerating at speeds unimaginable just five years ago. Soon, this type of technology could be given to us inside our new Macintosh's. It might appear as a free application like Garage Band or Safari. Thus making it possible for us to sit at home and manipulate any celebrity we choose. Think of the possibilities. We could be making sex tapes of our neighbors and selling them for profit. Artificial, yet realistic versions of you could be out there, performing horrible, unspeakable acts on baby goats. You could be implicated in crimes that you didn't commit, because an angry cop with a nerdy friend CGI'd you into a crime scene video. This is already happening. I have proof. We see artificial Arnold, and though we may not be thinking along those lines automatically, our brain is culling and harvesting this information for us to mull on later, thus draining any initial enjoyment we may be getting out of the experience."
Hal has a good point. I went on to ask him about the racial stereotypes so blatantly on display in Transformers 2. Ironically, Lexport came to Bay's defense on this one, "Look, robots don't have a race. There are no black robots. There are no white robots. They don't make robots in Africa. Sure, some robots are made in Japan, but that doesn't make them Asian in soul and personality. Because the Japanese are funneling American etiquette into their self-perforated android brains. Robots are programmed to act a certain way. They don't have a brain that learns or functions like a human organism. They are programmed to act in the manner that the God force so chooses. That's the point I think Bay is trying to make. The youth culture is programmed to act a certain way. They are manipulated and contorted within their surroundings, which is limited and squeezed on a daily basis. These two twins in question have picked up this jive-talk from our own airwaves. They have learned through our cultural mediums. And now they are regurgitating this obnoxious behavior. It's the snake that eats its own tail. They suck it up and spit it out, and real kids must filter it through their brains once again. By imposing and circumferencing these on-screen robots with a rude, unethical, racially derogatory personality, the kids are able to purge themselves of the behavior. Thus becoming reflective of the bad that surrounds us in our own everyday lives. Bay was doing a good thing. He has shinned a light on untruthful culture, creating a dialogue about its place in our own community stream. He has started some much-needed conversations in this era of Obama. Racism still exists whether you like it or not. Scientists are sometimes racist. They have the ability to put these ideas into their artificial, metal made creatures. So do screenwriters. They are creating falsehoods so that we can destroy them and feel good about it. In a way, by lambasting and poo-pooing these on-screen caricatures, we are winning the war against robots. And bad filmmaking. Heck, a film is essentially a robot. And the bad reviews are our way of destroying them. Tranformers 2 and Terminator 4 are our Skynet. We must rise above them and destroy them. We can't let them win. And that's all there is too it. Simple really."
There was a pause on the phone, "Michael Bay? He puts huge metal testicles on his Robots. Robots can't reproduce. But in his films, they seem obsessed with spraying us with ejaculate. Have you seen that picture of C3PO. The one on the trading card where he has a big golden dick? There is so much truth in that. Because the robots? They just want to fuck us!"
With that, Hal had to get back to his job working for Eurobotics USA, an excellent source for industrial robots. At this very moment, he is trying to perfect a microchip that will allow robots to make decisions without really having to make a decision. Kind of like a Hollywood producer. I hope this clears up any confusion as to why we, the American movie going audience, have rejected these two huge robot summer sequels. Way back in March, McG and Michael Bay entered a dick-slapping contest of dork proportions about who had the bigger, better giant robot movie. Well, it looks like it was a draw. And that's really too bad. I love me some giant robot action. Boo!
Eat food! Kill grandma! Save the word from robots! Whoop-doo!