Transformers Blew

Ok, let's get it out of the way – yes, Megan Fox is hot. There's another plastic slut in the movie that's pretty hot, too. But nobody, no matter how many things they straddle, is hot enough to save this embarrassing piece of miserable garbage.

The first Transformers was a barely coherent mess that wasted a lot of good talent on a lot of bad jokes, topped by a bit of gee-whizzery in initially seeing cars transform. The sequel takes everything awful about the first one and ramps it up to 111, resulting in a two-hour-and-forty-minute excretion of robot porn with staggeringly huge doses of racism, homophobia and misogyny mixed in for good measure.

The "plot" is an incomprehensible mishmash of other movies – The Matrix, Aliens, Terminator, Robocop, Species, Voltron and so on – creating a hideously mangled abomination that's like being pummeled in the eyes for nearly three hours by a hyperkinetic child made out of DVDs and car parts. And look, no one's expecting a Best Screenplay contender here, but Transformers 2 is so aggressively stupid it fails even the loosest summer movie standards. The "comedy" is mostly drawn in broad strokes that say women are harpies or whores (unless they can fix cars) and black people are shambling Amos & Andy stereotypes, even when they're robots. A mother character that comes off like a retarded shrew, a parade of so-called college girls that would dignify porn stars, and two new Transformers named Skids and Mudflap that make Jar Jar Binks look like MLK.

After starting as a poster boy for the "MTV-style" of quick-cut editing that made his early movies at least visually compelling, Michael Bay has devolved into a jingoistic manchild with an increasingly warped viewpoint of what constitutes entertainment. Terminator Salvation was no great shakes, but at least McG, a director in the same team photo, was shooting for some sense of legitimacy. Bay simplifies everything into a jokey slo-mo masturbatory military fantasy that actually makes you feel stupider walking out of the theater than when you went in. His world must be an interesting one to live in, but it sure as hell isn't interesting to watch. Avoid at all costs.


Land of the Lost 101 Minutes

Will Ferrell's recent Man vs. Wild special was an engaging and entertaining romp through a desolate landscape. His recent Land of the Lost movie is not. Instead, it's a joyless CGI cheesefest that runs nearly twice as long and has far less than half the laughs.
Maybe it's the co-stars – Wild's Bear Grylls proves a far more appealing foil than Danny McBride, whose redneck smartass routine got old before it began, or winsome (and somewhat random) Anna Friel who looks lost... as in "my agent just lost her job for putting me in this." Or maybe it's the fact that watching Ferrell find ways to be really funny while in real danger is much more entertaining than seeing him mug it up in a desperate grab for guffaws.

I'll admit I have no love for the original show – no distaste, but aside from knowing the song and stumbling across the odd episode in syndication, it's no more than a campy TV footnote for me. So it's not that the movie suffered under a load of fanboy baggage, it's that it's nothing more than a series of sketches lazily strung together by the poorest excuse for a plot in years. "Hey, wouldn't it be funny if the monkeyish sidekick Chaka kept grabbing peoples' genitals? Hey, wouldn't it be funny if the time warping invention constantly played 'gay showtunes?' Hey, wouldn't it be funny if Will Farrell poured dinosaur piss on his face? Twice?"

No. No, it's not. Pass.