In Theaters: Baby Driver (2017)

For a young fellow like Baby, music is the milk of life.  Mixed and remixed, culled from the ambient noise of human motion and refitted into a soundtrack that guides his every step and every action, life has a rhythm and a composition that he will not deny himself.  When he walks down the street, his ears eternally plugged into a set of ear-buds, even the most rudimentary task is backed by a piece of music he has compiled just for the occasion.  When he is in the company of human conversation, he uses an old mini-recorder to record conversations that he then later recombobulates into a musical tapestry.  When his boss is asked about Baby’s mental capacity, he responds “Was he slow?” and Baby later turns that phrase into a private musical interlude.  It’s all for a cause, you see, not just battling a case of tinnitus but it has become an all-consuming obsession.  Baby’s lust for music becomes our lust for music and his compositions are still ringing in this critic’s head.  That’s a good sign.

You can have your clanking and clattering robots and . . . whatever Tom Cruise was doing in The Mummy, I’ll take director Edgar Wright’s lyrical and beautifully composed Baby Driver, thank you very much.  This is an action movie, a fun action movie edited and orchestrated within an inch of its life and reminding us of what movies use to be – a tingle of fun and energy and originality.  It has been put together by Wright and his editors Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss with precision and skill – they deserve an Oscar nomination.  They have fashioned a heist movie, one put together with style and a sense of fun.  For once, no one is trying to build an extended universe.  Baby’s universe is all we need.

Reeling from a childhood trauma that has left him nearly deaf, Baby (Ansel Elgort) – for that is the moniker he gives people – works as a getaway driver for Doc (Kevin Spacey) the manager of a robbery syndicate in which he hires three crooks to pull the job and then puts them in the getaway car to be driven by Baby.  Behind the wheel, this young fellow is something to behold.  Using a carefully chosen song as a timer for the robbery, he can smoke through traffic like a dream, turning and drifted and dodging police cars and spike strips in a manner that would leave that Fast and Furious gang coughing up dust.  He’s very very good at his job.  He’s so good in fact, that the other crooks underestimated him.  Presently the trio, which includes a hot-headed loose cannon named Bats (Jamie Foxx), a seasoned veteran named Buddy (Jon Hamm) and his babalicious wife Darling (Elia González), doesn’t trust the kid.  They take his youth, not to mention his silence, as suspicion that he might be a narc.  Underestimating the kid’s skill is their undoing.  You sense from this gang, particularly from Bats, that if they just trusted his skill and stopped trying to pad their own egos then everything might be just fine.

Maybe they should adopt his rhythm.  As they jump into his getaway car, he brings up “Bellbottoms” by The John Spencer Blues Explosion and seems to compose his getaway in time to the music.  Before the robbery he tells his cohorts to wait – “I gotta start the song over.”  The action works in unison to the music – and then there’s the further step that the ambient noise of everything from squealing tires to police sirens become part of the composition.  Returning to the hideout, the song doesn’t end.  Everything in the frame becomes part of the music from the stacks of money being counted to the chatter of conversation.  It’s all in their air, and Wright doesn’t waste any of it.

The story is not nearly as compelling as the atmosphere that drives it, but we still care about what happens.  Baby is in debt to Doc and is presently pulling his last job before he is let off the hook.  Looking ahead at his prospects, he comes across a pretty waitress named Deborah (Lily James from the live-action Cinderella) who seems so uncomplicated that she could almost be transparent.  His entire association with her never-the-less gives weight to the film’s later scenes when the plan goes belly up thanks, in large part, to Bats’ hair-trigger suspicions.  This is a story that builds and builds, telling us the major plot points as they unfold rather than making it all clear at the beginning and then drawing a through-line to the next action scene.  Of this, I will say no more.

Edgar Wright, in his other films from Scott Pilgrim to The World’s End is becoming the master of the extra layer.  It’s one thing to put people in a scene and move them around but it’s quite another them an extra dimension.  It’s one thing to introduce a weapons-dealer but another to have him lay out a monologue about his inventory as if he’s selling pork products.  Every character here is someone we remember from the burly short-order cook to the kindly postal worker whose face we remember later in a key moment of danger.  The actors in the supporting roles seem to have been hired for their faces.  We remember them and that is key.

This movie is like a breath of fresh air.  It is, at last, an action movie in which the director is directing the action and not hoping that a lot of whiz-bang forward-motion will be enough.  Great action scenes keep the action in the center of the frame and use the editing, not as punctuation, but as the notes in the visual composition.  That’s what is special here.  Wright and his editors are really putting together a feast for the eyes and the ears.  Our brains have to connect with each and every piece of the visual narrative so that we can follow along with the flow.  Too much quick editing without thought or orchestration becomes convoluted and we give up – we become passive and are excised from the moment instead of becoming part of it.
Think of the greatest action movies from Die Hard to Raiders of the Lost Ark to Lethal Weapon to Bullitt the more recent KingsmanWith its action scenes Baby Driver rises to that league in a movie that is put together brilliantly and with loving care – somebody wanted to make this movie.

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Posted by on 06/28/2017 in Uncategorized


Movie of the Day: Catwoman (2004)

Catwoman is mounted on one incontrovertible truth: Halle Berry looks great in black leather.  This is a fact displayed all through this laborious hemorrhoid of a movie.  It is virtually unwatchable, yet you can’t deny the fact that she is a natural wonder to behold.  Great pains have been taken to properly photograph her eyes, her lips, her legs, her shoulders, her bare back, and at one point even her tongue.  Yet, the producers of Catwoman have overlooked another unavoidable fact: All that organic lovliness is meaningless if you have no movie to build around it.  Might as well buy a calendar and get it over with.

What is here isn’t really a movie, it’s a perfume ad that’s permitted to go on for two hours.  At its center is a script that even photogenic black leather and ruby lips can’t fix.  Ms. Berry is a talented actress but you have to wonder at the thought process that went into this property.  The poster is the movie.  The rest is more or less innocuous.

Berry plays Patience Phillips, who begins as a frumpy insecure graphic artist working for George Hedare (Lambert Wilson), a megalomaniac cosmetics magnate who is secretly selling a toxic skin cream that will keep women looking young so long as they keep using his lousy product. Patience finds out about this little scheme and is killed and dumped in the river for her troubles. Emerging later, apparently having been brought back to life by cats (groan) she re-imagines herself as Catwoman. A trip to the leather shop, a new hairdo and – VOILA! – she’s a superhero. She can leap from building to building like a badly rendered CGI jungle cat and she’s crazy with a whip. Other than that, she ain’t much in the way of functionality. Somewhere in her transformation, she gets Yoda-like advice from a mysterious woman called Ophelia (Frances Conroy) whose role is more or less superfluous.

On her mission to destroy the Hedare and his evil toxic cosmetics factory (read that sentence again), Patience falls in love with a cop played by Benjamin Bratt who is really reeeeeeeally slow to catch on. Patience is not only his love interest, but also apparently the only black woman in town. He is working the case to bring Catwoman to justice, but he doesn’t even recognize her through the mask when they’re face to face. How did he get to be a cop?

The director, who calls himself Pitof, has graduated from television commercials but hasn’t left them behind. He’s great with the photography but as a dramatist he’s got a long, LONG way to go. His scenes are set pieces in which Berry twists and kicks and snaps her whip and throws out stupid double-entendres (“Cats come when they feel like it. Not when they’re told.”) They’re probably pretty pictures by themselves, but look just plain stupid when strung together.

He’s also made a movie that’s a bit confusing. Who is this character? The opening credits tell us that the movie is “Based on the characters by Bob Kane,” but as far as I know, there has never been a Catwoman named Patience Phillips. The movie doesn’t take place in Gotham City, there’s no mention of Batman and this Catwoman isn’t Salina Kyle. Who is she? Is she an imposter? A clone? A wannabe? Based on the evidence, she seems to fit all three.

During this terrible movie, I had a lot of time to think. How would a movie about a cat woman really play out? She’s be sullen, ignore you when you call her and sleep all day. Occasionally she’d find a corner to get at a bad itch, and she’s spend most of her day sleeping in whatever window is getting the best sunlight. Maybe Catwoman should have been played by a teenager.


Movie of the Day: Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)

Confessions of a Shopaholic is a silly comedy about a serious addict. In this case, the addict is Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher), who gets a near-sexual thrill out of the act of buying clothes. She is so addicted to shopping that when she passes a store window, the mannequins actually speak to her, giving her sales pitches.

If this were an independent film – or a film made in France – the movie would end with her destitute and living on the street. It is not, this is a Hollywood romantic comedy, which means that Rebecca’s serious addiction will lead to a great job at a magazine, comic mishaps and a romance with a cute guy. It also wants us to believe the impossible. For example, the irony that she is the daughter of blue collar extremely understanding parents (John Goodman and Joan Cusack) who have saved every penny they ever earned.

You can’t buy the plot for one solitary moment, but you find yourself drawn into this hapless comedy by its one redeeming element: The performance of Isla Fisher. She was the little firecracker who fell for Vince Vaughn in The Wedding Crashers and she retains some of that crazy spark here. She has a manic way of diving into a situation with near-violent determination as when she goes to 50% off sale and comes to blows with another shopaholic over a pair of boots.

Fisher bears a strange resemblance to Amy Adams. She’s not nearly as sharp as Adams, but she is no less charming. The preposterous plot is spurred by her infectious charm. She has a lovable face, framed by a beautiful mane of light brown hair, and skin like porcelain. She has wide-eyes that sparkle when she is happy and grow dark when she is sad. The film’s art direction by Kristie Zea (who worked on The Silence of the Lambs) does Fisher a lot of favors. Everything is decorated like a store display, brightly lit with lots of bold colors. It brings out Fisher’s eyes and her beautiful hair. It also speaks to the rapture of Rebecca’s charge-card world.

I just wish that she were in a better movie. There isn’t a single moment of originality or creativity. It follows Rebecca’s attempts to make her way through a job writing a column in which she tries to help people organize their money. The irony, of course, is that she’s so bad money that a debt collector is stalking her like a bounty hunter. Oh-Ho! I wish it were possible to recommend a fun performance in a movie that is tired and ordinary, but I just can’t do that. All I can say is that if you do take the plunge, focus your attentions on Fisher’s bright, charming face. Do that, and then try to imagine a better movie for her – maybe one where she gets some serious help for her addiction.

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Posted by on 06/26/2017 in Uncategorized


Movie of the Day: Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Something happened to me during Transformers: Age of Extinction that I found rather curious.  Somewhere around the third hour, the movie was filled with 700 ton robots were falling from the sky on a rural highway backed up by a soundtrack louder than a B-52.  At that moment, I caught myself daydreaming.  Not voluntarily, mind you.  My mind drifted off to a project I was working on for my website.  This is not good.  Here is a two-hundred million dollar movie that can’t hold my attention.  That’s serious.

Still this is one of the most obnoxious tentpole movies that I have ever seen.  It’s loud, dumb, incoherent and endless. And yet, while it’s nearly identical to its predecessors it’s not nearly as bad. That is to say, while it still numbs your mind with explosions your mind comes to expect it. This fourth go-around, the cacophony isn’t as damaging because it’s isn’t fresh or new anymore. Is that a compliment? Hard to say.

Bay has the unmitigated gall to call his third sequel a “reboot.” Not quite. The cast is different and that’s about it. Gone are Megan Fox, John Turturro, Josh Duhamel, and most blatantly Shia LeBouf whose sudden abundance of free time isn’t any more wisely spent then when he was bilking the public with this unending stream of cinematic indifference.

What’s different this time is that Bay seems to have abandoned the palette by which he created the other three films – that is to say this is the first Transformers movie that isn’t totally an ugly and unhappy experience. That doesn’t make it good, necessarily, what he created previously as dark and grimy has been replaced by a visual look that is aggressive, colorful and seems more childish than off-putting. That’s a nice way of saying he’s traded an ointment for a suppository. It still the stupidest film of the summer, but you don’t feel filthy when the movie is over.

Despite the recasting, the story isn’t any better. The planet Earth is still reeling from the destruction of Chicago which has forced the government to set in motion the reasonable plan of eliminating all remaining Transformers in order to get them off the planet. In charge of the plan is Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) whose dialogue seems completely made up of apocalyptic statements. He has a bloodhound at his side, an angry little man named Savoy whose private army travels around in those ominous black vans that always signal that the government is hunting for something in the movies.

Savoy heads out to “Texas, U.S.A.” where a particularly pesky piece of metal is in the possession of an inventor named Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg). While looking for spare parts in an old movie theater, he runs across a truck whose cab is littered with bullet holes. He takes it home, tinkers a bit and – bim bam boom! – up pops Optimus Prime. Savoy arrives on the scene to destroy the robot; Cade grabs his daughter and her boyfriend and the rest of the movie has them running from giant, hulking hunks of metal.

That, in essence is all there is. There’s a running gag about Wahlberg’s paranoia over his teenage daughter’s budding sexuality, but it’s a joke that it repeated over and over and wasn’t all that funny to begin with. Most of the movie has the pair running from giant monsters with her new boyfriend in tow.

The characters are all bland caracatures save for the one played by Stanley Tucci. He plays Joshua Joyce, a robotics expert whose personality ebbs somewhere between Steve Jobs and Eckhart Tolle – at least in his first few scenes. His company has been studying Megatron’s head and come up with a pretty cool new technology that can allow his robots to transform without all the bending and contorting. They transform by breaking up into thousands of tiny pieces of metal and twisting around like a swarm of bees before reforming into something else. It’s a neat effect. There’s a lot of personality to Joshua initially that unfortunately blows away as soon as he leaves his lab. For most of the movie, Tucci is just part of the foreground, ducking and dodging and buildings and giant robots come crashing down.

The robots themselves haven’t changed. They are the selling point of this enterprise but they are ugly, ungainly and no fun to look at. They are 50-foot scraps of metal that punch each other when they aren’t shooting things or knocking over buildings. They have shiny faces that can’t be recognized as faces, so we feel no connection to them at all. They are nearly impossible to tell them apart.

Not to mention, if you have a quizzical mind, you can’t help but ask logical questions. The robots are on this planet to fight one another, but what are they fighting about? What makes a robot good or evil? Who decided which side they would be on? What makes them intelligent? What makes them able to think and talk? What do they do when they aren’t fighting? Who sent them here? Who built them? Why were they built? Why do they transform into a automobiles? The robots are all male, but are their fem-bots? Is this trip really necessary?


Movie of the Day: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

I don’t care about this movie, I really don’t.  I’ve been burned too many times to even care at this point.  Something about this series slips my brain into a state of bilious apathy.  To admit that this movie is better than the previous installment is like saying that a rectal exam is easier to endure than a nasal swab.  It’s as much fun as both.

Like a bad relationship in which I’ve forgiven my partner once too often, I know the pattern by now because it doesn’t seem willing to change: The good-natured Autobots have a tiff with the hate-fueled Decepticons and they have brought their war to our planet so we can watch one of our most beautiful metropolises (In this case, Chicago) demolished for well over an hour. What did Chicago do to deserve this?

Transformers: Dark of the Moon has more story than the previous films, but it is still another loud, dumb, crude, overlong monstrosity. The story is convoluted and involves a plot that begins in the early 1960s, surmising that President Kennedy’s determination to put a man on the moon was fueled by an alien spacecraft called The Ark that landed there (Kennedy occupies the film via a bad special effect that is ineffective and rather creepy). Between the giant robots that inspired the moon landing and the mutants that got involved in The Cuban Missle Crisis in this summer’s X-Men: First Class, it is wonder that JFK didn’t resign.

Here in the good old 21st century, the war between the two robot factions has come to earth and the only real question to be raised is which faction will occupy the planet once our cities are reduced to rubble in the mechanical struggle. I didn’t really care why the robots came to earth or what they did when they got here. After the movie explains their intentions, I somehow felt that I was better off not knowing. I thought back to the simplistic purpose of this summer’s superb Super 8, in which the visiting alien’s central focus was a willingness to tear this planet apart just to get off of it, The Transformers plot over-extends itself.

On the human scale, the Autobot’s top ally is Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf) who has graduated from college, taken up with a gorgeous new girlfriend named Carley (Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whitely) and is frustrated because he can’t find a decent job. Added to that is the presence of a billionaire car collector (Rob Morrow) who is Carley’s former boyfriend. Sam is frustrated a lot in this movie. He screams a lot, throws fits a good chunk of the time and seems so animated that we wonder if he isn’t on something. It is possible that Mr. LeBeouf may have figured out what I have about his role: If we stand back and look at this plot from a distance, Sam really has no purpose in this movie.

Humans are beside the point. My overriding problem with Transformers: Dark of the Moon rests with the robots. The Autobots and the Decepticons are incomprehensible when you look at them. I can’t tell one from the other. They seem built from a morass of metal that forms something 40-feet tall with arms and legs and something that might be mistaken for a face. This time around some have hair for reasons I can’t begin to explain. Those faces aren’t expressive, but hidden within all the metal. They have mouths but why do they need them? When they fight and their bodies are pressed against one another, you can’t tell one from the other. They’re metal, therefore they can’t get hurt, so why do we care? If they get destroyed, they can be rebuilt. Right?

Plus, they make no logical sense. How does a 50 foot-tall robot have enough metal in his body to transform into a full-sized pick-up truck? They are on this planet to fight one another, but what are they fighting about? What makes a robot good or evil? Who decided which side they would be on? What makes them intelligent? What makes them able to think and talk? What do they do when they aren’t fighting? Who sent them here? Who built them? Why were they built? Why do they transform into a automobiles? The robots are all male, so are their females? Was this trip really necessary?

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Posted by on 06/24/2017 in Uncategorized


Movie of the Day: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

I had a conversation once with a former associate who argued that the best way to enjoy the films of director Michael Bay was to simply sit back, turn off my brain and enjoy them. What he was saying essentially is that I needed to simply lower my standards and ask for less. Note that I said this was a former associate.

Michael Bay makes blockbusters. He makes them loud, crude, violent and profitable. He made ‘Armageddon’, about rocks that threaten to destroy earth. He made The Rock, about a terrorist that threatens to destroy San Francisco. He made Pearl Harbor about how the Japanese destroyed a navel base. Are you seeing a pattern here? He makes profitable films in which things get blow’d up real good. His excuse is that he makes films for audiences, not critics. Well, so did Hitchcock, but at least Hitch wanted to play us like a piano, not like a set of drums.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a loud, crude, dumbbell action picture that has the appeal of throwing a set of cookware down a long staircase. The heroes and villains are robots from another world who can disguise themselves as mobile objects like cars, jets, tanks etc. They can even take the form of household objects like toasters or blenders. The reason they are here on earth is laid out in incomprehensible dialogue that is difficult to follow. It really doesn’t matter anyway. The final scenes are an assault of noisy special effects and whip-cut editing that never allow you to get your bearings. It plays like a two-and-a-half-hour commercial for itself.

The robots are seen early and often. There is no build-up or mystery about them at all. They are built of a convoluted mess of shiny metal pieces formed into something 40-feet tall with arms and legs. They have faces that aren’t expressive but rather hidden by all the metal – it takes you a second or two to decipher where the eyes or the mouth are or if they even have them (why do they need them?). When they speak, they having nothing interesting to say. Their speech comes in three forms: Formal comic book boilerplate (“Die, like your brothers”) and pop culture buzzwords (“Punk-ass Decepticon!”).

They make no logical sense in that you shouldn’t ask how a 50-foot robot can contain enough metal to transform into a half-sized pick-up truck.Worse then trying to figure them out is watching them. All they do is fight, smash things and shoot lasers. A lot of things get smashed and a lot of lasers get fired. There are a lot of things that get blown up, a lot of things that get destroyed. The robot’s bodies are made of metal, wires and gears. They look like moving scrap-heaps and when you get a bunch together to fight, you can’t tell one from another.

You have to ask why creatures from another planet would be metal robots anyway? Why is their speech such a mess of stale mechanical blandness? What do they have to offer besides weapons that can destroy stuff? What is their planet like? Where do they come from? Are there other organic beings out there? Do they know about us? Who built you guys? What’s your technology like? How were you able to convincingly create a robot who was a human look-a-like? See, they wouldn’t want to visit me because I would never shut up with the questions.

The human characters in the movie aren’t smart enough to ask those questions. The males in the movie are either college slobs or military archetype. The female are all gorgeous, smoldering in heat, and dress like Playmates. Shia LeBouf, the hero, runs through this movie looking dazed and confused while shouting at special effects. Megan Fox doesn’t fare much better but at least I can give her credit for tiring of this material and bowing out of Transformers 3. The only romantic conflict between LeBeouf and Fox is the idea that he won’t tell her that he loves her. Trust me, if a guy has the heart of a girl who looks like Megan Fox, the problem would be getting him to STOP saying it.

Movies like this anger me. They are a determent to this art form that I love. They seem to have been made by people who don’t know what movies are suppose to be about. Made by committee, they are filmed deals, made for box office, merchandise and beverage tie-ins. I like movies that ask something of me, they engage me and have a narrative that plays with my senses and my expectations and my sense of wonder. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is, I’m told, a movie that I am suppose to simply sit back and enjoy but, for me, that would be asking me to enjoy getting smacked repeatedly upside the head with a frying pan.


Movie of the Day: Transformers (2007)

Michael Bay has a style that I like to call “yutz charm.” He makes movies presumably for an audience that doesn’t ask for much beyond having their movies be loud and pretty to look at. That’s not to say that the audiences for his movies fit the term “yutz” but Bay likes to treat them as if they are. He’s the brainchild behind such box office hemorrhoids as “Pearl Harbor”, “The Rock”, “Armageddon” and “Bad Boys.” His movies are loud, crude and colorful; they move fast and stuff gets blow’d up real good.  What do you expect?  Quality?

Bay makes movies at two speeds: Pathetic and passable. Most of the time his work falls into the former, but “Transformers” falls into the latter. There are good things in it, moments that could almost be mistaken for being “inspired.” Yet, for every effective scene there are two that aren’t. You get a funny line of dialogue and then a robot that urinates on a man sitting in his car. Scene like that kind of make you lose faith.

“Transformers”, of course, are based on a line of toys first introduced in the 1980s. It was clever, you could bend and twist these toys and turn them from robots into cars and other things – sort of like what Bay is doing to his audience. It wasn’t exactly food for the mind, but it was a clever idea. Added to that was a TV show, then a rather superfluous 1986 animated movie and now a $150,000,000 retro exercise that is entertaining while you’re watching it but means nothing when it’s over.

The story isn’t much, but here goes: Two cults of ancient robots have arrived on Earth having battles one another for centuries across the galaxy. In this corner are The Autobots led by Optimus Prime who fight for right and might and want to spare the human race their war. In this corner are the Decepticons, who could give a rip about the human race and want to turn all of our technology against us. They’re in a battle to retrieve something called The All Spark, which sounds like a set of spark plugs but is actually device that can turn a mundane object into a transformer. Why they need it is somewhat unclear. Actually, it would have made more sense if they were looking for a set of spark plugs.

The robots themselves are 50-feet tall and have an arsenal of weapons. They can contort themselves into vehicles – trucks, cars, planes, you name it. Bay’s spirit of “yutz charm” assumes that you will overlook the question of how a robot the size of a small office building could contain enough metal to transform itself into a half-ton pickup truck. On the bright side, several of the robots do have personalities. Their dialogue is more or less perfunctory but there was, at least, an attempt to give them something more than big weapons. More might have been done, however, to make the robots more appealing. The Autobots and the Decepticons are incomprehensible when you look at them. Their faces aren’t expressive, but hidden within all the metal. They have mouths but why do they need them?

The All Spark is in the possession of a teenager named Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBouf), a kid so nervous that he runs the risk of developing hypertension before he gets into college – maybe it has something to do with the fact the his name is WitWicky. His parents are no help. His mother is a jabbering idiot and his father takes pride in making his son’s life a living nightmare. As the movie opens, Sam is about to receive his first car. No points for guessing that the car is More Than Meets the Eye – see I went there. Also into his life falls Mikaela (Megan Fox), a rapturous beauty who falls for Sam because – gasp – she cares about him. They briefly have a relationship that in another movie might have been interesting. Ms. Fox, it should be said, is the most appealing special effect in the whole movie.

This is a strange movie. Every action, every moment is ramped up beyond the ordinary. Even moments of calm between the human characters have the urgency of a cartoon. Most of it is given over to the clatter and bang of the visual effects department namely the fights between the robots. When they fight and their bodies are pressed against one another, you can’t tell one from the other. They’re metal; therefore they can’t get hurt, so why do we care? If they get destroyed, they can be rebuilt. Right? Maybe that’s what the All Spark was for? It’s hard to ask questions, just be mesmerized by the Yutz Charm and don’t ask too many questions.