The idea of Transformers 3 clunking its way back into theaters again this year is certainly one that will be polarizing, but them’s the facts:
Friday, Aug. 26 through Thursday, Sept. 8
…during that span of time you’ll be able to check out a larger-than-life screening of the film on one of the nearly 250 IMAX theaters around the country.
A two week IMAX revival ultimately isn’t a big deal, but for some it will mean rolled eyes and head shaking, for others a bit of a grin. And even though I’ve since seen two of the most exhilirating films of the year (Warrior and Senna) since being abused by Conan, I’ve still not got gotten that film’s incompetent and boring action out of my head, or its cacophonous sonic smear of a sound mix out of my ears. I think a nice healthy dose of psychopathic bots shot beautifully in a stereoscopic symphony of nearly perfect spectacle will do the trick.
Bay’s film has of course passed a billion dollars grossed worldwide, and is second only to Harry Potter for the year’s domestic top spot. It’s natural to assume that this rerelease is a scheme to close that gap and hoist ‘formers back to #1, but considering the current $18m spread and the fact that Potter isn’t entirely done making money means this is more a victory lap than a hail mary pass for first.
I think we’ve been handled a lot of mediocre blockbuster product this summer, and I think a lot of films have been given passes for pantomiming like they give a shit about character while throwing around bland, boring action. Even the most character-serving blockbuster tends to hover somewhere in a “world’s tallest midget” realm, and since I don’t tend to judge them on much of a curve that means so very many of them fall flat relative to genuinely character-based film. This is to the point that the modicum of character/thematic quality difference between two blockbusters becomes negligible, while the difference in their filmmaking and craft remains huge. I’ll bust it out for you XKCD-style, as best I can:
I may have been a bit generous with the width of the bell-curve, but you get the idea. I don’t mean to keep picking on Marvel (this is a dead horse I’ve been beating for a while), as it applies to so much this summer. My point is not that you can’t do great character work in an action film, or even in a movie that cost $200m, but that casting a good actor or hitting a few perfunctory character beats amidst all of the noise does not elevate one film over another film that achieves much more interesting things in other areas.
I’ll say this though, if you do venture out and add to the robotic Bay coffers, make damn sure you’ve squirreled away enough to also go out and pay for Attack the Block when it gets near you, or Warrior when it breaks out, and Senna if amazing documentaries are a thing you enjoy. And while one’s cinematic diet shouldn’t have to exclude the spectacle, it shouldn’t come at the cost of being able to see the smaller, smarter, more exciting efforts out there that don’t have a banner on every bus in town…
But now give me your thoughts… Would you not be caught dead in an IMAX theater at the end of the month, or looking forward to reliving some excitement? Any chewers that skipped Dark of the Moon at first and have grown curious enough to take this second opportunity? Dump your plans: twitter, comments, boards.