No One Wants To Own Up To Racism In Transformers

skids-mudflap

Given how many people worked on the creative angle of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, I’m amazed and not a little bit shocked that the movie hit screens with two of the most offensive, stereotypically black characters I’ve seen in a studio film since Mickey Rooney donned buck teeth to play a Japanese character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. (Granted I’m also a bit amazed that I didn’t even talk about these characters in my review, which is a major oversight; I’d already talked about them so much offline and in various emails that I completely passed over the subject.)

The characters in question are Skids and Mudflap, who after an initial appearance as a ratty old ice cream truck are upgraded to be green and orange Chevys. More to the point, both characters speak with voices that sound like urban black stereotypes, have big ears and buck teeth and proclaim that they ‘don’t do much readin’‘. Skids even has a gold tooth. How did these characters make it through months of development, meetings and rendering to appear on screens this week? Read More »

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transformers2last05

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has scored the best opening day ever for a Wednesday release, with an estimated $60.6 million domestically. The previous record-holder was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which grossed $44.2 million on a Wednesday in July 2007. The $60.6 million includes a confirmed $16 million from midnight shows, the third largest overnight numbers of all time behind only The Dark Knight ($18.5 million) and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith ($16.9 million).

The film could earn anywhere between $150-$170 million by Monday morning. That number would be enough to beat Spider-Man 2‘s $152.4 million 5-day opening, which would put it as the fifth biggest five day opening of all time (under The Dark Knight, Revenge of the Sith, Pirates 2 and Spider-Man 3).

source: Variety

slashfilmcast550

yearone1In this episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley discuss how terrible the Antichrist videogame will be, explain why Christopher Nolan directing the third Batman film would be a no-win situation, and wonder if there’s anything to get excited about in an 5th Indiana Jones film. Special guest Matt Singer joins us from IFC News and the IFC News podcast.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Monday at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

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Movie Review: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN

It would be easy to say that Michael Bay‘s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen plays like a movie made by a thirteen year old boy for other thirteen year old boys, but if that were actually the case, it might not be such a wretched experience. Made by a filmmaker who doesn’t seem to be much evolved beyond the mentality of a teenager, yes, Revenge of the Fallen could also probably be characterized as the Hollywood sequel machine run amok. Who needs ‘better’ when you can do more, louder, flashier?

Transformers is dull, ponderous and overlong, packed to the gills with glamor shots of busy robot designs and Megan Fox, flashes of idiocy (a small robot humping the leg of Fox, who smiles at it fondly) and endless examples of Bay’s increasingly tedious military porn. If summer entertainment is meant to be diverting and imaginative, Revenge of the Fallen succeeds only in that it drove me into periods of catatonic daydreaming, where I imagined watching anything else. Read More »

imax-theater

Last summer, Christopher Nolan wowed IMAX audiences by shooting the establishing shots and several action sequences of The Dark Knight in IMAX. Many were concerned that the effect would be jarring: Since only a few sequences were shot in IMAX, the picture would have to switch back and forth between a widescreen presentation and a native 70mm IMAX presentation (which filled up the entire whole, square-shaped frame).

IMAX vs. Digital IMAX

Nonetheless, in the context of the film, these swaps made sense. The resulting establishing shots gave Gotham city a feeling of grandeur and openness unique to the IMAX format. The action scenes, already visually spectacular, took on a heightened immediacy and drama.

That’s why I was excited to hear that the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen would feature four scenes shot in native IMAX, and that the IMAX version of the film would be slightly longer with more robot fighting. Would the IMAX presentation enhance the film, as it did for The Dark Knight? Read onwards to learn what to expect when you walk into that enormous IMAX theater this weekend.

[By necessity, this article will contain MINOR spoilers about some sequences towards the end of the film. You have been warned.]
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transformers 2 optimus sword

Michael Bay‘s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was released in theaters on Tuesday at Midnight. We should have an official review on the site in the next 24 hours. But as always, I would love to hear the diehards who made the trip to the theater on opening day to weigh in. What did you think of the sequel? What did you like? What did you hate? How did it compare to the original? Did you see it in IMAX? Comment Below! Feel free to discuss spoilers…

transformers2last01

The UK release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was last week, and before that there was a press conference with Michael Bay, Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox and John Turturro for not only the British press but, seemingly, a number of continental Europeans also. I was there, but this time I was not sitting amongst the press pack, waiting to shoot my hand up, but stood behind my camera, getting us some exclusive video. That video – about five minutes, representing the material really worth bothering with in the forty five minute conference – comes after the break.

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tf2final56

Another clip has been released from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which features (possible spoilers follow…) Sam (Shia LaBeouf) discovering a sliver of the allspark which ends up transforming household appliances into Decepticons. Watch the clip after the jump. I’ve also included links to the four other Transformers 2 clips released thus far.

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