Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Be careful what you ask for

I recently told my fellow podcaster and the editor of my site that he was going to lose his love of cinema if he only reviewed the most bloated summer (winter) blockbusters and nothing else.

Because those ones tend to make themselves available via critics screenings more often than the little independent films, he's been going to most of those, while leaving me to sweep up all the smarter, better fare, when I have to schedule the screening myself. Something I certainly don't mind doing, especially since it's free to me in both cases.

But I also don't want this guy to totally burn out on movies he's ranking 3 and 4 out of 10, so the other night, after we recorded our Wonder Woman podcast, I advised him to let me attend the next in-your-face spectacle while he took a much-deserved trip to the arthouse.

My timing couldn't have been worse. The next in-your-face spectacle was Transformers: The Last Knight.

He told me it would be, but I didn't necessarily think that actually meant I would be the one to review it. But a few days later he texted me asking me if I could go to that screening. He did say in the text that he couldn't make it, but given that we'd just had this conversation, I wonder how true that was.

Well, to soften the blow, it would mean my first IMAX movie since Rogue One, and my first non-Star Wars IMAX since Mad Max: Fury Road. See, I don't get IMAX for free through my critics card, so why pay a $5 to $10 markup on a film I can otherwise see for absolutely free? As a result, that format has basically become a stranger to me.

In a bit of an unusual movie, this critics screening was being held at the IMAX theater affixed to our museum, which proclaims itself to be the third-largest such screen in the world. There was a limosine colored like Bumblebee out the front and everything.

If I'm going to see Transformers bludgeoning each hour for well over two hours, at least they can be big.

But the movie was even worse than I imagined it would be, even worse than I remembered the third movie -- the last one I'd deigned to watch -- being. I considered momentarily watching the fourth one, in order to better prepare myself to review this one. But my God, that movie is two hours and 45 minutes long. No thanks.

I won't go on any further tearing this movie down in the body of this post, because you can read my full smackdown here.

Just know that IMAX did not make it better, just as the lame attempts at humor did not make it funny, and the bizarre choice to involve the Middle Ages did not even make it WTF enough to be good trash.

Next time I try to help save the cinematic soul of a fellow critic, remind me not to.

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