Archive - Jul 22, 2013

Off The Rim

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Memo to America: I DON'T GET YOU.

Six years ago, Michael Bay's "Transformers", an awful movie about piles of CGI gears that punch each other, opened with $70 Million dollars and went on to make 319 million dollars.

Two years later, despite millions of people having experienced the first Transformers, the sequel, Revenge Of The Fallen, opened with $108 million and went on to make over $400 million, despite or because of the addition of a pair of racist caricature robots.

Two years after that, despite millions of people having seen BOTH of the previous Transformers movies, the third movie, Dark of the Moon, opened with nearly $100 million and went on to make $350 million.

So clearly, America loves giant robots punching things, except they don't? Because nobody went to see Pacific Rim. It opened with $37 million, and in two weeks, hasn't even made what the first Transformers opened with six years ago, before the rise of 3-D ticket prices.

I don't know what you people want if you don't want this movie. It's two hours and ten minutes of loud pummeling. Robots pummel monsters. Monsters pummel robots. People pummel people. It has regular explosions, nuclear explosions, It has a generic white guy being generically heroic. It has some wacky hijinks, and every standard emotional beat you'd expect from a summer movie.

And, again, while all that is going on, skyscraper-sized robots are punching skyscraper-sized monsters. Sometimes rocket-punching them. And America, en masse, said "fuck that, I'm going to see the aging man-children from 1990s Saturday Night Live take a Cheaper By The Dozen II -sized dump on their variously-sized comedic legacies."

And, yes, I know you all keep churning out children that need to be distracted by 3-D computer cartoons, but Despicable Me 2 two weeks in a row? And The Conjuring this past weekend? And more Despicable Me 2? And Turbo? None of these movies have giant robots in them, unless Despicable Me 2 does, and if it does, it doesn't have as many.

I'm not wondering why you didn't all go see an art film. I'm not some Browncoat bemoaning the poor performance of my niche TV show. It's just robots. Punching monsters. In Dolby Surround. For two hours. There is literally nothing in this movie our culture should not embrace. It's even got a perfectly awful closing credits song written for and about the movie by Ron Perlman's daughter! That's almost Kardashian!

It's not even that we can't fool you into watching good things by putting lots of shiny objects in them. Avengers and Iron Man 3 did fine. And it's not like you'll go see any pile of shit as long as it's got name recognition, because we all justifiably rejected The Lone Ranger. So what is it? Capricious whim? Spite? Are you, American movie-going public, just fucking with me? You are, aren't you? You're fucking with me. I can hear you.

Well, I hope you're happy, because whatever it was, Hollywood's going to decide that what you want is fewer giant robots punching things, and more Adam Sandler's 46-year-old nutsack getting hit with sticks. See you in 2015 for Grown-Ups 3: Bruised, Wrinkly Balls.