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These writers mostly said they had a thing about the Transformers toys of their childhoods, or liked the animation on TV, or like to see stuff blowed up real good. I was too old, "of the wrong generation," or an elitist or a liberal--although not, I was relieved to find, a "liberal elitist." It seems to me "Transformers" also qualifies for conservative scorn. Yet one commented said I hated the movie because it was an attack on President Obama. John C Having now absorbed all or parts of 750 responses to my complaints about "Transformers," I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that most of those writing agree with me that it is a horrible movie. There have, however been some disagreements that I thought were reasonable. If you enjoyed the movie, there is no way I can say you're wrong. That the movie's detractors (lumped together as "the critics") like only obscure movies that nobody else does--art films, documentaries, foreign films, indies, movies made 50 years ago--even, God forbid, "classics." One poster argued that "Transformers" was better than that boring old movie "Casablanca." I was informed I didn't "get" Michael Bay.When I had been a film critic for ten minutes, I treated Doris Day as a target for cheap shots.I have learned enough to say today that the woman was remarkably gifted. That possibly didn't happen without Bay hearing about it."Brainiac:" Must be a critic. The job of the reader is not to find his opinion applauded or seconded, but to evaluate another opinion against his own. I've "forgotten what it's like to be a kid," another poster told me. Veiled in-jokes about politicians and famous people, popular in animation and mass market movies, come with the territory. The apparent reference to Obama was no big deal, although a reader from Germany told me the actual name "Obama" was used in the German dub. The job is to describe my reaction to a film, to account for it, and evoke it for others. What disturbs me is when I'm specifically told that I know too much about movies, have "studied" them, go into them "too deep," am always looking for things the average person doesn't care about, am always mentioning things like editing or cinematography, and am forever comparing films to other films.But on the other hand look at the spirited discussions on the movie forums of the all-Transformers-all-the time seibertron.com, where a Paramount exit poll showing "90% of those polled thought the second film was as good or better than the first one" has been received with ridicule. If someone says the kung-fu movies of the 1970s, which I used for our old Dog of the Week segments, deserve serious consideration, I will listen.I will try to do what Pauline Kael said she did: Take everything you are, and all the films you've seen, into the theater. The older you are and the more films you've seen, the more you take into the theater.
" when they're really asking, "what gives you the right to disagree with me?
They don't need to spend a lifetime with the water only up to their toes. I've had experiences at the movies so rich, so deep--and yes, so funny and exciting--that I don't want to water the soup.
Director Michael Bay, preparing "Transformers 3." Do I ever have one of those days when, the hell with it, all I want to do is eat popcorn and watch explosions? I went to "Transformers" with an open mind (I gave a passing grade to the first one).
It isn't that he "thinks he knows more than anybody else." It's that he does. When a so-called film critic defended a questionable review by saying, "after all, it's opinion," Gene told him: "There is a point when a personal opinion shades off into an error of fact.
It's like he happens to know a lot of interesting stuff, and is happy to share it with you. When you say 'The Valachi Papers' is a better film than 'The Godfather,' you are wrong." Quite true.
To describe someone as a "Harvard student" is to dismiss them as beneath consideration.