The last few months have not been easy for Hollywood cinema. Still, it’s important to remember that before the pandemic, great movies and ideas hit the screens and there were a lot of changes in the stories. It wasn’t just the stories that changed. The manner of the narratives also took on new facets. In addition, however, there are always films that are not rated as well by a large number of people. But still we take a look and are enthusiastic. How can that be? In this series, I’m going to watch a few films that were similar to me and that I had a lot of fun with despite their mistakes.
Hollywood cinema and its often referred to as “garbage”
Time and again there are films that are either badly received by critics and fans and still become bestsellers, or they flop in terms of numbers and then gain popularity in fan circles. Only sometimes do we find the films so mediocre that we don’t dare to list them when it comes to our favorite films. If you look at my list, you know what I’m talking about. You would find films like “Grownups by Adam Sandler, the Transformers parts by Michael Bay, especially the first two and then the entire“ The Fast and the Furious ”series.
These films either generate a lot of money, even though everyone would agree that their narratives are not one of their strengths, or they make a place for themselves in the memories of their fans. I do not want to presume to subject the films and film series mentioned to an objective evaluation. For me it is much more about showing why such films give me and other people a lot of fun and pleasure.
Transformers as the action bulwark badly
A few months ago my girlfriend and I watched the movie “6 Underground”. Let’s face it, a movie with Ryan Reynolds can’t be given the cold shoulder. However, we noticed something very early on, which we could not put into words. Until my friend realized that everything reminded her of Michael Bay films. And fact, Michael Bay was one of the main culprits. The fact that you can recognize Michael Bay’s handwriting is not necessarily due to the stories he filmed. Much more it is the action scenes, camera perspectives and the very strong exposure and the use of a very special color filter in every scene.
You can quickly see these things in the Transformers series. The robots have a long history as toys, and feature films followed in 2007. They benefited significantly from the marketing strategy by Hasbro, the US military and the countless other companies that are recognizable by product placements in the films. It has to be said that this strategy definitely worked back then and that the first Transformers part was a financial success. On the other hand, one could also claim that this does not result in a film, but only a two-hour commercial.
The films themselves are action blasts. Everything explodes every second, there is a lot of shooting, huge robots fight each other and destroy cities and other places. At first glance, nothing special. However, every now and then you are amazed at what you see there. It’s like a circus. It doesn’t always matter what is shown to you. The main thing is that what is shown is colorful, bright and hides everything else. With Transformers you have two hours in which everything else disappears from view, because in every next scene something more action-packed happens. But is that all Transformers has to offer?
One-dimensional characters that cannot be forgotten
Many would say yes, Michael manages to create an action-packed adventure outwardly, especially in the first parts, that throws his audience with optical and acoustic stimuli. Behind this loud facade there are a few details that may not have anything to do with Michael Bay, but which ensure that if I catch a Transformer part on TV, then I watch it too.
For one, there is Shia LaBeouf in his role as Sam. Just as Transformers acts like a rapid back and forth between action scenes, in my opinion that is well reflected in the character of Sam. He, too, cannot stand still for a second, speaks very quickly and often without thinking and provides the comic relief in most of the scenes in order to offer a break from all the action.
There is also Josh Duhamel in his role as Captain Lennox. One could read his figure as a glorification of the US military, which is probably true. However, Josh Duhamel manages to leave an incredibly positive feeling in his scenes with his comrades and the Autobots, increasingly those in the second part of the series.
Lastly, I’d like to mention what I think was the most iconic personality from the first Transformers films. Seymour Simmons played by John Turturro. There is probably no sentence by Simmons that has not achieved cult status in my circle of friends. Especially the scene at the end of Transformers: the revenge when Simmons asks the US military to fire a top secret weapon and they want to tell him that this information is top secret and he just yells into their phone: “DON’T COME WITH ME TOP SECRET! ”Conjures up a smile on my face every time. You don’t get to see these things very often in Hollywood cinema.
My favorite bad movies in Hollywood cinema
Transformers was one of the first films that Hollywood cinema tried to sell me as a kind of pure and dull entertainment and it actually worked. I was entertained. Of course, such productions have their flaws and flaws on many different levels. But nobody should be afraid or ashamed of them if he or she admitted that they like such films too. Sometimes it has to be light fare and you only want to have to be half careful for two hours so that you can see everything. The other two representatives that I have chosen, that is Adam Sandler with “Grown-ups” and the “The Fast and the Furious” series, I will address in the next few posts.
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Cover picture: © Paramount Pictures