DVD REVIEW Movies You May Have Missed

Action Rules in ‘Transformers’

Editor’s Note:

As MIT students, we here at The Tech know how difficult (and expensive) it can be to make it to movie theaters to see the latest releases. So we have started this new column, “Movies You May Have Missed,” to review movies that have come out on DVD within the last month. While we will still have more traditional film reviews, we want to provide you with as many tools as possible to survive this place. Below is the first in what we hope will be a regular column. If you have recommendations for future columns, e-mail

— Jillian A. Berry


Directed by Michael Bay

Written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, and Jon Voight

Rated PG-13

Transformers” is awesome like winning the lottery while having a threesome, on a roller coaster, on your birthday. Which also happens to be a snow day. It’s amazing like dipping a deep fried candy bar in a jar full of peanut butter. Make sure you wear protection, kids, because this movie will blow you away.

The term “greatest movie ever” gets thrown around a lot these days, but I think that it’s safe to say that we have found it.

The course of humanity has always been guided by great women and men doing great things, even when others called them crazy. A caveman named Grug dared to play with fire. The Wright brothers dared to fly. The producers of “Transformers” dared to combine cars with fighting robots. It’s that sort of revolutionary thinking that has created the wonder of human culture as we know it.

“Transformers” begins with a helicopter metamorphosing into a massive, killer robot, firing a missile-launching scorpion out of its chest, and then pummeling the living crap out of an army base. If that doesn’t turn you on more than late night Cinemax, you might as well stop watching right there, because the majesty that is “Transformers” is clearly wasted. And then you can sterilize yourself, for the benefit of future generations.

“Transformers” tells the confusing tale of a race of aliens visiting earth, and overall the plot is more convoluted than the Massachusetts State laws concerning statutory rape (trust me). There’s something about a magical cube, a war on some other planet, some old dude’s glasses, and all sorts of other extraneous garbage. Essentially, Sam Witwicky (played by Shia LaBeouf) and his quasi-girlfriend Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox) team up with giant transforming robots and the U.S. army to fight other, meaner, angstier robots, and nobody cares as long as they blow each other up. Let’s be honest: watching “Transformers” for the plot is like watching “Sleepless in Seattle” for the ninja warfare. “Transformers” is a film built for one purpose — eye-candy — and it delivers more than a Dominoes guy making his rounds using an F-16.

The producers of “Transformers” know their targeted demographic (18–30, male, plays too much Xbox), and they latch on to it as if they’re a horde of blood-sucking lampreys. Combining cars and fighting robots in one place is like filling your room with an endless supply of beer and cheeseburgers: what more could you ever hope for out of life? In addition, the CGI graphics in the film are, in a word, beautiful. In ten words, they’re the most unbelievable spectacles I’ve ever witnessed in my life, but beautiful also suffices. The extended combat sequences (complete with slow-motion over-dramatic insanity) make “Saving Private Ryan” look like an episode of “Teletubbies.” Fittingly, it all ends in a missile barrage from good old Uncle Sam. If the Star-Spangled Banner were a movie, it would be called “Transformers.”

And of course, this is completely ignoring the significant contributions of Megan Fox (I can think of at least two right off the bat). Megan Fox is so hot that I’m honestly surprised (and disappointed) that her clothes are not totally obliterated in a blast of flames. She’s so hot that she can probably scramble eggs just by being within five miles of them, while they’re still inside the chickens.

Despite the obvious magnificence of the film, however, the world is always filled with nay-sayers. One might say that “Transformers” lacks many of the qualities that define a cinematic classic – a classic such as, say, “Citizen Kane.” You might propose that “Transformers” would benefit from such minor details as good acting, coherent dialogue, and a plot that makes more sense than a coked out third grader’s English essay. I challenge you, however, to honestly tell me how many times in “Citizen Kane” a gigantic robot roller-blades through the side of a bus. How many times a taxi is cut in half with a side-spinning helicopter rotor. How many times a massive robot bitch-slaps the hell out of a fighter jet. That’s right, none. Absolutely zero. And that is exactly what makes “Transformers” the greatest movie ever.