Been a long time since I had time to post.
There is a funny thing about fanaticism on the internet, namely that it lacks temporal coherence. I find it so beyond rational to be criticized for criticizing the early Transformers designs now that the movie is out and the Transformers look badass. One fellow said I had not done my "research." Research of what at the time? The internet preserves your words in stone, forgetting the context of the time so that I can look "dumb" months after I make fair criticism. I think they're just forgotten that polemic can be something besides Whine Vs. Fact.
So anyways, the movie wasn't bad. You could keep the same movie and just swap out the director from Michael Bay to Ridley Scott and I would have declared it a victory, since I just can't support his selfish directing style and how he wraps his two arms around the military's cock, then jumps up and down to stroke out a caricature of patriotism. What, did you think it was an accident the military helped out so much on the film?
ILM's robots were phenomenal in motion, easily the best robot animation work ever done. I didn't like how overdesigned they were, and sometimes couldn't tell which way they were standing/flipping/facing, but it is not easy to make a 20ft robot move stealthily across suburbia. Just… what the fuck was that medic bot doing the whole time? They should have held him down and shoved the magic spark into HIS cowardly go-bot chest. And I still think Megatron could have been a gun… no… a fuck-all rail/satellite gun, that's right. He wasn't all that scary, dunno why any of the rest were hailing him in their Jar Jar garble.
Oh yeah and Megan Fox was damn hot.
If that were all my summer movie quota though, I would have been left blue-balled. I definitely didn't need Optimus Prime's idiotic state-of-the-union address, no matter how bad the liberal media has gotten. But c'mon, that speech would make Bill O'Reilly roll his eyes. Guess something needs to balance Michael Moore's "intellectual" crusade against healthcare in which he shows us that Cuba treats rich Americans when even America does not. Just don't ask about the real Cubans.
Fortunately, Ratatouille marked itself as the next American classic, a perfect animation told with perfect story and Pixar's trademarked ability to engage morals, entertain, and avoid cheap laugh fads. Their work is timeless. I no longer need to go to France now; the city shots were so amazing I fought to not lose my breath to a mere projected image as I sat in a stunned theater. And while the story was simple, Pixar told it the way the peasant dish of ratatouille was cooked in the movie- simply, but with aplomb and passion.
Having visited Pixar a couple times, I can tell you that the movie was that good for a reason. Stepping onto their campus was like stepping into Disneyland for the first time. Walking past their man-made tobaggan snowbank, into their airy art-filled mega-loft, onto their Segway highways connecting cubicles, past their gigantic theater, and around a workplace stuffed with relics and artifacts of childhood endearment from the Golden Age, you just knew. This was the Willy Wonka chocolate factory of 3D animation.
Xstine and I both looked at each other after the film, eyes tearing with some jealousy. I asked myself why I left a potential route into film fx and animation for the games industry. Then the endless credits came, and I remembered why. Nevertheless, to all the hardworking, brilliant artists and TDs who worked on this magnificent piece, congratulations! You've added something tangible to American culture. And you did it without giant killer robots (no pun intended, they do great work too).