July 2nd, 2011

Admiral Ackbar

SPOILER: The VX gas makes you look like Admiral Ackbar

The Rock in (how appropriate) bullet points:

  • Actually, ideally, the little bullet points to the left should be exploding, but html can't do everything.

  • Bobby "Fatboy" Roberts's pre-film reel had a point, and that point is: MICHAEL BAY HAS ALWAYS BEEN LIKE THIS. He showed one of Bay's "Got Milk?" ads, the 1993 video for Meat Loaf's "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)," and his Verizon FIOS ad ("Awesome!").

    So yeah, we should not be surprised that when Bay shot a Victoria's Secret ad, he included helicopters and explosions. Or that "Michael Bay Eating a Bowl of Cereal" looks like that.

  • Bobby also found several Japanese TV ads Sean Connery has done: for scotch, for tires, and for ham. HAM. Surprisingly sexually-filmed ham, so that at first my dirty mind wondered what kind of meat I was looking at. o.O And he showed one of Saturday Night Live's "Sean Connery on Jeopardy!" sketches, which went over like gangbusters. Didn't show Nicolas Cage's Pachinko ads, but the crazy-Cage quotient was satisfied with the cartoon "Nicolas Cage Wants Cake" and the clip video "Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit" (heavy on Vampire's Kiss and the remake of The Wicker Man; say it with me, "NOT THE BEES, NOT THE BEES!!! AAAAAHHHHHHHH!")

  • Holy explode-y granoly, The Rock is ridiculous. A great kind of ridiculous, a kind of ridiculous I still really, really enjoy. The swooping-the-camera-around-someone-heroically thing Bay does a lot, like when Cage surveys the damage of the Hummer-versus-Ferrari car chase, got a big laugh each time. (Great turnout last night, too.)

  • I almost wonder if The Rock should not work as well as it does. It's ridiculously (there's that word again) kinetic, where so much of the film's energy comes from the camera moves and the wall-of-sound-with-synths-and-guitars score that Nick Glennie-Smith and Hans Zimmer (and a few other composers) wrote. Much of the story is over-the-top in nowhere near a real-life way: as was pointed out on the commentary, Gen. Frank Hummell (Ed Harris's character) could just have taken his issue to the news, not tried to resolve it by threatening to bubble off the skin of everyone in the San Francisco Bay Area. But I doubt anyone watches Jerry Bruckheimer productions for real-life accuracy, AND BLESS HIM FOR THAT.

  • And yep, I got caught up in the ridiculousness and had a genuine emotional reaction to it, which is more than Bay managed with the first Transformers.

  • How caught up? Let's go back to after I first saw the film in 1996. Near the end, Hummell launches a VX poison gas-tipped rocket towards a full football stadium, then steers the missile off-course so he doesn't kill tens of thousands of people. The missile flies across the peninsula and out to sea. It crashes. I then imagined the poison hitting the water, spreading to all the fish within half a mile, making them bubble and melt and explode. I thought Oh no! Those poor fish!

    I would go on to cry at The Truman Show. I'm just saying.

  • Shots that should not be beautiful, somehow are. It's a pleasure for me to watch. This is why John Schwartzman gets the big films.

  • Should be a good turnout for next month's Midnight Movie, because that one is, finally, Raiders of the Lost Ark. McMenamin's has taken extra steps to be sure that, unlike when it couldn't show Raiders as the June Midnight Movie, it will definitely be able to show Raiders this time.

  • When the FBI's mobile command rolled its truck into that warehouse, I yelled "OPTIMUS!!!!"
  • Scorpio

    At least one more Michael Bay post

    Does Michael Bay make me lose my mind? Why have most of my entries this past week directly or indirectly involved him? Add one more to that number, because I wanted to describe a commercial of Bay's I saw in the Nineties and still remember. I've had no luck finding it online, but I can describe it...

    Montage Gorgeous, scantily-clad women cavort and/or cast come-hither glances at the camera.

    Soundtrack: "She Drives Me Crazy" by Fine Young Cannibals.

    Scrolling message across bottom of screen as cavorting, come-hithering and "She Drives Me Crazy" continue: MESSAGE TO GUYS. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THIS IS A COMMERCIAL FOR DOCKERS COLORED KHAKIS. THE COMPANY ASKED US TO MAKE AN AD SHOWING THEIR COLORED KHAKIS. WE SAID SHOWING SCANTILY-CLAD WOMEN WOULD WORK BETTER. AND THEY BOUGHT IT. OF COURSE, FOR US TO GET AWAY WITH THIS, THE ADS HAVE TO BE REALLY SUCCESSFUL. SO GO BUY LOTS OF DOCKERS COLORED KHAKIS. IF YOU DON'T WE WILL BE FORCED TO SHOW MEN IN THE ADS. LIKE THIS.

    Music Stops

    CUT TO:
    Bored male models standing in the desert, wearing Dockers Colored Khakis and no shirts.

    Soundtrack: Wind noise.

    Scrolling message across bottom of screen: ...WE DON'T WANT THAT, DO WE?

    Back to cavorting, come-hithering and "She Drives Me Crazy"