biting the hand(s) that feed(s) them: the Transformers

Happy Independence Day, all you Americans!

I spent the eve watching the Transformers. For a film that probably cost massive amounts of money and was called "military porn" by one of the film reviewers (in one of the local 'papers), it was actually rather subversive and critical of the current imperial government/military*. I'm rather knackered for much discussion but here are a few examples to argue my point:

- The President, when on Air Force One, is shown asking for "ding dongs"** and wearing bright red socks (in bed).

- The (Australian) computer chick tells off the (American) defence people for not paying her attention by saying something along the lines of "we need to figure out who's doing this [jamming defence signals. We the viewers, of course, know it's the evil Decepticons] so we can save you from going to war with the wrong country"

- The credits at the end: "Our government doesn't keep secrets. It doesn't lie".

- The "good" guys in the government use Macs. 'nuff said.

- The Australian computer chick--she gets quite a few lines emphasising it's you [Americans] doing dodgy things without having all the info.

- The Secret Secret Agency guy (yes, it's double secret since not even the DoD knows of its existence) saying something about his "ridiculous salary that the government pays me".

- The good Autobots turn into sturdy, run of the mill, land-based vehicles (including a Hummer, I think and some sort of large truck). The evil Decepticons turn into military hardware, including a stealth bomber-type aircraft and a tank.

That's it folks. If American, do enjoy your Indpendence Day. If not American, do whatever yous usually do on a Wednesday. I am working all day and then headed down to "the Mission" to watch fireworks across San Francisco bay. Hopefully, public transport back to Berkeley will still be running after that(or else yous will hear of my night out in the open air, warding off chill and nutters).

Oh, and if yous are wondering, the Transformers is well worth the $8 yous will pay for the ticket. It surpassed my (well, fairly low) expectations--the CGI is fantastic, the action sequences are well-done and the acting and the dialogue are both suprisingly good. Add a geeky audience which cheered at all the rights spots (with a HUGE cheer for "My name is Optimus Prime"), it was a movie-going experience which has increased my liking for Berkeley.

* Is that irony? I mean, on the one hand, you have adverts for General Motors, discussions (by the "good" Transformers) about "everyone should be allowed a choice" and "all sentient beings deserve freedom" and, on the other, you are criticising the government.

** No, I've no idea what these are--must be an American thing.

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At 7/09/2007 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allow me to say, it is indeed a bad-ass movie. the security studies guy in me is all about the weapons porn, and the i used to play with transformers kid in me loved it too.


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