Directed by: Michael Bay. I made notes as I watched this movie, which I never do. At the end, I had a laundry list of things that separated this from a decent movie, but perhaps I lost the point. The great conundrum in film criticism, which every critic solves for themselves somehow, which I still haven’t for myself, is whether to solve the question of judging a film by a set criteria of goodness or greatness, or judging a film by its own criteria, by the world it sets out for itself. I tried to do the latter, I tried to judge this by Michael Bay standards, not by Michael Haneke standards. But even compared to Armageddon, this is pretty absurd. The way they mix the utmost gravity and seriousness with fluffy moments of lightheartedness indicates to me an attempt at emulating Spielberg (which, in my opinion, falls pretty short). They almost had me until the robots started talking. I know that this will be a dividing point among viewers (or rather, it was a dividing point—this thing’s already five years old, and I’m sure a re-boot starring Andrew Garfield is imminent), but to me, the precedent was set with the first half of the film for a world where the humans are the primary agents and the robots are the fantastical, awe-inspiring catalysts for the plot. It’s like the difference, say, between E.T. and Spaced Invaders. Know what I mean? All that aside, this is, I must say, an entertaining flick, a high-octane thriller. And Megan Fox is fuckin hot, eh? One thumb up, if you know what I mean. Seriously, though, this movie is very good at being modern commercial Hollywood ADD garbage—which is what any praise for this movie amounts to saying. Like it or not, though, Transformers set the tone for current Hollywood (witness Battleship). The only genre to rival this, certainly in quality, is the superhero genre, the Iron Mans et al, which I’ll be taking a look at in the upcoming weeks and months.