Sunday, April 29, 2007

Fake Transformers Review From A Plant

A Transformers test screening review appeared on Aint it Cool a few days ago. Even at the time it was a lot of fun - it seemed to show up Michael Bay's lies about the Prime lips coming from 'European test shots' in such a way that he'd simply have to be embarrassed. Now, though, I've found that it was written by a plant - and that makes it very interesting indeed.

I looked back through the review and sniffed out any criticisms. Knowing that a plant had written this, I'm now entirely confident that all of these 'issues' are the things that will be changed before release, things that it would be safe to knock because they'll be answered in the release version. Of course, the rest of the review is blind praise - and very superficial blind praise, too.

I'll try and catalogue the 'criticisms' for you:

- The lips on Optimus Prime.
- Bumblebee speaks only through his radio, and that takes some getting used to (followed by 'but eventually, is actually funny' retraction).
- Some of the emotional rleationships are 'cheesy' - but the 'reviewer' then praises them for this.
-Though the reviewer 'could see why' he was initially disappointed that early scenes didn't give a full-on look at the robots.
- Frenzy's CG doesn't look entirely finished.
- Starscream should have had more screentime - used only as an excuse to say "I've got a fever and the only prescription is more Starscream".
- Many Decepticons are simply Autobot stomping fodder (but that's then dismissed as okay, as it's just like the 'toon)
- Some of the scenes were unscored, so they'll obviously seem better once the score is in place.

I wouldn't have read the piece again in a million years until I found out it was written by a plant. Now we know, it makes an interesting case study in how a plant review pretends to balance criticism with praise and tries to influence readers. Not very convincingly, as it happens.

All we really needed to know in order to suspect Transformers would be a load of shallow, dull hokum was that Michael Bay was directing. It will probably play very well to a home audience - perhaps nostalgiacs of a certain age, or eternal adolescents, those overgrown juveniles with arrested development of their critical faculties - but it will take a lot more than plant reviews like this one to convince everybody else.


Anonymous said...

How do you know it's a plant?

Brendon said...

To cut a slightly complex story into a simpler form:

I was sent an e-mail from somebody who could know it was a plant that claimed to know the plant. They backed their story up - not 100% conclusively, but with a lot of credibility.

You don't get told such a thing every day, and I had no idea why somebody would make the claim up, so I e-mailed back and, a short chain of exchanges later, I was as convinced as I ever am.

There's always a chance that somebody is just trying to slur the film or leave me with egg on my face... but that's always the case, unfortunately.

I do get sent a fair few fake leads. Thankfully, I get more genuine ones.

Anonymous said...

So you claim he's a plant, and we're all supposed to believe you?

Really, regardless of this individuals account of the film, the test screening of 850 individuals returned results higher than 92. Whether or not this individual was a plant, which I doubt, you can't discredit the very positive overall acceptance by the screened audiences as a whole.

Brendon said...

Nor would I want to. This film tested very highly and I'm glad somebody got some stats and put them here. It seems this is a very successful film with test audiences. VERY successful.

At least believe that I believe it is a plant. I trust my source. That's all.

Of course, ven the best films probably have the odd plant review somewhere. My only point is, knowing this was written by a plant, it makes for interesting reading.

More interesting, to me at least, than if it were genuine.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'd rather trust reviews done by legit critics/reviewers than the one posted at AICN. As much as the author of the review could be a plant, one can't debunk the 850 audience with an above 92 rating on the screening.

Regarding that review, the writer seemed to focus on certain points and it doesn't help that what they wrote most people keeping up with the movie already knew. Had the writer commented on things we HAVEN'T heard of or didn't know, it would've been different. Thus, I'm holding out on believing the review.