Zoooh (as the Germans say), I went with the YYM to a movie today here in Erlangen. Transformers. (I should note that that web site is EXACTLY a rip-off of the Starcraft web site maintained by Blizzard, ten years ago)
On the German movie experience:
1. Assigned seats. No, really.
2. Unbelievably outrageous prices. Just like the U.S. in other words. Equivalent of $12 US for a ticket. Interestinglz, they price higher on weekends.
3. You can get a combo deal (menü) that is downright American, also. A giant (1.5 liter Pepsi Leight and a huge bucket o'popcorn. For about $11 US. No ice in the drink, though, so of course it is warm pretty fast. If you are going for the giant American style drink you have to cough up for the ice, I think.
4. After 10 minutes of previews, the curtain closes, the lights come up, and the theater comes in with a bucket of candy. He asks if everyone is okay, ready to start? People yell, "JAAAAH!" He goes back out. Then ten more minutes of trailers.
5. At this point about ten people come in, in the dark. the YYM and I had moved, because our ridiculous assigned seats were in the only row that had people in it. Apparently they sell one row at a time, in case there is a last minute rush from an arriving aircraft carrier. We had to get up, and find other seats, because bizarrely we happened to sit in the seats assigned to the rational late-comers.
6. A solid 25 minutes after the movie is supposed to start, it starts. Of course, it is Transformers. Having it be in German is a blessing. I am free to think that I have no idea what is going on because of the language barrier. If it were in English I would know that I had no idea what was going because it actually makes no sense.
7. After 80 minutes, the curtain closes, and the lights come up. Intermission. No, really.
8. AFter 10 minutes, lights go back down, and the movie starts, going on for another 70 minutes.
On the movie: it would have been dramatically improved by cutting out a full hour. I'm not exaggerating. It is an hour too long. At one point, the hero stops to talk to the SHC who is running with him toward the amazingly nonsensical conclusion. It has taken them at least a minute to move 100 meters, under violent attack from every quarter, for the last ten minutes. In other words, they have moved maybe a kilometer in ten minutes. They peer ahead. Hero says to Smokin' Hot Chick (Megan Fox), "We only have another 3 kilometers to go!" Audience actually groans and laughs, loudly. I have never seen that reaction before.
It is pretty clear who the target audience of this movie is. Here is a pic of Megan Fox, the main SHC. She is "painting" the motorcycle, in her dad's motorcycle shop. And, if you have been to a motorcycle chop shop, then you know that this is just how the workers look, dress, and position themselves to paint. JUST like this.
Biggest stars of the movie:
A. Megan Fox's breasts (they appear in nearly every non-exploding scene, and many exploding scenes.
B. The two "Jar Jar in a Car Car" transformers, though in the German dubbing they just had high pitched voices, like Ewoks.
C. The U.S. military. It was practically a commercial. Brave. Excellent tech weapons. The scenes with the planes, and the foot soldiers who never retreat, and then the hovercraft tank carriers....made you want to join.
D. Chevrolet. It straight up WAS a commercial.
E. The enormous destroyer Decepticon transformer. It had a giant pair of wrecking balls, right where a mammal that size would have...well, a giant pair of wrecking balls.
Things that should be shot over, or maybe just shot: A. The theme that bad government officials ruin everything. The fact is that bad is the ONLZ* kind of government official there is. Of COURSE they ruin everything. B. The plot. Incredibly bad. C. The editing. Leave an hour of this turkey behind, and it would be a lot more watchable.
My favorite review: It’s like watching a blender for two hours while someone shouts at you. And then the last half an hour is the same, except it’s more like having your head strapped to a washing machine while you watch a blender and someone shouts at you. And that guy LIKED the movie.
Still, I have to admit, I liked it too. It is a terrible movie, but it hardly pretends to be anything other than what it is. It is comic book set to massive sound and music, with several SHCs, and tremendous special effects. It's worth seeing. If you are male and 16, it may be worth seeing twice.
*darned german keyboard!
UPDATE: As commenter NP points out, here is a better review. What HE said. That's what I think, now, too.