- Entertainment and Media
The Movie Scab Reviews: "Battleship."
"The scab you're picking at is called execution."
--American film producer Scott Rudin.
Ack! Ack! Ack!
Monkey Boy gives Battleship three Acks! out of five!
Battleship vs. Transformers.
A number of notable film critics have said Battleship is “preposterous” when compared to Transformers and that’s the reason the big summer blockbuster hasn’t busted a block and why it’s losing millions of dollars hand over fist.
OK, let’s define what we’re talking about here: two movies, one based on a cartoon and toys (trucks and cars that turn themselves into living robots, i.e., Transformers) and the other one based on a board game about war games at sea (Battleship). The key words to focus on here are “based on,” “cartoon and toys,” and “board game.” Clearly, we’re in preposterous territory before entering the movie theatre, yes?
Knowing that, it seems reasonable to conclude that I should know what to expect when I’m in a movie theatre watching movies based on cartoons/toys and a board game. Things are going to be…. wait for it… wait for it…. preposterous!
Didn’t the notable film critics get the memo?
Battleship is as preposterous as Transformers is stupid. I can say it the other way around too: Transformers is as preposterous as Battleship is stupid. But at the end of the day, they’re both fun and what else do you expect from movies based on cartoons/toys and board games? I mean, come on. Really.
And I love the way Rotten Tomatoes sums up the notable critical opinion in regard to Battleship: “It may offer energetic escapism for less demanding filmgoers, but Battleship is too loud, poorly written, and formulaic to justify its expense--and a lot less fun than its source material.”
The key phrase to focus on here is “less demanding filmgoers.” Superior much?
Here’s Rotten Tomatoes critical sum up of Transformers: “While believable characters are hard to come by in Transformers, the effects are staggering and the action is exhilarating.”
But Transformers was too loud. Transformers was poorly written. Transformers was formulaic. Transformers was too expensive. And for die hard fanboys, Transformers was a lot less fun than its source material.
Conversely, believable characters are hard to come by in Battleship. The effects are staggering. The action is exhilarating.
In fact, Battleship and Transformers have a similar look, at least, in regard to the special effects, and that may be part of the problem with the moviegoing audience (and even some of the slow-mo shots look an awful lot like Michael Bay's direction), but at the end of the day? What it all amounts to is, they’re two preposterous, stupid and totally entertaining popcorn munching movies that provide any moviegoer, regardless how demanding they may or may not be, a fun, dumb, cheesy ride.
That being the case, I have to ask: What’s the difference? Why do the notable film critics hate Battleship and, in comparisson, tolerate Transformers?
Here’s notable film critic Richard Roeper’s review of Transformers via Rotten Tomatoes: “It's a big, cool, dopey, noisy, non-stop action powerhouse. It's also too long by a half hour and it left my ears ringing, but it's a lot of fun.”
Here’s notable film critic Richard Roeper’s review of Battleship via Rotten Tomatoes: “Big loud stupid dopey shameless clichéd overbearing and did I mention stupid?”
What do Richard Roeper's reviews have in common? That's right: similar and even identical words!
Transformers: "big, dopey, noisy, left my ears ringing."
Battleship: "big, dopey, loud."
It should be pretty clear (but not if you’re a less demanding moviegoer, eh, Richard Roeper?) that “Big loud stupid dopey shameless clichéd overbearing and did I mention stupid?” means almost exactly the same thing as “It's a big, cool, dopey, noisy, non-stop action powerhouse. It's also too long by a half hour and it left my ears ringing, but it's a lot of fun.”
This means that based on his reviews of both movies and the way he carelessly uses words, I can reach the conclusion that:
1.) They’re movies made for idiots.
2.) They’re movies not made for idiots.
What does this tell us about notable film critic Richard Roeper? He’s an idiot.
What does this tell us about notable film critics in general? They’re all idiots.
I conclude: If you liked Transformers, you’re probably going to like Battleship, not because you’re a less demanding moviegoer as our notable film critic suggests, but simply because you like movies like that. Screw Richard Roeper’s superiority. Why listen to him? He’s an idiot.
Do I need to tell you what Battleship is about? Really? Well, OK, let me put it this way (thanks to About.com and Seth Brown, “The Basic Rules of Battleship”): two players, a board with two grids, five ships, hit and miss markers, sink the opponents ships by guessing where they are.
Throw in some good looking actors, great effects, aliens from outer space, and lots of stuff that goes boom and you’ve pretty much got the plot for Battleship.
Honorable Mention: the U.S.S. Oklahoma. The Pearl Harbor Memorial is used in the movie in a way that I think is inventive, fun and totally cool unless you’re deeply cynical about the United States Military.
My rating: If you liked Transformers, organize a Beer Day (after 45 continuous days at sea and/or in a movie theatre), drink multiple six-packs of Land Shark Lager, loaded (i.e., slip a shot of Bacardi Limón in the neck), go and see Battleship and take your sober and super smart notable film critic-friend Richard Roeper with you and then, when you’re about to hurl because of the “big, cool, dopey, noisy, non-stop action,” dump it in his idiotic lap.
Battleship vs. Transformers: Who wins?
The U.S. Navy, of course. Talking robots that turn into cars are cool and all, but they're nowhere near as cool as the U.S. Navy. And just in case Richard Roeper doesn't know, talking robots that turn into cars are not real. The U.S. Navy is real.