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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

Spoilers for Transformers/and Sunshine Cleaning ahead(I’ll keep them separate).

I just got home from Transformers two. Is it me or is that movie a bit of a turkey? I mean really – I LOVED the first movie. Ok I know that its politics sucked pretty hard, and I’m not excusing that. It’s just that it was some big time action flick fun. And I laughed some.

I think I laughed once tonight and I cannot remember at what.

Don’t get me wrong. The action is (in parts) still impressive.

I’m kinda ‘meh’ over Bay as a director. I mean leaving aside the politics I still am. Some spectacular scenes, some really compelling OMG SHIT DID YOU SEE THAT stuff in the first Transformers film. And also some ‘Yeah, well it *looked* like something awesome was happening, but you were going so fast I couldn’t catch it and I think you rely on making me seasick in order to cover up the fact that whilst impressive I can’t tell one motherfucking robot from another and I don’t know what the fuck is happening’ stuff.

Possibly it’s going into the last movie with no expectations and going into this movie expecting to really enjoy it, but tonight it just both bored and pissed me off for most of the movie. Why?

Hmm…ludicrously charicatured: hysterical mum, awkward bluffy dad, man-child stoicism, hot chick inexplicably almost humping her bike, writhing in tiny shorts while spray painting a nekkid chick onto it (from a character who has the potential to be TEH AWESOME and never really gets fully utilised), and a cringe-worthy mano e mano ‘layin down the law’ chat between car and owner. All in the first half an hour. And it aint picking up anytime soon.

The college stuff was like a Hefner cliche. I mean what the fuck. That was supposed to be Brown, yes? And bowm chicka WOW WOW amazingly enough the entire campus is chock full of windswept FHM models poutin like they want what you got and they want it REAL BAD. I’m not talking cos the chicks were hot, I’m talking cos it was in danger of veering off into a hot lesbian pillow fight with an invite to join in kind of cliche scene sometime soon.

Now, duh, Michael Bay, what did I expect, right? Except (and maybe I was drunk/delusional) last time it seemed a little, I don’t know…clever…that’s probably putting it too high, but it was kinda fun. There was still boy goggle eyed over girl stuff in the first movie, but it was mildly cute, but this was so generically BORING and spectacularly STUPID. Can I just be clear here? I am not being bitter over beautiful women: I am being fucked off over them not being seen as women, at all, ever, but rather just vapid airheads/dominating sex machines who wanna impregnate you with their devil-machine-spawn at best, background scenery akin to shrubs…hot shrubs with tits but still shrub like in their lack of being people in ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM…at worst. Is that the worst? I don’t know. There was that much bad to choose from, it’s hard to pick the worst.

Then, in case you’d not sufficiently dehumanised women there’s the every five seconds downright ‘AW YEAH, you GOT him’ insult of ‘bitch’/’pussy’/’girl’ – all aimed at the hispanic friend no less.

Fucking homophobia and misogyny run riot within the first half hour. You made it hard for me to even BEGIN to enjoy your movie Michael.Not to mention – dog sex/leg humping – what are you fucking FIVE? It’s just not funny/witty/worthy/anything other than CRAP.

Hmmm…let’s see. Oh of course I forgot, the opening scene -charicatured generic ‘savages’, always good for an introductory scene, and a convenient way to illustrate the ‘violence’ of man in ways that don’t point the finger at you (cos a spear, that’s definitely the worst man has come up with!) then obliterate them for some shock value and get onto the real people you’re supposed to care about (straight all-American men and maybe – to a far lesser extent – the women they ‘own’).

The hispanic friend who *comically* speaks Spanish when startled, is oversexed and feminised and ridiculed – he has ‘bitch hair’, that ‘grows like a Chia pet’ apparently, and is continually yelled at for being a ‘pussy’ and a ‘girl’ – this in the presence of Mikaela who when not confined to waxing bikes the FHM way is actually one kick arse woman, every bit as brave and competent as any of those ‘manly men’ not that she’s ever allowed facets or an independant existence or in this movie to be away from Sam’s hand more than a second.

The Egyptian people/landscape/architecture is blown to hell with absolute impugnity.

The Jordanian backups crash into a mountain before they even arive, those crazy foreigners.

I mean it, I WANTED to enjoy this movie, and I went in KNOWING it was Bay and EXPECTING Bay and it still managed to feed me a shit sandwich and ask me to enjoy it while waiting for some robot fighting.

It took me FOREVER to begin to give a shit about what was happening, and FOREVER for them to dial back the ham and get to the fucking action.

They improved a little with the robot on robot fight scenes (you could tell a little more who was who). The overarching plot was so done to death that cliche is a kind word. The baddies are so one dimensional that it’s a yawn fest before it starts. Overall, I say this is a bit of a suckfest. Unfortunately my son wants the dvd.

Damn Shia Le Bouf has potential too and it’s not getting used here, at least for the first half of the movie, you know, for the manly shouting/action scene stuff he goes ok.

Yes, it’s an action flick. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be a bland piece of crap (or am I delusional and that’s exactly what it means?).

Onto Sunshine Cleaning.

LOVED IT!

Sigh. The single mum stuff hit a little close to home (in a this-is-a-good-movie/good performance way) and I found myself willing myself not to cry at a few of her stretched-to-breaking-point moments that weren’t necessarily pitched as ‘cry now’ moments.

The lack of belief in her voice when she told herself she was strong, the going back for more in a pretty depressing situation in order to have a few stolen moments of adult affection, the leaking out sideways of all that stress in unwelcome ways, emotional blurt outs, random strained comments.

I loved the small silly stuff of the lobster man stories and the little boy licking the walls, the portrayal of the school reaction, and her determination, and the grandfather insisting the boy is a genius.

It was just a nice sweet (mostly) understated little movie.

I felt like a couple of times it tried too hard for the emotional manipulation factor, when it already had you and that it could have been even better without that. But overall it was a movie that moved me and that captivated me and dragged me along. I couldn’t shake it last night either.

I was trying to sleep and it was lingering, this feeling of an achy thinky sadness.

To make things worse I’d had a real ‘WTF single mum’ night myself. For the first time I’d let mini FP let himself in in the arvo with careful instructions to order a pizza and that I’d be home by bedtime. I was worried earlier, but was convinced nothing could go wrong. I knew the cleaners had been, but they’d long since left, the house was in order, he had phones, and he’s a sensible kid. I just had to remember to call him to remind him to lock the door, put the keys in the key bowl and order the pizza and all would be well right?

No, at 6-ish, on the wrong side of the city I get a panicked call. ALL the hotplates are apparently on and very hot, and he can’t turn the dials because they’re too hot. Ten to fifteen minutes of trying to talk him down (with a dry mouth and a pounding heart) was not working. I told him to wait while I called someone for help and luckily I managed to get through to a friend who lives close by who could go and help out. I still don’t really know what happened. I guess the stovetop was being cleaned and the dials accidentally got turned the wrong way?

But you know, I get home and accidentally knock the pizza all over the floor, realise my good baking dish has been sitting on top of two hotplates while they burned away, asked mini FP to check the messages to stop the machine beeping to realise it’s a message from his dad, and get told his dad (in Germany) had called again while I was away. How the FUCK does he do that? He calls once every two months and manages to get a time when I’m not home. A time when I’m not home and the fucking HOTPLATES are all on mind. Mini FP realised this while he was on the phone and told him so.

So he’s telling me this as I’m sweeping puff pastry off the carpet and I’m just feeling like the shittiest single mum who ever did shit. So despite the fact that all WAS well and nothing bad HAD happened, the whole ‘Christ, I’m working really hard and it never quite seems to work’ thing from the movie was really resonating, so it’s not a surprise I didn’t sleep and the movie rattled around in my head a while.

And just as I started to drop off to sleep I wondered how on earth did they get that little girl actor to cry *exactly* like she’d just realised her whole world had crumpled?

Anyway, it’s way past my bedtime!

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