Hornswaggler | The culture, the humor, a bit of the sports, not so much the politics, and the workplace distraction

Hornswaggle is an alternate spelling of hornswoggle, an archaic word that means to bamboozle or hoodwink. I take my pronunciation from the late Harvey Korman in "Blazing Saddles" --

"I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, conmen, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass kickers, shit kickers and Methodists!"

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Little Man gives it up for "Transformers"

The San Francisco Chronicle gave a positive review to "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."

Granted, it wasn't a staff writer, but a reviewer from elsewhere in the Hearst chain. But still, what's with the Chronicle and Michael Bay? I still remember being dumbstruck when I saw that Mick LaSalle had given "Pearl Harbor" the thumbs up.

"Revenge of the Fallen" has a 20 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 18 percent rating in the top-critics category. "Pearl Harbor" has a 25 percent fresh rating and a 23 percent rating among top critics. I haven't seen either movie, but that doesn't mean I can't tell with 99 percent certainty that they're bad. And yes, that makes me a snob. But I know enough about Michael Bay, from reputation and experience -- "Armageddon" certainly sucked, and the parts of the first "Transformers" I saw were underwhelming -- that there's no reason to give his movies the benefit of the doubt. I'm inclined here to put more stock in Stephanie Zacharek's review in Salon. Maybe one of these days though I should go on a Michael Bay movie-watching spree just to soak in the badness.

Anyway, it's odd, the Chronicle's love for Michael Bay, Hollywood's premier schlock purveyor. (The paper gave the first "Transformers" the nod too, though that received better reviews overall than the sequel.)

Incidentally, it would appear that Megan Fox's performance in this movie is a demonstration that a woman doesn't have to appear nude for her performance to be pornographic. Below is the shot of Fox on a motorcycle, her first appearance in the movie, that every review seems to mention.

Her role in the "Transformers" sequel, just like the first, apparently is not to act, but to pose, like a walking Maxim pictorial. I'm reminded of Jessica Alba's performance in "Into the Blue." The scene that really struck me from that one wasn't one of the most revealing, it was a simple shot where Alba was standing at a distance either on a dock or boat, yelling to someone off-camera, and she was in this hand-on-the-hip contrapposto that no human being has ever stood in except at the end of catwalk. And I have no doubt that the director or some of his top assistants spent a good 15 minutes discussing the pose and making sure it looked just right.

So we'll see how Fox's career goes. When your name on the script may as well read Cleavage or Butt Cheeks, it's hard to make that transition to serious actress, so eventually the parts start to dry up. The career arc of the hot bad actress is rarely long and it bends towards Playboy. Now, I don't know if she's as untalented as Alba, but if she keeps taking roles like this it probably won't matter. I suppose I can't fault her for making money off her looks, but if I were her agent I'd try to get her in a movie where the camera can't be charged with lewd and lascivious conduct for the way it frames her.

.: posted by hornswaggler 9:05 PM

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