| || |
Intown Rundown: Robots in disguise
July 7, 2011 - April Diodato
The three-day holiday weekend has left me feeling a little brain dead and sluggish. I can’t decide if it’s the result of excessive sunshine and relaxation or due to my viewing of the new “Transformers.”
REEL TALK: ‘Transformers’
Alien robots have indeed invaded our planet and are destroying humankind, one brain cell at a time. There are very few movies during which I have left before the ending -- “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” has earned that rare distinction. No matter how exorbitant the ticket fees are, the showing I attended inspired an early exodus from the theater simply because the movie was completely devoid of any logic, reason or value, managed to make spectacular 3D graphics monotonous and mind-numbing, and was at least 90 minutes too long. “Transformers” clocks in at 2 hours and 34 minutes, the duration of which is equivalent to the way 2-and-a-half-plus hours feels in a doctor's waiting room equipped with nothing but stale magazines to help pass the time.
There was not one single moment in “Transformers” that made me think, “I wonder what's going to happen next,” or “I want to keep watching.” Not a one. Shortly before my departure, I considered Googling the ending of the film on the ride home. This thought did not occur to me again until two days later. I still don’t care enough to find out.
I have many questions after my viewing of “Transformers.” I hope someone out there can help me find the answers to the following queries:
- If shape-shifting robots are fighting other shape-shifting robots, would they really be fooled by one of their kind masquerading as a car or a fax machine? How many times does the strategy I’ll refer to as “Surprise! I’m a killer robot!” work as an appropriate defensive tactic? It’s like throwing an annual surprise party.
- The “good” robots are called Autobots and the evil ones are Decepticons. The latter is obviously an extremely clever play on the English language – get it?! They’re “deceptive!” Now, why would the name of an alien race be a play on words that, I assume, are foreign to them?
- Why would some robots have different accents – American, British and Australian? They are aliens.
- Is protagonist Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBouf) supposed to be likeable? He’s spastic, jealous, asinine, cocky and bloated from what I’m guessing are too many nights of partying, probably to congratulate himself on defending the planet from robots on more than one occasion. This heroic act apparently has to be kept a secret. I suppose that would drive someone to drink as well.
- Is there really any way that an overconfident, insufferable brat like Witwicky could land a Victoria's Secret model with what appears to be high self-esteem?
- Could a cardboard cut-out from this summer’s swimwear catalog have done just as well as or better than Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in the flesh?
- How psyched is Megan Fox right now? Thoughtlessly calling Michael Bay a Nazi has turned out to be one of the best career choices she’s made to date. Sadly, LeBouf is souring her moment of success by revealing that they had a brief affair while filming the prior “Transformers” movies. This proves that playing a jerk wasn’t much of a stretch for him.
- Why are human beings able to kill robots by shooting them in the “heart?” I thought these were machines.
- Why are they still letting Bay make movies? And more importantly, why are we still paying money to see them?
After watching “Trans-formers: Dark of the Moon,” I felt diminished – my intelligence, my time, my funds. Don’t let it happen to you.
A new trailer for the upcoming final installment of “Harry Potter” was by far the highlight of my “Transformers” experience. Tickets for opening night on July 15 have just gone on sale at the Dunkirk Movieplex. Visit www.dunkirkcinemas.com for more information.
- There's a hardcore matinee this Sunday at the Masonic Lodge in Fredonia. The show features locals Old Ghosts (previously Dead Hearts), Imagine You (formerly Sounds of Goodbye) and Pentimento from Buffalo. The doors open at 4 p.m. The cost is $7. The Lodge is located at 321 E. Main St.
- Bart’s Cove will feature the sweet sounds of Pirate Dreams from 5 to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
- If it’s a summer weekend in Western New York, there’s more than one festival going on. Two local communities will be having celebrations this weekend. The sixth annual Brocton Portland Community Festival will be held Friday through Sunday in Portland Community Park. The live music schedule is as follows: Widow Maker on Friday and Saturday, and Mike Eck & The Country Born on Sunday. Those attending can play the original “I Got It” game all weekend, and there will be a karaoke contest, fireworks (for anyone who missed them on July 4), and more. Sheridan Day is on Saturday, with festivities throughout the town from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The Music, Art and Wine Fest will be held on Saturday starting at 2 p.m. at Willow Creek Winery in Silver Creek. As far as live music goes, they’ve got a variety of genres covered – jazz, country, rock and blues – with performances by Everett Lee & Underground Stampede, Common Ground, Scott Militello, Imortal and the Eclectic Jazz Collective. Tickets are $10 pre-sale and $15 at the gate. Camping is free. Call the winery at 934-9463 for more information.
- Chautauqua Institution has both pop and classical entertainment this weekend. Natalie Merchant of 10,000 Maniacs fame will be performing on the Amphitheater stage on Friday at 8 p.m., her first show at Chautauqua since July 21, 2000. She will perform with 28 members of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Chautauqua Opera opens its summer season Saturday at 8:15 p.m. with Verdi’s “Luisa Miller.” It’s a one-night-only show. For tickets, visit https://chautauquatickets.ciweb.org/ or call 357-6250.
- The Dockside Cafe and Bar at the Clarion Hotel will have music each night this weekend: Left of Center on Thursday, Us on Friday and Fools Errand on Saturday.
- Do it for the dogs. The Lakeshore Humane Society seventh annual Pat McGee Memorial Dog Walk-a-thon will be held at Point Gratiot in Dunkirk on Saturday. Registration ($15) is from 9 to 10 a.m., with the walk at 10:15 a.m. A current rabies certificate and proper I.D. on collar are required. Dogs must be on a leash at all times. Vicki Westling, local author, and Sam of the "Sam and Friends" children's books will be holding a book sale at the event, will all proceeds going to LHS. Visit www.lakeshorehumanesociety.org for more information.
- Music on the Pier will feature Strictly Hip, paying homage to the Tragically Hip. The party gets started on the Dunkirk pier at 6:30 p.m.
GET OUT OF TOWN
- Summer People will be at the Mohawk Place in Buffalo on Friday. This multi-instrumental collective of seven people from Binghamton delivers an energetic live show. The band plays an interesting mix of experimental post-blues and post-hardcore. Summer People are touring in support of their second album, Team Work. White Bison, Mordaunt Sisters and Wooden Waves are also scheduled to play. The doors open at 9 p.m. and the cover is $8. The Mohawk Place is located at 47 E. Mohawk St.
- The Taste of Buffalo will be held in downtown Buffalo along Delaware Avenue on Saturday and Sunday. It’s the largest two-day food festival in the country, with more than 50 restaurants providing samples of their wares. The following adjectives can be used to describe my experiences at the Taste of Buffalo: hot, sticky, claustrophobic and delicious. The festival is quite expansive and can seem overwhelming, so I suggest that those planning to attend scope out the Taste of Buffalo website at www.tasteofbuffalo.com to aid in food strategizing. Unfortunately, there is only so much stomach space that can be allotted in a day of unabashed slobbing-out. Choose wisely!
April Diodato is the OBSERVER Lifestyles editor. Send comments, events and unsubstantiated gossip to firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer People will be at the Mohawk Place in Buffalo Friday. Photo by Justin Goetz.