Where do Transformers go between attacks on us?
Chicago really takes a pounding in “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” with Michigan Avenue torn to pieces, Marina City in flames, Trump Tower shaken to its core and many other familiar landmarks bombed out and crashing to the ground.
This is not a movie that will become known for its pithy dialogue.
There’s a moment deep into the seemingly endless downtown Chicago battle sequence when the good guy Autobot Optimus Prime shows up to kick some serious metal-butt, and I found myself wondering:
Where’s he been?
I mean, what do Transformers do when they’re not fighting or engaging in deep-voiced debates with humans? Do they watch Transformers TV? Go to Transformers-friendly bars? Have Transformers sex?
Or do they just wait offscreen for the next battle or the next ponderous speech about defending freedom at all costs?
“We were gods on our planet, but here they think of us as machines!” one of the Transformers bellows.
Gods to whom? Each other?
I know: we’re talking about a big dumb summer movie based on Hasbro toys. But whether it’s “Thor” or “Green Lantern” or the “Dark of the Moon,” you see these intergalactic other-worlds filled with amazing advanced creatures — but the planets always seem so dark and, well, boring.
No wonder why they always wind up spending time on Earth. We’ve got sunshine and pizza and cars and cable and texting and football.
They’ve got cold, dark lairs and forbidding towers and ships that fly around all the time with no place to go. Those giant-brained elders perched high atop those pillars in “Green Lantern” look positively miserable.
Bachmann Turns to Overdrive
From Michele Bachmann’s speech announcing her run for the White House:
“I am Michele Bachmann. I am running for the president of the United States. Together we can do this. … Together we can make a better America if we stick together. Together we can bring the promise of the future. Together we can. Together we will. God bless you and God bless the United States of America!”
Key word there being “together.”
There was also a moment when Bachmann said, “I believe that the great people of this country are longing for a president who will listen to them and who will lead from the front and not from behind.”
To illustrate the point, Bachmann put her hand in front of her when she said “the front” and moved it back when she said “from behind.” It was a very “SNL” moment. One could see Kristen Wiig doing that move while imitating Bachmann.
As Bachmann concluded her speech, the sound system kicked in with Tom Petty’s “American Girl.” I guess that’s better than the wholly inappropriate “Firework” Bachmann used for a recent speech.
“American Girl” has lyrics about a girl who “stood alone on her balcony” hearing the “cars roll by out on Highway 441,” giving rise to an enduring urban legend that the song is about a University of Florida student who committed suicide. (Highway 441 runs by the school.) But Petty says there’s no truth to that rumor.
I’m sure Petty will be thrilled Ms. Bachmann used “American Girl” as the send-off to her presidential announcement, followed by “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves and “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown, arguably the two most overused tunes in pop culture history. Both songs have been played in more than a dozen movies, countless commercials and TV shows, and at political rallies too numerous to mention.
Given the theme of Bachmann’s speech, maybe she should have gone with “Happy Together” by the Turtles, “Let’s Get Together” by Canned Heat, “Get Together” by the Youngblood, “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green, “Together” by Ne-Yo, “Together” by Avril Lavigne or “Better Together” by Jack Johnson.
And once the primary season plays out, Bachmann can play a song by Rollins Band.
It’s called “Also Ran.”