Hal, another excellent, wonderfully written and well-thought out review of the film. It's not your cup of yea, and your personal opinion is expressed with very solid backing up of your claims. While some people might disagree, it is your opinion, and I'm glad that you don't let anyone else tell you that you're "wrong" or anything like that.
Erroneous... what I think you're doing is dangerous. Because you're making the wrong type of distinction between films. The distinction isn't between eye candy and think pieces. It's not between films of substance over films of style. And judging a film's worth should in NO way be based on its intentions. Because fact of the matter is... all good movies, be they high-octane action eye candy or arthouse dramas or dumb comedies, have the same goal in common: They all want to tell a good story. Some succeed. Some don't.
But I think it's totally wrong to judge different films by different "standards" based on what you perceive the film's intentions to be. Trust me, if you asked Todd Philips or Michael Bay if they set out to make "dumb but fun" movies, they would never
agree to that statement. They would both say that they set out to make the best movies they could.
Originally Posted by Erroneous
For the record, Battle LA is no different from Jurassic Park. Survive. And EVERYONE loved JP. Battle LA is a great movie in showing how a military op goes. As a former military person, I really appreciated that. It was well done from the aspect. Not that you would know anything about it.
In actuality, Battle LA is very
different from Jurassic Park. Sure, the basic elements seem the same - survive. But the reason everyone loved Jurassic Park - critics and audiences alike - was because it told a good story with the focus being on strong, well-developed characters played by great actors delivering excellent, believable performances. You see, Jurassic Park wasn't actually about "survive". It was about Grant growing as a character and learning to push through his reluctance to have kids and raise a family. It was about Hammond realizing that it is dangerous to play god. It was about Malcolm proving that chaos theory will prevail and that life will find a way. The fact that all of these characters and themes were wrapped up in a very visually appealing, scary, adrenaline-pumping action-adventure-survival film is just a testament to Spielberg's skill at combining entertainment with art. Battle LA doesn't have themes. Or three-dimensional, well-rounded characters we care about and want to see grow and overcome obstacles. It's purely a style, spectacle-driven film with nothing else behind it.
For the record, I think that the first Transformers film is very successful - and I consider it a great film - precisely because it combines these two elements so well. It is on the one hand a spectacle-driven, high-octane CGI action-adventure event film. But when you really get down to it, it's a classic "boy and his dog" movie about the relationship between Sam and Bumblebee, and how the two inspire and influence one another to overcome their obstacles and difficulties in life and accept who they really are and what they are really capable of. The first Transformers certainly wasn't content with just being a "mindless, turn-off-your-brain popcorn blockbuster film". So why should we hold the other films in the franchise up to different standards?