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Friday, June 26, 2009

Killer Robots, Kung Fu, and Depressing Kids with Cancer—All in this Week's Mercury Film Section!

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 4:36 PM

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I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that I genuinely, unironically love Michael Bay. Dude's a pretty easy target, and he no doubt deserves all of the ridicule that hipper-than-thou critics and movie snobs like to throw his way—but goddamn, there's no one else like him who's working today, and that's a pretty rare thing in Hollywood. Here's Manohla Dargis talking about the ridiculous man and his ridiculous films in the Times:

And make no mistake: Mr. Bay is an auteur. His signature adorns every image in his movies, as conspicuously as that of Lars von Trier, and every single one is inscribed with a specific worldview and moral sensibility. Mr. Bay’s subject—overwhelming violent conquest—is as blatant and consistent as his cluttered mise-en-scène. His images, particularly during the frequent action sequences, can be difficult to visually track, but they are also consistently disjointed. (And proudly self-referential: the only director he overtly cites is himself, with a shot of the poster for his movie Bad Boys II.) The French filmmaker Jacques Rivette once described an auteur as someone who speaks in the first person. Mr. Bay prefers to shout.

Anyway, if you haven't heard already, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has already made 800 kajillion dollars—seriously, the amount of money this thing is raking in is astounding—and my review of it is here.

There are, lest we forget, less profitable and mockable films opening this week: If you bawled during The Notebook (sucker), you should probably check out the Cameron Diaz tearjerker My Sister's Keeper; if you've still got a thing for Michelle Pfeiffer even though her latex Catwoman suit has long since been mothballed, there's Chéri; if you're in the mood for a documentary, you can do worse than Virtual JFK.

Also, don't forget about Seven Grandmasters, the Can't Stop the Serenity benefit screening (booze! nerds! Whedon! It's like all of my dreams coming true at once!), and Il Divo. Apparently, Il Divo is nearly impossible to understand, but it does have an incredibly badass trailer. Turn your speakers up.

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