We sure do hate the Transformers movies, don’t we? More pointedly, we seem to REALLY hate Revenge Of The Fallen. It’s in no way a grand masterpiece. You won’t find me defending it as a whole. I do believe there was a good movie in there somewhere. Right around when they did the unthinkable, by killing off Optimus Prime. That moment is the only reason I own RoTF. Go back and watch it again. It’s powerful. It could have been pivotal had they not bungled, well, the entire rest of the film. Wrecking balls. Really, Michael Bay? …really? You could have done so much better. And you know it. Now, some may claim the writer’s strike is what sabotaged this film, but at the end of the day, it still has people’s names on it. People responsible for it. And, while it is 95% terrible – and I have never once heard anyone defend it as a movie they want to share with people who’ve never seen it – it did TREMENDOUS business. $400 million domestic, alone. That’s some serious scratch. And, it’s a revelation about a recent turning point in Film Culture. The success of Transformers 2, an almost universally panned film means one thing: we like shiny things. At least, that’s the thing that Hollywood took from it. “Just give them more shiny things” seems to be the answer for any problem a studio has with films telling smaller, tighter stories. It’s how we got Battleship. Battleship! It’s why every summer blockbuster made since 2008 that’s not a superhero movie dives deeper and deeper into “ugh…why did they make this?” The answer was presumably that we’d pay for it. Also, what RoTF gave us, was a barometer. It gives us a gold standard in suckage. And, while Hollywood ignored that for a few years, now that they have had some pretty big flops over the last couple of summers, we can only hope that the studios have learned that the Audience is smarter than they think they are. That we will no longer make insane successes out of weakly developed properties. That we have a voice and aren’t afraid to stand up to them shamelessly marketing to our childhoods and satiating us with false promises of being able to adapt our favorite memories into great films. We want progre…wait…there’s a new Star Wars movie coming out next month(NEXT MONTH!).