Alfred on “Die Hard Transformers”

Nothing says summer like blockbusters and fireworks, right. Well, I suppose also hot dogs, lemonade,baseball, watermelon, and maybe mojitos, but blockbusters and fireworks are definitely high on the list. At any rate, this summer packs an impressive one two punch of action. One packed with not only fireworks, but tons of man vs. man, and man vs. robot,  and robot vs. robot, and even man vs.  aircraft action. I haven’t seen this much action since, well the first time I saw these characters, almost 20 years ago. The films I’m talking about are Transformers and Die Hard 4 (Live Free or Die Hard). Both films represent icons of an era that had it not been for these films would have been remembered as the decade of headbands, bad hair, furby,  zoobas, and Square Pegs. While having a draw nostalgically, these films offer much more that even people not familiar with McClane, Bumblebee, Jazz, or Gobots in general will find appealing. Transformers while pleasing to the optic sensors, at its core it is both a coming of age story, and a story of courage. Transfomers tells a compelling tale in which a boy (Shia LeBeouf) is befriended by robots, and ultimately finds love with the aid of these kind space robots, called autobots. There’s also some bit about saving the world, and a lot of fighting with breathtaking special effects as only Michael Bay could do. Michael Bay you may recall from some of his other directorial epics; Armagedon, The Rock, and the unforgettable Bad Boys 2. Pretty much any movie with scenes of slow moving helicopters flying into the sunset with dramatic music in the background, you can bet it’s a Michael Bay flick.

Live Free and Die Hard was as refreshing as a glass of lemonade on a warm summer day with extra pucker. In this filmwe follow the chronicles of detective John McClane, as he tries desperately to bond with his daughter while battling old age and impending retirement. All kidding aside, it was scintillating to see a film that harkens back to old school films like Death Wish and Die Hard one through three. The types of film where the hero wasn’t a quadruple black belt in Aikido with a pony tail or a kick boxing champion with a drug habit. Not only did the hero have no formal martial arts or wire-fu training, but he would often go in, guns blazing with no plan whatsoever. The hero many times would also simply fire their weapons in every direction without even attempting to aim at the enemy. No plans, no strategy, just guts and glory, and maybe some luck to. While its great to see in the theater, remember that it’s no replacement to good old fashion process and prudent planning. Actually I almost thought I was watching the Transformers movie when John McClane started fighting airplanes and helicopters simply because the people weren’t tough enough to handle McClane. Although the plots weren’t super elaborate, or complex, the action was constant, entertaining, and just plain cool. While the flicks can be seen as formulaic, with the smattering of action, humor, horror, repeat cycle, it never fails to satisfy. After all, in the summer when it’s hot out all you really need is a cool place to go and watch some fireworks, and you’ll find just that with this one two punch of goodness I like to call Die Hard Transformers.

Al “July 2007”

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