I promised a post a day for the next week, so hereâ€™s the first. :-)
We got to see a preview of Transformers at the local military base last night, and for the most part I really enjoyed it. (The base theater sucks, and everyone has to stand for the national anthem before you see the movie, but hey! I got to see Transformers before everyone else!)
I saw the trailer months ago, and as most everyone around the blogosphere noted, it was awesome. The movie didnâ€™t disappointâ€”the trailer didnâ€™t consist of every best bit of the flick. The special effects were incredible, and there were loads of them in the movie. (The battle at the end went on a bit too long for me, but the effects were so fun that it was fineâ€”not nearly as boring as the fight on the waterwheel got in the second Pirates of the Caribbean.)
The story didnâ€™t take itself too seriouslyâ€”which would have been a mistake, since its stuck with the Transformers having names like â€œBumblebeeâ€ and â€œMegatronâ€â€”and there were lots of laughs for all agesâ€”my kids both loved it. The characters were quite comical in places, and the protagonist was an enjoyable mix (for me) of smart-ass and geek.
I really donâ€™t watch many movies or TV shows, though, and when I do Iâ€™m always struck by annoying inconsistencies. :-P Hollywood, as near as I can tell, just doesnâ€™t hire copyeditorsâ€”or whatever their equivalent would beâ€”for movies. Obviously they donâ€™t have text (though Iâ€™ve seen typos in subtitles), but copyeditors do a hell of a lot more than look for spelling and grammar, and the plot inconsistencies I inevitably see in movies just…bug me.
For instance, in Transformers, part of the main plot just…didnâ€™t make sense. (I donâ€™t think it spoils anything to go into it here if Iâ€™m not too specific, so Iâ€™ll do so.) The coordinates for this dangerous â€œcubeâ€ had been embedded in another object, yet even though there was no reasonable explanation for how the good Transformers (or even the bad ones) could know that had happened, they did. :-/
And then there were little things. A character at one point noted about a phone in one cool scene something like, â€œNokias are nasty. Youâ€™ve gotta hand it to the Japanese.â€ But…well…Nokia is a Finnish company. :-/ And of course you can make the argument that the character didnâ€™t knowâ€”I mean, people say incorrect things all the time in real lifeâ€”and I suppose they do have some offices in Japan, and maybe they could say the phone came from there. The copyeditor in me screams for a query, though. :-)
But the movie was entertaining, and thatâ€™s most of what I go for. The inconsistencies always strike me on the way home, and I do get surprised, almost always, that Hollywood doesnâ€™t seem to make the attempt to fix those the way publishing does, because I do think the impression afterward is still important.
In all, though, Transformers had a fun, unserious feel while offering up some incredibly serious special effects.
I'm a freelance copyeditor specializing in fantasy and science fiction. SF/F novels I have copyedited have been finalists for (and have sometimes won) the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke, Endeavour, Golden Spur, John W. Campbell Memorial, Quill, Locus, Philip K. Dick, British Science Fiction, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy awards. In 2007 I became the first and only copyeditor ever short-listed for a World Fantasy Award.