Dear Lord time goes by fast. July 4th is just about here. Some of us have plans. Some of us have no plans. Some of us will be with family or giving thanks for our country, some of us will be doing no such thing.
But there’s something we all have in common: We are all free, and we all like big robots and explosions.
I haven’t seen Transformers: Dark of the Moon yet. But I’m going to. Have I gotten amnesia? Have I forgotten the wasted hours and dollars I spent seeing the first two Transformers?
Yes, maybe I have. Because from the moment I saw the trailer for this flick, I just knew I had to see it. Word on the street is it’s the best of the bunch. Normally, I would give up on a team of “creative” people after they tried twice to make a good movie (the same movie). Maybe it’s because they spent so much darn money on them. Maybe it’s because they shot it in 3D–and the 3D action is being called far and away the best since Avatar. Maybe it’s the girl who’s replacing Megan Fox. But I’ll give Michael Bay his third and final chance to make a Transformers movie that doesn’t have me leading the movie theater with a wince or a headache.
/Film has reported on the great divide between critics and audience members when it comes to this latest movie, which opened on Tuesday in select 3D locations. I read the critics a lot. I don’t always agree with them, but we usually see eye to eye more than me and middle America do. (Speaking of critics, the other “big” movie opening this weekend is the Tom Hanks directed Larry Crowne, which he stars in with Miss Julia Roberts. I’ve read two reviews- LA Times savagely trashed the film, to the point where I knew I had to get a second opinion. Vulture had me covered. David Edelstein says of the “gentle” Larry Crowne, “I found it easy to understand why its trailer is so, so lame—the tagline might as well be ‘Come Smile Awhile.’” Tell your parents to let me know how it is).
But I digress. My point is, while I’m generally on the sides of critics (as opposed to the mass movie going public, or the bureaucratic, elitist, insider sludge of the Academy) I don’t really give a damn what the critics say about Transformers 3 (even the oft-reliable Peter Travers gave Tranformers 3 zero stars, claiming, “Watching it makes you die a little inside.” I hope that shows up on the Blu-ray sleeve). I’m sure the pain of a film like the second Transformers making soooo much money despite their critical warnings is still fresh in the minds of many film critics. I can understand their bitterness. But, while I might have forgotten the utter disappointment and hysterical unhappiness the first two Transformer films evoked in me, I have not forgotten why I saw those films in the first place.
I wanted a good action movie.
Don’t tell me this doesn’t look good. Brad Bird directs Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner in December’s Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol.
This is the first film I’ve seen branded as a “Tom Cruise / Bad Robot Production.” This opposed to a Cruise/Wagner Production (Wagner being Cruise’s ex-wife and [former?] producing partner Paula Wagner).
The entire IMF has been disavowed. Only Tom Cruise, the guy who made Lost, and a Pixar director can get to the bottom of it.
M:I 4, people. Lick. It. Up.
My sister is an ultra-religious fundamentalist Christian. She and her husband believe that God himself decided on them having 8 children. I guess I can handle that, but as I get older I am less and less able to find any real satisfaction in keeping a friendship with her. I don’t want to just cut things off completely, but when we’re together the whole Jesus thing is ALWAYS there, hanging over us. She insists that she won’t try to convert me anymore, which always seemed to be the problem. I’ve realized lately, however, that it’s me who needs to get over her ever-present religion. It annoys the hell out of me. I am an atheist, but I don’t want to be the kind of arrogant atheist who goes around criticizing everything in sight. I would like to have genuine respect for her religious beliefs, but the truth is that I just don’t. How can I stop this trend of liking religious people less and less?
Atheist Rising Continue Reading
Happy Father’s Day from The Heated Forest
In honor of their Dads, some of our writers have written up tributes, memoirs, anecdotes, memories, and Thank-You Letters for their Fathers.
As a general rule, we don’t like to get too mushy here at THF. But hell. We wouldn’t be who we were without these men. And we figured it was time to finally say thanks.
He called me Champ.
My dad, perpetual coach and marketing Maharishi, called everyone by a nickname. As a coach, that’s what he did. He gave kids nicknames. It was his way of branding the individual to strengthen the gestalt. Well, that, or he couldn’t remember their actual names. Regardless, the kids loved having them for the simple sake of having them. Because they sounded cool. Case in point: For me, it was either Chuckie or Champ.
Which would you rather?
There was Slick and Flash and Hollywood and Tito. There was Spider and Speedy and Hondo and Hammer. There was Buck and Say Hey Willie, as in “The Say Hey Kid,” as in just plain old “Kid” (my youngest brother’s glorious epithet and all its incarnations, named after the Say Hey Kid himself). There was a nickname for every single kid on every single team my dad ever coached. And my dad coached a lot, particularly me.
I got mine the summer before 1st grade, playing tee-ball for the Orioles. I spent the next 11 years trying to live it down. Champ, it turns out, while perfectly acceptable for a six-year-old playing tee-ball, is not all too appropriate for the captain of a varsity football team.
My old man never taught me how to fish. He never took me hunting. He never sat me down on his work bench, the smell of fresh saw dust stinging my nose, and said, “Son, this is a socket wrench.”
No, he wasn’t a deadbeat. He just wasn’t that kind of guy. I’ve sometimes wondered who I would be if I’d been raised by a real man’s man, but the only conclusion I can come to is: I wouldn’t be me.
A few years ago, I took my girlfriend along for a trip to the cabin my family rented on Lake Michigan. I brought a football. My Dad brought old-time radio shows.