Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Roar Power
Jurassic World unleashed on iTunes
Halo 5 Guardians
The Master Chief returns
Empire Blogs
Empire States

Back to all blogs Comment Now

'It's Just A Bit Of Fun': Why Defensive Fans Are Bad News For Movies

Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 13:57 by Helen O'Hara in Empire States
'It's Just A Bit Of Fun': Why Defensive Fans Are Bad News For Movies

This is probably a blog that doesn't need saying for most people, but I write this in response to a criticism of this magazine and site that's becoming more and more common - and which I've heard several times today in relation to the new Transformers film. It's entirely possible that you like Michael Bay's Transformers films, and more power to you. You may well have enjoyed the two to date and be looking forward to Dark of the Moon. But what you can't sensibly do is respond to negative reviews with arguments like, "It's just a bit of fun" - and I'll explain why.

First of all, some background reading. Here's Empire's review of the first Transformers film, as a control, and here's our take on Dark Of The Moon. And now here are a few comments on that latter review, from our forums and Facebook page.

"Reviewer is an idiot"

"Transformers is fun not Schindlers List you see it for massive robots smashing other massive robots while getting new kick arse toys on the market Nuff said!"

"empire is taking itself far too seriously. its a transtormers film, you're meant to swtich off your brain an just enjoy the fuck out of it." 

"I could think of about 200 movies which were WAY overrated and which are therefore much WORSE than Transformers 2 and 3,making fun and trashing Michael Bay and his movies is so damn warn-out that it is really starting to piss-off some(many ...people).People should simply watch the docs on the original DVD of Transformers 2 where Michael Bay says in detail how and why he does thing he does.I also noticed that negative criticism of movie in general (in the last 20 years)has become nothing more than trashing,bulls^iting,nagging and using CLEVER words to say sh^t about movies,whether they ARE REALLY GOOD OR REALLY BAD...For example,70 percent of European so-called films are over-rated(i won't waste my time by writing which ones,there is so many),also these bull percentrap girly-feminist rom-coms,quasi-heavy dramas and similar sh^t...So just chill out and learn to do criticism of the movies like real critics not bulls^t artists..."

(All spelling and grammar as originally posted. Names removed to protect the innocent, I guess)

Now what's interesting about this is that Empire's being accused of two different and - one would have thought - contradictory things. On one hand, we're stupid. On the other hand, we're overthinking it. Of course, Chris is neither stupid nor prone to overthinking (oh burn!).

But fine, let's leave that aside and charitably assume that they think we're stupid and over-compensating and therefore our critics are not contradicting themselves. What the fans are essentially saying here is that critics have no right to find flaw with a movie that has low aspirations. Even assuming that that's the case with Michael Bay and his latest film - and I really don't think that he'd claim to be aiming low - shouldn't we demand certain minimum standards of all our films? 

I'm not saying that one shouldn't consider what a film aims to be. Certainly, there's an element of judgment involved: an arthouse film might be criticised for a level of acting far above that acceptable in a certain sort of comedy; and a blockbuster can use stock characters with abandon if it uses them well, whereas a small-budget indie had better surprise us with original takes on those same characters to hold our attention.

But to suggest that criticisms of acting, plot and pacing have no place in a movie about giant robots is, with respect, demented and potentially damaging to all future films. The problem with Transformers 3 and films that we've reviewed in similar tones is that they are not fun enough. Look back at that review of the first Bay Transformers movie: we enjoyed the hell out of it. We're human; we like to watch giant robots hitting each other as much as the next person. But like the next person, we don't want to sit through hours of dull and unnecessary exposition to get to the bit with the action - and it is legitimate to say so. It's also legitimate to note where a level of acting is of such low quality that it actively pulls you out of the film, and it's legitimate to question the running time of a big summer blockbuster that's over two and a half hours if we don't feel that it's using that time optimally. That's our job!

What's more, bad reviews have a role in making future films better - or at least ensuring that the same errors are more-or-less avoided. Whatever Bay's faults this time around, he's clearly taken onboard a lot of the specific criticisms levelled at Revenge of the Fallen: there are no more swinging robot balls, no racist robot stereotypes quite as offensive as those we saw last time. If Mark Kermode's head-banging review makes Michael Bay rethink his plot and running time next time (and hey! We can dream!) then we could all end up with a summer blockbuster that not only gives us giant robots but gives us heart, and a racingly tense plot, next time. A film that has giant robots but is also a good film. Why is it wrong to hope for that? Why settle for whatever you're given if you think it could be better?

These people who are dismissing our reviews and others like them in these terms are essentially affirming a belief that these films are "critic-proof", that they plan to see the film anyway and that bad reviews will be no bar to a huge opening weekend. That's fine: whatever you may believe, we don't actually expect everyone to take our word as gospel and agree with us in every case. But for those who have not yet bought a ticket, and there are some, reviews still serve a purpose and still give you an idea what you're in for. If we lower your expectations sufficiently that you end up pleasantly surprised, well, you're welcome. But equally we might help someone decide to see a different film that they'll enjoy more.

I realise that this comes off as something of a whine from a group of people lucky enough to work for a great magazine in a fascinating profession, and believe me I'm aware how lucky we are. But honestly, this isn't about feeling aggreived or defensive (frustrated, maybe). You can like whatever films you like and I'll like whatever I like and we'll all get along - that's not the problem. It's just that this just-a-bit-of-fun position just doesn't make sense. By all means, go see the film, have a great time and come back and tell us you disagree with the criticisms levelled in our review. But don't tell us it's awesome when you're yet to see it, don't accuse us of demanding "Oscar-level acting" just because we question bad performances; don't accuse us of "overthinking" because we wish the plot were a little tighter and more propulsive, and if you feel you have to call Chris stupid, at least come and meet him first so you know whereof you speak.

Login or register to comment.


1 jakeyboy1000
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 16:52
Spot on. My idiot housemate continues to go and watch the Pirates movies since 'they're a laugh and you don't have to think'. At what point when you go to watch a 100 million pound movie and play 8 quid for the privilege, do you start to expect more than that? It's an indictment of some serious falling standards with regards to what you should feasibly expect from a summer blockbuster.

The Dark Knight is a guy running aorund in latex but the difference is in the EXECUTION of the material, and there is nothing wrong with highlighting that. Also, to paraphrase Aaron Sorkin, 'Clever is not a dirty a word' so dont apologise for it.

2 GreatDanton
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 16:53
I enjoyed this entry, couldn't possibly agree more.

3 IamtheGoblin
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 16:55
Well put madam, well put indeed.

I'm a huge G1 fanboy, really enjoyed the first Bay film, defended certain elements of the second (forest battle, shanghai, Turturro), agree with many criticisms of the second (twins, robot heaven, the Fallen) and am really looking forward to the new one, in spite of Chris' review. But that doesn't mean he's wrong or has no right to criticise it. The man's a critic, fer Cybertron's sake!

This whole defensive attitude whenever a movie that someone's looking forward to gets bashed is just juvenile. As Helen says, the criticism is designed (at least in part) to make the film-makers try to do better next time. Isn't that better for all of us film fans, long-term?

4 jakeyboy1000
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 16:56
On a slightly different note, does anyone think that this friction between where the watermark is for the reviewer is confused with the different tones of the trailers and the films. The trailers always seem to skew toward a more adult tone, which ultimately always compromises the biad when you realise that you're in fact watching a film aimed at children. For example, if you go back and watch The Revenge of the Fallen trailer it bears practically no resemblance to the overall tone of the film. Even the actors promote the film by saying how this one is 'so much darker' despite the fact it isn't. Attack of the Clones is another good example of this. Perhaps films should be made by the marketing department that the trailers get out-sourced to rather than the directors?

5 sdilku
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 16:58
Once again, Helen nails it. A great double whammy this week, first with the movies on planes article (100 per cent with you on that, Helen), and now this.

In the end, if a film isn't up to scratch - whether obscure arthouse fare or the latest summer blockbuster - it is Empire's job to tell us.

Based on Empire's review I will be seeing Julia's Eyes instead this weekend. Giant robots are all well and good, but not at the expense of minor details like a satisfying plot and characters.

6 Mad Dog Tannen
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 17:00
Good for you, Helen. I'm glad to hear (or read) someone from Empire say it.

I hated the first two Transformers films because they are rubbish. I had no axe to grind or grudge to hold against Michael Bay, they were just plain old abysmal. So I ended up in a rather heated argument with one of my very intelligent friends who had no problem with Transformers whatsoever just because they had big, shiny special effects in them, and that I should 'chill out'. Aaaarrrgghhh!

Never forget that the mighty Back To The Future was also supposed to be a fun summer movie. The difference between this and Transformers is that the Zemeckis & Co actually put some thought into their film, and the result is, frankly, incomparable.

7 ManBitesHoff
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 17:00
I agree Helen; a good film is a good film, for me it shouldn't matter whether it contains giant robots or not; acting, story, cinematography etc are all still important.

I can enjoy a "dumb" blockbuster as much as the next person (Michael Bay's own "The Rock" would be a good example of such a film), but Transformers-Revenge of the Fallen is still crap no matter how good the effects are.

Have little confidence that this latest instalment will be much better, hopefully Bay might try something a bit more interesting for his next feature, as the man does have some talents...

8 stephenmcaleer
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 17:13
here here, you tell them Helen

9 Imrahill
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 17:15
I love reading empire however i often ignore the review score for a number of reasons, firstly the reviewer is only another human with an opinion and secondly reviews differ greatly from one paper or magazine to another, so one person might have a soft spot for a genre/actor/director which might influence their opinion of that film, i go to see a film if i think i might enjoy it not because of a score it got from somebody who might have nothing in common with my tastes.But as everybody is entitled to their opinion they shouldn't be shot down because of it, its their opinion, and as you are reading their review its fair to say that the reader values their opinion but it doesnt mean you have to agree with it.However I am becoming more aware of the amount of films that get bad reviews that go on to make huge amounts of money potc:stranger tides,the green latern,Cars 2, Transformers 2 and probibly 3 and there are lots more so what does this mean? are the crtics losing touch with audiences or losing a grip on what the public want? or is it that the audiences really dont care what critics say, my opinion is i like reading reviews but i ignore reviews because as i have said before the reviewer is only human and unless they are telepathic how do they know what i or anybody else might like? so watch a film if you enjoy it fine just don't berate anybody who doesnt and vice-versa.

10 euchie
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 17:29
I agree with this post. There is a certain amount of expectation that comes with watching films. Good story, acting, pacing and dialogue are NOT required in a film. But then again, neither is a good review....

11 britesparc
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 17:33
Couldn't agree more with this article.

My favourite type of film is a blockbuster. It's taken me a while to realise that what I really love is a melodramatic, high-concept action picture with heroes, villains, sacrifice, tragedy, and preferably a little bit of camp.

A blockbuster should aim high. Transformers is far more than just robots punching each other, but if you're dealing with the franchise, you should be capable of delivering on the robots punching each other. It's when that punching becomes dull, confusing, boring, irrelevant - let alone when the film isn't good in any other capacity - that the director has failed in their job.

What's wrong with adding subtext, character arcs, themes and allusions in a blockbuster? Why can't something be silly and intelligent at the same time? Why can't the very action sequences themselves aspire to be something more approaching art? Why are we content for everything to be adequate, inoffensive, good enough?

Look at The Dark Knight, the first Pirates, the first Matrix - Jesus Christ, look at Raiders of the Lost Ark! THAT'S what Transformers should be - THAT'S what you're comparing yourself to! Anyone who makes a crime film does so in the shadow of Godfather and Goodfellas; anyone who makes a blockbuster is comparing their work to Star Wars. Back to the Future has one of the greatest scripts ever. In all of cinema. It's a masterpiece of screen writing.


I LOVE Transformers. I even quite like Michael Bay, or at least I used to when he made The Rock. I like dumb, disposable action films. But let's not kid ourselves; when a film is bad, it's bad, and paying through the nose to watch charmless lowest-common-denominator characters sleepwalk through pedestrian plots with bad dialogue is insulting. Even dumb action movies can be better, can be good.

I'd like to add the MASSIVE caveat that I've obviously not seen Dark of the Moon. I will though, even if it sucks.

12 britesparc
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 17:33
That was a wall of text. I apologise ;-)

Also, I was talking more generally about blockbusters, rather than Transformers specifically.

13 benmorse
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 17:34
The "IT'S A ROBOT MOVIE IDIOT LOLELEVEN" responses are from the people that buy tickets to "date movie" or "epic movie" and consider them entertainment. Empire, Helen and the rest are too polite to point out that sadly, mouth-breathers also have ticket money, and the easily pleased are a cash cow that Hollywood is happy to have milked regularly by the blank-eyed, docile livestock that make up middle America, and sadly, a part of the British Isles. Still, complaining about having standards is encouraging their basic literacy (I mean, look at some of the above submissions) so I suppose we shouldn't grumble too much.

14 waltham1979
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 17:50
Sorry Helen but I disagree with you. I like all manner of different films but I make no apology that sometimes yes I want to go to the cinema and leave my brain at the door. You are absolutely right we shouldn't have to put up with shitty acting, but this is where Empire contradicts itself as you lay praise so lavishly at the feet of films like Con Air which has, in my opinion to date, the worst performance by any leading man...EVER!!

What I get upset about is the utter snobbery behind people who are too happy to criticise people who enjoy this level of film. Yes the moron whom called Chris an idiot clear has nay a brain cell to rub together, but comments such as:

"responses are from the people that buy tickets to "date movie" or "epic movie" and consider them entertainment"

are largely unhelpfull too.

I enjoy art house films, satirical films all manner of movie. My top ten films ever consists of a diveristy of different films from the likes of the original Dawn of the Dead to Lost In Translation through to Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan BUT I absolutely feel that their is nothing wrong with a film like Transformers 2 (which I thought was pretty bad but no worse than Termiator Salvation for example) and I have a right to stick up for these films without being told I am in same level as my 13 year old little brother getting off on some shite from The Wayan Brothers.

If we are criticising people whom are reviewing the reviewer then fine, lynch the bastards. BUT please don't tell me my opinion is invalid and I am harming future movies for liking a dumb movie (didnt you praise Fast and The Furious for being harmless and dumb) when you are merely pointing out your opinion as well. Makes you come across as abit of hypocrit does it not?

Thats why Iove movies!!! the different opinions you can share, the debates - I live for that stuff.

Helen you rock my world but I gotta disagree with you on this one...jesus I never thought I would say that...!!

15 Pala36
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 18:02
'It's just a bit of fun' is the most ridiculous statement to make when defending movies such as Transformers. What is fun about Transformers?
The action scenes were a confusing mess, the so called comedy is painful to watch, the acting was abysmal, story was shite and I got so sick of everyone constantly shouting.
For me a fun film to watch was Iron Man, ticked all the right boxes for summer blockbuster fun.

16 umer_ejaz
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 18:06
I only have a few things to say.

In regards to Helen's brilliant blog - which I totally agree upon, there is one thing which really bewilders me.

Out of Michael Bay's entire career since he came into the film industry with Bad Boys in 1995, has the guy ever made a movie which is actually really worth gripping to watch and makes you think a lot as to what is happening? Never.

The guy for me hasn't made a movie in the same realms as Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, Michael Mann, etc, ever, where it has actually blown me away with brilliant acting, a slick script and directing which doesn't require the actor/actress to actually look totally stupid on screen.

When I do go and see Transformers 3, I wouldn't expect anything other than what the first two entries of this franchise gave me.

17 nickmg85
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 18:13
I can see the point thats is trying to be made here. I enjoy watching both of the first transformers movies, largely for the action/special effects scenes and not the acting/dialogue/story in between. That said, it doesn't mean I wouldn't prefer the acting/dialogue/story to be better and i'm sure the films would be vastly superior if they were - so I can understand the two star review of Transformers 3, regardless of the fact that I'll probably still enjoy the movie for the action.

As such, whilst I understand and to some extent agree with the blog, i also think it misses the point. People (me included) see these films for the pure enjoyment value. For example, my favourite films (godfather/there will be blood, etc.) are challenging and absorbing, and sometimes its nice to sit in front of something with special effects/action that requires minimal effort to watch.

So, whilst Empire's standards may be higher, the above blog is basically saying that people whose priorities (on this particular film) are on action/special effects are wrong. Maybe the people who wrote the comments could have been less abusive, but nevertheless, the blog is similarly disregarding the personal opinions of people. Empire wants more story, some viewers want more action - simply a difference of opinion. Shame the blog doesn't acknowledge that, but i recognise its a bit of a rant written in frustration.

18 Helen OHara
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 18:18
Waltham, I don't think Con Air is stupid, and I'd say we disagree on the leading performance, which I think is hilarious (but spot-on). Fast Five, my brain enjoyed just as much as the rest of me; it felt like a film so deliberately over-the-top that it became an action parody. You'll have to see for yourself when it opens, but I don't think that's the case with this Transformers.

And if you re-read the blog you'll see that I haven't ever criticised anyone for enjoying these movies; only for slagging off those who criticise them on valid grounds without offering any real rebuttal. I'm not saying that you - or anyone else - is harming movies by liking "dumb" movies; I'm saying it harms movies to actively attack those who ask that they be improved.

19 Helen OHara
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 18:19
Nick, actually I'm asking for LESS story and more action.

20 neillbert90
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 18:24
If you turn your brain of for over 2 and half hours you get brain damage!!

21 JonnyFave
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 18:36
I am not one of those facebookers or forumites that have been responding to Hewitt's review and I am in complete agreement that on O' Hara's thesis that we should NOT lower any standards in expectation when it comes to big blockbuster films.

BUT... I do have a gripe with Empire regarding their coverage of these types of films.

WHY, oh WHY, do you use up front covers, dozens of pages and numerous column inches of your glorious magazine to hype up these films. The previous Transformers film was critically panned and left a lot of fan boys with a bad taste in their mouth. So a head editor of a film magazine should be able to guess that there is a good chance that the follow-up film may suck.

But instead, Empire have to feature an article month-after-month to add to the hyperbole for a film that a lot of its readers are already quite cynical about ("Bay Comes Out Fighting" was the headline that was strapped over April's Empire front cover).

Another example would be Fantastic Four. I think I remember the first film was awarded one star by Empire Magazine. But hey, what-the-hell, Empire still gave front page coverage and features-upon-features for the sequel "Rise of the Silver Surfer". Whenever I see these 'World Exclusive' images and featured-front covers for films that I can tell the critics of Empire know deep in their heart are going to end up being poor, it (only-slightly) puts me off buying an otherwise great movie magazine.

Keep up the great work, anyways!

22 needa bigger boat
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 18:41
To me the best analogy for films like Transformers is... the doner kebab. Most of the time I like to take care over what I eat in terms of nutritional value, calorie content etc but every now and again I yearn for the greasy queasy beauty of a doner. In the same way when looking at my favourite films most of them are well writen, directed, acted and have something to say for themselves(often on various levels) but I also own Shallow Hal for christs sake!
And is writing off large sections of the U.S as universally moronic not just simple minded stereotyping?! Just asking.x

23 waltham1979
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 19:29
Hi Helen. You see I think Nicholas Cage's performance in Con Air is hilarious...for all the entirely wrong reasons and I would like to say he did it on purpose if he wasn't appalling in most other things he is in (Leaving Las Vegas and a few others aside). ANYWAY that's completely off topic.

I completely agree with you, that those people whom criticize others for wanting a better movie are as frustrating as those people having ago at Chris for having an opinion (utter bastard!!). But I didn't see that happening on the forum or on here either.

I have been put in the same category as those loving Epic Movie and low grade poor by the numbers film making for liking the Transformers films because I like a bit of pap every now and again. The same thing happened when I was dubbed a Daily Mail reading facist for supporting the non-certification of HC2. Its just a sweeping generalisation and it irritates.

But you are right, I havent seen the film yet and maybe my opinion might change after i've seen cant be that bad can it?? :)

24 rmmillar
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 19:30
Thank you Helen, with you all the way. A bit of fun should have a tight plot and decent acting, otherwise its no fun at all.

25 beebs_
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 19:44
I'm totally with Helen on this one.

Big blockbuster films shouldn't get a free pass just because they're big blockbuster summer films. Dismissing a big summer actioner is just because it's got explosions in it is as annoying to me as giving the crap that gets churned out like Transformers 2 a pass as it's "just a laugh".

OK, there are levels... Star Trek was great. It fits the big actioner bill. I enjoyed the story, the characters etc. It felt lean, there was enough to keep my entertained and engaged with the story wihtout getting bored of filler crap. If that's a bit too er, high brow for ya, then I enjoyed Fast & Furious 5 too. OK, it's different to a Star Trek, but it's still going for the big action fun market. You've got the Rock running around kicking ass and acting over the top. you've got the silly banter that's fun. It's all a bit ridiculous... but in an entertaining way.

And then you've got Transformers 2 or a Pirates 3. I find I'm just sitting there wondering what the hell is going on and not really caring that I don't know. If you the acting is so bad it takes you out of the film, if there's too much exposition delivered in a clunky boring way, if the action just gets confused and seemingly endless... then blah. It's the worst thing to be watching a big ol' blockbuster and being bored. Knowing that you've given more money to justify more of this tosh.

If people let Transformers 2 make hundreds of millions we get a Transformers 3. Look at Pirates?! I want more Star Treks and I don't mind some Con Airs or F&F5... It's proof we can have the special effects, spectical, fun and excitment! No more loud boring trash please. Please?

26 launcelot
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 20:15
I totally agree. How refreshing- thanks for this Helen. I think though empire sometimes hinders it's own cause through inconsistency. I think fans may in some part be reacting out of annoyance because the review of transformers 3 was not justified in light of transformers 2 getting a better rating, in spite of being worse than transformers 3, according to the reviewer of that film. Can empire attempt some consistency? Or at least retrospectively update reviews of prequels so that the review archive is actually a useful, reliable guide.

27 BatSpider
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 20:31
Totally agree with Helen. Some "dumb" movies are not just harmless fun, and we should expect better as consumers. Thank gawd Empire have moved on from the "5 stars for Attack of the Clones" days. Great to see more balanced reviews now.

Now if you guys could only cure the propensity to laud so-called quality movies you really want to be good but are actually shit, such as True Grit, Public Enemies, The Hurt Locker, etc.....

At the end of the day, audiences have the most to answer for regarding shit blockbusters. Hangover, Pirates, and Transformers as examples.

And don't just blame cinema goers in buttsville USA as most of these movies make more money outside of the States now, including your average moroniplex in arsechester UK.

28 Cynric
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 20:32
I would agree, generally speaking.

It's an odd thing really. I mean, I actually enjoyed Pirates 2 and 3, pap though they were, whilst Transformers 2 made me genuinly angry. Yet when I heard of the upcoming release of a Pirates 4 I couldn't be bothered with it in the slightest, but I was very excited about the release of Transformers 3 (And this is prior to trailers). I would guess that being mindless films in of themselves, logic made little part of my decision.

What confuses me is the idea of seeking out a professional view, though I use "professional" lightly (Ha! Burn!). If you know it's going to be shit, why read a review in the first place? Because you should know that all it will do is piss you off.

You may have made that point yourself, but it was quite a long blog and I've had a bit to drink, so I thought I'd throw it in just in case. Cheers!

29 Scruffybobby
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 20:54
I think the reason that Empire keep giving coverage to films like this is because they really do want them to be great as much as any of us do. It's easy to say that they "know deep in their heart are going to end up being poor" and maybe to some extent they do but I'm pretty certain they equally hope that Transformers 3, Green Lantern or whatever are brilliant films. If they were cynical all of the time they'd just get even more flak. When these films fail to be good though, it's only right to point that out. I can guarantee that Chris or Helen or Ali are as disappointed as we are

It's really a poor excuse to say that "ahh well it's not meant to win any awards" or some such in defence of a bad film but a bad film, whatever type it is is just.that. We all deserve better and it's frustrating not only that the studios don't deliver but that sone people just don't seem to care

30 joker1989
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 21:07
People seem to forget one of the great things about movies is that they spark debate and spilt opinions. Simply not everyone agrees on how good a movie is and just react angrily to people who don't agree! (there are '1 star' movies i love and '5 star' movies i think are naff)

Some people are going to love this transformers film and some people are going to hate it. Get over it people!!

31 va4812
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 21:18
I totally agree with Helen on this. It irritates the heck out of me when someone tells you to chill out or calm down. If you enter a debate with someone on the subject of film, the sides should just state their opinion, not tell you how to react.

I also definitly agree with the comments asking why it's so bad to want an intelligent blockbuster. I mean look at Incpetion for goodness sake. That was one of the biggest and best films of 2010, and one of the most intelligent scripts written in a while.

Is it so terrible to aim high these days, or do we just have to watch movies made by people who want to do the bare minimum?

32 Darth Marenghi
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 21:21
I think this is one of the best pieces Helen's ever written on this blog. Bravo.

33 kpenga
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 21:40
you guys are waaaaaayyy to nice on your reviews

34 merryelf
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 22:09
I, like most people reading this, completely agree with you.
Personally, I've found only three of your reviews to be wrong (in my eyes) but many more to be almost spot on.
Empire has been my guide to film going for so many years now and I'd like to say a big thanks for the great reviews.
Having said this, I will be going to see Transformers tomorrow and I hope you're wrong. I expect you're right though... The second one was awful :(
Chin up Empire. Keep up the good work :)

35 sjessep
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 22:09
Agree with this blog-post but I also have to agree with kpenga that you are too nice with your star ratings sometimes. How many times have I said "It must be bad, even Empire only gave it two stars" to my friends?

Pirates of the Caribbean 3 - Three stars
Terminator Salvation - Three stars
Transformers 2 - Three stars

I enjoy reading your magazine and your reviews but you're only inviting comments from idiots with ratings like those.

36 matty_watson
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 22:10
Spot on, one of the articles I've seen in a while.
I have this arguement with people at my work and college, I don't mind people watching films like Transformers itjust annoys me that they think they are the best films ever, and that have no interest in seeing a more complex film with a story and just go see all the mainstream films.
Nice to see that Empire is getting a larger audience even if it is getting to common people, just dont change Empire!!!!

37 paulmitchell
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 22:16
Spend 8 or 10 pound plus get yourself a bag of overpriced popcorn coke or sweets then tell me it was money well spent. After spending that kind of money I expect to be entertained, if the film turns out shit because the makers of such films don't think about what we actually spend then fuck them.I expect at least good value for money

38 JonnyFave
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 22:16

I think Terminator Salvation was given FOUR stars, not three...

I know :(

39 andwyl2309
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 22:32
Ive got to agree with helen with this as a boy i remember watching the cartoons and the cartoon movie which i would have loved to have seen been remade by the way mr bay. But the standard of the transformers films for a fan since there where a 5 year old kid is shocking. For me someone pointed out earlier what good films has bay ever done bad boys that it!!
Completely wrong director to choose for a film like this time to make this the last leave for a couple of years and wait for a great director like jj abrams or Zach snyder also someone like chris nolan who can get to the heart of whatever he is doing and get the essence out of the material to make fanboys and blockbuster fans happy

40 sjessep
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 22:36

I stand corrected. And shocked. I guess it is the best out of the three.

41 elab49
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 22:39
Absolutely ditto Darth - it has been getting ridiculous with the suggestions following review after review that dumb fun can't even be judged on succeeding as that. This blog has astutely nailed that calumny. Not that it will make any difference to fanboys who don't bother reading or reasoning but just want to vent, sadly.

E.g. The Mummy - brilliant fun, IMO - hit the tone right, great action, good humour. The Mummy 3 judged on the same standards - absolute dross.

Just because it's supposed to be stupid fun doesn't mean it can get away with being bad.

42 chrishaydon_63
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 22:45
The main problem with these sorts of debates is generalisation.
Helen's article title completely generalises those who feel passionately towards something, whilst many of the arrogant comments received is the generalised idea that critics have 'problems' with multi-million dollar blockbusters or 'films that are a bit of fun'.

Personally, I think the world is far too harsh towards 'Transformers' and Bay - anyone who believes they are amongst the worst films of all time have seen little cinema. Yet, I can understand why people opposed them.

However, I think saying defensive fans are bad for cinema is a rather brash and unfair comment. Yes they are certainly bias, but so is everyone in some way. I adore 'Transformers' and have done since I was a child so I know I'm very likely to enjoy 'Dark of the Moon' and enter the cinema with a bias opinion prior to watching it, but if my enjoyment of something makes my opinion 'bad' or less valid to say a neutral viewer, how would the film industry sustain any audience balance?

The reason 'Transformers' fans are so anti to negative feedback is because some critics seem to insult the viewer's intelligence - take Kermode's reviews; in a nutshell, he basically calls fans of the films 'idiots' and people who are happy to put up with the lowest form of entertainment that requires no audience impact or contribution. Why do some critics believe they have the right to objectify us like that?

I'm a huge film buff and critic with extensive knowledge and a degree in film so because I love 'Transformers' does that deteriorate my intelligence for film? I think not - in fact, it probably boosts one's intelligence by not being a complete snob and only praising high-art or world cinema like half the broadsheet critics.

Admittedly, Empire provides the happy medium and reviews films of all sorts so that comment wasn't directed at this magazine, but I hope it provides food for thought.

Give 'Transformers' a break.

43 Ballschin
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 22:47
I think what has to be considered in this argument is the relatively new wave of "fanboyism" that has consumed the internet much to the dismay of intelligent posters the world over.

Undoubtedly these people existed before but generally we didn't have to put up with their ridiculous opinions; with the advent of comment sections and forums the internet is now dominated by them.

Wether they are defending the new Transformers/superhero film or the latest PS3 game is immaterial. They have already made up their mind that they will like *whatever it is* regardless of it's quality and then when they read disparaging reviews they have to personally insult the reviewer's intelligence or make the more "reasonable" comment that the reviewer's expectations were too high.

It isn't even through lack of intelligence as plenty of them are capable of militantly arguing their point, they just seem to have lost all objectivity.

A great blog Helen, if only to remind the sane few that we are not alone!

44 Najemikon
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 22:52
At last. Thanks for this, Helen, I'm really glad to see Empire fighting its corner a little bit. You did miss another criticism aimed regularly at the reviews though and I'd love to hear your take on it...

You're right, that if you mark a film down, you're called idiots, etc. But if you mark a film up, you're accused of taking a bribe! Like night follows day, you rate a film 4 or 5, two minutes later, someone says you've lost all credibility.

I think another thing that happens regularly is that people don't read the reviews. They look at the star rating and respond directly to that. I find that sad, because when you read a reviewers work regularly, you learn where your own tastes lie. I remember Empires review of Taken. You marked it low, but what you said made me realise I was going to love it! Perfect review so far as I'm concerned.

BatSpider demonstrates what I mean: "Now if you guys could only cure the propensity to laud so-called quality movies you really want to be good but are actually shit, such as True Grit, Public Enemies, The Hurt Locker, etc....."

He's waiting for the day you agree with him before he'll consider you worth reading! Special. :)

45 pottyaboutpotter1
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 23:00
I must admit, I am a sucker for bad summer movies. I am not ahsamed to admit that Pirates 4 and Transformers 3 were really high on my most anticipated films of this year. While I read the Empire reviews just to see what to expect they don't neccesarily affect my choice when I go to the cinema. If I want to see a film I will see it no matter what anyone says. While I may think that a movie is fantastic and Empire say it is bad I will just shrug and say "everyone is entitled to their own opinion" and carry on with my life. I won't go as far to say that Chris is an idiot on the contary I presume he is a quite intelligent bloke but I still get on with my best mate even though he doesn't like Transformers or Doctor Who.

46 maxhdrm
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 23:26
While I agree with you Helen, you are not entirely right nor are those who are so defensive over TF3.

First, I grew up on TF cartoons and comics books. I loved it back when and still have a passion for it now, however because I have matured intellectually, when I watch the episodes now they are just as campy and/or lacking in substance themselves. Did I ever watch it for that as a boy? No it was for the action. There is a reason why movies are categorized into Genres because they exist. Sci-fi, action/thriller, hack-n-slash, suspense etc. and they should be criticized based on the genre not a pre-disposition to what we WANT to see but what was produced.

Second, one must take into consideration the secondary source of who is producing/directing. This is bay's formula it always has been and always will be. It's a formula that, despite criticism, works for the studios bottom line, revenue. There happy with it, he's happy with it. Would I like a better struggle store revolving around the autobots/decepticons? Reverently, yes. Preferably, without the dim witted sex symbol and very little human interaction, as it was in the cartoon. Do we typically see this in Sci-Fi?, rarely because the element of the genre is often sacrificed for content.

Third, over the years I have noticed a preponderance of bias against American made movies by this magazine and in favor of UK based films, albeit I've watched quite a few good UK produce films with satisfaction but the bias exists nonetheless.

I don't see as many at the cinema as I use to because I do demand quality content, However, I am also not naive enough to believe that a movies produced from mainstream comics or 80’s hit cartoons will contain deep thinking content such as Inception. These genres aren’t based on deep thinking material like an Issaac Asimov novel. Hell most of these writers were in diapers when the material was at its height. You can’t crap out a good script from source material that was never that great to begin with or who’s target audience was always the youth. It is a failing of many critics to neglect to analyze the original source material when viewing the final product. In the final scheme of things it’s never about what we desire the end product to be but rather what the end product actually is given the entire scope of the production and until movie goers actually refuse to shell out there earnings over these monoliths that won’t change.

47 scary_ice
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 23:29
Is it just that the younger generation are not familiar with the older blockbusters of the 80's that managed to combine good storylines and characters with wit and action in exciting entertaining ways?

As someone has already mentioned Back To The Future is pretty much a perfect film - enjoyable by all ages, unpredictable, exciting and funny. Spielberg has shown us how to do these movies before with the likes of ET, Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park. James Cameron too with things like Aliens, Terminator and most recently Avatar.

I went into the original Transformers not being a huge fan of Bay (I didn't think much of Bad Boys 2) but hoping he would step up to the plate and deliver the goods. I was quite disappointed. And it wasn't just the story or characters - I found the action scenes boring and unimaginative. They seemed to be choreographed and executed with all the finesse of a child banging two Transformers toys together on the kitchen floor!

However I was the only one in the group who was underwhelmed and that made me sad. Surely people can't be so easily pleased?

48 larstrygve
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 23:37
YES!!! This is so true! Bless your heart and bless Empire for trying to raise some standards.

49 mokey
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 23:56
At the risk of sounding like teacher's pet; I agree with Miss, er... I mean, um...Helen. Thanks for summing up what I've given up trying to put accross to which ever unlucky person inadvertantly gets me rambling on this subject.

50 rich
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 23:58
There's no such thing as a movie for everyone (or to be missed by everyone) of course. But then there's no excuse for reviews that slate a movie but claim it's better than the last installment even when the write up was more positive...

To be honest for all the comments sayings things like "it's just fun - or it's a movie about robots fighting, what did you expect?" somehow I wonder which film these people saw since there's barely any comprehensible robot fighting or fun to be seen a lot of the time. The transformers seem to be disguised well - behind all these "zany" humans....

51 sadtwat
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 00:01
I just can't help but find it interesting that, every time a Michael Bay film comes out, the opprobrium that boils forth is so vast. It's healthy debate - it's great. That's why I think that, crap though his films are, we do need filmmakers such as him because it brings out the knives. We learn every couple of years or so that we still have a mix of the passionate, the pretentious, the mildly interested and the deluded.
If nothing else, he at least gets a fury of chat going amid the global film community; something which very few directors could ever aspire to. His films may be big, explosive rectal conditions but he has got to where he is because he truly loves doing that rubbish and that's what gets you places in the industry. Within that sphere of high-end action hacks - he is the best. He has his name above the title on the posters because his name is a draw. Well done to him for that.
Will I be going to spend the extortionate prices at Cineworld for 'Transformers 3'? Bollocks! I'll be off to see 'The Tree of Life'. I want brain food but long may Michael Bay continue to stain the cinema screen because he's one of the few directors provoking genuinely passionate discussion in the cinematic critical blogosphere (for want of a better word).

52 jordieb
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 01:07
spot on helen.

but personally I feel empire nail 90% of their reviews (discounting the 4 stars given to miami vice, shocking film). You always send the right person for the right film I always value Chris Hewitts opinion on the latest comic book films (great shout on thor by the way), and Kim Newman is your go to guy for your horror or slasher film.

In addition I nearly didnt see Public Enemies after what I'd heard from friends but when I saw empires 5 star review I gave it a chance and thought it was brilliant and massively underrated, so thanks for that :)

53 TomBowler
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 01:33
My dad says that same phrase over and over again when he's about to make me watch some sort of nostalgic dross. And it does make me angry as we have a dvd/blu-ray collection of "fun" films which actually stand up under the criticism any other film would be viewed with. Zombieland, Evil Dead II, other... films. Anyway, Helen, you're completely correct.

People judge Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl with the same rules (guidelines really) and viewpoint as they do the fourth installment. The first one proves itself to be fun (there's that word again) and entertaining as well as smart, well-paced and technically fantastic. By the time the fourth has finished disappearing up its own asshole, you realise that the two are on very different levels. So when someone says, "it's just a bit of fun, you can't judge it on the same level as the others," they're saying that Academy Award nominee Rob Marshall can't be held accountable for his direction, Academy Award nominees Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio can't be held accountable for their *ahem* script and that Hollywood can't be held accountable for their shameless money-grabbing. It could be that people just don't want to be held accountable for buying their ticket in the first place, but criticizing the reviewers for doing their job and making sense is just plain idiocy.

By the way, this comment and the blog above it isn't saying that people who like big dumb movies are big and dumb themselves, merely that attacking people for doing their jobs is, unquestionably, big and dumb. Also, I saw POTC 4 at the cinemas and I am planning to see Transformers 3 there also. The reviewer's job is not to stop you from seeing the film itself, merely to inform/warn you more before seeing something which you may or may not like. And of course it's just one person's opinion, go out and get your own if it's such a big problem.

Great blog Helen, I enjoyed it just as I have pretty much all your blogs.

54 farmerjoe80
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 01:37
I love the way movies unite and divide fans! I usually read this site but don't comment (until I've had a few drinks anyway!)
I don't understand why people's opinions are attacked (thats what reviews are, opinions)? Everyone has different tastes, and if we all agreed, life would be no fun at all!
I may be one of the few people who enjoyed revenge of the fallen (and I have a PhD, so i don't think I am stupid), and I loved the first movie, but I am not going to waste my time geting upset with someone who disagrees with me.
At the end of the day we all love movies, good or bad, right?

55 DMeister
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 02:17
I think alot of the problem, from what I've noticed, is the haters or those who like to use foul language and abusive tones who seem to enjoy provoking confrontation. Not all confrontation is good and/or needed. Michael Bay seems to attract alot of criticism and I can't help feel that even admitting to liking Bay's films is somehow a crime by the way some people go on about it. I personally really like Transformers, The Island, Armageddon and even Transformers 2. Hey I'm not gonna argue they're actually brilliantly made films but I certainly had a lot 'fun' watching them. I haven't seen T3 yet but I'm going to because I enjoyed the other 2 and I quite admire Bay's ability to spectacularly destroy things. Hey it's not Academy Award season but my tastes are diverse. I don't think there's anything wrong with enjoying, possibly even loving a bad movie for whatever reason but let's not condemn that person for it either.

56 boriordan
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 05:47
Helen, I believe a lot of the hate comes from the inconsistency in Empire's reviews. Why ye gave the second movie 3 stars is beyond me. Ye didn't like it and rip on it all the time. I, as with most people, think it was a mess. Ye are the ones that should be paving the way for not accepting blockbusters as mindless trips to the cinema. If a movie is only good because of the action, then review it as such. Give those movies one stars.

57 tallaght24
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 06:45
I love how you invite people to come meet chris before slagging him off, lol like that would ever happen, Empire letting randoms just wander in and meet the staff. Also I don't care about the Transformer films, they are all big piles of forgetful shite. I like Bay, I mean I love The Rock, it's not him I have a problem with, it's how people here are just freaking out so much that Empire hated a shit movie. It is allowed guys, though I can never forgive Empire for giving 'Taken' one star.....*nods head*...unforgiveable.

58 lankeymarlon
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 08:23
To be dissapointed is to say that you were expecting something special in the first place.

59 sonicboome
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 08:52
Let's be honest, it's just a review. With this one I laugh it off with an "Oh Crhis, you old scoundrel" and then go watch the ting anyways. To be fair it's not like he's wrong either - the acting will be poor, there will be an hour where it sags, the plot will be simplistic and all you'll be waiting for is the action. But i'll enjoy it anyways. Any film can be enjoyed for what it is, but as an institution that has to compare and critically analyse every film there inevitably needs to be a basic checklist of standards a film should be expected to reach.

And lets face it, at least there's some humour and analysis in the review, there's nothing worse than, as some review places do, giving everything a mediocre 3 stars. This magazine prides itself on personality, and whether i agree with the reviews or not i always enjoy reading them, so keep up the good work!

60 Blyman
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 09:04
Great article Helen, it needed saying.

It has become so tedious to log on, read the review and then see a bunch of angry plebs filling up the comments sections below with self indulgent drivel. Which is such a shame because it's great to read the differing reviews of the 'genuine Empire/film fans' before and after the event. But it's more and more the case that the sane reviews get lost amongst the angry boys.

Regarding Bay, my theory is that he is only as good as his producer (The Rock = Don Simpson/Connery, Transformers 1 = an involved Spielberg whose finger prints were all over the first film). I love the Godfather but am equally looking forward to 154minutes of fit inducing IMAX action 3D next week!

Have a good day Empire Towers.

61 gavlaa32
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 09:43
I would also like to agree wholeheartedly with this and glad that someone has fought back for the integrity of its magazines and reviewers, who, like you said are just doing their job!! Also Jakeyboy1000 first post regarding Dark Knight is also spot on!!! Why shouldn't we demand more from our movies?? Yes, the "summer blockbuster" is the greatest form of escapism but, as mentioned in the article, if we believe in our characters and story no matter how unbelievable the premise, we will enjoy the experience all the more!!!

Great article

62 willkillyoulast
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 09:59
I agree wholeheartedly.

I mean, I love the first one. LOVE it. I rewatch it time and time again. Shia/Sam is relateable, funny and charming; the actors carry scenes that are essentially filler between the meatier scenes; the action is fun and not over-done; it's humour isn't insulting; oh, look, there's John Turturro; he's awesome; I swear, the man personifies all that's right in the world. The first movie neither aims to be THE biggest blockbuster in the world, nor does it dissapoint in action. It blends the right amount of People Talking About What's Going On, and Robots Fighting Over the People Talking About What's Going On.

The second one, hard to describe. Excessive violence, confusing dialogue, John Turturro is either underused or just used in the wrong manner, and Sam is a whiney b***h. I couldn't relate to him. Michael took a portion of good components of the first film, used them to a greater extent, and the rest he just threw out the window. And it was a huge mistake.

And now I don't know if I want to see the third or not.

And all you people saying that it's not a critics place to critisize? You see where that doesn't work, right? I depend upon reviews like these. Empire reviewers tend to EXPLAIN what's wrong in a film.

(I read a review elsewhere that basically wrote an entire paragraph about what a horrid actress the new girl is, but it never said why. It just repeated 'She's a horrible actress' in a variation of 'imaginitive' ways. And with Empire, I at least got to imagine why. She ruined her scenes, she borught other actors down...I get it now.)

To everyone getting angry at the magazine for not praising a film so faulty - what in the world is wrong with you? You'd still be complaining were this third outing rewarded the blessed 5-star-rating, because that would have been OVERpraising it - stop being so hard to please. You're just being a hypocrite then, are you not? You're essentialy cynically reviewing a review you deem cynical...really?

63 Evil_Bob
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 10:03
I was absolutely itching for the first Transformers movie to the point that I was nearly salivating in the month between when it was released in the US and in Ireland. Never been so disappointed. The movie was filled with, what Chris has called, "oafish insistence on cheap-seats comedy relief", most of whom played absolutely no part of significance in the film and detracted from the only reason I wanted to see the film: To see Robots kicking the shit out of each other.

Amazingly all of those bloody annoying characters (minus the annoying "best hacker in the world" who lives with his grandmother) returned for the second film and even though it was completely retarded I got in spades the required amount of robots kicking the shit out of each other so I preferred it.
Oh don't get me wrong, it was still absolute bollocks but better than the first.

I agree with the post on many levels but I tend to judge "aiming low" movies based on just how retarded they are. I'm likely to hate most of them unless it happens to be so retarded that its awesome (Crank or Shoot em up fall in into this category) however I will still say "Dialogue sucks, acting sucks, everything about it sucks but its great fun". No way would I put it up there at the level that other films are though.

The Dark Knight - Great example of how to take "out there" subject matter and make it intelligent, well acted and plotted and above

64 piccolo135
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 10:34
Good blog.

Would also add to that Empire do indeed movies that require very little thought process. Take the recent review of Fast Five and subsequent opinions. Most reviewers at Empire really did enjoy it despite its flaws and incoherence, and therefore said so. If a film with very little thought required still remains hopelessly rubbish, then the reviewer says so. Or at least does so in their opinion. The feedback doesn't then require us (as the reader) to critique the review, we are supposed to give our own opinions to go against/go with the review given. Don't get up in arms over the review itself, its just one persons opinion, and yes, they happen to work for a film magazine, but dont let that be the be all and end all for the opinion on the film. If you enjoyed/hated the film, give your own review on the whys and where-fors. A review in itself is no different to sitting in a pub with your mates and discussing a film. Do you sit there and tell your mates their stupid? No. Not unless you don't want to have mates.

65 BatFan
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 10:59
Great Blog Helen, I used to use this phrase "turn your brain off" but in the last year or so i've become annoyed at it for the very reasons outlined above.
A film should always aim to be the best it possibly can at everything, why settle for something mediocre and then justify it by saying that you shouldn't use your brain for it?
If you were listening to a song where the singer started mumbling midway through the song and the guitarist was only playing one note, or reading a book and the writer spelt some of the words wrong and decided to not explain something that happened. You wouldn't say "Oh it's just a song/book to switch your brain off to" Why should we with film?

The only problem I have with the blog is it's placement and size on the main page. The link to this blog should cover a huge chunk of the homepage or be the first thing you see before logging onto the site so these idiots who constantly complain about the reviews get to see it.

66 dctuck
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 11:00
Well said Helen. I read through the comments against the Transformers 3 review yesterday at first with amusement, then with more annoyance. Nobody claims that it's an Oscar contender, but like you said - there should be MINIMUM standards. Robots hitting each other, however much fun that is, becomes dull after 2 and a half hours if there's no emotional connection with the audience, surely? I'm all for sitting and watching something mindless for a couple of hours, but if it doesn't draw me in in some way, I just get bored. Each to their own, but: people, please stop criticising Empire for doing their job!!

67 fireal1
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 12:23
Apologies if it's already been mentioned but I think the most damaging case of this occurred last year when Kevin Smith's "film" Cop Out was released to totally damning reviews - at which point HE turned around and started complaining that it was supposed to be stupid and fun and critics couldn't see that! It's one thing for internet fan boys to complain but when the film-makers themselves are basically admitting a lack of ambition, why should anyone bother? I also concur with those who'd comment along the lines of "if I've spent £10 to come and see a film, I'd appreciate if it didn't spend 2 and a half hours insulting my intelligence under the pretence of 'dumb fun'"

For my part, I really enjoyed TF1 but found TF2 to be overlong and unnecessarily stuffed of characters and scenes that added nothing. Let's be honest, no summer blockbuster really needs to be any longer than 2 hours or so unless it has a ton of actual plot to fit in and themes to explore (ie Dark Knight, X-Men 2). So 2 and a half hours is really pushing it unless you can fill the time well and I doubt that Transformers is a suitable franchise for these excessive running times.

68 coljohnmatrix
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 12:36
I loathed the first film. I came out of the screening feeling overwhelmed (not in a good way), as if someone had been screaming "GIANT FIGHTY ROBOTS!!!!" constantly in my face for 2 hours.

If I saw the new one, in IMAX 3D, my head would probably implode.

That's all I've got to say on the matter ;)

69 jokerpoker123
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 13:32
First off no im not a massive fanboy of transformers I liked the first film, second film was weird and yes bad but im still gonna watch the 3rd because I don’t need a reviewer to tell me if a film is bad or good, people like different things.
I’m sorry but I just think the job of a movie critic is dyeing and becoming old; I don’t really read your reviews anymore because what you say doesn’t affect me if I’m gonna watch a film or not, besides things like YouTube and blog sites give the common people the chance to post what they think of a film and I’m more likely to take notice of them, than some snobby im good at grammar reviewer, and you saying “bad reviews have a role in making future films better - or at least ensuring that the same errors are more-or-less avoided” REALLY???? Are you serious? you think that your reviews are gonna make that much of a difference in Hollywood, if they make stacks of money from it regardless of what you say there most likely gonna make more?(so really defensive fans aren’t bad for movies) also I’m fed up of you Hellan o’Hara saying about our grammar what are you my bloody English teacher ? The only reason I visit empires site is to read the movie news.
at least I haven't stooped so low as to call empire critics stupid. I agree what you said at the end O’hara “You can like whatever films you like and I'll like whatever I like and we'll all get along”
and im sorry if this as turned out to be a bit of a rant :^p

70 waltham1979
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 13:48
I did write a very long retort agreeing with some points and disagreeing with most BUT then the computer crashed and I haven't got time or the patience to write it again. All I would say is I agree with comments like this:

"Hey it's not Academy Award season but my tastes are diverse. I don't think there's anything wrong with enjoying, possibly even loving a bad movie for whatever reason but let's not condemn that person for it either."

And disagree completely with comments like this:

"Now if you guys could only cure the propensity to laud so-called quality movies you really want to be good but are actually shit, such as True Grit, Public Enemies, The Hurt Locker, etc..... "

And especially this:

"Pirates of the Caribbean 3 - Three stars
Terminator Salvation - Three stars
Transformers 2 - Three stars

I enjoy reading your magazine and your reviews but you're only inviting comments from idiots with ratings like those."

It's called an opinion. Just because I like Transformers 2 and yea god forbid enjoyed Terminator Salvation for what they were why am I an idiot?!

Their is a real snobbery appearing amongst a lot of people with regards to films these days, almost an arrogance where one opinion is more important than the other. Grips my piss if I am to be honest!!

71 kpenga
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 15:24

to enjoy a movie is different than rate the merits of said movie. you can love a awful film even if you know it's rubish. opinion is not the same as taste. you're not a idiot if you like transformers 2. you're a idiot if you think it's a great movie

72 ClarkKent777
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 15:37
Firstly, it goes without saying that I agree 100% with Helen's considered and well-written blog piece. Spot on.

Secondly, @jokerpoker123.... I don't even know where to begin. If you think the movie critic business is "dyeing" then why are you on Empire's blog writing rants? Especially if you don't really read the reviews anymore.

How does knowing basic grammar make Empire snobby? I find both Chris and Helen's writing smart, witty and informative - but never snobby. They just write at a high level and shouldn't be accused of snobbery for doing so. To be honest, online bloggers are usually the pretentious ones.

If the "only reason I visit your site is to read the movie news" then you are on the wrong bit. This is the blog section.

Of course bad reviews can be influential. It's naive to think otherwise.

Empire (or other publications for that matter) aren't telling us what to think - they are merely offering a guide so that - as Helen (not "HelAn") put it, you might see a movie you enjoy more instead.

Grammar-wise, I understand her point. Fair enough eveyone's entitled to the odd typo on a blog forum, but poor grammar which frequently mis-uses commas, offers never-ending sentences and actually spells the blogger's name wrong end up more like a decoding mission than a considered argument.

And as for all those who say the site's reviews are inconsistent, well they have a host of different reviewers who will have different writing styles, opinions and movie beliefs. Are you expecting one person to review EVERY movie out there? If so, at the risk of sounding "snobby", that is stupid.

Helen - consider yourself saluted.

73 stuartgbaker
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 16:07
I think you are spot on Helen!

If we just accept that Movies are made to a lower standard then that is all we will ever get. Have the reviews given by this fine magazine been a bit more harsh in recent times or have the movies being reviewed just been of a lower standard?

I personally enjoyed the first two Transformers movies but do not for a second claim that they are great movies because they are not! Fun, yes they are, but if you break them down for review then they are barely scraping in to the very good movie bracket.

If we give out more stars for inferior efforts then what rating do we give in future to movies that break new ground, or give us incredible career performances?

Best thing to do is go and see the movies and decide for yourselves!

74 clarkkent
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 16:16
Of course the point this article has missed is that a review is neither right nor wrong regardless of it's content or opinion on a film, after all the only difference between the people who posted those reactions on Facebook and the staff of Empire/all critics is that the critics are paid to see these films and review them while those people on Facebook PAY to see those films and review them in their own way.

75 damn im good!
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 16:17
I get more upset by review inconsistency than anything. The review for Transformers 3 said many times it was an improvement over 2 but still gave it less stars? Surely that's not right? It may be a shit film, but it's less shit than the previous shit film (that is a slight guilty pleasure of mine) that should be reflected in the overall star rating? The massive inconsistencies in Empires star ratings often makes me think you need a new visual marking strategy.

76 coljohnmatrix
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 16:20
Another problem is that for many films no matter what rating Empire give, it's the wrong one!

If they give the film 4 or 5 stars, then they're being over-generous/they've sold out/they have no taste.

If they give it 1 or 2 stars, then they're being snobby/they've sold out(because they hyped a film they later panned)/they have no taste.

If they go with 3 stars they are sitting on the fence!

Of course, there's always the tedious argument that "you gave film X this many stars so how can you possibly give film Y more/less/the same number of stars?????!!!!"

In a way I don't envy the writers at Empire since sometimes it must seem that their reward for writing reviews is getting slagged off by anonymous keyboard warriors.

77 coljohnmatrix
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 16:30
Posted on Tuesday June 28, 2011, 18:02
'It's just a bit of fun' is the most ridiculous statement to make when defending movies such as Transformers. What is fun about Transformers?
The action scenes were a confusing mess, the so called comedy is painful to watch, the acting was abysmal, story was shite and I got so sick of everyone constantly shouting."

Completely spot-on.

I was dragged to see Transformers by my mate Steve. Now, I hated it and he didn't like it either. A good rule of thumb is that if Steve hates a film, then it MUST be shite. He loved both of the Matrix sequels for God's sake!

78 jokerpoker123
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 16:43
@ ClarkKent777
see exactly my point people going on about grammar, well I’m sorry I failed English and don’t know what a semi colon is used for and spelt Helen name wrong big deal, and yes i do know im on the blog section but this is the first time I have even bothered to write something here, the point is I never read a review because it is nothing more than opinion and everyone has a different opinion on different things, but I do feel they are snobby, helAn and others like you have mentioned before about bad grammar, it doesn’t make me stupid even though you might think so and probably will lash back. anyhoo I’m sorry but the digital age belongs to the young not you old farts with your dictionary by your side.
The only point im trying to make is that regardless of a review crap movies still make money still draw a crowd and nothing someone writes will really ever change that. Anyway enough of this pointless rambling who gives two shits ? it’s just a bloody film.

my namb is shane and i spellt good :^p

79 Butlerbert
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 17:16

80 Barry
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 17:21
I still love Armageddon, I don't care what anyone says. AND - I found Pearl Harbour bearable.

On a similar Summer Blockbuster note, I thoroughly enjoyed (and continue so to do) Independence Day.

I will say this however - I don't *completely* agree with the tone of Helen's riposte... While although I completely agree that the blanket "it's just a bit of fun" defence does not preclude a film from criticism, it *does* mean that despite a film being ostensibly sh*t, it can be a lorra lorra fun. This is the so bad it's good effect.

When you have a "so bad it's good" film, it can come across (really, it can) as being a bit mean spirited to damn it to hell. I do not include Transformers though - it has hardly any redeeming features.

Is there a blog already on the "so bad it's good" effect? There should be!

81 jokerpoker123
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 17:27
"the room" is so bad its good :^)

82 jokerpoker123
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 17:35
I wonder what bad, or "dumb" movie O' Hara likes ???

83 Drone
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 17:42

Comments like that are utterly unfounded and make matters worse. Believe it or not, outside of your own idealist bubble, people exist in the world who don't consider film a priority in their lives, and if they go see Transformers 3 and consider it a great movie, they are not idiots. To them it may be a great film. Don't you understand, if you read between the lines YOU are the exact type of "fan" we're talking about; have you seen the movie? No, yet apparently it's a terrible movie, and people who think it's great are idiiots. Point lost?

(Cue : "Oh but I have seen it, I'm a reviewer, I work for a cinema, my uncle Fred got me a copy, I attended an advance screening blah blah.")

Personally, Empire's reviews have been no concern of mine for a long time - if I want to go and see a movie, I really care not a jot what is written about it. I would rather use an aggregator site and trust a sturdy average between professioanal paid reviewers and the public.

Empire ought to consider, next to their paid reviews, a few word snippet from a random moviegoer exiting the cinema for a different perspective, and maybe it'll be inarticulate and ill thbought out on the spot, but it'll be a nice counterpoint to the main review - or maybe it'll be in complete agreement. Who knows.

84 The Jackal
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 17:51
That was not fun.

85 Helen OHara
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 18:03
jokerpoker, I like lots of bad movies (I had a ball during Burlesque, for instance, and I adored Fast Five, both of which it would be hard to objectively hard to defend as good or recommend to friends). But I'm disturbed that you think that only "old farts" care about spelling, grammar or comprehensibility, and that you apparently think young people don't. That's not my experience, and I think you do the young a great disservice.

Also, reviews CAN affect a movie's box office, for good or ill. It's one reason that reviewers take our jobs seriously.

Barry, there are a few blogs on the so-bad-it's-good effect if memory serves. Olly also wrote one on Van Helsing along the lines of it's-bad-but-I-can't-help-watching-it.

86 Helen OHara
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 18:07
jokerpoker, on the grammar point: I made it clear that the grammar had not been changed because some of it is wrong, and if I did NOT make that clear, I might be accused of trying to make our critics look bad and/or not recognising bad grammar when I see it, both of which would be unprofessional. It wasn't a personal attack on anyone, and you'll note that I omitted names from those comments so that no one would see that as a personal attack.

87 BethN21286
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 18:31
As usual Helen makes a good point. You don't have to agree with the reviewer, their review is essentially their opinion but you should give them the respect they deserve for delivering it.
I love a good smash and burn movie and am very fond of the 'so-bad-it's-good' brigade which includes Bay but you cannot describe them as technically or dramatially excellent in the way Inception was for example.
People are correct when they say that's not what Bay etc are aiming for but that doesn't mean Transformers 3 shouldn't be measured against other films. It's not on a par with Bridesmaids just as it's not on a par with Die Hard or The Expendables.

88 jokerpoker123
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 18:52
fair point O'Hara maybe I am a disservice to the young but I just don’t like it when others think intelligence is based on grammar but I don’t know why im still ranting about spelling and crap I came to terms that I don’t understand it a long time ago (im better at other things). and I find that funny you like fast five cos I liked that too how could anyone not like it :^) but I just dont see a review physically helping cinema, anymore just look how bad the last airbender was, (I loved the cartoon series) but m night shyamalan doesn’t seem to make any good movies anymore and he is probably goanna make a sequel; even though it was bad and got bad reviews.
anyhoo what do I know about how the cinema world works, mabe I should have paid more attention in media class ??

89 3rd man
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 19:02
For my two cents, I enjoyed Transformers 3... and completly agreed with Empire's assessment. I enjoyed it because I'm a sucker for giant fighting robots, and the finale delivered this in spades. But that doesn't mean it was a good film- it just makes it a bad film with some awesome stuff at the end. I thought Empire made it perfectly clear that this is exactly what we can expect when we watch the movie, even to the point of saying that it was worth the price of admission. Well said Chris, well said Helen.

90 TALON1138
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 19:03
Good points well put. I was really looking forward to this movie having not been that impressed with the second, but on the strength of the terrible reviews of the second Transformers movie Michael Bay took the criticism on board and made the extra effort to make the next one better. If the critics had just said Transformers 2 was great and deserves an Oscar? It would just have been more of the same again. Transformers 3 isn't totally brilliant, but it is much, much better than the second, and I think we do have the negative press that the last movie got to thank for that. Transformers: Dark of the Moon won't be winning any Oscars anytime soon, but most of the elements that were heavily criticised from that movie don't appear in this one. The story is stronger, and the action better. While I think the Empire review was a little harsh, I'd give it perhaps a 3 out of 5 myself, Empire are welcome to their opinion as are we all. It is ridiculous to have a go at critics for doing their job, just because you don't agree with their conclusions.

91 Mr_Papaya
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 19:04
I agree with all points made, I think the only issue I would raise is an issue of consistency. I'm not sure if anyone else has raised this point as I haven't the time to read 88 previous posts right now, but as soon as I read this article and the said review I rushed over to see what Empire's review for Avatar came out at and who wrote it. lo and behold it got 5/5 and Chris was the reviewer.

I can only assume that rating was due to the mind blowing special effects, because the 'stock characters' were bland and 2 dimensional, the acting wasn't anything special, and don't get me started on the plot. All the major criticisms of Transformers 3.

It seems to me Avatar was given a high rating because of it's special effects and despite the story, acting, and over long running length. Which is why bad reviews of Transformers really don't stick for me (though I have no doubt it'll be close to dreadful), because it seems like a complete contradiction. 'Avatar is a great film, the story sucks, the characters are badly thought out and the acting is so-so...but look at the ideas and squee for new 3D. 5/5' then two years later 'Transformers 3 is a bad film, the story sucks, the characters are badly thought out and the acting is So-So....but SFX are great! 2/5'

I'm not trying to bash Chris for his opinions, but to me that shows a huge contradiction that makes it hard for me to take this review all too seriously.

But hell, don't you guys ever stop splitting opinion, surely thats what being a fan is all about? Discussion and debate?

92 stubs182
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 19:35
Some good points that I totally agree with but there are just a few points that I do take issue with.

''don't accuse us of demanding "Oscar-level acting", don't accuse us of "overthinking"

If you're gonna go out there and publish your opinion for other people to read you have to expect a certain level of criticism whether you agree with people's views or not. Just saying 'don't' is not a valid response. You're not above reproach because you work for a magazine and you have no authority to decide what is a valid response and what is not. People can and will say whatever they want in response to reviews.

Yeah some people's reactions may seem harsh but that's part of the job. You're making a living pointing out flaws in others peoples work so don't be surprised when other people do the same to you.

Also shouldn't the review speak for itself, without having someone else run to it's defense when people start to speak up. The very fact that you had to write this article to defend the review might perhaps suggest that there is some validity in peoples reactions. I'm assuming it had to be a lot of people speaking up to prompt this kind of reaction.

Just my take on it

93 Agent69
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 21:03
Amen. That's all I have to say.

94 Lemure
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 21:06
Which magazine gives 5 star reviews to certain prequels (cos they wouldn't dare NOT to at the time), then offers a "redux" review later on (when said films are no longer cool) - though the film has in no way changed?

Which magazine gives 4/5 star reviews to films like Avatar and Terminator 4 - blatantly to get their name on the poster. Even though both films have massive (and obvious) plot/character/other issues.

And which magazine constantly changes their star rating between cinema and DVD - depending on how "popular" the film actually was.

I was an Empire reader for nigh on ten years, but after a while it became impossible to take them seriously.

95 Emyr Thy King
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 21:44
It's a good thing jokerpoker123 isn't a paragon for the teacher of the future! Otherwise the next generation would certainly be in trouble. The point that many of us like to be thorough and correct with spelling, grammar and so forth is a good thing. It would certainly serve as a good example for the 'young ones'. If you find such things in written English too taxing, then don't bother committing anything to writing.

I have to be honest, as it stands I'm rather indifferent or nonchalant about the issue. Miss O'Hara has a point in regards to the type of films which are considered 'dross' will invariably be made, so long as there's a willing audience for it. However, there are films which although from a critical standpoint aren't the zenith of film-making are still enjoyable to watch nonetheless.

For instance, many didn't like "Battle: Los Angeles". For many, it was cliché-ridden, with many characters who were two-dimensional or at least lacked exposition and of course the editing/camera work didn't work for some either. Fine, I can see their points but for me I did genuinely enjoy the film and thought there were one or two rather striking scenes in there. I happily paid to go see the film twice with different people and I'll contribute towards the film's sales again -- when the DVD/Blu-ray is released. Shame on me? Well, tough. I liked it and I'm happy to spend money on a film that I enjoyed. Conversely, so is every one else.

Personally, I would be content with each and every one of us be free to enjoy a film of whatever perceived quality; without the risk of being admonished for doing so. I think preaching to people isn't going to make a blind bit of difference. We'll make up our own minds regardless of what others say from our own viewing experience, and nothing else. Are we to suddenly conform to the whims of a professional writer/reviewer?

96 jokerpoker123
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 22:07
@Emyr Thy King
What is your problem?? yeah my grammar is bad but I don’t want to be a fucking English teacherand I don’t want to be a newspaper journalist or anything like that. But to say "then don't bother committing anything to writing."
Why can't I ?
Just cos I’m bad with punctuation and a bit of spelling doesn’t mean I'm not allowed to comment on something you stupid ass !!!!

97 jokerpoker123
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 22:32
@Emyr Thy King
you should be BESCUMBER, you probably have a MICROPHALLUS and your speaking for BUNCOMBE not to metion your a COCCYDYNIA

98 trainedasninja
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 22:43
I totally agree. 'Its just a bit of fun' is probably the easiest justification of any film. Im surprised by the loyalty of transformers fans when the films are generally aimed at teenage boys. Can you imagine any girls wanting to see Megan Fox sat on a bike? Im not saying there is nothing to like about the films or films like it but there is a difference between liking a film and thinking its great. People just need to be realistic.

99 ClarkKent777
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 23:04
@ Mr Papaya,

Sorry but I have to strongly disagree with anyone that puts Avatar in the same category as Transformers. Or, for that matter, anyone that puts James Cameron to Michael Bay.

Cameron is a visionary storyteller and filmmaker with an extreme eye for detail and internal logic, who also excels at creating tense action scenes. Bay on the other hand favours visuals, loud action and eye-candy while operating with little regard for logic or characterisation.

Okay, so Avatar wasn't the best movie ever, but it certainly doesn't belong in the same category as Bay's Transformers series.

Of course, this is all open to debate, but there's a clear difference in movie-making standards. One is a carefully-crafted passion project which faced an impossible task of living up to all the hype and uses effects to tell a story, the other is an excuse to blow things up and uses a story as a clothesline upon which to hang CGI.

Hell, Bay even came out and admitted that Transformers 2 was terrible and that all the time was spent storyboarding the set-pieces.

100 nshipillis
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 00:18
I do not agree with most things Helen says on this blog. Just to make one thing clear first, I believe that people who insult others for liking (or not) anything from food, music, films etc are problematic to say the least.

On the other hand though the whole article in my eyes shows a clear superiority complex (no offence). Why does a movie have to "improve" for someone who already enjoys it? I watched a film, I loved it, but I need to agree that "it has to improve"? No I don't, unless I actually do think so myself. You seem to have a difficulty accepting that the same film can be viewed very differently by different people. It's like me complaining after going to watch the "Bridesmaids" with my girlfriend that there weren't enough decapitations or not enough jokes in "Schindler's List".

You are perfectly entitled to want these films different. You are not entitled to say that the different version you want is an improvement and people who don't agree are wrong and in effect counter-productive. Nobody is right to say that and the reason for that is simple: everything in people's minds can be different so when you have conflicting opinions, what criteria do you use to label one different as "improvement" and the other as not? Is it "my different is the improvement" and yours is not? Is everything I don't like something that can be de facto "improved" in absolute terms?

So please, don't come here and tell anyone that because they liked any film as it is and they do not agree that it needs to change, then they are wrong because you (or any "you") in effect have different taste that is "better".

101 DMeister
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 01:40
I have an issue with this blog post that's been festering up for a while now since my last post. Empire make some genuine good points up there when it comes to what we should expect from movies in terms of quality. I've just seen T3 and I really enjoyed it, yes it was way too long and there were some other issues but I had a great time because I knew what to expect from it.

What I take issue of however is where Empire is preaching about how these sort of movies should be judged to a certain standard. OK; you ask "shouldn't we demand certain minimum standards of all our films?" Possibly, my question: what standards are you referring to? Is it the same standard for which you judge every single film or do you have specific standards for specific genres? If so, then how do you judge? If not then how can you justify comparing the standards for Transformers the same way as for films like the King's Speech or True Grit? In fact what is the definition of fun? What are the point of movies? True Grit recieved 5 stars yet it wasn't fun. If the movie in question isn't the best made movie in the world and yet an audience can come away thrilled and entertained more than a Academy award worthy movie then surely that's a job well done?

I've been buying Empire magazine every month for years because I fell in love with cinema. I've loved movies for a long time and Empire opened my eyes to so many different films that I doubt I would ever have heard of, never mind seen. What I find disheartening now is that this seems to be a blog with a hint of vindictiveness. An attack on a group of people whose logic may be seriously in doubt but none the less care about a movie enough to defend it passionately. Yet you accuse them of being dangerous to movies? If this sounds a bit harsh then I'm sorry but you're the ones who simply said "all spelling and grammar as originally posted. Names removed to protect the innocent, I guess".

102 DMeister
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 01:51
Just like to point before anyone criticise me, that yes I apparently have indeed contradicted myself with the first paragraph followed by the next. What I meant to say is that I agree that quality is something to be expected of movies but what I criticise Empire about is that if saying a movie being fun alone isn't enough then how do you define quality? What definitions do you put in place for a movie like this?

103 SpartanEdge
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 02:20
None of what Helen has said,has changed the fact that i enjoyed the first two movies greatly.I found them entertaining,Its as simple as that.(I havnt seen No 3 yet,so cant comment),& i shouldnt have to defend myself for doing so.. Theres plenty of room in this world for your Shawshank Redemptions(which i enjoy also),& your Transformers etal.Variety is the spice of life.. I also happen to think that Micheal Bay makes great high octain action movies,if thats what you like.It just seems to me,that critics these days look for silly little reasons to not like certain movies,just to get people talking,& create a buzz,& to feel highbrow & clever.Also that while quick to critisise things themselves,they cant seem to take critisism too well,& dont like it when they in turn are critisised.Thats my observation anyway.But all in all,everyone is entitled to their own opinions,& likes & dislikes.If you like something,thats all that matters.'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder',as they say.The trouble is,bad press/reviews can harm a franchise,& could potentially prevent more of the same,which is understandably annoying for those that want more.

104 carlschirwing
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 03:50
To those who have posted aggressively to this post, everything Helen says here is absolutely valid and completely understandable but at no point does she recommend that anybody stop watching films which you can 'enjoy with your brain switched off' because we all like them.

While that very thing might be my therapy after a long day at work, the times where I actually want to watch a film because, well, it's one of my favourite things to do, I like to be genuinely satisfied with what I'm watching and I make a judgement call. First, I check what is on, discarding the ones that just won't do on that particular day. Films in this catagory would include Vampires Suck and Yogi Bear (films that could one day be watched whilst I'm lay on the couch after work, eating luke warm noodles from a carton on a Saturday afternoon or whilst doing the weekly iron). I then find out what films are being critically recommended. I've been doing this a while now, I know which reviewers I like. I know which ones I don't. It's through this process that I have found gems such as Moon, Sunshine and (500) Days of Summer in recent years.

It's during those times watching a film that I really want to be sufficiently entertained. Satisfied by the performances the actors give, the casting, the story, the camera work, the pace, the script, the attention to detail in a set. Today I walked into a cinema to watch Transformers 3 knowing fully well what to expect. Robots blowing up a city. I was hoping they'd give me a story to go with it but, sadly, I was not to be granted this wish. Something that was blatently obvious with the way the hurried explaining Megan Fox's absence (We Broke Up!). I knew it was going to happen as did Helen, I expect, but we wanted more. It's absolutely fine if all you wanted was to see mechanical mayhem, but put yourself in our shoes if you can. People are different. None of us are wrong. I just require different things to be entertained.

105 carlschirwing
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 04:20
DMeister, I'd like to enquire on your post a little. I don't review as often as I'd like to, nor as often as I used to but when I did, of course I took the genre of the film into consideration. A comedy, for example, should be funny. An Action film should have action. A superhero move should have spandex and some kind of power... or the concept of FEAR of course. So films like Transformers 3 would never be dissected under the same microscope as a film like The Kings Speech or True Grit.

You used to the word 'Fun'. I assume you are referring to Transformers as a 'Fun' series, a point I would agree with but then you ask how True Grit is fun? If you'll forgive the bad manners, what do you consider to be fun? Are Fun and Entertainment part of the same thing or can the two be seperate. My own understanding would by that one can be entertained without having fun. I personally am entertained right now, reading these blogs and posting replies. I wouldn't say it is fun though. Watching robots destroy each other? Now, we're talking!

So, we judge things on Entertainment. Certain people are entertained by different things. I personally love horror. Many people do not. As a reviewing hobbyist (meaning, I do it for myself and I never get paid for it) I tend to review films I want to watch. I don't have the money to just go and watch any film like professional reviewers do so that makes my reviewing style a little biased. I like Horror. My Brother hates horror. He doesn't ever agree with my reviews when it's about a Horror film. That doesn't mean I'm wrong. It just means he isn't entertained by the same thing. Just like I don't like... well, there isn't a genre I don't like... I'm a film geek! But I do believe that that bias must lie in every reviewer. These guys at Empire might be trained to look for certain things and to discuss them a certain way but if they find themselves losing interest then their reviews will reflect that.

106 guydl1987
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 09:14
It seems to me like a lot of people just didn't read the blog properly, or else they did and the only way they can dismiss it is by accusing it of a level of snobbery which just isn't there (using one throwaway comment about bad grammar to try to undermine the entire argument, for example). The key sentence which people seem conveniently to be overlooking, whether innocently or deliberately, is this one:

"The problem with Transformers 3 and films that we've reviewed in similar tones is that they are not fun enough."

Positive comments here (and elsewhere) about the first Transformers, Fast Five, etc., clearly demonstrate that Empire reviewers are not averse to big dumb fun, so long as it actually is fun. I fall into that apparently very common category of having loved the first Transformers and loathed Revenge of the Fallen, not least because it confirmed every criticism against which I'd been defending the first one whenever friends who hadn't seen it, or hadn't given it a fair shake, had a go (oh, the betrayal!).

My biggest problem with TF2, in contrast to the first one, was that none of the big action set pieces was actually satisfying to me, so there was no compensation for the wooden acting, embarrassing dialogue and nonsensical plotting; the bit where Optimus takes on three of them in the forest was awesome, and if the whole film had been like that I'd have loved it, but the battles against the really massive villains were badly choreographed and just gave me a headache. Most reviews I've read of TF3 suggest that whatever its other failings may be, the final hour or so is thrilling enough to be worth the price of admission, and that's good enough for me.

P.S. I thought True Grit was great fun; it was exciting, emotionally engaging, and frequently very funny.

107 nshipillis
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 09:56
Ok, let me give it another go using neutral terms because some people really miss the point:

Two people watch a film. Person A loves it and person B doesn't like it. Person B then goes on to say that the film is bad and not fun (and not that they didn't like it), that the film needs to get better (not that they would like it to change in order to ideally accomodate their taste) and then as icing they call person A as bad for the film because they liked it and as such are ok to not want it to change. This is Helen's blog after complaining about the people who were swearing at the reviewer (and as I have said that is wrong).

Everybody is entitled to their taste, standards and as importantly expectations when going to watch a film. They need to understand that and also appreciate that these are purely subjective parameters and criteria and cannot be enforced on others or even used to judge others simply because even for the same person these things can vary from day to day. To call people "bad" because they do not agree with your opinion for making the film "better" is poor form, which ever way you try to dress it up. At the end of the day isn't it what Helen was complaining about to begin with? That people didn't agree with the reveiwers opinion and started name-calling?

108 nathstyles
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 09:59
This is just going to run and run - everyone has their ideas and as we know very few people change their opinions on forums.
I guess that in itself is the basis of the defensive position - a refusal by most people to be proved wrong (I'm no different) - we've all been hypnotised by terrible films and we seldom like to hear that other people judge us harshly for it (I'm sure a psychologist would have a field day explaining this stubbornness).
As for the film in question after the utterly skanky, useless, boring film that was ROTF I knew I couldn't put myself through that again - the racism, zoo level sexuality, the anticlimactic and uninteresting action scenes were all just inexcusable for any blockbuster - I squirmed with discomfort and boredom.
I know this one is supposed to be better (difficult?) and my lifetime Transformers geek side is curious - luckily my 'you know better' side prevents me from throwing any money at it as I'm sure a great chunk of our nation's population will (and no I dont give a flying fuck about generalisation I'm sick of terrible movies doing as well as well made ones)

109 Helen OHara
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 10:41
nshipillis, I'm not saying that anyone is bad or wrong for liking a film. I'm not JUDGING anyone for liking or enjoying a film. And I've said that I liked and enjoyed many "bad" films. What I AM saying is that it is bad for movies, and unacceptable, to defend such films from ANY criticism on the basis that they, essentially, never meant to be good in the first place, that it doesn't matter that they could have been better or that they're "just a bit of fun". If you enjoyed it and I criticise it, you have to understand that I'm not criticising you. That's the basis of this whole problem: people are investing themselves in bad movies and acting like any criticism of the film is a criticism of their taste. And it isn't.

A review is a guide for other people to what to expect, so they can make up their minds about whether the film is for them or not, and it may be a help to future films if we're lucky. And if we ARE lucky, we might end up with a sequel that is a bit more fun AND a better film. Because, frankly, films with tight plots and better acting tend to be EVEN MORE FUN.

110 waltham1979
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 10:48
Posted on Wednesday June 29, 2011, 15:24

to enjoy a movie is different than rate the merits of said movie. you can love a awful film even if you know it's rubish. opinion is not the same as taste. you're not a idiot if you like transformers 2. you're a idiot if you think it's a great movie

- - - - - - - - - - -

Yea umm Kpenga; your just kinda proving my point there about people criticising other peoples opinions, so thanks for that!!

Next time I decide to think a movie is 'great' I'll be sure to run it past you first shall I?! In fact I have a list of movies that I think are 'great', shall I email them to you so you can pass jugdement on my personality and IQ so I know what I can and can't like?

111 roogieman
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 10:49
I think the fact that people pay to go the movies, so that they can 'switch off their brain'. Just go to sleep: it's cheaper and dreams are awesome.

112 trotter3000
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 10:54
This is well written piece.And I do believe you when you watch a film like transformers 3 there should be a balance between action/plot and heart. I always make it my business when watching any film to go in with the mindset 'why have empire given this so and so stars'.

My problem is not with the fact Chris gave transformers 3, two stars, its that in the last 3 years the reviews this magazine have been giving, have become very inconsistent. An example and I know this old ground,is with Indiana Jones getting 4 stars, it's a two star film & was not the Indy film I grew up with.Thia is my point, Helen's blog defends the reviewers but she should have stated a 'room for improvement on our part' it would have shown us the readers that you can make mistakes and have off days etc.

A final thought is that this is a good blog, but there is a lack of transparency with the review process. This is why people are complaining. Empire should know because you'll never give Spielberg or Jackson a bad review.

113 BasilFawlty
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 10:55
Take every critique with a pinch of salt I find (and I include those few who deem it an outrage that a film receives a bad review). I love Empire but we don't always agree. I positively adored the new X-Men, and we don't see eye-to-eye on Superman Returns and King Kong. However why would I spend my effort lambasting one person opinion.
However Transformers is an interesting case for me. I grew up on the animated series. The first one is a cracker of a film, one I have often defended. The second one physically hurt me. I find myself drawn to the new one on the basis that there are so few films coming out that can offer that degree of spectacle (I mean seriously where are this years Inception, Toy Story or Scott Pilgrim). The film is pretty much impervious to critique for me. However if I like it I shan't reject Empire, call you stupid for not seeing it for what it is, or over-intellectualising the whole damn argument.
So in a round about kind of way this is an applause for you guys, agreeing with this blog, saying that no matter what I think of Transformers I shall keep returning to Empire. And will probably not call you stupid. But no promises :)

114 Imrahill
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 11:13
I have all ready posted on this matter but its a really good blog so he i go again.The empire review method of 1-5 stars doesnt really give a good reflection of a films standards because the diffrence in quality between a really good film and a really bad film is better reflected with a scale of 1-100 but that would make the reviews overly complicated. On another point one thing most people on this blog has forgotten is that the film industry is just that an industry its all about the cash, no studio exec is going to be happy that was loved by the critics but lost cash hand over foot, that is what film like transformers are about making money and as long as they keep making cash then films like these will continue to be made, i liked tf1 but not 2 but all the hundreds of thousands of people who spent money to see the sequals on the bigscreen/dvd/blu rau/ppv cant be completely wrong.for instance this months empire reviews "the tree of life" 5 stars am i going to see it? no i think it will be a boring mind numbing film, should this reflect badly on me or the film, no its all about opinion so to slag off someone who likes any film is wrong no matter how bad or good you feel the film is.Everything is based on a persons opinion and everybody else should remember that.for instance my taste in films varies greatly love films like The longest Day,Platoon the Dark Knight and the LOTR films but also loved National lampoons(with Chevey Chase) and some other so called"bad" films but i wasnt so keen on films like Avatar or Black Swan but i dont feel the need to be bitter towards people/reviews that dont match my opinion and i think to many people do get bitter and more than a few get snobby about films. remember its only entertainment.

115 velvet
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 12:49
Transformers is a action movie, wats wrong wit that. If u dont like it, dont watch it, simple
I am annoyed wit Empire, 3 stars for Revenge of the Fallen and 2 for this and then saying its better. Wat do u want from Transformers, its robots trying to kill each other. Before Daniel Craig did Bond, we wanted a good fun enjoyable event movie from Bond, now we get really good writing and great action. Transformers is not Shakepeare, if Michael Bay had directed Superman Returns and u added wat Singer did, it wouldv been teh greatest superheroe movie ever mad.I love Superman Returns but there were no battle scenes, no one that could take on Supes.
I have not seen Transformers 3 yet, but i will, i love action movies and 1 and 2 were terrific, over the top and so exciting.
I dont like the Pirates movies but lots of people do but thats their opinion. Reviews mean nothing today, i mean Green Hornot geting 3 stars, most boring movie ever, its like Empire has to give it a good review to keep on side with its stars. Xmen First Class was amazing but only got decent reviews, thats a movie with a structure, dialogue, geniune suspense and good acting

116 velvet
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 13:02
When i go see a BIG Budget movie, i want to be entertained eg Avatar, not the greatest move ever made, was it fun , yes, exciting yes , story not bad, though its not orginal, but it made a ridiculous amount of money, wit great reviews. There are better movies than that like District 9, which had that rare thing in a movie, a amazing plot where u REALLY CARE about the good guy and the Alien and which is really about South Afica in the 1980s.
I think alot of reviewers are snobery, in Ireland the Irish Times are so snobery to any action movie, event movie , superhero movie. If it entertains u, isnt that good, if it excites u and u say Wow that was fun. Jerry Bruckhimer produces entertainment movies, he wanted to put bums on seats, some of his movies have worked: Bevilley Hills Cop,The Rock, Armageddon, Black Hawk Down, Con Air, and some havnt : Pirates 2 and 3 and National Treasure movies, wats wrong wit that.
This is Transformers, not Schlinders List(Speilberg could learn from Transformers after Indiana 4 been so boring).
So reviewers give these a chance, its not about reviews anymore, its about how to market the movies. Remember Superman Returns, it got AMAZING REVIEWS, it only made 400 million from a 200 million budget plus another 100 on marketing, and that movie devided everyone.

117 waltham1979
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 13:33
It is off topic and I am trying not to jump on the grammar bandwagon again, but seriously has half the population lost the 'h' button on their keyboard?! I sware to god if I see one more person spell 'with' without the 'h' I'm gonna pull my own eyeballs out and throw them at the monitor.

Stop trying to be wak and down wit the kids...just try writing in correct English; your not sending a text message innit?!

118 bdeji
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 13:36
100% in agreement, I don't care if its based on a cartoon to sell toys or not, It is a fims job to tell an enjoyable coherent story as well as the bell and whistles special effects. We need to stand strong and not part with our money for this and other film of the same ilk then and only then will the quality improve.
Unfortunately we are outnumbered by Idiots and this film will rake in the cash.
P.S I am not a BAYter (Michael Bay hater) and I really enjoyed the first Transformers film.
P.P.S The "quote the Bard" line in the verdict hilarious

119 bjmcqueen
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 14:28
The best thing about this post is the amount of goons complaining about other people’s grammar whilst seemingly giving up on their own.

"I sware to god if I see one more person spell 'with' without the 'h' I'm gonna pull my own eyeballs out and throw them at the monitor"

A work colleague had to physically pull a shard of glass from my hand after I had read that sentence as I was hysterically attempting to carve MY eyes from their sockets.


"Transformers is a action movie, wats wrong wit that. If u dont like it, dont watch it, simple"

I believe I could train a piglet to construct a better sentence than that given just two weeks and a chalkboard with no chalk. I do however like the honesty of your signoff, though you should have used a period instead of a full stop after the penultimate word and your chosen pseudonym should have been capitalized thusly "...dont watch it. Simple". Im calling you simple.

120 fightclubber954
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 15:20
I agree with this in some aspects but i don't think it really makes sense to criticise a movie so harshly that's obviously exploitation. You gave fast five a decent review, this definitely isn't any worse.

121 waltham1979
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 15:45
"A work colleague had to physically pull a shard of glass from my hand after I had read that sentence as I was hysterically attempting to carve MY eyes from their sockets."

Yea you see i'm dyslexic so I am genuinely sorry if my spelling is off sometimes and my grammar is a little poor. Usually I go through my posts a couple of times to check everything, however I am at work and didn't have that luxury this time.

However on this thread I have been called an idiot because I enjoyed Transformers 3 (as have a lot of people) and now I am according to you a goon because I, in a jokingly way, made a comment about people using 'text chat' in a blog on the Empire website. Hence the last sentance in my post. Granted it wasn't that funny in retrospect but hey ho.

Don't want to make this personal but maybe before you start throwing insults around you should think a little.

The whole point of this blog was to discuss the quote "It's just fun" and the damage it does, if any, to the movie industry. Do you have an opinion on this or did you just largely come on here to insult people?

122 Imrahill
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 15:56
its me again, in reply to bdeji,s post "but we are outnumbered by idiots" are you implying that anybody who likes tf3 or other films of this type are idiots or morons, i hate to keep on about it but it is all down to taste and opinions and as far as i am aware neither show knowledge or lack of say its a films "job" to tell a coherent story, no it isnt its a films job to make money first and foremost these films are made by companies or people who rely on making money, and long before a coherent story its next job is to entertain in my opinion which is helped by a good story but not neccesary.I dont rate Avatar at all but does that mean i think that people who do are idiots no, i probibly wouldnt like tf3 but many many people will.Films are like food not everybody likes chocolate.

123 Helen OHara
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 16:37
Velvet, as a point of information Green Hornet got two stars from this magazine.

As for "snobbery", we liked Fast Five for cryin' out loud! And we did "give this film a chance". We went along to see it, and gave it a chance the whole way through, and then wrote a reaction to it.

124 Barry
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 16:42
Reading some of these posts is a similar experience to reading (trying to read) Molly Bloom's soliloquy in Ulysses.

if you must insist on making a point about something that someone said about a thing on the internet but you can't really be bothered to break from your stream of consciousness and put it down in words or like you know in any coherent way whatsoever so that people can like understand what it is you're trying to say you know what i mean then you simply do come across as having a bit of a frenzied rant but i will concede that some people such as those with dyslexia will have difficulties with this and it's totally understandable the percentage of the population with dyslexia compared to the percentage of people on the internet who can't write properly does not match up so yes i think it is true to say that learning disabilities aside you do come across as having a low standard of education if you can't be bothered writing properly and if you were applying for a job in the manner that some people write well you wouldn't do very well or will i wear a red ribbon in my hair

In other news, I'll be over in London the day of the Ireland v Scotland World Cup warm-up if any of the Irish heads in Empire want to go for pints. I'll be with my friends but they're a fairly welcoming bunch.

I'll put it this way... Would I think less of my girlfriend if she liked Transformers 3? Probably. But then again she thinks less of me because I went to a Maroon 5 concert once.

125 Barry
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 16:56
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 15:56
"... you say its a films "job" to tell a coherent story, no it isnt its a films job to make money first and foremost these films are made by companies or people who rely on making money, and long before a coherent story its next job is to entertain in my opinion which is helped by a good story but not neccesary.""

"You argue that the role of a film is to tell a coherent story. I do not agree with this assertion; I take the view that the primary role of films is to make money, since films are made by profit making enterprises. Once this primary role of a film has been fulfilled, its next duty is to entertain, which is a far more significant consideration than a coherent story. Granted, a good story is often entertaining, however, coherent story telling and entertaining are mutually exclusive."

Now... I could refute these points á la the XKCD comic "But someone is wrong... On the Internet!", but I won't. Res ipsa loquitur.
(It's a slow day.)

126 kpenga
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 17:20
you see, liking or disliking a movie is completely different than analyzing it. I mean, I love Gone in 60 Seconds! But I also know that's shit. The job of a critic is not to say if he/she liked or hated a movie.

it's a thin line, but a crucial one

127 djalexb
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 17:44
sorry but got to make 2 points:
First a films "Job" IS to tell a story its just that TF1 blew everyone away visually that it wasn't as important. TF2 was so weak and unentertaining that I should have just watched TF1 again and saved myself a tenner. After seeing the trailer for TF3 I wont be going to see it as it looks unoriginal and boring. I loved TF1 but as usual hollywood thinks money making is a films "Job" so they churn out pointless, uninspiring sequals.

Second why the hell do people feel the need to critique the critic (is that the right way to put that?). 9/10 times Empire are spot on. Sometimes they are a star out either way and sometimes they get it wrong (Taken got 2 stars in the original then 4 on DVD if memory serves). Why? Because they are human....1 persons paid opinion to review a film so not everyone will agree. If you dont agree then state your case and opinion and/or agree to disagree... Why lower themselves to insults? I loved Inception and I can't fathom why anyone wouldn't want to watch it everyday but if a critic gave it a bad review I wouldn't be calling them names..... I'd kill em in a dream!

128 djalexb
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 17:46
P.S. Expendables was rubbish!

129 nshipillis
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 19:36
Hello Helen and thanks for the response.

First of all I mean no offence in what I am writing. However, this is my last comment on the subject since as is already mentioned there will be no agreement. So let me try and give you another perspective on this and I apologise for the the chosen example but I believe it help you understand what I am trying to say.

The reason some people don't accept this kind of critisism for this kind of films is because it's the equivalent of somebody watching a porn film and then complaining that "there were too many naked people having sex for prolonged amounts of time while no effort or time was spent in order to put together a coherent story and the acting was bad". Well, guess what the people watching porn are expecting.

Transformers is in many ways like a porn film. It's not made with plot and characters in mind. The creators didn't decide to make the film because they had a great idea for a plot or some amazing characters in mind. The ONLY thing they wanted to get out was a film with "lots of robots beating each other up for extented amounts of time without spending time or effort trying to put together a coherent plot or interesting characters". What this means is that critisism like yours then feels misplaced and makes some people inclined to not accept it.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't have your opinion and express it, you should and not only because it is your job but because this is meant to be a free society for everyone. However, putting things into context might help you understand more about people's reactions on certain things.

PS if anyone doesn't like my grammar or way of writing then I apologise, English is not my main language.

130 Smokinator
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 20:23
Tbh I thought the first Transformers film was awesome and the second was shit. Saw the third today and yes it was really fun. I enjoyed the fuck out of it. This on the other hand does not mean I'm going to go and tell everybod who disagrees with me is wrong. Everybody has their own opinion and I honestly hate people like this review is talking about and to a certain extenet i do agrree with you.

131 familyguy91
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 20:30
I think that really your missing the main issue here. Empire reviews are just based mainly on public opinion and trend rather than what they actually think. Just look across a number of the reviews you have done over the years- they are totally contradictory! Case in point: the review of Transformers 3 verdict states "An improvement on Transformers 2, but then what isn’t?" But wait... if you were to look at the review of Transformers 2 it received three stars, yet number 3 gets two.. how does that work then? I've seen this sooo many times over the years. Empire gave Superman Returns five stars, yet in blogs and other articles I have seen it stated since that it isn't that good (I agree, its terrible) but it always was... and that the point, Empire declared it to be a "five star classic," yet years later when public opinions begin to be aired, not just the critic's, Empire change their tune. By the way I think that the Transformers films are absolutely dire- just incase people thought I was attacking empire in defence of that shite.

132 ClarkKent777
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 20:52

Eh, no, I think you are missing the main issue here.

"Empire reviews are just based mainly on public opinion and trend" - that is a sweeping, MASSIVE GENERALISATION. And, given that so many people on this blog have attacked the magazine for giving 'arty movies' too generous a rating or 'bad movies' too little, that is clearly not the case at all.

As I said in a previous post, not every review is written by the same writer and the magazine does not have a hive mind. Nick (who reviewed Transformers 2) might have thought it was worthy of 3 stars, but Chris (who reviewed Transformers 3 and mentioned how it was better than 2) might have thought 2 was a 1 star.

As for Superman Returns, the review that Empire writers do after press screenings is an initial impression and might change over time. Has your opinion on a movie never changed over time? Plus, the people in the blogs and other articles that apparently wrote that it wasn't that good - are any of them the same person who reviewed it?

Empire does not have a collective mind / opinion and there is no way they can sit down together and all agree on exactly what star rating to give each and every movie. That is not feasible. Each review / article comes from that particular writer - and as many have correctly written on this very blog - everyone has different opinions.

All of this, should be fairly obvious.

Don't know about anyone else, but I'm getting fairly tired of blog haters having a go at Empire and its writing staff - they do a great job and certainly don't deserve condescending attacks.

133 UTB
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 21:16
If anything, this highlights a severe dependency on star ratings which is a crap way to decide on whether to see a film or not.

Abolish the star ratings and the mongs will disperse.

134 Helen OHara
Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011, 22:36
nshipillis, we do take into account what people are looking for in a film like this in the reviews. When we say things like "the plot doesn't work", we're talking precisely about the fact that the plot takes up far too much time to get from one robot scene to the next and is, frequently, boring. And that DOES detract from the giant robot fun.

familyguy91, you're talking (libellous) rubbish. We base our reviews on our opinions, and take flack for them from the general public on a daily basis - which is fine. But who do you seriously think we could canvas? We see films before the public, so how are we getting these magical opinions? Sometimes we get it wrong, sure, and personally I think Superman Returns was one of those times, but it's an honest divergence between the reviewer's opinion (sometimes only one person can see a film before we go to press; sometimes we get to talk it out among ourselves) and the world's consensus.

As for Transformers 2, here's what happened. On that occasion, Nick wrote the review and I seem to remember discussion of the star rating. We ended up erring on the side of generosity and giving it three - so does that mean we should keep erring upwards this time, even though in the intervening period we had come to think that that was overgenerous? That seems dumb to me. Don't worry about star ratings so much; the review's the thing.

135 TheLostMan
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 01:44
Popular film criticism is largely pointless. It may have some entertainment value (especially given the rise of 'The Kermode Effect'), but it doesn't have any objective educational value whatsoever. Sure, it might make certain people stay away, or go and see, a certain movie, but it's only a very small fraction of the reason why films fail in terms of box office receipts, as can be seen by a whole host of pictures that have received terrible box office returns.

It seems almost pathetic that people would care one way or another about what Empire thinks. I don't mean that in a pseudo-rebellious way, I simply mean that it all comes down to opinion, and whether or not a movie is 'good' is actually - regardless of what film fundamentalists might say - a deeply objective consideration.

There are a million reasons why people respond to something positively, negatively or indifferently; from 'intelligence' to 'mood'. I suppose, what a popular reviewer needs to achieve is objectivity and balance, however, these two 'virtues', are only partially possible. Therefore a criticism of a criticism should be grounded empirically, so for example if the critic criticised the film based on a misconception, or if the critic missed an important theme, or aspect of the aesthetics (this doesn't apply to serious film theory, given the often hermeneutic nature of that discipline).

Disagreeing is different from criticising, in that I could simply respond to the much maligned review of 'Dark of the Moon', by saying "I disagree, I enjoyed it" (and then the reasons why I enjoyed it). Doesn't make me right, or 'them' (the reviewer) wrong, it simply means that us human beings still have certain a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to autonomy and plurality of taste.

However, I think that the statement 'It's just a bit of fun' is a powerful one, though not in regards to a Transformers movie. We should look at this entire issue holistically - it is all just a bit of fun.

136 jc456
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 08:42
Dear all (including reviewer) ,

I would to point out that the review is actually very good. Sometimes. Please let me explain.

The review did certainly explain how Trans3 misses the ball; the acting (in my opinion) is so-so with a few exceptions (Patrick Dempsey in my opinion starts OK but ends but really not pulling off the greedy capitalist off). The girl although better than Megan Fox dosent show much actiing heart (which I think Mr. Bay knows and hence limited her scenes compared to Fox. Rossie is used here merely as a plot tool which is good in fact). The pacing is clearly bad as the first hour has boring and not important parts. The running time could be a bit lower; the action is confusing and the final 5 minutes definitely are lacking (Mr.Bay knows he run too long and the film ends within seconds with NO closure. Also Prime beat Megatron in 10 seconds with 1 arm? Miss guys sorry).

On the other hand, and here I believe lies the issue with the review, we did not get the true positive for the film. These are:
1) Rossie is better than Fox. No questions about it
2) The 3D is something to behold.
3) The plot is better than the first two films
4) Despite the pacing and mediocre acting there are some relaxing/funny parts (although personally I would prefer a darker tone to the film in order to truly emphasize on events taking place)
5) and here is the important bit: The FINAL 45 MINUTES OF THE FILM are stunning, exciting and amazing. As the review on says we finally get (sort of to be honest) the battle between machine and man that Terminator has never delivered.

All in all, Trans3 is a good action film. But it isnt a very good film overall. If someone like me (24 years of age) can tell of the huge inconsistencies then what do you think a reviewer will find? I would give it 2.5/5 stars. 2 is a bit low, 3 a bit too high.

I love Trans and I love Trans3. But apart fro, the 45 final minutes, the film stumbles often.

137 djimi42
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 09:16
Good solid 'steel' argument. Let's be fair T3 isn't great and 2 stars is spot on. BUT as Chris mentions in his verdict - it is better than T2. And although I realise different reviewers will have different opinions and scores - can we actually remember Empire gave Revenge of the Fallen 3 STARS!!! (which is actually the same score they gave the original when it came out on DVD) This is not addressed in the article and doesn’t fit with all the articles in the lead up to Dark of the Moon saying how 2 was a disappointment....

138 NCC1701A
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 10:23
I appreciate every body is different and we all like different movies.But why is it fine for James Cameron to make Avatar, a film full of CGI and that had very little plot,that got 5 stars, but when Michael Bay does it with Transformers he is trashed. Is it one rule for one and one rule for another.Have we all forgotten Empire's missguided review for Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones or Superman Returns when they first reviewed them.
Does Empire have its favourites ? ( I think so).

139 VPchild
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 10:52
I think it is perfectly reasonable and not at all pretentious to query why these actors - after training and the motivation of extremely large pay cheques - were so poor. Having gone to see this film as a favour to my friend - it genuinely isn't something I usually enjoy - I was even more underwhelmed than I expected; although perhaps the 3D version was more entertaining.

If people say that it is the profitability of the movie which is important then we are removing the human need to be stretched and challenged by ideas in our entertainment. Shit, that did sound pretentious - which is not my intention at all - but may I ask why, when the England football team demonstrate woeful skills on a pitch and are still paid millions we are outraged whereas when our screen is graced with a painfully poor actor, the same sentiment is not expressed?

"Everyone is entitled to enjoy whichever films they choose" - this is the argument of those who love Michael Bay's base and chauvinistic form of entertainment. I quite agree. But, these same people argue that the critics should enjoy Transformers - or at least not trash it - and surely this is a contradiction.

I do not agree with Empire on every review; it may be blasphemy on this site but I absolutely loathed Avatar. However, Critics who've done their job for many years should be allowed to maintain an opinion no matter if yours is contrary or not.

By the way, in case you've not realised, to put it mildly, Transformers and Michael Bay are not my cup of tea.

140 Jamie_M
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 11:28
All those people who complained about Empire for criticising Transformers 3, well,, they're gonna have an awful lot of complaining to do, as every single Review for this movie the world over has been generally negative!!

for example,
Rotten Tomatoes = 37%
Metacritc = 42/100

Chris's review was spot on and fairplay to Helen for this article!!

If empire had of given Transformers 3 a positive review I'm sure they would of received far more criticism from people who see things like,, Plot, descent acting, storyline and interesting characters as an integral part of what makes a good film.

141 Helen OHara
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 11:29
NCC1701, it's not about the amount of CG. It's about the overall film. We all enjoyed the heck out of Avatar, and we liked Attack of the Clones (and yes, some people got swept away by that one and no, I'd say the evidence is that no one has forgotten that one. Or ever will, apparently). We didn't think this was as good. That's less favouritism and more judgment, I'd say.

142 Duane Benzie
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 11:31
Why people with opinions that differ to yours are bad for movies, you don't like it fine, just don't feel that have to justify it to anyone, its just your opinion.
Empires reviews are 90% of the time way off what I think, its the reason I stopped buying it...

143 JS
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 11:58
A perspective that's missing is that bad films can be enjoyable as examples of bad films.

For example, Troy was awful and I loved it. The acting was bad, the script was abysmal and it was great. I watched it in a cinema full of classicists and ancient historians and we spent the whole time laughing. Films are not real and they are never able to cause a suspension in disbelief sufficient to change that. Once one remains aware that one is watching something fake, one expects the actors to look fake, the plot not to make sense and the whole experience to be wonderfully superficial compared to real life.

I've never seen a film which changes my view on that. It has to be said, the same also applies to others arts. Of course a disadvantage with this is that I often laugh at apparently inappropriate moments - normally when I can tell someone is trying very hard to add "meaning". So I giggle in Hamlet and find most of Macbeth hilarious. Usually the only performances which leave me cold are comedies (in the modern, not classical, sense).

144 TheLostMan
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 12:03
I'm guessing that Dark of the Moon is terrible. I rather unwisely went to see Revenge of the Fallen, and it was as close to 'pain' as a cinematic experience ever gets. The fight sequence at the pyramids was horrific, I almost had a panic attack. I won't go and see DOTM, not because what Empire said, but because I have absolutely no interest in seeing another Transformers movie, which are, in my opinion, bad movies based on an even worse cartoon.

I'm surprised how many people don't understand the concept of 'opinion'.

145 Hillsman
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 12:23
To be honest, this article smacks of Empire saying to its readers, "This is our opinion and who are you to question it?". I do not think of myself as some dumb, easily pleased idiot. I loved Transformers, but HATED Revenge of the Fallen. I do not hold high hopes for Dark of the Moon either.

Though I do question why Empire gave ROTF 3 stars, then refer to it in their review of DOTM as the worst form of blockbuster entertainment. To top things off, DOTM is apparently better, but it gets 2 stars!! Can't the reader be forgiven for feeling a little confused?

Empire readers are losing faith - when we see 5 stars dished out for the likes of Monsters and Superman Returns, only to be MASSIVELY disappointed with those films, we have to wonder if Empire really know a good film when they see it.

146 twiddle
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 12:23
I agree and disagree, it annoys me when people complain about a big dumb action movie about how little character development there is, that's like being annoyed at the lack of car chases in Wuthering Heights. So you do have to keep an even playing field and I think Empire does a good job of this, if there's too much talking in an action movie then proceed to criticise.

However the reason why I stopped subscribing to Empire (after reading it for more than 10 years) but still check out the website is the way while the review maybe honest and well informed the build up isn't. You get gushing previews, amazing and gushing interviews, excitable and gushing sneek peaks which all adds to the hype of a film that you probably already know won't live up to the expectation. I bet there was loads for Transformers 3 in earlier Empire mags and I would put money on it not being that suspicious and yet here we are with a very loud medicore film that Empire has quite rightly held back on the stars. What really killed it for me was the edition where you had Hannibal the sequel to Silence of the Lambs on the front cover, then the distributor paid to have the film advert on the back cover and you had about 10 pages of gushing amazement about the film but no actual review. That came the following month and was quietly tucked away with 2 stars.

The phrase "bad reviews help future films get better" is only part of the issue. If Empire pats the back of everyone involved as they make something mediocre they aren't helping, maybe a more critical eye on build up is needed too? Of course we are part of the problem too. The studio has made your money if you're curious go and see it and then declare it's garbage maybe hold back and see it on TV afterall had we not all parted with our cash on some of the more questionable summer choices of recent years we wouldn't be getting a clash of the titans 2 and a a barely improved transformers 3...

147 dogtanian
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 14:48
twiddle- Hannibal was a highly anticipated sequel, to one of the most successful films of it's age. Empire is a mainstream movie mag, so I would fully expect interviews, set-reports etc, becuase it is movie news, regardless of the quality of the overall product.
The review that was hidden away was placed in the reviews section of the mag!!!, exactly where you would expect to find it.

148 Qwerty Norris
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 14:51
Well said Helen, agree with every word...

149 ClarkKent777
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 14:52

Since you persist with the tiresome 'argument' about the ratings given to Transformers 2 and 3 (and clearly haven't read Helen's explanation for this), I will explain again:

Not every review is written by the same writer and the magazine does not have a hive mind. Nick (who reviewed Transformers 2) might have thought it was worthy of 3 stars, but Chris (who reviewed Transformers 3 and mentioned how it was better than 2) might have thought 2 was a 1 star.

As for Superman Returns, the review that Empire writers do after press screenings is an initial impression and might change over time. Has your opinion on a movie never changed over time?

Empire does not have a collective mind / opinion and there is no way they can sit down together and all agree on exactly what star rating to give each and every movie. That is not feasible. Each review / article comes from that particular writer - and as many have correctly written on this very blog - everyone has different opinions.

All of this, should be fairly obvious.

Empire, I'd like to apologise on behalf of all the smug, overly-defensive haters on this forum who go on about how inconsistent the magazine and its reviews are. If this is the case and they are so pointless, why are you lot bothering to read them? And then going on their blog to write your own piece (which, NEVER approaches the same level of clarity or smarts that the Empire team regularly churn out).

In short, to semi-quote Heath Ledger, Empire's team deserve a better class of readership.

150 johnpaulbuckley
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 15:25
I have to agree with the review, and I'm someone who went into TF3 WANTING to really love it,and went in with a summer blockbuster movie attitude in mind.
But I came out really disappointed, it was overly long, had main characters (including the Autobots) that I didn't care for, poor use of other characters, and even the action at the end went on for too long.
As I said, I really,really wanted to love it, but left feeling really let down.

151 Cyberleader
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 17:43
Think what upsets fans is they enjoy the bad acting and thin plot. I sympaphise: while the beautifully filmed Godfather series is among my favourite films, I also enjoy stuff like 'Sharkopus'. Why??? Well, BECAUSE it's bad. But fans can't complain because a film reviewer seeks quality... I think they're afraid what what damage bad reviews might do to their favourite films.
For fans who like fun 'bad' movies, may I suggest Phirahna 3D? A well made 'bad' film. Fact is, bad movies can actually be well made, acted and executed. Just fun as well.

152 mrskopps
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 18:45
Yes Helen!

I agree whole-heartedly. People can be very possessive/protective of the art they love and i think that they take it very personally when their favorites are reviewed as being of lower quality.

I think perhaps what is needed is to be a little less self conscious in what really scratches our collective itches, and to discern the difference between why we enjoy brain-at-the-door blockbusters and why we also read film reviews.

Keep it up

153 duke22
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 19:29
Couldn't agree more. Well said.

154 Hillsman
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 20:57
@ClarkKent777 You know what? You're absolutely right. The foundation for my frustration is that Empire does NOT deliver a consistent opinion. It isn't like the good old days of, say, Zzap 64 when ALL of the reviewers delivered their verdict and the overall rating was worked out between them.....and these guys had to play games for hours, not just sit through a movie lasting between 1.5-3.5 hours. Different industry I know, but the point is relevant IMO.

I am an Empire subscriber, but I have had enough of the consistency and I am perfectly entitled to complain about it. If 5 stars means nothing outside of an individual's preference, then why plaster it all over the movie poster / dvd cover?

As for clarity and smarts, this is a blog, where people come onto for a quick rant, slag, praise or whatever. It isn't the finely tuned editorial process that the magazine goes through, otherwise it wouldn't be worth £3.99 per month.

Finally, I am not sure where you get 'smug' and 'overly-defensive' from - I am not defending the Transformers sequels. ROTF was rubbish and DOTM is probably just as bad. But people CAN object to the criticism if that's what they're into, while Empire should show a little more humility and respect to the reader if they do choose to object.

155 kneerash
Posted on Friday July 1, 2011, 21:47
I think it depends on the type of film fan, like anything it's all about opinion. I love cinema and will say I hated the second transformers. The first one was ok but only ok (Megan Fox helped!) It really gets to me that Bay can spend 1 odd billion on a film and forget to write a narrative. What's wrong with having impressive CGI coupled with a decent narrative?

And it's not like there was no source material for Bay to use, Transformers has a mythology that most script writers would drool over, yet all Bay seems to care about is the effects, no thought given to plot, Character development etc.

IMO Bay is vastly overrated as a director, he cuts way too fast and far too much, you can barley grasp the image before you and it's gone. I will not be going to a cinema to watch this film, the second one was so bad I have pretty much given up on anything Bay makes.

I love narrative, good story is essential to good cinema, effects should serve a narrative not dictate it.

Helen you are right in your criticism of Transformers and people who criticise you for doing your job, "Just a bit of Fun" get out of here.

156 jenjen
Posted on Saturday July 2, 2011, 08:24
I SO agree with this!!!
My sister constantly ridicules me for reading reviews and taking them into consideration! She always calls the reviewers "stupid" or "idiots" if the review isnt what she thinks about the film.

Ok, so sometimes it's fine to watch a movie thats "a bit of fun" but you still expect reasonable acting and an "Okay" plotline... Jeez, is that too much to ask?? There is nothing wrong with asking for a film on robots II personally love robots! lol) with a good plot!!! NOTHING AT ALL!!!!!!

Stop spending millions of dollars on films that really when you get right down to it, are crapola and dont need to be made, Im sure I could find something better to do with that amount of money... Michael Bay, pass the millions over here!

157 RundownDJ Gman
Posted on Saturday July 2, 2011, 10:00
Boom! Top Corner.

Well said.

I do have a special reservation for 'beer and pizza' movies where I just want to shut off my brain and watch the explosions, but this doesn't make them good. My rule is if it has two stars, then it is not bad enough for me to hate it and it is good enough for me to switch off my brain and enjoy.

If it has one star then it is best avoided.

3 stars and above, good film. With some exceptions of course *cough* Batman and Robin *cough*

158 Scruffybobby
Posted on Saturday July 2, 2011, 10:27
Hillsman - The problem - I think - with consensus ratings - is that they would more often than not veer towards the middle ground, "fence sitting" 3 stars. Then there's the problem with the review itself. What if Chris sees (in his opinion) a 2 star effort and has been assigned to write the review but his colleagues like it better and reckon it's a 4? Does he write a 2 star review anyway? Does he write a 4 star review that doesn't reflect his opinion - and therefore effectively lies - or does he let someone else write it? Do this cycle continue until he sees a film of which his opinion matches the consensus?

I suppose you could have the main review which is the sole opinion of the reviewer and carries his rating and perhaps a selection of the other senior staff's ratings at the back of the reviews section - something that Film Review - used to do. But then you'd just get complaints along the lines of "Why use the review from the guy who gave it X stars when the other guy gave it Y and it's clearly a Y star film"

Whatever way Empire do it there's always going to be someone who disagrees witht the review and cries foul as a result calling the writer's intelligence, integrity, writing ability or whatever else into question.

159 vivianapreston
Posted on Saturday July 2, 2011, 12:32
I find this situation rather funny because the fact that I felt that Empire was too mild on mindless blockbusters was actually one of the reasons why I stopped reading it on a regular basis. I just felt I couldn't agree with the attitude that if we have fun in a movie than we don't need to have anything else. It just seemed to me, at a certain point, that Empire was too eager to consider "blockbuster" a genre and hence imply that a some of the usual requirements such as proper acting, a story that makes sense and some grain of originality, to name just a few, were no longer necessary for giving a film a 4 or a 5 star rating. Avatar is probably a great example, though I have several others. I was expecting Empire not to overlook the fact that Cameron, for all his achievements, probably spent less than 5 bucks on that script.

I also sometimes got the feeling that, having written extensively about a movie in advance, having praised it and having participated in its pre-launch hype, it was almost as if this prevented you from giving it a bad review afterwards. Ok, there's something about credibility here, I suppose: you put something on the cover, you get the readers all excited about it, and then when it finally comes out, you slam it in the review? "This is gonna be awesome! Nope, wait, don't go see it!" In a way, that's like saying that you've been wasting your reader's time by having betted on the wrong horse. I have a feeling you can't quite do that and get away with it on a regular basis. So then what is there to do? Many blockbusters that get people excited turn out to be movies that leave a lot to be desired. So then you put your "blockbuster glasses" on and ignore some of the stuff that you would otherwise find disturbing and you give it a 4 star and say "it's tons of fun" (but in more elaborate words).

So it's funny to see people lashing out on you over not being "cool" enough to understand a blockbuster. From where I'm standing, I still see the opposite.

160 Nerodemon
Posted on Saturday July 2, 2011, 13:26
I do agree with the people, that like to just enjoy a movie. They like it, because they can go watch it and just have a bit of fun. But what you say is also true and some of the comments about the bad reviews are very over the top. I don't really know what the problem is, but it might be that some of the people fail to realise, your critics, when you watch a movie, you look at everything, you can't go in a just sit back and enjoy and turn your brain off and what ever else that was said. Your there to do your job and that is to give your honest opinion of the film and criticise it, whether it is Oscars worthy or Razzies worthy.

161 twiddle
Posted on Saturday July 2, 2011, 16:25
To dogtanian-
Hannibal may have been eagerly anticipated but it wasn't any good and with jodie foster bailing that should have made alarm bells ring rather than the love in the article actually was. You're right the review was in the review section but it was 1/2 a page and most big movies get 1 or 2 page reviews my comment may have been a little dramatic but the whole thing smelt like a magazine bending to the will of the movie company.

162 Medium Dave
Posted on Saturday July 2, 2011, 16:56
Alright, here we go, I come in peace. Whilst largely agreeing that to want a film that whilst offering huge spectacle has heart and grey matter through it like a stick of rock is the dream of film fans everywhere, this is hardly ever the case. If every film revolving around massive robots could be like The Iron Giant I'd be over the moon (dark side or not).
I understand the frustration of the reviewers, I even understand the frustrations of the fans, however misguided. I was spitting feathers upon reading the review for Punisher: WarZone (I liked it alot, ok?) where frustration can figure into it is easy to explain, by likening PWZ to The Dark Knight is pointless and frustrating. I knew full well I wasn't be about to see Heat with costumes, but by likening the two it sets up unrealistic expectations, even unreasonable. There's Something about Mary could not be reviewed to the same yard stick as let's say, for arguments sake Tokyo Story ( I picked these as I am massively ambivalent about them) One might be average and one might be lauded as a classic. But hey? herein lies the quandary of being a reviewer. I'd give my left and biggest ball to be in your shoes, a problem I'd gladly seize with both hands, whilst nursing my sore scrotum obviously. But I also think this article could be replaced with Kermode banging his head against the wall. Films are sadly, whilst sterilisation for thick people is not an option going to be critic proof, (as they should be) because if you wanna go blow your cash on Transformers 3, it's your god given right, but dont get uppity because a reviewer has been forced to go and see it with the threat of a P45 hanging over their head if they don't. If you wanna go see the flick, what folks at empire towers think should hopefully not put you off, because go and form your own opinion like what they have gone and done. Like a proper grown-up. But Empire, critics being upset by criticism (however poorly constructed) I mean really? Pot, Kettle?

163 agent cooper
Posted on Sunday July 3, 2011, 10:55
All valid points and I agree but Empire you've delivered 4 star reviews to films where the criticism you deal out on the TF films (for the record I personally don't like these films). This is the magazine that had to go and re-evaluate their SW prequel reviews and still couldn't deliver the one star or two at a push those first 2 deserved. Also 4 stars for Indy 4, I'd like you to try and justify that, 3 stars I would still question but 4. Oh yes of course this was Lord Spielberg but here's a news flash the beard does make crap films and Crystal Skull must best be his worst.

Robin Hood a film so boring and slowly paced and yes full of that exposition you level at Bay's films. Bay for me is just an example of a director that would gladly make brain dead rubbish because he's fully aware that people out there would gladly lap it up obvious from the venomous lash outs at this magazine for their review of this film.

So yes Helen you makes valid points but the door swings both ways so before you go criticising your readers etc you need to look back at some of the films you've raved about yourself as the criticism you leveled at TF 3 could well be leveled at some of your lazy 4 star efforts in the past and I've no doubt will again. Although opinions are like aresholes everyones got one!

164 satchwannad
Posted on Sunday July 3, 2011, 12:34
ahhh for gods sake "why so serious????" sure its only a bit of fun!! :P

165 J_BUltimatum
Posted on Sunday July 3, 2011, 14:42
Fair point... but how do you defend Kim Newman's review of Green Lantern which is just poor and unfounded? And when I say poor, I mean just a description of the film which is poorly written and an eye sore. I also think a new scoring system should be set up as more than any it is the star rating that gets folks nickers in a twist the most. As for TransFormers 3, I haven't met anyone that has gone in to see the film and not enjoyed it in some manner.

166 portman180
Posted on Sunday July 3, 2011, 15:27
@Helen O'Hara

Why are you defending yourself to these people?

You write the reviews to express your opinion of a film... they read them to find out what you thought. Simple. If they don't like what you wrote, tough! It's YOUR opinion.

I know the interweb was invented for bitching and all that malarkey but you shouldn't take any notice of it... for every negative thing you read, there are a hundred people who agreed with you but didn't leave a comment to confirm it. I think the amount of negativity on this site (and any other for that matter) is a very small number of the total readers.

Pay no attention to them. People visit this site for your reviews, not the reader comments.

167 NCC1701A
Posted on Sunday July 3, 2011, 16:00
So Portman 180 you are saying that people who disagree with Empire should not be listened to.

Well Empire started the Blog so they must want to hear what people have to say. Why should people not add their opinions and has you said tough if Empire do not like it. And one last thing Portman 180 you obviously visted the site and paid enough attention to the comments to right on the Blog.

Fans of the Transformers films have the right to stick up for the films just as fans of Superman Returns or Avatar fans have the right so why has Empire only targeted Transformers fans with this Blog.

Beging a fan of the films myself I think Empire has let its self down and yes I know that the films are not 5 star films.

168 ClarkKent777
Posted on Sunday July 3, 2011, 18:40
@ ncc1701A

I'd like to congratulate you on how spectacularly you have missed the real meaning of this blog. As, of course, have so many others.

Portman180 - I am with you. I don't see why Empire needs to defend itself against self-important web warrirors. And not just ones that can't spell properly - ones that can't spell properly and don't really even see why this makes their thoughts less articulate on the blog.

169 sideshow_mang
Posted on Sunday July 3, 2011, 20:28
Well said empire, well said.

Shame it hasn't sunk in with a few though, see 115-116 as case in point!!!

170 NunianVonFuch
Posted on Sunday July 3, 2011, 23:58
The reason everyone is defending these movies so much is that they don't realize how little action there actually is in them. All the trailers are packed with it, everyone wants to see it and talks about the amazing piece during the last battle. The problem is the last battle is pretty much the only battle!

There's 5 minutes at the start then a 90 minute Shia LeBeouf "comedy" before they remember people came to watch an action movie and the film starts. It's boring as hell before that with the Transformers just standing around having a chat for the most part. Such a waste of time. The sooner they get a real director on board this franchise the better!

171 J_BUltimatum
Posted on Monday July 4, 2011, 03:43
I made a comment earlier stating "fair point" but I now retract that! I am one of many people (whom I know) and if Mr Hewitt or any of the Empire reviewers ever came to Edinburgh then I would happily call idiots to there face! I try to go to the website and even buy your magazine as much as I can. The fact, though. your reviews are awful and your "exclusives" are roughly a month or two after I have read about and seen the pictures elsewhere, have meant I have little faith in Empire and I will no longer suscribe!!

172 Danmeisternator
Posted on Monday July 4, 2011, 06:05
I was just dissapointed with the review because in my mind it was on par with the first transformers, sure the transitions are a bit of a mess but I felt like the emotion and high stakes of the movie really pulled you in more than the second.
I like empire and I read it because I feel like its a happy medium between obsessive fanboys and douchey movie critics that don't enjoy a movie unless it's arthouse.
I can't be bothered reading all these comments if it's been said before but I do think the review was a little off, sure it's no masterpiece but it's certainly not a 2 out of 5

173 SpartanEdge
Posted on Monday July 4, 2011, 09:43
@NCC1701A I totally agree wit there! Bravo.Just as people who dont like something are entitled to their opinions(& lets face it,they're just as vocal,if not more),so too are the opinions of the people who liked whatever the film is in question.& for the record,I've enjoyed greatly ALL the Transformers films so far(including No 3).Its as simple as that.But people are never going to agree over everything,its just the way thing are,everyones different.But people do need to understand,that its not nice to hear something that you like critisised & made fun of,& its only natural to want to defend something if you like it.

174 Y2Neildotcom
Posted on Monday July 4, 2011, 12:34

For heavens sake people. It's a REVIEW. It's not gospel.

As has been mentioned countless times, these are just opinions. Go see the film for yourself, form your own opinion. If you disagree with someone you don't start World War Three, if you're an adult it means you can have a good old conversation about it and other films.

The people at Empire are all different, they all have different tastes in films but they've probably seen more than all of us on this section combined. They know film, they live and breathe film. Does it not occur to anyone that perhaps, just perhaps they might know a thing or two.

Opinions change, times change and so do films. I loved Transformers the first time I saw it, second time I was less blown away.

It's time to stop the bickering and let everyone make their own mind up. If you want to argue about something - go have a moan at the Harry Potter 3D glasses CineWorld want you to pay £1.90 for, or have a pop at The Screening Rooms charging you £16 to watch a film in discomfort.

175 smokemonster
Posted on Monday July 4, 2011, 12:37
This blog isn't just about Transformers 3, it's about the blockbuster genre in general and how this film stands against its peers.

So can anyone here really, hand on heart, say that the current batch of blockbusters can put themselves on the same shelf as Raiders of the Lost Ark? Back to the Future? ET? Star Wars? Jurassic Park? Lord of the Rings? The Matrix? Inception?

I'd say they all fall under the umbrella term "blockbuster" but they generally hold a special place in our film loving hearts as doing that little bit more than a blockbuster should; they had an impact on us that stood the test of time.

With Transformers 3, I just feel like I've ticked off a film I wanted to see this year and will now move on to the next one. It's not a terrible film, but I couldn't encourage my friends to go and see it, it's not worth it.

Of course some people will love Transformers 3; but when it's reviewed, that has to be against the competition, which is why Transformers 3 scores poorly.

In my opinion, as a part of the franchise it's a lot better than 2, but nowhere near as good as 1. As part of the world of the blockbuster movie, it's well down the list.

However, if a blockbuster film is to be reviewed in that wider context, then Empire needs to ensure some consistency across their reviewers and also take into account the audience its aimed at.

176 moviebug
Posted on Monday July 4, 2011, 13:05
Dear Ms O'Hara,
"bad reviews have a role in making future films better- or ensure that the same errors are more or less avoided."


There has been a film industry for more than 100 years & I'm fairly sure I'm on firm ground when I state that bad film reviews have been around for about the same length of time. You'd think those poor film makers, you know the creative types, could get it right by now.
The profession of film criticism is failing miserably.
Or was that you getting neck deep in your own colon?

177 Y2Neildotcom
Posted on Monday July 4, 2011, 13:15
@moviebug - it's not Helen's fault directors and movie studios are blinded by money. I'm sure the big wigs in Hollywoodland would have seen how shit the Epic/Dance/Date/Etc Movie's were and thought "we can't make another one of these" but then when the sales figures come in they realised it was easier to make a dreadful parody to balance the books than invest in a first time director/writer with the next big idea.

178 crazycatlady
Posted on Monday July 4, 2011, 14:05
I think that characters and pacing should be considered essential in any movie no matter the budget or the subject.

Of course people have different ideas of a "fun movie" and different critics will be looking a different qualities but that doesn't make the criticism wrong. To a certain extent critics reflect thier readership (reviews in the Guardian rarely match the ones in Heat) and personally I read Empire because if they tell me a movie is terrible I can then manage my expectations for it. Quite often I will go anyway but that's my own fault...

179 sparkerl01
Posted on Monday July 4, 2011, 15:23
Thank god for this blog, I was starting to go insane after watching a film which i hoped would revive the franchise unfortunately, like most people who look for a film that can keep them immersed throughout instead of only having brief moments of enjoyment which are drowned out because your so god damn bored, i was hugely disappointed (as you may have realised by now). What really annoys me is that I'm considered the idiot for having this opinion. When asked to explain my views I'm simply put down by my friends who say 'its just a bit of fun' and are seemingly satisfied enough by the fact there's big explosions and a pretty blonde despite the fact that whenever she speaks it makes you cringe. My friends slate me for not enjoying these types of movies and admittedly I do see empires reviews as reliable and I base whether or not I will see a film or even like a film on the reviews but this is because your reviews are often the same as my opinion, I'm an aspiring director if I didn't listen to the reviews of the leading film magazine in the world then I don't think I'm likely to succeed. They seem to think I'm against action films but I'm not if anything it's my favourite genre after all action is in a hell of a lot of good movies like inception, gladiator, braveheart... etc. The difference between these films and the transformers sequels is that they make you care for the characters within the movie you really do hope that cobb gets back to his family or that maximus defies the empire and for once you genuinely want to see the Scotts murder the English but in Transformers 3 i was hoping bumblebee and Sam and whoever Rosie's character is called (That's just how bad she was I didn't even care what her characters name was) would die so that the movie could finish. Don't get me wrong i'm not against the transformers franchise I really liked the first one because it may have been silly but it had substance I would have cried if bumblebee died, now though its gone too far.

180 RobT9
Posted on Monday July 4, 2011, 17:19
Long time reader - first time contributor. Good article and although I agree in large with Helen, it has to be said, Empire are often guilty - in the first instance - of over hyping big dumb blockbusters like Transformers 3. For example, prior to release there was the Empire Optimus Prime front cover! The Empire 'Michael Bay Exclusive Interview'!! The Transformers 3 Trailer Breakdown' etc.

Of course putting big robots on the cover has got nothing to do with selling magazines. Oh no. It's because Empire REALLY wanted this film to be great (despite knowing the first two were shite - did you really think this would be any better??).

I guess when you guys turn around and pan the very film you've been whipping into a frenzy (no Transformer pun intended), I suppose you can't really blame the hardcore fanboy massive for venting spleen at your critique, certainly when you're demanding a better story and better acting from a Michael Bay film. Surely that's a bit like a food critic complaining that there's not a lot of taste or nutritional value in a Big Mac?


181 MrMcPhee
Posted on Monday July 4, 2011, 18:27
Hi Helen,

Why don't you quantify your star rating against actual measurables?

E.g.. have a score out of 100.

Max score of 10 points for acting.
Max score of 10 points for plot.

It hard to differentiate thousands of films with a 5* rating...

It will also allow you to justify the scores you give. For example, Transformers 3 only got 25 / 100 as it got low scores in acting etc...

Then you could atleast score it higher for CGI, action or such. It would also drive the comments into more meaningful debates rather than "anyone who likes it is clearly an idiot" or... "this reviewer is a muppet" type comments.

Just a thought...

182 Beldaz
Posted on Monday July 4, 2011, 21:29
So, it's acceptable then is it to say "It's a bit of fun, stop moaning, its about robots bashing each other about,...what do you expect?"
I say ... cobblers!... robots or not, these multi million dollar movies that fall into popular culture still require superior performances, great direction, logical exposition, humour, intelligence, plausability and excitement (not just big bangs that become spirit crushingly dull after five minutes due to lack of chemistry with the characters). And if I hear one more time "it's got big robots punching each other duh?" I am going to scream.

Well I have seen another film that involves two robots punching each other whilst the fate of the world hangs in the balance.. and all the while they are battling for the soul of the young male lead... you may have heard of it ... it was called Terminator 2. I rest my case.

183 Sambora
Posted on Monday July 4, 2011, 23:15
Defensive fans may be bad for movies but nowhere near as bad as defensive reviewers who become bosom buddies with filmmakers and then lose all objectivity. After watching Scott Pilgrim tonight, I was reminded of Empire's burbling 5* review of the flick.

Social Network garnered a 4* review, so how can a film with no plot, no characters, no belly laughs and the soul of a music video possibly be justified 5*? Because it was directed by Edgar Wright. The box office of the film clearly reflects matey reviewers high fiving each other at, when the public voted for the lack of any substance by simply not paying to see it. It's incredibly patronising to your readers - and borderline advertising - to plug the hell out of any Edgar Wright / Simon Pegg flick, for example, and expect the people who buy your product not to be aggravated by that.

On a similar point, why is Kim Newman constantly granted reviewing rights on horror flicks? He represents such a marginal niche of film watchers that Empire's readership would undoubtedly be better served by the reviews being spread about to punters who don't feel Jason X was a 4* film.

So your last paragraph rant contains some merit - ie MBs are generally vicious, unhinged shouting areas - but I think the subject of objectivity in reviews, given the modern PR and ligging gigs set up to introduce filmmakers to reviewers, is worth a blog.

184 Y2Neildotcom
Posted on Tuesday July 5, 2011, 07:18
@Sambora - if you are referring to Scott Pilgrim, that is certainly a 5* film. I LOVED it and it was thanks to Empire that I got a chance to see it at Movie-Con last year.

It's become a favourite quoteable movie like Anchorman amongst my collection.

This just proves the point that reviews are all opinion and conjecture. What one person loves another hates. The only sembalance we have are the people at Empire who have our intesrests at heart to judge. We don't have to take what they say literally but use it as a basis to form our own opinion. If we don't like it, we can write into the magazine and perhaps win £100 in gift vouchers for being the top letter.

Now, can we now close this bloody argument?

185 Y2Neildotcom
Posted on Tuesday July 5, 2011, 07:18
@Sambora - if you are referring to Scott Pilgrim, that is certainly a 5* film. I LOVED it and it was thanks to Empire that I got a chance to see it at Movie-Con last year.

It's become a favourite quoteable movie like Anchorman amongst my collection.

This just proves the point that reviews are all opinion and conjecture. What one person loves another hates. The only sembalance we have are the people at Empire who have our intesrests at heart to judge. We don't have to take what they say literally but use it as a basis to form our own opinion. If we don't like it, we can write into the magazine and perhaps win £100 in gift vouchers for being the top letter.

Now, can we now close this bloody argument?

186 Whistler
Posted on Tuesday July 5, 2011, 10:11
This is a good piece. I'm getting fed up with the constant barrage of abuse the reviews are getting. I also think it's pathetic that people are now complaining about Empire's "The Tree Of Life" review because it's too 'wordy' and is somehow designed to make the reader feel like an idiot. Their words, not mine. It's as is there's no line to sit on. Either it's "badly written" because they don't agree with the rating, or, like with The Tree Of Life, the reviewer is being "arrogant" with his large vocabulary. Either way, there's no please.

(All of the quotes are what people have actually said in the threads)

187 7eke
Posted on Tuesday July 5, 2011, 10:44
This blog is bang tidy.......kudos O'hara you little minx

188 neopol
Posted on Tuesday July 5, 2011, 11:13
I certainly understand Helen's points for most part but must add that from what I have seen so far, I feel that a review which is summed up with this for Dark Of The Moon: "An improvement on Transformers 2, but then what isn’t?", is itself flawed.

DOTM has received 2 stars whilst Revenge got 3. How can this be better then Revenge unless in retrospect, Empire's review has changed.

Mark Kermode's review was spot on, except that I felt that instead of condemning the film, it justified it for ALL the reasons that he gave. It was cynical, vulgar and money-grabbing and it worked. Should they stop making these films which sacrifice artistic integrative for cheap thrills?

Well all's I would ask is should we stop seeing them? Well, if they make so many of us happy with a 150 minutes of escapism them no, we need these films. Kids love them, adults like them. Critics are afraid to like them.

I respect any critical review and I am seeing this film tomorrow. The first was excellent, the second was good enough but a hit with the kids, and third is still an unknown quantity to me, but Transformers and Bay get a raw deal from critics, but I'm glad that film fans are putting the money where critics fear to tread.

189 Evil_Bob
Posted on Tuesday July 5, 2011, 14:51
Why are so many people missing the fucking point here.
The fact that there exists movies which deal with trashy subject matter and have struck the right balance of : entertaining exciting story, performances which, if not great are at least good fun, and balls out action proves that there is a yardstick by which this type of movie can be measured (original Star Wars, Point Break, POTC 1 for example).
Why is it then a bad thing to complain when some movies don't even bother aspiring to this high level os ridiculousness.
I mean the Fast and the Furious films never forget that they're movies about guys driving fast cars but are essentially just shit. This is what makes them so enjoyable. Why the he'll can't the Transformers remember thus before making them epic length in order to create a bullshit and forgettable mythology.
Keep it simple and stop trying to be fucking Lord of the Rings.
Look how badly they fucked up The Matrix and POTC films, which are still more enjoyable than Transfomers.

190 K Grandaddy
Posted on Tuesday July 5, 2011, 17:01
Perspective. A mate of mine said the Dark Knight was utter garbage cos Batman has no superpowers. The same man also told me Sex Lives of the Potato men was hilarious - f*cketh me. While there are such cretinous views in the world, crap movies will continue, most will be just rubbish, some will be fun but still rubbish, some will surprise us, unfortunately the only way you can form an opinion is to see for yourselves. For every Bad Boys, Curse of the black pearl, Con Air, anything with the stath etc theres a Phantom Menace, Transformers 2, Alien versus predator 2.

191 d threadgold
Posted on Tuesday July 5, 2011, 18:28
@Helen O'Hara- thank you for raising an excellent issue- this is a brilliantly written piece that really examines a baffling mindset that is truly damaging to the medium we love.

Just think about it- if we expect less from our movies, paying our hard earned cash for badly told stories, then filmmakers (like Bay) will not feel the need to tell a good story, and will churn out awful films disguised with bug budget SFX and action just because they think they can get away with it (and so far, they have). Being a huge spectacle driven blockbuster and having a good story are not mutually exclusive- just look at the works of Speilberg!

I've been having this argument with a friend for years now and he can't seem to understand that just because something is a 'blockbuster' it doesn't mean it has the right to forsake good storytelling.

192 Panic05
Posted on Tuesday July 5, 2011, 19:49
Great post Helen, and I totally agree that criticising someone for wanting a better film makes no sense.

One of my favourite films is The Dark Knight, and another is Inception, and Christopher Nolan is a stunning film-maker imho, because he produces intelligent films of great quality and entertainment.

However I am one of the ones who fully enjoyed Transformers 3 because of the enormous fun factor. Yes, Huntington Whiteley is pretty awful, mainly because of her British accent, and ok the plot is pretty much the same as the last 2 (replace allspark or matrix with pillars) but none of that bothered me during that film.

Certainly it may have been better with a better female lead, or more intricate plotting, but for me it didn't need it to derive huge entertainment value from watching it.

But I absolutely respect your right to disagree with me and say so and would never criticise anyone personally for having an opinion.

193 Duane Barry
Posted on Wednesday July 6, 2011, 01:21
Empire, you are right but [coming from someone who has yet to see the film] seeing the two star review made me wonder what was really so bad.

I know what Im in for after TF2 - [the balls made me balk loudly in the cinema] & Megan Fox was insulting to me as a man & to women in general. BTW I dont agree about racism regarding the twins, you are applying colour where there is none - there are plenty of white & non dark skinned guys who act & talk that way [Fatboy in Eastenders for instance]. Would you call the film "FRIDAY" racist because of the way Chris Tucker acts in that? - You could counter by pointing to the stereotypes in Badboys II but mabey there is truth in Bay's vision of LA & what characters you might find there. Bay is vacuous but somehow I enjoy his films except Pearl Harbour which made light of real horror.

But TF3, two stars? - you see it said it was better then TF2 - a good thing but was TF2 not awarded more then two stars? (I cant remember but I thought it got 3). Going on the TF3 trailer alone it looks a damn sight better then Green Lantern - which I avoided yet I believe that that film got a better review even though it looks aweful. What annoys about reviews sometimes is I see really crap films like Harry Potter & the Pirates series get treated like the greatest thing ever but they are absolute drivel. Mabey they have better acting then your average Bay flick [a plastic bag would have more charisma in fairness] but they have ZERO spectacle something the TF films do provide.

The TF films do need a decent plot & tension & I wish Bay was not involved. He was picked because he can get military hardware & command live action destruction but Transformers can be made without BAYHEM. It seems decent directors think "it's a toy movie" which is a shame because it has so much potential.

The first one had majic & novelty but I think the review of TF3 may have pitched too low out of pure frustration at Bay's inability to learn. I will know soon

194 Duane Barry
Posted on Wednesday July 6, 2011, 01:23
But two & a half hours does seem too long

195 Duane Barry
Posted on Wednesday July 6, 2011, 01:32
I think also it would be good if we had reviewer Bios - mabey if we had a list of reviewers top 2o films in each magazine we would know whare someone is coming from - If a reviewer loves say:
Evil Dead II, The X-Files, Jacobs Ladder, The Thing, Tremmors, The Car, The Hulk {Ang Lee's}, The Matrix Revolutions, Xtro & KILLER CLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE - then i know the company Im keeping & how to guage ther tastes.

However if He/She Loves Amelie, Lost In Translation, Leaving Las Vegas, Solaris, Harry Potter & "World Cinema" I know their a turd biscuit & anything they like is bound to be crap! :)

196 SpartanEdge
Posted on Wednesday July 6, 2011, 02:20
I just wanted to say that i greatly enjoyed ALL the Transformers movies.I found them all to be very entertaining,& thats all that matters at the end of the day.I also want to give everyone something to think about.. Theres people that are very vocally Anti-Micheal Bay & his movies,yet they watch EVERY ONE of his films?! Personally i like his work,i think he's great at what he does,which is Epic Action movies.If you dont like his films,then dont watch them! It REALLY IS that simple.Nobodys holding a gun to your head,are they.People know what to expect from a Bay film,So dont go & watch one,then go moan to everyone after that you didnt like it,ya know..

197 BPbarracuda
Posted on Wednesday July 6, 2011, 10:05
What is noteworthy is basing a large part of you review on the fact that Transformers: Dark of the Moon is better than Revenge of the Fallen leaves you open to criticism when the star rating you have implemented does not match this. I understand that three different critics have reviewed each film respectively however, as a single entity Empire should base reviews on what has proceeded them, especially within a film series.

198 Quentin Black
Posted on Wednesday July 6, 2011, 11:08
Great post Helen. There are plenty of action films that are intelligent and well made with great scripts and characters that you care about. However Transformers and Green Lantern aren't in this category, no matter how vocal their fans get. I don't care if it's not aiming to be good, we shouldn't have to lower our expectations and say it's good when it's not.

Generally Michael Bay make movies for morons. The type of people who can sit around for two hours of nonsense so long as it's loud and has lots of shiny explosions. The type of people who think Jersey Shore and Got Talent shows are legitimate forms of entertainment. The type of people who shouldn't be allowed to reproduce let alone vote.

I'm not being elitist. Hollywood has poured more money into the Transformers movies than the GDP of some entire countries, banking on the fact that the general cinema going public are stupid enough that they won't notice that they're big steaming piles of shit. Sadly the people Bay likes to target with his movies have trouble understanding that a pile shit covered in shiny, delicious icing is still a pile of shit.

All I'm saying is don't let them lower our expectations so low that the latest entry gets points for being less of a offensive monstrosity than the last one. Let's show them that we're not stupid and that they have to make films that are actually good if they want to make their money back.

Finally one last thing. The argument "everyone's taste is different and you don't have to see it if you don't want to so why are you being mean about my new favorite film" is idiotic. Speaking as a fan of all genres of film it is possible to make films that are fast paced, exciting, action packed while not being utterly stupid, offensive, juvenile and just plain bad like Transformers or Green Lantern. While we all have a choice not to see those movies, it is Empire's job to review them SO GROW UP AND STOP WHINING ABOUT EMPIRE'S REVIEWS GIVING BAD FILMS DESERVEDLY BAD RATING.

199 Quentin Black
Posted on Wednesday July 6, 2011, 11:31
I apologize if my last post came off as offensive to anyone. I do not mean to belittle anyone and we are all entitled to our own opinions. I'm just getting fed up of going to the forums to look for decent intelligent discussions on films and instead getting a load of fan-boys crying because Empire gave a film they were looking forward to a bad review for being a bad film.

Most of these insults hurled at Empire's way have no basis in truth since Empire gives guilty pleasure action films and serious dramas good and bad reviews a like. It's puerile and damaging to the film industry.

Having said that I do agree with some others who say that the magazine does do too much to hype up certain films and celebrities, the Transformers series included. While I understand it is a business and that sort of coverage sells it would be nice to see Empire put its money where its mouth is and have the occasional front cover promoting Tree of Life the same way it does big blockbusters.

200 richardpettet
Posted on Wednesday July 6, 2011, 12:38
The problem with Empire is that you give good, or shall we say not overly negative, reviews to terrible films that you have an exclusive on, i.e. highly anticipated blockbusters that sell magazines. In recent times you've given huge coverage in the build up to the fourth Indy film, coverage which by the way was awesome, but then not had the balls to tell it like it is in the review. I know there are commercial pressures involved here but the result is that i pay absolutely no attention to your reviews whatsoever, which is a shame because it devalues your product greatly. So, I really don't think that on the one hand you can maintain this stance of being allowed to show journalistic integrity and opinion but throw it completely out of the window on the other.

201 dayboy76
Posted on Wednesday July 6, 2011, 13:13
I agree with Helen on this point.

While I, like several of the previous commentators, am more than happy to sit through a mindless summer blockbuster, I much prefer one that has an engaging story, believable dialogue (even in unbelievable, fantastical situations) and likeable characters. As an Empire reader, I also respect the opinions of the critics expressed in their reviews – even if I don’t always agree with them. For example, I’m a Harry Potter fan (and proud of that, God damn it), and as such I may take exception to the fact that four of the films have received the same number of stars in their Empire reviews as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – a film that actually made me want to slap the employees at my local Vue cinema on my way out after watching it, such was my anger and frustration at not only being £8 worse off than I had been two and a half hours before, but also at the realisation that I was never going to get those two and half hours of my life back!! (Needless to say, that is the reason I will not be seeing Transformers 3, even if Empire had awarded it 5 stars.) But that is only my opinion, and I completely respect that some people who liked Transformers 2 might think the Harry Potter films are total bilge. I wouldn’t understand such people, but I would respect their right to an opinion…

I also agree that “rubbish” blockbusters shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind the excuse that they’re just a “bit of fun”. One of my all-time favourite films is Jurassic Park. It was obviously a SFX heavy, summer blockbuster that was definitely a bit of fun, but it had a brain as well. Toy Story 3, another summer blockbuster (crammed with CGI, funnily enough) that was lots of fun, but which also had as much heart and emotion as Brokeback Mountain.

I appreciate that the studios make films to make money. It’s the movie “business” after all. But when a trip to the cinema can now cost more than £10 per person, just “a bit of fun” isn’t always enough.

202 TheSomnambulist
Posted on Wednesday July 6, 2011, 15:28
It's not entirely unfair for people to expect a balanced review though is it? One without bias.... And let's face it, you guys [EMPIRE] aren't always sure of what you like or why you like/dislike a film. Are you? BRAZIL comes to mind.

Empire are prone to trends too and sometimes it can feel like that's what's presented in a review. When you all come down on a film you do so with the heavy hand of prejudice and yet sometimes whilst cashing in on a films hype that prevails through your magazine. So sometimes your contradiction is confusing and to some I guess a little frustrating.

Personally I'd be happy if you'd stop using the phrase:
"And with a twist you won't see coming!"
In your reviews. Because actually now we will see it and you've ruined it for us.

203 TheSomnambulist
Posted on Wednesday July 6, 2011, 16:06
Also it's a touch rich that you seem snippy at readers who criticise your reviews. These people are your audience. Whether you like it or not. EMPIRE must take the favourable with the not so favourable. This is indicative of creativity. As I'm sure Michael Bay knows all to well.
If you write a review, you too are subject to criticism and bemoaning the contradictions of your readers is nothing short of petulance.
So suck it up Princess!

204 GERRY_M.
Posted on Wednesday July 6, 2011, 18:01
There's no easy way to settle this one. Some solid points made above for both sides of the coin. I have no intention to or believe I can book end this one but hopefully I can drag it sideways or possibly start a new blog topic from a movie referenced above... Superman Returns. Empire gave this 5 stars and now seem to think maybe this was a mistake. Personally I think 5 stars was absolutely right. Ok, it drew out the ending a little but aside from that if was almost flawless movie making. Apart from Empire's original review, does anyone else agree?...

205 SpartanEdge
Posted on Wednesday July 6, 2011, 19:05
@Quentin Black. "I'm sorry,but you sound absolutely Elitist & snobbish,the second you said"Generally,Michael Bay Movies are made for Morons".Who do you think you are? judging people because they like certain movies! Reviewers have put their opinions in the public domain,so why are their views not open to discussion or question.Surely it goes both ways no? Though my points are more aimed at the public who very vocaly critisise bay & his movies,as they have a choice to go see it(yet they still watch them),I still believe a critics views should still be questionable too,& not blindly unquestioned as gospel.It seems to me though,especially from Helens reaction,that critics,REALLY dont like to be critisised themselves(Such irony).. I far more respect the people that dont over analyse films that are made for pure entertainment & enjoyment,such as the Transformers films(Intelligence has nothing to do with it,& to suggest it has,it stupid in itself),& enjoy them for what they are,than Elitist,snobby people like you,who take it on themselves to judge those that do.Does it make you feel superior eh? Well,go watch the Kings Speech or something(now THAT & many other so-called high brow films are terrible & snore fests,but i dont go on about them/it).

206 Duane Barry
Posted on Wednesday July 6, 2011, 23:58
Just saw it, enjoyable but very flat, no tension of any sort. Also a bit two sweary for a film marketed at kids. I have to say for good guys the Autobots use gangland exexution style violence - very callous - cartoon cgi machines or not they dont act like heros. See it in 2d & save some money

207 Quentin Black
Posted on Thursday July 7, 2011, 10:05
@Spartan Edge. Saying that intellectual and emotional stimulation has nothing to do with a summer blockbuster is a prime example of one of the many stupid replies that fan-boys use to defend Transformers or Green Lantern from criticism. As I said in my post films made for pure entertainment do not have to devoid from emotion or intelligence let alone good acting, coherent plotting, witty scripting and originality. Prime examples of this are Inception, District 9, Toy Story 3, The Source Code etc.

District 9 has aliens, big robot suits and gory explosions in it, yet is great in all the ways that the Transformers films aren't. The film is original and witty with intelligent political subtext and a strong emotional arc for both humans and aliens. As an extra bonus the acting is outstanding. The aforementioned qualities actually make the action more exciting because you are more invested in the characters and actually care. Transformers on the other hand has the same macguffin based plot in every film and forgets about such things like character chemistry or interesting ideas while casting models who could barely act their way out a commercial. I genuinely think Bay is just screwing with us now by casting Rosie Huntington-Whitley, who can't even pull off a British accent despite being British.To compensate for a lack of any redeeming qualities it throws in tits and ass and as many loud shiny explosions as it can possibly cram into a final act because we as the stupid cattle that we are don't need any more stimulation than SEXY BANG BANG BOOM! I'm sorry if you're offended by this but that is a movie made for a stupid person.

208 Quentin Black
Posted on Thursday July 7, 2011, 10:49
@ Spartan Edge you're not helping yourself either. You just used the same old and frankly moronic arguments that the fan-boys used to obnoxiously defend certain films. All fan-boys can come up with is "Helen is a princess", "You're just just a snob", "It's not meant to be good or intelligent" (that's one of my favorite defenses as it actually admits that it is meant to be badly made and stupid), "You only like The King's Speech or foreign language films because you like to feel superior" and "You shouldn't be a critic if you don't want to be criticized".

The problem with all these arguments is that they're puerile and obnoxious attacks aimed at the reviewer and not the review. You say it should be open to discussion but that's not what it is. It's an angry internet mob who knows that their best defense for the film is that it isn't trying to be anything other that the steaming pile of shit that it is. Knowing they don't have anything smart to say, that mob is attacking the reviewers with no basis or reason. It's very sad.

I frequently disagree with Empire's reviews and coverage but on the rare occasions I do so publicly I will have thought out reasons, based of the content of the magazine and article, as to why. The problem I have is all the trolls cluttering up the forums making it difficult to have a decent discussion about film. Here's a crazy thought, instead of whining, calling the staff names and saying how Transformers is allowed to be a terrible crime against humanity because it's intended to be one (as Helen pointed out a highly damaging idea for the film industry and culture in general)...why don't any one of you outline any redeeming features it does have and break down why those aspects of it hold their own against films like Inception or District'd be nice to have intelligent debate on these forums again.

PS Just to point out a critic not wanting to be criticized isn't an example of irony unless you're Alanis Morissette.

209 Jaybee79
Posted on Thursday July 7, 2011, 11:00
A point I'd like to raise. I hate the film. I think it's awful. But equally so I would never dismiss anyone who enjoyed it. That's elitist and snobby. If they enjoyed it then good for them. They definately should not be looked down upon as some sort of idiot film viewer.There are many films I love that others hate. Each to his own.

210 Quentin Black
Posted on Thursday July 7, 2011, 11:20
Just a couple of points about my previous posts. I am not saying that people who enjoy these films are stupid, I'm saying that they are made for stupid people. I like everyone else have my guilty pleasure films, especially when it comes to comic book films, however it is important to recognize that enjoying a film isn't the same as it being a good film. Films like Transformers is a guilty pleasure of many people, including friends and family of mine, but that it is still a bad film deliberately dumbed down for the lowest common denominator of society. To say that it isn't and to publicly attack Empire in an attempt to giving it a undeserved good review is not only stupid but damaging for the industry and society. It's impressive that Empire have stuck to their guns.

@ GERRY_M. Superman Returns is one of those films that I have trouble with. Bryan Singer is a good film-maker and I enjoyed it at the time but I think Empire were too generous. It's a nostalgia piece that took a good swing at being the classic Empire described but missed the zeitgeist completely and has dated badly.

That's the thing Empire's reviews and articles are not definitive but it's a fun magazine that precariously walks the line between covering the mainstream, the prestigious, the indies and the obscure. It should spark lively and intelligent debate and deserves more than a mob of morons hiding in the forums, posting obnoxious attacks on every review it puts up.

211 TheMadFatChickKiller
Posted on Thursday July 7, 2011, 13:22
Hi Helen,

Good blog. My history with Empire went from 'Avid Fan' from 1989 to 2006, then broke it off because the mag had, frankly, disappeared up it's own bum. But had a joyful reunion in 2008 right up to today. You've nailed a lot of important points, and probably a lot of serial-posters whould stop and have a read (twice I reckon) to remind them what the folk at Empire do and why. In this age, everything's about the twitter soundbite, so that's why I think you've seen a massive increase in "Yeah, Empire are f***ingClown shoes, etc". Because they don;t take the time to read or understand you are reviewing the move, not simply saying what you hated / loved.

But the big thing for me is this. You have a small army of fans who read Empire because they believe you are 'just like them' - movie fans. Now, Mark Kermode is a different kettle of fish. He. Is. A. Proper. Critic. So it's easy to knock him. Ditto other 'filum' critics. Because they have a sense of the aloof, the cleverer(er?)-than-thou haughtiness that usually raises most folks' hackles.

But you guys are different, whether you like it or not (I think you like it). So it seems more understandable when this happens, some people will treat your reviews like falling out with their mates over a film. On the one hand, you don;t want to end up like Sight and Sound, but then again you're not going to turn into 'Dave' from the Fast Show and agree with everyone.

I did laugh a bit at the criticism "you're so inconsistent". With what exactly? Is this Maths? Will this go on your Report Card? C'mon, it's only a bit of fun, etc........

212 Robby D
Posted on Thursday July 7, 2011, 14:45
I come to Empire for reviews on a film above all else, and yes sometimes I disagree with what you say, as everyone is different. So with this in mind I went to see Dark of the Moon and having missed the regular 3D showing went for the IMAX version. I wish I hadn't. I was dumbfounded when the girl behind the counter asked for £27.60 for two tickets. Is it just me or is that expensive? I don't care if the film is spectacular on all levels or rubbish, paying above a tenner is quite a lot.

Anyway, to the film. Yes it was epic in all senses of the word and the 3D was seamless, (maybe the best yet in my opinion), the scenes with Ronald Reagan very well done and as always the fights were cool. However, something(s) annoyed me and it took me till the following morning to realise what some of my problems with it were.

I won't go into the same detail everyone else has about comedy robots and bad acting etc. But after thinking long and hard about it I think it suffered from the same problem as The Matrix. By number three I just didn't care.

The Matrix/Transformers - great story, small ensemble great action = winner! Everyone was hooked

The Matrix Reloaded/Revenge of the Fallen - Some silly aspects (multiple smiths/comedy robots), slightly bigger ensemble (ok) and more of the same action but bigger! (cool)

The Matrix Revelations/Dark of The Moon - the whole world is involved, loads of characters, fights that last almost a whole film.

I'm making it sound like I didn't enjoy it an awful lot, it was a fun romp but it left me frustrated and I agree with Helen in this instance, why shouldn't we have high expectations?

I have also just read a higher post about these films being made for "stupid people", not a very well thought out statement really. How on earth can your average Joe Blogger know the interests of anyone's tastes in films? Maybe you should just keep your opinions localised, what you thought of the film, rather than attacking others.

213 Imrahill
Posted on Thursday July 7, 2011, 20:14
@Quentin Black. you say just because you enjoyed a film doesnt mean its a good film,i dont get that, if YOU enjoyed it then to YOU, its obviously a good film .Ans as for you saying that shiney shit is still shit well love or hate it tf3 will make a billion dollars so alot of people must like it so clearly it aint shit just because it is not to your taste(not mine either but iam not slagging off the fans) and to say that certain types of films pander to the lowest forms of society then does that mean that films like the tree of life only pander to the elite of society? i have seen tree of life and i wouldnt rate it any more than tf3, i didnt like either. And my taste in films is broad everything from Apocalypse now to the lampoon films.I like a good story good acting but it is nor always necessary and in some cases it makes films worse, the original POTC had a story u could fit on a stamp but it was made well with good acting, but the filmakers tried to up the story making it deeper and what happened they ruined a good franchise(the same happened to the matrix) Everybody has the right to like/dislike any film they want and they shouldn't have to defend their choice.For instance I love Bladerunner however out of 16 members in our film club only 3 people rate it The reviews in empire are a good read and helpful for finding out about films you might have otherwise missed but dont put too much stock in the score.

214 Quentin Black
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 01:52
@ Imrahill and others, as someone else put it earlier...

"To enjoy a movie is different than rate the merits of said movie. You can love a awful film even if you know it's rubbish. Opinion is not the same as taste. You're not a idiot if you like transformers 2. You're a idiot if you think it's a great movie"

Let me put it this way, there are millions of people out there who enjoy porn films but it doesn't make them good films. In the same way there are millions of people who enjoy Michael Bay films but, while it will make millions of dollars, it still is and will always remain a terrible film. To take this analogy further just as a porn movie is made for horny people, Michael Bay movies are made for stupid people. Just like you don't have to be a nymphomaniac to enjoy a porn film, you don't have to be stupid to enjoy a Michael Bay film. However there is no denying that porn films are made for people who want sexual stimulation and Michael Bay movies are made for people who can be entertained by almost three hours of nothing but tits, ass and loud explosions. I don't judge people who enjoy either, I judge people who think that Transformer and Gang Bang Orgy 14 are good in the way that Raging Bull is good.

This has nothing to do with being elitism or class. I haven't seen Tree of Life but if it is anything like Malick's other films it will try to provide intellectual and emotion stimulation and in this way, whether it succeeds or not, its intended viewer is someone who both seeks intellectual and emotional stimulation and has the capacity to evaluate it on these merits. Transformers attempts to provide cheap titillation with loud explosions and as such its intention is to aim for the lowest common denominator to rake in money.

Good story and good acting has never made a film worse. The problem with the Pirate sequels is that they had incoherent plots that didn't follow their own internal logic let alone any sort of narrative structure and were thus BAD stories.

215 TheSomnambulist
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 02:18
The idea that a film is either good or bad is predicated on there being an ABSOLUTE film. Well there are no absolutes when it comes to films. A film has no definitive criteria that must be met. Therefore there is no such thing as a GOOD or BAD film, there are only films that people like or dislike. We each interpret the content based on our own personal tastes. To say that people who watch a certain type of film are bringing down the quality of future films to be made is redundant and Empire should know that.
For Empire to think themselves so high and mighty as to somehow have some defining impact on future cinema by critiquing a film with a cutting review is simply delusional. Studios only make films to make money. If they have a formula that brings in the money - they will continue to use that formula, inspite of what Empire or any other magazine might say.
Now I don't particularly like Michael Bay films either but cleary THOUSANDS of people do, and good for them -- why should they have to answer to that? If some film critic really wants to have an impact on the direction that cinema is heading, then quit your job and get busy making inroads within the industry and show us what you can do. Because seriously writing a terse little paragraph lamenting the state of films these days will do nothing to stem the rising tide of directors such as Bay; and targeting his supporters as fundamental in perpetuating the rot is simply misgiudged.

216 Quentin Black
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 02:59
People really need to stop getting upset about my statements not being politically correct. I mean it in good humor and if one were to bother to read my comments I say from the start that I'm not judging anyone on whether they enjoy the film or not, I'm judging the morons who troll the forums publicly declaring that movies like Transformers and Green Lantern are great films while the Empire staff are snobs. It's like the scene in West Wing where President Bartlet is under attack for being too intellectual in his campaigning. Since when did it become a bad thing to give an intelligent review that rates films according to their film-making merits? Since when was it a bad thing to have moderately high expectations for a summer blockbuster?

The worst part about it is that no one seems able to back films like Green Lantern or Transformers in terms of film-making or artistic merit and are resorting to "it's terrible film because it's meant to be a terrible" and "it's subjective so stop being mean". The funny thing is is that this subjectivity would go straight out the window for these very same people if an artist were paid a million in their tax dollars to take a poo on a plate and exhibit it in an art gallery.

Funnily enough that is kind of what Michael Bay gets paid millions to do.

It's a sad state of affairs that people are defending a film that even fans of the franchise admit is just okay at best. This film cost almost 200 million dollars to make. That's more than actually good films like The King's Speech, The Hurt Locker, Moon, Source Code, Hanna, District 9, The Fighter, The Social Network, Black Swan, The Wrestler and The Hangover cost COMBINED. As audiences and reviewers we have a responsibility as we create the demand. By choosing the lowest common denominator we are rewarding poor film-making and diverting funds away from original "risky" projects. It would be irresponsible for Empire to give films like Transformers reviews they clearly don't deserve.

217 Quentin Black
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 03:06
@ TheSomnambulist. That is a very weak argument.

Would you rather your one million of your tax money being used to buy an original Monet or a piece of installation art that consists of a piece of poo next to a brick?

Although both can be considered art our society, culture and history define one being clearly better than the other. Art is only subjective to a degree and it works on a sliding scale. Therefore there is such thing as a good and a bad film.

218 TheSomnambulist
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 03:11
@ Quentin Black

This is not about you.

219 Jaybee79
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 13:16

I would disagree that because you enjoyed a film that makes it to you a good film.

Using myself as an example here are four cases in point.

1) Howard The Duck. Loved the film but it is a very bad film (and my liking of it is not a 'so bad it's good basis'. I actually enjoy it as a film in itself. Ironically Mark Kermode thinks Howard The Duck is a misunderstood movie :D

2) Lord of the Rings. Loved the film and I think they're masterpieces.

3) Apocalypse now. Hated it but I do think it is a very well made movie in every respect.

4) Black Hawk Down. Hated it and I think it is a shoddy piece of work.

First thing to make clear about those above statements, whether I enjoyed them or not aside, my opinion on the quality of the movie itself is obviously my personal opinion and not a statement of fact about the films.

Overall what I'm getting at is if I like or dislike the film I will still form different opinions on the quality of the film regardless as can be seen from above. My opinion on if the movie is work of art or a piece of trash is not (at least not always) dependant on if I liked it or not.

220 crow11381
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 13:24
I can enjoy a stupid movie for it's own sake (yes, I've seen MegaShark vs Giant Octopus). I can not enjoy a movie that contradicts itself. When the main Hero character thinks little about sacrificing a major city to prove a point, I have an issue. When I can imagine the movie with 30 minutes having been taken out of it and not have missed anything, I have an issue.

The worst offense a movie can have with me is not drawing me in to the point that I'm still very aware that I'm in a theater and my butt hurts from the seat. It's my gauge of how the movie is at making me believe (kind of like my gauge of how my waiter is paying attention to me being how long my glass of water is empty).

Transformers 3 kept reminding me that I was in a theater with a sore back (despite 3D add-on and Micheal Bay's demands of the projectionist). The last 2 movies that upset me this much were Wolverine and Superman Returns (X-men 3 I could give more permissions that this!).

Even as a movie for its own sake, this movie was horrible. It didn't follow its own rules. It didn't add anything to the series. It didn't make me want another one. It made me yell "Micheal Bay has raped my childhood memories for $5.50!"

221 SpartanEdge
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 14:49
Here Here Immrahill,well said. @Quentin Black.Yeah thats right,if someone doesnt agree with you,or like what you like,bring out the old Fanboy card.Yaaawn..Your not doing yourself any favours with all this stuff your coming out with,& your contradicting yourself all the time.For instance,one minute your saying that your not saying people are idiots for liking Transformers,then the next minute,your saying that the films are made for idiots?! Well,i enjoy the films,yet i have a well above average IQ of 123,but yet i'm an idot because i find a summer blockbuster entertaining & enjoyable(& yes,i like them).& your most certainly overanalysing a film when you use phrases like 'Political Subtext' for a Transformers movie.Come on!..lighten up.& i happen to think the acting is pretty good in it.I bet you dont critisise Spy Kids for being what is is,so why critisise this,for unashamdly being what it is,with no pretentions of grandeur,unlike yourself.& enough with District 9 already,the films ok.i like it,& the 'political Subtext' works with the film,but i still found Transformers(which is not,& has never pretended to be about politics,or our existential existence)a more entertaining film,so sue me.Your whole argument,that a film is automatically better,just because it has 'political subtext'etc is flawed,& has nothing to do with what makes a good film.Like art,wether a film is good or not,is purely subjective to the individual.I dont need you,or a critic to decide for me whats good,& what isnt,& what criteria make a good film.Get over yourself.& your most intelligent answer to my(good)points,"that critics dont like to be critisised themselves,& if you dont like a film,then dont see it" is to call me 'purile & Obnoxious',that kind of makes you look more childish i would say,as its not an intelligent comeback is it..

222 SpartanEdge
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 15:04
Oh,& i'm now officially praising the film on its artistic merits(& as we know,art is subjective).I say the film was very well & stylishly shot,& the action sequences extremely well shot & put together,& the special effects something to behold.Making a good action movie,is just as much a valid skill in movie making as any other,& the Micheal Bay is up there with the best in this respect.Whos to say that 'because it doesnt have Political Context,its therfore an inferior film'? Apparently Empire & you Quintin Black.Well,you can keep those opinions to yourselfs,because i have my own opinions thanks.

223 shred monkey
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 16:08
I enjoy cheesy action films. I enjoyed the first 2 transformer movies. But if I saw a movie reviewer say they were good films I'd laugh and lose all respect for that reviewer. Reviewers look at movies like they're art. Thy ask, Is it artistically good quality or not?

The transformers movies fun, money making, entertainment... but they are not art. Similarly, Micheal Bay may be talented at performing his job... but his job is not to make art.

224 sdilku
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 16:51
At the risk of upsetting some of the people on this blog who sound as though they are on the verge of firebombing the Empire office, I have to say I wholeheartedly agree with Quentin Black.

His pornography analogy is quite possibly the best articulated argument I have ever read concerning the fact that a bad film you enjoy is still a bad film.

Bad films I enjoy include Supergirl, Condorman and quite a few others. Are they terrible? Yes, and critics would be amiss if they didn't say so. Defending Transformers 3 as a good film is ridiculous, however much one might enjoy it as a guilty pleasure. So are the idiotic arguments on this blog that critics are somehow at fault for calling a spade a spade.

Helen, Quentin Black and others with similar arguments are one hundred percent correct.

225 SpartanEdge
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 17:03
As i said earlier,art is the most subjective thing ever.Its purely down the the individuals opinion & point of view. "Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder" as the famous phrase goes,& never a truer word spoken.Action movies are definately an 'art'form in themselves.Anyone who disagrees,go out & try & make Transformers 4.even with all the cash,it wouldnt turn out well,lets face it. The people that are putting the films down & looking down at them with this distain of superiority,such as Quintin Black,I would genuinely like to hear the excuses they gave to themselves to see the movie,despite the fact they apparently have this distain for the director & movies.. He also puts movies down for 'not having Political Contexts'etc,but since when did things like that become manditory for a movie? The movies Long Kiss Goodnight,& Basic,prob have more to say about society,with Political Contexts et al,but they are the two worst movies i've ever seen in my life! So does the addition of such things make a good film? No. Will i give anyone a hard time for liking those films,or put them down? No.If they like them,thats completely up to long as they enjoyed it,who am i to argue. Also,since when did we start liking critics,& standing up for them?lol am i in a parallel universe?! I know they're just giving their own opinions,but when they start thinking they can change subsuquent movies with ther reviews,& start saying that they're entitled to their view,but the people who disagree with that view are NOT allowed to express their opinion(& they are saying that,as thats what this whole topic is about),then i'm sorry,but that is OUTRAGEOUS! To say one side of an opinion can be expressed,but not the other.Basically in other words 'i'm right,& your wrong,so dont say anything otherwise'.So Think about the implications of what your agreeing to,before you agree with this Helen woman..Is freedom of choice & expression not allowed now? Lets hope for all our sakes.that day never happens.

226 SpartanEdge
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 17:13
I cant believe the some people are comparing Transformers to Condorman,or even worse,a porn movie?! Considerably more talent goes into movies like Transformers.From The director(Yes,the director),to stuntmen,sound people,Special effects people/equipment,Costime designers,& evertything else i havnt thought of is handled by far more talented people that work in Porn movies,& low budget movies from the 80's,& for Sdilku to compare something like this to them,is well,frankly laughable,& a rubbish argument that doesnt hold any water.Transformers is a quality,well made film,& just because it doesnt have big words in it,or doesnt ponder the existential meaning of life,doesnt change that.

227 SpartanEdge
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 17:22
I'm sorry,but at the end of the day,there REALLY is no defence to what Helen is saying,which is "I can have my opinion,but if you disagee,then you cant have yours" is there? If anyone questions that has not been said,then simply read the title of this Blog,failing that,the blog itself,Its an open & shut case,i need say no more..

228 Jaybee79
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 19:10
The impression I got from Helen was exactly the opposite. Empire had stated its opinion which was they thought the film was fairly rubbish (although not completely, they gave it 2 not 1 star). They then got attacked in a fairly nasty manner in my opinion of being elitist by, let's be honest, fans of Transformers 3 simply because the review didn't give the film a good write up. The review did not say other people couldn't have a different opinion or that they couldn't express it on Empire's forums or that just because those peoples' opinions are different to Empire's that they are idiots, or even that reviews contrary to Empire's were wrong. What Helen did object to was essentially those people who had a different view doing exactly those things back at Empire and the original reviewer. Or at least that's how I read it.

229 Nute
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 21:12
I want to respond to your believing that people think you are stupid etc. The issue with reviewers is that they can sway people from attending the film (not always if the reader thinks for themselves) I work at longest running family owned professional dinner theater in the country and we are about to close on the cusp of it's 40th anniversary due to the poor economy. Therefore one bad review can cause the show to fail financially, all based on the opinion of someone who isn't even an actor or director. Putting all of our jobs (accountants, box office, hosts, actors, servers) on the line. So if you could see it from the other side it might help you understand (if you want to).

Maybe a die hard fan may take offense to your review because they happen to love the film and want it to succeed and maybe even have more sequels etc. They may even like the writer or the actors. Our theater used to bring in 6 figures and now brings in much, much less - so a bad review can permanently sink us.

So in these times when people cannot afford a $10 movie ticket and some overpriced popcorn a bad review is detrimental. They will go see something else based on your opinion if they respect you and believe in you. (bless their hearts)

So please understand - it's not as simple as you think it is on our side. It could be career threatening in the arts world. Some people don't have the ability to make choices on their own and rely on reviews. Sorry to be a downer but I like you guys otherwise!

230 Nute
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 21:14
**the longest running..... sorry left out a word after all that..

231 portman180
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 21:48
@ClarkKent777 - Thanks. I'm glad you know what I was on about.

@ncc1701A - I don't give a damn if you bitch about reviews, comments or who slept with your mum... the point I was making it that the reviewer shouldn't have to justify themselves as they know before they even write a review, that some people will disagree (personally, I loved TF3... it was so much better than the 2nd one but I understand where the reviewer was coming from).

The whole:
"my opinion is right!"
"No, my opinion is right!"
"No, my opinion is right and you call yourself a movie buff? Ha!"
is pathetic.

I don't read the reviews to decide if I'm going to see a film, if I want to watch it, I will, regardless of what other people think. I read the reviews to find out what other people think, whether positive or negative.

Other than that, get a life, you f@*king moron!!!

232 Panic05
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 21:54
I guess my point is that I like intelligent thought provoking films just as much as big dumb summer actioners, and don't need every film to be a big summer actioner with snappy dialogue, moral dilemmas, and method acting.

For example, I had an absolute blast watching Transformers 3, and had no issues with the dialogue because of the huge fun factor.

I was blown away by The Dark Knight. It was a lot less fun but superbly written, directed, acted etc.

My expectations are different for different types of film, and as long as I am well entertained by the movie, I don't much mind about the methods employed to do it.

233 Quentin Black
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 22:30
@ TheSomnambulist

I never said it was about me (except for the people getting upset at the suggestion that Michael Bay films are made for stupid people). It's about getting obnoxious idiots to quit trolling the staff of this magazine.

@ sdilku

Thanks man. Supergirl is one of my guilty pleasures, mainly because I saw it on television all the time as a child. How they ever tricked Peter O'Toole AND Faye Dunaway into that pile of shit I will never know.

@ Nute

That's a really interesting perspective. I guess for you business vs art takes on a much greater personal significance.

234 SpartanEdge
Posted on Friday July 8, 2011, 22:58
@Jaybee79 You obviously havnt read the blog right.The overall message quite CLEARLY says that 'Fans shouldn't defend bad movies,as it encourages the movie makers to make more bad movies'. By 'Defend' she clearly means 'stand up for it' No? & i wouldn't say this is a bad movie by any means,in fact,i think its a good movie,& no-one can tell me i'm not entitled to my opinion,or its less valid than their opinion,& to do so would be morally wrong.I dont have a problem that Empire didnt like the movie,thats their right,as much as mine is to like it.what does bother me,is that they're saying people are not allowed to disagree with that.But if they're going to put out they're views into the public domain,they themselves should be prepared for critisism,& that people might 'SHOCK' disagree with them.Its a little thing called Freedom of Speech.Thats the way it is,so suck it up.Like i've said,the day we lose the right of freedom of speech,& the right to question what we're told,would be a day we're that totalatarium Big Brother society from the books.On that token,i'm saying if people want to waste their time moaning about movies,well thats up to them,fill your boots,but it goes both ways.If people like a movie,they're just as entitled to say they liked it.Nobody can argue with that.My issue is though,is that this blog is saying that if (They)consider a movie bad,we're not allowed to have the simple right of 'defending it' with out own views.& i cant believe how many morons have condoned that she said that.I can only guess that they havnt thought about what it is they're agreeing to,because if they knowingly agreed with with what she said,then that doesnt bode well for freedom of speech.

235 Quentin Black
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 00:24
@ SpartanEdge

Congratulations on your above average IQ, as if that meant anything, but it’s hard to take what you say seriously when you seem to have difficulty understanding the very simple concept of analogies. I don’t even know where to start but I’ll try and make it really, really simple for you.

Saying a film is made for stupid people, is not the same as saying that everyone who enjoys it are stupid. Think of a porn movie. I’m not saying it is the same level as a porn movie, I’m simply using porn movies as an analogy. Just as porn movies are made for horny people, Transformers is made for stupid people. You don’t have to be a nymphomaniac to enjoy a porn movie but it is made for people who want sexual stimulation. In the same way you don’t have to be stupid to enjoy Transformers but it is made for people who don’t want to think. It’s not a contradictory statement.

Now I don’t judge people who enjoy Transformers, I judge people who think it is a good film in the same way that a Scorsese or Nolan film is a good film. Just because you enjoy a film it doesn’t make it a good film. Again using porn as an analogy, you might enjoy it but it doesn’t mean that Ass Lovers 12 is a good film in the way that The Dark Knight is a good film. The same applies for Transformers.

Now on to the topic of subjectivity. Subjectivity only works on a sliding scale. Most people would agree that the Mona Lisa is a better piece of art than a piece of shit on a plate. This is because history, society and culture determine the sliding scale that subjectivity is on. The idea that “everything is subjective” is inherently flawed and only something that people say if they don’t really understand art. Just like the Mona Lisa is better than a piece of shit on a plate, The Dark Knight is better than Transformers and it is perfectly valid for critics to say so...

236 Quentin Black
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 00:29
@ SpartanEdge

In reference to your fixation on my using District 9 as an example, examples being another literary concept that you seem to struggle with, I never said that a film HAS to have political subtext. Political subtext happens to be a quality that District 9 has that enriches it. It also has great acting, an original plot, genuine wit, developed characters, emotional stimulation, moral complexity and many other qualities that Transformers happens to lack. My point was is that films like the Dark Knight, District 9, Inception, Star Trek etc possess all intellectual and emotional stimulation in addition to the action and are better films because of it. To put it in its most basic terms, it is a universally accepted concept that the action is better if you have an intellectually interesting reason for the action to be happening AND/OR well acted, three dimensional characters that you care about in the action. If you don’t have either, as is the case with Transformers, then they are just tits and explosions projected on a screen.

Now as for the artistic merits in Transformers that you speak of, I do agree that the action is well put together. However, no matter how hard Michael Bay tries, it is dubious as to whether you can call endless tits and explosions a style of shooting that has any artistic merit. To take this further, it was Marcel Duchamp (Wikipedia him) who suggested that the idea is more important than the craftsmanship. This is especially applicable in a narrative medium like film. Again, to put in the simplest terms possible for your understanding, it is not enough to just have the visual aesthetic to be a good film. The film must also have very basic elements such as good story with sound internal logic and an overall arc, good characters that you can preferably relate to and good acting for you to believe and invest in the characters. Things like subtext, intellectual ideas and emotional content are a bonus that can make the film even better…

237 Quentin Black
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 00:32
@ Spartan Edge

Transformers have none of the qualities I mentioned in my previous post. The acting is terrible to the point that Rosie Huntington-Was-Chosen-Because-She-Is-Slim-And-Has-Tits can’t even pull of a British accent despite being British. Shia McBeef phones in a performance as a jealous douche-bag that is so stupid he gets in a decepticon after figuring out that the previous owner of the car is in league with them. The autobots are assholes who let thousands get injured and die, in an attack that is hundreds of times worse than 911, simply to make a point. None of the characters have any chemistry. All the characters are one dimensional cardboard cut outs with no redeeming features. The story is rehashed from the first two and was already tired by the end of the first one. The humor is base. The internal logic is full of holes and contradictions. What I’m trying to explain is that no matter how good looking Rosie Huntington-I’m-A-Poor-Man’s-Megan-Fox-And-Megan-Fox-Is-Awful is or how loud the explosions are, the film will never be good because the story doesn’t make sense and the characters are boring assholes. Transformers is the opposite of Toy Story 3. In Toy Story 3 the audience loves the characters and cares about the toys so when they face death and profound life changes we get emotional. In Transformers the audience can’t relate to the assholes, man or machine, and are left with nothing but two meaningless hours of military fetishism, tits and loud explosions...

238 Quentin Black
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 00:34
@ SpartanEdge

Even though it is so CLEARLY BAD I still don’t judge you for enjoying the film. As I’ve said from the start if you want to go into the cinema, switch off your brain and go “hurr hurr sexy girl big explosions” then that is your prerogative. What I judge you for is making the Empire’s staff life hard for doing their jobs. The trolls on these forums are obnoxious and puerile morons because all they attack the reviewer and not the review. They fill up the forums with “Empire sucks” and “Helen’s a princess” with no intelligent reason as to why the film deserves more other than “it’s meant to be offensively bad” and “well I like it so it HAS to be good”.

Empire is not always right, we reserve the right to disagree (and I do so frequently and vocally) but if you’re going to do so do it intelligently by offering alternative analysis of the film/review/article instead of attacking the staff members who are simply trying to their job by giving an as objective as possible review of the film. Regardless of whether you enjoy it or not, getting defensive about what is clearly a bad film is damaging to the film industry and to culture in general as it shows that we have low expectations and mediocrity is acceptable. THAT IS HELEN O’HARA’S POINT.

I don’t think I can possibly make it any clearer without being truly, truly patronizing. Speaking of freedom of speech, in future please use better grammar in yours because it’s actually very difficult to read and not very befitting of your impressive IQ.

239 iainjames
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 02:48
The equivalent is - 1) food lover says "that fast-food is rubbish, made from bad ingredients and is not good for you or for society generally"
2) fast-food fan says "Oi, food-lover - I know it's rubbish but I happen to like it and how dare you say that - you know nothing!"
3) Food O'Lover says (rightly) "fine - I don't care if you want to eat it. But don't say we're stupid for criticising it. We just think food deserves to be made better - especially if it costs that much to make and charges you that much to eat it"

And that's the key issue - a film might be aimed at the blockbuster summer market but that's all the more reason to put some bleeding effort in!

The cynicism involved in producing a film like Dark of the Moon is just like the burger maker saying "Ah just put brown polystyrene in there instead of the beef - they won't notice!"

And unless they actually start getting their burgers sent back to them, they'll just keep serving them up.

240 kingdom_key
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 03:02
I think you're absolutely right! I've been going on this site for around 7 or 8 years now and reading this blog today made me want to comment more than anything else on this site. EVER. Which has amade me register to make this my first ever comment.

Why can't you hold the latest Pirates or Transformers or whatever movie to higher standards. Didn't "The Dark Knight" technically count as a blockbuster, it was two and half bloody hours long but it only left people wanting more. Not nauseated from over exposure to nonsense film making. And it got nominated for an Oscar or two. Not just technical ones. Blockbusters can be so much more and setting the bar high only pushes for better results. As viewer we're hungrier for and advancement in educated film making instead of going back the way with over the top sequels.

Don't fault somebody for doing their job (unless they're traffic wardens) just kidding (-ish?). Especially when they're doing right. So to all the people whose comments were quoted. Just calm the hell down. At the end of the day it's only movies, and this is coming from a man stduying them.

241 kingdom_key
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 03:04
I think you're absolutely right! I've been going on this site for around 7 or 8 years now and reading this blog today made me want to comment more than anything else on this site. EVER. Which has amade me register to make this my first ever comment.

Why can't you hold the latest Pirates or Transformers or whatever movie to higher standards. Didn't "The Dark Knight" technically count as a blockbuster, it was two and half bloody hours long but it only left people wanting more. Not nauseated from over exposure to nonsense film making. And it got nominated for an Oscar or two. Not just technical ones. Blockbusters can be so much more and setting the bar high only pushes for better results. As viewer we're hungrier for and advancement in educated film making instead of going back the way with over the top sequels.

Don't fault somebody for doing their job (unless they're traffic wardens) just kidding (-ish?). Especially when they're doing right. So to all the people whose comments were quoted. Just calm the hell down. At the end of the day it's only movies, and this is coming from a man studying them.

242 NeoGeo12
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 03:22
It's the same mentality that starting to destroy quality tv on cable. I cable is having an insurgency of hacks who are finding broadcast TV medium overfilled. So they're coming to cable with show like The Killing, Big C(basically all of showtime lineup is horrible right now), Franklin and Bash, Camelot, and etc. People who don't understand that viewers of cable scripted programming want to experience new territory, smart plotting, and real organic character development.

I know this may be a shock people but Broadcast TV no longer produces Ambitious/Authentic crime Drama. They continue to ignore the legacy of shows like Crimestory, Hillstreet Blues, Crime Story, EZ streets, Boomtown, Robbery Homicide Division, and The District.

I for one always found very few quality television shows on Broadcast. Cable scripted programming has really changed my perception of what is quality television. Seriously Why didn't people watch TERRIERS. Those who didn't are going to regret it when it comes on DVD.

243 TheSomnambulist
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 03:48

Well by your reasoning we'd have a world full Monets' works and that would be your only choice of art. Therefore in a world with nothing but Monet's works of art were a brick and a piece of poo up for sale, then yes as something different I'd go for the brick and the poo.
It's all about context.

But listen. You have your opinion and that's fine. I just don't share it I'm afraid, and neither do I agree with this article. So I cannot accept the fundamentals behind Helen's arguement that:

" The problem with Transformers 3 and films that we've reviewed in similar tones is that they are not fun enough."
and that defending such films are:
"demented and potentially damaging to all future films."

Because I don't look to others in informing me of what is fun, and neither do I believe that great art exists only because other great art came before it.

The history of art suggests that many a great art form was born out of frustration of that which preceded it; sometimes you need that 'reaction against' something to move to the next step. Who is to say that future directors won't look at what Bay has done, and fly contrary to his direction and thereby elevate the content of their films as a consequence.

It's just not EMPIRE's place to demand that. They can have an opinion of where they may like cinema to go but they have no evidence to support the notion that liking Bay and his style of filmaking will damage future cinema and therefore the people who support Bay are the problem.
Considering these people are a large part of EMPIRE's readership it's bordering on 'sales suicide'.

244 JiminNYC
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 07:06
@SpartanEdge, who gave us the deathless prose: "Its a little thing called Freedom of Speech.Thats the way it is,so suck it up.Like i've said,the day we lose the right of freedom of speech,& the right to question what we're told,would be a day we're that totalatarium Big Brother society from the books."

I am trying, very hard, to restrain myself from using one of the three or four dozen methods to question another poster's intelligence. I will do my best to attack the message and not the messenger, but you happen to have hit on one of my pet peeves, so bear with me.

First off, freedom of speech, as you put it, only applies to GOVERNMENT regulation of speech--you can call Obama, or Bush, or your local dogcatcher an incompetent moron without being thrown in jail for it. It has ZERO bearing when it's a conversation between two private individuals, or even an interaction between an individual and a blog. By bringing it up, you're making it look like you don't really understand the concept (and certainly don't know how to spell the word "totalitarian", which makes me wonder how much you understand THAT concept, or if you've read even one page of "the books").

Second, you're ignoring the reason WHY Helen is saying that you shouldn't defend a bad movie--it just leads to more of the same, or more of even worse. Let's say, just for the sake of argument, that your First Amendment argument holds any more water than a sieve. Another right granted in that amendment is freedom of expression. By your alleged logic, your freedom of expression should allow you to stick your hand into an open flame, and Helen telling you, "You shouldn't do that; you're going to get a third-degree burn" is an act of totalitarianism. The idea is absolutely ludicrous.

OK, I can't restrain myself any longer. You're basically giving me more evidence that the kind of person who likes "turn your brain off' movies is the kind of person who never really turns their brain on in the first place.

245 NCC1701A
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 09:20
Portman 180

Not going to dignify your comments as you are not worth wasting time.
Now Get a F@*ing life you tosser.

246 SpartanEdge
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 13:13
@ Quintin Black. I know what an alalogy is,you consescending ass. You seem obsessed with porn by the way,as an observation.Subjectivity is down to the individual,not society as a whole.i'm suprised that someone as 'Superior' as you,doesnt get that.Its the whole premise of subjectivity.Not ALL films HAVE to be 'emotionally stimulating'&'Intellectally emotional' to be a good film.That works for some films,sure,but not all.It certainly doesnt work in a film like Transformers.In fact,if it did have that,people would criticise it for trying to be something its not,or for being 'Too long' or 'Not well paced'.Its lose-lose.You can never please everybody,some less than others(cough).You conspicuously never did say why you actually watched the movie,so DO tell..If you was actually able to read properly,you would know that i wasnt criticising the review,or the reviewer(maybe you didnt notice,but Helen was not the reviewer).But the topic of THIS article,that poeple are not allowed to disagree with,&defend a movie if(they)decree that is a bad movie.Which,by the way i disagree with anyway.I think it IS a good movie.(The cheek of some people eh? disagreeing with you & Empire)..It shouldnt be allowed(apparently).You've criticised my grammar.Well that has nothing to do with this argument,& even you seemed to understand what i was saying just fine.It was just another excuse for you to be condescending(not that you ever need one).& regarding you saying the Transformers are bad movies,well all your credibility went straight out of the window,when you said that your 'Guilty Pleasure' os Supergirl?! Wheres your 'Emotional stimulation,Intellectual Emotion,& Political Subtext' in that movie? Dumbass. So,just to clarify,you agree then that only one side of an opinion should be allowed in a debate? because thats what your argueing for.

247 SpartanEdge
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 13:26
@ JiminNYC. Freedom of speech doesnt just apply when deealing with governments,it applies to all facets in life,& i'm sure 'THE PRESS' would say something about that too.Plank. Just because i spelt the word totalitarianism wrong,you ascertained that i didnt understand the concept of it.Are you THAT thick!? Just because someone doesnt know how to spell Banana,doesnt mean they dont know what one is.Idiot.Think before you speak next time.. oOSeems we have another snob in the roomOo..So'from your analogy,your saying that freedom of speech should not be allowed? & lastly,to turn something Off,it had to be On in the first place,& that was just another prime example of Snobbery.You & Quintin Black should become pen pals,you'd get on like a Stately Mansion on fire..

248 SpartanEdge
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 13:29
@JiminNYC i meant'dealing',before you get the spell checker out again.

249 LiamSmith016
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 14:06
@ Quentin Black

"It's about getting obnoxious idiots to quit trolling the staff of this magazine"

You're calling people who disagree with a review obnoxious when you make statements like this yourself? And you call people stating how their opinion is different from yours idiots and trolls?

You've said several times that by judging a film you're not judging the people who like it if you believe it's bad. Every one of your comments suggests this a plain lie, with you again and again putting people down for disagreeing with you.

I have no problem with reviews claiming films I like are bad, because usually I can understand where they are coming from but I just choose to ignore them and like what I like. But this article is going too far. No reviewer has the right to tell people they can't disagree with what they say. That's basically claiming that the review is fact when it is really just another opinion, and no more important than the opinion of anybody who may want to comment on it.

250 JiminNYC
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 14:26
@SpartanEdge, who prattled, "Freedom of speech doesnt just apply when deealing with governments,"

Yes, actually, it does.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

That is the full text of the First Amendment. If you don't understand that, there's no real point in going further, and no real point in discussing much of anything with you.

Why don't you actually ASK someone in "the press" about it, or several someones? Just make sure you're videotaping the exchanges because I'd love to see the faces of the people you ask, because I'm curious to see how many will simply laugh in your face and how many will get the "is this idiot really asking me something so obvious" look on their face.

251 down4orce
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 15:06
5 STARS Helen, the movie going public deserve better than this at nearly £20 a ticket (Westfields). One of the reviewers on summed it up well, "the people who say check your brain in at the door, those ass holes cheked there brain in as soon as they were given birth to."

252 AnonMint
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 15:06
This is just more of the same ignorant "haters gonna hate" mentality that permeates the younger set. Even being critical or judgmental is considered a form of bullying these days and everything has to be seen in a 100% unrealistically positive light. In these peoples' world, everything is awesome and nothing can be disliked, for you will be seen as a hipster poser for disliking anything popular and nobody wants to be an uncool hipster. Forbid you say something sucks or you hate something, everyone retorts with "stop liking what I don't like" or some crap like that when it comes to anything popular.

I want to be the first to say that I think Bay's Transformers (Yay fun robot movie) and Lady Gaga's music both suck (Oh do shut up about her piano) and there is nothing wrong with my opinion, you're the one with the problem with my opinion, screw off.

253 SpartanEdge
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 18:55
@JiminNYC. I dont live in America,so congress & the first ammendment have no connections/ties to that phrase with me what-so-ever.The phrase 'Freedom of Speech' can be applied to anything,to imply that you should be free to speak up about anything& if you think otherwise,then your wrong.Freedom of speech is simply'To freely be able to express ones opinions'.Much like the phrase 'Its a free country' or 'Freedom of the press'.Its all the same,they're all about being able speak up,or have certain freedoms & opinions.So 'ERR' yes,it doesnt just apply to talk about government.For instance,on this very blog,they're saying people shouldn't have an opposing opinion to them,that is an example in itself of trying to deny freedom of speech(& there was no talk of government in sight).But all this is way off topic either way,so move on plonker. Nice one Anonmint,i totally agree.Its the people on here criticising the ones that happen to like & enjoy movies like Transformers that are the haters.They cant be content letting other people enjoy a movie that they dont like.As far as they're concerned,they're opinion is the ONLY opinion,& they believe everyone to have the same opinion of the movie as them,& come onto places like this,& give anyone who doesnt share their opinion a hard time for it.Where as we are happy,& content that we have enjoyed our movie,those other people spend their miserable time,moaning about movies,& trying to annoy the people that did enjoy them,& bring them down to their level of grumpyness by trying to provoke them.Its all very sad & pathetic really...GET A LIFE! Oh,& if you dont like a particular movie series or director,then DONT WATCH THE MOVIE! Hows THAT for a concept?..& save yourself a moan.It should really go without saying,but sadly,apparently it DOES need saying.But then they enjoy the moaning dont they.

254 SpartanEdge
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 19:01
@Anonmint. I take it back.All i'm(& others) are saying,is that opinions should be able to go both ways.Thats not asking for much.Thats asking for fairness.But this blog is saying that Anyone who disagrees with (their)comments,is by default in the wrong,& should not have opinions to the contrary.That is flat-out wrong,on so many levels.Any reasonable person could see that.

255 SpartanEdge
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 19:19
@JiminNYC. Freedom of speech,may have came about in the first amendment,but of course such a policy has to go through government to become legislation.So i agree that government had to be involed in its creation.On the same token though,it doesnt mean that its actual use has to be government related,& has many varied uses & been used for many different things since its inception.Another way of describing it,is 'Freedom of Expression'.But its all for the same purposes.But if you would rather i call it Freedom of Expression,then so be it,& perhaps we can move on amicably.

256 Jaybee79
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 19:57

257 Jaybee79
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 20:18
@SpartanEdge Ok I've re-read the blog post and I still hold with what I said. Helen is speaking against those who have essentially attacked empire as idiots simply because they gave the movie a poor review. In no way do I think she is saying you can't hold and express a different view in a reasonable manner. In closing I requote two sections from her post which I think definitively make this clear (especially the second quote).

"These people who are dismissing our reviews and others like them in these terms are essentially affirming a belief that these films are "critic-proof", that they plan to see the film anyway and that bad reviews will be no bar to a huge opening weekend. That's fine: whatever you may believe, we don't actually expect everyone to take our word as gospel and agree with us in every case."

"By all means, go see the film, have a great time and come back and tell us you disagree with the criticisms levelled in our review. But don't tell us it's awesome when you're yet to see it, don't accuse us of demanding "Oscar-level acting" just because we question bad performances; don't accuse us of "overthinking" because we wish the plot were a little tighter and more propulsive, and if you feel you have to call Chris stupid, at least come and meet him first so you know whereof you speak."

258 Jaybee79
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 20:26
Just to add she does say you can't say empire's review is unfair because the film is a bit of fun. What I believe she's getting at here is not saying the film can't be a called a bit of fun, but arguing that empire are being unfair in their review by expecting certain standards from a film by saying the film's only meant to be a bit of popcorn fun is not a strong enough argument to attack empire's review (note there is a difference here between attacking empire's review and holding an opposite view to empire).

259 GregS
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 20:55
I thoroughly agree with all the points made in the article above, despite having enjoyed myself immensely when I saw Transformers 3 at the cinema. My full support goes to Empire-- keep callin' 'em like ya see 'em!

260 guitardave
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 23:07
Empire has long since been up it's own backside, which is partly why I no longer buy it. The main reason, however, is that I realised a long time ago that I like what I like, and I really don't care what anyone else thinks. I'm not going to deprive myself of a "Drive Angry" or a "Transformers" just because an Empire reviewer doesn't like it. And I'll happily watch an "American Beauty" because I want to, not because Empire tells me it's great. And if I think that "Inception" was an over-rated, convoluted piece of old tosh then that's my right.
That's not to say that reviews aren't a good guide - they often are. But at the end of the day, it's my time, it's my money, and therefore my opinion that counts.
Now, when are "Resident Evil 5" and "Fast & Furious 6" out?...

261 JiminNYC
Posted on Saturday July 9, 2011, 23:57

Just one question, loverling--why exactly are you and I able to have this scintillating conversation?

Answer: Because Empire is providing us a forum to do so.

They don't have to do so. They could moderate the site, or yank our posts as being too inflammatory, or do anything else to restrict the content on what is, after all, their website.

So "freedom of speech" doesn't apply. You are posting here at Empire's sufferance; they can revoke that at any time, and there wouldn't be jack doodie you could do about it.

Also, I'm still wondering if you've even read "the books" you mentioned in the first post to which I responded--or even if you're old enough TO read them.

262 familyguy91
Posted on Sunday July 10, 2011, 01:29
@Helen OHara

In the words on Jay and Silent Bob, "That's what the internet is for. Slandering others anonymously."

Then again I'd argue that as what I put made sense, it was hardly libellous. I understand and acknowledge that different films are reviewed by different people with their own opinions, but at the end of the day you are still working under one banner foe Empire magazine. Its not called "A collection of views by different people with their own opinions." As this is the case it seems a little bit lazy to make the comment about Transformers 2 without checking the star rating Empire (the magazine, not the individual reviewer) gave it.

Same goes for @ClarkKent777 I was addressing the people who criticised empire for liking art films when I put, "you are missing the point."

263 CppThis
Posted on Sunday July 10, 2011, 02:22
To be honest I think both you and the anti-critics make valid points. Yes, a silly summer film should still have some plot and try to be interesting--it's why people still watch 80s action flicks but most of the late 90s/early 00s crap has been forgotten already. But as noted by the last of the cited flames, Bay-bashing is so popular amongst critics and the Internet that it's difficult to tell if a given negative review is because the movie actually really does suck or because the reviewer is one of those "everything that's not arthouse or Oscar bait is terrible" types without doing a thorough investigation of the critic's previous ratings on a wide variety of stuff. This was easy enough when we only worried about our local paper's critics and maybe one or two big-leaguers like Ebert but such is the nebulous nature of the web that reviews tend to be passed around with a minimum of context and source.

264 morrin
Posted on Sunday July 10, 2011, 10:44
Just a bit of fun makes perfect sense. Exactly the same with expendables, I'm not going to see that film for a character driven plot, I'm going to see it to watch people shoot and blow stuff up...for that, perfect, 5 stars all the way.

Maybe write your empire review but have a sub-review titled 'just a bit of fun' which gives you a brainless review of what people want to hear and watch anyway.

Of course this is my opinion.

265 Quentin Black
Posted on Sunday July 10, 2011, 11:20
@ TheSomnambulist you're another one who has trouble understanding literary concepts. I'm not saying the world should be full of one type of art. I'm saying that saying "it's all subjective" is a faulty statement as subjectivity works on a sliding scale. Whether it is a Michael Angelo, Monet or Duchamp they are better than the piece of poo on a plate due to the context that history puts them in and the criteria set out by our society and culture as a whole. As for people "flying against what Bay has done" in reaction to his films, that's just naive. The film industry is very different to previous in the art forms in that it is more of a business that any other industry. Even a cheap film costs millions of dollars so investors aren't going to put money into things that go against the grain of what makes money. That is why defending mediocre, derivative shit like Transformers is bad for the industry. Rewarding the studios for making it is going to just encourage them to make more and thus hinder the likelihood or any original or great films.

266 Quentin Black
Posted on Sunday July 10, 2011, 11:34
@ LiamSmith016 you'd see that I'm not saying people can't disagree and enjoy the film if you'd read all of what I wrote. I know it was a long post but reading is good for you.

"Empire is not always right, we reserve the right to disagree (and I do so frequently and vocally) but if you’re going to do so do it intelligently by offering alternative analysis of the film/review/article instead of attacking the staff members who are simply trying to their job by giving an as objective as possible review of the film. Regardless of whether you enjoy it or not, getting defensive about what is clearly a bad film is damaging to the film industry and to culture in general as it shows that we have low expectations and mediocrity is acceptable."

To make it extra simple for those who have trouble understanding it.

I am NOT saying that you can't disagree. I am saying that for people to take your disagreements seriously you have to have VALID REASONS that have more basis than "I enjoyed it so by saying it is bad you're hurting my feelings". Empire have been very fair and judged it on criteria defined by history and culture. It's their job to do this and so if you're going to disagree then all Empire is asking for are VALID CRITICISMS of the review and articles and NOT THE STAFF. The people I am calling obnoxious trolls are those who are attacking the staff with no valid reasoning other than "it's meant to be a piece of shit" and "it's all subjective", both of which, for reasons I've laid out in my previous posts, are faulty statements.

Seriously dude, I can't make it any clearer without drawing pictures.

267 Quentin Black
Posted on Sunday July 10, 2011, 12:52
@SpartanEdge I apologize if I came off “consescending” but if you understood what analogies were then you really shouldn’t post stupid replies that show that you don’t.

As for subjectivity, I’ll try and explain it again to you in real simple terms. Nearly all of members of society would agree that the Mona Lisa is better than a piece of poo on a plate, unless they’re trying to be plain obtuse and contrary. The reason why this is is because history and culture define the sliding scale on which art is judged. Subjectivity accounts for tastes of the individual but only exists on this sliding scale. I know this is upsetting but the world doesn’t revolve around you and Empire have to be objective and use society’s criteria when reviewing film as it is a magazine that is going to be read by all of society. That is something grownups call professional journalism.

All films benefit from being either emotionally or intellectually stimulating. Toy Story 3 was enjoyed by all and won some Oscars despite being a sequel and an action packed summer blockbuster. This is because it was both intellectually and emotionally stimulating with great characters that you care about and an original and witty script. No one complained that Toy Story 3 was “too long” or “not well paced”.

268 Quentin Black
Posted on Sunday July 10, 2011, 12:53
@ SpartanEdge

You are one of the many obnoxious trolls that I’m talking about. You can barely form a proper sentence let alone a proper point and you’re attacking Empire and others with no justification. This is the last time I’m going to explain it to you and I’m going to make it even simpler for you than I did for LiamSmith016.


The reason Empire is asking for this as there are too many people writing “Empire sucks. The film is meant to be shit so it should get 5 stars because it succeeded in being shit”, “It’s my favorite film and Empire really hurt my feelings. They can’t tell me what to feel. Empire is no longer my friend” and “Empire doesn’t know anything because it’s all subjective”. None of which are valid arguments for the reasons why myself and many others have outlined.

I don’t think I’m superior to anyone, except obnoxious idiots who go around being deliberately ignorant, attacking the staffers doing their job with no valid reasoning while stopping others from enjoying the forums by filling them up with their whiny posts. I mentioned your grammar by the way, not because it has anything to do with the argument but because you’re right, I can’t read your posts properly because they written like they’re were texted by an angry 9 year old who recently discovered a thesaurus.

269 Quentin Black
Posted on Sunday July 10, 2011, 12:54
@ SpartanEdge

As for Supergirl, I never said anything other than it was a piece of shit. The child in me happens to enjoy it because it brings back memories and it’s good to laugh at. Why did I watch Transformers? My friend had spare tickets, I heard it was better than the previous ones and I felt like switching off my brain. I ended up regretting it because it was just as bad if not worse than the previous ones, however there are many bad films that I enjoy. The difference between you and me is that I can enjoy a film and yet realize that it is a badly made film, hence why I use the term GUILTY PLEASURE. Unlike you I don’t have to act like an immature teen because Empire and others rightfully said that the terrible film that I happened to enjoy is a bad film.

270 Quentin Black
Posted on Sunday July 10, 2011, 13:19
@ AnonMint and Jaybee79

Completely agree. I think the problem is that trolls can't and won't understand. They're self centered and immature. They can't possibly understand how something they enjoy can be bad because they think the world revolves around them. They seeing being asked to voice their opinions in reasonable way with valid arguments as Empire trying to "tell them what to think or feel" and going against "their freedom of speech".

The problem is, the more popular a site gets, the more obnoxious trolls it gets. It's sad because you can't go to any of the review forums without reading pages of attacks with nothing more to offer than "Empire is up itself" or "the reviewer is an idiot". The trolls couldn't possibly discuss the artistic or film-making merits of the film, the actual point of the forums, because they're puerile assholes with nothing smart to say. The fact that Helen's very fair and reasonable blog has gathered so much irrational hatred is testament to that.

271 TheSomnambulist
Posted on Sunday July 10, 2011, 13:29
@ Quentin

I'm quite capable of understanding literary concepts thank you; I think what you meant though was 'understanding concepts literally' - which I'm also capable of dealing with by the way.

We're clearly not going to see eye to eye on this and that's reasonable I guess.

But let me ask you, who would be the next target after Bay? Who is next in line to boycott? Spielberg? He is after all executive producer of this franchise... Should he go next? Or should it be directors of whom their indiscretions are greater than the stars issued them by Empire..?

As for being naive.. Well that's at the very core of this article really.

272 Quentin Black
Posted on Sunday July 10, 2011, 15:56
@ TheSomambulist no I meant what I typed. I used Monet as an example in my explanation of how subjectivity lies on a sliding scale and you didn't understand that it was just an example.

Again, you completely miss the point. No one is targeting anyone. It's not about who should go and who should stay. Michael Bay is brilliant from a technical standpoint and has in the past produced pitch perfect summer blockbusters i.e. The Rock. However lot's of people who enjoyed the latest Transformers can admit that it's a pile of mediocre-at-best shit. The hope is that having high expectations and being honest about a bad film encourages studios and directors to make the great films they are capable of making, delivering summer blockbusters that are actually good at the same time as being fun. It's about sending a signal that the audience aren't stupid, we expect better and want the next one to be great.

This article is naive since it postulates that people who troll internet forums can be reasonable.

273 RIXX55
Posted on Sunday July 10, 2011, 16:23
Very well put. The fanboy mentality in which there's no such thing as a bad fireball has lead to sewage run of movies in the last decade. The American style of 'bigger is always better' has poisoned the fantasy film genre. Whereas companies like PIXAR focus on story and character to bring real emotional stakes to any story (well, CARS 2 is a disappointing sellout...) other Hollywood studios would rather jump on the next franchise bandwagon than give a shit about true entertainment value. All Michael Bay movies are in the 'too loud to sleep through' catagory in my book. Too bad - he is not an unskilled filmmaker - he just has nothing in his toybox worth sharing.

274 LiamSmith016
Posted on Sunday July 10, 2011, 21:25
@ Quentin Black

You say that valid reasons should be given, but Helen herself said this

"we don't want to sit through hours of dull and unnecessary exposition to get to the bit with the action - and it is legitimate to say so. It's also legitimate to note where a level of acting is of such low quality that it actively pulls you out of the film, and it's legitimate to question the running time of a big summer blockbuster that's over two and a half hours if we don't feel that it's using that time optimally. That's our job!"

Whether it's dull and unnecessary, whether the acting is of a low quality, and whether the film is using it's running time well are all matters of opinion, and are not valid reasons to criticise a film. If someone is going to criticise a film, they should be prepared to receive criticism themselves and not complain about it. That's just abusing the power that they have with their opinion being released into the public. If they don't like it, they're in the wrong job.

And I do realise that there are a lot of comments that seem to be made just to insult people that don't give what you would call any valid reasons and that are completely unfair and as you say, trolling. I myself do my best to avoid getting involved in those sorts of discussions because it doesn't lead anywhere. I just try to make points about what somebody has written and I do agree with some of what you have been saying so you don't need to give me the same lecture you gave me previously.

275 TheSomnambulist
Posted on Monday July 11, 2011, 00:06

"@ TheSomambulist no I meant what I typed. I used Monet as an example in my explanation of how subjectivity lies on a sliding scale and you didn't understand that it was just an example."

Because your example was flawed. There's no such thing as a sliding rule of subjectivity. You fashioned that out of nothing.

"Again, you completely miss the point. No one is targeting anyone."

You honestly think that Bay isn't being targeted?

"It's not about who should go and who should stay."

But don't you see that's what this kind of 'selection' would lead to.

"However lot's of people who enjoyed the latest Transformers can admit that it's a pile of mediocre-at-best shit."

Are you one of these people? Did you go and see the latest Transformers? If so why, if you thought the second one was bad? Because to my mind it's people who do this kind of thing that perpetuate bad films.

"The hope is that having high expectations and being honest about a bad film encourages studios and directors to make the great films they are capable of making, delivering summer blockbusters that are actually good at the same time as being fun. It's about sending a signal that the audience aren't stupid, we expect better and want the next one to be great."

They only listen to box office figures. NOT to reviews. The fact that Transformers 3 is raking it in is only going to encourage another instalment of the franchise. If you really want to make a statement then don't go and see it. But for the love of god don't complain go and see it then deman

Similarly EMPIRE should not go running articles - almost a year in advance of Transformers 3- teasing the public with snippets of trailers and poster covers etc, then suddenly be overwhlemed by the MASSIVE interest generated in the film when THEY contributed to the hyperbole that exists around it. I don't see similar articles published way in advance for a Ken Loach film! So EMPIRE themselves are guilty of pertpetuating the 'rot' so to speak.

276 Tobias Boon
Posted on Monday July 11, 2011, 10:35
That about nails it for me.
As a fanboy (although a lightweight one) I was going to see Transformers 3 regardless of the reviews and how I felt about the second one. I expected to leave my brain at the door, but found that whichever organ regulates boredom was not left with it.

It WAS way too long. It DID have too much exposition. There were casting errors which made some good actors look like bad comedy sidekicks. The reviewer was right to point this stuff out. Why can't I expect a film where ridiculous characters beat each other up, shit gets blown up AND it's utterly engaging? Look at the last 2 Batman films for reference. Its not hard surely, particularly when you have a budget of XXX million?

So to chastise the reviewer for doing his job is wrong, especially when your entire argument is "it's just a bit of fun". I expected more for my rather expensive cinema ticket. Glad one reviewer told it like it really is.

277 sdilku
Posted on Monday July 11, 2011, 14:40
Alright - I am hereby throwing down a challenge to those arguing with the likes of Quentin Black: State, in a hundred words or less, why you think Transformers 3 is a good film (and why those who have criticised it are wrong).

278 waffle
Posted on Monday July 11, 2011, 19:07
The moral of the story is, don't argue with Empire otherwise they'll get all pissy and write a blog about you.

279 rgod
Posted on Monday July 11, 2011, 20:40
Two words for now
Well Said .

And because I never know when to shut up I will keep on talking . Went to see the premier of this in my local little city of Cork metropolis , and There where more technical issues to do with Sound brought to you in Stereo and the Curtain not been drawn fully that they had to restart the show all over again after the first ten minutes ,

After I got up and complained of Course , along with another five or Six people , Its amazing that some people are so Daft that they where willing to sit through it like that , Which is an almost testament to the hype and expectations of the viewers themselves.

I loved this film for what it was , but still feel that I have to watch it on some sort of IMAX screen with the Correct Dolby Configuration to Ecoute .

So when I have the privilege of Drawing my own opinion from repeated viewings I might share it with you if you are Lucky , But in this day an Age its better to write opinions then draw them , Even if they do speak a thousand words .

So when my Creative ALL SPARK returns I shall be Optimistically Primed .

SPOILER: WARNING WARNING !!!!! I must say though we got to side a Darker side to Prime
Too , with Dialog Blurbs such AS “ I the name of Peace we Declare War “ At least I was the in 2.5% category of the audience who found this funny , As there is such a thing as a half a person nowadays  We also got to see How Prime the merciful won the crowds by the implementation of ROBOTINAISEA “ Bye Bye Mentor . Yes I am making up words again I tried to spell youthenesia
And it refused to give me spelling suggestions. SO being technically challenged and too cheap to buy a Dictionary , So I blame myself

280 Jasper_29
Posted on Monday July 11, 2011, 23:31
Empire is the one who gave the first Transformers movie the same rating as arguably Michael Bay's best movie, The Rock. Now when you judge both films by your standards, Helen, and then compare them to Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon, wouldn't you say all three Transformers movies fall basically into the same category (reasonably entertaining, but totally forgettable trash) and make The Rock look like genius piece of filmmaking?

If so, why are ratings Bay's latest three movies so polarizing?

281 Quentin Black
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 01:31
@ TheSomambulist

It isn't something I made up and it is a very simple concept that anyone with any knowledge with art history or theory of knowledge would understand. It's the basis of every form of competition and our culture in general. Art is defined by history, society and culture and therefore, although everything can be considered art, there is such thing as good and bad art. It's why the Da Vinci's Mona Lisa or Duchamp's Fountain are considered masterpieces and a piece of shit on a plate is not.

As I said saw it because my friend had a spare ticket and most people said it was better than the previous installments. I like the next person enjoy dumb action films. Unfortunately it wasn't even a good dumb action film.

It does fall down to box office figures but reviews and word of mouth do play a factor in box office success. It's one of the reasons the Green Lantern sequel is on hold. That's why it is important to say a film is bad if it is bad, even if you personally found it fun. It just so happened that Transformers kicked off this blog and discussion but this holds true of Green Lantern and every other badly made piece of shit film. Maybe others are targeting Michael Bay due to his recent string of bad films but personally I have high expectations for all directors and am not targeting anyone but rather Hollywood in general.

I do however completely agree with you that Empire should promote other films over Transformers or Pirates. This is a criticism that I have had of Empire for a while and even stated in one of my replies to this blog. Understandably it's a business and Harry Potter covers sell but it'd be nice to see them put their money where their mouth is and have the occasional Fighter or Social Network cover or promotion for some lesser known gem.

282 Quentin Black
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 01:54
@ LiamSmith016

The point is that Empire aren't complaining about receiving criticism. They have nothing against differing opinions and actually encourage discussion. The blog simply and very reasonably points out that getting defensive about a film and trolling the forum hinders constructive discussion and is very negative for both the film and film review industry.

The reason why I completely agree with Empire on this one is because I have recently gone to the Green Lantern, Transformers and Tree of Life forums to look for decent discussion both for and against seeing them and mostly found mostly attacks on the staffers saying "the reviewer is an idiot", "it's meant to be bad" and "I hate this magazine now because they're just elitist snobs". Nothing to back it up. No intelligent analysis of the review. No in depth discussion about the merits of the films themselves. That is what Empire is complaining about.

By the way things like narrative structure, pacing and quality of acting are not just simply opinions. When the plot makes no sense, goes against its own internal logic and is filled with unlikable characters it's best not to have hours of it. When the only thing the film has to offer is military fetishism, tits and explosions then it should be paced accordingly. When the female lead can't even pull off an accent that she has in real life then maybe she shouldn't have been cast in the first place. All valid criticisms based on principles that are the foundation of film itself.

283 Quentin Black
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 02:07
@ sdilku

Haha I've actually thrown down this challenge earlier on but it was largely ignored. When you can write pages and pages about why it is a bad film on nearly every basic film-making level, even for a leave your brain at the door film, then saying the effects were good seems pretty hollow. It's why all the replies defending the film cover the same faulty arguments and ignore any analysis of the film itself.

When you start getting statements like "whether the acting is of a low quality...are all matters of opinion, and are not valid reasons to criticise a film" you know there isn't much ground to stand on in defense of the film.

The funny thing is at least Transformers has redeeming features of any kind. With the Green Lantern the design and effects are so bad that I think Empire were pretty generous with the two stars they gave it.

284 TheSomnambulist
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 03:13
@ Quentin

Hey Quentin. That's reasonable.

While I concur with most of what you've just said I do want to stray from the issue slightly and point out that those now celebrated artists, that you mentioned, were not so celebrated in their day. And it is this contradiction within art history which makes judging a piece of work as worthy so difficult. It just is not as simple as saying : "This is good everyone. Look at this one."

While we most probably agree on what is good and what is not, between us, there will always be a significant divide nonetheless; as there was with the Impressionist or the Fauvists. Both of whom, by the way, gained their labes as a form of derivation. To be called an impressionist back in the day was deamed an insult as to was Favusim, which literally translates as 'Beastly'.

However now we look at these things and regard them as masterpieces; I fear that were a piece of cinema judged with similar prejudices today, would we not be starving a future generation of something they would deem as worthy?

Regardless. I agree with much of what you say personally. I just don't believe my point of view or in the above case EMPIRE's point of view as worth more than that which it is.

A point of view.

285 jkconnell
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 10:26
I don't think the review was anit-Michael Bay. The third Transformers film is rubbish, end of - and I like watching 2 hours of carnage just as I like watching more serious films. I'd perhaps point to the relatively favourable review of Fast & Furious 5 that Empire did, which could easily be a Bay film and it great entertainment that you 'don't need to think about'.

This article is bang on - I'm getting bored of film makers dragging on these franchises for the sake of it and essentially replicating the same film with slightly increased CGI. The reason Fast Five worked is that it was so different in tone to every other F&F film it stands alone (and it had the Rock in it).

Generally speaking Empire get it right when reviewing films. I do, and am perfectly entitled, to make my own mind up when it comes to films - I know if I'm going to enjoy something regardless of what Empire or any other reviewer says. Empire are probably guilty of bias towards certain directors at time (especially Tarantino and Spielberg) - Indiana Jones IV was absolutely abysmal but got very favourable reviews in the magazine. I don't think they are anti any particular director though - Bay has his own style, which at times works and at times doesn't.

286 Quentin Black
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 10:32
@ TheSomnambulist. I just don't see your argument that Michael Bay could ever be considered a man before his time like other artists before him. Firstly, all the artists that I have mentioned were successful in their time, especially amongst their peers, and were huge influences in the art world. While there have been many artists who's ideas were before their time and divided critics and audiences, these artists created original pieces of art that made bold statements and prompted intellectual and emotional reactions.

Does that last sentence really describe Michael Bay? I have often considered that someone as technically skilled as Bay may be making his films ironically, deliberately making bad films to test the limits of what he can get away with. However, I think that might be giving him to much credit. There is a simple reason he makes these derivative rehashes that are reviled by both his peers and the critics to the point of boredom. Military fetishism, sexy girls and big explosions are the lowest common denominator and will make him money.

No matter how you define it Michael Bay is not at the forefront of anything. His recent work has nothing original to offer. Neither his peers or students will look to Transformers as an influence on their own work, unless it is to parody it. Critics are bored by him and even his audience knows his work is base and to be enjoyed in a one dimensional level.

Cinema is judged with similar prejudices today and it is the Scorseses, Nolans and Malicks of the world who are the real artists. Film-makers who have made original, intelligent pieces of art that divide critics, scandalize and make little money (unless of course they're a very clever man called Christopher Nolan) but are looked upon favorably many years later as the zeitgeist catches up with their vision. With a good knowledge of art and film history, it is very safe to say that Michael Bay is not part of this or any group.

287 LiamSmith016
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 10:53
@ Quentin Black

After seeing what you said to sdilku:

"When you start getting statements like "whether the acting is of a low quality...are all matters of opinion, and are not valid reasons to criticise a film" you know there isn't much ground to stand on in defense of the film."

I just want to make it clear that none of what I've said has been related to any particular film, and that I wasn't trying to defend anything.

I know I said about quality of acting, pacing, and whether the film is dull or not being matters of opinion and not valid reasons to criticise a film but I didn't mean not to use that to write reviews. It's fine to do so, as long as the reviewer is willing to accept criticism of the same calibre. As I said I know there are a lot of pointless insults that don't help but if a reviewer says the acting is bad, the film is dull and the pacing is wrong then anybody can say they disagree without having to go into any further analysis than the reviewer did. There opinion is no bigger or smaller or more right or wrong than the reviewer's, so they don't deserve to be complained about.

Take the last paragraph of your last comment to me for example. I could say the plot makes sense to me, there is no flawed internal logic, there were no characters that I didn't like, I didn't notice any over use of tits and I thought it was paced accordingly, and that the female lead's accent was fine because it is how her usual voice sounds. If you go on to say that I am wrong then you are doing exactly what you've said several times that you're not, which is saying people can't disagree. When it comes to film, people can disagree on almost anything because as I said, it's just opinions.

I won't bother commenting here again, but I will read whatever you may have to say and probably ignore it so that it doesn't bother me, which is exactly what I'm saying the reviewers should learn to do.

288 Quentin Black
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 10:56
@ TheSomnambulist I get what you're saying and I agree and disagree with the point that Empire's views aren't worth more. They aren't worth more in themselves but being journalists well educated in film history they do have valid things to say about film, more so than Jane Doe who goes to the cinema a couple of times a year and her favorite film is Pluto Nash.

The key point that a lot of the angry trolls are missing is that Empire recognize and have repeatedly that their opinion is not definitive. There are many critics out there and we are all free to make our own minds up. What Empire wants and what this blog is about, is for people to contribute to with constructive debate and not make obnoxious attacks that hinder intelligent discussions.

If people hated the Tree of Life they can post about how it was beautiful but self indulgent. If they loved Transformers they can say how the spectacle is worth seeing on a big screen despite generally being considered a bad film. What they shouldn't do go on about how Empire is full of elitist snobs and the reviewer is an idiot just because they disagree.

289 eoghanruaidh
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 11:06
I agree with the sentiment that a poor film is a poor film regardless of budget and hype. Of course a film with giant killer robots may not contain the acting chops of a Shakespearian film. There is no reason for the messy storyline and feeble ending to T3. I thought it set itself up ok and the invasion was pretty cool but the fighting between the autobots and decepticons at the end was a real eye sore and bad for any brain cells still active at the moment and it was far too long for children (who it is mainly aimed at). But it was not the worst film i have ever seen or even near.

However, a bigger issue has been raised by some comments here. Empire and numerous other film magazines spend oodles of their time showing stills and cramming pages with minutia regarding the latest blockbuster. They claim they are hugely excited and then completly destroy the film in a review. If you were there while it was being filmed and know the story, how can you get it so wrong? Pirates, Fantasitic 4, Transformers 3 etc.

Furthermore, some of the blockbusters that you rate very highly, such as the latest Batman, Superman, Ironman are reasonable films with some good action but I would consider them nothing more and certainly not warranting four and five star reviews. A little balance would be nice.

290 Quentin Black
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 11:35
@ LiamSmith016

"It's fine to do so, as long as the reviewer is willing to accept criticism of the same calibre."

That is the smartest thing you've said. It's the key statement, although criticisms should be aimed at the review and not the reviewer. The problem is that very few to none of the criticisms aimed at the review/ers are of the same caliber or even close to the same caliber.

As for disagreeing with you yeah I do and I can back it up better than you can. It's called a debate. It makes no sense for the protagonist to be literally locked out from a military program that he has been at the center of for years, especially when said protagonist is the best friend of some powerful robots you're trying to control. You don't ignore the warnings of the one guy who has been decorated for repeatedly single-handedly saving Earth from the enemy you're fighting. That just one example of faulty internal logic and nonsense plot. Logic is not a very subjective thing I'm afraid so the film has nowhere to hide with this one. By the way I say "tits" as an expression for casting an actress, that is even worse that Megan Fox, based solely on her looks. She seemingly learnt from watching Joey off friends and you can see her thinking really, really hard before misdelivering every line. She can't even convincingly say her lines let alone act and was only chosen because Bay knew she would give a million teenage boys an erection. Oh you can just feel the artistic integrity!

291 SpartanEdge
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 11:51
@Jaybee. Regarding quoting what Helen said about People that havnt seen the movie & criticising the reviewers.I've not once mentioned people that have not seen it,nor have ever criticised the reviewer or the review itself.I've always said everyone is entitled to their opinions(something people like Quintin Black seem to have qenuine trouble understanding).. My only(yes only)problem,is what Helen has said that people shouldnt defend a film that(they)deem as bad.They cant decide for everyone else what is bad,& what isnt.Some will agree with them,some wont.Thats the ONLY point i've ever been trying to get across.Other people(not you)have trying to imply otherwise.

292 SpartanEdge
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 12:00
Also,i'm not saying this,or any other film is critic-proof either.But when you say a film should still be judged by its standards,i agree.I just happen to think that this is a film with decent standards.I think its a well made & good quality film.(A film doesnt need to have Oscar winning performances or Political subtext to make it a quality film).I agree that opposite view & Attacking the reviewer/review are seperate things.Its the former that i have been emphasising,& have not attacked the reviewer or review.

293 SpartanEdge
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 12:09
@Guitardave. Now you my kinda guy! Someone who likes what he likes,& isnt pretentious(like alot are on here),& can spot pretentious rubbish when he sees it,& is a lover,not a hater(like alot on here).I'll take someone who's enjoying themselves,& appreciates things,over someone who constantly moans & picks faults in everything everytime,though i accept nobody likes everything.Refreshing to see a 'Normal' person..

294 SpartanEdge
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 12:18
@JiminNYC. Yes,i am quite familiar George Orwell's Ninteen eighty four,Thankyou very much.I agree with what someone posted earlier,that this mentality of 'If [insert name of movie here] isnt Arthouse,or Oscar winning material,Its therfore a bad film' is not good.Theres different types of movie out there,that entertain in different ways,& who says that they all have to do it in the same way,& have the same criteria? People can be entertained in many different ways.I myself like Heavy & light film,& why not,ebjoy life,enjoy variety.

295 SpartanEdge
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 12:44
@Quintin Black. Now,onto my good friend,you cheeky little scamp you.Sorry for my late reply,i've been pre-occupied with this little thing call 'a life'.You should try it sometime,i highly recommend it,take a break from your daily grind of being condescending to everyone(as i see its not just me).You might feel better.Anyway,Your sliding scale theory is complete tosh,& i dont care who made it up,if your using it,it must be nonsense. You keep criticising people for defending what is a 'shit' movie.You i find your ignorance to the fact,that that is YOUR opinion(emphesis on YOUR),& not everyones astounding! So let me spell this out very simply & plainly,so even someone whos head is so far up their own rear,they can see theit tonsils,can understand it.We are defending a film that we happen to think is a decent movie.Ok? Got that? & we are not idiots for having our own tastes,& god forbid a different one to you. I never said i dont understand alalogys.Show me where i did! I also never said the world revolved around me.If anyone thinks that is the case,then that is you,because to you,your word is law,& if anyone has a different opinion or tastes to you,then they're an idiot & wrong by default.I'm suprised that your even aware that your sharing this planet with other people!.. Also,you need to get it into that thick head,that NOT EVERY FILM,HAS TO BE INTELLECTUALLY & EMOTIONALLY STIMULATING! & Transformers is not a bad film by default,just because it doesnt have that. You've repeatidly refered to me as 'A Troll'.Well when your constantly consescending to people(dont tell me your not,because you know you are),dont be suprised when they have a go back,& then call them a Troll for doing so.I've seen you putting so many people down on here,& your sheer nastiness is quite obnoxious.In fact your quite probably the most self centered,self important pretentious arse i've ever encountered in my life! I'm sure alot would agree.

296 SpartanEdge
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 13:11
@Quintin Black. Alsoyou keep saying that "Transformers is meant to be a shit film".Errr,no it isnt.Do you think they really all sat down,& said "ok,lets make a shit film".Of course they didnt,& if you think otherwise,then your deluding yourself.I & dont think it is anyway,but in your self centered mind,if you think it is,therefore it obviously is. Where is this inability to form sentences that you speak of? any examples? It isnt relative to the argument,& just highlights your condescending nature.Apparently if you dont put everything absolutely perfectly,your some sort of imbecile & your points are somehow less valid.Well this may come as a suprise to you,but everyones valid,no matter how well they can put it across.You've accused me of attacking staffers,when i have done no such thing.I have not attacked the review,or the reviewer for the review.So your wrong there.All i have EVER said,is that people on both sides are entitled to their opinions,which you apparently agree with,so stop making arguments,for arguments sake.Trouble is,i dont think your capable of acting civil.. You said you had trouble reading what i've been saying.well its all been in english,& not slang,so you should consider that your not as clever & superior than you obviously think you are..There is nothing at all wrong with my grammar,& your the first person who's ever said there is. "My friend had a spare ticket,so i went to see it" I dont believe that for one second! Even if i did(Yeah right),you still took the time & effort to go & see it.Was you expecting your 'political Subtext'this time eh? No,hasnt got it? what a shocker! You keep having a go at these films,yet you find excuses to go & watch ALL of them.I find that massively hilarious! (& all 3 films are ten times better than Supergirl by the way,as i'm sure the vast majority will agree).If you thought TF3 was going to be any different than the others,you obviously have the learning capacity of a goldfish..

297 TheSomnambulist
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 13:26

Oh don't get me wrong. I don't think Bay is a man before his time either and to my mind his art - such that it is - will not endure but I just can't know. When I was a kid I saw this woman on Top of The Pops, dressed like a skank and singing out of tune, that she was: "Like a virgin"
Who'd have thought that woman would have been so succesful?

So these days I tend to be a lot more relaxed and circumspect about what's perceived as good and what ends up being succesful.

298 SpartanEdge
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 13:43
@Quintin Black.Also,you've said i accused the magazine & staff of Empire of being 'Up themselves'.Wrong again.I have never said that(Do check,by all means).At least they had an excuse for seeing the film,as its their job,which is more that can be said for your lame excuse.I've only said that YOU are up yourself,which is irrefutable,lets face it.I'm glad someone else pointed out that your 'sliding rule' thing is complete One more thing.You responded to someone that said Empire or its readers were Elitist & Snobby,to which you said theres nothing to back it up.Wrong yet again.I give you exibit one QUINTIN BLACK. I rest my case. P.s. the studio has green lit another 3 movies.No doubt you'll find an excuse to watch them too,& will no doubt hate them. @Sdilku. Not that anybody has to justify why they like a film,or think its good,i will do so because i've decided to.I like the Transformers movies,& think they're good movies because i like the characters in the movie,& i think that they show genuine emotions throughout whats going on around them.Certain characters are human,& dare i say likable,& vulnerable,to some degree mentally,but also physically,in contrast to the machines.I like that some of the characters are humorous,& have their little quirks,despite whats going on around them,for individual characteristics to still come through.I like the action,which is well orchestrated & shot,the background music is superb.Most importantly,these films entertain me.I conceed No 3 takes a while to get going,but is breathtaking when it does.So in general they've done their job as far as i'm concerned.These are purely my own opinions,which i am fully entitled to,You may disagree with them & have other opinions.that too is your right.No-one is ever going to agree on everything,thats a simple fact,but i have given mine,because a couple of people asked for someone to say why they like the movies.So i stepped up. Sorry for the multiple posts people,Alot of catching up.

299 The Truthteller
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 16:36
Been reading this topic for some time now.i cant keep it in any more.have to say i agree with spartanedge.that quintin black guy is a complete tool! the things he comes out with is totally hilarious lol where do they get these people from!? and where did he get that high horse he's riding.spartanedge's points are quite reasonable.seems he doesnt like spartanedge because he has the 'ordasity' to disagree with what he's saying.

300 Quentin Black
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 19:04
@ TheSomnambulist

Haha good point and in a way we can never know. Would you say that Madonna is regarded as a great artist or just simply and inexplicably popular?

I agree that there will always be division amongst individuals, hence why art is judged on a sliding scale as opposed to an absolute scale. The key part of determining where a piece of art or artist belongs in history is in the discussion. That's why I think this blog is important and has a good point to make. The discussion has to have it's basis in intelligent and constructive analysis rather than "my opinion is right and that's all there is too it" as some people insist.

To be honest I think we're arguing two sides of the same coin.

@ SpartanEdge

I attempted to give you the benefit of the doubt and treat you like you'd have basic verbal reasoning and an understanding of simple things like logic but you're the exact type of trolling moron that this blog is about. I can't tell whether you're playing the part of an uneducated obnoxious juvenile who likes to be contrary for the sake of it or whether you are simply that stupid. No matter how you try to deny it any intelligent person can see you can't even write properly let alone form a coherent argument. At the end of the day it doesn't matter whether your opinion is that Transformers is better than Citizen Kane or that Green Lantern is as good as Toy Story 3, but without a valid argument you'd still be wrong.

In any case you have definitively shown that you a troll and not worth the time. It's a shame that the internet has to have trolls like you, stopping others from having a proper discussion.

301 mcclane88
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 19:26
You guys should all go and watch The Tree of Life. It's long, boring and pertains to having a message that only the intellectually elite will fully grasp, much like this blog. Oh, and Empire gave it 5 stars...naturally.

302 danmorrish
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 19:58
I am not a sycophant, however I can honestly say that I find Empire has the most consistently spot-on critics in the business. I will ALWAYS go to Rotten Tomatoes to check the consensus and then read Empires review. I do this for one simple reason - that which has attracted me to the Magazine for the last 15 years. Here it is.

Unlike a significant number of notable film reviewers (who are simply on 'assignment'), Empire's staff consist of professional film journalists.Their knowledge of film spans the entire history of the moving image. They are both cinemas fiercest detractors and simultaneously its biggest defender. They love art-house flicks as much as the biggest, loudest blockbusters. That is what is unique about Empire.

What (a small number) of Empire's readers would do well to consider is that a review is, has, and always will be, one persons INTERPRETATION of a film. You as a filmgoer can always choose to take the review and agree with it, or you can choose to disregard it. The choice is yours to make. The process is called being subjective. It is a skill that most intelligent people have.

What concerns me is that a small number of people are exercising their right to express themselves on the Empire Forums far too enhusiastically and are denigrating the professional reputations of people who you have no right to do so to. It is both anti-social and unwelcome, and it is if i'm honest beginning to really grate on me.

If you don't like what you are reading, fine. It is your right and nobody says you have to agree. But please leave your vitriol elsewhere. Thank you.

303 sdilku
Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011, 22:57
Having just checked, I note with interest that STILL nobody has responded to my challenge, and the challenge of Quentin Black, to produce a coherent defence of Transformers 3.

Robust disagreement on the merits of a film is part of the fun of being a film buff, and I would be interested to hear the point of view of someone who genuinely thinks Empire were mistaken in their review.

Such disagreements don't just occur over poorly reviewed films either. Last year Inception received stunning notices, but I met a number of people who were decidedly underwhelmed (although I personally disagreed, as I think Inception really is a masterpiece). However, the difference was in most cases these people were able to provide coherent arguments for their position.

Could it be that Transformers 3 really is indefensible, and that deep down even the trolls know this?

304 Gonzochicken
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 00:32
I must say after exiting the cinema doors after Transformers: Dark of the Moon I felt an awful sense of disappointment. I went in with a glimmer of hope that previous offences where going to be corrected only to find new inexplicable offences. When you get the rights to a "franchise" such as Transformers that carries a legacy going back as far as 1984, there are certain expectations,not only from hard core fans but the general viewing public. We expect to be treated to a viable feast of giant transforming robots, instead we primarily get ridiculous side show, comic relief characters with no real baring on the true subject manner. That is just one of its many downfalls. Why are we expected to sit through these mind numbing atrocities just because it fills the Summer blockbuster criteria. I am glad in a way that "reboots" are becoming a genre of their own. I seems somebody out there sees the need for these movie monstrousities to be derailed asap.

305 SpartanEdge
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 12:19
@Quintin Black. Still trying to be condescending i see Quintin.Some people will never change.. In fact,your the one who's coming across as a juvenile.I have come out with some very good points,& all you ever do in return,is be condescending & repeatidly use the Troll word.I suspect you call everyone that that happens to disagree with you strongly.Your name calling,& insistence on attempts being patronising shows your lack of reasoning,imagination & ability to put forward up a decent debate,also,well,class..The funny thing is,your so arrogant,you cant even see that in fact its you that is the Troll.You need to have a long hard look at yourself.I've checked my previous entries,& any half-wit could see that they the errors are type-o's,rather than spelling or mis-pronounced,but then your not as half as clever as you try to make out.Thats i admit is my fault for not going back over what i had typed to check for type-o's.Still totally irrelevant mind you.Oh,speaking of which,in your last sentence to me,it should be spelt YOUR,not YOU.just saying.I have formed a very good argument to you,in fact,so 'good' an argument,that you failed to answer many of the points i made,& you obviously missed it,but i did put(in great detail)why i liked the movie.I care not if you disagree with it(which you will,of course),but they are my reasons. Someone has rightly observed,that our debate has degenerated into something that i never intenteded it to be.I am partly at fault,by letting your condescending attitude bring me down to your level.I wanted to put my views in,but never intented to get into a protracted argument with one person.Which is why i'm going to do something that you would be incapable of,& be the better person,& i'm withdrawing from this blog.It has become pointless,with us going around in circles getting nowhere.You cant reason with the unreason-able,so i'm not going to try.To be blunt,i have far better things to be doing with my time,& people more worthy to spend it on.+

306 SpartanEdge
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 12:35
So for that reason,i wont be coming back to this blog.To prove i am the better man,& not indeed a 'Troll'.I cant say i'm going to lose any sleep over not engaging in your 'lovely,charming' chats.Just want to say though,that i've never in my life,encountered anyone quite so narrow-minded & egotistical,condescending & arrogant as you.I thought that Empire magazine was supposed to be the home of the blockbuster movie,but when i started reading your entries,i had to double check that i hadnt gone into the Guardians blog by mistake..So goodbye Quintin,you'll have to be condescing to someone else,with the pure nastiness/drivel that comes out of your mouth.I have a feeling you could start an argument with your own shadow.But i apologise to everyone else,for letting myself get drawn into it,by this person on this page.

307 SpartanEdge
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 12:42
Just wanted to re-iterate what i was trying to say all along,which is that an opposing opinion to something like a review for instance,should be allowed to also voice their opinion too.Its the basis of a free society to be able to question what ones told.I dont think thats unreasonable. @Sdilku. You havnt 'checked' very well then,as i put in detail,in a previous post,why i like the movie.As i said to Quintin Black,If anyone disagree's then that is their right,but they are my reasons nonleless,& are as valid as anyone elses,on both sides of the debate.That is all.

308 ClarkKent777
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 13:20

You don't really need to re-iterate your tired "everyone is allowed an opinion" 'argument'... as that's all you've really iterated. Even though that was NOT what Helen was trying to say.

Helen was saying that "it's just a bit of fun" is not a valid defense for bad movies. And that is true. It definitely isn't.

You and many others however instantly went defensive and started banging on about how "my opinion is just as valid" etc. Yes it is, but that was not the argument.

As for all the idiotic comments about how Empire don't like blockbusters and have turned into The Guardian (seriously... words fail me there), this is more bitter, insecure nonsense from fans that can't take it when Empire don't like the movies they do. If they see something in Tree Of Life, then that to me suggests that there's brilliance in it waiting to be found, possibly with more maturity, possibly with more viewings, possibly with more movie-watching experience. It does not just mean they are arty suck-ups who only like movies like Schindler's List (as many have wrongly suggested).

Plus, you have called the magazine and Quentin (not Quintin) condescending multiple times, but in my opinion ending your last paragraph with "that is all" is much worse! As if what you have said is indisputable. I thought everyone's opinion was valid?

@ danmorrish - I agree with you from start to finish. Well said.

309 The Truthteller
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 13:50
Well done spartanedge,for being the bigger man,for the sake of peace..i at least get what your saying,and think your point is reasonable.i thought the guardian thing was amusing,but he's got a point,illustrated by the fact that when someone responds,the first thing they do,is correct their spelling.that amused me.and i've observed that alot of people on here do seem very snobbish.its like an online version of one of those old fashioned mens clubs or the masons or something.very creepy.anyway,i thought his points were solid. i could be wrong,but i think the that is all bit,was him saying "i'm off now"

310 The Truthteller
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 13:53
Or,that is all i'm trying to say.just thought of that.

311 ClarkKent777
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 14:00
@ The Truthteller,

I corrected the spelling in my fifth paragraph - so hardly the first thing I did. I'm not sure how correcting shocking grammar illustrates his 'fact' (he has NO facts, merely points of view), but to be honest I'm quite glad I don't understand this fuzzy thinking.

You may think it is condecending, but some of us don't want to read posts from people who don't even start sentences with capital letters! And "creepy"? Being able to write reasonable English is creepy?! I would say the opposite.

When you say he is saying "Im off now", do you mean in the post that says "I won't be coming back" or the post seven minutes later when he, errrm, did come back?

312 Janet L
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 14:13
Well said SpartanEdge.

313 The Truthteller
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 14:32
@ClarkKent777. Bravo,you just illustrated ,my point.Thankyou.Point taken though about the positioning of your corrections.I was inaccurate there.Personally,i hanvnt seen much wrong with his grammar,barring the odd typing error.Nothing that a read over afterwards wouldnt have corrected.Correct me if i'm wrong,but the very last thing he said,was "That is all".Nothing after that,and that was to a different person.I'm not going fall into a pointless argument with you,like the other two did,so i'm going to nip it in the bud there,and not accommodate you after this post. (Did my capital letters meet your standards this time)? Its like being back at school.. oOWith people dying of hunger while we speak,i think we need to get things into some sort of perspective hereOo

314 The Truthteller
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 14:51
To clarify,what i meant by the whole 'boys club' mentality,is that i've observed that whenever someone says anything that disagree's with Empire,they are immediately jumped upon by a mob,brandishing big words and accusations regarding their spelling and grammar.This doesnt seem right to me.Its downright bullying,& only emphasises the point that spartanedge was trying to make,that nobody here can really express an opposing opinion,because of said treatment when they do so.I've seen it happen alot on this blog alone.If you actually read what the guy said,he did say they were his own opinions,& wasnt forcing them on anyone,& had to stress many times,that everyone is also entitled to theirs also.I could see that..Thats is all i am going to say now,as i dont feel comfortable or able to express opinions on here,& i refuse to fuel peoples ignorance,or the worrying mob mentality on here.

315 ClarkKent777
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 14:51
@The Truthteller,

I can't of illustrated your point because, quite frankly, you didn't have one.

I am utterly unsurprised that you don't see anything wrong with his grammar. I'd have been surprised if you did. Why put something up that needs a "read through"?

I will correct you as you - again - argued the wrong point. I asked you which post you were referring to, either the one that he said he was "not coming back" (post 306) or the one where he came back after saying he wasn't coming back (post 307). Surely that is obvious now.

What has "people dying of hunger" got to do with anything? What a typical way of trying to steer the conversation away.

Quentin Black. I feel your pain trying to argue proper, logical, sense-making points against tangent, chip-on-the-shoulder-about-my-spelling fluff. I am by no means a brilliant speller, but it takes two seconds to check how a word is spelt on google. Honestly, while all the posters who are lacking in grammar skills play the poor, bullied-by-grammer-police victims, I think it's rude and lazy.

And telling us that it's "like being back at school" - that is condescending in a whole different way that you're probably unaware of.

I reckon

316 ClarkKent777
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 15:00

"i'm going to nip it in the bud there,and not accommodate you after this post"... and then you post again 20 minutes later. Way to nip it in the bud!

People don't just complain about grammar and spelling because the bad spellers disagree with Empire - that is not the case. They do so because so many are insulting and verbally attack respectable journalists who deserve better. And, how can you argue with a journalist when you can't perform basic spelling?

You complain that I'm not actually reading the guy properly (I assure you I unfortunately have), but he didn't properly read (or understand) Helen's basic point. There is the chance that he did but didn't communicate it properly - which is why many of us campaign for more attention put to grammer etc.

Please tell me that someone else is growing really tired with the "everyone is entitled to their opinion" argument. I'm not disputing that! Rarely anyone with intelligence would! The point is that you cannot defend bad movie-making by saying "it's just a bit of fun".

317 The Truthteller
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 15:46
@ClarkKent777. Your last reply illustrated my points about snobbery & bullying & general nasty attitudes on here,far more than i (with my apparently feeble writing skills)ever could have put it.So i again,thankyou for that.I feel i have to have a shower everytime,after coming on here,just to wash the nastyness off.Your a discrace to the name Clark Kent! I'm not in the least suprised you agree with someone like Quintin Black,you sound just like him.Let me end this,in a way even you can understand.Goodbye. NIP!

318 ClarkKent777
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 15:55
@The Truthteller,

Back again! Superlative bud-nipping!

It's not bullying, too many of you play the victim card or falsely take the moral high ground because your arguments crumble when even slightly examined or scrutinised.

I point out the glaring holes and contradictory nature of some of these 'points' (taking offense at the way some of posters behave), while you say you need to "have a shower" after conversing. So who has the nasty attitude and snobbery?

Thanks for the compliment of likening me to Quentin Black. Oh, and notice how I didn't correct the mis-spelling of his name again. All you guys can complain that we are internet police or whatever, but it is very bad form and rude to consistently get someone's name wrong!

You meanwhile say

319 Quentin Black
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 16:05
@ ClarkKent777

I wouldn't bother with TruthTeller mate. If you look at the way he mistypes, especially the repeated uses of ampersands, there's a good likelihood that TruthTeller is the same user as Spartan Edge. It's not uncommon for internet trolls to create another account to make it seem that other users agree with them. It's best to ignore trolls like that because they're deliberately obnoxious and contrary to waste everybody's time and patience. Pathetic, I know.

@ sdilku

There's little to defend. It's just not a good film. A fun guilty pleasure for some but not a good film.

320 The Truthteller
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 16:49
Its not suprising i keep coming back,when you keep the argument going.but then you enjoy that dont you.I never said i wouldnt be submitting more posts by the way,just that i was finished on that topic,& wouldnt be pulled into a pointless argument.ok,firstly it was not a compliment believe me. secondly,enough with the grammar/spelling.its getting old now,and has nothing to do with the topic,& is a completely shallow thing to go on about! everytime you bring it up,your just showing everyone more and more what snobs you are,so be my guest.noticed that i'm not bothering with my capitals again.anything that upsets your perfect little world is worth doing & your just not worth any effort. thirdly,what has taking a shower to wash away the nastyness on here got to do with snobbery? and lastly,you just did correct the spelling on Quentin Blacks name.ha ha. even though this is all off what we were talking about earlier,i'm still not going to respond to any more posts by you,as like Quentin Black,thats exactly what you perpetuate the argument,but i refuse to do that.Now,speaking of your alter ego.

321 The Truthteller
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 17:04
Quentin Black Thats right,if someone agrees with someone whos arguing with you,then they are of course the same person.weak,very weak.its funny though,as i was thinkin the exact same thing about you and clark seem like the eact same person to me.i reckon if you said that to me first,it would take the heat off of hasnt.I'll start by saying that i've just finished an argument with one stuck up so and so,and i'm not about to start something with another one/same person,and your simply not worthy of my time or i will humour you with no responses.feel free to get whatever you want out of your system as a response,then jog on,ok little boy.and you are a wuss,with your big words from behind the saftey of a keyboard.bye bye little boy. good luck to every one else whos staying and putting up with those argumentative waste of spaces.

322 ClarkKent777
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 20:37
You didn't say you were coming back? In your EXACT WORDS:
" i'm going to nip it in the bud there,and not accommodate you after this post." and
"Thats is all i am going to say now,as i dont feel comfortable or able to express opinions on here"........ then you expressed your opinion.
Seems to me that is pretty much exactly what you said. Very contradictory if you ask me.

I realise it wasn’t a compliment, but by saying that you are admitting to insulting me.

“shallow thing to go on about” – insult two.

The spelling / grammar thing is getting old you are right – old for those of us that have to try and decode posts. I am not a snob, I just want to use the proper way to speak and use English! Although there is no right and wrong when it comes to what movies people like – there is a clear right and wrong with that.

And, if people persistently attack Empire writers, then I’m going to pick up on their inadequate / lazy English.

“Upsets my perfect little word” – insult three.

Saying you want to have a shower after discussing something with others is clearly an insult to them and blatantly nasty.

“I’m not going to respond to any more posts by you” (post 320) – then 10 minutes later you did (post 321). Brilliant.

I am not perpetuating an argument, I’m just not going to be spoken down to by someone like yourself (notice – no condescending insult like yourself).

You liken me to a “stuck up so and so” – insult four.

“little boy” – insult five.

“you are a wuss with big words blah blah” – insult six.

“argumentative waste of spaces” – insult seven.

Seven insults (that I bothered to count) and I’m the condescending nasty one? I have been arguing a point and explaining a rationale, logical point-of-view. You have been spewing lazy, tangent arguments and rude insults. And, not to lower myself to that standard, but by the end you come across as someone with small man syndrome / Napoleon complex / a thug.

323 sdilku
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 22:15
@Clark777 and Quentin Black:

I am in complete agreement with the pair of you. Why this cannot be a forum for intelligent discussion is beyond me. The problem with idiots is they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Some specific points:

I too am sick and tired of deciphering bad English.

I am also fed up with the way people mistake intellectual disagreement or robust rebuttal of their arguments for bullying. Anyone who thinks that has obviously never experienced real bullying.

I like to think I am an open minded person, and if someone can provide clear and compelling reasons for me to reassess my opinion of Transformers 3, I am willing to consider them. Hopefully I am humble enough to admit when I am wrong. I can think of at least half a dozen films I have reassessed and discovered were much better than I initially thought after repeated viewings - on films as diverse as Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, Bryan Singer's The Usual Suspects and Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins.

I still think Helen's original point has still been entirely lost on some people. If you disagree with Empire's Transformers 3 review, that's fine. But if you wish to articulate why, explain your reasons coherently instead of just insulting the reviewer.

324 sdilku
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 22:45
One more thing I forgot to add in my previous comment: Unlike certain other dummy spitting individuals on this forum, I shan't promise this will be my last post (the temptation to get dragged back into it may be too much for me), but I sincerely hope it will be as I think the topic has been well and truly exhausted.

325 ClarkKent777
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 23:12

Well said.

Allthough, I'm not sure if you're me? Or are you Quentin Black? Or am I you? I forget. :)

326 Andy Millner
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 23:31
Its a bit bad,When people feel like they cant post on here,For fear of being chastised for their spelling or grammar.I am definately witnessing some snobbery,ganging up,bullying,or what ever you want to call it going on here.

327 ClarkKent777
Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2011, 23:51
Seriously, how can people out there continue to say things like "snobbery, ganging up, bullying"?

@ Andy Millner, how can Truthteller insult me multiple times (including seven in one post), including calling me a "wuss" and a "little boy" while I argue my points in a reasonable civilised manner - yet you hint that I'm the snob and bully?

That is ridiculous!

328 familyguy91
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 00:13
@ClarkKent777 Shut the hell up you pompous, moronic gump. Your opinions are so pro Empire it's insane.

@Helen O'Hara You're a Poohead HAAHHAHAAHHAAHHA

329 ClarkKent777
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 00:21
@familyguy91 - Brilliant. Any more where that came from? What exactly is a gump? I'd say it's insane that people 328 posts into an Empire blog aren't pro Empire.

Another sterling, intelligent poster...

330 familyguy91
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 00:53
@ClarkKent777- A gump is what you are, essentially a retarded fool.

Empire deserves the backlash from people when they perpetuate the importance of these awful films on their site, and more importantly in/ on the front of their magazines, and then slate people that enjoy them. I personally don't, but the point is they hype up this rubbish and then pass comment that people should stop defending films they enjoy.

331 ClarkKent777
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 00:59
@familyguy91 - Wow, what a rude, angry little person you are. One more person who can't provide an answer when they are wrong and resorts to insults.

So if they hype a movie they have to give it a good rating? Or have they to ignore a big movie like Transformers 3 because they know it won't be very good even though they know their readers want to know about said hype?

I cannot believe how many people have spectacularly missed the point of all of this.

332 Quentin Black
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 09:18
It's a sad state of affairs when regular users can't use this forum for intelligent discussion without pathetic morons trolling. I agree with sdilku when he says this discussion has run it's course. Any intelligent discussion was lost forty posts ago. That's pretty much the only way trolls like SpartanEdge can win. They can't post anything intelligent so they bury any decent discussion from both sides with badly written, barely comprehensible mix of denial and insults before posting as a different user/s to back himself up. Pathetic.

@ familyguy91 - Name one occasion when Empire actually slated anyone. No one is saying that people can't disagree with Empire. All they ask is that people, whether they agree or disagree, contribute intelligent discussion about the films and reviews rather than launch personal attacks on the reviewers. Any rational and reasonable person can understand this but judging from your comments that doesn't really apply to you does it?

333 The Truthteller
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 12:07
@ClarkKent777 I've read some replys,so i'm responding to them,so sue me.Good grammar and you can count? i'm impressed!(insult No 8). Seriously though,regarding insults,you and your cohorts have been far more insulting to people than anyone else on here! You was insulting another person long before i came on the scene.,and when i agreed with that person,got insulted also.Thats when i fought back,and i'm ashamed to say i got dragged down to your level of childishness,but at least i recognise that,which is more than can be said for you and the offending group that act like they're blameless,with halos over their heads.You and your Grammar Trolls have taken over and destroyed this blog.Its got to the point on here,when nobody wants to,or feels comfortable contributing,which is totally unacceptable! I would understand if this blog was about grammar,but it isnt.Even when someone has decided they have had enough of it and withdraw,you make it difficult for them to do so,by provoking them to come back with yet more patronising comments and prolong the argument.You(all the offenders)act like your so civilised,but your like a pack of Thugs(albeit articulate ones),jumping on people for their grammar(which is totally irrelevant to the topic anyway)with your condescending and patronising overtones,which is very insulting in itself! To be brutally blunt,you all take yourselves far too seriously.You need to get things in perspective,lighten up,drop the pompous attitudes,get a sense of humour(and dare i say it,a life Insult No 9)and drop the whole Grammar Geek Squad(Insult No 10)witch hunt charade.Its not big,and its not clever.So turn that frown into a smile,and look at the nice things in life.Go and feed some ducks.Dont go through life grumpy..As The Joker once said "Why so serious".I dont want to put out any more posts and fuel the fires of pomposity,and will try not to join you on your low level of conduct,but this time,no promises.Depends how provoked i am,doesnt it.

334 The Truthteller
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 12:12
Additional(as i couldnt fit it in),i will not be entertaining,or replying to any comments on my grammar,or the fact that i've returned to reply to comments.Any such comments from the Trolls(Insult No 11.You know who you are)i care about not. Okay,this is where the drivel begins i imagine.Yawn.

335 ClarkKent777
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 12:29
@The Truthteller,

Wow, I'm really wasting my breathe trying to be rationale with you aren't I? You really don't listen / take in any of what I said.

You even alude to the fact that it's you who has been insulting me. Please note I am STILL not saying anything nasty - and you say you are being brought down to my level?

They are not my "cohorts" - they just also happen to be logical and 'get' what Helen was saying.

I have explained the grammar thing. It is rude to get someone's name wrong, it makes it harder for us to understand what you're saying and it takes two seconds to use capitals / paragraphs etc.

I think you will find you had a sly dig at me in Post 309 first (the word "creepy" was used). So wrong there.

I am being civilised (show me one example where I haven't been?), you called me "a wuss" and a "little boy". Wrong again.

As for "getting things in perspective" - that is another diversion like the similarly-off-topic earlier one about people dying in the world.

I am now at the stage with you where I genuinely believe you are writing these posts to wind some of us (myself in particular) up.

You never answer any of my direct questions, you rarely come back with genuine arguments and the ones you do essentially talk round the 'point'. You repeat the same points over again (even though they either don't make sense or aren't the actual argument) and don't seem aware of how contradictory your posts are.

I have concluded that you are at the wind-up.

And I agree with Quentin (whose earlier use of Porn movies as an anology was excellent) that there is a very high chance you are SpartanEdge. If this is not the case - I apologise.

336 familyguy91
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 15:21
@Quentin Black The reason I started to reply to people immaturely was because in an earlier post O'Hara accused me of libellous which is fracking ridiculous (especially as I backed what I said up with facts). But anyway, ignoring that, sue me then, oh wait that would never happen, so I figured if O'Hara was going to make stupid unfounded statements- and she wrote the blog- then surely we were allowed to as well.

337 Robocock
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 19:35
It's apparent that this article is hard to swallow for many, and i'd say it's less about rejecting what is being said, but more who is saying it- i speak not of Helen as an individual, but as part of the money making whore machine that is Empire.

The sole purpose of Empire magazine is to make money- and even if this is not at the forefront of the employees' minds, the direction of the magazine is not in your hands, and you therefore forfeit any artistic and intellectual merit you may wish to garner.

covers must advertise big blockbuster, as much your articles- because ultimately, they make the money. In working for a publication such as Empire, you must forfeit your right to an opinion which will not be belittled, and easily disregarded, because you've left your dignity at the door.

Whether you like, or dislike a film is irrelevant, you are part of a machine which ensures these trashy films are kept in their elevated positions.

Smaller films and their makers aren't given the time of day by your magazines, or magazines similar to you- you are a large part of the problem, and why the film industry, and specifically the one within our own country, is growing increasingly worse.

If you really did love films, you'd work for a magazine that had the freedom to shun films not worth mentioning, and focus on films which need your help to reach an audience- then perhaps less informed members of the public would be given a chance to see something different. Empire is for cinema as Cineworld is for cinema. You only really show people a very segmented part of the industry, the part you get payed to show, regardless of how rubbish it is. The average cinema goer has no chance but to see the trashy films, because they are rarely offered an alternative. I really don't think anyone within your magazine is in a position to criticize anyone, because you are damaging to future of cinema much more than any of you may realize, or care to acknowledge.


338 sdilku
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 20:21

Go and read Sight and Sound then.

Personally I enjoy both Empire and Sight and Sound for different reasons.

339 sdilku
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 21:10

I have just re-read your post, and I fear I may have missed the point somewhat, so my apologies as my last comment was somewhat misdirected. Unlike certain others on this blog, I try to admit when I'm wrong.

Anyway, whilst I would like Empire to champion smaller, more independent films a bit more, I don't think that is what this blog is really about. Yes of course Empire is a business, and yes, I would prefer a little less Bay and a bit more Malick coverage wise, but that doesn't mean they are wrong in berating Transformers 3 in their reviews (or incidentally for praising The Tree of Life). As Helen said, they don't mind people disagreeing with their opinions, it would just be nicer if said disagreement could not boil down to petty, stupid proclamations of "the reviewer is an idiot" as opposed to legitimate rebuttal. The supposed evils of Empire as a business, their lack of coverage on smaller films and their alleged damage to the film industry is a seperate issue.

340 Robocock
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 21:34

I am aware magazines such as Sight and Sound offer a different voice for Cinema. I am not questioning that, to me that is irrelivent; that's just excepting an evil, because there is a good. What i am saying is, regardless of anything else; Empire, in my eyes, does more damage to cinema than it does good. It literally offers nothing worthwhile.

Do i wish for it, and magazines of its kind, to be abolished? Perhaps, perhaps not. I believe in freedom of speech, and the freedom to express ones opinion; a world with no issues would be very boring. But nonetheless, it does not stop be hating Empire.

My main point was that i will never take the opinions of anyone in this kind of job seriously, because if they were smart, and they really did love film; they would take their money, and their brains, and either makes films; or make it easier for people who can-and do so well- to make films. Instead they pour their time into covering Transformers, giving it a bad review, then making blogs about it. Even in attempting to claw dignity, they promote the damn thing.

Unlike the magazine, a blog is where i would assume the writers have most freedom, so why is it they cannot muster an article beyond the latest blockbuster? It speaks volumes of where their attentions really lies, whether they like the films they cover or not-- why not take the time to speak about something which couldn't afford to get itself in the magazine? Or something that wasn't considered beneficial enough (financially) to include.


341 familyguy91
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 22:10

this is in regards to what you out to Robocock,

The problem is, when people have tried to properly address issues in this blog, not through insulting its author, but using facts to highlight the core problems, they have been shouted down and attacked by O'Hara and Empire loyalists alike. You the begin to want to personally attack the author because when you try to address them in a reasonable manner you get nothing back but unfounded malice.

I also find it interesting that Helen seems to have withdrawn from this blog entirely, I know she has written other blogs since but the debate is still continuing on this one, and it seems she got a backlash she didn't expect and has buried her head in the sand.

342 sdilku
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 22:39

I have to say I disagree. Helen seems a fair and reasonable person to me, and I can't see any real evidence of "unfounded malice" in her posts. I can however, find many examples of people attacking her and other Empire staff in a manner that is personal and unpleasant as opposed to just strongly disagreeing with their views. I think regardless of whether or not she is in the employ of a "money making whore machine" (as Robocock amusingly put it), she and other Empire staff are entitled to feel a little miffed at said posts. They are only human after all.

The wider issue of exactly what Empire's editorial remit should be is really a whole different discussion, and that is what I have been trying to say, along with the Quentin Blacks and clarkkent777s of this world (we are all different people, I assure you). Personally, whilst I think they are quite a commercial publication, I see no harm in that. I can (and do) read Sight and Sound as counter programming.

343 seinfeld_55
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 22:49
I think you're all missing the point here while a big business mentality is doing the film industry no favours the real issue here is that Helen O' Hara is a woman and therefore should not be consulted on such issues as genetic scientists have proven that a womans intellect is not able to comprehend complex ideas such as story, moving pictures, robots talking, bright colours moving at vast speeds and big noises. i hope in the future you will take this into account and cut Helen some slack.

344 familyguy91
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 23:00

The unfounded malice didn't necessarily come from Helen but those defending her. But she directly accused me of being libellous when I stated my opinion and based it on facts, and then when I tried to reply it seems that she has withdrawn from this all together. I don't know If you have read my earlier comment but i said that Empire are too swayed by public opinion and it's true, they actually changed their Attack of the Clones review from a five star "classic," to a three star "good'" after the public aired their opinions- that's pathetic.

345 ClarkKent777
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 23:11

I don’t agree with many of your points – but I applaud the reasoned and thought-out argument. Makes a nice change!

I agree that Empire’s main goal is to sell as many issues as possible, but I don’t think that forfeits artistic and intellectual merit or opinion or dignity. I think those are sweeping generalisations if I’m honest.

I see what you’re saying about smaller films and makers being given much shorter shrift, but they continually ignored big blockbusters that the public want to read about (like, say, Transformers) and always focussed on low-budget indies, the readership would decrease to the point the magazine would start suffering and then, there’d be no magazine at all. It’s like when football fans complain that TV or newspapers cover certain teams over others – of course they do, but they do so as this is what the majority of people want to read about. In an ideal world, yes, we’d all get the films we’re looking forward to on the cover, but that is sadly never going to be a reality.

However, I very much disagree that if they really loved films they’d work for a different magazine. That implies that the writers are told what to write and only cover big movies. To work there you’d need a huge knowledge and interesting in all genres, while this whole debate started because Chris didn’t rate Transformers 3.

I see what you are saying about the average cinema goer and trashy films, but I believe that lies with the cinema goer. If they wanted to look up what is out and check out trailers they could – but most people are lazy and just go to see whatever movie has the biggest and most blatant in-your-face marketing (billboards, TV ads etc).

I also totally disagree that Empire offers nothing worthwhile. I know a great many people who look forward to reading it and I personally can’t wait to see what they’re take is on pretty much every movie I see. Of course, this doesn’t inform my own opinion or stop me from watching it – it’s just interesting reading.

Can I ask – and this is not a dig, no bullying, no condescending snobbery – if you hate Empire why are you on this blog and posting on it? I’m curious.

I also disagree that if they really loved films they’d make movies… They clearly love writing and if that’s the case – and can get paid to do it – of course they will.


I agree that people do try to properly address issues on this blog (as Robocock has above), but “Empire loyalists” as you call us only defend the writers when they are unfairly abused – not when people use well-reasoned arguments. This is just seeking the sympathy vote with no foundation.

To be honest, I think she has better things to do.

She directly called you libellous because you accused the magazine of having no opinion of its own. She then asked questions which you had no answers to, admitted being wrong on occasion and explained the behind-the-scenes happenings of Transformers 2.


Very well said. I agree.

346 familyguy91
Posted on Thursday July 14, 2011, 23:35

Exactly what questions did she ask that i had no answers to? She asked where they the only real question she asked was "We see films before the public, so how are we getting these magical opinions?" and my point is- as I put in my previous post- that they have actually changed their reviews after the public formed a different opinion. She/ you stated that the Transformers reviews were reviewed by different people, and as I pointed out they work under one banner- Empire- the magazine they work for, at the very least it's lazy journalism to not check the review of Transformers 2 before making the comment that three is better. She then admitted I may be right in the case of Superman Returns, if you look at all that information the points i'm making are formed/ based on solid information, so to accuse me of libel is completely laughable.

347 ClarkKent777
Posted on Friday July 15, 2011, 00:00

She asked "But who do you seriously think we could canvas? We see films before the public, so how are we getting these magical opinions?" (the second one you noted.

The fact that they changed Attack Of The Clones is one movie (there may be more) out of a vast amount. You implied that the magazine has no opinion of its own, she was articulating that there is no way their reviews come from readers. They see movies well in advance of us! That was one case, and even if there are a few others of similar change, they are a tiny, tiny percentage and probably due to opinions changing over time.

As I said on a previous post, has your opinion of a movie never changed over the years or with a few watches? Maybe the reviewer at the time did think it was 5-star, but the review that is up now is from someone who had a different opinion.

I agree that someone should have maybe checked the comment - but they are human, prone to error, Helen admitted as much and way too many people have jumped on that one line.

And, as I've also said before, to expect the magazine to have one collective opinion is - and this is not being cheeky or whatever - naive.

I'm not saying your argument here is without basis, but regardless, to accuse a magazine of not having its own points of view is libelous.

348 sdilku
Posted on Friday July 15, 2011, 07:13
I for one applaud Empire for re-visiting films like Attack of the Clones and revising the ratings accordingly. However I would quite like the original five star review preserved for historical posterity (it has been purged from online as far as I can see) so it can be compared with the revised review. Apart from anything else it demonstrates how some films are less good with repeat viewings and also how different reviewers can have different opinions.

That said, I have always thought a star rating system absurdly reductive in any case, as it leads to all kinds of absurd "why did this get three stars and this get two" type arguments. As Helen says, the review is the thing to read, not the rating.

349 The Truthteller
Posted on Friday July 15, 2011, 13:59
I see most of gang are back. @Clark Kent777 You are,or at least was(i have seen some improvment),at a low level of conduct.You are just nasty in a different way.Just because you put it articulate it well,doesnt change that. You and you cohorts,the 'Empire Fanboys' or 'Empire Loyalists' might care deeply about absolute perfect grammer & paragraphs,i dont,so get over it.Though i will try to paragraph if that helps you read. The 'creepy' comment wasnt just aimed at you,but your gang of loyalists. Little boy,i accept is probably inaccurate. Wuss? probably not. (Arnt you missing countdown or something). My comment about world hunger was to stress the point that the grammar criticisms(which were themselves off topic) are trivial compared to whats going on in the world.If you didnt get that,then explaining it is probably wasted on you. Sorry to disappoint you,I'm not spartanedge,just happen to agree with what he was saying.apology accepted though.I still though fully believe that you are Quentin Black though.Though not Sdilku.

350 The Truthteller
Posted on Friday July 15, 2011, 14:05
just want to add that i did paragraph my post when i typed it,but it hasnt come up how i typed it. Also to KlarkKent777. At the very beginning of post 345,you are condescending.Thats is what i mean about how you are rude in your own way.Its these little digs that get people in a bad frame of mind.I am perfectly willing to be civil,when people stop these little condescending digs.

351 The Truthteller
Posted on Friday July 15, 2011, 14:09
@Sdilku I could see that the unfounded malice FamilyGuy91 was refering to,was by the loyalist possey,not Helen,to which i agree on.

352 The Truthteller
Posted on Friday July 15, 2011, 14:14
Post 349 correction. 'Just because you articulate it well' My Apologies. Also,can someone tell me how to include paragraphs? do i need to put more spaces in-between or something?

353 The Truthteller
Posted on Friday July 15, 2011, 16:06
@ClarkKent777 I have been thinking about what i said in my last posts,& in the interests of civility and keeping the peace,i sincerely like to retract my wuss and countdown comments.Although it was an emotional reaction to a couple of digs,that is no excuse.You are obviously making an effort to be more gracious and civil,and i would like to do the same.So i retract said comments along with an apology.I would also like to show that when spoken to with respect and dignity,i will do the same in kind,and that i am a reasonable person really,albeit with unconventional views.

354 ClarkKent777
Posted on Friday July 15, 2011, 16:25
@The Truthteller,

If you feel I was nasty - that is unfortunate and not my intention. I don't come on here to get in arguments and do not enjoying receiving insults or digs! So please don't think that either.

I appreciate you retracting said comments. Very gracious and well-received!

What I would say to everyone (not just yourself) about "Empire loyalists" is that of course I am an Empire fan. I'm 353 comments deep into a blog on their site! I find it much more surprising that there are lots of individuals on here who seem to actively dislike the magazine..... !

Importantly, I'm not saying that I take in every word and have no opinion of my own - not at all. I've also thought Attack Of The Clones was a 3-star movie (at best). To clarify, that wasn't a dig.

355 The Truthteller
Posted on Friday July 15, 2011, 17:19
@ClarkKent777 Thank you Sir,for Graciously accepting my apology.Like you,i have not come on here,to get into arguments.I merely want to talk about something i'm passionate about,Movies.I dont personally have anything against Empire,but i think they need to define what they are about,wether its blockbusters,more serious movies,or both,as i thought they were supposed to be focused on blockbusters.I accept,that was my impression and may be incorrect,which is why i seek clarification.I just disagree with Helens points,But if others agree with her,thats their right,as long as they accept it is others to disagree. I accept,and even understand the criticisms against Transformers and such films.Personally,i've enjoyed them,and of course i'm not saying they're up there with Shawshank Redemption,which i love immensely also,just that i enjoyed them.So to me,they are good movies,in that they did they're job of entertaining.They may not be good in all areas,which is why they're not classics,but enjoyable none the less.I actually quite like Attack of the Clones.Not a perfect movie by any means,but i would give it a 3.5.What was their original score before Empire changed it?

356 ClarkKent777
Posted on Saturday July 16, 2011, 11:17
I had the actual magazine that the original review was posted in but I couldn't say for sure?

357 C.C.C.P.
Posted on Tuesday July 19, 2011, 12:53
Agreed, big ole' false dichotomy that a movie has to be like either Transformers 2 or Citizen Kane - and an action movie must be the former.

Why not demand *good* films with action? Remember Jurassic Park? Casino Royale? The Bourne series? The Dark Knight?
Hell, even going less cerebral and more lightly plotted than those why can't we want films on par with Aliens, Predator, Die Hard, or Terminator?

Bay apologists, please remove the blinkers.

358 The Truthteller
Posted on Wednesday July 20, 2011, 21:14
@C.C.C.P. I personally enjoy most of Bays movies,& i havnt & wont apologise for it either,nor feel i should.Everyones free to like what they want.Though the films you mention are good,(Casino Royale is Alright i suppose),but i wouldn't call it an action movie by any stretch,& even something like The Dark Knight has alot of faults(which i wont go into here),but still enjoyable none the less,which is how i feel about Transformers.Personally i prefered Batman Begins,but thats by the by.All the films you list at the bottom,are cult classics,& have their fans(myself included),but i'm not sure if its right to compare classic movies from that era to Transformers.People are free,by all means to dislike a director &/or their work,but not to tell other people what to think about them.Its all down to different tastes & preferences.We're all different.

359 dwarfers55
Posted on Wednesday August 3, 2011, 17:50
after just reading another blog about 'takeaway dinner' movies, I think there is a place for most movies. I am not here to blast at critics simply because in regards to dark of the moon I agreed with them. That did NOT stop me enjoying the movie, and i guess that is where the 'its just a bit of fun' comes from. I would not respond to a critic of the movie with this line simply because it is a tad daft. they do a job and in several occasions i have seen a movie with lower expectations due to empire, and enjoyed it more. I have to say I have also had the opposite, where they have basically had sex with the movie and it has turned out to be pants!! Going back to Transformers 3, it did seem to learn from the 2nd's mistake, however it did not seem to grasp what made the 1st so impressive. Still enjoyed, wanted more, and you never know we may get a 'reboot' in the next few years if Mr Bay has finished with the Transformers :)

360 Copp85
Posted on Tuesday January 10, 2012, 06:32
Totally agree with this post. What is so wrong with asking for better. I was not expecting oscar worthy stuff from any of the three transformers films but I was expecting a story and acting that werent so bad I was pulled out of the film.

361 daraghfleming
Posted on Tuesday April 3, 2012, 15:16
Hi Helen,

At the risk of sounding like a pedant, your grammar and spelling can be a little off occasionally (e.g "aggreived"?). I've come to expect more from Empire journalists. That is all.

Kind Regards,

Daragh 03.Apr.12 Cork

Log in below, or register to post comments
Remember Me:


Empire States (444)

Under The Radar (335)

Infinite Lives (92)

Small Screen (57)

Words From The Wise (36)

Cannes 2011 (28)

Off The Wire (24)

Comic-Con 2010 (21)

Casting Couch (2)

Oscars 2011 (1)


i, Robot Goes 3D On Blu-Ray
By James White

DreamWorks Touts New 'Toon Footage
By James White

Golden Globes 2012
By James White

James Cameron Talks Titanic 3D
By James White

The 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony: What Can We Expect?
By Helen O'Hara

The Sorcerer's Apprentice Edit Bay Visit
By James White

Shutter Island: A Thriller Out Of Time?
By Damon Wise

What Chris Nolan Could Bring To Superman
By James White

The Oscar Back-And-Forth
By Helen O'Hara

The Oscar Race: What Upsets Would You Like To See?
By Damon Wise


Little Favour, Big Impact
"A really good short film. Gripping from the outset, a noir-ish action thriller with an interesting s"  Jaks
Read comment

i, Robot Goes 3D On Blu-Ray
"I received this yesterday with high expectations Now I am an advocate for 3D and a massive "  BigNickUK
Read comment

Golden Globes 2012
"Someone at E! needs to get fired! Their coverage was shocking! Thanks god for Empire showing me the "  guysalisbury
Read comment

Golden Globes 2012
""Harvey Weinstein’s nickname apparently being The Punisher. Write your own Thomas Jane jo"  loafroaster
Read comment

Golden Globes 2012
"Have to agree with the previous comments about the coverage by E! Truly inept. Other than that, high"  wgfuzzydunlop1
Read comment

Golden Globes 2012
"Sadly boredbluekoala is spot on with the description of E!'s shockingly incompetent handling of the "  spacemonkey95
Read comment

Golden Globes 2012
"Great, so let's get the Oscars back on the BBC then."  Cameron1975Williams
Read comment

Golden Globes 2012
"I don't know which broadcast everyone else was watching, but the one shown by 'E' in the UK was shoc"  boredbluekoala
Read comment

Golden Globes 2012
"Either Gervais was told to tone it down this year or he just couldn't come up with anything funny (m"  BenTramer
Read comment

James Cameron Talks Titanic 3D
"As a younger generation movie lover, i am thrilled by the fact that Titanic is coming back to the bi"  AusteV
Read comment


You Wouldn't Steal A Car...

Should Spider-Man Have Gone 3D?

Spielberg's Harvey: Why It's A Good Idea

What Chris Nolan Could Bring To Superman

The Oscar Back-And-Forth

James Cameron Talks Titanic 3D

The Oscar Race: What Upsets Would You Like To See?

Golden Globes 2012

The Sorcerer's Apprentice Edit Bay Visit

The 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony: What Can We Expect?

Damon Wise (299)
Helen O'Hara (181)
James Dyer (87)
Amar Vijay (71)
Ali Plumb (56)
James White (29)
Phil de Semlyen (21)
Owen Williams (21)
Simon Braund (6)
Nev Pierce (5)
Ally Wybrew (2)
Ben Kirby (1)
Mani maran (1)
David Parkinson (1)
Dan Jolin (1)
Ian Nathan (1)

Empire's Best Horror Films For Halloween
An unlucky thirteen triple-bills

Emily Blunt Talks Sicario
On the five-star thriller, puke acting and taking Tom Cruise to The Box

Denis Villeneuve Talks Sicario
On his cartel thriller and the upcoming Blade Runner sequel

Tomorrowland: The Viewing Guide
Brad Bird talks through his sci-fi adventure, scene by scene

Empire Meets Ridley Scott
The great director on The Martian, Blade Runner 2 and the Prometheus sequels

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)