'Transformers' gets panned but may still find Oscar gold
"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" impressed far fewer critics than did "Transformers" in 2007. The original film rated 61 at Meta Critic but the sequel managed only a score of 42. And over at Rotten Tomatoes, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" merited a mere 22 among the top tier of critics while the original "Transformers" earned a respectable 67.
However, the sequel should still equal the original at the box office. Advance ticket sales for "Transfomers: Revenge of the Fallen" have it on track to be one of the top-grossing movies of the summer. Last night's midnight showings sold out across the country. And fervent fans of the franchise and stars Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf are packing today's screenings.
Among those sure to see the movie on the big screen in the days ahead will be members of the various technical branches of the academy. Two years ago "Transformers" earned Oscar bids in three technical categories -- sound, sound editing and visual effects.
"Transformers" lost both sound races to "The Bourne Ultimatum," and "The Golden Compass" won for visual effects. However, the special effects wizards did win four awards from the Visual Effects Society. As with most sequels, the studio has spent even more money this time round on all of those slam-bang special effects.
Director Michael Bay has rehired many of the same tech experts who figured in the success of the first film. One name missing from the credits of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is sound mixer Kevin O'Connell who was part of the losing team two years ago. That defeat marked the 20th in a row for O'Connell, who has held up surprisingly well under the weight of the title of Oscar's biggest loser. As O'Connell worked on the next big summer movie -- "Public Enemies" -- he may well land his 21st Oscar nod this year.