Lisa Schwarzbaum
July 22, 2009 AT 04:06 AM EDT

Seen any good movies lately? Besides Up? Owen and I will be alternating days on this new blog–for months now, we’ve been lobbying for the opportunity to go deep and offbeat with you in this space. And I pulled the lucky straw to go first. Which is a good thing, since there’s something I need to confess to you right off the bat: I haven’t seen Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Not only that, I have no intention of seeing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen–at least not unless I’m invited to participate in a scholarly symposium on the cinematographic aesthetics of Michael Bay and need to conduct a thorough study of the filmmaker’s oeuvre.

I announce this with some trepidation, since I realize I’m setting myself up for trash talk  from readers who may say, “You call yourself a movie critic, how could you skip something so big, are you lazy or what?”  To which my answer is, “Yep, I call myself a movie critic, I’m not lazy by any stretch, and I can skip something this big for a bunch of reasons. Here, I’ll name three:

First, Owen reviewed the movie and he can fill you in on anything you need to know about Decepticons and Autobots.

Second, I don’t believe a movie critic has to see everything in order to be good/useful/professional/insightful. If the time comes when I want to or need to analyze the qualities of Transformers: ROTF, I would certainly go see it and pay careful attention. (I suppose in that case I should see the original 2007 Transformers first, huh?)

Third and most important, everyone I talk to-and I mean everyone, critics and normal people alike–say that ROTF is a terrible, jangling, clanging loud, attention-deficit-disordered mess of indistinguishable special effects. A week ago on Sunday afternoon,  I hung out with a family of knowledgeable  enthusiasts  (enlightened Dad, with-it Mom, smart twentysomething son, cool teen daughter) who were way into Transformers culture since back in the day, and who had run to see ROTF on its opening weekend. Their group verdict: peee-YEWWW.

And yet the movie has made  a trillion dollars. Is all of that box office gold coming from the pockets of audiences who walk out holding their noses? Really, I need to know. So in this first post, I’m turning the floor over to you: Did you see the new Transformers? Were you disappointed? What’s good about it? Why should I see it?

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