I’m sure this comes as no surprise but I am not a technologically-savvy person. Setting up my own internet and remembering the multiple variations of the same password often proves difficult for me. If I had the choice, I would use a flip phone. I’d receive everything through the mail and pay my bills via banker’s check. Maybe I’m old school and maybe there’s a part of myself that refuses to adapt to the times. The world is all tech. It’s fast moving and often seems unable to slow down.
This may come as no surprise but I of course am going to find a way to tie this into the newest installment in the Transformers timeline. I went and saw Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts, because I had nothing better to do, and somehow ended up committing the lost art of piracy.
My review is plain and simple: I enjoyed it to the fullest extent that a twenty-five-year-old can enjoy a movie whose target audience is twelve-year-olds on summer vacation and the parents and or guardians who are subjected to accompany them.
The best way I could possibly summarize what I witnessed was if a child took all of his action figures, dumped them on to the carpet, dedicated an hour to forming some sort partially coherent narrative, and was then forced to conclude the semi-practical plot they left themselves with. Maybe this newest Transformers isn’t supposed to make sense, and perhaps the installment’s gravitation towards a earlier time period, one devoid of cell phones and any sort of technology too advanced for a simple story, is meant to help guide the audience into understanding something so incredibly convoluted with mundane, yet confusing world-building, that we have no choice but to remember we are in a time period few have experienced to the fullest extent.
And on the basis of technology, of course I somehow slid my phone into a mode that began recording after the first hour of this Transformers, gifting me with four separate twenty-minute segments of a black screen and the diluted sounds of Optimus Prime fighting some world-threatening foe, and of course myself as well, desperately asking my girlfriend to make sense of what I just witnessed.
As much as it may seem like I didn’t enjoy Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts, I oddly did. Sure, it doesn’t make much sense from both internal and external perspectives. There are attempts to formulate a notion of heart, something seldom achieved in a movie dedicated to robotic beings who transform into different kinds of man-made vehicles and fight other, evil robotic beings also disguised as man-made vehicles. The human aspect is a trait essential to these films. But then there’s the external, this world-ending threat of some God-like Transformers who aim to crush any planet in their path, simply because they can? They want to? Earth and our technological advancements have vexed them for far too long and so now they must eradicate us.
I’m not sure any of these narrative points are supposed to make sense.
They’re robots. The good robots are fighting other robots and somehow a human or two get stirred into the pot and feel the need to see their discovery through to the end.
Unlike many other movies gravitating around the same universes, or in the realm where other universes meet with other universes to form a sort of multiverse, Transformers can exist on its own. It exists and ends, regardless of whether or not whoever is watching knows exactly how or why or for what reason the end has been achieved. It’s a good time. The action is rampant and even when it may seem to—or perhaps should—stop, it doesn’t. It’s all gas and a steady amount of pressure on the brakes. And that’s what Transformers and summer is all about, right?
For any sort of authorities at the federal and state level, I of course did not commit piracy. If someone isn’t able to comprehend the prowess of the technology they wield in their pocket, how could they ever be held liable for what they may or may not have recorded?
And even while I may or may not have confessed to this crime, my actions and choices made me think about how piracy is more or less dying.
These days, even with the revival of movie theaters, what finds their ways into cinemas are often held to a shorter lifespan than ever before. These latest releases will be undoubtedly tossed to on-demand or the Amazon Store for rental in less than three weeks time. This is in some sense dependent on the financial success of the film. If it’s a flop it will be shunned to streaming faster than Black Adam. The studios are aiming to make money in any way they can, Blu-Rays be damned.
So, is there even a need to pirate movies anymore?
Is there a strange soul out there whose mission it is to record and upload the latest theatrical releases?
I’m sure there is. Just as I am sure there are people still out there who seek out the dangerous websites where they can watch a new movie for free, risking the sanctity of their computer or laptop and infesting it with malware and whatever else the badlands of the internet wield. I’m not one to judge. As someone who has difficulty adapting to a more modern world, I find some solace knowing there’s a faction of those still pirating, still torrenting, watching what they want when they want.
Maybe I could’ve just waited to see this newest Transformers when it’s undoubtedly made available to rent on one of the various streaming services in three weeks time. Or, I could’ve found someone’s pirated version of it, layered with an unsteady hand and surrounded by heavy breathing, all the great bonus features they have to offer. I suppose I could also just watch my own version of Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts. You can’t see anything besides the inside of my pocket, but you can hear the audio, Optimus Prime dutifully feeding the audience the plot points, the sounds of metal robots clanging and fighting, and of course myself, laughing, trying to figure out exactly what’s happening.