Discussing
Mama, Don’t Let Your Boys Grow Up to Think Like Transformers

Josh Larsen

Gavin
July 11, 2011

A U2 song reportedly features twice in the first half-hour of Transformers 3.  This is yet another Satanic summer blockbuster -- like last year's Iron Man 2 (ACDC, Highway To Hell) which I also did not see.<br>

Keri
July 11, 2011

I saw this movie last week, with my hubs, but not my boys.  The first scene has a lot of sexual innuendo!  <br><br>I can't buy into this statement &gt;&gt; If you ask me, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” would be better for everyone if it had more sex and less sexism.  I think it would be better off if it had neither.  Because really, is premarital sex better than sexism?<br><br>On a good note, I think they did a good job of making the Cassey more than a trophy.  She had {some} brains and wasn't all boobs.

Mdm-Adph
July 11, 2011

I honestly think Michael Bay is about 12 years old.  <br><br>That's not an insult, either -- I honestly think he's a boy trapped in the body of a man, and is only making movies through some sort of Chauncey Gardiner-esque series of coincidences.

Sam O'Neal
July 11, 2011

What if it had less sex and less sexism? The cartoon seemed to do okay with that combination, if I remember correctly.

Josh
July 11, 2011

This reminds me of a comment my pastor made this past weekend. He said he was watching a violent movie with "lots of blood and guts," as he likes his movies, when suddenly there was a sex scene. He said he was appalled and didn't expect to see such a thing.<br><br>Observations like these walk the line between hilarious and depressing. Why, as Christians, should we have no problem watch violent movies (whether it be Transformers, or Braveheart, or James Bond, or whatever), but we're revolted by sexual material? There are entire organizations designed to protect ourselves against pornography (e.g., Covenant Eyes), but you don't see grown men struggling with the concept of playing violent video games.<br><br>In my opinion, you can't condemn one without the other.

Stacy
July 11, 2011

That's exactly what I was thinking. Saw the movie last night and was highly disappointed when the opening scene is the two young people in bed. This movie was innappropriate about sex in many ways, and it really left you with the idea to have it all you need big money, fast expensive cars, a sexy girlfriend, and a job at the top (straight out of school) to really be complete. And the fight scenes were unending it seemed...crashing of metal together for long, long sequences. Not really much of a story outside of the battles and sex theme. Now the love story is lacking as well, as this boy is willing to DIE for this girl...but in the end, he makes it clear even though he is living with her, he is not ready to marry her.

Stacy
July 11, 2011

Saw the movie last night and was highly disappointed when the opening scene is the two young people in bed. This movie was innappropriate about sex in many ways, and it really left you with the idea to have it all you need big money, fast e...xpensive cars, a sexy girlfriend, and a job at the top (straight out of school) to really be complete. And the fight scenes were unending it seemed...crashing of metal together for long, long sequences. Not really much of a story outside of the battles and sex theme. The love story is lacking as well, as this boy is willing to DIE for this girl...but in the end, he makes it clear even though he is living with her, he is not ready to marry her.

Allan White
July 11, 2011

So, Iron Man 2 is satanic because of... rock &amp; roll?<br><br>It might be so for other reasons, but music isn't one of them.

Chelsey
July 11, 2011

I haven't seen the film, but what you described reminded me a lot of my initial reaction to sitting in the theater for The Social Network. And since there's a few to choose from, I'll be specific: when Mark creates the "hot or not" website that shuts down the server at Harvard.<br><br>Success and superficiality and selfishness subliminally linked together in one cinematic montage.<br><br>It is what seeps in that tends to take the deepest roots in our hearts and minds.

Josh Larsen
TC Staff
July 11, 2011

Interesting comparison Chelsey. I remember Social Network taking some heat for its portrayal of women. I wonder, though, if you felt the movie endorsed the characters' attitudes toward women, or simply offered those attitudes as character traits? The Transformers movies unabashedly endorse the view of women as nothing but machines made for male pleasure, which is why I find them so distasteful.

Chelsey
July 11, 2011

It didn't seem like an endorsement or a condemnation. At first, I viewed it as social commentary, and an endorsement of "boys will be boys" (i.e. even smart boys with academic acumen, not just car junkies and jocks). But the more I've thought about it, and thought about the world I encounter everyday, I see it more as social comment, saying/portraying what is without giving any further elaboration or unpacking of its significance.<br><br>You could pull out from both movies a more implicit commentary on the dangers of viewing women as toys. The Social Network ends with Mark just wanting to be friends on facebook with the woman he insults and demeans at the beginning of the movie. And in Transformers, I'm gathering you might be able to make some connection to his inability to commit to marriage (but I haven't seen it so hold that loosely). But are these implicit consequences readily drawn out to the average movie goer?

Josh Larsen
TC Staff
July 11, 2011

It depends on the audience, I guess. I like to think moviegoers who attend The Social Network will be open to implicit commentary. Those attending Transformers, probably not - though they will be influenced by explicit attitudes (especially, as I suggest in the post, if they're young kids).

Rickd
July 11, 2011

I think the difference is that in Social Network we are upset at the Zukerberg character for his attitudes. He is not portrayed as sympathetic, but flawed and shallow. The film maker is skilled in pointing out the short comings in his character and that is a good thing. <br><br>In Transformers the film maker is actually the one with the problematical worldview and may be even oblivious to his prejudices. That is a bad thing.

FatherOf4
July 11, 2011

Haven't seen the movie (it hasn't come to Netflix yet)  But the American church promotes sexism and objectification of women - you have to keep certain parts covered or men will 'lust' after you and you'll cause them to stumble.

Jamesggilmore
July 12, 2011

Wait, the presence of U2 makes a movie Satanic?<br><br>Interesting theory you've got there.

Josh Larsen
TC Staff
July 12, 2011

For what it's worth, I don't recall any U2 songs in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and none seem to be listed on the soundtrack album (<a href="http://amzn.to/qtwAiE)" rel="nofollow">http://amzn.to/qtwAiE)</a>. Beyond that, I would say U2 is about as far from satanic as you can get when it comes to popular rock and roll.

Gavin
July 12, 2011

Theory? No, I was just stating the obvious. Offering the kind of insight you won't find in movie reviews at ThinkChristian, Christianity Today or Focus On The Family.

Jamesggilmore
July 12, 2011

Well, you're right that we won't find that kind of "insight" at TC, CT, or FOTF. That's because people at those three outlets—even the last one, believe it or not—actually have to unpack something of their philosophy and engage in some kind of reasoning rather than just dropping two rather logically disconnected sentences and walking away.<br><br>So, with that in mind, please provide more of your "insight" and tell us how exactly the presence of U2 makes a movie Satanic.

Jack
July 12, 2011

While I do agree with you that the opening sequence with scantily clad girl, hopping in bed with boy, was disappointing... I don't truly believe that the overarching message was that you need "big money, fast e...xpensive cars, a sexy girlfriend, and a job at the top" in order to be complete. I think they sort of mocked that mentality in reality, they poked fun at the idea that you can be that guy, which would be Robert Dempsey's character, appealing in all earthly ways, yet you can be the  person of poor character that ultimately becomes villain. While I do see that they objectified the primary female character, I didn't get much of a "sex theme" throughout the entirety of the movie. With the exception of the opening sequence and the scene where we meet richy-rich boss at his museum of cars, the lead female character was rather well dressed. She wore trousers and a sport coat during the entire latter half of the movie, and her grand party dress was actually rather modest by today's standards. I for one was somewhat relieved that they presented this character with a little more modestly than they did Megan Fox's character in the previous two installments. <br><br>Lastly, I don't think the lead male it clear that he was "not ready to marry her." I do, however, remember him telling his parents that she was "the one" and that's what ultimately spurred his seemingly selfless quest to rescue her at all cost. Just my thoughts, but again, I do agree that there is the obvious presence of objectifying women, and some prolonged violence that was inappropriate for younger viewers.

Caress
July 12, 2011

Great article. I'm glad I'm not the only one frustrated by this, and it's even more refreshing to see that this article was written buy a guy! Great.

Gavin
July 13, 2011

U2's Bono was revealed as an antichrist at least six years ago. The frequent deferential nods to him by commercial "worship" artists and bestselling "Christian" authors doesn't change that. Latest example: Steven Furtick's book Sun Stand Still.<br>The days are evil. And it's getting late. There are better things to do than spend another two hours in a cinema.

Jamesggilmore
July 13, 2011

How exactly was he "revealed as an antichrist"? If you're hoping to convince others to think as you do, you're going to have to spell it out a bit more. Simply making more unsupported claims isn't going to make what you're writing any more logical or persuasive.

Gavin
July 13, 2011

I'm not going to try to convince you of anything. And anyway, it would take a lot more than mere logic and persuasion.

Jason Garner
July 15, 2011

Wow, this commentary reminds me of a scene in the movie, "The Water Boy," when we hear, "football is the devil." This mentality is so much about observing the negative and missing on the positive. The "good versus evil," and good winning, message through out the Transformers trilogy is missed entirely. The scene in "Dark of the Moon" with Sam's parents talking about how a relationship takes work, and the example of marriage being an effort of two dedicated individuals, not some optional event we cast off when it becomes difficult, is not mentioned. Optimist praying in not just one but two scenes, or more, so far in the trilogy, missed that too. The mention of faith, sacrifice, and several other noble and even Biblical principles are all left out of this discussion.<br><br>I am sure that this is not the best movie ever made to show kids how to live, but it is by far not the worst either. Am i saying to take your five year old kid to see it, it's up to you. Am i saying that a parent who loves God and has a good quality relationship with their child/young adult could teach their child/young adult some good Biblical principles using this trilogy as a back drop, absolutely. This is not something to hide from, this is something to be discussed, openly and in honesty. There is a theology running through these movies which should not be missed. Am i saying it is scripture, no. Am i saying it would preach if a creative and Godly person had the desire to do so, yes.<br><br>We should not fear anything or anyone, but the respectful fear, the love, we have for God (see 1 John 4:17-19 among others). No movie like Transformers warrants such extreme concern in a world full of very real threats to our children and young adults. In closing, if i may add that i see the Transformers as somewhat of a modern day sci fi version of "Lord of the Rings" or "Chronicles of Narnia." Transformers perfect, no, redeemable, yes :-)

Jason Garner
July 15, 2011

I am not going to say that we should be unequally burdened or play the blame game. Nor will i attempt to relieve any of the obligation young men have of behaving properly, respectfully. Conservative, moderate, honorable dress as well as behavior is greatly encouraged in scripture. Less i make my brother stumble is not just women and men, it is all of us. I only write this with respect and in love. I have two daughters, and i would not allow either of them to go to church, or out in public in some cases, dressed the way i see many young, and grown, women dressed. I would also have an issue with my son wearing his pants around his knees, displaying his under pants in church or public...<br><br>I try to be respectful about my appearance. I try to lovingly encourage my spouse, my children, my family and my friends to behave in a way that reflects somewhat of a respect for God, themselves, and each other, and i would hope others do as well. We are to build each other up and help each other, not be a cause for sin, or failure. As Paul wrote, "It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall." Rom 14:21, and again, "Should we continue in sin so that grace may abound? Certainly not!" Rom 6:1. These may not be exactly about sexism, but the point is clear.

Josh Larsen
TC Staff
July 15, 2011

Hello Jason,<br><br>Good thoughts. It's always encouraging seeing a Christian more willing than not to find a glimpse of grace in movies.<br><br>In fact, when I (with tongue partly in cheek) said in my post that the Transformers movies would be better with more sex and less sexism, Sam's parents were partly what I was thinking of. A depiction of healthy sexuality within a marriage, even if it were graphic, would be preferable to the objectification of women. (Of course, I'd also argue that neither really belongs in a series about battling alien robots.)<br><br>As for the Biblical themes you found in the series, I suppose I can see that some of that is there. But the message of sexism is what dominates.

ShanetisMO
July 24, 2011

Is "Any sin" better than "Any (other) sin"? See, I don't many older men/women understand the content young adults and children these days [including myself] have been exposed to at such a very, very young age. I remember when the internet blossomed and I was so young at the time and my friends and I [all "christians", most] would see porn and indecent exposure of all sorts. We have been absolutely numbed to the visual effects of pornography [any kind], drugs, cheating, murder even, etc etc.. <br>This is what we have lived through in our time. My father grew up, like his friends beside him, finding things out as they grew along and they hadn't been exposed to a quarter of what I and mine had at age 9. We are demoralized as a generation. Not all of us, but definitely most. Religion has done a horrible job of turning us away from the "church" so unfortunately, I cannot speak for nearly any of my fellow/former friends when on the topic of Sexism/Sexual promiscuity, etc. If I mention to someone, anyone [friend/foe/etc] that I am a believer, I get blasted immediately. And they never respect my wishes to be left alone on the subject, due to being berated. No matter how many times I'd ask, they still forget and go right back into sexual "hot topics" and how their biggest goal in life it seems is to score. <br>Now, I am an apologist; And I can answer a few many good questions pertaining to God, for them/anybody,etc, but when it comes to belittlement, I will always be on the end of that stick [as well as most Christians]. Though, my point here is this: Even as a believer, I didn't think twice about the movie as being Sexist. I thought the Victoria Secret model actress was sexy. I can't really help myself on that one. I know I sin, and I'm ashamed of it. I admit it, and try to stop, but it's not a push of a button. And in this day and age, at my age and with the technology we had in my generation growing up, it's a miracle we/I even can tell right from wrong. When I hear of others saying they were mortified by something they've seen, I can't understand that. Why? Because I have seen it all. It's stuck in my mind forever, and it's not going anywhere; No getting out. <br>This is a cry from a New Age. Thanks for reading/

Bridget Marie
October 28, 2011

It's difficult to find a movie without some amount of eye candy, and certainly there are plenty of movies where the sexual content is far more graphic, but "Transformers Dark of the Moon" blatant objectification of women made me cringe.  When a woman is portrayed as simply a 2-dimensional fantasy come to life, this just encourages unrealistic expectations for both men and women -- a recipe for discontentment and unhappiness.

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