Transformers 4, Mrs Brown's Boys, and criticising fans

Feature Simon Brew 2 Jul 2014 - 06:51

The success of Transformers 4 and Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie is having an unpleasant side effect...

This weekend just gone saw two critically-reviled movies top the box office charts of the US and the UK. In America, Michael Bay's fourth and longest Transformers movie, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, hit the number one spot, eating up around $100m of business in its opening weekend. And that's just in America. The film has hit $300m worldwide, and it lands in British cinemas this weekend.

It might find unexpected competition, however. For over the weekend here in Blighty, Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie, a far more economical enterprise than Mr Bay's latest opus, helped itself to a staggering £4.3m in its first weekend. It crushed The Fault In Our Stars, the previous number one, and outperformed any number of blockbuster films in their opening weekend. Mrs Brown's Boys is a genuine movie smash hit.

Nice Things

It would also be fair to say that both films - or at least the existence of both films - cause a large amount of displeasure. Sample comments [we're removing names from comments, simply because we're picking a random cross-section, and not trying to aim ire at individuals], for instance, on our post about Transformers' box office numbers? "This is why we can't have nice things" and "this is depressing" for a start. You don't have to look much further afield on the internet to find things being phrased in a less constructive manner.

The success of Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie, however, has raised even further levels of unhappiness. "Pass d'rope", "feck off" and "I can't understand why anyone would watch this unfunny, turgid veal" are a sample. Again, look further, and the comments do not get kinder.

Firstly then, it's best I make my own position clear. I don't like the Transformers films. I just about tolerated the first one, but found two and three long, meandering, shapeless, borderline offensive in places and generally dull. Give me The Rock and Armageddon, however, and I'm happy.

Mrs Brown's Boys? I've watched the TV show. I think it's poorly written, but conversely - and I know this isn't a popular opinion - it's anchored by a central performance of character and strength by Brendon O'Carroll. My feeling on the show is that like or lump it, O'Carroll is a standout talent, however he chooses to deploy it (incidentally, it's worth checking out his excellent interview on The Graham Norton Show if you can from a few weeks' ago. A real eye opener).

The Audience

But here's the question: is it right that we sneer at the success of Transformers: Age Of Extinction and Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie - and more to the point, those who enjoy them? Because I'm not ultimately sure that it is.

This was best summed up by a lovely comment which was posted on the Mrs Brown's Boys box office report article. The commenter in question wrote, "when I was a kid watching sci-fi really wasn't cool and I was bullied constantly for my love of Doctor Who when I was in primary school in the early 90s. There's little worse than being mocked for watching something you enjoy by people who feel they're superior".

And it's hard not to see the point.

There's an assumption, after all, that you have to be stupid, ill, wrong or broken to enjoy either of the two films we're talking about here. Yet that's clearly not the case. Let's take them again in turn.

The argument runs, for a start, that Transformers: Age Of Extinction succeeds because it's aimed at children, and it gives them what they want. Notwithstanding the fact that children can be the toughest critics, the exit demographic information on Transformers 4 over the weekend revealed that the majority of the film's audience in America was over 25. It was 64% male, and only 42% were 25 or under.

That's grown-ups, then, making a decision to see a film that they want to see.

Furthermore, after four films in the series, the answer to the question 'who keeps going to see all of these films' seems to have been firmly answered. People who enjoy them. Again, I don't really get modern Michael Bay movies, but he has a habit of delivering what many people want to see.

It's not as if Transformers: Dark Of The Moon was a small hit, enjoyed by a weird cult of people. It took $1.1bn at the global box office, and is the seventh biggest film of all time. Does that depress me personally? Yes. I think it's a horrible film. I think the fact that it sits above every Lord Of The Rings film, every Batman film, every Toy Story film and every Star Wars film is all kinds of wrong. But then it's not up to me.

Furthermore, who am I to judge? Even the most vigorous haters of Transformers movies can't knock the fact that they get people into cinemas. And this may be naive of me, but I don't believe you get to $1.1bn at the global box office by boring the majority of your audience. I am in the minority on Transformers films, and so be it.

I will add one caveat: I've seen the argument put around this week that critics want to hate Transformers films, and that films like Age Of Extinction aren't supposed to be analysed to death. I don't buy the first part of that, and I also think that making a film for a wide audience shouldn't make you immune to a critical response. Else why did everyone bother warning the world off Batman & Robin, and encourage everyone to see Batman Begins?

Let's, then, move on to Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie.

Just to put its £4.3m take into context first. It's double the numbers the Alan Partridge movie did on its opening, and it's beaten the openings in the UK for The Hangover (£3.19m), Rio 2 (£2.88m) and One Direction: This Is Us (£3.47m), just to give a flavour of its performance. It's not far off Frozen's opening weekend in the UK either - Disney's juggernaut started with £4.7m.

If all of this had happened in the early 1990s, where the only way a British (or Irish) film could get a hit at the UK box office - in those pre-Hugh Grant days - was to call in Merchant Ivory, the success of Mrs Brown's Boys would have been, I'd argue, more kindly received. As it was, there was more disbelief and derision when that £4.3m number was revealed.

And I get that. I get that better comedies have come and gone without making anywhere near that dent. I look at the fact - and I know this isn't an apples for apples comparison - that a risky, interesting sci-fi movie such as Edge Of Tomorrow is going to make less at the UK box office than Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie, and can't help but feel sad about it.

Yet I'd argue that making generalisations - and pretty unkind ones - about those who have enjoyed Mrs Brown's Boys and supported it (legally) is not the way forward. Quite the contrary, in fact.

We should, in theory, be long past the point of calling people names for the films they like and don't like, and yet right across the internet, that's what's happening.

Furthermore, in the case of Mrs Brown's Boys, it's being said that it's getting some people to the cinema who wouldn't ordinarily go. A large part of me hopes that it tempts them to try something else, but even so: people supporting films on the big screen is surely a positive.

Add in too that the demographic for Mrs Brown's Boys is said to skew older, and again, that's got to be positive. If the common moan is that cinema is for, and marketed towards, teenagers, here's a film that's proven otherwise.

And one more thing: maybe lots of people - of broad intelligence, backgrounds, and ages - simply find it funny. That has not been outlawed in this country.

Success Stories

My preference would be that a blockbuster such as Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes or Edge Of Tomorrow was doing the Transformers numbers. And that a better-written comedy than Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie would have taken £4.3m at the UK box office this past weekend. Both though have taken their critical battering, and both have prevailed, earning sizeable audiences. They set out to do what they set out to do, and you have to say, they succeed.

By all means love or hate the films, and even the idea of the films. But we've surely all been on the receiving end of nasty comments and perhaps even bullying simply for what we like. Attacking the films themselves? Fair enough. Attacking the people that enjoy them for enjoying them? It just seems over the line.

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Fantastic article! I have been mulling this over myself, you put it into words. I don't mind someone saying something is crap or asking me why I think something is crap or good! The fact that they feel it is there right to call me names or any one else names because of what they think is good or bad just shows their own ignorance.
However I would argue that some of the comments defending these films have been just as hurtful and offensive as the ones lambasting them.
My dad said to me once "Leigh, everybody has an opinion and everybody has an arse hole and more often than not they are both full of shit" not very eloquent but it helps when reading some peoples comments.

I enjoyed the first three transformers movies, even the second one, and am an open Michael Bay apologist and supporter. The fourth Transformers movie is one of the worst pieces of joyless garbage I have ever had the displeasure of watching. Walberg's acting is worse here than even the happening, none of the human characters respond to anything in a way that is remotely believable, and it's like five hours longer than it has to be... Plus, they somehow take the fun out of the Dinobots, who literally appear out of nowhere because Dinobots now. I can't even say I hated it. It beat me into submission like a four hour physics lecture by the teacher from Ferris Buler. Horrible. Amazingly bad. Aweful film.

Excellent article and I agree wholeheartedly with the fact that belittling someone for liking something that we don't agree with is bullying by another name.

It's unfortunate that multiple screens of Transformers and the like means that smaller, less populist films don't get to my local cinema - but if enough people go to warrant it then it's a simple matter of (frustrating) economics...

Great Article,

I am a huge Transformers fan (cartoons) and I've always been disappointed with the films for all the reasons mentioned numerous times but they're popular and there has to be something said for giving a film to people that is consistently popular.

We have to remember sometimes people want entertained, the just want to pass some time in a cinema and experience an event and something that can't easily be experienced at home on the same scale. Transformers is that and I know people who are genuinely excited about it.

Mrs Brown is a whole other beast, I enjoy the TV show (ducks) for what it is, a very old fashioned comedy that hasn't been made for years. I agree with all the the comments, that it is predictable, there is awful acting and it is end of the pier stuff but that's what some people want, comedy has left their taste behind in the last 20 years and why should they not get a comedy that makes them laugh. In 30 years they will probably be making comedies many of us don't get and we'll long for an anchorman type past which by that point will have been done so often that it too will be predictable and appear lazy

This trend runs both ways, there is always person X on either side of the fence -

Y likes something that X doesn't - Y was too dumb to see all the flaws that made it terrible, X feels superior for being smart enough to see through it.

X likes something that Y doesn't - Y was too dumb to see what made it brilliant, X feels superior for being smart enough to appreciate something beyond Y's stupidity.

In the end gut reaction or emotion trumps everything - you either like something or you don't. It's not always reasonable and logical, and there are always going to movies (books, comics) that we simply don't get why other people like or dislike them.
Sometimes a simply shrug, and 'Fair enough!' is the best response.


Very good point, and beautifully put.

Not my types of movie at all (though I did enjoy Transformers 1) but there is obviously a place for these films in the market. Some people just want nothing more than plenty of bang for their cinema buck or the feeling of being wrapped in a fuzzy, 'funny' blanket and these two films tick their respective boxes. I suppose when you watch a Transformers film you can see every penny of that money you've just paid out right there on the screen. Like many though, I like to see something more at my cinema.

I read both articles in question and some of the comments were a bit on the nose but we should also remember that no one has the right to not be offended.

In an ideal world everyone would adhere to the Robustness Principle; be conservative in what you do and be liberal in what you accept from others. DoG is generally a polite, pleasant place to hang around and I for one would like it to stay that way.

I both agree and disagree with the thrust of this article...

First off, that all taste is completely subjective and everyone is entitled to consume whatever content they wish and we shouldn't be censoring anything are just about the only two principles I have. So I'm not going to sneer at anyone for watching and enjoying these films even if I find their (the films) existence upsetting.

On a second point though; we should never stop holding people to account for the things they create; once unleashed upon the world they are there to be judged, scrutinised and criticised. We, as consumers have, every right to ask (not expect) for art to be fun, entertaining, challenging, interesting, funny, scary.

As consumers we are poorly served by the ongoing success of films which show a lack imagination or wit beyond mind boggling technical achievement and we should demand better. Thus whilst not demeaning those who go to see them we should make clear to the powers that be by crticising such fare that there is still a place for interesting original movies and not everything needs a $250million budget.

When interesting, original films flounder it is up to us to recommend to people less inclined to search out these films to those who would otherwise be queing up to see the latest Transformer movie, you never know if the film is good they might thank you for the tip.

Are we still ok to sneer at the Keith Lemon film though? Anyone? Sneering? Lemon? Anyone?

Not me. I think Lemon is a great character. I can't explain why Celebrity Juice appeals to me so much. I despise soaps, celebrities and all the things it holds dear but it (and Keith) just make me laugh. Holly Willoughby helps.

Transformers I can kind of understand and excuse. Who doesn't love fighting robots? Mrs Brown's Boys, on the other hand...the popularity of this show just amazes me. I tried to watch it once. Never again. I can only put it down the appeal of 'the daft Irishman'. Which is pretty sad.

What's more sad is that a Father Ted movie probably wouldn't have done as well.

I agree with a fair bit of this article, but i think of the way when talking say Dr Who my friends and I will make much merriment of criticising each other preferences in Dr's.
Or that one friend who will insist on trying to pretend Krull was a good movie usually being followed by a hail of wotsits being thrown at them. My fondess for Farscape is often derided as "muppets in space" none of its serious or taken to heart none of us are that fragile.

Obviously banter between friends is different to calling the millions people names just because they like something you dont but we should be allowed to disagree as long as it doesn't descend into abuse.
(yes I'm aware there's an army of trolls and keyboard warriors out there in the wilds of the internet but you just have to rise above it)

Definitely agree with the article. Admittedly I do sneer at movies like Transformers and Mrs. Brown's Boys mostly because I'm jealous that they're the ones more likely to keep getting made than say, an adaptation of Eric Powell's "The Goon." But I know that if I'm sitting on the sofa with a belly full of turkey and beer on Christmas Day I'll be happy to sit through either if they're on TV.

I think at least Transformers does appeal to that inner child of most of us who had the toys and watched the cartoon on Saturday mornings. And I can see the appeal with Mrs. Brown too. After hearing word-of-mouth praise I saw the live show with my family about three years before the show made it to air and it was brilliant, far more risqué than the BBC show. I think it's a trip back to those lovable character comedies from the seventies after a decade of supposed awkward "comedy genius" from the likes of Ricky Gervais where you are apparently too dumb if you don't find cringing at dislikeable cretins funny. Sure, comedy geeks will hate it, but I'm sure they'd be saying the same if Fawlty Towers, Only Fools or Citizen Smith came out today.

It's not limited to movies though. Call of Duty gets SO much hate from "hardcore" gamers for being big and stupid and the same each time. But millions buy them every year and you know what? They're still great fun to play when you get in a good lobby.

Agreed too many film snobs on here they are better off doing their sci-fi blog drooling about over rated Neil gaiman

I think they are two very different films and there are different reasons for dismissing them. T4 from what I can gather from various reviews seems to be an insult to intelligence, cliche ridden and offensive to women, minorities and lovers of the original. I will not go and see it as the characters I love have been treated with contempt.
Mrs Browns Boys on the other hand has been dealt some real snobbery! My mum loves it and I think its quite good, it is old school comedy for mainly the older generation who like innuendo and kinda swearing. But the main difference is that Brendan O'Carroll has created a character who he obviously loves and has had a great deal of success and brought his family and friends with him which I find admirable! Comedy is very subjective and while you may not like it you have to respect other's tastes ( some people don't find Monty Python funny, crazy I know!).
Both films hark back to an age gone by but in my opinion only one of them respects and thanks their audience!

congratulations you just did what you were complaining about

It seems irony and a piss take passed you by this morning

But I just can't get my head around why people like Mrs Browns Boys. If you removed the bad language... it would be on CBBC right?

I think the Transformer films are much like the novelty/bad record in this country. Everyone claims to hate them, you can never find anyone that will admit to buying them, yet they seem to hang around the top of the charts for weeks on end. I swear to this day I've never spoken to anyone who bought that bloody Bryan Adams record that was at No 1 for what seemed like the entirety of my teenage years.

I can't stand Mrs Brown's Boys but it makes my mum howl with laughter.

I genuinely didn't know she could laugh so hard until I overheard her watching it in the living room and, despite the fact I don't like the show, Mrs Brown's Boys gave me something to smile about by proxy.

Let people watch what they like.

I don't begrudge anyone their fun as I've been picked on for liking video games before it was 'acceptable' to do so, in particular liking Sonic to the point I read the comic (Sonic The Comic not Archie for anyone who's interested ).

In respect to this situation I'm interested in watching Transformers for my fill of end of the world, explosive, stupid action, but Mrs Browns Boys D'Movie looks terrible but I won't try to stop my mates (who love the show) from seeing it as if the situation was reversed I'd be annoyed with them.

Its a case of putting yourself in someone else's shoes and not stubbornly maintaining any high ground you think you have.

i stopped reading at 'give me armageddon and i'm happy'

I think it's a matter of how you go see the movie. I saw two Transformers in cinema with a bunch of mates, the last one in IMAX. Why? Because of the effects and spectacle, not for the story and centainly not for the supposed hot girl that has a main part. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley... I give it a pass.
On the other hand I go to the cinema for movies like The Dark Knight, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Inception. Movies with a good story, and that's why I go to them.

I loved the Fleetway Sonic the Comic comics. I really wish someone would adapt the Kintobor origin and the Super-Sonic-Is-An-Uncontrollable-Maniac part of the mythos.

Lets say it like it is.

We all know what constitutes a GOOD film.

Transformers and Mrs Brown D'Movie are NOT good films.

I do not care about box office success, this means nothing in terms of good films.

If we're going to go on how successful a film was based on box office figures, then we may as well say that Blade Runner and The Shawshank Redemption were bad films and Pearl Harbor is one of the best films ever made.

There is no need to be nice about it. If you think Mrs Brown D'Movie was a good film (or a good TV show for that matter), then you are a simpleton. End of.

So...what you're saying is that we should all accept everyone no matter what their taste in films is?

Have you spoken to the rest of the internet because this could change everything!

Sorry, I do find the reasoning behind the article noble enough but I find the sentiment to be a bit obvious.

Of course as sophisticated living creatures we should be accepting and respectful towards everyone - even those who don't like The Rocketeer - we should essentially be using these websites to discuss rather than attack and we should be able to criticize anything we want without personally attacking people who like it but since I got beaten up for daring to like Queen more than AC/DC in the Hell hole I called a school it has become apparent that we are all tribal beasts at the end of the day and if it was legal to re-enact the end of Quatermass and the Pit on a monthly basis then I suspect a high proportion of humanity would.

No, we don't all agree on what makes a good film, for different people it's different things.

Different people find different things to like about a film or tv show or whatever, and just because that doesn't appeal to you doesn't make them a simpleton. It just means they like what they like and you like what you like. People might agree that the story of Transformers wasn't great, but if they liked the action enough to call it an entertaining film, why does it make them wrong? Why can't they enjoy that? You don't have to, but that also doesn't make you a superior person. Different people have different tastes and expectations.

I didn't say they were wrong. I said they were simpletons.

If you find something like Mrs Brown D'Movie entertaining, then I'm sorry but you are easily pleased, and that makes you a bit of a simpleton. But fair enough, if you like it, you like it. Well done. I wish I was that easily amused, but I am not.

It's like people that say the Twilight films are good.

They are not good. Even if millions of people like them and they made millions. They are films for people who are easily pleased.

The same can be said for people who do not watch foreign films because they do not want to read subtitles and then wait for the US remake.

The same can be said for people who read the Sun.

We know it's an awful paper, but it sells millions of copies every day.

But there are some people who would rather see a pair of tits than read about the conflict in Israel.

These people are called simpletons.

To be honest I've always thought cultural criticism itself was a busted flush for this very reason; although there a re many reviews I can still enjoy, whether I agree with them or not. As for people slagging each other off for their tastes, here, or on IMDB, or on the Guardian website, or on Yahoo, or wherever: you have to remember about one-third of any population, anywhere in the world, are arseholes. The internet just gives all of them a voice. Price of free access mass media, I'm afraid.

And, as if by magic to prove my point, please read james the mod's comments further down.

"But there are some people who would rather see a pair of tits than read about the conflict in Israel.

These people are called simpletons"

Pretty sure they're called 'people who would rather see a pair of tits than read about the conflict in Israel'. That's personal choice, however disagreeable, not a one way ticket to being labelled a simpleton imo.

I suspect you weren't alone...

This site (with regards to the comments section) is almost TOO PC. I personally don't dish out abuse to anybody or about anybody, but look at AICN - 90% of the time I scroll past the story to read the comments. Please, DOG, don't try and be perfect.
We are Geeks. Its our job to accept nothing and criticize everything.

did you ever watch Bo Selecta? Oh how I long for those days to return. That was an excellent show!

Erm...the idiots are winning. Like always and forever.


Look, kids. An a$$hole.

The thing with T4 is that its original audience are now adults, who have strong opinions and memories of the franchise from when they were kids. Of course, time passes, things change, and this is unacceptable. Personally I would love to see a 3-hour-long T film in the style of the original terrible 1980s animation etc (or even a Prime CGI version), but Bay's vision of them is too different from mine to make me happy. And perhaps my happiness doesn't really count - about Jar-Jar Binks and the appalled reception of TPM by adult viewers, George Lucas (and several commentators on the 'net) pointed out that for the 4 and 5-year-olds, Jar-Jar was brilliant and funny, just as the Ewoks were to us in 83 (I was 4 when I saw Star Wars at the cinema in 1977). By the same token, the studios KNOW us old folks are the ones buying the tickets, so you'd think they could pander to our rigid wants a little more... :D

So, seeing as I wrote the "unfunny, turgid veal" quote, I think it's being taken out of context a bit. That's simply what I think the show is, as I find it quite offensive and horribly written. If your comedy depends on winking at the camera, poor slapstick and "tongue in cheek" jokes about your main character being a man in drag, you're doing it wrong, in my opinion.

That said, people can enjoy what they want. I care not a jot if people love Mrs Brown's Boys, or other generally accepted as bad things like Twilight, and I won't insult them. I'll mentally judge their taste, sure, but everyone has a right to an opinion. Mine is that Mrs Brown's Boys is, as the article quoted me, unfunny, turgid veal.

I am basically the real Ron Swanson :-)

You realise you and son of numeric are who this article are talking about right?


And the author of this article is entitled to his opinion, the way I am.

Does anyone know someone who actively likes the Transformers movies enough to be sneered at for it?

I have the impression it's just one of those things that everybody goes to see because it's the big movie that weekend, and provides 2hrs diversion. Then we forget about it. They are boring films. Do they actually have fans? I mean not the toys or the old cartoons, but people who are genuine fans of these new Transformers movies?

I've never seen Mrs Brown's Boys, but I saw the trailer for it two weeks ago and thought it looked at least marginally funnier than the steady stream of terrible comedies that have come out in the last 20 years. As for Transformers, with the exception of the first movie I can't stand any part of those films that have the Witwicky family of characters in them. The majority of the human characters in the Transformers films are awful, I don't watch Transformers for the human characters I watch it for the Transformers. I plan to see Transformers 4 and I hope to god that it actually has human characters that don't make me cringe.

Any of these kinds of discussion reminds of the brilliant Perry Bible Fellowship skub comment.

An article like this is wasted on you anyway.

I like Krull :-/

heres the thing everyone has different taste. ive gone in and watched some films and come out thinking it was ok but my wife has loved it and the opposite is true.
if you like mrs browns boys on telly and want a laugh you are going to enjoy the film. if you want a scifi type action film and like the other transformers films the chances are you will like this however I will point out I thought the 2nd film was pants but really liked the 1st and 3rd films. so I will go in hoping for a fun film but will save my view of it until after ive seen it.
the one point I will make is that even reviewers get things wrong with many reviews and scores differing depending on the magazine or website you are reading.
if you wake up feeling like crap you prob wont enjoy the film whereas someone going to see it in the cinema with some mates or family having a great day will prob come out from it loving the film. don't judge just look forward to the next film you enjoy and don't be put off by someone else if they really like something you don't.

Give us Bad Boys 3 already you Bastard Bay

I'm surprised is all, I read this site and comment quite alot, your comments are normally well thought out, articulate and engaging and sometimes really funny. The above just seems insulting for no reason, other than a knee jerk reaction to what this article is about.

That's actually a very nice compliment so thank you!

And yes, I agree, it is very knee jerk. I think that in this case it literally is because I love films so much.

I like all types of films, even some bad ones. I mean we all have guilty pleasures don't we.

But the fact that the Mrs Brown D'Movie has actually performed well, genuinely upsets me.

We have so much talent here in the UK who are not given the funds or opportunity to make their films, and then something like this comes along.

I almost find it offensive that this film has been made, and then it depresses me that people have flocked to see it when other recent films like The Edge of Tomorrow, Dredd or The Raid 2 have performed so badly.

I meant no offence in my comments, it was just an over reaction I'm afraid.

I think the main crux to the argument is that we consider ourself above average.

These are films for average people. That doesn't mean they're averagely made, averagely intelligent or averagely directed, however.

It means average people like them. And there's a LOT more average people than below or above average. See the bell curve.

To get a film to apply across that broad a range, you've really got to limit what you can make jokes about, what ideas you can put forward and what boundaries are crossed.

You're shooting tropes in a barrel, and making sure that everyone can see those tropes. Because they're labelled. And did you know we're shooting them? Well, we are.

But let's take an "above average" film: That poor devil will get picked apart for the trousers not being the right colour for that universe and that that actor isn't quite the right shade of blue to play a character from Betelgeuse.

Even the "below average" films don't get that. They just sell off the back of you quite liking the prequel.

What Transformers and Mrs. Brown's Boys do is give you a safe film that does exactly what it says on the tin. Turn your expectations off, enjoy the spectacle

and come back next time.

The problem comes when the "average" film sucks up all the money that films take. We know that it's going to get most, but after a certain point - like with Transformers - it becomes the accepted standard. Which is wonderful for film-makers, but lousy for writers, actors, fans and people who like to be challenged.

That's, perhaps, why we complain so bitterly, because if it wasn't for us as a bell curve, there wouldn't be the Guillermo Del Toro, Joss Wheedon and Stephen King for the next generation.

Maybe it's also that we still like to think what Clive Barker would have done with Mrs. Brown's Boys. :)

I ain't touching this one with a ten foot barge pole.

I dislike transformers, my friend likes it- we both saw the Lego film together = it takes all sorts so what can you do

Yes the Irony was most apparent

(bombards with Wotsits)....
As you are entitled to, I hate it I do not think however this makes you a bad person.

I'm not offended or a moral crusader by any stretch of the imagination and I pretty much agree with why you hate it so much.I also do not mind people pouring scorn on things they think are crap. It's often hillarious. I think the reason I get deffensive when people have ago at Mrs Browns Boys is because I know so many people who do like it (to my bafflement), including my wife. One thing they are not is simple, stupid or any other term. Ask anybody, between me and the wife I'm considered the idiot. Forget it anyway, the passion you have for this stuff is why we can hope that one day it will get better, I can take having my feathers ruffled for that.

Exact same situation with my stepdad. It leaves me cold but he howls with laughter, so I'm glad if he gets enjoyment from it. When that enjoyment is at least 50 miles away from me, even better.

The irony of the whole argument (by me) is that on a separate article, I am singing the praises of 'Dude, Where's My Car?'.

A film I am pretty sure is looked at 100% in disgust.

So to sum up, I should know better.

lol i doubt that it's aimed at me

the article is correct in saying that it is wrong to make fun of people for liking rubbish films however, that doesn't mean that we should all sit back in acceptance whilst bay makes a mockery of the film making art

i have no problem with hollywood blockbusters however i do take issue with bays depraved, puerile and pornographic mentality

You can have an upvote for that. And yeah, he is a deviant, have you seen Pain and Gain? You think Transformers is bad, your're in for a treat.

Mrs Brown's Boys is total, total crap.It's Little Britain for the 00's. Give it a year or so and your local charity shops will be groaning beneath the weight of the DVD's.

Accept Nothing, Criticize Everything.

That is my new credos.

Same here. I don't know why the show makes me laugh so much.

The film however, jesus that was a bad idea.

Maybe if these people were told they were simpletons, they would realise they should strive to be a better person and not rely on staying home on Saturday night watching Britain's Got Talent.

We are humans, we are better than that.

I get worried that in a hundred yrs time when historians look back at our culture, they will discover we were a bunch of easily pleased morons who gave birth to a world of mediocrity. .

I feel that bit guilty for writing "pass d'rope".

I don't hate Mrs Brown's Boys, I genuinely don't. I admire anything that brings so many people so much happiness (I saw the One Direction movie and I stomached it purely because they seem to bring so much joy into people's lives and that is, in my opinion, admirable). Yes, the humour is far from my cup of tea but O'Carroll is excellent. I live in Glasgow and they film the show locally - so many people I know have gone down to watch them film Mrs Brown's Boys and they all say O'Carroll is a warm, witty, humble man. He was excellent on The Graham Norton Show and seems a nice guy even if he, in my view, chooses to utilise his talent in a way that's not to my taste.

"Pass d'rope" was an off-colour gag that was made in the heat of the moment - so apologies.

I'd never spit vitriol at someone because they enjoyed something I didn't.
The world would be a better place if there could be more tolerance of differences of taste and opinion.
But that doesn't stop me privately thinking that these two films are mainly enjoyed by idiots.
It's an overgeneralisation and in your opinion might make me a bad person.
But there's a lot to worry about in the world... and in this case I...don'


Mrs Brown's Boys? So why is it funny? Is it the writing? In which case why don't we have an actress playing Mrs Brown? Or is it the fact that a man is playing an older woman in which case it's misogynistic crap in the same way that blackface is racist crap.

Transformers? Can't stand it but, yeah, if other folks like it (and the box office numbers suggest they do) it's harmless drivel I can happily ignore.

Wow I got quoted in a Den of Geek article!! My life is complete. Slagging off films because we don't like them isn't a problem, heck it's a lot of fun but launching personal attacks on people for enjoying something harmless is just mean spirited and we'll all be a lot happier if we don't go out of our ways to make people feel bad. I know what it's like I used to be a proper judgemental a hole looking down on people because I felt I was somehow superior to them. But I grew up and stopped being a dick.

Anyone seen that film about the male fans of My Little Pony? I couldn't get my head around grown men enjoying what is basically a cartoon aimed at little girls and to be fair that documentary didn't really help me get the appeal but it did show me that just enjoying that show really enriched people's lives. And that's pretty great. So maybe you don't get the appeal of something but it's likely other people really do and in a world that's so depressing should we really begrudge anyone even a second of enjoyment in whatever form it is?

I gonna stick my neck out here in order to prove a point. I don't particularly like Blade Runner. However, I hate the Transformers films and Mrs Brown's Boys. While I know critics disagree with me on Blade Runner, I find it an incredibly difficult film to stay interested with. People don't always agree on what is a good film.

I've never beaten up a transformers fan for their lunch money, but I'd sure love to ask them why they cheer and clap at racism, sexism, xenophobia, jingoism, objectification and cruelty, whether they're served with a large helping of cars, robots and explosions or not.
People in this part of the world are thankfully pretty much free to love what they love, and long may that continue because life is short and can be grey somedays, but I'm pretty sure that normal human beings living in the 21st century are supposed to instinctively recognise and strongly dislike this kind of stuff instead of cheering and clapping for more.

I agree wholeheartedly with the last sentence, I've matured past the point of attacking people who like bad movies. I still express my feelings, but calling someone an idiot for what they like is never right. About Transformers, I feel the first one is a legitimately good movie with some glaringly bad choices, the second one is a sin against cinema, the third one was the kind of epic robot-battle I had been waiting to see, and the fourth one at least looks interesting, while still making the EXACT SAME mistakes as the previous one. Yes, Bay can produce winning entertainment, but he doesn't learn from his mistakes!

i passed on pain and gain, mark kermodes review told me everything i need to know about that film lol

People do get a bit too riled up about something that's entirely subjective.

And, hey, don't be sad or depressed if a film you don't like is successful. Just think, at least the people saying cinema was dying were wrong and at least some of that money will be going towards a film you do like in the future.

I hate Mrs Brown's Boys, but that show helps to pay for Doctor Who.

Comments of the day!

Read his review of Vendetta starring Danny Dyer, funniest thing I have read in ages.

AICN is a real shithole.

I'm watching TF 4 again this week!

You want to see the future? Watch Idiocracy....I Sometimes think that is where we are heading.

Nope, screw it. Trash must be called trash and people should be encouraged to be a bit more ambitious. This is lowest common denominator nonsense and shouldn't be tolerated.

My problem with the movies that make a TON of money despite panning by critics is that they are lowering the standard of film making and story telling.

I dislike the people who watch them because they are the same people who are the reason Adam Sandler is making movies...they are the reason Hollywood makes generic, by-the-numbers movies...and so many sequels, remakes, and reboots...all the while crushing originality and potential fresh ideas.

They would rather make things that are exactly the same or have some kind of brand recognition without putting much effort in making a new franchise. If you really think about it, there are not a lot of filmmakers left who make Hollywood movies that don't fit into this category.

Yes I am a cinephile...and proud of it. I think film can transcend and effect people's souls and I think people would be blown AWAY by all the great films out there if they opened their minds, took a risk, actually thought about the movie, and would try something new (you can see this happening every now and then...with the success of Inception being a perfect example of people trying a fresh idea [the movie was decent] and being BLOW away).

I don't bully people who like Transforms. I don't try to look down on them for the most part...but they frustrate and disappoint me. Why?

Because with them supporting these films...more and MORE movies are made just like them. Films that have no plot. No strong characters. No interesting themes. No character growth. Just the same thing. OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

It cheapens the industry, it cheapens the format, and it makes people think that this is all movies are capable of. Yes, there will always be independent guys making quality stuff...but am I in the wrong to want to share the wonders of the film industry with people? Am I in the wrong to want to inspire people with an idea? An Idea that millions of people will see? And actually pay a lot of money for? Hollywood has the ability for the ENTIRE WORLD to see an idea...and we are just giving basic ideas. Stagnant...

You are right Simon, we shouldn't bully. I am not saying we should. I am just commenting on why people may attack the people who like them...they are like me and just hate to see a format they love getting fat and lazy...but they cross a line when they personally attack someone.

Oh, but for the record, I will attack if someone says Transformers is a perfect film, amazing in every possible way, and that Michael Bay is "a great film-maker who people just hate because he is popular."

In those moments i will tear the person and the film apart...because no...just no...we should respect opinions yes, but not stupid ones. If you enjoy the Transformers movies, fine. That is on you. But don't hold them up as "the example of film-making." If you do, I am MORE then happy to eat you for breakfast.

I felt like I rambled, but this is just how I feel.

This could be levelled at any society in history. You could criticise the Romans for going to watch Christians murdered in their thousands rather than getting involved in the politics of why their countrymen were murdering people in Gaul.

Historians will look back and see the big stuff, 9/11, Palestine. They won't give a crap what most people were watching on telly.

That comic is almost certainly the reason I love Sonic as much as I do, I went back to it recently and found it to be as good as I remembered it.

The writers of that comic made chaotix (vector, espio etc) into really likeable characters which the games never managed and the TV shows never bothered with.

There are so many brilliant storylines like the splitting of Sonic/Super Sonic, the Dr Zachary story and the whole oppressive regime that buttnik had through most of the first half of the comics lifespan. These were far better than what has turned up in the games so far because Sonic Team are afraid to try more complex darker material, especially since Sonic 06.

Lot's of people on my twitter seem to be obsessed with Box Office numbers. I just don't care, along as the film is good. The only time I'm bothered is if it's a franchise I like and I need the current entry to make enough so that they make the sequel.

Allow me to answer as a Sun reader with an interest in "the conflict in Israel", I read the Sun because it has generally the best football reporting of a daily paper, I use other news media to get information on Israel, namely the internet as the internetmakes it easier to check the veracity of news. Please feel free to judge me as a simpleton though, and stay cosy in your blanket of superiority.

If you had read my other comments I agreed it was a knee jerk reaction and I apologised. If you have not read my other comments then I will apologise again for calling people 'simpletons'.

On another note however... The Sun has the best football reporting? Really? I think they have the MOST football reporting, and most of it is made up to sell papers. As are most of their news stories.

Except the ones about dogs that look like people, or ones that show us just who claims benifits. Or ones that show us just how good looking, ugly, skinny or fat a Z-list celebrity is. I guess those ones are real.

Wheaton's Law

I used to watch Celebrity Juice now and again and thought it was pretty funny to be fair. Haven't seen it in a couple of years though.
Bo Selecta was hilarious back in the day, I remember Leigh Francis on a now forgotten channel called UK Play when he first started and he was just insane. Totally insane. In the best way possible!
The Keith Lemon Movie was horrendous though, it was embarrassing seeing every single joke fall flat. It's more an endurance test than a film.
My original comment was meant to be a bit sarcastic though.

What about it?

I will go one better and say those who enjoy Michael Bays Transformers and Mrs Browns Boys are IDIOTS.

Did we just become best friends?

Yep.Your comments perfectly sum up how i feel about the success of Bays Transformers and that '' comedy '' Mrs Browns Boys.i usually dont resort to name calling but people really are idiots for liking crap like that.

I think if an alien race visited us tomorrow and saw people going to see rubbish like Transformers 4 and Mrs Browns Boys that they would deem us an unworthy species and blast us off the face of the earth.Luckily the likes of Christopher Nolan and Joss Whedon give us a chance that if such a visit occurs then they might give us a second chance.

My feeling is that there's people out there who so rarely watch movies that they have no idea what a good one looks like. If all you've eaten is garbage, you probably don't know you've been eating garbage.

It's like books. People read stuff like Nicholas Sparks or Dan Brown because that's what gets promoted, or maybe what their friends read. If people widened what they read (perhaps some Bronte or Chandler) they might realise they'd been reading crap all this time.

If you want to improve cinema, start handing out the good, accessible stuff to people. If a friend says they like Transformers, lend them your Pacific Rim DVD, for example.

As the person who commented 'this is why we can't have nice things', I stand behind it 100%. The box office success of utterly mediocre franchises are the reason why studio's do not take more chances or produce more interesting, stand alone films within these genre's. Not so much an opinion as a fact of the business these days.

Great piece Simon, I have my Transformers: The Movie (1986) Blu-ray on standby to cleanse me of Age Of Extinction once I have reviewed it tonight. I hope what I am expecting is wrong... but I doubt it. I'll go in with the most open mind I can but with three duds behind him, Mr Bay doesn't have my confidence.

I suspect RobCop (2014) suffered from something similar to the antithesis of this. Now that deserved better box office takings.

That's because a lot of critics are pretentious wankers who spend too much time over-analysing things like tone, structure, themes and pacing that most of us don't give a damn about, which is why I read audience reviews rather than critic's reviews.

"But there are some people who would rather see a pair of tits than read about the conflict in Israel.

These people are called simpletons"

Can I add, some people who would rather see a pair of tits, read tedious gossip about moronic celebrities they worship mindlessly, be told what and how to think about current events and politics in over-simplified and heavily biased editorials and churn through the same old meaningless and unimportant crap about football than read about events of historical and human consequence such as the conflicts in Israel, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Chad, Somalia and Sudan.

These people are called simpletons who don't have an original thought in their heads.

Well I've seen both films now. On mrs browns boys it was good when it had to be funny it was
But you do have to appreciate the tv show to like the film luckily I'm one of them that does, however I am glad I didn't pay full price for my tickets.
Now transformers well what can say it was fantastic and have already got tickets to see it again. The story worked the characters worked the cgi was fantastic and dam grimlock is a big big robot optimus prime's new look sat very well with me as well, it is a long film 2hrs 48 mins but it works well at that length. I rolled in my house at 3am this morning and only after a few hours sleep I'm still buzzing about the it as are my 2 boys that went with me last night. Critics are critics to be honest sod em never listen to anything they say go see transformers if you haven't already and make up your own mind.

Damn, guess that makes me a 'simpleton' with a degree in Film, Television, and Radio studies then!

Enjoying low brow humour does not reflect on the apparent intelligence of the viewer. Stephen Fry is a highly intelligent man who openly enjoys low brow humour, to give an example.

I really hated the pretentious 'arty' types who populated much of my degree course.

Ha Ha, you were on a roll till you mentioned Dredd, everything before and after suddenly became white noise...
Sorry i'm late to the party, i've been away.

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