Saturday, December 5, 2009

Rifftracks for Transformers ROTF Review

Whether you like a movie, dislike it or consider it an affront to God and all of His works, Mike Nelson and the crew at RiffTracks do a great job of making their after-market commentary tracks a good time for anyone with a sense of humor and a basic ability to press two PLAY buttons at the same time. However folks reluctant to confront difficult concepts like the location of the Great Pyramid, the actual travel time by car between North Jersey and Washington DC or the simple non-existence of Megan Fox's acting abilities, the RiffTrack for TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN might best be avoided.
For those unfamiliar with Rifftracks, they function like a some-assembly-required Mystery Science Theater 3000 for films that the crew on the satellite of love could never have afforded to license in a million years. The audio files are purchased and downloaded from the Rifftracks site and played along side of the DVD (video file, VHS, what have you). Audio and video are manually kept in sync with audio cues from Disembaudio, a robotic voice that occasionally speaks a line along with the film to show you how far out of sync you are even though you started playing exactly when they told you to.
I became aware of Rifftracks when the first Bay Transformers movie became available for Riffing. I plunked down my four bucks via secured third party internet escrow service and had myself a listen. The improvement was remarkable. Suddenly there were three professionals shouting at the screen for me and I'm not ashamed to admit, at a much higher level of funny. Sometimes. The second time around is just as good. Kevin Murphy, who played Tom Servo throughout the run of MST3K, has mellowed slightly in his need to simply berate Megan Fox for her general lack of ability and likability, and this time goes for elegantly giving voice Michaela's deep and unspoken thoughts. "Where's my lip gloss..? Do you, do you guys have any lip gloss?" It's with more insightful observations however that the track finds it's deeper meaning. Mike muses that the film makers seem to be under the impression that adults going to see a movie about giant robots will be entirely unfamiliar with marijuana and it's effects. ("Randomly attacking people, that's a common side effect of pot!") Just watching the movie all the way through again, I was struck my the sheer amount of harsh swearing in a film marketed to toddlers, but it took the Riffers to point out the me the surprising similarity of massive killing machine Devastator to not only a big, silly, slobbery puppy ("Who's a cute puppy? Oh yes he is! Yes he is!") but also the the contents of Fred Sanford's junkyard.
Keep your Rifftrack playing through the credits to take in Disembaudio's full rendition of Linkin Park's New Divide. As with the film, it's something that fans and people who hate it so much they can't stand to be in the same room with it can both get something out of.
And don't try to download the files through more nefarious means. Mike and his boys have littered the torrents with booby trapped files. There's nothing dangerous in them, but you might wish for a nice normal Rick Roll after listening to what you've downloaded. Believe me, Rifftracks are absolutely $3.99 worth of entertainment.

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