This is the United States of America, and Hollywood has yet to meet a calamity that it isn’t willing to turn into a cash cow. So why would the 2012 Benghazi attack – during which local violent Libyan forces attacked two American compounds, resulting in deaths on both sides including that of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens – be any different? It wouldn’t, which is why the basic fact of the existence of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is not a shock. What is a bit of surprise, however, is the fact that Michael Bay was chosen as the steward best suited to deliver this story to the masses. The action auteur (I guess) isn’t exactly known for nuanced depictions of national distress; this is the man who brought Pearl Harbor to cinematic life. But why wait 60 years to tell such a story? Why even wait six? The story isn’t even close to being ripe, but Bay is going to tell it anyway. Maybe he’ll surprise us all.
Before I get into this review, I want to establish that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is not a good movie. I’m going to say some confusing things in the next few paragraphs, but it must go on record early that this movie stinks. The script is almost entirely incoherent, and the female characters are barely present. But – and this is very difficult for me to say – I kind of liked it.
On this, the 180th day of the year, we are very close to the midpoint of this particular trip around the sun. It just so happens to coincide with the midpoint of summer movie season. Which, further coincidentally I’m sure, also marks the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction. Transformers: AoE (that’s what the kids call it) is full of explosions, CGI monsters, and beautiful people (Stanley Tucci, yowza!) – it’s kind of the perfect example of a summer blockbuster, down to the 2014-best opening weekend box office it inexplicably earned.