Exactly. As a tech demo... fantastic. ( if artistically, a bit sterile ).
As a film?... awful. Just awful.
What happened to James Cameron. From Terminator and Aliens... to Titanic and Avatar. The better the tech, the worse the movies. Go figure.
Well, you have to ask yourself. What actually makes a good film, what is art? Is it an intriguing story, characters with depth and great writing or is it huge budget films with mind blowing visuals? How do you define what makes a good film. It's very rare you get the two things mixed together, exceptions like you pointed out though, district 9, Terminator 2 (special effects still look good to this day as well) etc.
I can appreciate and enjoy both types, providing that the story/dialogue/character's aren't THAT BAD.
Okay, people seem to use this "giant robots beating the shit out of each other" defense when referring to Transformers. Do I go to Transformers 3 to see Robots beat the shit out each other? Hell Yeah I do! Problem is it doesn't happen that often in this film. This movie centered more around the human characters fighting the Decepticons then it does the Autobots fighting them. It goes right back to what I said before about the Transformers being the co-stars in there own movie.
Now do I expect a great story, acting, and dialogue? When the human characters take up 90% of the movie then yes I do. Who spent real money just to watch Shia Labeouf consistently bitch about his life to his extremely hot (and probably rich) girlfriend?
Well have you seen the new transformers? It advertises a war between humans and the decepticons, but that's not actually how it is at all. The entire second half of the film is just all out robot warfare.
The robots take up most of the second half of the film.
Off topic but speaking about films with great CGI and great characters and story. KUNG FU HUSTLE. If you haven't seen this film yet, then watch it ASAP. It's in my top 10