These are popcorn flicks, summer blockbusters, big action movies, and as such, they are insanely successful! It's a quick fix for anyone who likes lots of actions, explosions, and special effects. If you see them as such, you will be pleased.
There is a perfectly normal things that every movie has to be, so they could work: The story, character development, pacing, and redemption of things. TF3 does not contain any of these. About the pacing: After the only shock-twist, we move over to the mother, who shows us a book cover where there is a picture of (apple)vagina, and she tells how the girls love the boys, with a big penis. Seriously, wtf?!
Yes I like women, breasts and sex, but the wtf, after all, this is the Transformers movie. Or at least should be. Bay shows us his own sexual fantasies through the whole movie.
And not to mention those of your "lots of action and special-effect" -things. During the first hour and a half we did not even get to see "lots of action" only comedy. Just "Leboof and co doing silly things". One and a half hours. An action film. Jesus. Bay really can do anything these days...
Not every movie has to be Oscar material, but "robots smashing stuff" is no excuse to drop the ball when it comes to basic story telling and elements like dialogue, pacing and character development.
The entire film is crystallized in a very well on Shockwave: A character comes out of nowhere, nothing is explained. None. He has a pet, sandworm, stolen from Frank Herbert's Dune. Does not explain anything. Shockwave says one word and then disappears. Appears at the end again, do not do anything and finaly die. And all supposed to praise how bad-ass character he was and how happy I was that I got to see him on live-action film. I say bullshit.
They want the movie(s) to be something they are not. They are not heavy, plot-driven, logical movies and can never be regarded as such, because then, yes, you will be disappointed. It's like saying that Casablanca is a shitty movie because it's not a comedy, or that Gone With the Wind has really bad CGI in it...
Transformers 3 should be an action film, but the first ONE AND A HALF HOURS, we see only the mentally retarded (level of the) humor, main actresses panties, and fat Chinese men with gay-jokes. Jesus. One and a half hours of idle time is not used ANY WAY in story or character development. Not to mention... anything about the..wellll... Transformers
. Its only stuppid and bad humour.
And that if anything is a mark of really, really bad movie.
Right now, Dark of the Moon has made almost $650 000 000, more than three times its budget, in less than two weeks. It's the highest grossing movie this year so far. It is the highest movie ever that opens for the Independence Day weekend, it's the second biggest movie ever to open on a Wednesday, it's the fifth fastest growing movie ever, it's the third most popular movie to open in the month of July, it's the second biggest worldwide opening, etc. etc. etc. etc. It keeps breaking record after record after record.
And what's the point? You will not receive any of the money. Bay and Spielberg will receive them. Easy money from the film, which does not even try anything, in any level. Success of the film does not mean that it would be good. Success only tells that many people went to see it.