Finding a good movie in the middle of summer is like prospecting in the old West.
You keep hearing that there is gold out there but the fact is that nuggets are very hard to find amongst the detritus.
The procession of blockbusters has so far been a parade of lameness. And limping in right at the back is Transformers Dark Of The Moon.
Suffice to say, I watched this movie three hours ago and I'm glad I took notes because I've forgotten most of it already.
It is a plotless, misogynistic mess which stands only on the special effects we have seen twice before.
I am sad enough to have watched both of its predecessors.
The first was actually pretty good - the combination of the battle of the huge machines and the gentle comedy worked well.
Number two was ghastly - a charmless brute which didn't gel on any level.
The best thing that can be said about number 3 is that it is better than number 2... just.
The truth is that Michael Bay is in danger of becoming one of Hollywood's most tiresome directors. I can imagine him sitting in front of some grandiose laptop coming up with all sorts of CGI wonders. But then I wonder why he doesn't just settle on being a video games planner.
One of the sadnesses of T3 is that it starts reasonably interestingly but drops the baton after half an hour.
The concept that a spacecraft had escaped from Cybertron (the home of the Transformers) and crashed on the moon, sparking the US/USSR space race in the 1960s is decent and is amplified with real cuts of JFK, Walter Cronkite and Richard Nixon.
And then we cut to Shia Labeouf in bed and the whole sorry saga takes a turn for the worst.
I gave Shia a chance in his early days - Disturbia and the first Transformers were good movies and so his well-meaning teenager act was well placed.
Sadly, as Wall Street's sequel and now this prove, he just hasn't moved on. The suspicion is that he can't act because all along he was just playing himself.
Anyway, in T3, Shia has saved the world a couple of times and has even been given a medal for his troubles but, somehow, he is jobless and penniless.
Of course, these apparent failings don't stop him having the best looking girlfriend in town - debutant Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Now anyone who knows me knows that I appreciate a pretty girl in a short skirt. But come on. Rosie's part takes women back 50 years.
All she does is pout, wear skin tight dresses which all but show off her knickers and somehow helps save the world without knocking a wave of her beautiful red hair out of place.
I reckon had there been a fingernail inspection afterwards, she would not have suffered a chip.
The real shocker of T3 is that there are good actors on the list. They are wasted like fine wine in a spritzer.
John Malkovich has a particularly strange part as Shia's boss and Frances McDormand can't make a dog of a script any better than it is.
I'd forgotten Patrick Dempsey. Of all of the people in Hollywood to choose as a baddie, they chose Patrick Dempsey. I think that sentence sums it up.
Sorry, I've digressed into a mad rant.
After we have found Shia in bed we then discover that the crashed space craft belonged to the good robots who are now pals with humans and living nicely on earth.
However, somehow information about the crash has seeped back to the bad robots and a clash is in the offing.
Following me so far? I thought not.
On the beleagued craft are cylinders which apparently could make Cybertron (the transformers' home planet) take over the earth.
This is when I really lost it. How could another planet take over the earth? Sure, another people could but another planet couldn't. It doesn't make any sense at all.
Anyway, it is with this backdrop there is a battle supreme and Bay has all the CGI fun he can muster.
Meanwhile, suffering more than two and a half hours of this gunk made me start to drop off.
One of the most depressing features of today was to see that From The Red Carpet sequence before the movie. It gossiped about a potential Pirates Of The Caribbean 5 and Hangover 3.
Originality in Hollywood has yielded to the need for bucks. I just can't abide the thought of Transformers 4.
Rating for number 3? A paltry 3.5/10
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