Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

This just in! Manhattan does not get blown up in this movie. I repeat. Manhattan does NOT get blown up in this movie!

If you’re in to extra-terrestrial beings that can turn in to pretty much any electronic device, things exploding, and lots and lots and LOTS of action then this is the movie for you. Let’s take a look at what IMDB has to say:

“The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets.”

Well…yes and no. Let’s just say that someone already knows the secret. And there is no race. The Decepticons totally live up to their name in this film.

I was all set to really enjoy this movie. I liked, and will definitely watch, it again; most likely during a Transformers movie marathon. But! It was also very disappointing. I walked out (okay drove out) on Battle: LA a few weeks ago because it was nothing but action, action, action. There really wasn’t much of a plot except “aliens attack and then humans must fight to save earth”. Kinda basic. Apparently basic did well for them. I know a lot of people who loved that movie. If so, you’ll probably love this too. The 2nd half of Transformers was non-stop action. I’m not quite sure what I expected though. A battle of some sort had to take place or the movie would have stopped short and left a lot of people very confused.

Since I know absolutely nothing about how Special Effects (I finally looked it up) are done I was impressed by how they made it look like the actors were really in the same room and talking to the Transformers. And, as was mentioned at the beginning of this diatribe, Manhattan does not get blown up. Chicago does. I love how they make the buildings explode or fall over or slowly get torn apart by the ginormous plumbing snake. I also love how they added little things like the steps of the Lincoln Memorial falling away as Megatron walks up them. Well done!

They brought back some of my favorite actors from the other Transformers films including Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson. And I just checked IMDB again and was reminded that Hugo Weaving is the voice for Megatron. He’s so cool. Hugo…not Megatron. Also, I thought I recognized the voice of Sentinel Prime but couldn’t quite get it to click. I’m totally blaming lack of sleep for the fact that I missed that it was Leonard Nimoy. Yes, Shia is back as the main character, Sam, and he did a good job but I have to agree with his movie mom about one thing. His ability to get such hot girlfriends. What on earth? It’s not like he’s a rock star or anything. Yeah, he’s cute but, seriously people, if he weren’t famous would he really have a chance at girls like that in the real world? Yes, I do get how shallow that just sounded but we have to deal in reality at some point. Don’t we? Oh wait! This entire movie is unrealistic. In that case…it could totally happen.

And speaking of Sam’s mom, fortunately we only have to see his parents in a couple of scenes. They’re not so bad for the most part. Their matching outfits and p.j.’s are kinda funny. They lost me though when Inappropriate Mom showed up again. She said something so not cool in the first movie and a very young P.T. asked me what that word meant. I did what any good American aunt would do. I told her to ask her mother. Inappropriate Mom says the same sort of thing in this movie as she did in the first. Why? Are 12-year-olds writing the script? I really do think so.

The girlfriend (Carly) is played by Rosie Huntington-Whitely. Please count to ten with me so that I won’t run full steam in to commenting on that name. Stereotypical country clubs. That’s all I’m saying. Rosie does a decent job of playing the sugar mama/office arm candy/co-hero but I don’t see any awards in her future. Not even the MTV “Best Kiss” award. Sorry, Rosie. And!!! I have to get this rant over as soon as possible so I can get on to other things. Costume and make-up department…what on earth were you thinking? Yes, I know that the pretty girl needs to stay pretty but COME ON!!! Not only does Carly slide down the side of a building and land in a mess of glass, things blow up around her. She falls and is caught at the last minute by Sam; the act of which should probably have dislocated both their shoulders (just one shoulder…each person). She rubs up against dirty vehicles and scurries through a bus as it’s getting cut into by a Decepticon. She runs through piles of rubble and leans against very not clean things and walks out of it all fresh as a daisy. Any guess what she’s wearing through all this? A white cardi and (I’m assuming) tank top, skinny jeans and…wait for it…high heels. Look closely though. Every once in a while the heels turn in to flats. Nice job, editing department. I thought for sure that cardi was done for but I was wrong. And THERE.IS.NOT.A.SCRATCH.ON.HER!!! Actually, when it came to personal injury of the overall cast the characters were either dead or clean as a whistle. I think Sam had a little boo boo on his forehead at the end but other than that…

At this point in the story Spike would be rolling his eyes and telling me that “IT’S NOT REAL!” I’m guessing he doesn’t like it when I nit pick this type of movie. I can’t help it. It’s genetic.

There were some funny scenes but not enough for my taste and we didn’t get to see Bumble Bee enough. I will admit that there was one scene involving Bee that almost caused me to tear up a bit. What? Bee is my absolute favorite (No, I’m not 8. Why do you ask?) followed closely by Optimus. And I wish there were girl Transformers like they had in the second movie. Oh well.

The breakdown, this time, is going to take up a lot more room than usual. This is the part where we discuss the 12-year-old boys who wrote the movie. Let’s start with language. If I remember correctly, the first phrase out of Sam’s mouth contains the F-word. If you watch the movie and discover it’s NOT the first phrase then I apologize. But it’s up front somewhere. You will hear that word several times throughout the movie. The most being piled up in one scene in which the building Sam’s in is falling over. Although not surprising in that situation, is it really necessary? He screams in another scene. Why can’t he do that here? And no, that is not the only profane word in the film. At least they kept the testicle references to a minimum this time. I guess they wore those out (the references) in the 2nd movie.

Violence. Yes, we expected it but since a big part of this film’s viewers will be young children I believe it should have been toned down a bit. There is lots and lots of shooting and a chase scene on a highway in which cars get all kinds of thrown around. While I do live in reality and get that this was just a movie I couldn’t help thinking of all the people who, if Autobots and Dececpticons truly were fighting on a highway, would have been killed in that scene alone. I guess it’s okay since we don’t actually see any of the people in the cars. That last sentence will be typed with sarcasm font as soon as that’s invented. In another scene we see people getting killed by the Decepticons. Please, allow me to take away the sugar coating from that last statement. People get blown to pieces. I’m not saying that as a way to exaggerate what happened. You actually get to see the pieces fly. One minute they’re there, the next minute they’re pretty much everywhere.

Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. Okay, so leaving rock out of this… There was no sex or nudity at all. I think the most skin we see is when Carly is walking up stairs in a shirt and her unders and then later on we see her back as she’s putting on her dress. And she’s got unders on there too. Sorry boys. The closest thing to sexual innuendo comes from Inappropriate Mom. There is a little drinking. No drugs that I recall. I don’t even remember if smoking occurred. I don’t think it did.

Should this movie scare or, at the very least, bother your child? I believe it should. Will it? Probably not. The two young children sitting a couple rows in front of me didn’t seem to be affected at all. This is another please-go-see-it-before-you-take-your-kids kind of film.

Oh! And I’d like to quickly give a shout out to the people who put together the trailer. Take a tip or five from Super 8. That trailer gave away virtually nothing. I will give even remotely intelligent people the benefit of the doubt that you will be able to figure out what really happened in a pivotal scene but if you saw the trailer, no intelligence is required. Just a somewhat functional memory.

Judging by the things I’ve said it sounds like I didn’t like this movie but I really did. Would I have enjoyed it as much if I’d gone with a young child? I hope not. If Hollywood is going to turn afternoon cartoons in to movies they really need to consider who is going to go see them.

P.S. There is no need to stay through the credits but don’t make a mad dash for the door either. There is one little extra at the beginning.

P.P.S. Just a little bit of trivia straight from IMDB. The guy who does the voice for Optimus Prime in the movie also does his voice for the cartoon. But wait! There’s more! He’s also the voice of Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh and he does the vocals for the alien predator in Predator. How cool is that!

P.P.P.S. I think writing this so late at night (early in the morning) makes it more critical (no comments from the peanut gallery) and way more lengthier (haha) than it normally would be. I think I’ll start saving these for when I’ve had more sleep. Or not. Whatever.

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