Saturday, May 14, 2011

First Transformers: Dark of the Moon Review

Some people just have all the luck and it seems that Capone over at Ain't It Cool News is one of them. He was able to view a sneak preview of Transformers: Dark of the Moon that was held in Chicago. He saw a non 3D version that was not quite finished final product but close enough to get an excellent review. HE calls DOTM, "...the third and easily best entry in the Michael Bay-directed franchise." About the only "bad" part of the review is he seems to indicate that the Twins do appear, at least briefly, in the movie. Below are large segments (was hard to trim down) but it is worth reading the whole review here.
...I'll be honest, the way my brain is spinning right now with thoughts of images I've just seen and the sheer destruction I've just experienced, sleep ain't happening. You see, I've just come from seeing TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, the third and easily best entry in the Michael Bay-directed franchise, and all I wanted to do when I left the theater was gaze upon my beautiful city, just to make sure it was in one piece.

Make no mistake, D.C. takes a hell of a beating in DARK OF THE MOON, but it was in the final hour of this TRANSFORMERS chapter that I simply forgot to breathe; there isn't a spare second to do so. For a solid hour, Bay and his CGI-created robot buddies decimate Chicago. And I won't lie: seeing it so realistically and utterly leveled was almost more than I could handle. Granted, people outside of Chicago probably won't have the same reaction I did ...but our city has never been the victim of an alien hate crime like this before. And as much as it hurt to see, I also loved watching it happen.

When the war on Cybertron between the Autobots and Decepticons appeared lost to the Autobots, their leader, Sentinal Prime, attempted to launch a craft from the planet, loaded with technology that would have saved their people. Instead, it crashed on earth's moon and the Autobots were forced to flee to earth. Coincidentally, this moon crash happened when John F. Kennedy was president, and he immediately made his famous promise to the nation to put a man on the moon (specifically, an American man, so that we would beat the Russians to investigate the crash; see how that works?). In fact, according to this film, every NASA moon landing was actually an investigation of this wrecked spacecraft.

The first hour and a half of DARK OF THE MOON focuses primarily on story (with brief fight and chase sequences pepperd in), but it's actually a cool story about the Autobots finding out that the technology that was supposed to save their race and planet has been sitting on the moon the entire time they've been on earth and nobody bothered to tell them; Optimus Prime is not amused.

The clever script manages to find new ways to place Transformers into world events, including one particularly nasty "accident" at the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl, which was actually the result of some of the moon technology being experimented on. And I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying that Optimus finds a way to retrieve Sentinal Prime's body from the moon wreckage and revive him (voiced to perfection by Leonard Nimoy).

Let's talk characters and performances. LaBeouf is LaBeouf; you either dig him or you don't. I happen to dig the guy a great deal, and he seems especially focused in DARK OF THE MOON, as well as broader in the shoulders. Huntington-Whiteley is actually pretty good here and certainly miles better than Megan Fox, if only because she's actually got something to do here beyond just looking like a million bucks. I wouldn't say Carly has a major players in this movie, but at least she's allowed to contribute. Also returning are Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson as Nest team leaders Lennox and Epps, an shockingly enough there's little attention paid to personal growth in either of their cases.

And let's not forget John Turturro as former agent Simmons, who has written a book about aliens on earth and become a rich eccentric, trying desperately not to get sucked back into the alien game. Many of his scenes are with a fellow Coen Brothers regular, Frances McDormand, as Charlotte Mearing, the defense department commander in charge of missions involving the Autobots. She's kind of hard ass who couldn't care less that Sam wants to keep playing with his robots. "You're not a soldier; you're a messenger," she rightfully reminds him.

New to the cast are such dignitaries as John Malkovich, largely wasted (but still funny) as Sam's boss at a tech company where he eventually gets hired; Ken Jeong as co-worker with much-needed information on the moon project; Alan Tudyk, very good as Simmons right-hand man; and Patrick Dempsey, as Dylan, Carly's boss and perhaps competition for her affections. Oh, and he also harbors a desire for world domination. I'll thank whatever movie gods I have to that Sam's annoying parents are barely in this TRANSFORMERS installment. Without fail, they take us out of the action on the drop of a dime, they aren't funny, and we don't need comic relief like this anyway when we've got street-smart little robots to entertain us. Yes, they're back too, but let's just say they're toned down.

So what about the scenes of Chicago's destruction? These sequences are cool for a few reasons, but let me talk about them purely from a purely action standpoint. Because the Decepticons (who have taken over the city for reasons that involve restoring their planet) can detect machines coming into their airspace, the military can't send planes to bomb them. As a result, small teams of Nest soldiers much base jump into the city using suits that effectively make them able to fly.

...I have to admit, I'm genuinely surprised what a strong effort this film is, not just in terms of its scope, but also in its pacing, performances, and ideas. This one dares to go dark from time to time, and that helped me find the often-lacking component of many Bay films: emotion. You probably won't shed any tears watching DARK OF THE MOON, but you will care when certain lives are lost or in peril. This one might actually rock you a little to your foundation; get excited about that.

39 comments:

  1. OK, I am definitely excited! haha

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  2. What a review! I really believe that, for once, a Transformers film is going to win some awards.

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  3. Sounds like it's going to be a great movie! A little disappointed Sam's parents aren't in i tmuch but if the film is darker than the other's in spots I think it's understandable. From the sound of it this might be a great ending to the trilogy!



    when we've got street-smart little robots to entertain us. Yes, they're back too, but let's just say they're toned down.

    Sounds like the twins are in it! Awesome!

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  4. "About the only "bad" part of the review is he seems to indicate that the Twins do appear, at least briefly, in the movie." - Not true, He is talking about Wheelie and Brains.

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  5. IM SOO EXCITED!


    I think Bumblebee is stalking me. Im seeing a Camaro concept 2009 outside my window.


    Silverbolt

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  6. HOLY FUCK

    AT LEAST SAY THERE'S MAJOR SPOILERS !!!!!!

    LOL

    i stopped 1/10th into it !!!

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  7. Wow...Super excitement; building!

    I knew I had a good feeling about this one! Now I'll just have to see it to confirm it!

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  8. Anonymous 5:49

    How do you know the Twins aren't in there? I don't think he can be talking about Wheelie and Brains being that he said

    Yes, they're back too, but let's just say they're toned down.

    Brain's wasn't in the other movies and Wheelie didn't have too big of a part in ROTF to really need to be "toned down" sounds like a clear reference to the Twins to me

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  9. How many days until July 1st? I can't effing wait. If Capone liked DOTM this much it must be awesome bc he liked Transformers(2007) but hated ROTF with a passion and isn't a Transformers fanboy at all.
    It's def time to start getting excited...yesterday at my local multi-plex they were building a huge DOTM cardboard stand-up.

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  10. Further more, here's a few points in the review that stood out to me;
    • He describes the Chicago sequence as lasting an hour and talks about the first 1-1/2 hour of the film focusing mostly on the story. This would indicate that DOTM's run time is comparible to the 1st two movies.
    •He calls the script "clever", says it "begins with a great concept and a cool backstory" and says " I am genuinely suprised at what a strong effort this film is, not just in terms of its scope but also in its pacing, performances and ideas"
    •Says the autobots are firmly in place as part of Americas millitary
    •Describes Rosie Huntington-Whitely as actually pretty good"
    •Describes Megatron as "especially creepy" and talks about "little spider-like robots crawling in and out og the place where his brain circuitry may have been"...probably some kind of cybertronian maggots or something. COOL.

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  11. What I really want to know is if the Decepticons actually get some FUCKING CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! and if the Decepticons actually kill Autobots on screen in front of us? I want to see Megatron, Starscream, and Shockwave brutally kill an Autobot! It seems Megatron is the only one who was able to accomplish it on screen in the first film.

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  12. Is there a silverbolt?

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  13. Article about Hugo Weaving's rerutn to play Elrond in The Hobbit, but he's also mentioned to return to voice Megatron in DOTM. http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/12/hugo-weaving-returns-to-middle-earth-in-hobbit/

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  14. @ anonymous 5:49 AM

    Nelson give it up already, the mis-information campaign is over, we already know skid and mudflap are int he movie and that the blue benz is Wheeljack

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  15. Well,
    this movie has a really crap story from what I read so far.

    the action will be awesome.

    Just like 95% of the cartoons in the '80s.

    So I'll watch it. :)

    But I already know movie one will stay the best. Just because of the story this time.

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  16. Why do I get a bad feeling somones ACTUALLY going to kick Ironhides ass......O_o

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  17. So Michael Bay posted on his forums as a response to this review that he is offering a $25,000 REWARD to anyone who can find the twins performing in Transformers 3, on July 1, when the movie opens.

    they are not in the film.

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  18. key word is performing. That is not him saying they are or are not in the film. He already said in other interviews that they are not even in it... not even in. Now its lets play Waldo? Give it up Bay!! I think that was him giving us an Easter egg that they (the twins) may have a small scene were they are in the background performing like as in singing or dancing or some shit. OR... its just Nelson pretending to be Bay and feeding you all a bunch of BS like he always does.

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  19. Interesting, he didn't mention too much about the end though. I saw this post that suggests that we may have just seen the last of the Autobots. Here's the post:

    http://theclosetgeeksd.blogspot.com/2011/05/mystery-space-ship-in-transformers.html

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  20. If you read the (at least the first two) pages in MB's forum, you will see that the twins are definatly not in the movie:
    http://www.shootfortheedit.com/forum/showthread.php?9072-25-000-Reward

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  21. @Paul Des: Michael Bay proves to be a real coward. He is going to cut all scenes with the twins to prove his point... otherwise he wouldn't be offering any money for sure.
    Just like all his babbling that now he regrets Transformers2 ...
    He is a coward. He screwed up this 3rd movie completely and he knows it.
    He thinks that telling people that he is sorry for this and that is going to bring in more money and those that hated the first two movies will go and watch this 3rd movie?
    Oh, please! Michael Bay grow up! Really. You must be so desperate right now.
    The only thing Michael Bay is going to achieve is that those that loved the first two movies and made them a success are going to be so disappointed that this 3rd movie will underperform badly at best and it might flop deadly most likely.

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  22. @Anonymous 5/14/2011 6:57 PM.... you're an idiot. The hypocrisy and irony from someone like you who doesn't have the balls to log under his real name is calling Michael Bay a coward. Get out of your mom's basement. -Nelson [Michael Bay Dot Com Webmaster].

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  23. THE TROLLS ARE BACK!!!

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  24. @ NHLfan. Get off the Bay Bandwagon. Bay is covering up that they are in it. Everyone at Botcon seen a very large portion if not the whole movie and the twins are in it. Their parts and not as big as ROTF and the dorky humor is not there but they are in this movie.

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  25. to loCAL boy. The ship behind Optimus is not the Ark. It is the Wrecker's ship that has been on Earth since before ROTF that Sideswipe and the Wreckers came on. YES, I said Sideswipe and the Wreckers. The other Autobots like Mirage and Wheeljack came on the Ark with Sentinel.

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  26. Anonymous 6:57pm

    Exactly what do you know that is proof that this movie is screwed up? I highly doubt you have seen it. If you have undeniable proof of this...post it...otherwise just stop trolling please no one is really interested in what your saying

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  27. Anonymous 6:57

    Michael Bay has money to burn. He doesn't have to be "desperate" about anything. If he was truly desperate as you claim he would have made the transformers the way fans remember them instead of making them his own. Your post is invalid

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  28. "Hey everyone. I just inserted this into the review, and I'm sorry about the confusion. "Just to be 100 percent clear, I'm not referring about the "The Twins" here; they are most definitely not in this film. I'm talking about Wheelie (voiced by Tom Kenny, who also voiced Skids in REVENGE OF THE FALLEN) and other similar smaller robots, who act like streetwise teenagers." - Capone AICN

    Now can all talk of twins and trolls come to an end?

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  29. @anon 6:57: shutup man, just shutup, I don't feel like hearing it

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  30. http://blog.movies.yahoo.com/blog/1322-those-idiotic-jive-talkin-robots-wont-be-back-in-transformers-3-after-all?nc

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  31. It's really pretty silly that Michael Bay's puppet employee Nelson goes around on forums and blogs insulting whoever dares to point out how messed up the production of this 3rd movie is. And really childish asking to use real names.. just like anyone else was doing that on the 'net.. sure. But obviously they need real names to threaten people by suing them so they shut up and don't dare telling anything negative about the mess that Michael Bay and Paramount clearly did on this 3rd movie.

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  32. who wants to place a bet that anon 6:20 is the same guy that got "insulted" by Nelson

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  33. Nelson is the biggest troll of all if he has to come onto other sites to reiterate the BS he is told to say because he cant get enough of the ass kissers on his site to buy the BS. Nelson is the one who lives in his parent's basement with his little fat troll ass.

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  34. I saw ROTF 10 times in theater, and that was with MB saying it sucked. I don't think it sucked, the forest fight was epic. I plan on breaking my record and seeing this movie even more in theater. I'm hoping to see the midnight showing, but it all depends on if I have to work that night :o( but regardless, I'll be spending the whole weekend at the theaters. This is going to be so bad@ss, I can't wait! I wanted to buy the camaro, but I had to settle for an Impala, but I've "Transformered" it out(license plate, Autobot emblem, "To punish and enslave" stickers, Bumblebee's "Bee-otch air freshner, etc). I totally plan to show up dorked out in Transformer stuff. I'm really really really excited for this movie. Fandango tickets activate! :-D :-D Sorry for my dork ramble, I can't help myself.

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  35. lmao...thats ok Mindy,Your a breath of fresh air compared to the trolls who are hatin on this movie that have not seen it yet!!!!

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  36. hahaha. i agree with Kup

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  37. The Twins aren't in it, no legitimate reason for Bay to lie at this point.... Come on.

    And Ironhide dies, incredibly symbolically and worthy of his bad assery unfortunately...

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  38. there is a reason for him to lie. Those people out there that do care if the twins are or not in it will go to see this movie just to be the ones either way to say "see i told you they are/are not in the movie. It may be stupid but this little debate about weather or not the twins are in the movie will indeed drive more people to the movie just to find out. And in the end, this makes Bay more money. How many parents have already said... "if those stupid twins are in the movie, I'm not taking the kids to see it." If they see all this talk about Bay removing them, then guess what? There is a greater chance those parents that found the twins offensive will now take their kids to see this movie. But then guess what? Oh sorry, the twins are in anyway and it doesn't matter now because you and youre 5 kids are already in those seats, paid all that money for tickets and all that candy and soda. And in the end, Bay, the movie company and the theaters just made money off you anyway.

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