REVIEW: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

28 06 2011


Oh, Michael Bay, what on earth are we going to do with you?  The director’s latest venture, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” reminds me why I use his name metonymically to represent all that is wrong with modern Hollywood filmmaking.  I have come to believe that the director’s ambition is to make movies akin to hitting your head against a wall: that is, both should be experiences to kill a massive amount of brain cells.

To call the movie thinly plotted is a vast overstatement; it’s a jumble of events that gives Bay an excuse to blow stuff up.  In fact, using the word plot is insulting to the craft of writing.  If there was any sort of story to the movie, I couldn’t make it out amidst the deafening noisiness.  All I picked up on was some sort of Apollo 11 conspiracy that brings back more villainous Decepticons, thus allowing Bay to unleash the Autobots to fight them for prolonged periods of time while Shia LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky runs around like he just escaped from an insane asylum and the new Megan Fox, Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whitley, stands there looking hot while managing to still have a perfectly unscathed face amidst the disaster around her.

It’s hard to believe now that this series used to be good.  The first “Transformers,” which came out four years ago, was a fun mix of action, humor, and excitement.  Since it did so well at the box office, Bay seems to have assumed it was only because of the action and dialed down every other aspect of the series to make the one non-stop.  I don’t mind watching buildings explode or bullets fly, but it gets old when you get pounded by it ceaselessly.  For this reason, the first sequel “Revenge of the Fallen” was a total disaster and one of the worst movies released in 2009.

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WTLFT: July 2011

8 06 2011

Yeah, I shortened the name.  It’s a lot more palatable.  This post will tell you What To Look Forward To in the month of July.  We have transformers, captains, teen stars, teen wizards, sex friends, zoo friends, hellish bosses, honey bears, and smurfs – just to name a few.  Here they all are; you can make up your mind if any of these actually appeal to you.

July 1

Cheating- “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” actually comes out on June 29, and, if you want to get really technical, June 28 at 9:00 in IMAX 3D and RealD 3D.  So while you curse me for my horrific crimes against nature, humanity, and blogging, watch the trailer and decide for yourself whether or not you want to subject yourself to Shia LaBeouf and a lot of loud noises orchestrated by Michael Bay.

On the quieter side of things, Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts plan to use their star power to fill seats at “Larry Crowne,” which looks like perfectly middle-of-the-road rom-com territory.  On the louder side of things again – and by louder, I mean girlish screams and constantly ringing cell phones – “Monte Carlo” gives young girls what they need during the summer.  A nice helping of Selena Gomez, Katie Cassidy, and Leighton Meester should have the tweeners saying “OMG!” until the next season of “Wizards of Waverly Place” hits the small screen. (There’s also a creepy thriller called “The Perfect Host” starring David Hyde Pierce, which I feel obliged to mention since it’s the only indie offering amidst these studio genre pics.)

July 8

Fingers crossed that “Horrible Bosses” will be funny!  I remember reading a piece on a blog for The Los Angeles Times well before the movie started production that praised it, so hopefully it stuck to the script.  If it’s a hit, I motion for Jennifer Aniston to stop doing horrible rom-com fare and stick to raunchy comedy; I chuckle every time I watch the trailer and hear her say, “Shabbat shalom; someone’s circumcised!”

As for “Zookeeper” … well, I hope the kids enjoy it.

I’ve definitely been going through a documentary phase ever since last year’s “Inside Job” rocked my world, and Michael Rappaport’s “Beats, Rhymes, & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest” could feed my obsession quite well.  It follows the titular hip-hop group (known as A Tribe Called Quest if you are as clueless as I was) from formation to fame.  Best case scenario it provides a fascinating expose of the craft of rapping much like “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” did for standup comedy last summer.  Worst case scenario I get to see some of my favorite artists talking about a group I’ve never heard of before.

Another interesting documentary (that I can only PRAY makes it to Houston sometime before I leave for college) is “Project Nim,” the story of a chimpanzee experiment.  I’ve always been interested in stories where lines and boundaries we once thought clear are exposed and shown to be more porous and relative than we thought, and this looks to deliver on a big scale.

July 15

Some tiny little series ends on screen.  It’s no big deal, it’s not like these movies define my youth.  It’s not like it’s a worldwide phenomenon.  But in all seriousness, I’m not going to cry.  “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” – BRING IT ON!

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