Friday, July 1, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Shia Labeouf (Sam Witwicky), Josh Duhamel ( Lennox), Tyrese Gibson (Epps) and John Turturro (Simmons) return for Transformers: Dark of the Moon.  Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Carly) replaces Megan Fox’s role as Sam’s love interest.  Patrick Dempsey (Dylan), Frances McDormand (Mearing), Ken Jeong (Jerry Wang) and John Malkovich (Bruce Brazos) join the franchise for Dark of the Moon.

The latest Transformers film is, well, what you probably have come to expect from the franchise.  A summer blockbuster that is filled with amazing special effects, action and a few laughs. 

I have a few points to mention regarding this film.  The first, which I’ll get out of the way early here, is that the 3D didn’t do much for me.  I’ve yet to find the perfect 3D film yet.  There were some neat moments that I wonder how they’d look in 2D, but for the money, which is what it typically comes down to for me, I’ll be recommending this film for the 2D format.  Take the $5.00 difference and buy a soda.

The second point I’d like to make is the length of the film.  Transformers: Dark of the Moon runs for 257 minutes, not counting the additional 20 minutes of previews.  The film is about a ½ hour too long.  There is about 35-40 minutes of footage that could have been cut from the final version.   

We didn’t need to see all of the job interviews that Sam went on.  Sure, some of these scenes were funny to a point, but that’s the problem.  It seemed to me that there was an inordinate amount of comedic sequences in this installment.  

I am fully aware that the previous efforts did have their comedic moments, but this one exceeding the earlier offerings and plainly just weren’t all that necessary and certainly not intrinsic to this film’s storyline.  

I would also severely, if not entirely cut the scenes that dealt with Sam’s parents.  They just weren’t necessary to the overall plot of Dark of the Moon.  All these scenes did was add a little more transition from the previous Transformer films to this one as well as adding a little more humor and to drive home Sam’s disappointment.  Again, not necessary, and to some extent a bit condescending in the fact that the writers felt the need to include their roles, as I can only guess they felt the audience couldn’t piece things together on their own.

My final point with this film is the story itself.  I really like what the writers did in this respect.  I believe the storyline is the most creative and the best of the Transformer films.  The way they twisted history to fit their need was incredibly intelligent and almost flawless in the entwining reality with fiction. 

The story shows how an Auto-bot ship is damaged leaving their home planet of Cybertron.  The ship winds up crashing on the moon.  The Transformers on the ship go into a type of hibernation.  The US & USSR arms race plays a role in the discovery of the ship.  What follows is a well-formed plot that includes underhanded activity and betrayal, by Decepticons as well as human involvement.  The story that takes place is in direct relation to this backstory and obviously leads to Auto-bots Vs. Decepticons, where the Earth’s fate awaits the outcome of their battle.

The Transformers films provide a nice reprieve from the every day experience.  They offer a good deal of Sci-fi action complete with state of the art special effects.  The subtraction of Megan Fox made no difference to this film whatsoever.  Rosie Huntington-Whiteley did a very good job in the role Megan would have played.  The main reasons to see Dark of the moon, in my opinion are:

1.            The already discussed storyline
2.            The special effects
3.            Optimus Prime. 
I won’t go into too much detail with this here, but the points of the film, as can be said for the previous Transformers films as well, when Optimus Prime engages in battle is worth the price of admission alone.  In Dark of The moon however, Optimus had viciousness, a resolve for destruction that we did not fully see in the previous films.  This “kill them all” mentality brought a brand new dimension to his extremely entertaining battle scenes.

As I mentioned, I recommend this film, but go see the 2D version, the drop off from 3D won’t be enough to warrant the higher ticket price. Also make sure you plan accordingly, as this film is almost 3 hours in length when you add in the time it takes for the trailers.  Let me know what you thought of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, I’d love to hear your take.

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