Monday, July 04, 2011

Movie Review - Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Starring: Shia LeBeouf, Rosey Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Leonard Nimoy, Alan Tyduk, Francis MacDormand, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong, Buzz Aldrin, and more...

Directed by: Michael Bay Written by: Ehren Kruger Original Music by: Steve Jablonky Cinematography by: Amir Mokri

Premise: Now that he's graduated from college, Sam Witwicky finds that even with a medal from the president, jobs are hard to get and that he's been shut out from all things Autobot as if he'd not had anything to do with saving the world. At the same time, secrets, previously only known by a chosen few, surface regarding a crash landing on the moon back in 1961.

Review:  Yes! YES! *fist pumping ensues!*  After the pretty yet dismal story/believability of the second Transformers film, this third attempt pays off and pays off BIG!

There's tons to love about this one. Just about everyone is back! Yes, we did lose Megan Fox, but we gained Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.  Another pretty face to be sure, but her character has definite skills and loads of moxie. Her character is more than just decoration, she makes a difference.  Hooray! And more than just the girls scream like little girls in the movie! Double hooray! (heh heh)

The CGI and cinematography are outstanding! Some really nice work incorporating original 1961 and 1969 footage with new stuff in order to set up one of the coolest and scarily fitting coverups ever! It got even better when they later bring in the real thing, like Buzz Aldrin, who admit to the conspiracy of silence later on. Sweet!

Tons of Tranformer change sequences, many slowed down so you can actually see the parts folding, molding, etc.  There was a lot of great use of slow motion scenes. The skydiver unit falling past fiery helicopters was breath taking. Awesome combat sequences. Moon shots. Explosions. And the highway scene where Decepticons are flipping cars - the amount of work that went into making it all seem real totally worth it as it was fabulous!

With Leonard Nimoy in the cast as Sentinel Prime they went in-joke happy. Listen closely to Bumble Bee and Sentinel for familiar lines out of Star Trek. Too cute! And the twist to one of them was precious. (But they're in there in such a way that they work even if you don't know they're there. Nice!)

Alan Tyduk was a fun addition to the cast making a nice foil to John Turturro's wackiness.  Ken Jeong was hilarious! So while this was a darker, more grim Transformers movie, it also had many light moments.

Plot was tighter, better, and almost makes up for Transformers 2. :P  Though there were still a spot or two where things didn't quite add up - unexpected departure of Decepticons at end with no reason (you'll see), how a line of super shiny cars can't be seen from the air, and a couple of spots where the humans should have been squishy. Will give them this though, on a couple of those, at least the person was hurt and didn't come through intact, so some modicum of believability was attempted.  And there weren't many, which was great.

Everyone is out for blood on this one. Casualties on the side of the machines and humans - no mercy. So this is definitely not a film for young kids.  A warning just in case.

Have to keep your eyes and ears peeled! There's several pieces of plot or information that sets off other actions that if you blink you'll miss, which will make other things not seem to make sense - but they were covered.  One particular bit is something Carly witnesses, which she is smart enough to make use of later, but far enough down the road that with so much going on, viewers might forget. (There's one with Bruce Brazos though that made it seem something was lost on the cutting room floor - luckily that one was not critical.)

If you can afford it, definitely see it in IMAX 3D. CGI was made for IMAX 3D. Just so much sharper and transitions less blurry than Real 3D. Just watching the trailer in 2D, Real 3D, and IMAX 3D said all that needed to be said as to what was the best choice for me. :)

So for a fun SF romp with bots, battles, space, shape shifting machines, greed, betrayal, and more - go check this one out!  You won't be sorry!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5! (Hubby's Rating - Would Pay Full Price To See It Again)

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