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Friday, July 1, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW: TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON

Back in the Summer of 2007, one of the most anticipated blockbuster movies of all time hit the screens: Transformers, creating a hype the likes of which have never been seen before! Starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, along with state-of-the-art CGI robots, big-budget action-movie director Michael Bay brought the beloved 1980's toy/cartoon, giant robots to life! Earning over $318 Million in the U.S. it started a new blockbuster franchise and reignited the Transformers popularity. Then in 2009 came the sequel: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, although despite mixed reactions from fans and critics, it surpassed it's precursor earning over $402 Million. Audiences and fans knew that a third movie was inevitable but due to issues between Executive Producer Steven Spielberg and Megan Fox, not to mention the "bold" comments she made about Michael Bay, she was eventually "canned from Transformers 3"!
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is the third and final chapter in the Transformers Trilogy. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is now out of college and living in Washington D.C. (of all places?), while desperately searching for a job, he now lives with his NEW girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley)! As tensions between the U.S. Government and the Autobots worsen, they discover that the government have been withholding knowledge of the Transformers from a crashed Cybertronian spacecraft found on the moon back in 1969. Also, as battle with the Decepticons continues, Megatron seeks to claim a secret device found on that ship in order to create a space-bridge to begin the invasion of Earth and rebuild Cybertron!
The newest addition to the Transformers cast is Sentinel Prime, (voiced by Leonard Nimoy, who also provided the voice for Galvatron in the 1986 animated Transformers: The Movie) who they find unconscious on the moon. Apparently he is the only one who knows the secret of the space-bridge. Other additions to the Decepticons is a very impressive and frightening Shockwave and very vocal Laserbeak (Keith Szarabajka), who originally was a sidekick of Soundwave (now a BMW car instead of a satellite as he was in the last movie or a tape player in the cartoon/toy. Thankfully, the movie is without the two overly-racist twins: Mudflap and Skids, from the last movie, although we still have Wheelie (tolerable) and other mini-transformers. The most puzzling and frankly insulting to the story is the new girlfriend Carly, as we are told that Mikaela (Megan Fox's character) simply "broke-up" with Sam even after everything they've been through (even leaving her dog with Sam?)! Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, a former British, Victoria-Secret Model is bland and uninteresting (plus she looks like a rabbit!). There are several surprising new characters in this movie, despite other human characters that are present who have been in the movies, namely Sam's parents, while annoying, thankfully have very little screen time. Also the members of the NEST such as Capt. Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Sergeant Epps (Tyrese Gibson) provide support as well as the indomitable Agent Simmons (John Turturro) whose character is now rich after exploiting the government secrets about the Transformers, along with his resourceful sidekick Dutch (Alan Tudyk).


There is a very long prologue with a lot of unnecessary exposition disguised as a mini-history lesson with footage from the moon landing and with appearances from President Kennedy and Nixon and commentator Walter Kronkite! This movie has SO many Hollywood cameos and extra characters in it, (it's insane!) including: Dylan (Patrick Dempsey), Agent Mearing (Frances McDormand) Jerry Wang (Ken Jeong),  Bruce Brazos (played by John Malkovich!) and even the REAL Buzz Aldrin playing (guess who?) Buzz Aldrin! Just how many celebrities can they cram into this movie? As usual Shia LaBeouf's high-energy performance added to the constant-action of the movie leaves you exhausted! Try watching it in 3-D and I guarantee you'll have a splitting headache the rest of the day I did!
If you go expecting over-the-top special effects, epic giant robot fights and Michael Bay-signature explosions...you definitely came to the right place! Although surprisingly better than the last movie, however reportedly NOT as successful, Transformers: Dark of the Moon will most likely be the LAST Transformers movie and I sincerely hope that Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg are smart enough to leave it ALONE! It's been a fun ride watching Shia LaBeouf running around on a caffeine-high screaming "OPTIMUS!" and "BUMBLEBEE!" at the top of his lungs for three movies. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Transformers fan and they have been fun and entertaining movies BUT, enough is enough! It's time for the Transformers to transform and roll out...forever!