Tuesday, June 28, 2011

There really isn't more than meets the eye

Michael Bay hasn't worked on other projects lately because he's been so hard at work putting out the (hopefully) last installment of his 'Transformers' trilogy. I think it's time to move on.

As a huge fan of the Transformers, it pains me to see what Michael Bay has done to the franchise. Transformers could work as a high octane action-packed sci-fi thriller, but Bay's feeble attempt to make the trilogy about something more than just robots fighting sucks all the energy (and fun) out of it. I mean after all, that's really all Transformers has been- giant robots fighting. 

As we've learned from past experience, Michael Bay doesn't DO story. This is very evident in 'Dark of the Moon' when characters go missing for no reason at all for forty minutes at a time, only to reappear, out of all the chaos, at the precise moment to save somebody's life. There is so much going on here that even Bay has a hard time keeping track of what's going on and who's where and as a result, even major plot points are never explained.

Shia LaBeouf became a big name in Hollywood after Bay's first installment playing Sam Witwicky, the unlikely teenage hero who happened across a gorgeous Camero and from there found himself caught in the middle of a war waged between two robot-like factions from another planet. Now he's back to save Earth from the Decepticons a third time and yes, he is just as annoying as ever. By now Sam is supposed to be all grown up, living on his own with a brand new girlfriend, yet he pouts and whines like a little kid because he can't find a job. During the second film all he wanted to do was get away from the Transformers now he is crying because he can't be with them; just one of many writing inconsistencies throughout.

Speaking of writing, the script is horrible! Most of what everybody says in this movie makes no sense. I caught myself asking "Did he/she really just say that?" many times during this movie and the lines that you can tell are supposed to be funny aren't. To make things worse, "Dark of the Moon" is full of cheesy one-liners that totally miss their mark. In one scene in particular, Iron Hide tears a Decepticon apart and finishes him with, "Class dismissed". There was never a reference to any class being in session.

As I mentioned earlier, I am a fan of Transformers: the cartoons, the action figures, even the first movie; so I always get a kick out of Optimus Prime tearing through other robots like they're nothing. Too bad it only happens for a total of about ten minutes out of the two-and-a-half hour run-time.

I think Mr. Witwicky sums it up the best when he says "... a bad sci-fi movie". 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Super 8 is "Good"

"What?!" "Is he crazy!?" "How could he possibly think that?!" Were those a few of your thoughts as your read my title? Apparently I am the only person I know who doesn't think that J.Jaybrams' new film is amazing.

I do not want to spoil anything for anybody but by this point I am sure that most of you have heard about what Super 8 is all about. A group of hopeful 12-year-old filmmakers set out to make the prize-winning film for an international film festival when a train crash starts a string of mysterious events around town: dogs go missing, car engines disappear over night, people vanish left and right, the airforce even comes to town, and nobody can seem to piece together exactly what's going on.

The premise alone is reason to see this film an it does keep you guessing throughout. Sadly, absolutely nothing is revealed until the last act. Why is that not a good thing? Because as I sat in my chair and we passed the one hour mark, I hoped and prayed that the answer wouldn't be as obvious as it actually comes out to be. The last twenty minutes or so of this film is a let down and even feels a bit lazy. 

As for the group of hopeful 12-year-old filmmakers, they are what make this movie. Riley Griffiths is constantly funny as the wannabe director obssessing over his film. Elle Fanning is superb as Alice and Joel Courtney does a nice job holding it all together as the story's centerfold. These kids feel genuine in their roles and are likeable as the glue that ties everything together. We also get a handful of side characters, some who add the the emotional depth of the story and others who just make us laugh.

I, however, am not going to ignore the obvious plothole in this film. WHY ISN'T THE GUY DEAD? That's all I am going to ask.

When talking about this movie, you might hear the word "mint" thrown round a lot. Abrams' new sci-fi flick is good summer entertainment, and may even bring back memories of the good, ole days, but "mint" isn't the right word.