Hitting movie theaters this weekend:
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Tyrese Gibson Larry Crowne - Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Sarah Mahoney Monte Carlo - Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, Katie Cassidy
Movie of the Week
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
The Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Tyrese Gibson The Plot: The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets. The Buzz: In a recent interview regarding Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Michael Bay increased my optimism here tenfold when he said, "I got rid of the dorky comedy. We have a more serious story this time, and I'm trying to make up for the other two. It's dork-free Transformers!"
Seriously, if this is true, this one might actually be good -- I’m officially stoked -- like 10/10 stoked!
I should probably be more subdued in my optimism — based on how unbearable Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen was, especially the 2nd half of the film — but it can't be helped.
I'll admit my stoked-ness does come amidst bias, as I was an extra in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The first two shots in the first trailer were from scenes that I was present for the filming of. Matter of fact, if I slow down the 2nd shot, about three seconds in, I’m about 90% sure I can see myself just to the left of Labeouf’s ear. Yes, I realize that’s an entirely ridiculous speculation — a blurry version of me appeared in a commercial aired during the Super Bowl? “Yeah, right!” Surreal and hilarious and perhaps unbelievable — it very well might not be me, but then again, I really think it is. Let’s just call it official. Or we can just wait until Transformers: Dark of the Moon is released on Blu-ray.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was such an overlong mess of a film, to the point where my sister thought this Summer’s forthcoming installment was the 4th in the series. That said, this film's trailers have all been so sweetly effects-laden, beautifully sound designed, and gorgeously shot — all in all they've been nothing short of stunning — and even if I hadn’t been a (very small) part of the film, I’d be very excited about its release, based on the marketing campaign alone. Add Bay's comments about this one being "dork-free," and yeah, it all adds up to a big thumbs up.
I've heard people lamenting the presence of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, which surprises me, as I think she's super alluring, and has an ideal damsel-in-distress vibe going. She looks to be a vast improvement over Megan Fox. And that whole thing about Huntington-Whiteley not being able to speak English, I don't think that's an issue, just makes her that much more vulnerable, that much more ideal for the role (remember, she's not playing a Michele Rodriguez character). Also, this is not a franchise known for its brilliant script-work. This is a franchise known for its hyped up over-the-top action sequences, its brilliant sound design and its consistently beautiful score, by one of my favorites working in Hollywood today, Steve Jablonsky (Steamboy, The Island).
Regardless of how well this film is received by the critics, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is this summer’s surefire blockbuster.
You can read more about my experience working with Michael Bay here:
My Day as an Extra on ‘Transformers: DOTM’
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New Blu-ray and DVDs released this week:
Beastly (BD/DVD) - Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen
Lord of the Rings: Trilogy [Extended Cut] (BD) - Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom
People on Sunday [Criterion] (BD/DVD) - Erwin Splettstößer, Brigitte Borchert
Season of the Witch (BD/DVD) - Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Claire Foy
Sucker Punch (BD/DVD) - Emily Browning, Jena Malone, Abbie Cornish
Blu-ray/DVD of the Week
The Stars: Emily Browning, Jena Malone, Abbie Cornish The Plot: A young girl (Browning) is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the mental facility. The Buzz: Love it or hate it, you've got to give Sucker Punch some credit -- it's a beautifully crafted, gorgeous feast of art and sound, a visually compelling mash-up to end all mash-ups, and unapologetically over-the-top in its freneticism. Emily Browning and company are just lovely, and kick more ass than all "girl power" vixens before them combined. The batch of battling bombshells cartwheeling in all their gorgeously rendered video-game glory, coupled with the film’s flawless focus on, and impenetrable belief in, the great escape that can be wrangled through a fully throttled imagination — Yes, the answer is Y-E-S, in all caps, and with an exclamation point, like so: YES!
I loved this film. I could go on and on about it, matter of fact, I already did...
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