Thursday, July 7, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

My View:  Transformers: Dark of the Moon  (2011)  Michael Bay takes out his Hasbro toys for another film in the series where transforming robots beat the crap out of each other.  If you see this film, pack a lunch; it’s long - almost 2 hours and 45 minutes long.  Shia LaBeouf is back as Sam Witwicky (this has to be one of the worst names in history of action films), and he is having a tough time transitioning into the working world.  He has a new girlfriend (played by Victoria Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) who’s not helping Shia’s ego and confidence as she takes a job offered by a playboy mogul (played by Patrick Dempsey).  The Autobots have learned that mankind hasn’t been upfront with them and that the original moon landing was to research a crashed alien spacecraft that the evil Decepticons want to get their hands on.  This movie was shot in 3-D, and the battle sequences are worthy of putting on the funny glasses, but the problem is how long it takes to get to those battle sequences.  We begin not to care who is going to win.  In fact, save yourself some time and arrive at the theatre about 2 hours after the film starts.  You won't miss any plot, and you will be awake for the big action finish.  If you do see the film from the beginning, here is a helpful hint:  When the new girlfriend begins to speak or when LaBeouf’s parents show up, that’s the time to take that bathroom break you’ve been wanting. My Rating:  Cable
Transformers Website
The 50 (a movie from my best/worst film of all time):
#40 Best Film:
Safety Last!  (1927)  Harold Lloyd was one of the great comedians of the silent film era (at that time he was second only in popularity to Charlie Chaplin), and this is his most famous performance. Lloyd plays a naive country boy who moves to the city to make enough money so he can marry his sweetheart.  He gets a job at a department store and convinces the store manager to offer $1,000 to anyone who can bring the most customers into the store.  Lloyd then arranges with a friend to be a “human fly” and scale the building.  Unfortunately, his friend has to bow out of the stunt, and now Lloyd must scale the building himself.  The climb, full of near falls and misses, ends with one of the most famous scenes of the silent film era where Lloyd hangs from the face of a giant clock on top of the building.  Lloyd was one of the great slapstick comedians, who was not only good at small, subtitle comedic moves, but also had great feats of strength and timing.  Many scenes in this classic comedy have been copied again and again.   Safety Last! Info
Forgotten Film:  Summer School  (1987)  Mark Harmon plays a high school gym teacher who has been looking forward to spending his summer on the beach.  Unfortunately, he gets trapped into teaching English in summer school.  Harmon must teach a bunch of rag-tag students who would rather be doing anything else that summer.  The student body include a surfer girl (played by a very young Courtney Thorne-Smith), a pair of want-a-be horror film makers, a nerd, and a foreign exchange student.  Harmon slowly develops a working relationship with the students and with the teacher next door, played by the then cute Kirstie Alley.  This film has a amusing, conventional storyline, and while it has a feel good ending, it never takes itself too seriously.  The scene to watch for is when the two student film makers, for their final project, create an homage to their favorite horror films.   Summer School Info
In Case You Missed it (A Film Just Released on DVD):
13 Assassins (2011)   This Japanese Samurai film is in the vein of the classic film, The Seven Samurai. A group of 13 samurai are gathered together to try and assassinate a crazy, power hungry warlord.  This film is not for the squeamish as the battle sequences are long, drawn out and bloody.  The final fight takes place in the last 30 minutes of the film.  If you like action films in the mold of Kill Bill, this might be one for you.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   13 Assassins Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I’ve Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  Shark Night 3-D:   This film looks as if it belongs on Saturday night on the Sy-Fy channel.  A group of young people are vacationing on a lake house retreat when they are attacked by sharks… fresh water sharks…fresh water sharks in 3-D.  Can we just pack up the fishing pole and go home?   Shark NIght 3-D Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Buck:  Special thanks to Rebel, Ace and Charro.

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Captain America:  The First Avenger:  I have seen a few trailers for this film about the origins of Captain America and have high hopes, but it’s coming from director, Joe Johnston, whose last effort was the horrible The Wolfman (2010), and screenwriter, Christopher Markus, mostly known for the Chronicles of Narnia films.  We can only hope that the star, Chris Evans, shows up with the charisma that this role will need.   Captain America Website
Until Next Time!

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