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Adam Corn Jun 29, 2011

Well the third Transformers movie - and likely final one from Mr. Bay - is almost upon us.  Though the early press had me initially optimistic for this latest installment, the full-length trailer had me concerned that we'd have another spectacle of excess and idiocy along the lines of Revenge of the Fallen, and early reviews are suggesting that's indeed the case.  (Not that I expect all critics to "get" the Transformers franchise, but still when the reaction exceeds mere dislike to a level more of disgust it's cause for concern.)  Given the two and a half hour running time and the likely lack of 2D screenings I may wind up not even seeing it in the theater at all, but if any of you do subject yourselves to it feel free to report here. smile

James O Jun 29, 2011

I had a free screen pass from an aborted screening of Salt so I tried to use it to book a time to see this IMAX on Wed night at 7 pm (no midnight screening for me - that's too late... I'm not as young as I used to be haha).  And lo and behold it worked!  Free IMAX 3D Transformers 3 for me.  Also used the 2nd pass to get a free IMAX HP7 Part 2 advance ticket too.

Jodo Kast Jun 29, 2011

I just returned home from the midnight showing. Don't bother renting it or watching it at home. Make sure to watch it in the theater. There were so many moments when the crowd, which was quite large, became alarmingly quiet. I was very, very happy that the ridiculous humor from the last movie was toned down to the point of near imperceptibility. The computer graphics were insane and gripped my retinas in a digital stranglehold. And it had a story. Someone, somehow, sat down and wrote something beyond first grader potty jokes and cliched inanities. I felt at home while watching this movie, due to the similarities with the cartoon (with respect to story), which I did not feel so much with the previous installments.

This is the superior movie in the series, as First Class was the superior X-Men movie. I don't think I've ever seen so many great movies in the theaters in one year before. Sucker Punch, Adjustment Bureau, Source Code, Thor, First Class, and now Transformers 3. (Green Lantern was substandard.)

Angela Jun 29, 2011 (edited Jun 30, 2011)

"snob."

From what I'm gathering of the reviews that, as Adam had put it, "get" the Transformers franchise, most concur that it's at least on par or even better than the first film.  Every single one of them agrees that it's better than the second.  The 3D is also supposed to be impressive (like, Avatar impressive), especially during the final act, which is being touted as the cinematic action sequence to end all cinematic action sequences.

Promising write-up, Jodo!  Yeah, I heard there's some dark and sobering twists throughout.  I'm just looking forward to seeing how everything ends.

Angela Jun 29, 2011 (edited Jun 29, 2011)

Also, any word as to when Jablonsky's soundtrack score will hit?  It was initially set to release this week, but its current dates - for both digital and physical releases - now appear to be in limbo.

EDIT: Never mind.  The iTunes version is at least up now.

James O Jun 30, 2011 (edited Jun 30, 2011)

I would agree with Jodo - see this in the theatre.  I saw it in IMAX 3D and wow do the visuals pop (esp the final battle sequence which takes up a good chunk in the movie).  The beginning of the movie makes it feel like you're watching 3 different movies but they slowly come together.  It's definitely better than Revenge of the Fallen, and about on par with the first.  The 3D is good since they used Cameron's tech - the flying sequences are great to watch.

As for the characters Shia the Beef is generally kind of annoying and his new girl manages to act somewhat kinda better than Megan Fox did.  Turturro and Malkovich really ham it up, and Ken Jeong plays a very weird role in this. Alan Tudyk... why is he cast in this...?  Patrick Dempsey plays a role unlike most he's done on TV or movies - i kinda liked his persona, but by the end was tired of it.  Leonard Nimoy does the voice of Sentinel Prime and says some good one liners that evoke past characters he's played.  (I thought he was done with acting... guess that doesn't apply to voice acting...)

The score didn't do much for me however.  Pretty much non-existent, I don't remember any themes or such from it.  They made such a big deal about Linkin Park doing the themes for the first two movies but the one they did for this... eh...

Anyways, you're in for a visual treat.

Amazingu Jun 30, 2011

I don't give a damn about the first two movies, mostly because of the retarded "humor" and generally unbearable cast, but knowing that they took care of at least the former does make me slightly curious about this one.

Never was much of a Transformers fan though...

Angela Jun 30, 2011

I'm in for a showing tomorrow, but for those who've seen it either in IMAX 3D or RealD 3D: did you notice a brighter picture overall?

I ask in 'light' of this.

James O Jun 30, 2011

That would be hard to gauge - your theatre is probably differently equipped than the one I went to was.  It seemed bright enough though for me in IMAX 3D....

Jodo Kast Jul 2, 2011

I received the ultimate shock from one of my cousins, who abhors Michael Bay (I have several cousins that detest Michael Bay). After I told him that TF3 is worth it, he agreed to watch it. This is what he said:

"Transformers 3...........blew me away.  I had goosebumps.  Michael Bay, you f---.  I just saw Super 8, and Transformers 3 had my balls.  Congrats, you were right."

Smeg Jul 2, 2011

Jodo Kast wrote:

Transformers 3 had my balls.

What did they transform into?

Boco Jul 2, 2011 (edited Jul 2, 2011)

Smeg wrote:
Jodo Kast wrote:

Transformers 3 had my balls.

What did they transform into?

Michael Bay's balls of course.

After seeing the first Transformers movie and reading nothing redeeming about the second, I've wisely decided to skip the third as well. I think some folks here might get a kick out Topless Robot's FAQ for Transformers 3: http://www.toplessrobot.com/2011/06/top … _3_faq.php

It sure does sound an awful lot like Bayformers 1 and 2.




EDIT: because I type like Michael Bay makes movies. tongue

Amazingu Jul 2, 2011

Boco wrote:

After seeing the first Transformers movie and reading nothing redeeming about the second, I've wisely decided to skip the third as well. I think some folks here might get a kick out Topless Robot's FAQ for Transformers 3: http://www.toplessrobot.com/2011/06/top … _3_faq.php

I sure does sound an awful lot like Bayformers 1 and 2.

I thought the first movie was just incredibly retarded, then the second came and made me wish Hollywood would die a painful death, so I'm not holding my breath for this one, although I have to say all the positive comments are making me interested.

Smeg Jul 3, 2011

It's no masterpiece, but it's a hell of a spectacle. Well worth the five bucks, and no ball jokes this time!

XLord007 Jul 3, 2011

Smeg wrote:

It's no masterpiece, but it's a hell of a spectacle. Well worth the five bucks, and no ball jokes this time!

Where on earth are you that first run movies cost $5?  Even matinees are $8.50 here.

Smeg Jul 3, 2011

XLord007 wrote:
Smeg wrote:

It's no masterpiece, but it's a hell of a spectacle. Well worth the five bucks, and no ball jokes this time!

Where on earth are you that first run movies cost $5?  Even matinees are $8.50 here.

Charlotte.

Amazingu Jul 3, 2011

XLord007 wrote:

Where on earth are you that first run movies cost $5?  Even matinees are $8.50 here.

Pshaw! Movies cost 1800 yen here, and that's for standard versions. Fox Imax you pay around 2200.

You have nothing to complain about.

Adam Corn Jul 3, 2011

Amazingu wrote:
XLord007 wrote:

Where on earth are you that first run movies cost $5?  Even matinees are $8.50 here.

Pshaw! Movies cost 1800 yen here, and that's for standard versions. Fox Imax you pay around 2200.

You have nothing to complain about.

Well it doesn't really look like he was complaining.  Plus our "matinees" run for 1200 yen (the night shows at several theaters anyway), which isn't quite as terrible.

Back slightly on topic, is everybody springing for 3D for this?  I'm not a fan of the format but since it was properly shot in 3D instead of being some cheap post-processed conversion I may don the glasses this time around.

XLord007 Jul 4, 2011

I saw it today in 2D. 3D is a giant ripoff and adds nothing.

Anyway, with all the criticism around Bayformers 3, I think my biggest issue with it is that they couldn't decide if it should be action, comedy or drama. The action was too ridiculous, the comedy was too awkward, and the drama was too cheesy. And yet, I was entertained. I wouldn't recommend it by any stretch, but I don't regret my purchase. I knew what I was getting myself into.

XLord007 Jul 4, 2011

Amazingu wrote:
XLord007 wrote:

Where on earth are you that first run movies cost $5?  Even matinees are $8.50 here.

Pshaw! Movies cost 1800 yen here, and that's for standard versions. Fox Imax you pay around 2200.

You have nothing to complain about.

Damn, that's rough.  If I had to pay that much, I think my movie going days would be over.

Smeg Jul 4, 2011

Adam Corn wrote:

Back slightly on topic, is everybody springing for 3D for this?  I'm not a fan of the format but since it was properly shot in 3D instead of being some cheap post-processed conversion I may don the glasses this time around.

Nope, 2D for me. I don't really want my movies in 3D, no matter how well-executed it may be.

Angela Jul 4, 2011 (edited Jul 5, 2011)

I saw Dark of the Moon twice this weekend, once in regular 2D and again in RealD 3D.  Spoken as someone who almost always prefers to have her movie experiences in 2D, there's just no comparison this time: 3D is absolutely the way to go here.  The added depth elevates the film's spectacle-driven visuals to an amazing new level, and the effects are consistently outstanding from start to finish.  (And to answer my own inquiry from before, yes, my theater did have a noticeably brighter digital print on hand.  This is a practice I'd love to see applied to all future 3D films.) 

But just the fact that I even bothered to see the movie twice in theaters (and in such rapid succession) is a testament to how improved Dark of the Moon turned out over its predecessors.  I missed the first Transformers in theaters, but I don't think I would have been caught dead seeing it twice if given the option.  Revenge of the Fallen was a bit better, but the entire affair was just too draining for me to endure a second viewing in good conscious.  Here, Bay offers up a better paced film that's almost deserving of its monstrous run time.

I say "almost," because I still think there are a few problem spots here and there.  For all the praise being lavished onto the film's action-drenched finale, I found myself becoming more and more apathetic as the last hour wore on.  Don't get me wrong, the action and choreography is positively insane, and on a scale that's simply unmatched, but there came a point (and it came rather quickly) when it all became too much -- not unlike the second film's final battle, though this one does have the benefit of having a more interesting battleground: the Windy City.  And then there's the ending: considering that this may be the final entry of a trilogy, DotM ends on a rather brusque note.  One can't help but think, "All that shit that just went down, and THIS is the sort of resolution we end up with?"

But I did find DotM hitting the right marks before the big Chicago throwdown, largely due to what Jodo had stated: there's a better story in place, feeling much less campy and clunky than the last two outings.  Not only did they rein back the puerile humor, but there are several comedic moments that are genuinely hilarious.  Characters, like Revenge of the Fallen before it, aren't necessarily further developed, though they are ostensible more tolerable to bear.  Big-name additions like Malkovich and Tudyk are definite scene stealers, and it was a laugh a minute with my audience when Ken Jeong appeared on screen.  As for the big Megan Fox versus Rosie Huntington-Whiteley debate, it's no contest: Rosie wins by a country mile.  Her Carly brings warmth and an easier sway of confidence where Fox's Mikaela's icy, rigid presence once lingered.  She's also a damned sight prettier to look at, if I may say so.
 
The narrative itself was also finessed so that it isn't such a tangled web of needless complexity, kicking off with a clever retelling of the 1960s moon landing that leads into a plot involving a conspiratorial cover-up from NASA.  Yes, there's been some retconning from the first two films in order to make it work, and yes, there's some pretty big holes in logic that Topless Robot's FAQ managed to point out -- but they're minor complaints given how much more enjoyable the story is overall.

Jablonsky's music score is, as expected, tonally similar to the rest of the series.  Unfortunately, it's also the least memorable, for one crucial reason: the lack of the trademark Autobots theme.  It's completely M.I.A. this time around.  True, the themes for 'Prime' and 'Arrival to Earth' are used and arranged in a number of places, but there were countless moments throughout the movie where the more heroic Autobots melody could have been used to greater effect.  This really diminishes the movie's sense of thematic continuity, which is a real shame.  I also miss the edgier use of techno and choir from Revenge of the Fallen's score, with DotM opting for a more orchestral but generic flair.  Few tracks here measure up to the likes of 'Forest Battle' and 'The Shard'.  On the other hand, "Battle" is a stellar track, accompanying what I feel is THE GREATEST action sequence the series has ever seen.  (This would be the ..... freeway chase.)  Linkin Park's Iridescent is an okay song in its own right, but woefully out of place in the film, and not nearly as good as New Divide.

In lieu of the new movie, I'm going to revisit my like/hate ratio for the series.  Where Revenge of the Fallen is about 65/35 and the first 40/60, Dark of the Moon garners a comparatively impressive 75/25.  Despite a few questionable choices in direction and the occasional bits of retarded dialogue, I'm hard-pressed to find any serious faults with the film this time around.  And for a Michael Bay production, that's pretty damned impressive.

avatar! Jul 4, 2011

XLord007 wrote:

I saw it today in 2D. 3D is a giant ripoff and adds nothing.

Anyway, with all the criticism around Bayformers 3, I think my biggest issue with it is that they couldn't decide if it should be action, comedy or drama. The action was too ridiculous, the comedy was too awkward, and the drama was too cheesy. And yet, I was entertained. I wouldn't recommend it by any stretch, but I don't regret my purchase. I knew what I was getting myself into.

I also know what I could get myself into, which is why this movie is a most definite PASS!
From the reviews I've read, the biggest issue is that the movie just SUCKS.

"See Bay use his magic on actors. By that I mean his uncanny gift for making talent look talentless. Sam's boss, John Malkovich, appears in orange makeup that makes him look like an Oompa-Loompa, spouting jokes that die on his tongue. It made me heartsick to watch Oscar winner Frances McDormand, as the national director of intelligence, sparring with a hunk of metal. It's a mark of Bay's flair for the obvious that when a scene calls for McDormand to be nervous, he has her bite her nails....Transformers: Dark of the Moon — high on any list of the worst blockbusters ever (move over Green Lantern, you've been bitch-slapped) — is a movie bereft of wit, wonder, imagination, and any genuine reason for being. Watching it makes you die a little inside. Is this the future of movies? God help us! Michael Bay, you've done it again."

http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/revi … n-20110629

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