Sunday, July 31, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love - Movie Review

There's a saying that trailers lie. That's pretty much happens with Crazy, Stupid, Love. What you see in the trailer isn't the whole movie, but it would have been much better if it had been.

This is a tough movie to review. I actually enjoyed Crazy, Stupid, Love, but for everything there is to like about it, there's something that's off about it.

Steve Carell and Julianne Moore are a couple that have clearly lost their spark. The movie starts with Julianne Moore's character admitting she had an affair and she wants a divorce.

Steve Carell moves out and then starts hanging out at a local bar. He's a sad sack at this point, blabbing to anyone and everyone at the bar that he's going through a divorce and that his wife cheated on him. A young, ladykiller-type, played by Ryan Gosling, takes pity on him and decides to help him get his manhood back.

Their time together is what works best in the movie. However, my complaint is that the trailer advertises this aspect the most. There were long stretches of the movie where they weren't together or where Gosling isn't in the movie at all. I would have preferred the majority of the movie to be about the two of them.

Oh and please tell me where in the hell this magical bar they were hanging out is? It appears to be a local bar as you see many of the same people there over and over, but it's super hip and just filled with hot people. You see a montage of both of them picking up girl after girl in the same bar night after night. You'd think after a while, you'd have a bit of a reputation and have to hit up a different bar from time to time. It just seems like I never see places like this in reality. At least not out here in the burbs.

Anyway, back to the movie. There were too many subplots that could have just been eliminated. As much as I liked the actors, you could have taken these sequences out of this movie and it would have been a much better film. For example there's a whole subplot with the babysitter and her family that could have been removed. It wasn't that Analeigh Tipton's performance was bad, it just wasn't central enough to the main plot.

It seems like this movie wasn't edited very well. It would spend a bunch of time on one aspect of the story and then move to another, when you had just gotten invested in that part. They'd come back to threads later in the movie that you had almost completely forgotten about or just didn't care about.

I really liked the cast. The kid that plays Steve Carell's son, Jonah Bobo, was pretty good in parts. Julianne Moore was fine, as was Kevin Bacon. I actually thought Emma Stone's character felt a little underwritten. They tried to give her own subplot and that just kind of felt tacked on. She didn't really need it for you to like her character. In fact, the way she handled herself in one of the scenes, I thought she was a little nutty. It was just unnecessary.

There's something that happens towards the end that while I found it funny, it really seemed forced. You'll see what I'm talking about when you get around to watching this. Then, the ultimate end was just kind of sappy and felt cliched.

Overall, I still enjoyed Crazy, Stupid, Love, but again, all of these random subplots could have been removed and it would have been a much tighter film. It also could have allowed them to focus on the main characters more.

It's not a bad thing to see as a matinee, but if you rented this you'd probably be happier with the rental.

Cowboys & Aliens - Movie Review

As the previews have shown, Cowboys & Aliens stars Daniel Craig as a man who awakens in the desert with no memory of who is or how he got there. He's wearing a mysterious metal bracelet on his wrist that he cannot remove. When a few random thugs find him, he quickly dispatches them, so you understand that he's a badass. However, once he reaches a local town, it becomes clear that he's a wanted man. Harrison Ford's character originally arrives in town to either collect the gold that Craig's stolen from him or collect on the reward that has been offered.

As Ford's character is preparing to take Craig away, lights appear out of nowhere, and open fire on the town. They kidnap several people. The attack stops when Daniel Craig's mysterious wrist bracelet activates and they find it's a weapon that actually can harm the ships.

A group of the remaining town members leave to track down the aliens and find their kidnapped friends and family.

Cowboys & Aliens took a little too long to get going. Initially, I was actually digging this because it very much felt like a standard western, and I still like a good western. However, once the aliens get involved, it actually became less interesting to me. It's all very nice looking, but there just wasn't a lot going on. They really seemed to stretch this out needlessly. The movie is two hours long, but it felt like a good 20 minutes could have been cut from it.

I thought Daniel Craig was really great. Harrison Ford was just kind of cantankerous and old. It kind of felt like he was phoning it in. Sam Rockwell, Keith Carradine and Paul Dano were good, but underused. Olivia Wilde was okay, but I thought her character wasn't written all that well. It's just a waste of a great cast.

I think they missed the mark by not going for camp and trying to treat this seriously. It's not as funny as it should have been. The movie was just way too serious.

The alien design was cool, but I didn't think there was enough to them as far as their motivation went. You just don't care all that much or feel the menace here. When you find out why the aliens are there, you just kind of go, "Um, okay."

One of the things that really bugged me was then when the final battle starts, the humans are just getting slaughtered , but the battle seemed to drag on. The aliens had superior weapons, and were faster and stronger. You wonder how the humans could have stood any chance at all, especially with how few of them there were and how quickly they seemed to die. Plus, it's annoying in a movie when weapons only seemed to have any effect when it was used for dramatic purposes, like when the script called for it. They are either vulnerable to our weapons, or not.

I'll say this, at least Favreau tried to do something a little different. When the Summer movie seasons are now filled with sequels and superhero movies, it was nice to see an attempt at something different. However, I'm such a big Favreau fan that I was expecting this to be a bit funnier and faster paced.

Cowboys & Aliens is not bad, but it's just not something I'd recommend rushing out to see. After I saw the movie with my friends, nobody really had anything to say about the movie one way or another. Just a few observations, but that's about it.

I don't see me buying this on Blu-Ray anytime soon. I don't even think I'd bother renting this again unless they came out with an extended, Director's cut. It's a matinee at best, but I think most of you can save this for a rental.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Last week in DVD through July 25th.

Man, I'm dragging my butt posting my DVD reviews. I probably didn't help that the reviews I posted for Captain America and Friends With Benefits needed to be edited heavily the day after. I really need to not post reviews when I am up late...and have been drinking heavily.

Anyway, on to the DVDs...

The Lincoln Lawyer

I'm always afraid of watching any movie with Matthew McConaughey, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. This movie, and character, is based on a series of books by Michael Connelly. I would suspect that based on the reception of this movie, they might make more of these.

Basically, McConaughey plays kind of a douchey defense lawyer named Mickey Haller (the book series is known as the Mickey Haller series). He's asked to defend a rich, privileged kid, played by Ryan Phillippe, who's accused of assaulting a prostitute. Phillippe maintains his innocence and says that this is a setup by the girl to cash in on his family's fortune. He does a good job of convincing Haller, but...oh yes...there's more going on here than meets the eye.

I don't want to tell too much of the plot, because I don't want to spoil the movie for you. I really enjoyed this and I don't like to spoil a movie when I really think it's worth watching.

I thought the cast overall was great and it's a good story. There are some kind of standard courtroom movie elements here, and you can see the twists coming, but nothing felt too forced to me. It was still satisfying.

This was directed by Brad Furman, who's only other movie I can remember was The Take, which I thought was just okay. We'll see if Furman can direct some other good films in the future.

I give this one a strong rental recommendation.


Wow! A movie that I actually found kind of scary.

This starts out as what appears to be a haunted house story. Insidious stars Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne as a couple that have just moved into a new house with their young son. Apparently, there were some issues with the previous house they had lived in, but now weird things seemed to have followed them here. Their son mysteriously falls into a coma and after it cannot be medically explained why this has happened, they start to look at other possible causes.

Unfortunately, this is kind of where the movie takes a turn for the worse. Once they start trying to give a 'real' explanation for what is happening to their son, it just kind loses it's edge and I thought the ending wasn't a very good payoff at all. I won't spoil it for you, but it's a shame cause the movie starts out with such a good setup and then just isn't effective in the second half.

It doesn't have any cheap, jump scares, nor is it gory. I actually got the chills a few times when watching this and I rarely get that kind of reaction to scary movies. It has a good overall, creepy vibe to it. If you have a good surround sound system, it'll help with the scares.

I think this was better and scarier than Paranormal Activity, which I'm sure this will draw some comparisons too.

Kuduos to everyone involved here though. This movie was made under the microbudget model and was made for just $1.5 million. They went for normal, practical effects, instead of overblown CG or anything like that. I think that's why it was more effective as far as being creepy. I hope they continue to make movies like this though. I would like everyone to keep supporting smaller budget films if they are even halfway decent.

This was directed by James Wan, who also directed the first Saw movie and has been involved with most of that series as a producer. It's nice to see that he can do more than just torture porn movies.

I really wish I had seen this one in the theater just so I could have heard everyone's reactions to this.

I've love to give this a higher recommendation, but the second half just drops it down a few pegs for me. Overall, I still give a rental recommendation.

A short rant:

The next two movies both claimed to be based on true stories or real events. Both movies also tell you this in the first 30 seconds as the opening credits start. This is starting to become a pet peeve of mine.

If it's based on a true story, doesn't telling me that up front kind of kill any suspense for the film and even sometimes eliminates the need to even watch it? If it's a survival-type film, which both of these are, the obviously someone survived or there'd be nobody left to tell the story.

Then, you read up on the real story and find that it's VERY loosely based on a true story or the details are sketchy at best. A different person survived, it was a different kind of shark, it was in a different location, etc. If they change everything about the supposedly 'true' story, then why even say it's a true story?

Wouldn't it make more sense to save telling me it's based on a true story for just before the end credits roll? I think that would be more effective. Well, here are the two reviews:

The Way Back

They tell you up front that 3 men survived an escape from a Siberian prison and walking 4000 miles to India. So, when like seven or eight people are part of the group, you already know half are going to die. See what I mean about that killing the suspense?

Anyway, so these guys all escape from prison and then it's just it's just people walking through snow and desert and then watching most of them die. It's not pretty to watch them, and it's not fun. Most of the time you don't even know who just died. Since they are all bundled up (in the snow) or chapped, sunburnt and bearded when they reach the desert, it's hard to know who is who.

This felt like watching Lord of the Rings, except there were no Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, Orcs or anything else of interest happening around them.

I felt like I was enduring this movie as much as these guys were enduring this walk. At least the scenery was nice and the movie was shot well.

It's not that it's acted poorly. In fact, the cast features several actors I like, and I didn't think any of the performances were bad. Ed Harris was great, Jim Sturgess was good (who normally I haven't cared for) as was Saoirse Ronan. Colin Farrell gave a nice performance as well, but he actually goes his own way about halfway through the movie, never to be seen again.

The Way Back is just not a very interesting story. This movie kind of bums me out. I really wanted to like it. I like the director and most of the cast, but this just isn't anything I see people watching and enjoying on any level. I don't think it's a terrible movie, it's just not one worth recommending to anyone unless you want to torture yourself watching people struggle against the elements.

It's directed by Peter Weir. I think he really tried here, but given the subject matter, there was only so much he could do. Plus, when reading up on the 'true' story, you'll find that the entire guy's story has been debunked and now even the director now admits this is a work of fiction. That kind of kills any of the emotion you might have had towards the characters.

This is a pass for me.

The Reef

The second in my 'based on real events' double feature. This one is a bit more believable though. A group of friends pile in a boat and set sail for Indonesia, but shortly after the trip starts, the boat runs up on a reef and capsizes. The group decides that it's better to make a swim for it as the current is taking them further out to sea and they think the boat will sink before anyone is able to find them. One guy stays behind as he knows what is in the water and would rather take his chances staying with the boat.

The rest of the group swims for an island they think is a few miles away. I'm sure you can guess what happens next.

This is probably the most effective shark film I've seen since Jaws. One smart thing they did is not use a CG shark. What they did was film their own footage of a Great White, and then composite that in with the actors. It works surprisingly well here. I knew about this going in and there were many times where I felt like they actors really were swimming just a few feet away from a huge shark.

As someone that has both a pretty strong fear of deep water, being stranded at sea AND sharks, this movie was pretty terrifying at times.

It's only just about 88 minutes, so The Reef doesn't drag on, but can feel like it at times since they are just swimming for most of the film. However, I think that's what helps contribute to the helplessness and the eventual paranoia the characters feel.

The Reef is a little closer to the real story this was based on. It appears that two people really were killed by a shark as they were swimming back. Another difference was that it was a Tiger shark instead of a Great White, but those are the kind of changes they do for dramatic effect.

I actually recommend this one.


I did not like this. I'm not even going to get into the lack of need for a remake of the original Arthur. This is a remake nobody asked for or even cared about.

The first 15 minutes of this movie are just awful. Russell Brand's Arthur is just so annoying that I almost turned the movie off. Fortunately, he tones his act down a bit,but then the movie just becomes what felt like a run of the mill romantic comedy. I'd get more into the plot, but it's just not interesting enough to talk about.

I'm sorry, but I don't find Russell Brand funny. He has that high pitched voice that just grates on you. I don't really think there's a lot of talent there. What exactly does he do? Act annoying? I do think he works in a small doses and in supporting roles, like in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. A little of him goes a long way. Give him a full movie and there's not enough there to keep your interest.

Greta Gerwig plays Arthur's love interest. I didn't think she was bad, but she kind of came across to me as a poor-man's Zooey Deschanel. I actually think some of the date scenes between her and Arthur were cute and a little charming. If they had gotten rid of a lot of the ridiculousness of this movie, it might have worked better as just a Rom-Com between these two.

I like Helen Mirren, but she felt totally out of place. I can't imagine why an actress of her caliber would have even agreed to be in this. It's like she lost a bet or the director must have naked pictures of her stashed away for blackmail.

Speaking of, this was directed by Jason Winer. This is actually a shock to me as he has directed many episodes of Modern Family, which is one of the funniest shows on TV. You'd think he would have known this wasn't a funny movie.

This movie is bad, but it wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting. That's still not saying much or a compliment. Saying a movie isn't as bad you were expecting it still saying it's bad. I just didn't think it was funny at all and I don't think this movie does anything to prove why Russell Brand should be in starring in movies. Overall, I can't find any reason why you need to watch it.

Ugh, don't watch this.


I rented this as this was written and directed by Mike Mills, who recently did Beginners, which I liked a lot. I wanted to see what else he had to offer. Thumbsucker isn't bad, but it wasn't as enjoyable as Beginners.

This is one of those quirky movies where every character is flawed in some way or seems to be a little off. The main character Justin, played by Lou Taylor Pucci, is a high school student that still has issues with sucking his thumb. He struggles in school and doesn't seem to be able to focus on anything. He has a unusual relationship with his parents, whom he both addresses by their first names. This actually at their request, because saying 'mom' or 'dad' makes them feel old. His Father, played by Vincent D'Onofrio, is a former jock that seems to be a little bugged by his son's awkwardness. His Mother, played by Tilda Swinton, is a nurse that doesn't seem to be happy in her marriage and has a weird crush on a TV-actor, played by Benjamin Bratt.

As a thumb sucker, Justin sees an orthodontist played by Keanu Reeves. He attempts to council Justin on his thumb sucking and tries a few methods of getting him to quit.

Justin eventually is diagnosed as ADHD and is given Ritalin, which actually allows him to start focusing on school. The debate team, which he originally only joined to get close to a girl he had a crush on, he is now excelling at. However, his new confidence and success has made him a bit arrogant, and this leads to a bit of a conflict with his debate coach, played by Vince Vaughn. He becomes confrontational with others as well and eventually quits taking the Ritalin.

It has a very good cast and they all perform well here. Even Keanu Reeves was interesting in his role and you see Vince Vaughn play a much different role than what you're used to seeing.

As I said earlier, it's on the quirky side and I thought it was a little uneven. It just felt a little slow and awkward, but the awkwardness is partially due to the subject matter and the flaws of the characters.

I thought it was worth the rental and if you like films on the awkward side, then you might enjoy this one as well.

Take Me Home Tonight

It's kind of tough to do an 80's nostalgia comedy when you already have The Wedding Singer, and more recently, Hot Tub Time Machine beating you to the punch. It's even tougher when both of those movies are far funnier than this.

Take Me Home Tonight isn't the worst movie, it just isn't very funny or all that original. It also suffers from some bad writing. There are a bunch of things that happen that don't make sense at all. Normally, you can forgive stuff like that in a comedy, but only of it's really funny. Plus, I really hate when the main character lies to a girl when there just isn't any reason to. It's the same issue I had with Just Go With It.

Topher Grace's character, is a recent MIT graduate who's back home and trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. In an effort to impress a girl he's had a crush on since high school, tells her he has a job at Goldman Sachs, when he really works at a Suncoast Video. The girl is played by Teresa Palmer, appears to be the only actor in the movie playing her age. Anyway, as far as the lie goes, he just got out of college. It wouldn't have been a stretch to say, "I just moved back from college and I'm working here until I can get a job in my field." Granted, it's easier to say that now with the economy the way it is, but I still don't see any reason to lie like this. When the lie eventually gets revealed, you will look terrible. I'll give you one guess as to whether or not that happens here.

Plus, it's not even a well thought out lie. Several people in the movie immediately challenge him on the fact that Goldman Sachs doesn't have an office that's local. If you're gonna lie like that, at least do you homework first. You're supposed to be a math whiz, but I guess you didn't take Lying 101 at college. I guess MIT doesn't offer that as part of the curriculum.

Anyway, the plot of this all hinges around everyone meeting up at the big party. You've seen this a million times, and done much better in other films. Like I said, there's just nothing new or original here.

Having said that, I actually didn't mind it that much. It's harmless enough and the cast is likeable. It's just kind of meh. I like Anna Farris, but I felt like she was underused. Also, it seemed kind of weird to cast her as Topher's twin sister when that wasn't used for any comic effect. Why not just have her be his older sister by a year or two or just a good friend even?

Another interesting thing was that this movie was actually made in 2007, but was shelved until this year. I wonder if this movie might have been received better if it had been released a few years ago. It was directed by Michael Dowse, who really hasn't directed anything of note. I can only imagine if they had gotten a better comedy director and punched up the script a bit, this would have came off much better.

As you would guess by the title of the movie, it has a lot of 80's songs and references, so if you like that, then you'll at least get a kick out of some of that.

It wouldn't be the worse thing to rent this, just don't expect much.


I have nothing to say about this other than it's just another bad film based on a video game. I was hoping that it would at least deliver on the martial arts action.

There's just no reason at all to watch this. I didn't think the fight scenes were all that good and the whole story is ridiculous. It's a shame because there are actually some good people in this movie, they are just all wasted here.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Captain America - Movie Review

Captain America! F-Yeah, coming along to save the mother-effing Summer!

Okay, it's not that good, but it's still pretty damn good. Honestly, I think Captain America's biggest flaw is that it didn't come out sooner. They really messed up not bringing this out on 4th of July. So what if it was competing against Transformers 3. Transformers 3 sucked, and is anyone talking about that movie anymore. Nope!

I'm never been a Captain America comic reader. I always thought he was the cheesiest of the comic book characters. He just seemed goofy. Does he even have a super power? They actually explain that here, along with his motivation and character.

It starts with showing a sickly looking person, Steve Rogers, played by a I-don't-know-how-they-did-it Chris Evans. He shows, through his actions, that while he's not a physical guy at all, he's got all the heart in the world. It's this heart that gets him chosen to be the guinea pig for the original Super Solider serum.

However, after he's given the serum and transformed into a more physical presence, instead of just launching him into the role of hero, they put him into a war propaganda role that he actually wants nothing do with. He just wants to fight. That's Steve Rogers character in a nutshell; he's always just wanted a shot to do his part.

What the movie shows you is not that Captain America is the best superhero. It shows you that he's the best team player.  He doesn't want the all the credit or the glory.  He just wants to do his job.  It's like a star quarterback never taking credit for the victory, even though he threw for 600 yards, 5 TDs (with 2 more rushing) and no INTs.  Then he says after the game that it was 'a total team effort.'  If you combined Peyton Manning. Joe Montana and Tom Brady and then gave him super powers, he'd be Captain America. Something like that.

There's really not a lot I can say about the movie without spoiling anything. Hugo Weaving is great as he always is, but a bit underused. Tommy Lee Jones has a short, but good role. Hayley Atwell is capable, but I didn't think she was anything special as far has her performance. I think she could have been interchanged with just about any other actress and it probably wouldn't have made much of a difference.

It has plenty of great action sequences and I felt like it was paced pretty well. I liked the whole retro vibe of it and I think that really helped sell the movie.

Oh, this has the best post-credits sequence of all of the Marvel movies! Stay until the end and you'll get The Avengers teaser trailer and you don't even need to go to ComicCon.

Anyway, I really enjoyed Captain America this is a total full price movie for me. I didn't see this one in 3D, but this is something that might have worked in 3D. Once again, the 3D was done it post, which usually looks bad, but there were a few times he throws his shield around that probably would have looked pretty cool in 3D.

Otherwise, just go see this. If you liked Thor or X-Men: First Class, you'll like this just as much, if not more.

Friends With Benefits - Movie Review

If you know me, you know that it takes a lot to make me like a romantic comedy. I usually go in with the bias that they are going to be the same old hackneyed bullshit and suck hard. So, if you can make a romantic comedy that I actually enjoy, then that's saying something.

Friends With Benefits, is actually my favorite romantic comedy of the year. Yeah, I said it. They did it!

I went in wanting to hate this. Seriously, from the previews how were they going to sell me on two hot people having a hard time finding someone to have sex with them? Really, people that look like Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake are having a hard time finding someone to hook up with them? Cry me a frigging river. Thankfully, that's not the actual plot of this movie, but that's what the previews made it look like.

I know this will draw comparisons to No Strings Attached, but let me stop that now. Friends With Benefits, is better in almost every way. Apparently, both of these movies were actually made at the same time, but they decided to release Friends With Benefits later in the year. Smart decision, as this is clearly the better movie.

If you can make me laugh out loud when I'm not expecting to, then you've already won me. Friends With Benefits did that here. I was surprised at how funny this was. It's actually kind of raunchy in parts, which I just wasn't expecting, but it was a welcome surprise.

There's not a helluva lot to the plot, so I'm not even going to get into that here. It's pretty standard romantic comedy stuff. In fact, I'll give you one guess as to how it ends...

( you need a hint?)

I'll just talk about what I like. Here it is:

One of the things I really liked here is that neither of the main characters had that stereotypical group of friends that follows them around, like you saw in No Strings Attached or Going the Distance. This made the movie much easier for me to relate to. When it comes to my dating life, I feel like I'm flying solo most of the time. I don't have a quirky group of friends always willing to be my wingmen. As much as I'd like that, it's not the case. Anyway...

Woody Harrelson is great as an over-the-top gay sports writer. He's probably the only thing close to the bullshit friends from other romantic comedies. He's used well here though, so it didn't feel like it was too much.

Richard Jenkins as Justin's Dad is also good here. He usually good in any movie he's in. Here he teeters the line between funny and emotional. That's all I'll say.

Even Jenna Elfman has a nice role here, which I found kind of a shock cause they take a shot at Scientology in the movie and she's a known worshiper of Xenu. Maybe that changed.

Sure, this is a little cliched at points. Actually, this movie pokes fun of the whole genre in a very meta-sense, which makes me forgive that (at one point Kunis' character even gives a f-you to Katherine Heigl. Bravo!). In a way, it's a total setup, because you know what's coming at the end. Still, you don't mind and actually would have been mad if it ended any other way.

This movie gets by on it's charm and the chemistry of Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. Oh man, does the chemistry pop between those two. If they had cast this differently, it just wouldn't have worked. You know, I never thought I'd say this, but I think Timberlake really does have a future in acting. Even after The Social Network, I thought he was a flash in the pan, but he pretty good. While there are scenes where he sings, it's only done for laughs. I was actually expecting them to run that into the ground and make it annoying, (like say...Jack Black) but again, they used that without making you roll your eyes at it.

I credit this to Will Gluck who also directed Easy A, which was my surprise fun movie of last Summer. It seems he has really figured out a formula that works and hopefully he can keep this up.

Anyway, I highly recommend seeing this. It's a great date movie.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beginners - Movie Review

Time for another semi-alcohol-fueled review!

I've said this before, but I LOVE The Vine in Livermore. I got to the theater, paid just $9 for a non-matinee. Ordered a Racer 5 and Arrogant Bastard beer (double fisting) and a burger, and had it delivered to my chair in the theater. You can't beat this!

Anyway, Beginners is a movie starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer. The movie is narrated by Ewan's character, who most of the time uses a photo-essay form of giving you snippets about his family and life. Ewan is a late-30's bachelor, and he starts by telling you that his mother died a a few years back and after that, his father, at the age of 75, came out of the closet as a gay man.

He then tells you that his Father has already died as well. This is told to you in the first five minutes of the movie, so this is no spoiler. Despite all the death mentioned in the first few minutes of the film, the tone of the movie isn't of sadness.

Ewan has taken on the ownership of his Father's dog, who he can understand as the dog speaks to him through subtitles. I found this to be one of the funniest elements of the movie and fortunately it's not used too much. He meets a girl at a party, played my Melanie Laurent, and begins to date her.

In the movie, 'Beginners' refers to both the beginning of a new relationship for Ewan and for his father beginning his new life as a gay man and discovering that aspect of his life.

The movie cycles between flashbacks of Ewan taking care of his Father before he died, his relationship with his mother when he was a child; and of him in the present-tense dealing with the death of his Father and being in a new relationship.

There are points where this is a quirky and clever comedy, but at other times this felt like more like a serious drama. With there being a lot about new relationships in the movie, you could say this is a romantic comedy. It never really felt like one to me though, but that's not a bad thing. I just think the tone of the movie kind of shifted around a bit.

There are some emotional moments toward the end. I'm generally not brought to tears by a movie, but even I had to fight back some tears towards the end of this movie. I don't cry though. I'm wearing a Superman shirt. I only cry when I accidentally cause the death of Lois Lane when I'm not fast enough to stop the rocket from crashing into a California fault line. Anyway, the relationship between the Ewan and his Father should relate to anyone.

The movie features some very strong performances from Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer. They really made the movie for me and you walk away from Beginners wishing you had known both of their characters.

This was written and directed by Mike Mills, who also did Thumbsucker. I haven't seen Thumbsucker, but now I feel compelled to see that. I like when a movie makes me want to see other movies written by or starring other people from the same movie. I think that's the mark of a good movie.

Ultimately, I really liked Beginners. I felt it was a little uneven as far as the tone of movie, but overall I enjoyed it.

Most of you don't access to an art house theater near you, so I give this a rental for most people. If you happen to live close to a theater that is playing this, I recommend checking it out. Otherwise, I recommend you rent this once it comes out on DVD.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Review

Okay, this is this big one. All the hype has lead up to this. Does Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (that's a mouthful) live up to the hype? Well, sort of...

I start this review by stating that I watching this movie with D-BOX. You can learn more about it here:

Basically, it's like watching a movie on a roller coaster, where the seats will rumble and move with the action on screen. Actually, it's probably more like being on Star Tours. I thought it really worked in the scenes they used it in. It wasn't constant through the movie, so you aren't just getting thrown around the entire time. There was a part of the movie towards the end where I have to say I almost felt asleep, only to be awoken by the D-BOX, so I have to say that it helped me keep me in the movie. You pay an extra $8 for the D-BOX ticket, but you get a reserved seat. I thought it was fun and recommend checking it out.

Anyway, back to the movie. I did like Harry Potter. This is a pretty good conclusion to the series and story. It makes up for the action that was missing from Part 1, which I liked to call Harry Potter and the Boring-Ass Camping Trip. Part 2 doesn't waste much time getting to the action, which I liked. I didn't feel like there was a ton of story here, as most of the build up was in the Part I. As a result, this movie had more a thrill ride feel to me. It was definitely more entertaining.

However, I did have a few problems. The climax seemed a little too easy. The final fight between Harry and Voldemort just didn't seem all that epic. In fact, it felt like just a replay of their fight from The Goblet of Fire. I was a little disappointed in that.

At one point during the main battle, there was a bit of a deus ex machina to me. Maybe this was more of a cop out than a pure deus ex machina, but there was a point at the climax that made me go, "Where'd that come from?"

While they seemed to make a point to give a villain a good death, they didn't have the same respect for some of the heroes. You don't even see them die on-screen. This started in Part 1 with Mad-Eye Moody. They just causally mention he's dead and you're just like, "Okay. That just happened. We don't get to see it, I guess. That's kind of BS."

Then, in Part 2, there's two more significant deaths that also happen off-screen and you just see them lying dead on the ground after. What the hell?! I really don't like it when movies treat their side characters as fodder. These were important characters that had been in previous movies and you give them deaths that carry no emotional weight or impact. This is one of the things that bugged me about the Transformers movies.

I will say that I've never read a Harry Potter book. I'm suspecting that some of details and emotional weight of the events are explained better there than on-screen. I'm hoping that we get a director's cut that maybe explains this stuff a little better. Therein lies a problem I have with movies based off books; if you're requiring your audience to get details about the events on-screen from another source, then you really aren't going a great job of storytelling. I'm not saying this is a bad movie, but I shouldn't have to read a book to get more details about what happens in the movie. It's the whole 'show me, don't just tell me' thing.

On another note, what the hell happened to Neville Longbottom? All of a sudden, he's turned into a young Clive Owen. Seriously, talk about a awkward looking kid growing into a man. I find it kind of funny that this guy may end up being the guy that might have more of a film career as an adult.

Look, if you're a Potter fan, there's nothing I'm going to say that's going to stop you from seeing this. You probably already have by now.

If you're a casual fan, or not a book reader, save this for a matinee or rental (especially if they come out with a director's cut). If you have an opportunity to see it in D-BOX, I would recommend checking that out, but the cost might not be worth it if you're just a casual fan.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Last week in DVD through July 10th.

This was a bad week in DVD for me. Outside of Casino Jack, I really can't recommend anything I watched last week, and even that's not a strong recommendation. If fact, I would strongly recommend that you avoid most of the movies I'm talking about in this post.

Casino Jack

Based on real events. This is the tale of Jack (not Sparrow) Abramoff who was known as the 'super lobbyist'. It basically follows his involvement with members of Congress, Indian gaming, his purchase of SunCruz casinos and leads up to his eventual conviction.

Kevin Spacey as Jack Abramoff is really good here, but after a while, this movie felt like a vehicle simply for Spacey to show how many impressions he can do. While his impressions are actually quite good, it got kind of annoying after a while. It turns out the real Jack Abramoff was a one-time movie producer known for being a movie lover and actually doing impressions all the time, so it it actually makes sense in the context of the movie. Still, it felt like it was done a little too much.

The movie is actually pretty easy on the guy. It shows him as a charming, movie-loving guy, but if you compare this to Casino Jack and the United States of Money, he's much worse. I have to credit Spacey for making this a likeable enough guy.

Overall, the story just wasn't told very well. It didn't seem to focus on anything enough and jumped around too much to my liking.

However, I still think it's worth a rental just to watch Spacey's performance. If you're a fan of his anyway, you'll likely like the movie just for him.

Season of the Witch

Nic Cage and Ron Pearlman star as Knights fighting in the Crusades. However, they desert the Knights once they see that the Knights are massacring civilians. You know, cause they are honorable and stuff. Now they are on the run, but eventually captured by the Church. The Church asks them to escort a girl believed to be a witch, and the cause of the plague, to another monastery. They agree provided their charges as deserters are dropped and the girl gets a fair trial, cause, you know, honor and fairness.

Anyway, the quest ensues and the movie proceeds to suck the life out of you. It's joyless, coupled with bad effects and nothing to care about. You don't even get over the top Nic Cage here, which would have helped immensely. This is a movie that should have been made to be campy and funny, but you don't get any of that. This was clearly a lower budget movie by the quality of the effects, so it seems odd that it is trying to take itself seriously.

The climax of this movie just felt like a bad cartoon.

I say pass. There's just nothing here.


"Embrace the suck." This is actually a line of dialog from the beginning of the movie. No truer words have been said though. It's amazing that a movie actually warns you that it's going to be bad in the opening minutes.

This is one of the worst films I can remember. It's just an awful retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The characters are poorly written, seemingly contracting themselves at various times. The plot is so 'what the hell?' that I can't even believe it's for real.

The opening scenes are just so awful that you're like, "How could anyone like this guy!" He announces to the class that he's rich, popular and good looking and you should all vote for him just because (I'm not even sure what he's running for. It didn't appear to be for class president). The student body erupts in applause when he says this. What?! Is this a school full of shallow idiots? It doesn't help that the setting of the school looked like a frigging ad agency, like it's the richest private school around. It probably was actually shot at an actual ad agency, seeing that this couldn't have had much of a budget based on the bad actors and story here.

The lone goth chick at the school, played by one of the Olsen twins, is actually a witch and nobody seems to be bothered by this fact. Yeah, and everyone knows she's a witch apparently, since they are just so causal about it. Anyway, the asshole lead character, played by Alex Pettyfer, is rude to the witch again at a party, but this is the last straw! She casts a spell on him to make him ugly and she says he has a year to get someone to tell him that they love him.

After this whole thing happens his Dad takes him to a doctor and they just go, "Sorry, there's nothing we can do." I guess doctors accept that there's magic in the world and nothing they can do about it. After this, his Dad sets him up in his own apartment with a maid and a tutor and buys him a motorcycle. What the fuck? Am I supposed to feel bad for him yet?

Also, is he really all that ugly on the outside? He's still rich and in shape, and they remind you of that constantly with seemingly endless montages of him without his shirt on. You see chicks go after dudes that are all tatted up with piercings all the time, so I don't see that being an issue. There are plenty of people where that's their thing, He could have just hung out in goth bars or something. Learn to sing or play an instrument and join a band and then there would be scores of women that would just throw themselves at him.

Then, in another tired trope in movies like this, the 'ugly', unpopular girl is played by Vanessa Hudgens. I guess in this world, she's 'ugly'. However, in a movie that's trying to say that being shallow is bad, she basically admits to being shallow, too, when she talks about how she used to have a crush on Alex Pettyfer even though he was mean.

Alex Pettyfer should never be in another movie. He's just an awful actor. Even his voice is annoying. Granted, there's only so much you can do with a poorly written character. He has no real growth at all and he never actually learns why he's an ugly person. There's never a single moment in the movie where he seems to get this.

What the hell was up with Neil Patrick Harris in this? He's plays the tutor that the Dad sets him up with. His character trait is that he's blind, yet consistently making eye contact with the actors. It's like he kept forgetting that he was blind. Who was directing this crap anyway?

Daniel Barnz wrote and directed this. I don't get it, he directed Phoebe in Wonderland, which I always recommend to people as a great movie to watch Elle Fanning in. How is this the same guy? There were four years between movies though. Maybe he had a lobotomy or something.

Everything about this movie is awful. I don't know how this got past anyone, let alone got a theatrical release. This wasn't even worth the money spent to put this on DVD.

This was made by CBS films, which reminds me of that old 'Men on Film' from In Living Color joke, "That's all you C...BS."

Pass on this with a vengeance.

The Warrior's Way

The movie stars Dong-gun Jang as a sword fighter who, as the film starts, has just become the best sword fighter in the world. However, they don't actually show much of him fighting. You just see like a flash of movement and then everyone he fights dies. Exciting, huh? Anyway, after killing all of his enemies, he hesitates to kill the last daughter of his enemy, who is just an infant. Instead he takes the child and flees to America to a town where an old friend of his lived. This does not sit well with his boss. I guess he's likes killing babies or something.

Once he reaches the town, he finds that it is run down and his friend has passed away. He takes over his friends laundry business, which may have been appropriate for the time, but isn't that a little too stereotypical? The town has become run down because of some thug, gang leader played by Danny Huston, but he's not around at the beginning. You see some flashbacks at how he ruined the town and the lives of some of the people that still live in the town. You have Geoffrey Rush playing the town drunk and this role and performance is just beneath him.

Kate Bosworth, who I still find cute as hell, just seemed corny to me. I'm not sure it was her bad southern accent or just that I have a hard time believing her in the action scenes holding her own with supposedly the best sword fighter in the world. She just didn't work in this movie for me. To be honest, everyone in The Warrior's Way just seemed corny or cliched.

As I mentioned earlier, for a movie that's about the best sword fighter in the world, there just isn't that much action. Most of the early action is over in an instant, it's basically a flash and the fight is over. There's nothing compelling about the action cause it all too easy for him. Then, once he reaches America, nothing at all happens and the movie is actually just kind of boring. When we finally get to the main action sequence at the end, it's just unsatisfying and too cartoony.

I will say that the sets are very colorful, but it also has that too much CG look. It feels like the whole movie was shot against a green screen.

This is a rental at best, but I would save it for streaming.

Daydream Nation

Kat Dennings and Josh Lucas star in some movie about nothing. At least that's what it feels like. Kat Dennings and her father move back to some small town where everyone appears to be on drugs and all the girls in the school think she's a slut, because they are all mean, I guess. After like school has been in session for a week, she hits on her teacher, played by Josh Lucas, and they start an affair. I guess hitting on a teacher in his 30's proves she's not a slut, right?

After a while, she realizes he's mental and breaks it off. Then, she actually starts to date someone age-appropriate. Josh Lucas goes off the deep end tries to sabotage her new relationship, which isn't weird at all.

I just kind of thought this was all over the place. There's some weird subplot about a serial killer in a white suit that's been abducting and killing children. However, if he's killing the children, then how does anyone know he wears a white suit? It's a small town. Maybe they should round up people walking around in white suits? It doesn't make any sense.

Josh Lucas' character is mental, yet I still didn't get his thought process.. He sleeps with his underage student, but initially resists it because he knows it's wrong. Yet at the same time, he has an age-appropriate teacher, played by Rachel Blanchard (from TV's Clueless), who is clearly into him and seemingly normal. Does he date her? No he chooses to sleep with a minor anyway. Then he gets whupped on the underage girl. I can't get behind his character at all.

The movie is slowly paced and just drags on. It's one of those movies that feels longer than it is. I really didn't like anything about it.

I say pass.

Elektra Luxx

I heard all of these great things about this one. It stars Carla Gugino as a 'retired' porn star that is pregnant with the child of some dead rock star. She is now teaching a sex class and writing a book. Sound great, huh? Well, that's about all I got out of it.

It's a shame because there are a lot of people I like in the movie (Timothy Olyphant, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Malin Akerman), but the movie just didn't do anything for me. This movie is billed as a comedy, but I didn't find anything funny about this. It just dragged on and just wanted it to end.

This is another pass.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Horrible Bosses - Movie Review.

My this week in DVD is coming. I've just been lazy the past week with the holiday and all. Plus, that effing Transformers 3 review really wiped me out. I'm still thinking of reasons why I hated that movie. Anyway...

Okay, so this one is going to be quick because I just don't have all that much to say about it. Not in a bad way; there just isn't that much to talk about it. Horrible Bosses is a funny movie, but it seemed lacking to me. For a movie about 'horrible bosses', I could have used more actual horrible bosses. The bosses felt like they were shitty, but not so shitty that I wanted to kill them. They were more like the type you put up with for a few years at the most and then you just quit or job.

The 'horrible' bosses are played by Kevin Spacey, Colin Ferrell and Jennifer Aniston, who is especially hot in this movie and really needs to play more roles like this. I complimented Cameron Diaz for her role in Bad Teacher, but I think Jennifer Aniston here was better than Diaz in Bad Teacher. I'd like to see both of them continue to take roles that allow them to play against type. Kevin Spacey was good, but I've seen him do this role before in better movies. We also needed more Colin Ferrell, who only seemed like he was in a scene or two.

I just felt like the plot itself was kind of weak and you didn't really get enough motivation for why they actually wanted to kill their bosses. However, you don't watch a movie like this for plot. Is it funny? Fortunately, the answer is yes!

The movie reminded me of Pineapple Express for some reason. Horrible Bosses seemed kind of random to me, similar to how Pineapple Express was. That's not necessarily a bad thing though. I liked Pineapple Express, so I guess that's something to consider.

There are some funny parts here and I laughed out loud several times, but overall I felt like this wasn't anything special. Maybe my expectations were set a little too high. I'm hoping this is a movie where I'll pick up on different things when I eventually watch it again.

This is the typical type of movie I say to have drinks and watch with a group of friends.

Otherwise, it's a matinee at best.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Transformers 3: Revenge of the Dark Side of the Fallen Moon.

If you're wondering why I got the movie title wrong, or jumbled it all up, it's because that's about how I feel about the movie. Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon, really isn't a new movie at all. It's basically a mashup of the first two films, but somehow not consistent with either of them.

Yes, it's better than Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, but it's worse at the same time. It's still insultingly bad at times and a jumbled mess, but at least it's not as offensive as Revenge of the Fallen. The reason why I say it's worse is because of all of Michael Bay and Shia the Beef's assertions that they understood that Revenge was bad and they promised that Moon would be better. However, instead of going back to the drawing board, they just reguritated the same shit. Saying that Transformers 3 is better than Transformers 2 is like saying that someone throwing up in your kitchen sink is better than someone throwing up on the kitchen floor, simply because it's easier to clean up. It's still someone throwing up where they shouldn't.

Normally, I have rules about spoiling movies, but I'm about to pick this movie apart. If you just want my recommendation, I'll give it here and you can stop reading. There are some entertaining action sequences and the effects are still pretty top notch. Even the 3D is pretty good. It's more of the immersive type of the 3D that adds depth, rather than the type of 3D where they just throw stuff at the screen.

The story and dialog are still pretty bad and the attempts of humor are just silly and childish at times. The movie is way too long at 2 hours and 30 minutes and the middle hour of this movie just drags on. Ultimately, it's just not all that satisfying and ends up being kind of boring.

If you have to see in the theater, do a matinee (3D isn't a waste) but honestly, it's a rental at best.

Spoilers ahead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is going to be a long one. Read on if you dare!

We begin the movie with a shot of the final days of the war on Cybertron. You see a Autobot ship trying to escape carrying Sentinel Prime, which is odd because Revenge of the Fallen explained that all of the remaining Primes killed themselves thousands of years ago protecting the Matrix of Leadership, but I guess those were different Primes or something. Anyway, this ship is carrying some special technology that is supposed to end the war. As the ship escapes, it's shot down and somehow manages to crash land on our Moon. Convenient huh? Anyway, us humans detect the crash landing and this is what actually starts the space race to get to the Moon. Which actually, isn't a bad premise.

I'm not sure why this is called the Dark of the Moon, as this doesn't actually occur on the 'dark side' of the Moon. Also, there is technically no dark side of the moon either, but I'm not going to get into that. The 'dark' of the Moon refers to the fact that once the astronauts land on the Moon, they go communications dark, so they can investigate the crashed ship. They find the ship, some dead robots and technology. I guess they took notes and brought some samples back, but whatever they brought back gets hidden away in somewhere and then they never go back to the Moon again. This seems kind of odd considering you just found advanced alien technology and robots. You'd think we'd go back as much as possible, even if all the missions were top secret.

Plus, after the government was clearly aware that Transformers had been running around on the Earth for two films, you'd think someone that was around when all of this happened might have decided to dust off those old, top secret files, but it just seems like everyone had forgotten about that whole Moon thing.

Also, don't Transfomers have advanced sensor technology or something? None of them couldn't have just scanned the Moon at any point looking for familiar energy signatures. It's weird how all of this ancient Transformer stuff keeps crash landing on the Moon and Earth in all of these films. You'd think they would know better by now.

Anyway, so after the whole Moon opening sequence, we are brought to the present day. The Decepticons are hiding again, and the Autobots have placed energon detectors all over the place to help sniff them out. Oh wait, there's the advanced sensor technology it seems they should have had all along. I guess they do have the ability to detect their own technology. Um...okay. I guess placing a few of these on the Moon before coming to Earth wasn't an option I guess.

The Autobots have nothing to do while the Decepticons are hiding, so they are still working with NEST and Josh Duhamel, who seems like he really had nothing to do in this movie. The Autobots are now helping the US government find terrorists and kill them. This seems like a pretty fundamental shift in Optimus Prime's philosophy, because in the last movie it seemed that he wanted no part sharing weapon technology with humans because of our capacity for war. I guess they don't have problems helping them kill terrorists though. Oh yeah, Optimus said in the first film that they don't harm humans, too. I guess that doesn't apply anymore. It's a good thing the Autobots landed in America then.

The Decepticons are hiding in Africa and Russia, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Why aren't they using the base they had on Jupiter in the last film? Did they dismantle it for parts? Megatron is still beat up from the last movie, and wears a hood now. Again, I'm a little confused why he wasn't able to repair since you see other Transfomers able to reattach limbs and such. I'm also not clear as to why a giant robot would need to wear clothing. I don't think the hood is going to do much to disguise that fact that he's a GIANT EFFING ROBOT! I guess that's why he's in Africa hiding with all the wildlife. There aren't any humans around to notice. Not that a large truck transforming into a robot would stand out in the middle of a desert.

Anyway, the Autobots finally track down a Decepticon in Russia, who turns into a giant, metal sand worm thing that's like ten times the size of any Autobot. Why this thing can't kill any of the Autobots, I don't know. Seems like that's a pretty big tactical advantage. Anyway, during this fight, the Autobots recover a piece of the technology recovered from the Moon all those years back. Optimus recognizes it and gets pissed at the government for not sharing what they knew about them. They decide to go to the Moon to investigate for themselves, and this demonstrates one of the many issues I had with the movie, as they just casually show that the Autobots had a ship that could get them to the Moon. Where was this ship when the came to Earth in the first place? If you remember, in the first two films, the Transformers always crash landed on Earth in a proto-meteor form without being in a ship, so they obviously had a way to leave other planets without needing a ship, but not Earth I guess. Sigh...

They get to the Moon, recover a few pieces of technology and a not dead Sentinel Prime. Optimus uses the Matrix of Leadership, which as you remember from the last film revived the then dead Optimus Prime, but was also needed to operate the sun exploding machine. This Matrix of Leadership is quite handy. Sentinel explains that the advanced technology is for a space bridge that originally was somehow going to end the war, but now is somehow going to save Cybertron. I guess this is another Swiss army knife technology. Very creative these Transformers are. However, Sentinel explains that the technology they recovered was just a fraction of what they needed to make the space bridge and the rest of it is missing.

Now, it's time to hang out with The Beef. We catch back up with Sam Witwicky, who's living with his new model girlfriend in some giant apartment in DC that I'm not sure how either of them could afford considering he's unemployed. Also, they show that they met at the White House after Sam was given a medal by Obama. It seemed a little odd to me that a Brit would have a job in the White House and be in the next room over from the President. I guess they did a quick background check or something.

Sam is depressed because nobody realizes how great he is. He has saved the world twice, you know. His girlfriend and his parents (oh yeah, they're back, too) just want him to move on a get a friggin job. You see a sequence of job interviews where he acts like a spaz and it seems pretty clear why he can't get a job. Eventually, he gets hired by John Malkovich to work in a mail room. Sam seems irritated by this, as this is clearly a step down for someone with his skill set. You even get to seem him working. Fascinating, I know. I guess when you call a movie Transformers, you have to show looooong, boring sequences of some douchey kid working in a mail room, moping around his hot girlfriend's apartment and arguing with his dorky parents. Makes for a great movie.

Megan Fox has been replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who is no actress, but I didn't think she was as awful as I thought she was going to be. It's not like Megan Fox was a good actress either. She plays a character named Carly, or is it Marly? I swear you hear characters say both names. It's like they started with one name, filmed a bunch of scenes, decided to change it and then when asked if they should go back and redub the dialog on those other scenes, Bay said, "Fuck it! Nobody will notice. My movies aren't about things like consistency!" Anyway, the movie starts with a very long shot of her legs and ass going up a flight of stairs, which should tell you about how she's going to be used in this movie. Several times during the movie, you get shots of her basically being shot like a stripper and various cast members ogling her. Again, what any of this has to do with giant robots, I don't know. Bay sure likes his strippers though.

Anyway, she works for McDreamy who is some kind of auto collector or something. I'm not really clear as to what he does, other than he seems to be after Carly and Sam doesn't like him. Jumping ahead, we eventually find out that McDreamy has been working with the Decepticons for years. For something supposedly so top secret, it sure seems like there are just a whole bunch of random people walking around with full knowledge of their existence and carrying around evidence of it and it's all unchecked by anyone.

The Decepticons appear to be mobilizing again and the Autobots don't know why. The government doesn't either, but something is clearly up. Fortunately, we have Sam Witwicky, who despite being told by the government to take a hike, decides to investigate this himself with the help of his old buddy Agent Simmons, played again by John Turturro. Agent Simmons, who was disgraced and working in a deli in the last film, is now super rich after writing a book about the Transformers. Again, I guess they don't put a gag order on former heads of top secret agencies. Simmons has a gay, German assistant, played by Alan Tudyk (who I actually thought was kind of funny). Tudyk is also some kind of super computer hacker, which obviously comes in handy. It seems like characters in Transformers movies are always conveniently adept at random things when the script calls for it.

Anyway, they figure out the plan, which was basically that the Decepticons had the rest of the space bridge technology and Sentinel Prime has been working with Megatron all along. Sentinel is the only person that can operate the space bridge, so Megatron needs him. I guess Megatron's deal with Sentinel was not known to the rest of the Decepticons as they were the ones that shot him down in the first place!

Early in the movie, Optimus offers the Matrix back to Sentinel, but he declines it, which now seems very odd to me, because if Sentinel was planning on betraying him all along, you'd think he'd want to hang on to this very handy tool. I guess he didn't have a need for it, despite that it can resurrect dead Transformers and control sun exploding machines.

So the Decepticons activate the space bridge where suddenly all of these dormant Decepticons awaken on the Moon and go through the bridge to get to Earth. I'm not sure why they needed the space bridge to get from the Moon to Earth. If you argue that maybe they couldn't fly, then how did they get to the Moon? Were they all on the crashed ship? But, then that would mean they were all working with Megatron, too, since they were all Decepticons. None of this makes any sense! Also, several of these dormant Decepticons are ships. They couldn't have just flown to Earth on their own?

Plus, why were they hiding all this time? There's like a hundred of them and like ten total Autobots. Seems like they could beat them just through sheer numbers. Are Deceptions that ineffective at fighting? Between their numbers and the giant sand worm thing, I'm having difficulty understanding why they are having such a hard time with such a small resistance. Ugh...this is maddening!

Anyway, the Decepticons demand the Autobots leave Earth, stating that they only want to harvest resources and then they'll leave Earth alone. So the Autobots pile into yet another huge spaceship that government knew about. Hell, they even grafted a space shuttle to it, so I guess it wouldn't look suspicious or something. Here we find Tyrese is no longer a soldier and working on the space ship, which he describes an easy job. Anyway, the giant, alien, space shuttle-ship takes off with all of the Autobots in it and then Starscream immediately shoots it down with ease. Oh noes! All the Autobots are dead! Spoiler alert: They aren't dead!

Now it turns out the new plan is to use the space bridge to bring Cybertron here, and enslave humans to help rebuild it. Why they think humans would make good labor over the giant robots, I don't know. Also, if their plan is to enslave humanity, then why do they start out by killing thousands of humans indiscriminately. I guess they don't need all of us. Also, I guess nobody understands that if you introduced a giant planet next to our planet, the gravitational forces alone would destroy our planet. It makes sense maybe from the sense of bringing the planet here to take over Earths orbit, but maybe I'm giving them too much credit.

Oh yeah, wasn't the plan in the last movie to destroy our sun for energy? They didn't seem to be too concerned with human slave labor that time.

Anyway, McDreamy kidnaps Carly and takes her into the city. He reveals that his master plan to help the Decepticons is simply to 'not die'. So Sam rounds up Tyrese and some of his old soldier buddies, including Terry Tate: Office Linebacker (No, I'm not kidding. He's in this.), to go into the city and rescue her. Which begins the hour long action sequence that ends the movie.

You'd have to wonder why a small force of humans would think they have much of a chance against the Decepticons. Even Tyrese wants to quit the second they get to the city, but humans have apparently become much more adept at killing Transformers with small weaponry. They don't seem to have any problem running right up to a Transformer, placing a bomb on his foot and running away. Hell, even The Beef is able to kill Starscream by himself. Yes, Starscream, second in command of the Decepticons in every version of the Transformers you've seen is killed by a bratty little kid that probably couldn't beat up your sister.

Oh, and by this point, the Autobots have returned saying they had to let all this happen, so we'd understand the Decepticons could not be trusted. I guess you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, right Optimus? Anyway, now the Autobots are back to fight the Decepticons and off they all go.

The humans find Carly, and this begins this insanely long sequence of the metal sand worm tearing up the building they are in and the humans sliding around everyone. Once they finally get on the ground, instead of getting Carly to safety, they just let her hang around. She's walking around, with her bee-stung-lipped mouth all agape as stuff is blowing up all around her. She's not screaming or taking cover or reacting to it in any way. You know, like normal people would. Then again, cool guys don't run from explosions.

She somehow happens to find Megatron, who's just chilling out against a building. Seriously, during the huge battle, Megatron is just sitting up against a building. Carly is not intimidated by giant robots, so she just walks up to Megatron and talks shit to him for like half a minute saying that he's going to be Sentinel Prime's bitch. That's enough to make him turn his back on Sentinel Prime. I guess advanced alien robots aren't immune to a girl getting in your head.

So as Sentinel is about to kill Optimus, Megatron (surprise!) shows up and shoots Sentinel. Then Optimus, is then able to kill both Sentinel and Megatron by himself in about a minute. Oh, and Optimus did this with only one arm, as Sentinel cut off his other arm a few seconds ago.

They destroy the space bridge and this destroys Cybertron along with it. That sucks.

That's pretty much it for the story. I have a few other points I'd like to make. I could keep tearing this movie apart, but I'm getting exhausted. I'll do this bullet point style.

- Once again, the Transformers, outside of Optimus, don't really have any actual character traits and aren't developed at all. In the first Transformers, you got the feeling that they actually had personalities and were friends. By the second and third films, their only character traits are that they have funny accents.

- What happened to Jolt? Did he get killed between the two movies. It just seems like Bay just randomly adds and subtracts robots from these movies. On the Decepticon side, Barricade seems to have returned, after being completely MIA from the second film and from the final battle in the first film. I guess he just shows up when he wants to.

- Also, they kill two Autobots, in very undignified manners. You're only upset, because it's all so pointless. If the Autobots had been developed better, these deaths might have carried more weight. Every time they kill a Decepticon, you don't care. Half of them don't even have names. There's nothing compelling about any of them.

- Bumblebee still can't talk, despite that he could at the end of the first film. For an advanced alien race, it seems they have difficulty fixing minor things. I guess it's just not that much of a priority. Still, you'd think after like five years, they would have figured it out.

- The racist Autobot twins aren't here, which is a good thing, but they are unfortunately replaced with two mini robots with weird voices. One of them is Wheelie from the past movie, back with his bad NY accent, and now he's joined by another mini robot named Brains, I think, who also spoke with a weird accent. I'm not sure why he's called Brains as I didn't remember him saying or doing anything even remotely intelligent. He did turn into a laptop though. I think these two were meant as comedy relief, only they aren't funny at all.

- I don't know how Bay has directed three movies about giant robots, while not understanding what robots are. Throughout these movies, the robots drool, bleed, spit, have hair and some of it sheds. There was more of it in Revenge, but it's here in Moon as well.

- In the first Transformers, it is established that Megatron crash landed on Earth several thousand years ago when searching for the Allspark, and the Allspark had been on Earth since 10,000 B.C. I thought it was established that control over the Allspark is what started the war between the Autobots and Decepticons in the first place, and they had been searching for the Allspark for several thousand years apparently. It just doesn't seem consistent with Megatron being around to make a deal with Sentinel Prime in this movie. Also, the whole thing with The Fallen from Transformers 2 happened in 17,000 B.C., so it's not like they weren't aware of Earth. Granted, there could be issues with the time here, as could have taken the Transformers thousands of years to reach Earth, but I shouldn't have to come up with excuses for them. This should be explained by the story.

- Plus, it seems like a lot of this completely retcons Sector 7 from the first film. In the first film, Sector 7 is established in the 1930's when they found the Allspark and built the Hoover Dam around it. Even though Megatron was discovered by Archibald Witwicky in 1897, he's been hidden in the Hoover Damn since the 1930's as well. It would seem that Sector Seven would have been involved in the space race somehow and I believe it's even stated in the first film that NBE-1 had something to do with the space race. Again, this just doesn't seem consistent with their own mythology.

- It seems like it might have been a smarter move to bring back Rachael Taylor's character from the first movie as Sam's love interest in this one. Here's a character that already knows Sam and is familiar with the Transformers. Plus, she's a known computer whiz, so when the script called for someone to hack into a system, you would have had an established character with those skills in the movie without having to tack them on to Alan Tudyk's character. You could have even brought Anthony Anderson's character back as well. Show them working on a government team working with the Autobots or something.

Hopefully, this franchise gets a reboot in a few years, with a writing and directing staff that actually understands things like consistency, what a coherent story is, and how to write characters with actual personalities. Also, it would help if they understand what a robot is.

After all of this mess of a film, people APPLAUDED as it ended! Seriously? You watched this and enjoyed on that level? Maybe they were clapping ironically? I really hope this isn't how far we have fallen that this passes for applause-level movie entertainment. I shudder for our future and the future of movies if this encourages more shit like this. It's just like how I die a little inside every time another Friedberg and Seltzer movie has a good opening weekend.

At the end of this trilogy, I've come to the realization that the Transformers movies are not about the Transformers at all. They are more about humans and some entitled brat named Sam Witwicky. This fundamental flaw, well, that and the fact that these are Michael Bay movies, are why this franchise was doomed from the beginning. It just goes to show you that just because Steven Spielberg puts his name on a movie, it doesn't mean it's going to be good. In fact, I'm shocked that at no point during the last six years or so he didn't step in and try do something.

One final point I wanted to make is...

Sam Witwicky: Worst Character in Cinematic History.

Well, maybe not the worst. I still think Bella from the Twilight series holds that title, but Shia the Beef's Sam Witwicky is a close second. Here's why.

In the first Transfomers movie, he's actually a normal, nerdy kid. He's thown into this crazy adventure and his reaction to it all is pretty realistic. I don't have a problem with that. He's fast talking and does that stammering thing he does, but it's not to a ridiculous level. He helps save the day and gets the hot girl that out of his league. This a typical nerd becomes the hero story and it works for the most part.

In the second movie, Sam's going off to college. He still with Megan Fox, who seems to love him way more than he deserves, yet Sam can't bring himself to say he loves her back. I guess he thinks he can do better, or something. Despite that she tells him that she loves him, he seems to think she's ready to break up him any minute now. So what does he do? He blows her off on scheduled dates. Yeah, that'll keep her around. She's so concerned after being blown off, that she drives out to the school to see what's up with him. I guess that's proves his theory that she's ready to dump him, right?

Another thing is that he seems to be upset with the Transformers, Bumblebee in particular, for cramping his style. You'd think he's be pretty thrilled about being an 18-year-old with a bitching concept Camaro that is also a giant alien robot, but he's not. He wants to go on his own. Only, every time he's about to get his ass killed by a Decepticon, he's screams Bumblebee or Optimus at the top of his lungs. I think I counted at least four times in Revenge of the Fallen when he does this. The first time is particularly annoying as he screams for Bumblebee to save him and after he does, he immediately starts to chastise him for making a mess. Um...okay. Thanks for saving my life for like the third time, but you made a mess! Get back in the garage, you bad robot, you.

Besides the screaming he stammers incessantly. Watch Revenge of the Fallen and notice the number of times he doesn't even speak words, but just goes something like, "No no no no no!" or "Go go go go go!" I don't know if the script actually called for this, or this is just Shia's idea of acting, but it's annoying.

In Dark of the Moon, he's now just moping around with a sense of entitlement. He's somehow managed to meet yet another hot, model girlfriend despite being unemployed and a whiny bitch. He's upset that nobody appreciates that HE (by himself, apparently) has saved the world twice and loves to remind anyone that will listen. His parents don't care and his girlfriend doesn't care. They just want him to get a job and move on with his life. Nobody in the government cares. Hell, even the Autobots have moved on. They probably got tired of Sam acting like an ungrateful bitch after the last movie. He's living in the past and that is generally always the sign of a sad person.

He doesn't stammer as much in this movie, except for when he's spazing out during his job interviews, but he does scream and shout a TON once the action gets going. It's embarrassing.

By the third film, there is absolutely to like about Sam or identify with. You almost want him to die just so you know he can't possibly be in another one of these movies. Someone had suggested that it would have been a better movie had they just completely gotten rid of the character after the second film and made this about Josh Duhamel's character. That would have made a lot more sense to me.

Anyway, the blame for this can go all around. He was written terribly, directed terribly and acted terribly. One of the failures of these films centers around this character and how they made him an unlikable douche.

The End.