Transmorphers 3: Dark Side of the Moon
I’d like Michael Bay if he looked and acted like Woody Allen. Made the exact same movies but looked and acted like Woody Allen. If he was just this mega nerd who was obsessed with explosions and special effects and gratuitously showed supermodels at inappropriate times during robot battles. I would like that guy. I would think he’s awesome. Like a Peter Jackson type, who was a fat dork sitting in a dark room conjuring in his mind how he wanted to film the battle scenes in Middle Earth. Instead Michael Bay is just unlikable Michael Bay. He’s like the super popular rich snobby jerk in high school who got everything he wanted (girls, clothes, cars), but you think life will even out for him eventually and he’ll end up working at his dad’s car dealership in your hometown 10 years later, because the world is supposed to be fair, right? But then he grew up, bedded countless supermodels while working for Victoria’s Secret making piles of money, then gets unlimited budgets for blockbuster movies with no apparent scripts, and well becomes a Michael Bay type. I wanted to use a different person for the analogy, but Michael Bay is honestly the best person to fit that description. I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t like Michael Bay as a person. And after reading the GQ oral history of Michael Bay article, I have no reason to believe he isn’t actually a pompous mega jerk.
But I guess that has nothing to do with Transformers: Dark of the Moon as a movie, and I won’t bring it up again, just wanted to say it. In fact I’d like to start with a huge compliment for this movie. The final 45 minutes, where they are blowing up Chicago… IS AWESOME. It’s a mind-blowing spectacle of top notch special effects, all seamless and fluid and brilliant. If there’s one thing Michael Bay does right, it’s stage a fantastic CGI mega battle, that appears nonstop, and is full of adrenaline. I will say, I loved the last 45 minutes of Transformers 3. It was big, and epic, and full of good implausible detail (hey it’s robots fighting, what’s actually plausible about that? no complaints there). I have almost nothing bad to say (almost) about the last 45 minutes.
It’s the hour and a half before those 45 minutes that’s the problem. The big problem. They’ve now had 3 full (over two hours each) movies to develop Sam Witwicky. They have failed horribly. I just don’t care about Shia Lebouf’s character at all. This time around, he’s an unemployed college graduate with a two-story loft apartment with 40 foot ceilings (must be an awful neighborhood maybe?), and we are forced to tread through a mystery plot about what’s on the moon that pretty much could have been explained in like 2 minutes. That’s always been the worst part of the Transformers series, we have to deal with humans figuring things out. The robot fights are the best parts, so give us robot fights! Instead we get an ensemble cast of big shots like John Malkovich, Fran McDormand, John Turturro, Ken Jeong, ect, and they are ALL needless side characters which do nothing but waste time in this movie. This could have been such a better movie if it wasn’t bogged down with so many humans.
If George Lucas is guilty of cramming special effects into every inch of the frame every chance he gets, Michael Bay is guilty of cramming horrible one liners and stupid comments into every spot of silence he notices. Is there ever a time when the camera moves by a robot and it DOESN’T make some stupid comment? (insert unfunny caricature voice) “Ohhhh I’m a baaaaaad bolt” “Ayyyy, watch where you’re walking, sprocket-head!” (clunks other robot on back of head) I just made those up because I mentally blocked out what the actual ones are. I’m not saying this isn’t a fun and moderately funny movie, but the corny one-liners… I just don’t find them funny. And I think there’s too many of them. Try and give me the argument that it's supposed to be a funny movie for kids, and I'll ask you then how did the word cluster**** make it in the script?
Back to good stuff. No, Great stuff. The 3D is incredible. If you see this in theaters, you should have no option BUT to see it in 3D. I don’t think this was one of the best instances of 3D I’ve seen, I’m pretty sure it was THE best. The brightening of the screen in general really helped I think. Definitely huge props on the 3D, worth sacrificing your $3 hard earned dollars.
So I don’t know. I definitely didn’t enjoy the first half of it, and thought the whole movie could have lost 40 minutes, but it was all fun and games for the end. I don’t want to give the impression that I can’t just have fun at the movies and enjoy something like this, but the plot became tedious and weighed down, and I DID like the action, a lot. Take District 9 for example; fun movie, not as amazing visually as this but still impressive nonetheless, AND it didn’t have a tedious story full of cliche. It might be too much to ask for the best of both worlds from Bay, but we got the absolute best of one world, and very below average results from the other.
Worth seeing in theaters for the 3D and the destruction of Chicago (oh no, the planetarium!) alone, but the first 90 minutes… ehhhhhhhhhhh.
Also has one of the worst, laughably bad, frat boy soundtracks I’ve ever heard. I literally laughed out loud at a few of the music cues. Harder than most of the actual jokes.
[Scott Roberts] "The brightening of the screen in general really helped I think. Definitely huge props on the 3D, worth sacrificing your $3 hard earned dollars.
So I don’t know. I definitely didn’t enjoy the first half of it, and thought the whole movie could have lost 40 minutes, but it was all fun and games for the end."
Agreed almost across the board. His investment of energy in making screens brighter paid off. I realized in retrospect that a lot of the discomfort people describe in watching 3D movies is the physical strain of trying to see thing. I had noticed this watching 3D at home, but didn't fully put it together until I saw this, the longest 3D feature I've seen yet...probably the longest movie I've seen, period, since Return of the King...and not the least bit of 3D discomfort.
My only 3D beef is my usual one -- not enough flying out of the screen. The exception for me was the first major setpiece, with transformers throwing cars at each other in a highway chase scene, and some of those cars transforming in mid-flight. Awesome.
The only thing that regularly came out of the screen wasn't robots - it was lens flares! Which is actually how they appear in a viewfinder, vanishing somewhere over your shoulder. It amazes me that lens flares are such an artificial construct - they only happen in lenses! Not in life! But everybody knows what they are, and most people think that they're not only badass, but add realism to CG. Amazing. For the record, I'm nuts about lens flares. They're like visual cowbell to me. Too much is never enough.
Thousand percent on Sam. I've like Shia in movies, especially Holes, but my wife pointed out in the first few minutes that she had forgotten how unpleasant it was to be around his character.
(BTW, that was his rich girlfriend's apartment, the first time in the history of motion pictures or TV that bizarrely well-appointed digs were accounted for. Actually, one other: Friends acknowledged that their apartment was rent controlled. Only Chandler was paid well enough to live in the building at all, and his apartment was a dump.
The one thing they didn't account for was how he GOT the insanely rich, looks like a supermodel ENGLISH girlfriend. I get Megan Fox's character - they're childhood friends, found things to bond over besides their looks. This made zero sense to me. Remarkably, that was the only thing that didn't make sense...besides how long it took to get started.
Those two stupid little robots were the only part of the movie that dipped into actual offensiveness to me, but I couldn't agree with you more that it was at least 45 minutes too long, almost all weighted toward the beginning.
I took my parents to see the second Star Wars movie (the REAL second one), and they went nuts for it. They only saw the first one later. An hour in, they said, "Wow, there's a lot of talking in this movie. Does something happen soon?"
This SHOULD have started like Empire Strikes Back. Point here and say "bad guy," point here and say "good guy," and we're done. Probably didn't even need to point. We got it in an instant. I liked the moon backstory, but other than that, giddy-up already.
(BTW, my parents were also nuts for the first Raiders of the Ark, and like the third time okay....except too much talking, man. My mother has seen more movies than anyone, including Scorsese, and can quote vast passages after seeing a movie once. A true savant. She loves talky movies...if they're supposed to be talky. If it's an action picture, giddy-up. I come by it honestly.)
Agreed too that the destruction of Chicago was off the hook. The robots went from throwing cars at each other to throwing BUILDINGS at each other!!! There was not one but TWO flight suit sequences!!! (The enjoyment of which was enhanced by that featurette I posted here a couple of weeks ago, btw.)
It was imaginative, exciting, had some moments of real emotion, genuinely (and intentionally) queasy over wasted of human lives, and really, in a word, perfect.
It's unfortunate that so many people are going to be tired and ready to leave before the first action sequence. The payoff would have been even better if we hadn't had to wait so long for it to start. But it does pay off.
Final note: the sound design is best in the history of motion pictures. See it in a theater with a good screen and a killer sound system. Drive further than the closest theater if you have to. More than worth a little extra effort.
Those two stupid little robots were the only part of the movie that dipped into actual offensiveness to me,
Please tell me the twins from the second film are not in this.
Utah Video Productions
Check out my Motion Training DVD
Check out my Motion Tutorials
[Stephen Smith] "Please tell me the twins from the second film are not in this."
No, they aren't, but they are replaced by two unfunny Comic-Relief-Bots. One of which was a bad guy in the second movie, and is now unexplainably friends with Shia in this one... Also, even though it's implied they've spent their entire existence on Earth in America working for the government, there are two robots with surly British accents. It was... dumb?
[Tim Wilson] "BTW, that was his rich girlfriend's apartment, the first time in the history of motion pictures or TV that bizarrely well-appointed digs were accounted for."
Oh, I must have overlooked that, haha. It makes sense now that I think about it, he was a total mooch in this movie. OK, Bay, I take back that flaw!
[Tim Wilson] "The exception for me was the first major setpiece, with transformers throwing cars at each other in a highway chase scene, and some of those cars transforming in mid-flight. Awesome."
I actually don't really remember a lot of detail from the movie before the Chicago sequence, because it wasn't that memorable. BUT that slo-mo shot of Sam getting thrown out of Bumblebee as he was Transforming on the highway was siiiiiiiiick. That was impressive, lots of detail to look at all over the screen.
[Tim Wilson] "Final note: the sound design is best in the history of motion pictures. See it in a theater with a good screen and a killer sound system. Drive further than the closest theater if you have to. More than worth a little extra effort."
Yeah, I'd be interested to see the audio timeline on this movie, there must be so many little things happening during each robot transform. I remember being dazzled by the cafe scene's audio in Inception, but this probably has twice (maybe more? maybe way more?) as much stuff going on. I think when Oscar time rolls around, this film will be picking up 2 or 3 technical awards.
And a Best Director nomination, of course (LOUD FART NOISE).
[Scott Roberts] "And a Best Director nomination, of course (LOUD FART NOISE)"
Loud fart noises were about the only thing missing from the movie.
That said, I think it's possible to have an MVP on a losing team. There's more to directing than getting good performances out of actors. And in fact, most of the performances were dandy. It's just that Shia's character is so annoying, and the model was a step down from Megan.
(By the way, check out Jennifer's Body. Solid through and through.)
I thought Shia's parents, especially his mother did fine. I though Malkovich was a little cartoony...but hey, he nailed some hilarious bits. Ken Jeong was remarkable, even by his own lofty standards of insanity, and even though we didn't see his crank this time.
The last 2 reels of T3D wasn't just about logistics and CG. That was downright thrilling movie-making. I have high expectations for Harry Potter, but otherwise, I don't expect to have as much fun at a movie this year.
Fun is treated like a bad word. "Popcorn movie." Well, if making those was easy, everyone would do it. I think the ratio of failure to success is even tougher in popcorn movies because there are so many more ways to go wrong, and so many other movies to distract you.
Still, it's like baseball. If one out of three of 'em is a winner over a bunch of years, you're in the conversation for the Hall of Fame. I've already had a lot of fun at more than three movies this summer, and a truly miserable time only for 45 minutes or so of one. So far, so good.
I am waiting for it. hope all is well.
A few initial thoughts.
Clever backstory. Good integration of stock footage and creation of 3d old looking film.
Once backstory is established we get the Sam Witwicki problem (that is, he's in the movie). At this point Shia Labouf has become a cliche.
My 3d screen had an annoying line across the top of the right eye so I feel like the image was not entirely visible. 3d depth was nice. Not always helpful. Looking out the window of the LM was my favorite shot.
McDreamy's character was a waste. Malkovich also a silly diversion.
Armageddon similarities distracting.
Blondie didn't have a hair out of place or a smudge in her lip gloss even after being in a collapsing building.
I was surprised to see human graphic deaths. Up until now we have had implied death only. I think this was Spielberg's influence. That guy knows how to show a person dying.
Chicago destruction spectacular. Wing suits amazing.
John Turturo and sidekick fun and necessary. Mcdormand ok but could have been more over the top.
Good homages to ***** ***** and use of *****'s voice a nice treat.
Similarities between DC and Chicago are uncanny.
Overall I think best one yet. Michael Bay is forgiven for the last one.
[Mike Cohen] "Armageddon similarities distracting."
I kind of felt the same way.
Also, if you haven't seen them, here's two funny Michael Bay videos heavily floating around the internet. Well, actually, the second one isn't that funny, but it's kind of troubling maybe? I'm surprised they need to cut corners and/or costs for Transformers 3, it seemed like it had an unlimited budget. Or maybe he just really liked those shots...?
This thread assumes you have either seen the movie or will never see the movie.
Yes, the fact that he used 2 shots from The Island was in major news sites earlier this week. But just two shots cut into entirely new highway footage. But I guess if it saves 2 setups that's probably $25,000 or so. And now, a lot more people than before have seen at least part of The Island (I agree with TW, great under-appreciated movie and perhaps the Bay movie with the best story).
The use of the Space Shuttle seemed almost incongruous. It was an excuse for Bay to shoot a shuttle launch, although I'm not sure he did shoot the shuttle launch like in Armageddon - most of the shots were inside Mission Control - the launch itself was made to look very routine. I wonder how NASA felt about the depiction of the shuttle blowing up.
Yes it was cool that in Armageddon they used Aerosmith music - Liv Tyler was in the movie after all. But here it seemed like "hey, we already licensed the music so let's save another $50,000 and use it again."
Also the Russian guy from Armageddon was in this one playing, get this, a Russian guy.
I had a real problem with the transition from DC to Chicago, especially because some of the DC exteriors were clearly shot in Chicago. Until they actually mentioned Chicago by name, I thought they were going to suggest that downtown Chicago is actually Washington DC. Glad they didn't do that.
The skyscraper falling over reminded me of Cloverfield - plausible but based upon 9/11 I suspect that tearing out the inside structure of a steel framed building would make it collapse, not fall over. But now we are getting into geek minutiae.
Overall it was a pretty cool movie, especially given the amount of pyro and live action shooting they did on location.
[Mike Cohen] "Overall it was a pretty cool movie, especially given the amount of pyro and live action shooting they did on location."
I love Michael's old school approach to pyro and general mayhem. If it looks like there's a bunch of 8-foot wide by 50-foot pipes dropping off the back of a truck into the middle of a chase sequence, it's because there ARE. Maybe even from more than one movie in a single scene.
I think it's part of what helps sell the things that are "obviously" faked, like one giant robot throwing a building at another giant robot. They don't look as obvious as they might, because so much weight has been established with so many physical objects already. There's never been anybody better at using special effects to sell visual effects.
Sound design helps too, as well as top-notch CG animators, but I think that a lot of credit has to go to Michael's approach from the get-go. He gets a lot of grief for a lot of things, and not even all of them Shia LeBoeuf...but you almost never hear anybody say that his mayhem isn't visually persuasive.
Entertainment Weekly posted an article yesterday with a disclaimer that said "Spoilers ahead for people who care about plot, and if you do, you're adorable."
Love it. :-)
[Tim Wilson] "but you almost never hear anybody say that his mayhem isn't visually persuasive."
I will say that even with the bad dialogue scenes and the silly "Office Space" segment, the action scenes did leave me breathless. Almost as breathless as the Rosie Huntington-Whiteley scenes! The last 45 minutes was almost too much for my little brain to take in - I may need to see this in digital 3D again soon just so I can watch it without trying to follow the story arc of such troubled souls as Bumblebee and Ironhide.
The whole subplot with McDreamy seemed rather contrived - I would have liked to see someone like James Cromwell be the actual NASA contractor from the 60's still alive, perhaps with some Decepticon artificial heart or other bionics.
Why again did we end up in Chicago? Was Optimus Prime craving a deep dish pizza?
[Mike Cohen] "Why again did we end up in Chicago? Was Optimus Prime craving a deep dish pizza?"
I honestly don't know why they went to Chicago... Middle of the country maybe? I just tried looking up on Wikipedia and reading the plot notes, because maybe I missed something, but it just says, "The Decepticons, led by Megatron and Sentinel, seize Chicago as their agents place Pillars around the world."
I don't know why they didn't just have the whole movie take place in Chicago, because I'm not sure what the significance of having the first 90 minutes take place in Washington D.C. was...
Or maybe Megatron was late for his shift at The Wieners Circle.
[Tim Wilson] "Sound design helps too"
Here's an awesome video on just that subject: the sound design of Transformers 3.
Idk, I really found Shia's character to be moderately funnier in this movie than in any other one.
I do agree, however, that I didn't particularly gain any sort of emotional attachment to the character, but his temper tantrums in this film definitely gave some sort of comic relief.
Another thing I don't get is why people were so up-tight about those twin robots? There have been SCORES of worse content in just about every other raunch comedy made in the past 5 years. Offensive humor is the best type of humor in my opinion. If we can't laugh at ourselves, then we have no right to laugh at others and I just feel that the whole world is too up-tight on the subject of racey or vulgar jokes in movies.
I enjoyed how they used past events like Chernobyl and gave them new meaning. I thought that was clever.
I'm definitely a fan of art-house films but I love a good blockbuster, too. IDK.
[Mike Legacy] "Another thing I don't get is why people were so up-tight about those twin robots? There have been SCORES of worse content in just about every other raunch comedy made in the past 5 years. Offensive humor is the best type of humor in my opinion."
I agree, I love offensive humor. It's pretty common that a good comedy will take chances on material, maybe be a little dark, and definitely not be for everybody. Whereas on the other side, you have stuff like Adam Sandler and Kevin James comedy. Bland, generic, inoffensive drivel. There's a really funny review of Zookeeper over at Filmdrunk.com, where Vince (the guy who runs the site) saw Zookeeper with the intent of making fun of it, but ultimately ended up feeling bad for it. And basically in the end, he says something along the lines of "What does it matter what you or I think of a stupid movie like Zookeeper? All these other idiots in the theater are laughing hysterically. Let's focus less on how dumb Zookeeper is, and more on how happy it makes the people who choose to go see it" (I believe I used friendlier words in my paraphrase).
(If I may use a line from Curb Your Enthusiasm now) HAVING SAID THAT, I think the twin robots from Transformers 2 weren't offensive (to me) so much as they were stupid, and nothing but cheap, unfunny jokes. It's hard to overlook how racist they potentially were. But again, I just found them to be unfunny, most of all. That's the worst thing you can do to comic relief characters. Michael Bay is not funny.
Oh I agree 100% on Michael Bay not being funny. That said, I'm around the age (21) where Even Stevens was a popular show when I was growing up, so Shia will always have that place to me as one of the "stars" of my childhood. That definitely sounds gay the way I put it, but I think you understand.
I'm not really that picky with humor. It doesn't need to be raunchy but it doesn't need to be clean. It could be a one-liner and it could take 10 minutes to get to the point. If it's funny, it's funny, if it's not, it's not. I think what really brings out the best in a comedic actor is when they get to the point that they don't care about what people think anymore, they are just being their weird selves that only they see when no one is around. That's the reason a show like Kids Say The Darndest Things was so funny and such a huge success; kids dont have those filters and that fear of being judged and I think that actors that can get back to that point definitely are funnier than the ones that hold back. I don't think Shia is even close to that point, but you can tell he's not as guarded as he has been in previous flicks.
Regardless, I can see why people think he's annoying, but I go to an art school, I'm used to annoying, immature people haha :)
I'm only a few years older than you, I've watched Even Stevens back in the day (which I think we both could argue is possibly the only children's show of value to EVER come from the Disney Channel [1990s Nickelodeon represent]), and I'm just surprised at the success of Shia in general. Because on that show he was a major spaz.
I loved it! I liked it more then the first. (I'm pretending the second one was never made.) I watched it in 3D on iMax. As already said, you have to see it in 3D. I imagine the one scene where Sam is getting flung around on the cable would be lame in 2D. Sorry, to save typing my thoughts are going to be more of bullet points then anything.
Thanks for the heads up on no action (except for freeway chase) until the end of the movie. Because I new that was going to be the case when I watched the movie I really enjoy the "no actions" part. The whole space conspiracy stuff mixed with historical facts was really cool. I also liked how this movie had some twist and turns. I felt the first two where really only "Go get the xyz thing before the bad guys". Where as this had more to the story.
As for the two unfunny Comic-Relief-Bots, luckily they where not in it a whole lot. But yes, not funny.
Sorry gang, I like Shia LaBeouf. I think he is really talented. I first watched Even Stevens as an adult and found if to be very funny. (I thought it was cool that the dad on Even Stevens was in TF3 as well). Shia has great comedic timing. And then he showed he could be serious in "The Greatest Game Ever Played." A movie that I feel made golfing not boring. I think his character was annoying in Transformers 2...but lets face it...that movie sucked all around. In this one he is annoying at the beginning because he is frustrated and doesn't know how to handle the situation that he is in. Great scene, Patrick Dempsey telling him that kicking the car won't fix it.
Not sure why Malkovich was there. I think he should have been able to do something near the end of the film to help out or something to tie him in to the end.
I was surprised to see human graphic deaths as well. Even after reading what Mike wrote.
I don't watch Bill O' Riley and it dose not matter how you feel about him politically ...his scene was funny. Give the man props for being willing to be the Evil talk show guy who hates the Transformers and Iron Man. That part was great.
One of my big problems with the second movie (Sorry gang, no one in this forum will agree with me) was the raunchy scenes, skin and dirty humor. A humping robot, give me a break. This is a movie that targets kids, a matter of fact a 6 year old was sitting behind me in the theater and I had to move because he and his dad wouldn't shut up. With all of the toys marketed to kids this is clearly trying to also capture the kid audience. As for a movie such as the Hang Over it is all fair game because of the rating and clearly they are not trying to pack the theater with kids. Anyways, I found it inappropriate and sad that Bay went that route. I was happy to see that this movie was very clean compared to the second the I'm pretending was never made.
Happy to see the American Flag in the film. That seems to be something Hollywood is ashamed of.
Sentinel's voice was Leonard Nimoy. Sentinel was good and then we learn he is really bad and crazy. When we first meet the little twin robots living with Sam they turn on the TV and it is Star Trek. The one says something like, "Oh, I've already seen this one. It is where Spock goes crazy." Ha Ha, what a brilliant window into what was going to come.
Oh yeah. As for McDreamy, how can some one that good looking be so bad :-)
Utah Video Productions
Check out my Motion Training DVD
Check out my Motion Tutorials
Ha Ha, I can't believe I didn't catch this the first go around. When Epps as shown below goes into battle with Sam at the end of the film he is wearing reflectors on his chest and legs. Not really the best idea.
Utah Video Productions
Check out my Motion Training DVD
Check out my Motion Tutorials