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Old July 7 2011, 03:49 AM   #256
T'Baio
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Re: Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Discuss, Grading, Reviews (SPOILE

Oddly enough, I found Sam yelling at the guards at the security checkpoint and kicking the shit out of his car to be some of the best parts of the movie. I think Shia is a really likeable actor, it pains me to see him in such shit all the time. We could still get rid of the whole job search, though, and save 20-30 minutes just in that.
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Old July 7 2011, 03:51 AM   #257
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'Dark of the Moon' was slightly better than 'Revenge of the Fallen,' which is faint praise since by that I mean they at least painted the giant turd like an Easter Egg this time instead of just leaving it sitting around as is. I'd give it a "D+" grade as opposed to RotF's "D-." And before any thirty-five-year-old man-children who can't stand criticism of their favorite franchises start shouting "fvck all teh h8ers!" at me, I was genuinely hoping this would be a significant improvement over the mistakes of the second film which Bay claimed to have learned from. I liked the first film, and I was suckered in by the cool trailers for this one, so despite knowing that it was probably going to be lousy again, I still wanted it to be as good as the trailers suggested.

Where to begin... How about with the complete absurdity of the Decepticon plan and the (lack of) continuity throughout these three films? It's said that Sentinel Prime made his deal with Megatron directly, so did he wait thousands of years (from when Megatron crashed in the Arctic while searching for the Cube) until 1961 to finally try to implement it, since Megatron was only revived in 2007? If his plan was with the Decepticons in general, why the hell are they trying to shoot down the Ark with their new ally in it at the start of the film other than to just have a cool space shootout? If the plan is to enslave the human race and have them rebuild Cybertron, why were the Decepticons trying to blow up the Sun in the previous film? I'm pretty sure that's not healthy for your future slaves, though given the fact that Bay and the writer thinks you can just jump a planet ten times as massive as Earth into LEO without any consequences who the hell knows what they think would happen if you blew up the Sun? So, after the Decepticons shoot down their ally Sentinel Prime and kill him (because they're deceptive, I guess), they set up a trap by hiding hundreds of "Pillars" in the 70s and 80s so Prime would travel to the Moon with the Matrix of Leadership and revive Sentinel Prime... the same Matrix of Leadership that was hidden on Earth in 17,000 BC and not found until 2009 in RotF. So, how could they possibly have made plans for it to be used by Prime decades before it was rediscovered in Jordan (you know, the place that shares a border with Egypt just like the Smithsonian annex has a desert boneyard out back)? Oh, fuck me.

Speaking of which, why the fuck are the Decepticons and Autobots still fighting this pointless eons long war? It's clear that everyone regrets the cost enormously since both sides are trying to repopulate their nearly extinct species, rebuild their completely ruined planet, or find some kind of superweapon that will somehow end the war decisively for reasons that are never specified. Both sides have defectors that are just tired of war altogether. Both sides have principles they frequently no longer adhere to and just spout like platitudes. Talk about a Pyrrhric victory for Megatron, being the wounded absolute ruler of the dozens of incompetent lackeys you still have left after getting your ass kicked repeatedly (sorry, co-ruler with Sentinel; joy!).

I know what you're saying; "Why are you expecting continuity and plot logic in a movie based on toys, comics, and cartoons?" The suspension of disbelief comes in buying into the premise of a race of giant robots imitating human vehicles. It doesn't give you carte blanche to just say "fuck it" to any kind of rational plot altogether. Batman is an inherently ridiculous concept, as is X-Men, yet we expect more from their most recent outings because the writers and directors treated the subject matter seriously despite it's silly origins. There's no reason whatsoever a more compelling and logical version of the Transformers story couldn't have been filmed under more talented writing and direction, and still been whimsical and exciting at the same time.

So, continuity and plot logic are out, at least they can make up for that with good characterization, right? "Fuck you!," says Michael Bay while eating caviar off the ass of a Thai hooker amidst dozens of thunderous explosions (I''m trying to set the scene here).

Apparently not satisfied with having an actual robot girl in the previous film, Bay has decided to reduce Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's character to a one-dimensional series of parts which is introduced with a thirty second ass shot, who stands unfazed with flowing hair in high heels and a pearly white outfit (that remains so throughout the destruction) while buildings, bots, and people explode around her, and is described as if she was like a car by Patrick Dempsey, obviously standing in for Bay's objectification of women. As if sensing the reaction he would get for this, Bay conjures up something completely unbelievable for her to do in the final act when she just walks up to Megatron (who's just chillin' like a villain in an alley) and pulls the most obvious Kirk vs AI Gambit ever, yet somehow convinces Megatron to sabotage his own plan by killing Sentinel in about ten seconds, all while sparing her life for some reason instead of squashing her like a bug.

The Beef doesn't fare much better, being completely unlikeable in this movie. For some reason the completely disposable first hour and a half of this movie is centered around an arrogant and annoying Witwickety's (see, they still mispronounce his name three movies in for hi-larity!) job search in various Lenovo computer product placement ads. The guy is dating supermodels who love him, living rent free in a massive DC loft that must cost a fortune, was given an award by the President for saving the planet twice (which he never fails to remind us of), and graduated from an Ivy League university, but all he can do is bitch about how shitty his life is and alienate his girlfriend. You start to understand how Mikaela could dump such a prize.

McDreamy (I mean, McObviouslyEvil) is there so Sam has someone to rail against and fight in the final battle, and gives Carly the most obvious Decepticar in the process (I guess they couldn't afford to give The Beef one of those Energon detectors despite him being the target of the Decepticons twice before). He seems to think he was just locked into being evil by inheritance despite presumably witnessing the Autobots defeating the Decepticons publicly in the previous movie. Did that shake his faith in the hopelessness of their situation at all? And all he's doing it for is to live a little longer in a miserable hellish existence?

John Turturro is as wasted as an actor and crazy as ever, so that's no real change. Somehow they roped Francis McDormand and John Malkovich to be in this, just because. Malkovich is disposable, and McDormand plays essentially the same obstructionist from the White House character the dude in the last film played, except slightly smarter and with a completely unnecessary connection to Turturro. Señor Chang is there playing every character Ken Jeong has ever played, and for some reason Alan Tudyk is a walking gay German stereotype/personal assistant/ex-secret agent/superhacker. The Beef's parents are annoying as always, with the added bonus of commenting on their son's dick size and the need to learn to please a woman in bed.

The Decepticons act stupidly as usual. If the goal is to make it look like you're suiciding Señor Chang, why openly attack The Beef in the same office five minutes later? If you want the Autobots to find the engine part for the Ark in Chernobyl to set up your trap, why attack them with the giant robot sandworm? Why is Megatron hiding out with fucking elephants and wearing a hoody? Because hooded fifty foot tall robots blend in on the savanna? If you want humans to be your slaves, why needlessly vaporize and crush them, making it perfectly obvious they have no choice but to fight for survival. And yet, the human government is still stupid enough to concede to their demands to expel the Autobots. Damn you, Obama! Megatron is way too easily manipulated by Carly and decides to attack Sentinel Prime about three seconds before he would have killed Optimus. Fucking moron. And Starscream gets killed by Sam with a space speargun and a space grenade you have to stab him with? WTF?

The Autobots become bloodthirsty (lubricant-thirsty?) killers who seem to take a special glee in ripping their enemies apart in the most gruesome and elaborate ways imaginable like something out of a robot version of Mortal Kombat. Optimus straight up executing a wounded, defeated, and begging for his life Sentinel Prime with a double-tap moments after we're shown a scene where we're clearly supposed to be disgusted by the Decepticons executing Autobots has to be the real capper on the film (mind you, we've clearly seen in the first film that the robots can be captured and contained by humans and Autobots alike). Optimus using the death of thousands in Chicago to prove a point to humanity over the war the Transformers have brought to Earth and after Optimus woke up Sentinel Prime and caused all of this is especially unbelievable. Not to mention the fact that in their spare time the Autobots work for the US government killing brown people to resolve human socio-political conflicts.

The movie is just a mess editing-wise as well. The film is frontloaded with an hour and a half of mostly pointless crap, as mentioned. There's a heartfelt car commercial montage with Tyrese Gibson getting the team of guys we've never seen before back together, just so they could go "screw this!" and retreat before most of them get vaporized once they got to Chicago. Is there any reason Tyrese couldn't just still be part of NEST and not waste that time? There's a pointless subplot so Bay could wank over the space shuttle, because The Beef says the Autobots don't have a way to leave Earth. Uh, what about that big spaceship they originally came in that they took to go visit the Moon twenty minutes earlier? The attack on Chicago starts with a abrupt jumpcut out of nowhere. Optimus spends twenty minutes suspended in cables for some reason. Megatron is just sitting down in an alley for most of the battle. Half the Autobots somehow managed to get captured offscreen, which would have been nice to see how that happened. All so we can get more human action than robot action.

I won't lie though, the human action is pretty damn good, it's just too bad it was the focus in a movie that's supposed to primarily be about giant robots fighting. The V-22/wingsuit insertion was spectacular, as was the tilting building, despite being structurally impossible. I don't know why anyone would want to be a part of the NEST team though, since they seem to be killed by the dozens on every single mission and are always woefully underarmed for the task. The 3-D forced Bay to set the perspective farther away, meaning the robots were clearer and less a mass of moving metal. There was never a Prime in the forest badass moment, but Bumblebee's fight and Prime's Tasmanian devil attack probably came closest to it. Bay certainly can direct great action sequences when he wants to, I just wish he had a co-director to handle everything else.

Finally, historically, obviously Apollo 11 was nowhere near the dark side of the Moon. Also, in 1961 the guy who's told about the crash landing already has a model of the final configuration of the Saturn V on his shelf (which came a few years later). The lunar ascent module was still on the lander on the Moon. I mean, these are easy enough to Google in ten seconds, not to mention easy to prevent when you have the full cooperation of NASA on the film. Kind of a minor point, but it was a little weird seeing Buzz Aldrin, who has been harassed about being involved in a Moon landing conspiracy before, appear non-parodically in a movie where he's part of a Moon landing conspiracy. And I don't care how much someone fudged the budget, if there was a crashed alien spaceship on the Moon we would not stop visiting it and making sure it remained in our possession so we could reverse engineer it. Especially since the US government already knew about other alien visitations before.

Anyway, I know, tl;dr and all that, but these last two movies were such a mess they were easy to find a lot to write about.
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Old July 7 2011, 03:55 AM   #258
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Re: Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Discuss, Grading, Reviews (SPOILE

T'Baio wrote: View Post
Oddly enough, I found Sam yelling at the guards at the security checkpoint and kicking the shit out of his car to be some of the best parts of the movie. I think Shia is a really likeable actor, it pains me to see him in such shit all the time. We could still get rid of the whole job search, though, and save 20-30 minutes just in that.
I dunno, the bit with the guards and him kicking the shit out of his card could have been funny if Shia didn't crank his "acting" up to 11 in those scenes. He came across less as someone who was frustrated or pressured and more like some with a bipolar disorder going through some bizarre maniac phase with a good dose of Tourette's tossed in. There were a few other bits not needed, like his boss playing grab-ass with Bumblebee in that one scene where, supposedly, important exposition was being given.

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Old July 7 2011, 07:27 AM   #259
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Re: Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Discuss, Grading, Reviews (SPOILE

the 'cons probably shot up Sentinal's ship because the grunt 'cons weren't in on Meg's dastardly plan.

the impression i got was that the ship got shot up 1K+ years ago and drifted derelict through space and crashed on Luna in 1961. during which time, Prime had launched the AllSpark in to space, Meg's went looking for it (after SP missed his RV) and the cube landed on Earth, with Meg's following it.

since SP was MIA, presumed dead, Meg's plan in 1 of using the cube to take over and conquer Earth is still a valid one and the Meg/Fallen plot to use the solar harvester in 2 to create a new source of Energon is also still a valid one.

Meg's probably didn't know other 'cons had stolen the pillars when he was revived and only found out in the interstitial period between DOTM and ROTF, when he then hatched his plan to have the 'bots find out about the Ark and revive SP.
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Old July 7 2011, 07:32 AM   #260
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Re: Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Discuss, Grading, Reviews (SPOILE

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
Trimming 30 minutes off of this thing would have done wonders. There's lots of scenes of Shia just screaming or being a douchebag we didn't need, the whole scene with him swinging from the arm-whench thing was just toooooooo long, there's plenty of scenes like that. Him beating up his car, him being a douche at the security check at the government building, etc., pretty much everything having to do with him trying to find a job and being at it. All could've been done away with and this movie would have improved vastly.
The main thing I'd have cut would have been the opening flashbacks. As well as putting the viewer way ahead of the characters in terms of what's going on just about all of it is then recapped when Aldrin shows up for real. I'd have put the ancient Cybertron stuff in when Optimus is explaining who Sentinel is later on and had just a slight recap when Aldrin is talking.

After writing the review for my blog I've actually changed my mind about Megatron, I've really come round to the idea that any egomaniac who loses as often as Megatron does (or Lex Luthor, or Cykill or whoever) would end up a deeply depressed wreak.

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
Where to begin... How about with the complete absurdity of the Decepticon plan and the (lack of) continuity throughout these three films?
Oddly enough considering the plot isn't what could be called in any way deep, it all does just about make sense. It's worth remembering that their Sentinel plan was dependent on Optimus getting the Matrix (which didn't happen till the end of the last film) so it could be used to revive him. They worked towards that over the years on the grounds they didn't have a better option to restore Cybertron, but on the two occasions where something else did present itself- first the recovery of the Allspark and the Solar Harvester- they went for those instead rather than being stuck waiting on something that might never happen. And when those failed they returned to plan A.

The shooting down of Sentinel's ship is more problematic in that it's easy enough to rationalise (the troops doing the shooting just didn't know about the defection due to it being kept very secret, inadvertent friendly fire), it's just a shame they didn't stick in a line to that effect.
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Old July 7 2011, 08:47 AM   #261
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Re: Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Discuss, Grading, Reviews (SPOILE

Dream wrote: View Post
*review*
I didn't want to requote this entire block, but I agree with this entire post.
I must say I was moderately impressed with the new chick. She wasn't amazing, but considering she had no acting experience, she did a good job with some tough scenes, and was better than Megan Fox.

That asian dude was so annoying. Up until that point, the movie was going along quite nicely, but that whole thing started to muddle the plot and make it feel like a Michael Bay movie again, and I worried it was turning every bit as bad as ROTF. I'm glad he was short lived, but it felt like one of those parts that could have been cut considerably.

It's a shame that Megatron and Starscream were wasted. Megatron was quite good in the first film, but Starscream was basically non existent. He was a bit better in the second film from what I can remember. But in the third film Megatron did nothing, and Starscream did little more than parrot a few generic traitor lines that were pointless and empty considering what he did for the rest of the movie. He could have easily taken out Megatron himself and taken the spotlight in the final fight in Megatron's place.

Much like ROTF, the movie could have been cut down quite a bit and improved, but the difference is that ROTF needed cutting all over, even in the action scenes which felt drawn out and pointless. At least DOTM hit the mark pretty well for the action half. It was the saving grace of the film.
Seeing people getting killed, a city destroyed, Transformers being slaughtered with "blood" coming out, it actually had some impact and a sense of threat that felt too forced in the previous movie. I'm not usually impressed by mindless action, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.
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Old July 7 2011, 06:34 PM   #262
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Re: Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Discuss, Grading, Reviews (SPOILE

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
Speaking of which, why the fuck are the Decepticons and Autobots still fighting this pointless eons long war? It's clear that everyone regrets the cost enormously since both sides are trying to repopulate their nearly extinct species, rebuild their completely ruined planet, or find some kind of superweapon that will somehow end the war decisively for reasons that are never specified.
They fight because the franchise demands that they do. (Would anyone go see a Transformers romantic weepie?) It's all a subtle, meta-textual satire on America's military-industrial complex, and those who gain obscene riches selling exorbitant contracts for simple services to the military that servicemembers could easily do themselves , then lobby Decepti-sorry, Republican politicians to forbid the armed forces from doing those very things, thus necessitating the contracts.

The corporate orchestrators of the complex call this "efficiency".


The reason the last hour of the movie is all action is because Bay wants you to reflect on all this pain and misery provoked for the purpose of buying a rich old white man a yacht and a supermodel girlfriend. Blood for bikinis; tears for claret.

... He's trying to get you to think.


As the great poet Delmore Schwartz wrote once wrote of Lincoln,
... Do not be deceived. He did not win,
And, it is plain, the South could never win
(Despite the gifted Northern generals!)
Capitalismus is not mocked, O no!
This stupid deity decided the War—

In fact, the North and South were losers both:
Capitalismus won the Civil War—

Capitalismus won the Civil War,
Yet, in the War’s cruel Colosseum,
Some characters fulfilled their natures’ surds...




(Roger Ebert is a paid peon of Lockheed Martin.)
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Old July 7 2011, 07:07 PM   #263
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Re: Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Discuss, Grading, Reviews (SPOILE

BlobVanDam wrote: View Post
At least DOTM hit the mark pretty well for the action half. It was the saving grace of the film.
Seeing people getting killed, a city destroyed, Transformers being slaughtered with "blood" coming out, it actually had some impact and a sense of threat that felt too forced in the previous movie. I'm not usually impressed by mindless action, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.
The problem for me, is that by the time the final battle battle came, I was so utterly disgusted by the movie and all the awful, incompetent storytelling that I had to sit through to get there (and which Locutus detailed extensively above) that I just didn't give a shit about any of it anymore.

I wish I could have been able to refocus and enjoy that action on it's own like others here, but the movie had just killed my will to live by that point.
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Old July 7 2011, 07:18 PM   #264
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Re: Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Discuss, Grading, Reviews (SPOILE

In another forum, a friend commented on the new movie, and his comments are perfect for the way I feel. With his permission, I quote his opinion here:


I'm not a tremendous fan of the original cartoons/comics, but I will admit that I watched them as a kid and they held a special place in my heart. I always liked the character of Optimus Prime: A courageous and noble leader, a reluctant warrior that was willing to fight for (and sacrifice for) his ideals.

Bay's Optimus is a sullen, barely-in-control, violent sociopath that chooses to let hundreds of thousands of humans die just to prove a political point, declares a war of genocide and executes wounded enemies and enemies that are offering truce. The actions scenes were impressive. The voice-acting, dialogue and characterization were abysmal.


In the original cartoon/comics, the human characters are often useful and effective. The Autobots do most of the actual fighting but the human characters perform investigations or make logical leaps that generally advance the plot and are genuinely useful to their Autobot Allies.

Bay's humans are completely useless. All of them. The vast majority are wholly incompetent, whiny cowards. A minority are square jawed heroes who prove their willingness to perform incredible feats of bravery and skill...but manage only to get to the right place and time to watch the Autobots resolve every single significant plot point in the movie. The action scenes were impressive. The acting, writing and misanthropic themes were insulting.


This movie made me very, very sad.
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Old July 7 2011, 07:23 PM   #265
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Re: Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Discuss, Grading, Reviews (SPOILE

davejames wrote: View Post
The problem for me, is that by the time the final battle battle came, I was so utterly disgusted by the movie and all the awful, incompetent storytelling that I had to sit through to get there (and which Locutus detailed extensively above) that I just didn't give a shit about any of it anymore.

I wish I could have been able to refocus and enjoy that action on it's own like others here, but the movie had just killed my will to live by that point.
A description of the movie or a night of sex?

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Old July 7 2011, 07:32 PM   #266
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Re: Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Discuss, Grading, Reviews (SPOILE

Gaith wrote: View Post
They fight because the franchise demands that they do. (Would anyone go see a Transformers romantic weepie?)
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Old July 7 2011, 07:33 PM   #267
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Re: Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Discuss, Grading, Reviews (SPOILE

davejames wrote: View Post
BlobVanDam wrote: View Post
At least DOTM hit the mark pretty well for the action half. It was the saving grace of the film.
Seeing people getting killed, a city destroyed, Transformers being slaughtered with "blood" coming out, it actually had some impact and a sense of threat that felt too forced in the previous movie. I'm not usually impressed by mindless action, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.
The problem for me, is that by the time the final battle battle came, I was so utterly disgusted by the movie and all the awful, incompetent storytelling that I had to sit through to get there (and which Locutus detailed extensively above) that I just didn't give a shit about any of it anymore.

I wish I could have been able to refocus and enjoy that action on it's own like others here, but the movie had just killed my will to live by that point.
I can understand that. I can't say I was anywhere near disgusted with the movie at that point, but the storyline was weak and made little to no sense a lot of the time. It relies on you interpreting it linearly and instantly forgetting everything that came before it in the movie.
But it did manage to avoid the instant deal breakers of the second movie for me. By the time the action sequences came around, I had given up on the plot, but I had not lost interest in the Autobots, or even Sam, as whiny as he was in places. So while the story was bad, the execution was a lot better than the second film. It wasn't that much better that I believe anyone should change their opinion of the franchise because of it, but for me it managed to overall stay just competent enough for the second half to redeem it in my mind.

Undoubtedly still a very flawed movie. No arguments from me. But it managed to thoroughly entertain me despite the flaws this time. That's not something I can or will justify objectively. The movie is what it is.
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Old July 7 2011, 08:08 PM   #268
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Re: Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Discuss, Grading, Reviews (SPOILE

AJBryant wrote: View Post
In another forum, a friend commented on the new movie, and his comments are perfect for the way I feel. With his permission, I quote his opinion here:

<snip>
*ring, ring*: Hello? Oh, hi, Mike. Congrats on another successful opening weekend... What's that? Sure, I'll ask him.

... AJBryant, Michael wants to know why your friend hates America.
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Old July 7 2011, 08:54 PM   #269
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Re: Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Discuss, Grading, Reviews (SPOILE

T'Baio wrote: View Post
Oddly enough, I found Sam yelling at the guards at the security checkpoint and kicking the shit out of his car to be some of the best parts of the movie. I think Shia is a really likeable actor, it pains me to see him in such shit all the time. We could still get rid of the whole job search, though, and save 20-30 minutes just in that.
Well, while I liked the movie, I still gotta agree that I don't get the hate for Shia. I loved those bits as well. The part with him him keeping up his attitude when going trough the scanner was priceless
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Old July 7 2011, 09:17 PM   #270
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Re: Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Discuss, Grading, Reviews (SPOILE

I've never had a problem with Shia before (and even found him ok in the otherwise dreadful Indy 4), but in this movie it just felt like he was trying TOO hard to be weird and quirky. He almost came across like a manic nutcase at times.
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