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Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Midnight movies aren't what they used to be. Okay, maybe the fact that this one had some 9:00 shows that were added in last minute is partly to blame for taking out some of the magic. But I remember when the entire auditorium would be packed with people so excited for the film. And only certain really big and highly anticipated flicks had these showings. Now, the crowd is sparse and jaded. My gang has actually diminished over the summer. We were about a dozen at Pirates, 5 at Xmen and Lantern, and a mere 2 at Transformers. Im sure HP will kick it up, but we're gonna be split between the Imax and the Fenway.

I considered punting the midnight fun since as it was I approached this movie with cautious apprehension. The first Transformers was fun and exciting. The second, well let's just say that the people behind it have admitted that it was filmed off a draft script and they have apologized for it. In short, I'll say that this one ranked firmly between the two, leaning more towards the fun of the original.

What Dark of the Moon had most going for it was a fantastic cast. There was a great cameo or two, and some wonderful featured roles. Alan Tudyk and Ken Jeong chewed scenery like there was no tomorrow, because with the Decepticon invasion there very might well be no tomorrow. Francis McDormand brought a level of class to a role that should have been well beneath her. John Turturro maintained that level of zaniness from the previous films. Patrick Dempsey was a suave surprise.

For our leading cast, Shia LaBeouf acquired this new confident and forceful arrogance that looked quite good on him. Normally I prefer his used to be trademark doofyness (circa his Even Stevens days) but walking the line between low level bad ass and potentially annoying douche bag worked. Our new leading lady, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, was a vast improvement over her predecessor. This girl actually seems to be capable of acting, at least with the minimal amount she was given. The rest was her looking hot and confused, but that's just part of the job.

I feel that Michael Bay has come a long way, but he still has some learning left to do. On the one hand, he is an ideal director for this franchise, given that he seems to be incredibly in touch with his inner twelve year old. Namely, the explosions are larger than life and the girl is hotter than believable. He overcame some of his ADD music video directorial style of quick short shots pieced together. However, he still needs to learn when to say when. The big climactic battle sequence lasted for about an hour. Yes, ONE HOUR. That clocked the entire film in at about two and a half hours. I was right with it for half of that. I conferred with my movie buddy afterwards and we actually both lost interest at about the same point. Keep in mind, I am an action junkie, but even this action junkie needs some narrative.

So the film is certainly losing half a point for the extraneous battle sequences. Otherwise, it wasn't bad. I was concerned I was gonna fall asleep, but either the sip of Five Hour Energy was sufficient, or Bay kept the pace going pretty well, except for the aforementioned issues

Transformers: Dark of the Moon - \m/ \m/ \m/
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