Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Sucker Punch

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is VF*, so turn your brain off, and put your 3-D glasses on!

I am not the biggest fan of the Transformers' franchise. I was a pretty sheltered child, only being able to watch public television networks, so I didn't really have the kind of nostalgia to carry me through the first two films. I actually fell asleep in the theater for both installments I (VF) and II(VF) -I tend to find visually hard to follow CGI'd fight scenes soothing- but Dark of the Moon actually managed not only to keep me awake, but entertained! I'm a sucker for the new plot twist- that the space race was actually a cover up for why we really needed to get to the moon. The movie started with these great flashback scenes to the 60s, and, yeah, the CGI-Kennedy looked a tad creepy, but there is a cameo with the REAL Buzz Aldrin,  is bad-ass.

Shia La Beouf is at his La Beouf-iest as Sam Witwicky, the sputtery, anxious, reluctant protagonist. Even through the clunkiness of the first two films, I always like Sam Witwicky as a hero. He's spastic, and awkward, and really has nothing to offer in the times of crisis besides the fact that he just happens to be the guy who cares the most, and with that he saves the day. Apparently, between films two and three, he's managed to snag himself another hottie, Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) and he didn't even have to save her from a robo-pocalypse! Sure, she's way too perfect visually, and misogynisticly underdeveloped as a character, but she has an accent, therefore she is less annoying than Megan Fox. Mr. and Mrs. Witwicky are back and hilarious as usual, and there is a great scene where the Mom Witwicky acknowledges the disparate nature of the attractiveness of her son v. his girlfriends, and it's adorable.

The downside of the Tranformers movies I and II for me, aside from the terrible writing and plot, has been the robots. In the first movie their fight scenes were hard to follow, and therefore boring and too long, then in the second movie they made some really embarrassing and offensive additions to the  robot cast, but that has really been culled down a lot. The fight scenes in this movie were awesome, and were super easy to follow, and are greatly enhanced by the 3-D. There are some cheesy things about the fights, like 'why would Optimus Prime need a shot gun when he is essentially made of guns?' and 'You're an ass-kicking robot from space. How long does it take to get untangled?' but it's all in good fun, and totally worth the extra six bucks to get the glasses. The more offensive robots have been removed, namely Skids and Mudflap, and the only really annoying bots were the two little ones, Wheelie and Jolt, who may or may not sacrificed themselves for the cause... I haven't seen a confirmation one way or the other.

Shakespeare, it is not, but if you have low expectations like I had, you're in for a good time.

* In the fights scenes the transformers often spurt robot blood from their mouths, and the colors tend to be on off reddish color and yellow, but if you think about it contextually, it is clearly robot-blood, and not the other thing. If you're too hypersensitive right now to handle even this, you might want to think twice seeing this movie.

Now in the spirit of other things that are not Shakespeare...

Sucker Punch, yeah it's VF, but MAN is it dull...

Watching Sucker Punch is like watching someone else play a video game. Either pass me the controller, or turn this off, because this is Dulls-ville. Even the plot sounds like a video game concept, five sexy girls are stuck wearing sexy costumes in a sexy asylum, and they are forced to battle through four mad-sexy fantasy scenarios to get the four tokens so they can battle the boss and gain their sexy freedom.  The sexy leader of the five sexy girls is the new kid in the asylum, the one called "Baby Doll Spice" (Emily Browning), who has an appropriately dark past and a will to live. The other four girls names are "Sweet Pea Spice," "Rocket Spice," "Blondie Spice" and "Amber Spice," but don't be fooled by their different names that seem to indicate different character aspects, because these girls are all the same: sexy, troubled, and as interchangeable as AA batteries. The look that grabbed me in all the trailers turned out to be only interesting for about the length of, um, a movie trailer.  I was surprised when my husband pointed out that this movie was directed by Zack Snyder, the same guy who did Watchmen (Not VF) which was both visually stunning and really good.

This movie is VF though, so if you are willing to suffer through it, there is no reason to cover your eyes, unless you are doing the appropriate face-palm for how dull this movie is.