One of my most prized possessions, Transformers special edition DVD autographed by the man, the myth, the legend… TYRESE GIBSON! I even asked him to write “bring the rain” on my DVD and he did it!
I remember I texted @zapocram after I met Tyrese and he texted me back “Let me shake your hand, you who has breathed the same air as one who has reached everlasting glory!” and I couldn’t help but LMFAO at that text hahaha.
Transformers, 2007 (dir. Michael Bay)
I haven’t watched this in quite a while… (I wonder if I’d still like it?)
I used to watch Transformers on the regular haha. The plot is nonsensical (what was up with that hot blonde Australian chick subplot?), but I just find it to be really entertaining even with all its flaws.
Is it that time again? Yes, I finally made it back to the theaters, and this time to review a movie that I’ve been highly anticipating, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Let’s do a brief history recap of my views on the Transformers series so far. I thought the first Transformers movie was so good, just so good… it basically took Michael Bay’s sensibilities, put it to the Transformers property, and made a fun action movie. The plot was dumb, but I didn’t go to a Michael Bay movie for plot, I came for special effects and action and that movie had both in spades. Transformers 2? Oy gevalt… what a fucking tragedy. The trailers looked like it was going to give us more of the same awesomeness, and instead we got a complete train wreck. It was seriously bloated, not funny, unbelievably bad plot, and a lot of the action was incomprehensible. I pop in the first Transformers from time to time when I want something fun to watch. Transformers 2? I have only seen it in it’s entirety once and then another time Chris and I skimmed through the movie when it was released on video, that’s it.
So when Transformers 3 came around, needless to say I was apprehensive. When that first teaser trailer came out, I got more excited, but it was when the full trailer hit that I was totally amped for this movie. Then again, I tried to temper my expectations because Transformers 2 looked good from the trailers as well and turned out to be complete shit, so I tried not to get my hopes up too high. Early reviews seemed generally positive, but when the full critical consensus came out, it was mostly negative (38% on Rotten Tomatoes so far). Despite that, I was still excited to see it because Michael Bay obviously doesn’t make critic friendly movies, but I still dig Bad Boys 2 and Transformers 1.
Thankfully, Transformers 3 is better than Transformers 2; unfortunately, Transformers 3 never reaches the heights of Transformers 1.
What I really don’t understand is why Michael Bay has not figured out that less is more? Transformers 3 would’ve been an insane balls to the wall action film if it ran at a much tighter 105 minutes instead of the bloated 154 minutes that it is. Why Bay insists on trying to build plot for a film that people go to see for the action spectacle is just mind boggling. The story literally makes no sense and the movie as a whole is super dumb, why not just run with that like movies such as Commando and Fast Five and just give us a bunch of fun action shit to watch and entertain us? I want to see giant fucking robots beat the shit out of each other! Not stupid conspiracies and pretending like we actually give a shit about the “characters” in Transformers.
What makes it difficult to create an emotional response to the Transformers themselves is that the concept of them is something that is not relatable to real life. The reason Transformers 1 had that emotional connection, however slight it may be, is because of the whole boy and his first car element (which was a Steven Spielberg implementation). That’s something that everyone can connect to. The second and third films have nothing for anyone to grasp onto emotionally. It’s just robots beating the shit out of each other. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (I am an advocate for robots beating the shit out of each other lol), but the fact that Bay fails so hard in trying to make you care is really a detriment to the film itself.
What really saves this movie from being a complete redux of the mess that was Transformers 2 is the better action sequences and the top notch special effects. I saw the film in 3D and the opening scene was an absolutely gorgeous 3D space sequence. There is stuff in this movie that you will not see anywhere else, guaranteed.
The last 45 minute block of action is ridiculously insane over the top action. For action junkies, it is a glorious sight to behold. The only area where Michael Bay seems to have improved is with his visual sense during the action scenes. Whereas Transformers 2 was his (failed) attempt at a Paul Greengrass shaky cam style action, this time around the action is clear and shot extremely well, taking advantage of the depth of 3D without being too obvious/gimmicky.
It’s sad to say that there’s not a whole lot of improvement from the Transformers 2 aside from the action. If you go into the movie for a special effects extravaganza and insane action, you won’t be disappointed. Unfortunately, the movie gets bogged down in so much other not worthwhile crap that I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it. This movie is pretty much critic-proof though and you KNOW people will see it, so I will recommend that if you do see it, see it in 3D because this is the way 3D was meant to be used to enhance the movie going experience.
I was planning on writing more but… fuck it, y’all are going to see this movie anyway lol. It’s not a great film, but I think that the experience of seeing all the special effects and action in 3D is basically worth the price of admission.
Here we go! I consider this the official kick off to the summer movie season right here, FAST FIVE.
I suppose the best way to start this review is to say my thoughts on the previous four installments in the Fast and Furious franchise. The first film, The Fast and the Furious, is still a pretty good cheesy action flick; the acting is terrible, but it delivers enough thrills. The second film’s only saving grace is Tyrese Gibson, WHO IS THE FUCKING MAN! The third film, Tokyo Drift, was enjoyable, less so than the first but sort of on the same level. The fourth film, Fast and Furious, which reunited the original stars is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen in my life. I fucking HATE that movie, the only redeemable quality is the opening scene and then it’s all downhill from there.
This brings us to Fast Five… I really hated the 4th Fast and Furious movie, but then I saw that they were getting like everybody back for this one like Ludacris, Han, and the big one, TYRESE GIBSON! (I might go into a blog post about why Tyrese is so fucking awesome, it’s kind of like a well known thing amongst my friends that we’re all in on haha) Plus, they get Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to get into the franchise as a bad ass federal agent to hunt down Paul Walker and Vin Diesel? Awesome, just fucking awesome. The trailers hit and that got me even more amped, but I liked the trailers for the 4th film too, so I didn’t get my hopes up. But even more surprising than that, the critical reception came in to positive reviews! It’s sitting at 79% on RottenTomatoes right now, certified fresh, when the entire franchise has been 0/4 on RottenTomatoes. So that’s huge, it just increased my expectations even more.
Ultimately, I FUCKING LOVE THIS MOVIE! It seriously delivers on everything that I expected from a Fast and Furious movie. All I want is some cool action scenes, good chase sequences, hot chicks, hot cars, some comedy, a Rock/Vin Diesel throw down, and some Tyrese quotables. I can happily say that the film pretty much delivered on all fronts.
What I appreciate the most is how they did a lot of the driving stunts FOR REAL. A huge problem that has plagued most of the Fast and Furious movies (and most action movies in general these days) was the CGI implementation taking the realism of the stunts out of the film. Fast Five has some CGI shots during the stunts, but very few and most aren’t as noticeable or are implemented well. A lot of the driving has real cars, real drivers, and you feel a sense of real danger, and that adds a lot of tension and belief for the audience. The fourth Fast and Furious film had a terrible finale that was basically all CGI and extremely boring, there’s no innovation. When you see a CGI car do a stunt, you think in your head “okay this is just a computer”, but when you see a real car do a real stunt FOR REAL, that’s impressive as hell. I have to say that Fast Five really impressed me with the action sequences and some of the stunts they were able to pull off, just ridiculously awesome stuff.
I know that you don’t go into a movie like Fast Five expecting good acting or an interesting storyline, but I have to air out some beefs. Paul Walker was absolutely terrible in this film, the rookie cop was pretty cringe-worthy as well. The plot at times makes no sense and they do a lot of really stupid stuff for guys who are “at the top of the FBI’s most wanted list” lol. Also what’s hilarious is that the cops are also ridiculously stupid and don’t do simple things that you would think a cop would immediately do to catch someone, but that’s besides the point, this is a movie called FAST FIVE after all haha.
If you come into Fast Five looking for a crowd pleasing and fun action popcorn flick, this movie will not disappoint. Justin Lin stepped his game up and delivered what is easily, qualitatively, the best Fast and Furious movie to date. A ton of action thrown at you a mile at minute, what more could you want from a Fast and Furious movie?
Are you fucking kidding me? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?
Fuck Transformers 2, this looks like it’s going to blow it out of the water. From the brief glances of action it looks like we’re going to actually be able to see the action this time around! Bay was using 3D cameras this time (which FYI are really heavy), so I read that he had to actually use steady controlled takes instead of all that shaky cam he uses in 2. I know it’s Michael Bay and I shouldn’t get my hopes up after Transformers 2, but I’m sorry, I can’t help but be excited!
[note: LOL at them trying to copy the Inception music sound haha]