Friday, July 3, 2009

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen Review & Thoughts - July 3, 2009

BOX OFFICE
I’ll lead off this week with Transformers. I went and finally saw the movie this morning. First, I’ll go into it spoiler free and then I’ll go into spoilers. Don’t worry. You’ll get a warning before I discuss spoilers. I grew up on the Transformers cartoon and I never have outgrown it. I often joke with friends that Transformers is to me as to what Star Wars is to others. When the news came out that they were making a live action movie, I got nervous cause usually this kind of stuff is either good or bad with not much middle ground. I went into the theatre to see the first one a couple of years ago very nervous that it was going to be bad. I left the theatre very happy. Sure, there were a few things that I didn’t like about it going with the consistency of the series over the years but overall I really enjoyed it. I went into the theatre this morning to see Revenge of the Fallen feeling a lot less nervous cause I knew what I was going to be getting for the most part based on the first one. I knew nothing about the plot and had seen just one scene from the movie going into the theatre. That was done on purpose. I want to know as little about it as possible so I can just take it all in. I did that with the first one too. I really enjoyed it!! The movie runs for two and a half hours and the movie is a mix of a LOT of action, effects, comedy, and drama. The action scenes look incredible and just really leave you glued to the screen. Lots of explosions and all of course. I was surprised by the amount of strong language in the movie especially with how much it is marketed to kids. It isn’t just overwhelming but it is there at times. It just felt unnecessary as did several scenes that just served no point but to just go for toilet humor. If you enjoyed the first movie, you’ll probably enjoy the sequel as well. It gets a thumbs up from me for sure. All right. I’m going into spoilers with detail so if you haven’t seen it, you’re going to want to quit reading this paragraph NOW. I liked the story overall. It was interesting to see how they introduced more of the Transformers ancestry and tied it to Earth. I thought I was about to have my heart ripped out again when it came to Optimus Prime. When he was killed off, my first thought was surely they did not just do that again!! I admit to getting a sickening feeling in my stomach this morning when they killed him off. I then looked at the clock to see how far in we were and realized we were one hour into it. I thought, well, he made it one hour into this movie as opposed to probably thirty minutes into the original 1986 movie. I just had this feeling that he would be brought back and I was relieved not long after when the discussion turned to how the matrix could bring him back. That brings us to the matrix. One thing that was missing in the first movie was the matrix of leadership. I just figured that they decided to do away with it but, no, here it was in the sequel. Ok, I have to talk about the twins. Ugh. The worst part was that they were in the main part of the story with them hanging around with Bumblebee, Sam, and Mikaela. All I could think was that this was who you sent into Egypt to try and get this mission going? I almost kept waiting for Ultra Magnus to show up and be the revelation of this plan. I also came up with a comparison of the twins while watching this play out in the theatre. Is this how Star Wars fans felt with Jar Jar Binks? Are the twins the Jar Jar Binks of Transformers??!! Ha ha. I wanted to let out a big cheer when Devastator was revealed especially with how he transformed just like old times. When the two guys stood next to the green dump truck, I immediately thought, oh yes, we’re about to see Devastator. Interesting that he was the only one that was green so it was important that the truck was the first part of him that we saw. I really wanted to see him wreck some havoc because he was a beast in the original series. How long till we saw Megatron again? Not long. One of the things that I said at the end of the original movie was that Starscream had better be leading the Decepticons in the sequel. When Megatron returned, he went right for Starscream for leaving him to be finished off while about ready to strangle him. Classic times there. I was glad that they didn’t kill off Starscream cause there is a lot that can be done with the two of them battling for leadership. It has always worked over the run of the series. I liked the introduction of Arcee but didn’t get a lot of screen time for the most part. With Optimus gone, it really was this feeling that the autobots were very underwhelming. The Decepticons just have a lot stronger characters. The autobots need some more characters on their side besides just being dominated by Optimus and Bumblebee. The human side of the story was good for the most part for me. The story of Spike and Mikaela is obviously going to be a major focus just like in the previous movie. The mix of them into the ongoing war worked for me. The only part that I wasn’t really crazy about was the new guy in charge that was looking to shut down the military operation. That just seemed like a random out of nowhere kind of character to me. It all ended up making sense but it was just strange to me. I did like the military all sticking by the autobots. Loved the line of Optimus to that guy saying that they would leave if asked but asked “what if we leave and you’re wrong?” I have to say that I loved seeing the space bridge as I had forgotten all about it. Classic stuff there. Wheelie returns in a new form from the old series but this time as a decepticon who provided some fun comedy in this movie. I liked the story of the Primes and how they explained the history of them. The Fallen was a new twist and it was cool seeing Optimus having to battle Going back to Optimus, his return was great at the end with him just taking everyone out and I mean QUICKLY. The story of Optimus saving Sam so many times and then Sam being the one to save Optimus was good. That was very much like the old series with what the humans and autobots would do for each other. What more can you ask other than an ending with Megatron saying “this isn’t over”? The struggle between Optimus and Megatron continues and it did not disappoint at all in this movie. Like I said, I liked it. Was there stuff in it that I didn’t like? Of course but overall, like just the first one, I’m very happy with it.

Movie box office numbers for last weekend. 1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - $108 million. 2. The Proposal - $18.5 million. 3. The Hangover - $17 million. 4. Up - $13 million. 5. My Sister’s Keeper - $12.4 million. 6. Year One - $6 million. 7. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 - $5.4 million. 8. Star Trek - $3.7 million. 9. Night at the Museum - $3.6 million. 10. Away We Go - $1.7 million.

Transformers opened up big as expected and set several records. It was second all time on five day box office openings bringing in $201.2 million. The only movie that did better was The Dark Knight which did $203.8 million. The movie also did big numbers overseas as well.
The new competitor for Transformers at the box office has arrived as Ice Age and Transformers had a close battle for the top spot for yesterday’s box office. Transformers had $11.5 million to Ice Age’s $11.1 million.

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