Monday, August 10, 2015

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Number Rolled: 49
Movie Name/Year: Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
Tagline: This is not war, it’s extinction.
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Length: 165 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Paramount Pictures, Hasbro, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Tom DeSanto/Don Murphy Production, Ian Bryce Productions, Amblin Entertainment, Platinum Dunes
Executive Producer: Michael Bay, Brian Goldner, Steven Spielberg, Mark Vahradian
Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Ehren Kruger
Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Titus Welliver, Sophia Myles, Bingbing Li, T.J. Miller, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, John Goodman, Ken Watanabe, Robert Foxworth, John DiMaggio, Mark Ryan, Reno Wilson

Humans have become scared of all aliens, even the autobots. They are hunting down all the transformers from all sides of the fight and taking them out on sight.

Selina’s Point of View:
I feel like I just watched an old childhood friend die.

I enjoyed the first three Transformer films. I even enjoyed them more than I was supposed to. They’ve all been a kind of “action porn” with only a touch of substance, but they were still fun to watch. There’s a big difference between those films and this one.

It felt like no one was really at work when they were shooting this film. Michael Bay (Pain & Gain, Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys) wasn’t paying attention. Ehren Kruger (The Brothers Grimm, The Skeleton Ring, Scream 3) was just looking for the easiest paycheck that could be made with minimal effort. The actors were all just barely awake during their scenes… which is sad since some of them are amazing actors in general. Even the graphics weren’t as good as a movie with this budget should have been able to produce.

Transformers: Age of Extinction was bad. Not only was it bad, but it was also long. It felt like the longest movie in the world.

I will likely see all the future Transformer films, but I’ll never give Bay my money to see them in theaters again.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’d seen this movie while it was still out in theatres. It was nice to get a chance to re-visit it and see if I could catch anything that I missed last time.

I have to admit that I am a bit biased when it comes to these movies. I have been a fan of Transfomers, in general, since The Transformers (1984-1987) cartoon series when I was younger. Optimus Prime and Bumblebee were (and still are) my favorites, closely followed by the Dinobots.

Peter Cullen (Piglet's Big Movie, Transformers, IGPX: Immortal Grand Prix) was my first ‘voice crush.’ I have been practically giddy that he has continued to voice just about every iteration of Optimus Prime that has been released since then.

This far in to the modern Transformer movie franchise, there isn’t much point in going over my opinions as to changes they made to various characters – so we’ll leave that aside. I don’t generally watch these movies to nitpick.

Much like my enjoyment of Jurassic Park (1993) sets aside the great liberties they took with the plot for the sake of dinosaur effects; I like to watch these films for the nostalgia factor and seeing my beloved characters “made real.” So long as Optimus Prime keeps the same voice and remains a semi; I can take the rest with a large grain of salt.

I’ve also been a fan of Mark Wahlberg (The Departed, Contraband, Date Night) since I first saw him in Fear (1996). Some of his movies hit the mark, and some fall a bit short. I feel his performance here met my expectations for the scope of this movie.

What failed to quite meet the mark, however, was the length of time the Dinobots were on the screen. The beginning was a little slow – but I get that. If Grimlock and company weren’t teased in the trailers, I probably wouldn’t have felt as much of a loss.

I also didn’t quite like the new transformation effects. I get they were trying to go with something more sleek and modern – that it was to be cutting edge technology. It was spiffy when they were playing around with it, but when it came down to actual Transformers going through those changes, it lost some of the inherent expected vibe, for me.

All in all, I enjoyed the movie, and will continue to watch any installment of the franchise that hits the screen. These ‘robots in disguise’ will always hold a special place in my heart.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 18%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 52%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2.7/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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