“Transformers: The Last Knight”: The Super Awesome Ultimate Recap

Nemesis Prime!

Hey, kids! Hope you love our new movie and all the cool toy tie-ins! Mom and Dad, sorry all our human friends keep saying the S-word so much.

Midlife Crisis Crossover calls Transformers: The Last Knight “The worst Knights of the Round Table film of 2017”! This may sound like nonsense, but I would say “You had to be there” if that weren’t the opposite of my final opinion about this misbegotten mess.

Michael Bay’s latest assemblage of toy robot fight footage extracted from a wheat thresher doesn’t stop at just King Arthur for his pop culture cribbing. After an opening fray that brings us the Game of Thrones/Armageddon crossover no one ever asked for, Bay and his four credited screenwriters go out of their way to photocopy portions of Suicide Squad, Downton Abbey, National Treasure, Aliens, Stand by Me and Three’s Company while trying to turn giant toy robot fights into Serious Business, to come up with clever disguises for sports-car placement ads, and to perpetuate the four previous films’ ongoing YVAN EHT NIOJ-style recruitment campaign.

Fair warning: I’m getting into MAJOR SPOILERS because I don’t feel like being kind to this ostensible “movie”. If your love for Transformers is so unconditional and fanatical that you’re hoping to keep the surprises fully preserved so that your first viewing will be as pure and blissful as possible, then this entry is not for you. Then again, you’ve likely avoided any and all critical analyses of your beloved robo-family’s entire series to date anyway, so I imagine I’m safe and talking to myself, which is not uncommon for me online.

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“Transformers: Age of Extinction”: Public Enemy #1?

Transformers 4!

An inventive man of action, a young woman he’s sworn to protect, an amazing traveling machine, lots and lots of running, and they keep reusing the same old robot villains. So it’s like an American remake of Doctor Who.

So. Transformers: Age of Extinction, then. Last weekend the internet gave Michael Bay’s new endurance test an F-minus-minus-minus. I’m not sure if they sat through it or assumed as much based on the available evidence and testimonies. I have no idea how many critics were fans of the cartoons or other related products. I owned several toys and bought the first year’s worth of the original Marvel Comics series, but lost interest in both around age 14 and forfeited knowledge of any subsequent characters or continuity. I thought the first film was the Greatest Michael Bay Film of All Time For What That’s Worth, the second one was the complete opposite of art, and the third was somewhere in between, improved by use of real-life Chicago as a setting for the last four hours of its running time.

If it hadn’t been for the sake of father/son quality time while he’s home visiting for the weekend, I might not have seen Age of Extinction. But here he was, here the weekend was, and there the movie was.

Right this way for more EXPLOSIONS!

Advance Review: “Broken City”

Mark Wahlberg, "Broken City"Some evenings at the theater, the marquee only has two choices: $200 million action blockbusters and $5,000 found-footage camcorder flicks. If you’re yearning for a simple, mid-sized film with no CGI monsters and at least two famous actors, Broken City offers an R-rated option for fans of crime drama in general and tough-talking guys in particular. It’s a capable primer for anyone who’s never seen a film about political scandal or government corruption, and comfort food for those who can’t get enough of watching little guys taking down big dogs.

Mark Wahlberg is Billy Taggart, a former policeman who lost his badge over a controversial incident involving a homicidal rapist. He now runs his own PI business, though his clients are mostly deadbeats and his photos are amateurish. Russell Crowe is NYC Mayor Nicholas Hostetler, up for yet another reelection and riding high publicity on the sale of the low-income Bolton Village tenement area for a cool four billion bucks, nicely covering the city’s billion-dollar deficit and leaving plenty of surplus to earn him good Election Day will. Hostetler faces challenges on two fronts: his election opponent, smarmy upper-crust councilman Jack Valliant (Barry Pepper, who turns from stiff-upper-lip to unsettling devastation when things go wrong for him); and his wife Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones, an Oscar-winning placeholder), who may be cheating on him. Or he may be paranoid. Or evil.

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