Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon

Transformers: More than meets the eye.  Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, also known as a very very long action sequence.  Man, I had to pee like 1 hour into the movie and almost died as I tried to hold it almost 2 hours later.  Enjoyable, not really much to talk about except the 3D portion almost made me pee in my pants, partly because it was exciting and realistic special effects, probably also mostly because I just really had to pee and the movie was ridiculously long.

Shia LeBeouf seems like an ass, not so different from the over-pumped teenage twerp he plays in the first two movies, and well the transformers are machines so did you really expect any character development there?  he gets a new girl, blond ex-Victoria Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whitley, who is actually, if you can believe it, even more flat of a 2 dimensional character than Megan Fox was in the first two, and not half as hot, but still way hotter than you’d think a dude like Shia LeBeouf could score.  AND he’s supposed to be her American sex toy or something……?!?!?

The twist in this movie is a giant American cover-up of the moon’s landing, which is a smidgen more cleverer than the first two movies that highlighted just explosions and destruction, but similar to the previous two, the main reason to watch is for the special effects, not the character development, plot, or dialogue cuz there really isn’t any to speak of.  That said, special effects are cool, I have a special place in my heart for Transformers in any case…

If you want to watch a movie, not have to think, and just drift away with the onslaught of action-packed 3D sequences and not hate the movie, this movie is for you, I just suggest visiting the restroom before the movie.  If you’d prefer to be wowed and intrigued by the movie, go elsewhere…$4

If you heart Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon:

Recommendations by…
Fast Five

Source Code

In a hybrid breed between Inception and Ground hog day, Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Captain Colter Stevens in another mind-bending, reality-twisted action thriller where he needs to save the world, charming the audience with his winning smile along the way.  I’m a bit of a stickler for consistency in plot, and so some things in this movie bothered me, but in general, an enjoyable ride and Jake Gyllenhaal wasn’t too rough on the eyes either.

To round out a well-casted group of actors, Michelle Monaghan played the extremely likeable, witty girl he is always trying to save, every 8 minutes, and you can see why he might fall for someone like her: pretty, funny, smart, and realistic.  Vera Farmiga plays the cool, distant role she plays so well, not a far cry from her sleek self in Up in the Air.  Jeffrey Wright, who you might remember from movies like Basquiat, also plays the same weirdly cracked out character that he also plays so well: quirky, fidgety, but clearly exceptionally brilliant in his own way.  In this particular case he plays the lead scientist who creates the “source code” to allow Captain Stevens to relive the critical 8 minutes before a terrorist attack to solve this who-dun-it mystery.

I don’t really have too many other comments for this movie, except that it wasn’t a bad movie, it was fun, a good way to spend 2 hours in an afternoon or evening to just completely forget about any stress that you might have and just relax in the suspension of reality that director Duncan Jones dishes out to you.

No super special effects (e.g.,  Inception), no curiously philosophical takes on life that may or may not change your life (e.g., Matrix), not even really a wickedly original idea that is extraordinarily well-executed (e.g., Memento), but just a decent, fun way to spend some time in the movie theater/at home if you are looking for something fun to watch.  In other words, not quite worth a full priced ticket, but probably worth above waiting for it on rental…$6

If you heart Source Code

Recommendations from …:
Groundhog Day
The Matrix

… Oscar Picks

So I gotta say, I haven’t seen all the nominated films.  But I got all excited reading the mug’s nominations so I gotsa to fill in mine.  Ditto on the order, best to suckiest, with N/As on the bottom that I haven’t seen.  I’ll update along the way after I’ve watched the other films.  So far I agree with the mug, the best leading actor should have gone to Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine.


Commentary:  Black Swan rocked it this year.  I mean, visually orgasmic, emotionally riveting, powerful performance by Natalie Portman.  That said Winter’s Bone I thought was a wonderfully crafted beautiful movie.  Social Network was good, but somewhat overrated, and I ❤ Pixar.
Black Swan
Winter’s Bone
Toy Story 3
The King’s Speech
The Fighter
The Social Network
The Kids Are All Right
True Grit
127 Hours


Commentary:  The best actor/actress roles are always difficult for me, because it’s hard evaluate.  Do you pick who is the most true to the role and most believable, or who you think did that role better than anyone else could, because the two are not always the same.  In this case, I think they are a bit different.  Natalie Portman gave an amazing performance that would have been difficult to replicate for anyone else.  That said, Jennifer Lawrence was so real, so raw in her role, she did an amazing job, especially given her young age.

Natalie Portman
Jennifer Lawrence
Michelle Williams
Annette Bening
Nicole Kidman (N/A)


Commentary:  The best actor nominations were a huge disappointment this year.  Really… Jessie Eisenberg was chosen as a nominee over Ryan Gosling?  First of all, I have issue because Justin Timberland (Justin TIMBER-lake for god’s sake) and Andrew Garfield totally stole Eisenberg’s thunder in the movie.  Eisenberg was little more than a wallflower, which is fine if that’s what it’s supposed be about, but honestly, a movie about Facebook where Zuckerberg is supposed to be a wallflower?  Seems a bit unbelievable.  Not only that, but the role was hardly a stretch for Eisenberg.  Given the two qualifications above in the leading lady category, being realistic in the role, and not seeing anyone else who could do the role better, Eisenberg fills neither qualification. I mean, I still confuse Eisenberg with Michael Cera and sometimes Adam Samberg.  Also, though Colin Firth was good in The King’s Speech, he still seemed to be little more than Mr. Darcy with a stutter.

Colin Firth
Jeff Bridges
James Franco
Jesse Eisenberg
Javier Bardem (N/A)


Commentary:  Melissa Lao does a remarkable job of the messed up mom of Mickey Ward. Hailee Steinfield does an admirable job of keeping up with her co-stars, especially given her age, but even so I didn’t think it was the best I’ve seen of Jeff Bridges or Matt Damon.  Also, why is Steinfield in the supporting role category whereas Jeff Bridges is in the leading role category?

Melissa Leo

Hailee Steinfield
Amy Adams
Helena Bonham Carter
Jacki Weaver (N/A)


Commentary:  This was a difficult decision.  I was all set on John Hawkes, and then I saw the Fighter.  Christian Bale did an incredible job as Nicky Ward.  However, John Hawkes had an amazing portrayal of Teardrop, and cannot believe he’s also freaking Lennon on Lost AND Dustin Powers on Eastbound and Down, AND he doesn’t seem like an asshole in public.  The man’s talent knows no bounds.

Christian Bale

John Hawkes
Geoffrey Rush
Mark Ruffalo
Jeremy Renner (N/A)


Commentary:  Darren Aronfsky’s directing for Black Swan was remarkable, marvelous and awe-inspiring.  Beautifully tangled, artfully directed, though one comment I have is that did anyone else think it’s weird that Black Smoke monster music was on while the Black Swan emerged?  In addition, Tom Hopper did a bang-up job for The King’s Speech, some innovative camera shots and close ups especially considering it’s Victorian context.  I’d add Blue Valentine here as well, and although Derek Cianfrance’s methods are certain unconventional and probably inapplicable for any other setting, the style ended up being so overly intimate, it would be hard to imagine anything else more appropriate for that film.

Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan
Tom Hopper for The King’s Speech
Coen Brothers for True Grit
David Fincher for The Social Network
David O. Russel for The Fighter

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