Sunday, July 12, 2009

Movie Review:Transformers-The Revenge of the Fallen

Everyone knows, summer wouldn’t be summer without an action-packed blockbuster that kicks butt. Well, you don’t have to worry anymore because this summer is now officially a real summer thanks to Shia LaBeouf’s new movie blockbuster, Transformers 2.

Transformers 2 is actually a trilogy to the movie Transformers that came out in 2007. What I like best about Shia is that on top of being talented (and hot!), his ideas are original and creative. Need proof? Well, look at Transformers. Not only did Shia come up with his own original movie and original characters, but he was able to think of a way to make another of the same movie. If you think about it, what this means is that his original story for the first movie was so big that he had to wait to make a trilogy for it, so he could tell the rest of it.
Transformers 2 is chalk full of robots, both good and bad guy ones. The good guy robots are the cars and the bad guys are pretty much everything else Shia could think of (i.e. planes, tigers, etc.) The good robots are friends with army guys and together they fight the bad robots. But some of the good robots get sad because they miss their friend Shia….which is where his character comes in. Shia plays Sam who is going away to college and has to leave his car and his girlfriend, played by Megan Fox (she plays the girlfriend, not the car) who works on cars because she didn’t get into college. Shia finds a broken piece of metal that electrocutes him and gives him geometry powers. I think the metal was supposed to represent drugs because after it shocks him, he can’t concentrate in school and starts imagining things (this is sometimes called ‘tripping’ by drug people and can happen when someone takes too much drugs). Shia knows kids will see his movie, so I think it’s totally admirable for him to show them the harmful effects of recreational drugging: see strange things, yell weird comments in class and everyone will think you’re weird or disabled or foreign.

Meanwhile, the bad guy robots find the leader robot that died in the first movie, revive him from the ocean and go looking for a really old robot who is the dad of all the robots (this makes all the good robots and all the bad guy robots…what? Brothers, right!) whom they call The Fallen.

The Fallen is an old man robot with a French accent who, because he had fallen at some point, is forced to use a cane. Throughout the movie, all of the robots kept calling him The Fallen, (like, ‘We must find The Fallen’ or ‘Where is The Fallen?’) and this really upset me because I thought it was really disrespectful. In my opinion, old people have names and shouldn’t be defined by their injuries or ailments. I love my grandparents and so I would never ever refer to them as The Osteoporosis and The Broken Hip.

There are a lot of big battles where lots of stuff blows up and sometimes it’s hard to tell which robot is which, but its pretty exciting stuff, regardless. There are lots of new robots in this movie to love, but my favorite was definitely Wheelie. He was hilarious! He says what he wants and has some serious attitude. Not only that, but he provided the hugest laugh in movie history when he tried to have sex with Megan Fox’s leg. *SPOILER*

The boyfriend-girlfriend relationship between Megan and Shia is just so well done, that I found myself almost crying when he had to leave her for school. It is because they are so attractive that I think the audience cares as much about them as they do each other and themselves. No Transfats or Transgenders in this movie–Shia and Megan are definitely two Transhotties! That is a belief I will take to my Transgrave.

I think the movie was as close to perfect as you could get. The CGI effects are amazing, Shia is able to work in some subtle messages to the viewers and Megan Fox is a good role model for girls because she works on cars even though it makes her seem like she might be a lesbian.

Movie Review:LionsFor Lambs

Packed with star power in a dialog-driven drama about the most urgent issue of our time—the Bush administration's undeclared, unsuccessful so-called war on terror—Robert Redford's Lions for Lambs roars.

That assessment is strictly in contrast to the current crop of brain-dead snoozers playing in theaters, which mean about as much as the Democratic Party's opposition to President Bush's Iraq military presence, which has cost thousands of American lives—with no gain for the nation. The 88-minute Lions for Lambs does not make that last point—it doesn't come close—but it does what a good movie ought to do: it gives one a reason—actually, several—to think.

With a breathlessly pedantic script by Matthew Michael Carnahan (who also wrote The Kingdom) and featuring Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep, the first release from Mr. Cruise's reconfigured United Artists draws from Mr. Redford's direction. The man who directed such outstanding pictures as the riveting Ordinary People (1980) and the razor-sharp Quiz Show (1994) directs and produces Lions for Lambs. He also plays an honorable professor named Malley.

Dr. Malley's lessons figure into the lives of his students and one particularly disengaged youngster (Andrew Garfield) who's prone to fraternity rites, channel-surfing and ditching Dr. Malley's class. As the challenging Westerner, seventysomething Mr. Redford is positively charged in an about-face from his role as the irritable rancher in An Unfinished Life. The brash student is the stand-in for today's text-messaging, passively spoon-fed automaton, one of many instantly recognizable types in this head-spinning talkathon.

Three couplings populate the picture. Besides the college pair, who signify a strand of hope for a future influenced by new intellectuals, there's a United States senator who supports the war on terror (Mr. Cruise) and the journalist (Miss Streep) to whom the senator grants an exclusive preview of another half-baked incursion (this one in Afghanistan). The third duo is two soldiers (Derek Luke, Michael Pena) attempting to engage the enemy in this historic military mobilization created by America's intellectuals.

The soldiers are the least developed due to the multi-faceted storyline's connective tissue, allowing for a cashing-in that hits home later. While their set-up is contrived, it works. As one wise character says when another throws out a politically correct hyphenated-American term: "stay focused on the American part."

Lions for Lambs does, stitching subplots, with a title based on U.S. war history, a focus on individual actions and with life as the standard. The movie includes a doublespeak question—"do you want to win the War on Terror?"—posed by the government that every adult American is morally accountable to address. Who wouldn't be inclined to say "yes?" Yet that is what those who have initiated this inverted war seek: obedience from those who choose not to question the question.

With enemy gunfire ripping our men to shreds, the slippery senator catapults the latest surge of sacrificed troops past the reporter—with her pulling the lever—and Dr. Malley tries to stir the lost youth from his unthinking state. As the typical, entrenched Baby Boomer journalist, Miss Streep is putty in her Out of Africa co-star's hands, though she can't resist neurotically touching her face whenever she gets the chance.

Miss Streep's character, Janine Roth, is the most damaging, because, unlike the politician, merely another power-luster, or the student, who may not know better, she knows she's being used—like most of today's top press members, she is part of the status quo—and she is more conscious of popular downloads than she is of what comes with her byline. Her New Left ideals are as powerless in assuaging her guilt as they are in opposing a war with a premise, i.e., altruism, identical to her own. She is the embodiment of today's media stars: a willing exponent of a wrong war. The anti-war journalist and the pro-war politician share one another's philosophy; he uses liberal jargon—like that tipping point nonsense—to hustle his poison and she takes his dose of neo-conservatism with barely a whimper.

Meanwhile, the two brave soldier-brothers sit like many of our soldiers in harm's way—without purpose, crippled in every way—like the Marines in Beirut and Fallujah, or the U.S. embassy Marines ordered not to shoot in Teheran or the sailors of the U.S.S. Cole.

In fast-talking, tight mini-monologues and scenes of carnage, with allusions to Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, Lions for Lambs, which does not offer an alternative, shows that we are all either lions or lambs. With Robert Redford as a steadying guide, on and off screen, the insightful United Artists picture reminds us of that pressing choice.

The revolution in technology and media

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