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Posts Tagged ‘Movie Review’

Blu-ray Review: Transformers: The Last Knight

September 25, 2017 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
The Last KnightGood to see the Robocop Enforcement Droid is still getting work.

After reshuffling the deck in Age of Extinction, Michael Bay is back with The Last Knight, the fifth installment of his live-action Tranformers film series. This is the second film with Mark Wahlberg in the lead role, but with the exception of a few minor parts and cameos we’re given an entirely new cast, including Anthony Hopkins.

THE PLOT

In the dark ages, King Arthur and the legendary wizard Merlin, were actually helped by ancient Transformers that had come to Earth to keep a powerful staff from an unknown evil, but they tell them that evil will someday come for the staff — and as luck would have it, that day is now.

In the present, Transformers of all affiliations are deemed enemies of the Earth and hunted by the TRF (Transformer Reaction Force). Cade Yeager (Wahlberg) has become a fugitive as he continues to help and harbor Autobots at a junkyard. One such endeavor ends when he’s given a talisman he believes to be junk, but he soon learns it has real value.

Over in England, Sir Edmund (Hopkins), who is the latest in a long line of stewards that have watched over a secret society’s efforts to conceal the staff, reaches out to Yeager and Viviane Wembley (Laura Haddock), an Oxford scholar and (unbeknownst to her) last living descendant of Merlin. Together, they must find the staff and save the world because…

…the remnants of Cybertron are on a collision course with Earth, led by Quintessa, one of the Transformers’ creators, and a brainwashed Optimus Prime. And they’ll need to do it all while staying a step ahead of the TRF and a pack of Decepticons led by Megatron that want nothing more than to watch Cybertron devour our world.

THE GOOD

Much in the same vein as the Fast and Furious series, Transfomers films are about action first, second and third. On that front, The Last Knight is mostly a success. The CGI is very good, and the way it blends with natural scenery is the film’s high point. It doesn’t feel like there are as many melee fights between the giant robots, which is good, since those invariably devolve into something that’s difficult to follow.

For better or worse, Bay seems to love to toe the line between PG-13 and R. There’s no shortage of crude humor, middle fingers and use of the word “bitch” here. It’s not always effective — such as when a teenage girl confronts Megatron — but it throws so many attempts at humour that some are bound to get through (like an early Boys in the Hood reference). This movie does not take itself too seriously.

THE BAD

We don’t throw the word “incoherent” around lightly, but the plot is a mess. Characters drop in and out, plot points from previous films are cast aside and lots of things just don’t seem to go anywhere. We literally paused the movie a few times to sort out what was happening within just this film, much less trying to piece together things that carried forward (like didn’t Megatron become Galvatron in Age of Extinction?).

One of our long-standing pet peeves continues as well: made up Transformers. There were SO MANY of them, and yet when Megatron is putting together a team he’s rattling off Mohawk and Nitro Zeus (and a somehow alive Barricade)… C’mon, Michael. These films began as something resembling fan service. How about Skywarp or Thundercracker? Blitzkreig? Astrotrain? Hell, give us Cyclonus!!! Instead we have unexplained baby Dinobots…

Considering how much action is valued over plot, The Last Knight is simply too long. You could’ve comfortably shaved 30 minutes off and been alright. It’s so long that when characters from the first act resurfaced for the third we’d all but forgotten they were in the movie — and it doesn’t help that there’s no viable reason for them to be there.

And there’s the sweet spot: a lack of reason. As the franchise pushes past the 10-hour point it has become an exercise in futility to sort through the plot lines and make sense of it all. So you’re just not supposed to ask why Bumblebee can suddenly talk or reform himself like one of Iron Man’s suits, or why there are tiny dinobots, or where <insert Transformer name> went, and on and on.

THE BONUS FEATURES

More than 90 minutes of extras are waiting on a separate disc, offering up the usual suite of behind the scenes featurettes about where the movie was shot, how they came up with the plot, what cool tweaks they made to the Transformers themselves and so on. They’re all slickly done, but there was nothing that stood out as must see.

OVERALL

As an action flick, The Last Knight is enjoyable enough. As an extension of the Transformers lore, however, it just keeps more convoluted and difficult to follow.

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Blu-ray Review: Wonder Woman

September 18, 2017 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Gadot’s portrayal of Wonder Woman is about as refreshing as you can find in the superhero genre. There’s no snark or darkness to her character. Instead she plays a sense of wonderment and innocence from being raised on an island away from the world’s realities without ever being exploited or made to look maliciously naive.
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Blu-ray Review: Everything, Everything

August 24, 2017 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Even with the caveat they we’re not the target audience, Everything is rife with problems. It’d be an exercise in futility to touch on them all so let’s focus on the big ones. There are way too many plot holes stemming from the use of the most convenient, least plausible ways to explain how to get from Point A to Point B in the story arc.
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Blu-ray Review: Going in Style

August 4, 2017 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Going in Style’s plot is predictable from start to finish and never deviates from the obvious path. That would’ve fared better had it gone a sillier route and stayed away from trying to add too many “serious” subplots, or, conversely, had they chosen to commit to a couple.
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Blu-ray Review: Ghost in the Shell

July 24, 2017 | by Herija Green | Comments (0)
Visually, Ghost in the Shell is impressive. Sure, there’s the odd green screen that looks wonky — the fishing scene with Major and Batou stands out in that regard — but for the most part everything looks crisp and does a good job of bringing the anime to life, including some nearly shot-for-shot lifts. With a healthy dose of action as well, Ghost is a strong showcase piece for powerful 4k TVs.
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