FlixChatter Double Review –Transformers: Age of Extinction

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Ted’s Review

After a three year absent, the Transformers are back on the big screen. They still have to deal with annoying human characters, fight the bad Transformers and destroy every big city as much as they could.

The movie picked up about 5 years after the last one, we’re introduced to some new human characters Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz). Yeager is a failed inventor and he’s close to being broke and lose his farm. One day he found an old truck which happens to be Optimus Prime, he’s hiding from the government. Apparently after the events of the last movie, all of the Autobots are being hunted down by the CIA. The mission is being spearheaded by a high level CIA executive Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer). When Attinger finds out that Optimus Prime is hiding out at Yeager’s farm, he sends his operatives including its leader James Savoy (Titus Welliver) to bring Prime in. Of course things didn’t turn out well as they’d hoped and Yeager, his daughter and Optimus were able to get away from the agents. I was going to write more about the “plot” of the movie but let’s face it, no one go to see this movie for its plot, which by the way didn’t make a lick of sense. If you’re a fan of the previous three movies and enjoy all the explosions and robots fighting then you’re going to love this one. For anyone who can’t stand this franchise, I’d advise you to stay far away from it!

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Wahlberg stepped in as the new leading man this time and I didn’t think he was as annoying as Shia LaBeouf but he didn’t really add anything much to the movie. Since he’s done many action movies prior, the writers did write in scenes where he’s part of the action instead of just running and screaming like LaBeouf did in the previous movies. Young actress Nicola Peltz became the new eye candy in this one, when I say eye candy, I meant it literally. Bay pretty much focused the cameras on every part of her body, just like he did with the other pretty girls in the previous movies. Another young actor (Jack Reynor) showed up as her boyfriend and I think he’s supposed to play LaBeouf’s part because I found him quite annoying. Then later in the movie, Stanley Tucci showed up as this Steve Jobs type of a character. Grammer was pretty much your typical one dimensional villain, he’s bad, he’s greedy and he doesn’t about anyone but himself.

Now let’s talk about Michael Bay and his Bayhem. I don’t know if it’s possible but this movie might have had more climatic action scenes than any other movies I’ve ever seen. Bay kept blowing things up and robots smashing into one another for close to 3 hours! The man has no restrain and as long as people keeps paying to see this franchise, he’ll never stop. I remember a while back he said he’s done with the franchise but I guess the studio probably offered him money more than any average person would ever see in their lifetime.

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Now I do have a couple of good things to say about this movie. First, it’s the first movie to have been shot with the new IMAX 3D cameras and since I’m a big fan of IMAX, it’s nice to have seen it on the biggest screen. If you’re going to see it on IMAX, know that it will have aspect ratio switching. Second, the 3D effects were quite impressive, maybe one of the best I’ve seen. There were scenes where I felt like I was in the movie, Bay did a good job there with the 3D. Of course the 3D supposed to enhance the story and not be the story, so it gets tiresome about an hour into the movie.

The movie is expected to be the summer’s biggest hit and I have no doubt that it will be a big hit. If you’re a fan of the franchise then you’ll love it, but for me it’s another bloated piece of turd from a director who only cares about making money and not quality films.

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Ruth’s Review

Ok so this is not so much a straight-on review as my rant reaction to this movie [if you can even call it that]. I’ve only seen the first movie [only because I was at a friend’s party and everyone wanted to watch the Transformers movie], and frankly I had no interest in seeing any more from this franchise. The only reason I went to this press screening is because it was at the IMAX theater and this was supposedly the first film shot with IMAX 3D Digital Camera. Silly reason really, and definitely NOT a worthy one to waste three whole hours on (more if you include the bazillion trailers before the movie starts).

Pretty much the only thing one needs to know about the Transformers universe is this: the Autobots are the good alien robots and the Decepticons are the evil ones. The humans are disposable creatures, as interchangeable as the parts in a kid’s toolbox. So supposedly an epic battle had happened in the previous film that left the world in pieces, though you wouldn’t know that from looking at the shots of Chicago and Beijing as they look pretty much unscathed with all of the skyscrapers intact. For some reasons, the Autobots are now being hunted down by the CIA, whilst the top level CIA agent (Kelsey Grammer) happily makes deals with another group of alien robots as they agree to leave earth. Meanwhile, a lowly farmer inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) inadvertently discovered that a beat-up old truck is actually the leader of the Autobots, called Optimus Prime. So of course soon enough Yeager and his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) become fugitives themselves as they want to keep Optimus from getting caught. That’s pretty much the gist of it.

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As if the obtuse storyline wasn’t enough, Michael Bay‘s execution and directing style makes this fourth installment so unbearable in every sense of the word. At 165-min long, it’s overstuffed yet hollow, loud and verbose with nothing to say. As the end credit rolled, my hubby and I just shook our head. Yes I know it’s not the first time Hollywood studios spent a mind-boggling $180 mil budget on such a stinker, but this one is especially horrid with barely any redeeming quality whatsoever. Now, I’m not saying I can’t enjoy a movie about monstrous alien robots. After all, I LOVE Pacific Rim, which I’ve rewatched several times and still entertained by it. Funny that the lead character’s name is Yeager sounds just like Pac Rim‘s robotic weapon Jaeger. If only this movie is even half as entertaining!

Bay’s Transformers franchise should go down in film history as the quintessential piece of garbage, as it represents the worst thing that one dreads from a Summer blockbuster… vapid, trite, overindulgent, overwrought, plus a dose of self-satisfied smug-ness. After all, Bay remains defiant, here’s his response to those who are critical of his *masterpiece*: “They love to hate, and I don’t care; let them hate … They’re still going to see the movie! [per mtv.com]. Wish he were wrong but he’s not. As I’m writing this, the movie has made over $40 mil in one DAY, on track for a $100+ mil weekend [sigh] It’s ironic that the title tagline is ‘age of extinction.’ Well, it seems that creativity in Hollywood is on the verge of extinction [if it isn’t already]. The best line of the movie comes early in the movie, inside a ruined vintage cinema, when an older man lamented how all movies these days are sequels and remakes. Was Bay poking fun at himself and what he represents? Highly unlikely, considering his comment above.

You know something is out of whack when during watching a movie, you’re thinking about why so many good actors sign on to this and wonder how much money they made for it. That is if you’re not busy counting how many product placements are scattered during the action scenes [hint: it’s too many to count]. Every actor here is utterly wasted, Wahlberg is not immune to bad movies [The Happening, anyone?] but I’m still baffled as to why he signed on to do this. You would think he’s got enough cash that he never need to do a project only for monetary reason. Talented young actors like Sophia Myles and Jack Reynor probably just want the exposure one could get from mainstream blockbusters, but it’s still painful to see them in something THIS bad. Let’s hope they pick better roles in the future. As for Peltz, she is an exact embodiment of a damsel-in-distress, yet another eye candy type for the purpose of Bay’s unabashed female objectifications. As Wahlberg’s character complained about her daughter’s skimpy outfit, Bay set up a shot from between her thighs as she stood with her short shorts that barely covered her behind. Peltz was only 18 during filming, Bay’s nearing 50. It’s really a new low even for Bay.

I don’t know what’s worse, the wooden acting or the clichéd dialog coming out of their mouths. Even Stanley Tucci who’s always watchable even in a bad movie made me cringe here. His character is a multi-billionaire Tony Stark-type inventor who has been making man-made robots from the remains of the evil alien robots Decepticons. For someone who’s supposedly a brilliant scientist, his character does the most idiotic things throughout. In the third act, the main characters resort to dragging an alien *seed* that can turn organic material into metal. You’d think they’d be more careful with something THAT lethal, but it’s as if they’re dragging a body bag. It’s like watching a slapstick comedy except that it’s neither funny nor entertaining.

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I better end my rant now as I’m running out of adjectives to describe this movie. This FilmInk reviewer sums up my sentiment perfectly: “Transformers: Age of Extinction has appalling dialogue, deplorable representations of women, un-self-aware action sequences, very little humour and racial stereotyping. In other words, it’s a Michael Bay movie.” Suffice to say, this is by far the worst movie I’ve seen in a long time, rivaled only by Die Hard 5 but even that one is still more watchable as it’s only about half as long. I actually had to make a new rating graphic for this one as I’ve never given a rating this low before. I don’t care what state-of-the-art equipment is used to make this or even how good the visual quality is. I actually took my 3D glasses off a few times just to give my tired eyes a break. It’s really a sensory overload in the worst possible way.

ahalfreel


Well, what do you think of the latest Transformers movie? 

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62 thoughts on “FlixChatter Double Review –Transformers: Age of Extinction

  1. If you like this type of movie, then it’s going to be a great watch. However, if not, it’s not worth seeing at all. Some reason, I’m in the middle. Good review.

    1. Ted S.

      Unfortunately there are tons of people who likes this kind of movie and it’s sad to know that it’s going to make tons of money.

    2. Well as I mentioned, I don’t mind movies about alien robots if it’s well-made. But Bay seems to insist on making Transformers as insipid as possible.

  2. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ted and Ruth:

    Is it just me, or is this franchise trying to save money by hiring second tier talent outside two recognized names (Wahlberg and Tucci) and then spending the saved money on ridiculous, loud and annoying Special Effects?

    Was never a fan of the toys and later film franchise. So, I’m not surprised by Ted’s opinion.
    And Ruth… Tell us how you really feel! 😀

    1. Ted S.

      Hey Jack, you know I think that’s what they did here, just hired one big named actor (Marky Mark) and then use all of those money on effects and locations. Tucci was pretty much a stand in for John Turturro, a talented actor whose character was supposed to be a comic relief. Let’s just say I didn’t find either of their characters funny.

      Yeah I was never a fan of Transformers cartoons or toys but i mildly enjoyed the first movie but then it to crap since.

      1. jackdeth72

        Hi, Cindy and all:

        Let us all now bow our heads in fervent rejoice and meditation. That Ted and Ruth voluntarily entered the Tigers’ Den. And endured such an abomination. So we do not have to!

    2. Hi Kevin! Well as you know, I don’t let out a rant very often on this blog. I try to find some kind of redeeming quality in everything, but there’s absolutely NONE that I found here.

  3. Not surprised in the least. You both have definitely verified my decision not to see this movie. I almost…just almost decided to buy a ticket, but the reviews have proven my fears. The sounds like another relentless, teeth-grinding mess. No thank you Mr. Bay. I know you don’t need my money for this to be a success, but I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing I didn’t give you a cent!

    1. Ted S.

      Hey Keith, yeah it’s basically 3 hours of explosion and nothing else. As much as I despised what Bay said, he’s telling the truth, people don’t seem to care if the movie’s bad, they’ll pay to see it anyway.

    2. You are wise Keith! Flee as far away as you could from this one. Even tho I didn’t pay for it, I still feel cheated that I wasted 3+ hours to see it!

  4. Ouch! But was I expecting anything different. It’s a criminal offense what they’ve done with the Transformers movies – parts 2 and 3 are some of the worst pieces of big budget cinema I’ve ever seen. This after the somewhat enjoyable first film. Did I have high hopes for this one – absolutely not. But I expected more than this! Great reviews both..!

      1. Ted S.

        Same here Michael and yes Spielberg’s still willing to have his name appeared in the movie. I kind of lost a little respect for him on that.

      2. WOW, I totally forgot Spielberg was even involved in this franchise. To be honest tho, I don’t think the first movie was nearly as bad as this one. Heck even Megan Fox was still somewhat watchable.

    1. Ted S.

      Yeah I mildly enjoyed the first movie but the sequels, including this one, were trash. It’s unfortunate that it’s still going to make billions at the box office.

  5. lol, dang, well I suppose if you already weren’t a fan of the franchise, you’re likely not gonna like this movie, haha. I personally enjoyed the hell out of it, though. Best one of these movies yet, my a long, long way. XD

    1. Ted S.

      Hey Chris, yeah I said if you’re a fan of the franchise then you’ll enjoy this one. What’s funny is that I used to be a Michael Bay defender but after Pearl Harbor and these Transformers films, I just don’t think he cares about making quality films, he just want to keep make as much money as he can.

    2. Well even if I was not a fan of the franchise, I was hoping that this one would at least be bearable. Oh how wrong I was, I guess that served me right for having even a bit of faith on Michael Bay!

  6. Fine reviews, Ted & Ruth. Lord, I’ve grown to hate Bay and this franchise. And, Ah CRAP!, I see it’s had a gigantic opening weekend. DOUBLE CRAP!!, as this means they’ll give Michael Bay another production for this inane crowd (I’m not quite sure if I’m referring to the cast or the people for fill the seat for this — maybe both). Now I’m triple DEPRESSED!!! 😉

    1. Ted S.

      Hey Michael, yeah it’s kind of depressing when you know the movie is going to make tons of money no matter how bad it is. Like I said above, I used to be a fan of Bay but as the years gone by, his films quality just went down hill and he’s clearly doesn’t care about making good movies. I thought he might be this generation’s Richard Donner, a good director who churned out some quality action films but Bay just became another money hungry hack. Of course it’s not like he needs anymore money, I read on Forbes that he’s worth at least $400-500mil!

    2. Hi Michael! I try my best not to *hate* on any filmmaker. I have to admit I was hoping that maybe, just maybe there’s still something to enjoy in this movie despite his reputation. Well it IS depressing how terrible this one is, even more depressing that people STILL flock to see it!!! 😦

    1. Ahah thanks Fernando. I wish I could say that ranting about it made me feel better, well I guess it did a little, but still, that’s 3 hours I could never get back!

  7. No surprises looking at the scores…will eventually check it out when it is out on DVD, but I am not running towards the cinema to check this one out.

    1. Save your money Nostra! I read a spot-on review yesterday that said to transform your money into some other thing – anything — worth spending.

  8. Haha… I’m probably wrong but I think this is the first time I’ve read you give 0.5 stars to a movie!

    I was OK (merely) with the first one, but the second and third movies just made me hate the franchise. I’m not going to see this at the theaters, if it comes out on TV in a few years, then maybe. Even that just for the Dinobots (yeah, I used to watch the TV series when I was younger… almost everyone did!).

    Funnily enough, a few of my friends who love the franchise (even said the 2nd movie as the best movie of that year), have expressed their disappointment in this new movie. And… I’m actually happy to hear that! 🙂

    1. Yeah that’s why I had to make a new graphic. Generally I’d still give at least a 1 reel for even a bad movie but I really can’t find it in me to give this one more than 0.5. Heck, I was close to giving it a big fat zero!!

      Well your friends are right Asrap. Even without seeing the 2nd and 3rd movies, I can’t imagine anything worse than this one.

  9. YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Preach on! I knew this was going to be garbage. And the fact that I read that some people who enjoyed the previous films said that this one is crap. I hope there is a special place in hell for Michael Bay.

    1. I honestly can’t imagine anyone enjoying ANY of the Transformers movie now that I’ve seen the 1st and last one. Sadly,this won’t be the last of the franchise 😦

      1. The fact this is the #1 film in the world and that John Cena is the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion… again…. makes me sad for the human race. Especially us smart people.

  10. Ruth and Ted, condolences as you’ll never get those 2 hours back. Aaaah!!!! As you can imagine with my movie snobbery I haven’t seen any of the movies in the franchise so this isn’t even on my radar. LOL. Sadly the best thing I’ve seen lately was on TV as in the brilliant series Fargo on FX. This year TV has surpassed the movies for me. What with series like House Of Cards, Orange Is The New Black, The Americans, Halt and Catch Fire (Ruth, Lee Pace is fabulous in this), Veep, Orphan Black, Sherlock, True Detective, Fargo, Downton Abbey (My guilty TV pleasure. I mean Anna and Mr Bates might be the cutest couple on TV. Am I wrong? LOL. Besides Maggie Smith is just a hoot!) and even going back to the end of last year with Broadchurch, Top of the Lake and The Returned… I can’t say I’m really missing the movies so much. I haven’t even delved into Game of Thrones, Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen star of the Danish movie The Hunt) or Sundance’s Rectify yet.

    On top of all that still upcoming are Cinemax’s Masters Of Sex, FX’s The Bridge, Netflix’s The Killing and newcomers like the BBC’s Intruders (Glen Morgan of X-Files fame), Guillermo Del Toro’s The Strain, FX’s Married (with Judy Greer whom I adore), Cinemax’s The Knick (starring Clive Owen with Soderberg directing all 10 episodes) and from Britian, Sky TV’s Mr. Sloane (starring Simon Pegg’s best bud Nick Frost, Broadchurch’s Olivia Coleman, created and directed by Robert B. Weide from Curb Your Enthusiasm)

    Lastly is the, didn’t see this coming, dystopian sci-fi series from Lifetime called The Lottery, (yes I said Lifetime and dystopian sci-fi in the same sentence), It was created by Timothy J. Sexton, one of the Oscar nominated writers of Children of Men. Is it going to be any good… who knows? I’m not too sure if a cable channel like Lifetime can go outside the box and pull off something as daring as Children of Men: The Series without its usual melodrama. At the very least you gotta admit that 2014 might be the year that TV turned the corner when the channel that once brought you ‘Baby Monitor: Sound of Fear’ is attempting something as ambitious as this

    Quite a year for TV. I may not be leaving the house.

    I forgot… what was this post about anyway??? LOL.

    1. I LOVE your enthusiasm Dave! Hey I totally believe you that a lot of TV series are a lot better than most movies these days. Man I need to continue catching up on Downton Abbey, I’ve only managed about half of season 1. Pathetic I know. I LOVE Maggie Smith, she’s such a hoot indeed. As you know I’m in love w/ her son as well 😉

      Ooooh, I haven’t heard of Cinemax’s The Knick w/ Clive Owen. When does that premiere? Would you be willing to do another TV review of that one for me?

      Mwahahaha, Lifetime and dystopian sci-fi in the same sentence! That is quite something. That does sound interesting!

    2. Ted S.

      It was actually over 3 hours because we had to endured many trailers before the movie but thanks for the condolences, lol.

      I haven’t watched a lot of tv shows but yeah I agree Fargo was excellent and the ending actually satisfied me. I also love House of Cards, Hannibal and The Americans. I still have yet to see True Detectives, don’t want to pay extra for HBO, been waiting for it to hit Netlflix, it’s hard not reading about it online though. Whenever I see people on FB or Twitter discussing it, it’d mute them. I want to know as little as possible.

  11. Preach! Ain’t seen this yet. (Probably won’t). I really dislike the franchise. Aside from the multitude of offence caused by Bay, the films simply aren’t any good. Great work guys!

    Adam.

  12. Hahahaah I love reading this!
    I haven’t seen it yet and not planning to but I have heard so much rant on this movie. It was all through twitter, I can finally read what went wrong in a full post.

    I saw the third on TV last night and got bored in less than 30 minutes.

    1. Ted S.

      Don’t waste your time or money on this one Novroz, if you were bored with the last one, you’ll feel the same with this one. And I despised the last movie than this one.

  13. My nutshell review of this film would be: Age Of Extinction is the Kingdom of The Crystal Skull of Transformer movies

    Nope, i didn’t like it, and I enjoyed the previous three. My review is up on Wednesday.

    1. Ted S.

      I actually enjoyed this one more than the last two movies but mostly because I saw it on IMAX. If I saw it at a regular theater, I might’ve walked out halfway through the movie. Now my guess is the movie will be quite popular for demoing home theater equipment when it comes out on Bluray.

    2. Hi Rodney, I think it’s even worse than Indy 4 as in that one, there’s at least Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett who are always fun to watch.

  14. Ouch. Double-whammy! I was really hoping Whalberg could bring the caliber of this film up a bit from the previous. Doesn’t look like it 😦

  15. Haha, I’m preparing myself for a HORRIBLE movie. Still, I might nominate it in the sound and visual effects categories, so I need to see it. 🙂

    1. Ted S.

      Oh yeah, technically this film was flawless, the visual and sound are top notch. Unfortunately the actual movie was crap. I’m sure it’ll get Oscar nominations for its technical achievements but again, technology supposed to enhance a film and not be one.

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  17. You both suggest this is terrible. Which is, of course, what I expected to read. And so I shall continue staying very far away from it.

    Great reviews!

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