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PCR #483 (Vol. 10, No. 26). This edition is for the week of June 22--28, 2009.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"  by Mike Smith
End of an Era -- The Douglas DC-8  by William Moriaty
Ted Bohus: The Deadly Interview - Part 2  by ED Tucker
Book Review: Cell by Stephen King  by Lisa Scherer Ciurro
Farewell Mr. Mcmahon .... Good Movie News? .... The Bad... .... From Bad To Worse .... The Ugly .... Guitar Hero? Not! .... Roll Out Autobot Fans ....  by Brandon Jones
Cap And Transparency .... Mr. President, They Hate You .... Meanwhile In North Korea .... 850 Pages?!?! .... Tsars To The Left, Right...everywhere .... 95% .... Must Be Nice .... Missing Gov Shows Up  by Brandon Jones
Payback .... Movie Notes .... The Dark Knight's Revenge .... Just A Little Sport Talk .... Ask For Marty .... The Week That Was .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2...  by Mike Smith
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Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox and John Turturro
Directed by: Michael Bay
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 2 hours 30 mins

17,000 B.C. A voice tells us that man has been around since then. And that apparently so have the Decepticons, those bad robots that seek to rule our planet. With the “All Spark” presumably destroyed, a pact of safety made with the Autobots and Megatron resting peacefully at the bottom of the ocean, life seems to be going well for Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf). He’s about to start college, has the hottest looking girlfriend in town and is enjoying the peace that comes with knowing all is right with the world. Turns out it isn’t.

A film that uses humor and action to the point of excess, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” starts off as a fitting tribute to an original film that caught many people, this critic included, off guard. An imaginative piece of storytelling, the first film had a streak of fun running through it. The new film takes too long to get to the point, then when it does, it labors it, which is a shame because the movie starts off strong. As Sam is preparing to head off to college, his folks, played again by Julie White and the always solid Kevin Dunn, begin planning their new lives without a young son running around the house. The scenes are solid and the exchanges funny. Even when Sam finally gets to his dorm room, where he finds his new roommate, Leo, is a geek conspiracy theorist, the film moves. If you’re seeing this film you’re obviously familiar with the story. Bad robots (Decepticons) vs good robots (Autobots) with every possible item being turned from a quiet household appliance into a leg humping Gremlin (the creature, not the car) run amuck, keeping everyone confused as to who’s a good guy and who isn’t. Director Bay has always been a filmmaker who doesn’t keep a tight rein on his films and here he seems to have let the guys over at Industrial Light and Magic run free with their ideas, resulting in a battle in the desert that goes on f o r e v e r.

On a positive note, the effects are well done and the new robots well presented. The voice work by lead ‘bots Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) and Megatron (the “Matrix’” Hugo Weaving) are strong and their performances solid. LaBeouf has a few funny scenes but Fox is wasted, given nothing more to do then wear revealing outfits and pout.
And watch out halfway through the film when LaBeouf begins sporting a cast, which was required after he injured his hand in an off set truck accident. The film dragged on so long that some of the people in my screening couldn’t remember when or how it first appeared, it was just…… there.

The story of man vs machines has been a part of history for over 17,000 years. Too bad they took almost that long to tell the story. On a scale of zero to four I give “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”


This week's movie review of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2009, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.