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“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Well, here we are again… I know. Why am I even surprised?! I should know better by now! The first Transformers, was a total fluke. The only hope at this point is a total reboot. Okay, I’m going to be upfront with you guys. This review might have a few spoilers, but not full-on spoilers. It’s just that some of the things I’m going to talk about in this review might inadvertently lead you to figuring out some of the movie’s plot points and twists, not that you wouldn’t have been able to do it on your own in the theatre. I’m not going to be saying them out right, but they will however be implied. So, if for some reason beyond me, you still want to waste your time seeing this movie, and have yet to do so, please feel free to stop reading this review and come back here after you’ve clearly wasted three hours of your life. We’ll be here for you, like a support group, but without the milk and cookies.

In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, a movie so poorly written they can’t even get the subtitle right. I mean shouldn’t it be Dark Side of the Moon?! Ugh, whatever! So the Transformers are still working with the U.S. Government, minus the racist gold tooth learning disabled bots, which are replaced with slightly less offensive racist stereotypes, and the I can’t tell one from the other Decepticons are still in hiding. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is fresh out of college and is having a really hard time finding a job that makes him feel important again in his post robotic war lifestyle. And I’m sorry, but why is John Malkovich in this movie?! His character seriously serves absolutely no purpose! Remember when seeing John Malkovich in a movie meant it was going to be good?! Boy, are those days over! Let’s get back on track. Sam’s got a new girlfriend, Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), mostly because director Michael Bay fired Megan Fox for quitting after Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Yeah, doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense, but that’s okay because who cares, well not the screenwriter that’s for sure. Just like in Speed 2, the script for Transformers: Dark of the Moon is, I’m guessing, the exact same as it would have been if Megan Fox’s character Mikaela was still around. There are a few added lines to make Carly fit-in, but the role was clearly written for Mikaela. Case-in-point, Carly has supposedly never seen these alien robots before now, but yet she manages to have a heart to heart conversation with Megatron, when she’s never even met him before. I for one find that amazing, because even I can barely tell the Decepticons apart. That scene makes way more sense with Mikaela, but once again at this point who cares? And while we’re on the subject of writing, here’s a tip: maybe don’t give away a major plot twist in the first ten minutes of your film with the use of an old Star Trek clip. Once again, not that I didn’t see it coming without your help, but that’s beside the point. Oh, and when did Optimus Prime become a cold-blooded killer? Did I miss a meeting?! Way to completely miss the point of the “good guys” Bay! I don’t think I ever needed to her Optimus say, “You die now!” or see him shoot someone execution style in the back of the head. I’d also like to take a moment to talk about product placement, and the use of two Australian NASCAR bots. I would love to know how much Target had to dish-out for the coveted codpiece. What is it, with Michael Bay and balls? I’ve known for sometime now that Michael Bay is a total douchebag, but this film just confirms it. How you ask? Well, even though Bay hasn’t officially announced that he won’t be making another Transformers movie, he did manage to kill-off almost the entire cast. Much like a 5 year old in a schoolyard sandbox that finds out it’s time to go, he chooses to break all his toys instead of letting other kids play with them when he’s gone. Douchebag. The only problem with that is this isn’t a sandbox, and luckily for us, Hasbro will most likely just reboot the entire series. Even if that’s not the case, I’m with Shia on this one. This will be my last Michael Bay Transformers movie!

Rating:

 

“Dollhouse” Season 1
a review by Darby O’Gill

What if you could do anything, be anyone, and nothing you did ever had any consequence? Take one part Quantum Leap, one part Charlie’s Angels, add a truck load of Joss Whedon’s imagination, and you’ve got one hell of a show. If you missed the first season of Dollhouse, you’re in luck because the DVD is out now, and it’s time for you to play catch up. A few of my friends tuned out after episode three, but as I told them, you really need to hang in there till episode six. Episodes one through five are basically stand-alone episodes, to please the network I would imagine, but episode six is a real game changer and is truly where the series shows it’s full potential.

In Dollhouse we follow Echo, played by Eliza Dushku, a seemingly unwilling Active in the Dollhouse, an underground organization that for the right price will program human beings to fit your every need or desire. Actives have had their brains wiped, and are imprinted with new personalities, and abilities, that allow them to become anyone or anything to achieve their objective. What illegal underground organization would be complete, with out an obsessed F.B.I. agent determined to bring them down? Agent Paul Ballard, played by Tahmoh Penikett, finds himself filling that role, and the deeper he digs the more entwined he seems to get. When we first get to the Dollhouse, an Active, codename Alpha, has gone rogue, and in the process has left a trail of bodies in his wake. For some unknown reason Echo was spared. But, that’s not the only unique thing about Echo. She also seems to be retaining, or recalling memories while in her wiped doll state, raising the question, can you ever truly clean a slate?

This show is a dream on so many different levels. For one, it’s an actor’s dream, because they can be a doctor, a lover, a spy, an assassin, or maybe just someone there to help someone that can’t help them self. In episode four, Eliza Dushku and Dichen Lachman play the same character, when Echo and Sierra get imprinted with the same imprint.  Two actors playing the same character, with the same traits and speech pattern at the same time! This is what truly makes this show unique. The cast is amazing! The amount of talent on this show, in front of and behind the camera, truly boggles the mind. The other thing about this show is that it raises smart and intelligent questions dealing with morality. Whether it be slavery, human trafficking, or just basic human rights, Dollhouse once again enforces the belief that mankind will always exploit and abuse any and all technologies they discover. I think the part I liked the most about re-watching season one, was knowing all the twists and turns, and being able to see things I might have missed the first time around. I’ll say it once again; Dollhouse is an amazing television series! Don’t believe me? Well, why don’t you get the DVD, and tune-in to Dollhouse season two this year, and see for yourself? Feel free to thank me later.

Rating:

5 Little People

DVD Special Features:

  • 3 Audio Commentaries on Selected Episodes

Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku do a commentary track for “Ghost,” where they talk about the show’s shoe budget, and while Eliza’s strawberries maybe loud, Joss’ tummy commentary is louder.

Joss Whedon does a commentary track for “Man on the Street,” and talks about the importance of the turning point in this episode.

Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen do a commentary track for the infamous unaired 13th episode “Epitaph One.”

I would have liked a few more commentaries on some more key episodes, but three is better than none.

  • “Epitaph One” Never-Before-Seen 13th Episode

The infamous unaired 13th episode stars Felecia Day and Zack Ward, and takes place in 2019. I would suggest not watching this episode if you want to be surprised by the upcoming relationships and events of the Dollhouse series. It doesn’t tell you the hows and whys, but it does show you things they hope to do with the series. Could be a spoiler for some; you’ve been warned.

  • Original Unaired Pilot “Echo”

This is the pilot episode that Joss pulled the plug on and thus decided to take a three week hiatus to rethink the show opener. I for one am glad he did. The episode moves too fast and gives away way too much. But, it wasn’t a complete loss, because they ended up cutting it up and sprinkling bits and pieces here and there throughout the season.

  • Deleted Scences

  • Making Dollhouse Featurette

A behind the scenes look at the making of Dollhouse

  • Coming Home Featurette

The Cast & Crew share their stories and memories of working on other Joss Whedon shows, Buffy the Vampire SlayerAngelFirefly, and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

  • Finding Echo Featurette

A look at Eliza Dushku’s important role as producer and star, and how she and Joss developed the idea for the show.

  • Designing the Perfect Dollhouse Featurette

Joss Whedon takes us on a tour of the soundstage that houses the Dollhouse.

  • A Private Engagement Featurette

The Cast & Crew talk about what their ideal doll would be.

DVD Special Features Rating:

4 Little People