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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:

 

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“Jonah Hex”

a review by Darby O’Gill

Well, the race for this year’s Death Coach Award might just be over, because Jonah Hex is one horrible movie. Okay, I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but it needed to be said. It’s no secret that I’m a huge DC Comics fan, and I’m always looking forward to anything related to the DC Universe. So, when I heard Jonah Hex was making his way to the big screen, I was extremely excited! Add to that, the announcement that Josh Brolin would be playing Hex, and there was no way this movie could fail. Boy was I wrong! This thing is so bad; I’m really hoping I’m going to be able to put it in words.


For those of you who’ve never heard of Jonah Hex, and I’m sure that’s most of you, he’s not really a superhero, but more like a legend of the old west. The comics are very much a spaghetti-western, in which Hex is neither good nor bad, but just a bounty hunter that can buy you a drink one moment, than shoot you the next. I guess it all depends on his mood that day. He doesn’t have any superpowers, just a scarred face, and bad attitude. Simple… right? You would think. I guess DC Comics just found their Punisher. Don’t worry, I’ll de-nerd that statement for you. For years, Marvel Comics has been trying to get their character The Punisher to work on the big screen, which shouldn’t be too hard because it’s just a guy in a t-shirt with a bunch of guns. Never the less, three failed movies later, The Punisher still has yet to be properly portrayed in a movie. It’s a guy with guns, and a shirt with a big white skull on it. How hard can it be to make that movie right? Apparently, very. You would think the same of Jonah Hex. It’s a western. What could be so hard about making that work? The only thing that could be tricky is Hex’s disfigured face, which they amazingly got right; so I’m really at a lost here. What is it you ask that doesn’t work? How about a horse equipped with duel gatling guns? Dynamite stick firing crossbows? Having supernatural powers to talk to the dead? A glowing orb of… I don’t know, some kind of gas that doesn’t even exist, and can somehow level a city? Or maybe it’s a weapon that comes with a handy outline of the White House on the aiming scope? Good thing that’s what their aiming at. Megan Fox? Actually, she’s not as big of a problem as you might think. She’s not good, but she’s also nowhere near the biggest problem with this movie. No, the biggest problem here is… well the whole damn thing. You have to realize you’ve got a bad movie on your hands, when Wild Wild West looks like it could be an Oscar contender. Oh man, I haven’t even talked about John Malkovich’s phoned-in performance. And, why is Will Arnett in this movie? I can’t. I’m sorry, but I can’t talk about this movie anymore. Okay, the bottom-line here, is that this is the worst movie of the year. Wow, I could have just said that from the beginning. Oh, wait… I did. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to read a few hundred issues of Jonah Hex, and hope that I can someday repress these horrible images from my head.

Rating:


Comic Con 2009

Well, Comic Con has come and gone, but if you didn’t make it down to San Diego your old friend Darby is here to lay it all out for you. The one thing that seems to always be true about Comic Con, year after year, is the fact that it has less and less to do with comics each year. This year it was the teenie girls and their “Twilight: New Moon” that over ran the Con. The one thing I always hated about Comic Con is the standing in line for two hours to get a ticket so you can stand in line for three hours the next day; the whole time not being able to spend any time on the floor. The panels are the same story. Wait in line for hours for a panel and miss a bunch of events while sitting on the floor. The Con is amazing. It’s so much fun and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. But every year, I make a list of the things I want to do, and every year I get like two done if I’m lucky. So, here’s a run down of some of the events that went down at Comic Con this year. Some I got to see and others that I only got to hear about.

 

“Iron Man 2”

The buzz for the first “Iron Man” movie started at Comic Con. So even with production having only wrapped a week ago, nothing was going to stop Jon Favreau from sharing what he could with the fans at Comic Con this year. Appearing with Favreau on the panel was Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, and Sam Rockwell. After the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to Favreau’s son Max, they rolled the exclusive clip that introduced all the film’s new characters. “Iron Man 2” will hit theaters in May of 2010.

 

“Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead” & “Torchwood: Children of Earth”

At the Saturday night screening of “Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead” and the 5th and final episode of “Torchwood: Children of Earth,” fans got a little bit more than they were expecting.

 

“The Green Hornet”

Seth Rogen stopped by the Con to unveil the new Black Beauty, a modified 1965 Chrysler Crown Imperial that he’ll be cursing around in for the upcoming film.

 

“Alice in Wonderland”

Tim Burton premiered the first trailer for “Alice in Wonderland” on Thursday at the Con, with a huge surprise visit from the Mad Hatter himself Johnny Depp.

 

“Avatar”

James Cameron makes up for his lame E3 appearance with over 20 minutes of footage from his already over hyped film “Avatar.” He also announced that fans worldwide would be able to see 15 minutes of the film for free, online on “Avatar Day,” which is August 21st. The film is set to open this year on December 18th.

 

 

 

“New Moon”

“Twilight” fangirls came by the thousands to Comic Con this year. Some would say it was the downfall of Comic Con this year. These two guys were walking the floor on late Sunday with signs to show their displease of the upcoming film’s presences this year. Some of the fangirls stayed two nights outside the convention center waiting in line to attend the “Twilight” panel on Thursday. This was truly the craziness of this year’s Con. There’s always one thing at the Con that you can’t get away from, and you at times just wish would go away. This year it was most definitely “Twilight.” It’s hard to explain. It’s like a high school click. Comic Con is geek’s paradise, and this year the popular cheerleaders stormed the gates and stole the show. “Twilight” seems like the kind of thing that would fit in at the Con, but it really just seemed to overpower everything around it. For the last six years Hollywood has been taking over Comic Con, but this is like the Jonas Brothers performing on the center of the convention floor.

 

“Dollhouse”

The almost canceled series had a screening of the unaired thirteenth episode, which can also be found on the “Dollhouse” Season One DVD set. Look for my “Dollhouse” DVD review here soon.

 

“LOST”

This was probably one of the best panels of the Con. Wayne has already done a write up on this so I’ll just redirect you there. Click Here!

 

“The Hobbit”

Peter Jackson talked a little bit about the upcoming project.

 

“Jonah Hex”

The next DC Comic film, starring Josh Brolin and Megan Fox, was premiered by the new teaser trailer. The new teaser poster was unveiled as well. I cannot wait to see this movie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Tron: Legacy”

Last but not least… The long awaited “Tron” sequel “Tron: Legacy.” A scavenger hunt sent convention goes around downtown San Diego, and finally brought them to their final destination, a marvelously reconstructed 1980’s arcade, called Flynn’s Arcade! They actually had Flynn’s Arcade tokens! I know! They also unveiled the first teaser trailer. I for one cannot wait!

 

But it’s not just all about the movies at Comic Con. One of the best reasons to go to Comic Con is to get your hands on the exclusive toys and action figures only available at the Con… Well that is until they’re put on eBay for five times the original price. This is just a few of them; there really are way too many to list.

 

The Wonder Twins and Gleek

This is the one I really wanted, but sadly it sold out by the time I stood in line for a ticket to stand in line for a figure. These DC Universe figures are so cool. I love that they make figures for the secondary characters. I can’t wait for the upcoming Question figure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The LOST Benjamin Linus Bobble Head

This beaten up Michael Emerson bobble head is so cool. The likeness is uncanny.

 

Doctor Who Comic Con Exclusives

Okay, I’m a huge “Doctor Who” fan, and I love the figures, but there just always seems to be just too many of them to buy at the Con. This year there were five, all between twenty and forty dollars, mostly forty. I’m sorry, six figures if you count the Captain Jack Harkness Torchwood figure. I wish they would just make one exclusive figure each year. I would buy that figure every year, but I’m not going to spend over two hundred dollars at one booth. 

 

The Blackest Night 5 Figure Green Lantern Set

 

 

One last thing, before heading back to L.A. I stopped in Eureka to have dinner at Café Diem.

Well, that does it for this year. Comic Con will be July 22nd to the 25th next year, so start making plans now.

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Well, it’s two years later, and Michael Bay has finally delivered the movie we all feared back in 2007.Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is easily the worst movie I’ve seen in a long time… And I’ve seen “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” so that’s saying something. Everything I was afraid would happen in the first movie, has come to fruition in the sequel, and some things I couldn’t have even imagined. Like what you ask? How about some Autobot, Song of the South, racist Jar Jar Binks robots?! How does that grab you?

SPOILER START
Or maybe a robot that is human?! Don’t worry. They explain how that works… Oh wait. No they don’t! God, I hate this fuckin’ movie!
SPOILER END

The saddest part of all this is that the things that worked in the last film have been ripped out and flushed down the toilet. Bumblebee is still talking with sound bites (that shit is so annoying). And any chemistry between him and Sam (Shia LaBeouf) is long gone. Mom and Dad are back and funny for about a minute. They unfortunately become the clichés you thought they were going to be in the first film. Even Megan Fox’s ass can’t save this movie, and not for a lack of slow-mo trying. I can’t believe I’m even wasting my time writing this. My only hope is that, if I can stop even one of you from going to see this movie, by writing this, it will have been worth my time. My eyes were just raped by Michael Bay for three hours. The worst part is I paid him to do it. The icing on the cake was getting tea bagged by Devastator. They should have called it, “Transformers: More Than Rapes The Eyes.” My God, I’m going to make DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures pay for my therapy. If I wasn’t in such a rush to get to an emergency eye rinse station, I may have stuck around for the end of the credits to see if Michael Bay popped up to say, “Just teasing.*” What a douche bag! Now, if you all don’t mind, I’m going to see “The Hangover” again and try to forget that this ever happened.

*see “Transformers” (2007) DVD review

Rating:

0.5 Little People

“Transformers” (2007)
a review by Darby O’Gill

Okay, this is the “Holy Grail” of my childhood. I’ve been looking forward to a live action movie of “Transformers” since 1984. So the first time I heard they were making a live action movie, and that Michael Bay was directing, to say I got worried would be something of an understatement. The more I heard about the project, the more I feared its release. Not to say I wasn’t going to see it; I just couldn’t see how Michael Bay and Hollywood were going to do any justice to my childhood dreams. Fast forward to July 4th 2007, and see just how surprised I was. And believe it or not, I liked it.

The movie does a great job of bringing “Transformers” to the masses, and making it a big summer blockbuster movie. I still don’t think this is the movie I dreamed of when I was a kid, but it’ll do. Shia LaBeouf is a big help. That kid is amazing! He really knows how to make you believe in the character he plays in every movie.

I think the one thing that scared me the most about a live action “Transformers” movie was that Hollywood would just simply over do it. There would be just too many robots and big in your face action scenes. This, amazingly, is not the case. The decision to have only a handful of Autobots and Deceptions was a smart move.  Less is more in a Michael Bay film… I KNOW!!! I’m not sure who was pulling the reins on the project (Steven Spielberg maybe?), but thank God they did. If I wanted to nit pick the movie, I could, but I would rather just enjoy it for what it is. The special effects are great, but the sound mixing is amazing! Sound mixer, Kevin O’Connell, or as he’s better known, the man without an Oscar, is the record holder for the most sound mixing nominations and no wins. Twenty in all, with zero wins, which is a crime, because his work on “Transformers” was by far the best of 2007. The use of the original sound effects of the transformation makes a world of difference. The other thing that helps make the world of “Transformers” come to life is the voice talent of Peter Cullen reprising his original role as Optimus Prime. It just would never be the same without that voice. The Mom and Dad’s back and forth is your stereo typical comic relief, but the family’s chemistry works so well. It just works. Look, the movie overall is entertaining. If you are a fan of the old cartoon, just let that love go for two hours, and watch something you never thought you’d be able to see on the big screen.

Rating:

4 Little People

DVD Two-Disc Special Edition Features:

Disc 1:

I think Michael Bay is a truly talented director. His sense of timing, movement, and action cuts makes him an editor’s director. With all that being said, I would never want to spend ten minutes in a room with him. The only person that would enjoy listening to this commentary is Michael Bay. He just tells you these stories about how great he is. “I was the first person to ever do this.” “’Die Hard’ couldn’t do that.” “I’ve got a direct line to the Pentagon.” “My penis is this big. Beat that!” For two hours! If anything I proved my commitment to this blog by sitting through the whole thing, so you won’t ever have to. You’re welcome. I’m not joking, or as Michael Bay would say, “Teasing.” Let me tell you, there are two types of people in this world, those who say, “I’m just kidding/joking” and those who are douche bags and think saying, “I’m just teasing,” will make up for all the asshole things they do to people. I would never tease you. For the love of God, don’t listen to this commentary!

Disc 2:

  • Our World:
    • Explore the world of “Transformers” through interviews with the cast and crew, stunt training footage, and exclusive access to the on-set locations.
  • Their War:
    • Learn more about the Atuobots and Decepticons with exclusive access to production design, military advisors, and digital special effects.
  • More Than Meets The Eye:
    • An in-depth featurette on the making of the Skorponok Desert Attack scene and concept boards.

There is truly hours of behind the scenes and making of footage here. If you enjoyed the movie the special features will be well worth your time… and money.

DVD Special Feature Rating:

5 Little People