A reporter asked director Michael Bay about the budget for TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.
Was it $350 Million, $400 Million? Bay wouldn’t say. Offering only that the cost of TRANSFORMERS 3 was the price of a movie ticket. Whatever—it’s all UP there now on the big screen!
Welcome to Paramount’s version of a trip through Toys ‘R’ Us—specifically the Hasbro toy section where blow’em up good filmmaker Michael Bay has made up for his less than stellar 2009 sequel which he blames on a then pending writer’s strike.
Here in DARK OF THE MOON the story focus is on the backstory of Transformers. Seems that back in ’69 when Neil, Buzz and the gang went to the moon, their secret mission involved recovering an important internal component of a crashed Transformer spaceship. A secret technology that could’ve saved their race. And the Feds have had it under wraps ever since. Something that’s become known to the underground movement of the Decepticons –and they’re coming back to get it!
If I missed something here please forgive me, as I spaced out several times during the 2-1/2 hour long flash-fest unable to differentiate between the good bots and the savage ones.
What we’ve got here is a special effects-laden, battle royale-extravaganza climaxing in an epic, non-stop destruction sequence not only of the huge hulks of transformable techno-junk but of downtown Chicago as well!
Some random thoughts and observations from my screening notes:
** Most of the original cast returns except for Megan Fox who’s replaced by British Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as Shia LaBeof‘s squeeze.
A few acting lessons prior to filming could’ve done wonders for Ms. Whiteley’s performance. But guess what…I didn’t much notice.
** Best performances come courtesy of some the film’s supporting players including John Malkovich, Frances McDormand and The Hangover’s Ken Jeong.
** Noteable fun cameo appearances include Bill O’Reilly raging against the Autobots and Buzz Aldrin giving credence to a NASA coverup/conspiracy.
** Hats off to James Cameron’s 3-D crew who helped Bay make this a worthy, full-fledged 3-dimensional presentation.
(Screening took place at Cinemark-Merriam with bright 3-D picture and good sound presentation.)
** Why did this movie have to be 2-1/2 hours long? Cutting it down to a tighter 2 hour running time would’ve made it play that much better. You would’ve thought executive producer Steven Spielberg would’ve gently hinted that advice.
** Having spent about 3 hours on the 90 degree set of this movie last summer in downtown Chicago, I have to admit that I was impressed with the nearly over-the-top pyrotechnic staging of the production. It was something to behold—and definitely shows it on the screen.
Say what you will, with TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, Michael Bay has made it bigger, badder and louder!
It’s not Shakespeare, folks—just a good old fashioned PG-13 summer popcorn movie. With the fun guaranteed to make Hasbro toys fly off the shelves while packing millions of butts into theater seats around the world.
My domestic boxoffice prediction for T-3 this holiday weekend: $160million in ticket sales through the 4th of July.
I’m raising 3 out of 5 blockbuster-bound fingers!
Catch JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday’s on Kansas City Radio: 6:40 a.m.-NewsRadio KMBZ AM & FM /
8:20 a.m.-1660, RADIO BACH / 5:45 p.m.-99.7-THE POINT.
And anytime on Time Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND, Channel 411—and now also on NEBRASKA ON DEMAND.