Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Transformers 4’ a Super-Sized Bag of Robotic Summer Popcorn

imagesIt’s been three years since movie-meister Michael Bay last unleashed the epic Transformers battles that left Chicago in ruins—but saved the world…

Now as humanity picks up the pieces, a shadowy group surfaces trying to control the direction of history while a powerful new menace sets the earth in its cross hairs.

You just never know what those black ops guys might be up to.

Welcome to 2014’s menacing (and totally critics proof) popcorn spectacle that is TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.

It’s Paramount Pictures and Hasbro Productions most anticipated tentpole of the summer.

For this fourth sci-fi spectacle, Bay went with an entirely new cast that some would suggest is a more seasoned group of thespians lead by Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Jack Raynor, hottie Nicola Peltz and Kelsey Grammar as the Black Ops chief.

Problem is, their dialogue hasn’t improved much over the previous outings. But that’s being nit picky on my part, after all we’re NOT talking Shakespeare here.

TF4RussellBazarreDetroitBrian3TRANSFORMERS 4’s core audience goes for the scope, action, fights, noise and destruction. And this movie delivers on ALL of those fronts.

“Honor ’til the end.”

As for the storyline, Wahlberg plays Cade Yeager, a widower with teenage daughter, down on his luck Texas mechanic/engineer who basically strips old cars for their parts and saves the money for her college fund.

One of his acquisitions is an old truck, but when he gets it home and starts tearing into it—well, let’s just say he gets more than he ever bargained for.

Wouldn’t you know it, the damn thing is REALLY Optimus Prime of the Auto Bots Clan.

optimust4There’s the Decepticon bounty hunter Lockdown who turns into a Lamborghini and a whole lot of metallic carnage.

However, it’s not really until the film’s third act that all kinds of incredible CGI created destruction bombards our minds and senses with sights and sound.

And with its running time of about two hours and 40 minutes, that takes place about two hours into the film—and of course leads straight into the fifth chapter in the series which is expected to grace a followup summer Transformers movie several years down the line.

With location filming that includes the outskirts of Austin, Detroit, Chicago, Hong Kong and mainland China, Bay has again pushed the mechanical, digital and visual envelope of pure popcorn entertainment – in fact he’s buttered it.

While not really breaking new ground, Bay’s perfected it here.

You often find yourself wondering just how DID they do that?

Sure, I would have been just as happy had Bay tightened things up by 15 minutes and ended up with a running time of say two hours and 25 minutes, but guess what, I’m not a film editor.

mark-wahlberg-on-set-of-transformers-4-troubled-hong-kong-shootInstead we’ve got the robotic Energizer Bunny that keeps on going and going and going……

On a personal note my daughter in law Jessica Poessiger worked as Location Assistant while the film was in production in Texas.

Her take from that insight”

“The grandeur of what we filmed on a daily basis was mind blowing. From the cars that were used in massively orchestrated chase and fight sequences to  blowing buildings apart, it was an experience of a lifetime to work on, as well as for the residents of these small Texas towns to watch and take part in.”

So just sit back, choose it in 2D, converted 3D or Imax 3D and be part of the millions of fans who will let Optimus Prime, Auto Pots, Bumblebee, the Dino Pots and for that matter, the humans in the film not so gently whisk you into sci-fi’s massive fantasy land.

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION scoring a bombastic B-.

Catch JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. on NewsRadio KMBZ.

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24 Responses to Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Transformers 4’ a Super-Sized Bag of Robotic Summer Popcorn

  1. mike t. says:

    when these first came out I poo-pooed them. first one, second one… poo. but one day I decided to see what all the hub-bub was about a watched the first one on pay-per-view. loved it. I’ve seen them all now several times. count me in on this one too!

    • the dude says:

      First one, not horrible.
      Second one, old man robot balls.
      Third, eh, not totally horrible.
      From hearing of the running time over two hours I don’t have high hopes for this one.

    • admin says:

      The first was the best, I think.

      Had a bit of a plot with the kids and his family, the mom catching him spanking it in his room. The second one is the one Robert Butler – then the movie critic of The Star – fell asleep in and the FYI section had to hold his review and include that he dozed off after I wrote about it.

      This one sounds like maybe the best since #1. I’ll see it

  2. CG says:

    Our guy and my pal TJ Miller is also a co star in this big movie…great comic and great guy.

  3. gene says:

    The length doesn’t bother me. It’s when they unnecessarily drag out the scenes is when I get bored.

  4. balbonis moleskine says:

    Isn’t it kind of a running joke in among movie reviewers that you should not be allowed to review movies if you have ever given a positive review to a transformers movie.

  5. jack p. says:

    “Transformers 4’s” pre-opening late shows last night sold about $8.8 million worth of tickets. By comparison this year’s biggest pre-opener to date was “CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER” with pre-opening late show numbers of $10.2 million. “CAPTAIN AMERICA” eventually ended up with a opening weekend gross of $93.2 million.
    Will “T4” catch up and BEAT “CA”???? Only the Boxoffice Gods know.
    And while I’m cutting back on my earlier prediction of $100 million+, I still think that “T4” will end up taking “CA” in its first weekend.
    YOUR thoughts?

    • the dude says:

      CGI and deafening sound FX will leave sensory overload ejaculate all over the moviegoers’ faces after this CF fest. That is an easy prediction.

  6. randyraley says:

    Transformers is the Nickleback of movies.

    • rkcal says:

      Except nobody has ever listened to Nickelback for almost 3 hours. 3 hours for a movie about toys. Geezus.

  7. paulwilsonkc says:

    One reviewer said, “Don’t ask me to pick my favorite one. That’s like asking me to pick my favorite child, if I hated them all and wish they’d never been born.”

  8. CG says:

    Well the movie is not THE GODFATHER is it, but its a huge hit, again. TJ Miller, the films co star and my pal, took time to email me last night and tell me the movie corssed 100 million this weekend. So they are all happy. He too said its not like he loves the picture but its great for his career and all involved. A big money maker. That’s what Hollywood cares about most. Like you guys I want to see more true life movies and ones that matter, like THE KING OF STING..but its not up to me.

  9. CG says:

    Well the movie is not THE GODFATHER is it, but its a huge hit, again. TJ Miller, the films co star and my pal, took time to email me last night and tell me the movie corssed 100 million this weekend. So they are all happy. He too said its not like he loves the picture but its great for his career and all involved. A big money maker. That’s what Hollywood cares about most. Like you guys I want to see more true life movies and ones that matter, like THE KING OF STING..but its not up to me.

  10. CG says:

    Well the movie is not THE GODFATHER is it, but its a huge hit, again. TJ Miller, the films co star and my pal, took time to email me last night and tell me the movie corssed 100 million this weekend. So they are all happy. He too said its not like he loves the picture but its great for his career and all involved. A big money maker. That’s what Hollywood cares about most. Like you guys I want to see more true life movies and ones that matter, like THE KING OF STING..but its not up to me.

  11. CG says:

    Well the movie is not THE GODFATHER is it, but its a huge hit, again. TJ Miller, the films co star and my pal, took time to email me last night and tell me the movie crossed 100 million this weekend. So they are all happy. He too said its not like he loves the picture but its great for his career and all involved. A big money maker. That’s what Hollywood cares about most. Like you guys I want to see more true life movies and ones that matter, like THE KING OF STING..but its not up to me.

  12. rkcal says:

    One of the problems (or not a problem, if you’re Hollywood) is the movies have to be made for foreign box office. That means complicated plot, sophisticated dialogue, cultural particularities, have to be out the window. Doesn’t translate. Asian movie-goers demand their CRASH! BOOM! BANG! Foreign markets are the whole reason a Hong Kong scene was added to this movie.

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