Trailers

Trailer watch: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles) are bringing everyone’s favorite heroes in a half-shell back to the big screen and have unveiled the first trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; the reboot for the storied franchise.

The new film is the first live-action since TMNT III in 1993 and the first big screen venture for the turtles since 2007’s animated TMNT.

The reboot stars Megan Fox as April O’Neil and weirdly, William Fichtner as Shredder. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens August 8th.

Check out the trailer:

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Film, Film Reviews

Film Review: Pain & Gain

If there is one thing Michael Bay can never be guilty of, it is of not giving the people what they want. Based on a ridiculous true story, Pain & Gain is every bit the as glossy as it is muscle-bound; so inflatedly Bay that the ludicrous premise and wild characters are perfectly blended amongst the genuine, simple tone of its heart. Yes, it’s got heart.

Set in the sunset tones of Miami circa 1995, Pain & Gain tells the story of two well meaning, but frustrated bodybuilders (Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Mackie playing real life convicts Daniel Lugo and Adrian Doorbal) chasing the American dream. Feeling trapped by their lifestyle but looking up into the stars, they concoct a ham-fisted plan to kidnap and rob a rich Miami businessman (played with menace by Tony Shalhoub). Along the way, they meet hulked up ex-con Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) and stripper Sorina (played in true exquisite Michael Bay fashion by model/actress Bar Paly), adding to the oft bumbling, hilarious, but all too serious crimes they commit along the way. This includes murder and dismemberment.

Yet as serious as the matter at hand, Bay’s saturated direction, fast paced action, slow motion tracking and some nicely placed T&A means you’ll spend most of the film laughing and having a great time than worrying about the victims of this terrible crime. You get a lot of shots from below (placed conveniently anytime a nice looking lady is wearing something skimpy), recycled shots from Bad Boys, and thankfully, dialogue that is required to be both dumb and stupidly hilarious.

Wahlberg as Lugo leads the charge as the less than intellectually astute ringleader of the heist, and while his muscles have stopped blood flowing to his brain, he is the most driven and forward moving character in the film. Give credit to Johnson, who amongst all his brute force, shines as a character that ends up being funny, warm and endearing in the end. We’re surrounded by a motley crew of recognized faces- from cameos to second stringers- Bay has compiled an extremely likeable cast that features Ken Jeong, Rebel Wilson, Ed Harris and Rob Corddry. All of whom never detract from the humour, spills, and pace of the film.

As the film concludes, there is an air of satisfaction to it all; the story is complete and we end up genuinely caring about those involved (yes, even the boneheaded criminals- which has drawn some controversy).

It’s been awhile since Bay let his ability to craft humour, action and sex in a likeable fashion without a great deal of computer enhancement. We forget that he’s good at the kind of buddy comedy humour he perfected in Bad Boys, and Pain & Gain is by far his best movie since (although one can argue the original Transformers movie has something to say about that). You can’t help think that Bay is still very much on top of his game.

Pain & Gain is bulked up, ‘roided, and pumped. It’s a little bit Bad Boys, a little bit Miami Vice, and a whole lot of funny.

Pain & Gain is now playing in Australian cinemas nationwide.

 

PAIN & GAIN
Directed by: Michael Bay
Written by: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Bar Paly, Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub
Released by: Paramount Pictures
Website: painandgainmovie.com

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Film, Film Reviews

Film Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Few directors know how to throw a farewell party the way Michael Bay does. With this, the supposed final installment of the globe conquering Transformers series, he proves once again that there are few that truly understand the movie-going public as well as he does. Dark of the Moon is leaps and bounds above Revenge of the Fallen, narrowing the scope of the film while taking advantage of 3D and amplifying its excess and sonic poundage. Rarely will a film ever be this loud and unforgiving on the human senses, an audio/visual hammer with the subtlety of a brick to the skull. But that is what makes this film so ridiculously brilliant; it is what we, as a global movie-going audience, wants. If you don’t believe a word of the previous sentence, feel free to check the box office in a few days time.

Dark of the Moon reaches far deeper into the Transformers mythology bringing the world of Cybertron closer to Earth than ever before. It back tracks to the human space race of the 1960s to set the tone of the film, giving Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s (who makes a cameo appearance) moon landing a more sinister undertone. Humanity is once again at peril as it stands between the Autobots and Decepticons’ never ending galactic battle for supremacy. Yet in Dark of the Moon, we find that there may be more than meets the eye when it comes to the role of humans in the historical context of this great fight. It almost circumvents the plot of Revenge of the Fallen, but this progression of the Transformers history seems much better (or maybe Revenge just sucked so much that they hoped to simply sweep it under the rug) as soon as you throw out any sense of plausibility (but what’s plausible about Transformers anyway?)

Shia LaBeouf continues to do a lot of running and yelling and kicking as Sam, struggling for a job after the events of the first two movies, stumbles into employment thanks to his new squeeze, the rather well shot (God bless Michael Bay and the way he shoots lingerie models) Rosie Huntington-Whitely. And for all the hullabaloo, she is genuinely better than Megan Fox, a far less irritating caricature and a better actress. We are given some genuinely funny moments as his struggles for employment crosses paths with the likes of a slightly underused John Malkovich, an as-expected Ken Jeong and Alan Tudyk. The cast in general (which includes Frances McDormand and Patrick Dempsey) is far more rounded, having jettisoned the annoying Ramon Rodriguez and keeping the role of Sam’s parents to a minimum, which gives the film a solid human presence amongst the sentient destruction. Most of them do the best they can with the lines they’re fed, that while isn’t quite Aaron Sorkin, is better than “I’ll drive, you shoot”.

Writer Ehren Kruger does the film its biggest service by limiting the film’s landscape to but a few destinations. While we traveled to the far reaches of the Earth in Revenge of the Fallen, we are most restricted to only a few (setting the film’s final set piece within the city confines of Chicago), avoiding the travel fatigue we got in the second.

With these parts in place, Michael Bay gives the film its much-needed finality. It is unlikely that another film in our lifetime will showcase the kind of visual magnificence displayed in Dark of the Moon (unless Bay signs on for Transformers 4). A highway chase scene featuring Decepticons gunning after the Autobots is particularly mesmerizing; turning the frenzied blur we’ve seen in the previous two films into a refined, almost beautiful piece of futuristic roller derby. And there are nuances and subtleties that lacked before- the perfectly timed musical accompaniment to a scene for instance (when Sam is driving into Chicago)- that adds a rare moment of tranquility. For fans of the history, Leonard Nimoy returns to voice Sentinel Prime (the first time Nimoy returns to this universe since he voiced Galvatron in the original animated film), while the likes of Shockwave, with his newly added aura of destruction, will surely please diehards.

Critics enjoy savaging Michael Bay because he doesn’t bring the same kind of sensibilities to the art of filmmaking a Godard, a Fellini or an Orson Welles does. Yet they all had their trademarks that earned them their distinction; Godard with his Nouvelle Vague jump cuts, Fellini with his elegant imagery and Welles with his all-around innovation. And Bay, like them, has his cannon for generation now: explosive, A.D.D. ridden, sex-infused, glossy storytelling of excess proportions. You cannot compare Dark of the Moon to À bout de soufflé, but you can compare their connection to the cultural and global landscape of their time. As much as critics will pound and holler about the merits of Terrence Malick’s latest film and how we should go see that instead of Rosie Huntington-Whitely in her underwear, their gracious calls for cinematic justice will fall on deaf ears. Why? Because Michael Bay and Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the way we are now (and really, what the hell do you want from a movie about giant robots? Optimus Prime wandering the streets of Paris smoking cigarettes?) The collective applause by the audience through the film (and at its conclusion) will attest to that.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon isn’t perfect, and its conclusion rather abrupt, but as a send-off for this franchise (for now?), you couldn’t possibly ask for a bigger, more ridiculously explosive final chapter.

[rating=3]

 

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
Directed by: Michael Bay
Written by: Ehren Kruger
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Josh Duhammel, Tyrese Gibson, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Patrick Dempsey
Website: transformersmovie.com

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Film, Trailers

Trailer watch: Transformers: Dark Of The Moon

Michael Bay and company turn up the alien invasion angle for the third and final Transformers film in this brand new trailer for the film. It looks like the humans along with the Autobots will have their hands full.

You can never trust the US government can you?

Transformers: Dark of the Moon opens everywhere July 1st.

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Film, Trailers

Trailer watch: Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon

The first trailer for Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon has made its anticipated debut online. It looks like the future lies in the past as we are once again taken back into man’s quest to break the boundaries of space. This time we revisit Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s famed moon-landing.

We discover that the moon-landing was an attempt at understanding the origins of an alien craft that had crashed on the moon. Internet chatter points to the Transformer as being Alpha Trion. If we are to believe the canonical plot, where does this fit into what we see in the first film? Was he, like Megatron, seeking the All Spark that had left Cybertron during the war? What about the events of the second film? (Perhaps, we just pretend the second film never really happened).

Similar to the original teaser of the first film, we can see a return to the global intrigue and collective importance of what may or may not unfold through the film. If Michael Bay, like Shia LeBeouf has said, aims to rekindle that initial interest, this trailer is certainly a step in the right direction.

Check out the trailer above, and let the countdown to July 1st begin.

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Film, Trailers

Trailer watch: DJ Caruso’s I Am Number Four

Awhile back, we previewed the first teaser for the DJ Caruso-directed science fiction flick I Am Number Four. Now the first official trailer has made its way online and can be viewed above. The new trailer better explains the film’s story, giving a bit of depth to what we had previously seen.

Directed by DJ Caruso (Eagle EyeDisturbia) and starring teen stars Alex Pettyfer (Stormbreaker) and Dianna Agron (Glee) alongside Timothy Olyphant (DeadwoodJustified) and Teresa Palmer, the movie is the big-screen adaptation of a novel (of the same name) written by Jobie Hughes and James Frey. It details the arrival of nine aliens to Earth who are being hunted in sequential order by another invading species.

I Am Number Four hits cinemas February 18, 2011

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Uncategorized

First Transformers 3 teaser poster arrives

It appears that we are only hours away from the first official trailer for Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon and the excitement is officially palpable. But for now, JoBlo.com have revealed the first teaser poster for the Michael Bay film, the third and final in the Transformers series. It really isn’t much, and looks like a shoddy Photoshop job, but with the trailer just around the corner, you can expect the frequency of the unnecessary updates to begin. You can check it out below.

On another note, Ain’t It Cool News recently visited the set of the film as well and reported back about 3D, the cast and more. You can read the lengthy write-up here.

Dark of the Moon is expected in cinemas July 1st, 2011.

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