Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

WARNING: This rant contains MANY off handed spoilers that could ruin the film for you if you have not already seen it.

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Last Tuesday night, at 23:15 I venture out to witness Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. I had one of my brothers go to the theater and get us some tickets earlier in the day, since they had already sold out four theaters at that point. By the time I got to the theater, they had sold out all six theaters showing midnight premiere. Now, please bear in mind that Grand Haven (GH) is a pretty small tourist town, and our theater only has nine screens total.

Typically, the GH theater will only open one theater for a midnight showing (some times two if the first theater sells out prior to the evening). I have witnessed a range of light to pretty full (the King Kong premiere only had a handful of people). But, I had never before seen the horror of six theater’s worth of people all cram packed into the lobby. It simply was not meant for that.

Sadly, their seating plan was rather shitty. Since the lobby could not possibly hold all the people, they opened up the last couple theaters for early seating. Basically, they rewarded people who didn’t show up until the last minute to get a ticket. Beyond that, they seemed to randomly let people into the other theaters one by one starting at 23:35. Since everyone was just packed in there, there was nothing resembling a line so when people finally realized that a theater was open few people actually started to flow in. I seized one of these opportunities to cut through a large group of immobile teens in order to get a good seat.

Once my brother and I finally got in the theater the waiting game began. We were in theater five, which was being chained to theaters six and seven. This means that three theaters were all being shown from the same film. So, it took forever for them to get setup and sync’d. They even had to stop everything and reset once during the previews while they worked the bugs out. The movie finally began a little after 0:30.

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I was quite pleased that the movie started right out with the Autobots taking out a few rouge Decipticons. Based on the previews, I was afraid we are going to be stuck with forty five minutes of lame college setup before we even saw a transformer. Granted, the college scene did immediately follow, and it was long and tenuous. I’m glad that is was at least forgettable so you weren’t leave feeling annoyed once the action got started.

The story of the movie really was quite horrible. But, not so horrible it was revolting. It was basically just enough to keep pulling together the action sequences, and confuse long time transformers fans. It might be a little better than I am describing, as I am told that I missed a rather important part that explained the nonsense.

I would say roughly half way through the film, at the scene in the museum I started feeling quite sick from the heat. It would appear that the theater’s HVAC system was not designed to accommodate such a large mass of people for a long period of time. My guess is that the theater itself was in the mid 90’s, and the air was stagnant and humid. When I got out into the lobby I saw that I wasn’t the only one wilting. Several people were milling around mumbling about how hot the theaters were. After a few minutes of splashing cold water over my arms and face I was able to return to the theater.

There were not a lot of surprises in the film. It was pretty clear that Megatron was going to be resurrected. I believe everybody thought that they were going to kill Optimus Prime (I still don’t like that decision). And, as expected there were more transformers, lebouf, and fox. However, a few things weren’t as I expected.

transformers2_optimus

Based on the name, and the way things were setup I assumed that they were going to do a blatant rip off if Star Wars: Revenge of the Empire. But, the film really did not bare much resemblance. However, they did do an incredibly lame “master / apprentice” relationship among the Decipticons. Additionally, I did not expect Megatron to kill lebouf. So, that was a really nice surprise. The only other really different thing was the story. I was expecting the story of the film to be something like the first one, which they spent too much time on in the first film (since it wasn’t very good anyway). In this film its like they knew the story wasn’t worth the effort so they just put everything into giant robots fighting each other. And, really, what more can you expect from a film based on action figures made by Hasbro?

Since, missed a chunk of the film, I am going to try to see it again while its in theaters. I’d love to see it at the IMAX, but I am pretty sure I would get some violent motion sickness from all the action going on, on the screen. But, at the very listed I would like to see it in a high quality DLP theater. Regardless, I did see most of the film, and feel that I can render a verdict on it.

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, as a film fails miserably. However, as a work of entertainment it is a wild success. As I mentioned in a previous post, it really hits the important parts of a summer blockbuster: PG-13, mass appeal, little story, lots of action, and sex appeal. I have recommended the film to anyone on the fence about it, and I expect it to make tons of money in an otherwise slow movie season.

Using my special rating system, as a “film” I rank Transformers 2 as -3. However, as a summer blockbuster, I rate the film a 5.

For anyone planning on seeing the film, and not caring about all my spoilers: enjoy!

Transformers 2: Initial Reaction

transformers22Well, Transformers 2 has finally arrived.

Based on what I saw of the movie (I missed a few minutes, but more on that in the follow up post) I would say it is the perfect summer blockbuster. It hit all the primary criteria:

  • Popular with teenagers (six theaters sold out in Grand Haven for the midnight showing)
  • Ample humor spread throughout
  • Over the top drama
  • Tons of action
  • Attractive protagonists
  • A bad story that manages to pull together action sequences

There are a few things that will seem a little wacky to old Transformers faithful, but this is made up for but Optimus Prime kicking some serious ass.

I’ll post more thoughts on the film tomorrow when I am actually awake.

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen – Midnight Showing

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The local theater finally got around to announcing that they will be doing a midnight showing of Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, Tuesday at midnight. This is excellent news, as it will save me a trip to Muskegon.

However, even though I am going to see this early in a crappy theater, I do want to see it on IMAX since they’re doing special IMAX scenes for this film. However, I am not very interested in the prospect of being crammed into one of those little IMAX seats when the theater is filled to the brim with people. So, for those people that frequent the IMAX in Grand Rapids, what are the best “off hours” that has a chance of not being sold out.

Also, as you can see at the top of this post, I decided to include the de facto “transformers 2” marketing photo. However, in the interest of limited originality, I decided to crop it down and toy with saturation and blur to make the only important part “pop.”

That’s all for now. I plan on writing up a proper post after having viewed the film.