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Nordling Says TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON Is So Much Better!

Nordling here.

It becomes obvious about 2.5 seconds into Michael Bay's TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON that Bay should shoot every film in 3D from now on.  He shows a command of the technology that exceeds - no shit - that of James Cameron.  When Bay shoots action with regular 2D cameras, his scenes, especially in the previous TRANSFORMERS films, are practically incoherent, with no sense of spatial geography and rapid edits to hide the fact that Bay seemingly threw his cameras in the air while things exploded.  But in 3D, Bay is forced to slow down a bit, shoot sweeping vistas, and give the audience a visual sense of what's going on, and the result is easily the best shot action scenes that I can remember seeing in a long time.  Before now, it was not really a requirement to see films in 3D - even AVATAR - but Bay has done what no other 3D film thus far has done: he justifies the technology.  TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is simply the best-looking 3D film yet, hands down.

But have Michael Bay's storytelling skills improved with 3D? Well...  I'll put it this way.  I knew why things were happening 80% of the time, as opposed to the previous film, where I understood the goals of the characters maybe 40% of the time.  Granted, it's an improvement, but it's especially rough going in the first hour of the film, where Bay throws in the kitchen sink to keep the audience entertained, all the while holding his cards back for the hour-long finale.  But there are emotional beats that Bay desperately wants the audience to respond to in DARK OF THE MOON, and the audience may be too numb to care.  3D tech may discipline Bay as an action director, but he still can't make relatable characters to save his ass.

The film's opening scenes rewrite history to show that America's space race was actually an attempt by us to explore alien technology, specifically a ship that crash-landed on the Moon.  Turns out that ship was from Cybertron, and it was carrying Sentinel Prime (Leonard Nimoy), the leader of the Autobots, and, perhaps, the last hope to save Cybertron.  When the Autobots discover that the ship is still on the moon, Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) and the others take a spacecraft to rescue Sentinel.  Meanwhile, on Earth, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is struggling to find his first job in Washington, D.C., living with his girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and we quickly understand why Bay cast her almost immediately when she appears on screen - did I say already that this is a REQUIREMENT to see in 3D?).  But what Sam really wants to do is work with the Autobots.  He's saved the world twice already, and he doesn't want to surf some mailroom in Bruce Brazos' (John Malkovich) office.  But as events unfold with the Autobots and Sentinel Prime, the machinations of Megatron (Hugo Weaving) come into play.  This all culminates in the utter destruction of Chicago, as an alien invasion shreds that city and our heroes must go in and stop Megatron - again - from destroying the world.

To say that TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is a better film than REVENGE OF THE FALLEN isn't really opinion; it's simple arithmetic.  The second TRANSFORMERS film showcased everything wrong with Bay as a director.  And while DARK OF THE MOON suffers from many of the same problems -  Michael Bay enjoys his racial stereotypes a bit too much, and his sense of humor begins at pratfalls and ends at THREE'S COMPANY-like sexual innuendo and misdirection - when it comes to shooting action, Bay has improved as a director, something I would have never thought possible over the last film.  The camerawork is almost languid in comparison to FALLEN, and while Bay will never be mistaken for Stanley Kubrick or David Lean, the action has a visceral punch and jawdropping sense of scale.  I still couldn't relate to any of the characters, but Bay really tried hard this time, darn it, and you have to admire that he put so much effort into it.  Shia LaBeouf plays Sam with all the earnestness he can muster, and I really can't fault his performance at this point.  All the actors can do is look and react to the insane action going on for the most part, and even actors like Malkovich, John Turturro, and Frances McDormand can be made to look ridiculous in Bay's 3D lens.  This ain't a Coen Brothers film, by a long shot.

But, but, but... Jesus Christ, that last hour.  That last hour of TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, as Chicago gets the asskicking of the millennium, is action filmmaking at its goddamn finest.  That hour is what rises DARK OF THE MOON into serious greatness.  It's what Bay does best, and with the nature of 3D forcing Bay to slow down his shots and edits, the special effects, the explosions, the insane - INSANE - setpieces, the climax - maybe it's true that Bay has no interest in character development, or the subtle nuances of actor performance, but man, can this guy blow things up very, very well.  And it's through the sheer bravura of the action that we begin to feel for the characters.  It's not about the performances of the actors, or the plot - it's that the sheer scale of what's happening onscreen forces the audience to think, "I really hope that Shia LaBeouf doesn't get hit by flying shrapnel."  

I'm kidding, but only partially - Bay manages to find real emotion at the climax because he really is a master at this sort of thing - characters under amazing pressure forced to do whatever it takes to survive.  The climax has real stakes, and we do end up caring what happens, because Bay, more than any TRANSFORMERS film thus far, has successfully made us care.  It's something of a breakthrough for him.  I feel like I'm overly disparaging Michael Bay here, but it's through sheer force of will that Bay does something we haven't seen from him before at this point - he creates real empathy for the characters, and for him that's fairly revelatory.

And even if the house of cards falls under close examination - there are certain characters that only appear when convenient in that last hour - it's a glorious house of cards that would have made the Brady Bunch weep in jealousy.  It's the last hour of TRANSFORMERS that puts it over-the-top for sheer spectacle and into the plus column for a recommendation.  The audience has to slog through some mostly inane filler, punctuated by some impressive visuals and all-too-brief action in the first two-thirds of the film, but it's not nearly as painful as the filler in REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, and once you get that first establishing shot of Chicago, strap in.  Because, like the PSA from Dan Savage to America's struggling youth, it gets so much better.

Nordling, out.

Readers Talkback
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  • June 28, 2011, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Remember when 10 years ago, post 9/11...

    by DerLanghaarige

    ...Hollywood and the public agreed that films, where cities and landmarks get destroyed are tasteless? I mean, of course you didn't have to be a genius to predict that Hollywood would continue to make such movies and the audience will go see them again, I just think it's kinda ironic that almost exactly 10 years after 9/11 everybody is bragging about how awesome the fictional destruction of Chicago is. (And I hope it is really damn spectacular!)

  • June 28, 2011, 7:02 a.m. CST

    Don't worry derlanghaarige

    by catlettuce4

    I'm sure the film will still be tasteless.

  • June 28, 2011, 7:02 a.m. CST

    Oh, well if NORDLING says to go, then I'm there

    by Rex Carsalot

    Ha, no. Not until Massa says it.

  • Just saving future posters some time.

  • June 28, 2011, 7:04 a.m. CST

    Faint praise review...

    by AssyMuffJizz

    Wow, it doesn't utterly suck.

  • June 28, 2011, 7:08 a.m. CST

    Tasteless, yes,...

    by Human Tornado

    ... but not as tasteless as robot-balls. And what about this whole "caring about characters" thing? I care about Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in "Bad Boys II". Best Bay movie ever!

  • June 28, 2011, 7:16 a.m. CST

    Well it's the end of the world.

    by knowthyself

    Bay films being well reviewed?

  • This is what you say about a five year old building his first model airplane... It is not what you say about a grown man filming a 400 million dollar fucking movie.

  • Talk about damning with faint praise.

  • June 28, 2011, 7:26 a.m. CST

    Okay, ILM and Bay blow up Chicago real good

    by justmyluck

    It seems that its an hour of quality Bayhem, which isn't exactly blowing my skirt up. Like I said earlier, I'll see it at a matinee when the crowds have died off - for ILM's work.

  • June 28, 2011, 7:37 a.m. CST

    nordling likes the action but justifies it

    by 2007

    by way of 3D is responsible...nothing else. welcome to the mindset of fans of the previous films, the action has always been strong, glad you finally see that.

  • June 28, 2011, 7:38 a.m. CST

    i think TERMINATOR 2...

    by brightgeist

    was the last time i looked forward to a movie like i am to this. CAN'T WAIT!

  • June 28, 2011, 7:39 a.m. CST

    I really fucking hate Michael Bay. Yes, I am a hater.

    by D Ropaela

    So don't go thinking I consider the term "hater" an insult. Pearl Harbor and Armageddon are two of the five or 10 worst movies I've ever seen. Their attempts at drama crack me the fuck up. Was Bay actually serious? I had to shut Bad Boys II off after about 45 minutes, it was so unbearable. I couldn't even enjoy it on an ironic, Hot Fuzz-inspired level. The first Transformers had its cool moments, but it was dumber than any member of the Palin/Heath gene pool, and I wouldn't even see Transformers 2 after hearing about how much screen time Car Car Binks received. The only Bay movies I kinda like are The Rock (which is saved by the actors and Bruckheimer's original gangsta coke fiend sensibilities) and Bad Boys (even though I haven't seen it since I was a teenager; lord knows what I'd think about it now). And yet ... here I am looking forward to dropping $30 on two tickets to see this shit in 3D. Keeping cameras relatively still in action scenes goes a long way for me, and damn it, I'm a sucker for disaster porn. Bay, you got me. Fuck me, you got me.

  • Al you have to do is watch the 1st movie 3 times - Robots change into things & back again, stuff gets totalled, actors say stuff (mostly pointless drivel) everything is too LOUD & the movie is wayyyy too long. From what this review says I think i'll wait for the bluray & fast forward to the last 3/4 hour.

  • June 28, 2011, 8:01 a.m. CST

    What's Bay's obsession with REALLY LONG movies??

    by knowthyself

    Transformers 2 wouldn't be half as bad if it was thirty minutes shorter.

  • June 28, 2011, 8:06 a.m. CST

    Damn you with faint praise, Michael Bay

    by durhay

  • June 28, 2011, 8:11 a.m. CST

    Bay is what he is

    by Joe

    People expecting this guy to become a master storyteller all of a sudden are moronic. This guy hasn't directed/produced a good script in his life. You can run down every movie this guy has made and you'll be sure to find pratfall/crude humor, one-dimensional characters, stories and characters that make no sense or serve no purpose to plot. Bay is catering to the lowest common denominator, the American public, because he knows they eat this stuff up. This is the same American public who turn out in droves for every Adam Sander/Kevin James/Martin Lawrence piece of shit with the same exact type of humor. They love it! I'm going to watch robots beat each other up for at least an hour and listen to a great score from Steve Jablonsky, who always delivers the goods.

  • June 28, 2011, 8:14 a.m. CST


    by PopcornJockey

    Just no. Will not go see this film.

  • June 28, 2011, 8:16 a.m. CST

    human tornado

    by Sanyi

    Hell yeah! Bad Boys II is one of my favourite. Guilty pleasure at its finest. No, not a great movie but a fuckin' entertaining one. Damn, I want to see it again...

  • That's why this is just another fail. Hundreds of millions of dollars pissed away on stupid teenage/idiot appeal bullshit. FUCK HOLLYWOOD

  • June 28, 2011, 8:24 a.m. CST

    Problems with Empire and Rotten Tomato

    by shutupfanboy

    Rotten lets people vote and that to me is already a giant problem. I have never seen internet polling done well. Empire is British and tend to have their heads up their ass when it comes to American popcorn films. They like stuff like Moon while I liked it, I thought it was a mess at the end. Its upper crust reviewing which I loath.

  • June 28, 2011, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Revenge of the Sith: Never forget

    by Evil Sean

    Remember when ROTS was getting generally positive buzz for simply not sucking as horribly bad as its predecessors? I'm not buying this one bit. If you read between the lines in all of these reviews, it seems eerily similar: people are marginally satisfied because their expectations have been lowered to the absolute baseline by TWO shitty movies prior that they still paid to see. These studios are NEVER going to change unless we vote with our WALLETS and not our talkbacks.

  • June 28, 2011, 8:33 a.m. CST

    teh suk


    I'm having a hard time taking anything you write seriously since another TBer said that you were Nordling's wife. Which I'm starting to believe.. You Sado you.

  • June 28, 2011, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Well, for what it's worth...

    by Peter David

    According to all the reviews on, the novelization is really good. Not that I've a personal stake in it or nothing. PAD

  • June 28, 2011, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Its 43% Rotten now but

    by OSAMP1

    why am I still compeled to watch it. And I have to travel 80 miles to see it in 3d.

  • June 28, 2011, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Bay is an action director who doesn't get action heroes

    by Spandau Belly

    It's not even a question of character development. Arnie's character of John Matrix in COMMANDO doesn't develop or have all these other sides to him, but we root for him because he's awesome. He's a walking mountain of muscles, guns, and one-liners and he holds all the crazy action spectacle together with his gravitas. For some reason Bay keeps making these action movies with annoying weak stupid underdog characters when Bay's really not up to their subtlety those characters require. It actually defies my brain why Bay never casts some Jason Statham/Dwayne The Rock/Vin Diesel guy in the lead as an invincible hero. Even when he casts Bruce Willis he just made him operate a drill.

  • June 28, 2011, 8:37 a.m. CST



    Yeah right! Like you'll ever get me to read. My parents didnt get me to read, you sure as hell ain't.

  • June 28, 2011, 8:37 a.m. CST

    its a Bay film,do you really go for the story?!?!?!?

    by j2talk

    just like a Roland Emmerich film, you go for the SFX, the story is just to justify shit blowing up!!!

  • June 28, 2011, 8:38 a.m. CST

    budkilmer721 - Not true. THE ROCK is a solid fuckin script.

    by knowthyself

    Probably his BEST FILM in that respect.

  • June 28, 2011, 8:38 a.m. CST

    sounds to me..

    by Richard

    Like its exactly what I want it to be. I'm not going to see this movie to be overwhelmed in emotion due to the characters being in peril. Or to be compelled by the amazing acting skills of the cast. I'm going to see it to watch Michael Bay shooting kickass action sequences in 3D and the best special effects to date. Call me a " retard " or whatever you want but I happen to like that sort of shit in the movies I see. And great review Nordling. Roll on 9pm tonight.

  • June 28, 2011, 8:55 a.m. CST

    thatchicken: "Car Car Binks"

    by spacehog

    For all I know that's what everyone has been calling the Twins in ROTF for two years, but for what's it's worth, I hadn't heard it and I laughed. So thank you.

  • June 28, 2011, 9:09 a.m. CST


    by Richard

    Transformers : 4 stars ROTF : 3 stars DOTM : 2 stars. Go figure. Also. I only ever tend to agree with Kim Newmans reviews for empire.

  • June 28, 2011, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Better than Avatar? How hard could that be?

    by Sappers Forward

    Avatar was good looking 3D yes, but only as long as you could ignore the 2+hr long political rant that Cameron tricked us into watching. Not to mention the acting was crap, plot thin and the cheese factor was off the scale. Yea, Avatar sucked.

  • As nerds don't we deserve more than some good animation? If we accept and feed this dross we're actually responsible for future generations being delivered drivel like this or Green Lantern. We should vote with out wallets as to me saying a movie has good explosions and an entertaining 3D CGI fest isn't what I go to the cinema for.

  • June 28, 2011, 9:22 a.m. CST


    by hey_kobe_tell_me_how_your_ass_tastes

    you just cant believe that no movie is being made about how you were forced to cut your own balls off when they got so blue because punky brewster was canceled

  • June 28, 2011, 9:23 a.m. CST

    shutupfanboy - you couldn't be more wrong

    by joliet_jake1978

    Yes Empire is published in the UK but the magazine is far from stuffy. They've always prided themselves on covering and reviewing all types of movies on merit regardless of genre. They love a good blockbuster as much as the next geek-flavoured website but the important word to take from that is 'good'. If it's a piece of shit why should they say otherwise. They get pissed off at the same ol' lazy crap that Hollywood churns out year after year like the rest of us. Saying that I do agree with you on Moon, clever - yes, thought provoking - yes, one of the best Sci-Fi films of the last 5 years - not really...

  • June 28, 2011, 9:24 a.m. CST


    by Richard

    The beaty of nerds is there are many kinds. I don't mind funding the CGI bollocks and would never hold against you what you decide to fund.

  • June 28, 2011, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Some directors are concerned with drama n

    by D.Vader

  • June 28, 2011, 9:33 a.m. CST

    A Turd covered with jewels

    by Wcwlkr

    All the praise in the world of excellent CGI 3D still won't get me to watch this piece of CRAP. Just because you cover a turd in jewels doesn't mean I'm still going want the turd.

  • Some prefer story over character. Others vice versa. Bay prefers to blow stuff up. That's where his focus lies. Thats where his talent lies. And I don't care that this is what he's chosen to work on, instead of character and acting. He's great at it, and I like to watch the fruits of his labors. Cant wait to see this. I hope I can drag my gf out to an opening weekend movie.

  • June 28, 2011, 9:36 a.m. CST

    LOL Lets just hand this movie an OSCAR!!!!

    by doom master

    Cmon Dont tell me you're going to buy into this shit....Bayformers sucks on SO many levels. Not even his 3D and a huge hour long 'Pirates 3' battle at the end is gonna make a difference - we should have had this kind of thing with EACH DAMN MOVIE ANYWAY. Part 2 should have been THIS movie. And it should have been DARKER for lasting effect, like THIS movie portends to be. Just because he FINALLY decided to hang out with Cameron and swing dicks with him doesnt mean anything....Just because the new camera LITERALLY FORCES him to slow down in order to make his movies more coherent doesn't mean dickly ding dong: His movies still sucks balls. His Transformers are still and will always be a bunch of robots that look nothing like the cartoon versions, and you cant tell them apart....and Bay will always try his best to sneak in the black guy - wether its in blackface form from a robot or a Asian ghetto comedian.... I hope Bay is done with this franchise.

  • I enjoyed Bad Boys I & II, I really enjoyed The Rock. Ok that's where my Bay enjoyment ends, but I wanted to like Transformers I really did. But it was just freaking horrendus, so I checked out of this a long time ago. And after that disaster that was the sequel good gravy no way in the world I'd waste my money on this crap.

  • June 28, 2011, 9:37 a.m. CST

    The Politics of vague reviews for shit movies...

    by LargoJr

    Faint praise etc.. there are a few facts that simply can't be ignored. Bad movies are a business unto themselves. Fewer customers are willing to pay for the ticket, when they can buy the disk a few months later. But BAD movies are much like getting drunk and having gay sex with your best friend. You will never talk about it. You will never speak of it amongst yourselves or anyone else, ever. But every time your eyes meet, you WILL both KNOW.. and the shame will burn anew as you both avert your gaze quickly in a desperate bid to find something... ANYTHING else to focus on. That's also how reviews are when you're attempting to be 'tactful' in a review for a film that has neither earned nor deserves the attempt. But let's be honest here, so you don't think I'm just another Bay-Basher. I REALLY enjoyed Transformers 1, if only for 3 reasons: First: Peter Cullen. The man just has a magnificent voice, and enjoys the 'Sean Connery' effect (Where you would be content to listen for 90 minutes to Sean reciting the assembly instructions for a child's bicycle). His closing line of: "We are here, we are waiting" is fantastic. a perfect end to the movie. Which brings me to my next bit of praise.. Second: Many really memorable lines, but the 2 best are "Don't you want to be able to say you got in the car?", and "Get them out of my flower-beds or I am going to beat the CRAP out of them!" I grin every time I think about it. Third: Megan Fox. YES her character never really got to develop, and it was PAINFULLY obvious when she had Sam pop Bumblebee's hood she new exactly jack & shit about cars, but she carried the part well, and gawd DAYUM if she isn't yummy to look at. All of these types of things were hauntingly absent from the 2nd film, and instead you got a kind of hand flailing jumbled mess. Very disappointing.. I don't expect better with the Third just because Bay is forced to drag out and center his shots to make effective use of 3-D. Saying this film is better then the previous two and yet it having not even the CLASS of the 1st, is like saying (and I've said this before) "Hey! At least THIS time when she glued my dick to my leg and then shit on my chest, she didn't set it on fire!" Faint praise indeed. I still want to hear what Massa has to say about this gargantuan turd.

  • June 28, 2011, 9:41 a.m. CST

    So what he needs is brother to his Coen.

    by OnO

    These reviews are pretty funny so far. It's when you read through all the blowjobs about the 3D, ILM, and stunt effects you hear " Everything blows up really good and in that last hour that I jizzed pants,.... but the story is desperately forced and suffers everything you hated about 1 and 2, just a FYI Haters. You got to slog through some same old shit." Say the fucking Dinobots and Unicron are in it and done with some justice and I'll go see it. If not... that last hour of cool explosions will not be enough for me to get suckered into another shitfest, where it's show casing some hairy ass in a jock. Lovingly framed, shoved into the audience's face in glorious 3D by a master of his craft with Cameron and Speilberg looking on in approval.

  • June 28, 2011, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Re: Rotten Tomatoes

    by bubcus

    There were 31 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes 13 that enjoyed it 18 that didn't of the 18 that didn't, one described it as wanton destruction, another found it soulless, and another said it is better than the previous two. In some cases it sounds like pacifists who hate action films are panning the movie there. So, I appreciate the three AICN reviews here and their positive reviews and I am considering seeing this film now, but I still have a hard time forgiving Bay for "Revenge of the Fallen" and I still cringe when I see trailers for "Dark of the Moon."

  • June 28, 2011, 9:49 a.m. CST


    by dasheight

    I don't care what anybody says about the "last hour" of the movie. I don't go to a movie just to see things blow up in the last hour. MICHAEL BAY IS DESTROYING CINEMA. I do NOT give him any of my money. FUCK that piece of shit.

  • June 28, 2011, 10 a.m. CST

    Yeah, we need Massa in on this.

    by blackwood

    Massa is one of the few critics in all of internetland whose perspective I can reliably use to estimate how I'm going to feel about a film. Him and Ebert.


  • June 28, 2011, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Haha Ebert took a big articulate crap on it.

    by blackwood

    I have a quaint notion that one of the purposes of editing is to make it clear why one shot follows another, or why several shots occur in the order that they do. "Transformers 3" has long stretches involving careless and illogical assemblies of inelegant shots. One special effect happens, and the another special effect happens, and we are expected to be grateful that we have seen two special effects.

  • June 28, 2011, 10:06 a.m. CST

    The above is from Ebert's review.

    by blackwood


  • These films are based on the toys, which predated the tv show. Let go of that dated cartoon already.

  • June 28, 2011, 10:21 a.m. CST

    All you AICN people....

    by zb.brox

    ...are trying to trick me into seeing this film. BUT I AM TOO WILEY FOR YOU, MOTHERFUCKERS! You see, in order to see this movie I would feel obligated to watch the second one. And that shit is never gonna happen. I will NOT cave and go see some awful piece of shit Michael Bay movie, no matter how many geeks tell me it's good. I WILL NOT! ...Really, I'm pretty sure I won't.

  • June 28, 2011, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Don't worry, zb.brox

    by Nordling

    You don't even have to see the second one to enjoy it! :)

  • June 28, 2011, 10:24 a.m. CST

    I'll Netflix it...

    by Judge Briggs

    I much rather see Super 8 .... Besides, with TF 2, the bar was set SOOO low, Bay could only go up. I'll wait until it's released via blu-ray.

  • ...certainly didnt in the first two this review doesn't REALLY answer that.. that's a lot of 'full retard' to overcome

  • FAIL logic

  • June 28, 2011, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Nordling, why did waste time writing a summery of the film?

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • thats a special effects director..not a movie director

  • June 28, 2011, 10:27 a.m. CST


    by Richard

    Saw you were waiting for the LOTREE's to arrive. Can you give us your take on the green shit ?

  • June 28, 2011, 10:29 a.m. CST

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    Film reviews don't need a summary.

  • June 28, 2011, 10:31 a.m. CST


    by Nordling

    I haven't seen them yet, but I'm lo-fi when it comes to that stuff. If I notice it I'll be surprised. And if I notice it that means it's pretty bad. I'll have them in my hands this afternoon.

  • June 28, 2011, 10:31 a.m. CST

    The audience I saw it with stood up and clapped!!

    by CeejayNightwing

    And this is why fanboys will never get it but Bay does. Sure the 2nd film was shit but the first was the right level of action and comedy for a summer popcorn flick. Nobody but fanboys are expecting Shakespeare from a movie based on toys, all they want is some laughs, some thrills and action with giant robots hitting each other. Nobody cares about plot holes, it's a movie based on a toy, just give us a plot that cohesive enough to gel the action and comedy together. This film delivered all the first movie did and then some, it'll be another massive hit despite getting the same crap reviews that the last two movies got. WHY? Because it's FUN! An element that Fanboys don't consider when checklisting the things from their childhood they think people should be seeing in a Transformers film.

  • June 28, 2011, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Respect your opinion, Nordling, but not sure.

    by Orbots Commander

    I read my local paper, Long Island's 'Newsday', this morning, and the staff reviewer wrote that TF3 was worse than the first two, gave it *zero* out of five stars. I mean, they gave Green Lantern two stars, and I thought that movie was the height of half-hearted mediocrity.

  • June 28, 2011, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Off topic:

    by Grrrr....

    What is a "Matinee"? I hear you Yanks talking about it but have no idea what it means.

  • June 28, 2011, 10:52 a.m. CST


    by Nordling

    Movie ticket prices are cheaper before 4:00 PM. Those are matinees. Although now with IMAX, I think they're pretty much the same price all day.

  • June 28, 2011, 10:54 a.m. CST


    by Grrrr....

    Thanks for that. Makes sense. Wish they would do it here where I live.

  • June 28, 2011, 11:02 a.m. CST

    The payola "reviews" are starting early this week.

    by kabong

    Yes, sir, Mr Bay, sir.

  • June 28, 2011, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Bay is an action-sequence editor. That's it.

    by kabong

    He may have serviced every producer in Hollyweird, but so have many "talent."

  • June 28, 2011, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Empire gave it 2 stars.

    by DanboJohnJ

    Not wasting my time with this,sounds like the sorta film that numptys who stare at fireworks like it's the second coming of Christ would enjoy.

  • June 28, 2011, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Hey, Bay, I got a script for you. It goes like this: DUH

    by kabong

    Send it out for coverage, dummy.

  • June 28, 2011, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Mark Kermode's review

    by smallfry

    made me laugh.

  • June 28, 2011, 11:23 a.m. CST

    I love that...

    by wato

    The only real virtue of 3d is to slow Bay's spastic style down. He could do that without 3d no?

  • The modern audience = clapping monkeys.

  • June 28, 2011, 11:34 a.m. CST

    It can't be any worse than Avatar


    My guess is that the 3Ds a lot better.

  • June 28, 2011, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Many of you seem to be confused.

    by D.Vader

    Confused between what makes a movie and what makes a generally accepted "good" movie.

  • Oh, you weren't looking at her face. Say no more.

  • June 28, 2011, 11:41 a.m. CST


    by D.Vader

    I don't want to get into a debate over semantics with you, but I think you were over-generalizing in your response post to me. Even though Bay's concerns lie with action more than any other consideration, he's still a "movie director". Special effects directors direct effects, not action.

  • June 28, 2011, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Kermode's review (fanboys prepare to weep...with laughter)

    by marineboy

  • Now, making a "good" movie is not so easy. And one doesn't need to make good movies to make money. Bay is living proof of this.

  • June 28, 2011, 11:42 a.m. CST

    get over yourselves

    by ben

    this movie being made will not stop your (insert genre here) movies from being made. bay is not ruining movies, and audiences do understand that these movies are mindless entertainment. sometimes people dont want to flock to movies about racism, lesbian parents, a guy with a speech impediment, a ballet dancer, gay senators, divorce, or insane people getting more and more insane. sometimes (white suburban kids generally dont have to worry about this) people have these problems in their lives, and don't find it necessary to pay 20 bucks to re-live that shit for another hour and a half. just get over yourselves and enjoy some crazy shit someone decided to film. because at the end of the day, all those other movies will still get made at the same rate, whether or not you complain or go see this movie.

  • June 28, 2011, 11:50 a.m. CST



    someone's talking smack about the LOTR books in Harry's DVD column.

  • June 28, 2011, 11:50 a.m. CST


    by Orbots Commander

    I disagree that entertaining, Summer popcorn movies also need to be stupid. (See: the first Pirates of the Caribbean, Iron Man, Casino Royale, the Bourne movies, any action picture directed by Spielberg, etc., etc.)

  • After watching the second, my brain hurt from the massive amounts of stupidity, but the first was reasonably well done and a fun diversion. Certainly not on the phantom menace/AOTC level that the 2nd one was on.

  • June 28, 2011, 11:54 a.m. CST

    So It's "Better", But It Still Sounds Like Shit

    by NeonFrisbee

    Yeah, you know, I'm sorry, TF2 is the worst movie I've ever seen in my entire life and I'm not giving this douchebag any more of my money. Even if this is marginally better than the first two, that's not saying much. So it's better than dogshit? That's not enough to make me spend $20 for the IMAX 3D or even $10 for the regular 3D matinee.

  • TDK Iron Man Die Hard Terminator Thor was fun as shit and not a shit movie either. There's no reason that someone can't make a decent movie about transforming robots if they can make a good movie about a guy who flies around in a ridiculous costume wielding a giant hammer. But as long as people like you continue to support lowest common denominator dreck like Bayformers than Hollywood has no incentive to produce anything decent. You see, making a good movie requires effort and talent.

  • June 28, 2011, 12:03 p.m. CST

    i agree with you.

    by ben

    however, without those movies that rake in near billions, it stalls a lot of other things in film. technology advances dont happen without huge movies like this. kind of like capitalism, rampant consumerism awful, but without it, there is no incentive to create more technology that will actually help people. not saying transformers is amazing, id rather watch any of those other movies in your list, but you bet your ass ill watch this movie in imax 3d just to see shit blow up. itll be better than tron 3d.

  • June 28, 2011, 12:04 p.m. CST

    the_choppah, exactly!

    by Orbots Commander

    Just because it's genre entertainment, and meant to be lightweight, doesn't mean it needs to skimp on good writing and acting. Tell that to Christopher Nolan, and he'll come back at you with Inception. I bet that sometime in the future, somebody like Robert Rodriguez can take the Transformers franchise and truly do something fun and charming with it.

  • June 28, 2011, 12:09 p.m. CST

    TWO WORDS . . .

    by Dr. Francis B. Gross

    Ryan Dunn LMAO

  • June 28, 2011, 12:17 p.m. CST


    by golden tribw

  • June 28, 2011, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Bay will never be mistaken for Stanley Kubrick or David Lean

    by golden tribw

  • June 28, 2011, 12:19 p.m. CST

    This ain't a Coen Brothers film, by a long shot

    by golden tribw

  • June 28, 2011, 12:19 p.m. CST

    the house of cards falls [apart] under close examination

    by golden tribw

  • June 28, 2011, 12:19 p.m. CST

    = pitiful.

    by golden tribw

  • June 28, 2011, 12:22 p.m. CST

    orbots commander

    by corplhicks

    I simply cannot see anyone taking this comic book brought to screen seriously at all. it just won't happen. The entire premise is way to campy-- much more so than anything else brought to the screen from comic books. Dialogue is silly and everyone is a caricature. There is no human feeling in it and never do we really feel like there is real danger that we care about, let alone are the characters any we care about. And yes I am writing "we" because of the bunch of people I know, not a single one has any feeling or connection to this franchise-- unlike Batman, Spiderman, Hulk, and Iron Man 1

  • June 28, 2011, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Choppah, exactly

    by D.Vader

    Theres a lot of extreme hyperbole being thrown around, fueled by hate, suggesting Bay can't make a "movie". I dislike blanket statements and overgeneralizations such as that.

  • June 28, 2011, 12:29 p.m. CST


    by Knightsong

    It's worth seeing only because Michael Bay is a master of blowing things up in a really entertaining way? Oh an the girl in the film is worth seeing in 3D because she's mega hot? It still has the same racial stereotypes and poor humor as the 2nd film, and the story is only marginally better. But, man he can blow stuff up in 3D real good! What the fuck?! Tell him to go make a theme park ride! Don't waste people's time at the cinema! Despite all your polishing, it's clear that this film is nothing more than an eye-candy turd. Sounds like more fodder for the Idiocracy, and they're welcome to it.

  • June 28, 2011, 12:32 p.m. CST

    benzabs - if your life is filled with racist insane lesbian parents,

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    who stutter while dancing ballet, perhaps you need a couple of hours of "mindless popcorn entertainment". I've said it before, I'll say it again. Just because your film is aimed at 14-year olds, it doesn't have to look like it was made by 14-year olds.

  • June 28, 2011, 12:35 p.m. CST

    vades, I see your frustration


    Bay does make movies, just really bad ones. And saying that he is so bad a director that what he makes doesn't even qualify as a movie is hyperbole. Plus, it is a discredit to the crew and everyone else who worked hard to make the movie.

  • All the problems are still there. Bay has learned nothing. The pee-pee poo-poo humour remains. Some vapid bimbo on loan from Victoria's Secret is still half of what we have to look at for 2.5 hours just so the camera can penetrate her vulva in 3D during her introduction. Shia LePuny is still our leading man. Great Coen Bros collaborators and Oscar winners are reduced to stupid sideplots The story is inane and overlong BUT HEY GUYS, HE SURE BLOWS UP CHICAGO GOOD, HYUK HYUK HYUK!!! Or if you're Crapone, GUYSSSSSSS, it's my hometown, cut it some slack, I just loooooooove Chicago. I love it so much I'm going to tell you outright that Michael Bay has been reborn as a talented director bearing no resemblance to the guy who made those other TWENTY FUCKING MOVIES. AICN is turning into a real fucking joke. And talentless hack crapone is leading the charge.

  • Pitiful AICN. Absolutely laughable and embarrassing for you.

  • June 28, 2011, 12:42 p.m. CST

    What I don't understand is why these movies are as long as they are?


    Why waste so much time on a terrible plot and characterizations when people just want to see things blow up real good?

  • June 28, 2011, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Isit still worth seeing in 3d?

    by MoffatBabies

    Shut up.

  • June 28, 2011, 12:46 p.m. CST

    oops, I meant 2d.

    by MoffatBabies


  • June 28, 2011, 12:46 p.m. CST

    And is Chicago blown up twice? I thought one of them was D.C.

    by golden tribw

    Or does shit go down in Chicago at the beginning and then for another hour at the end? WHY ISN'T THE MOVIE JUST 90 FUCKING MINUTES LONG??? Nobody actually wants to sit through weed brownies and robo testicles, good god.

  • June 28, 2011, 12:52 p.m. CST

    The Choppah: I'm in full Agreement!

    by Wcwlkr

    You can make a great action movie. Or a movie that's just about FUN! And still have a great story and acting! The cool visuals on top of the story and acting is the Cherry on top! But as long as people to line up to be Shat upon by hollywood they'll continue to produce this crap! And I don't hate Michael Bay yes he only has about 3 movies that I actually enjoyed but I don't dislike the guy. But taking the name you guys have given it "Bayformers" is just crap plain and simple. And no amount of effects can cover up the steaming pile that this is.

  • June 28, 2011, 12:58 p.m. CST


    by eXcommunicated

    Your review was about as coherent as Transformers 2.

  • I'd rather the 250 million went to homeless people than be spent churning out this monkey shit.

  • June 28, 2011, 1:11 p.m. CST

    character development and subtle nuances of actor performance

    by D o o d

    is what it's ALL about. I don't care how big the action sequence is or how many VFX you layer on top of it in 3D. If I don't give a shit about the characters, I don't give a shit about the action! I thought that would've been easy for people to understand. As a Director it's Bay's job to get that bit right. He's not doing the vfx or the action. I give full props to all those in charge of doing that. I think it's clear from this review that Bay has failed again!

  • June 28, 2011, 1:24 p.m. CST

    I wouldn't say that's Bay's job to get right, d o o d

    by D.Vader

    Maybe if he were making a drama, it would be. Or if he was concerned with such things, then it would be. But he's not. So he doesn't do it... that much beyond funny character moments anyway. And that's fine. Some people can't enjoy a movie without that sorta thing (like you said, it makes the action better). Others are fine without it as long as something like eye candy is there to replace it. It's silly to hold Bay to a standard he doesn't hold to himself.

  • June 28, 2011, 1:24 p.m. CST

    8th_grader_dick, you make some very good points


    No you don't! Not on your useless life!

  • June 28, 2011, 1:35 p.m. CST


    by D o o d

    do you even realise the irony of what you are saying..??? You do realise you are on a movie critic website and you've responded in a talkback where a movie critic has given his critic on a movie...!!!!

  • June 28, 2011, 1:39 p.m. CST

    PAD: Why pearls before swine?

    by SingingHatchet

    Dear Peter David, First off all, thanks for being a cool person and posting on AICN. Second, you write some mean prose. Awesome. Third... I know a man has to make a living, but are you really so hard up as to have to adapt a TINO movie script into a book to put bread on the table? In the Christian vernacular, we call it putting your pearls before swine. So I only have one thing to say to you, you sell-out, you: If I buy the book, how can I get you to autograph it? Transform and roll out.

  • June 28, 2011, 1:39 p.m. CST


    by D o o d

    You honestly don't believe it's his job to get right..??? WHAT..?!!! The single most important thing in a movie is to make your audience feel something about the characters. Whether it's hate, like or sympathy, it doesn't really matter. Then all the fluff you put around that is just the icing on the cake. If what you are saying is correct then Bay has no job being a Film Director. He should be an action director/choreographer, which he does very well.

  • June 28, 2011, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Im in it for the robots...

    by matt

  • June 28, 2011, 1:51 p.m. CST

    im in it for the robots

    by matt

    I'm not going to see this film because of the human characters...Sam is a whiney bitch anyways...never once has he had a gun and stood up and fought in any of these movies...but to see Optimus kick ass....thats all the Bay porn i need...could care less about 3d also. I'm kinda sick of these 3D reviews....quit pandering to "the next generation" of film making. Most of us are nto shelling out $30 bucks for films let alone 11 where it is for 2D by me now. Just review the goddamn movie for once...

  • June 28, 2011, 1:55 p.m. CST

    'A command of tyeh technology that exceeds James Cameron' - yeah, right

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Gravy

    The ONLY reason this pile of shit even has good 3D is because Bay consulted with Cameron on the 3D, and who advised Bay to slow down his shots and have long, sweeping camera moves. Therefore, Trannyformers 3's few virtues - good 3D and more coherent action - are a direct result of Big Jim C. What a surprise. However, unlike Avatar, there's no sense of wonder, emotional investment, character or story here to make you care about the action. AICN should be ashamed of promoting this trash.

  • June 28, 2011, 1:57 p.m. CST


    by Todd1700

    You know that you have really reached waaaaaaaaaay up your own ass digging for a basis to put a positive spin on this movie when all you can basically say is that it's not quite the shit storm the first two were. Talk about mild praise to base recommending a movie on. I wasn't convinced of the payola for positive reviews conspiracy theories until now. Only somebody really trying to find a way to say something good about a movie could come up with shit like this. If they made a list of the top 10 bad movies that turned a profit at the box office TF2 and TF1 would be number one and two on that list and in that order. A movie slightly better than those two is about on par with saying "Hey, this third dog turd I'm eating has less stringy hair in it than the first two did". Faint praise indeed.

  • June 28, 2011, 2:03 p.m. CST


    by D o o d

    I'm not going to get into a war of words with you as that's not my style. I do find your post funny but less of the homophobia and hate man. There's no place in the world for it today!

  • June 28, 2011, 2:03 p.m. CST

    The Rock did not have a good script

    by Joe

    I'm sorry but that script was just as generic as every other one of Bay's films. The reason that movie works is because Cage and Connery play well off one another. In fact that's the only time Bay's movies are able to muster any kind of story is when the actors are able to push the story forward with banter/chemistry. The Bad Boys movies are generic as they come but they are also entertaining because of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence's chemistry together.

  • Your gay crush on me is starting to reach disturbing levels. I liked you better when you were mjs_corpse. You were a bitch then and you're still a little bitch.

  • June 28, 2011, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Nordling Says TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON Is So Much Better

    by JRcanReid

    than having your balls smashed with a hammer!

  • June 28, 2011, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Also, what a clownish argument for promoting Bay's

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Gravy

    so called 'mastery of 3D'. Apparently, Bay is a master of 3D -and Tranny3 the only film that demands to be seen in 3D - because 3D has forced Bay by default to progress from being an atrocious action director to a slightly less atrocious director. In effect, his films are only made watchable by the limitations 3D imposes on them. Therefore, this justifies 3D, according to Nordling. Y'what? What a fucking stupid argument. The criteria for whether a film should be viewed in 3D or not isn't something utterly absurd and apologist like that. Avatar demanded to be viewed in 3D because it melded with the themes and visuals and atmosphere of the story. This will be the same for any future film that uses 3D well. 3D should be justified when it's there to support something that's already good, not to excuse something bad. Otherwise, that's like saying handjobs are only neccessary when they're administered during root canal surgery to take your mind off the pain, instead of during foreplay.

  • June 28, 2011, 2:31 p.m. CST

    D o o d, I completely disagree

    by D.Vader

    I think the filmmaker's #1 job is to entertain the audience. This can be achieved in a number of ways, but it's not strictly limited to making you feel something for the characters onscreen. Doing so, of course, makes things a bit easier bc your audience is more invested. But I wouldn't say that's necessary to entertain, nor that it's the director's #1 job or concern.

  • June 28, 2011, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Also d o o d

    by D.Vader

    Choreographing action is a lot different from directing action. He's an action director, that's what he does. I don't think anyone denies that.

  • Exactly. Thats like saying Bay would direct much better if he were hogtied and locked in a trunk, then dumped in the ocean. Come to think of it..I have a trunk...

  • June 28, 2011, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Critics are getting more annoying than usual imo

    by Arteska

    Too much calculation. Too much self inflicted fatigue. Too much self importance. Some timidly try to ride a tide and others calculate how to stir or tilt against their perception of the mob. Doesn't really apply to Nordling or this review though. This seems like a reasonable response from a nerdy, predisposed fan that might have actually been looking forward to seeing the movie. The biggest problem with internet criticism and aggregation of reviews is that now they become self fulfilling memes. Pans or savage takedowns from a handful or a key writer or two breaking early embolden all kinds of shit talking from people that aren't qualified. A lot of movies over the past year have been buried under avalanches of hate they didn't deserve and your typical internet commenter just fuels it mindlessly. I'm not defending this movie or Bay as I haven't seen it yet but this is the second review I've seen from a trusted writer that isn't reveling in hate. Feels like progress.

  • June 28, 2011, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Meh, it's not critics so much as it is mobile tech.

    by Orbots Commander

    Word of mouth is accelerated, on a large scale now, with mobile technology and instant access to Facebook and Twitter. You can real-time critique a movie, while in the theater or lobby, and blast out your opinion to a whole swath of people.

  • But 13 Assassins ain't playing in my town. I'm a mindless tool. I'm a piece of shit. But this movie will have A LOT OF WIZ BANG!

  • June 28, 2011, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Looks like those production visits paramount gave AICN...

    by Fritzlorrerains

    Are paying off. AIC is giving it's positive reviews as expected. Green Lantern only got one good review by the one person who got a gift. Coincidence?

  • June 28, 2011, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Still no RIP article for Christopher Lee?

    by Fritzlorrerains

  • June 28, 2011, 2:47 p.m. CST


    by macheesmo3

    Ya know, I hate to admit it, but I could really give two shits about the "plot" or "characterization" of a giant fighting robots movie. Don't misread me here, I'm as much a movie snob as the next guy, and I watch,love and appreciate a very large and diverse range of world cinema. HOWEVER, when ya watch a porn you aren't worried about the plot or how the "characters" make you care for them, now I agree that the ROTF was a real turd, maybe this one will be a little less turdy, but I'm there to see a 2+ hr advertisement for the technological advances in filmmaking. Now I'm not making excuses here. A more competent director would demand a proper script that combines good stories,emotional development and a coherent plot. And we absolutely SHOULD demand both a good script as well as purty SPLOSIONS, but, honestly, I will still go and see this cuz it's at worst going to be amusing and at best it may be awe inspiring. Merchant/Ivory films have lots of characterization and some of them make me want to put a fork in my eyes!!!! I think all types of movies have their place. I can enjoy Kurosawa or Godard or Clouzot and Kubrick...etc I can also enjoy a silly piece of drive in movie trash like Drive Angry and chase it all down with a big dumb movie about piles of intermingled tin foil kicking each other's ass and blowin stuff up real good...... Maybe that makes me part of the great unwashed.... but honestly I don't give a shit.

  • June 28, 2011, 3:01 p.m. CST

    I don't fucking beleive any of these AICN reviews

    by daggor

    I do believe that he has toned down the stupid, incomprehensible shit, I very much believe that it'll be great 3D eye candy (like 2 hours of theme-park 3D nonsense). I do not believe it is a GOOD movie, and there is no way in hell it's a good TRANSFORMERS movie. It'll be another Bay shitstorm, better than the previous two, but still a storm from Bay's bowels.

  • June 28, 2011, 3:08 p.m. CST

    About the 3-D

    by Trannyformers_Apologist

    @Latinoreview LatinoReview-Kel I think people are on some serious drugs saying Transformers 3 is the best 3D movie since AVATAR. 13 minutes ago via Echofon

  • June 28, 2011, 3:17 p.m. CST

    80 minutes of toilet humor gay jokes and dick jokes

    by Trannyformers_Apologist

    John Malkovich, Alan Tudyk, Ken Jeong, Patric Dempsey, Wheelie and other small Transformers are terrible comic relief characters. No dramatic tension or suspense, no emotional connection to the "characters", quick cut editing and incoherent robot designs ruin the action scenes. Horrible pacing. Excessive misogyny and obnoxious racial stereotypes. No dramatic tension or suspense

  • June 28, 2011, 3:20 p.m. CST

    These reviews might be influenced by low expectations

    by Bobo_Vision

    If you expect shit...anything less might seem "revelatory". But having read these reviews, some talkbackers will go in with raised expectations expecting more than shit....and their perception will shape their experience differently. They may choose to convince themselves that their experience was awesome, to be in sync with the opinions they read beforehand....or they will have a visceral reaction having gone in with their bar set at a certain level...with the film reaching or not reaching that point. The film might still surpass those levels, even with the bar raised by these reviews...who knows? <p> Perception shapes our experiences....our lives. It's a rich and complex framework.

  • June 28, 2011, 3:32 p.m. CST

    This Is Why...

    by warren bishop

    ...we can't have nice things America. You guys go to see big piles of crap like this, it makes money, then the suits at the studio assume this is what America wants, and makes more of it. Ever wonder why there's a shortage of good movies - particularly this summer? It's because you go to see "Transformers" movies, then the studio makes more of them (or more like them) and before you know it, you've got a steady of crap coming out of the studios.

  • June 28, 2011, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Between Rotten Tomatoes, and fellow talkbackers...

    by V'Shael

    I can pretty certain I will know if a movie is worth my time or not. There's not a SINGLE AICN reviewer I can say that about now. Not one of them. God bless the talkbackers, and critics who can do a proper job.

  • June 28, 2011, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Roger Ebert's TF3 Review:

    by Dr. Francis B. Gross


  • June 28, 2011, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Ebert gave it one star

    by Bobo_Vision

    "Michael Bay's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is a visually ugly film with an incoherent plot, wooden characters and inane dialog. It provided me with one of the more unpleasant experiences I've had at the movies. " <p> Roger Ebert

  • June 28, 2011, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Remember when Harry called Ebert out on one of his reviews?

    by Bobo_Vision

    That was awkward. It brought movie reviewing down to the level of pro wrestling.

  • June 28, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Yeah and Bay ruins Chicago. Eberts hometown

    by Knobules

    Secretly ya know. They both send each other chocolate every Valentines day.

  • June 28, 2011, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Massa weighed in on TF3 on his Twitter. He loves it.

    by Mr. Fist

    I only need two words to describe T3: FUCK. YES.

  • Expecting this to be anything more than a 2 hour toy commercial that flexes ILM muscle and Bay's knack for inventive action and destruction on an unparalleled scale is an exercise in oxygen-deprived hallucination. You do know that Cameron is going to use Bay when he reboots the Terminator franchise, right? *Snicker*

  • June 28, 2011, 4:56 p.m. CST

    'he's still a "movie director"

    by quantize

    well that's his credit, but no he's more than the guy who only lays your floors built your whole house.. get the analogy? He's a visual stylist..his narratives are bogglingly moronic, the humor down on knuckle dragging level, woman are just fancy tits on legs to adorn the outright selling of cars and whatever other whoring they can save money with. Can he make 'woosh' ...sure! whoop de fuckin doo. That don't make great movies..and even if gibbering idiots are so impressed with a genuinely spectacular splosion fest for the last hour that still won't change the utterly soulless retardation of the rest..

  • June 28, 2011, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Just Because it's an Action Movie

    by D o o d

    does justify it having Zero story or characters!

  • June 28, 2011, 5:01 p.m. CST

    I meant to say "does NOT"

    by D o o d

    Freudian slip! :o)

  • and can we not also note that this is ALSO about flogging petrol sucking WANK machines, not just toys for LITTLE BOYS, but toys for BIG BOYS...thats what dem titties is there for..BRAINDEAD DADDY™ I felt so genuinely insulted by the fucking retarded myopic view of men - they're either macho dickheads or limp losers in his black and white world - in the first film...not to mention how fucking braindead the female character was..the cheesiest fuckin concept : 'the girl you cant get'...It's a fairyland for jocks and douchebags with zero intellectual life. I don't even believe Bay himself is THAT dumb..he's just repeating the pattern he learnt in advertising : play to you audience on the lowest level possible

  • June 28, 2011, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Nordling is a coward and a fraud

    by Nabster

    Is Nordling on the take, like Harry is? We all know the new Tranny film will cause blindness and cancer, yet aicn is sucking it's cock? Remember how all the aicn chimps also loved Daredevil?

  • June 28, 2011, 5:10 p.m. CST

    A.O. Scott seemed to like it as big, loud, stupid fun.


    And he thought the second one was the worst movie of 2009.

  • June 28, 2011, 5:10 p.m. CST

    R.I.P. Aintitcoolnews

    by ironicbionic

  • June 28, 2011, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Roger Ebert gave THE PHANTOM MENACE 3.5 stars.


    I like the guy's writing, but just because he hates a movie doesn't mean it's going to suck.

  • June 28, 2011, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Devin Faraci hated it.


    Don't all you fanboys love to disagree with and insult Faraci?

  • June 28, 2011, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Not that I'm pardoning Bay or BAYFORMERS.


    Still gotta see this before I render my judgment, but sometimes Bay delivers when you have zero expectations.

  • June 28, 2011, 5:16 p.m. CST

    This is what you get

    by musically_endowed

    You guys shit on movies that focus on plot, Ang Lee's Hulk comes to mind, and then the opposite comes and you don't want it. It's too late now. I've got a free ticket, gonna see this in IMAX 3-D, high as fuck.

  • June 28, 2011, 5:17 p.m. CST



    That's the way to roll, homey.

  • June 28, 2011, 5:30 p.m. CST


    by musically_endowed

    I love movies. For me, every movie scratches a different itch. I have been amped to see this movie for the last week, and I don't think any number of positive critic reviews will change anyones mind. It seems most of these critics had their reviews written before they saw the movie, and couldn't wait to shit on Bay.

  • June 28, 2011, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Going to see it

    by Red_Right_Return

    With or without good reviews. Saw the first two, and recognize them for what they are. Popcorn action flicks just for summer entertainment. If I can sit through Skeleton Man on the scifi channel, I can sit through this and enjoy it too. So stfu with the Nordling bashing.

  • June 28, 2011, 5:35 p.m. CST

    what a bunch of sellouts

    by liquids

    I HATE POSTING on message boards but i just gotta hate gay i mean bay. all tfdotm reviews have been a joke on this site. will capone submit as well? but ill rip this one due to some highly obvious same PARAGRAPH CONTRADICTIONS. pathetic. To say that TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is a better film than REVENGE OF THE FALLEN isn't really opinion; it's simple arithmetic. artihmetic?? OH really?? The second TRANSFORMERS film showcased everything wrong with Bay as a director. And while DARK OF THE MOON suffers from many of the same problems? WTF you flip flopping ass?? its better?? ARITHMETIC buts its the same PROBLEMS?? TOTALLY SPINELESS REVIEW. COWARDling

  • June 28, 2011, 5:40 p.m. CST

    @liquids Lot of anger over a review

    by musically_endowed

    Also Capone was the first review on the web about this movie. He said it was good :/ I guess you'll be killing yourself now?

  • June 28, 2011, 5:49 p.m. CST

    @ Icarus2...

    by Smashing

    See how I "@"'ed you like this was twitter. I loves me some amazeballs CGI but in respect to a good story, not just because it can be animated, I bloody adore Speed Racer.

  • June 28, 2011, 5:51 p.m. CST

    It couldn't possibly be worse than the last one.

    by fanboy71

    And Chicago gets destroyed?? Count me in.

  • June 28, 2011, 5:52 p.m. CST


    by Red_Right_Return

    You're just a bandwagon jumper. Do you think Transformer movies are supposed to be the next King's Speech? They are simple summer action movies. People like you cave-in just as bad as the reviewers you are pointing your nastly little finger at. Your internet geek friends hate it so everyone else has to as well. Guess what, I'm going to see it with my 3 kids and 2 nephews. We are all sellouts and were sellouts for the first two movies too.

  • June 28, 2011, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Devin Fatso Faraci also said aicn is the refuge of retards

    by Nabster

    And that tbers are mentally unstable losers. Go to and tell him in the comments section that he's a fat piece of shit. I say we unleash the might of the tbs on his fat ass.

  • June 28, 2011, 6:38 p.m. CST


    by Redmantle

    Ebert isn't the go-to guy for these types of films. He just isn't. He hated Super, which was funny as shit. Basically, if there's meaningless violence, he is offended by it. So... don't go to Ebert. But sometimes I want to go to a movie and watch shit get blown up. Ebert's an old dude, and when I'm in the mood for Cinema, and high art, and sometimes I am, then I'll look for an Ebert review... I sure as hell am not going to look at one of Harry's. But Ebert is not the go-to guy for one of these. Hell, he friggin spoiled the ending of Super, just for shits and giggles- no respect for these types of movies. So... I may have to see this movie..

  • June 28, 2011, 6:42 p.m. CST

    its a Bay film,do you really go for the story?!?!?!?

    by DOGSOUP

    No, I DON'T GO.

  • June 28, 2011, 6:48 p.m. CST

    But again, Quantize

    by D.Vader

    You're proving my point. The man knows how to make movies. He is a fetishist. He is more concerned with images, with girls, with perpetual sunsets, with spectacle and explosions and beautiful destruction than he is a deep plot or deep characterization. His movies exist in a hyper-reality, all his characters have moments of comic relief, everything explodes on a long enough timeline. The man knows what he's doing. I'm not arguing that his movies are good, merely suggesting there is a lot of hyperbole being thrown around here, a lot of it spawned from a hatred of his films, about whether or not the man knows how to make a film (answer: he does). The real question is: does he care? Does he care about anything other than what I listed above? I don't think so. But the man is an auteur, I will argue that. Every film he's made has his fingerprints all over it.

  • June 28, 2011, 7:13 p.m. CST




  • June 28, 2011, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Transformers: The War Within > Bayformers

    by Relugus

    Bayformers Budget $150million Animated War Within Budget: $0 Yet War Within pisses all over Bayformers from a great height. Characterisation, great voices (Starscream's voice is f***ing awesome in War Within, maybe even better than Chris Latta). Spielberg and Bay have no respect for the source material and just see it as a way to make money. Spielberg hired a man who knows nothing about and dislikes Transformers to make a Transformers movie. Maybe Spielberg will hire Hitler to make a film about Jewish culture. But, hey, Steve's cool with the racism and sexism in Bay's movie's, but not mild references to dictators, as Megan discovered.

  • June 28, 2011, 8:31 p.m. CST

    $350M Domestic, $400 Merch sales, Fox's career ended.

    by conspiracy

    That's my prediction for TF3. Bay may not make art...but the fucker makes money and knows how to use a cunt and toss her to wolves in the unemployment lines.

  • June 28, 2011, 8:36 p.m. CST

    And speaking of Mrs. Green

    by conspiracy

    ...I guess the rumors are completely true that the girl will fuck anything with the hint of a cock (as if there were any doubt.) Fucked Bay for her breakout role... Fucked her co-star... Got strap on Fucked by Diablo Cody... Fucked several faded "stars" and ended up marrying one... And you people thought my stories about Bay, Fox and Hollywood debauchery were not based in fact...HA! I know that fucking town well...

  • June 28, 2011, 10:06 p.m. CST

    everything explodes on a long enough timeline

    by Star Hump

    Ha! One of the best lines re: Bay I've ever read. Well done dv.

  • June 28, 2011, 10:38 p.m. CST


    by Peter David

    Well, first of all, you have no idea of the offers I've passed on because I had no interest in them. In this case, I did have an interest: I think the Transformers are cool. And I was given an opportunity to play in their universe for a while, plus--hey. they give me money for it. Considering the vast number of people in this country who get paid for doing stuff they hate, do you really have an issue with someone who gets paid for doing something he enjoys? PAD

  • June 28, 2011, 11:04 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    "Empire is British and tend to have their heads up their ass when it comes to American popcorn films." That is simply untrue. Empire gave unusually high marks to the SW prequels, for instance.

  • June 29, 2011, 1 a.m. CST

    its amazing

    by ihatefanboys

    when a reviewer who u been "Waiting for his review" likes a movie u hope he hates he suddenly becomes a "sellout" .....what a bunch of hippocrits ... theyre not saying its oscar worthy, theyre saying they enjoyed it. ..and I can say ive "enjoyed" every michael bay movie.

  • Although I'm not sure that's much of a revelation. As for Bay, she burned him publicly after the last film....there's no way she was gonna be in this one. Last film she was in was an embarrassment of a film with Bill Murray and Mickey Rourke where she plays a freak with Angel's wings. She's gonna be hitting the skids soon.

  • June 29, 2011, 1:05 a.m. CST

    Shit, we wish we had a magazine as good as Empire in the states

    by Star Hump

  • June 29, 2011, 1:07 a.m. CST

    singinghatchet got chopped by PAD

    by Star Hump

    Dropping logic

  • So glad to see that RT crushed Trannyformers 3. I know it will make bank but the whole premise is so stupid. Thought the Sat morning cartoon was retarded (even the 2D animated movie), never watched the first two, and I would rather eat glass than watch this third incarnation of a steaming ass loaf.

  • June 29, 2011, 2:06 a.m. CST

    Fresh from RPX 3D

    by xoandre

    Regal Theatres has introduced a RPX (their version of full-on digital THX booming sound and imagery) I just came from watching a pre-midnight showing and was wondering where all the purported 3D was in this film? I know there were perhaps 5 minutes all told of 3D effect in play, but the way it was shot, I could not tell if any of it was in 3D and wondered why I bothered to keep the stupid glasses on... Maybe it's just the theatre you go to, or perhaps you had some variation in the projection or glasses, but there was more 3D in Thor and Airbender than there was in any of TF3. Sorry, but I just did not get the 3D effect at all during the character-driven (human) scenes and barely caught a glimpse of it during battles.

  • June 29, 2011, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Besides the (lack of) 3D...

    by xoandre

    I enjoyed the hell outta this.... SPOILER ALERT! <SPOILER> When Leonard Nimoy says a play on his famous line from Star Trek: Wrath of Kahn, and with all the subtle Star Trek references, it was funny, but pulled me out of the film a bit. And no one around me in the packed theatre seemed to get the references. The fact that Optimus finally gets his just revenge after all those years fighting Megatron - so frakkin SWEET! </SPOILER> END SPOILER The balance of characters vs machines vs army vs comic relief was well staged this time, with editing being a bit more choppy when none of the Autobots or Decepticons were on screen. I liked how well they did some of teh stuff, but have to say that when they showed that actor with a cartoon-painted JFK face it was just all wrong! But that's early in the film and the rest of it (almost) makes up for that GLARING mistake. I loved this film. Bay and his writing and editing staff finally got the characters of the autobots and decepticons right! Starscream cowtowing to Megatron, the power struggles between the key players, and how much Optimus finally takes command and rips things apart with his sword, AXE, and his bear hands! amazing! Astonishing! AWESOME!

  • June 29, 2011, 3 a.m. CST


    by drwilliamweir

    Seriously fun, epic, joyous summer action. See it in 3D. It's mindblowing to watch. Funny where it's meant to be. OK, lacking in deep character writing and the Autobots and Decepticons live out their shiny roles as big stompy robot antagonists rather than giving us true grit and development, but the whole thing works. The plot moves along at a brisk pace and remains interesting throughout to see where it'll take you and it's eye-bleedingly gorgeous. After all, it's a big roller-coaster ride - and what's wrong with that? Nothing. Also, I can say Rosie Huntington-Whitely has been unfairly criticised. She's pretty much as empty a vessel as Megan Fox was, only with added sweetness and character the latter doesn't have. What're you expecting, Shakespeare quality acting? Pshaw! Also suprising to see a decent human baddie, and the references to Star Trek are very nicely done. Bo!

  • June 29, 2011, 3 a.m. CST

    @xoandre RE 3D effect

    by drwilliamweir

    Saw it on a big digital screen in London. The 3D was astounding for the most part, so sounds like something was up at your theater.

  • June 29, 2011, 3:03 a.m. CST

    Edward Douglas CommingSoon Critic Threw UP in Disgust

    by Trannyformers_Apologist

    I can't tell you how many times I threw up in my arms in disgust with what I was watching... and the bit about getting a headache and feeling nauseous was no exaggeration either.

  • June 29, 2011, 6:27 a.m. CST

    Really Nordling? REALLY? You wrote this:

    by timpig3k

    "I still couldn't relate to any of the characters, but Bay really tried hard this time, darn it, and you have to admire that he put so much effort into it. " Is that enough to be a multi-millionaire Hollywood director these days? FAIL, but look like you tried really hard? "Aw, poor Michael, he put so much effort in. Give him another $50mill." Gold fucking star. Jesus. Where the fuck is Blomkamp when you need him? Fuck.

  • June 29, 2011, 6:34 a.m. CST

    Ahthankyou Humpty!

    by D.Vader

  • June 29, 2011, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Amazing Review!!!

    by BeyondStatic

    Some high praise, especially in your opening paragraph ...I'll be there at midnight!!

  • June 29, 2011, 11:09 a.m. CST

    spandau belly

    by catlettuce4

    You got it... I never realized that before, but you hit the nail on the head. Bay would make amazingly good action movies if he understood action heroes. He's obviously got the command of everything else needed, but they fall flat cause we don't root for the "heroes" at all. It's pointless.

  • June 29, 2011, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Where's the obit for Nordling's integrity?


  • June 29, 2011, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Fool me once, shame on you...

    by Gozu

    Skipped the second and I'll be skipping this one as well.

  • June 29, 2011, 8:21 p.m. CST

    No fan of Fox...

    by Relugus

    ...but the misogyny that drips off the comments about her here is revolting. As I've said before, the cartoon series was pretty stupid, but the comic books were and are far more adult. You only have to look at how awesome Shockwave and Grimlock are in the comics to see the vast difference between the comics (Early Budiansky, Marvel UK, War Within/IDW) and the 80s cartoon show. It should always be remembered that Transformers gave us DEATH'S HEAD, yes?

  • Fucking hell it was 3 hours long.

  • June 29, 2011, 10:22 p.m. CST

    full review:

    by golden tribw

    The action was numbing, and I don't mean in the good way. Boom boom boom for 90 minutes. A couple of really nice shots, good use of 3D, but OVERALL A TERRIBLE AND INSULTING MOVIE that condescends to its audience despite the fact that in THREE FUCKING HOURS it can't muster any evidence that it has two brain cells to rub together. Plot, politics, relationships, physics, simple logic, history, government disaster protocols, NOTHING IS SAFE FROM MICHAEL BAY'S EXPLODABLENDER. It all goes under the bus, and then the bus explodes, and then while exploding it morphs (ludicrously) into a 10-storey robot that fires exploding bullets from a giant exploding gun AND THEN THE WHOLE ROBOT EXPLODES TOO AND THE MOVIE'S OVER. Seriously I just don't have a coherent thought left. I feel truly dumber for having sat through DARK OF THE MOON. Even the few cool shots/scenes/stunts are completely eclipsed by the utter bollocks EXXXXXXXXXPLOOOOODING around them incessantly. Fuck Sam's parents. Fuck his mini 'urban' racist caricatures--sorry, guardian robots. Fuck his ex-girlfriend, and fuck his current one just as much. Fuck John Turturro's character, seriously fuck John Malkovich and Ken Jeong who didn't belong within a hundred miles of any part of this movie, and fuck Frances McDormand's silly character who's the head of national defence but ends up relaying barked commands from Turturro who's ... ummmm ... a former 'agent' of no particular rank. This movie is a train wreck. It didn't get written, it got blown up out of something better.

  • June 30, 2011, 12:02 a.m. CST

    Um yeah um what um yea um what

    by MainMan2001

    T3 is just as bad as T2(not the good one) but we are prepared this time for how bad it can get so it doesn't seem as bad but it is. The action in parts is alright but nothing we haven't seen already done better in the first one. What confuses me the most is that the movie goes on for close to 3 hrs and has zero plot at all. I mean zero. People talk about stuff but I have no clue what they are saying. Why can't this movie be 1 and a half hrs. Get to the action quicker. Why the comedy. People who defend it are like, " it's summer senseless fun," ok, so why does it go on like some epic. Everything that builds up to the 40 min battle scene is deleted scenes from the Dvd. They all can be cut out and as far as the 40min battle that everyone is saying is so great. It isn't even that great. It has a few shots and with the exception of the tower falling down scene it offeres nothing. Plus, they just flat out steal the inception score. Also, by time this major action sequence happens we are so numb from what came before that we can't even enjoy it. Seriously, don't waste a single dame on this movie. I won't be fooled again.

  • The movie opens opens 50 years ago, with voiceover describing the long, cataclysmic Cybertronian War between the Autobots and Decepticons that left the mechanical planet in ruins. A close up of Cybertron reveals multiple layers of metal plates stacked one upon another, instead of ground, with each plane saturated with a seemingly infinite number of robots in all shapes and sizes annihilating one another. In the midst of this planet-wide battle, a large starship is seen rocketing through gaps in all the metal plates, hotly pursued by twin fighters. The voiceover reveals the ship is the Autobot Ark, piloted by Sentinel Prime, the leader of the Autobots before Optimus Prime. Aubobot legend has it that Sentinel Prime made one last impossible gambit to win the Cybertronian War, by jetting the Autobots' most futuristic technology away from the battle in hopes of staging a counter attack against the Decepticons. But in this escape flight, the Ark was severely damaged and ricocheted into space, not to be heard from again. The Ark crash-lands on Earth's moon in 1961, with seemingly no survivors. Sentinel Prime locked himself into a vault on the ship, along with the Autobots' futuristic war-ending technology. NASA detects a crash of something large on the moon and immediately launches an investigation to determine what it could have been. President Kennedy ignites the space race to beat the Soviets to the moon. It's determined through the course of the movie that every US and USSR space effort between 1961 and 1972 involved recovering whatever was possible from the Ark's wreckage. Archival footage of Kennedy, Walter Cronkite, and also President Nixon is used in establishing shots showing the various US missions in the Apollo program -- and what they "really" were for. When Neil Armstrong lands on the moon and delivers his "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind speech", people listening to the radio and watching TV believe there's a 20-something gap in the broadcast because of technical difficulties, but in reality ,NASA send Armstrong and his fellow astronaut into the Ark's wreckage for the first time, telling him that he has 20 minutes to explore it before he has to broadcast more for the American public back home. The astronauts enter the Ark and declare that everything inside is dead. They find the bodies of various Autobot robots, most still manning the gun turrets they were blasting before the ship crashed. Inside the cavernous wreck, the two humans seem tiny and begin scavenging for whatever technological bits and pieces they can take back to Earth with them. They do not discover the Ark's vault with Sentinel inside, but do find large metal faces, as they call them, which disturb NASA and necessitate the subsequent Apollo missions through 1972 to continue investigations of this crash site. The camera shows Sentinel Prime inside his vault, with just a bare flicker of blue Energon inside his eye...meaning, he is still alive, but very damaged...waiting. When the astronauts splash down in the Pacific with their haul from the moon, NASA takes special TOP SECRET silver boxes into possession containing this Cybertronian technology. Though not seen, it's implied the Soviets are doing the same thing whenever possible on their own missions...meaning Autobot technology arrived on Earth long before the events of the first Transformers film in 2007. The film picks up in present day with Sam Witcicky (Shia LaBeouf) now living in Washington, DC with a beautiful British-accented girlfriend named Carly Spencer (Rosie Huntington-Whitely). Carly bought Sam a giant plush rabbit for his luck to change in what's been a fruitless job search since his graduation from an unnamed Ivy League school. Sam can't find a job in the current economy, despite "having saved the world twice"...which is a fact no one outside the government supposedly knows, since the events of the previous two Transformers films have been exhaustively covered up by world governments. Sam is shown receiving a medal of thanks from President Obama in the Oval Office, in a rushed non-ceremony that took less than five seconds before he was shuffled off into a hallway, his proud parents Judy and Ron Witwicky (Julie White and Kevin Dunn) watching. Carly worked at the White House at the time, as a member of the British embassy assigned to a post there. Sam met Carly shortly after his medal non-ceremony, and the two bonded as Sam accidentally knocked over a historic crystal bowl that smashed in front of the two of them (causing embarrassment no doubt). Carly is now working as the curator for an extensive art and rare cars collection owned by billionaire Dylon Gould (Patrick Dempsey) and his company, which began as an accounting firm and now contains venture capital divisions too. Carly has been supporting Sam, and letting him live rent-free in the massive, ornate (but run-down) apartment in DC while he looks for jobs. Carly even gives Sam "lunch money" every day, which he resents, since in his opinion a guy who saved the world -- TWICE -- and has a presidential medal to prove it should not need to get lunch money from his girlfriend. Sam is without his friend Bumblebee since the Autobots have been deployed around the world hunting down the remaining Decepticons who still inhabit the Earth since the events of the last movie, Revenge of the Fallen. Around the world, "Energon Detectors" have been setup in all the major cities, which apparently have the ability to detect Transformers. Bumblebee is off on secret missions without Sam, and it seems the Autobots have little contact with Sam for Wheelie (a toy truck) and Brains (a ghetto-voiced weird little robot that has white hair and never transforms) who live with Sam like pets. Sam keeps these two robots in a cage and makes them stay outside with his dog most of the time, which the two resent. We learn from the robots that Sam's last girlfriend (played by Megan Fox), was mean to them and that they're glad she's gone. This is a quick explanation why Fox is not in the movie and has been replaced by Carly (nodding to the reality that Fox alienated herself from Director Michael Bay and Producer Steven Speilberg and was not asked to return for this third film). Sam's parents, Ron and Judy, have been traveling the country in a suped-up bus with all the bells and whistles, and though they said they would be visiting him on the 21st of that month, they show up several weeks early...unannounced. They chide Sam for not having a job...and ridicule him that "his car" Bumblebee currently has a job while he doesn't. Sam tells his parents that he has many job interviews lined up, and they insist on driving him to them since his car is a piece of junk. Sam's mother has a profane way of putting things and is incredibly blunt. The two, in addition to Wheelie and Brains, are supposed to serve as comic relief interspersed throughout the film, as they believe Sam is a slacker and want to make sure he keeps ahold of his hot girlfriend Carly, since Judy especially doesn't believe Sam will "get a third one" like these in terms of girlfriend...especially without a job. While this is happening, the Autobots are off on various missions around the globe, hunting down Decepticons, and also looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction. There is a quick scene where they take down what appears to be the Iranian nuclear program, and another where the NEST agents from the previous films are working parallel to the Autobots to track other technological anomalies around the globe. In the Ukraine, there's something inside the ruins of Chernobyl that needs NEST's attention. NEST is the "international task force" that was setup in the first Transformers movie to work alongside the Autobots, and put these robots under human governmental control. Major Lennox (Josh Duhamel) is the returning NEST operative from previous films; he meets with a Ukrainian official about something alien the Soviets were monkeying with that caused the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Lennox and his team suit up in their protective gear, since Chernobyl will be radioactive for another 20,000 years...the ruins of a merry-go-round, a school, and various Soviet monuments remain in the abandoned city. The Ukrainian official does not wear any protective gear, saying it doesn't matter because he will not live much longer anyway. He escorts Lennox and his team into a secret underground complex beneath a school in Chernobyl to show him what "really" caused the disaster there. The audience gets a glimpse of Laserbeak (now a weird vulture transformer) spying on the NEST team in the dark. It appears the Soviets recovered part of the Autobot Ark's engine, somehow, on various space missions in the late 1960s. After attempting to reverse-engineer the technology, the USSR thought it could power Chernobyl with this engine piece and attempted to bring the facility online in 1986...with the disastrous result of obliterating the city. The engine part has been sitting there since then, and the NEST team mounts an effort to remove it to Washington, DC for safekeeping. Suddely, a monstrous Decepticon drilling machine with massive tentacles bursts through the ground and attempts to steal the engine piece. Lennox and his team have to fight this beast until the Autobots arrive as reinforcements. The giant Decepticon looks like a sandworm from Dune or Beetlejuice, and has the ability to "swim" in and out of the earth, destroying buildings as it goes. Optimus Prime and a cadre of various Autobot sports cars arrive to fight this unnamed Decepticon...who ends up being just a minion of ShockWave, who maintains his iconic cyclops form from the 1980s cartoon (but oddly never transforms into anything during the movie). Shockwave is very quickly defeated as Optimus Prime uses the giant sword and axe he stores in the trailer part of his truck form to beat-up ShockWave. The Autobots recover the engine part and return to DC with NEST. Laserbeak finds the Ukrainian official that guided NEST to the engine part and assassinates him, telling the man he has outlived his usefullness to the Decepticons. Meanwhile, in Africa, Megatron has survived events from the last film and is tooling around the Serengeti as a massive Mad Max-inspired post-apocalyptic truck. His head is badly damaged and teems with robot spiders and mechanical flies. He is clearly more insane than ever, and has been gathering scrap metal to feed the collection of oddball Decepticons that remain with him (including one that's a giant head with a long metal long that dances around Megatron, for "comic relief" apparently). Soundwave is now a car-transformer of some sort, having abandoned the satellite form he took in the last film. Laserbeak arrives in Africa to report to Megatron on what happened at Chernobyl. Megatron then dispatches Laserbeack to assassinate other humans who have been helping Decepticons but are now no longer needed. Back in DC, Sam begins interviewing at various corporations, all of whom have something to do with the international relations/private-public partnerships field he got his Ivy League degree in. Because jobs are scarce and Sam has never worked anywhere before, he's not having any luck with his interviews. Many people have Googled Sam and refer to the FBI warrant that was issued for him in 2007 during the first film, which Sam has to explain as "a misunderstanding that's been expunged from his records". This is still keeping Sam from getting a job, so there's more complaint from him about having saved the world twice, without anything positive to show for it, like a job. Finally, Sam interviews with Bruce (John Malkovitch) at a global communications firm named Accuretta. This company is a tense and insane place to work, with each floor color-coded so that someone drinking a red cup on a "yellow floor" is disciplined for breaking the harmony of the office. Bruce is a real stickler for details like this, and seems like an ogre to work for. He tells Sam that he must start work in the mail room before he can do anything important, but Sam has a hard time accepting the demotion from world-saver to mail room boy. Bruce tells him that he received a letter of recommendation from someone on the Board of Directors so that Sam has a job there if he wants it. Without other prospects, Sam takes the job, but wonders who on the Board recommended him since he did not think anyone in high places was helping him find work. At the NEST headquarters in DC (hidden in what appears to be the Department of Health and Human Services), Optimus Prime is furious with the humans for not revealing the existence of the engine part recovered at Chernobyl. This is because Optimus was assured that humans had shared everything they knew about the Transformers with him. The Director of the National Security Agency, Charlotte Mearing (Frances McDormand), arrives to explain what happened and that even she was not aware of the engine piece until very recently, since it was beyond Top Secret. Buzz Aldrin makes a cameo as himself in a scene where he and other NASA officials brief Optimus on the crashed alien ship they discovered on the moon in the 1960s. Optimus realizes the ship is the Autobot Ark, containing Sentinel Prime and the technology the Autobots believe could have won them the Cybertronian Civil War if it hadn't disappeared 50 years ago. Plans are immediately launched to use the Autobots' spaceship to head to the moon and investigate the crash site to see if Sentinel Prime is still alive and if the technology is still in the vault. When the Autobots arrive, they indeed find Sentinel Prime, who appears almost dead. There are also 5 floating canisters of techonology floating around Sentinel that are brought back to Earth as well. Back at the NEST headquarters, Optimus uses the Matrox of Leadership inside his chest to revive Sentinel -- this is a small blue-energon-glowing object that Optimus can make float in the air outside his body. Exposition reveals it is the only thing in the universe that can give life to a Transformer and only Optimus has control of it. Sentinel reawakens and immediately tries to kill Optimus, thinking he was still on the Ark in the heat of battle when he was deactivated. Sentinel is voiced by Leonard Nimoy and is designed to look vaguely like him (when he does transform in this film, he takes on the shape of a fire truck). Sentinel tells Optimus and NEST that the technology he possessed were the "pillars" that would have won the Autobots the war because they are able to transport Transformers from one place to Optimus deduces this could have been used to transport the Autobots from Cybertron before they were decimated, so they could have mounted a tactical retreat to regroup and take back the planet before the war was lost. Optimus is sad that he failed and the Decepticons defeated the Autobots, and offers to give up leadership to Sentinel. Sentinel however, says that he does not know enough about this world and that Optimus should remain the Autobots' leader, and that there was nothing Optimus could have done to win the war. While this reunion is happening and Sentinel is filling NEST in regarding the "pillars" and the advanced technology he designed, Sam is feeling threatened by Carly's very successful boss, Dylan Gould (Patrick Dempsey). Gould's offices are in a futuristic, gorgeous building (the location is actually the Milwaukee Museum of Art) where he keeps several gorgeous race cars in the lobby and all sorts of valuable art on the walls. There are also many photos of Gould and Carly prominently displayed, which Sam becomes very jealous of. Sam is there to pick Carly up from work as she does not have a car, but Sam's car is a broken down yellow hoopty that won't start. He's embarrassed when Gould catches him kicking his car to get the engine to work; Gould emasculates him by not only instantly fixing the engine, but also by telling Sam that HE was the Board Member of the Accuretta company that gave the job recommendation since he heard Sam was having trouble finding work. Sam thinks he should keep a closer eye on Carly since it's clear this very wealthy man Gould has designs on her. Seymour Simmons (John Turturro), the former government agent turned conspiracy buff in the last film, has written a book and is on Bill O'Reilly's FOX show talking about the danger to humanity that Decepticons pose, but O'Reilly calls him a pinhead and essentially says the Decepticons are under control. Simmons tells O'Reilly to read his book and learn that there is much that's not known about the Transformers that the government will not tell anyone about, including all manner of secret deals and assassinations and the rest of what's contained in various conspiracy books. Simmons is actually correct, because Laserbeak has been busy assassinating the humans who have been collaborating with the Decepticons. Sam begins working at Accuretta, in the mail room, and he's told that he must work there for two and a half years before he can be promoted to something more meaningful. He's dejected, but Carly comes to visit him and the whole office is impressed with his gorgeous girlfriend, including Bruce. Carly gives Sam a red cup full of red licorice as a first work day gift, even though Sam works on the "yellow floor" where only yellow cups are allowed. Because Carly is so beautiful, however, no one hassles Sam over this infraction. As Sam goes about his job, Jerry Wang (Ken Jeung from The Hangover and other movies) stalks Sam -- and it's not clear why, though it's implied Wang might have a crush on Sam. When Sam goes to the bathroom, Wang burts into the stall with Sam and the two have an uncomfortable bit where several gay jokes are made, with Wang calling himself "Deep Wang" and trying to explain he's making a 'Deep Throat" Watergate/conspiracy reference. Wang claims he has the secret intel on what the Decepticons are really up to and then drops his pants very close to Sam's face; Wang has hidden drawings and notes in a roll of papers that he kept inserted in his underwear so the Decepticons would never find it. He gives this to Sam by jamming it very close to Sam's face -- in a moment that's designed to make the audience groan and wince. Sam takes the papers from Wang, just as Bruce comes into the bathroom and notes the commotion going on in the stall. Wang then leaves the stall with his pants down and approaches Bruce and stares him down in a macho contest; normally Bruce is the alpha male in a room, but Wang clearly bests him. Sam leaves the stall also and it looks like Wang and Sam were doing something sexual in the bathroom together, but Bruce does not say anything about it. Sam then later tries to find Wang in his office to confront him about making Bruce think the two were up to something in the bathroom. Wang is having a conversation with someone, and has a computer mouse on his hand that's glowing red with nasty looking spikes. The mouse appears to be controlling him, and Wang keeps telling Sam to go away and that he doesn't know Sam. Finally, when Sam leaves, Laserbeak transforms from a computer screen and tells Wang that his usefulness has come to an end, and he must have an "accident". Wang tries to shoot Laserbeak, but Laserbeak just throws Wang and his chair out the window. Bruce is in a meeting and sees Wang fall to his death out the window, but reacts by telling everyone in the office to get back to work and ignore what's happening, since staring a the dead body will not bring Wang back to life. Bruce tells Sam he needs to remove Wang's name from his parking space and get someone to clean out his office, showing no concern for the fact that someone just died in the office. Laserbeak has now transformed into a copier/printer and is waiting for Sam to walk by so he can assassinate Sam too. Laserbeak misses Sam and there is a large fight at the office, which Sam escapes. Sam gets Carly and they try to force their way into NEST headquarters in DC at the Health and Human Services building. At first the guards give them a hard time, but Bumblebee shows up and vouches for Sam and he and Carly are allowed inside. There, Mearing is upset Sam and Carly are being allowed near all the government secrets, but Lennox says that Sam knows all about the Autobots and that Carly knows too, so they should have security clearance. Mearing sits down with Sam and Carly and tells the two of them that they can't be involved in what's going on, but Sam keeps insisting that humans are working for the Decepticons and that the whole thing is linked to Sentinel Prime somehow...that there's a big plot with Sentinel Prime being the key. Mearning interprets this to mean that the Decepticons are going to try to assassinate Sentinel Prime, and though she doesn't give Sam credit, she appears to mobilize her team to protect Sentinel. Sam then heads home, where he tries to contact Simmons to let him know the Decepticons are trying to kill him. Simmons' assistant, Alan Tudyk, won't put the call through at first, but eventually Sam talks to him and tells him about the "dark side of the moon" and the assassination conspiracy and Simmons agrees to come to Sam and help. Soon, Sam is in his apartment with Simmons and Bruce stops by because he wants to see at least one Autobot, and this was leverage Sam used to get Bruce to give him Wang's files, so they can figure out why Decepticons wanted to kill Sam, and killed Wang. Carly comes home as all these people are convened in her apartment and she's not happy. Sam gets upset that Gould has now given Carly a very expensive Mercedes car, worth over $200,000. The two of them have a little fight over this but Carly tells him not to be jealous. Carly goes upstairs while Sam and the other men there try to figure out what the Decepticons are up to since they don't believe Mearing and the government will be smart enough to stop them in time. They decide to go to follow a lead that Simmons has with former Soviet cosmonauts who defected in the 1970s and are hiding in the US, since the Soviets suddenly abandoned their space program and they need to know why. At a Russian bar somewhere, Simmons, Sam, and the other guys get into a fight with several women who work as bartenders or escorts there. Once the fighting is over, several former cosmonauts tell them that the Soviets sent an unmanned photographic robot to the moon that took pictures of strange "rock formations" that appeared to have tread marks near them. Sam realizes those were not rocks, but were instead hundreds if not thousands of "pillars". He deduces that the Decepticons knew where the Autobots' Ark was this whole time and that whatever they have been up to was NOT about finding out what was on the moon, but about keeping what was on the moon hidden. Sam figures out that all this time the Decepticons were using humans at NASA, in the Soviet space agency, and in private companies like Accuretta to prevent more space missions to the moon and to conceal the fact that the Autobot Ark was there...all the while the Decepticons had already found Sentinel Prime and the "pillar's and were up to something big and decades-in-the-planning. Sam and the other men decide to race to NEST headquarters to tell Mearing and the others there everything they've figured out. The Decepticons do try to go after Sentinel Prime, who was driving around DC as a fire truck for some reason. There is a pursuit, which Sam eventually takes part in, where three Decepticons disguised as black SUVs chase Sentinel back to NEST headquarters. Simmons is yanked out of his car and thrown onto the road, where he is crippled (he then remains in a wheelchair for the rest of the movie). One of the Decepticons looks like a panther in robot form, one looks like a werewolf, and one looks like the Predator, with dreds like that alien. There is a big fight and Sam is thrown out of Bumblebee and starts screaming, with Bumblebee catching him in the air and putting him back inside his body before transforming back into car form. This is really just an excuse to do special effects and have an action sequence here in the movie, with a lot of explosions and the chase scene back to NEST headquarters. When they get back to NEST, Sentinel Prime kills one of the Autobots who was guarding him and tells everyone that he has been working with the Decepticons the whole time. There are thousands of "pillars' hidden all around the planet, which the Decepticons plan to use to teleport Cybertron via a space bridge into Earth's atmosphere. Sentinel then admits he knew the war was lost on Cybertron so he negotiated a deal with Megatron to bring the pillars to Earth, set them up, and teleport Cybertron here so the Transformers could take all of Earth's resources and rebuild Cybertron together. This was a deal Sentinel made "to save our kind", since he saw that the Civil War between the Autobots and Decepticons had devastated Cybertron and brought them all close to destruction. A big fight ensues, with Sentinel then presumably join the Decepticons to implement his master plan. Sam needs to find Carly, who has gone to meet with Gould at Gould's request, in his giant mansion somewhere. The car Gould gave Carly is actually Soundwave, who takes Carly prisoner so Gould can get Sam to cooperate. Gould reveals that his father was an agent of the Decepticons before him, and that the takeover of Earth has been underway for decades. Those who have been collaborating with the Decepticons have been promised a decent life once they took over. There is no way to resist them. Gould wants Sam to become a spy and find out how Optimus Prime plans on fighting back now that everything is coming out into the open. Gould says he will kill Carly if Sam does not cooperate, and also gets a wristwatch transformer to attach itself to Sam's body...which will force Sam to do what Gould wants, using great physical pain to achieve this. Meanwhile, Sentinel Prime takes to the airwaves ordering the nations of the world to expel the Autobot "rebels" from the planet or else the Decepticons will attack the main cities and kill many people. The US Congress votes quickly to boot the Autobots with the UN and other foolish bodies doing the same. The US government ends the NEST program and tells the Autobots to get on a shuttle and go to another planet. All of this happens with ridiculous speed, and Sam suddenly is in Florida where the last US space shuttle is attached to an Autobot spaceship so NASA can make sure the Autobots really leave. This ship is called the "Xanthion" and it has been built by Autobot NASCARs called "The Wreckers", who have British punk voices. Major Epps (Tyrese Gibson) from the previous movies has been in charge of getting the Autobots off the planet. Sam has an emotional moment with Optimus and Bumblebee before they board the ship to leave Earth. Once it blasts off, Starscream appears out of nowhere and attacks the shuttle, destroying it, and presumably killing everyone on board. Sam cries and Epps comforts him. The two of them decide they need to figure out where Sentinel Prime and the Decepticons have gone. Suddenly, Sam's phone rings and it's Gould, asking him what Optimus Prime told him regarding their plans to defeat the Decepticons. Sam tells him the Autobots had no plan and just left, but were then killed by Starscream. Gould then makes Sam feel worse by making it clear that Carly is his now and that Sam has to accept that. Epps realizes the NSA can track Gould's phone call, and they realize it came from within Trump Tower in everyone makes plans to go there. In Washington, DC, however, Sentinel Prime and Megatron meet at the Lincoln Memorial, which Megatron has repurposed for himself, smashing Lincoln out of his throne and taking it for himself. Sentinel then assembles some of the "pillars" to open a space bridge to the moon...where it is revealed many Decepticons have been hiding for 50 years. They all come through the space bridge along with giant Decepticon transport ships. Once they arrive on Earth, these robots scan various vehicles and take Earth disguises for their alternate forms...garbage trucks, police cars, fire engines, etc. The Decepticons decide to dead to Chicago to assemble the "pillars" into a giant system to teleport Cybertron to Earth...though there is no reason given why they need to do this in Chicago and not in DC, where they all are at the moment. In Chicago, Sentinel Prime takes over the Jeweler's Building on the Chicago River and makes it his headquarters. In one of the cupolas of this very ornate building, Sentinel hides the master control pillar that will activate all the other pillars around the globe that Decepticons will use to teleport Cybertron to Earth. There is a montage of Decepticons launching pillars into the air in the jungles of South America, Africa, Asia, and in cities like Tokyo. There are thousands of these pillars that will be launched into the atmosphere to make Sentinel's plan work. In Chicago, Sentinel gives the order for this all to proceed, and the Decepticons arrive in force to start shelling the various buildings of downtown Chicago, with most of the fighting taking place in the Loop and around the landmark buildings that face the river and the lake. Gould has Carly inside Trump Tower, and he explains to her that the Decepticons are going to use the 6 billion people of Earth as slaves to rebuild Cyberton with Earth's mineral resources. Gould tells her that he and the other collaborators have been helping so they can be kept as pets and not slaves, as this is the only way to survive. Gould wants Carly to be a pet with him and serve the Decepticons. Sam and Epps try to contact as many NEST members as possible and get them to Chicago. Apparently, all of these people have the ability to travel great distances in mere seconds so they all assemble on Chicago's south side and attempt to storm the city, which Decepticons have made into a fortress. The US air force is trying to shoot missiles at the Decepticons, but there are anti-aircraft hover guns that shoot these and the planes down. NEST decides to send Lennox and other operatives into Chicago via parachute, since the Decepticons apparently can't pick up these chutes on radar. While Sam and the others try to make it to Trump Tower on foot, Lennox and his team parachute in. These guys use Willis Tower (which you know as Sears Tower) as a shield and avoid various flying Decepticons as they make their way to the ground. All manner of random Decepticons are shown smashing the buildings of Chicago, with giant Decepticon troop ships flying in the air along the river randomly blowing holes in the buildings for no reason. Suddenly, all the pillars activate and Cybertron is teleported into Earth's atmosphere. Sam is now in the Loop with Epps and the others and everyone figures out that they must destroy the southeast cupola of the Jewelers' Building for the Cybertron teleportation to end. The last hour of the film deals with various attempts to do this, with Sam, Epps, Carly, and Lennox being pummeled by various random Decepticons. Ultimately, the sandworm drilling Decepticon from Chernobyl that's controlled by ShockWave arrives and destroys a glass office building that Sam and Carly were in -- for about 20 minutes the building is collapsing on itself or teetering over the river with unnamed Decepticons trying to kill Sam and Carly, while Lennox is on the ground attempting to get a clear shot of the cupola where Sentinel's control pillar is located. Finally, Sam and Carly and various NEST agents slide down the side of the building to escape Decepticons and ultimately make it onto the ground. During this fight, Laserbeak is killed when Sam and Carly jump onto a Decepticon flying gun ship and hover outside the building for a while, during which time Bumblebee cuts Laserbeak's head off. Lennox and his team climb to the top of the Tribune Tower and start shooting the eyes out of various Decepticons on the ground, who all shout "My eyes! I can't see!" as other NEST agents then plant explosives on the robots' feet to kill them. BumbleBee has been captured, and Sam and Carly are trying to find him in all the chaos of this battle. On Michigan Avenue in front of the Wrigley Building, Soundwave and Starscream decide to execute Autobot prisoners, including an Autobot inventor named Wheeljack who was made to look like Albert Einstein. Sam and Carly need to rescue BumbleBee before he is killed too, and they create a diversion as the NEST snipers shoot more Decepticon eyes out. Carly and Sam get separated again, with Carly eventually finding Megatron talking to himself in an alley while sitting on garbage dumpsters. She tells Megatron that he might be winning this battle but that in the end Sentinel Prime will be seen as the real winner, since it was his plan and when Cybertron gets there Sentinel will no longer need Megatron. This makes Megatron jealous and he storms away to kill Sentinel. Lennox and his team manage to shoot the southeastern cupola of the Jeweler's Building and disable the pillar that controls Cybertron's teleportation. When they do this, Cybertron disappears into space again. Sentinel then orders all Decepticons to fire on Autobots in the area so he can restart the teleporting. Gould gets to the pillar, which was completely undamanged, right as Sam makes it there himself. Gould and Sam fight, with Gould intending on restarting the teleportation. He pushes the button to start things up again and Cybertron appears once more above Earth, but then Sam pushes Gould into the pillar and he short-circuits it, killing Gould. Cybertron then implodes and is destroyed when all of the pillars stop operating and Earth is saved. All of a sudden, magic blue lights appear above Chicago that zap all of the Decepticon ships and many random Decepticons up into the sky so they are destroyed along with Cybertron. Possibly this is all the Decepticon forces that were teleported from the moon to Earth, and when the pillars stopped operating anything that had been teleported got destroyed because the Decepticons where were not teleported are not affected. Sentinel Prime and Optimus are having a fight on the State Street bridge over the Chicago River. They have a talk about Sentinel wanting to save their race and how the Transformers were gods on Cybertron but were treated as mere machines on Earth, and that humans should bow to them. Optimus tells Sentinel he is wrong but in the middle of the fight Megatron murders Sentinel. Then Megatron and Optimus start fighting and within a minute or two Optimus pulls out a giant axe and cuts Megatron's head off. All sorts of nasty little spiders and flies pour out. Chicago is in ruins and the Autobots and NEST agents celebrate the Decepticons being defeated. Sam and Carly hug each other, with Bumblebee watching them. Bumblebee then vomits little gears and bits of metal all over the ground, picking up a few pieces and giving them to Carly and Sam...before he starts playing wedding music. Sam tells Bumblebee to stop being so pushy and to let Carly and Sam's relationship continue without his prodding. The credits start to roll...but are then stopped with a shot of Simmons, in a wheelchair, talking to Mearing on the roof of a building somewhere, reminding her of an affair the two of them shared years ago. Mearing tells the NSA agents to arrest Simmons for disrespected her, and Simmons smiles at her, and she smiles back. The credits then continue again.

  • June 30, 2011, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Oh FFS I loved the bloody movie.

    by Smashing

    I just saw it tonight, I'm so relived I enjoyed it, everything is the same but not as annoying, maybe I'm numb to bayhem now or maybe the huge spliff I smoked before going in worked well, either way I thought DOTM was exciting and funny. Yay.

  • July 5, 2011, 11:21 p.m. CST

    you actually thought this was good ??????????



  • Aug. 11, 2011, 1:03 a.m. CST

    PAD: Sorry I was being jocular

    by SingingHatchet

    Peter David, I was just trying to be funny. Apparently, FAIL. But no, I don't really have any problem with you writing the Transformers 3 novelization. I think the (old school) Transformers are cool, and I really enjoyed some of your old Star Trek novels, so I'm actually tempted to go pick up the TF3 book. Best wishes to you and may you become rich beyond the dreams of Avarice by means of your compelling writing. Singing Hatchet

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 10:34 a.m. CST

    WAY too long

    by irongeezer

    Just saw (most of) this last night with my son. At the 2 hour mark, we were both ready to leave. By 2:15, we left, not being able to take it any more. This was too long by an hour. There was a 30 minute sequence of everyone trying to get up in a building to shoot a missle, only to wind up back down to the ground (by way of the building falling over) AND NO ONE GOT A DAMN SCRATCH (except for the red shirt falling to his death)! Sam gets whipped around for 10 minutes, and the only effect is he's out of breath? What? And seriously, botox'd lips should never be in 3-D. I just don't understand the reviewer love for this film. It made me nostalgic for the first film and Megan Fox. I wonder how many takes were ruined by Nimoy groaning or laughing after having to say the "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" line.

  • Dec. 20, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Worst movie I've ever seen, except Transformers 2 and Chicago

    by in6087