BurningStar Studios

Age of Boredom

Category : Reviews · No Comments · by Jun 27th, 2014

hr_Transformers__Age_of_Extinction_41A Film Review of Transformers: Age of Extinction for KC Studio Magazine

Well … that happened. All 165 minutes of it. All two hours and forty five minutes of low quality special effects, horrific dialogue, zero story and ridiculously lame characters of it.

To say Transformers: Age of Extinction is a colossal waste of money, resources and time, is an extreme understatement.

To be fair, I did spend quite a bit of time trying to write a review that would attempt to constructively critique this film. However, with no redeeming qualities, I can’t. Even with films that I find overall unappealing, I can usually describe aspects that I could see people enjoying – but not here. This is bad. Real bad … and not in the “Hey, let’s get together and make fun of it,” kind-of-bad. This is the kind of bad that makes you wonder “what were they thinking?” Showcasing an unbelievably large amount of product placement with a throwaway plot (if you can call it that) that, when finished, you realize has been nothing but fodder to set up another sequel. This film represents everything that is wrong with the big business of making movies. It is taking advantage of consumers. It hangs it’s hat on the nostalgia of adults and the premise of huge robots riding robot dinosaurs and it barely delivers.

This is a failure in storytelling at the highest level.

Everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves. This is not entertainment. This is not even interesting. This is trash. The cost of this film could have educated countries or fed American children for years. The time it took to develop this film could have produced beautiful, inspiring works of man-made ingenuity. The wages the cast and crew earned could have been a paycheck worth being proud of it. But it isn’t. It is not. Under the leadership of director Michael Bay, this is a travesty.

Have I ever made a film? No. Is it difficult? For sure. But this. This should never have been made. Anyone and everyone who signed off on designs, script and/or direction needs to be fired and made to refund audience members for sitting through this drivel.

Do I sound angry? You bet I am. I get to watch movies and tell people what I think as part of my job and the idea of audiences supporting this digital puke has sent me into a downward spiral that clearly puts me the category of internet troll.

I do not care. Transformers: Age of Extinction is the definition of being without quality.

This film is a mess. A horrible unappealing mess. Where the first film was a decent attempt to really make something interesting, something that tried to capture the spirit of the Transformers franchise, this film is the complete opposite. Soulless and uninspired, this film is just not good.

Set after the events of part three, the Transformers are in hiding and being hunted by a special ops division of the CIA. Why? We are told because they are all considered as hostiles after the destruction of Chicago. However, even that premise is up in the air as, at one point, the Chief of Staff requests to have a photoshoot with the President and Optimus Prime. If all the Transformers are hostile – why is the President wanting meet and greet? Who knows. Moving on, just like the subsequent films, this film chooses to stupidly focus on a collection of humans that do not matter. Spouting lines of dialogue that induce mad fits of cringe, this collection of actors and actresses are underdeveloped, cliché and worst of all completely boring. All new to the franchise, they add nothing new and, at times, are nothing but carbon copies of characters seen in prior films. Poorly directed, they spend more times repeating themselves and smacking us in the face with their reasons to be in the film that, by the middle, it becomes laughable. Mark Wahlberg’s character, Cade Yeager (a not too subtle attempt at pulling the Pacific Rim fans – Yeager/Jaeger) states that he is an “inventor” so many times that either he or the writers were in denial and were trying so hard to make it true that had to keep repeating it over and over and over again. The only “fun” character that audiences would even consider caring about is T.J. Miller’s Lucas and he gets thrown away in the first act. I won’t even get into Nicola Peltz’s lame daughter/hot chick character and how obsessed this film is with trying to make her a damsel in distress. Infuriatingly disgusting.

Notice how I’ve barely mentioned the overall story yet? Yeah because it sucks. Amidst all this heavy-handed, tough-guy crap of hunting Transformers, we are made to try and relate to these garbage humans.

I don’t want to waste your time any more, but let’s just say in includes a decapitated Megatron’s evil plot to set off a bomb/tool called “The Seed,” a ton of explosions, more stupid human tricks, bad special effects, very poor editing, disturbingly bad Autobots and possibly one of the biggest product promise let downs in recent history – the Dinobots.

They couldn’t even deliver on that.

Seriously, I want to try and be more constructive but I’ve already wasted enough of my time and yours.

You should not see this movie. You should not wait for it go on DVD or digital download. You should not pay your hard earned money nor should you use your energy to sit through this over-saturated pile of rubbish. Every copy needs to be burned with a public apology issued by Michael Bay.

This film is a failure and under Bay’s leadership this film franchise has been diminished to nothing more than ephemeral idiocy.

I apologize to anyone reading for this review being nothing more than a simple rant. However, this film deserves nothing more.

1 out of 5 Boot Jets That (Spoiler Alert) Send Optimus Prime into Space Thus Showing How Unnecessary Everything That Occurred in This Film Was

Die Another Day

Category : Reviews · No Comments · by Jun 6th, 2014


A Film Review of Edge of Tomorrow by Alexander Morales

Pure popcorn munching, soda-fueled adrenaline racing goodness hits movie screens this summer with Edge of Tomorrow, Doug Liman’s latest action/adventure. Featuring money-magnet Tom Cruise partnered with a badass Emily Blunt, this film is perfect viewing on the soon-to-be-sweltering summer days. Visually stunning with a compelling (never boring) story-arc, Edge of Tomorrow does something that most films have failed at lately – blow lots of stuff up and be really loud, while remaining a coherent, interesting time at the movies.

Based on the 2004 novel All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Edge of Tomorrow follows an American soldier caught in a time-loop where, every time he dies, he is made to relive the experience over and over again. Set prior to an all-out strategic offensive to halt an alien invasion, the soldier uses his experiences to become a better warrior and, eventually, learn why he has been blessed/cursed with this ability.

While it will be easy for many people to dismiss this movie as just “Groundhog Day with guns,” the combination of strong direction mixed with excellent visuals and two solid lead performances help it stand alone and hopefully will allow it be praised (and criticized) on it’s own merits. Honestly, I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed this film. I am a fan of both Cruise and Blunt and I have enjoyed the past films of Liman, but to be honest, I’m just getting tired of watching stuff blow up. As a super-hero geek at heart, that’s a difficult thing to admit, but after watching New York, San Francisco, one of the Hawaiian Islands and Washington D.C. get torn to pieces, the idea of more explosions and debris just seemed like a sensory overload. To be fair … Edge of Tomorrow is that, however, it luckily comes in specific doses which help keep the experience balanced and the story an important part of why the action is occurring.

While Edge of Tomorrow does fall into well known and established Hollywood cliches along its way, the partnership of Cruise and Blunt keep the film from ever going too cheesy. With a strong chemistry and presence, the audience is never disengaged from their combined plot-line and, as the film progresses, the two characters are made to change their relationship in a way that feels seamless, sensible and natural. Cruise is, as always, a dynamic character to watch. Clearly, just as Liman commands the visual aspects of the film, Cruise commands the audience. Charismatic, charming and heroic, at every point in the film you are on his side and you want him to succeed. The same can also be said for Blunt. Presented as the stoic war hero, she quickly shreds a portion of the coldness and makes a stereotypical character into much much more. At the same time, I really appreciate the fact that the film never really allows her to ever become a “damsel in distress.” Too many times, the lead female character falls into this tired trope of needing her heroic male counterpart to save the day. Not here. While there is some softening, she remains the brave, strong, intelligent soldier that she is a presented as start to finish.

Along with the strength of the acting, the visual effects are phenomenal. While not as emotionally draining as Saving Private Ryan, following Cruise into combat was a fantastic rush that continually felt hazardous every time it had to occur. With a grittiness to the overall look of the film, weaponry, set pieces and alien life forms all reside perfectly beside one another. I was fortunate to view this in 3D, and while I am not a fan of the 3D experience, this film uses the technology well and uses it’s special effects to immerse the audiences in the more perilous moments. At the same time, the Mimics – the alien menace – look and move so beautifully that when viewed up close they are glorious. Organically scary, they are far removed from humanoid and are presented in a way that make each and every one of them feel beast-like, unpredictable foes.

However, while there a ton of things this film gets right, there are also a few things that, in my opinion, could have been delivered a little better. There are aspects of the film that feel very forced that essentially “dumbed-down” the experience. One character in particular is used to help explain the phenomenon that Cruise is experiencing and it just feels too convenient. All the details could have been ironed out in a more useful manner with less exposition and more creative storytelling. At the same time, while most of the film is well balanced in terms of action to story, there is a portion of the third act that highly resembles a section of The Matrix: Revolutions and quickly dissolves into loud bangs and flashy lights. Lastly, while I was still satisfied overall, I was slightly disappointed with the ending – but I won’t get into that … spoilers.

Overall, Edge of Tomorrow is a fantastic summer film. It’s not over-bloated with too many characters, the special effects are used well and the acting greatly enhances the experience. Condensed and focused, the story stays true to itself and presents an engaging ride that can go from harrowing scenes of war to funny mistakes Cruise’s character makes at any given time. While there are a few plot-points that I feel are not as strong as they could have been, Edge of Tomorrow is far better than I expected and a worthy contender for the best summer blockbuster this year.

4 out 5 minivans with trailer hitches
(As reviewed for KC Studio Magazine – www.kcstudio.org)