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‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ Is Awful, but What Did You Expect?


I am thoroughly convinced that since he knows they will make money regardless of quality, Michael Bay has made these films louder, longer and more incoherent just as punishment to film critics who are forced to watch them.


“Transformers: The Last Knight” is the fifth film of director Michael Bay’s “Transformers” series and follows Mark Wahlberg who must go on the run to help the Autobots find the ancient staff of Merlin in order to stop the Transformers’ home planet from destroying the earth [eyeroll]. Josh Duhamel, Anthony Hopkins and Laura Haddock also star as Bay again directs (in what he insists is his final film of the franchise).


The first “Transformers” film is pretty universally accepted as a fun summer blockbuster and I myself really enjoyed it when it came out over 10 years ago, and the sequels are mostly just noise (although I am an apologist for the second film, there’s something entertaining about just how bad it is). However like most people I *hated* “Age of Extinction” and assumed that any fifth film would just be more of the same; for the most part, I was right.


I know the easy thing to say to anyone like me who will review a film like this is “well you went in wanting to hate it” and that’s really not true. Like I said, I like the first film and will even defend the second and third as fun popcorn flicks with enjoyable performances from Shia LaBeouf. I even think that when he actually tries, Michael Bay is a talented director; he knows how to stage action sequences and when given a good script he can even have a sense of humor (“The Rock” remains one of the best action films ever made). But “The Last Knight,” while ever so slightly better than “Age of Extinction,” is everything people have grown to hate about Bay’s films and represent everything wrong with modern Hollywood.


First things first, this film is two hours, 26 minutes long. While 20 minutes shorter than the last film, it has no right being this long; it doesn’t earn it, nor does it even need to be. The people who actually like these films come to see colorful robots fight each other and probably don’t have the largest attention spans; give them a 90 minute romp, not a Scorsese epic. The pacing of the second half of this film is so abysmal that when the big fight between Optimus Prime and the other Transformers finished it felt like we had just witnessed the climax; turns out there was still over 30 minutes left. When the next scene began I heard a solid four or five people in my theater groan.


The actual climax of the film is the worst thing to happen to cinema in the last three years (you know, since the last “Transformers” film). It is so bloated, so loud, so needlessly confusing and so devoid of anything resembling emotion or cause that it is almost deplorable; I was getting physically tired watching what was onscreen and began rooting for the film to just end.


Anthony Hopkins is in this movie and following his performance in this year’s “Collide” it’s clear that he has given up caring about his career. And I mean God bless him, he has his Oscar and has earned the right to do paycheck films; most of his scenes in this take place in sports cars and a castle, both of which I’m convinced are actually his that he bought with the checks from this film. Stanley Tucci plays Merlin (instead of reprising his role from the last film) and in his one scene chews scenery like only he can and Mark Wahlberg plays himself with something occasionally resembling a Texan accent and he is fine, but as with the last film this film isn’t about dialogue it’s about action. After all, how will the studio pander and appeal to all those Chinese audiences if half the film is clever dialogue that will get lost in translation?


Michael Bay keeps making up rules and powers for the Transformers, with them this time being about to shoot bullets that slow down time and being able to reassemble themselves upon being destructed. It’s cool but gets old fast before being used as a deus ex machina. And the continuity of the plot continues to be lazily altered. In the first film the Transformers say it’s the first time they were on Earth, except then in the second film they built the pyramids and in the 4th they killed the dinosaurs and now they apparently helped King Arthur and aided in defeating the Nazis. I know I shouldn’t care about the plot, it’s a “Transformers” movie, but if Bay is going to be that sloppy then it has to be condemned.


And one final thing, speaking of sloppy: the aspect ratio of the film changes way too often. In an IMAX film, oftentimes action scenes are shot in full screen and then dialogue sequences return to having the black bars on the top and bottom. Only here (and I saw it in normal 2D), the black bars appear and reappear from one shot to the other, even in straight-up talking scenes, and it is distracting and very annoying.


OK, I’m at near 900 words on “Transformers: The Last Knight” and while I’m sure I could vent for a thousand more I’m going to let both of us move on with our day. Look, you knew this movie was going to be bad and no review was going to change whether or not you were going to see it. But it needs to be said that this film is needlessly long, awkwardly unfunny and visually unappealing, and the fact that “The Last Knight” won’t be the last “Transformers” film makes me die a little inside.


Critics Rating: 3/10

Worst Films of 2014

What goes up must come down. There were some great films in 2014, so it only makes sense that there were some stinkers.

Unlike my Top Films list, I saw most every bad movie in 2014. There were some that were bad and just didn’t make the cut, such as “Transcendence” and “Annie”, and please do not take those films not being on this list as my approval for you to see them. But without further ado…

Dishonorable Mention: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I really didn’t get the hype around this one. I liked the first film but found the sequel boring and pretty uneventful, and by the time we reached the monkeys firing machine guns while riding horses, I had long checked out.



10.) Think Like A Man Too

The first film was charming, witty and funny. This film was the opposite of all those things, even with Kevin Hart at his Kevin Hart-iest. I wish this Vegas-set sequel had stayed in Vegas…



9.) The Other Woman

I chuckled a few times at this but overall it is a chick flick that is actually insulting to women and their intelligence, so I’m not exactly sure the demographic they were going for here…



8.) Ride Along

Hello, Mr. Hart. We meet again. This wasn’t a *bad* movie, it just was a comedy that wasn’t funny. Like, at all. The storyline was basic and cliché, so it wasn’t even like that could hold my attention. Congrats (?) to Hart and director Tim Story for making this list twice.


7.) Exodus: Gods and Kings

A movie involving ancient Egypt, gods, plagues and all that fun schtuff shouldn’t be boring. Throw in Batman himself Christian Bale and it really, REALLY shouldn’t be boring. Yet, alas, “Exodus” is boring. Like, check-my-phone-every-ten-minutes boring. Leave it to Hollywood to create yet another movie that is nowhere near as good as the book on which the film is based.



6.) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

There’s really not much to say about this one. Michael Bay produced it. Megan Fox starred in it. I mean, if those aren’t red flags then I don’t know what are…



5.) Transformers: Age of Extinction

Dammit, Michael Bay, when will you stop ruining our childhoods?! You want a plot summary of this movie? Here it is: boom. Boom. Boom BOOM. [objectification of women] Boom. BOOM….boom. Like, this is worse than “Revenge of the Fallen” and once I hit the period ending this sentence I will never have to think about Transformers 4 ever again.



4.) Blended

[sighhhhhhhh] I hate Adam Sandler.



3.) Annabelle

A scary movie that isn’t scary. Actors that make adult film stars look like Oscar contenders. This thing was a mess. When the doll is the best actor in your film, you know you have a problem.



2.) Tammy

I think I laughed…once (?) during this movie. But it wasn’t just me; my theater was dead quiet the whole film. If I wasn’t sick of Melissa McCarthy before, I sure am after seeing this movie. It is just not funny and what’s worse is it’s awkward. And what’s worse yet is when the jokes awkwardly don’t work, the film tries to throw in some drama which doesn’t work, so then THAT adds onto the awkwardness. [exhale] Point is this movie isn’t good.



And “Tammy” would have been the worst film of 2014 had it not been for…

1.) Lucy

It really wasn’t a good year for films with women’s names as their title (see the previous three movies, as well as “Annie”). When I walked out of the theater after seeing “Lucy” on that muggy July afternoon, I knew I had just witnessed the worst 2014 had to offer. “Lucy” is stupid, stupid, stupid. As Scarlett Johansson gets smarter, this movie only gets more unintelligent. The ending is also an insult to the audience, as if the director had no idea how to conclude the picture so he threw his hands up and said, “Screw it! The audience is probably asleep by now anyways!” Some people actually liked this movie and it makes me honestly hope Charles Darwin was right about natural selection.



Do you agree with my list? Any movies you thought were worse than these? See a film on here that you actually thought was good? Let me know in the comments!

‘Transformers’ is Less Than Meets The Eye


               I have a new expression I hope catches on: fool me once, shame on me. Fool me four times, you’re Michael Bay.

“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is the fourth film in Michael Bay’s Transformers series. It  features an all-new human cast, including Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager, the only Texan with a Boston accent. This time around the Autobots are being hunted by the US government to avenge the events from the last film.

I don’t really know where to begin to review “Extinction”, so I’ll start with the script. It’s awful. Like on every conceivable level. From the dialogue to the plot, everything is atrocious. There’s a part in the film when Wahlberg’s daughter turns to her boyfriend and says “still glad that we met?”. She says that 100% out of the blue; he didn’t say anything to make that a coherent sentence. The screenwriter just thought he should have the girl say something cute to show that the couple cares about each other.

Still want proof the dialogue is awful? Ok, I have plenty of ammo. When the CIA storms into Wahlberg’s front yard and begins to search the grounds, he tells the guy that he needs a warrant. The agent turns to Marky Mark and says “my face is my warrant”. [sigh]

On my way out the theater I heard a 5-year-old boy tell his mom that the movie was poorly written and didn’t make sense. A child recognized that.

But you don’t pay to see a Michael Bay film for an elaborate script, you pay for the action. And how is it in “Extinction”? Its fine…for the first ten minutes. But after near THREE HOURS of boom, boom, boom, boom boom boom, boom. Boom. Boom. Boom, you get bored. Think the climax of “Man of Steel”, just metal on metal and with less character development (if that’s possible).

Its like this: imagine a nine year old boy is smashing pots and pans in front of his action figures. No give that boy a few million dollars. That’s Bay’s “Age of Extinction”.

And the run time, oh my God the run time. The film has a runtime to match its budget (160 for both), and you feel every minute of it. There was a point in the film I was sitting in the chair thinking “well, the climax of this film is boring”. Oh no, that wasn’t the climax, it was somewhere in the middle of the movie. The best part of this movie is at the beginning, before the Transformers even show up.

I really don’t know what more to say about this movie. It has impressive visuals but eye candy can only get you so far. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is an assault on the eyes, ears, common sense, common decency and the desire to be entertained. It is also has awful dialogue, disgraceful depictions of women, over-the-top explosions and unfunny racial jokes. In other words, it’s a Michael Bay film.

Look, if you are one of those people who can turn your brain off 100% and the idea of robots throwing each other in nonsensical action scenes intersts you, then you may be able to tolerate this movie. But all others I implore you: don’t give Michael Bay three hours of your life, nonetheless 10 of your dollars.

Critics Rating: 4/10