Autobots! Roll out bitches!

Help me, Optimus Prime. You're my only hope!

I saw Transformers: Dark of the Moon a week ago today.  Normally you would have seen a review of it the very next day but this was not a normal week.  Laryngitis decided to rear its ugly head and, literally, by the end of the movie I went from having that sexy Kate Mulgrew voice you get when you’re sick, to barely being able to squeak when I tried to speak.

Brilliant.

Needless to say, I went to the doctor and was promptly quarantined for a week.   My voice is slooooooowly coming back (instead of nothing coming out, I can sort of croak…like a frog…) and my mental capacities are returning (No, thank YOU antibiotics).

Anyhooters, back to Transformers.

Ok, I’ll admit it, I kind of dig Michael Bay.  I always know what I’m going to get and really, we need a person like Michael Bay to make movies full of explosions and boobies (not always in that order).  That’s not to say I like everything he’s ever directed.  FAAAAAR from it.  But I’ve gotten a kick out of the Transformers trilogy (that might be a slight exaggeration when it comes to Revenge of the Fallen, but whatever).

Just sayin'

I’ll admit something else.  I’m not a big fan of the animated movie (which is set in 2005 by the way).  Don’t hate me.  Sure, it had Orson Welles (Unicron is not to be confused with Unicorn) and Robert Stack in it, but it also killed off Optimus Prime in the first five minutes and forced us to follow some dumb kid (Daniel Witwicky instead of Sam) and a new Autobot named Hot Rod (voiced by Judd Nelson no less) that looked more like Barbie’s dream car than a bad ass Transformer.

But I digress.

This time around MB decided to throw every celebrity he could at us.  I won’t even try to list them all.  Seriously, it was ridiculous.  Awesomely ridiculous.  McDreamy as a villain?  Hellz yeah! Homoerotica with Mr. Chow?  Yes pleaze!  Taking orders from Marge Gunderson?  Oh, yoo betcha!  Every scene had another one.  My favorite has got to be John Malkovich.  He was pretty much continuing his Marvin Boggs character from RED but holy shit did he make me LOL.  As for the oldies but goodies, it was totally retarded how they brought Lennox, Simmons, Epps, etc, etc  all back together but whatever.  It IS Michael Bay we’re talking about.

On to more important things.  Like Victoria’s Secret models.  Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (hereafter RHW because fuck no am I going to keep typing out that long ass name) is a tall skinny pile of walking sex.  I’m going to admit to yet another tidbit.  I’ll take RHW over Megan Fox any day of the week. Her function may be to stand there and look pretty but at least she does it with class.  I cracked up every time they referred to the crazy bitch that dumped Sam sometime between this movie and the last one.  If you ask me, Sam got the better end of this deal.  I mean, RHW is so hot she has superpowers.  Somehow, she’s magically able to survive a collapsing skyscraper with perfect hair and nary a smudge on her perfect face or her white skinny jeans.  She also convinced Megatron that he’d end up, and I quote, Sentinel’s “bitch” if he didn’t beat his ass right now. “Oh no he di-ent!” Superpowers I tell you!  My one beef with good ol’ MB and his hot little ladies?  The fact that they’re always running around in high heels.  I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that I speak for all my fellow females out there when I say: FUCK THAT.

She likes bunny wabbits

I’m just admitting all kinds of crap tonight, but here’s another one.  Shia LaBeouf cracks me up.  No really, he does.  I’m pretty sure that Sam Witwicky and I were separated at birth.  We’re both klutzy and sarcastic and dorky as all get out.  I wouldn’t want to date him but I’m pretty sure he’d be the most awesome gay best friend ever.  Ok, that’s all I have to say about Shia.

Now to the most important part…the Transformers.  Sadly underused as usual.  One of these days MB is going to make a movie where they have more than 5 minutes worth of dialogue.  Don’t get me wrong, the fight scenes are EPIC and I could sit there and watch them all day (especially in IMAX 3D like I did last week) but he doesn’t give us any opportunity to really get to know them.  Not even Bumblebee.  I watched the cartoon growing up so I can fill in the blanks but how do the laymen even tell the difference between some of these robots from outer space?  All I’m saying is that when you have a voice on tap like Peter Cullen’s…use the heck out of it.

Uhhhh...this is a Deceptibot...right...?

Going back to the animated movie…the one thing it had going for it was Leonard Nimoy as Galvatron (aka all the Decepticons mushed together by Unicron).  MB decided that Lennie should be rebooted as Sentinel Prime and that Sentinel Prime should be rebooted as a fucking BAD GUY.  What. The. Fuck. 

To top it all off, MB gave him a face that was some kind of eerie hybrid between Spock and Captain Jack Sparrow.

Parlay?

Seriously.

Bizarre.

But nothing can make me stop loving Leonard Nimoy.  Especially when he does stuff like this just for shits and giggles:

At least he had Lennie say the seminal line from Star Trek II: “The good of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” And that was only one of MANY Star Trek references (God Bless you Michael Bay). 

All in all I thought it was a fun ride.  Lots of explosions and boobies.

Does anything else in life really matter?

I think not.

3.5 out of 5 sci-fives!

Sci Five 3.5

X-Men: First Class – you got it wrong but I heart you anyways

x-men-first-class-hot nerd girl

Hot Nerd Girl could be a superhero name...right?

Oh Lordy do I love me some X-Men.  After Thor, it is probably my favorite comic book series.  No offense to Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, etc.  I adore you all but I had a particular hard on for X-Men growing up.

So I’ll admit it.  When I first heard that there was going to be an X-Men prequel, my heart sank a little.  I’m generally pretty wary of prequels.  They scream “desperate attempt to make money off of a beloved franchise” to me.  But thanks to the successful prequel-ness of the latest Star Trek incarnation, I was willing to give it a shot.  That, and it couldn’t possibly be worse than Brett Ratner’s disjointed X-Men: The Last Stand.

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did.  And despite the fact that it went completely against pretty much everything that’s been established by the comic books as far as character histories, I had so much fun watching it.

So I’m structuring my review much like I did for Thor.  Because I can. Beware, I spoil the crap out of things….

[youtube:http://youtu.be/frcCCHb9LHc]

I pretty much fell in love with James McAvoy the instant he came on screen as Mr. Tumnus in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and my love for him only deepened when I heard him speak in his native Scottish accent.  Drool.  I don’t know what it is about Scottish accents but they sure do it for me.  He also happens to be a brilliant actor.  It’s the little things about him, the slight facial expressions, how he reacts to the other actors, those dreamy blue eyes *le sigh*

He's so dreamy...

Anyhooters…he was an excellent choice to play a young Charles Xavier.

Main deviation from the comic books:

In the movie, Charles comments about being glad that he still has his hair.  In the comic books his hair is gone by the time he finishes high school.  Too much mental power for it to stick around (be grateful Jean Grey and Emma Frost, that your mental powers didn’t do that to you). The idea of him growing up with Raven Darkholme was an interesting choice.  He actually grew up with his step-brother Cain aka Juggernaut, and they most definitely did not get along.  And Hank getting all of the credit for building Cerebro is ludicrous.  Xavier built Cerebro, Hank later enhanced it.  His first students did include Beast and Angel…but it was Warren Worthington III (later Archangel) not Angel Salvadore.  Another of the first class?  Scott Summers aka Cyclops, NOT his brother Alex Summers aka Havok.  Iceman and Marvel Girl weren’t cool enough for this movie apparently so they just got ignored altogether.  I’ve been asked more than once how Professor X became a paraplegic.  Well thank you Matthew Vaughn, because now all of those people probably think I’m a jack ass. Contrary to what First Class would have you believe, Charles was NOT crippled by a bullet intended for Magneto.  He was actually crippled by an alien named Lucifer who dropped a big ol’ boulder on his legs.  MUCH more believable thankyouverymuch.

I vaguely remember Michael Fassbender from Inglourious Basterds but, to be honest, I never really paid much attention to him.  Until now.  Damn, that boy can act too.  I liked that he looked a little older than everyone else after what he’d been through during the holocaust and the scene in the bar in Argentina was one of my fave moments in the film.

Hey, that dorky hat comes in handy

Main deviation from the comic books:

Erik Lehnsherr (who was actually born Max Eisenhardt by the by) was not experimented on during the holocaust (at least, not that I remember, correct me if I’m wrong).  In a way, his experience was even worse.  He was a Sonderkommando.  For those who don’t read up on history as a hobby (yeesh, could I get any nerdier?) a Sonderkommando was a Jew whose job in the concentration camp was to dispose of the bodies of fellow Jews killed in the gas chambers.

Yup, that’s bound to fuck you up a bit.

He later met Charles while working at an Israeli mental hospital…around the time Charles knocked up a girl who had been in a coma.  Uhhh yeah…we won’t go into that.  Erik does get his hands on some Nazi gold that he uses to fund his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but that was only after he had teamed up with Charles to defeat Baron Wolfang von Strucker.

At least they got rid of that slightly slimy look

As for the other good guys…it’s so funny to me how, in the movies, they took the scales and ran with it for Mystique.  I’m assuming it’s just an excuse to get away with seeing a hot naked chick while maintaining a PG-13 rating.  Mystique did briefly have scales in the comic books when she was exposed to radiation while saving Toad.  But the vast majority of the time, she’s just blue….and clothed…albeit scantily.  Her flirtation with Hank in the movie was cute but her true love was a blind, alien-looking chick named Destiny.  Jennifer Lawrence is a promising young actress though.  I’m super looking forward to seeing her as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games next March.  Hank McCoy and the whole serum thing was pretty right on.  Although I remember Beast turning gray when he first sprouted hair. Nicholas Hoult (the kid from About a Boy) has grown into quite the handsome young dude!  I liked the sheepish nerd vibe he brought to the character.

As for Lenny Kravitz’ little girl, Miss Zoe is still honing her acting chops but she did alright.  I’m just glad they didn’t show Angel laying eggs or eating her dinner like a fly.  Blech.  Oh, and she was rescued by Wolverine and brought to Professor X…not found by Cerebro. I already brought up how Havok should not be in the picture yet but I’ll add one more bit.  Much like Shaw, Alex has to store up energy in order to be able to send out blasts of plasma.  It’s not infinite.  So that whole bit about him being in jail because he can’t control himself was definitely manufactured for the film.  Sean Cassidy was another puzzling addition for me.  He had a whole life as a detective in Ireland and was involved in the whole IRA thing.  Banshee was a codename assigned to him by Factor Three who forced him to commit crimes by strapping a headband full of explosives to him.  Stylish, right?  He was later rescued by Professor X but not before he pissed off his brother, Black Tom Cassidy and lost his daughter, Siryn…all of which happened before he joined the X-Men.  I honestly don’t remember much about Darwin, other than him being a ghost for a while, but I’m pretty sure he never got killed off.

Aaaaaaand…where do I begin with Moira???  First off, she is a geneticist, not a CIA agent.  Her last name should be Kinross at this point, not MacTaggert.  She is Charles first love and helps him found the X-Men and all but in the end she ends up with Banshee.  Seriously, my head was spinning with how off her character was.  BUT I LOVE Rose Byrne and she did a fantastic job.  And damn that girl looks good in a garter belt.

They chose Sebastian Shaw to be the main villain.  It was a good choice.  Aside from Magneto, he’s one of the most prevalent villains in the X-Men ‘verse.  Kevin Bacon cracks me up.  He’s so good at being a snarky little shit.  He doesn’t disappoint here even though it’s a little bizarre seeing him as a Nazi.

Emma and Sebastian sittin' in a reactor K-I-S-S-I-N-G

Main deviation from the comic books?

They beefed up his power a bit and I don’t remember him using his power to keep his looks youthful but otherwise they pretty much nailed his billionaire playboy attitude.  As far as I know he was never involved with the Nazi’s. He was, however, responsible for the mutant destroying Sentinels.  His first battle with the X-Men was during the Dark Phoenix saga.  At that point Sage was working for Shaw as a personal assistant while spying on him for Professor X.

Anyone know how Shaw is connected to Iron Man’s dad Howard Stark?

Sorry guys, I couldn't find a picture of Moira in the garter belt so you'll just have to settle for Emma. Tough, I know.

January Jones wouldn’t have been my first choice for Emma Frost but I think she did a pretty good job.  I wasn’t hugely impressed with the effect of her in her diamond state, but as many a Twilight fan can attest…getting those damn diamond effects can be challenging.  I remember Riptide releasing little projectile stakes while spinning really fast…not so much for creating tornados and crap.  I’m not sure why they felt the need to change that, other than to bring down the stealth jet during the climax…which I guess is an ok reason.  That devil-looking guy that looks an awful lot like Nightcrawler and uses the same teleportation effect?  That would be Azazel.  And he looks like Nightcrawler because he’s Nightcrawler’s daddy.  Are you wondering why Nightcrawler is blue? That would be because Mystique is his mama…and threw him down a well after he was born.  Azazel is biblical and should TECHNICALLY be trapped in an alternate dimension.  Thanks to his teleportation skillz he’s able to come here every once in a while for just long enough to knock up a random woman.  Which he does.  Often.

It may sound like I’m being critical but these are all details schmetails.  I really did LOVE this movie.  The Cuban Missile Crisis scene is fantastic and the cameos by Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Romijn were brilliant.

Now please excuse me while I go drool over James McAvoy some more.

Yup, still dreamy...

4.5 out of 5 sci-fives

Sci Five 4.5 - exlcusion