Surf’s Up (2007) – 6/10 animated sports movie review

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Cast / crew
Actor, Director and Screenplay Writer Filmmaker: Ash Brannon
Actor, Director and Screenplay Writer Filmmaker: Chris Buck
Producer and Screenplay and Story Writer: Christopher Jenkins
Screenplay Writer: Don Rhymer
Story Writer: Christian Darren
Shia LaBeouf: Cody Maverick
Jeff Bridges: Big Z / Geek
Zooey Deschanel: Lani Aliikai
Jon Heder: Chicken Joe
James Woods: Reggie
Diedrich Bader: Tank Evans

Surf’s Up (2007)

Cody Maverick dreams of being a surf champion like his idol Big Z. A film crew follow him as he tries to realise his dream.

6/10

Fun and nicely presented (using a talking head documentary style) but the story and characters are boringly off-the-shelf. Shia LaBeouf is perfect for centre-of-attention Cody but cannot escape the character being selfish until the script says otherwise, as opposed to until his character learns and grows. While it’s a common problem in movies, it isn’t disguised at all here. Jeff Bridges is also perfect as his laidback mentor-with-a-past. The surfing and wave animations are outstanding and compensate for the budget feeling of the remainder of the production design.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) – 6/10 science-fiction action adventure movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Michael Bay
Writer Based on Hasbro’s Transformers Action Figures: Ehren Kruger
Producer: Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Producer: Tom DeSanto
Producer: Don Murphy
Producer: Ian Bryce
Executive Producer: Steven Spielberg
Executive Producer: Michael Bay
Shia LaBeouf: Sam Witwicky
Josh Duhamel: Lennox
John Turturro: Simmons
Tyrese Gibson: Epps
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: Carly
Patrick Dempsey: Dylan
Kevin Dunn: Ron Witwicky
Julie White: Judy Witwicky
Ken Jeong: Jerry Wang
John Malkovich: Bruce Brazos
Frances McDormand: Mearing
Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime
Hugo Weaving: Megatron
Leonard Nimoy: Sentinel Prime

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Sam is struggling to find a place back in the real world but a secret that has been kept since the late 1960’s is about to erupt into his life and involve him in the fate of the world once more. Though no-one has anyway of knowing for certain, he suspects that some stuff might get blown up.

6/10

Restoring the fun to the franchise before going all serious for the Chicago-levelling third act but never achieving the greatness that the fantastically cool pre-credits sequence, awesome Buzz Aldrin cameo and Leonard Nimoy’s Sentinel Prime promise, Dark of the Moon is a Michael Bay movie that has several good moments. Unfortunately, it does devolve into a series of beautiful visuals featuring too many robots you frequently can’t differentiate around which the bullet-, missile-, concrete-, gravity- and crash-landing-proof Shia LaBeouf is hurled and thrown and dropped. If he ever wanted to destroy the world, there would be no way to stop him.

This movie contains the obligatory sexual swear words to ensure the certificate and graphic and extreme violence by robots on humans, graphic and extreme robot violence and ‘hilarious’ homosexual misunderstandings, sensuality.

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009, Movie) – 4/10 review

Cast / crew
Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Ehren Kruger
Writer: Roberto Orci
Writer: Alex Kurtzman
Producer: Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Producer: Tom DeSanto
Producer: Don Murphy
Producer: Ian Bryce
Executive Producer: Steven Spielberg
Executive Producer: Michael Bay
Shia LaBeouf: Sam Witwicky
Megan Fox: Mikaela Bane
Josh Duhamel: Major Lennox
Tyrese Gibson: USAF Master Sergeant Epps
Kevin Dunn: Ron Witwicky
Julie White: Judy Witwicky
John Turturro: Simmons
Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime
Hugo Weaving: Megatron
Tony Todd: Fallen

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Since the incident in Los Angeles, Optimus Prime and the Autobots have been protecting Earth from the Decepticons while Sam prepares to go to college. A shard of the Allspark, however, is discovered and Sam’s life is about to turn upside-down again.

4/10

If the first was a glorious mess, then this boring, fun-free sequel is just a mess. This is very much an idea-free zone with no clear plot, no clear character arcs and endless, meaningless, interchangeable action with apparently random robots that makes absolutely no sense. I think it takes supremely arrogant writers to write such random garbage because, if it were me, I simply could not stand the inconsistencies (in the franchise and within just this movie) and presence of baffling stereotypes spouting cut-and-paste dialogue from a collection of bad movie scripts. People need to stop employing Orci and Kurtzman and stop now. Michael Bay and his actors all put a lot of effort in but, aside from the fact that it frequently looks fabulous, it’s all wasted.

This movie contains partial sexual swear words, mild swear words, adult dialogue and comic substance abuse and extreme mecha violence, extremely unpleasant scene and sexuality.

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

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Transformers: The Game (2007, Game, 360) – 5/10 review

Director: Jon Burton
Producer: Andrew Burrows
Lead Designer: Jon Burton
Lead Programmer: Stephen Harding
Lead Artist: Leon Warren
Lead Animator: Jeremy Pardon
Head of Production: Paul Flanagan
Head Of Technology: Dave Dootson
Peter Cullen: Optimus Prime
Shia LaBeouf: Sam Witwicky
Megan Fox: Mikaela Banes

Transformers Transformers: Game, The (2007)

Battle as the Autobots to protect the world from the Decepticons or battle as the Decepticons to smash the Autobots and claim Earth for yourself. Or do both.

5/10

This is a game that is definitely quite close to being enjoyable but it isn’t fun enough, often enough. Instead, Traveller’s Tales keep throwing needless niggles into the mix. The clearest example of the dichotomy of the game are the graphics. They look sorta ugly (360 version reviewed) and feel like you’re running through mud yet feature a spectacular amount of action and destructibility and the Transformers themselves look, especially on a really big screen, rather impressive. Another example is the appearance of it being an open-world game. However, most of the sequences will see you fail because you get hurled out of a tiny arbitrary "action area". Apparently, you can only pummel robots on certain streets at certain times. So while this ends up being another weak movie game, it nearly wasn’t, and in the movie game genre, that’s praise, indeed.

This Transformers game contains extended graphic and extreme mecha violence.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls (2008) – 5/10 Indiana Jones science-fiction action adventure movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Steven Spielberg
Harrison Ford: Indiana Jones
Cate Blanchett: Irina Spalko
Karen Allen: Marion Ravenwood
Ray Winstone: “MAC” George Michale
John Hurt: Professor Oxley
Jim Broadbent: Dean Charles Stanforth
Igor Jijikine: Dovchenko
Shia LaBeouf: Mutt Williams
Executive Producer: George Lucas
Writer (Screenplay): David Koepp
Writer (Story): George Lucas
Writer (Story): Jeff Nathanson

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls (2008)

Indiana Jones finds himself caught up in a race against nasty commies to return a crystal skull to its rightful place whereupon the returner is rewarded with power that is out of this world.

5/10

This clumsy, awkward, unfocused, unambitious and distinctly average and, therefore, entirely unnecessary adventure proved to be chewing gum in the combined beards of Spielberg and Lucas, something they simply couldn’t get rid of until they cut it out and got in on the big screen. While the cast is good they aren’t given anything good to do and director Steven Spielberg surprisingly never suspends disbelief and is unable to disguise David Koepp’s incoherent script. This is a movie you merely watch rather than be caught up in. It feels like the awful Indiana Jones television series and not like the previous big-screen trilogy and has a climax so stupid it became instantly legendary for all the wrong reasons. Disappointing.

This movie contains mild swear words and extreme hand-to-hand violence, extremely unpleasant scenes and mild sensuality.

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Transformers (2007, Science Fiction Fantasy Action Adventure) – 7/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Michael Bay
Writer (Screenplay): Roberto Orci
Writer (Screenplay): Alex Kurtzman
Writer (Story): John Rogers
Writer (Story): Roberto Orci
Writer (Story): Alex Kurtzman
Executive Producer: Steven Spielberg
Executive Producer: Michael Bay
Shia LaBeouf: Sam Witwicky
Tyrese: USAF Tech Sergeant Epps
Josh Duhamel: Captain Lennox
Anthony Anderson: Glen Whitmann
Megan Fox: Mikaela Banes
Rachael Taylor: Maggie Madsen
John Turturro: Agent Simmons
Jon Voight: Defense Secretary John Keller
Peter Cullen: Voice of Optimus Prime
Hugo Weaving: Voice of Megatron

Transformers (2007)

Sam Witwicky is eagerly looking forward to buying his first car, partly because car equals babes, and he has his eye on hilariously hot mega-babe Mikaela Banes. However, events of universal significance will overtake him as he proves to be a critical pawn in an intergalactic struggle over a object of immense power. A struggle perpetrated by GIANT TRANSFORMING ROBOTS.

7/10

Spectacular and fun giant mecha action movie which suffers quite badly from largely indistinguishable robot designs (only Optimus Prime and Bumblebee escape this problem) and frequent script mechanics that the filmmakers hope you won’t notice but does deliver a star-making performance from Shia LeBeouf wrapped up in a ridiculously good-looking package. A glorious mess, then.

This movie contains partial sexual swear words, mild swear words, adult dialogue and extreme mecha violence, extreme bloodless violence.

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

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