Movie Review: Transformers: Age Of Extinction(2014)

When you are in New York maybe the last thing you want to do is see a movie because you could do that anywhere. But, seeing this film with my good, good friend Eric where he lives now makes it more worth matter the film. I am still selective but also a believer in what even some people would call bad movies..I am still a believer even if critics rip something apart.


Writer: Ehren Kruger

Director: Michael Bay

Plot..or whatever it is to be called..

No, I am not as harsh as the reviewers nor(as in all of these movie reviews) claim to really break down films necessarily. I just like movies and look a little deeper at most anything that people flock to. Transformers 1 and 2 were chalk full of nasty puberty jokes and near-death bathroom humor. High school-ers trying to be maybe adults running around with robots. However, the reason for so many movies is the undeniable and rather shallow expectation that most people have for ANY action movie. You cannot expect deep dialogue tested with twists and turns. This isn’t House of Cards or anything labeled not action. However, some plot is needed to at least keep you appreciating all the in between action.

Michael Bay proves his upward sunset shots and firework explosions over and over and has for at least a decade now. But the story in this fourth film is a little bit of a stretch, yet not as lame as everyone says.


The Transformers are hidden and Frasier is looking for them. Maybe he wants to pycho-babble them to death or bring up their childish night mares that they keep having. Ceasar Flickerman has now shaved his head and is now the black ops version of Steve Jobs and Tony Stark. Technology is our biggest enemy. It is a weapon. It is entrusted to fallen people that can make bad choices and use it for murder and destruction. All along, Optimus Prime loves the humans and has a mysterious creator out there that would be his God. We never meet him, we just know we will in Transformers 5: Battle At The Equator.

I am teasing here a little and not really breaking this movie down. Sorry for that. I am fresh in the mood to say who really cares at the end of the day. I will always love Marky Mark(spellcheck) and I appreciate the rather less than crappy objectifying of women going on in this movie. And I did feel as if I was watching War Of The Worlds(summer 2005) in terms of really bad father/child dialogue. I am glad Hollywood still thinks most men are idiots and incapable of growing up.

In the end, I think what matters here is not war and not the power that technology offers. That is the subtext underneath the really bad emo music. I think what matters is that some things never change. The world remains what it is. Humans win. Humans are the essence of everything. Even greater then any machine. The machine only resembles what the humans tell it to resemble. Action will remain an ever increasing interest and violence will continue to get worse and worse as it is masked in a more “family action movie.” It is 2014 and things are rapidly changing in our world. I don’t consider it a waste to see that that is a reality. But what will be a waste is when reality clashes with what is not real. And to be able to see that you might have to not believe everything you see in the movies.

The irony, however, is that you are sitting in a electric building running off modern technology watching a movie about how dangerous technology can be. Its a mirror. And it always will be.

Take your chances. A much to long movie but not a complete waste. I love explosions! Happy Fourth Of July!


Movie Review: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit(2014)

The first official movie review of 2014. I am in touch with what is recent but this is the first time since Catching Fire that I am seeing a movie opening weekend. I would take time to have reviewed The recent Hobbit but, well..later.


Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writers: Adam Cozad, David Koepp, Tom Clancy(based on his books)
Stars: Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Branagh

Russia.Let’s start with saying that Russia is the center of a lot of plots. Russia usually plays the bad guy. The last DIE HARD movie?(never saw it) ahh.. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 4, which was incredible, had Russia as the bad guy and they even go into the Kremlin. I was thinking maybe THE PEACEMAKER as well was Russians having the nuclear weapons. I think Hollywood and its writer’s think the world really will involve Russia at the helm of all imminent disaster, and they actually might be on to something(but still don’t forget about the Middle East) The list goes on but in this reboot of Jack Ryan Chris Pine is found with having some room to replay a character we already love.

Plot/Overview: The previous four Jack Ryan movies(HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER,CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, PATRIOT GAMES AND SUM OF ALL FEARS). Chris is the fourth actor to play Jack Ryan and in light of Tom Clancy dying recently, it seems to be even more relevant to do this movie. Shadow Recruit goes back to the early days of Jack Ryan, studying economics in London. In light of September 11th Jack gets patriotic and becomes a marine. In route to Afghanistan his helicopter gets shot down and he saves two lives as well as his own but is given a tough chance of ever walking again. In rehab Jack meets his future girlfriend, Cathy Muller(Keira Knightley). He does humorously call her a sadist and says he hates her but only because, at that point, he couldn’t walk. In his recovery Thomas Harper(Kevin Costner) recruits him to work for the CIA as a covert financial analyst. The story skips ahead 10 years later and Jack is doing exactly as he is told. “Its gonna get lonely, but that’s how we like it,” Thomas tells him. His girlfriend doesn’t know what he does. The plot picks up to reveal that Russia is trying to crash the U.S. economy. Jack says it will be the second great depression. He goes to Moscow to try to fix what he sees to be the problem. This is when the action happens. Viktor Cherevin, played by the director of the film, Kenneth Branagh. Is at the helm of the U.S. terrorist plot. And, as revealed by Cathy, he has an imminent death approaching. All bad guys want to go down in their destructive plots and schemes as doing something worth remembering before they die. He says a very key line, he says, “regret stacks up like old books you don’t read!” In America, we say it more like, a potential terrorist is a terrorist, so lets go blow up some countries to get rid of all of them( ha ha, just kidding!)


Jack Ryan in the past movies was at an older stage in his life. In the Harrison Ford ones he is married and has at least a daughter(if I remember right) but here Jack is at the very beginning of discovering the difference of analyzing something and then holding a gun and having to kill someone. He almost dies when he gets driven to the hotel. His girl finds out about him and the CIA. I mean, you have to tell the girl eventually.

The plot leads them back to America where Viktor’s son takes a bomb and tries to detonate near Wall Street. Jack Ryan to the rescue and played by with a sweet motor cycle sequence he stops the bomb. He is not just analyzing now, he was being fully operational.

Lines and Final Thoughts
Chris Pine had said in a Men’s Fitness article that the physical stuff of the film were easy for him. He said that the challenge of playing this character was that the audience needs to see you think.

And I think you see him think. I think knowledge and action play off each other well in this film. So many times action films just have cool action with no depth in the actual reason behind an evil menace doing what he is doing. I think you care in this film. And these characters let you care for them and care for America. It doesn’t matter what party you are apart of. The point is that America will always do what we have to to stay safe and if that means killing the terrorist then that is what we will do. And in this film, Viktor, actually dies by the hand of his own Russian friend. Or, maybe not so much of a friend, after he had failed.

Good Lines I liked
His boss tells him, “We are on a luxury yacht, don’t sink us!”-

Viktor says, “You Americans are just rude, he says you Russians like to think of yourselves as poets perhaps you are just touchy.”

Viktor says,”Regret piles up like books you haven’t read.”

Viktor says that Jack Ryan is dangerous!

Thomas finds out that Jack told Cathy and he says, “No, this is not couple’s therapy!”

I have great trust that after loving both Star Trek and this film that Chris Pine is becoming a new male figure in the spotlight. Ryan Gosling might have his demented art house thing going on(partially quoting Chris in that article saying the art house part on Gosling) but I tend to like Chris Pine way more because he isn’t mopey or walking around with something hanging over his shoulder. He is tough. He is human. He is becoming someone we will like in the future. So, see it to believe it!