Today I thought I’d review the three new movies I saw over the last few weeks, as I continue to make all of my friends play FTL with me and like it. (For the Steam chat journal series, of course)
This will be in the order I saw them in.
Transformers: Age of Extinction
I have to say I was wary about this one, just simply because of the mortality rate of quality with largely-popular long-running story series.
In a way it seems like they took a bunch of what the first trilogy of movies was (my opinion) best at: humor and BWOOOSH CLINK-A-CHINK KERPOOFLE PEW PEW BOOM — er, renderfarm-melting massive explosion battles with lazorz and explosions and slow-mo just thrown about here and there.
The story is a Transformers story really, not that that’s a bad thing. I’d say the interesting story comes more from the characters than from the overarching plotline. Besides a couple of the same Transformers (yes Bumblebee is still there; Bay knows who’s bringing in the tickets) from previous movies, just about the rest of the cast is entirely new. Mark Wahlberg stars as Mark Wahlberg trying to play a Texan, but really he’s just straight up playing Mark Wahlberg, however interesting changing his accent would’ve been.
There’s no Witwicky… if that’s not how you spell that I’m not going to bother. The story follows entirely new characters in an entirely new era and this time the rest of the world’s cities are being destroyed instead of just America’s.
The special effects are great as always. The animations themselves look pretty much in the same style but there’s some weird kind of shininess or vibrancy in the colors… it looks great but it looks different and not quite as grimy as the movies before it. I’d say this movie possibly has the most pew pew in it, as the film toggles between story progression with lots of jokes carefully stuffed everywhere and everything is made of napalm, so shoot it. I don’t mind.
Also, the dinobots were actually pretty cool and quite OP. Mark Wahlberg also goes Ghost Recon on some bots, but you’ll have to see that for yourself.
I’d recommend it if explosions, Wahlberg humor, particle effects, more jokes, and more explosions are your thing. Also good for feeling jealous that your laptop is not going to render that crazy amount of special effects in your lifetime…most likely (hey iunno if you a) work from NVIDIA b) are from the future or c) are a Dwarf Fortress fan. I mean c’mon DF players are OP)
I saw this immediately after Transformers, and I mean back-to-back. I will say that that was probably unfair, as just about any combat scenes are going to be underwhelming after watching that.
The combat scenes were underwhelming after watching that.
This movie does have many good actors. The movie and plotline itself isn’t all bad, but to me it was just sort’ve… meh. As I said, after the Transformers and with all the Dragon Age: Origins I’ve been playing, the fighting scenes were like “yup, you killed thirty guys with spin moves, where’s my massive animated field of explosions/blood effect spam Eclipse-Engine style”
The story you’re going to get out of it is this: swing clubs > deus ex machina > those aren’t centaurs silly > jokes > spin around a bunch to kill things > deus ex machina > deus ex: Human Rev — oh right sorry, machina > continue.
The plot turns into revenge plots basically. The movie starts off showing the cool beasts that Hercules slayed, such as the Hydra and stuff, sort’ve like a “look at all these cools thing the movie isn’t about”. The movie is cliché, but for a cliché movie I suppose it’s good. The battle scenes look cool, although they weren’t quite going for historical accuracy with tactics or anything, but most movies never do.
I’d recommend if the Rock is your thing.
Guardians of the Galaxy
You’ve already seen the glowing reviews of this most likely. This movie is Marvel sci-fi/kinda-fantasy at its finest. Marvel has been on a roll with good movies (such as the latest X-Men) and this continues the killstreak of nutshots. Also if you were a fan of Firefly/Serenity, this movie, especially in the space scenes, has that feel and filming style (which Whedon does work with Marvel, so maybe that had some influence, or the special effects teams just decided to go in that style).
This movie features Vin Diesel playing his most challenging role yet, and there’s Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt.
The story is good, the special effects are really good, and they’ve got some clever jokes in there as well. Many of the jokes are timing-based visual jokes and/or “that can be taken two ways” kind of humor. The characters seem more genuine with their humor than most stories, and it makes the characters feel deeper and more like actual persons as opposed to the characters that always talk perfectly straight, proper, and with perfect grammar and slow-steady speech that most stories exhibit. I know writers are taught to just be efficient with dialogue but making your characters do living people things makes them feel like living people.
The fighting scenes are great, the combat scenes are great, and I think gamers will appreciate the feel they put into making it look like the people are actually trying to aim, whereas most shows and movies are mainly “sit behind cover, chat a bit as the same three laser effects fly by, pop up and shoot one, killing five enemies, back to chat and scones”. Also good-guys sometimes actually shoot first before the bad guys have a killzone setup with a long drawn-out fight. If characters would be more trigger happy in movies that would be way more fantastic, and GotG has some humor that arises from this as well.
I’d recommend if you like: space, raccoons, space raccoons, Vin Diesel, pew pew lazorz, space scenes with Joss Whedon-style, protagonists that actually have reflexes, ramming things, explosions, Sins of a Solar Empire ships, dancing, and purple dust storms, this movie is for you.
I leave, you, with a quote from this last movie: “I don’t think I believe anyone is a hundred-percent dick, ma’am.”
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