Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon
(guest review- Mike Anthony)
Writing a one word movie review for this would be pretty simple: LOUD!
Writing a real review will take few more words. Here they are: We saw the 3D version over the weekend, and would have to say that this film is more fun, and easier to follow than the previous installment, which was the series' first sequel.  The visuals are better in that you can more easily keep track of which CGI brutes are the good guy "Autobots", and which computer generated behemoths are the baddies, the "Decepticons".
There are more than enough action & battle scenes for the fans of that type of thing, and although this movie is over two hours the level of intensity in the action actually makes it feel like the film is a little shorter. Still, as a fan of tight storylines, I could've lived with 15 or 20 minutes shaved off.
Again we see a full slate of talent here: Leonard Nimoy provides the voice for a long lost Autobot mentor. Nimoy slurs his way through the role of "Sentinel Prime"; who at one point held the leadership role that Optimus Prime now commands.  Sci-Fans who recognize his voice will probably realize how cool it is to have a "space movie legend" in a lead voice-over role; but at the same time even with electronic filtering he sounds too old and full of dentures for me to take his voice seriously coming from a giant mechanical warrior.
In other cast notes: John Turturro still delivers a scene-stealing role; Shia lebeouf manages to look a little more grown up and able to carry his lead role, and Frances McDormand plays a ball-busting female government official in charge of the U.S. Autobot program; carrying her character quite well.  While Rosie-Huntingview Whitely nicely fills in the beautiful girl role vacated by Megan Fox;  a couple of other high profile names didn't pull things off as well for me: I was disappointed with Patrick Dempsey & John Malkovich.  Dempsey's snooty playboy was harder to swallow than those burnt kernals at the bottom of my popcorn, and Malkovich (normally a scenery-eating, scene-stealing machine) felt wasted to me in his role as psycho boss to Lebeouf's character of recent college graduate.  In fact I think Malkovich could've been taken out of the entire movie and the audience wouldn't have missed him.  Even more of a "moot" character was "Jerry Wang:, an office colleague of Lebeouf's with ties to the Decepticons. This role was wasted on the normally enjoyable Ken Jeong (Mr Chow from the Hangover I & II). Just didn't feel it from him. Maybe it was just bad editing, but I couldn't buy in to his character that much, even though this is a movie based on cartoons form the eighties.  On the plus side again, it was great to see Buzz Aldren play a cameo of himself, and it's still nice to him taking his small steps for man & big steps for mankind (yes, I'm ripping off the line his buddy Neil Atmstrong made famous in real-life)
The 3D worked pretty well in most scenes, and amazingly well in a handful of others. My biggest question is if the 3D gimmick is wearing off; as the cinema I went to seemed to have equal numbers going into the 2D and the 3D versions.  Plotwise, the story is given a nice twist right from the start. We see more of the war that tore apart the Transformer's home planet of Cybertron. And the "Dark Of The Moon" angle is done the trailers have revealed to most of you by now; turns out our race to get to the moon was to recover something from a crashed Autobot ship that only a handful of NASA and Government officials knew about.
Overall, there are almost too many characters too follow, but the action is done well enough to compensate. After all, this movie ain't really the thinking man's cup of tea---or motor oil, as the Autobots might say. Still if you like summer blockbusters, or like action, or like the previous Transformer movies then  this one is worth checking out. I just wonder how many of you will choose 3D and how many will choose 2D.
Rating 3.75 out of 5
3 good things about this movie:
* It's as loud and fun as it is supposed to be
*The CGI characters are easier to tell apart, so you won't be as lost in the battle scenes
* Cool tie-in with real history and the moon landing
3 bad things about this movie:
* Leonard Nimoy's voiceover sounds like it's filtered through a dental dam
* Some miscasting (see above)
* Wasting the fabulous John Malkovich and Ken Jeong