Friday, July 8, 2011

Dark of the Zookeeper…

Going along with the idea that it takes 30 days of doing the same thing to create a habit, I am committing to putting something on this blog everyday for the first 30 days.  So here is post number three.  And since yesterday’s post was so long… I decided to keep this one to a simple movie review with a little bit of my personality.  J  While I don’t give too many details, I suppose I should issue a spoiler alert for the new Transformers movie…
Yesterday was a fun day… didn’t turn out the way I had quite planned, but maybe that’s better.  Since my last meeting at work showed up two hours early, I took advantage of the free evening.  My crazy mother had won two tickets to last night’s advance showing of the new Kevin James movie, Zookeeper, from a radio station.  Since she’s vacationing it up in Florida right now, I decided to use her tickets and catch a free flick.  So I talked my friend Brett into letting me drag him to the movies by dangling the free movie and fajitas in front of him (just for the record he did end up paying for dinner despite my offer… he’s just kind of sweet like that).  Neither of us was especially excited about seeing Zookeeper as neither of us had even seen a preview for it… but hey… it’s free, right?
So after wrapping up a lovely dinner at El Chico, the leftovers from which made my car smell horrible after the movie, we headed across the street just in time to catch our 7:00 showing… or so we thought.  Apparently the radio station gave away more tickets than they had seats.  And so they gave us rain checks to the next advance showing.  But since we had already driven all the way to Tulsa, we decided to go ahead and buy tickets to something else.  The next available movie was the 7:15 showing of Transformers: Dark of the Moon.  And of course it would be our luck that it was the 3D showing.  So that free movie ended up costing $28.  This time I paid, however, I did let Brett get the Coke Icee and Reese’s pieces… two must haves at any two-hour and 40-minute long movie.  J  The lady behind the counter talked Brett into going for the large Icee over the small one “because it’s only 50 cents more.”  That proved to be a mistake when the size difference meant it didn’t fit into the cup holder and when I picked it up the lid snapped off spilling at least $1.25 of it into our laps.  Awesome.  Oh well, despite all that, I enjoyed the movie with dorky glasses, sticky legs and all.  J 
And while we both look absolutely ridiculous and Brett will probably kill me for posting this… the guy in front of us in the concession stand line was nice enough to take it so I can’t let it go to waste… J

I have actually been a fan of all the previous Transformer movies.  My love for the Autobots goes back to my childhood when I actually had a few action figures and watched the cartoon religiously.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Transformers: Dark of the Moon was my favorite of the three.  It could be because I much prefer Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to Megan Fox… and no, not because, like me, she’s a blonde who loves to wear white… just because I think she’s sweeter.  Carly didn’t seem as untouchable as Mikaela… a much better fit to play opposite the fun-loving and a little bit goofy Sam.
I also enjoyed the strange humor added to the film by John Malkovich and Ken Jeong.  It balanced out the action nicely.  And of course, you’ll never hear me complain for having to watch two hours of Josh Duhamel.  J  And while I was disappointed that old Dr. McDreamy ended up being a bad guy, he’s not horrible to look at either.  All in all… not a bad cast.  I still think Sam’s mom has some of the best lines in the movie.  I laughed out loud more than once at random things she said. 
I also thought the videography at the beginning was cool.  Not super high-tech or anything, but being the history nerd that I am, I liked that they used actual old video footage and audio of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson from the 60s to set the basis for the story on the dark side of the moon.  It makes you wonder what did actually start the space race between the USA and the USSR… J  I also thought it was cool that Buzz Aldrin played himself.  I wonder if he had to get some NASA clearance to do that.  J  No, not really, I am not a conspiracy theorist.  Of course the government hides things… that’s kind of their job… to protect the people they serve.  Sometimes we are safer when we don’t know all the details.  At any rate, that’s not what this blog is about… back to Sam and the Autobots…
Sam is at a tough place at the beginning of this flick.  He’s got himself a hot girlfriend no doubt, but no fast car to take her places in and no job to help her pay the bills… while I wouldn’t give a guy who wanted to mooch off me a chance, I do really admire Sam for wanting to matter again.  He didn’t exactly choose the life he got, but he makes the choice to look at it as a gift to embrace instead of settling for a life where he just exists.  I think there’s a good lesson in that. 
Optimus Prime is still my hero.  I love that he always takes care of business yet still seems to have the heart of human. 
And don’t forget about Bumble Bee… one of my favorite parts of the fight scenes was when he shoves his arm into the chest cavity of a Decepticon and blows his head off.  I’ve never been so proud of a Camaro before.  J  I mean let’s face it, the reason we watch these movies is because we enjoy watching robots kick each others’ butts, right?  Okay, maybe that’s just me…    
And then there’s Sean… who you probably wouldn’t notice in the movie, but he’s one of my best friends from High School… a Navy Seal who I am so very proud of… with a very small role.  Despite the fact that he had about four seconds of screen time, there’s nothing like watching a close personal friend come out of the Chicago River to stab a bomb into a Decepticons foot.  J  Way to go Sean!  Brett even let me stay to see his name run in the credits because I was so proud. 
I’m really not a fan of John Turturro and I think he should have been left out of this film.  To me, his role took away more than it added.  But you win some, you lose some, I guess…
The 3D was a nice touch.  The producers utilized the technology well.  It made the fight and flight scenes come to life.  When I say flight, I mean all the military guys soaring through the sky of Chicago above a potentially world-ending battle.  I’ve got to get one of those flight suits.  J
If you plan to go see this movie, try not to have too high expectations… keep in mind it is a Transformers movie.  Like I said, most people watch them to see the robot fighting action, not because it’s high quality filmography.  They are meant to be fun.  The acting has never been stellar and there’s always about 20 minutes that could have been cut without hurting the storyline.  These flaws aside, I enjoyed Transformers: Dark of the Moon... Cassie and Brett give it two thumbs up.  J

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