GUEST CRITIC: Transformers: Age of Extinction

NEW GUEST CRITIC SERIES #2

As busy I get from time to time, I find that I can't see every movie under the sun, leaving my friends and colleagues to fill in the blanks for me.  As poetically as I think I wax about movies on this website as a wannabe critic, sometimes a simple sentence or two from a friend says it all.  Sometimes, it inspires me to see the movie too and get back to being my circle's go-to movie guy.  Sometimes, they save me $9 and you 800+ words of blathering.  In a new review series, I'm opening my site to friend submissions for quick-hit movie reviews.

TODAY'S CRITICS

   JASON WILLIAMS AND DANIELLE SIMONETTI

JASON WILLIAMS AND DANIELLE SIMONETTI

Meet Jason Williams and Danielle Simonetti.  Jason is a fan of the Facebook page for "Every Movie Has a Lesson" and Danielle is a high school classmate from the sleepy Will County of Peotone, Illinois, home of the "Blue Devils."  Danielle was older than me, so we ran in different circles, but I'm glad she remembered me all these years later as a Facebook friend and enjoys the fun movie review work I do now outside of my day job (or at least she says she does).

Jason works for a Tax Information company that will conveniently go unnamed to protect their reputation, but I didn't know tax companies had reputations that could be harmed any worse than they already are.  That means he knows who keeps their receipts and who doesn't, so watch out, folks.  Maybe he can explain why the gas prices are so high or why glasses don't make people look smarter.  Danielle works for a logistics company that will also go unnamed for their safety as well, which I think is rather ironic considering that we are talking "logistics" and the necessity of data and facts.  No, people, logistics people don't count logs, wooden or otherwise.

The dynamic duo met online in 2007.  After a thrilling Chicago courtship, they were married right on the ball diamond at historic Wrigley Field.  Take that White Sox fans!  Face it.  Jason and Danielle are cooler than you.  Maybe your Mobile Phone Park can let you host a Bar Mitzvah or Easter Egg hunt or something.  Wrigley Field fulfills fairytale love stories!  In their spare time, Jason writes plays and used to study improv.  Danielle is an avid city runner that vehemently shames both puddles and people who don't know the unwritten rules of runner courtesy.  Don't piss her off.  "Logistics" is Swedish for "fast ass kicker."  I should know.  I shop at IKEA.

I know both of them appreciate the times my Facebook page for "Every Movie Has a Lesson" is able to give away extra advance screening passes and tickets for Chicago area theaters that I acquire from time to time.  I keep some for myself which turn into early and advance reviews posted her on the website, but, other times, there are movies, nights, or occasions that I can't make.  I'd rather see the tickets go to a good home rather than go wasted or unused, so I give them away to friends.  Jason and Danielle are frequent pouncers and beneficiaries of my giveaways.  They were hoping I could deliver a free pair for the movie they are reviewing below, but I, the movie ticket guy, struck out swinging for weeks.  The running gag was that I would have been happy to give the tickets away for this reviewed film they are sharing below...  

(Image: impawards.com)

THEIR REVIEW

TRANSFORMER: AGE OF EXTINCTION-- 5 STARS (Danielle) AND 4 STARS (Jason)

HE SAID:  I know it is fashionable to crap on Michael Bay movies and most of the time he deserves it ("Armageddon" is one of the great unintentional comedies of the 90’s).  So, it would be very easy to eviscerate everything about "Transformers Age of Extinction."  Given an ungodly amount of money and Oscar-nominated actors, all Bay manages to do for almost three hours is find different ways for things to blow stuff up.  But before tearing into him, let’s just remember one thing: this is the fourth installment of a movie franchise designed to sell toys about fighting robots that turn into cars.  You were expecting Shakespeare?

SHE SAID:  I LOVE TRANSFORMERS!! ROBOTS FIGHTING!!  IT WAS FILMED IN CHICAGO!

HE SAID:  The “plot” as it is, is set five years after the last movie.  The Transformers are being hunted by the government and a rogue Transformer named Lockdown.  Those that have not killed are in hiding.  Marky Mark carrying on the grand tradition of great movie scientists like Denise Richards and Tara Reid, is an “inventor” (we know because he tells people that like ten times) who finds a beat up old truck.  He fixes up the truck and discovers that it is not only a Transformer, but the Autobot Leader Optimus Prime.  He nurses Prime back to health just in time for the government and Lockdown to arrive, and then threaten to kill Marky Mark’s jail bait daughter.  Prime saves them and then more Transformers show up and they fight for the next 2 hours in Texas, Chicago and China.  The Dinobots arrive in time for Prime and Marky Mark to defeat Lockdown and the now rogue government agents.  In the end, Optimus Prime flies into space to find The Creator who sent Lockdown to Earth, and set up the next movie.

SHE SAID:  GRIMLOCK!!! I LOVE GRIMLOCK!!!

HE SAID:  If I was even remotely expecting a good movie I would have hated it.  After the reviews I read though, my expectations we super low, so I actually kind of enjoyed it for what it is.  Plus, my wife is a HUGE Transformers fan, so watching her light up as the Transformers, and especially Grimlock showed up was half the fun.  Transformers fans beware Grimlock does not utter his famous line “Me, Grimlock, no bozo. Me king!”  So if you are looking for a deep philosophical art house film that will change the way you look at life, skip "Transformers: Age of Extinction," cause this ain’t it.  But if you are looking for REALLY mindless destruction for 2 hours and 45 minutes, there are worse ways to spend your time.  I mean what did you think you were getting? It’s a "Transformers" movie.

SHE SAID:  GRIMLOCK KING!!!!

CONCLUSION

See!  What did I tell you?  That may or may not save you $9.  It doesn't sway me, but I'll take skipping 800 words of my own groaning.  I'd like to thank Jason and Danielle for stepping up as this website's second and third official guest critics.  Thanks for letting me play along, you two!

Let's keep this going.  Friends, if you see a movie that I don't see and want to be featured on my website (and get a fun fake biography written about you), hit up my website's Facebook page and you can be my next GUEST CRITIC!

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