Review – Gotham Episode 1


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Adding layers to the Batman’s on screen Mythos we have Gotham as the latest addition to the list. If Batman on screen personas are layers of a cake then where are you going to put up Gotham is the question (Joel Schumacher’s version will obviously be the bottom-most wooden plate that everyone throws away after licking off some cream.)

Gotham when went into development claimed to have taken mythos from Batman: Year One, Scott Snyder’s Zero Year, Batman: Earth One and obviously Gotham Central but as the first episode aired it doesn’t feel like Gotham Central at all leave alone rest of the books.

Storywise it tries to give a Nolanish feeling to the setting, something that Arrow has followed for two years and has got positive reviews mostly till now. The biggest problem with Gotham is that even after being named after Batman’s city that in comics has its own character and set of mythos, it feels like any other city in USA (Los Angeles and Detroit seem to have higher crime rate than Gotham.) Warner Bros is obviously bored of telling the same Batman origin story again and again so in first episode we got a quick replay of the iconic Waynes’ murder scene and as Bruce looked at his parents’ dead bodies, got down on its knees and screamed looking up in the darkness I knew that that show is going to disappoint. The moment was so underwhelming that I almost lost expectations from rest of the episodes. Selena Kyle is introduced on the show before Bruce Wayne is ever introduced and from what it seems from 2 episodes that passed and the 3rd one on its way that Selena is going to be a more centric character than Bruce who’ll keep showing his psychotic behavior that sounds more like a criminal rather than a Superhero vigilante, oh wait.

Anyways, I absolutely loved how Cabbalpot and Nygma were introduced, James Gordon certainly has no persona as of now and neither does Harvey Bullock. Fish Mooney was an even irritating character and the way the creators are forcefully trying to make her talk and act like Harley Quinn has simply ruined it for me. The joker reference sounded cool, I think they will show certain references throughout the season rather than introducing him because The Joker exists because Batman does and if he is introduced before introduction of his arch nemesis then the purpose would be gone.

I have read previews and casting, I want to see Red hood gang and Tommy Elliot to be introduced on the show because they exist in early Gotham mythos more than any of these. For people who have been disappointed by the show should lower down their expectations and think of it as just another average TV show, I guess that will work better for this show.

So obviously Gotham right now feels like Decoration on the side of cake with flowers, blue cream and all the jazz. One can ignore if it was just another show but it then the cake is huge and people want to be perfect.

Rating 3.5/5 (could have been 5/5 if the name was not Gotham)

Analyzing the post credit scenes from MCU Phase 2


 

With Marvel Cinematic Universe’s phase 2 finally coming to an end with Guardians of the Galaxy and Age of Ultron on the way I decided to take a look back on the mid and post credit scenes all the movies of MCU phase 2 and how they are different than the ones in phase 1.

How are phase 2 mid and post credit sequences different from the ones in Phase 1. During phase 1, Marvel was a relatively unknown franchise, taking risk with some relatively unknown characters and was building a momentum for Avengers at the same time. Each of the post credit scenes in the phase 1 was a tease for the next movie. Until Iron Man 2 most of the fans didn’t even know about the cohesive cinematic universe that Marvel was planning to build so the post credit sequences had two roles 1 to make the audience aware about their next movie, and 2 To set foundation for their first Avengers movie. And this worked well.

From what I have observed, the after credits only come into play when Marvel is going to introduce a new character or a new movie THAT IS NOT A SEQUEL is on the way. Let me explain how.

Before reading the post you need to assume that from Phase 2 the movies are divided in two directions. The movies that take place on Earth are the only ones leading to Avengers 2 while the cosmic movies are leading directly to the final act in 3rd Avengers movie and Phase 3.

Iron Man 3 – The end credits reveal that the whole movie was running in flashback as Tony was narrating his story to his science buddy Dr. Bruce Banner, sitting in the building that once used to be Stark towers and now is The Avengers Mansion.

Implications – Tony was planning to build Avengers mansion by the time Avengers ended, now we have a fully functional building made for the members of team and Dr. Bruce Banner is already living in it. This can either mean that Dr. Banner finally found home he was looking for or may be Tony is secretly keeping a watch on him (we know that Hulkbuster is going to show up in Age of Ultron.) This scene serves as an epilogue for Avengers as well as a prologue giving a mild tease for next Avengers movie.

Thor: The Dark World – The mid credit scene of Thor’s sequel introduced us to The Collector leading directly to Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The end credit sequence of Thor: TDW shows that Thor has returned to Earth after seeking permission from Loki/Odin. This post credit sequence was a direct tease for Avengers 2 and declaring that Thor now has truly become the protector of Midgard.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier – The mid credit scene introduced us to the new members of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Avengers is also going to serve as an origin story for these two characters along with a possible hint on the Inhumans movie that will be a part of MCU’s phase 3 slot. The end credit sequence however was probably setting route for Bucky’s path and Captain America 3.

Guardians of the Galaxy – This was one of the most confusing after credit sequence that many fans thought was underwhelming. Well, let’s look upon it in this way. This sequence firstly teases Avengers 3 that will probably feature The Collector who is also on a quest for infinity gems along with it what I can guess is that the Howard the Duck cameo was not about Howard the Duck but instead what was behind him. An empty cocoon inside which Adam Warlock was charging himself and is now gone. The same cocoon showed up in Thor: TDW as well. These end credits are setting stones for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and then to Avengers 3.

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Whatever be the meaning of these scenes for one thing I am sure is that now 4 of the key members of Avengers have united on Earth under one roof. Captain America has left SHIELD and shifted to Avengers mansion, Thor will probably find home at the same place where Bruce Banner is already residing. At the same time Guardians are now on a new quest that will probably lead them to Thanos by the time phase 3 concludes.

Remembering Pran Kumar Sharma.


Pran Kumar Sharma, the creator of the iconic characters like Chacha Chaudhary, Billoo and Pinky passed away last Wednesday in Delhi at age of 75. The news of his demise was hit hard among the fans who grew up reading tales of Chacha Chaudhary, whose brain works faster than a computer, troublesome Billoo and cute Pinky. Large number of fans mourned the loss of the beloved artist and the comic book creator that was followed by a series of fond memories about reading and buying diamond comics on a train journey or during summer holidays.

We at Comicbookrants decided to pay him a tribute on his birthday yesterday on 15 Aug but we got loaded we list of tributes and messages from all around the internet that it took us a day finally come up with the article.

Here is a chat session with the legendary artist that will bring your memories and tears in the eyes at the same time.

The internet was abuzz with news of demise of the legend as well. From Facebook to Twitter everyone mourned his death.

Major Indian comic book companies and fans wrote about the loss Indian comics industry just went through.

 

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Artists paying tribute with their art works dedicated to Pran Sir.

10435840_10152360607776553_2184676996556140620_nAmul was the first one in the long list of art tributes to the legend

Kshiraj TelangBy Kshiraj Telang

ManasBy Manas

Raghupathi SringeriBy Raghupathi Sringeri

Rahul KatyayanRahul Katyayan

sumit kumar adapted from this Jim Henson tributeSumit Kumar’s adaptation from Jim Henson’s tribute to Walt Disney

sumit kumarChacha Chaudhary and Tintin mashup by Sumit Kumar

More tributes can be followed in this album on Chitrakatha’s page

Along with facebook users and pages twitterverse was a shocked by this news as well.

The Prime Minister remembers Pran Sir

Cartoonist Manjul’s tribute for the legend

Pran sir left behind a long list of admirers and fans who grew up reading his characters. He is always going to live in their memories and the legacy he left behind.

Movie review: Guardians of the Galaxy


Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy...Milano..Ph: Film Frame..?Marvel 2014

Before you start reading this review and the way I have gloriously described this movie and start calling me a Marvel fanboy (that I am) let me tell you this. I was really not happy when Marvel announced Guardians of the Galaxy movie was on its way. I among many of the fans wanted to see a Black Panther or a Hulk movie in the first place that was taken by Guardians of the Galaxy.

I mean who cares about bunch of misfits formed together to protect the universe, their stories looked good in comic books and they were needed to Avengers 3 to take place but I wondered why Marvel was putting money on this totally unknown franchise so soon when they have so many better options.

And then James Gunn was announced as the director and the skeptic in me kinda became hopeful.

Long story short I waited for one and a half year for this movie to come out that was obviously being ruined by pathetic run of Guardians of the Galaxy comics series that is left in the cruel hands of Brain M. Bendis and totally destroyed the series (I’ll continue this rant somewhere else in other space time). Finally the day came when I was going to watch Guardians of the Galaxy on 8th August 2014.

After the first trailer and the entire ooga chaka sequence I didn’t watch a single trailer related to this movie so I had no idea what was going to show up, not even a glimpse. I had to pay 300 bucks for this movie in my city because cinepolis is run by bunch of money hungry mongrels (another rant another time.)

What followed after were the best 120 minutes of my life.

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Soon after Peter Quill’s introduction and the music that followed after I knew that the movie is going to own. The way it introduced each character, gave them their space and character was simple incredible. The soundtrack, the references and the jokes felt like distinct characters and part of the film instead of being forced in the movie for no reason.

Words fail me when I start to describe how amazing the Marvel’s first cosmic outing was. The movie passed beyond the expectations and the benchmarks both Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier created. I feel kinda bad for Joss Whedon that he is constantly facing new challenges on a regular basis to make Avengers: Age of Ultron set a new benchmark when it comes out.

The movie is about a group of misfits caught in between of an interplanetary battle and are forced to take desperate measures to take a side and save the universe from brink of destruction.

They call themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy – What a bunch of A-holes.

Guardians of the Galaxy is an origin story of the team, they are not called by their team name until by the end of the movie. This is the story of how a bunch of A-holes come together and ultimately form a team and learn to fight besides each other.

I’ll start talking about this movie with Peter Quill played by Chris Pratt. When his casting was announced I only knew him from Parks and Recreation and the amount of cheeseburger he stored inside him made me hard to believe that this guy is going to be Star Lord. In 6 months he bulked up for the movie from family pack to 6 packs. The way he walked and talked in the film reminded so much of Harrison Ford from Indiana Jones or Star Wars that right now it seems he’ll be the perfect person for the role if they decide to reboot Indiana Jones. He is someone who now seems on the levels of Robert Downey Jr. on the level of awesomeness.

Rocket guadians of the galaxy

The best part of the movie were two CGI characters Rocket and Groot voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. Rocket owned the movie, as said earlier he is the heart of the film, he is rude has a terrible past and loves guns. On the other hand Groot is a cute monster, who is as dangerous as he can be. I just loved the role they played in the movie. Thanks to censor board I missed a foul mouthed raccoon abuse on screen so a huge middle finger to them.

Drax guardiansDrax was a surprise package, I never knew that Batista can act so well. His role kind of grew up on me as the movie proceeded. Driven by revenge he almost drives the team on the brink of death only to revive himself later. I personally feel that Drax was underused and was not upto his full potential but I have hopes high for the sequel and Avengers 3 where we may see him pulling the heart out of Thanos’ chest with his bare hands.

Gamora Guardians of the Galaxy

Zoë Saldana plays Gamora, she comes out as another of the strong female characters in the marvel movies and has her own role and backstory developed in the film. She had the best hand to hand fight scenes in the film especially with Star Lord in the introduction of the film and later with Nebulla.

Now talking about the villains,

We finally get to meet the big bad playing behind the scenes till now come out of shadows. Yes I am talking about Thanos the Mad Titan himself. He looked simply Menacing played by Josh Brolin. For a 5 minute scene he turned out to be one of the most amazing parts of the movie because this time there was more of him rather than just a smile. BTW the way events of this film proceeded I strongly feel that Loki on Asgard throne is what Thanos planned as his actual mission to retrieve the Infinity gauntlet from Odin’s vault (discussion left for some time later :P).

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guardians-of-the-galaxy-villains

I liked how Ronan and Nebula’s role were developed in the film, Karen Gillian went from pretty Amy to menacing daughter of Mad Titan assisting Ronan with his mission. Lee Pace has changed his race from Elf to Kree and kind of looked scary. Unlike many other Marvel villains he looked like a villain but a well justified mission and came out as a threat not for the heroes but for the entire galaxy and the main major baddie himself, although I am disappointed that he had to die in the end of the film but the part where he had the holographic conversation with Thanos reminded me of Star Wars conversation between Darth Vader and the Emperor. It was amazing.

 

guardians_of_the_galaxy Thanos

One of the best part was checking out Collector’s vault that supposedly is filled with all kind of Easter eggs from Marvel universe. I saw a Chituari soldier, a Dark Elf, possibly a Karbonite horse like creature that looked like Beta Ray Bill along with Cosmo and Howard the Duck. I mean so much awesomeness in one movie that I cannot stop describing. The references, the cameos and everything that followed was simply incredible.

Also how can I forget Yondu, the original Guardian although looked nothing like his comic book counterpart and maybe he’ll evolve into a future Guardian but in this movie his role was so well written. I love Michael Rooker and though he initially wanted to voice Rocket that I feel would have been perfect for the role he did a beautiful job with Yondu. His comic timing and posing a fear factor in Quill’s life upto revealing that he was hired by Quill’s father to abduct him but he changed the deal and how can one forget the way he killed all the Skaaran soldiers with one arrow.

There is a lot to talk about this movie that I feel will take one more part if I keep going on like this. Coming to the direction James Gunn has done a tremendous job with the film. His vision simply plays off and makes the movie worth watching. The comedy and the seriousness simply blends with his style. He knows what he is doing and he proves it by placing all the Easter eggs, cameos and references throughout the movie.

The graphic sequences used to this film are better than any of the movies that I have seen this year, the 3d really supports the storyline and will look amazing on IMAX screen. The concept art for every characters and landscapes looks like the one from its comic book counterparts. The best use of the design really comes up with introduction of Knowhere and the Milano chase sequence.

awesome mix Guardians ofthe Galaxy

Talking about the soundtrack, I for one really felt old after watching this movie. Once these songs used to be the instant hit numbers that used to come on radio, today has evolved into classic pop from the 80s. 26 years later just like the time since Peter left Earth, the cassette is the reminder how awesome our childhood was. The MP3 players and the digital tracks can never define the identity the way this Sony Walkman and the cassette of awesome mix volume 1 and 2 have done. I have been continuously listening to Cherry Bomb and Jackson 5 since Friday on loop. The movie is reminded of good old days and the era that is gone by. Like metal is synonymous with Iron Man franchise, the classic pop is now synonymous with Guardians.

Anyways coming to the last part of this movie, I am overwhelmed the way Marvel and James Gunn presented this movie. I am one for sure that the this franchise will develop into Annihilation conquest saga as the finale, all I hope is that Marvel gets rights for Fantastic Four back from Fox and we will get to see Galactus and Silver Surfer in the future installments.

Now I’ll just sit around and wait for Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. For now here is a dancing Groot looking cute and all that.

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PS: No Raccoon or Tree creatures were harmed during making of this film.

Penny Dreadful: All The Facts You Need


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The new psychosexual horror series Penny Dreadful is now premiered on Showtime for the wider public. While my previous write-up considered what we might expect from the show, here are some details we know to be true.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFXHfEqMcis

PRODUCTION

As far as key players go, John Logan (Gladiator, Hugo) stands above them all. As well as being series creator and showrunner, he has also penned every episode. Serving alongside him as executive producer are Sam Mendes (American Beauty) and Pippa Harris (Revolutionary Road).

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For the eight episodes that make up season one, four directors have been charged with bringing the series to life. According to IMDB, the first two episodes have been directed by Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), episodes 3 and 4 by Dearbhla Walsh (The Tudors), episodes 5 and 6 by Coky Giedroyc (The Hour), and the final two episodes by James Hawes (Mad Dogs).

In terms of casting, it appears to be a very varied assortment of film, television, and stage talent. Speaking to Collider earlier in the year, Logan described Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, and Harry Treadaway as “the big four”, meaning supporting roles for the likes of Reeve Carney, Simon Russell Beale, Billie Piper, Helen McCrory, Danny Sapani, and Rory Kinnear.

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Despite the London setting, shooting actually took place at Ardmore Studios, Ireland, in addition to various other parts around Dublin. Visit the Penny Dreadful Youtube channel to watch some incredible making-of video diaries:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0jJ8YGfZ-M
Each episode runs at approximately 60 minutes, beginning on May 11th on Showtime for North America. However, being a US-UK co-production, I assume British Audiences should expect to see it shortly after when it airs on Sky Atlantic.

CONTENT

With regards to story and plot, not much is known, but over the last couple of weeks a few more interesting nuggets of information have begun to emerge.

We arrive in Victorian London, 1891, where characters from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula all breathe life.

Amongst these famous faces are also a handful of original characters such as American sharpshooter Ethan Chandler (Hartnett), supernaturally gifted clairvoyant Vanessa Ives (Green), and African explorer Sir Malcolm Murray (Dalton).

According to USA Today, the story sees Sir Malcom employing the services of Vanessa and Ethan as he searches for his daughter who has been taken by evil forces. And, as Indiewire reports, as blood spills out onto the streets, the people of London fear that Jack the Ripper has returned.

Theme wise, Logan appears to intend to examine the concepts of alienation and humanity. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in January, he said that “I chose to set the show [in 1891] not because it would be cool visually but because the Victorian era reminds me of right now […] They were on the cusp of the modern world … grappling with the very elemental question of what it means to be human”.

Additionally, Showtime’s David Nevins also claimed the series to be both realistic and erotic, so it’s safe to say that between all the sex, swearing, and gore, this is not a television series to show your little ones!
Finally, having previewed as this year’s SXSW, first reactions to the first episode are in.

Indiewire writes “Based on the first episode, “Penny Dreadful” is an elegant, creepily crafted horror opus […] If “Penny Dreadful” follows in the footsteps of its first episode, it will be some shivery good fun for fans of Gothic noir, macabre period pieces and smart horror alike”

USA Today claims that the first episode “wastes no time getting bloody”.

Deadline says “Bayona’s cinematic leanings set a strong stylistic tone for the series which takes viewers into the gritty streets and tenements of Victorian England…”

And MacGuffin writes “The episode as a whole is satisfyingly dark, mysterious, bloody, and horrific”

And in this video you can see how audience members reacted to the screening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG3IT4olmRI
Overall, it seems to have impressed :)

So there you go, Penny Dreadful is coming, and from the looks of things, it’s definitely worth checking out.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE GREATEST SUPERHERO EVER!!


Captain america quotes


The greatest and the most popular heroes in comics and pop culture who represent the average humans with burden and responsibility are Superman, Batman, Spider-man and Captain America. They all are iconic and have a sense of responsibility to protect the innocent and help the weak at all cost. But of all of them I always believed that Captain America is the greatest and purest of all three and in this write up I’ll try to prove it. Because even if you don’t like the character, Captain America has to be admired and respected for being the person that he is and doing what only he can do.

Big time props should go out to Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for creating a truly inspiring hero for all kids to see in December of 1940 with Captain America #1 from Timely Comics (which would later become Marvel). In that era a character in comic books actually punched Hitler was a big deal. He was most popular and enduring in those days as a pop culture icon.

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Captain America is one of the few who rose from this disabled kid who lived for patriotism of his country. He read the propaganda and he bought into it all the way. So much that he agreed to be part of an experiment that would allow him to “serve” his country as a supersoldier and help win the war and then realized the lies within the propaganda. But that didn’t stop him from loving his country and trying to live up to the values of what got him there, even if his own country didn’t stand behind them.

Captain America is again better than Superman who was the first true comic-book superstar risen from the pages of Action Comics #1 in 1938. Superman started the trend that followed later and put him up high in the pantheon of our modern-day heroes.

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Superman’s biggest flaw is that he represent everything good. No one can beat him and he’ll always win over the wrong. This is what gives the character the biggest flaws compared to Captain America. Cap despite being a Super Soldier he is still a man. Despite being a weak kid from Boston who became a Super Soldier and a symbol of peace and freedom still has to train everyday to stay this way. His suit makes him a target of all enemies. He is the most respected and recognizable hero in the Marvel Universe who inspires a nation and even other super-powered beings as well as powerful Gods from far off fabled lands.

He can’t fly at super speeds, survive direct hits from atomic missiles and lift buildings over his head with ease. He is a human being who shows the common man that each of us possesses all the superpowers we need to be heroes ourselves. For this reason I shall always believe that Cap is a better “pure” hero than Superman.

Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-Speech

Another comparison is Batman who is just perfect. But he represents the darkness that Captain America can never embrace. Steve Rogers is not a rich kid like Bruce Wayne and whatever he has today is a result of his hard work and losses he suffered in the path. The two are very comparable when it comes to overall abilities, grit, determination and willpower. It’s anyone’s guess who really is the better (even though Cap is physically Batman’s superior). Both put their lives on the line against all comers and are usually the last ones left standing in battle. But that is where the comparison’s end. Batman uses fear, stealth, gadgets and his own plan regardless of what his teammates want also Batman is egoistic. Even Batman in the JLA/Avengers limited-series (2003-2004) steps back and is lead by, who else…Captain America!! Why? Because even he knew the Cap would do a better job than him. When it comes to pure RESPECT by his peers even Batman takes a back seat to Cap. This is why Cap is a much greater “pure” hero than even Batman.

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Spidey is a true hero because the superhero life has never been easy for him. People always loved Cap (most of the time) and Superman. They’re recognized as heroes, supported by the government, and their battles are usually straight up right vs. wrong. Spider-man’s life, on the other hand, would be much better if he stopped being a hero. Being Spider-man has made his life hell and he sees no reward from it and is even recognized as a criminal, but he keeps doing it because it’s the right thing to do. Spider-man is a symbol for overcoming adversity, not giving up, and doing the right thing even when it hurts you. And this is everything needed to be a truly great “pure” hero. But truth be told, Spidey is this way because of Captain America. He looks up to Cap as the living, breathing and fighting symbol of freedom and wants to be just like him. That’s the big difference between the two; Cap is doing what he will always do in the face of adversity because he has too and everyone around him knows it and is inspired by it! And Spider-man is one of those many faces in the crowd looking at Cap for that inspiration. Even though Spidey is a “pure” hero in every sense of the word, Captain America IS the hero he’s trying to be.

Captain-America-10-Essential-Comic-Book-Runs

Captain America is the symbol of hope in despair, light in darkness and yet everything wrong in the world that he stands against for. His morals, values make him what he is. He stood for vigilantes and masked superheroes in Civil War and ultimately took a bullet because he believed in his principles and his values didn’t allow him to take Tony Star’s side.
Steve Rogers truly deserves respect and is the purest and greatest Superheroes ever.

Movie review: Transformers Age of Extinction


OptimusPrimeBumblebeeBank

Title – Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Director – Michael Bay (Transformers: Dark of the Moon)

Cast – Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Kelsey Grammer, Stanley Tucci, Titus Welliver, Sophia Myles, Bingbing Li, T.J Miller

Plot – Are you kidding? Plot in Transformers. just a lot of Robots, fighting, more robots, Mark Whalberg, comic relief, robots, product placement, eye candy in the form of a young hot female (definitely not an actress), robots, Frasier and explosions. Don’t forget the explosions!

“Sweetie, get my alien gun!”

With 3 films well and truly done and dusted and with this 4threleasing this year, there is no question that by now everyone knows that what Transformers movie is all about and it totally depends on the viewer if he likes the way these movies take place or not.

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It has been four years since the destructive battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons in Chicago, leaving over a thousand civilians dead in the process.  Humans have since cut their alliance with the Autobots, and instead are hunting down and destroying them one by one with the help of Lockdown; a Transformer bounty hunter .  Optimus Prime has decided to go into hiding in Texas, where he is discovered by inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and his co-worker Lucas (TJ Miller) as an old, worn-out truck.  The Government- led by Kelsey Grammar & Titus Welliver’s CIA characters- realizes Yeager is in possession of an Autobot, and threatens him and his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz), only before Optimus helps them escape.

One thing the movie does that is interesting though is it greatly reduces the groups in play. Optimus and the humans soon recruit the last few Autobots still surviving by hiding out; Bumblebee, Crosshairs, Hound and Drift. Acting as a rogue group with their backs against the wall gives them an edge that the previous movies lacked. It was hinted at in “Dark of the Moon” when Optimus proclaims that they will kill all Decepticons once and for all but here, he’s completely lost his faith after losing countless friends protecting humans that ultimately betrayed them.

Unfortunately, for every large action scene/set piece, there’s also weird establishing shots and largely unnecessary moments that drag down an already overstuffed 165 minutes of run time. The script is just as flimsy as ever and introduces tons of new ideas and attempts to add to the lore while largely ignoring everything from the previous films that isn’t the battle of Chicago. Shane, the boyfriend character, is awful and underdeveloped and at times, him and Tessa both just seem like whiny brats.

Which leads to the elephant in the room; Sam Witwicky, Shia LaBeouf’s hero from the first three films is not mentioned once. Nowhere, nothing. It’s hard to believe because not only did he go to robot heaven and find out it’s his destiny to help the Autobots, but given how hard Bumblee and Optimus fought to protect him, watch him and honestly just liked him, they don’t once ask for him to come help or that he’s safe and ok and that’s a move that becomes more and more glaring as the Tessa/Shane relationship feels more and more shoe-horned in, with Shane even dressing almost exactly like Sam from “Dark of the Moon” in the climax.

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The plot presents several questions to you, such as the origin of the Transformers, which look like they will be resolved by the end of the movie. They’re not. In fact, by the end of the movie it’s apparent that these are mysteries that will fuel future sequels. But until you reach the end, you’ll get this lingering sense that you missed something in the movie.

Chances are if you are going to see Transformers: Age of Extinction then you know what you’re getting yourself into. You’re prepared for the plot holes, the sub-par acting, and the plethora of explosions. If you just want to see more giant robots fighting the movie certainly delivers that, and we can actually tell which robot is which when they are duking it out. I just think the formula is getting old, but Bay apparently doesn’t think so as the movie sets up yet another sequel to come. If you didn’t enjoy any of the previous movies, you aren’t going to like this one. But for those of you who can’t get enough Transformer action, this installment offers more of the same.

My Score: 6 out of 10

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