Weekend Movies: Bayformers to Rule Them All

With the latest ‘Transformers’ already three and a half days into its theatrical run, the film may not be breaking any noteworthy records, but it’s definitely on track to hold the biggest opening of 2011 (so far). Most teenagers are expected to choose ‘Dark of the Moon’ over Selena Gomez’s teen flick ‘Monte Carlo’, but Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts’ middle-age comedy ‘Larry Crowne’ may have a decent pull for the adult audiences.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon‘ opened three hours early exclusively on 3D and IMAX screens on Tuesday night, and brought in an estimated $5.5 million in that small window of sneak previews. The early morning Wednesday midnight showings brought in another $8 million, bringing the opening day totals to a whopping $37.3 million. Not too shabby for a mid-week opening. Although ‘Dark of the Moon’ holds the best opening day gross of 2011, it’s still almost $25 million behind the $62 million opening of the last ‘Transformers’ flick, ‘Revenge of Fallen’.

Much like the dreadful ‘Twilight’ series, ‘Transformers’ is a critic-proof franchise. The low 37% Rotten Tomatoes rating hasn’t made a dent in the film’s gross, beyond the expected decline from ‘Dark of the Moon’ being the third in the franchise. But like I said in my review, the only audience who will truly enjoy the low-quality entertainment that ‘Dark of the Moon’ provides will be the same audience that thoroughly enjoyed ‘Revenge of the Fallen‘. ‘Dark of the Moon’ is nothing more than 154 minutes of the same effortless garbage.

Speaking of garbage, why do studios still pump out terrible films that pigeon-hole themselves to the tiniest of audiences? ‘Monte Carlo‘ is one of those. Selena Gomez plays a high school grad on vacation in Paris with her step sister and best friend. Their vacation gets really interesting when she becomes the doppelganger of a wealthy stuck-up heiress brat. So the girls spend money that isn’t theirs, stay in hotel suites they didn’t pay for, and make public appearances as if they’re never going to get caught. Check out my review to read how utterly ridiculous ‘Monte Carlo’ gets. Films like these are the bane of a critic’s existence. I’m not looking forward to the day when my own daughters will begin to enjoy these types of movies.

My pick of the week is actually the film I least expected to enjoy, ‘Larry Crowne‘. Co-written and directed by lead actor Tom Hanks, ‘Larry Crowne’ falls into that simple crowd-pleasing, feel-good category. Walking you through the rise of a down-and-out unemployed recent divorcee, the film is an optimistic coming-of-middle-age comedy that’s sure to entertain any audience college-age or older. Hanks returns to his comedic roots, and Julia Roberts returns to being likable. Anyone who enjoys Hanks’ Playtone films will be charmed by ‘Larry Crowne’. You can read my review here.

Opening in very limited release this weekend is the Sundance 2010 David Hyde Pierce film ‘The Perfect Host‘. After reading capsule reviews, I’m sad that I missed it at Sundance. It’s been said to lie in the same vein as Showtime’s ‘Dexter‘. The IMDb synopsis says: “A criminal on the run cons his way into the wrong dinner party where the host is anything but ordinary.” As soon as ‘The Perfect Host’ opens in Salt Lake City, I’m there.


  1. Glad to hear Larry Crowne isn’t too bad, as I think I’ll be dragged to see it tonight. I haven’t had much love for Hanks, once he finished his run of 80s comedies. I just don’t find him especially believable or sympathetic in serious roles.

  2. After completely bypassing the second movie, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the third. I knew the second movie was going to ahem, suck and I was correct in that. But the third movie had a lot of people I somewhat trust on the internet saying the one thing I was waiting for “Better than the second one”. I know that’s not high praise but with people saying that there was a 1 Hour action sequence (not far from the truth) I decided to take the chance and pledge my support for movies that are “Filmed” in 3D and not the crappy post 3d we have gotten on most films other than Avatar and TRON Legacy.

    The movie is actually pretty good for a Bay film, the Autobots actually act intelligently, most if not all of the racist stereo types are gone. There is still much of the dumbed down Bay humor (But a lot of it was actually funny this time)

    I would say the movie is definitely in between what Rotten tomatoes has as its current score 37% last I looked, and the 90% that the audience has given it. I would say at most a semi solid 50% to 55%.

    The effects are pretty mind blowing and the 3D in the action heavy scenes are pretty good. The scenes where people are talking almost have no depth to them at all so Cameron doesn’t have anything to worry about from Bay contrary to what some other reviews might say.

    If you liked the first one at all but thought that the Autobots acted out of character then I can pretty much guarantee you’ll like this one. It’s still not the Transformers movie I wanted but it’s about as close as I think we’ll likely get for another 5 to 10 years.

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