Download The Hangover Part 2 Movie


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The same wrecking crew is in place with the core culprits — Phil (Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) — on tap for another drug-and-alcohol-induced blackout with a new missing person, an old nemesis resurfacing and another wedding in jeopardy. Justin Bartha's Doug, who was the misplaced groom the last time out, shows up briefly then remains poolside while his buddies go wild and crazy in Bangkok.

Todd Phillips, who directed the first and has a playbook stuffed with other whacked-out comedies, "Old School" and "Due Date" among them, is another returning player. He keeps the chaos churning, squeezing the funny out of what he can and delivering some horribly hilarious moments that you may feel a need to apologize for laughing at later. Phillips collaborated with Craig Mazin ("Scary Movie 3 & 4" and more) and Scot Armstrong ("Old School" and others) to write the latest round of overindulgence. But this screenplay is far less inventive than the original written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, though the two plots are so intertwined that if you didn't see the first, you won't get half of the jokes in the sequel.

Here's the current setup. It's two years later and the tooth that naughty/nice/nerdy dentist Stu pulled in Vegas is fixed, his wedding-chapel marriage to the stripper has been annulled and his nasty L.A. girlfriend ditched. He is about to marry his new squeeze, a sweetheart named Lauren (Jamie Chung). The setting is Thailand, inconvenient for everyone, but hey, it's her ancestral home and it's what the parents want. Given the history, a bachelor party has been nixed in favor of a pancake brunch. But peer pressure has pushed Stu to invite prime hangover instigator Alan (Galifianakis), whose bedroom is a shrine to the crimes and misdemeanors of Vegas.

Soon they're all checking into a posh Thai beach resort, determined to make this wedding as uneventful as possible. But then things happen, as they do anytime Alan is involved, with the wolf pack waking up in a seedy Bangkok hotel with a monkey, a severed body part in the ice bucket, Stu defaced yet again and Mr. Chow back in their business (Ken Jeong, still naked and screaming). It gets worse; apparently, sometime during the night the bride's younger brother Teddy (Mason Lee) went missing. They've got to find Teddy, fix a bunch of stuff and make it back for the wedding.

Though Helms is still in charge of slapstick, Galifianakis is the critical comic glue — he wears funny like an old T-shirt, making it equally comfortable and uncomfortable to watch him, depending on the needs of the scene. Cooper is considered the alpha dog, I guess because he's always at the head of the pack as they unravel the havoc that's been wreaked. But actually his character's central purpose seems to be calling in disaster play-by-plays to the wedding party, which he usually does with his shirt unbuttoned, so maybe he's meant to be eye candy too.
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Download Bad Teacher Movie


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The notion that director Jake Kasdan and screenwriters Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg ("The Office" veterans) play with is a clever twist on the age-old question: What really makes a good girl good and a bad girl bad? I say "girl" because even though Diaz's Elizabeth Halsey and Punch's Amy Squirrel are board-certified teachers, they are a long way from adults. Ironically, Segel's pot-smoking gym teacher is the grown-up among "Bad Teacher's" class clowns, and quite an appealing one at that. Meanwhile, Timberlake is an embarrassingly infantile sub, Mr. Delacorte, though he can sing (but we knew that).

Now to the "good-bad" question, which the filmmakers have restated thusly: Can we look past Elizabeth's filthy mouth, very hot bod, fabulous hair, sexy clothes and clear disdain for virtually all of humanity to see the possibly decent person that might be buried deep, deep, deep inside? They don't make a "yes" easy.

The movie starts as Elizabeth is wrapping up what she thinks will be her first and last year at the local middle school, where she's been putting the finishing touches on her wedding of convenience — her intended is conveniently rich. A bad turn of events puts her back in the classroom in the fall and convinces her that all she needs is a boob job to turn things around. Raising enough money for the procedure becomes an obsession and she will do anything to get there. The various "anythings" become the comic fodder that drives the action, with cinematographer Alar Kivilo ("The Blind Side") ensuring that the apple stays polished.

Elizabeth's nemesis is Amy, a perky redhead who's got a killer grip on the top teacher spot, a crush on goody two-shoes Mr. Delacorte and an increasingly loose screw. Driving her crazy is Elizabeth's ability to convince everyone else that despite her many offenses — showing movies to her class while she sleeps off a hangover is a frequent one — she's good at her job, or as Principal Wally Snur (John Michael Higgins) puts it, she's teaching "for the right reasons" (which sadly only makes me think of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette").

Diaz is quite fearless in playing funny, willing to throw those long gams and all that sex appeal under the bus if it will get the laugh. It's been more successful when she's playing the innocent, as she did with a great deal of campy charm in "There's Something About Mary" and "My Best Friend's Wedding." She should be able to go dark too, but most filmmakers, including Kasdan, don't seem to know exactly how to take her there. So, instead of physical comedy (soaping up in Daisy Dukes at the school's fundraising car wash does not count), "Bad Teacher" puts all its comic chips on giving her a potty mouth.
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Download Harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2 Movie

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson finish a 10-year journey with “The Deathly Hallows Part 2,” directed by David Yates.

It ends well. After eight films in 10 years and a cumulative global box-office take of more than $6.3 billion, the
most successful franchise in the history of movies comes to an obligatory -- and quite satisfying -- conclusion in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Fully justifying the decision, once thought purely mercenary, of splitting J.K. Rowling's final book into two parts, this is an exciting and, to put it mildly, massively eventful finale that will grip and greatly please anyone who has been at all a fan of the series up to now. If ever there was a sure thing commercially, this stout farewell is it.
PHOTOS: Growing Up 'Harry Potter'

It has been an extraordinary run, really, marked by careful planning as well as very good luck. When some quick shots at the end remind how incredibly young Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson were when this all started, one marvels that they've all grown up to be as physically plausible for the roles and sufficiently talented as they have. With a parade of wonderful British actors filling exceedingly vivid parts, casting has been the series' most consistently strong suit throughout; remarkably, only one major actor, Richard Harris, died over the course of the decade, and he was undisruptively replaced by Michael Gambon (though regret still lingers that Peter O'Toole wasn't cast as Dumbledore in the first place; was it thought he wouldn't survive this long?).

PHOTOS: Summer Blockbuster Guide

After Chris Columbus launched the franchise capably but with less than dazzling flair, producer David Heyman smartly chose Alfonso Cuaron and Mike Newell to stage the next two --the best of the series artistically -- then settled on TV director David Yates for the long march to the end. Initially working in what seemed too straightforward and briskly efficient a manner, Yates has finally come into his own in this last installment, orchestrating a massive chessboard of events with impressive finesse and a stronger sense of dramatic composition than he has previously displayed.

STORY: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2' Named Most Anticipated Film of 2011

But perhaps the key player all along has been screenwriter Steve Kloves, who made what must have been a vexing decision to put a promising directorial career on hold for more than a decade to write all but one of the Potter episodes (though confessing exhaustion and the need of a break, he later expressed regret over not adapting The Order of the Phoenix). Tricky in that so many characters, including quite a few from the past, needed to be shuffled into the dramatic deck without sacrificing forward momentum, this final chapter suggests an even greater-than-usual attention to narrative balance and refinement. Simply put, it's clear the filmmakers felt the responsibility to do this job right, and that they have. [See what other critics have to say about the movie here.]

Of course, Deathly Hallows Part 2 is all about the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort, the ultimate showdown between good and evil, the climax the entire series has built toward from the beginning. With Voldemort wielding the coveted Elder Wand with blinding power even before the Warner Bros. logo appears onscreen, Harry, Ron and Hermione at the outset are still in the wilderness, commanded to find and destroy four remaining Horcruxes (all of which contain fractions of the Dark Lord's soul) and obliged to make a deal with disagreeable goblin Griphook (Warwick Davis) to gain access to Bellatrix Lestrange's bank vault, where one Horcrux might be hidden.

STORY: 'Harry Potter' Stars Wouldn't Return if Franchise Went On

The subsequent break-in involves a wonderful charade in which Hermione disguises herself as Bellatrix (some amusing work from Helena Bonham Carter here) but also a roller-coaster ride that feels like a prototype for a theme-park attraction. This sequence also calls attention to the fact that, after an aborted effort on the previous installment, this is the first Harry Potter film to be released in 3D. Those with a purist streak will probably wish Warners had left well enough alone and not adopted the fad purely for the extra dollars, as if it needed them. Still, apart from a few isolated effects that look phonier thanks to the extra dimension, the 3D works pretty well for the many spectacular visual effects as well as with the greater sense of depth with which Yates stages many of his scenes here.

As Harry and his friends converge on Hogwarts -- now run by Snape like a gloomy fascist camp and guarded by hovering Death Eaters -- an admirably sober, melancholy mood cloaks the proceedings; Aberforth Dumbledore (Ciaran Hinds) details unsavory aspects of his family's early history and portents of what's to come reverberate as Harry and Voldemort increasingly share what's in their minds, while Harry's welcoming committee at school resembles a stalwart bunch of loyal soldiers gathered for a none-too-promising last stand. Among the many who have been recently little seen, the one who most surprisingly rises to the occasion is the largely forgotten Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), whereas Harry's girlfriend Ginny (Bonnie Wright) offers entirely expected solidarity.

STORY: AMC Announces 'Harry Potter' Four-Night Premiere Event

Similarly marginalized in recent years, Maggie Smith's wonderful Minerva McGonagall reasserts herself for this last campaign, helping to create a shield around Hogwarts that will at least temporarily delay Voldemort's army, which has converged on a cliff overlooking the school. As preparations are frantically made for the final battle, time is nonetheless found for crucial narrative trips into the past, including one final and particularly revelatory dive into the pensieve to explore the early relationships among Snape, Harry's mother and Dumbledore, as well as the murders that started it all so many years before.

Even the final wand duel between the evenly matched Harry and Voldemort has its distinct stages that reveal final layers of information. It's also nicely leavened with slashes of humor, leading to a brief coda set 19 years later that, in the way it comes full circle and reconnects with the relative innocence with which the series started, feels just right.

The squabbling of Deathly Hallows Part 1 happily a thing of the past, Ron and Hermione lend stalwart support, but the burdens of the consummation lie squarely upon Harry's shoulders and lead one to appreciate Radcliffe's accomplishment here and throughout the series; whatever quibbles and shortcomings have existed in the past, he is Harry, once and for all, and goes out on a high note. A number of departed or otherwise absented characters make brief appearances here as a means of tying things together, enabling such actors as Gary Oldman, Emma Thompson, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Spall, Miriam Margolyes, Julie Walters and others to make brief curtain calls along with their fellow great pros.

Technically, nothing has been held back. The eventual sight of Hogwarts as a crumbled ruin is striking, Eduardo Serra's cinematography outclasses what he accomplished the last time out, and some of Nick Dudman's makeup effects -- especially with the goblins and a shocking glimpse of a fetal Voldemort -- are sensational. Alexandre Desplat's score is arguably the best yet for the series, briefly incorporating echoes of John Williams' original themes while richly boosting the already heightened drama of this sendoff to such a tremendously successful series.

All that's missing is an official “The End” after the final image.

Opens: Friday, July 15 (Warner Bros.)
Production: Heydey Films
Director: David Yates
Screenwriter: Steve Kloves, based on the novel by J.K. Rowling
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, John Hurt, Jason Isaacs, Matthew Lewis, Kelly Macdonald, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, David Thewlis, David Bradley, Jim Broadbent, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Ciaran Hinds, Gemma Jones, Dave Legeno, Miriam Margolyes, Helen McCrory, Nick Moran, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Clemence Poesy, Timothy Spall, Natalia Tena, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright
Producers: David Heyman, David Barron, J.K. Rowling
Executive producer: Lionel Wigram
Director of photography: Eduardo Serra
Production designer: Stuart Craig
Costume designer: Jany Temime
Editor: Mark Day
Music: Alexandre Desplat
Visual effects supervisor: Tim Burke
Special makeup effects: Nick Dudman
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Download Thor Movie


Odin (Hopkins), King of Asgard wages a war against the huge Frost Giants who possess the power of freezing anything to ice. The giants start converting the universe to ice by freezing and killing every living being they witness in order to solely gain control over the nine realms including earth. Odin wages a war against the giants to protect the world and wins it. He captures their power and keeps it in his custody. Years pass and the day Odin decides to crown his mighty son THOR, as the new king of Asgard, the giants manage to barge into the secret chambers of the king to get back their power thus enraging the short tempered prince THOR.

THOR secretly attacks the giants to wipe off their race, much against the wishes of his father. THOR's reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Odin punishes his son's deviant behaviour by banishing him to earth. Odin expects THOR to realize some day what it takes to become a true king.

Though visually entertaining, plot wise, THOR is highly clichéd and dated which is why this superhero does not leave the kind of impact you would ideally expect from it.

THOR is more of a fantasy filled fun fairytale than an intense sci-fi thriller based on an ancient mythology as it had touted to be. In fact the light hearted treatment given to THOR will remind you a lot of Disney's Amy Adams starrer Enchanted.

You encounter many loopholes too. THOR's shift from Asgard to earth looks rather comfortable as the God of Thunder manages to get along with humans a bit too conveniently. He even lands up on earth in jeans and Tee, unlike his other friends from Asgard who come to earth in their warrior outfits! On earth, THOR even goes to a local pub, drinks beer and falls in love with a scientist ( Natalie Portman) like any other American cheesy romcom!

The script's twists are too little and way too predictable for you to feel for the central character or his change of ways.

Anthony Hopkins is convincing as usual. Portman has barely anything to do. Aussie Chris Hemsworth as the blonde well built 'THOR' looks and plays his part well.

For a light hearted superhero film, THOR is a good one time watch. Don't expect anything new though.
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Download Real Steel Movie



Sometimes Cinema Siren is dragged to a movie with only the promise of a hot chest and 6-pack abs, and the rock'em-sock'em robot Rocky story Real Steel seemed to have only Hugh Jackman's considerable visual charms going for it.

When you enter a theatre counting the minutes before shirt removal (no more than 20 minutes, friends) it isn't a good sign. Imagine my surprise when this cornfest with a silly premise that borrows bits from movies ranging from The Champ to Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome turned out to be so highly entertaining. I kept expecting it to crash and implode on itself, but throughout the duration of this movie, even as I knew it was completely ridiculous, I was also grinning ear to ear.

If you can overlook the obvious product placements and the largely predictable plot, you'll have a great time. I had heard the studio had already screened upwards of 10 previews of Real Steel because the ever increasing buzz was so positive, and sure enough at the end there wasn't just a smattering of applause, there was cheering. Seriously. Cheering for a boxing robot. Cinematic wonders never cease.

Have you ever heard or seen of a boxing movie with an original plot? Well, this one doesn't have one either. Washed up drunken boxer who has lost his mojo tries to find it again with the help of… his plucky girlfriend? The progeny he has long ignored?…

The story that finds its way under your skin in this movie is the development of the relationship between a longtime absentee father and his son, the invigoration of which leads to a reaffirmation of the man's self worth, and owes much to the classic The Champ, starring Jackie Cooper, with whom young star Dakota Goyo shares more than a passing resemblance. All of this and a robot underdog, too.

This is a future where bots have replaced bods so as to allow for total annihilation, total destruction, or so as to allow the fighters to, as one scruffy back alley announcer called it, "serve up a hot cup of decappuccino." There's big money being made in the sport with robots beating each other to a fuel spewing, socket springing, computer overloading pulp in front of the same or a slightly more rabid betting cheering audience.

For boxer Charlie Kenton, played by Jackman, life has devolved into running from loan sharks, taking fights for his second rate robot with bulls at the county fair, and swilling beer before he crawls out of bed in the morning. He gets saddled with his kid, that he doesn't want, when the boy's mother dies.

Together with the help of his former childhood sweetheart (who is also the daughter of his old boxing trainer) and the robot his son Max digs and arduously reconstructs out of a scrap heap, naming him Atom, he slowly builds his life back into something more. The scenes of interaction between any of these three humans is what gives this movie its heart and the audience can't help but root for them in every way possible.

The robot fight scenes will have them rooting too. Not least of which because of Atom's anthropomorphized look and underdog status, every fight, or every time he gets in the ring, the audience is in his corner. Also, the whole idea that these fights are big mechanized robots beating each other is utterly ridiculous but such tasty action eye candy it overrules any silliness factor.

In the big final bout against the biggest toughest bot of them all, Zeus, Jackman has to shadow box Atom's moves hit for hit, and the crowd goes wild, both in the movie and in the theatre. If there isn't actual slow motion, it plays that way in my head.

I'm a bit of a sucker for an underdog movie. In spite of what seems to be an endless stream of career missteps on the part of the talented and gorgeous Hugh Jackman, he has stumbled into a success. Though initially targeted at younger teenaged boys, Real Steel has somehow made more of itself and become a feel-good movie about redemption both families and adult escapists will applaud.

I walked out shaking my head and smiling in disbelief. "I'll hate it in the morning," I thought… but I didn't. I guess sometimes what seems like a stupid idea actually works. We should all remember that.
About this column: Leslie Combemale, "Cinema Siren", is a movie lover and aficionado in Northern Virginia. Alongside Michael Barry, she owns ArtInsights, an animation and film art gallery in Reston Town Center.
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Download cowboys and aliens movie


This comic book movie from Jon Favreau spends a gratifying amount of time on its characters and actors rather the visual FX.

SAN DIEGO — Fusion is everything in gourmet cuisine these days, so why shouldn’t filmmakers mix and match movie genres no matter how crazy? Cowboys & Aliens -- well, the title says it all. Taking the idea from a Platinum Studios graphic novel by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, this film from Jon Favreau shrewdly blends an alien-invasion movie into a Western. The key to its success lies in the determination by everyone involved to play the damn thing straight. Even the slightest goofiness, the tiniest touch of camp, and the whole thing would blow sky high. But it doesn’t.

If you were to assess the mix, it would be about 70 percent Western paired with 30 percent alien invasion. Which is pretty bold given that aliens are all the rage and the most recent Western to make a lasting impression was probably Clint Eastwood’s 1992 Unforgiven. But that’s where shrewdness comes in: You expect space invasions; a Western is a tricky thing to pull off.

A big hit here at its Comic-Con world premiere, the Universal release looks primed to round up box-office gold with its target audience, all in ample supply this weekend in San Diego. But you suspect this is one monster movie that might even reach older audiences, who would love to slap on chaps and get rough and dirty with a good, old-fashioned Western. Well, here’s that opportunity. Nor does it hurt the movie’s appeal to an older crowd that the film unhesitatingly pairs two mature stars, Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, to go up against the aliens.

Take a look at the credit box for this film, and you’ll see an all-star team of Hollywood producers, exec producers and writers. But such is the overriding intelligence and singular vision in this picture that you have to assume Favreau deserves the credit for keeping things true to both genres. A surprisingly good Western is taking place before those creatures drop down from another planet. True, the Western characters and story are awfully familiar to those who still treasure the genre, but the Western was always a conservative genre that stuck close to its traditions while allowing plenty of room for storytelling.

PHOTOS: Best and Worst Alien Movies

All good Westerns begin when a stranger rides into town. But this stranger, in 1875 New Mexico territory, suffers from amnesia. Played by Craig, the man awakens in the middle of the desert with a strange shackle on his left wrist and no memory of what happened to him. When he encounters three men who would take advantage of his situation, he quickly learns -- as does the audience -- he is not a man to be messed with.

The town he rides into, on a horse belonging to one of those unfortunate men, is called Absolution, a name that would give anyone pause. It is ruled by a tyrannical cattle baron, Colonel Dolarhyde, and that would be Ford who lets his face and body sag under the weight of his own ferocious and bitter sense of power. You get the impression he really wants someone to stand up to him.

When the man with no name challenges the colonel's cowardly son (an amusing Paul Dano), it looks like the colonel has found such a man. But not before a few townsfolk get introduced into the drama -- which would include the town’s preacher (Clancy Brown); a stressed saloon-keeper (Sam Rockwell) and his plucky wife (Ana de la Reguera); the colonel’s unappreciated Indian cowhand (Adam Beach); and the beleaguered sheriff (Keith Carradine, evoking his late father’s considerable impact on the Western form) and his eager-to-grow-up grandson (Noah Ringer).

Drifting mysteriously on the periphery but making sure that the stranger stays in town when everyone else is keen to see him gone is a woman, Ella (Olivia Wilde), who might understand his plight and amnesia.

Just as a showdown of epic proportions seems imminent, an even greater showdown explodes in the town in a great WTF moment. Alien spacecrafts strafe the town and abduct a number of its citizens, including the colonel’s son. Equally surprising is how the stranger’s wrist ornament suddenly springs to life as the only successful weapon against these alien forces. The stranger, as strangers always do in Westerns, has demonstrated his usefulness.

Cowboys & Aliens has now reached the crucial juncture that will either make or break this odd admixture of a movie. Had the film given way to this sci-fi onslaught, the whole thing might have turned into the fiasco that was 1999’s Wild Wild West.

But no, Favreau and his legion of screenwriters wisely cling to the Western framework. The clear model for the rest of the movie is John Ford’s The Searchers, about a Comanche abduction of a white girl and her would-be rescuers led by John Wayne’s virulently racist uncle, to whom Indians were on the same level as reptilian space aliens.

Faced with the demise of the planet, all the Western’s warring parties -- the cowboys and Indians, cattle barons and downtrodden townsfolk, the stranger and the colonel -- suddenly realize they all belong to the same species. So they band together to form a search-and-rescue party to free loved ones and eliminate the alien scourge.

As this posse tracks the aliens down to their lair with some unexpected help from the mysterious Ella, the movie becomes perhaps a tad more conventional. Some of the movie’s niftiest sequences and best character-reveals happen during this rescue, but if there is a weakness here, it’s the aliens themselves.

Thanks to quite a few filmmakers -- including Steven Spielberg, one of the many exec producers here -- audiences are used to greater detail and more empathy for movie space creatures, even as recently as the one in Super 8. The alien villains here -- while ingenious from a CGI standpoint with multilayered malevolence in bodies that pull back endoplasmic surfaces to reveal further weapons of destruction -- don’t rate as characters. They are more like moving blobs you shoot at in a video game. Bam -- gotcha!

Nonetheless, as the first of undoubtedly a bunch of copycat genre mashups, some of which are bound to be horrendous, Cowboys & Aliens is a solid success. For a tentpole Comic-Con movie, this one devotes a gratifying amount of time to character and achieves most of its success because Favreau has intelligently cast his film and let his actors do their thing. As good as the visual effects are, you walk away from the movie with a memory of actors’ faces, lines of dialogue and actions that speak more to character than to shock and awe.

And another thing: That wrist accessory worn by Craig should be a merchandising stroke of genius.

Opens: July 29 (Universal Pictures)
Production companies: Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Pictures/Reliance Entertainment present in association with Relativity Media an Imagine Entertainment / K/O Paper Products / Fairview Entertainment / Platinum Studios production
Cast: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Keith Carradine, Sam Rockwell, Paul Dano, Ana de la Reguera, Adam Beach, Clancy Brown, Noah Ringer
Director: Jon Favreau
Screenwriters: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby
Screen story by: Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Steve Oedekerk
Based on the comic book by: Scott Mitchell Rosenberg
Producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci, Scott Mitchell Rosenberg
Executive producers: Steven Spielberg, Jon Favreau, Denis L. Stewart, Bobby Cohen, Randy Greenberg, Ryan Kavanaugh
Director of photography: Matthew Libatique
Production designer: Scott Chambliss
Visual effects supervisor: Roger Guyett
Special makeup/animatronics: Shane Mahan
Music: Harry Gregson-Williams
Costume designer: Mary Zophres
Editors: Dan Lebental, Jim May
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Download Transformers 3 Movie


A lot of people paid a lot of money to hate Download This Movie  

Transformers 2. The movie made enough money for Michael Bay to bathe in the blood of supermodels every hour, for the rest of his life. But people loathed it.
So with Transformers 3, Michael Bay has made a movie about how dumb you were to hate Transformers 2, and how much you hurt his feelings by dissing his movie. Partly, he does this by making a note-for-note remake of Transformers 2. And partly, he does this by lecturing the audience about how unappreciated he feels.
The good news is, Transformers 3 is a better movie than Transformers 2. But it's not as good as the first Transformers, by any stretch of the imagination. Giant robotic spoilers ahead!
Transformers 3 is a movie about how wrong you were to hate Transformers 2So the theme of Transformers: Dark of the Moon is not by any means subtle, because well, it's Michael Bay. The whole film is about how people do not appreciate Shia LaBeouf's character, even though he saved the world twice. The government people, including a stubbornly non-kittenish Frances McDormand, don't appreciate Shia. Random soldiers don't appreciate Shia. The people holding interviews for crappy entry-level jobs don't appreciate Shia. Even Shia's supermodel girlfriend kind of thinks he's a loser who should get a job. Why don't they understand how special Shia is?
Transformers 3 is a movie about how wrong you were to hate Transformers 2The actual conflict of the film is the opposite of Transformers 2 — in the second movie, everybody desperately wanted Shia to come back and save the world again, but he was too busy being in college and having a normal life. It was your standard "I want to be normal even though I'm really awesome" storyline. But this time around, Shia desperately wants to help save the world one more time, but everybody keeps telling him to go have a normal life and stop trying to help. Shia is forced to go through a slew of humiliating job interviews and stuff, and even his giant robot buddies are too busy blowing up Libya and Eastern Europe to tell him how great he is. Worst of all, Shia's supermodel girlfriend is kind of flirting with her ultra-rich boss, played by Dr. McDreamy from Grey's Anatomy.
Transformers 3 is a movie about how wrong you were to hate Transformers 2The main emotion that comes off Shia LaBoeuf, from the first frame to the last, is a bitchy, indignant rage, interspersed with feeble attempts at ingratiation. Mutt is pissed. This is way worse than the time those monkeys kept grabbing his butt. This time, it's his self-worth and his ability to abseil off a robot's neck to glory that are being called into question, over and over again. Don't they know he got the Matrix of motherfucking Leadership last time around? And a medal from the motherfucking president?
After a few hours of seeing Shia get dissed, overlooked and mistreated, the message becomes clear: Shia, as always, is a stand-in for Michael Bay. And Bay is showing us just what it felt like to deal with the ocean of Haterade — the snarking, the Razzie Award, the mean reviews — that Revenge of the Fallen unleashed.
Transformers 3 is a movie about how wrong you were to hate Transformers 2In case it's not clear enough, Bay throws in another clue: John Turturro's character, who was working in a deli in the second movie, is fabulously rich in the third. He has written a tell-all book about aliens, which everybody dismisses as just crackpot conspiracy theories — but it's still made him millions and millions of dollars. Just the same way that everybody dismisses Michael Bay's last film, even though it made obscene quantities of money.
And because everybody just wants Shia to get a real job and have a life, instead of trying to recapture his former world-saving glory, the entire world risks being destroyed. Because Shia is the only one who can save the day.
Transformers 3 is a movie about how wrong you were to hate Transformers 2It's not really a spoiler to say that the final hour of this film includes a series of scenes where absolutely everybody stands around saying how wrong they were to ignore Shia, and how awesome Shia really is.
That's the reaction Michael Bay is envisioning you'll have by the end of this film: a deep remorse that you ever doubted him, and a profound appreciation for his contribution to the continued awesomeness of the world.
Transformers 3 is a movie about how wrong you were to hate Transformers 2(Meanwhile, the actual plot of Transformers 3 is basically the same as Transformers 2. There's an ancient, super-powerful Transformer, who knows secrets. And there's a super-powerful piece of Cybertronian technology, which will destroy the sun or cause the sky to blow up or something. And Sam is the only one who can save the day. A lot of the same story beats happen, in roughly the same order, in both films.)
To prove to you that you love him, Michael Bay knows that he must turn everything up to 11,000 this time around. He has to blaze a pure, bright after-image of his Bay-ness in your mind, so that you walk out of the theater blinking and spitting up lung pieces and knowing what the fuck Michael Bay is all about. Your eyeballs will be twice as bludgeoned. Your adult diaper will be twice as heavily laden! This time, it'll be in 3D! All of the excesses from the previous two films will be doubly in excess — except for the hip hop Autobots, who are gone.
He does this in two ways:
Transformers 3 is a movie about how wrong you were to hate Transformers 21) Delivering a few of the smoothest, most gorgeous action scenes he's ever created. There's about 30 minutes of stunning fight choreography, urban destruction and joyriding, buried in this two hour, 34-minute movie. You could edit TF3 down to a 90-minute action film, and most people would agree that it's a decent movie. (Forget the Director's Cut. For movies like this, we need the Bathroom Attendant's Cut.)
Several of TF3's action scenes are definitely better than the confusing mess that was every part of Transformers 2 except for the forest duel. There's a sequence where a giant robot snake tentacle-porns a building that Shia LaBeouf is in, which steals brazenly from Cloverfield and Inception, and yet still manages to make you hold your breath with its audacity and vividness. (On the other hand, large chunks of action are still confusing, nonsensical and bloated.)
Transformers 3 is a movie about how wrong you were to hate Transformers 22) Making every other part of the movie as obnoxious as possible — and making the transitions as jarring as he can. TF3 feels like three different movies, edited together by a lemur on provigil. There's the weirdest, most unfunny comedy you've ever seen. There's an incredibly solemn political thriller where people uncover the truth about the Apollo Moon landings, and debate the role in our society of giant robots that turn into cars and trucks. And then there's a bloated but occasionally fantastic action film. None of these three films feels like they belong together, but Bay also works hard to heighten the discord.
Why does Bay bog down his pretty serviceable action movie with long stretches of brain-meltingly unfunny comedy, and idiot plot wrangling? It's partly because he wants you to love his work for what it is — all of his work, including all the horrible parts. And it's partly because he knows he's making a kids' movie, and he thinks kids enjoy uncomfortable jokes about gay toilet sex.
Transformers 3 is a movie about how wrong you were to hate Transformers 2But still — the transitions between unfunny humor, heavy-handed exposition and occasionally awesome action are so abrupt and weird, that they draw attention to themselves. It's almost like Bay wants us to witness his movie's tone in mid-transition, like a mechanism caught halfway between a robot gladiator and a mid-priced family sedan.
Because the awkward lurches from one type of movie to another are the message.
Transformers 3 is a movie about how wrong you were to hate Transformers 2Michael Bay wants to slam you off your axis, like a building being knocked sideways by a prehensile robot penis from outer space. So he can awaken you to the truth. When Asian men thrust their crotches in your face — in 3D — while screaming "Deep Wang! Deeeep WANG!", or Alan Tudyk (!) impersonates a gay ex-Nazi manservant in a weird suit, you are being reprogrammed. Michael Bay is flooding your brain with random input, so that a parade of colorful anthropomorphic vehicles can roll into the center of your cortex and turn into a whirl of CG tubes.
It's not an accident that this film draws way more attention to the process of robotic transformation than previous films. By now, the CG is smooth enough that we can see the robots changing shape as they roll/jog across the screen, with no pause to grow legs. Shia and other human characters are constantly being tossed in mid-air and caught by robots, that turn into cars, that the humans are suddenly inside. You can go from a hundred feet in the air, falling without a parachute, to being inside a moving car, in seconds. And now that it's all in 3D, the camera itself appears able to change shape as well, depending on how deep Michael Bay's wang wants to get.
Transformers 3 is a movie about how wrong you were to hate Transformers 2After a while, you no longer even feel the transition between tones — you feel two or three tones simultaneously. Asian men, especially Ken Jeong, are both ludicrous and ominous at the same time. New leading lady Rosie Huntington-Whitely — who makes Megan Fox seem like Katharine Hepburn — spends the final hour of the movie looking as though she's ready to have a nervous breakdown and give a lapdance. The supporting cast from the first two movies is grim and silly at the same time.
Tone is for single-purpose machines. Consistency is for Decepticons. Michael Bay's ideal movie shifts from action movie to teen comedy to political drama with the same well-lubricated ease that his cars become men. By the time you've finished watching Transformers 3, you will speak Michael Bay's cinematic language. Your brain will be as supple and as formless as Optimus Prime.
And only then will you develop a full appreciation for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the movie you scorned.
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