The countdown is now less than a week for "Transformers" fans. One of my co-workers is about to burst with excitement for the July 3 film.
I've made no excuses about saying the teaser trailer, released in mid-May, didn't get me excited, much less interested. It reeked of the movie studio rushing to scrape together whatever material they had to promote the potential blockbuster as soon as possible.
My attitude changed somewhat when I saw the full trailer. The robots and special effects look impressive and realistic. "Transformers" shows some promise.
I believe the trailer and movie posters have too many full-on "robot shots," such as what Optimus Prime looks like. I would have kept the Transformers' and Decepticons' appearances pretty much a mystery. I would have shown only Optimus' feet, legs or back.
There's something to be said for not revealing too much before a film is released. After all, trailers are supposed to tease the audience, not reveal the whole enchilada. Make them wait to see Optimus Prime in all his glory, I say!
"Transformers" certainly looks like a feast for the eyes. Call me a snob, but I hope there's more substance to it than the ridiculous "Independence Day" or "Godzilla." I'll likely wait for the DVD.
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'FANTASTIC FOUR' SEQUEL REVIEW: It's safe to say if you liked the original, you'll enjoy "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer." It has even more impressive special effects and the same great cast chemistry.
I wanted more screen time for Julian McMahon as Victor Von Doom, who is now even more of a manipulating power-monger. The decidedly handsome McMahon has an onscreen presence that makes him hard to trust, a must for the Fantastic Four's archenemy. I especially wanted to see more of the fight between Doom and The Human Torch (Chris Evans).
McMahon still needs a Darth Vader-like voice when he is wearing the Dr. Doom armor. The actor's silky voice works when Doom is unmasked, but needs more punch when he's in full villain mode. In contrast, you couldn't get a better voice actor than Laurence Fishburne to do the Silver Surfer's ominous voice, which complements Doug Jones' physical performance.
Like most fans, I wasn't thrilled with the Silver Surfer's boss Galactus resembling an ominous, intergalactic funnel cloud. At least the shadow of Galactus' comics helmet appears briefly on Saturn as the planet-hungry entity approaches Earth.
I loved the plot twist in which the military forces Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) to work with Doom to figure out how to stop the mysteriously powerful Silver Surfer. It's absolutely delicious when Doom bluntly tells the heroes he hates all of them before the "partnership" starts. Even better, Doom's former lover, Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), later discovers Doom is working independently on plans I won't give away.
There's not enough of Evans, who absolutely sparkles in every scene. Johnny Storm hasn't lost any of his arrogant charisma, but I missed his playfulness.
To be fair, Storm spends a majority of the film estranged from his teammates. His contact with the Silver Surfer means touching any of the other heroes results in swapping powers. On the other hand, it's refreshing to see Storm somewhat lament being a ladies' man and develop into a team player.