Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)


Sam Witwicky leaves the Autobots behind for a normal life. But when his mind is filled with cryptic symbols, the Decepticons target him and he is dragged back into the Transformers’ war. (IMDb)
The worldwide setting-shifts lend the film an air of excitement, but the plot is too convoluted and lamely exposited to match it, and the shaky-cam explosion-riddled action is tiresome and impossible to follow (see the lengthy final fight). Elsewhere, the humour has dried up (Leo and the twins don’t help) and Fox’s presence is still cringe-worthy (matched here by the awful Hickey): Again exploited for her looks while now playing a desperate girlfriend for the now less-likeable Sam.
5/10 (Poor)

Blog plug


I know it’s not exactly like I have a huge audience or anything, but I just wanted to use what clout I do possibly have to plug one of my favourite movie review blogs that I’ve noticed is continually not getting nearly enough likes or attention relative to the great quality of his content!
Not too long, not too short (unlike one blogger I know- *cough* Joel Watches Movies *cough*), Brett’s reviews are first and foremost really well-written, adeptly covering all the good and bad and in-between of any given film in one cohesive, flowing mini-essay. They’re knowledgeable, fair, spoiler-free, and have just the right amount of humour thrown in every now and then. And for the short on time, he always includes a summary of his opinion and a rating out of 10 at the bottom of each of his reviews. He stays on top of the new releases coming out (*cough* Joel Watches Movies *cough*) and throws some great classic reviews in there too.
Finally, he’s one of the most active commenters on my site and is always open to hearing anyone else’s thoughts on movies that he’s reviewed too, even if they’re different than his. Check out Reviewed By Brett now-you won’t be disappointed!

Transformers (2007)


An ancient struggle between two Cybertronian races, the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, comes to Earth, with a clue to the ultimate power held by a teenager. (IMDb)
An epic-feeling triple-perspective narrative makes things exciting, and welcome shots of humour injected into the sci-fi war plot continually keep things fun (see Anderson’s hyper hacker; LaBeouf’s lovable loser, quirky parents, sensitive car). The Transformers can be cheesy though (see Optimus’ speeches), and both Fox’s turn and the final fight leave something to be desired (see her puzzling tow-truck escapades; Sam having to run with the cube), so it’s not the perfect film, but it’s enjoyable.
7/10 (Good)

Alien: Resurrection (1997)


Two centuries after her death, Ellen Ripley is revived as a powerful human/alien hybrid clone who must continue her war against the aliens. (IMDb)
It’s not terrible, it’s just hard to like. Case in point, our protagonist Ripley now looks straight out of an 80s hair metal band and is as creepy throughout as her alien offspring (which she fondles affectionately before it gets sucked out into space through a fist-sized hole in a vomit-inducing climax). Other gross-out moments are certainly effective, with good CGI, but they just don’t sit well when considering the film’s meh plot, lack of likable characters, and often cheesy dialogue.
6/10 (Mediocre)

Alien 3 (1992)


After her last encounter, Ripley crash-lands on Fiorina Fury 161, a maximum security prison. When a series of strange and deadly events occur shortly after her arrival, Ripley realizes that she brought along an unwelcome visitor. (IMDb)
The story and characters leave something to be desired (aside from Ripley only Clemons really gets developed and his arc is cut short), but the dark and brooding atmosphere is incredible, thanks to the sinister and suffocating prison setting, discomforting sound and camera work (see the brilliant autopsy/alien birth montage), and tense mix of religious and foul language dispersed throughout. A bold ending makes up for the confusing final action sequence, though it’s marred by some bad CGI.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

Bee Movie (2007)


Barry B. Benson, a bee just graduated from college, is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey. On a special trip outside the hive, Barry’s life is saved by Vanessa, a florist in New York City. As their relationship blossoms, he discovers humans actually eat honey, and subsequently decides to sue them. (IMDb)
There’s good animation (the flying sequences are especially impressive) and voice-work (Rock, Warburton, and Goodman’s distinct tones entertain) throughout, but the story is an inconsistent mess, moving from a classic leaving-the-nest plot to courtroom drama to saving-the-world action, with the far-fetched bee-human interaction shifting from excusably funny (see Barry’s battles with Ken and lawyer Layton) to inexcusably ridiculous (see the instant death and life of the plants in the final act).
6/10 (Mediocre)

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)


A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. (IMDb)
Lovely tunes and pleasant soft cinematography are just bonus additions to what is a superbly nuanced (and acted) character study: Llewyn is talented but pretentious, caring but bitter, witty but mean. He’s hard-luck but hard to like; half the time life hits him hard, half the time he seems to bring it on himself. Fleshed out by a perfect secondary cast of various characters, the film nonchalantly but intentionally presents a neutral take on the settling down vs. pursuing your dreams dichotomy.
8.5/10 (Amazing)