Transformers: Dark of the Moon: : Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast 2:25.1

Getcher Big-Ass Robots Right Here: Automatons face-off again in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
Getcher Big-Ass Robots Right Here: Automatons face-off again in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON

Big. Bigger. Biggest. Somehow those words don’t seem fitting descriptions for the new TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON. Biggeriest? Spectactimammogigantular?
In any case, it seems that Michael Bay’s plan for redeeming himself for the universally reviled TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE FALLEN involves ironically jettisoning as much plot as possible and focusing on the fireworks, all in glorious, James-Cameron-approved 3D. That’s maybe not a bad idea, considering that the film’s less-than-innovative narrative once again centers on the noble Autobots trying to foil the Decepticons’ plan for world conquest, with the hapless Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf) serving his traditional role as the beanbag tossed around by the warring factions. He gets a new girlfriend (Rosie Huntington-Whitely), reunites with old associates (including John Turturro as the self-aggrandizing Simmons), and gains some new friends (John Malkovich) and enemies (Patrick Dempsey), plus a visit from (the voice of) Leonard Nimoy as the latest addition to the robot corps. But who cares as long as the explosions are concussive and the action nonstop? Well, Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons do, and they’re ready to discuss what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s flat-out non-existent (hint: logic) in this big-ticket extravaganza.
PLUS: Steve gives his take on BEGINNERS, a drama that skirts the borderline with some fantasy elements.
Click on the player to hear the show.

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Cars 2: Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast 2:24.1

World Enough and Crime: Racecar Lightning McQueen (left, voiced by Owen Wilson) and loveable tow-truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy, center) are dragooned into international espionage by dashing super spy Finn McMissile (Michael Caine, right) in CARS 2.
World Enough and Crime: Racecar Lightning McQueen (left, voiced by Owen Wilson) and loveable tow-truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy, center) are dragooned into international espionage by dashing super spy Finn McMissile (Michael Caine, right) in CARS 2.

Kids love cars, and kids love CARS — that seems to be the calculation behind Pixar’s latest animated offering, CARS 2. Abandoning the original film’s theme that celebrated the romance of exploring off-the-beaten-superhighway U.S, director John Lasseter and crew have devised an espionage plotline for this sequel, with cocky racecar Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and kids’-fave country-bumpkin tow-truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy, a.k.a. Daniel Lawrence Whitney) embarking on a whirlwind world tour to compete in an international racing competition, and finding themselves dragooned into a deadly conspiracy being battled by suave superspy Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and his sexy (check out those steel-belted radials!) partner Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer). With beautifully crafted settings and numerous, exquisitely choreographed action sequences, does CARS 2 overcome the problems found in the first installment, a film that many feel is Pixar’s weakest effort? Join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons as they examine the movie.
Also in this episode: Steve offers his thoughts on Woody Allen’s hit fantasy/comedy, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, Dan discusses the level of human misery he’ll inflict for the sake of saving a few lousy bucks, and the gang discusses the inscrutable artistry of Michael Bay.

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John Malkovich Joins…Transformers 3?!

John Malkovich
John Malkovich

Following director Michael Bay’s insistence that the third entry in the TRANSFORMERS franchise would be more character driven comes the news from his official site that he’s signed both Frances McDormand (AEON FLUX, DARKMAN) John Malkovich (MUTANT CHRONICLES, BEOWULF) for TRANSFORMERS 3.
This news is quite surprising, considering the prestige of both actors and their career paths thus far. But maybe this is exactly what TRANSFORMERS 3 needs most; some prestige and a bigger focus on the human characters. TRANSFORMERS was great fun but TRANSFORMERS 2: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN wasn’t nearly as captivating.
TRANSFORMERS 3 starts pre-shoots in a month and is set for release July 1, 2011. What do you think, is casting Malkovich a good idea, do you even have any faith left in this franchise?