A Transformer Treat

BY GORGETTE BECKFORD Observer writer gorgetteb@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, June 27, 2014

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On Wednesday, Palace Amusement treated its social media fan base to a special pre-release of Transformers: Age of Extinction in 3D.

Several days prior, the company's Twitter account @palacemovies nudged followers to register for #PM20000.

Blind faith paid off for many as a free pass for an invite-only viewing of the yet-to-be-released blockbuster was delivered to the mailboxes of the curious.

By 12:20 pm, a large crowd had gathered at the Palace Cineplex in the Sovereign Centre, St Andrew, forming a queue that extended from the cinema's door to the stairs.

The cinema was approximately three-quarters full for the film which ran for 165 minutes (incidentally the budget is reported to be US$165 million).

This, which is the fourth instalment in the Transformer franchise, is scheduled for worldwide release today.

Age of Extinction is somewhat of a reboot that isn't really a reboot. Confused? Here's how.

The star of first three films, Shia LaBeouf, was replaced by Mark Wahlberg, but the film is still dubbed the part fourth in the series.

Wahlberg, who is best known for Boogie Nights and Ted, has reportedly signed on for two additional Transformer flicks. Wahlberg along with his supporting cast of veterans Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer as well as newcomers Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor are a formidable complement to the autobots.

Tucci was a scene-stealer, as always, but Reynor stood out with his leading-man looks and sharp delivery. He is poised to go far. The real stars, however, were the autobots -- specifically Bumblebee -- who consistently elicited roars from the patrons. Although, I did hear "That's my baby" from a female patron when Optimus Prime became 'shiny and new'. Then again, Optimus Prime is Optimus Prime.

The film was generally over-the-top with not-so-subtle product placements from Victoria's Secret, Tom Ford and Gucci to name a few -- in vein with the signature flamboyance of franchise director Michael Bay.

He is unequivocally the king of big-budget, explosion-steeped films. Not to spoil the experience, but Bay's penchant for detailed embellishment of the already extravagant was perfectly captured in Age of Extinction. I rate it a solid 8 out of 10 for what it is -- a summer blockbuster epitomised.

The explosions, the set, the CGI, the fight scenes, actual 3D and the cinematography are stunning. There was also some memorable one-liners from both humans and autobots. Transformers: Age of Extinction is worth the watch.




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