Moviegoers will have to decide whether to pony up the extra cash to see director Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” in 3-D and Imax when the stereoscopic edition of the latest entry in the big-budget franchise opens at 9 p.m. June 28, three hours before it premieres on movie screens in 2-D. According to the franchise’s enthusiastic star, Shia LaBeouf, this is one summer movie worth seeing in its full depth.
“We took the 3-D cameras out of the ‘Avatar‘ stages and put them on the head of a dude jumping out of a plane in Chicago while a building is exploding. For real. Four or five dudes actually,” LaBeouf said. “It’s the greatest 3-D film ever made. It’s an amalgamation of ideas from Jim Cameron, Steven [Spielberg] and Michael [Bay]. ”
Bay, working for the first time in 3-D, brought Cameron’s still new “Avatar” cameras into downtown Chicago for “Dark of the Moon,” the third movie in the warring alien robot saga. Working with the cutting-edge technology in the uncontrolled urban environment was sometimes a clumsy endeavor, as Bay described at an event with Cameron last month, but shooting in the real world helped anchor the film’s CG-heavy action sequences, LaBeouf says.
“The only artificial element is the robots,” LaBeouf said. “You’re really blowing Chicago up. It’s really an invasion.”
Critics blasted 2009’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” saying it was sometimes impossible to tell the good-guy Autobots from bad-guy Decepticons amid all the clanging metal. LaBeouf says the action in “Dark of the Moon,” which surrounds the discovery of a Cybertronian spacecraft on the moon, is much easier to follow.
“The last hour of this movie is the greatest action sequence of Mike’s career, which would put it on the same level as the greatest action ever made,” LaBeouf said. “You don’t breathe for the last hour. There’s just no letup, but it’s also not completely overwhelming and disconnected, as the second movie was. You didn’t know what was fighting what or where you were geography-wise. There was no way to be able to tell a story, whereas this is very ‘Black Hawk Down‘ action. The geography is very clear. There’s only four or five dudes you need to be following. The enemy is very clear. The second movie was so … complicated. The best movies are simple.”
— Rebecca Keegan
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