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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


The animated character Bumblebee is pictured in the movie "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."
Though clearly pitched at youthful viewers—sports cars that turn into robots, cool!—"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (Paramount) is director Michael Bay's 3-D third installment of a franchise based on a line of Hasbro toys. It includes plot and dialogue elements that make it exclusively suitable, if not especially satisfying, for those who are, chronologically at least, well past adolescence.

Moreover, while gore is virtually absent from the screen during this sci-fi adventure's seemingly endless two-and-a-half-hour running time—even as computer-generated, cannon-fodder extras are bloodlessly vaporized by the dozen—gunplay and explosions feel omnipresent.

Caught up once again in the ongoing mechanical mayhem that sees a race of good shape-shifting alien robots combating an evil army of their own kind is ordinary human—and now college graduate—Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf).

Though the boisterous interplanetary conflict provides distraction from Sam's mostly unsuccessful job hunt—hey, kid, times are tough all over—it also endangers his live-in British girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley).

Entertaining outings from John Malkovich as a wacky tycoon and John Turturro as a conspiracy theorist help offset a tedious back story involving an alternate history that would be vaguely offensive if it weren't so silly. According to same, the real reason for the U.S.-Soviet race to the Moon in the 1960s was the Camelot-era crash landing there of one of the Transformers' spacecraft.

Hearing the news of this unusual event from Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, JFK barks—what else?—"Get me Bobby!"

While the outcome of what follows is easily guessed, more suspense hangs on the question of whether our hero will ever put an engagement ring on poor Carly's finger. This despite his growing conviction—fueled by her "Perils of Pauline"-style sufferings at the hands of the baddies—that "she's the one," as well as his late-reel blurting out of the L-word. Ah, modern romance.

The film contains pervasive stylized violence, cohabitation, brief partial nudity, some sexual banter, a couple of uses of profanity and about a dozen instances each of crude and crass language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III—adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13—parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

*****
John Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.



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Conversion of St. Paul: Paul’s entire life can be explained in terms of one experience—his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus. In an instant, he saw that all the zeal of his dynamic personality was being wasted, like the strength of a boxer swinging wildly. Perhaps he had never seen Jesus, who was only a few years older. But he had acquired a zealot’s hatred of all Jesus stood for, as he began to harass the Church: “...entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment” (Acts 8:3b). Now he himself was “entered,” possessed, all his energy harnessed to one goal—being a slave of Christ in the ministry of reconciliation, an instrument to help others experience the one Savior. 
<p>One sentence determined his theology: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:5b). Jesus was mysteriously identified with people—the loving group of people Saul had been running down like criminals. Jesus, he saw, was the mysterious fulfillment of all he had been blindly pursuing. </p><p>From then on, his only work was to “present everyone perfect in Christ. For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me” (Colossians 1:28b-29). “For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and [with] much conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:5a). </p><p>Paul’s life became a tireless proclaiming and living out of the message of the cross: Christians die baptismally to sin and are buried with Christ; they are dead to all that is sinful and unredeemed in the world. They are made into a new creation, already sharing Christ’s victory and someday to rise from the dead like him. Through this risen Christ the Father pours out the Spirit on them, making them completely new. </p><p>So Paul’s great message to the world was: You are saved entirely by God, not by anything you can do. Saving faith is the gift of total, free, personal and loving commitment to Christ, a commitment that then bears fruit in more “works” than the Law could ever contemplate.</p> American Catholic Blog If you’re confused as to why God would die for you, you either need to rethink your vision of His mercy or of your own worth.

 
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