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“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.

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Being a child of the 1980’s I recall vividly the cartoons that aired  during the week.. This movie was a fun adventure ride for children and the adults.

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).

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!”

What are the pluses:There is a strong moral story thread running through about the temptation to give in  to awful decisions because they are popular. ( Sound familiar?)

What are the minuses: The film contains pervasive stylized violence, cohabitation, brief partial nudity, some sexual banter, a couple of uses of profanity.

Parents I do think you can use this movie as a talking point for conversation. Ask your child after viewing the following questions:

1- Do you think that people who do things for financial good are good?

2- How far does trust in friendship go? Is there a limit?

3- Is there a good time to just give in and follow others, even when it’s wrong?

Otherwise, this was a fun movie to take the children to. The action packed scenes are not too scary. I was able to take my 4 god-children  to see it. They were not scared at all. I do advise you see the 3-D version.

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