I've been to many sporting events, including wrestling pay-per-views and even the Superbowl. This theater had far and away the most thunderous applause at its conclusion of all the indoor events I've been to. Hell, I'm not sleeping for a few hours, and honestly feel that in the wake of opening night, I need to provide you all with a legitimate, comprehensive breakdown of Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Hope I am of service somehow: -Did not like how Sentinel was executed even though I dug how the betrayal exchange made it in the movie. I preferred the novels ending hands down. Sentinel Prime was so powerful that he even overmatches Optimus and Megatron, who using cooperation long forgotten, defeat the great mentor to both. Megatron in the novel got a truck load (pun intended baby ) of character development. He's humiliated, defeated in spirit, deposed (per se) and humbled by Sentinel Prime in his own selfish determination to save the Transformers' home. Moreover, how it all climaxes to the point where Carly spurs him into battle and he, using the same arm he destroyed his rival with, saves Optimus Prime from certain death was absolutely superb and it actually pains me that this was flaunted in our faces yet it never made it to the big screen. I would have loved to see the exhausted Megatron finally, learning as his inadvertent last lesson from Sentinel that destruction and war would not quench his need for order, and that he and Optimus we're alike after all, despite their different means to reach a common end: the restoration of their race and home. It was also nice to see Optimus show mercy, even though in the movie, due to the dialogue before Megatron's intervention, I did find it only fitting that Optimus kill Sentinel; in the book, its setup was flawless and likewise justifies Optimus' course of action. I loved the book's ending that much more and was in denial when I heard Monkey Hands and Culliere (spelling? and my apologies gentlemen) say it was changed. Hurts to know so many will not know what could have been. -Dino. I'm not going to lie, I was impressed as f*ck by him. His character was clearly meant to be Mirage, as is shown by his wavy robotic design. Nice to see him have two kills which were each dramatically epic. On the other hand Que, not so much, mostly because his voice did not seem to suit him. I expected more of a deeper, less dry voice, and the one in the video game seemed on point for him. His death scene had me close to tears. Incredibly brutal, however, it would have been really brought the audience into a moment of horror if Soundwave, in one swift motion, ripped his head clear off his shoulders and the body rattled to the ground, lifeless. Furthermore, I liked Soundwave’s choice of who would bite it first. From a strategic point of view, it makes the most sense. -Ironhide made me proud to be a fan of this franchise; he was loyal until the bitter end. I liked how his character finally got to have one truly spectacular tag team with Sideswipe, clearly his apprentice. His guns were also off the charts incredible. I did shed a tear when he died; first one since my one of my best friends passed away last year on June 22. Well done. -Rosie did an outstanding job and excuse this, those who disagree are novice and ignorant. The human relations are second in this plot to the relations of Optimus and Sentinel. In a secondary role, I thought she was fabulous. People who criticize her for “acting poorly in situations of duress” utterly baffle me. If a robot half the size of a skyscraper was attacking you, would you stand there, composed, and thinking about which soldier you want to f*ck next? No. You would sh*t your pants and run for your miserable lives or stand and fight. Fight or flight; science backs this up; don’t waste your time trying to refute that basic, rooted principle. It’s nonsensical not to imagine one not doing so, especially a character who is portrayed as having not yet been exposed to the true horrors of a war of this scale, or any scale whatsoever for that matter. In addition, Simmons and Dutch were outrageously hilarious; they both had my sides splitting at the Russian bar scene. However, they should also be viewed as supporting cast to the Autobots. Again, as a secondary role, as Sam and Carly are clearly intended to be in this plot, Shia and Rosie are superb. Judge them accordingly. -The film needs a premier editor. I’m serious. You could tell they wanted to fit much more material, essential material, especially dialogue into a small window and ended up making many of the scenes look rushed. You could tell because of the rapid dialogue of some of the supporting cast, such as Shia’s character, Ken Joung’s and even Que and Roadbuster. A calmer pace with the dialogue would have been a major boost to the film. Overall, I need not expunge this because it was the only real damper on the film. A slower pace, and possibly an old school nod with an intermission, to let the immensity of the situation sink in would have been beneficial to this film to better pace the flow of the action. -The Wreckers played a much larger role than I initially expected. And after watching, Leadfoot is clearly their leader. He had more dialogue than Sideswipe and Dino, despite how he was barking commands most of the time. Mildly disappointed with their voices, only because TopSpin doesn’t have a single line of dialogue and I was hoping that Leadfoot would sound exactly like Bulkhead. I do wish they had kept the scene from the book where he breaks free and is severely wounded by Soundwave, because he looked powerful enough to break free, if any would. -Speaking of the rushing and the prisoners’ scene. I wish we could have seen how the Autobots had gotten captured in the first place, like in the book. Just overall wish there was more continuity like this throughout some scenes. -I wish Sentinel had more of a scowl on his face the second half of the movie; think of the artwork of him in the back of the comic. He was portrayed excellently as a tragic hero, something the Transformers series had needed in order to fully redeem itself for the tragedy that was Revenge of the Fallen. His character was, as Nimoy said, decisively complex, and a gem to behold as a fan of cinema. It’s a shame that many see him as merely a machine because, the Transformers are more than that; any review that fails to account for this simple, but crucial fact should be entirely discounted and ignored outright. He is a character, not a can of soda. You felt for him, even in his final moments. As a moviegoer and reader, he’s my favorite character other than Darth Vader and Gatsby, and reminds me sharply of the latter. I could go on and on about the character, but I’ll spare you the time… -Plot: Intense. I am a huge fan of solid movies with a dynamite story; True Grit, the Book of Eli, Inception, and the original three Star Wars films come to mind, among others. When you judge the plot (correctly, with the robots as the primary roles) it is both cohesive, and solid. I still believe it could have been that much better though, and ranks along the lines of Return of the Jedi. It had the potential to be at least as good as Empire Strikes Back with some actual editing, and up there with the great plots of all time if they had concluded with Megatron and Optimus resolving their conflict peacefully. Not a soul would have, nor could have seen it coming; especially after the original stunning twist with Sentinel’s fall from grace, and betrayal. I hope they make an alternate ending for DVD that features this. That would make my year. -For the fans: so many “easter eggs” in this movie that I stopped looking and they found me. I loved it for that aspect. Favorite: dialogue between battles. Listen and you will be decidedly rewarded, especially if you have a firm grip on Transformers canon. -In all honesty, this film was only minute bits and pieces from hitting the jackpot. In fairness, I am still waiting to see a five star film; this could have been the one, but as stated, fell just short. Superb job however. My only gripe is that while the film was outstanding, all of us who read the book knew it could be that much better. Dark of the Moon redeems the franchise for all the faults of Revenge of the Fallen and the first movie. Do yourself a favor and watch it. Four stars.