If I were a seven-year-old, I’d be anxiously awaiting the arrival of the latest “Transformers” movie. While the seven-year-old in me still gets a bit of a kick out of the dazzling robotic visuals on display in the seventh entry in the franchise “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,” the adult in me felt like seven years had passed while I was watching. Although it’s visually interesting and has a relatable human cast that includes Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback, the plot and dialogue are as mechanical as the robot warriors. What I’m waiting for is for someone creative to transform the Transformers into something fresh. By the way, the next installment is due in the fall of 2024…and it’s a crossover with the GI Joe universe. Hasbro toys says, “Cha-ching!”
The Hulu movie “Flamin’ Hot” marks the directorial debut of actress Eva Longoria. It purports to tell the true story of Richard Montañez, who rose from janitor to the board room at the Frito Lay corporation and brought the world the popular Flamin’ Hot versions of Doritos and Cheetos, rejuvenating the brand and bringing the company billions in revenue. Jessie Garcia plays the unlikely hero in this by-the-numbers biopic. Montañez’s life story is inspirational even if the movie is not.
In the controversial new Max drama “The Idol,” Lily-Rose Depp…yes, it’s Johnny’s daughter…plays a Brittany Spears-type pop singer struggling with mental health issues. She’s manipulated by a cult leader, played by musician Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd. “The Idol” is supposed to be a commentary on pop stardom and contemporary immorality, but this sleazy, shallow, and sluggish series exploits its subject matter, becoming what it’s supposed to critique, and wasting a touching performance by Depp.