A good year for women on film, as exemplified in new releases The Eyes of My Mother, Miss Sloane, and more
Matthew Lickona 5 p.m., Dec. 9
Michael Bay: evil genius. Example: subject a 17-year-old hottie to all manner of sexual shenanigans - camera shots between her thighs, guns thrust menacingly at her face, monster tongues wrapped around her leg, and then take the curse off it by giving us an overprotective daddy-hero (Mark Wahlberg) who tells her that her shorts are too short and she's not allowed to date, let alone make out with, her 20-year-old boyfriend the race car driver. But of course, this film isn't about that. It's about a government effort to rid the world of illegal aliens - in this case, the Transformers - while at the same time collaborating with private industry to build our own Transformers, which demands a further collaboration with other Transformers, which requires our heroes to find still other Transformers, but look out because still other Transformers have plans of their own. But of course, this film isn't about that, either. It's about robots fighting robots. Bay cribs from countless sci-fi hits, from Star Wars to the Alien franchise (including Prometheus), and for the first 90 minutes or so, it almost feels like a movie. Unfortunately, there are 75 more minutes of metal mayhem to follow. Action can be exciting. But chaos gets boring fast. 2014.