GRAB AND GO - Library patron Tina Johnson, left, and Joanna Perensovich, information services librarian, wear masks in the Sitka Library this afternoon. The library no longer has couches for patrons, but does have computer desks widely spaced apart for people to access for one-hour periods. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

The Movie Review: Transformers

By Daniel Olbrych  

No one makes movies like this. No one, but Michael Bay.

“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is just as bloated as the title suggests. The script reads like it was written by a 12-year-old, and Bay uses more explosives than the U.S. Military did in the entirety of Operation Desert Storm.* This is the epitome of summer action movies. This is America, if America was an action film, Bud Light and all.

“Extinction” is the most Michael Bay movie Michael Bay has ever made. It’s easily comparable to eating a whole plate of bacon, then eating a cupcake, then washing it down with a Dr. Pepper, and then topping it off with a glass of milk with a side of cookies, plus, it’s chocolate milk. Fortunately, for all the excess, this is the most accessible “Transformers” movie to date. Not that all of it makes 100 percent sense, or needs to, but there is no question that a good chunk of “Extinction” is more coherent than the previous two entries.

Mark Wahlberg replaces Shia LaBeouf as the lead, so right from the start “Extinction” is just better. Wahlberg has come a long way since the Funky Bunch, and while this is not “Boogie Nights” or “I Heart Huckabees,” his performance works just fine within the “Transformers” universe. Wahlberg plays a robot-building Texan who lost his wife and scrapes up every penny to ensure his teenage daughter grows up right. Pretty standard stuff here.

So let’s take a minute to talk about Nicola Peltz, the teenage daughter. Peltz is our female lead, if you can call her that. She really doesn’t do much. She really doesn’t wear much. We can add Peltz to Bay’s list of women who are marginalized on film. Her outfits are so ridiculous that even the characters comment on how ridiculous they are. It’s almost like Michael Bay is aware… And really, he is aware. He just doesn’t care what you think. He will continue to objectify women. He’s Michael Bay and he is classy and the last “Transformers” movie made $1,123,794,079, so he can pretty much do whatever he wants.

There are other characters we meet along the way, but don’t really get to know. Not that it matters. Stanley Tucci plays a ruthless businessman and also dishes the comedy. I actually really enjoyed his performance. Kelsey Grammer musters up his Sideshow Bob voice (from “The Simpsons”) as a government agent who seeks to eliminate the Transformers. And the other major player is Jack Reynor. Reynor plays the love interest of Peltz and an Irish race car driver, which believe it or not, comes in handy.

Steve Jablonsky returns for the fourth time delivering more of the same. Absent now is Linkin Park, replaced by Imagine Dragons as provider of the vocal theme song heard throughout. And just for good measure, Skrillex is in the mix too. The unintentionally bad soundscape heard in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” returns. Dub-step is here to stay… for a while anyway. Similar music can even be heard in the trailer for the Michael Bay produced “TMNT.” In the end, “Transformers: Age of Extinct” will rock you to your core. Whatever your feelings are on the quality of the film itself are trivial. Sonically, this is an impressive show.

Michael Bay has a handle on Michael Bay. And he’s made the biggest and best “Transformers” movie to date. Even more impressive is that he shoots everything himself.** With a stronger cast, extraordinary special effects, and more explosions than you can count, “Age of Extinction” may be dumb, but you’ll certainly have a good time. And did I mention there are robot dinosaurs that breathe fire? Yep, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” has that too.


*That might not be true.


**Michael Bay doesn’t use a second unit team. He is responsible for every second of footage on the screen. Nuts. Even more so for a movie of this size.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-10-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of noon Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 51

Total statewide – 1,323

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 5 (2 resident; 3 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 13 (11 resident; 2 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 80.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 




Welcome to the Sitka Sentinel's web page. In order to make the Sentinel's news more easily available during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken down the paywall to access articles on this page. Just click on an article headline to read the story. 

March 23, 2020



For the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by federal, state and local authorities, the Sentinel is taking additional measures to reduce virus exposure to its employees and contractors as well as to the public, while continuing to publish a daily news report for Sitka.

To the extent possible, Sentinel news and sales staff will be working from home. For the protection of our carriers, home delivery of the newspaper will be stopped effective Tuesday, March 24.

The Sentinel will continue to publish on its website Access to the website will be free to all users. The Sentinel will also produce a print edition Monday through Friday. It will be available to all readers without charge, at locations throughout town.

Initially, these locations are those where the Sentinel's newspaper vending machines are already in place. The coin mechanisms will be disabled or the doors removed to permit easy access. The Sentinel will work with the stores where the paper is usually sold, to designate a place inside or outside the store where the free edition can be made available.  

Home delivery subscriptions are on hold, and after the end of the disaster emergency, subscriptions will be extended at no charge for the number of days that there was no home delivery.

The Sentinel will make its print edition available to the public as early in the day as possible. with all personnel taking precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

The Sentinel is calling upon its customers to observe the COVID-19 emergency precautions already in place, particularly in maintaining a six-foot social distance from others at newspaper distribution sites.

Following is the statement issued by the Sentinel on March 16, stating the Sentinel's emergency procedures, which remain in effect.

The Sentinel office at 112 Barracks Street is closed to the public. We encourage people to use the phone, email or the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible.There is a slot in the front door of the office for ads, news items and payment checks. Emails may be sent to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the phone number is (907) 747-3219.                                                                          

Login Form

Most recent Sentinels — PDF edition

July 6, 2020

July 7, 2020

July 8, 2020

July 9, 2020

July 10, 2020