By: Mary Jo Almeida-Shore
Nearly a thousand fans converged on Lincoln Road last Thursday for the South Beach premiere of Transformers: Dark of the Moon despite torrential downpours, barricades, street closures and police presence. A soggy Michael Bay, the film’s director, a part-time Miami Beach resident, spent lots of time on the red sponge carpet, greeting and talking with fans. To the surprise and cheers of the crowd, at around 7 p.m., more than an hour behind schedule, JT Holmes and three fellow members of the Red Bull Air Force skydiving team – Jon DeVore, Andy Farrington, and Mike Swanson – parachuted from a helicopter 2,000 feet in the air, performing their trademark high-speed landings on the intersection of Lincoln and Alton roads. One of the jumpers’ parachutes got caught in the traffic light and had to be cut down by firefighters, just adding to the excitement of those gathered.
VIP guests were then escorted into the theater- some lucky enough to enjoy the movie along with Bay, Tyrese Gibson, who has played Air Force Master Sergeant Robert Epps in all three blockbuster films, Pat and Chris Riley and U2 guitarist, The Edge (there’s a U2 song in the movie). Bay gave a brief overview of his vision for the films, talked about his first movie in Miami, Bad Boys starring Will Smith, introduced the skydiving team, which was in the audience and closed with, “I hope you got some rest, because this is going to be a wild ride.” Gibson also addressed the audience, telling of his love for Miami. It was a thrill to be in the same theater as Bay during the movie, who led the crowd in applause during the scene in the movie when the skydiving team perform a BASE jump from the Sears Tower in Chicago- that scene alone is worth the price of admission! As soon as the end credits began to roll, we looked back and saw Bay whisper to the Edge as if to say, “Wait for it.” We are glad we stayed, as one of the funniest scenes actually plays after the credits are already rolling.
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