Transformers

[NOTE: This post is very old and no longer reflective of my opinions or writing style.]

Today, it is not anime that is my subject, but Transformers. This will be a double review of the new movie, and there will be major spoilers, so don’t look it you don’t want to see.

¬†Okay. I watched the first Transformers movie before going into this, and it happens to be one of my all-time favorite movies even though I’ve seen none of the original Transformers TV series (I’ve seen all of Beast Wars and glimpses of the horrid Unicron trilogy)

Movie-Goer Review

this movie did more things right than wrong, but the things it did wrong were quite heavy. The biggest problem I had with this movie was the entire 30 minutes around 3/4 of the way through that were entirely retarded, nonsensical, and almost ruined the whole movie.

Before I get to that, though, I’ll do a front-to-back movie review. The begining was awesome. One of my favorite things about this movie was actually the dialogue which was all very realistic and done well in my opinion. When the troups talked amongst each other, or when Sam was with his little friends, I appreciated that aspect of the movie. The first magor destruction scene shared one thing with all the others in the movie – a really beautiful eyesore.

Thing is, the CG is amazing, the explosions are beauitful, the sound quality is outstanding, and the giant robots kick boatloads of ass. So where’s the problem? The fucking camera. It’s like someone had a camcorder and didn’t know where to look. The cameras are jumpy, move to much, and at times focus simply on entirely the wrong crap. In one scene where the spastic little freak robot attacks Sam and the love interest you can’t tell what’s going on for the entirety of it. The camera’s will sometimes not focus on the action or focus on the wrong part of it so you can’t really see what the hell happened.

This was the biggest problem in scenes with the spazz robot because it was increadibly nimated and it moved around a lot, doing many things at once – something that should have been showcased rather than avoided. Now, this sort of camera work could have worked in sparce quantities or if it was reserved to one certain battle, but it happens in every action scene, making them all less enjoyable at points.

Aside from the wretched battle camera, though, the cinematography was astounding. The lighting was perfect in all situations and eevrything had a crispness about it that made the transformers’ sleek design fot right into the chaos. The best part about this was definitely the scale of it all. These looked to be giant robots doing battle on earth and they didn’t skimp out on the battle scenes.

That, in fact, is what makes this movie hard to review – the biggest deminishing factor was the battle camera, and yet the fight scenes were brilliant. the very long final melee in the city was cool as hell because it featured the kind of battle we’d expect from Transformers – there’s one fight where there’s sides in a hail of crossfire while other combatants duke it out on the city streets. Not only that, but some of the brawls were simply badass. Plus there was the destruction facter. The opening scene with Destroyer blasting the crap out of the military base was like something out of Mechwarrior and you could feel the power of the huge machine.

Which brings me to the next thing about this movie that is hard to review – the plot. In some aspects it was good. The way they explained the backstory made sense and was interesting, and didn’t seem [i]too[/i] cheesy. Plus, as I said before, the characters and dialogue were well-written. I liked how there was sort of a dual plotline between Sam’s situation and the military – it was increadibly similar to the Godzilla movie in that respect, only Sam was less important than the main character of Godzilla.

On the other hands, the plot featured some absolutely crushing flaws. Some of them don’t appear as much on the surface, whereas others are blatant and really fucked up. First and foremost, of course was the 30 minutes of some of the stupidest crap I’ve seen in a [i]long[/i] time.

From the point that the autobots all meet up there’s a string of crappy events. First of all, personality wise, most of the Autobots were completely campy and exibeted features that were obviously a set up to get kids to buy these toys. The only even remotely likeable one was bumblebee. Bumbleebee couldn’t talk and he made for a good sympathetic character for all the hardships he endures. His voice didn’t work, he was captured and tortured by humans, and he gets his legs torn up in the final battle. I felt generally sorry for him by then.

But the entire scene where Sam has to go into the house to get the glasses was perfectly ignorant. the autobots were campy and retarded to the point I nearly moaned in agony. And then after that these agents suddenly come in and they’re acting all stupid towards the characters, and they go through the trouble of driving the kids away, only for them to get stopped by the damn autobots anyway! What was the point of all that? And they put way too much focus on the stupid cop guy. When they had him strip to his undergarments and get pissed on I was frankly appalled. That whole scene nearly ruined the movie entirely at that point. I was begging the screen to turn back to the military guys or something – it was horrible.

And then there were some less blatant flaws, most namely that the whole movie makes no sense what-so-damn ever. It tides you over with action and funny stuff and memorable characters so that you don’t notice te positively gaping holes in the plot.

First of all, sector seven and their entire operation is pretty unbelievable. Second, why do the autobots know all this stuff about how Sam’s granddad found Megatron? did they just happen to have a camera below the arctic shelf? If they just arrived on earth, how did they gain this knowlege? Why did learning the language from the internet not effect Prime’s speach habits? If they only thing that could hurt the robots was that certain high-heat substance or whatever, why were they blasting them with shotguns and rocket launchers? Why was the government so lacking in forces? Was the same troup that fought them in the desert really the only one they could bring to fight them on the street? How did they set up a bunker so quickly? Where did those extra soldiers come from at the end?

Starscream was kicking some major ass against those other jets, so why did he fly off right in the heat of battle? Where the fuck is Scorpinock after the desert fight? What the hell happened to the police car guy? Why did no one aid Megatron or Optimus in their final struggle rather than sit there and fire at each other? By the way, where the hell was this battle taking place? at certain parts, it seemed like they were turning corners in completely random directions and you can never tell who’s dead and who’s alive, so what happened anyway? What was Bumblebee firing at when he was in tow with the love interest?

And where did the attacking decepticons go to? One minute they’re fighting the enemy humans, the next Megatron is dead and Optimus is high-fiving his pals. Were they really dumb enough to simply drop Megatron’s carcass into the ocean? Do they even know what that could do to the ecosystem?

i could on on for quite a while, but it’s obvious that this movie simply leaves a whole lot of questions. All in all, this is not a thinking-man’s movie. It is a movie where you go in, laugh and watch people shoot each other, then walk out feeling good about yourself. While it was a really [i]cool[/i] movie, it wasn’t a really [i]good[/i] movie.

As a Transformers fan…

Fuck you, Micheal Bay!

Okay, so here’s my deal. first of all, the choices of robots were just plain stupid. I think it’s more than obvious that this movie exists for no reason other than to capitalise on the franchise. ‘everyone’s already got hotrod toys, but not as many bumblebee! Get more bumblebee out there!’. They picked some of the lamest most backwater transformers, some of which I’ve never even heard of. And what the hell was that little annoying thing? That thing made me want to kill myself!

Anyway, the autobots all acted like idiots. Prime was no fearless leader, and the rest were shallow and uninteresting. And the Decepticons, my god!!! Each of them only got one line, the line where they said there name!!! WTF!!! Worst of all was Starscream though.

Starscream has always been my favorite transformer. When I see Starscream, I expect an evil little bastard who fights under Megatron’s rule but against him at the same time. Oh, but no, he didn’t even get to talk. The only decepticon who talked was Megatron, who by the way turns into like a Tie fighter. I’ve seen him as a gun and a T-rex and a dragon. At least they could have used Galvatron’s canon mode, but alas, no. Megatron looked like a big dumb monkey who hopped around and was filled with evil. By the way, he didn’t seem at all like the intelligent calculating villain who he is.

Now, there were only two moments in this movie that made me really think of the old transformers. The first is where Jazz ( I think it was him, the camera makes it so it could’ve been anyone) hit the cannon on the tank upward just as what Cup(sp?) did in the first movie. also, of course, when Prime and Megatron were about to show down and Optimus gave his same line before they fought in the first movie.

As has been said before, this movie is way too human and has a whole different focus than what transformers is about. Transformers has always been a massive battle between warring robot factions that occasionally happen to involve a small group of humans. This was a movie about humans being affected by a battle between opposing robot forces that was none belivable in the slightest.

It should be noted that I don’t hate the new movie. I think it’s shallow, and the shallow part of me loved it. I can’t deny the awesome of big robots, big explosions, and cool fights. But it wasn’t jsut the transformers fan in me that rejects this movie – it’s the fan of good storytelling that yells at this movie’s gaping flaws.

The first Transformers movie is amazing. The way the events are portrayed flow excellently. Every minute of it, something cool and memorable happens. Even when the robots are all dancing to weird al, you love it simply because it’s done so well. The pacing is perfect, the incorporation of adventure and action into a flowing plotline is brilliant – yes it has a couple problems. Why can the Dinobots apparently fly in space? Why does it seem like they intended to kill a lot more characters and got scared and left it with a few (lol, and Prime comes back in season 3) but it’s nothing so jarring as the new film.

Oh, and the ending of the movie? The Autobots stay on earth because apparently they want to protect the humans. You tell me, why the hell would the decepticon’s come back? Makes NO sense. Blegh.

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