Transformers: More than meets the eye? - Mania.com



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Maniac Grade: C+

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Transformers: More than meets the eye?

July 05, 2007


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It sure is weird watching the title credits of this movie. Paramount and DreamWorks presents, in Association with Hasbro. It took all I had not to laugh. Because when you think about it. They are making a movie based on toys. Then I remembered, TMNT was built from the same mold. So I sat up and gave the movie a chance.

One thing that I have to get of my chest is that it irritates me Spielberg hired Michael Bay to make this movie. Man, Bay even turned it down! Can't you see a sign from God when you see one? ;) Do not get me wrong. The trailers made this movie look fantastic.  I just didn't have a good vibe when seeing what the final versions of Megatron and Even Optimus Prime looked like. Megatron looks like a steel rock formation and Optimus Prime seems to play for the other team with the nice Gae flames he has. Enough of that though. One really low point of the movie is the lack of Robot screen time! I paid to watch transformers! Not, Humans: With Robots. I was so disconnected from the movie when I realized Optimus Prime is not in the movie for 20 minutes until his next scene. WOW. That is a long time. Show us the damn robots! this movie has a weird mix of Spielberg and Bay, no matter what Bay wants us to believe, Spielberg had a lot of say in this movie. Man, imagine what kind of movie we would have gotten if Spielberg decided to direct and putt all his effort into making Transformers? It would probably be amazing. Instead, Spielberg wants to make a Geriatric Indiana Jones. Or the more popular title Indiana Jones and the Arthritis of Gloom.

The story is almost non existent. Go figure for a Michael Bay film. Yes, I am going to give Michael Bay a hard time because he is not a good director and he is an egotistical and sexist lowlife. Watching his interviews makes me want to puke, and anyone who saw him as a guest judge on 'On The Lot' would agree that he seems to know VERY LITTLE about film making. It shows in some areas of Transformers. Lets not get ahead of ourselves, though. Okay, so the story is that a boy named Sam (Shia) is giving a book report on his Grandfathers items he used in the 1800's. Whilst doing this, he is also hawking his items and trying to sell them on ebay so he can build up his car fund. Yet, 15 minutes later he goes to buy a car with his Dad. Wow, that Ebay is amazing. Instead of getting into the story (or lack there of) I am going to tell you the bad. and the good. You heard me. good. The movie later redeems itself and I will tell you why.

The Bad:
The acting is the worse I have seen in a long time. The only actor who had a great presence was no other than 'Win a Date with Chad Hamliton Star Josh Duhamel. He was great it in. Okay, Megan Fox....is well....a fox (how did Michael bay not show case her more? Oh yeah, he degrades strong women.) however, beauty does not equate to good acting. Megan Fox cannot act. Shia LaBreouf was decent, yet there was nothing special. Anyone could play that part and the movie would be the same. Do not get me started on John Turturro (great actor, useless in this movie). I do find it funny that Tony shaloub is in 1408 and John Turturro is Transformers....oh to be the Monk brothers.
John Voight is the same as an authorative figure. Nothing special. And are we really supposed to believe Tyrese is a hardened Soldier? Come on. Anthony Anderson's character is funny, but, is useless nonetheless. It honestly feels like a Car commercial in some areas. Tacky.

More Bad:
What is the big hoopla with Frank Welker not being Megatron? Hugo Weaving sounded nothing like Hugo nor Megatron. Frank should have been given the job. I cannot believe they had to audition for the roles they made famous. Also, what is with Bumblebee's voice returning in the end of the movie? His voicebox was destroyed (read Transformers: The Movie Prequel) and he can't talk. Yet, when he gets his legs blown off he can talk? Did his voice compensate for the loss of his legs? Here is one thing that really grinds my gears, Optimus Prime says "My bad." Yuck. Why are the Decepticons there on earth? Give us some answers! Also, the transformers are so similar looking that it is hard to know who is who. OP and BB are the only Transformers that have a definitive looks (scorpinok of course looks different)
that it gets annoying. It looks like they got tired of making different characters and decided to make it easier and make them look similar.

Even more Bad:
So now information is taken from Ebay? Why? If you are gonna learn info from the internet then it would be easy for robots to hack into government defense. Another thing,  In no way can Air Force One get hacked into and nothing be done until 98% of info is completed int he download process. What is the point of Megatron? He is in the movie for like 12 minutes. In fact he looks so much the opposite of Megatron that I could have cared less if he were in the movie or not. In fact, it would have made no difference if he was in it or not. His role seemed pointless and his rivalry with Optimus Prime didn't have any emotion to it. It felt, well, robotic. MT and OP have such a history that you would think that there would be more animosity between them. The Megatron death scene is really bad as well. Megatron is so useless in the movie that his death was nothing big. In fact I could have cared less if he lived or died. Watching him was giving me a headache, he is not very pleasing visually. The whole death scene was just BAD. No emotion, no nothing. just Megatron is a live. Then he is is dead. Ummm, where is Sam's Grandfather and why is his grandson treated like a criminal when he should be treated with a lot more respect given the fact his grandfather FOUND Megatron? That in no way makes sense. Oh.....and do I HATE Frenzy! That is a USELESS character. Frenzy is annoying, dumb and looks visually unappealing. Thanks, Bay for another crappy interpretation. EDIT: I had to add this...since a lot of people are talking about the Masturbation scene. It was a funny scene, and I thought it was hilarious....but for me, sex and transformers do no mix. Not one bit!

The Good:
I have to admit, the CGI was fantastic! Finally CGI FX;s that live up to Jurassic Park days. Lately, CGI is getting lackluster, and almost to cartoonie. I, Robot, Spidey 3 and Superman Returns come into mind when it looks like the CGI is forced more than created.  I was also impressed with Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime. Wonderful job. I wish that Frank was given a chance.

More Good:
There was a great touching moment when Bumblebee has his legs blown off and Sam is trying to get him to move out of danger and telling him not to die. I was actually feeling bad, I wanted bumblebee to survive. It reminded me of the Cartoon and that was a pleasant memory. Another great thing about the movie? the soundtrack. Check it out. I thought it was great. I even bought it it is a really great score. Oh yeah, and the ending was actually good. Watching OP standing there waiting for his Autobots to respond to his awesome message was a great addition.

Overall this movie was again, just hype. Nothing special here other than the FX's. I give this movie a C+ because I feel that this movie could have had a set vision. It just feels forced. Everything is just plain forced. I would have given this movie a B or even an A if there was more story and more ROBOTS to see on film! I do think this movie is a good stepping stone to the sequel, as long as Bay is not involved in any way shape or form. This movie will be huge because people cannot get passed their need to see what they grew up with on the big screen. Superman Returns, Batman begins, and Spidey 3 are all great examples. People want to see their beloved characters so badly that they look pass the mediocre story, visuals and direction that they will claim it is a masterpiece. It is not to that extreme with this movie as it is with Spidey 3 or BB and SR, but it is close. They could have had Number 5(Johnny 5) as the main character and people would still love it and call it a masterpiece. That in itself, is sad. I leave you with a few questions: why was Jazz "killed"? was it to make a really bad joke? Jazz "Do you want a piece of me?" Megatron "No, I want two pieces!" Wow. sick.  Did you you think that the Autobots and Decepticons are nothing more than supporting characters? What should have this movie focused more on? I look forward to answers and questions of your own. Overall, this Movie has the potential to become a great franchise, only if they have people who have a vision and not an ego. That is the only way this can continue on. Because in two months, we will be getting the Spidey 3 syndrome. Everyone loves it at first....then when it sinks in. The movie is not so great.

Lets all hope that Bay stays away (hey that rhymed!). Regardless, this is a great action summer movie. Enjoy it for what it is, Robots in disguise.

Click here to read the staff review by Mania.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 13
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hanso 7/4/2007 10:30:23 PM
Hmm, Sam was hawking his stuff in school but he already had $2000 required for the car cause he tells his teacher he needs a better grade so his dad will put up the rest of the money and the teacher agrees and gives him the a -. That's how I remember it at least. To answer some of your questions, I think Jazz died because they were offing Decepticons left and right and an Autobot had to go in the final battle. The only thing is that his death didn't mean anything cause no one cared about Jazz because like you said we could barely recognzie the bots in the battle sequences. Yeah I guess you could say the bots were supporting characters to some extent, it was really Shia's movie and they just played in it. I wished they would've focused more on the robots(the decepticons didn't even have an explanation to being on Earth or personalities), especially Starscream(he's second in command and we don't get any mention of this) and Megatron. I don't think the Decepticons were portrayed well in terms of their personalities. I have to tell you though I enjoyed the film even with all it's flaws, at least it was entertaining seeing Transformers battle it out on the big screen. My question to you is this, you think they are bringing Galvatron for the sequel or the Dinobots and Devastor?
theCOLLECTOR 7/4/2007 10:56:53 PM
Oh really believe that Galvatron will be in the sequel. I do get a bad feeling that they will pull a fast one and have Megatron walk out of the water and somehow be alive but damaged and finds a way to rebuild. As long as Bay is not attached I think the sequel will have a lot of potential. I agree, they did not explain the Decepticons at all. And the meteorite thing was really poorly done. Well, here comes the autobots. All because of Bumblebee's batsignal?
maverickrenegade 7/5/2007 2:49:39 AM
collector, your feelings on this film exactly mirror my own. i was trying to read the other fan review by themovielord, but found it to be very annoying at some of the things he said! thanks for posting that because i was about too and now dont have too! good review
jonniej1017 7/6/2007 11:26:37 AM
I disagree with thecollector. I think Bay did a good job of introducing the Transformers into their first real life movie and setting some background for a few sequels (Hopefully). He threw some good lines from the cartoon movie back in 1986. I do agree the robots didn't get enough air time, but thats for the second movie. I don't think its easy making a movie lke this one and making EVERYONE happy, but I liked it very much and was watching the movie with my mouth open most of the time, Especially when we saw OP for the first time. AMAZING!!! I will say that I thought the fight scene with OP and MT should have been a little longer and FULL screeen. A lot of the scene were hard to follow cause they happened so fast and were only partial screen. Does anyone agree?
gauleyboy420 7/6/2007 12:12:52 PM
COLLECTOR, you and all the other virgins out there are FRIGGIN IDIOTS. OF COURSE IT LOOKS LIKE A CARTOON,AND A COMMERCIAL. It is based on a 30 min long TOY COMMERCIAL. If you know soooo much more than Michael Bay, why didn't Spielberg come to you or any of the other lifeless slugs out there crying about how bad this movie is. SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP. Have you watched a Tranformers cartoon lately? I Have and I still love them , BUT COME ON. THEY ARE WEEKLY TOY COMMERCIALS. Commercials that proves marketing to 8 year olds works so well that it makes them whining overly critical nimrods. Bay did a great job with this flick, and now that the stage is set, you'll be able to see a sequel full of robots vs robots. SHUT UP ALL THE UBER GEEK WHINING!
gauleyboy420 7/6/2007 12:21:07 PM
P. F'n S. HAHAHAHAHAH There are way more of US shelling out cash to see this a third and forth time, that waaaay outnumber all of the whiners out there, sooooooooo WE WIN. We get to see a great sequel in two years directed by Mr. Bay, no matter how much you whine. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!! P.P. F'n S. great way to gay bash in your review. The quip about the flames on Optimus. You are an insecure stereotyping homophobe. how many times did you vote for G.W. Bush anyway?
laforcer69@yahoo.com_home 7/6/2007 4:09:05 PM
gauleyboy420...Was there an intelligent comment or opinion in what you just wrote because I could not find anything there in? I like the movie but you bashed other people who gave there opinions of the movie...I completely disagree with this blog not all of it but most it...I will not go into any details other than I was entertained watching this movie which is more that I can say for most of the movies I saw this summer, POTC3 comes to mind as just plain borring but looked great, that's just one example... theCOLLECTOR...unfortunately you know how that works, if the movie is going to make a killing at the box office then they will bring back the same director and if you think about it, if Bays learns from his mistakes on this first one and the second one ends up being more Bots and more battles then this should be right up his alley as far as the action part is concerned and from what I read people want more Bots to have screen time and more action that is not in your face but pulled back a little to see what is going on...I believe Bay will take into consideration those who have given their opinions on what was good and what was not and improve the next installment....
gauleyboy420 7/6/2007 7:59:09 PM
Not too much intelligence other than pointing out people are whining over a cartoon that was made into a movie, as if they could've done better. Well I don't think they could have. Making movies is hard work espacially one so laden with special effects. My point is that this IS a commercial made for the exclusive purpose of making $$$. As was the cartoon some 20 odd years ago. It was clever marketing aimed at impresionable 8 - 12 year old boys, who now take it way too seriously. If anyone was expecting something on the level of Spiderman 1 or 2 forget it. Spiderman has almost 40 years of continuous stories to build off. Transformers was an elongated toy commercial that with all of its episodes from every generation maybe spans 10 years. This movie was the best that a Tranformers movie could be. WHY? you ask. Because it appealls to all people not just the bitter Tranformers fans who cried when the voices didn't sound exactly right. Why is this benificial to all those super geeks? Because it sets up a franchise that in time could prove to make all their wet circuit filled dreams come true. SO stop complaining, your best childhood memories shouldn't be based on a Madison Avenue Advertising firm's tool used to get you to spend your parents $$$ on molded plastic (I know the originals were metal). As far as The Collectors issues with flames, to state that Optimus looks "Like he plays for the other team" is COMPLETELY HOMOPHOBIC! I never got that impression. So in my proffesional opinion The Collector is obviously projecting his views on the homosexuality in that statement. Oh Yeah, one more thing. THE MOVIE ROCKED THE HOUSE! HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
theCOLLECTOR 7/7/2007 5:34:33 PM
Wow, gauleyboy420, are you angry due to your own sexual conflicts? Either way, I can say what I want in a review. If I think that flames make OP look gae, then I can say that. I wish to understand how me wanting OP to look good and not "flaming makes me a homophobe? A Phobia is a fear. It is not a preference nor dislike. It is a fear. And in no way do I fear homosexuality. I hate Peach Pie, does that me Pie-phobic? No, it means I do not like it nor want to eat it. I wish people would quit saying homophobia every five seconds. It is not even a logical response. Another thing, this is a review, it is not a hit on gae people or a put down. I think the flames are too much and do not look good. Simple as that. I am not projecting any views other than my feelings on the movie. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Get over it. Post 5 and 6 were utter nonsense and deemed you almost insane. Then Post 8 after the nice defense and logical post of mlafocer rpointed out your insanity. then you tried to make a coherent post, then negated the coherency with your unwarranted arousal of the movie. It is a movie. It will not kill you, love you or change your life (unless it is REALLY good) The movie is for fun. Some loved it or hated it. I was in the middle. It was not horrible, but in no way great. I enjoyed it for what it was. Read the review and you would understand that.
maverickrenegade 7/7/2007 6:57:31 PM
i thought this movie could have been done better in story and dialouge. when a movie starts out in association with hasbro, follwed by OP saying "we need to find this cube!" i burst out laughing. there was little to NO robot action (fighting i mean) the robots only appear half way thru the film, and only in the last 20 minutes do they actually fight. and that in itself pissed me the fuck off. i didnt pay to see that shia idiot run around saying things like "i dont masterbate, and "theres more to you that meets the eye." i paid to see giant robots kick the shit out of each other, and i didnt even get that! that is why i dont like this movie
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