Maniac Grade: C+
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Transformers: More than meets the eye?
July 05, 2007
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 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.
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!
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.
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.