Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye

Here’s the biggest movie of the summer, right? Everyone is rushing out to see it and telling all their friends to see it…but what do those people who grew up with the Transformers think about it? My generation grew up playing with the Hasbro toys and watching morning cartoons about their favorite toys. Not only did my brother chase me around with his Megatron in “gun form…” You know, Megatron? Back before he was a jet, or whatever. Pfft. But only my brother got to be Optimus Prime too. Although, I didn’t mind. I couldn’t transform Optimus. I couldn’t transform any of them at 5 and 6 years old. I probably couldn’t today. But I knew the toys and I knew the characters.

So! On that note, what did I think of the film…
Well, there are many differences from what I grew up with. Optimus is a very different type of semi-truck now, I think everything was Chevy-made, and worse of all, Bumblebee was not a VW Beetle. This was most disturbing.

Bumblebe was a Chevy Camero. I grew up with Bumblebee as a Beetle. And he was my favorite next Roller, who was always stowed safely in the back of Prime’s trailer. But though I went to see the film expecting to be let down by Bumblebee, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a different exterior but the same ol’ character that I loved as a kid.

The movie opens with a huge fight scene in Qatar where the U.S. Military is stationed. Blackout, a Decepticon, attacks the base in order to hack into their information network, seeking classified files. Then the movie jumps to Sam Witwicky, who is trying to hock some of his great-great-grandfather’s belongings to his class during a genealogy report.

The initial fight scene was exciting and terrifying but left something to be desired, in my opinion. I was afraid the entire movie would be like this. The Decepticon is hard to follow as it attacks. The camera is so shakey that you can’t really make out a whole lot; you can’t tell where robot begins or ends. It’s just a mass of metal junk.

But rest assured, there are a few times in the movie when it’s hard to tell what’s happening during battles between the Autobots and the Decepticons. It’s true that the parts aren’t so clearly defined that the robots seem to melt together and become one giant moving hunk. But the movie is so utterly amazing, that you don’t dwell on the fact for long.

The movie follows Sam as he tries to help the Autobots recover the All-Spark, so that they can stop Megatron from using it to transforms all of Earth’s machinery into evil robots that will destroy mankind. Sounds pretty heavy for one kid, right? Thus, we bring in Mikaela, played by Megan Fox (the girl Sam wants to win), and the survivors of the attack on Qatar. They all band together to help Sam protect the All-Spark during the final battle.

One saving grace is the special effects. This movie was EXPENSIVE to make, and you can see why. When the Autobots and Decepticons are racing down the highway for Mission City (I think this was the right destination for this scene) and they transform on the road, skating down it like it’s ice….the transformations are done so beautifully, you can almost believe it’s real.

The main highlight of the movie, and the reason everyone can enjoy it, is the humor. It’s one aspect of the cartoons that they retained. It is not a serious, war-mongering, children-won’t-understand-the-depth boredom fest. The writers kept as much of the hilarity as was possible.

But let’s not make it out to be entirely comical…it’s not. By any means. In one scene alone, you’ll feel tears pricking your eyes as you watch the way humankind treat the Autobots. They don’t listen to reason and refuse to believe that any of the alien robots could be good guys.

Another blog I read about the film, written by someone who had yet to see it, said that the movie would be an immense failure because there were no stars in the movie. Therefore, no big name to carry it when it started to bomb. I’d like to read his post after seeing the movie.

Shia LaBeouf, who played Sam Witwicky, did an outstanding job portraying his character. He was perfect for the comedy and surprisingly enough, he did very well in the action. I’d never seen him in a drama or action role, so I was thoroughly impressed. I think he is more than capable of fulfilling that “star” position. But I also don’t think the movie will bomb.

In fact, I think this movie can reach just about anyone who enjoys good action films. It’s not a kid’s movie and it’s not just for my generation who grew up with the toys. It’s got all the suspense you could want and you’ll find yourself tensing up, wondering if the good guys will prevail.

Despite a few scenes where a steady camera would have improved the quality, I’d say the movie is a definite must-see this summer.

Nothing disappointed me enough to make this less than a Five. It almost got a 4 and a half because of the shakiness, but certain scenes with Bumblebee made up for it all.

I highly recommend seeing this before it leaves theatres.

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Comments (2)

ZacJuly 8th, 2007 at 1:59 PM

5/5 – Some of the parts were a lil confusing but it was made up for with badass punches and rockets.

AnonymousJuly 10th, 2007 at 10:13 PM

For the shakey camera thing, from what I understand it’s kind of one of Bay’s things. Was something I had read in a thread. It said his other movies have a bit of a shakey fight style.

I’d have preferred them not to be so shakey but I still liked it.

Saw the movie twice, and plan to go again. I didn’t mind Megatron as a jet, a tank would have made more sense looking back on the old toys. He was a tank in the 90s when they rereleased the original toys with new paint jobs. Hasbro doesn’t want to sell guns to children.

A few of the robots I wish would have had a little bigger parts (such as Bonecrusher and Brawl *mislabled as Devastator in the subtitles*)

I wasn’t so sure about Bumblebee being a camaro either until I saw the movie, and actually I ended up liking him more than I did in the cartoon. He seemed a stronger character and less of a sidekick. I wasn’t so sure about him not speaking either, but that kinda worked out well.

Rumors had said that VW declined the movie because they didn’t want their cars associated with war machines, but from what I understand Bay just liked the idea of a Camaro so went to GM and talked to them, and most of the others ended up as GM made vehicles as well. I did like the cameo of the VW beetle though.

In the beginning I wasn’t so sure about some of the robot designs, lots were complaining on Shoot for the Edit, Bay’s personal forum. But I agreed that using the original designs might have made the movie a bit too campy. I ended up really liking the way the robots in the movie looked. ILM did a great job. Read it’d take around 32 hours to render a single frame of the robots. They had something like 10,000 individual parts, and Ironhide had the most of all because of his guns, which had almost as many parts as some of the robots.

I’m hoping the movie does very well, as the studio has already green-lit a sequel before the movie even premiered due to the anticipation. So it’s in the works, and in an interview with Cullen, he said he’s on contract for three movies if they choose to make all three.

I think mom mentioned she’d heard it’s already made over 140 million which was the cost of the movie. Kind of hoping it’ll be one of those ones where it does well and they double the budget for the second.

Peronally I loved the movie, the comedy was great, like with Barricade over Sam on the hood of the car, yelling at him, asking if he was ebay username Ladiesman217?!

One of my favorite scenes had to be Bumblebee calling the other Autobots, and then later when they’re arriving, seemed very iconic…just kinda sat in awe.

I also loved how they included Optimus’s quotes in the battle between him and Megatron (One shall stand one shall fall) from the original movie.

I was very pleased with it, and will be awaiting the sequel.

Shia will also be appearing with Harrison Ford, in the next Indiana Jones movie, I believe he will be playing his son.

I’m hoping with the sequel, and perhaps a bigger budget, maybe the cast of robots will be bigger. Would love to see some of the other autobots as well as Soundwave.

Definitely seeing it again *grins*

Beau

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