July 7, 2007

Transformers - $8

Transformers is everything it should be, action packed, fun, childish and quite funny.

I was worried when I heard Michael Bay was making the live action version of my favorite childhood cartoon, as I'm no fan of his. I find Bay normally sacrifices story for image and leaves his characters with little to do but look good. Transformers may have been just the right project for Bay however as no one can honestly expect this movie - based on a cartoon based on a toy - to tell an epic story or have a moving dramatic back story. Bay provides his audience with just what the cartoon always did, funny dialogue and over the top action.

I'm sure some purists will find the modernization of the Transformers too much to take. I thought it was appropriate and as cheesy as the GMC product shots were the movie makers stayed true to the essence of each character. For me any inconsistencies with the original were overlooked as soon as I heard the familiar sound of Optimus Prime's voice in the opening narration.

I enjoyed Transformers immensely, it was great fun to watch these toys come to life again in a live action movie with some of the best CGI I've ever seen. This movie will win no acting or writing awards but if you have ever been a fan of this implausible story then you shouldn't have any trouble being entertained by the big screen version.

Watch for Shia LaBeouf's career to take off as well, he carries much of the story and especially the comedy in Transformers playing the movie's main character Sam, a teenagers whose Father unwittingly buys him an Autobot from a used car lot. In this modern retelling of the Transformers story all the Autobots are GM vehicles (I can't imagine what GM must have paid for that product placement) and the Camaro Sam buys turns out to be Bumble Bee. As a tribute to the old Bumble Bee he is placed next to a yellow bug in the car lot.

Overall this is not a perfect movie nor is it a movie for those who don't like senseless action and were never fans of the Transformers. It is however wonderful fun and worth seeing. I'm sure there will now be a whole new generation of Transformers fans that will finally understand what all those 30 year old geeks like me are talking about.

I put Transformers on my 'Watch It' list and give it a value of $8.


Sheamus the... said...

yeah...the geek side of me was diggin it.

Tony Tanti said...

No doubt, I loved it for the most part.

Jon, Angie, Elijah & Brady said...

okay, allow me to catalogue briefly the goods and bads of this movie:

-the kid. his over-acting was perfect. he was funny, and fun, to watch.
-optimus prime. hiding under the bridge was classic.
-bumblebee in the car lot. classic. good throwback to the beetle, as you mentioned.
-the opening sequence with the shockwave and all that. things were looking good.
-f/x and visuals: the slow motion of the scorpion in the desert. a few of the more traditional transformation sequences.

-f/x and visuals: the transformations for the most part were lame close ups, confusing to look at.
-fight scenes ad tedium
-corny cheesy bumbling autobot scenes. not a throwback to the cartoon, this was worse than a cartoon. cartoons such as cars and toy story and so on have way better dialogue and characters than this one had.
-the all spark, or cube, with no meaning. you had to import your own concept of a monolith or borg to feel any sense of menace over this crazy rubix cube.
-the plot. i didn't get why i was supposed to care
-the actors and writing. only the kid saved this debacle

NOW, of course, that's all I was expecting. that's the sort of movie this was. and i paid $8 to see it with a friend and don't regret it. its the mood and company i was in.

but let's not pretend this is a good movie. 2 out of 5 stars. better than spidey 3, but not as good as much else.

Tony Tanti said...

Jon, I can't believe you still don't get the "cube" or why you were supposed to care. Also, if you download an old episode of the cartoon and you'll see that the silly dialogue is pretty true to form.

"Cube" info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allspark

You're right, this isn't a good movie, it's a great movie.

Jon, Angie, Elijah & Brady said...

i admit i haven't taken your wikipedia link yet, but heres a question or two about the cube that the movie on its own left to our imaginations (and mine failed to care enough to provide the answer for them):

-why was it able to fold into a tiny rubix cube?
-why was it assumed that optimus had to take it on himself and die with it? and then why does it end up on megatron? why wouldn't that be the plan the whole time?
-why does it explode when it comes into a transformer's body?

i admit i watched the cartoon but was not hardcore and so maybe this stuff would make sense more to me if i did. but that's my point. this movie assumed you were a transformers die hard and didn't bother helping anyone else out all that much. similar thing to narnia actually. for this reason it does not stand on its own as a good movie, even though transformers lovers or moviegoers such as yourself might be willing to forgive them that and enjoy it on its own terms and call it great.

Tony Tanti said...

Not sure why the cube should shrink like that though from what I've read they did a lot of background research so it may have been one of the original qualities of the cube.

Each Transformer has a spark in their core which gives them life. By combining the allspark with it both are destroyed due to overload. Prime was going to sacrifice himself only if he lost to Megatron because having the allspark in the deceptacons hands was a far worse risk to take as they planned to create an army of Transformers with it and take over Earth. Sam took a big risk and did what nobody expect (including Megatron) by going at Megatron and destroying him with it instead.

Honestly Jon, I just saw this movie again on the weekend and this stuff is all spelled out pretty clearly in it. The point of the cube, the reason the Deceptagons were such a threat... it's all there and explained well. And there's plenty of pull back shots of Transforming as well as close ups. Really, I don't know what kind of space you were in when you saw it but you owe it to yourself to go see it again.

Jon, Angie, Elijah & Brady said...

i'll pass. i was zoning out and i'm sure if I saw it again it would happen again. i do remember that all spark stuff at the beginning now that you mention it. but there is a big difference between explaining something and it making sense. it still makes no sense to me why this allspark exists, what it is, what it has to touch to make a transformer overload, why it would seem easier to prime to overload himself rather than give it to megatron, etc...

and what a cop out, to annhialate the source of transformers rather than the evil that seeks to make bad transformers. seems a loss to me to lose the allspark. seems like they gave up. its like genocide isn't it?

see, i didn't get why i was supposed to care.

i'm sure the sequels will make it clearer. too bad i won't see them.

a movie should not only explain itself but make itself captivating enought to make me care. for me, this didn't. more power to you for liking it so much though.

Tony Tanti said...

Oh well, I couldn't disagree more but that's what opinions are about.

The Allspark takes from Transformers history, they didn't make it all up for the movie so if you think it's hokey then your complaint is with the original cartoon series not this movie.

As for the genocide comment, that's a bit silly. Transformers don't die of old age so there isn't really a need to procreate at this point. And as the cartoon series showed, they have the ability to make Transformers from scratch too, it's just a lot of hard work. (Dinobots)

Clearly killing Megatron was ideal, that's why it's the way the movie ended but Prime didn't think it was possible as he had lost the fight.

I can't believe you nodded off during this movie, you're still the only person I've talked to who didn't like it and I can honestly say you may be the only person in Canada who nodded off during it.

We'll go see the GI Joe movie whenever they make that, maybe you'll buy in a little more to that one.

jon or angie said...

you may be right about me being the only one who nodded off, and frankly i was very tired, but probably most of the people like me just avoided it. truthfully, i see myself as somewhere between the film snob and the every-movie-lovers who host e-talk. i will take the pop stuff with the cinematic art. i just didn't like this one. i clearly didn't follow transformers well enough. oh well.
i'm with you for GIJoe, although it is sure to disappoint, since nothing could ever match the episodes we imagined in our heads every time we set up all those men for battle.

Jeff Coutts said...

Hey guys, well, I finally saw Transfomers last night I feel the need to add my two cents to this suprisingly heated debate.

I found the story left something to be desired. But it was definately good enough for the movie's purposes. I thought the Transformers dialogue was fantastic. I loved how light hearted, yet genuine they were.

Jon, obviously this isn't a great movie. The plot is simpler then your trying to make it. Your asking all the wrong questions. I'll admit, the plot wasn't great, and if you really think about it, there is defintaly a few holes. But I expected nothing less.

Dave, to me where the movie fell apart was in the action scenes. It would have been nice if a single shot would last more than half a second so my eyes had time to adjust and I could figure out who was fighting who. The fight scenes where so quick and so shaky that I found them very hard to follow. They may as well have all been shot on the kids cell phone.

So I didn't think this movie was as good as everybody says it is. But it was fun and maybe if I watch the last 30 minutes again in slow motion I'll be able to tell who to cheer for.

Tony Tanti said...

Jeff, fair enough. I agree with you about some of the fight scenes though having seen it twice now I can't recall a single time when I wasn't aware of who was fighting and who I was cheering for. Some of the street stuff was a bit quick and shaky as you said but I enjoyed that I guess.

And Michael Bay is the king of overdoing the slow motion, it's one of the things I didn't like about some of his past movies so I don't think I could have handled any more of it in this one.