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Post by Kazu » Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:20 am

I saw Transformers twice this week, and I can't wait to go see it again. It was easily the best theater experience I've had all year, but I had to see it twice to get there. My first viewing was great fun, but it didn't quite satisfy my hunger for giant robot awesomeness. During the second viewing, it was like I was watching a different film. I laughed at pretty much every moment throughout and I was emotionally attached to the robots when they showed up on screen. I cared for every character. The film doesn't work too hard to pull heartstrings, but rather asks you to just bring the energy. It's like a dance with the audience, where the filmmakers don't care much about what you think, but they care a lot about how you feel. Kind of like a Bollywood film. I love that.

It's really strange how, for me, some of Michael Bay's films have the ability to get better on repeat viewings, something they share in common with my favorite arthouse films like Jim Jarmusch's Down By Law or Takeshi Kitano's version of Zatoichi, though on a completely different level. Anyway, I went back to see it twice, and I'm glad I did. It's a film that's made with generosity to spare, a strong faith in the audience it serves, and it made me feel like a little kid again, cheering and smiling all the way. If you know what to expect, I highly recommend it.

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Post by mr cow » Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:38 am

yes! i've been telling everyone that this is the summer movie to watch. i got the same awesome feeling watching giant transforming robots as i did watching dinosaurs on screen years ago. plus, the film has this fun 80's feel to it- where the filmmakers didn't take anything too serious but were just having fun with the concept- sorta like you said.

sure there were some moments where i was scratching my head (was the inclusion of an assumed gw really necessary?) but i think these lighthearted moments just make the movie more fun. i think kids are going to be getting into transformers again because of this and that's awesome!!!

i can't wait to see it again!

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Post by Tony » Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:42 am

My favorite part was the evil little green robots.

I think they were called Lepricons.

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Post by al_johnson » Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:11 pm

Transformers was awesome. It was the pure Summer blockbuster I have been waiting to see for ages. There was no pretention. The film makers just put all their energy into making sure that the people who went to see it had a really fun time. It gave me the same kind of feeling I got from seeing Kung Fu Hustle or Hot Fuzz, where it was this pure feeling of youthful energy and fun.

I think that the comparison to dancing is pretty apt as I think that Transformers is a bit similar to a fun pop song. There are a lot of things you could pick at it for, but if you want something to really entertain and excite you then it more than delivers.

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Post by thirdeyeh » Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:29 pm

Just got back from it and I gotta say it was pretty darn cool. If I only had two complaints they would be: That while the fight scenes were awesome it got really confusing to me which robots were fighting whom. I thought Megatron was fighting like in five different places sometimes. And number two that whole signal thingie that everyone was trying to decode just didn't need to be there. The hacker character played by Anthony Anderson had no point to him really in the end other than to give us a few laughs: which he brought in spades. These are pretty minor complaints however and overall I thought it was great fun.

National Treasure 2 is the one I'm really getting excite about. I loved that first movie. Other than the guy who felt he needed to say something funny all the time.

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Post by t0nichi » Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:54 pm

I'll definitely get this on DVD. It was awesome!!!!!! I watched the animated movie first to get me totally psyched for this movie.

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Post by SonOfaRich » Wed Jul 11, 2007 1:03 am

Remember when Bumblebee was pissing on the Sector 7 agent? Well that was Michael Bay pissing on his audience and definitely fans.

Michael Bay has solidified his title to me of dumbest director. He must believe we are all idiots. In the Michael Bay world, the smart people are the dumb ones and the dumb looking people are the smart ones. Dumb/Hot. And every reaction in a Bay film is caused by a dumb action.

As a huge Transformers fan from the 80s, I thought the robots were really cool even though some of the designs were quite distorted. I hope that boombox robot was not Soundwave. That thing was more like a walking pile of swiss army knives. They should call it Switchblade. I liked how they would look more normal when they fought, such as when they covered their faces. Its a little insulting and what a tease by Bay to see the Beetle next to the Camaro. Couldn't he have put a cannon on Megatrons arm at least? They were in a Porsche dealership and they don't use that for Jazz either? Why do some of the transformers change in a few seconds and then some of them take a minute? The dramatic transformation? And wasn't that nice of Optimus Prime to see past the burning helicopter with people inside? Could the autobots not have taken the battle to somewhere less populated instead of fighting inside Universal Studios backlot?

As a movie buff, I thought there was no story whatsoever. It's pretty much Action scene, Gag scene, Action, Gag, Gag, Gag, Action Action. So much filler and unnecessary content that slowed down what people came to see, the Action. The action scenes were my favorite parts. Seeing Starscream dog fight those fighters was kind of like seeing a dream come true. I so wish there was more of that. I understand that this is a summer popcorn film and its all supposed to be spectacle, but I think this film was only 40% spectacle and the rest was fluff.

I'm going to have to watch the real Transformers the movie (the animated one) to cleanse my mind of Bay. That might not be four star cinema either, but it's so much easier to swallow.
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Post by Vince » Wed Jul 11, 2007 1:43 am


Not to rain on everyone's parade, but I'm a little disappointed with the movie. Obviously, people don't go to Michael Bay movies for nuanced character development and high drama. But at the very least, I expect pretty decent action scenes. I got them in The Rock, so he has delivered in the past.

Unfortunately, the last third was pretty unwatchable for me. I couldn't tell who was winning -- or even fighting, at times -- which is a bare minimum for action scenes. I thought the overly complex robot designs mixed with the Handicam made for a ton of visual clutter. And one of my pet peeves in story telling is deus ex machina. I can tolerate it from Whedon when character development and witty dialogue make up for it. I can't tolerate it from Bay, especially when it resolves the big action scene. Again, I'm not asking for Shakespeare. I'm asking for Megatron to die in a cool way. And I didn't get it.

There were some moments that worked. I actually didn't mind the human characters so much. And when Optimus Prime said "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings," I got chills. I like the buildup at the beginning of the movie.

Strangely enough, I feel the weakest part of the movie are the parts where there are the most robots on the screen.

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Post by neil » Wed Jul 11, 2007 4:45 am

I thought this was a mostly well-done genre piece, and probably Michael Bay's best movie.

I enjoyed the new agility of the transformers, but like others here, didn't care for the inscrutable tight-framed blur that passed for most of the action scenes. It would have been awesome to view the same battles with more of a wide angle, but now I realize that this would have been more difficult to animate; that explains a lot. It was still pretty cool to see hurtling vehicles transform into robots without losing momentum--and they kept the beloved sound-effect from the cartoon.

The last scene, the battle in the city, was pretty boring though. There was a lot of 'action' but it all looked the same and didn't seem to have much energy from the story; just a standard MacGuffin-chase and overly-neat conclusion that didn't do much justice to the movie's first act. (I chuckled when they decided to take the cube to the city, but why did they give it to the kid again, other than for dramatic purposes? I can suspend disbelief for plot holes, of course, but here they didn't even seem to be playing by their own rules.) But, this didn't totally ruin the movie; I still walked out with a smile.

This was also my first experience with DLP digital projection, and it looked great! Though I don't have any basis for comparison, I think it probably works especially well for movies with a lot of digital effects like this one, since there's no generation-loss, and I think it was helping the garish, kinda filtered TV-commercial color scheme (also found in other Bay films) look a little more crisp and effective.

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Post by deantrippe » Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:11 am

I really had a good time seeing the film. I loved that Bumblebee got so much screen time (he's always been my favorite), and all the inside jokes and nods to the original series/movie were fun.

There were WAY too many human characters, and the writing/casting/costuming on the female characters was near-total BS, but I kinda liked the military dudes, since playing G.I. Joe meets Transformers was pretty standard when I was a kid. It wasn't a great movie by any stretch, but it was fun as all get out besides the sexism. The movie needed about 20% less machismo, 50% less sex, and double the heart factor. Like most films, it felt like it was one rewrite away from awesome.

I think I'd have preferred a flick that started out from the mission statement at the end of the movie. We're here among you, fighting to end our war, helping humanity when we're needed. Still, it was really fun watching big awesome Transformer fights.
neil wrote:This was also my first experience with DLP digital projection, and it looked great!
Same here, and I totally agree.

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Post by tsm » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:10 am

Transformers failed for me on every level. It had the most horrible case of sequencitis I've ever seen in a film. It looked like a commercial director's demo reel (surprise surprise). It had no sense of cohesiveness and switched focus from scene to scene like it had ADD.

It was a slap in the face to me as one who enjoys good storytelling and well developed characters that I can care about. In this film I couldn't even tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys. Even the most basic film language was absent.

There is so much that's wrong with the film that the casual conversations I've had and the discussion here only begin to scratch the surface of the mistakes bay and the screenwriters made.

Trying to list them all is futile.

I will attempt to forget I ever saw this which shouldn't be hard.

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Post by otisframpton » Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:47 pm

I saw Transformers last night. Here's my quick review. Quick because I don't want to spend too much time thinking about it:

This movie was beyond stupid. Brain cells were destroyed watching it. It makes the animated "Transformers: The Movie" look like "Citizen Kane" by comparison (that was my attempt at a clever reference, for those in the know).

I guess "The Island" was just an aberration for Mr. Bay . . . a really good flick alone in a sea of mediocrity.

The only redeeming thing I take from this movie is that even surrounded by a noisy, mindless robot of a film, that Shia kid can act his tail off. Good news for Indy fans. Gives me hope for Indy 4.


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Post by Phil » Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:08 am

I watched the movie again tonight, and enjoyed it not quite as much as the first time, but still had fun and relished the good parts.

I don't really see the reason for despising the film so intensely. Is a flawed movie really so offensive? Michael Bay certainly wasn't trying to insult the audience--he's trying to entertain. The film's flaws represent mistakes that I will aim to avoid in my own work--but their existence doesn't nauseate me.

The film has both positive and negative qualities. As storytellers ourselves, shouldn't we be able to rise above the gut level reaction, and simply take it for what it's worth? If you reply that "it's not worth anything," then you are only doing yourself a disservice by not finding the gems hidden amongst the crap.

Personally, I'm happy to have learned over the past few years how to enjoy a bad movie, learn from it, and grow as an artist myself. Sure, a badly missed opportunity for greatness will really nag at me--but hopefully it just helps me not to fail in the same way when I have the chance.

Sitting through certain movies may feel like a sacrifice sometimes, but as Transformers teaches us, "No sacrifice, no victory." :wink: :wink:

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Post by Joey » Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:57 am


I'd like to rent the movie sometime and rewatch that whole final fight scene in the city, so I can pay better attention to it, and watch it when I'm not already bored out of my mind.

Saw it last night, and thought it was okay. I would have really liked to see more of a movie focusing on the Transformers than the humans. I know we were going for a whole "discover the story along with the human characters" kind of thing, but personally, I'm interested in the Transformers, their struggle, war, and characters, not the kid, his girl, and the US Army.

I feel like there was more of a possibility for inter-Transformer drama and unique character personalities. By the time they show up, you only really have time to lightly get to know them. So, stuff like Jazz's death was pretty hollow. Oh well.

AND, ha ha, perhaps if the director had really considered the Transformers as living characters, he would have been as creeped out as I was to end the movie with our main characters making out on top of their new found friend..... :shock:
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Post by Kean » Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:24 pm

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