Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fool Me Twice...Shame

Saw Transformers again tonight. Time for the full on review.

The first time I saw the movie it was with a theater full of fanboys. The kind that know that Frenzy should be a tape, but don't mind so much that he is a boombox. The kind that mind the fact that the character that was a unique character that actually spoke, not clacked and clicked like some psychopathic digital tribal language translator.

I still think he was the Jar-Jar of the movie.

When the movie ended there was silence and we all left, regardless of scenes (credit scenes) still playing. A general sense of unease.

Second time was 2 days later at a 4 pm showing on the 4th of July. General audience, it got a round of applause at the end! It was for the eye candy.

Moving on. The scenes with Bumblebee, Sam and Megan Fox (whatever her characters name was) were good. The scene where the Autobots stated their names and purposes? Lame, Jazz is just too over the top, I like the touch where he does a little breakdance move when he transforms. But the whole urban ghetto thing was just too much in that intro scene. Rachets comments on phermone levels was well done, and funny. The scene where Ironhide offers to destroy Sam's parents, retarded.

Subtlety is best but not Bay's strong point.

In fact that whole backyard garden scene was a waste of celluloid, and terribly edited. You could see entire scenes that had been removed. The rendering time spent on that could have been spent on slowing some of the combat scenes down to the point of being able to observe them.

Which is one of my biggest issues with this movie. The action. One, it slows down to near a crawl by the halfway point. The action that does occur happens so fast its only a blur. Barricade and Bumblebee, a mere blur, you can see absolutely nothing. The camera has to pan back to Barricade to show that he lost. Prime and Bonecrusher. Did you know Prime has a sword in his arm? Did you know he used it to cut off Bone crushers head? Well I had to watch it twice to really get that scene. Sure its well rendered, sure the lightning is great and real. Only it happens so fast you can't enjoy it.

After that its a blur of red, blue and tan metal as they tumble about. Whenever the animators take the camera at a distance the scene is amazing. The scene when Blackout annihilates the army base in Qatar was sick. Looked like it was straight out of Mechwarrior. Loved it. The battle between Optimus and Megatron? Ugh.

Now there they actually fight, smack talk a little. Now its a bit cheesy since its animated from the 80's but still. I can follow it. If only the focused on the scene more, gave it a few minutes to develop, get some dialogue going.

Megatron escapes from the Hoover Dam after being imprisoned for decades. He just flies off? Um, the Megatron I know would have leveled that human edifice with a massive blast from his cannon, which we see 1.5 blurred seconds of in a fight with Optimus. Now that would have been cool.

I still despise the Sector 7 addition. Lame. I hate the concept of the modern military so easily discovering a method to hurt them. Hate the complete and utter lack of character development in any of the transformers. And the Decepticons? Man, zero development. Big helicopter that kills, big tank that kills, big truck thing with venus fly trap that kills, etc.

How about the scene were Rachet brings Prime the two halves of Jazz and says he couldn't save him. Prime is there holding Jazz like a hotdog and coke talking about how they lost a friend but gained new ones. He sounded like the king in The Holy Grail after the brides father "dies".

How the heck is a 20 foot tall Autobot taken out by fire extinguishers? The way they caught Bumblebee was completely lame. A sweet ion cannon type device would have been cooler. Heck, they were reverse engineering all of Megatrons parts. (he was a super advanced nonbiological entity how did we get vaccuum tubes from that guy and not super awesome particle beam weapons?)

It was seriously like a couple of high school kids who only knew about transformers from seeing a display at Toys R Us made this movie. Zero interaction between the autobots, almost zero interaction between the decepticons.

After seeing it a second time I can say, that although it wasn't TINO (Transformers In Name Only) it wasn't close to accomplishing all that it could. It was a mile off.

sure hope they hand the franchise to someone who can manage some character development. Like how about, hmmm...SPIELBURG! Get out of the executive producer role and do something like direct a movie.

Great visual effects, good use of Peter Cullen. But that's about it. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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