Random Lunacy

Ranting from a San Jose artist/amature cosplayer at its finest. Multiple personalities frequent to kibitz author. Random Lunacy: Is it sleeping...or is it dead? >>

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What I Think of Transformers

This is an exact recplica of a posting on a friend's forum (w/ some spoiler tags taken out). Reader descretion is advised.

First: I am going to spoil this movie, so if you haven't seen it yet, don't read this. Um...yeah. Sorry in advance (seriously). I also apologize for the language. You're all warned.

You all know what my feelings were going into this. I saw Transformers last nite (9:30 PM), and I write this just before I go to bed so the images are still fresh. I have been very vocal in my views of how bad the "re-imaginings" look. I have been offended by their choice in who they chose as the Autobots who are in the movie (Starscream and Megatron are in thsi first pass, I'm down w/ that). So here's what I think now.

First off, the faces are hideous. Optimus' face mask? PRetty much not there the whole movie. He looks like....well...I can't say like what cuz I'm prolly gonna use the words "Bionicle" like 100 times on Megatron alone. But he looks just...bad. He has lips that are too low on his face...the best face was Bumblebee's, and that's not that much better. Overall, the Decepticons are wayyyyy bigger than the Autobots. Like, huger, more weight. This is an unfair fight when it starts. You have an SUV, a truck (w/ no trailer, mind you), a camero, a Pontiac something (I admit, I'm bad with cars), and a search and rescue vehicle VS a cop car, a tank, a fighter jet, and a fully armed military helicopter, and that's not counting Megatron, whose jet form's kinda cool. Pointy and Bionicle-y but huge and imposing. This is a fight where some Autobots are gonna get reamed big time.

And that includes Optimus, who gets his ass handed to him at the end. SpoilerJazz, the brotha Autobot (think Panthro, but as a sports car) gets torn in half by Megatron.END Spoiler How well do the Autobots fight? Well, IRonhide does a lousy job of being a "weapons specialist" and laying down cover fire. You know who DOES lay down cover fire? The US military. Yes, the US military has to cover the Autobots. Rachet? The medic? He does nothing remotely medical through the entire movie, except zap Bumblebee's voice box to fix it.

Bumblebee is the first Autobot you see and the one Autobot that has more screen time than Optimus. WTF. This is Optimus Prime. Convoy, for god's sake. And he is almost second fiddle to the busted hotness camero and his boy.

I'm putting this out now, before I become wayyyy to negative: I like Sam. Sam is just a kid whose life isn't very rosy (GOD his parents were annoying); dumbass friend who shows up for a total of maybe 20 or less in the film (and is not qquite a stoner, cuz you never see him light up), and his family dog is a fucking chihuahua with a broken leg. Sam is a loser, out and out. But you start to care about him, cuz, face it, a lot of us have times when the world seems or is against us. Spoiler, kindaAdmittedly, none of us have been chased by giant robots, have stupid ass friends, have a clunky car that has a mind of its own, gets arrested for stealing his own said car, kidnapped by a cover military branch and then has to help save the world. The girl he's macking with? A car enthuseist (fuck I cannot spell that word....) who's father taught her everything about cars cuz he was a car thief. End Spoiler She has wayyyy more balls than he does for most of the movie. I rooted for her and Sam cuz they were the few good and smart people in the whole movie.

Smart? How smart? Well, when a three foot robot that turns into a boombox can sneak around Air Force One (looking like a Bionicle come to life) and starts hacking into its system, then is able to walk in plain sight to Barricade (cop car) whilst the airport tarmack is crawling with secret service men, that's a sign that the people in this movie have the worst tunnel vision next to the guards in Final Fantasy 7's ShinRa building. Sam's dad somehow misses Optimus standing straight up in his back yard.

There were some characters that were COMPLETELY unneeded in this movie. The two hackers, for instance. After the first maybe half an hour, the need for them disappears. But...they're still there until the final fight, where they seem to disappear, next to Section 7.

Spoiler, kinda
Section 7, WORST subplot in the whole movie, and there were like 5. Basically, its a secret military section that "doesn't exist" (of course), that's been holding onto not only the AllSpark Cube (the MacGuffin of the film), but Megatron IN THE SAME FUCKING PLACE: Hoover Dam. If that's not the most collossally stupid thing in the film, it comes pretty damn close. Its led by the biggest assholes you will see in any film, bar none. And the payoff? Well, there is none, cuz they don't die. Oh, and the dam? Doesn't get destroyed. Why? Cuz they move the fight to a fully populated city. SMART. Don't spend so much time on establishign shots like that at that point in the movie if you're not gonna fork that shit up.End Spoiler

I go into this movie expecting action. Big giant ass robots pounding the shit out of each other, with the humans scurrying for cover. Maybe a few die here and there. SpoilerThe first scene delivers the carnage and destruction that I was expecting to see: a military base getting raped by a robot.End Spoiler And it was excellent. What the movie did right for the first hour or so was that when you had about 5 minutes of people shit, you see a transformer, whether its a Decepticon hacking into computers, or Bumblebee saving Sam's neck. This later on doesn't quite work (as the fights still had way too many people in them), but it breaks up the "boring" people parts that many of us old skool fans were bitching about.

Remember, for those who read it, the Sonic comics by Archie? Remember that for a few years, Sonic vs Knuckles was that dream fight we all were waiting for in Sonic 3 (which, I believe was issue 13)? Well, we didn't get one. Sonic and Knuckles? nope. But when it was coming out, Triple Trouble (based off the Game Gear game), they were announcing like the Second Coming the bigg fight between Sonic and Knuckles. It was suuposed to be fucking epic. What did we get? A two page fight. TWO PAGES. We finally get vindication when Super Sonic and Hyper Knuckles came out cuz not only did they start fighting on page 4, like Tails called it, they fought the whole damn issue, and took out a fucking ZONE.

What I'm trying to say is that the fight scenes, especially the last one, was Triple Trouble, and was nowhere near Super Sonic VS Hyper Knuckles. They were extremely underwhelming. We get a car chase scene. Its not very long. In fact, its really short. And the great action scenes we do get to see (mostly at the end), the fucking shaky camera work and artsy framing make it hard to see what the hell's going on. You never get a good steady shot of any of the battles, cus the camera's everywhere. Yes, its realistic. Yes, it puts you right there, in the middle of the action. But I am an AUDIENCE member damn it, not a cast member or some average joe running for their life as shit blows up, and I deserve to see what the fuck's going on. I cannot tell half the time if something is getting tackled or punching. The only way to tell the wrestling Autobots from the Decpticons is that the Autobots have more colored pieces on them than their enemy (all the Decepticons were like a slate gray, some where shiny though). The editing made it hard to tell what was actually happening in the fights. I was actually confused during one scene. SpoilerSam, his military pals, and Bumblebee are driving on a freeway, escorted by Optimus and the other Autorbots, when they get attacked by Bonecrusher. The the editing cuts between Bonecrusher and the other Autobots was done so sloppily that then Bonecrusher started running over other cars on the freeway, I found myself wondering why the Autobots were driving so agressively. When he transformed, and I realized that he was lacking any color whatsoever (which meant that he was a bad guy), and that he wasn't an Autobot.End Spoiler Also, unless you're paying attention, when everything starts going down in the last fight, you forget how many Decpticons are actually fighting, and which ones they are. The only exception is Starscream, cuz he's pretty obvious. He looks top heavy.

The people parts were pretty useless and unentertaining, with the exception of 2. The first is watching Bumblebee act like a total punk, and trying to help Sam win the girl with his smooth choices in radio selections (its pretty funny actually). I was leery of this character being endearing, but I grew to like him and Jazz right away. Why? Jaz is the brotha. He break dances. LOL And since Bumblebee doesn't talk, he has to find other means of communicating outside of the Wookie Method of pantomime and grunting, and this is through using clips of audio via his radio. Its very clever. I liked that ingenuity. I just wished it would extend to not having retards run the military. The other scene is where the Autobots have to try to be inconspicuous....while being in a tiny ass backyard. The Autobots have no concept of tact, stealth, or indeed hiding in general.

Which bothered me, outside of this little scene. #1: Optimus, indeed Peter Cullen, should neve EVER be heard saying the words "My bad". I see Jazz saying that. But not Optimus. Its stupid, trite and obviously trying to be hip and ending up pathetic. Optimus doesn not use common vernacular....he's beyond that. this is the leader of the Autobots and that means that he should be able to keep his temper in check, be paitent, control his troops, and be a symbol of the enduring spirit of doing what's right. This Optimus sadly falls very short of practically every other incarnation of him previously. Optimus showed a one-track impatience that seemed wildly out of character to me. Jazz, Ironhide, Rachet, I can see them having their little quirks (though Rachet is probably the one Autobot of the 4 that had the least character and the least use). If he has to tell Ironhide to stand down more than once, then that is not my Optimus. You may think i am holding a mere cartoon charactrer to a riduculously high standard, and I might be. But of EVERY character in this whole movie, Optimus should be the most sensible. He's the one whose supposed to stop Megatron, who is taller than he is, and wayyyyy more brutal (Hugo Weaving did a fantastic job. He even tells Starscream that he failed him again. It doesn't get more Megatron than that).

And going into the last fight, you expect the biggest, baddest throw down in giant robotdom, right? Wrong. It fails to deliver, and miserably. And its not because of the huge role Sam plays in the end (I admit, its a big role for a guy whose house pet is a Chihuahua named Mojo). Its the fight between these generals themselves. Its not much of a fight.
Spoiler for the last fight, DO NOT READ if you don't want to knowMEgatron kicks the living shit out of Optimus. Optimus doesn't give him much a of a fight, which is utter bullshit, cuz even the stat cards for the new toys say that he is on equal toe to Megatron. And who actually brings down most of the Decepticons? The US military, with guns and missles. Megatron gets gangbanged by missles. Its the first time I've ever really thought that not only do we humans not deserve the help from Optimus (and we don't if the other people in the movie are any indication), but that I felt BAD for Megatron getting raped by fucking missles from fighter jets. Its wasn't right. It was downright dirty. When Starscream took some out, I was relieved, but that wasn't enough. When Sam jams the Allspark into Megatron and he dies, I was in shock. I begged him to get back up. I wanted a FIGHT dammit, not some kick a man when he's down shit. Who kills Megatron? The fucking humans. WTF, Bay, WTF.End Really Big Spoiler Its bullshit. I wanted WAR. I got a street fight that was rigged from the start.

BTW, gratuitous product placement, Pepsi. I wouldn't drink Mountain Dew if it was the last drink on earth. The 360? Always knew it was evil (and its not really a Decepticon, its just brough to life by the Allspark. It does attack a person though, like the Mountain Dew despenser) . Oh, and the Weeboo Japanese fan wankery. Thank you, leave that shit at home. The one Japanese joke was ok. We didn't need 2. Wanna know why Japan is better? Cuz they treat giant robots with respect, Bay. You? You made Pearl Harbor, you little shit. Yes, that actually made me angry. Not as angry as the tunnel visioned humans, but pretty close.

There were good parts in this movie, but they were far and few between. I clapped when I saw cool things, I booed when I heard the worst line in the movie, and its not the Japanese robot line. I was actually getting into it in the first maybe hour of it, but the last fights were so underwhelming and pathetic that it sucked the joy I had when Optimus said to "roll out" (I admit, I got teary eyed when I heard it). The last part of the movie, coupled with bad camera angles and editing, the biggest dicks for characters and not enough civillians dying (you hardly see anyone die on screen, and I'm talking corpses, people), was the worst part. It did not deliver on what was promised and that was an epic fucking battle to the death. For those who saw Lady in the Water and remember the asshole getting killed, there was no vindication of that kind in this movie. The assholes live. Fuckin A. Aren't some of these guns powered by black holes? Why do their bullets sound like regular bullets from pistols?

I've said a lot already, and I'm tired as all get out. Its nearly 3 in the morning, but I felt I had to say something while the film is still fresh. My bf hated it so much he refuses to see it again. I might. But it may not help my final sentiments on it.

Of the $9 (I'm rounding up) I spent, the movie was worth $4. My bf gives it a buck and a half, but he holds Optimus Prime in a light akin to Jesus (he died for out sins...and look where it got us). This is the first time I've been more fair to the movie than him. We're both very hurt.

Michael Bay, I am a girlfriend, and I did not fully enjoy myself. You owe me $5 and 2 1/4 hours of my life back, asshole.