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  1. #1
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    Default "Transformers" review...

    It's been two days since I saw Transformers, but today, I was in a reviewing mood.

    Michael Bay, known for a long partnership with Jerry Bruckheimer, and director of various long and bloated, though sometimes fun, Bruckheimer-produced action flicks such as Bad Boys 1 and 2, The Rock, Armageddon, and Pearl Harbor.

    In recent years, however, Bay has partnered up with executive producer Steven Spielberg, at the helm of The Island, a rather underrated 2005 sci-fi flick, and now, Transformers.

    True to Bay's style, Transformers is long, loud, and massively bloated with awe-inspiring CG effects and larger-than-life action sequences. Once again, Bay proves that he is a visionary capable of imagining and creating, and often getting carried away with, skillful action-packed set pieces.

    The difference between Bruckheimer and Spielberg, though, is like a difference between narcissism and hedonism. Where Bay's collaboration with Bruckheimer produced a series of impressive blockbuster films that were ultimately too vain and stuck-up to consider itself as mere summer entertainment, Bay collaboration with Spielberg produces that same imposing personality, but which refuses to take itself seriously and enjoys every minute of it.

    Transformers stars Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, your typical geekish, shy, and socially awkward 11th grader saving up to buy his first car. Sam's father (Kevin Dunn) buys Sam an old beat-up yellow Chevy Camaro with racing stripes, with which he uses to pick up Mikeala Banes (Megan Fox), the typical girl who broke up with her insensitive jock boyfriend.

    This Camaro soon reveals a personality of its own -- it drives by itself, it seems very protective of its owner, and yes, it's a Transformer called Bumblebee. Transformers, a race of alien beings from the planet Cybertron divided into the gracious Autobots, led by the mystical Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) and evil Decepticons, led by the dreaded Megatron (voiced by Hugo Weaving), continue their age-long war for the Allspark cube here on earth.

    The Transformers have the ability to disguise themselves not just as vehicles, but everyday appliances, and I feel that is what makes the film so creative and witty. Transformers can become stereos, cell phones, and even Xbox 360s, transforming convincingly into deadly fighting machines.

    The effects and CGI animation were handled primarily by Industrial Light and Magic under the supervision of veteran Scott Farrar. And needless to say, the special effects are state-of-the-art. The animation is absolutely flawless and the computer technology used to create these cybernetic beings is unbelievable. What once started out as toys are now living, mechanical beings with soulful, demonic, and sometimes humorously mischievous personalities.

    I'm not that much interested in Saturday morning cartoons and I only have a vague knowledge about them. But when I see the Transformers interact with each other, it is very much like the corny voice work in those superhero cartoons. And I felt this sort of corniness helped add to the fun. It was simply a live action version of these cartoons where machines fight and humans are stuck in the middle.

    Transformers is the ideal summer action movie. It's never too proud and it's never too serious. It's a long, action-packed popcorn movie that allows itself to spread its wings and takes us on a light-hearted adventure far away from the mundane. The storyline hasn't much depth, but who but a stuck-up snob would look for such a thing in this sort of movie? I am proud to admit that I like mainstream entertainment just as much as the next person.

    People into the "artsy" films seem to hate movies that are overblown with innovative special effects, but I feel light-hearted fun and acknowledgment of such innovations are how creativity is born.

  2. #2

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    Great review.

    I love it when someone can articulate why they like a movie while making it clear that I wouldn't enjoy it at all.

    You refer to a Xbox 360 bot, so I have to wonder if the Microsoft product placements are as prominent and creepy as in the previously mentioned "The Island".

  3. #3
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Great review... Just one question... Did you like it/Would you recommend it? Beyond "Fun", I mean

  4. #4
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    Well, first of all, I personally like product placement. It makes the movie seem more realistic. The product placement in The Island made the film more gritty and believable.

    I had this idea of a far-future space movie that would have intergalactic or interplanetary McDonald's restaurants. It provides a more believable and also satirical setting for the future -- I mean, after all, when mankind starts colonizing alien planets, I'm sure the corporations would expand their products to those planets, too.

    Another example of clever product placement is the futuristic McDonald's in The Fifth Element.

    Ptgatsby, the fact that a movie is fun is enough reason to like it, I would think. After all, aren't movies for enjoyment?

    So what if the movie is mainstream and makes more money? People who like independent films (many of which are just dreadful and you ultimately know why they're not big films) are the people who fancy themselves as "cultured," who are basically stuck-up snobs who need to feel superior.

  5. #5
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    I saw Transformers yesterday and I think it's the best summer movie so far this year. I like that it didn't take itself too seriously and the special effects were really good. When I picked my brain up on the way out the theater I didn't feel robbed as I usually do.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  6. #6
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    So what if the movie is mainstream and makes more money? People who like independent films (many of which are just dreadful and you ultimately know why they're not big films) are the people who fancy themselves as "cultured," who are basically stuck-up snobs who need to feel superior.
    I'm in an indie film group and most indie films are a little too conscious of being "independent." I do think independent films are slightly better on average because their target audience is more focused and expect better quality than films for mass consumption.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  7. #7
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    Ptgatsby, the fact that a movie is fun is enough reason to like it, I would think. After all, aren't movies for enjoyment?

    So what if the movie is mainstream and makes more money? People who like independent films (many of which are just dreadful and you ultimately know why they're not big films) are the people who fancy themselves as "cultured," who are basically stuck-up snobs who need to feel superior.
    Ermm... That's not my hang-up, but you still didn't answer if you actually liked it.... I'm going to assume that the answer is "yes, I liked it because it was fun"

  8. #8
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Hmm. Sounds like something I should take my sons to see.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I'm in an indie film group and most indie films are a little too conscious of being "independent." I do think independent films are slightly better on average because their target audience is more focused and expect better quality than films for mass consumption.
    Well, yeah, I do like some indie films, such as stuff by David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick. Robert Rodriguez is also a great indie film director -- I loved Grindhouse. Technically, Star Wars is an indie film -- since it's made outside of the Hollywood system. (Most indie films are still released by major studios.)

    But mainstream films can be just as good -- the works of Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Tim Burton. And Michael Bay isn't bad -- he's great at what he does.

    I don't think that movies made for the mass are of any poorer filmmaking quality, most of the time. The moneymaking factor of these films is more a symptom of the producers than the directors. I think that all film directors are artists, but the producers are the money people -- the artist's obstacle.

    Another thing I see about movies is the remakes. I've noticed that these so-called remakes are remakes in name only. As movies, remakes are usually vastly different in terms of storytelling, and they're often superior to the original films -- an example of this is Poseidon, which I thought was better than 1972's The Poseidon Adventure, quite honestly.

    Ptgatsby, yes, I liked it because it was fun. It's a Michael Bay movie, and most of them are great when you don't take them seriously.

  10. #10
    Pareo cattus Natrushka's Avatar
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    Tell me about Hugo Weaving's voice. <sigh>

    This signature left intentionally blank.

    Really.

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