movie review { 'Transformers'

Synopsis: Big robots invade earth looking for the 'All Spark' a cube of immense power that can breath life into machines. There was also the required romantic sub-plot, copious hard body shots, and heaps of car porn.

My view: Well the computer science was bad, which was not surprising. The product placement was rampant. And the romantic and hacker sub-plots were weak. The humans vs Decepticon hacking wars resulted in pretty much the only thing humans can do is 'cut the hard lines'. Seriously they were cut so many times I feel bad for the cable pullers who have to restring the cat-5. Despite all this, I enjoyed the movie. The Auto-bot characters, despite my feelings about 'Bumblebee' as a camero, were likeable. The special effects were cool. I could've used a big more backstory about Cybertron as it is framed in this movie, but it wasn't necessary. I loved the Transformers as a kid, I had many, I watched the TV show, I saw the 1986 movie...where Optimus Prime died (and I cried). While this interpretation was not like the comics or the cartoon, it stood alone well on its own. Don't expect a deep plot, and you will have to tolerate a lot of jingoism, but it was still a good overall movie.

Grade: B- (sorry Jazz was a porche, not a Pontiac solstice, Ratchet was a generic ambulance, not a hummer converted, you got points though for Starscream as a F-22, also the robots could have used a bit more screen time to develop their characters more, especially Jazz, who along with Bumblebee was the most human friendly in the old series) D as in AVOID, upon reflection, this movie really did suck. Like 300 it gets worse the farther away from it you get as you think about it more and more and the effects wear off. This movie was terrible, terrible plot, characters as deep as mud puddles (the robots had more depth), and it was a recruiting commercial for the American military, as well as product placement for the dying American auto industry (for fuck's sake Jazz was a porsche and Bumblebee a VW bug, and Optimus Prime was a cab over Mack). Granted it didn't have more jingoism than a College Republican convention, that was 300, but it had a more subtle jingoism that I found no less disgusting over time. The effects were cool, as were the transformations, but after they wore off I'm left with a feeling of severe lacking. Maybe boobies would have helped...but they didn't help 300 over time.

---UPDATE 7/23/2007---
City Pages had some good reviews here and here.


AllThingsSpring said...

This whole thing looked like it was going to be a vacuous FX circle-jerk in the guise of 'General Motors presents The Transformers 1980's Nostalgia 2-Hour Extravaganza with explosions and Megan Fox'

Suffice to say, I can't be bothered.

GeistX said...

That's what I thought too, but it wasn't.

J G-W said...

We enjoyed it. Of course, the hook for me was the essentially Gnostic plot... Earth is the battleground in a war between good and evil extraterrestrial god-like beings... The notion that the Autobots are here to defend humanity's self-determination, while the Decepticons are here to enslave us and rape our planet...

AllThingsSpring said...

I think the bigger issue at hand is this - The Transformers, the original animated series - just wasn't very good in the first place. Why should I care about a live action tie-in for a bad animated series. Historically even when it is good source material, the translation between animated and live-action is usually bad (see '├ćon Flux')

Nostalgia has a way of putting rose-colored glasses on the world. A look back at most of that stuff from our childhoods reveals barely watchable pap with two dimensional stories and dated concepts of entertainment.

Also, I am so bored of the FX epic as a summer popcorn genre. Even if it were LSD on the screen, I'll wait for someone to loan me the DVD.

GeistX said...

And that Allthings is your prerogative. If you didn't like the animated series/toys/comics, then don't see this movie. However it is only peripherally related. I enjoyed this movie, and I was ready to hate it. Nerdwife enjoyed this movie and she does not have a background at all with Transformers beyond helping her younger brother transform them when he couldn't.

It wasn't a great movie, but it was an enjoyable one to see on a very hot summer day.

DAV said...

I know I'm in the minority on this, but I didn't like it. I almost walked out when Bumblebee peeed on that spooky guy. It was bad, especially when compared to the animated movie, and that's saying something.

Harrpy Potter on the other hand I would see again in the theater. It ruled

romunov said...

The Earth is the battle ground between two forces, one evil and one good... and America saves the day... again. C'mon. Are the States THAT isolated or what?

Notice that all babes we "very doable"? How many times have you met a fellow hacker with nipples like that and with no acne?

I was hoping robots would, you know, talk n' stuff. They were like legos lying around, waiting to be rolled out. More about human than robots, what a waste.

AFAIC, this wasn't Transformers per se. I can't say the original series rocked (retarded plots like everywhere else), but they could at least improve on that.

I did enjoy the animation, though.

GeistX said...

I've revised my feelings on this movie now that I am a few weeks out on it (its kinda working on me like 300, the farther out from it, the worst it gets).

I think Avindair's review about it being the same as wrapping up a ball of foil, putting wings on it, and rolling it down hill while filming it and saying 'pew! pew!' in the background.

I thought I posted in my review about the jingoism, but I guess I missed that, it had heaps of jingoism.

Avindair said...

Yeah...that was a stinkburger. Though I was impressed by the lighting on the CG work, I wasn't impressed by the actual animation because I could never tell what the hell was happening.

I must be getting old.

AllThingsSpring said...

Humor .