Transformers



  • I figured; why not start a thread about this? So this is the place to talk about Transformers and the various incarnations over the years; from the cartoons and the movie series.

    After all, I remember watching those old Generation One Transformers cartoons on VHS when they first came out then watched them in the morning before school when I was a kid. I now have that old collection on DVD and every now and then, I go back and watch them, mostly for nostalgia, and while some of the episodes are poorly animated and have some pretty crappy storytelling, most are actually very well done.

    I understood even then that the cartoon was a vehicle to sell toys, however, as an individual I’m usually the exception to many things; I see heaping amounts of substance in Queen’s Blade, I enjoyed two of the three new Transformers movies so in those days while I enjoyed that old Transformers cartoon, I never got into the toys, loved the series, but not big on the toys.

    So regardless of some productions being a big money grab for whatever reason, I generally don’t allow cynicism to infringe upon my ability to see heart and substance or my enjoyment of it; this was the case with the new Madoka Movie and those FMA movies. So to reiterate; that old Transformers cartoon was a fun and entertaining show.

    After a few other incarnations of the series and some live action movies, and a new Transformers Movie is coming next summer with the title conformed; Transformers: Age of Extinction. It features some reputable actors like Mark Walberg playing a widowed husband and father along with Kelsey Grammar playing a paranoid government agent. I also hear that Grimlock has been confirmed as a character, so I’m interested to see how that plays out. From what I’ve heard, according to Mark Walberg is that this new installment will have a little more character development and heart as he spoke of his character and his dynamic as a father in relation to his daughter.

    As for the other Transformers movies, I thought the first did an amazing job of introducing the characters, laying the groundwork by reinventing and developing the mythology and of course some solid action. I wasn’t pleased with the second movie with its bad pacing, unfunny jokes and how it wasted the potential of some great characters such as the Constructicons. Things turned around when I saw the third installment which was pretty well done; it had a more intricate story, it elaborated more on the Transformers mythology, better pacing, it had some good surprises and of course a return to some amazing action sequences.

    Well, that’s all I have for now.



  • My Fav incarnations of Transformers are as Follows.

    I. Beast Wars: this is the one I grew up with. This is what got me interested in Transformers in the first place. It may not be the best, but it was my first TF

    II. Comics: I've enjoyed most the comic portrayals of the characters

    III: G1: it may be pretty cheesy at times, but gotta give props to the first incarnation. Also SoundWave is Best Transformers!

    IV: Prime: best written modern series IMO

    V: Animated: it was different, but good!



  • @Soundmonkey44:

    G1: it may be pretty cheesy at times, but gotta give props to the first incarnation. Also SoundWave is Best Transformers!

    It is pretty dated, total 80's and we can't forget that John Wayne angle Peter Cullen was using when playing Optimus Prime. Still really good; I felt it actually got better in season 2 and 3.

    Weird thing is, many of the episodes I disliked as a kid are now my favorites and vice versa; the episode where that hunter kidnaps all the Autobots and wants Optimus as a trophy or the episode when Galvatron goes for therapy.

    I also remember hating season 3 when it first started, which we called “The Space Episodes” when we were kids; now it has some of my all-time favorite episodes, they seemed more adult in comparison to the earlier seasons because they delved more into the backstory and mythology of the Transformers.

    @Soundmonkey44:

    IV: Prime: best written modern series IMO

    This series is pretty good from what I've seen; I haven't been impressed with an animated Transformers since the Generation 1 series. I'm thinking about buying this series on Blu-ray eventually.



  • Its a pretty solid show, kind of a hoge proge of elements of G1, Beast Wars, & The Good parts of the movies all thrown into one. I think you'd enjoy it. Now it's not perfect mind you, but out of the 65 episodes Id say 60 of em have much more good then bad elements, very rarely did episodes leave a sour taste in my mouth. And even the weaker ones were still pretty enjoyable over all.



  • @Soundmonkey44:

    Its a pretty solid show, kind of a hoge proge of elements of G1, Beast Wars, & The Good parts of the movies all thrown into one. I think you'd enjoy it. Now it's not perfect mind you, but out of the 65 episodes Id say 60 of em have much more good then bad elements, very rarely did episodes leave a sour taste in my mouth. And even the weaker ones were still pretty enjoyable over all.

    I've already seen some of it; I like what I've seen, it seems like there's more of a major story line as opposed to it all being situational and it seems like a combination of the movies and generation one. From what I had watched it delved a lot into the overall mythology of the Transformers, so I might pick it up soon if I can find it; if not, I may have to order it from Amazon or something eventually.

    As for the movies, as I said before, the first and third was good; it was the second one where they blew it and on that topic I was sorely disappointed how Arcee was barely on that one when she was supposed to be there along with the Constructicons.



  • Honestly outside of the first movie, I'm not much of a Fan of Bayformers. 2 was flat out disappointing & 3 while better still didn't quite do it for me for some reason. I am looking forward to Age of Extinction though! Specially if it means I get to see the Dino Bots on the big screen.



  • @Soundmonkey44:

    Honestly outside of the first movie, I'm not much of a Fan of Bayformers. 2 was flat out disappointing & 3 while better still didn't quite do it for me for some reason. I am looking forward to Age of Extinction though! Specially if it means I get to see the Dino Bots on the big screen.

    I'm also interested in Mark Walberg being on there, especially after what he said about the character he's playing. I’m also looking forward to how they execute the presentation of the Dinobots.

    As for movie three, I do have some issues with it, however, it still blew ROTF out of the water; I liked it because it borrowed so much material from the Generation One series and even some of the comics I read from when I was a kid. It would’ve been awesome to see a truck battle/demolition between Optimus and Megatron considering their vehicle forms.

    My issue with ROTF was that it started pretty cool, it had some amazing action, but at about the hour mark the movie just went to shit. Aside from wasting some great characters the pacing was horrific.



  • I got into Transformers from watching Armada on Toonami (yeah, I know). I'm not a huge fan, but I like what I've seen of Beast Wars and Animated. The first live-action movie's fine for brainless popcorn entertainment, I guess, but I have no desire to see the others.

    I decided to go all the way through the original cartoon on Netflix. At first, I kind of enjoyed it in a campy "so bad it's good" kind of way…but as it kept going on, I quickly grew weary of it. In fact, this show, G.I Joe and He-Man have really soured my view of animation in the 80s.

    Peter Cullen is a magnificent voice actor, however. Any genuine emotion I felt, I felt because of Optimus Prime (particularly in the movie).



  • @Looney: Really!? Personally I think the original G.I.Joe has held up pretty well. As for Transformers, yeah The toon can get pretty cheesy, but is be lying if I didnt say that was part of its appeal for me. And I still love the G1 Movie. Even have the sound track in my car! XD.

    I admit I'm bias though, cause even thought I'm a 90s kid I grew up on reruns of a lot of 80s stuff, and it's hard for me to be to hard on Nostalgic fun. :p

    Totally agree with you & neon on the second Bay movie though. Started out alright, but sh*t hit the fan pretty fast. 3 was an improvement over 2' but didnt grab me quite as much as one. But yeah here's hoping 4 can recapture that spark or fun the first one had for me & others! #knockonwood.

    As for Armada, I loved it when I was younger, the mini cons were cool, and making Star Scream A good guy for the shows final act was a nice touch. It's a shame the following series Energon & Cybertron were flat out meh, although I did love Sound Waves design in Cybertron. But overall, yeah, the unicorn anime trilogy was kinda…. Medicore outside its first act.



  • @Looneygamemaster:

    I decided to go all the way through the original cartoon on Netflix. At first, I kind of enjoyed it in a campy "so bad it's good" kind of way…but as it kept going on, I quickly grew weary of it. In fact, this show, G.I Joe and He-Man have really soured my view of animation in the 80s.

    I know the first season was very campy, but as I mentioned earlier, it improved drastically with season 2 and then of course season 3 seemed more “adult” with the way some of the episodes played out; I remember as a kid finding them “boring” however, now, many of those “boring” episodes are my favorites. That also includes the season 2 ones, like the episode with that hunter guy I mentioned earlier; let’s just say Optimus put him in his place at the end.

    As for GIJOE, aside from Valor vs. Venom and the second movie I liked most of the GIJOE cartoons; Generation 1, Sigma 6 and the great; GIJOE: Resolute.

    I should also mention that long before Dr. Evil spouted his 100 billion dollars line, Cobra Commander had nailed it on numerous episodes, 100 billion, and 60 billion and Alpine volunteered to pay it with his GIJOE credit card. You know, those old GIJOE cartoons actually had a lot of good adult humor on them when I first bought and watched them on DVD; didn't notice or "get" any of it when I was a kid though. It should be noted though, the first pilot series was mediocre at best; the actual TV series with season 1 and 2 is where it got great. I watched some of the new series which was a continuation after some other production company took over; man did those episodes ever suck. With Generation 1 GIJOE, stick with seasons 1 and 2 and the movie, then jump to Sigma 6 and Resolute.

    With He-Man, I can’t really do much to defend that show, it takes cheesiness to a whole new level, I only watch that out of pure nostalgia, although it does have some wholesome lessons and classic lines.

    Skeletor: “He-Man, you’re going to regret the day you met me!”
    He-Man – “What do you mean? I already regret the day I met you.”

    She-Ra was actually a much better show, and I don’t know, She-Ra was just more likable, but then, as a heterosexual male, maybe I’m biased there. It did have better animation though.

    @Looneygamemaster:

    Peter Cullen is a magnificent voice actor, however. Any genuine emotion I felt, I felt because of Optimus Prime (particularly in the movie).

    Both Peter Cullen and Frank Welker are amazing; the only other voice of Megatron I liked was done by Hugo Weaving on the movies. Anyways, both Welker and Cullen played multiple characters on GIJOE and Transformers along with some Disney cartoons like Ducktales and Rescue rangers. Peter Cullen is also famous for playing Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.

    @Soundmonkey44:

    @Looney: Really!? Personally I think the original G.I.Joe has held up pretty well. As for Transformers, yeah The toon can get pretty cheesy, but is be lying if I didnt say that was part of its appeal for me. And I still love the G1 Movie. Even have the sound track in my car! XD.

    You’ve got the touch; you’ve got the power, oh shit! I just had an epiphany, on Boogie Nights, Mark Walberg sings that song, now he’s in Transformers 4; spooky!

    Anyways, yeah, I liked both the Transformers and GIJOE Generation one movies; they were actually pretty good.

    On the topic of that old Transformers movie, I remember Optimus Prime’s death actually had some kids crying in the theater when it was shown; it was actually pretty shocking for many of them. Of course they brought him back in season 3; once to assassinate the Autobots, which was actually a sad episode, hey, like I said, season 3 got more “adult” and had darker storytelling, then Optimus was brought back permanently on the season 3 finale.

    @Soundmonkey44:

    @Totally agree with you & neon on the second Bay movie though. Started out alright, but sh*t hit the fan pretty fast. 3 was an improvement over 2' but didnt grab me quite as much as one. But yeah here's hoping 4 can recapture that spark or fun the first one had for me & others!

    That second movie went to shit so bad I almost cried as I left the theater the first time I saw it; it wasn’t because of the ticket price; it was all the hype and anticipation I had built up going into it because I was so impressed with the first movie.

    On that first movie they nailed it; great pacing, story development, building the mythology and action; it was all there, my mentality was that there was no way they could screw up the second one, but they did. Thankfully there was some redemption with the third one and let’s hope this fourth one blows them all away.



  • Anytime I see StarScream I get super excited.



  • Micheal Bay messed Transformers up with explosions. It's like having The Walkers in The Walking Dead explode when they get shot.



  • I can feel the cynicism bubbling up, I think I’m about to go full a$$hole on this self-indulgent post so I will probably piss a few people off, I will also be posting spoilers later, so you may want to see the movie first, then come read.

    I just got back from watching Transformers: Age of Extinction; prior to going I looked over some reviews, and upon returning home, I looked over a few more. There’s no problem with expressing an opinion, even if it is a negative one and this new Transformers has acquired plenty of negative opinions, to which I can understand to a certain degree in the sense that there are some glaring issues with the movie, however; for the most part, I think a lot of people writing these pieces are mentally inept.

    Before I get down to talking about my opinion, thoughts and overall analogy; seeing this new Transformers movie and reading these reviews have given me a stark reminder. So I want to rant and vent a little and provide an explanation as to why I take being called a critic as an insult and why I consider myself a media connoisseur before I talk about the movie; I look at what a piece of art/entertainment is trying to do along with following the fundamentals of good storytelling, and I usually find that my level of satisfaction is a symptom of how well-written it is, and how well it succeeds, or in the case of my top favorite material; exceeds those benchmarks. This is why I hold such anime like Fate/Zero, Psycho-Pass and Queen’s Blade to a high regard; they were absolutely amazing; when I viewed them, I was engaged and intrigued the entire time simply because of how well-written and executed they are.

    I generally find most critics are intellectually dishonest, pompous, pretentious, arrogant, egotistical, reductionist, narcissistic troglodytes. Over time I have come to despise music, movie, anime, I guess media critics in general, there’s this mentality that if it isn’t an Oscar worthy film like Forest Gump or The King’s Speech, or a more eccentric picture like The Grand Budapest Hotel, or in the case of anime, if it isn’t experimental, or a landmark piece like Puella Magi Madoka Magica or if it has ecchi, it’s essentially garbage; this all blends together and turns into white noise eventually. Basically I’m saying many of these people carry such a massive bias, it makes their opinions so transparent I can forecast with precision and accuracy, their evaluation on a movie or anime before it even gets released, ergo, I can generally write their opinions off as empty words from an unreliable source.

    I know all this may sound arrogant on my part, but I have no motive or reason to put any value into words from people who fail to notice the obvious narrative themes that a piece of media is practically rubbing their faces in, or quite possibly the prevalent strengths along with the flaws. Or when people start looking for “moral” problems in a piece of media and they practically have to do a full mental gymnastics ensemble to explain how something is “immoral.” All with the intention of shaming people from viewing and enjoying media they dislike along with posturing ethical and intellectual superiority. Don’t get me wrong; there is material in some movies, anime and music I’m offended by, but, it’s generally not something I really need to go into a long winded explanation about in order to clarify why I’m offended.

    The cynicism that people have creates a massive bias that infringes upon their ability to give a fair assessment on a piece of media, usually involving overlooking strengths or weaknesses depending on the bias. Just like with ecchi anime, people like to hide behind the “well its offensive, well it’s made to sell merchandise, well good storytelling can’t occur with ecchi.” Excuses used to rationalize forgoing a due process of metric that would require them to acknowledge the narrative and thematic strengths some of these shows exhibit.

    I’ve been seeing a lot of this sort of behavior from the nerd community as of late with different movies, video games and anime, most of which is rubbish, and Transformers: Age of Extinction is no exception. In my write up I will be expressing my opinion, how I arrived at it, some analogy, strengths and, some of the real issues with the movie that could’ve been easily remedied; essentially a fair approach. Going into this movie after having watched the prior three, I knew that I could’ve been anywhere on the spectrum from awful to awesome. I knew there was going to be big explosions, action, special effects, however; from there, whether it’s “good” or “bad” is a “have to wait and see scenario.”



  • Transformers: Age of Extinction seems to have a grittier, darker atmosphere to it; all transformers are being demonized via hate propaganda in the form of billboards and television ads and reports that place the blame on the Autobots as well as the Desepticons for the destruction of Chicago; and like most hate propaganda, the individuals perpetrating it have an ulterior motive for doing so, which is brought to light later on in the movie.

    Autobots are being hunted down, and it is actually a sad scene when Ratchet gets killed off closer to the start of the film. This brings me to how I feel about the overall story; I think it’s actually quite well-written; it gives plenty of room for some actual characterization and a good ensemble cast dynamic including with the Transformer and human interaction. The story works well narratively to connect all the characters, their motives and actions together making for a coherent, thematic (that’s right, thematic) and generally well-executed film. Basically, what I’m saying is that a lot of what occurs here doesn’t feel contrived or shoehorned in, but narratively established.

    It also sets up many of the action sequences and also opens the narrative to setup real sequels; we are told of “creators” I wonder if Lockdown was referring to the Quintessons. This in particular is a strength none of the previous Transformers movies has; Age of Extinction really seems as though it’s setting up future movies by expanding the scope, in other words; it feels more like a part of a whole as opposed to a standalone movie like the first three Transformers. I really do hope that they pursue this direction, because this installment has done more to expand the mythology than the other movies with something as simple as explaining and justifying the existence of the Dinobots as a piece of the puzzle. Galvatron is merely introduced, he doesn’t have a lot of screen time although he does play a pretty big role in the movie and the theme, however; it ends with him saying “We will meet again Prime.” So, there’s a lot more establishment of mythological and narrative expansion. When the characters are exploring Lockdown’s ship, we see many creatures caged up, not to mention that Lockdown has been bounty hunting throughout the universe for hundreds of thousands of years.

    Everything from foreshadowing to exploration of themes are utilized here, making this installment one of the more ambitious versions and for the most part, it succeeds, although it does have a few hiccups along the way. The thematic exploration conveyed in numerous scenes covers matters such as personal accountability and freedom, sentience, cruelty and dehumanizing of individuals. Early on in the movie, Walberg refers to the Spark in Optimus as a soul, and there’s even a thought provoking scene where he mentions to a scientist that they’re living, thinking beings that plays into this theme. From there, with Galvatron acting of his own accord, Lockdown telling Optimus that he has no free will and is property owned by the “creators” and things ending with Optimus going after them along with other subtle aspects that touch on this, it’s clear that this movie is thematically consistent.

    This theme comes up through the use of various motifs throughout the film, but I’m sure some of you are thinking I’m overanalyzing. Fair enough, I’ve said the arts and entertainment is subjective and open for interpretation and I know many people saw this and thought little of it. Of course, I really should mention the theme of the inherent danger of playing god and how it ties to this concept of sentience it’s playing with.

    Stanley Tucci, who, as always, turns out an amazing performance in this movie, plays an inventor and acts as a foil to Walberg’s character, talks of progress and development; like many of the villains, he has good intentions, but his means and those he associates with are cruel to say the least. Unlike Walberg’s character, Tucci’s is egotistical, arrogant and financially successful with a massive company.

    He is the individual who samples the forbidden fruit by using the material the Transformers are made of the construct his own robots hoping to turn a massive profit in military sales; so the evils of capitalism is touched on as well; I guess maybe, unethical capitalism and dehumanization of individuals? Much of his character’s actions are pretty cruel the way he commissions a task force to hunt down Transformers, Decepticons and Autobots alike to experiment with and for more material to work with. Fortunately, like any well written story, it has character development and Tucci’s character is no exception. Events in the movie cause him to understand that he’s been playing with fire and it leads him to an eventual catharsis.

    This is where these primary themes are explored with Galvatron as played by original voice actor Frank Welker, who, just like in the original series, is Megatron rebuilt. Sure, Unicron didn’t rebuild him; did you hear that? An entire legion of fan boys has shed tears over this. However; this is actually a positive because it’s thematically consistent with what the movie is driving at; there’s all this talk of sentience, having a soul and dehumanizing individuals.

    With Galvatron, he retains Megatron’s soul and sentience which is exceptionally well established when Tucci’s character does a test run by sending Galvatron out to the field to fight Autobots. During this scene, the controls don’t respond right, Galvatron fires off missiles on his own accord and if that’s not enough; when he speaks only one line in a terrifying manner to Optimus during the battle, it’s a clear indicator he’s not under anyone’s control; he shouldn’t be able to speak or think for himself, which is why it’s brought up as a problem when the scientists are doing diagnostics on him. The fact is; Galvatron had his sentience the whole time. This was something I knew was going to happen before even seeing the movie since the generation one cartoon portrayed Galvatron as more evil than Megatron even if they’re literally the same character. Regardless, Galvatron here is of sorts a Frankenstein’s Monster motif as a reciprocal outcome to playing god; what is created may think for itself and strike back.

    The character dynamic and overall characterisation is much stronger than it ever was on any Transformers movie, not to say there is anything wrong with it on the first one with the characters played by the likes Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight and John Turturro. Or the third one with mentioned returning cast members, the comedic moments with John Malkovich and Ken Jeong. There’s also the dynamic created on the third film between Patrick Dempsey as a foil to Shia LaBeouf’s character; basically a corrupted version of it.

    As I mentioned earlier, a foil is also incorporated into the dynamic between the characters played by Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci. With Mark Walberg playing a humble, struggling; in a word; broke inventor behind on his mortgage payments and Stanley Tucci as the opposite, financially successful and arrogant innovator.

    I have mixed feelings about Tessa’s characterisation as played by Nicola Peltz; the acting is fine, and I like where her character starts out, and the dynamic with Mark Walberg playing a worried father is done well. This is narratively earned in that it’s well established that why Walberg’s character is concerned for her; he’s widowed, he and his deceased wife had their daughter at an early age; so the family struggle there is more organic than the previous Transformers movies. However; her character starts to become bland as the movie progresses, sure, I give it points that she helps out throughout the movie, but the only depth we get from her character is earlier on.



  • Now as an aside, I don’t want to get all “politically correct” and I assure everyone, I’m no feminist advocate, but as a viewer, if they keep making these Transformers movies, I think it would be super amazing, mega awesome to have a human female protagonist at some point in later movie. A well balanced Sarah Conner/Ellen Ripley/Black Widow type character; I can say with the fullest of confidence that would create a unique, but great dynamic in the story.

    As far as villains are concerned, Transformers: Age of Extinction provided me with a villain I love to hate; Lockdown. He’s malicious and cruel with a cold and sinister demeanor; his design, particularly his face looks demonic, but also human, making him his presence more uneasy. In a way he almost reminds me of a robotic version of Anton from No Country for Old Men, although, not as menacing or terrifying, but still gets the job done. I find a lot of his dialogue sets up future installments to the franchise by implicitly expanding the scope and themes with him talking about planets he’s been on, the life forms on those planets and how they’re all arrogant, the human condition and that sentience and freedom are artificial constructs.

    Moving on to the actors, Mark Walberg is much more entertaining and charismatic than Shia LaBeouf ever was, not that I take huge issue with LaBeouf; I actually enjoyed his antics in the first and third movies. I just think Walberg’s acting and screen presence is exponentially better. A good analogy would be to think of how Jack Nicholson blew Adam Sandler out of the water on Anger Management in every scene; there was just no contest; Nicholson practically performed circles around Sandler. It’s the same way with how Walberg blows LaBeouf out of the water; he has more experience, charisma and screen presence; when Walberg spoke to Optimus, it is as an equal; a man to man conversation; not a man lecturing a boy conversation.

    Walberg also has great comedic timing; much of the overall humor on this Transformers movie is more subtle, but much funnier. At times his role of concerned parent is touching, but other times it is comedic, but let’s be honest; if I had a seventeen year old daughter in a relationship with a twenty year old guy I’d be pretty overprotective as well. Now, I don’t want to open a can of worms but, that brings me to one issue that doesn’t quite sit well with me; the relationship of those characters is an illegal one, sure, it’s only three years difference and there’s the Romeo & Juliet statute that allows them to be together, and I know I’m being a bit of a prude, but, I think the movie could’ve had her eighteen. Fortunately this criticism doesn’t inhibit my overall enjoyment of this film, but I do see it as a criticism still.

    As for other great performances, I already spoke of Stanley Tucci; an amazing and considerable underestimated actor, but Kelsey Grammer, also outstanding in everything he’s in. He’s plays a great good guy and a villain. On Transformers: Age of Extinction, he owns being a villain; a cold, calculating, self-obsessed character with good intentions, but willing to pay any price to accomplish them, including the piling up of causalities along with the mutilation and experimentation of peaceful, sentient extra-terrestrial life. Chinese actress balances things out as the intelligent and charismatic Bingbing Li; another standout character.

    Unfortunately, they can’t all be zingers; Jack Reynor’s character is as bland as an aged MacDonald's Big Mac playing the generic pretty boy/bad boy and while she starts off with some great fleshing out, Nicola Peltz’s character does become somewhat bland later on. This is not their fault, but more of the fact that they’re supporting characters to CG animated robots, Mark Walberg, Kelsey Grammer and Stanley Tucci; they simply can’t compete with that kind of stage presence.

    Then of course there are the voices, I have nothing to complain about regarding Peter Cullen’s performance as Optimus Prime; he owns that role; period. Frank Welker returns to play Galvatron as he did in the original Television series after taking over the character from Leonard Nimoy. He sounds more menacing and threatening than he ever has, also for Ken Watanabe turning out a great performance as Autobot Drift.

    But, as far as prodigious voice performances for Transformers: Age of Extinction go, I have to give it John Goodman as Autobot Hound. I mean, John Goodman, I grew up seeing him on Roseanne, King Ralph and Arachnophobia, later on it would be The Big Lebowski, The monuments Men and the voice of Sully on Monsters Inc. He brings a dynamic to the character unlike anyone else has ever done in other Transformers movies with the exception of Peter Cullen; his range to be comedic and dramatic brings a heartwarming charm to the character. The moment I heard Hound speak I immediately knew; John Goodman; I almost said out loud in the theater.

    Now, let’s state the obvious; from a special effects perspective, Transformers: Age of Extinction is a visual masterpiece. All the CG animation has been improving with every Transformers installment, and on this latest chapter, the Transformers feel more like real characters than they ever have; which is also due to the actors performances, but I’ll get to that later, but their faces are more human than ever as well. The fight and battle sequences are well coordinated with pinpoint accuracy and precision. Basically, it looks like most of the time; the Transformers are on the set with the actors when they’re merely animated.



  • With all that positivity I spouted, I’m sure many of you are thinking I’m some sort of Transformers fan boy unable to see the problems with this new movie; not so fast; I’m about to get my hands dirty.

    With all the effective use of themes and narrative, the cool action, actor performances and visually orgasmic special effects, I have to admit; this movie does overstay its welcome sometimes. It’s not too often I say a movie is too long, but Transformers: Age of Extinction is too long clocking in at two hours and forty-five minutes; that’s almost three hours long.

    I’m going to say that again; this new Transformers movie is too long and as a result does suffer from being self-indulgent at times. The movie could’ve easily been trimmed by twenty or thirty minutes and retained the meanings, themes and epic scope it was going for; the fact is, there is a lot of fluff inserted into many of the action scenes and some of which are all out pointless. I’m not talking about the robot battles, but many of the chase scenes and people fights along with that magnet that Lockdown fires up; what was the point of that? Well, my hypothesis being that they were thrown in because “it looks cool to do that.” So yes, this is one that I’ll give to the critics; Transformers: Age of Extinction is considerably bloated and self-indulgent at times.

    It’s similar to when I watched Madoka Rebellion, although not quite as good, but it’s just like having steak, then more, then more, and you hit a point where you’re full but it just keeps getting brought to you and you eventually feel like you’re going to pass out. It’s like, no, more, please.

    There’s also the “Bayhem” as people like to mention and this installment didn’t hold back, I mean, Michael Bay loves wrecking and blowing stuff up, there is so much random crap on this movie that gets destroyed. They could’ve called it; Transformers: Let’s Wreck Stuff Because We Can.

    The next aspect I need to drag this movie through the mud about is the music; it is absolutely pathetic. Okay, look, power ballads and rock and roll music worked on the Generation One cartoon movie because, well; it’s a cartoon, that’s the thing about animation, it’s possible to get away with using cheesy aspects and making them cool. I mean, look at High School of the DxD and how it simultaneously mashes material that could be considered soft core porn onto a legitimately entertaining, well thought out and executed piece of art/entertainment with marvelous characterisation and pacing.

    Live action; you couldn’t do that; forget it, not happening, so the cheesy music playing in some of the action and battle scenes, when it isn’t orchestral material, it is a bunch of emo, pre-pubescent garbage that counter productively worked against the severity in a number of situations.

    So, aside from these issues and the odd plot convenience, I am very impressed with Transformers: Age of Extinction, it is by no means a perfect masterpiece as a film, but for being considered intellectual comfort food, it manages to entertain with dazzling special effects and jaw dropping action, overall fabulous performances, a solid and decently executed story, but at the same time, also has some ambitious material and something intelligent to say.

    What surprises me though, is how easily I was able to spot these themes and imagery and how they are simultaneously reinforced in the story with the characters with their actions while they complement the narrative and enhance the overall viewing experience. Yet, many of these critics, who are professionals when analyzing film, fail to see this. I have said, it’s possible to dislike something, but still be aware that it explores themes, ideas and has something of intelligence to say.

    I’m not saying it’s a problem to dislike this movie; it has its problems, and some people simply don’t enjoy big budget pop culture fair, and this new Transformers movie does overstay its welcome, so I understand that not everyone is going to like it, that we all have different opinions. But when people say this movie (or movies, or anime remotely like it) is “just a mess” or implicitly say that it’s a movie made by stupid people for stupid people that the mindless sheep who thoughtless eat mainstream media contribute to the problem by supporting it.

    The bottom line is; I often hear critics and elitists say they don’t like their intelligence being insulted; well, when I read many of these reviews, then I go and watch the movie or in many cases the anime, and it’s completely different from what’s being described in the review, I generally look at this like intellectual fraud; and I don’t like my intelligence insulted.

    I also know that was kind of long, but, at the very least, those of you who read it; I hope you enjoyed it.



  • @neonwalrus:

    The bottom line is; I often hear critics and elitists say they don’t like their intelligence being insulted; well, when I read many of these reviews, then I go and watch the movie or in many cases the anime, and it’s completely different from what’s being described in the review, I generally look at this like intellectual fraud; and I don’t like my intelligence insulted.

    I also know that was kind of long, but, at the very least, those of you who read it; I hope you enjoyed it.

    It sounds kind of like this is the Transformers movie we needed ~5 years ago. Other than perhaps the opening scene, I don't recall a thing about Revenge of the Fallen, and don't even remember if I watched Dark of the Moon.

    It's unfortunate, but I wrote off the Bayformers as a franchise years ago.



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  • Just a warning; there will be spoilers.

    @EyeOfPain:

    It sounds kind of like this is the Transformers movie we needed ~5 years ago. Other than perhaps the opening scene, I don't recall a thing about Revenge of the Fallen, and don't even remember if I watched Dark of the Moon.

    It's unfortunate, but I wrote off the Bayformers as a franchise years ago.

    On one hand, this new one does have a somewhat different atmosphere and it’s easier to take seriously, if you didn’t like the other ones, this one might be able to do it for you, however; at the same time, if you’re not into large scale action sequences, this may not be your cup of tea. I’m intrigued by this one in particular because it deals with the whole “Soul in the Machine” concept similar to shows like Chobits and movies like A.I.

    As I mentioned earlier, this one is certainly the most ambitious in terms of actual plot along with narrative and thematic concepts, and I think that’s why I feel the way I do about it. Don’t get me wrong, there are hiccups, and things do get a little convoluted and a touch incoherent, but I do have to applaud the fact that there’s a little more to chew on intellectually on this particular installment. Unlike the other Transformers movies, I’ve actually been pondering over a few things about this new one since I watched it.

    I mean, sure I did think about the other ones, but in terms of how the first one worked because it did a great job of renewing the mythology, adapting it to live action, making it more accessible to everyone, while refreshing the concepts for old fans. Then there’s how the third works because of it incorporates a lot of ideas and story material from the old cartoon series and it is well paced and executed.

    Lastly, and I’ll admit, I stewed about the second one, but not from a literary, thematic analogical perspective; from a point of view of what went wrong. I think the second one is absolutely terrible for so many reasons, so many in fact, that I’m going to stop lest I end up with another marathon post. I can rip it apart another day.

    Now, one of a few things I’ve been thinking about is Ratchet’s death scene; I couldn’t put my finger on what it reminded me of, then it came to me later. Steven Spielberg’s finger prints are all over this scene in that it has the same dark and unsettling atmosphere as the flesh fair scene on A.I. and as silly as it sounds, both scenes had an emotional impact on me.

    Now the other thing is the theme of free will and sentience, what it means for Galvatron, and how that lead me to some theories I have about him. It’s conveyed on two occasions that Galvatron has a huge hole in chest where his spark is supposed to be; once when Stanley Tucci complains about the design and when Optimus is fighting him and he points out Galvatron has no soul. Basically, he has no spark, thus making him harder to kill. This got me thinking about how Megatron may have gotten killed, but his intellect is still alive and when it’s revealed that he has been dissected and examined by humans, and in doing so, his intellect was able to infect their computers.

    It’s somewhat reminiscent of the episode; Ghost in the Machine where Starscream possesses other Transformers. Even when Galvatron transforms, the imagery yields a sort of phantom like quality to it. The point is I think Megatron’s soul is alive in the computer software, and his mind resides in Galvatron. The way I see it, it’s like Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter and his horcruxes, or similar to when Naraku on Inuyasha separated his heart from his body for a while. With that, I think it makes Galvatron much more resilient to damage. Or a good way to think about it; Megatron has his own intellect backed up the way people back up data on a computer, so if he as Galvatron dies, he can eventually have another body because he exists in a nonphysical, intangible form.

    Of course, this is just my theory.



  • I have watched transformers before.


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