Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Transformers Reduxe

Now that I've had some more sleep, punctuated by my dog throwing up on the bed yet again, I can speak a little more eloquently on the Transformers movie. I won't though, instead choosing to say that this movie kicks a tremendous amount of ass. I'm fresh off the heels of yet another review for the fine folks at GameShark.com, so instead I'll opt for the format of hacks everywhere, the oh so popular Good, Bad and Ugly.

The Good

The Effects - This movie has, hands down, the best special effects I've ever seen in a movie. If this movie doesn't win every Oscar for visual effects, then I'll be very surprised. It's not just the effects, it's how the effects integrated into real world results. Starscream transforming into robot form and sliding down the street caused real cars to be tossed about like Matchboxes. Shit exploded for reals, yo, and that, combined with the visuals, made you think that things were completely real.

The Transformations - For me, the reason we haven't been graced with a non-animated Transformers movie yet, is because the technology needed time to mature to where you could realistically show the transformations. That time is now. Yes, it did seem a little odd to have a Camaro, which is about 10 feet long, turn into a 20 foot tall robot, but the transformations were so well done, so mesmerizing that it just didn't matter. At one point, Barricade was running towards the camera, leapt forward, transformed in midair and hit the ground in vehicle form, hauling ass. At this point the crowd erupted in cheers. It's this kind of transformation combined with the real world objects that made the movie look so damn cool. About 2/3 of the way into it, every time I saw a vehicle, I thought it was going to transform and start tearing shit up.

The Funny - There are plenty of laugh out loud moments in this movie. The story isn't very strong (more on that later) so instead, the quieter moments are filled with humor, and some very good humor to boot. Shia LaBeouf handled the non-robotic lead very well and was very likable. The best lines went to Anthony Anderson who made me crack up every time he opened his mouth. Plus, he was a Redskins fan, so yay for that. Some of the humor was a bit much, but all in all, it was much funnier than I would have thought.

The Fights - Optimus Prime is a badass motherfucker. That dude can lay some shit down. The fight scenes in this movie, while being a bit frenetic at times, were absolutely amazing. If all you wanted was hot robot on robot action, then you'd be happy. The movie did some really cool things with using the transformations in combat, so it wasn't just fly/drive in as a vehicle, transform and beat each other up as robots.

The Autobots - The Autobots each had a very distinct personality and Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime, was wonderful. Hearing that familiar voice in this movie really helped make it special. The movie did a really good job of making you care about the Autobots, Bumblebee in particular, that when hard times befall them, and boy do hard times come a fallin', you feel for these guys. Maybe I'm just getting sentimental in my old age.

The Women - Megan Fox is a damn fine good looking woman.

The Soda Machine - You'll see.

The Bad

The Story - It's not that the story is bad, it's that there isn't much of one. Thankfully, you're not thinking about it while watching the movie, but once you leave the theater, you will start asking questions and probably won't be satisfied with the answers you come up with. I think the movie did a good job as a first movie, cause you know there will be more than this one, but for the second one, it's going to have to be a lot more than the two factions battling over the Allspark.

The Decepticons - Don't get me wrong, the Decepticons were cool as hell, there just wasn't any interaction between them other than a couple of lines between Megatron and Starscream. While the Autobots had personality, the Decepticons were basically just badass robots looking to bust shit up. The story didn't really lend itself to scenes with the Decepticons hanging out in their Hall of Injustice, but some sort of collaboration would have been nice. I also wanted to see more of Bonecrusher, but only because he's so huggable.

Frenzy - Yeah, he looked cool and was pretty important to the story, but I think a little Frenzy, in his movie incarnation, goes a long way and we got way more than a little. He reminded me of Stitch, from the "Lilo and Stitch" movies/tv show, which made me believe he was there for the kids, despite the fact that he was all to eager to kill folks. I don't know what it is about him that bugged me, but he did so there you go.

The Ugly

Rachel Taylor's nose stud - She's pretty hot, don't get me wrong, but I can't stand nose studs in anyone. All I can think of is snot related issues and it creeps me out.

John Turturro's underwear - If Aloha also means "good bye" then I welcome the sentiment.

As you can see, I had a hard time coming up with things that were really awful about the movie. I enjoyed the hell out of it, and am willing to let the not so good parts slide, because the good parts were just that good. Obviously, those not into the Transformers as much as I am, may have a hard time letting the same things slide, but I think they'd still have a good time, as long as they go into it expecting a big, loud action movie. There are worse ways to spend your time this summer than with a group of badass robots.


Bones said...

I don't have anything to add, other than to say that I agree 100%. I am glad that it wasn't just me that didn't care for Frenzy. I think it had more to do with him being the Decepticon that had the most screen time than anything else though. I'm seeing it again this week, so we'll see how I feel about him the second time around.

LOVED the soda machine, and the "other" machine that we're a bit familiar with too...;)

Booster MPS said...

I completely agree with Bones, you are really spot on with your review. There were a couple of things that I pretty strongly feel that just did not need to be in the movie.

Although he was funny as hell, Anthony Anderson's character and Rachel Taylor added nothing to the plot or development of the film. Why did the movie require a band of civilian hackers as the only people smart enough to figure out what was going on with the signal. They just felt ancillary.

Also I felt the beginning of the movie just dragged along until the Autobots finally showed up. I think we could have gotten into the plot quicker with less love story.

OK, I gotta run now.....I think there is another showing in a half hour......