Saturday, July 16, 2011
Been so long since I've last blogged! Not that I've been extremely busy or anything, but I didn't really have anything too spectacular to share nor shout about. Nothing I needed to get off the chest either, so I've just been basking in my own laziness. Until now, of course. I've been tweeting a lot less as well, so much so that I feel I'm about to quit it altogether. Still pretty active on Facebook though.
The intent of this post isn't a usual full fledged movie review, but just a summary of my feelings and thoughts on the latest Transformers sequel. Spoilers abound, so don't go any further unless you've seen the movie.
I've been a Transformers fan before I even went to school, so they hold a pretty special place in my heart. Some of my most precious childhood memories involve begging my mum for an Optimus Prime toy. Yes, having one was an essential part of growing up in the 80s. My fandom revolved around the G1 series, as well as the Japanese spinoffs from the Headmasters saga to the Victory series. I cried like a baby when Optimus Prime died in Victory. Sure he resurrected as Victory Leo but that wasn't good enough. Anyway, I just want to say I've always been a Transformers fan.
On the previous 2 movies, I can't say I'm a big fan of the Hollywood conversion. Firstly, I've got a big problem with the designs of the robots. I understand the need to give them the ability to express emotions, but they over did it in terms of humanifying the Transformers. I didn't like Bumble Bee's look, nor that of many others. The only two that I really liked were Prime and Ironhide. I attribute this to the fact that I'm a fan of the Japanese style design of mecha, and perhaps I yearned for the designs to be simpler, and more old school. I'll take the classic designs over the Hollywood version anytime.
I found the first movie ok. It wasn't too bad, but perhaps could have been better if the action wasn't that messy. I absolutely hated the sequel, Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen. Lots of reasons, but mainly due to the stereo typical nature of the designs of some of the characters nature, and it made me sick. I hated Mudflap and Skids to the core. You know, the Gremlin Autobot twins. I hated Sam's parents, who were annoying as hell. I couldn't remember movie characters more annoying than them, and I swear their sole purpose in the movie was to be annoying so that people will want to look forward to the fighting scenes. See. There's too many things to hate in the last one. There were a few redeeming factors, such as Jetfire's combination with Prime at the finale. That was cool, but I still didn't get the design of Jetfire as an aging robot. What's up with all the bearded characters? I'm looking at you Sentinel Prime.
Alright, on the main topic. Believe it or not this was actually my first 3D movie. Yes, I belong to the minority of the people who hasn't seen Avatar in 3D, or anything since the advent of having images pop out from the screen. I've always wondered how short sighted people enjoy 3D movies without the need for contact lenses, but I guess I don't have that problem now. Anyways, it was quite an experience for me. It was all cool and stuff, but I had a headache halfway through and wondered whether it was actually more satisfying to watch the obsolete 2D version instead.
Like I mentioned earlier, this isn't a review. Just my personal comments. On the whole, I enjoyed the movie much more than its predecessor. But that isn't speaking a lot. When it comes to action flicks, Michael Bay still reigns in terms of explosions, collisions, and chaos. Some of the action scenes in the movie were just sick. I especially liked the one scene where Bee transformed with Sam still inside. Cool. Another one worth mentioning is where Prime kicked ass with his flight suit. Though, I was pretty disappointed not to see his trailer transform and merged with him. I was totally expected that to happen since he did mention he needed his trailer, and hell there were toys with a freakin' transforming trailer.
On to the bad parts: everything with the humans. Yes, I actually believe that all the human characters were in a contest to see who can be the most annoying. Even Sam is annoying. I haven't been a fan of Megan Fox, but I don't see why there is a need to get a replacement girl friend for him in the form of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. It falls beyond my level of comprehension, that a jobless bloke like Sam is able to get someone as rich or hot. It's easier for me to even believe in extra-terrestrial mechanical beings disguised as my toaster hiding in my kitchen than to see how Sam is that attractive. My conclusion: they needed a hot ass for that opening shot. In 3D no less.
I have major problems with the rest of the human characters as well. Were they included specifically to piss viewers off? I would gladly pay double the movie ticket fees just to see Megatron blow up Sam's parents. It's sad when they give good actors like John Malkovich, John Turturro, and Patrick Demsey goofy roles when their roles could have been more serious. And what's up with the Wang guy? More ethic stereotyping? Big thumbs down for me in terms of making the humans the stars of the movie instead of the title characters. Remove them, shift the focus to the robots, and it will be a much better movie.
Some other comments I have: I liked the fact that Soundwave and Laserbeak are together, albeit without the cassette tape mechanism. I would have liked Soundwave to speak more like the classic version though. Shockwave is much cooler here than the original cartoon though. I also like the fact that they brought the Space Bridge concept back. RIP to Ironhide and Starscream, but their death scenes were magnificent, worthy of their presence in the movie. Sentinel Prime's betrayal was great too, but like Jetfire, I didn't like the facial hair bit. On this point why did we have balding Autobots too? Salute to Soundwave for blasting that guy to bits. No respect for Megatron though, for actually listening to a human girl and losing to Prime by decapitation in 3 seconds. The G1 Megatron would have owned Prime in that situation.
To sum up, I think it was an entertaining movie, but like all Bay movies, one you can watch without turning your brain on. Stop asking questions like how Sentinel Prime knew English when he was brought back to life (yes I know they tapped onto the internet and learnt our languages), and how they actually wanted humans to be involved in the rebuilding of Cybertron, and you might have a good time with this movie. For me, I say the only way ahead is to reboot the series, and bring back the old school designs. Thanks for reading! :)