Transformers movie

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Matt Barton
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I'm wondering who else has gone to see the new Transformers movie currently playing in theaters. I went to see it Friday and was surprised at how good it was. I must admit, I was not about to get my hopes up. My only complaints are that it felt about 30 minutes too long, and I wished the Transformers had been given more time to talk and less time blasting stuff. For Pete's sake, we barely saw Starscream, and what the heck was up with megatron? Isn't he supposed to be a handgun?

I also was very disappointed in Bumblebee's turning out to be a new Camaro. Talk about product placement! My friend said he felt the movie was one long car commercial. No foreign cars in sight! The funny thing is, when the kid goes in to buy his used car, you know what's going to happen. However, he walks right by a Volks Beetle...I'm thinking the director must have known BB was supposed to be a Beetle. Okay, it seems like a nitpicky thing, but I think being a quaint little car really gave the character personality in the cartoons. He's not SUPPOSED to be a bad ass.

Maybe the next movie will have dinobots and insecticons. I love the transformers that can join together into more massive robots.

Oops, looks like I complained more than I praised the movie! Oh, well. :-)

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Bill Loguidice
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HD-DVD and Blu Ray
Matt Barton wrote:

I guess the future will be that the HD-DVD or whatever it is will be so excellent that you can go in and watch these scenes in slow-motion and see very clearly what is happening, perhaps even "zoom" in on different parts of the battle. That would be a great plus for that market.

I remember back in 1997, when I was an early adopter of the DVD format, where one of the selling points was the "Angle" option, where the viewer could select different angles of the same scene. This feature has rarely been utilized and in fact I've only seen it used in the context of watching the same scene from a different angle rather than what I assumed (hoped) to be switching-angles-on-the-fly. Beyond a few interactive games (mostly Dragon's Lair- and Choose Your Adventure-types), not many of the special features of the DVD-spec were ever implemented. Not having access to either an HD-DVD or Blu Ray player at the moment, I don't know what features are in those specs, but I wonder if anything new was added in terms to supposed interactivity?

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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Matt Barton
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Chaotic Battle Scenes

Funny you should mention that, Mat. I've heard many people make the same complaints about a lot of modern action films. It's getting rare to find a fight or battle scene that isn't shot in that "fog of war" type mode. It's even in Jackson's Rings movies and Pirates of the Caribbean.

I think it does have appeal as being realistic. In a real fight, of course you often don't see exactly what is going on, and you're too busy to pay much attention. If you've ever been in a bar fight, you know how chaotic and utterly out-of-control these things can be. If you try to imagine a mega-ton robot duking it out with machine gun fire and grenades popping about, I daresay it'd be difficult to see the "big picture" with any clarity whatsoever.

The Matrix movies tried to get around this with the slow-mo action, which is certainly effective to a point.

I guess the future will be that the HD-DVD or whatever it is will be so excellent that you can go in and watch these scenes in slow-motion and see very clearly what is happening, perhaps even "zoom" in on different parts of the battle. That would be a great plus for that market.

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Mat Tschirgi (not verified)
I ended up seeing this movie

I ended up seeing this movie twice: once by myself and once on a fairly disastrous date.

I liked it, felt it was a bit too long (the suburban scenes worked much better than the military ones) and I wished the fight scenes wouldn't have been so close up and brief. It was near impossible to tell what was going on in the fight scenes. They should have been shot from a distance with interesting angles to keep things decent.

=- Mat Tschirgi =-

Mark Vergeer
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I have fond memories of the animated series

I do have fond memories of the animated series that were running here in the Netherlands when I was in my early teens. Don't know about the movie though.



Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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adamantyr
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Transformers movie

I've seen it twice now, the second time I took my parents to see it. In my opinion, it's an extremely good summer movie. Lots of decent action, enough plot to keep things together (although only just), and a decent pace.

As for product placement, remember that they offered every auto manufacturer a chance to have their vehicles in the movie. GMC was just more willing than most. :) Volkswagon actually refused to let them use any of their vehicles. Apparently they had retracted the right to use a VW bug for Bumblebee with one of the toys a few years back. So that was not entirely the decision of the filmmakers to make Bumblebee a Camaro.

Megatron can't be a hand-gun. Ever again. The original toy, which Takara still makes even now, regularly gets seized in airports because on an X-Ray it still looks like a weapon. They even put a little neon orange cap into the barrel end to try and make it clear it's not real. Lament it all you want, but the days of realistic looking weapon-toys are gone. In fact, I don't think they are even packaging guns like they used to with any toys anymore, notice that all the Transformers in the movie had weapons that extended from themselves, rather than separate pieces?

Another reason Megatron wasn't a hand-gun was the question of scale. Soundwave wasn't in the movie was that Michael Bay didn't want to confuse audiences with "mass displacement", having a little boom-box turn into a 30-ft tall robot. Same problem with Megatron. I think, actually, that was probably a good decision, the cartoon was rife with scale issues that we all missed because of our youth. (How did Decepticons get giant-sized mine carts in the Mines of Burma?)

Sequels there will be, but I'm open to a different director and scriptwriting team on the next go-around, just to keep things interesting. Now that they've been "introduced", as it were, future movies can focus more on the Transformers themselves, than the events leading up to their debut. From what I've heard, the producer, Tom DeSanto, already has ideas on how to do the Constructicons and Dinobots, and he definitely wants to bring Soundwave into it.

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