Movie Defense Force: Transformers

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Manthraxx:
I liked the first movie.... cue the torches and pitch forks

Same here! Tis the only film in the trilogy where Megatron is actually threatening, in the 3rd he was awful, and the second one he was lead by the fallen...Bay broke the only rule in Transformers...NO ONE COMMANDS MEGATRON...Apart from unicron...

Dont get me wrong, all 3 films have there merits (the 1st and 3rd more so over 2nd...) but the first is the best.

BTW it's not really our childhood that's ruined but the current one, because now their first or most influential contact with the franchise will be Bay garbage.

The reason I don't agree with this is actually stated: the thing Bay does best is showing us the most effective ways of ridding this planet of our fellow man. And since so much of this movie consists of retarded angsty teenage drama, i can't count it as a success. Add to that Megan Fox' awful preformance and the fact that just out of frame building-sized robots are beating the shit out of eachother so the disaster is complete. If this was called ''Douchebag Peter Parker and I-totally-didn't-get-this-role-just-because-I-have-nice-tits Megan Fox with some Transformers in the background'' (not very catchy nor would it have made 700 million) I woldn't have this problem. But it's called Transformers and for that title, there is a shockingly low amount of actual transforming going on.

does nobody care about what happened to barricade?

the action is fun. now if bay could just HOLD THE FUCKING CAMERA STEADY FOR ONCE IN HIS GODDAMNED FUCKING CAREER, i'd be a happy camper.

I think the awful sequels have ruined this one's reputation quite a bit.

I really enjoyed it, it's a big dumb action movie of the highest order, and I didn't feel like I wasted my money and time in the theater.

My problem with the Bayformers movies is the really stupid stuff that drags you completely out of the moment. Bumblebee pissing on a dude? That bit with the testicles? Frenzy humping Megan Fox's leg like a dog? Those fucking twins in the second film? Jetfire having a cane for....reasons? A big collection of little things that just sour the overall films for me.

Aside from all that stupid shite I quite enjoyed the transformers themselves beating the shit out of each other.

Rumor has it that Hugo Weaving never even met Michael Bay during the making of the movies.

Reboots are okay. Without reboots we wouldn't have gotten some of the Batman cartoons I enjoyed so much. But some movies are just bad and feel like a popular named was slapped on to cash in on the nostalgia factor.

While Transformers has it's moments of pretty fun like Blackout's attack on the base, there is just so much bad and tasteless to deal with between the moments of hey this is pretty fun. With the parts explosion it's sometimes tough to tell who a robot is with the camera being shaken like an angry nanny had hold of it. Ouch and Megan Fox with that what I can only assume is some attempt at acting.

The very worst sin of all is that in an age when Avengers demonstrated that fan friend and huge box offices can go together instead of a Transformers film that is nice to fans we end up a film that says screw the fans we are making a movie for frat boys and little kids who haven't figured out what story and plot are to a film. An age of iconic film villains and we get eh Decepticons at best and just something for the good guys to kill in later films.

attackshark:
does nobody care about what happened to barricade?

the action is fun. now if bay could just HOLD THE FUCKING CAMERA STEADY FOR ONCE IN HIS GODDAMNED FUCKING CAREER, i'd be a happy camper.

It's not his fault, all of Hollywood can't be bothered to hold a camera correctly, scenes in Man of Steel was ruined by this too. :(

The first one was good simply because it benefited from a small cast of characters (save for the hackers and soldiers whom no one gave a shit about)

You have like...maybe 7 robots between two sides, each one got enough screentime to establish their one character quirk, the plot was condense, there wasn't any world traveling or twist reveals. It was simple.

The other two movies ruined that.

I liked Bay's Transformers. Really. Granted I was never all that emotionally invested in the Transformers to begin with despite having grown up in the 80's. Granted there was waaaaaaaay to much of a focus of Le Bouf's character and the teenage drama stuff, but still the Transformers themselves were extremely well realized IMHO and there were a number of shout outs to the classic series starting with the classic transformation sound effect when the helicopter first transforms to Optimus's "One shall stand, one shall fall." line.

Jim, I could back you up as far as Episode 1. Really, I had your back there, man, because Episode 1 really ISN'T as bad as it's drummed up to be. It's got its reputation because, let's face it, it was a movie with Star Wars on the title screen, and everyone expects better of it because of that. That doesn't excuse it, mind, only illustrates that the film is mostly beaten down because of the high expectations that people had not being met.

But here? I can't back you up, in fact, I'm forced to call you out. Bayformers are, without hyperbole, some of the worst films produced in the last several years.

So here goes, I'm going to knock this house of cards you've set up to the ground by paraphrasing your arguments one at a time, and then explaining why they're bunk.

"It doesn't make sense to get mad at Michael Bay for making bad movies because that's all he knows how to do.": Michael Bay is a fully-grown adult. He is not a child who doesn't know better, despite his public behavior demonstrating a thorough lack of maturity. He is perfectly capable of doing better. He just chooses not to. This is excuse-making at its finest, and if the same criticisms were leveled at you in regards to the Triple-A game industry, you'd be calling it out as the bullshit it is. So don't use such a flimsy excuse in defense of a film.

"Older material is all still there. You don't ruin a good franchise by creating something new that isn't as good.": Tell that to any number of old franchises which were promptly canned as the result of making bad products out of them. Most recently, The Last Airbender blew up its chances at a multi-movie franchise before they even began. This is, more often than not, why so many movie franchises get reboots so often. Wolverine is getting rebooted with his own spinoff movie again, and the X-Men franchise at large also got a reboot of sorts. Superman got a reboot after how badly the last one flopped, and Spiderman was also rebooted for similar reasons.

And this isn't limited to movies, it happens in video games especially often. There are a number of great franchises which, after receiving one bad title, were either killed outright or thrown into cold storage until people had forgotten about the last really bad one. Ultima 9 was so hated by the fans and spawned so much criticism that it killed Ultima Online 2 and sent the franchise into cold storage for over a decade. Duke Nukem Forever may well be the last game in the franchise after how long it took to make and how badly it was received. C&C was dead for many years after the response to the huge and awful changes made in C&C 4. And the list goes on.

And while you may argue that yes, this doesn't make the old material just "vanish", it does make it harder to get a hold of. Keep in mind that when these "new spins" on old franchises are done, they essentially replace the old stuff for all intents and purposes. Newer generations won't know that the old stuff existed, because they'll have grown up on the new stuff and may not even think to go back and look for the old stuff (if it's still even accessible in any form....many shows of the 80s no longer are all that accessible).

You absolutely CAN ruin the old and good material by making new material out of it. And it's ruined not because it killed the old stuff, but because it's replacing the old and good material with newer, more crappy material, and newer generations suffer as a result of this.

"Shia Lebeouf isn't as bad as people say he is.": ....YES. YES, HE REALLY IS. I'm not even sure why I have to go into detail explaining this, here! Shia Lebeouf is a terrible actor whose only major roles prior to Bayformers were mostly in smaller budget films, save for three big films: "Holes" (in which he was decent), "I, Robot" (in which he wasn't), and "Constantine" (in which, again, he wasn't good). Two of those films are generally considered "meh" at best, and hold poor RT ratings.

And he hasn't done a really good role in ANYTHING since. Or do I really need to point to his ridiculously 2-dimensional role in the Indiana Jones movie?

A bunch of stuff regarding the film's execution: The jokes are terrible, and only get worse and more offensive in the other films.

The scene is only tense because, in the first film, we really DON'T know what to expect....but by the second or third, you've seen the song and dance before and there's no surprises left.

The designs of the transformers are terrible, employing an excessive amount of grey, making combat relatively hard to follow and giving up a lot of the audience's ability to identify each character. There's a reason many films and games rely on excessively silly color and clothing schemes on their characters, it's to make them more easily identifiable. Michael Bay doesn't do that, and fails to give them significant distinctions in personality (at least beyond the incredibly racist robots, that is), resulting in many of them looking like big grey blurs as they attack each other.

And the film's refusal to give any exposition isn't doing the audience any favors, it's removing any semblance of plot or story and just making the movie into a bunch of big, dumb, flashy action scenes. People don't like that because the original Transformers wasn't entirely focused on big, dumb, flashy action. It had a decent plot with 3-dimensional characters, and many folks expected to see the same thing here. To see anything less is to give the audience less than it deserves.

Bayformers is low-caliber tripe. A bunch of flashy action scenes with little to put them together except a cliche "coming of age" story with a character no one sympathizes with. It's an exercise in wanking off about how great the US and their military are without feeling ashamed about it. It's a movie which chooses to appeal to the lowest common denominator with low-brow toilet humor, and later on, crude sex and racism jokes. But most importantly, it's a substance-less big dumb action movie franchise. And that's far, far less than people deserved.

See, MegaPiranha, that's a film I can watch and think "this is just a big dumb movie, I should shut off my brain and have fun" because it's so absurdly over the top with its stupid moments that it curves right back around into the "So Bad It's Good" trope. Bayformers does nothing of the sort. It just stays bad and then, in the later films, got even worse. Sorry, Jim, this is one defense that was so flimsy that I couldn't back you up.

Crazy Cali:
I don't understand why Bob defends 2012 for being stupid fun but not Transformers (1 not 2)

Because 2012 has distinct liberal overtones as far as "global warming" and how humans screwed up the Earth because they're all evil pricks.

Whereas Bayformers is meant to over-dramatize American military hardware and how America is the best country in the world because it's the only country in the world with FREEDOM, i.e. the same sort of over-patriotic shit that Team America: World Police dramatized for comic effect is actually played straight in all three of the Bayformers.

In other words, it's because Bayformers movies have a distinct appeal to Republicans and movies like 2012 are more of an appeal to Democrats.

Which I guess says a lot about my political leanings: I think they're both indefensible trash.

Jim, there is no way you can defend Bay's Transformers as anything other than a piece of shit-because it is a piece of shit and so are the sequels. The plot in Transformers is paper thin, the cinematography is terrible, the title characters take a back seat to the humans and their idiotic bullshit, and its characters (both human and transformers) are either one dimensional (most of Autobots and Decepticons), dumb as hell (the fucking parents), or completely pointless (the hackers). Want proof about the one dimensional characters? Try employing the method Mr. Plinkett used in his review of Phantom Menace by explaining to someone who has never heard of Transformers the personalities of each Autobot and Decepticon by just using the first movie. I'm pretty damn sure you'll be drawing a blank on the majority of them.

Moviebob had it right the first time when he reviewed Revenge of the Fallen. Michael Bay is a douche-bag filmmaker, plain and simple. He showed zero respect for the source material and gave us a headache-inducing cinematic abomination that has a major hard-on for the military and obnoxious characters. The only reason he took the job is that the paycheck is right and the same goes for his role as producer of the TMNT reboot. Bay could give barely a nanometer of a fuck about what he's doing with these franchise properties and he gives even less than that when it comes to the people who watch his movies. If there was a fair and just God in the world, he would burn Michael Bay from the inside of his asshole outward.

As much as I rag on the first Transformers, you're right. It's really not that bad. The action was fun, and the characters while pointless didn't take up all the space.
Let's not also forget about the soundtrack by Steve Jablonsky. Christ, he made a fantastic score for that movie.

I don't like admitting this, but Transformers 1 is to be in movie collection. Just nice to have something mindless to watch on a really boring day.

Well, this movie was made for teenage guys and their gf's. It wasn't made for people who were attached to the franchise.

Ehhh... honestly the first bayformers movie didn't particularly offend or annoy me, but I saw it and just a few years later I can barely remember any of it, the action and story wasn't particularly interesting to me, or at the least, it certainly didn't stick with me, maybe that's too much to ask for, but if it doesn't work for me on even a popcorn action movie level then what good is it?

And yeah, if you do somehow manage to defend the second bayformers movie then I'ma be pissed, that took the racist and sexist undertones that the first had in a smaller capacity and turned them up to eleven, throwing in offence or annoyance whenever it could, and I don't accept that it was shitty just because of the writer's strike, that's an excuse you can't really lean on in defence of the final product.

Saw the first and second at the theater, the first one was alright but the second... That marked the first time I ever had to leave the theater for a bit to not watch a scene. I didn't see the third due to hating the second.

From the cartoons, I was always more attached to the beast wars series till they got to cybertron(been a while, I think that's the planet's name).

arc1991:

Manthraxx:
I liked the first movie.... cue the torches and pitch forks

Same here! Tis the only film in the trilogy where Megatron is actually threatening, in the 3rd he was awful, and the second one he was lead by the fallen...Bay broke the only rule in Transformers...NO ONE COMMANDS MEGATRON...Apart from unicron...

Dont get me wrong, all 3 films have there merits (the 1st and 3rd more so over 2nd...) but the first is the best.

Not to mention that Megatron, or in the first movie Galvatron, tried to take out Unicron when he got the Matrix. Megatron/Galvatron's loyalty is only to himself really. Hell even in Energon (my least favorite TF series ever), Megatron tried to control Unicron, only to find out that Unicron was just using him as a puppet.
For me I'm a huge Transformers fan as well and I don't mind the second movie, but RoTF was just utter crap and Dark Moon was really meh if you ask me.

As someone who had almost zero contact with the Transformers brand prior to seeing Bayformers... I actually quite enjoyed it. Yeah it's dumb fun, but that can still be fun when you're in the right mood. My only real problem with it is that I preferred Bumblebee's original Camero model over the new one... Then again, I'd have rather he been the beetle to begin with.

Can't agree with you here Jim. I hated this film and was never a fan of transformers to begin with.

Here's why, they spent an hour and a half just giving the main character a reason to be in the movie, then destroyed it in less than 30 seconds. You know the whole map storyline? yeah, kinda defeats logic to have an ancient map if the government moved what the map was pointing to, and optimus prime could so easily fucking scan it into his brain anyway.
The only thing they managed to achieve with the main character was to show him to be an obnoxious little twat that I hoped one of the robots would step on and kill him off.

I liked the little gremlin robot, but to make it out to be a bad ass, only to have it kill itself with a boomerang? WTF!

It was awful. It is awful.

Nice try at defending it though. Better luck next time.

Jimothy Sterling:
Transformers

Michael Bay is the worst human being alive, if you believe some people. Personally, I reckon he's just a guy doing all he knows how to do. Transformers is an example of that.

This time, Jim has truly crossed the line. I'm beginning to think he's a Hollywood plant paid to promote dreck in a lame attempt to stop the decline in ticket sales.

Most poeple i know agree on 1... it's not bad... it's not good eighter, but you can get some enjoyment out of it...
Revenge of the Falln on an other hand... yeah that where they drop the ball, hard

marurder:
Well, this movie was made for teenage guys and their gf's. It wasn't made for people who were attached to the franchise.

You mean teenagers? Most who grew up with the original Cartoon/comics where in their late twenties 30s by the time the film came out, since the 90s starting with Beast Wars there were 4/3 different series with several seasons for some (Beast Wars being my fav, second Armada).
By the time Bay's afterbirth (sorry) arrived teens had already grew up with some a vastly different and superior takes. Don't know what i expected from it back then (if i had any) but it was a poor Transformer movie and an overall average actioner with a raging military fetish.

Aardvaarkman:

Jimothy Sterling:
Transformers

Michael Bay is the worst human being alive, if you believe some people. Personally, I reckon he's just a guy doing all he knows how to do. Transformers is an example of that.

This time, Jim has truly crossed the line. I'm beginning to think he's a Hollywood plant paid to promote dreck in a lame attempt to stop the decline in ticket sales.

You realise the tf films had sold tickets in the millions...right?

As MovieBob already stated, just because something comes from dubious source material doesn't mean it doesn't have to try. Michael Bay's Transformer's doesn't... AT ALL.

It's a garbage plot with a garbage script filled with bad jokes, ridiculous teen angst, side-characters that define the term 'pointless,' and action that isn't even shot very well. If you want to see a good example of stupid action that's actually structured, go watch 2012; The action in Transformer's is just messy and schizophrenic. I suppose I can understand that that's all Michael Bay is able to do, but does that make it excusable? I think not. The designs for the Transformers, regardless of how realistic they are, are shit. There's seemingly no cohesive design idea for them, barring a few like Optimus, other than: 'DO ALL THE THINGS!!!' Seriously, if you can tell the Decepticons apart, you're a better man than I.

Transformer's is the equivalent of a braindead child smashing toys together, and in the worst way possible.

For a brief moment I thought this was going to be the Animated Transformers movie, bullet dodged on that one.

The first Transformers movie isn't actually that bad (7 full priced ticket viewings make me a fan or masochist, take your pick) and over all was enjoyable; Revenge of the Fallen, good luck defending that steaming pile, is truly what soured the experience for me; it was fucking awful.

arc1991:

Manthraxx:
I liked the first movie.... cue the torches and pitch forks

Same here! Tis the only film in the trilogy where Megatron is actually threatening, in the 3rd he was awful, and the second one he was lead by the fallen...Bay broke the only rule in Transformers...NO ONE COMMANDS MEGATRON...Apart from unicron...

Dont get me wrong, all 3 films have there merits (the 1st and 3rd more so over 2nd...) but the first is the best.

Ditto on liking the movie. I watched the original animated Transformers series and the original animated movie when I was young but didn't watch any of the stuff made after it.

I enjoyed Transformers for it's own sake. I had no preconceptions and was impressed that CGI had advanced sufficiently for ANY live action Transformers to be made. I've got a copy and I watched it repeatedly years ago--though seeing this MDF video reminds me that it's been so long since I watched it that I could pull it out and see it fresh.

I enjoyed RoTF somewhat, though it was a step down. Haven't seen the 3rd movie but I expect I'll buy it on DVD.

I know Movie Bob detests it but while I've enjoyed several movies he suggested it is PAINFULLY clear that his bias against certain directors--Michael Bay and JJ Abrahms especially--negates his professional objectivity towards their work. When they come up I always (and with 100% accuracy to date) expect Bob's dark side--Fanboy Bob--to take over and Sith all over the place. :D

Rotten Tomatoes gives Transformers a mere 57% Official Review score but an audience review score of 89%. The professional critics seem to not grok what regular people enjoy.

Adjusted for inflation it made $368,432,400 at the box office (with a production cost of $150 million) and even more from sales of the DVDs.

Hrrmmmm, apparently a 'betrayed' fan base doesn't determine a movie's success. Go figure... <_<

While I don't agree with every point you made, Jim, I do agree that Transformers isn't NEARLY as bad as alot of people make it out to be. I enjoyed it at the time. At the very least, it's objectively the best of the trilogy.

My biggest problem with the first Transformers movie is that after that opening scene with the helicopter the next 45 minutes is BORING AS ALL FUCK and then shit starts blowing up. It didn't ruin my childhood because I was just that little too young to really care about Transformers. I waited to see this movie until it was on DVD and I almost got up and walked off before the action started because I was bored to tears by all the bullshit that was going on. I found all of the human characters completely unlikeable was hoping most of them would die by the end. I've never watched either of the others because of this.

This literally seems to be a formula that Michael Bay follows when he makes movies, the first half is boring and the second half seems infinitely more interesting after that because of all the explosions. Look at Armageddon and Pearl Harbor as other examples of this.

comadorcrack:
Challenge: Defend "The Last Airbender"

Golly gosh darn. I do not like that film.

Moviebob already did that..."The Last Airbender" tries to do too much in too little time.

Transformers never had much from the start and required both sides to dumber then a bag of hammers for the plot to work.

Thanks to their environments Venus and Jupiter were ready made power sources that could have been bled dry with little interference. Or given how advanced the Transformers were they never seemed to even grasped concepts like solar or fusion power much less scifi ideas like antimatter power.

Then you had the ever growing number of characters which got to the point that no one was really being developed.

The Beast Wars-Beast Machines retooling fixed many of the issues and IMHO were light years better then the preceding series.

The movie fixes some problems while creating others that STILL manage put the characters into the dumber then a bag of hammers category.

I actually enjoyed all three films. Granted I hate most of the human characters in it, especially the "funny" ones like that Asian guy in the third (seriously, what the fuck?) but I genuinely think they're good entertainment.
Honestly I just think the whole "don't touch my childhood cartoons" thing is pretty...well...childish.
Looking forward to the Turtles just because!
Oh and the whole racist thing? Give it a rest, the guy did fucking Bad Boys...

Caffeine_Bombed:
I actually enjoyed all three films. Granted I hate most of the human characters in it, especially the "funny" ones like that Asian guy in the third (seriously, what the fuck?)

His presence was annoying, but became fully justified when Laserbeak threw him out of the window; that was funny as hell.

Caffeine_Bombed:

Oh and the whole racist thing? Give it a rest, the guy did fucking Bad Boys...

So? I'm not saying he's racist but that's like saying "I'm not racist, i have a black friend" (BTW, depending where you live if you can count the amount of black or ethnic friends on one hand, you just might be ;))
I only half blame Bay for it because he approved the script and thought it was an acceptable portail of black people Tf2 had I think 3 writers and none of them seemed to think to themselves "are being insensitive here?" Hell even Jazz was a bad stereotype and wasn't he killed by Megatron with no Fanfare? (i might be wrong here, please correct if so)

Personally, I think the two best things that have come out of Bay's Transformers is Transformers Prime and the rifftrax commentaries of the movies. While yeah, the original is probably the least bad of the three, it's still kinda bad. I'll be honest, it was better than I expected, but I was expecting it to be much, much worse. And yeah, I grew up and loved the original Transformers show, I can still take off the nostalgia goggle and admit that the original show kinda sucked. It's actually pretty hard for me to sit through most of those 80's cartoons all the way that I used to wake up early for in my youth. So yeah, Bay's Transformers is pretty bad.

arc1991:
*Sigh*
The first film and DOTM are, for me (being a transformer fan), great ROTF is crap, but the action scenes are some of the best. It's just another TF continutiy, not the best mind you, but i would take this over the godly amount of animation errors in G1 any day!

Personally i can't wait for TF4...Hound is confirmed!...MOTHERFUKING HOUND!

image

Hound is the big army vehicle, Bumblebee is the black camero (more representing his Prime Beast Hunters self) and apparently the other 2 cars are Blurr (The blue Buggati), and Drift, Prime is obvious...

I thought the big army vehicle guy was supposed to be Bulkhead.

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