Movie Defense Force: Transformers

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Saw this at the time when Shia LaBoeuf was in everything, taking a risk and buying it on DVD without having seen it before. I really enjoyed it the first couple of times, but after the travesty which was Revenge of the Fallen, it just bored me a bit. Wanna see what Bay does for this sequel/reboot he's got going on with Marky Mark. Not got high hopes for it after Dark of the Moon was good-but-not-great, but we'll just have to see.

spoonybard.hahs:
There was an episode of I Love Lucy entitled "Lucy Writes a Novel." In an effort to become famous like Ricky, she manages to write a full novel and tries to shop it around to various publishers. Much to everyone's surprise, a publisher actually replies back and wants to set up a meeting with her and an author of a new text book about writing fiction. Which is an even greater shock. Lucy is obviously excited, and so is the author. Because he wants to feature her novel in a chapter titled "How NOT to Write."

I grew up in Hollywood and was a film student for a time. Bay is never held aloft as any soft of visionary nor artist. He is the Lucy of film making. He is used by every film instructor (well, the ones I've met) as an example of how NOT to make films. Some of you might wonder then, how is it that he is still a film maker. It's really for two reasons. His films are basically like a porn shoot and he is probably the only director that consistently completes his films under time and under budget.

Oh, and a third reason: because people are fully willing to pay to see a monkey fling shit on to a film reel.

Bay's films are text book examples of terrible film making. And audiences are apparently fine with that. However, being good at being shitty is not a pass or an excuse.

There is also the marketing factor to work in since Bay seems to really understand that concept of modern film making. Really don't want to dig up the source, but when asked why The Island wasn't a big box office success Bay blamed the marketing team. Bay seems to grasp that the quality of the film isn't as important as the quality of the marketing for the movie.

Take some good trailers, run the heck out of the trailers and TV ads, work the entertainment news to build buzz, and get one of the biggest release dates for action films in the US then it's hard not to make money.

I don't usually use Rottentomatoes but it's general ratings and summary accurately reflects my feelings towards the Transformers movies.

image

Well shoot me, but I liked the first one. The movie caught me by surprise, blew me off my feet. Everything from the smooth introduction of the individual transformers to seamless blending-in with human characters was great. Since I had never seen anything on this level of CGI, my mind was almost raped by the sheer detail of the transforming sequences and battles. The plot was at least COHERENT and the characters were at least SOMEWHAT believable. It was something easy to follow and easy to enjoy, something which blew our minds not with plot or characters, but with the raw power of CGI expressed as an art form with a simple plot & characters to drive it.

But after the first one....this happened...

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I almost walked out of the cinema halfway through this fucking loud and incoherent mess of a movie. This wasn't what I was expecting. I couldn't take it anymore. During the last 30-45 minutes the sheer noise and explosions had gone on for so long that I just sat there with my hands over my ears. I'm a bit sensitive to extremely loud sounds (however the first movie was more than fine), but I fucking SWEAR the amount of decibels pumping during the action scenes was increased by at least 20-30db compared to the first.

Everything from the "ghetto bots" to the sheer drivel the humor attempts had been lowered-down to...I mean I get low-brow jokes but Sam's mom eating weed cookies? Dogs/robots constantly humping legs? Giant robot monster with a dangling scrotum? All the while Megatron flies around trying to sound genuinely seriously evil? Please fucking STOP. And that's just the tip of the iceberg, I could keep on listing everything else that pissed me off (like all the slow-mo scenes of Megan).

It was unbearably loud, unbearably incoherent, unbearably frantic, unbearably messy and from that point I swore to never watch a Michael Bay movie in cinema ever again. I'm not the only one who is completely and utterly enraged by the 2nd movie, many Youtube user reviews said the same thing. It was just awful. Not exactly Last Airbender awful, that kind of awful has a special place in hell, but still definitely in my top 5 worst movies of all time.

Finally, the last one...

image

Obviously I didn't watch this one in cinema and simply borrowed a friend's DVD, Michael Bay movies are no longer worth my money. The reason this received better reviews is because the only people walking into the cinema after experiencing the 2nd movie would be either very small children/teens, blinded fucking fans and/or people who's expectations were almost as low as the ground itself. And at least it did-away with the horrific humor attempts and we got to see more robot fights instead of Sam dicking around. For me it was a resounding "meh" since I no longer gave a fuck about ANY of the characters in the end, not even Megan Fox's replacement, not about anything.

edit: very strange, double post...

I watched the first movie and am a huge fan of the original series. Why I absolutely HATE the Bay reboot movies is that they focus too much time on the humans. Fuck them, I want to see the actual Transformers.

The first Transformers is MILDLY TOLERABLE at best, and that's only because Spielberg was able to reel Bay in every once in a while and teach him how to properly compose a fucking scene. Bay has always been overrated as a film technician, and story is a dirty word in Bay's vocabulary, so I GUESS if you stretch the definition of "not bad", one could feasibly make it through the first movie. But it still ain't anywhere near the territory of good.

And I don't think the REAL, VITRIOLIC hate for the Bayformers really come to fruition until Revenge Of The Fallen, which is just unforgivable. There's "turn your brain off" (a term which I FUCKING hate, BTW), and then there's flat out insulting the audience's intelligence. Revenge Of The Fallen did that in spaaaaades...

I can't look past the incredibly racist transformer, the over-the-top gremlin thing (That only gets as far as he does because the humans are complete fucking dolts) and the toilet humour. During the big battle, all the robots kind of blended together and I couldn't tell who the hell was what except for bright yellow Bumblebee and red-blue Optimus.

The bad stuff really tips the scale because it's *so bad*. It's the kind of bad stuff that makes you groan in theaters completely instinctively. The kind of stuff that makes you facepalm or talk at the screen. Endless Vlog material.

You might notice I'm not talking about the humans everyone complains about. That's because I... can't really remember anything. They're so forgettable I can't remember one scene. Maybe one, but I think that was from the sequel.

I'd like to see Jim defend Exorcist II: the Heretic. Tricky, but I think it can be done.

I have to disagree... mostly because I thought the big battle scenes were too shaky and the robots fit together like intimate legos that it was often too hard to see the details of what the hell was happening in any given combat scene. It even got to the point of being head-ache inducing WITHOUT being in 3D.

I feel the same way a lot of other people feel; I dig excessive, overly rendered robots beating each other up and everything exploding. That's all great and fun to watch, and that's what Bay is actually good at.
What he's not good at, however, is making teenage romantic comedies, which comprises about half of the whole movie. That's the part I really didn't like. Bay's good for over the top action and fun, but when he tries to do something with more of a plot, he falls flat.

Winnosh:
You see that's the thing Transformers was always more than that. Yes Takara Tomy wanted to sell toys To do that they got Jim Shooter and Denis O Neil LEGENDS in the comics industry and heads of Marvel to create the characters and a comic book based around them. There are some amazing stories told with the characters throughout the years.

The cartoons are great but the comics will always be my first love in Transformers... Don't get me started on how I hated that the cartoon made the Dinobots stupid...

Takara [wasn't merged with Tomy back then] had nothing to do with the American transformers series--they'd been selling Diaclone and Microman toys for almost a decade before the first of Transformers aired. Micromans were the mini-autobots that didn't scale with everything else, Diaclones were everything else.

HASBRO decided to import the toys and molds and release some of the designs as a unified line called Transformers, with a cartoon and comic to market the toys with. The toys that had car and truck forms became the Autobots, and everything else became a decepticon.

It didn't take long to get popular, so Hasbro then made a deal to bring in the Scramble City lineup of toys, as well as more of the Microman selection and more Diaclones.

Eventually, however, they ran out of Micromans and Diaclones that they thought would sell, so new transformers engineering started happening at both Hasbro and Takara for this toyline, by now marketted as its own thing in both companies. This caused a different aesthetic, which required the removal of many Diaclone toys to prevent clashing--the new toys had no cockpits and were based on futuristic vehicles and fantastic things rather than being recognisable earth vehicles and objects. Thus the movie happened and killed everyone's childhood forever by murdering Optimus Prime.

And then they brought him back because people got angry.

And that is why Duke survived in the GI Joe movie no one watched.

It's not that it's a bad transformers film it's just that it's a bad film period! I'm pretty sure any decent director could make a good transformers movie but they gave it to Michael Bay instead.

Say Jim,
You've been big on doing rentals but.. I think the lone ranger could use one of these right fn now.
I mean its getting way more hate than it deserves

oh and yuuki i skipped the third one thanks for letting me know i did the right thing.

The major premise of this defense is that the movie has good action. But it doesn't.

The action is so horribly shot. The transformers are hard to tell apart in robot mode, and the bulk of the action is shot in fast cut shaky cam with long stills close ups of humans reacting to visual nonsense elsewhere. I could go on about how offensive it is, how not funny it is, how bad the actors are, etc. but why bother. The one thing it had going for it, the one thing you try to use as its defense, it did horribly.

i thought the films were ok, just couildnt tell which robot was which when the fighting started

DracoSuave:

Winnosh:
You see that's the thing Transformers was always more than that. Yes Takara Tomy wanted to sell toys To do that they got Jim Shooter and Denis O Neil LEGENDS in the comics industry and heads of Marvel to create the characters and a comic book based around them. There are some amazing stories told with the characters throughout the years.

The cartoons are great but the comics will always be my first love in Transformers... Don't get me started on how I hated that the cartoon made the Dinobots stupid...

Takara [wasn't merged with Tomy back then] had nothing to do with the American transformers series--they'd been selling Diaclone and Microman toys for almost a decade before the first of Transformers aired. Micromans were the mini-autobots that didn't scale with everything else, Diaclones were everything else.

HASBRO decided to import the toys and molds and release some of the designs as a unified line called Transformers, with a cartoon and comic to market the toys with. The toys that had car and truck forms became the Autobots, and everything else became a decepticon.

It didn't take long to get popular, so Hasbro then made a deal to bring in the Scramble City lineup of toys, as well as more of the Microman selection and more Diaclones.

Eventually, however, they ran out of Micromans and Diaclones that they thought would sell, so new transformers engineering started happening at both Hasbro and Takara for this toyline, by now marketted as its own thing in both companies. This caused a different aesthetic, which required the removal of many Diaclone toys to prevent clashing--the new toys had no cockpits and were based on futuristic vehicles and fantastic things rather than being recognisable earth vehicles and objects. Thus the movie happened and killed everyone's childhood forever by murdering Optimus Prime.

And then they brought him back because people got angry.

And that is why Duke survived in the GI Joe movie no one watched.

Thats where the Molds came from but it's not where the Transformers came from. The characters are more than just what toy molds they inhabited.

Hell a bit into the comics They did an issue and sent it to Hasbro where they just up and killed everyone. Hasbro didn't bat an eye and that's when they knew that they had free rein to tell whatever stories they wanted to. Toylines be DAMNED

Jigero:
The point of MDF is to defend legitimately good movies that got buried or have a bad wrap, which there are tons of.

All Jim is doing is just apologizing for legitimately bad movies in the vein attempt to attract attention.

I heavily recommend everyone go watch Best of the Worst over at redlettermedia (the same guys who did the plinkett reviews) They actually find legitimate diamonds in the rough instead of just apologizing for shit movies.

Well if that's the case then I agree it was a pretty poor film for multiple reasons.

I notice with some interest, amusement and concern that pretty much all of the Transformers clips that Jim used in this focus on the Robots. Or what little mention of the humans is the "coming of age tale of Shia LeBeuf" (Trying to nail Megan Fox). Did he somehow miss just how painfully awful every other line of human spoken dialog was? Shia's "Parents"? Bernie Mack? The idiotic Australian Blonde and the Black "Superhacker"? (OK I'll give you that John Tuturo's performance is so over the top that goes all the way around past bad and into oddly amusing.) Also Jim, you've watched the movie more than once. Please tell me the name of a single one of the Army guys? Just one. (And no their names aren't "Black Guy", "Spanish Guy" "White Spanish Hero dude" etc.)

While we were not asking for these horrible redesigns of the robots, honestly if they had given us simply 2 hours of them and a bit of Shia and Megan all would be forgiven. It's the almost two hours of mindless stupidity in the form of human performances resembling an Adam Sandler movie tacked onto the giant robots that makes the whole thing unwatchable.

Tumedus:
The major premise of this defense is that the movie has good action. But it doesn't.

The action is so horribly shot. The transformers are hard to tell apart in robot mode, and the bulk of the action is shot in fast cut shaky cam with long stills close ups of humans reacting to visual nonsense elsewhere. I could go on about how offensive it is, how not funny it is, how bad the actors are, etc. but why bother. The one thing it had going for it, the one thing you try to use as its defense, it did horribly.

Hard to tell the characters apart in the action scenes?

Bumblebee is yellow, Jazz is grey, Ironhide is black, Ratchet is green, Prime is red and blue...I'm sorry how is that hard to follow? really?

I can't believe people find THIS hard to follow

Or this

ROTF and DOTM have much better camera angles and transformation sequences, but still even in the first film its not hard to follow. Either i am really smart, most people on this thread are stupid, or most on this thread are G-whinners whose current purpose in the fandom is to deem all the films shit. probably the latter.

arc1991:

Tumedus:
The major premise of this defense is that the movie has good action. But it doesn't.

The action is so horribly shot. The transformers are hard to tell apart in robot mode, and the bulk of the action is shot in fast cut shaky cam with long stills close ups of humans reacting to visual nonsense elsewhere. I could go on about how offensive it is, how not funny it is, how bad the actors are, etc. but why bother. The one thing it had going for it, the one thing you try to use as its defense, it did horribly.

Hard to tell the characters apart in the action scenes?

Yup. Apart from the two featured hero robots, Bumblebee and Optimus (I considered adding this to my post but didn't think I would need to justify it), the "characters" are basically just dark blobs of angled metal, especially the bad guys. I am not saying the movie is hard to follow, apart from the many continuity issues like Barricade showing up in the final battle, just that the action is poorly shot.

I recall when I saw the movie, many people were confused as which robots were fighting which battles.

the antithesis:

I only watched the first Transformers movie back when I still had HBO and HBO was running it ad nauseum. I didn't want to see the movie because I had been a fan back in the 80's when I was a kid, but now that I'm an adult I realize that Transformers is dog shit. Seriously. The toys were finicky and not much fun to play with except as a kind of Rubic's Cube were you need to figure out how to change them into a robot and back again. The were much too shaky and flimsy as action figures. The cartoon was a glorified toy commercial with the kind of bland characterization, inane plots and juvenile humor you'd expect in a children's show that does not hold up when watching it later in life. There's just nothing good about the franchise. So a movie version was not the sort of thing I wanted to see and neither should anybody else, honestly. It's like if cutting a flap pf skin off your penis was a common practice and no one question the stupidity of letting a sharp knife near your junk. Wake up, people!

Come on now, the first cartoon was hilarious, all of the animation screw-ups, the colouring mistakes, the terrible plot contrivances, I see it as one of the greatest comedies of all time, you can't make something that funny intentionally, Transformers Prime is all around decent, Cybertron had good writing, the models were terrible, animation was bad, but the writing was really solid, and they've get some fun video games.

Fun fact, cutting skin off of somebodies dick IS a common practice.

arc1991:

Tumedus:
The major premise of this defense is that the movie has good action. But it doesn't.

The action is so horribly shot. The transformers are hard to tell apart in robot mode, and the bulk of the action is shot in fast cut shaky cam with long stills close ups of humans reacting to visual nonsense elsewhere. I could go on about how offensive it is, how not funny it is, how bad the actors are, etc. but why bother. The one thing it had going for it, the one thing you try to use as its defense, it did horribly.

Hard to tell the characters apart in the action scenes?

Bumblebee is yellow, Jazz is grey, Ironhide is black, Ratchet is green, Prime is red and blue...I'm sorry how is that hard to follow? really?

ROTF and DOTM have much better camera angles and transformation sequences, but still even in the first film its not hard to follow. Either i am really smart, most people on this thread are stupid, or most on this thread are G-whinners whose current purpose in the fandom is to deem all the films shit. probably the latter.

I never understood when people said it was hard to tell them apart, yeah they're all angular, but they all have a completely different build, Megatron looks the most humanoid, Starscream has a huge upper body (he looks like a triangle) Blackout is tall with all of the blades, is it really that hard to say that a triangle doesn't look like a rectangle?

Warachia:
Fun fact, cutting skin off of somebodies dick IS a common practice.

My point exactly.

the antithesis:

Warachia:
Fun fact, cutting skin off of somebodies dick IS a common practice.

My point exactly.

Fun Fact, it's a common practice and started because of good reasons, like diseases and dirt going where they absolutely should not go.

Not everything is stupid just because you think it is, there are legitimate reasons behind doing something.

I think Transformers and Phantom Menace suffer from the same problems.

They're not what we wanted and they end up being retroactively despised because their sequel was god awful.
I like the Transformers for a lot of reasons, and yeah I would have loved something better than what we got.

All things considered though, what we got wasn't as bad as people make it out to be.

Don't get me wrong there are a lot of legitimate complaints to be made about Transformers, some of which I can overlook due to budgetary constraints (Too much human, not enough robot.) and some of which I can' t overlook at all. (Nobody thinks the Witwicky parents are funny.)

Still I think there's the seed for a decent series of films in there.

It's just a shame Revenge of the Fallen came along and salted the earth.

EDIT: Put me down for team "I don't get how you can't tell the robots apart."

Yes, I'll grant you that the shaky cam action scenes are a problem but that's not the same issue as the robot designs being indistinguishable.

All the Autobots are bright colours with distinct silhouettes and all the Decepticons, while more uniformly coloured A: Usually only fight one at a time and B: Are unique enough in their design and alt modes to be easily recognizable.

As a child of the 80's I love all things transformers(except for these god awful fucking movies), it was a series that always did something different or weird, the animated movie was just full of moments that made you wince for all the killed off characters, and even the characters themselves recognized/acknowledged and respected their dead, these new movies have none of that, you have maybe one or two characters that are given half a shit about and that's it( nobody says word fucking one about Jazz getting killed in the first one, and ironhide dies a similarly unacknowledged death in the third film).

it would have been far more acceptable if the movies followed a condensed version of the TV series with Spark plug and Spike, or Spike and Daniel and having those characters being oil rig workers instead of yuppie suburbanites.

Seriously can you imagine Sam witwicky getting a surgery to allow his spine to bend 90+ degree's so he can wear a robot suit and become the head of a transformer? No he is portrayed consistently throughout the movies as a mealymouthed little shit whose balls are in a perpetual state of not dropping, and why? because like the whole movie he was designed by committee and approved by myopic focus groups.

I'd also like to add, for anyone remembering this movie with fondness but not having seen it in awhile, a big chunk of the 2nd act involves Anthony Anderson as a hacker trying to decipher the alien code and Sam, Tits and crew doing a back and forth and back with the Feds (section 7 or whatever).

Yeah I'd really like to see Bob do a really in-depth critique on the trilogy thus far. Because his reviews are all limited to five minutes a piece, it makes him sound like a whiny asshole.

...and then he calls anyone who likes the Transformers movies 'douchebags' for liking the Transformers movies, thus revealing that he IS a whiny asshole.

Tumedus:

arc1991:

Tumedus:
The major premise of this defense is that the movie has good action. But it doesn't.

The action is so horribly shot. The transformers are hard to tell apart in robot mode, and the bulk of the action is shot in fast cut shaky cam with long stills close ups of humans reacting to visual nonsense elsewhere. I could go on about how offensive it is, how not funny it is, how bad the actors are, etc. but why bother. The one thing it had going for it, the one thing you try to use as its defense, it did horribly.

Hard to tell the characters apart in the action scenes?

Yup. Apart from the two featured hero robots, Bumblebee and Optimus (I considered adding this to my post but didn't think I would need to justify it), the "characters" are basically just dark blobs of angled metal, especially the bad guys. I am not saying the movie is hard to follow, apart from the many continuity issues like Barricade showing up in the final battle, just that the action is poorly shot.

I recall when I saw the movie, many people were confused as which robots were fighting which battles.

Especially the bad guys?

So you can't tell the difference between this

And this

And this?

I'm not denying that there are story and continuity issues (Barricades disappearance, Starscream being absent when Megs got killed etc) But telling the difference between the characters is easy! It's a complaint I just cant get my head around, half the time the Autobots shout out who is coming (Ironhide shouting "It's Starscream!" and Optimus saying "Megatron"!) Hell there is a frigging scene where the cons introduce themselves! (Admittedly there was a naming error but still!) And the Autobots introduce themselves at least half hour into the film! Seriously it isn't hard! -.-

Transformers 2, now that's going to be hard. Maybe work up to it with Transformers 3 first? At least that didn't have Megan Fox's atrocious performance in it (she was OK in the first one, but by the second one she's totally blank the entire movie).

I didn't mind Transformers 1, but 2 was awful and 3 switches between awful and passable.

Then i guess iīm a G1 whiner because i didnīt like the movies AT ALL!

Yes the movie BLOWS huge eyesore robots ANNOYING human characters, the parents where stupid and made me wish a Decepticon would show up and squish them.
The autobots (with perhaps the exception of Optimus Prime) looked UGLY as hell and the Decepticons where even worse they didnīt even look like they where the same species which according to the movie THEY WHERE!
But do you want huge boxy robots ala G1? Yes and no what I would like is a re-imagining of Transformers G1 look (see Highmoons War for and Fall of Cybertron) and failing that atleast robots who didnīt look like they had been assembled in a grinder.
Megatron was basically did NOTHING in the movie he acted like a rouge berserker throwing optimus around a bit and then acting stupid the rest of the time.
As for the action sure it might be good, if the camera was actually steady which it wasnīt (that atleast had been fixed by the third movie, but only because 3d cameras are so heavy that it wasnīt possible for Bay to do his usual shaky cam) I might be able to tell what the hell was going on.

So are there a better Transformers movie with humans? Why yes yes there is its called Transformers The Movie its a movie about surprise surprise transformers and the humans in it are actually wow ACTING INTELLIGENT!
So what about the shows sure there are three shows so far Beast Wars, Transformers Animated and Transformers Prime sure the humans are a bit annoying in the latter two, but they are a WAST improvement over the humans in Bayformers.

Ok. To begin with and establish some groundings; I am a G1 Fan, I have researched comic continuity / storylines and the reason that I despise these movies has nothing to do with the fact my childhood was crushed by them.

It was the fact that the movies had little to do with the Transformers at all. As the movies progressed into the horrible and worse; story, narrative and prose for all the antagonists. This is what destroyed my childhood. The fact that Michael Bay could turn such an in depth and colourful universe into something that became bland and as boring as batshit. Even if he based some of the story of actual storylines.

The only character development was of sam, which replayed the whole 'coming of age' storyline (aimed at intellectually inept twelve - fifteen year old males) [Which played upon childish tropes, sexual references etc {90% of the time}] during each of the films. So regardless of what film you watch, you must endure the same pointless dribble over and over again. If a character has saved the world and is familiar with the 'alien' antagonists, why is it, that he would constantly be reduced to playing the same 'archetypal hero' intertwined with the 'coming of age' story? It does my head in trying to justify the horrible script.

ok. Now to explain some things about the Transformers.

Throughout the thread I've noticed many of you bring up the 'Jazz being black' article. Comparing this to the original G1 storyline (comics and the 1980's series), Jazz has always been portrayed as 'hip' and 'cool' acting upon the themes contemporary to the times. Thus; Jazz was portrayed as a Punk / Hipster / Black stereotype for the original G1 Cartoon, playing upon those tropes for the era. This is respectfully (But distastefully) displayed in Bayformers in his character, whether to indicate the 'token black' character in the film (transformers respectfully) or otherwise has nothing to do with racism. Its a movie trope.

The rest of the Autobots tend to have filled the roles nicely, some even vaguely looking like their alternate counterparts. [Except bumblebee {His lack of voice and the cameo for G1 fans at the car dealership}]

However, The Decepticons... That's a whole other story.
It depresses me even to think about it. So lets move on.

The thing that let the movies down in my opinion was the fact that it wasn't based around the transformers. It was based around the military and humans. Not the transformers at all. I didn't care about sam. I wanted to see a TRANSFORMERS film. Also. Jim. I had no idea you could defend something if you yourself are a Decepticon fan.

i like the first TF movie but then the other 2 slowing ripped out my soul

arc1991:

Tumedus:

arc1991:

Hard to tell the characters apart in the action scenes?

Yup. Apart from the two featured hero robots, Bumblebee and Optimus (I considered adding this to my post but didn't think I would need to justify it), the "characters" are basically just dark blobs of angled metal, especially the bad guys. I am not saying the movie is hard to follow, apart from the many continuity issues like Barricade showing up in the final battle, just that the action is poorly shot.

I recall when I saw the movie, many people were confused as which robots were fighting which battles.

Especially the bad guys?

So you can't tell the difference between this

And this

And this?

I'm not denying that there are story and continuity issues (Barricades disappearance, Starscream being absent when Megs got killed etc) But telling the difference between the characters is easy! It's a complaint I just cant get my head around, half the time the Autobots shout out who is coming (Ironhide shouting "It's Starscream!" and Optimus saying "Megatron"!) Hell there is a frigging scene where the cons introduce themselves! (Admittedly there was a naming error but still!) And the Autobots introduce themselves at least half hour into the film! Seriously it isn't hard! -.-

First I want to make a clarification. The issue with them being identifiable isn't about being able to tell who was in what part of the movie or how the plot advanced. Not that that was overly important in a movie like this, anyway. The issue I am talking about is how it impacts the action scenes specifically, as their indistinguishable characteristics contribute to making the fights incoherent.

Now with that out of the way, even as stills with white backgrounds, I honestly don't find those 3 characters distinct. Maybe my brain just identifies things differently than yours, but as my complaint isn't exactly isolated, I'm not the only one who sees things this way.

To me, all 3 of those look basically like someone tacked on a couple of extra parts to a roughly humanoid shaped junk pile. Sure, I can point out a few identifiable differences when they are presented as stills and I can absorb them, most notably on barricade what with the tires and the doors, but if you flashed those across the screen interspersed with other stuff and asked me to identify it, I would have trouble.

And again, that was only one of the problems I pointed out with the action. The way things were shot you very rarely had proper framing or good editing. Also since every shot of Bay's movies are put through a color filter, anything that isn't orange or blue ends up being really washed out. And seeing as how the majority of combat takes place between multiple grayscale enemies, the effect is sort of like intentionally blurring it.

Take a bunch of junk pile non distinct entities like that and have them roll around half out of frame for a split second with a glowing blue sky and sunset behind them before spending 30 seconds of rotating profile on Mr. Duhamel's mug (so looks like a younger Olyphant to me) or down Mrs. Fox's shirt and my difficulty identifying who was fighting, or even really what was going on, just got increased by an order of magnitude.

I enjoyed Bayformers 1. My wife and I got into a pre-screening three days before the official release on a whim of mine - I was out for a walk (not something I did often), decided to walk into the local movie theatre and saw that "Transformers" was playing at 3:30 that afternoon. Somehow I was entirely unaware that a new Transformers movie was being made (even though I was spending 3+ hours a day online, mostly in role playing chatrooms but also spending a great deal of time on several news aggregator sites, so I still can't figure out how I entirely missed every lead up to this movie) and thought that perhaps this was Transformers: The Movie being shown in theatres again. Which my wife and I both loved.

So I bought two tickets, went home and checked out the theatre website and saw that it was a Micheal Bay Live Action Transformers, which was due to come out on the Thursday... not the day I bought tickets for, which was the Monday. For a few minutes I thought that maybe there had been a mistake in the machine, that the machine was selling tickets for a showing that wasn't going to happen. But Mrs. Makt and I went to the movie and were blown away by it. We loved it, though we did admit that there were many crippling flaws in the movie. To this day we still enjoy the first movie.

Regarding the idea that Jazz was somehow racist, saying that reminds me of the poor Turian in ME2 who is stuck at security, trying to deal with a human C-Sec agent. Every different interaction between the two ends with the Turian saying "Humans are all racists!". I just don't see it, at all, unless people are trying to argue that Jazz has ALWAYS been a racist character, going all the way back to when Scatman Crouthers first did his voice in Generation 1.

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