Archive for megatron

Transformers: The Last Knight

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 484 AD, King Arthur’s wizard Merlin forges an alliance with the Knights of Iacon, a group of twelve Transformers who have hidden on Earth. The knights give Merlin an alien staff, and combine into a dragon to help Arthur triumph over the Saxons.

In the present day, most of the governments on Earth have declared Transformers illegal, and the multinational Transformer Reaction Force (TRF) has been formed to eliminate the alien robots. Despite the absence of Optimus Prime (who left the planet to search for his creator), new Transformers continue to arrive regularly; the newest ship to arrive crash-lands in Chicago, where it is found by a group of children. When a TRF mecha confronts the kids, they are saved by Izabella, a survivor of the Battle of Chicago, and her Transformer companions Sqweeks and Canopy, but Canopy is killed by the TRF in the process. Bumblebee and Cade Yeager arrive and help them escape, but Yeager is unable to save the Transformer, Steelbane, in the ship. Before he dies, Steelbane attaches a metallic talisman to Yeager’s body—an act observed by Decepticon Barricade, who reports to his leader Megatron.

On the far reaches of the Solar System, Optimus Prime discovers that the Transformers’ home world, Cybertron, now disassembled into pieces, is heading directly for Earth. Optimus finds the being in control of Cybertron’s movement, a sorceress named Quintessa, who professes to be the maker he is searching for. The staff which the knights gave to Merlin was stolen from Quintessa, and using her powers, she places Optimus under her control, dubs him “Nemesis Prime,” and charges him with recovering it. Earth, she reveals, is actually Cybertron’s “ancient enemy” Unicron, and she intends to drain his life force so that Cybertron can be restored.

TRF member and former Autobot ally William Lennox brokers a deal between the TRF and Megatron, releasing from their custody a squad of Decepticons who will help Megatron recover the talisman from Yeager. The Decepticons hunt Yeager to his junkyard hideout in South Dakota, where he and many of the surviving Transformers are holed up. During the chaos of the ensuing battle, Yeager is approached by Cogman, the Transformer envoy of British Lord Sir Edmund Burton, who takes him and Bumblebee to England to meet his master. There, Yeager also meets Viviane Wembly, an Oxford professor, who Burton has had the Autobot Hot Rod kidnap. Burton explains that he is the last living member of the “Witwiccan” order, an ancient brotherhood dedicated to guarding the secret history of Transformers on Earth. He also reveals that Viviane is the last descendant of Merlin, and must find and use his staff to prevent the impending destruction of Earth by Cybertron.

Fleeing the TRF, Yeager and Wembly follow clues left by the latter’s father that lead them, Bumblebee, and Cogman to take the submarine HMS Alliance into the sea to find the Cybertronian Knights’ sunken ship, in which they discover the tomb of Merlin and the staff. Wembly activates the staff, and the ship rises to the surface; the TRF arrives to confront the group, but several knights awaken and attack them. The attack is cut short by the arrival of the mind-controlled Optimus, but fortunately, when the normally-mute Bumblebee is finally able to speak, the sound of his voice is enough to break Prime free of Quintessa’s control. A moment later, Megatron arrives to steal the staff; he too has been working for Quintessa all along. As Megatron flees with his prize, the knights attack Optimus for his betrayal, but Yeager, whose talisman becomes the sword Excalibur, stops the fight. Realizing he is the last knight, the knights yield to Yeager, who urges Optimus to protect the Earth once more.

Megatron delivers the staff to Quintessa, who begins draining the life force of Earth/Unicron via Stonehenge. When the military intervenes, Megatron shoots Burton, who dies with Cogman at his side. Using a ship procured by the Autobot Daytrader, the Autobots arrive to join the fight, landing on Cybertron and battling against the Decepticons and Quintessa’s Infernocons. Optimus and his Autobots, backed up by the knights in their dragon form, vanquish their many foes. Optimus defeats Megatron while Bumblebee appears to slay Quintessa. Wembly removes the staff, stopping Cybertron’s destruction of Earth, but leaving the two planets connected. Optimus declares that humans and Transformers must work together to rebuild their worlds, and sends a message calling any surviving Autobots to come home.

In a mid-credits scene, scientists inspect one of the horns of Unicron, which is extending out of the desert. Quintessa, who has survived and is disguised as a human, arrives and offers them a way to destroy Unicron.

REVIEW:

Can you believe it has been 10 yrs since the first Transformers was released? 5 years later, this franchise is still going, though there is some debate about whether it should or not. With this 5th film, Transformers: The Last Knight, the trailers promise something darker and more character driven. Did they tell the truth? Let’s find out!

What is this about?

Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager, Bumblebee, an English Lord, and an Oxford Professor.

What did I like?

Continuity. In the first few films, outside of Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron, Starscream and a couple of others, we had a new lineup of Transformers in every picture. Starting with the last picture, Transformers: Age of Extinction, we seem to be keeping with a steady lineup, only bringing in one or two others…at least on the Autobot side. The Decepticons were all new, except for a returning Barricade, who was last seen running away from the climactic battle in the first film.

Tone. The trailers and all the talk leading up to this film led us to believe that this was going to be the darkest, most serious film in the franchise. In the opening scenes, it seems as if that were going to be the case until we meet Merlin. This iteration of history’s greatest wizard sets the tone for the whole film, a tone filled with comedic action, rather than dark drama. Personally, I prefer it this way. For goodness sakes, this is a film about giant robots that transform into cars and jets. Why on Earth would we want it to be serious?

Welcome back. Barricade isn’t the only returnee. Josh Duhamel makes his return, after last being seen in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. His character seems a bit more battle hardened and conflicted this time out, as he is having to work with the TRF, a group that exists to eradicate all the Transformers. The military seems to still be on their side but working with them out of necessity. Tyrese Gibson was also set to return, but there was a schedule conflict with filming The Fate of the Furious.

What didn’t I like?

History lesson. There seems to be a trend lately of putting fantasy characters into historical events. Wonder Woman showed us that she was in World War I, X- Men Origins: Wolverine (as well as The Wolverine) placed Logan in every war in history. Now, it appears as if the Transformers, who we saw arrive in 2007, have been here since the Middle Ages, if not before (according to this film…we won’t go into the convoluted history of the previous films). My question is why? There was no need to put them there, other than to make it convenient for the plot. I mean, seriously, what did they have to do with Frederick Douglass?!?

Human element. I know I said this about the first film, and maybe some of the others, but there is just too much emphasis placed on the humans in a movie called TRANSFORMERS!!! This is no more apparent than in the amount of time spent trying to develop our new female characters, one of which I suspect was chosen based solely on her resemblance to Megan Fox. Also, the final battle should have been an epic confrontation of clashing, twisted metal, but instead, we get humans jumping out of airplanes and trying to get a date. One more thing, when “Nemesis” Prime comes and Bumblebee takes him on, there is no reason for Mark Wahlberg to get involved in the battle. Seriously, what can a human do against one as powerful as Optimus Prime?

Who are you? The only new Autobot introduced is Hot Rod who, though he’s living in England, somehow has a French accent. He has this cool ability to stop time, but we never really get to know him outside of that. He’s not the only one we don’t get to become acquainted with. Megatron has a crew that he asks to be released in exchange for helping the TRF (no clue how it is that these guys are in “jail” and Megatron is just running free). These guys aren’t given anything to do and most are killed in the next 10 minutes! So, instead of giving us a cool new Autobot to get to know and some interesting Decepticons, this time is spent with the schizophrenic C3PO rip-off, Cogman. There is some comedy there, but not worth the trade off. Actually, he reminds me of Alan Tudyk’s character from a previous film, I forgot which one, Dutch.

Final verdict on Transformers: The Last Knight? It makes a valiant attempt to keep this franchise relevant, but truth be told, other than die-hard Transformers fans, no in the US is clamoring for these films. Most people seems to hate them for whatever reason. Personally, I think a new director would do wonders for this franchise. Props to Michael Bay for bringing them to big screen a decade ago, something never thought possible, but now it is time for someone else to take over, preferably a fan of the original cartoon. With that said, this is actually probably the 2nd or 3rd best film in the franchise in my book. Do I recommend it? Yes, I do, but I wouldn’t get in a rush to see it. The theater I was in this afternoon was mostly empty, so I’m sure there will be plenty of seats for you.

4 out of 5 stars

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 1961, a Cybertronian spacecraft crash lands on the far side of the moon. Known as the Ark, it was the last ship to escape a Cybertron devastated by war. Piloted by Sentinel Prime, it carried “the Pillars”, technology that could save the Cybertronians once and for all. On Earth, the crash of the Ark is detected by NASA, and President John F. Kennedy authorizes the mission to put a man on the moon as a cover. In 1969, Apollo 11 lands on the surface of the Moon to investigate the Ark.

In the present day, the Autobots have forged a military alliance with the United States, but largely act independently in stopping humans from destroying themselves. During a mission in Chernobyl at the request of the Ukrainian government, Optimus Prime discovers a fuel cell from the Ark (which awakened Shockwave) that the Soviet Union attempted to use as a power source, resulting in the Chernobyl disaster. Knowing this, Optimus launches his own mission to retrieve the Pillars and revive Sentinel Prime. Just five Pillars remain on-board the vessel, which the Autobots describe as being the means to establish a mobile space bridge between two points and transport matter through. U.S. National Intelligence Director Charlotte Mearing (Frances McDormand) is horrified at this revelation as the Pillars could be used to bring an invading army to Earth.

Meanwhile, Sam Witwicky is frustrated by his life after graduating from college as he hasn’t been able to find a job. He takes his frustrations out on his girlfriend, Carly Spencer, and her close relationship with her playboy accountant boss, Dylan Gould (Patrick Dempsey). Sam is eventually hired in a mail room in a high-pressure working environment. One of his co-workers, Jerry Wang (Ken Jeong), takes an unusual interest in Sam’s activities before revealing himself to be a conspiracy theorist. He passes information on to Sam about “the dark side of the moon” before being assassinated by Laserbeak, a condor-like Decepticon. After contacting the retired Seymour Simmons (John Turturro), Sam realizes that the Decepticons are systematically killing people connected to the American and Russian space missions. They locate two Russian cosmonauts who fled to America after the Soviet space program was shut down. The cosmonauts have photos taken by Soviet satellites that clearly show hundreds of Pillars being stockpiled on the Moon. Sam realizes that the Decepticons raided the Ark decades beforehand and are luring the Autobots into a trap: unable to revive Sentinel Prime on their own, they left him and five Pillars – including the Master Pillar, which controls all of them – for the Autobots to find. Sam contacts the Autobots and reveals that Sentinel Prime is being targeted by the Decepticons, and escort him to their base. However, Sentinel reveals that he made a deal with the Decepticons and betrays both the Autobots and the humans, destroying their base and executing Ironhide before fleeing with the Pillars.

Sentinel uses the Pillars to establish a space bridge with the Moon, where hundreds of Decepticons have lain in wait for decades. Sam is forced by Dylan Gould – revealed to be the Decepticons’ agent on Earth – into finding out Optimus Prime’s plans for retaliation. Gould has taken Carly captive and threatens to kill her if Sam does not follow his evil instructions. Gould places a Decepticon-powered “watch” on Sam’s wrist that appears to send pulsing pain through Sam at the whim of the Decepticons, who can track Sam’s every move, every thought, and see through his eyes when he is wearing the device. Sam finds Optimus Prime and asks him for the autobots’ plan and assures him that “no other human will ever know.” Optimus Prime wisely explains there is no plan for retaliation. The Autobots are exiled from Earth by way of a decommissioned space shuttle spacecraft salvaged from the previous landings. Knowing this, the Decepticons destroy the Autobot rocket, and take control of Earth. With Gould’s help, they establish themselves in Chicago and fortify the city. Gould reveals to a kidnapped Carly that the Decepticons intend to rebuild Cybertron, strip-mining the Earth for resources and using humans as slave labor. In order to do this, the Decepticons have placed Pillars around the world to call Cybertron itself through the space bridge.

Angered at the betrayal, Sam finds USAF Chief Robert Epps and the two re-form Epps’ disbanded NEST team to go into Chicago and rescue Carly. They are nearly killed before they have set foot in the city and are saved by Optimus Prime and the Autobots, who escaped the explosion of their shuttle by hiding in one of the booster rockets that was disengaged before the Decepticon attack. Sam, the Autobots and NEST advance on Gould’s penthouse to rescue Carly and disable the Master Pillar before Cybertron appears in the sky. After battling through the city, NEST takes out the Decepticon leaders (including Shockwave) while Carly convinces Megatron that he will answer to Sentinel Prime once Cybertron is restored, instead of leading the Cybertronians himself. Sam reaches the Master Pillar where he confronts Gould. Gould is electrocuted by the Pillar, which Bumblebee destroys. The connection to Cybertron is broken, and the half-formed planet collapses into itself. With Cybertron destroyed, Optimus and Sentinel fight in the ruins of Chicago. Optimus loses an arm and is about to be killed by Sentinel before Megatron intervenes, convinced by Carly’s words. This gives Optimus the opening he needs to re-enter the fight, ripping Megatron’s head and spine from his body before executing Sentinel. Sam and Carly are reunited while the Autobots accept that with Cybertron gone, Earth is now their only home.

REVIEW:

If you happened to have read my reviews of the previous installments in the franchise, then you are more than aware that I grew up on the cartoons (G1 all the way!!!) and, as such, am a fanboy. That point aside, I will do my best to be fair and balanced in this review of Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

With all the blockbusters that have been released this summer, this one actually hasn’t gotten near the press…good anyway…as the others. Much of this has to do with the fact that many people detested Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I’m not really sure why, because I loved it.

So, the plot of this film is that the US government has been covering up the fact that they’ve known about the Transformers since the 60s. They even had some top-secret information that was gathered on the initial walk on the moon.

As you can imagine, this doesn’t sit too well with the Autobots, especially Optimus Prime, who goes on to tell the Secretary of Defense (not sure what her exact title is) that the ship that crashed on the moon was piloted by the previous leader of the Autobots, Sentinel Prime, as well as a very powerful device that could have changed the course of the war on Cybertron. Common sense should tell you that this is something that needs to be kept out of the hands of the Decepticons.

While all this is going, Sam Witwicky, is now living with his new girlfriend, Carly (don’t ask me how he keeps getting this ultra hotties), looking for a job, and struggling with finding his place in the world. In other words, the audience is supposed to feel sorry for him.

Fast forward a bit and Sentinel Prime turns on the Autobots and reveals that he wants nothing more than to be looked upon as a god again and return Cybertron to its former glory, even at the cost of the Earth and the humans.

This betrayal leads the world leaders to call for the Autobots to leave Earth and let them handle the crisis. You’d think they’d have learned from the last film, that when they try to that it doesn’t work. Not to mention, this is the guy that trained Optimus Prime. Do they really think they could stop him on their own?

The film concludes in an epic battle through Chicago tha is nothing short of awesometacular!

I’m no fan of 3D, but if there is anyone that could really do it justice, I belive it to be Michael Bay. However, I was running late to the theater this afternoon and rather than wait an hour for the next 3D screening, I chose the 2D. I honestly don’t think it was any big loss. Whatever it is that James Cameron has talking in his ear that is making him try to convince every director to do their films in 3D, something needs to be done about it. This film worked just as well in 2D, and might very well have made more money if not for the 3D option (even if tickets prices are higher for 3D).

One of the biggest complaints I’ve had ever since the first Transformers has been that they focus too much on the humans. In the last film, it was a little bit better, but they reverted in this one. As a matter of fact, they focused a bit too much on the humans.

Now, if you’re one of those people who thinks it is just fine with the humans and that there actually need to be more, look at the title. It is called Transformers, not humans. Heck, you can even go back and look at some old episodes from the cartoon. Of the 4 season it was on, I think there were maybe 2 or 3 that were more focused on the humans, one of which was one where Cobra Commander (yes, I said Cobra Commander) turned them human and used their bodies as weapons.

That wasn’t my only issue. In the other films, when the robots would fight, there was no blood involved. For some reason, in this installment, they’ve developed a way to bleed. I’m not really sure what is up with this, but I’m not a fan. I guess this is some other device to make this “a more human” picture.

Yes, the story is darker. Laserbeak is actually an assassin. One of his assassinations, I won’t spoil who, I’m glad he does, though. That guy annoys the living hell out of me!

Does the darkness help or hurt? No, but it’s not like a night and day difference, so that may be why.

Something else I noticed was how all the Transformers were extra shiny. I’m talking like they were freshly waxed, even after they have been in combat. Bumblebee and Optimus looked like they were fresh off the assembly line. something tells me the car companies had something to do with that, though.

Speaking of Bumblebee, he was relegated to a lesser character here. There was more of Wheelie and his sidekick, I think his name was Igor. Not really sure how Wheelie got a sidekick, though. While I did enjoy them, I was missing Skids and Mudflap.

Finally, Optimus Prime got his trailer. Was it really so hard to give him his trailer. It’s bad enough they painted flames on him, but to deprive him of his trailer this long was just criminal. The minute I saw that, I nearly pissed myself. With his trailer, Optimus is whole. Having said that, I think they sort of wasted it. I think there was one scene where he actually used it. He was driving around with it 2 or 3 times, and lost it before the final battle. That was almost as bad as having BA’s van appear in the first 10 minutes of The A-Team before being destroyed.

The new robots that were introduced here didn’t really have much of an impact, except for Sentinel, who turned out to be the main villain, Laserbeak, an assassin (he talks in the film, but not in the cartoon, which I actually liked), and Shockwave, who actually wasn’t really developed as well as he could have been.

What I mean by that is Shockwave was built up as the film’s main villain when the first posters came out back in the winter. Unfortunately, he’s only in two scenes, and both of those he barely gets any kind of development. He just randomly pops up under Chernobyl and then appears agin in Chicago with this massive drill that is responsible for most of the destruction, actually.

I said in my review of Revenge of the Fallen that Megatron should not be looked on as someone else’s patsy, of sorts. Now, while he doesn’t have the role in this film, he is barely in it, and has this weird desert bum look going on.

Sentinel Prime is impressive, and the voice of Leonard Nimoy was perfect for him. The only issue I have with him is that his facial design resembles that of Alpha Trion from the original series. when I saw him in the Super Bowl spot, that’s who I thought it was.

The humans are worthless in the picture, just face it. Having said that, the new additions didn’t hurt the film.

Patrick Dempsey actually made quite the diabolical villain. I would have never guessed that from him.

John Malkovich and Frances McDormand really shine in their roles. I questioned their casting when I first heard about them, but I’m glad they were chosen.

I’m sure you all heard about how Megan Fox called Michael Bay a Nazi and “decided not to return”, right? Well, her replacement, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, may have never acted a day in her life, but she sure is a much better actress that Fox. Granted that’s not saying much, but she at least looks like she was trying and was interested. With Fox, she just seemed so…not there, and while I can’t but Carly and Sam, they are a more believable couple than Mikayla and Sam.

Finally, John Turtrro returns. Somehow he got rich and has an assistant, played by Alan Tudyk who is one of the true scene stealer of the film.

The film is a bit longer than I would have liked. I think they just spend too much time on the humans, and not enough on who people watch these films for (contrary to what Shia LeBeouf thinks), that Transformers. However, it kept my attention the entire runtime, which is something next to impossible to accomplish. Yes, the film has its flaws, but it is a joy from start to finish. The most important thing to realize is that each of the films in this franchise, similar to the Harry Potter films have improved. You have to judge for yourself which is the best, but many are saying this is it. I highly recommend you get up right now and go see it!

5 out of 5 stars

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In 17,000 BC, ancient Transformers called the Dynasty of Primes scoured the universe with the intention of draining the energy from stars to create Energon and power the AllSpark, the life source of the Transformers, using a machine called a Sun Harvester. The Primes agreed that life-bearing worlds would be spared, but one of their own betrayed the others and constructed a Sun Harvester on Earth. A battle broke out which resulted in the Dynasty sealing themselves away, dying in the process, in order to hide the Matrix of Leadership, the key used to power the Sun Harvester. The treacherous Prime was dubbed the Fallen, and vowed to seek revenge upon Earth.

In the present day, set two years after the events of the first film, Optimus Prime leads NEST, a military organization consisting of American and British troops and his own team of Autobots. The Autobots consist of old and newcomers, Prime having sent an invitation message to all Autobots to come to Earth after the destruction of the AllSpark, which doomed their home planet of Cybertron. The new Autobots include Arcee, Sideswipe, Jolt, and the Twins Skids and Mudflap. During one mission, one of the Decepticons, Demolishor, declares, “The Fallen shall rise again.”

Sam Witwicky heads off to college to continue a normal life, leaving behind his Autobot guardian Bumblebee and his girlfriend Mikaela Banes. He finds a piece of the Allspark, and gives it to Mikaela for safekeeping. Wheelie attempts to steal the shard but is captured by Mikaela. Sam meets his college roommate, Leo Spitz, who runs an alien conspiracy website. He also meets Alice, who makes aggressive advances towards him.

Soundwave, a Decepticon intelligence officer, hacks into a satellite to eavesdrop the NEST forces, learning the location of the dead Decepticon leader Megatron and another piece of the AllSpark. He deploys Ravage to retrieve the shard, which is then used to resurrect Megatron. Megatron flies through space to a Decepticon spacecraft, where he is reunited with Starscream and his master, the Fallen. The Fallen instructs Megatron to capture Sam, as his mind now contains the Allspark’s knowledge, including the location of the Sun Harvester. Sam has a mental breakdown in his astronomy class, writing Cybertronian symbols on the chalkboard. Mikaela comes to his aid just as Alice attacks, revealed to be a DecepticonPretender, a Transformer in a human guise. Sam, Mikaela and Leo drive off, running over Alice in the process, but are then captured by Grindor. Scalpel, a Decepticon doctor, prepares to remove Sam’s brain, but Optimus and Bumblebee appear and rescue him. In the following battle, Optimus takes on the Decepticons on his own, killing Grindor, however, he is ultimately killed himself, stabbed from behind by Megatron.

Megatron orders a full-scale assault on the planet. The Fallen speaks to the world and advises them to surrender Sam to the Decepticons or they’ll continue their attack. Sam’s parents are captured by Rampage. Sam, Mikaela, Leo, Bumblebee, the Twins and Wheelie regroup, Leo believing his online rival “RoboWarrior” may be of assistance. The man is revealed to be former Sector Seven agent Simmons. Simmons reveals his hidden alien archive and explains that the Transformers have visited Earth before, as their language is written on ruins all over the world. Wheelie identifies the language as that of the Primes but only a Seeker can translate it; Seekers being used by the Primes to locate suitable suns for harvesting. They find such a Seeker, an aging Decepticon named Jetfire, who defected to the Autobots.

Upon learning the situation, Jetfire teleports the group to Egypt via a space bridge and explains that the tomb of the Primes is located in the surrounding desert, and only a Prime can kill the Fallen. By following the clues, the group find the Matrix in a tomb in Petra, but it crumbles to dust in Sam’s hands. Believing the Matrix can still revive Optimus, Sam instructs Simmons to telephone Major William Lennox to bring the other Autobots and Optimus’ body. The military arrive shortly after, but so do the Decepticons and another battle ensues. During the battle, Bumblebee rescues Sam’s parents from Rampage, killing both him and Ravage in the process. Devastator is then formed and unearths the Sun Harvester in one of Egypt’s pyramids before being blown to pieces by a railgun fired from a nearby destroyer. The airforce carpet bomb the Decepticons, but Sam is caught in the blasts and falls to the ground, seemingly dead. While Sam is being resuscitated, he is instructed by the Primes to revive Optimus with the Matrix, which is rebuilt. Optimus is resurrected but the Fallen, with aide from Megatron, activates the Sun Harvester. Jetfire is mortally wounded by Scorponok whom he then kills, and then gives up his life and bodyparts to give Optimus the strength he needs to fight and defeat The Fallen. Optimus destroys the Sun Harvester and then fights both Megatron and the Fallen, destroying the Fallen and leaving Megatron heavily wounded and forced to retreat alongside Starscream.

The film concludes with Optimus stating that the Transformers and humans are connected by their histories.

REVIEW:

I’m sure by now you’ve read, or at the very least heard how people are bashing this film left and right for one reason or another. Well, now it’s my turn to put my two cents in.

As I stated with my review of Transformers and Transformers: The Movie, I am a fanboy, so I’m slightly biased, but at the same time I will be objective.

Something I want to getout of the way first and foremost, is how “offensive” the twins, Mudflap and Skids are. Look, its more than obvious they are there for comic relief, yet folks are saying their offended because of their “African-American” personas. Quite honestly, I didn’t get that impression from them. They just seemed like twin brothers who have a sibling rivalry and have wannabe urban personalities. I’m sure we all know someone like that, or have at some point in time. The fact that people are making a big deal out of this is utter stupidity. Now, I will say we could have done without the gold tooth and them not knowing how to read, but even thosethings aren’t anything to raise a fuss about. for goodness sakes, these are alien robots!!!!

On to the film…A big qualm I had with the first film was that they spent too much time on the humans and not enough on the robots. A big reason for that is economics, and that’s understandable. CGI isn’t cheap. However, with a bigger budget and a couple years under their belt, I had high hopes that this one would feature the robots more. To an extent it does, but they still spend too much time on them.

Don’t get me wrong, a good portion of time they spend on the humans, makes sense, such as the storyline with military and the national security adviser, but other parts are there just for the sake of being there, such as, and it pains me to say thins, many of the scenes with Megan Fox. If there is a third film, Michael Bay needs to either maie it worth our while to see these God-forsaken humans, or cut back on their screentime. Again, I have to say, this franchise is called TRANSFORMERS, not humans, so let’s see more of them. I understand the cost and all, but there comes a point where you may just have to start working street corners for CGI, rather than sticking in more pointless human scenes.

While i’m on the topic of the humans, Michael Bay maintains his hard on for the military, but this time they’re actually helpful, and its the national security office (paranoid folks as they are, anyway) that is causing all the inner conflict.

Shia LeBeouf has done a lot of work since the previous film, and its obvious his acting has improved, but he’s still not god’s gift to acting. you could literally have a drinking game with the times he runs around saying “No! No! No! No!” or something similar.

Megan Fox is reduced to nothing but eye candy here, nothing wrong with that, per se, but her character has lost that depth she had in the first film, and is bordering on becoming the bitch girlfriend. Somethign tells me, if there is a third film, that’s what we’ll see from her.

Tyrese Gibson, John Torturro, and Tyrese Gibson all reprise their roles, in much smaller fashion. That’s pretty much all I can say about them.

Ramon Rodriguez comes in as Leo, Sam’s tech-savvy roommate. This guy seems cool enough, but from the minute he finds out about the Transformers until he seems to disappear, he is whiny and annoying. The guy seems like he has talent and potential, but it doesn’t show here.

Let’s talk Autobots, shall we? If you go into thins expecting to see a movie in the same vein as the G1 cartoon, you’re going to be sadly disappointed. Fact is, it’s all about Optimus Prime. Bumblebee, Mudflap, and Skids get a good portion of screentime. Ironhide has a lot of lines, but, he’s still underused, but at least he’s in most of the Autobot’s scenes, unlike Ratchet who is rarely even seen, except for a couple of scenes. New Autobots that have joined the force are, the aforementioned Mudflap and Skids, Sideswipe, Arcee, Jolt, and joining later in the film Jetfire and Wheelie. Arcee and Sideswipe have cool chase/fight scene at the beginning, but that’s about it. Jolt has no lines, and except for being instrumental in bringing Optimus Prime back to life, you don’t even see him. Wheelie is much less annoying than his G1 counterpart, and is another example of comic relief. Jetfire looks like Davey Jones and sounds like he should be a part of the Monty Python troupe, but he plays a very important role to the film, albeit confusing. There were rumors of Jazz returning, but that unfortunately didn’t happen. No Autobots died this time around, though. Not sure how I feel about that.

The Decepticons get a large portion of the Transformer screentime. One of the things that I loved from the original cartoon was the relationship/rivalry between Megatron and Starscream. This has been preserved, for the most part here. Soundwave was left out of the first film on purpose so that Bay could have leverage for a sequel. A good idea, but I think Soundwave was overhyped. I’ll have t see the film again to make a final decision on him, though. One thing I can say about him, though, is that, like optimus Prime, they got the original voice actor (though he doesn’t quite have that same sound) and kept his personality in tact. With Soundwave, you have to have at least one of his minions, they decided to give us Ravage, who is some sort of bony, one eyed cat that can project nanobots. The Constructicons merge to form Devastator. Do I really need to say more on that? Well, actually, I do. There was no need to give him balls! The Doctor is an interesting addition to the Decepticons, especially since he is some sort of spider-like creature.

The Fallen can officially take his place among the baddest villains in film. Voiced by Tony Todd, this guy just looks plain evil. Our first look at him is of him sitting in a throne like char as Megatron and Starscream come greet him. This brings me to my next point/qualm.

Megatron, in every incarnation (including Galvatron, after Unicron releases his hold on him), has been the psychotic villainous, mastermind on top of everything, so to hear him call someone “Master” takes away from the mystique. It seems as if they were going for the whole master/apprentice thing. Not sure what Starscream’s role is, though.

With every Michael Bay film, you are sure to get tons of explosions. This is no exception. Once we get past the initial introduction and get started, he never lets up. The opeining battle sequence dwarfs anything in the previous film. What really got me was the entrance of Optimus Prime. Anyone who has seen the original cartoon, knows that Prime is the ultimate everything. He didn’t give off that impression in the last film, though, but this one was vintage Prime. The only thing missing was his trailer. They seriously need to find a trailer to add to him.

While I’m on that subject, again I must discuss these horrible “realistic” designs of each robot. I guess its just my oyalty to the originals, but I am not a fan and don’t see why they can’t resemble the originals more closely. The upgraded vehicvle modes are acceptable…though Sideswipe couple have kept his original Lambroghini form. In the previous film, it was hard to tell who was who. Even Bumblebee, who sticks out more than anyone, got lost in the shuffle. With the influence of Hasbro and the fact that they learned from the previous film, they actually gave some color to a few of the robots. Still not enough for my taste, though. I mean, it doesn’t need to look like a 60s era living room or anything like that, but they are not the same color, and even the ones that are have different shades and markings. Like I said, that’s more the G1 fanboy in me being all nitpicky.

Ok, so this film has ups and downs. The story has some holes and everything, but chances are if you’re taking the time to watch this, you’re not watching it for some sort of cinematic masterpiece, but rather to enjoy yourself. Yes, it 2 1/2 hours, but unlike many films, there isn’t that lull that drags the film down. The action keep you interested and the humor keeps it from being too much.

Speaking of the humor, many complained about it being too much in the first film. I remember reading reviews saying that there was no need for any humor, and that this needs to be a dark, brooding film (referring to the first), blah, blah. So, my guess is Bay read those and wen the other way with it. Personally, I like it. My guess is that he read those and in his mind, figured that if he put more humor in, then people would like it,

Hopefully, I’ve given you some insight into this great film. It’s not perfect, but it is entertaining. Pay no attention to those stuff critic reviews. Go see it for yourself and make your own decision. Fanboy love aside, I loved it, and think people that aren’t influenced by what they read will be, as well.

5 out of 5 stars

Transformers

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2008 by Mystery Man

 

More than meets the eye!

PLOT:

The film opens with Optimus Prime, heroic leader of the benevolent Autobots, describing in a voice-over the destruction of the Transformers’ home world, Cybertron. It was destroyed by the evil Decepticon leader Megatron in his quest to obtain the All Spark. The Autobots want to find the All Spark so they can use it to rebuild Cybertron and end the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons, while the Decepticons want to use it to defeat the Autobots and conquer the universe. Megatron found the All Spark on Earth, but crash-landed in the Arctic Circle and was frozen in the ice. Captain Archibald Witwicky and his crew of explorers stumbled upon Megatron’s body in 1897. Captain Witwicky accidentally activated Megatron’s navigational system and his eye glasses were imprinted with the coordinates of the All Spark’s location. Sector 7, a secret United States government organization founded by Herbert Hoover, discovered the All Spark in the Colorado River and built the Hoover Dam around it to mask its energy emissions. The still-frozen Megatron was moved into this facility and was used to advance human technology through reverse engineering.

In the present day, the rest of the Decepticons—Blackout, Scorponok, Frenzy, Barricade, Starscream, Devastator and Bonecrusher—have landed on Earth and assumed the disguise of Earth vehicles (except Scorponok, who hides within Blackout). Blackout and Scorponok attack the U.S. SOCCENT FWD military base in Qatar and try to hack into the U.S. military network to find the location of Megatron and the All Spark. Their mission is thwarted when the base staff severs the network cable connections. While Blackout destroys the rest of the base, Scorponok chases a small group of survivors who have photographic evidence of the robots, but he is eventually repelled. During this battle, the military discovers the only effective weapons against the Transformers’ armor are high-heat sabot rounds.

After Blackout’s failure, Frenzy infiltrates Air Force One to again hack into the military network, planting a virus. He finds the map imprinted on Captain Witwicky’s glasses, whose descendant Sam Witwicky, intends to sell on eBay. Frenzy and Barricade begin tracking Sam’s location. Autobot scout Bumblebee is also on Earth, disguised as a 1976 Chevrolet Camaro, and is bought by Sam while shopping for his first car. Bumblebee helps him woo his crush, Mikaela Banes. Bumblebee leaves at night to transmit a homing signal to the rest of the Autobots and Sam sees him in robot mode. Barricade confronts Sam and demands Archibald’s spectacles, but Bumblebee rescues him and Mikaela. They leave to rendezvous with the rest of the Autobots—Optimus Prime, Jazz, Ironhide, and Ratchet—who have landed on Earth and taken the forms of Earth vehicles as well. Sam, Mikaela, and the Autobots return to Sam’s home and obtain the glasses; however, agents from Sector 7 arrive and capture Sam, Mikaela and Bumblebee.

Frenzy, now disguised as Mikaela’s cellphone, secretly accompanies the group to Hoover Dam and releases Megatron from his frozen state. Locating the All Spark, Frenzy sends an alert to the other Decepticons. Sam convinces the Sector 7 agents to release Bumblebee so that he can deliver the All Spark to Optimus Prime. Frenzy’s virus has shut down government communications, but a group of humans manage to establish a signal to the Air Force in order to support the Autobot-human convoy, who have gone to nearby Mission City to hide the All Spark. The Decepticons attack and Bonecrusher, Frenzy, Jazz, Devastator and Blackout are all killed during the ensuing battle. Sam, who is ordered to get the All Spark to a rendezvous point for it to be taken to a safe location, instead chooses to ram it into Megatron’s chest, destroying it and killing Megatron. Optimus takes a fragment of the All Spark from Megatron’s corpse, but realizes that with its destruction, their home world Cybertron cannot be restored. Consequently, Optimus sends a signal to other surviving Autobots in the universe, directing them to their new home, Earth. The government orders the closure of Sector 7 and has the five Decepticons killed in the Mission City battle dumped into the Laurentian Abyss. Starscream, who fled the battle, escapes into space.

REVIEW:

Any boy who grew up in the 80s more than likely had an addiction to Transformers. I was no exception. I loved them, so I’m a little biased.

Let’s start with the good things. This movie actually got made. There were doubts as to if it would. Luckily it did, and it turned out awesome. They brought back the original voice of Optimus Prime. what better way to get the fanboys on your side than to bring back voice of their God, Peter Cullen. Not only that, he’s the first voice you hear when the movie starts.

Now, the negative. Michael Bay’s ego is going to be his undoing. He said Bumblebee wasn’t a VW bug because he reminded him of Herbie. This is a man that thought this was a stupid toy movie and only came on board to work with Steven Spielberg, so what does he care. All of us that grew up on TF know that Bumblebee was a bug. It’s part of his name! Optimus Prime had flames and lips. The Transformers didn’t resemble their original forms. Megatron didn’t turn into a gun. This is all fanboy stuff, though. The only real problem I have is with the final battle.

The last 30 minutes or so, are totally awesome. I do wish that more than just Optimus and Bumblebee got to have lines, especially on the Decepticon scene. Now, I understand that there are casualties in war and whatnot, but what purpose did it serve to kill Jazz? Best I can figure is that, the other Autobots that were used, with the exception of bumblebee all were killed in the 80s Transformer movie, and that was “payback”. I nearly cried when I saw Megatron rip him in two, though.

I didn’t care for the heavy human factor. The movie is called Transformers, not humans! However, I understand the cost of CGI, so there’s not much you could’ve done, but they could’ve made some kind of compromise. Also, I read on some message boards that people didn’t like the humor. I guess they wanted this to be a dark, evil movie. Everything doesn’t have to be dark, people, get over it. The humor added to the enjoyment!

As you can tell, there’s not really not much I have negative to say about this film, other than minor fanboy type stuff. Let’s hope the sequel lives up to this one!

5 out of 5 stars