Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. All of the noise and controversy over TRANSFORMERS is going to reach a peak in the next week and a half, and I still haven’t had a chance to see it. But every single person I know who has seen it seems to agree on one thing: the spectacle is genuinely worth seeing. Now, I’ve talked to people who didn’t care much for the film overall. But I also talked to one guy tonight who just lost his mind for it, saying he’ll see it another five times in the theater. And we continue to get reviews in our inbox, and we’re hearing a fair sampling of reactions there as well. Some have seen it at international premieres, and others at trade or junket screenings. Check this one out, for example, from Madrid:
Hey Harry, long time reader, first time poster. Last night was the premier of Transformers here in Madrid, Spain, and I was lucky enough to get a couple of tickets. Before the movie started, Michael Bay and Shia LaBeouf took to the stage, and Michael Bay said something that after watching the movie I agree with 100%: "We got Shia really cheap...but after this movie, you'll see he's a movie star". I'll keep this review mostly spoiler-free. As a kid I was a big Transformers fan. When I heard they were making a movie, I was fairly excited, though cautious, after all, a movie about toys cannot be very good right? Well, after watching a couple of trailers, I was pretty excited, so last night my expectations were quite high. I must say I had a BLAST with the movie! Something I wasn't expecting: this movies is funny! And I mean that in a good way. I knew Shia was a very good comic actor, but I really did not know Michael Bay could have such a goofy sense of humor. The movie works. The movie works because the characters work...no wait, forget that, the movie works because the fucking robots work! After 2 1/2 hours, I would still feel really excited every time I saw a transformation. There is this one moment where it happens with a police car very quickly, I mean in no frames, and it's just really awesome. I was also pleasantly surprised to see the movie take its time. In fact, Megatron only appears in the last 30 mins or so. I think it was wise of Michael Bay to spend such long time building up tension and just hanging out with Shia in school, showing us what a nerd he is, when he gets his new car,... Then, the last 40 mins or so, the movie goes APE SHIT. It's just non-stop action with really badass fights from secret base, to highway (in what is in my opinion the best action scene I've seen in a long time), to city,.... What didn't work? In my opinion, towards the end, the movie is a little overkill. All the restraint and building up of tension just explodes into this massive 40 mins of non-stop action. I think very few directors can manage such prolonged time of action (James Cameron comes to mind), and while Michael Bay does a terrific job, for me personally, it was a bit overkill. There were also a couple of sub-plots that I feel the movie could have done without. Every time it jumped to one of these sub-plots, I just couldn't wait to get back to Shia's story (maybe the fact that Shia's character is always hanging out with Megan Fox's character had something to do with it....). I was also never quite convinced with Optimus's lips...especially when he looked so cool with the face shield on. And the design of the Decepticons in their robot modes were sometimes a bit confusing...at times it was hard to tell one from another (then again, it was late and I had had a very long day at work). Also, story-wise, there were a few things left unexplained and the ending was a bit rushed (not to mention sequel-friendly). But when you're having so much fun, who cares? I cannot wait to see this again. It's funny that for all the big action scenes this movie has, it is small details that I am reliving one day after with a big grin on my face: (MINOR SPOILERS) the police car transformation, awesome shots of the Autobots in their car modes driving through the desert, Megatron flicking with his fingers a couple of pedestrians, Bumblebee choosing an appropiate song to help Shia woo Megan Fox (for me, the best scene in the movie)... (END OF MINOR SPOILERS) So, all in all, this was a very cool movie. I don't think ANYONE has the right to ask more from this movie. It should meet most people's expectations. In a summer of disappointments, this is really welcomed. I'm probably not discovering anything new here, but expect this to be the biggest movie of the summer and maybe of the year. If you post this, call me Imagineer. Greetings from Spain!
Now, some of you might call that review apologist, but I don’t think that’s the case. I know a lot of people who love the first JURASSIC PARK, and while I think there are some great scenes in that movie, I think there’s also a lot of material that’s just lame beyond words. Yet people have a huge fondness for the film, flawed script and all. And there are still plenty of people who love ID4 because they had such a good time watching it, and no amount of complaints about logic change their enjoyment of it. So keep that in mind. I think it’s going to be unfortunate that the people who seem most unhappy about the film are the ones who have spent the most time obsessing over it pre-release, while general audiences may find themselves having a better time with it. Let’s see what this next reviewer thought:
Hi Harry, I met you (and Papa Geek) a few years ago when I worked with TheOneRing.net to organize the line party for the Trilogy Tuesday LOTR marathon at the Gateway theater. You may or may not remember, matters not - just wanted to say how's it going? And congrats on your engagement! Anyway, 3 1/2 years later, I'm in Los Angeles and working for Sideshow Collectibles - dream job for a geek like me. There are some definite perks that come with working for the top collectibles company in the industry, such as making a few contacts and getting to see some pretty awesome movies before the general public. Transformers was one of these. I figured you guys might be interested in the review I posted on the Sideshow site, as anything Transformers-related seems to strike a great (dis)chord in your fanbase, which is always fun to watch. Basically, I'm a trustworthy source - NOT A PLANT, people... sheesh, I've never seen more cynics in my life than those silly, sad TBers posting in your last Transformers review thread who refuse to accept the reality that this movie rocks. In fact, you can guarantee that I'm not a plant, as I'm cheering for a film which is based off of a property made by a company (Hasbro) which could be called a competitor of my own! Words cannot describe how great I think this movie is. I went in with absolutetly no expectations, and was blown away by the sheer fun of the whole experience. Clapping-your-hands, giggling-with-glee, bouncing-up-and-down-in-your-chair type of fun. And yes, cynical crazy people, the story is good too - it really draws you in. Some of the editing and music styles are not my favorite, but if you don't have a ball watching this movie, you are dead to me and should probably just shoot yourself now to ease the pain of your bleak existence. Here's my short review! Share it, covet it, ignore it, whatever. Just go see Transformers when it comes out - I dare you to hate it. Later, dusty
Then there’s this one, from last Friday’s junket screenings in LA:
Hi dudes, long time reader, first time caller. This weekend I was lucky enough to see The Transformers by Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor) and Steven Spielberg (Schindler's List) and it TOTALLY kicked my balls through the wall in state of the art digital sound!!! WHOAH! That's all I can say. FUUUUCK!!! So here are my two cents. I know your time is valuable so I won't waste your time telling you what I ate for breakfast and how long I jerked off in the shower and all that. When I got there there was a HUGE line and everyone was stoked! I saw at least five guys with goatees and an Autobot logo t-shirt and four with goatees and a Decepticon logo and one without a goatee. But mostly it was not nerds and goobers, just regular people ready to have a good time for a summer popcorn flick! They checked for cameras, cell phones, etc. You know the drill. So we waited for the movie to start in the theater and you could tell there was some palpable tension. Was it gonna live up to the hype. A lot of talk about if they could pull off the flames on Optimus. I was like nerds, PLEASE! It's based on a toy! It's not supposed to be Shakespeare. That's why it has flames, if it was shakespeare there wouldn't be flames but it's not Shakespeare so there is flames. That's just the reality of it. Besides I have a tribal tat on my left bicep that is very similar to Optimus's flames. And I'm thinking of getting one on my back but I'm not sure yet but probably I will do it. So fuck you guys. First of all let me say this is not designed to win Oscars or NAACP Image Awards. So all you pretentious fuckers can go suck a male weiner. Not every movie has to be "good" or have "brains" or "heart" or "soul" or "make sense" or "tell a good story." This is not supposed to win awards and I am positive that Michael Bay will fire three assistants and go on a huge bender if it's so much as nominated for an Oscar for visual effects or sound effects editing. Let alone a Blockbuster Award, Nickelodeon Kid's Choice or MTV Award for best kiss. To be fair it already won one award at this year's MTV Awards but other than that it is NOT designed to win awards! Stop holding everything to such a high standard. Besides, MTV doesn't even play videos anymore, why should we care about awards. Well when the lights went down everybody just about shit their pants. You could tell everyone was loving it except for some of the girls. I don't want to be "politically incorrect" but this movie is not for cunts or fairies. It's for REAL MEN so it's about cars, exploding, punching, Michael Bay's gorgeous sunsets, the friendship between Tyrese and Josh Duhamel, etc. Like 300, you'd have to be gay not to get hard from this movie. You already know the plot (there is none) so I will cut to the chase. The Transformers can be summed up in one word: THE ROBOTS PUNCHING EACH OTHER IS AWESOME!!!!! Like all of Michael Bay's movies you can tell there is action going on by how things are moving on screen. He cuts away and the camera is all like ZOOOM and then BAM! And sometimes it's all smokey or there is fire and destruction. And I was like "FUCK YOU HATERZ!" The action is so balls to the wall that you can't even tell what happens in a lot of the battles, or who is involved, so you will want to see it again and again. Like Tyrese said this is the best action director of all time so what did you expect. When the fuck is this coming to Blu-ray is all I have to say. But this is the kind of movie you have to see with an audience. At this screening everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, was cheering pretty much from beginning to end, except during the parts with the main human characters. Shia Lebouf is not that bad, if you liked Disturbia you will like him. Although the one character I liked was Megan Fox, TOTALLY HOT. I was like "I would jizz all over that!" and everybody agreed that I totally would. When Optimus transformed himself in front of Shia in the alley everybody in the theater just started high fiving each other, even complete strangers. I'm not exaggerating, my hands were sore before it even got to the fight in the city. TOTAL GEEKGASM. I reached for my popcorn and I could tell there was kind of a bulge there. I was self conscious but I sort of squeezed it a little but I did not stroke it per se. It was through the pants I'm not some pervert. The lighting, shading and reflection on these graphics is some of the finest, most photorealistic computer generated imagery to date. Hats off to the wizards at Industrial Light and Magic. If they don't get an Oscar I will be PISSED. Bonecrusher is my favorite, Megatron is only at the end but he looks sick as hell. But of course everybody likes Optimus. I don't see what all the complaints are about the little boombox guy, you have to have something for the kids otherwise kids won't be able to enjoy it. The robots and transforming is obviously for the adults but it's over the head of a lot of the kids so they have the little Jar Jar character for them, or for the women who go. From what I could tell the effects and score were complete, but some of the humor and talking was temporary I assume because it was pretty terrible, I don't think they would release it like that. But that is not what it is about anyway this is popcorn movies, you don't eat popcorn to a movie with characterization and dramatic situations. You eat popcorn to movies where robots fucking transform! why would you nerds expect shakespeare it pisses me off. I was fully erect and you guys are like but it's different from my precious cartoon. FUCK YOU. If you like the great popcorn movies like ID4, Mummy Returns, Armageddon or National Treasure you will want to fuck the shit out of Transformers, just bend it over and just start thrusting, you know. This is NOT for you film school professors and snob critics who want everything to be a snoozefest like Floating Weeds or The Godfather. Go back to the library, egghead. This is for people who are the real fans! I can't wait to watch it again with my frat brothers, they will literally explode when they see the freeway scene. You don't have to be a geek to have a geekgasm and just spray geek cum all over the movie's face and tits. This movie will be FUCKING HUGE. I know you will say I'm a plant but I don't care, this is easily the best movie I've seen since Crank. If I have one complaint, it is too long, why do movies have to be so long it's hard to sit still sometimes. Still, I GUARANTEE this will open number one at the box office. Mark my words. Harry if you use this call me LamborghiniCountacheStill#1.
See, I thought CRANK was a mild diversion at best, so I’m not sure “best film since CRANK” really carries any weight for me. But here’s another guy who was at the same screening, the last of this batch of reviews:
Michael Bay was in attendance at my screening of Transformers, Friday night in Hollywood. He stood up, right before the film started, and yelled, “I’m here to make sure it’s fucking loud!” And holy shit was it ever! But was it good? Well, I walked up to him, after the screening, shook his hand, and said, “Thanks for the great fucking movie.” So if you want the short and quick of it, there it is. I’ll be going into some light spoilers, so be warned… Transformers reminds me of Independence Day. I know a ton of people that say “Gawd, that movie is sooooo bad! Let me point out all the holes to you…” And they’re not wrong. It’s got holes. But goddammit, I sat next to some of them when it came out, and they were cheering along with everybody else when that fucking dog jumped away from the explosion in the tunnel. You know the part. As tired a cliché it is to say a movie is a “popcorn flick”, so “just sit back, and enjoy the ride”, there’s a reason a cliché is a cliché- it’s consistently true. With that said- The film itself has GIANT plot holes, and if you sat down and nitpicked it, you’d find MANY things wrong with it. However, if you just sit back, and enjoy the ride, you’re going to have a great time. The film opens with a voice over of Optimus Prime, talking about this and that, setting up the McGuffin. Whatever. It was Optimus Prime telling you shit, and this was enough to get the whole crowd cheering. As the film gets going we’re introduced to a ton of characters, fast. If there’s one complaint I have with the film, it’s that things/people/robots get set up WAY too fast. In some scenes, a Transformer is introduce for about 10 seconds as he says, “I’m on my way!”, which leaves you going, “Where the fuck did that tank come from?!?!?” But then you’re like, “Fuck it. The more, the merrier…” And just go with it. Shai LeBouf does a nice job as your stereotypical geek, Sam, whose only dream is to get a car. Oh, and to bang the way-too-hot-for-him Megan Fox. So Sam gets a car, which just so happens to be a robot in disguise named Bumblebee, and the adventure begins. As a fan of the original Transformers, I’ve always felt that the designs for the movie were too busy, and though I loved the movie, I still feel the same way. There are times where there are multiple robots on screen (esp. during the end fight), where I lost track of who was who, due to the similarities of some of the designs. Though I must admit that the one thing I thought would bother me the most, lips on Optimus, didn’t bother me at all. Sure, I would have preferred the face shield the entire time, but whatever. It worked. Overall as a summer film, this film did it for me. It was exciting, funny (even if the kidsy jokes, which I won’t going where a little much), and had some visuals we have never seen in a film before. (I will say that it made me sad that the ol’ cliché that “the black guy always dies” is true, even if you’re a Transformer.) From a ’Formers fan standpoint, if you can get past the designs not being what you grew up with, there’s a lot in there for you, esp. if you’re a hardcore fan. Hearing Prime say shit like “Roll out!” or “One shall stand. One shall fall,” got the geek hairs on the back of my neck standing. Oh, and Megatron’s first line? Fucking classic! I can’t wait to see it again in a few weeks. Yes, in a few years, after it’s been on DVD for a long time, everyone will be saying shit like “where did that one robot go at the end of the movie? Or that other one? Or all those little ones?” or “why did Bumblebee Bee start talking out of nowhere? So stupid!”. But you know what? I’ll remember sitting next to them, as they cheered when Optimus starts talking, and the title “Transformers” comes up on the big screen. Thanks for reading, shaithis77