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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Transformers Movie Review

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I have finally watched Transformers last weekend; and as promised I will provide my thoughts (not exactly a full review of the movie lar) on this movie.
As mentioned earlier, I am not exactly a fan of this Hasbro product though I knew of its existence long ago - even in the early 80's (during our childhood days).
We often see this in the cartoons on the tv back then and also the commercials; but back then, we always classify this as a boys- thing.
Anyway, I heard that there has been numerous versions of this movie and cartoons; depicting the various forms and shapes and origins of the robots.
Well, I am no fan of the robots and thus, I was just there to catch this movie:
1. To accompany a friend who was a fan
2. To see for myself the hype and buzz caused by this movie (somemore bro told me people have been clapping at the end of the movie:p)

With an open mind, I went in to the cinema to watch the movie; was wondering whether I will fall asleep through the movie as well:p
Anyway, after a few reels of commercials and way surpassing the actual screen time (I often dislike waiting for the movie to be on and how they can never meet the screen time stated on the ticket), the movie finally started with the voice of a robot narrating about the planet cybertron and also about the cube which was the power behind the birth of all races and living on the planet and also the existence of human race. Things were at peace back then but as usual, there is always good and evil; as greed surpass some of the beings there which lead to them fighting for the possession of the cube to have the ultimate power and rule over others.
Thus, duels have sparked and soon, the tracking of the cube (aka Allspark) have led them to the planet Earth where it was reported to have been sighted.
The movie brought us to the US army base in the Middle East and how the robots came to invade and tap into the highly protected government network to search for the cube found. We were at a loss as to what kind of data were they looking for as they try various hi-tech methods to hack into the military system and to download the data. Then there were battles and bombing of the naval base which led the United States to believe that they have an enemy and starting to suspect various countries. However, the noises and signals from the attacks led them to analyze that this is something beyond a normal human species' power.
Then we were led to the life of a high school boy; Sam Witwicky who was presenting on his assignment of family history and he blabbered about his great great grandfather who explored the Atlantic and then ended up promoting his ancestor's spectacles which is being auctioned at eBay. Then the story went on that he got his first car; which due to his dad's budget, managed an old Camaro for 4 grand.
Turns out, this is no ordinary car; which bore the transformers logo on it and could play songs according to the different moods. It was pretty funny when his car helped him in his quest to court his fellow classmate; a stunning girl by the name Mikaela who we later found, also had some dark secrets.
Then this was how they were involved in the battle of the robots and Sam slowly found that his Camaro was a robot. Freaking himself out, he later helped them in the mission to obtain the cube and then, the movie progressed into an exciting battle and chase between the good and evil robots and to the cool appearance of the leaders.
The Camaro was Bumblebee; one of the Autobot kind (autonomous robotic beings from Planet Cybertron and in short, the good guys). As he couldn't fight off those attacks anymore, he sends signals to summon his counterparts from planet Cybertron and then, hail the Autobots and we see various meteors hitting the planet Earth which later found themselves vehicles and they transformed themselves.
It seems that these robots are mere prototypes and do not have a shape of their own until they see something that they want; passes by any vehicle and reforms themselves into that form.
Also, I was told that the Autobots are mostly vehicles on the road while the bad robots (the Decepticons) are mostly battle ships/vehicles....isn't that a major disadvantage to the autobots?

Anyway, I won't talk about the story anymore...don't want too much spoilers...
Let me go into the movie analysis; I must say I was pretty impressed by the CGI effects...the transformation of the robots looked so smooth and natural that it didn't seem like it was sliding.
In fact, the robots (through the CG effects) seemed like they were naturally in the movie!
Thumbs up for the marvellous works done in the blend!!!:)
This is definitely hard work and I know that this movie took years to complete but bravo for the great job...I was really "Wow-ed" by the effects.

I found myself rooting for the appearance of the autobots army and even felt emotions for the robots when they were hurt. It was really cool when BumbleBee summoned his fellow counterparts and then we see all of them transforming and joining Bumblebee at the back alley'; to the surprise of Sam and Mikaela.
I really liked that part where their leader; the grand Optimus Prime introduced himself and the rest of them...his voice sounded so noble and convincing.
**I was told that they requested the actual/original voice from the cartoons back then and he agreed....this is a very old man's voice...and it is the same one for Optimus Prime..hurrah!~
Let me introduce some of the autobots featured in the movie:
The GRAND leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime
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The most noble robot; that's why he was the leader.
His famous quote: Freedom is the right of all sentient beings
His motto was to protect the humans for they are innocent in the entire battle; and he was so noble that he is willing to sacrifice his own beings to avoid hurting the innocent in the process. It was really touching but he is really righteous and kind:)
Thumbs up for such a noble being that we see in a robot!!!

Our lead hero in the movie; Bumblebee.
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Actually his original form was that of a Volkswagen but I did some findings and it seem that VW did not allow them to use the copyright in the movie and therefore, they had to change him to a Camaro.
At the same time, the producers wanted a bigger car to illustrate a more believable transformation when he transforms into his Autobot form; as a gigantic battle robot.
Another factor is they didn't want any resemblance to the other movie which was famed after the little beetle bug of a car; Herbie:)
I do so like him and it is really touching the way he shielded Sam and also in his fight, he was hurt...I thought he perished; but thankfully, he survived despite the two deaths...

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I don't know much; but I think this was the one in charge of medical...haha, yeah, the Autobots have their own medical team as well:)

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This was the weapon specialists....

According to my friend, this movie depicted the Autobots as pretty weak robots when in actual fact; in the comics/cartoon, they are not.
Then I am glad; coz they are too good to be killed and bullied:D

Personally, I also felt that there were more appearances of the mean robots or aka Decepticons compared to the good ones.
Their leader....the mighty Megatron
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He was captured by the humans and held as captive in the S-7; a government's secret establishment where he was frozen to preserve him.
He was the leader and the strongest in his strength...
His mission was to own the Cube and he will do anything to achieve his mission; destroying anything or anyone in his way. He really detests humans and call them weak beings.
A memorable and hilarious part was during the battle when he saw a human near him and he just flicks them away, "Disgusting!!" LOLz.....:D:D

The cool suave black police car after Sam....Barricade
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When I saw the Transformers logo; I thought it was the good Autobot...so wrong!
It was the Decepticons again...but I wonder why they took the form of a righteous force....
I was told that the police car usually belongs to the Autobots form....huh...confusing lar...this movie:p

Blackout...this was the helicopter...
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Starscream, the only name I can remember in the movie...haha, and always misperceived him as one of the Autobots too:p
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A fighter F-2 plane....
Very aggressive decepticon which fights all the way...and it was cool the way he transforms himself into that plane attacking the base...at the end...wow:)

All in all, I must say that it was pretty captivating movie and even me, a non believer and not a fan have found myself liking the robots:)
I remembered one of the sermons by my parish priest a couple of weeks ago where he mentioned that he was also touched by the fact that the Autobots; particularly Optimus who wanted to protect the humans despite his urgent quest to obtain the Cube/Allspark to save the race. However, he wanted to accomplish his mission without any injuries or acts of destruction on the innocent.
It was endearing to hear and see that robots could have such perception and emotions and understand the consequences of their actions and chose not to hurt others.
How about human themselves?
Have we ever pondered on how meaningful this means?
I am truly enlightened by my priest's words and also the acts of Optimus Prime:)
Yeah, Autobots may be depicted as weaklings here but to me, they are strong because it is always easy to use your full strength to kill and destroy others but it is hard to balance and use your strength to battle and at the same time, protect.
So, it is always the good that triumphs over the evil!!:)
Go Autobots....

I bet Hasbro will be receiving plenty of responses following the success of the movie...
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There will be sequels for this movie soon; coming 2009 and in fact, there's even words on the 3rd...making them a trilogy:)
Whatever it is, let's keep our fingers crossed and do keep in mind the moral of the story:)
Let's get Rollin'......

Only thing though, too bad my "Transformers" old tune was not used in this movie...LOL!