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What is so great about it? If i recall the original TV series correctly the Autobots were very altruististic., so that has deterred me from watching it. Yeah, the transformers and special effects look excellent, but that is not enough of a reason to watch it.

In the movie the Decepticons want to transform earth into another military base for them, they don't care about destroying human lives...

Optimus Prime objects however saying that "Freedom from the force of tyranny is the right of all sentient beings" meaning those with the power of reason should be free to use and to protect themselves. True, Optimus say's he will sacrifice himself if need be but he always says he would rather see the earth safe then destroyed because of the their war. The Autobots fight against evil without hesitation. Optimus does what he can to avoid killing humans but, as it's shown in a lot of the fights, sometimes its not possible. He, and the Autobots show no hesitation when it comes to destroying the evil. They know that peace is only achieved when the bad guys are destroyed.

True, you can take an altruistic interpretation of that. But it wasn't "Sacrifice yourself for someone you don't care about" more like "Do everything you can too protect the things you value.” There weren't any rants about putting other people before you, just protecting the people and things you care about. Honestly, I think it portrays a battle between good and evil and shows that the heroes can really triumph over evil.

The effects were cool, but it wasn't Spider-Man 3, where they spent tons of money on effects, then it barely had a plot. I usually don't take effects into consideration (I still enjoy the old Godzilla movies despite cheesy effects) it's the story that always matters to me. This movie had an awesome and surprisingly believable story.

I know, giants transforming robots don't seem "believable" but it's more like, the people’s reactions to the events going on seemed very realistic to me. In Spider-Man 3, Spider-Man would fight in the middle of New York and no one seemed to notice or care. In this movie, everyone seems aware of the fact that there are giant robots running around, and how this seems very unbelievable. No one in Spider-Man seemed to care that a giant man made of sand or a guy on a flying skateboard were running around the city.

For me, the little things like this make all the difference. It made this movie incredibly enjoyable. The story made a lot of sense too and the character development was very good. Again, unlike Spider-Man 3 where people just popped on screen for no apparent reason and said some stuff and weren't ever heard from again (Gwen Stacy). The dialogue said a lot in a few words in Transformers. It seems in a lot of movies peoples lines are just plain dumb and usually screwed up and the dialogue is boring. The dialogue in this movie was witty and engaging and believably.

I guess I could really relate to the main character too. You see where he is coming from and he even says it towards the end of the movie "I bought a car, turned out to be a giant alien robot... WHO KNEW?!" like it was nothing, obviously been sarcastic and showing how ridiculous, yet awesome, that seems.

To some it up for you, the altruism was not apparently and horribly disgusting, only barely noticeable. The effects were cool but they didn't steal the show, just enhanced the already engaging storyline.

Edited by Mammon
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I thought it sucked.

The human characters were poorly developed, the robots had no personality, and I was never emotionally engaged enough to care about what happens to any of them. The camera movement was epileptic, and the action sequences were underwhelming.

All of the flaws could have been temporarily masked by the very well-done special effects had the movie been shorter, but at nearly three hours the movie became tedious in stretches.

If you are a transformers fan (which I thought I was, although apparently not nearly enough), you will probably love this film. Otherwise I would probably categorize it as a very sub par summer blockbuster.

Rating: ** / ****

ps - Megan Fox was hot. Not really my type though.

Edited by Moebius
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Transformers are yet another example of disconnected mix of good engineering and bad philosophy/humanities.

Transformers as a movie should have been making their living from special effects and a plot that goes along with robots.

Amazingly they almost completely failed on first, and completely failed on the second.

They have spent whatever millions they could find on special effects, but ended up making almost all of them blurry, out of focus with a camera moving like a ping pong ball. So, all I could see were some generic shapes and colors swirling on the screen, while what should have been there were awesome powerful robots that I could actually register and enjoy with my eyes, but nope.

This was bad enough already, but the rest of the movie gets really lame. The rest looks like an attempt to make an awkward comedy out of human characters. The worse moments were the scene of the kid looking for the glasses inside his home, while robots were hiding around like fools. This was really topped off with jokes about masturbation, aka Sam's Happy Time. (What the hell is this doing in the movie about Transformers?) And of course, not to forget that first half of the movie was about Sam looking to get the Great Dream: "A car and a girl (any decently looking girl) - and I'm the Man finally!" This plot line went through most of the movie, which really ruined a lot of fun for me.

In the end, I was left with questions: "What in the world was the point of the movie? Or was there one at all?" Mixing jokes about masturbation and Transformers shows complete lack of understanding of the art/plot creation. It looks like some utter mediocrity got his hands on a great idea, and completely ruined it by wishing to please the lowest of the possible audience.

Will the extreme Transformer fan enjoy it? Logically, by the meaning of "fan of Transformers," such person would hate it b/c of what torture is being done to the great idea of super technology that Transformers are. I suppose one could close eyes and especially ears on some moments and get through it, but this isn't how enjoying art should be.

I'd give it 2/5, where 2 comes from the fact that Transformers are in the movie.

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Transformers are yet another example of disconnected mix of good engineering and bad philosophy/humanities.

Transformers as a movie should have been making their living from special effects and a plot that goes along with robots.

Amazingly they almost completely failed on first, and completely failed on the second.

They have spent whatever millions they could find on special effects, but ended up making almost all of them blurry, out of focus with a camera moving like a ping pong ball. So, all I could see were some generic shapes and colors swirling on the screen, while what should have been there were awesome powerful robots that I could actually register and enjoy with my eyes, but nope.

I've said this before in another thread -- Hollywood keeps making COOL EFFECTS lightshows with no plot to speak of and hiring huge name actors who only get a few lines of dialogue which don't even make any sense to whats going on in the movie.

But I don't see Transformers being the case here. My only beef with it was I could of seen alot more of the Transformers and got out some of the human characters to showcase them more. I could of gone for another hour, seriously. But at the same time the CGI was done incredibly well, and it's costly to do that. So it's saves time and money to have the fight scenes a tid blurry. Plus, I kind of enjoy it in the sense that's more chaotic looking. When your fighting in a huge battle you don't take time out to say "HEY LOOK AT THAT COOL LOOKING ROBOT!!!" you're more prone to say "OH SHI--" and run away while it's chasing you.

But yeah, I agree with you that I could of done with a little more Transformers. I would of cut out the British chick and her friend, and the Section 7 people and put some more scenes with the Decipticons.

This was bad enough already, but the rest of the movie gets really lame. The rest looks like an attempt to make an awkward comedy out of human characters. The worse moments were the scene of the kid looking for the glasses inside his home, while robots were hiding around like fools. This was really topped off with jokes about masturbation, aka Sam's Happy Time. (What the hell is this doing in the movie about Transformers?) And of course, not to forget that first half of the movie was about Sam looking to get the Great Dream: "A car and a girl (any decently looking girl) - and I'm the Man finally!" This plot line went through most of the movie, which really ruined a lot of fun for me.

In the end, I was left with questions: "What in the world was the point of the movie? Or was there one at all?" Mixing jokes about masturbation and Transformers shows complete lack of understanding of the art/plot creation. It looks like some utter mediocrity got his hands on a great idea, and completely ruined it by wishing to please the lowest of the possible audience.

Well okay, Sam is a 16-Year-Old male human. Do you expect anymore? In real life that's usually whats on guys mind. He only wanted the car to get the girl in the first place. I can relate to that, most men can. When your that age, the only thing that matters too you is women. And when your a huge dork it's even harder to get the girl. All the odds were stacked up against this kid and he was trying hard to make it all work out.

But then he lucks out and gets a living robot car that knows whats going on and is trying to hook him up with the girl. It's great in my opinion.

And the scene when he was looking for the glasses was hilarous! It was funny because, at all the possible moments for something like that too happen, it had to be when he had giant robots outside of his house and he is trying to save the world. I don't know how it's aiming towards a "lowest of the possible audience" ... would you rather have his parents come and make jokes that no one would ever even get? Plus, there were alot better jokes in the movie... like when Sam is talking to the girl and he says "You know... I just think that there is more to you... then meets the eye." I cracked up when I heard that! It was clever. Those type of scenes were refreshing from the typical action movie where everyone doesn't seem to notice or care when all this ridiculous stuff goes down.

Oh, and the thing about the robots "looking like fools" was funny too. It's part of the Autobots personality, they are helpful and considerate. They transform to keep the population from know about them, hiding away around a house seems to logically flow from that, especially when Sam, their friend, asked them to try and not damage anything.

Will the extreme Transformer fan enjoy it? Logically, by the meaning of "fan of Transformers," such person would hate it b/c of what torture is being done to the great idea of super technology that Transformers are. I suppose one could close eyes and especially ears on some moments and get through it, but this isn't how enjoying art should be.

I'd give it 2/5, where 2 comes from the fact that Transformers are in the movie.

All the extreme Transformers fan I know enjoyed it.

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But at the same time the CGI was done incredibly well, and it's costly to do that. So it's saves time and money to have the fight scenes a tid blurry.
So, was it "done incredibly well" or was it blurry to save the money?

Plus, I kind of enjoy it in the sense that's more chaotic looking. When your fighting in a huge battle you don't take time out to say "HEY LOOK AT THAT COOL LOOKING ROBOT!!!" you're more prone to say "OH SHI--" and run away while it's chasing you.
This is a movie, not a videotape of an experience in battle. As a movie, it should be an art form, not a documentary that tries to create confusion by crazy camera movements. I come to movie to see something instead of a colorful blur and replace it with something from imagination.

Well okay, Sam is a 16-Year-Old male human. Do you expect anymore? In real life that's usually whats on guys mind.
Yes, I expect more. So, if a movie portrays what most mediocrity wants, it's OK? This is exactly what I meant by appeasing mediocrity with dumb jokes in the movie.

How about the fact that there are 16 year olds who aren't dumb like that, but are actually looking to achieve something, instead of looking to look cool and "get laid"? Is this not part of 'real life' you describe?

Why pick something crappy from "real life" when you can pick something good when you are creating art? What is the point of art after all? Is it document mediocrity or is it some actual rational goal? I suggest checking out Romantic Manifesto by Ayn Rand.

But then he lucks out and gets a living robot car that knows whats going on and is trying to hook him up with the girl. It's great in my opinion.

So, it's great to get something on 'luck' instead of earning it? And why is it so great when losers "get a break" ? Is it because it means everyone has a chance?

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I understand the analysis going on here but I have to say that, if nothing else, the movie was the most visually stunning movie to date in my opinion.

I thought Lord of the Rings >>>> Transformers in terms of being visually stunning. Not the least of which due to the fact that I could actually see what's going on instead of having to deal with epileptic cameras and rapid cuts like felt as if the director suffers from ADHD while on speed.

Besides -- being visually stunning is about more than just special effects. The new Star Wars for instance averaged about 90% special effects on every frame, and the result was a resounding "meh".

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I'm kinda surprised that anybody went to see Transformers expecting a deep, philosophical movie portraying all the characters as one might find them in an Ayn Rand novel. I saw the cartoons when they were on and that would not have been a realistic expectation. This was a remake, albeit one that was matured up a bit, of a very simplistic kid's saturday morning cartoon.

Transformers was intended as an action movie and that's what it was. Thin on plot, lots of action. That's about it.

I agree that the bluriness of many of the action sequences detracted from understanding what was going on, but other than that I have to concur that in many instances it was a very stunning movie visually speaking.

** Spoilers **

I'm not so sure that the theme was as altruistic as some have said on here. Rather, I think it was brought out rather well that 1) the Autobots were fighting evil, indicative of the idea that they value the virtue of justice; and 2) they accepted that at least part of the reason the earth was under siege was their fault and thus accepted responsibility for trying to clean up their mess. I also think that they had a personal stake in NOT letting the Decepticons go around and wantonly destroy all other life in the universe.

Edited by RationalBiker
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I thought it was great, easily the best movie I've seen this year, and I certainly agree with Vern about how you shouldn't go to an action movie based on a kids TV show and expect some sort of grand drama. It was pure melodrama and proud of it.

I thought the humor in the movie was fantastic, also, and it served a very important purpose. It would have been very easy to accidentally portray the huge and very powerful Autobots as being terrifying; there were some tense scenes when you first see them. However, the humor defused this tension and the Autobots come across entirely as being big, strong, powerful, and kindly. They are completely benevolent and you are aware that only an idiot could be afraid of them. In fact, the way Sector Seven treats Bumblebee only serves to further solidify the idiocy of the movie's Men in Black.

It would have been nice if Michael Bay had characterized the Decepticons more thoroughly, it felt very much as though he was relying on the audience to know how evil they were from the old series. I also didn't much like how the MIB implied that all human technology was reverse-engineered from Megatron! But these are minor quibbles in an otherwise very fun movie.

Also, there may have been some altruist-sounding words in there, but a truly altruist movie would have ended with Optimus Prime actually sacrificing himself and dying to save humanity. It didn't. I was so happy.

Edited by JMeganSnow
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I went and watched it two days ago, and was bored through the whole movie. The only interesting characters were the Special Forces Captain and the hot girl, and even with them I wasn't interested to find out if they were going to get killed or not. Basically all the characters (including the robots) were wooden and completely undeveloped and the plot was lame. If you want cool special effects and a ok plot you should spend your money on Die Hard instead.

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I'm kinda surprised that anybody went to see Transformers expecting a deep, philosophical movie portraying all the characters as one might find them in an Ayn Rand novel. I saw the cartoons when they were on and that would not have been a realistic expectation. This was a remake, albeit one that was matured up a bit, of a very simplistic kid's saturday morning cartoon.

Transformers was intended as an action movie and that's what it was. Thin on plot, lots of action. That's about it.

It's not that I expect Transformers to be something deep and philosophical. Nor am I judging it by the standard of an academy awards hopeful. Things like thin plots, undeveloped and uninteresting characters, uneven pacing, overtly long running time, and epileptic camera work are technical flaws. A decent blockbuster movie may have one or two of those flaws and still be entertaining, but when you add them all up in one movie it equals mediocrity.

It's not a given that a special effects laden blockbuster has to be a brainless explosion flick. Last summer's V for Vendetta, Pirates of the Caribbean II, or even X-Men III for example were more interesting films.

But, yeah, Transformers had giant robots slugging it out. Which was kind of cool -- for about maybe 20% of it's running time. Not worth the price of admission to me, but definitely check it out on video.

Edited by Moebius
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I thought the humor in the movie was fantastic, also, and it served a very important purpose. It would have been very easy to accidentally portray the huge and very powerful Autobots as being terrifying; there were some tense scenes when you first see them. However, the humor defused this tension and the Autobots come across entirely as being big, strong, powerful, and kindly. They are completely benevolent and you are aware that only an idiot could be afraid of them. In fact, the way Sector Seven treats Bumblebee only serves to further solidify the idiocy of the movie's Men in Black.

That makes a lot of sense. I am having to do some light hearted moments in my book to make sure the people in the book don't get scared of my dragons. It is quite easy to be scared of a creature that is 40 to 66 feet long excluding its tail, which is at least as long, and whose height is 3/4 of its body length, especially if that creature has scales, fangs, claws, spikes, horns, and claws, as well as the ability to breath fire. The fact that they can use their flight to make a precision strike against you and then fly out of your range only makes things worse. To difuse that I have lighter moments. For the same reason I have my giant flying fire-breathing lizards to be kind, rational, and only use their dangerous abilities in self-defence. The fact that similar was done with the Autobots is, to me, a good thing, especially with the way the Decipticons contrast that by being the exact opposite.

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It's not a given that a special effects laden blockbuster has to be a brainless explosion flick. Last summer's V for Vendetta, Pirates of the Caribbean II, or even X-Men III for example were more interesting films.

My point is, I went into it expecting an action movie, which means the bar isn't very high, and came out of it having gotten exactly what I expected. The movies you listed are not standard fare for actions movies, they are the exception. If you judge the action genre by the exception, I would expect you are going to be disappointed often. While Transformer didn't (perhaps) go over the "exception" bar, it was far better than many, many action flicks I've seen.

It is my (probably un-scientific) opinion that most people leave movies disappointed by them because of the expectations set prior to seeing them. Previews can be nice in that they can perhaps give one the slightest basis for deciding whether or not to see a movie, but I endeavor to hold off on real expectations on a movie that I have never experienced before. This works for me because rarely am I truly disappointed by a movie, in most cases I think I got what I expected, and then once in a while I can be absolutely blown away if the movie is top notch.

Edited by RationalBiker
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I am having to do some light hearted moments in my book to make sure the people in the book don't get scared of my dragons. ... To difuse that I have lighter moments.
Why would you try to diffuse this? This sounds like a weird psychological game.
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I haven't seen it. To be honest, the marketing really turned me off to it. The Pontiac commercials were especially obnoxious, not to mention the Mountain Dew commercials. I'm not knocking product tie-ins, I just think maybe they overdid it. And with all the complaints I'm seeing about the camera going into ecstatic transports of apoplectic frenzy, I'm less and less interested. Damn you, Dziga Vertov!

Or perhaps I'm too preoccupied with my own ecstatic transports of apoplectic frenzy over the upcoming HP:OotP to be all that interested in anything else. I haven't even seen the rat movie yet.

-Q

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I don't want the humans to be scared of a powerful potential ally now do I? The same goes for the humans in Transformers.
I can see your goal, but the method is weird if not wrong.

Is making fun of those robots and making them look like kids really the best way one can show that those robots are benevolent?

Such humor would show them as foolish, sure, but benevolence is something different.

In fact, taking the actual movie as an example, I would say that I saw autobots as benevolent from them discussing their views about humans, those jokes only annoyed me as hell. Even stronger case is the moment when they refuse to even rescue their own autobot from humans because they couldn't do it without harming humans. Seeing such powerful machines submit to puny humans who could have been crushed in a moment by any of the guns that autobots possessed was far more effective than any joke could be.

I could see joke be more effective for some dumb audience, though, but even so, one shouldn't make the make art for the lowest of your audience.

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Can someone tell me what on earth Linkin Park's eco-screed "What I've Done" was doing as the ending credits music? I fail to see the connection.

Beyond that, I liked the movie a lot, and definitely one of the better ones I have seen in a while.

I, like Jenni, especially liked how there are alternatives to self-sacrifice to achieve great things. Besides, if Optimus got his way there would still have been Megatron to deal with.

The movie, with what Optimus said and wanted if there were no other choice, reminded me of a question I've had for a long time: is there any word to refer to the willingness to bear great cost, not as an end in itself but as the means to achieving an even greater value? That is what is meant by sacrifice by most people, and that sentiment is what is being hijacked by the altruists. We need a word for the verb and the noun that has real emotional impact. I had a look in a thesaurus and nothing measured up. Any suggestions?

JJM

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Can someone tell me what on earth Linkin Park's eco-screed "What I've Done" was doing as the ending credits music? I fail to see the connection.
If there was any intent in choosing this song, then my best bet is that the connection comes from autobots putting Earth into danger by either sending that cube to Earth or by directing Megatron and co. to Earth.

Optimus even says at one point in the movie that he will go far to correct his "mistake".

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