November 19, 2007


TransformersTransformers is excellent, even if it was directed by Michael Bay. Possibly because he poked some fun at himself and displayed some restraint for sappy clichés and relationship scenes. Instead, we've got awesome Transformer-esque lines like "there's more than meets the eye to you" and Bumblebee playing back songs that are really amusing for what he's trying to convey. I guess if you've got all of that material to work with and can leave out the relationship scenes that take over the screen, you've got gold. "This is easily a hundred times cooler than Armageddon... I swear to god!"

There are really only two human characters that have large roles: Sam Witwickey played by Shia LaBeouf and Mikaela Banes played by Megan Fox. They both give excellent performances, but it's also very important that they're the only human characters that matter, because you can follow them very closely throughout the story and they're of an age group that just about everyone can identify with. Old enough for young kids to look forward to those days, and young enough for everyone else to remember and appreciate who they are.

The rest of the human characters are really supporting cast for Sam, Mikaela, the Autobots and Decepticons. And of course it's really the Transformers that steal the show. They've got the four that really matter: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron, and Starscream. I can't remember the others, so they're not important. :p Truthfully, though, most of the Transformers don't have significant roles. The only exception is Bumblebee, and he can't actually talk until much later in the movie so his role is primarily used to facilitate the plot. What the Transformers are great at is being giant robots and are just super cool to watch.

The amount of detail and special effects that went into the Transformers is excellent. They've preserved the original transformation sound of the cartoon, and made the actual transformation process really amazing, with lots of detail and exposed lines and components. Technically, while there appears to be a lot of movement to their transformations, I think that's more an artifact of the complexity of the models, rather than the complexity of the transformation animations. But sometimes those animations are given extra attention when they're going to be the focus on screen. If you're going to do giant transforming robots that fight, you can't do much better than this.

With excellent visuals you need excellent aural support. And Transformers doesn't disappoint there either. There are full-range sound effects that are excellent with a really well done score and songs that keep your blood pumping and the pace quick and engaging. This isn't a movie where watching it a second time you might be tempted to skip over some parts, hoping to get to the next cool scene. (Well, there might be a few, but even then there's enough going on to keep your eyes happy that you won't want to.) Of course the audio track includes massive bass lines, for all those ground-smashing action sequences, but it also includes amazing use of the upper octaves to create a really full sound.

If there is one complaint I have about the film, it's the editing. There were a few cuts where it didn't really look like the different takes were meant to sit next to each other. Either that there was something in-between missing, or the two sides of the scene or conversation took place at different times, or with different people, and were then slapped together. Still, that's a small complaint and not one that detracts a whole lot from the movie.

Posted by josuah at November 19, 2007 6:30 AM UTC+00:00

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