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Post Posted: June 8th 2018 1:47 am
 
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Transformers has always been very dear to my heart but I've made no bones my distaste for the Bay films over the years. I legitimately dug the first one, the rest of them not so much. I still have not seen Last Knight and only recently viewed Age of Extinction because it's been on cable recently. So here we are with the first TF film to not be helmed by Michael Bay. Obviously it's still set in the same Bay-verse or at least seems to be and there still appears to be some lingering Bay aesthetics in the designs but I'm mildly interested in seeing how this pans out.

I definitely appreciate that the robot design appears to be moving away from Bay’s influence and incorporating some more traditional Transformer design aspects. BB's bot mode appears to be more filled out with visible car bits and less like the shredded, twisted mess of metal that were Bay's trademark. Starscream’s head, face and coloring for example very much resemble his original toy & cartoon look and styling. While this definitely won’t have any bearing on the film’s overall potential quality or lack there of, it’s a positive in my book. We'll see.


Post Posted: June 8th 2018 9:09 pm
 
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This trailer shows more storytelling promise than anything seen in the last 4 movies. The classic G1 design and transformation for Starscream got me giddy. I'm intrigued. If only a more capable filmmaker got to this franchise earlier.


Post Posted: June 26th 2018 7:29 am
 
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I love it when someone from animation comes to live-action town. They bring a wealth of experience in exactitude. That's why the beats seem so tight. No room for fat in animation.

That's not to say a loosey-goosey approach doesn't have its own particular appeal (*cough* Bayhem *cough*).

Either way, I'm game for this. Plus, the lead actress is easy on the eyes.


Post Posted: September 24th 2018 6:30 pm
 
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New trailers:






Look at that Generation 1 inspired goodness! Now that's more like it! :chewbacca:
screencaps via TFW2005

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Post Posted: September 24th 2018 11:17 pm
 
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The designs may be more faithful but they're certainly not as visually interesting as the earlier ones.

I'm intrigued but I'll miss the manic zest Bay found in the franchise.


Post Posted: December 21st 2018 4:41 am
 
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Saw it tonight. Okay movie with some honest heart but nothing that really broke the formula of what we've seen in the past five TF films. The plot is pretty basic and the main crux of the story is similar to the first film in that it features a young adult looking for their first car, finding it, discovering it's a transforming alien robot and ends up getting caught up in its conflict. That was a strong point in the first film and it works in this one, maybe even better as Bee and Charlie spend most of the film together and get to develop more of a genuine and sweet relationship. Bee is a bit more childlike this go around and much of the film's humor (or at least the humor that works) comes from this aspect. We finally get to hear Bee with an actual voice before witnessing how and why he ends up having to use radio clips to communicate. I do wish however they would just let him have a voice permanently though, it's been six films the whole radio bit has worn thin. Hailee Steinfeld does a decent job as the main human character Charlie but aside from her like in all the previous films the supporting human characters are forgettable, dumb and or annoying. John Cena's soldier character falls into the latter category with a typical dork military officer concerned only with destroying them before they destroy us. Charlie's family is mostly played for laughs which don't really land and only help to make them less believable as real people or parents to Charlie.

The focus of future TF films need to start focusing more on the TF's as characters and less on the humans. This film takes a step in the right direction with that. Bee is front and center for most of the film obviously and although there are only three Decepticons featured as the villains they demonstrate more personality and dialogue than many of the previous film's Cons combined.

For many longtime fans the TF designs of Bay's films were one of the main subjects of contempt. With Bay's exit we definitely see a shift toward more traditional G1 styled aesthetics. The opening sequence on Cybertron is a fan's dream come true and features a highlight reel of many old fan favorites styled in their classic Generation 1 forms. Optimus, Wheeljack, Brawn, Cliffjumper, Soundwave, Ravage, Shockwave, and many different styled Starscream Seeker types were among some of the bots I remember seeing. And hey, Soundwave finally sounded like his old self!

Another Bay staple which you either loved or hated was his penchant for extreme closeup and shakey cam work during action sequences. I was one who didn't care much for it, I want to be able to clearly see the action and these awesome robots beating up each other. So if you're like me you'll be glad to know the action in this film is much easier to see and follow. Bee has great hard hitting, knockdown, drag out fights with each of the three Decepticons (Blitzwing, Dropkick and Shatter.)

The VFX work was pretty good overall. The Cybertron scenes in the trailer were criticized as looking a bit video-game-ish but they look better in the finished film.

So overall, it didn't blow me away and it didn't offer much that we haven't already seen from previous films but I did like it. I probably won't see it again in theaters but I think it's taking some baby steps in a fresher direction, trying to show more respect for the source material and providing more of what fans would actually like to see in a live action TF movie. 3/5*


Post Posted: December 23rd 2018 3:34 pm
 
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Overall I found it to be solid, and compared to the diarrhea Bay has put on screen with the last four movies I can see why critics have anointed Bumblebee as the best film of the franchise. I don't think it's as fun as the first and I found Knight's direction to be awkward at times, particularly during the family scenes. The script is also clunky, most of the characters are one-dimensional, and the acting - outside of Hailee Steinfeld who I found to be quite charming - felt like something out of a completely different movie. John Cena was terrible as were the rest of the Sector 7 knuckleheads.

That said, G1 Cybertron was the stuff of dreams. So many amazing shots, including the classic Optimus leap from the 86 movie and Ravage being ejected from Soundwave. Seeing all the G1 designs brought to life paired with their original voices was joyous. They should make a movie set entirely on Cybertron. The relationship between Bumblebee and Charlie was very genuine and ET-like. It felt like a more mature version of the TF1 plot. I also preferred the action here to the other films even though there was less of it.

What I can't understand is why they decided to stick to any of the canon from the other movies, especially when they ignore all of it from movies 2-5 (for the better). This should have been a harder reboot, and Bumblebee could have included Megatron and not been held down by the baggage the previous films in the canon saddled it with. This film also missed a more pronounced musical score. Jablonsky did some great work with that first movie, and this one missed his touch.

If there are to be any sequels to Bumblebee, I hope they ignore the others and move in a fresh direction.

7.3/10


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