Transformers: Revenge of the Foul

18-Jun-09 5:35 PM by
Filed under Films, Humor; 3 comments.

This Friday, the sequel to the 2007 film Transformers will land. Based on my experience two years ago, I am confident in my decision to not support the new movie. It's not that the original was bad (though it was); it's that it deviated too significantly from my expectations. Lowering my expectations helped me enjoy the second Fantastic Four film more than the first, but in the case of Transformers, my expectations are fixed not in terms of quality, but of subject matter. I grew up on the Eighties cartoon (which is soon to be re-released on DVD) and consider it the quintessential version of giant, extraterrestrial, shape-shifting robots fighting each other in our own backyard. I respect that changes need be made when adapting this story to a new medium, but making it into an adolescent, anthropocentric comedy crossed the line.

I'm amazed that these movies are written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who brought us not only the entertaining (but predictable) Mission:Impossible III, but more significantly, the recent reboot of Star Trek. How can the same team produce such divergent quality? But then, if my idea of a good movie is Orson Welles playing a toy, then maybe my perspective is skewed.

Regardless, I expect Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen to not be this summer's only disappointing film about robots. What if those two movies didn't just morph, but merged? Would they form… Transforminators?

Or maybe Transformers on its own already has more robotic characters than even we realize:

Though obviously a spoof, this concept isn't altogether foreign. The movie S1m0ne suggested something similar, in which the protagonist created a completely artificial actress whose performance indistinguishable from authentically wooden acting. Though the film was fictional, the recent 'Emily' image metrics demonstration showcases the ability to generate a computerized face from a real one.

Now if only they could make computerized computers that can change shape, act, and star in a critically successful film…

(Hat tip to Blake Patterson)

Less Than Meets the Eye

25-Jul-07 5:14 PM by
Filed under Reviews; 7 comments.

A live-action movie based on a 1980s cartoon? Even if I loved Transformers as a kid (and the original show has aged surprisingly well), I didn't have much hope for Pearl Harbor director Michael Bay to translate this children's property into a successful summer blockbuster film.

Yet after hearing positive word-of-mouth for Transformers, I allowed my expectations to be raised… and therein lay my downfall.

For anyone mentally above the age of, say, 30, and is therefore unfamiliar with this franchise, here's a synopsis: the Autobots and Decepticons, from the planet Cybertron, are benign and malevolent robots that disguise themselves as Earth vehicles. In this film, they've come to our planet to recover the Allspark, the non-sentient cube of unknown origin that first breathed life into their mechanical bodies. Control of the Allspark will grant its wielder mastery over all robotic life, whether it be used for niceness or bad.

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