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View Full Version : Transformers Age of Extinction [spoilers] [NOW WITH ACTUAL SPOILERS]


Cliffjumper
2014-05-29, 08:44 AM
Not to ruin the gag, but this thread has now become the actual discussion thread for the proper film, so genuine spoilers will appear by the second page -- Dalek







A few thoughts on the film.


This was a lot like the other Michael Bay Transformer films. I didn't really expect that - you'd think that DOTM's billion dollar box office was a sign he needed to radically change the formula, maybe make it more in line with the IDW comics. The guys I talk to down the local comic shop agreed that the film wasn't great so it must've gone down really badly with the general population.
The Dinobots were nothing like they are in [continuity], which was a big shock. Who does Bay think he is, messing with they way they were portrayed in [continuity] by [hack]?
There was no characterisation for a lot of the Transformers. This surprised me as in most films more than half a dozen characters get fully developed.
Michael Bay needs to go. He should be replaced by [modish superhero film director who would turn out basically the same movie but get better notices through not being Michael Bay].
Some of the new characters were silly. There's no place for humour in Transformers.
It should have been more like a James Robert comic, with lots of TFs acting like humans and less humans. Why Hasbro aren't just adapting MTMTE I don't know - all the few dozen hardcore TF fans I know really like it and we all agree it would make a better film.
Some of the action scenes were just noise and violence, like a computer game.
It should have been more like a High Noon computer game. Why Hasbro aren't just adapting FOC I don't know - all the few dozen hardcore TF fans I know really like it and we all agree it would make a better film.
All the product placement by car manufacturers sucks. Since when has Transformers been about whoring merchandise? Let us true fans have our franchise back!
There were loads of plot holes. And not the sort of plot holes I'm going to use initiative, common sense or imagination to mend like I would in any other TF media; these are plot holes from a Michael Bay film.
Suddenly I randomly miss some of the regular human cast despite bitching about them for seven years. Obviously I don't mean actually miss, I mean it's a good entry point to bitch about the new ones.
Obviously I'm holding back my overall verdict until I've seen what everyone else is sayiong, but I'm thinking praise for now, use as unflattering example of getting everything wrong in about three months time.

Because it's not like people are actually going to let seeing the film inform their opinions after all, right?

Clay
2014-05-30, 02:12 AM
Also


They're using character names seemingly at random. Strafe is a technobot jet except when he's not, not a dinosaur!
They're giving characters the wrong names. It's Swoop, not Strafe!
They made the character designs simplified compared to before. What's Bay's deal?
They made the dinos look too complex. They look like masses of razors now! [actually, that sounds neat]
They've added too many robots this time, and it's impossible to keep track of them all.
The movie spends too much time on the human characters, though. We want more robots!
Hasbro makes too many toys of the main robot cast. We want a figure with a premium paint job made of [single scene robot]!

zigzagger
2014-05-30, 02:30 AM
They made the character designs simplified compared to before. What's Bay's deal?



The sad thing is, this really isn't much of an exaggeration. And it baffles me. The complex (and grey) designs were a common complaint, weren't they?

I dig quite a few of the new designs, to tell you the truth. Some are a little over-the-top, but they're also much more distinct, colorful and have a lot of personality than the previous films. Thought that's what folks wanted.

inflatable dalek
2014-05-30, 02:55 PM
My guess as to what was going to be in this thread based solely on the title turned out to be 99% accurate, even down to the mention of More Than Meets the Eye in a disparaging way.

Clearly therefore, guessing what things are going to be like in advance is in fact an entirely accurate science.

Death's Head
2014-05-30, 04:16 PM
The older I get the earlier I form my opinions. I've got disparaging thoughts about things that won't be written for another thirty years!*

*Optimistic, perhaps.

inflatable dalek
2014-05-31, 12:53 PM
My main hope is that Markey Mark has gotten a handle on the whole acting thing by now.

Death's Head
2014-05-31, 02:11 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96ucpoI73NQ

Cliffjumper
2014-05-31, 04:16 PM
More Than Meets the Eye in a disparaging way.


Not so much MTMTE as avid MTMTE fanboys (none of which there seem to be here, incidentally). Recent read/re-reads of JLI and Astonishing X-Men (especially this; the format is basically identical - joke, joke, character scene, joke, brooding cutaway, joke, REVELATION generally in the form of a returning character in a splash page at the end of each issue) really aren't flattering to MTMTE; neither is Last Stand of the Wreckers. MTMTE isn't bad; it should just be a lot better.

Wahlberg's fine in action stuff because you don't need actors for that.

inflatable dalek
2014-05-31, 05:03 PM
Not so much MTMTE as avid MTMTE fanboys (none of which there seem to be here, incidentally). Recent read/re-reads of JLI and Astonishing X-Men (especially this; the format is basically identical - joke, joke, character scene, joke, brooding cutaway, joke, REVELATION generally in the form of a returning character in a splash page at the end of each issue) really aren't flattering to MTMTE; neither is Last Stand of the Wreckers. MTMTE isn't bad; it should just be a lot better.

How well does Astonishing stand up (I'm assuming it's the Whedon run)? I do keep meaning to reread it without the drag factor of the 50 year gap between issues.

Wahlberg's fine in action stuff because you don't need actors for that.

I'm not exhaustive on his CV so maybe there are films he's done better in that I've seen, but he always comes over to me as someone who, at best, should be playing the comedy sidekick rather than the main lead (which is probably why he worked so much better in Ted, a film I wound up enjoying far more than I expected).

My main worry comes from catching the last half hour of his last collaboration with Bay in Pain and Gain, in which he was awful, walking about with that same expression that could pass for either mild confusion or flatulence that made The Happening such fun.

Cliffjumper
2014-05-31, 06:58 PM
How well does Astonishing stand up (I'm assuming it's the Whedon run)? I do keep meaning to reread it without the drag factor of the 50 year gap between issues.

Joke, joke, character scene, joke, brooding cutaway, joke, REVELATION generally in the form of a returning character in a splash page at the end of each issue. It's MTMTE but with X-Men (and, it must be said, much better art - no offence to whoever's drawing MTMTE; we're talking John motherloving Cassaday, so no shame in it); appreciation will vary on whether you prefer Transformers or X-Men. And that even Marvel's X-continuity isn't quite as much as a ****-up as IDW's Transformers continuity. Both are populist retreads aimed largely at people who don't read or like comics.

Terome
2014-06-01, 11:58 AM
It's the next best thing to being there!

Recent read/re-reads of JLI and Astonishing X-Men (especially this; the format is basically identical - joke, joke, character scene, joke, brooding cutaway, joke, REVELATION generally in the form of a returning character in a splash page at the end of each issue) really aren't flattering to MTMTE; neither is Last Stand of the Wreckers. MTMTE isn't bad; it should just be a lot better.

Astonishing X-Men was one of those I borrowed in my library binges of yesteryear. I remember being very impressed and I'm compelled now to also give it a reread.

Those 'returning character' splash pages do wind me up for some reason. While I agree it is entirely possible to overrate MTMTE, it has been mercifully short on those in particular.

Cliffjumper
2014-06-01, 12:45 PM
AXM is a page-turner, the dialogue's good (and not just a stream of pop culture references) and even the "hey, you know what's not been done before? Throwing the focus on a female character!" stuff isn't as bad as it could have been.... It also wins props off me for being the first X-Men book at the time for years to remember they're part of the MU without having to make it into An Event.

Buuuuut it's not particularly good, not even in the way something like Hitch/Millar's Ultimates or Claremont in his pomp was. Stuff just happens almost at random, character development is confused with character exposure and dialogue distribution (Armor must have a personality because she talks loads, right?) and the new villains are all shite. The constant retcons especially regarding basically anything Emma does are tiresome too - not exactly confusing but after about the tenth time she's done something incredibly evil-looking you're just waiting for the "actually she was doing this non-evil thing telepathically" reveal the next issue.

Whedon's a bit too much of a twat to be a comic writer in short. Like Tarantino he's always too busy going "Eh, eh? See what I did there, eh? Smart, aren't I?".

Skyquake87
2014-06-01, 04:46 PM
Fray that he did was good though...

Knightdramon
2014-06-01, 05:03 PM
Basically it appears to have learned and better evolved from some aspects, while remaining the same or getting worse on others.

Things it has "learned" from---

Updated cast. Finally. There's only so many ways you can sell the same characters twice or three times in a row, and only so many ways you can alter or make new moulds of the same figure before it's going downhill.

Things still up to debate--

Updated human cast. Fresh faces, but the stereotypes are still there. They have just merged the "stud" with the "hero" [aka mark wahlberg], hot damsel in distress is still there, stanley tucci is stated to be the villain but looks like a comical villain so far, based on the trailers and tv spots.

--Too many good guys, no bad guys. So far we've had like 3 confirmed villains, of which only one is, so far, confirmed to be sentient. Cool as Lockdown is, I don't think he can carry the movie by himself. Galvatron appears like a drone and the red Bumblebee clone as well. Dinobots add to the loopsided cast as well. It looks like a battle between good guys and generic battleships/generic protoforms again.

--2:30 hours runtime confirmed. What on earth are they going to be showing us for so long? I'm just worried that the first part will be boring human filler through and through with awkward pants and old men undressing humour again.

inflatable dalek
2014-06-01, 05:59 PM
Those 'returning character' splash pages do wind me up for some reason. While I agree it is entirely possible to overrate MTMTE, it has been mercifully short on those in particular.

The big bugbear for me with MTMTE is the "End an issue with a seeming character death... then reveal in the most pedestrian way possible in the next issue they were OK all along".

Whilst it's something that's faded (though Magnus dying twice in something like four issues was a facepalm moment) and Roberts seems to have realised he misjudged it (he's talked about doing Red Alert so soon after Rung being a mistake) it's still something the book has done a lot more than the "FULL PAGE CHARACTER REVEAL" cliffhanger and has really hurt how much this reader takes even seemingly permanent deaths seriously.

I think it's also taken the shine off the odd "He's dead... ah no he's not!" moment that's been done perfectly, most obviously Tailgate which was just brilliant writing.


Whedon's a bit too much of a twat to be a comic writer in short. Like Tarantino he's always too busy going "Eh, eh? See what I did there, eh? Smart, aren't I?".

I suppose it's telling that his actual comic writing isn't as influential on modern comics as his TV work is (certainly in the case of Roberts, who I don't think I've ever heard cite other comics- indeed I don't think he was really interested in the medium as an adult until Nick Roche getting the Spotlight: Kup gig sucked him in again- but does often cite all sorts of films books and TV as inspiration).

It's strange really, at the time it felt like he was going down the JMS route of "Formerly successful TV writer forced into writing comics because all their shows get cancelled", I certainly wouldn't have put money on him winding up directing the third most successful film of all time within ten years.

Auntie Slag
2014-06-05, 10:50 AM
I saw the toys in Asda yesterday. I really like the box art and general presentation, but not the toys inside. These are the large and medium size toys that you mentioned earlier.

Grimlock looks quite cool, but all the other characters are rather boring. Especially Hound. What bugged me the most is that Bay appears to have gone for much more human/robot faces with Hound, whose face looks like a cross between an 80's Sunbow cartoon Sergeant and Colossus. I liked the design of DotM Topspin with his dreads, Roadbuster's wacky baseball cap and petrol sunshades... but Hound is all the facial details from Sentinel with further comic exaggeration.

[Edit] According to the TFWiki Hound is voiced by John Goodman and sport a Kup-style cygar (looking at a screenshot).

And the toy for Drift? wow, boring as hell coupled with a Samurai helmet. Presumably he sounds like Kato in the film.

The only figures that really interested me were the little ones. There are pretty accurate renditions of G1 Starscream et al in Asda of these little minibot sized toys with a lot more articulation. They have the same packaging style as the AoE toys but are clearly G1.

Otherwise, based on the lacklustre figures I feel like this is the first TF film I won't bother going to the cinema to see. The first was incredible, the second was a rollercoaster that induced a headache, the third was a bit dry and po-faced with the quickest tie-up ending ever. I feel like even the Dinobots wont get me to see this one.

I still haven't seen Pacific Rim, and I imagine that's a much better film.

another tf fan
2014-06-05, 02:28 PM
AoE is so weird.

Michael Bay has stated plenty of times that the Dinobots simply don't work in his vision of Transformers, but he will shoehorn them in anyways.

The 2:30 length is appalling. I liked DOTM but even I was checking my watch halfway through.

Bay is a hack that makes hacky movies, that I have come to accept, but I will not perceived these films as anything other than interesting trash.

One day a Transformers movie will rise from our ranks and light our darkest hour. That day will not be June 27, 2014.

inflatable dalek
2014-06-06, 01:03 PM
I'm actually surprised it's taken Bay this long to do Grimlock, for all the lady doth protest too much about how he didn't get the Dinobots it's hard to think of a more Michael Bay character in all of fiction than a giant robot t-rex who breaths fire and talks funny. He's only lacking the sexy bum.

My main worry with Bay being on this one is still that, as much as I mostly enjoy the first three, I think he's done all he can for the franchise and a fresh pair of eyes in the directors seat would have been welcome by me to stop things getting stale.

Red Dave Prime
2014-06-06, 02:13 PM
That and a shorter run time but that seems to be a problem with all Hollywood blockbusters. Some of the marvel movies are really pushing the attention span.

Also, don't rule out grimlock having a sexy bum. He did stick balls on devastator after all.

Much as I'm no bay fan , this one doesn't look any worse than previous and with la beef no longer annoying the shit pit of me I'm hopefully thus has a bit more of the sparkle that made the first one so much fun.

Skyquake87
2014-06-07, 08:48 AM
Agreed on the Marvel movies. I really enjoined ASM 2, but jesus it was long. Including trailers and adverts, I was in the cinema for three and a half hours!

Blackjack
2014-06-23, 05:58 PM
Apparently my country is one of the few that's getting the movie's premiere two days before the rest of the world.

Sometimes the universe works in my favour.

Neuronutter
2014-06-24, 03:54 PM
Agreed on the Marvel movies. I really enjoined ASM 2, but jesus it was long. Including trailers and adverts, I was in the cinema for three and a half hours!

ASM2 wasn't a Marvel studios movie, it was Sony. Also, I don't really see the need for most movies to be more than 90 minutes long. Unless you are making something epic then 90-120 minutes should be enough.

So how many on these boards are going to see TF4? I disliked 2 and 3 so much that I've been put off of the franchise. A change of director and direction would've gone a long way towards convincing me to give the series another go but until something changes I'm not going to bother. Plus the trailer was awful.

Blackjack
2014-06-25, 04:02 AM
So how many on these boards are going to see TF4? I disliked 2 and 3 so much that I've been put off of the franchise. A change of director and direction would've gone a long way towards convincing me to give the series another go but until something changes I'm not going to bother. Plus the trailer was awful.

ME ME ME ME

I still unashamedly like the action scenes and explosions in the Bay movies even if storytelling isn't his main suit.

Plus Dinobots!

Skyquake87
2014-06-25, 06:06 AM
I will be going to see it. Like Blackjack, I'm aware that these are just flashy rubbish, but its very impressive flashy rubbish.

I just hope its a bit brighter than DOTM was.

And, again, LIVE ACTION DINOBOTS!!!!

Blackjack
2014-06-25, 10:19 AM
Like I mentioned before my country gets AOE early and I have watched it, and I love it! Unexpected hints at an origin story, references to stuff all over from Beast Machines to Animated to MTMTE. A more cohesive story and a villain with motivation.

I watched no trailers other than the first, and while toy news did spoil some of the character names I went in practically unspoiled on anything and enjoyed this movie immensely.

Spoilers from here on out.

There are some stuff I hate, mostly pertaining with the humans. Cade Yeager, the hero, flip-flops from being a less-annoying version of Lennox to being more annoying. Some particularly grating parts includes getting into verbal fights with his daughter's boyfriend, and one particularly cringe-worthy one was with his daughter while they were in a life-or-death situation. He generally comes off as a likable, if a bit of a doofus parent.

The daughter is fairly unbearable, though, throwing tantrums in practically every scene. Also looks a bit too old to be playing a 17-year-old. Thankfully she's not in it a lot. Michael Bay actually pokes fun at his normal filmmaking by having the father ordering her to get rid of the mega short shorts within five minutes of meeting her.

The 'main' human villain, Joshua? Joyce? Something whatshisname, is an annoying little shit that alternates between a dipshit businessman before inexplicably redeeming himself and turning the tables. It's really quite annoying how Optimus and the rest just forgives (well, ignores) him being complicit in the whole hunting-down-Autobots thing. 'Transformium' is kind of a cringe-worthy name as well.

Some scenes' pacing came off weird. Optimus Prime was all 'I'LL KILL THEM ALL' when assaulting the factory, but after wrecking it and getting into a verbal confrontation with Joshua just... sulks away without levelling the compound? The humans at one point get into a car while evading Lockdown's ship instead of one of the four or five Autobots around. Not a big fan on how Optimus handled the situation with Grimlock -- he just revived them, and then beats Grimlock up and sort of gang-presses them into helping out.

Human parts at the beginning are quite long-winded, really. There was an annoying human character similar to Leo in the second movie but he got killed graphically by Lockdown. Which is nice.

On Lockdown's ship he's got faceless Transformers, half-organic robot hyenas... and these stupid-looking things with these googly eyes which was a big what-the-hell moment. They look stupid.

There's also a fair amout of scenes devoted to humans fighting humans, but at least unlike DOTM which spent like two minutes showing people parachuting, at least this is a well-scripted action scene on top of the rooftops which was quite tense.

Not a big fan on how plain Lockdown and Galvatron's kibble-less designs were in robot modes, but Galvatron at least has an excuse.

Other than Ratchet, Brains and Leadfoot practically everyone else (humans included) are not mentioned. We could assume that Cemetery Wind and/or Lockdown got to everyone else (Sideswipe, Dino, Roadbuster, Topspin and Wheelie by my count, plus maybe Skids, Mudflap and Jolt) and no mention is made of their former human allies. NEST was mentioned as being dissolved, though I suppose the Autobots wouldn't involve their former allies for fear of harming them.

Also not sure what's up with the backstory. Are they ignoring the Allspark and Primes in favour of the Knights of Cybertron? Cause they're around. And, oh, the 'Creators' (who are organic but unseen) are also mentioned and brought about dinosaur extinction which I am unsure whether it meshes with the other fifty hundred times that Transformers visited our world in the past.

There were real life dinosaurs shown being killed by the cyberforming bomb. One of the scientists discover their remains but it's a red herring for the Dinobots' true origin (they're prisoners aboard Lockdown's ship and turn into dinosaurs JUST BECAUSE. It takes up a small chunk of time like the hackers did in TF1 but thankfully nowhere as much as they did.

Drift calls Optimus Prime sensei. This is kind of retarded, but totally in-character.

Other than that, though? Absolutely spectacular. I really, really loved myself. It felt similar to the first movie, what with the smaller cast. The humans are a bit annoying, sure, but I absolutely love it. THE GOOD STUFF NOW

How do I break it down?

For MTMTE fans: the Knights of Cybertron are in it. And both Optimus Prime and the Dinobots are part of the circle.

For Prime fans: Galvatron's origin borrows from Nemesis Prime's, and the evil organization in general is heavily based off MECH.

For Marvel comic fans: there are blatant references to a greater Transformer faction cyberforming planets in the past.

For cartoon fans: the progenitors, the creators, whatever the hell they are, are pretty obviously based on the Quintesson origin story.

For Animated fans: Lockdown is very, very heavily based on the Animated incarnation, and other than frankensteining himself with upgrades he's basically the Animated dude.

For Beast Machines fans: Sparks are mentioned and equated to souls, and Lockdown pretty evidently extracts a spark. Galvatron's also connected to practically every drone, making him similar to the BM incarnation of Megatron. Galvatron and his troops 'morphs' more than transforms, turning into a semi-liquid form to assume their alternate mode, which kind of borrows from how BM Maximals transform.

A lot of things that are the staple of Bay are gone: there are absolutely no toilet jokes -- an alien spits on Hound one time but that's about it. There's still a fair amount of swearing but come on now. There aren't any Autobots introduced and left unseen for most of the movies. The daughter isn't used for eye-candy all that much, and there isn't any obvious lingering shorts at her ass or anything. The military isn't even involved, so other than a couple of jets and the modified jeeps that Cemetery Wind uses, there aren't any long scenes of military equipment deploying.

This is truly the Optimus Prime show. Practically the first quarter of the movie is just Optimus Prime dealing with being rejected, dealing with how the humans have betrayed them, and seeing a ray of hope with the humans that rescued him. He's clearly conflicted with his own rage, practically declaring that he's going to outright kill the humans responsible for hunting down the Autobots, but eventually relents when he has the chance... some subtle character development. He also gets to say 'roll out'. As everyone probably knows, he switches from his old G1-inspired broken truck into his newer DOTM body.

The story goes like this: Cemetery Wind, who's secretly in league with the bounty hunter Lockdown (who in turn is hunting down Optimus Prime) is hunting down Autobots under the pretense of hunting down Decepticons. Lockdown wants Optimus Prime to fulfill a contract with the unseen, mysterious Creators, whereas Cemetery Wind is in league with Joshua's corporation who has been salvaging Transformers and building his own personal army. A previous encounter with Lockdown has locked a wounded Optimus Prime in truck mode where he ended up being found and revived by Yeager.

We get to see them in the middle of an Autobot raid with Ratchet (which we saw on the trailer), and poor Ratchet! It was brutal. It was truly brutal, and while Ratchet puts up a fair fight Lockdown comes up and finishes him off. Unclear if Lockdown actually kills Ratchet because he visibly extracts his spark, leaving the corpse to humans. Ratchet's head gets visibly melted down for spare parts and Optimus Prime is so angry when he saw that, and he punches a bridge. Nowhere like the previous movies where death is not acknowledged. Also nice that the guys from the first three movies kind of gets their disappearances explained, even if only Ratchet and Leadfoot are shown on-screen.

There was a bunch of playing cards being thrown around with Autobot mugshots and the dead ones (Ironhide being the most evident) crossed out, but it went by so fast that I can't tell anyone else. Must wait for the DVD release.

Leadfoot is also seen being hunted down in a recording, though again I think it's left ambiguous if they're truly dead or if Lockdown is keeping their sparks as trophies, leaving their fate generally ambiguous.

Bumblebee works out fine without Sam -- he doesn't get a replacement human buddy which is nice, and generally just hangs out with the Yeager three. He switches bodies as well from the black car to the new yellow car. He gets a fair bit of action scenes, and rides around Strafe. The human-created Stinger is built up as Bumblebee's rival and it's hilarious how the PR video for Stinger is just openly mocking how Stinger is based off Bumblebee, just superior in every way. He doesn't dominate the movie, though being a Bumblebee fanboy I cheer everytime he shows up. Bumblebee and some of Galvatron's army have Megatron's ROTF Murderclaw for some inexplicable reason.

Brains returns! And disappears halfway through the movie like Wheelie did in ROTF. Cemetery Wind captured him alive and tortured the poor little dude for information. He's pretty visibly shaken and insane, and walks around with the remains of his right leg as a walking stick. Poor guy.

Hound basically replaces Ironhide as the big boisterous dude with a lot of guns. He literally has guns dropping from his back every time he walks around in a non-battle scene, and he even does a little Ironhide flip. I like him! He's got a beard and a freaking Cy-gar. He gets the most things to do while infiltrating the ship and during the final battle.

Crosshairs is fun! Not a big fan of the skirt, but he just mouths off and hates practically everybody. He mouths off at Hound, he mouths off at Bumblebee, he even compares Optimus Prime's leadership to brainwashing at one point. He's such a massive jerk and I love it.

Drift (EDIT: voiced by Ken Watanabe which makes him around ten times more awesome) speaks in a stereotypical Asian accent. The samurai helmet may be a bit too much, and Drift initially comes off as a bit of a jerk as well, mocking Bumblebee's lack of discipline. I do like him! He's fun. He keeps stabbing people in the face. He delivers some of the funniest lines in the film. I do like him, he tries so much to be this dignified samurai but kind of fails and stabs people in the face. Drift is also a triple-changer! He turns from a Bugatti into a helicopter into a robot! All hail the Drift!

All in all, all three new Autobots have a lot more screentime and personality to them than Sideswipe or Dino did in their debut movies. Ratchet and Brains both get a lot of dialogue during their appearances as well, Ratchet in particular. The purple Rally car in the trailers isn't a Transformer, it's just the car that the Boyfriend drives.

The Dinobots! Plural. I was half-expecting only Grimlock to appear after the stupid fiasco they did with Beast Hunters, but there are four Dinobots: Grimlock, Strafe, Scorn and Slug. Totally didn't expect them to transform too, but they do. They're the Knights of Cybertron (okay, just Knights) that were captured by Lockdown. Unlike what many people are suspecting they aren't antagonists that the Autobots must befriend or anything like that. They kind of come out of nowhere before the climax, with only Grimlock having two seconds of screentime before in robot mode which I didn't recognize. Optimus basically calls upon his Knighthood powers to release them from Lockdown's ship (which was a former Knight ship). They also do transform in the movie a couple of times, which is neat! They don't have any dialogue I remember of (Grimlock may have spoken once), and I'm not sure why Grimlock attacked Optimus early on -- I assume it's some kind of bizarre Knight ritual? But they're visually awesome.

They're paired each with an Autobot. Optimus with Grimlock, obviously. Drift rides Scorn around and the two has an awesome scene taking out the New Decepticons. Scorn is awesome. I have his toy and turns out he's bigger than Grimlock! Crosshairs rides around Slag, don't think he does much, really. Strafe picks up Bumblebee when they regroup and the two get into some awesome fight scenes.

The humans are m'eh. As I said before, the evil-corporate-guy-turned-good Joshua is just cheesy and annoying and stupid. Cade Yeager is a likable lead other than some cringe-worthy scenes, ditto for the daughter and her boyfriend. Evil Kelsey Grammer eats the scenery and does his job pretty well, proving the main big bad. He actually gets a backstory sorta too so good for that. Joshua's Chinese aide is a bit fun to watch but ultimately forgettable. Ditto for the blonde geologist that finds cyberformed dinosaurs. The two evil humans on top of Cemetery Wind are pretty entertaining (if one-dimensional) baddies that die. So yay.

Also true to hilarious Hollywood film logic every person in China including some random dude on an elevator knows kung-fu. (There must be something I am missing then.) Also heavily appreciate that unlike ROTF, Bay shows both the seedy alleys, the oriental temples and the high-rise buildings of China all equally. Most movies only bother with the first two.

The bad guys now! Lockdown is after Optimus Prime to complete his trophy of the Knights, having been hired by their Creators. To this end he promises to give the humans a 'Seed', which can Cyberform a huge chunk of the planet, because the humans need the 'Transformium' which Transformers are made up of. Lockdown is such a beast, and the action scenes involving him is just brilliant. He rides around a ship that formerly belonged to the Knights, and has captured a lot of organic aliens. He whips out a hook-hand like his Animated incarnation at one point, and tragically his face turns into a gun which I still dislike. He is a threatening villain, though, and an extremely entertaining one.

Tangentially I love how when the humans do get mixed up in the final battle it isn't as cringeworthy 'humans are awsum' like how they were able to take down Starscream and Shockwave in DOTM. Cade Yeager gets ahold of a Transformer gun halfway through the movie and uses it to distract Lockdown and shoot down a couple of troops, whereas the daughter and the boyfriend uses G1 Jazz's trick of using a towline to trip down Lockdown. Optimus and Bumblebee still do most of the fight, but I like it. Isn't anywhere as cringeworthy as DOTM.

Lockdown's troops are all generics and I'm not sure what happened to them, plus a bunch of techno-organic hyenas. Not stated to be techno-organic, but they have some obvious fleshy underbellies.

GALVATRON! Initially he's just borrowing the origin story of Prime's version of Nemesis Prime, a transformer created by humans as a prototype. And the humans have apparently 'unlocked the genome', allowing them to actually reshape their body. It's not a traditional transformation as mentioned before and while it looked odd early on it ends up being freaking awesome when used in battle. Megatron's head was salvaged by the humans and information pulled from it, which was how Megatron ended up infiltrating the 'main' prototype (which the humans call Galvatron) and end up in a superior body. I actually like it... Megatron returns again, yes, but he's Galvatron now and it's hinted that he's different and doesn't have a spark.

Stinger's not a character. He's a prototype, yes, which was given a 'rivalry' with Bumblebee, but was brought to life when Galvatron hacks into all of the other man-made Transformers. He gets to be the super-mook that Bumblebee kills, and I for one thought their 'rivalry' was funny.

Galvatron's army is not a faceless bunch of protoforms! They all look like they have vehicular forms despite transforming via turning into a blob. There are a couple that look like they're based off Stinger, and one that looks like a two-headed Shockwave. A couple of bugs similar to the Insecticon in ROTF also show up in one scene. The big armada of Transformer ships seen in the trailer only makes an appearance in the opening, extincting the dinosaurs (and are driven by non-Transformers), whereas the only ship featured in the movie itself is only Lockdown's.

And both Galvatron and the unseen Creators are actually kinda set up for a future movie! Once Galvatron decides to reveal himself and have his troops attack Hong Kong to hunt the Seed, he kind of sits back and lets Lockdown try to bring down Prime. When Lockdown is killed Galvatron shrugs, takes over Lockdown's ship with his army and buggers off into space.

I also do love the Transformers hunting angle that's prevalent in the first half of the movie. It gives an actual legit excuse to get rid of most of the old cast, while being an extremely interesting and tense setting for the characters to be in. It's also shown to be really brutal to the Autobots and not just glossed over in a couple of scenes the way the Decepticon hunt was early in ROTF and stuff. They did quite a good job with that.

(Optimus Prime has jet boots totally out of nowhere but it's awesome)

Optimus flies away into space at the end, leaving the Dinobots to go, free, into the forest, and the Autobots to watch over the Yaegers. Optimus goes off to hunt down the Creators, which may or may not be the Quintessons... ending's not three seconds like it was in Dark of the Moon, there's a fair bit of resolution. Didn't stick around for stingers though because my bladder's about to burst.

EDIT: Just realized that both Optimus flying off into space, and Galvatron seemingly doing the same thing with an army, may or may not hint for a future installment set mostly in space, which is something I've thought impossible for a Transformers live-action series to do... but with freakin' Guardians of a Galaxy getting a movie set almost entirely in space, I wouldn't totally rule it out just yet. Not sure if I would prefer an entirely-space movie over Grimlock crushing cars and stuff, though. A good part of the live-action movies' charm for me at least is the Transformers interacting with real-life stuff like houses and cars and whatnot which makes them feel real.

Generally, like DOTM, it fixes many of the things that ROTF did wrong, and adds more better things to the movie franchise as well. Bay is clearly taking criticism to heart, and while it's not a perfect movie by any means, it's probably my favourite so far through the movie franchise. We've got compelling villains with a proper backstory and motivations that aren't as haphazard and ill-defined like the Fallen, we don't get too many random characters thrown on our lap, there is a big fat amount of zero toilet jokes, humping robots, robot testicles (though a bit of swearing is around), an obvious lack of focus on military hardware, fanservice and cars driving on the streets, less 'human killing robots' and more 'humans killing humans', character death is acknowledged, there is build-up for future movies, and an ending that isn't abrupt like DOTM...

And DINOBOTS HELL YEA

So bottom line? I love this. It's a great soft reboot that does away with a lot of the things Bay is guilty of, playing more like a setup for future installments yet at the same time telling a nice little story on its own. Plus action scenes! And I for one will lend support to Age of Extinction by buying the toys. I like how Bay sticks to his franchise and just makes a movie that's better instead of pussying out and rebooting the franchise -- which would've been easy and make a lot of money regardless like they did with Spider-Man and Batman.

Also there was a live-action TMNT trailer apparently made by Bay? Yeah...

inflatable dalek
2014-06-25, 03:13 PM
I've edited the thread title and first post in order to

A: Ensue people who might still think this is a comedy/speculation thread can avoid proper spoilers now it's become the discussion thread, and:

B: To ruin Cliffy's opening joke.


Now I'm out of here for... blimey, nearly two weeks. Damn Blackjack.

Blackjack
2014-06-25, 03:54 PM
Now I'm out of here for... blimey, nearly two weeks. Damn Blackjack.

Is the release date elsewhere really that delayed compared to mine? I know the US airdate is around tomorrow or the day after that (give or take the timezone differences) but two weeks?

Why would they do that?

inflatable dalek
2014-06-25, 03:56 PM
IIRC it's out on on the 4th in the UK. Bah.

Blackjack
2014-06-25, 04:01 PM
Why such a huge gap between release dates?

Clay
2014-06-25, 10:28 PM
They pushed it back in countries where soccer is popular on account of the World Cup.

Going to see the movie tomorrow night here. America: **** yeah!

Blackjack
2014-06-26, 12:15 PM
Rewatched!

Still awesome.

I may have gotten a few details wrong...

Galvatron does not go on board Lockdown's ship. He kind of just strides off into the mountains promising vengeance. Lockdown's ship seems to kind of either explode or limp into space while being shot at.

Optimus is the last of the Knights not captured by Lockdown. The Dinobots are apparently several members of them, no clue if they're all that's left or Lockdown's already delivered the others to the Creators.

Brains picks a flower and buggers off claiming that he's free right after delivering some exposition, so he doesn't actually disappear like Wheelie did in ROTF.

Junkheap, the trash truck Decepticon from the toyline show up, with the vehicle mode looking practically identical to the toy. He splits into three robots and gets totally murdered to hell. Several times.

There are multiple two-headed Shockwaves! One gets killed by Hound's cigar. Hound's cigar is apparently a bullet casing.

Those double-cylinder jet things that the Decepticons use in Dark of the Moon make a reappearance and was the focus of a rather extensive battle scene where Crosshairs, Bumblebee and the humans learn how to dogfight.

There is another Decepticon head in the KSI industries that

Galvatron screams I AM GALVATRON when he is first activated which I was funny. Also either Bay or the screenwriter watches Animated, because while Prime gets to say 'roll out', Galvatron says 'rise up', the Decepticons' battlecry from that series.

The term 'cyberforming' is specifically used by Optimus. The term 'Knights' is used a lot of times by Lockdown and Optimus, and the latter has to transform his lower arms to pull out the magic sword which he uses to stab people in the face.

Slug is called 'Spike' by Crosshairs at one point.

At one point during the Transformium demo Joshua Joyce turns it into a gun. His annoying donut-munching scientist turns it into a My Little Pony.

Death's Head
2014-06-26, 03:49 PM
The term 'cyberforming' is specifically used by Optimu

Not bad for word that was, I believe, invented by fanfic writer Andy Dornan!

Clay
2014-06-27, 05:33 AM
Back from the early showing. Great good grief, that was so much better than the previous ones. It's still got some warts (lots of emotionally cheesy bits at the end, Prime using rocket boots instead of the perfectly good space ship just floating there), but yeah... better characterization of the robots, better human characters, better pacing, easier-to-follow action sequences, no toilet humor, etc.

Yeah, this one will do nicely.

The PS3 KILLeR
2014-06-27, 07:19 AM
Just got home from a 9pm showing... HOLY ****...

All the negative reviews saying it's Crap (looking at you Jeremy Jahns and IGN!!!) Had me worried... umm... I don't know where to begin, still processing everything but OH MY GOD Frank Welker as Galvatron!!!

Spoiler Tags just to be safe for everything else.
First off the human stuff isn't bad and I probably won't skip over it to get to the Bot fights on Bluray cause it was actually really good!

Movie has a FAR Darker tone and I LOVE that. Plus somehow Bay got it past Hasbro to slip in an F bomb from Stanley Tucci. Not idea how that happened

All the bots are fleshed out and have actual character development now! Hell yeah!

All the fight scenes are really cleaned up and slowed down. You can easily tell who's who and what's going on now! Far less shaky cam.

Few plot holes if any at all. None of that characters magically coming back or being in two places at once from ROTF.

The story itself I thought was pretty damn good, and while the 2 hr 45m run time is a bit much I didn't see much I'd want to cut out minus some Stanley Tucci comedy bits... just ugh...

The Dinobots just kinda magically appear but when I think about it they laid the foundation at the beginning, had them stored on Lockdown's ship in his trophy room where Optimus was held, so when they separated the section from the main ship they took the Dinobots with them. Sort of a cheap way out but better than just having them pop up.

Having "Battle Cry" mixed into the score in random parts was REALLY nice.

The line that Galvatron say to Prime in response to " You don't have a soul!!" Sent chills down my spine!

Poor TJ Miller... That's for being in Cloverfield....

Can I just say the Dinobots were freaking awesome? That's all... it was just amazing. :P



Now stuff I didn't like

Some Humor still felt forced but I chuckled quite a few times, especially with hound, mainly talking about Stanley Tucci here...

Li Bing Bing, She just didn't fit and I'm sorry but I couldn't understand half of what she said. Was she trying to act in broken English? Was that the goal Bay? I mean even a few Characters say they can't understand her in one scene. So was she supposed to be this bad for a joke or another one of Bay's infamous Racial stereotypes?

Slavery joke from TJ Miller when the movie plays with the themes of slavery with Optimus... just WTF?

Optimus being a cold blooded Killer, just doesn't sit right with me. The Optimus I know wouldn't vow to kill a human and then actually do it! A lot of the Autobots were trigger happy towards humans as well. It just doesn't fit well with what I know the Autobots to be. I get they are being hunted and are angry but Prime would never vow to kill a human, we just wouldn't.

Dinobots didn't talk... this is a negative for one reason... I wanted to hear Grimlock debate Optimus like the classic fights between them. For Optimus to out smart him and out fight him. instead he's just a transforming Mount... kinda disappointing.



I won't even spoil too much in the tags, just go see the movie! I'm going again tomorrow to see it in IMAX. Paying $15 for matinee cause I enjoyed it THAT much! Might even see it a 3rd time is I have the money, although I do need to save for Hound, Drift, and Galvatron for the collection.... so yeah might not. Second time is a must though!

Go see it, it's far better than the last two and honestly better than the firs. It actually feels like a Transformers movie instead of a movie it bots as plot devices.

Blackjack
2014-06-27, 08:01 AM
Li Bingbing actually spoke in Mandarin and Cantonese at one point (something I appreciated because people in Hong Kong speak a shit ton of Cantonese as opposed to Mandarin Chinese) but IIRC those were subtitled in english. She did speak with a Chinese accent... which technically isn't racist on Bay's part because that's how a lot of native Chinese speakers pronounce English words.

The PS3 KILLeR
2014-06-27, 08:30 AM
Li Bingbing actually spoke in Mandarin and Cantonese at one point (something I appreciated because people in Hong Kong speak a shit ton of Cantonese as opposed to Mandarin Chinese) but IIRC those were subtitled in english. She did speak with a Chinese accent... which technically isn't racist on Bay's part because that's how a lot of native Chinese speakers pronounce English words.

Still seems a bit racist and unneeded to me. Just seems to enforce a negative stereotype ya know? But who am I to judge... I do quotes of this guy almost daily cause it make me giggle and I can perfectly match the voice.
http://exclaim.ca/images/up-team_america.jpg

Still, just seemed a bit off color and didn't sit right with me. Even if it's being realistic it's enforcing a negative stereotype that Millions of children are going to see. But uh... you parents might not want to take the younglings to see this one just fyi. Dark Tone, F-bomb, and general filling of the swear jar abound btw.

Blackjack
2014-06-27, 11:37 AM
Third showing!

Can confirm that the second 'Decepticon' head in KSI belongs to Sentinel Prime.

Thunderwave
2014-06-27, 09:40 PM
Here are some of my thoughts after a single viewing (I'm going back Wednesday with a friend for another go).

Autobots with attitude. I like it. It takes all types to fight a war, after all. They are opinionated characters that don't always get along.

Drift is a triple changer? O.o That was a surprising choice.

I like how the Earth made Transformers transform differently from the Cybertronian ones. It marks them as alien from the rest.

Lockdown.

I do love how they stole the basic plot from early Transformers Animated and gave it a little twist. That said I also love Brain's role and how none of the Autobots batted an eye at his part.

No real spoilers here so I dropped the tag:


Li Bing Bing, She just didn't fit and I'm sorry but I couldn't understand half of what she said. Was she trying to act in broken English? Was that the goal Bay? I mean even a few Characters say they can't understand her in one scene. So was she supposed to be this bad for a joke or another one of Bay's infamous Racial stereotypes?

From what I took away from that scene she was mad and slipped back into her native tongue. Some people do that when angry. I knew a guy that the more and more agitated he got the more and more Spanish came out. When he was hopping mad he was impossible to understand unless you spoke fluent Spanish. It's not an uncommon trait with people speaking a non-native language.

Clay
2014-06-29, 11:41 PM
Just got back from a second viewing. Liked it even more. Definitely features some emotionally cheesy bits, but overall really pleased with how this one turned out.

Also, I noticed that Stanley Tucci's lab assistant guy's ringtone (in the scene with the My Little Pony) is the G1 theme. Neat!

another tf fan
2014-06-30, 07:39 AM
I have seen it once.

It was overly long.

Like all of Michael Bay's "films".

It does seem the formula has evolved and the changes have been for the better, but AoE is just too self-indulgent and becomes tedious around the 100 minute mark. That leaves another hour of "film".

Just like the rest.

I lay the problems squarely at Bay's feet. He strong arms these movies into his grand vision and tells Khruger to go type it up.

It's all moot as the "film" has already had a fully successful weekend box office return.

So Bay will return for Transformers : Fancy Subheading.

Sades
2014-07-01, 06:58 AM
We saw this. If you don't realise there's spoilers by now you're Keeeraaaazyyy. Capital K.

I think this was my least favourite movie. Dinobots is Dinobots though. I was going to say they didn't disappoint me, but... I'd been waiting for them for so long that by the time they popped up, I was kinda "eh" about it.

I would have loved to see more of them and I would have loved to see some personality, but whatever.

Humans are meh, except for Marky Mark, he was pretty cool. Towards the end anyway. I couldn't stand him at first.

The rest of it felt tired, long and kind of all over the place. I liked bits here and there, but I uttered "... What." a whole lot.

Hound
2014-07-02, 07:51 AM
This movie was pretty bad, though not as bad as the second movie.

It just feels like there's gaps where things like how Prime goes from extremely damaged to completely functional get explained but are missing from the film.

Basically there's a lot of holes in the plot, so the story comes off as nonsensical.

Add to that the silly shit where Bay has gone to his CGI people and said something like "I need an Autobot in a trench coat so I can have a Matrix-like shot" or the samurai alien robot that has a chinese accent that lower the credibility of the movie.

It's a fun movie as long as you don't use your brain, as soon as you do the whole thing falls apart.

Heinrad
2014-07-02, 11:34 PM
Saw the movie last Saturday, and plan to go again over the long holiday weekend. And if I can't find somebody to go with me, I'll use the other free pass and see it 3 times.

Moral: Buy a printer, see it free the first time.

Anyway, I quite liked it. Yes, it's the typical Bay popcorn, summer blockbuster kind of movie, but it was also a lot of fun.

My only real complaints are these:

- Other than roaring, Grimlock says nothing.
- We'll never get a movie accurate Drift toy.
- Now that they've used Drift, what are the odds we'll get Bludgeon in the next movie?
- I can understand, to an extent, what could be seen as the Autobots' fascination with sleek sports cars. But if you're trying to appear inconspicuous, a Bugatti Veyron SS or other high end supercar or ultra car is asking for trouble.

On the toy front, the only ones that have really looked interesting to me has been the CoE Prime and maybe Drift, if they manage to do a movie accurate version. And now that I've seen the film, Hound.

Warcry
2014-07-03, 03:37 AM
I can understand, to an extent, what could be seen as the Autobots' fascination with sleek sports cars. But if you're trying to appear inconspicuous, a Bugatti Veyron SS or other high end supercar or ultra car is asking for trouble.
Fair enough, but that's been a problem since 1984 so it's a bit silly to start complaining about it now. At least three of the original Autobots were one-of-a-kind liveried race cars, after all.

I saw this on the weekend myself, and while it was entertaining I found that it dragged in places. I found the entire human cast intensely unlikeable and the scenes that focused on them completely uninteresting. They had none of the chemistry or humour that the original cast used to get through some of the first three films' more risible moments. The main female lead was especially bad, to the point where she made Rosie Huntington-Whitely (who I called out as utterly wooden after watching the third film) look like a legit actress. Also, honourable mention for somehow managing to smother all the life out of Kelsey Grammer's performance...he's never been as flat as he is here.

On the other hand, I think the robot side of things were handled a lot better than in the last two films. All five of the Autobots came off as people instead of props, and all three of the new guys (Crosshairs, Drift and Hound) each had at least one awesome moment to show off. On the Decepticon side of things, Lockdown isn't quite as well-done as Sentinel Prime was in the last film, but he has a straightforward motivation for doing what he does and that makes him better than 90% of the bad guys in all TF media.

Though it's a shame about Lockdown's character design, which is generic even by Movie Decepticon standards. Would it have killed them to give him a splash of colour?

The Dinobots' introduction felt like a cheat after they made a big deal out of Prime's whole "we need a new army" line in all the trailers, and especially after they found that metal dinosaur in the Arctic in at the start of the film. It seemed like they were building up to a grand quest to find the Dinobots, and then...nope, they're just sleeping aboard Lockdown's ship! There was probably a whole movie's worth of story to that one, and honestly all the bits with the Dinobots and Galvatron just seemed like a distraction from what really mattered: Lockdown and his buddies' hunt for Autobots.

I thought the action scenes in this one were the best out of all four, partly because all of the primary characters were visually distinctive (a big complaint of mine in both ROTF and DOTM) and partly because (in spite of blowing up half of Hong Kong) they kept a more coherent focus on a small number of characters that actually mattered.

Overall I thought it was pretty good, by action film standards. Not the best of the bunch, not the worst, and around half an hour too long, but still good fun all around.

praetorian
2014-07-03, 02:53 PM
The Dinobots' introduction felt like a cheat after they made a big deal out of Prime's whole "we need a new army" line in all the trailers, and especially after they found that metal dinosaur in the Arctic in at the start of the film. It seemed like they were building up to a grand quest to find the Dinobots, and then...nope, they're just sleeping aboard Lockdown's ship! There was probably a whole movie's worth of story to that one, and honestly all the bits with the Dinobots and Galvatron just seemed like a distraction from what really mattered: Lockdown and his buddies' hunt for Autobots.

This clarifies for me a feeling I had during the whole film: there are two movie-length stories squashed into one. AoE should have been exclusively about Lockdown's hunt for the Autobots, and the Autobot's hunt for the Dinobots in order to save themselves and the earth from extinction. It should have ended with a shot of the research facility, with a quick pan over Ratchet's mutilated body, Sentinel's head, etc. And then a final pan over the new Galvatron body, and then a final shot of Megatron's head and his one good eye glows red. Done.

Movie 5 has Prime (in Lockdown's spaceship, not on jet boosters) searching for "the creators." He finds Ultra Magnus or Rodimus in his search. While back on earth, Galvatron rises to wreak havoc, etc.

Shrapnel Clone
2014-07-03, 09:51 PM
Just came back from this movie. I hoped to find some answers here on what the hell was going on, because this movie had me feeling lost.
- Too many humans
- Too many generic robots
- Not enough character development. Autobots growling at eachother is not development.
- Prime on a rampage. He appeared brain-damaged with his constant yelling of 'going to kill them'. Maybe he stole G1 Galvatron's thing?
- Bla bla bla excitement about Stinger bla bla bla he's just another generic drone. Disappointing.
- Too many humans doing too many crazy action scenes. This isn't Humans: Age of Extinction!

I actually wanted this movie to end somewhere half-way. When I realised the Dinobots were not part of the plot, but were going to be the Deus Ex Machina, I kinda lost interest.

Heinrad
2014-07-04, 04:37 PM
originally posted by Warcry:

Fair enough, but that's been a problem since 1984 so it's a bit silly to start complaining about it now. At least three of the original Autobots were one-of-a-kind liveried race cars, after all.

True, but at that point, it was The Ark picking alt modes that somewhat, probably, matched their original alt modes. Given where the Autobots are at the start of the movie, looking flashy should be at the very bottom of the list of requirements.

That being said, I'd much rather drive a Bugatti Veyron than a boring old 4 banger anyday. I think it ultimately came down to seeing Prime in an old, battered semi, Hound in a fairly nondescript military vehicle mode, Bumblebee spending most of the film as an old Camaro....... and then Drift and Crosshairs both as brand new super cars. Ehh..... It does match with their attitudes. Both Drift and Crosshairs seemed less inclined to hide.

Summerhayes
2014-07-05, 08:59 AM
So, I went to the midnight opening of this last night after months of closing my eyes and putting fingers in my ears during trailers, avoiding TF websites like the plague and for the first time in my life picking up the Argos book and not instinctively opening the back page. I went into this film with almost no pre-conceptions and no idea what to expect.
I liked it!

For me, it felt like a much tighter film than 2 or 3, in terms of having a small cast of characters who are given a lot of time to shine. Personally, I preferred ROTF and DOTM to TF2007, but most people I speak to got a little lost by the sequels, and liked the human element of the first film more. This felt like a return to that sort of beating heart; Wahlberg's character had an easy to relate to motivation; looking after his daughter. The chemistry between them made them feel like a real family, even if Peltz did start the film with a few wooden lines she grew on me by the end.

The Transformers were well-served in this one, or at least the Autobots were. The deaths of the older characters were a little rushed, but it made room for a core team of five autobots who were all memorable and distinctive, even if they didn't exactly have the most fleshed-out characterisation. Using Optimus as the primary human interaction character was a nice change of pace, and he himself felt a lot more alive than in previous films. It felt very real when Drift and Crosshairs talked about his leadership, that they would die for him.

The plot was something pretty different and I actually really liked it. For the most part I didn't really recognise it from any of the comicbooks or anything, except maybe the Megatron's head business being lifted from Animated, but that's ideal. I like seeing all new stories rather than constant remakes and adaptations.

My only major complaint was that this was the film that basically gave up on the Transformers transforming; all the Earth-made ones simply morphed like the T-1000. I love all the transformations in these films so not seeing so many was a little disappointing.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this film and will definitely be re-watching it in the cinemas. I'll probably have more thoughts later, and be able to make a better judgement of where it fits in my personal Top 4.

I actually wanted this movie to end somewhere half-way. When I realised the Dinobots were not part of the plot, but were going to be the Deus Ex Machina, I kinda lost interest.
It did feel quite long. For me, it suffered from a similar problem to Godzilla in that it was a lot of build-up to a great final fight which I knew was coming, so it was hard to enjoy anything in the run-up. Like Godzilla, I expect I'll enjoy it more on repeat viewings.

The Dinobot thing was a little annoying, but they were hugely overpowered so I guess it made sense for them to turn up at the end. They were very cool when they did arrive, and the whole Knights of Cybertron angle was pretty cool.

Overall I thought it was pretty good, by action film standards. Not the best of the bunch, not the worst, and around half an hour too long, but still good fun all around.
Yep, that pretty much sums up my feelings.

inflatable dalek
2014-07-05, 04:41 PM
Seen and enjoyed, I'm currently uploading a really badly thought through rambly YouTube video that I think will fairly critique the movie more than a properly written post, so for now here's a picture of me and my friend Optimus Prime:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152351644154219&l=f7b0b4fee7

inflatable dalek
2014-07-05, 04:50 PM
Oh and on Autobot disguises... I did think it was a bit silly that when Prime scanned a new truck he didn't think to change his colours as well, especially if the Transformers are as generally hated as the film suggests, a truck looking like Optimus Prime would probably get a lot of nasty attention just for being in bad taste as much as anything.


And one thing I forget to mention in the video is the film somewhat chickens out on having the US government be out and out bad, and the hoops it runs through so no one except Fraiser (and possibly his boss?) are in on what they're really up too result in some odd moments and it winding up feeling like one CIA agent is having the run the entire Capture Evil Aliens operation by himself.

Summerhayes
2014-07-05, 04:58 PM
I don't think it was saying the Autobots were out and out hated, just that people were willing to believe any transformer the boss man pointed them at was a decepticon. The president wanted a picture with prime, after all.

Also, and I may be reading too much into it or giving Michael bay too much credit, but I think the message it had was that elected officials are powerless when it comes to black ops people. And that is... bad, I guess.

When he turned into the new truck, that was him coming out of hiding and going on the attack, I thought, so it made sense he would go with his "look".

EDIT: Just had a little thought as well. I wonder if it's coincidence the other head in the room with megs when galvatron was being built was ratchet, considering their history in the marvel comics, or will they both end up in the same body in the next film?

inflatable dalek
2014-07-05, 07:16 PM
Fast and dirty YoUTube video:

http://thesolarpool.weebly.com/blog/transformers-extinction-event

numbat
2014-07-05, 08:09 PM
Just saw it, and really enjoyed it - although I don't think there was ever any doubt of that.

Loved Lockdown - great to finally get a decent villain (who's not an Autobot turncoat). Loved the fact the plot used the whole 'Robots in Disguise' thing. In fact, really loved the story in general - it was far more brutal than I had expected, and quite harrowing! Certainly doesn't make people look good... And I liked that the humans integral to the plot were late 30s or older - bit more realistic and something I could get behind (teenagers and early 20s characters driving major blockbuster plots is too common and too silly these days...) Also loved that it blew the Transformers universe wide open for any sequels - I hope they use that.

I really did not like the way the new human-built Transformers transformed though, but I can live with it.

Overall, it seemed like a grown up Transformers film (certainly more-so than the previous ones anyway).

I have no idea why the critics hate it so much. Sure, it's in no way highbrow, but it was well made and beautifully shot. Hardly the worst thing to come out of Hollywood, and I thought there was some depth to the plot (for the popcorn munching blockbuster genre). I don't think a lot of the critics who's reviews I read before seeing the film had actually paid any intention, or, even managed to follow what little plot there was... Guess it's just a given that critics will hate Michael Bay films - although the public seem to have a very different opinion given the consistent success he has.

Roll on number five. And I hope Michael Bay returns to direct!

Red Dave Prime
2014-07-05, 08:49 PM
I have no idea why the critics hate it so much. Sure, it's in no way highbrow, but it was well made and beautifully shot. Hardly the worst thing to come out of Hollywood, and I thought there was some depth to the plot (for the popcorn munching blockbuster genre). I don't think a lot of the critics who's reviews I read before seeing the film had actually paid any intention, or, even managed to follow what little plot there was... Guess it's just a given that critics will hate Michael Bay films - although the public seem to have a very different opinion given the consistent success he has.


Part of the problem is that with many movie critics they are having to compare films of such drastic goals. Not a fan of Bays films at all myself but they are clearly aiming for a different market to, say, Gravity or The Piano (not sure why I picked them but anyway). It's like a restaurant reviewer who trys to find a points scale that will accommodate fine dinning and fast food.

I'm going in with an open mind to this one. I still find the first one enjoyable as a throw away movie and a few people have remarked that this is kinda similar (even if it does bloat later on). I fear it will have the same problem many of the superhero movies do (Thor 2, I am glaring at you in particular). They feel they have to justify their investment and worthiness with long run times and overly thought out plots when the audience will happily switch back if the characters are appealing, the action good and the dialogue snappy. Keep the plot simple with one or two twists I feel is the blockbuster sweet spot. Iron Mans a good example. The third one has its moments but it gets too bogged down trying to be clever and cramming in far too much.

zigzagger
2014-07-05, 08:56 PM
Sorry. Not a whole lot I have to say about this.

....

I liked Lockdown. I'll go with that. On the robot side of things, he felt like a more realized villain. More so than Megatron, the goddamned Fallen or even Sentinel, in my opinion. He was probably the one thing I really enjoyed about the film.

Could've done without the Galvatron subplot -- or the Dinobots for that matter, fun as a concept that they are. To echo what's already been said, the threat of Lockdown was enough to sustain the movie without them.

I dunno... maybe I'll chime in later.

Summerhayes
2014-07-05, 11:19 PM
Although lockdown was well done in terms of the plot, I found the design and the voice really underwhelming as a main villain. If it wasn't for the rifle face, he'd have been a total genericon. I think I was just disappointed when he ended up being the main villain instead of Galvatron. Perhaps on repeat viewings, knowing that he is the main man, I'll appreciate him more. Certainly knowing he'd taken down so many other autobots made him a credible threat.

Thunderwave
2014-07-06, 12:49 AM
I really enjoyed Lockdown as a villain. He stuck to the bounty hunter roots of his original Animated appearance. I liked his voice, personally. It added a note of menace.

The government subplot I think was a jab at the current US government. People blame elected officials for things they didn't know about because the person telling them straight got lied to and passed the lie along.

As for the disguises? G1 was rife with "disguises" that didn't work. Take Mirage. Not only is he a specific race car he's one that's not even street legal. Then the next year we get a tank, a UFO, a sci-fi jeep, a drill tank, a...thing (Topspin), another very specific race car (Smokescreen), and a rocket with a train track based tank around it. A little suspension of disbelief goes a long way.

Lufbery
2014-07-06, 05:06 AM
(Geez, I haven't posted here in a long time!)

I saw AOE a little over a week ago and I've been trying to figure out what to post other than: I liked it.

I just rewatched Revenge of the Fallen tonight and now I think I can explain why I liked it.

First the movie itself: I agree with some of the comments above. It seemed like two movies squished into one. The part at the end -- with the knights and how they had trouble with the primes (I'm trying not to spoil anything here), plus the back story with Lockdown's ship that never gets fully explained -- all felt like the first act of the next movie. I enjoyed the action, but the story got a little odd for me.

What does this have to do with ROTF? I think this movie follows naturally from the second movie, and for me, that's a good thing. In fact, and I know this sounds a little crazy, but one can pretend that Dark of the Moon never happened and Age of Extinction flows naturally from Revenge of the Fallen.

A little digression:

I like the first movie a lot. I thought it was a great re-imagining of the whole franchise. Yes, I'm one of those guys. I grew up with Transformers. I got Optimus and Magatron the first Christmas they were available. I bought all four of the "4-Issue Limited Series" of the Marvel comic as they came out on the news stand, and was thrilled when I read that there's be a 5th issue and a continuing series! I've still got almost all of my comics too. And then I didn't think about Transformers much at all until 2007.

I also liked ROTF the first and second times I saw it in the theater and I've liked it each time I saw it on DVD, including tonight. I like the continuity with the cast. I love Sam's parents (I'm a 40-year-old guy with two young sons. I can relate). The story made sense to me, the action made sense. I even liked the twins.

Then Dark of the Moon came out and seemed like a weird outlier. Booting Mikaela may have made sense for the director, but it played hell with my sympathy for Sam and his new girlfriend. The story was pretty strange too. The action with the building tilting killed my willing suspension of disbelief, etc. I know that tastes differ, but Dark of the Moon just didn't seem to fit with the first two movies.

End digression.

Now we get Age of Extinction and it does fit! It feels like Dark of the Moon never happened. Sure, there's a few little continuity problems -- something happened in Chicago that gets referenced in AOE, but Revenge of the Fallen has a news report after the Decepticons reveals themselves stating that worldwide casualties in several major cities has hit 7,000. Maybe Chicago is one of those.

In an alternate timeline that never had Dark of the Moon, I could easily see both citizens and the government being fed up (and scared shitless) by the public revelation of alien robots and the crap that happened at Giza. I can see somebody in the CIA, in response, making deals with an alien bounty hunter to kill robots and a tech company to take them and dispose of them. All of this could have happened in the years between the second and fourth movies without the third movie ever happening. I'm cool with having a different human cast. It's not like Sam, Mikaela, Epps, Lenox, and Simmons are the only humans on Earth. The Autobots went into hiding and lost touch with them. No biggie. :)

The reason why this works (at least for me), is that Age of Extinction carries through the larger themes from Revenge of the Fallen: the government's distrust of the Autobots and desire to end the working relationship with them, a question of who created the alien robots (from Epps), even prehistoric attempts to use Earth to gather (or create) resources. Basically, Earth has become a proxy for the war on Cybertron; how do people react to that as individuals, as nations, and as a world population? These themes are what the live action stories are about, and I didn't think they were dealt with well in the third movie.

Anyway, I liked AOE because I feel it comes back to those themes and deals with them in interesting ways.

Regards,
-Drew

numbat
2014-07-06, 06:43 AM
Part of the problem is that with many movie critics they are having to compare films of such drastic goals. Not a fan of Bays films at all myself but they are clearly aiming for a different market to, say, Gravity or The Piano (not sure why I picked them but anyway). It's like a restaurant reviewer who trys to find a points scale that will accommodate fine dinning and fast food.

I'm going in with an open mind to this one. I still find the first one enjoyable as a throw away movie and a few people have remarked that this is kinda similar (even if it does bloat later on). I fear it will have the same problem many of the superhero movies do (Thor 2, I am glaring at you in particular). They feel they have to justify their investment and worthiness with long run times and overly thought out plots when the audience will happily switch back if the characters are appealing, the action good and the dialogue snappy. Keep the plot simple with one or two twists I feel is the blockbuster sweet spot. Iron Mans a good example. The third one has its moments but it gets too bogged down trying to be clever and cramming in far too much.

I do agree with you - blockbusters should be fun and generally simple, and a lot are way too long and fail at being clever. Although Thor vs Thor 2 is a bad example, as the sequel is shorter than the original. (I also actually preferred Thor 2 over the original, which I felt was a 'meh' but wellmade blockbsuter, whereas the second opened more of the cosmic stuff up, which did it for me - so perhaps best not to take any film recommendations off me! ;-) )

AoE is not clever, and is spectacular but is also certainly long. It's certainly no Clockwork Orange, Melancholia etc. But blockbusters shouldn't be.

I think AoE keeps to a tight band of characters, more like the original TF film, although the pacing feels more like ROTF. I think the plot is better (given ROTF didn't have a plot, that's surely not hard), and the Transformers (Autobots and Lockdown) get more of a chance to be onscreen and talk, although I'd struggle to call anything character development other than for Prime perhaps.

Could've done without the Galvatron subplot -- or the Dinobots for that matter, fun as a concept that they are. To echo what's already been said, the threat of Lockdown was enough to sustain the movie without them..

Totally agree - that's something I really liked and did not expect. Lockdown was really creepy and threatening, and Galvatron never really happens. But I think they were doing something they've not done before - ie building foundations for the next films. I look forward to seeing what Galvatron does in the next film, although hope they follow on with Prime as well.

I also agree about the Dinobots, but they were such a spectacle and so awesome, I was happy to just go with it.

The thing which has actually left the biggest single impression on me from the film the next day, though is:

Optimus Prime kills a human. Even though this is justified by the plot, and you can see why anyone would, this to me takes Prime somewhere darker and makes him a more flawed and so real character. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this now - Prime is the ultimate father or grandather figure in my view, so may take a while to process. In the heat of the film I was rooting for him, but now... It's an interesting twist for me, but probably minor for most!

Oh, and it's interesting that Bumblebee has been relegated to the background cast in terms of screentime / development. Infact, he maybe even gets less time than some of the other Autobots, and Prime makes a great throwaway remark about him! Has Bay got fed up with him?

Summerhayes
2014-07-06, 08:30 AM
I really enjoyed Lockdown as a villain. He stuck to the bounty hunter roots of his original Animated appearance. I liked his voice, personally. It added a note of menace.
Ah, I didn't realise he was from Animated. Well with that and the Megatron's head stuff, this one was definitely inspired by that. I like how each film is taking inspiration from different parts of the franchise.

the Transformers (Autobots and Lockdown) get more of a chance to be onscreen and talk, although I'd struggle to call anything character development other than for Prime perhaps.
I think they tried to give Crosshairs a bit of an arc, even if it was simplistic and quickly solved.

Oh, and it's interesting that Bumblebee has been relegated to the background cast in terms of screentime / development. Infact, he maybe even gets less time than some of the other Autobots, and Prime makes a great throwaway remark about him! Has Bay got fed up with him?
This I did notice. I was just thinking that it was because 'Bee is defined as Sam's human contact character so it would have been odd to see him palling around with the new humans too much. I did like Prime's line about raising him.

numbat
2014-07-06, 09:01 AM
This I did notice. I was just thinking that it was because 'Bee is defined as Sam's human contact character so it would have been odd to see him palling around with the new humans too much. I did like Prime's line about raising him.
That would make sense, and I guess it doesn't look like Hasbro have much input in terms of the films. Because surely from their point of view downplaying Bumblebee is a marketing no-no. Optimus Prime was definitely the human-connection character this time, but the issues he was dealing with were fairly dark and massive - I doubt kids could connect with that.

Tantrum
2014-07-06, 06:27 PM
I saw AoE yesterday, and it's probably my favorite of the four. But, that may be due to this being the first one I saw in a theater, and having seen the others on cable enough that the novelty's worn off.

This cast of Autobots was more memorable than the others. John Goodman made Hound a fun walking (and rolling) artillery. I got more enjoyment out of any 1 scene with him than I did out of three movie of Ironhide showing off his cannons, getting urinated on, and dying.

Crosshairs reminded me of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (after Spike stopped being an antagonist). I'm not sure if that's due to him starting off as a loner openly disdainful of his companions who learns to accept and value his role as part of the team, or the duster.

I would have liked to see Drift transform from one vehicle mode to the other. I'm guessing they left that out since his toys don't do that. But, if they'd retooled Springer into Drift, I'd probably buy the mold a third time. Sure, the helicopter would look like a disfigured Bugatti, but that might actually work.

I'm glad Shia LaBeouf wasn't in it. He was sometimes amusing in the first two films when he was frantically trying to explain away things. But, by the third movie, the secret was out and all he did was mope about not having a purpose. Plus, having someone a little older as the main human made having Optimus Prime the main human interaction character work better.

Given the way the man-made bots transform, I'm surprised they stopped giving the Kre-o characters robot builds. We could have a screen-accurate Galvatron. And I want a two-headed Shockwave.

They've set things up to have the Quintessons in movie number 5. That worked out nicely.

inflatable dalek
2014-07-06, 08:11 PM
Oh, and as with the end of Revenge of the Fallen Megatron (And I think we now have conclusive proof it doesn't matter who plays Movie Megs as the part is always too anaemically written, did anyone who didn't know beforehand even spot it wasn't Weaving?) fiendishly escapes at the end by... walking away.

I think it was perhaps a shame they didn't fully embrace the "Magic metal can turn into anything" idea and have the human built Transformers as full on shape changers who can assume any form, it'd have really made them look like the next evolutionary step the dialogue tries to claim they are (it might have made doing the toys tricky, but they could always have gone down the Drift route of just ignoring anything but the one alt mode).

Summerhayes
2014-07-06, 10:34 PM
I was right; I enjoyed it much more on the second viewing. I wasn't trying to second-guess what was coming, I just enjoyed the film. I even appreciated the villain more when I didn't spend the whole film expecting galvatron to be the main baddy.

Skyquake87
2014-07-07, 05:55 AM
Saw this last night :)

I enjoyed this and thought it was the best film since the first. My only big problem with it was that it was too bloody long! The 2hr 30mins running time felt extremely unnecessary and perhaps explains some of the odd story telling choices that were made.

First off though, a new human cast! I really liked Mark Whalberg and the family and the corporate/ CIA bad guys. They were all a vast improvement over the Witwickies and the frankly risable Sector 7 (whom I could never ever take seriously and was perhaps the only person who just did not like Simmons 'he's so wacky!', yeah and he can f**k right off as he's just completely blown the buy in to a shadowy government agency, but I digress).

The Jaeger family felt real and it might be my age, but I found Marky Mark a lot more relateable than the shrieking ungrateful Sam. His daughter was fine, although she didn't get a great deal to do, and whilst it was a shame to see her fall into the trope of being the damsel in distress, her predicament felt a lot more real. Her boyfriend Shane (Irish, "Drives") fell a bit flat for me, but the three girls I went to see this with (I know, get me!) liked that he was the comic foil that wasn't an annoying prick. The other main human 'good guy', Marky Mark's 'business partner' was also fun and I liked him, and did find his end actually had some impact. And was grisly as. Urgh.

Of the human villains, although Kelsey Grammer felt a bit one note, bringing just the glowering menace he does so well, I felt he had a solid motivation - doing his duty to his country with no recognition and feeling that his alliance with Apple, sorry KSI, was a good way to feather his nest.

Ah, the KSI dude. He started off well, being the sort of pointed headed berk the pursuit of technology brings (just go into any Apple shop and these wankers are ten a penny, living their lives on the 'cutting edge' ). I liked that this was a nice commentary on how the clean vision of the future that technology brings consumers is at the cost of all sorts of stuff we'd probably not know about - exploitation, corruption and all sense of morality jettisoned in favour of developing something 'cool'. And that this goes hand in hand with a kind of 'so?' mentality, best illustrated by that English guy from Mitchell & Webb whom was eating dougnuts and having some fun one liners. And a My Little Pony. I couldn't really get into the 'building our own Transformers for military purposes and to hawk our consumer wares' though.

What I didn't like, was when the whole business of the 'Seed' was introduced. This was something that could have made for a decent plot point in a sequel and it ended up derailing the film. Sorry, but there's no way I can take seriously loads of characters going on about how they have to protect their seed. It was a silly 'ramp up the jeopardy' element that wasn't needed. The sudden volt face of Jason pointyhead from villain to comedic buffon in the vein of Simmons was also garbage. And I got totally lost with the Chinese lady whom started out carrying out a business transaction, to becoming some sort of regular company stooge, but I might have missed something in amongst the constant car chases and vomit inducing camera work.

Onto the 'bots! Aww, poor poor Ratchet. I found this genuinely affecting, with the good doctor hunted and killed. It was sad. Didn't feel quite the same about Leadfoot as he didn't really leave much of a mark in DOTM. But it worked well in selling the whole 'hunt ALL the Transformers for their tech' angle.

Couldn't say I particularly enjoyed Drift (lazy Eastern, honorable warrior stereotype, dull as a plank) or Crosshairs (triggerhappy, green, arrogant) - whom I can't recall getting named on screen, so just became 'the new robot guys', but they at least got some fair moments to shine and some decent dialogue. I won't say characterisation, as its too easy to mistake the robots getting more than a line or two for this. Hound was fun, although a composite of the Wreckers and Ironhide and I really did think he might end up dead, so was pleased to see he survived.

Bumblebee I liked being sidelined a little and being less of the focus this time around, although he's still a punchy little fella. Didn't like the scene of him throwing a hissy fit at KSI. That could have been cut.

Optimus being the focus of this film felt so refreshing and it was nice to see him much more fleshed out as a character and to see him properly emote. His initial distress at being hunted and concerned for his fellow Autobots was brilliant, with him being on his last legs and pretty desperate, but still wanting to fight for his people was superb. Yes, he suddenly 'got better', and this didn't wash, but it just about got away with it, thanks to Optimus being very angry that humanity had turned out to be total shits and him wanting to take the fight to them. His fury at KSI was great and I liked that he was prepared just to leave Earth and leave us to our own devices. And the get angry again that we didn't realise that the stuff we'd taken from the Transformers would end up destroying us. Silly ending for him blasting off into Space when Lockdown's spaceship was going begging....

The Dinobots added a bit of visual spectacle and not much more. And were these supposed to be the Knights of Cybertron or something?

Onto the villains! Galvatron and the Decepticons were a bit superferlous to requirements, and the silly 'jumping Rubik's Cube' transforming took me out the film and these effects really felt 'blue screened' onto the film (like a lot of the bits clearly made in 3D, they really stick out and take you out of the film when seen in 2D) and didn't contribute much apart from being out of humanity's control (Surprise!).

Lockdown was good, and a solid bit of villainy, letting his human 'allies' do all the hard work in tracking Optimus down so he could just step in at the last minute. Had some unfortunately ominous lines of dialogue though which instantly hinted at where the sequels might go.

A much better film than the two previous sequels then, not without its faults and jaw droppingly stupid moments, but nothing that made me roll my eyes either. With a tighter focus on a single story strand, this could have been a lot better - the whole seed business and the discovery in the arctic not really going anywhere. Visually, this was a lot clearer and generally easier to follow than DOTM or ROTF - although the chase scenes in China were far too messy and unfocused. The bot design was a lot more streamlined, but I did feel this made them look less like they actually transformed into anything myself. For Transformers fans, I think most will be happy that the 'bots get a much greater share of the film - clearly the money made from the last films has given Bay the budget to include more scenes on the robots, which was good to see.

Also : liked the score on this - and spotted a nice electronic sting and motif that owed a little to the old cartoon.

Some nice borrowing of elements from the comic books - the terraforming of G2 and the visuals that owed a little from the opening Dreamwave mini. Less enthused that we may get a cartoon style origin at some point with all the dialogue around Prime having been built.

I think overall, its a solid 7/10 from me.

Tantrum
2014-07-08, 11:29 PM
Couldn't say I particularly enjoyed Drift (lazy Eastern, honorable warrior stereotype, dull as a plank) ...The movie seemed to enjoy undercutting Drift's samurai persona, like with Hound groaning at his haiku, or when he violently slaughters that thing right after talking about the importance of stealth. Maybe Drift's meant to mock weeaboos, like that SNL skit about two white college students who think honoring Japanese culture means talking like anime characters. He follows Japanese stereotypes, but he's not from Japan, he's from Cybertron. He doesn't even have a Japanese car mode.

another tf fan
2014-07-09, 06:30 AM
Strangely noticed upon recent viewing that The Transformers The Movie moves along a comparative rapid pace to the terminally slow Age Of Extinction.

another tf fan
2014-07-09, 06:36 AM
The movie seemed to enjoy undercutting Drift's samurai persona, like with Hound groaning at haiku ...


Yeah, I felt particularly sad for the great John Goodman to be saddled with such blatantly offensive dialog

I likewise felt Drift was a hackneyed stereotype. He lacked any gravitas and purely relied on tired schtick.

inflatable dalek
2014-07-09, 08:13 AM
I can't recall anything Hound did that could or said that could possibly be considered offensive off the top of my head unless you were really reaching (shooting an unarmed alien? Who, now I think of it could well have been a Knight. After all, the film doesn't specify them as "Of Cybertron" IIRC...). Am I forgetting something?

inflatable dalek
2014-07-09, 08:29 AM
Oh, unless we mean the Hound from round here, in which case, yeah, fair enough.

Thunderwave
2014-07-09, 10:43 AM
I likewise felt Drift was a hackneyed stereotype. He lacked any gravitas and purely relied on tired schtick.

In Micheal Bay's defense Drift already was one step away from that.

numbat
2014-07-09, 11:55 AM
In Micheal Bay's defense Drift already was one step away from that.
He was a step away? He's cringe-worthy in IDW's stuff.

I liked the humour he brought to AoE personally. He was full of contradictions - wasn't that the point of his character? The dual land and air alt-modes kinda reinforced that for me.

I've made my peace with Prime killing a human. I mean, totally justified given the circumstances. Just one is fairly refrained given the whole genocide thing after the Autobots defended the Earth. It's not as if Prime shies away from killing other Cybertronians, and humans aren't even the same race. He would have lost credibility as a character as well had he not, I guess. Plus the fact he does it at the apparent cost to his battle with Lockdown to save other humans offsets it a bit. And now, in the wider war, humans have become a faction (or perhaps multiple factions), rather than innocent bystanders. That's quite interesting.

Glad to read AoE is performing very well at the boxoffice. There seems a massive disconnect between public and critics with the Transformers films. I do hope they make 5 and 6, and really explore the wider Transformers universe now the Autobot vs Decepticon war was settled in the first three. And I hope they do a bit of planning so the subsequent films don't feel quite so episodic as the first three (AoE does look like it's doing that - lots of exciting threads set out). I still can't quite work out how the events of ROTF could possible tie in to the same continuity as the first film, DOTM and AoE. The Fallen just makes less and less sense (and the hatchlings now?). None of Megatrons plans ever make sense given he wanted to help The Fallen destroy the Earth for the sake of Energon anyway, unless there's a missing chapter where they refind The Fallen after setting those plans in motion, making ROTF a very slight diversion from Megs main thread. How do the original Primes fit in to the whole creators and Knights (including Optimus Prime) thing? I guess there's millions of years of time between the creators seeding the universe for Transformium and when The Fallen tried to destroy Earth in prehistory, but a lot of complicated stuff must have gone down, and lots of robots must have lost their memories (a hazard based on Star Wars I guess)... My mind is in knots! Still, ROTF is a great spectacle, but my least favourite of the four overall - continuity issues aside (man, the ROTF plot was terrible even by the standards set by the other films, it just does not hang together!).

I think Lockdown is my favourite Transformers villain now. Certainly portrayed better than Megatron. Perhaps Galvatron will be receive better treatment in sequels, now that it seems to have suddenly become acceptable to have Transformer driven plots, with a bit of robot character development.

Thunderwave
2014-07-09, 10:08 PM
He was a step away? He's cringe-worthy in IDW's stuff.

I'm very far behind in IDW. All I know is what little I've picked up. That he was made to give respect to Japan. That he was a member of the Axis...I mean Decepticons that turned over to the Allies...I mean Autobots. That he supposedly has personal honor and fights with swords. Oh, and he's named after a style of racing popular in some parts of Japan and certain anime series. I didn't know he was THAT bad. Maybe I'll crack down and catch up.

As for your thoughts on Prime:

I agree. Prime is a soldier fighting a war. The only thing he's done I really don't agree with was "Give me your face", a line I don't think any Autobot would say and only few Decepticons. Him killing THAT human didn't bother me. That human did, after all, have Autobots hunted, killed, slaughtered, and then had the bits reused as if the Transformers are little more then animals. Like how we now might use a cow for it's meat, bones, and hide.

inflatable dalek
2014-07-10, 04:24 PM
It just occurred to me that there's, by coincidence or not, there's an awful lot of the Megatron plot from that classic of literature that is G.I. Joe Vs. The Transformers Volume 3: The Art of War in this film. Evil military organisation working behind the backs of the Autobot's usual Earth allies using Megatron's head to program a new "Super" soldier that winds up going horribly wrong when it takes all his memories? Snap.

Also, if Rich Git (why don't they just make things simple and just call one of these guys Blackrock?) wanted a robot like Optimus Prime rather than Megatron, why give it a name that basically sounds exactly like Megatron? You wouldn't create a human superman and then call him Adolph Bittler.

Clay
2014-07-11, 12:39 AM
I don't agree with the criticism that the movie had too many plot threads. It had the two major conflicts (Autobots and Yeagers VS CIA and Lockdown; Galvatron VS KSI for the seed), and they both converged neatly. It was also paced much better than the previous two and didn't seem long at all to me because of it. With ROTF, I keep thinking the movie has about ten minutes left once Sam finds the Matrix dust, but it goes on for another hour after that.

(Geez, I haven't posted here in a long time!)

I saw AOE a little over a week ago and I've been trying to figure out what to post other than: I liked it.

I just rewatched Revenge of the Fallen tonight and now I think I can explain why I liked it.

The reason why this works (at least for me), is that Age of Extinction carries through the larger themes from Revenge of the Fallen: the government's distrust of the Autobots and desire to end the working relationship with them, a question of who created the alien robots (from Epps), even prehistoric attempts to use Earth to gather (or create) resources. Basically, Earth has become a proxy for the war on Cybertron; how do people react to that as individuals, as nations, and as a world population? These themes are what the live action stories are about, and I didn't think they were dealt with well in the third movie.

Anyway, I liked AOE because I feel it comes back to those themes and deals with them in interesting ways.


Hmm, interesting. To me, this movie makes it like ROTF didn't happen. They use spaceships because they don't have space bridges; the robots are created by "THE CREATORS" which overrides robot heaven; etc. On its face, it follows DOTM though, with many frequent allusions to the events of that movie. But more than that, it keeps the thread of an uneasy human alliance that was already falling apart even in DOTM. Also, the Autobots rightfully get part of the blame for Chicago: they pulled a decoy operation to hide while their rocket blew up, and upon their triumphant return, Optimus proclaims, "now your leaders will understand to not trust the decepticons!" after most of Chicago is trashed. AOE deals directly with the fallout from that decision.

...

As for the directions the sequels will head, I imagine it'll be more of the same type of big action tent poles, basically. Which is almost a shame really as the brand can support other types of stories. I still want to see a buddy cop movie where one of the cops is a robot car. Or Skids the reluctant combatant and his squeeze, Charlene...

Come to think of it, I'd just like to see one that doesn't involve ancient alien Macguffins. We've had the Allspark, the Matrix, the Ark with Sentinel Prime, and now seeds and robot dinosaurs.

Skyquake87
2014-07-11, 08:18 AM
I think there's room for the backstory introduced in ROTF in AOE - its not flat out contradicted or rubbished.

To whit, Earth is Cyberformed by the flying seashells seen in AOE, but the process is not all encompassing and is abandoned as they are pulled away when something of amazing cosmic significance happens that requires their attention. This leaves the dinosaurs dead and evolution to move on to when we get The Fallen turning up with the Primes.

The Primes could easily be an extension of 'The Creators' with their sun harvesting and whatnot, guiding the early Transformers race for whatever purpose the Creators have in mind. And we could even have the whole MTMTE thing of some robots being 'born' and some being 'built' as the Transformers learn more about themselves.

Doesn't take much of a stretch to me to strip away the mystical aspects - which as with our own religion/ science axis stuff is basically that religion is a way of explaining the world and how it works before we found out through being curious and making discoveries. Least, that's how I see it.

numbat
2014-07-11, 09:32 AM
The Primes could easily be an extension of 'The Creators' with their sun harvesting and whatnot, guiding the early Transformers race for whatever purpose the Creators have in mind. And we could even have the whole MTMTE thing of some robots being 'born' and some being 'built' as the Transformers learn more about themselves.

Doesn't take much of a stretch to me to strip away the mystical aspects - which as with our own religion/ science axis stuff is basically that religion is a way of explaining the world and how it works before we found out through being curious and making discoveries. Least, that's how I see it.
Thanks - not being up on MTMTE I've not encountered two ways for Transformers to come into being, but that does make sense. I like the parallels with the way humans are going.

I agree with the religion thing - and perhaps I could see the Primes evolving from some form of ancient load of robots created by these Creators. However, if Optimus himself was built by them, surely he must be one of the original Primes? It could all still be explained I'm sure, but the Transformers films aren't really big on explanation (not a criticism - it's the style of film after all).

My biggest issues are more immediate though - Megatron is originally explained to have come to Earth in search of the AllSpark. Ignoring the daft line that he planned to create a new army using human tech (given he landed on Earth before much in the way of human tech, his wooden army would pretty much suck - I reckon this is left over from an earlier version of the script). I can get behind that the Ark was launched during the war, and also aiming for Earth to use our human resource, and finally crashed thousands or millions of years later on the moon. Lucky coincidence, but if it set off on that trajectory before its engines were knocked out, it would get there in the end (the really luck thing would be not getting knocked off course when the engines were hit and the Earth or moon being in the right place during their orbits to actually hit, while missing any other gravity sources on the way, but I am totally overthinking this - not necessary for summer blockbuster plots). That's all cool with me. But why, then, did Megatron plan all this when his master, The Fallen, had a scheme to destroy the Earth to create energon? Perhaps the Decepticons could have found The Fallen stranded somewhere after Megatron was lost on Earth, but then Megatron seemed totally in touch with The Fallen's plan during ROTF. It just seems a rather fundamental conflict to me that would be very hard to explain, as it contradicts two other plots.

AoE follows on neatly from the first film and DOTM, as far as I can see, although in itself it does not have massive conflicts with ROTF other than by association with the first film and DOTM.

All that said, I love all four films, and couldn't really care if they made sense so long as they have transforming robots fighting each other.

:)

Summerhayes
2014-07-11, 10:58 AM
I took it more as the creators created the entire Transformers rave, through supplying cybertron with Transformium and giving them the all spark, as opposed to them literally building optimus himself. Or maybe they did build the original primes, of which OP is one? It can definitely all work, especially considering there's 65 million years for it to all squeeze into.

the daft line that he planned to create a new army using human tech
The way I took that one was that it wasn't his plan when he headed over to earth, but it was what the Autobots assumed he would do if he woke up in the 21st century. His original plan was probably just to land in the ice age, or whenever he's supposed to have crashed, pick up the cube and lickedy-split to whatever planet had either technology or Transformium.

But why, then, did Megatron plan all this when his master, The Fallen, had a scheme to destroy the Earth to create energon? Perhaps the Decepticons could have found The Fallen stranded somewhere after Megatron was lost on Earth, but then Megatron seemed totally in touch with The Fallen's plan during ROTF. It just seems a rather fundamental conflict to me that would be very hard to explain, as it contradicts two other plots.

This one is the biggest bugger to work out for me as well. Maybe he just has a few plans knocking about his head at a time. I don't think megs found out about the matrix and the pyramid and that until ROTF so maybe he made plans with sentinel before the fallen had told him about the other plan for Earth, then some time between that plan failing and the start of DOTM, sound wave told him they'd found the Ark on the moon and megs figured prime could use the matrix to revive him.

inflatable dalek
2014-07-11, 11:43 AM
Also, the cartoon had both "Creators" and "Robot Heaven" (Well, I don't think they directly refered to it as an afterlife, but basically it was where all the dead Autobot leaders lived, floating about and giving vague cobblers advice to their successors, so as close to what we saw in ROTF as makes no odds) so there's no contradiction there as such.

After all, most Transformers seem unaware of their origin*, so the mystical trappings they've given to everything could be the old "Advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" thing.



*Though Prime suddenly being able to give exposition on the Cyberforming as if he'd known about it all along seems to both contradict how well informed he was about the species origin before and was also a really clunky bit of writing.

Summerhayes
2014-07-11, 11:46 AM
Did he mention cyberforming after he'd escaped from Lockdown's ship? Maybe he accessed the computers, or Lockdown gave him a lecture or whatnot and he learned more then.

inflatable dalek
2014-07-11, 11:49 AM
It's possible I suppose, but it did seem to come out of nowhere, almost as if the writer suddenly realised they needed to explain the opening and so just stuck the words in the mouth of the next character to speak.

Optimus is a real multitasker actually isn't he, finding time to be both a Prime and a Knight Who Says Key To Vector Sigma.

horizon
2014-07-14, 11:43 AM
Well.... I really liked the movie! Almost as good, or at times at the level of the 2007 movie. The better half of me found this one to be the best.

Some good choices in this movie. A lot of nods to the comic book fans both oldies and new. I mean, Optimus in the beginning is just great.

I liked the background scheming of Megatron -> Galvatron. The first smart thing he did in all the movies.
All in all the story was quite solid for a movie like this.

In terms of coherency Revenge of the Fallen could left out of it all.

yay

Lufbery
2014-07-19, 03:52 AM
I like the discussion on continuity! :)

For me, I don't see a contradiction in timelines, but Cybertron must be pretty close to the Earth.

Taken chronologically:

1) The spaceships with the creators show up 65 million years ago and convert organic matter into what later is called "transformium." That process, incidentally, wipes out the dinosaurs. I think they take most of the transformium with them because (and I've only seen AOE once), I recall a line about there not being a lot of transformium left. That's why the human antagonists want to detonate the seed.

2) There's war on Cybertron. Optimus send the All spark away and it happens to land on Earth. (Coincidence? You be the judge.) I think that the movie mentioned the All spark being on Earth for 4 million years. I guess this means that the war on Cybertron was 4 million years ago too.

3) Millions of years later, (doesn't the movie say 17,000 years ago or so?), the Fallen shows up at Earth and decides that blowing up our sun would be a good use of resources. Perhaps he knew about the creators' visit to Earth millions of years before. Maybe he knew the All spark was there. Maybe not, and Earth was just in the cosmological neighborhood. No biggie, the other primes kick his ass and the (inexplicably) commit mass suicide to protect the matrix of leadership. Sometime later, Egyptians build a pyramid over the sun destroying contraption.

4) Now it gets fuzzy for me. Megatron goes after the All Spark and crash lands on Earth. I can't recall a specific date, but It has to be before the late 1800s. It would make sense that Megatron crashes to earth after the Fallen is kicked off the planet and sets up his base in the outer solar system. Perhaps the Fallen sent Megatron to Earth to get the All spark. Who knows.

5) Okay. the Dark of the Moon stuff happens with the Ark crashing on the Moon in 1961. This is where it really goes haywire for me. If Sentinel Prime was on the Ark, and he was Optimus Prime's predecessor, then how could Optimus have been around four million years ago to send the all spark away from Cybertron?

Regards,
-Drew

Blackjack
2014-07-19, 08:05 AM
4) Now it gets fuzzy for me. Megatron goes after the All Spark and crash lands on Earth. I can't recall a specific date, but It has to be before the late 1800s. It would make sense that Megatron crashes to earth after the Fallen is kicked off the planet and sets up his base in the outer solar system. Perhaps the Fallen sent Megatron to Earth to get the All spark. Who knows.

Megatron was found by Witwicky's great great great grandpappy in the late 1800s I believe, whereas the time that he crash-landed was decidedly more ambiguous.

The thing in DOTM that bugged me was that Soundwave has apparently been working with Gould for at least a couple of generations, which would be significantly before 2007... meaning Soundwave has already arrived on Earth before Starscream, Blackout, etc. So either he wasn't able to find Megatron, the Allspark and everything the Decepticons want on Earth... and is just planting Decepticon protoforms on the Moon without actually using them in either the 2007 or ROTF conflicts?

5) Okay. the Dark of the Moon stuff happens with the Ark crashing on the Moon in 1961. This is where it really goes haywire for me. If Sentinel Prime was on the Ark, and he was Optimus Prime's predecessor, then how could Optimus have been around four million years ago to send the all spark away from Cybertron?

Optimus could be around four million years ago without being Prime. The Ark could have been launced millions of years ago, before or after Optimus launched the Allspark, and both landed on Earth separately because they took a long time to land. We don't know when the Allspark landed on Earth, only that it was launched a long time ago.

Lufbery
2014-07-19, 04:37 PM
Good points, Blackjack!

I'm re-watching the first movie, and just came to the part where they say that "carbon dating puts the cube here about 10,000 years ago."

That changes the timeline above to:

65 million years ago -- the creators kill nearly everything on Earth.

17,000 years ago -- the Fallen tries to blow up our sun.

10,000 years ago -- the All Spark falls to earth, followed at some point by Megatron.

1880-something -- Grandpa Witwicky finds Megatron.

1932 (ish) -- President Hoover has the dam built over the cube.

1961 -- the Ark crashes on the Moon.

None of this gives any clues to the timeline of events on Cybertron or when the Autobots and Decepticons are not mucking about on Earth.

Still, things hang together fairly well.

Heinrad
2014-07-19, 10:26 PM
Just got back from seeing AoE again(missed the first half hour, stupid theater website), and still really enjoyed it. And this time around, I caught something that I missed the last time: Exactly when did the archaeologist lady catch up with the Yeagers, Shane, and Stanley Tucci?

And why the hell can't the local theaters take these vouchers?

Blackjack
2014-07-20, 12:23 AM
I caught something that I missed the last time: Exactly when did the archaeologist lady catch up with the Yeagers, Shane, and Stanley Tucci?

Wasn't she in the same car with Stanley Tucci and his Chinese girlfriend? They did get separated when they reached Hong Kong, but IIRC there was a shot when she regrouped with the main characters shortly before they took a stand around the 'glass box' house.

Red Dave Prime
2014-07-20, 11:30 PM
So as someone who found the first movie ok, the second terrible and the third hugely over-rated, I think its fair to say I wasnt expecting much from Bay 4. And while there are lots of things I did not like, overall I am surprised to say that, hey, this wasn't too bad. For all the things I did not enjoy about it, when I left the cinema I was more thinking about the things I did enjoy. So in that respect, job well done.
Special mentions go to:

The Lockdown design and character overall - best villain I've seen in a movie blockbuster in quite a while.
The reduced autobot cast - not every one may have been a winner but I can at least tell you who every one was and what their moment in the film was.
The human characters - mostly good here too. Some dodgy ones - daughter and boyfriend lack charm, the friend who gets killed early on - but also some really good ones. Fraiser is great, Marky Mark is pretty spot on and I liked Steve Jobs.
The action scenes/ set pieces - there were too many and by the end I had had enough but the Lockdown/Prime finale was great as a visual, as was the charge of the dinobots. The takedown of prime was also excellent.

So there we have it. A Bay film I enjoyed. A transformers movie I enjoyed. And, looking at what has come before it, one of the better big-budget films in a while. Havent seen the x-men movie which I hear is good and I found Cap USA 2 a better film than this but AOE was more enjoyable than a recent host of others - namely Iron Man 3, Amazing Spiderman 2, Thor 2, and Any of the hobbit movies.

Blackjack
2014-07-21, 07:01 AM
So there we have it. A Bay film I enjoyed. A transformers movie I enjoyed. And, looking at what has come before it, one of the better big-budget films in a while. Havent seen the x-men movie which I hear is good and I found Cap USA 2 a better film than this but AOE was more enjoyable than a recent host of others - namely Iron Man 3, Amazing Spiderman 2, Thor 2, and Any of the hobbit movies.

X-Men was... good but bloated, I guess? The pacing's pretty good for the massively massive plot they have, but by jumping back between the 'past' cast and the 'future' cast just ensures that a lot of people are going to get sidelined, and that's what happens. The movie puts a lot of spotlight on the past versions of X, Magneto and Mystique, and some other characters get a chance to shine, but the movie has too many characters and not enough opportunities to explore a good chunk of them beyond glorified cameos. It's also rather impossible to understand if you haven't watched at least a couple of the previous X-Men movies, probably bringing it down in the eyes of more casual viewers.

Captain America 2 was great, though.

Iron Man 3 is a good movie in my opinion, but there's just not enough to grab the attention in the one-hour lull where Tony is mucking around with the kid and generally not being Iron Man. People hate it for the Mandarin, but since I know nothing of the Marvel comics beyond a couple of video games I shrugged. But I know that it's something extremely akin to the idiotic Ra's Al Ghul from Batman Begins, and I absolutely loathe that movie because of that, so I can see where the hate is coming from.

Amazing Spiderman 2 and Thor 2 were not terrible, but nothing spectacular. Both feel more like episodes of a series, I came to see them fight, and I see them fight. Thor 2 suffers from an extremely weak and undeveloped villain, although Loki's awesome. Spiderman actually has an awesomely developed and sympathetic villain, but then the movie introduces another and just kinds of fudges everything up with a random climactic battle.

The Hobbit movies? A lot of the action scenes are pretty impressive, and I particularly adore anything with Legolas or the dragon in the second one, but there's just so much obvious padding, especially in the first Hobbit one, that I wonder why they're making this a three-parter instead of a single movie or a two-parter.

Summerhayes
2014-07-22, 07:07 PM
Did people disk like Begins' version of Ra's? I didn't even know people disliked that bit. I thought it was a pretty good interpretation of the immortal character in a more realistic batverse.
I also didn't mind the mandarin, I don't think that character could've been done closer to the comic books without it being super racist. My problems with iron man 3 were elsewhere.

Anyway, seeing AoE again on Thursday with a few mates in the dinky local cinema.

inflatable dalek
2014-07-22, 07:54 PM
In terms of other recent blockbusters...

X-Men Days of Future Past, minor niggles aside, was very good and just about justified its length as, unlike Age of Extinction, as there was a fairly complicated (by the standards of these things) plot going on there.

Iron Man 3 was very good despite Guy Pierce being a bit dull and the film feeling more like Robert Downey Jr. Pissing About Having Fun than an Iron Man movie as such, it was also interesting to see them toying with ways to keep him involved in the Marvel films once age starts to get the better of him by having most of the suit action be by remote control rather than him in the costume and having him take a step back at the end so in theory in future he could just work for the Avengers in a more advisory role.

The plane scene was brilliant as well, especially as they actually threw some people out of a plane rather than all CGIing it.

I know fans don't like the Mandarin twist, but, whilst I can appreciate the annoyance of seeing a beloved character turned into a punchline, speaking a someone who doesn't read Iron Man comics I thought it was absolutely brilliant, hilarious and a nice meta commentary of bored big named actors haming it up in summer blockbusters they have no interest in bar the money (being played by an actor who has been more than a little guilty of that in the past helped as well, ironically Kingsley seemed to give more of a **** than I've ever seen him do in this sort of film).

Thor 2 was by far the worst, and that was more dull than outright bad. Christopher Eccleston also gave what may be the single worst and least interested performance I've ever seen in a super hero film, exactly the sort of thing Iron Man 3 was taking the piss out of.

Man of Steel had a good first half and, as with everything Snyder does, looked very pretty, but the city fight at the end just seemed to go on and on and on and on (and felt like it destroyed most of Metropolis) to the point of feeling dull. The Movie also never properly established that Superman Does Not Kill- indeed there's nothing to say as he's chucking Krytonians through silos that's not trying to kill them- making the angst at the end come out of nowhere.

I really like the Nolan films, yes, they're basically a nine hour audition for him to direct Bond (and with the Craig Bond's being more than a bit influenced by the Batman films- culminating in Stately Bond Manor being burnt down- it feels like both film series are eating each other up) and the problem every live action Bats except Adam West has had of never being as interesting as their villains remains, but overall very well made action cinema than plays the increasingly daft situations with just the right amount of seriousness.

The problem with me for the Ra twist was that Liam Neeson looked so much like the character it would have been more of a surprise if he hadn't really been him.

How did Godzilla stack up? That's arguably treading on the toes of Transformers more than the superhero films are.

numbat
2014-07-23, 04:00 PM
If anyone hated Iron Man 3 because of the interpretation of the Mandarin, it's worth checking out the Marvel one-shot short film on the Thor 2 Blu-ray (I imagine it's on the DVD too?). I also rewatched Iron Man recently, and notice there are a lot of oblique references to the Mandarin. I think they've left a framework in place there that allows a more literal interpretation of the villain down the line. That all being said, I knew nothing of the comic version until after Iron Man 3, and I'm actually glad they didn't do a more literal interpretation. It's a funny thing - I've really gotten into comics in the last few years, but as much as I love the Marvel films and Nolan's Batman trilogy, I can't stand any of the source comics. I can just about handle some of the X-Men runs, but by no means all. It'll be interesting to see Guardians of the Galaxy - that was one of the comics that got me into, erm, comics, and I still read the current iteration (although did prefer Abnett and Lanning's run - much more Hitchhiker's crossed with Dirty Dozen humour).

Pacific Rim is awesome, but I do prefer AoE. It has Transformers in it. :swirly:

I've yet to see Cap 2 or X-Men Days of Future Past, but looking forward to them coming out on Blu-ray. AoE was the first film I'd seen in over 6 months - latter stages of wife being pregnant and then small baby will do that. Will definitely get to GOTG though.

Summerhayes
2014-07-23, 10:09 PM
I enjoyed Man of Steel a lot. I would have preferred a lighter film, with more heroics from superman, but after the somewhat dull Superman Returns, seeing supes punch a fella through shit was enjoyable.

Godzilla I really really enjoyed. I'm a big fan of all the Japanese films, I like seeing dinosaurs fight and smash buildings and seeing it done on a big American budget was quality. I actually got into the human character too, but films really get to me more than they ought to. I don't know if I'd recommend it to everyone, but if you think you'd enjoy a film called "Godzilla" then this'll definitely do the trick. It had nuff Godzilla.

Rack 'n Ruin
2014-07-28, 12:25 PM
Finally got to see the film last night.

Well. That wasn't very good, was it? :(

Things I liked:
+ Lockdown. I liked how he was quote a controlled, talkative villain. Shame he was killed off.
+ Hound (mostly). John Goodman can make anything better.
+ Drift (I know he didn't do much, and the samurai thing is weird, but I actually kinda liked him).
+ The annoying moron of a surf dude getting killed off when I was starting to fear he was the new Leo.
+ Frasier. Though I missed Niles. :(
+ The new "more human" faces on some characters (Lockdown, Drift, Hound, etc.). Not very Transformer-y, but much more expressive and therefore better at getting some character in there.
+ Galvatron's new alt mode, and the fact he "has no soul". Harder to kill with no spark and the ability to morph away...

Things I didn't like:
- How unsympathetic and just unpleasant nearly every character was. Prime was nothing like my (very G1) idea of how Prime should be, and I utterly failed to connect with the new family and Lucky Charms (I carry an excerpt from a law on a disturbing card in my wallet, to be sure, to be sure).
- The Dinos did next to diddly. No characterisation. At. All.
- The running time. At least a third could've been cut and it wouldnt've have been missed.
- The soundtrack. Unpleasant and very loud weirdness. Not for me.
- The swearing. Really didn't need that much, esp. in a 12A film. No way would I take my nephews to watch that.
- The Transformium (AKA Cheaper-CGI-ium).
- Crosshairs. Just a Grade A dick.

inflatable dalek
2014-07-28, 03:33 PM
(I carry an excerpt from a law on a disturbing card in my wallet, to be sure, to be sure).

That was a sequence I found a bit bizarre and easy to have cut as well, presumably that's a lost in transatlantic translation thing thanks to the differing ages of consent in the US and UK (so hey American, if you want to sleep with 16 year olds without Marky Mark giving you a dirty look, come over here post-haste!).



- The swearing. Really didn't that much, esp. in a 12A film. No way would I take my nephews to watch that.


In fairness though, the amount of swearing in it has been standard for a 12A for a few years now, there was a **** in the last one to IIRC.

Though you have given me an excuse to segeway into something that gets on my wick about how the use of **** in a 12A works...:

OK, even though the language allowed has gotten stronger, I know that including swearing in ostensibly family films so as to avoid too low a rating has been around for decades, that's why there's an "Oh shit" in the original Transformers film and as an adult who has owned the films on DVD and blu ray for several years I'm still surprised at the amount of swearing in the uncut versions of the Back to the Future trilogy and Flash Gordon compared to the edited versions I grew up with on ITV (Timothy Dalton must have been basically a mute in the TV cut of the later as his every other line is contains either "Bastard" or Bitch" said in a way that makes both sound much worse than any other actor saying **** does).

I also get the "You can say **** once" thing has been allowed in a 12A for a while now so anyone taking kids should be well aware of this (after all, the whole point of a 12A is parents are supposed to be responsible for checking beforehand if they think their kids can take it), plus lets face it, most kids over 10 are not going to be confronted with the word for the first time. I don't really think it should be in a kid orientated film, but at least I can make the choice beforehand if anyone ever actually does entrust me with children.

My real problem with it is you can only say it once. Do the BBFC really think "Well, it's perfectly OK for every 12 year old in the country to hear the word "****" once in a day (though they better not go see two 12A films with it in during that period), but more than once and that is completely unacceptable and disgusting and only allowed for 15 year olds! We will protect our children from the double ****!"


There's a couple of instances where it has worked- Wolverine's cameo in X-Men First Class (though him doing the same basic gag in his second solo film and the callback from young Xavier in Days of Future Past does weirdly mean "****" is now basically a Wolverine catchphrase) and and M realising she's ****ed everything up in Skyfall, but mostly just saying it once just draws attention to the fact the characters aren't saying it all the time. Age of Extinction should be full of characters going "Oh ****! We're ****ed! This is ****! **** me!" as a perfectly natural response to giant alien robots trying to kill them. Just saying it once- at old Chinese people no less- only shows up how unrealistic the rest of the dialogue in the movie is.

I mean, this post would now automatically be rated 15 by the BBFC (though possibly for the encouraging Amricans to circumvent their age of consent laws as much as anything), is that ****ing fair?

Blackjack
2014-07-28, 04:50 PM
That was a sequence I found a bit bizarre and easy to have cut as well, presumably that's a lost in transatlantic translation thing thanks to the differing ages of consent in the US and UK (so hey American, if you want to sleep with 16 year olds without Marky Mark giving you a dirty look, come over here post-haste!).

Yeah, this was a scene I found rather odd and didn't get the joke as well.

+ Hound (mostly). John Goodman can make anything better.
+ Drift (I know he didn't do much, and the samurai thing is weird, but I actually kinda liked him).

Hound and Drift are cool. I think Drift might be my favourite now mostly because of how daft a samurai robot is on paper, but based on the people I go to see the movie with Lockdown and Hound are the ones everyone likes.

Also, I liked Crosshairs! That crazy-looking jerk is just mouthing off every now and then and keeps getting cannons shoved in his face. I do like him.

+ The annoying moron of a surf dude getting killed off when I was starting to fear he was the new Leo.

Yeah, by the time the car chase (which IMO is pretty awesome even if it takes away precious screen time from robots beating each other up) rolled around the stupid idiot was so freaking grating that he definitely fits Leo's role...

I actually cheered in the theater when he was killed off, whereas everyone else gasped and reacted in general shock.

+ The new "more human" faces on some characters (Lockdown, Drift, Hound, etc.). Not very Transformer-y, but much more expressive and therefore better at getting some character in there.

There was one point when a closeup on Drift's face really looked weird but in general all of the new faces we see -- Hound, Lockdown, Drift, Crosshairs, Galvatron -- are all basically human faces. Compaing it with the 'bunch of eyes and mouth strung together' like Brains in this movie, as well as Wheelie, Q and the twins from the past series, it's certainly gone a far way in making them emote better.

+ Galvatron's new alt mode, and the fact he "has no soul". Harder to kill with no spark and the ability to morph away...

I do absolutely love Galvatron's visual effects morphing into a cloud to avoid damage, though he was kind of just set up to show up in the next movie, isn't he? He's awesome though and that Nemesis Prime truck, mmm..

- How unsympathetic and just unpleasant nearly every character was. Prime was nothing like my (very G1) idea of how Prime should be, and I utterly failed to connect with the new family and Lucky Charms (I carry an excerpt from a law on a disturbing card in my wallet, to be sure, to be sure).

On the contrary I liked movie Prime better... His anger and his rage made him feel more relatable. Anyone who's been betrayed by a group of outsiders he had considered his allies and hunting him and his friends down, melting down Ratchet and Leadfoot for nothing more than parts... it's a different thing than when the Decepticons did it, and the palpable rage you can just see in Optimus Prime's face when he saw Ratchet's face being melted down, or the absolutely sickened look when he realizes that the humans will go so far as to kill their own on a lead that may or may not be true...

That would make anyone want to kill whoever is behind all this, and the fact that Optimus Prime elected not to kill Businessman Dude when they finally storm the KSI factory, I think, is really testament that he is indeed Optimus Prime, the unwavering morality of the Autobots. He doesn't execute humans, not until it's truly necessary like Kelsey Grammer later on who's about to kill his human ally.

Do agree that the new human family are kind of shit. Mark Wahlberg is kind of inoffensive, but the daughter is an annoying screechy little shit that brings down almost every scene she shows up in. Boyfriend as well.

- The soundtrack. Unpleasant and very loud weirdness. Not for me.

Huh, I actually liked this soundtrack better than the almost identikit ones for the first three movies. This one felt a lot more triumphant, especially during the final battle, whereas the past movies felt more melancholic, illustrating how they're on their last ropes and going on a last stand and stuff like that, whereas this felt generally optimistic and uplifting.

- The swearing. Really didn't need that much, esp. in a 12A film. No way would I take my nephews to watch that.

Personally don't mind the swearing -- preferred swear words to random visualizations of robot genitalia or humping robots from past movies. And anyway it's far better for kids to learn swear words from movies (they're going to learn about it sooner or later) than from friends.

Though the bunch of seven-year-old gremlins who sat behind me during my second viewing went out repeating Hound's "oh nuts" dialogue instead of all the other swear words in the movie. Kids are funny that way.

Denyer
2014-07-28, 07:40 PM
transatlantic translation thing thanks to the differing ages of consent in the US and UK

Wasn't just me thinking it odd that they'd chosen to include "characterisation" that makes the leads/setting sound really ****ing stupid to the rest of the world, then. Although also not keen on the lay-it-on-with-a-trowel silly foreign stereotyping of alien robots.

Negatives also included a continued lack of Megan Fox, no scenes to quite match "give me your face!" / "I'll take you all on!" and making it tie in with the increasingly torturous movie continuity of retcons and ancient history.

But overall much better than the third one -- bonkers as anything and making very little sense, but pretty fun. And it's taken a while, but I've grown to like this Prime and separate him from others played by Cullen.

numbat
2014-07-29, 07:52 AM
- The soundtrack. Unpleasant and very loud weirdness. Not for me

Like Blackjack, I actually really liked the soundtrack this time round. Owning all four, I can say actually overall this is the quietest one, and has the greatest variety. I really liked Lockdown's creepy and subdued theme in particular. The stuff with the Dinobots is also very uplifting and magical - matching the awe of the sequence in the film (although I agree the Dinobots had no characterisation and very little to do other than break stuff).

Hangs together way better than say ROTF's score, while being less in-your-face than DOTM's very loud score. The original movie score remains pretty cool, but isn't as rich (but you'd kinda expect that as the first film, with fewer themes). I really like that they've kept Steve Jablonsky on for all four - it gives great consistency in sound, even if the different films do have their own distinct voice.

Blackjack
2014-07-29, 08:14 AM
(although I agree the Dinobots had no characterisation and very little to do other than break stuff).

Oh, come on, like they do anything else in any other continuity?

Granted, Marvel Grimlock is a different beast altogether, but other than that, has any other version of Grimlock -- cartoon, Animated, IDW, Dreamwave, Fall of Cybertron -- do anything more beyond roar and destroy stuff and speaking like a caveman with brain damage?

Do fully agree that they needed more screentime, though. They look freaking awesome.

Hangs together way better than say ROTF's score, while being less in-your-face than DOTM's very loud score. The original movie score remains pretty cool, but isn't as rich (but you'd kinda expect that as the first film, with fewer themes). I really like that they've kept Steve Jablonsky on for all four - it gives great consistency in sound, even if the different films do have their own distinct voice.

Yeah, all four movies have the same... 'taste', of sorts, but the general themes are all altered. ROTF and the first Movie seems to just be remixes of each other, whereas DOTM is loud and relies more on long, deep notes and some bells here and there. AOE is... livelier, like Numbat says -- it alternates from quiet orchestraic ones for Lockdown and some of the other scenes, which makes sense since this movie is 'sadder', so to speak, with all the fatalities the Autobots have endured, before slowly building up into the massively uplifting and fast-paced Dinobot theme.

Summerhayes
2014-07-29, 12:32 PM
Well, having just seen this for a fourth, yes fourth, time I have to say you're all wrong. I really liked Wahlberg and his family, and the father figure parallel with Prime was really nice.

Also, in response to a continuity discussion with Dalek earlier; the only bit of history Prime and Hound explain was that planets were cyber formed with Transformium, which they could have been aware of while still having a mystical, religious belief about the All Spark and whatnot.

numbat
2014-07-29, 07:18 PM
Well, having just seen this for a fourth, yes fourth, time I have to say you're all wrong. I really liked Wahlberg and his family, and the father figure parallel with Prime was really nice.

Also, in response to a continuity discussion with Dalek earlier; the only bit of history Prime and Hound explain was that planets were cyber formed with Transformium, which they could have been aware of while still having a mystical, religious belief about the All Spark and whatnot.

I agree - so we're not all wrong.

:swirly:

Oh, come on, like they do anything else in any other continuity?

Granted, Marvel Grimlock is a different beast altogether, but other than that, has any other version of Grimlock -- cartoon, Animated, IDW, Dreamwave, Fall of Cybertron -- do anything more beyond roar and destroy stuff and speaking like a caveman with brain damage?

Do fully agree that they needed more screentime, though. They look freaking awesome.


Don't get me wrong - I was grinning from ear to ear the whole time the Dinobots were on the screen. Absolutely loved them. A bit more screentime and at least a talking part for Grimlock would have been way better though. Maybe next time?

Summerhayes
2014-07-30, 02:58 PM
The film did end with them running off into the woods, and they're far too powerful to be handwaved away between films, so I'm sure we'll see them in TFV. In fact, with prime buggering off to space, perhaps we'll get an Earthforce type deal?

Cliffjumper
2014-08-02, 04:39 AM
Finally saw. A real mixed bag; fairly engaging all the way through but overlong and preposterously ADD.

- Messy, choppy plot: ROTF style, stuff just happened for no good reason far too often. What, it's really that simple to evade a CIA dragnet and break into KSI HQ? And it's a shame, because the basic storyline was pretty good, a few old ideas finally brought off nicely - a genuinely vicious Autobot hunting plan that kills off established characters rather than "Hey, Sunstreaker's been kidnapped but that ****pump with the silly name is going to be his Headmaster so don't worry kids!" is the kind of logical follow-through other TF mediums seem completely incapable of.

- New characters: Let's be honest, the Dinobots were trailer-bait. Film would have worked without them considering Optimus' waxing power levels throughout the story. The rest of the new Autobots were just accents, except Hound, who was Ironhide. Ratchet's death was actually genuinely upsetting but showed to me that Bay knows what he's doing - he knew it would have resonance through simple familiarity and it's a great choice as an ambassador to represent the old cast being butchered. Lockdown was a handy enough villain, though it's a shame Mark Ryan's a lot less versatile than Bay seems to think.

- Old characters: **** YES OPTIMUS PRIME. Prime is always better when he's pissed off, and he spends most of the film pissed off. Bumblebee's still being used at about the right level to keep him from becoming an annoyance too - he's decentralised slightly now Sam's gone but still pretty much the #2 Autobot, which is fair enough.

- Moral grey areas: Did I miss something, or do the Autobots not know that Lockdown is planning to cyberform Earth until well after they've boarded his ship, dropped missiles on a chunk of the city and nicked his shuttle to ensure his pissed-off return? I mean, yes, they're saving Prime (and Tess, though that seemed to be unintentional on Lockdown's part) but it did feel like the Autobots were basically acting as the government claimed and lucked out when it turned out Lockdown was actually a massive prick.

- That and there must be a ridiculous amount of bystander casualties at the end and they're probably 50/50 Autobot/drone, with most being caused by three idiots charging in on Dinobots. Ambushed in the city? Nothing you can do about that. Riding massive metal dinosaurs into the city? Not a fantastic call in regards to civilians. I dunno, it never really felt Earth itself was under threat because the cyberforming was sort-of sneaked in under the radar and Lockdown's motives for doing so were kind-of not there, so the Autobots came across as stubborn, careless and heavy-handed in places.

- The humans: Wahlberg did alright in that confused, saying "honey" a lot way that he does in anything else; the rest were a bit of a mixed bag. Not much wrong with daughter and daughter's BF apart from a little overdone banter; nice to see the toilet humour was largely gone, but I could guess a lot of the wisecracks before characters' opened their mouths. Tucci was alright but if we're going to have a critics' favourite character actor hamming things up for pantomime value why not just stick with Turturro? Kelsey Grammer didn't add much either, though it was nice to see him in a way - endless Sideshow Bob returns aside, what exactly has he been in since Frasier finished?

More thoughts to come, one suspects. [less rambling review at Letterboxd (http://letterboxd.com/tomprankerd/film/transformers-age-of-extinction/)]

Blackjack
2014-08-02, 05:39 AM
because the basic storyline was pretty good, a few old ideas finally brought off nicely - a genuinely vicious Autobot hunting plan that kills off established characters

Yeah, I never thought about it until now but the robot-hunting angle sorta got dropped once they stormed KSI, isn't it? I mean, the humans still sicced Galvatron and Lockdown on them, but still, like the "NEST is hunting down Decepticons" bit from the second movie that angle is sorta dropped for the rest of it.

**** YES OPTIMUS PRIME.

:up:

Did I miss something, or do the Autobots not know that Lockdown is planning to cyberform Earth until well after they've boarded his ship, dropped missiles on a chunk of the city and nicked his shuttle to ensure his pissed-off return?

Was Lockdown trying to cyberform Earth? I thought he was happy to bug off back to space with Optimus Prime in tow -- the deal was to give the humans the Seed, which, from the way they're talking about, is enough to cyberform a human city or something but not the entire planet. It's the humans that want to use it (on the desert to make money) and later Galvatron (to blow up Hong Kong for... jollies I suppose)

The way I saw it, Lockdown was happy to just leave Earth since he thinks that Prime is already in his possession and the stowaways (Crosshairs and Bumblebee) had been driven off. He didn't drop missiles on a chunk of the city as well -- other than those anchor lines accidentally deploying thanks to Crosshairs' sabotage Lockdown didn't do anything to hurt the humans.

- That and there must be a ridiculous amount of bystander casualties at the end and they're probably 50/50 Autobot/drone, with most being caused by three idiots charging in on Dinobots. Ambushed in the city? Nothing you can do about that. Riding massive metal dinosaurs into the city? Not a fantastic call in regards to civilians.

Moral to the humans: never piss off Optimus Prime or he'll "forget" about keeping civilian casualties to a low.

Even if you're wholly unrelated humans to those that killed his buddies.

I dunno, it never really felt Earth itself was under threat because the cyberforming was sort-of sneaked in under the radar and Lockdown's motives for doing so were kind-of not there, so the Autobots came across as stubborn, careless and heavy-handed in places.

Yeah, basically Hong Kong's the only thing in danger thanks to the plot, but that's where all our characters are. I thought the change of scale in plot compared to ROTF's "they're going to blow up the sun!" and DOTM's "we are being invaded!" is a nice variation.

Again, from that creepy assistant of Tucci the Seed has the explosive capabilities of a nuke -- big enough to engulf a city and certainly bigger than the small grenades Lockdown uses, but not quite enough to screw up the entire planet like it did in the prologue.

Tucci was alright but if we're going to have a critics' favourite character actor hamming things up for pantomime value why not just stick with Turturro?

Maybe Bay just wants to prove to the critics that he can totally make it without bringing back old human characters? I wouldn't put it past him to bring back Simmons, Lennox and/or Epps as cameos if not secondary characters in a fifth or sixth installment, though.

Kelsey Grammer didn't add much either, though it was nice to see him in a way - endless Sideshow Bob returns aside, what exactly has he been in since Frasier finished?

Exactly five seconds of cameo in the new X-Men film!

inflatable dalek
2014-08-02, 07:54 AM
Mind, the only reason he did five seconds rather than having a more substantial role in the future stuff is he was busy on Transformers, dudes in demand! ;)

Didn't he do a few years of a show about being a mayor or something like that as well?


- Moral grey areas: Did I miss something, or do the Autobots not know that Lockdown is planning to cyberform Earth until well after they've boarded his ship, dropped missiles on a chunk of the city and nicked his shuttle to ensure his pissed-off return? I mean, yes, they're saving Prime (and Tess, though that seemed to be unintentional on Lockdown's part) but it did feel like the Autobots were basically acting as the government claimed and lucked out when it turned out Lockdown was actually a massive prick.

I've only seen it the once and so may have missed something, but like Blackjack I don't think Lockdown had any interest in cyberforming Earth, or indeed any interest in Earth whatsoever. He gives the humans what they want in exchange for Prime and then would have buggered off without a look back if not for the escape. Yes, he could have mentioned the dangers (though there's no indication he's a science guy) but he doesn't seem remotely bothered what the humans actually do with their prize after they've got it.

In terms of odd messages, the film didn't seem to know what it was saying about the misuse of technology. Prime is saved because Marky disobeys the government and keeps him in order to make money off him...

But Bald Guy is doing exactly the same thing (albeit on a larger scale) and is presented as evil.

But then Marky has his chat with Prime about how humans screw up and he was indeed wrong but hey, humans make mistakes and this one led to something good, so it seems it is OK to do this sort of thing as long as you accept responsibility for when you mess up.

Then when bald guy tries to apologise, Prime tells him to sod off.

Also in terms of thematic confusion, it feels as if Marky's character arc should be accepting his daughter has grown up and he has to start treating her as an adult, but what he actually does is simply pass on the job of being in charge of her to another man.

I do still think they could have cut out Chicargo entirely (as well as covering old ground, the US government is insanely trusting in Fraiser when they don't launch a full scale attack on the ship, this is equivalent to Bin Laden flying a jet around the site of the world trade centre and the USAF taking a very relaxed attitude to it) and had the "Get the McGuffin out of the city" and "Get Prime off the ship" plots running in parallel in China.

You could have merged Bald Guy's two female sidekicks as well, arguably the Chinese woman would have been the one to stay as everything to do with Lady Penelope could have been cut as well (the precredits and Artic stuff are just there for misdirection on where the Dinobots are coming from, if KSI has just been making the metal from dead Transformers and now needed Lockdown to create their own supply with the bomb it would have made no difference to the plot) and it is otherwise a very white film as far as the main speaking parts go...

But Myles in number two on my list of "Women I fancy who have had sex with a Doctor Who" so I'd have kept her in it. Even if I did think she was Rosamund Pike for most of the film.

With some editing down, they could have made the ending a bit smoother as well. Is Mark still on the CIA death list? Isn't bald guy going to be wanted by the Chinese? At the very least he's going to get sued by everyone and won't have anything left to help out the family afterwards.

Cliffjumper
2014-08-02, 11:54 AM
Due to missing the boat on local cinemas I watched the thing downloaded with out of sync sound while babysitting, so yeh, sounds like I misinterpreted Lockdown's motives. In which case on the one hand fair play, having someone who kept their end of the bargain and couldn't give a shit what the humans do is a nice bit of villain variation. On the other, it really does make the Autobots a bunch of bastards as they basically traded Prime's [life/freedom] for everyone killed by Lockdown's magnet.

Like ROTF I certainly think the thing needed a heavy edit at the scripting phase... as said there were a lot of characters and plot threads which could have been merged or jettisoned.

I found the humans a bit more... average this time around. I don't think there was really anyone I hated being in the film who really got in the way, a la Fat Hacker/Leo/Malkovich (I thought he was kinda funny the first couple of times I saw DOTM but more recent rewatches I just find it a bit sad and one too many crazy humans) but there weren't any Simmons/Dutch/Lennox "hey, let's see more of that cool guy please!" fellers either.

And in a way I did like the change of slightly smaller stakes rather than the universe being threatened or whatnot but it did lose the drama a little and throw the actions of the Autobots into somewhat sharper relief. In the past three films you could argue that some of the things they do are justified by defending Earth and its' people, but this time I was left wondering how close the casualty figures from the fight were compared to what they would have been if HK had been cyberformed... Which would have been a great angle but I somehow feel it wasn't what was intended.

Did love the ending - for one, Prime's basically done shot-for-shot from T28's takeoff in the live action film (albeit minus crashing back to Earth) and it feels like a genuine sequel hook whereas the last three have been "IT IS FINISHED, OVER!!!!!!!" with just a couple of minor teases thrown in (meaning each film's been running against the stream trying to make the Decepticons a threat again when they've just had yet another army obliterated). Just a shame Galvatron's yet another revived Megatron; the guy's got no credibility left. Wouldn't be surprised to see only Hound staying around next film either, and that'd probably depend on John Goodman.

Cliffjumper
2014-08-02, 12:06 PM
Addendum: Was I the only one who felt some of the backdrops in the power cable sequence were bad? As in "incredibly bad fifties Hitchcock movie" bad? It was one of several bits which felt like padding, but padding before's been stuff like Devastator - "this has nothing to do with the plot but it looks cool" whereas that bit just looked super cheap until Bumblebee joined in. It's like they can CGI a trio of Autobots running through Hong Kong on dinosaurs but not a simple sky backdrop.

Cliffjumper
2014-08-02, 12:35 PM
When he turned into the new truck, that was him coming out of hiding and going on the attack, I thought, so it made sense he would go with his "look".

Agreed... the old-style truck despite appearances didn't actually seem to have any performance problems; Prime and Bumblebee rescanning seemed to be deliberate "NO MORE HIDING!" moments.

I did have a general problem with how easily the good guys were able to shake off pursuit at various points, move unhindered through much of Chicago and so on when earlier we were shown they could track Ratchet to some derelict ship. Maybe because of the Grammer character's influence not being total, but it felt more like convenience.

Part of the problem is that with many movie critics they are having to compare films of such drastic goals.

The problem is most professional movie critics (as in the ones with the loudest voices, the TV shows etc.) have been doing their job for forty-plus years now and are often three times the age of a film's target audience - it's the old 90s Radio 1 problem. They despise Bay in the same way their forerunners despised Leone, Peckinpah, Eastwood and Romero. While I doubt he'll ever be thought of as well as any of them I'd bank on a major evaluation in 20 years' time when people have grown up on the style of action film he's pioneered.

They feel they have to justify their investment and worthiness with long run timesThis. Any franchise film seems to think it's got to be 2 hours, longer if it's a sequel; for me, an action film's optimum length is a hundred minutes, maybe 2 hours if it's something really good. You'd think the studios would want them shorter (more showings per day) but no. I blame Peter Jackson (for lots of things, but this in particular). There now seems to be a general misconception that "long" and "epic" are the same thing.

Best (and most epic) film of last year was Gravity, which I don't think even scraped an hour and a half. Whereas AoE wasn't exactly boring but did manage to bore me by the end just because it was so long. By the time the Dinobots came into view I was all excited out - c'mon, let's just save Hong Kong, kill Lockdown and Sideshow Bob and stand dramatically in front of some lens flare, guys, I've got things to do.

inflatable dalek
2014-08-02, 02:00 PM
Due to missing the boat on local cinemas I watched the thing downloaded with out of sync sound while babysitting, so yeh, sounds like I misinterpreted Lockdown's motives. In which case on the one hand fair play, having someone who kept their end of the bargain and couldn't give a shit what the humans do is a nice bit of villain variation. On the other, it really does make the Autobots a bunch of bastards as they basically traded Prime's [life/freedom] for everyone killed by Lockdown's magnet.

Come to think of it, I don't think Lockdown ever gives an indication he's aware of Mega/Galvatron's mucking about, so as far as he's concerned when he first leaves the planet he's entirely fulfilled his side of the bargain and humanity will be merrily building robots to their hearts content.

Like ROTF I certainly think the thing needed a heavy edit at the scripting phase... as said there were a lot of characters and plot threads which could have been merged or jettisoned.

The annoying thing is, it's so obvious how it could have been more streamlined, I know the scripts are never the most important thing in this sort of movie, but it's amazing no one at any stage of production said "What is this character actually for?".

Another oddity, is that the film sets itself up for a Bumblebee/Stinger rivalry. In a completely unsubtle way as well, we literally get people talking directly to camera saying Stinger is Bumblebee's evil counterpart. But we never get the big one on one fight this promises, Bumblebee does take Stinger out, but he needs a Dinobots help and it's done at a distance as if it's of no significance.

Malkovich (I thought he was kinda funny the first couple of times I saw DOTM but more recent rewatches I just find it a bit sad and one too many crazy humans)

I still think the only way the scene with Bumblebee makes any sense (bar everyone being on drugs) is if Malkovich had it written into his contract he'd get to meet Bumblebee because that's what'd make his kids happy and that moment was basically done ad hoc to sate that need.


Did love the ending - for one, Prime's basically done shot-for-shot from T28's takeoff in the live action film (albeit minus crashing back to Earth) and it feels like a genuine sequel hook whereas the last three have been "IT IS FINISHED, OVER!!!!!!!" with just a couple of minor teases thrown in (meaning each film's been running against the stream trying to make the Decepticons a threat again when they've just had yet another army obliterated). Just a shame Galvatron's yet another revived Megatron; the guy's got no credibility left. Wouldn't be surprised to see only Hound staying around next film either, and that'd probably depend on John Goodman.

The main surprise with the end for me was the homage to the last shot in all the Chris Reeve Superman films, mainly because the return to the idea from the first film of the Transformers flying through space by themselves unaided felt a bit odd after such a fuss had been made about the ship just a few scenes earlier.


The problem is most professional movie critics (as in the ones with the loudest voices, the TV shows etc.) have been doing their job for forty-plus years now and are often three times the age of a film's target audience - it's the old 90s Radio 1 problem. They despise Bay in the same way their forerunners despised Leone, Peckinpah, Eastwood and Romero. While I doubt he'll ever be thought of as well as any of them I'd bank on a major evaluation in 20 years' time when people have grown up on the style of action film he's pioneered.

The SFX review, is ludicrous, not because it doesn't like the film (which is of course the reviewer's prerogative) but because it basically moans for three paragraphs about it not being the 1986 film. Which would be fine from a fan on a forum, but an actual paid critic considering that a valid complaint is just embarrassing. Plus the reviewer totally failed to get the Transforinum gag (complaining it was a rubbish generic name, when that's the point of Bald Guy being so smug about it) and think Lockdown turns into a gun (as him doing so whilst Galvatron doesn't is one of the things the film got wrong apparently).

All of which suggests the person reviewing the film is someone less smart than a Michael Bay movie.

This. Any franchise film seems to think it's got to be 2 hours, longer if it's a sequel; for me, an action film's optimum length is a hundred minutes, maybe 2 hours if it's something really good. You'd think the studios would want them shorter (more showings per day) but no. I blame Peter Jackson (for lots of things, but this in particular). There now seems to be a general misconception that "long" and "epic" are the same thing.

It might also be a result of the competition from TV getting more fierce thanks to bigger sets and improved budgets (something like Game of Thrones looks as good as any film), not being limited by run time is, along with 3D, the big ace in the hole film has that TV can't equal.

As you say, it doesn't make for better films, especially when they've not put any thought into how to fill the run time with enough different things to keep it interesting. As said, X-Men managed it by having two plots running in parallel in different time zones, coming up with a Transformers story that could fill three hours shouldn't have been that hard if more care had been taken with the scripting.

Best (and most epic) film of last year was Gravity, which I don't think even scraped an hour and a half.

Great wasn't it? A lot of people seem to have been annoyed by the religious aspects (though it's easy enough to rationalise various events as being just in Bullock's head), but it's not as if it's uncommon for astronauts to find God, seeing Earth from space has had an extreme reaction on a lot of people, so her being a Catholic and the various things that tie into that during the movie didn't bother me at all.

As far as the blue screen goes, yeah, I wasn't convinced either but I wasn't sure if that was because it was designed for the 3D.

Blackjack
2014-08-02, 04:57 PM
In terms of odd messages, the film didn't seem to know what it was saying about the misuse of technology. Prime is saved because Marky disobeys the government and keeps him in order to make money off him...

But Bald Guy is doing exactly the same thing (albeit on a larger scale) and is presented as evil.

Ah, but Marky is trying to fix Optimus Prime. He doesn't try to exactly disassemble him and melt him off for profit. Unlike his daughter or the annoying friend, he's trying to understand how a thing works and use it in his patents; the money is just a vague goal and a bonus. Bald Guy is melting down corpses and basically doing almost everything for money.

Granted he's apparently out of the loop about them being dead Autobots hounded down by Cemetery Wind, but considering how he was all talking about money and stuff and shows zero respect for the blatant stealing and desecration of corpses when Optimus charges in rightfully angry, I find it rather hard to sympathize with him.

Then when bald guy tries to apologise, Prime tells him to sod off.

Prime's probably still pissed. Not feeding him to Grimlock seems nice enough for him.

I do still think they could have cut out Chicargo entirely (as well as covering old ground, the US government is insanely trusting in Fraiser when they don't launch a full scale attack on the ship, this is equivalent to Bin Laden flying a jet around the site of the world trade centre and the USAF taking a very relaxed attitude to it) and had the "Get the McGuffin out of the city" and "Get Prime off the ship" plots running in parallel in China.

Yeah, this could certainly be something to shorten the movie length considerably. People keep saying to cut out the Galvatron plot, but I'd say this one is the one that needs to be exorcised if I'm editing the movie. Besides, the two action scenes we lost -- walking on tightropes and Crosshairs and Bumblebee on a gunship (which could be incorporated into Hong Kong anyhow) aren't really that big of a deal.

On the other, it really does make the Autobots a bunch of bastards as they basically traded Prime's [life/freedom] for everyone killed by Lockdown's magnet.

Fair point, I never thought about it that way.

Granted if they didn't rescue Prime (and then bought the Dinobots down with them), Galvatron would've nuked Hong Kong and then gone off to conquer the world with his newfound army, so the trade-off is still bad for the humans. A shit-ton of people died this time around, though, with all those falling ships and whatnot...

Dutch

Oh, man, Dutch. I missed that guy.

I was pretty annoyed with the Daughter to be honest. Lucky Charms I didn't particularly hate beyond that douchy 'I can too legally **** your daughter', but the Daughter's scenes after Cemetery Wind attacks all involve her either screaming for someone's name, being in distress or being a bitch. That scene on the tightrope, just throwing a tantrum like a five year old, was the most cringe-worthy.

But nowhere as annoying as Leo was in the second movie, though -- that goes to the dude killed by Lockdown's grenade, but again, he got killed by Lockdown's grenade.

it feels like a genuine sequel hook whereas the last three have been "IT IS FINISHED, OVER!!!!!!!"

Between Galvatron, the Creators, the Dinobots presumably serving as another usable deus ex should they need them again, and Optimus Prime going off to space it's a pretty fun little sequel hook ending.

Just a shame Galvatron's yet another revived Megatron; the guy's got no credibility left. Wouldn't be surprised to see only Hound staying around next film either, and that'd probably depend on John Goodman.

Hopefully Galvatron can pull off something better than Megatron ever did the three times he tried, though I'm not really banking on it.

I'd quite like for Drift, Crosshairs and Hound to be the new Ironhide-and-Ratchet in future movies, though I wouldn't be all that sad if they are all replaced again. The movie leaves the fates of Sideswipe, etc ambiguous enough that they might make a return, but knowing Bay this is pretty unlikely since he's wiped his state pretty clean with those records of Ratchet and Wreckers being executed.

Addendum: Was I the only one who felt some of the backdrops in the power cable sequence were bad?

Yeah, I felt that bit looked weak too. In addition to Daughter's wooden acting and the cringe-worthy lines lobbed around there, the CGI sky and buildings looked bad and at one point Lockdown's wolves actually disappears in a shot even though they have been established to be playing tightrope the scene before.

I did have a general problem with how easily the good guys were able to shake off pursuit at various points, move unhindered through much of Chicago and so on when earlier we were shown they could track Ratchet to some derelict ship. Maybe because of the Grammer character's influence not being total, but it felt more like convenience.

I read it as Cemetery Wind being really good at tracking transformers if they are searching -- satellite images, those bug drone things and Lockdown's help. It is rather odd that they wouldn't keep an eye at KSI, but maybe they just have finite resources and are still scouring the desert, thinking that Optimus Prime would rather hide instead of mount an actual attack in the middle of a city...

The problem is most professional movie critics (as in the ones with the loudest voices, the TV shows etc.) have been doing their job for forty-plus years now and are often three times the age of a film's target audience

It works the other way as well -- watching older movies, and as someone who's probably more open-minded than my peers, I understand the good parts of them, but I know that if the majority of the people my age watch it they'll write it off as old-fashioned, boring trash.

Take the aforementioned Gravity, for example -- I personally thought it was a good, meaningful, suspenseful film... but practically everyone else who went with me, and the general consensus around my friends, thought it was boring and unexciting, mostly because it's just Sandra Bullock trying to survive and there aren't any real bad guys or anything. Again, I thought it was pretty tense a movie, but I'm the only one who really likes it while everyone else's opinion ranges around 'it's okay but could be better' or 'it's shit'.

Maybe it's a culture thing, maybe it's a language thing, or maybe it's an age thing. I don't know. The point is, directors who want their film to be a financial success generally need to try to appeal to what's in the market, to the right age bracket that will rope in the most money, and right now it's action blockbusters like Avengers and Transformers with relatively simple plot that anyone from any background can understand (doubtful, say, a Chinese factory worker who has no clue about how things work as an astronaut would care about Gravity, but robots beating each other or Batman beating up gangsters or Iron Man fighting aliens are pretty universal) and a focus on cool action scenes.

Come to think of it, I don't think Lockdown ever gives an indication he's aware of Mega/Galvatron's mucking about, so as far as he's concerned when he first leaves the planet he's entirely fulfilled his side of the bargain and humanity will be merrily building robots to their hearts content.

By the time Lockdown shows up the new Decepticons are practically nearly wiped out anyway, and even if he's aware of them he'll probably think the humans worked pretty fast.

But we never get the big one on one fight this promises, Bumblebee does take Stinger out, but he needs a Dinobots help and it's done at a distance as if it's of no significance.

I thought they were just introducing another villain so that it's not just Galvatron and Lockdown, but Stinger is such a non-entity beyond 'that cool car that pissed Bumblebee off'. I thought it worked fine, though -- DOTM's biggest problem is that we have too many villains running around -- Starscream, Shockwave, Sentinel, Megatron, Soundwave, Laserbeak, and they just all compete for space and action scenes. This way you sort of build up one of the lesser villains, making it prominent enough for Bumblebee to kill, but not having to make him a truncated villain who ends up doing nothing like Soundwave and Shockwave.

The main surprise with the end for me was the homage to the last shot in all the Chris Reeve Superman films, mainly because the return to the idea from the first film of the Transformers flying through space by themselves unaided felt a bit odd after such a fuss had been made about the ship just a few scenes earlier.

Maybe they can fly through space, but it consumes a lot of energy, hence the ships? I mean, just because I can technically walk from here to the next city would mean I want to, I'd rather drive a car.

All of which suggests the person reviewing the film is someone less smart than a Michael Bay movie.

:lol:

Cliffjumper
2014-08-02, 06:11 PM
The annoying thing is, it's so obvious how it could have been more streamlined, I know the scripts are never the most important thing in this sort of movie, but it's amazing no one at any stage of production said "What is this character actually for?".

You wonder if there's just too much money flying around the things. "Can we afford a fortnight shooting in Chicago?"
"Yes!"
"Okay, right Chicago into the script. We got enough money for a rally car chase through some cornfields?"
It's like Heaven's Gate but with better box office.

I still think the only way the scene with Bumblebee makes any sense (bar everyone being on drugs) is if Malkovich had it written into his contract he'd get to meet Bumblebee because that's what'd make his kids happy and that moment was basically done ad hoc to sate that need.

Yeh; I suspect he minimum asked to be in the same scene as a Transformer. He is a pretty oddball bloke, and Red at least shows that he's done with this acting lark. Like the Ferrari, though, you have to wonder why Bay bent over backwards to include him...

The SFX review, is ludicrous, not because it doesn't like the film (which is of course the reviewer's prerogative) but because it basically moans for three paragraphs about it not being the 1986 film.

The '86 film's contemporary professional reviews were actually very similar to those of the Bay films - too noisy, violent, bad music, no coherence, etc.

Granted if they didn't rescue Prime (and then bought the Dinobots down with them), Galvatron would've nuked Hong Kong and then gone off to conquer the world with his newfound army, so the trade-off is still bad for the humans.

Yeh, it worked out for them but the thing is the Autobots don't know anything about the seed until after they've boosted Prime. Mind, it's another one of those likely-unintentional things - after all they've been through, these Autobots would probably quite happily prioritise the lives of their fellow team-members over humans; e.g. in the storming of KSI or when Prime's surrounded at the family house the Autobots/Prime aren't shown to actually kill anyone but they're not exactly trying that hard not to.

Like I say, probably unintentional. I certainly think Prime especially has plenty of room to be a very pissed off, psychologically scarred person by now and certainly shouldn't feel bound to accept any apologies. He's already gone through it a bit in the last couple (dying and nearly being left to rust if not for Sam and Lennox; being betrayed by his mentor who killed one of his few remaining friends, scapegoated and fired into space in DotM) before an apparent amnesty turned into an ambush and he was forced into hiding, awakening to find out that there's possibly six members of his species left alive, that his friends have been hunted and carved up by humans, that he's on the run from the population of a planet he's saved at least twice, that even winning in Hong Kong will probably change nothing because they won in Chicago as well...

Yeh, I'm not sure I'd accept an after-the-fact apology either.

I was pretty annoyed with the Daughter to be honest.

I dunno, she was just kind-of there. Which was a bit unfortunate as Mikaela and even Carly could chip in.

And I like T J Miller, for Cloverfield if nothing else.

inflatable dalek
2014-08-02, 07:01 PM
Maybe they can fly through space, but it consumes a lot of energy, hence the ships? I mean, just because I can technically walk from here to the next city would mean I want to, I'd rather drive a car.

That makes the leaving the ship behind even sillier doesn't it? He doesn't know who the creators are, nor where they are. His plan seems to be to fly through space aimlessly until he finds God and then stab him in the face.

The shuttle, belonging to Lockdown who knows where the creators are, could at least have some info in its computer about where to look (I can't remember now, how much of the main ship survived as well? Did it crash or explode?).


Yeh; I suspect he minimum asked to be in the same scene as a Transformer. He is a pretty oddball bloke, and Red at least shows that he's done with this acting lark. Like the Ferrari, though, you have to wonder why Bay bent over backwards to include him...


It's lucky I wasn't cast in a Transformers film when Megan Fox was in them, my minimum requirement would have been quuuuuuiiiiiieeeet different.



An autograph obviously. Minds out the gutter people.


I'm actually surprised there wasn't even the slightest passing the torch style cameo from a former cast member, it didn't have to be major, have the now General Lennox be the guy on the phone to Fraiser about wtf is happening in Chicago, Simmons as a talking head on TV or Glen Morshower turning out to be part of an evil cloning program.

Obviously Shia was unlikely to do it (though I think a lot of his so called current insanity is just canny self promotion on his part- he managed to take a film where the cast may or may not have actual sex in it and made all the press about him wearing a bag on his head) but I'm surprised there wasn't at least a tokenistic moment.

Actually, as she seems to have made up with Bay (though I think his involvement in the Turtles film has been wildly exaggerated, I feel sorry for the bloke who is actually directing it) I wouldn't be in the least surprised if Megan Fox does a Vin Diesel and returns at some point in the future films.

Cliffjumper
2014-08-02, 07:28 PM
IIRC Morshower was wanted but dropped out. In-universe I suspect Sam and the NEST gang (of whom there can't have been many left after Chicago) would have been pretty high up the government's disappearing list as well-known powerful Autobot defenders.

Clay
2014-08-03, 12:23 AM
And in a way I did like the change of slightly smaller stakes rather than the universe being threatened or whatnot but it did lose the drama a little and throw the actions of the Autobots into somewhat sharper relief.

I think that the smaller the stakes, the better. If the only danger is to, say, the lives of the characters on screen, then you'd actually have to be made to care about those characters, requiring better characterization, tighter scripting, etc. (Die Hard is a great example). When it's the entire world at stake, the audience doesn't have to care about the characters because they themselves are included in the threat.

Obviously we need to find a happy medium in setting and threat, but I'd like to see a Transformers modern action movie that doesn't hop all over the globe. And of course given that it's the global box office that keeps getting these films into record profits, that isn't gonna happen.

That makes the leaving the ship behind even sillier doesn't it? He doesn't know who the creators are, nor where they are. His plan seems to be to fly through space aimlessly until he finds God and then stab him in the face.

Optimus Prime: Don Quixote In Spaaace

numbat
2014-08-03, 11:11 AM
Great wasn't it? A lot of people seem to have been annoyed by the religious aspects (though it's easy enough to rationalise various events as being just in Bullock's head), but it's not as if it's uncommon for astronauts to find God, seeing Earth from space has had an extreme reaction on a lot of people, so her being a Catholic and the various things that tie into that during the movie didn't bother me at all.

As far as the blue screen goes, yeah, I wasn't convinced either but I wasn't sure if that was because it was designed for the 3D.

I saw Gravity on Blu-ray in my home, and loved it (although my wife thought it was hilariously bad and laughed all the way through my first viewing...).

I actually didn't clock the religious stuff - sure Bullock was a Catholic, and I thought it was clear lots of stuff was going on in her head (trying to rationalise the situation and all). But some of my friends are Catholic, some Muslim, some weird extreme island Protestant and most Atheist. It's normal that a character would have some belief system or lack thereof. Or am I just naive?

Awesome soundtrack too.

Sorry, off topic.

inflatable dalek
2014-08-03, 07:34 PM
IIRC Morshower was wanted but dropped out. In-universe I suspect Sam and the NEST gang (of whom there can't have been many left after Chicago) would have been pretty high up the government's disappearing list as well-known powerful Autobot defenders.

Well I hope that means Morshower was doing the London filming for 24 instead (I'm waiting for the blu ray on that, his absence from season 8 was the main boo hiss moment in that after he'd managed to be the only actor other than Kieffer to do every previous year).

That's actually a pretty bleak ending for all our prior heroes isn't it? Oh well, we've got a (seemingly) unconvincing Irish accent to replace them!

Interesting that the guy is apparently really Irish, but his accent has really annoyed every Irish person I've seen talk about the film. I wonder if it's a similar case as with Glen Quinn on Angel where the direction to make the character more "Comprehensible" resulted in the actual Irish person sounding really odd, or if the actor has just lived in American long enough for it to shift. In which case that's probably accurate to the character's background.

I was fine with the daughter until the ropes bit. Not that she was scared of the situation, which is after all a perfectly natural reaction to have, but that she was screaming and panicking whilst the men got to be calm and controlled even though they're no more experienced as shimmying down ropes hanging miles over a city than she is. It was especially odd as she'd been fairly sensible when going about the ship, nervous yes but managed to pretty much escape from her death trap unaided and without... well without displaying much in the way of basic human emotion as if she wasn't bothering to act at that point.

Cliffjumper
2014-08-04, 03:38 PM
That's actually a pretty bleak ending for all our prior heroes isn't it?

Difficult to see much else, though, isn't it? TBH, NEST seem to be on quite shaky ground in 2-3 when you look at it with a reputation as a rogue unit who tended to fall out with official sorts (Galloway, Mearing) and often struggled to justify their actions without an actual Decepticon invasion going on; in-universe there'd be a few black ops/government agency types who might want to settle scores. Simmons too probably has a list of enemies as long as his arm.

At best they're under super-deep cover somewhere, it's hard to think of the fictional characters doing absolutely nothing and being left to their own devices in the somewhat bleaker universe AoE shows.

I suspect we'll have absolutely no info either way though, just in case any of the cast chose to return in future films.

inflatable dalek
2014-08-04, 07:19 PM
On a similar note, did anyone else find it hilarious how different Prime's reaction to the news about Ratchet ("I WILL KILLLLLLLLLLLLL YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!") was to his reaction to the Leadfoot video (basically "Oh... that guy")? Poor Leadfoot, he gets no love, even from Optimus.

Still, that sort of cameo explaining where he went is the sort of thing Jolt cries himself to sleep every night over not having.

numbat
2014-08-04, 08:08 PM
Still, that sort of cameo explaining where he went is the sort of thing Jolt cries himself to sleep every night over not having.
I'm hopeful Jolt will make his triumphant return in TFV.

Auntie Slag
2014-08-04, 08:52 PM
So has it broken all box office records again? Everything seems to break box office records these days. I read that Guardians of the Galaxy broke the box office record for the most ticket sales for any first week in August for the last year.

Also, has Michael Bay said that's his last one and he's going to hand over the reigns to Jean Pierre Juenet instead, who will somehow include Amelie and Prime will go on a quest of love? (in fairness I think he would like that, because it sounds like he's had a hell of a time in this one).

Summerhayes
2014-08-04, 10:17 PM
I think it's broken international records but not done as well stateside. Which is unsurprising considering the subject matter.

On the subject of Sam and that from the previous films; I don't think they're in too much danger as Cemetery Wind is officially hunting decepticons. They only started killing autobots to get the metal for Steve jobs.

Clay
2014-08-05, 12:04 AM
So has it broken all box office records again? Everything seems to break box office records these days. I read that Guardians of the Galaxy broke the box office record for the most ticket sales for any first week in August for the last year.


I wonder about that too. I'd assume it's mostly attributed to inflation, but the ticket cost at the little local theater here hasn't actually gone up in years. And as far as records like the above go*, they can always go into greater and greater specifics about the record being broken. Next year, some movie will be the biggest opening for the first weekend in August that followed the first of the month falling a Thursday in a waning moon that wasn't also a leap year.

*I saw GOTG yesterday and loved it, so I'm not slighting the film.

Cliffjumper
2014-08-05, 12:55 AM
Yeh, but Cemetry Wind kept it from Mr. Slapple's staff that they were Autobots, which would suggest that the general population were less behind the idea of hunting both sides. A few respected war heroes speaking out could have caused big problems.

Regarding the reaction to Leadfoot's death, is there anything to suggest the Autobots didn't already know he died? For all we're told the Wreckers, Sideswipe and Dino could have been at the same ambush as Prime (and IIRC Prime only goes really apeshit when he finds out Ratchet's being smelted to make consumer goods... it's probably the difference between a soldier finding out a comrade's fallen in battle and finding out one's fallen in battle then been turned into sausages).

Blackjack
2014-08-05, 04:30 AM
*I saw GOTG yesterday and loved it, so I'm not slighting the film.

Guardians (and really any other movie that came out in the past two weeks or so) isn't coming out in my country until middle August for whatever reason. I is sad. :(

Yeh, but Cemetry Wind kept it from Mr. Slapple's staff that they were Autobots, which would suggest that the general population were less behind the idea of hunting both sides.

Considering that even KSI's people are out of the loop that they're melting Autobots, and Yeager was all 'why are you hiding, you're the good guys' it seems that while the Transformers in general are frowned upon, they aren't all clueless Circuit Breaker types that think all robots are evil.

Cemetery Wind's just pulling a hood over the public's eyes.

Regarding the reaction to Leadfoot's death, is there anything to suggest the Autobots didn't already know he died?

IIRC Hound was all 'they killed Leadfoot... savages.' which seemed to imply that they aren't aware of Leadfoot dying. Though I vaguely recall Optimus saying something more subdued when the footage of Ratchet's death was first seen.

I took it to assume that after the ambush a lot of the Autobots just went into running or hiding, and were hunted down one by one by Cemetery Wind -- though having some of the more battle-hardy Autobots like Sideswipe, Dino and the Wreckers dying during the ambush makes sense as well.

During the few times that we see Optimus and the Wreckers in the same scene he only calls them by the team's name. 'Wreckers, get ready to launch.' 'Wreckers, we need a distraction.' 'Wreckers! Get me off these cables!' And during their stay on Earth the Wreckers were mostly relegated to background duty and only really participated with Optimus and the rest during the all-hands-on-deck final battle in Chicago, and it's possible that Optimus just isn't that close with Leadfoot.

(and IIRC Prime only goes really apeshit when he finds out Ratchet's being smelted to make consumer goods... it's probably the difference between a soldier finding out a comrade's fallen in battle and finding out one's fallen in battle then been turned into sausages).

This too, I think.

Auntie Slag
2014-08-05, 09:03 AM
It sounds like looking back on these films in years time, they'll be remembered for really making Optimus the standout character. It could have so easily gone another way; Bay insisting that Shia always be the main focus, or Skids and Mudflap persisting longer than one film.

Fair enough the other robots don't get much of a look in, but it could have so easily been the Bumblebee quintrilogy, with Prime showing up for muscle and a fatherly word when necessary.

I reckon all it really needs now (as in, now people are so familiar with Prime and his tendencies) is a proper villain that can match him.
I felt Sentinel came closest. If there are two films left then I hope Megatron/Galvatron gets the spotlight to show how devious, thoughtful and hopefully similar to Prime he can be, rather than a plain bad-guy opposite.

Cliffjumper
2014-08-05, 09:24 AM
Yeh... IIRC the Wreckers weren't individually named at all in DOTM. Death seems to be a bit of a different beast... just by the numbers involved the Autobots have lost a lot of guys over the years and there does seem to be a certain stoicism about it; the idea of a military leader blubbing every time one of his troopers buys it is silly, and - certainly at this stage of his life - that's what this Optimus Prime basically is, a military commander. So I think it's passable partly that Ratchet is a friend who's been with him a long time and partly the whole desecration of remains thing that really tipped him over.

It also is quite difficult to picture Optimus Prime actually getting along with some of the Autobots... he just seems to not interact/respond with most of the dickhead characters - ROTF he's barely onscreen with the twins, AOE he just doesn't rise to Crosshairs at all, DOTM the Wreckers seem to behave themselves around him...

RE: Prime, I love what the films have done with him. He's different and I can see why he's not to all tastes but he's undergone genuine development over the four films. The character's had a tough time over the years with writing that tends to make him look weak, indecisive, introspective, emo, etc. He was never really that inspirational back in the 80s apart from the odd moment (TF:TM, Crisis of Command, Prey, Prime Target) as he always had to have his arse kicked or saved by a new toy, but now we've got the hardcore warrior-leader a lot of people thought he was.

Agreed on Sentinel as a villain too. Not necessarily for his plan, which was idiotic and inconsistent (though I do think a lot of this was down to Sentinel just being a massive prick), but for his ability to match Optimus in a fight. As great as it was to see Optimus knock the shit out of Megatron in ROTF it does mean Megatron simply isn't a factor in 1-on-1 fights. That said, thought Lockdown was a pretty good match with Optimus in that respect, and I liked the way their rivalry was sort-of a running battle though the film rather than the 'duel' style fights the movies have had in the past where only one guy comes out alive from every fight.

Auntie Slag
2014-08-05, 09:37 AM
In a way I felt that Prime had the closest link with the Wreckers out of almost anyone (apart from perhaps Bumblebee). fair enough there's hardly any evidence, but it seems like he shares their zeal for a good old ruck (I reckon Prime just loved the whole Chicago fight, and he was so itching to give his flight tech a go) and they in turn seemed to like him (my interpretation), and in that way it feels like Prime can be as much of a Ned as as inspirational leader, just whatever hat he wants to wear that day.

I'm glad he finally reacted to someone's death though. Not a peep when it came to Ironhide or Jetfire, and more of a commiseration for Jazz. So to be annoyed by Ratchet is good. I wish they had a bit more interaction prior to this but hey ho.

I could imagine Prime and Roadbuster getting along famously, and the both of them working on constructing a Spanish villa in Auf Weidershen, Pet.

Auntie Slag
2014-08-05, 09:45 AM
As great as it was to see Optimus knock the shit out of Megatron in ROTF it does mean Megatron simply isn't a factor in 1-on-1 fights.

I'd disagree there. I thought they had a spectacular fight in Mission city, and Megatron probably would've won if you take the Allspark out of it.

The first film was the only time Megatron felt like a proper threat to me. I really like what they did to him in DOTM, quite daring in a way. The only thing I didn't like there was his slow-motion run towards the Optimus/Sentinel fight at the end, and then Optimus finishing him off in such quick fashion, which REALLY felt like they were desperately trying to squeeze every last bit of action into the runtime.

Apart from his threat of "If anyone's gonna kill Optimus, it'll be me"; I don't think he even laid a finger on Prime in that scene, did he?

Mind you, it also underlined the true badassness of Prime. Any other film with that scene would have gone along the lines of "Thank you my enemy, you have saved me in my time of need. I propose we call a truce, so we can end this battle and set the tone for the next film". In turn the bad guy would have agreed.

Instead, Prime was more; 'Bollocks to this, I'm having you, mate... even with one arm'.

numbat
2014-08-05, 09:45 AM
I'm glad he finally reacted to someone's death though. Not a peep when it came to Ironhide or Jetfire, and more of a commiseration for Jazz. So to be annoyed by Ratchet is good. .
I don't think Prime and Jetfire had met prior to Jetfire's arrival in Egypt and prompt suicide/sacrifice.

Interesting Prime took no issue wearing a corpse into battle if Transformers really do view their bodies as sacred...

But, yeah, Prime went mental because Ratchet was being melted down - makes sense, as this is a step further than killing someone in battle. They did also appear to be friends, and I imagine even military commanders are upset when their friends die.

Auntie Slag
2014-08-05, 09:58 AM
... I imagine even military commanders are upset when their friends die.

Yeah, Bumblebee was sad when Que died. As viewer's we weren't aware they had any history between them until that point, but all it took was Bumblebee looking like he was going to blub and doing his Tom Hanks voice.

Also, Ratchet gave Bumblebee a friendly pat on the back at the end of DOTM. Both of these instances were barely noticeable to the average viewer I'm sure.

I was just miffed that Prime has never really shown much sorrow for fallen comrades. A passionate line wouldn't have gone amiss; "This is for Ironhide", as he's tearing into Sentinel would have been nice.

Blackjack
2014-08-05, 10:26 AM
Jetfire told Optimus to use his parts to kill the Fallen, though -- surely not doing so would not only dishonor Jetfire's suicide sacrifice, and also make catching up to the Fallen impossible. Him tossing the body away after the Fallen gets mutilated is a bit inexcusable, though there's nothing to say they didn't give him a proper burial or whatever later on.

Regarding death he was pretty stoic when Jazz died in the first movie, and looked pretty heartbroken when Ironhide did in the third movie... but never reacted to Q and anyone else who died. Him being stoic-but-sad works for me. In AOE I took it as the piled stress of betrayal, Lockdown, disgust at the humans that will hurt their own kind and the fact that only four of his men remain... Ratchet being melted down for parts just sent him over the edge right into "**** the humans, I'll kill them" territory though he managed to stop himself before vaporizing Stanley Tucci.

Do agree with the Optimus killing Sentinel being a missed "This is for Ironhide" opportunity.

Did the Wreckers behave around Optimus? I can't actually recall them doing anything particularly dickish without Optimus or vice versa, though it has been a while since DOTM.

Auntie Slag
2014-08-05, 10:35 AM
Well they refer to him by name, minus any insults. But Prime never reacted to Ironhide's death. Ironhide may as well have disappeared like Jolt for all the impact it made (Jolt who incidentally was vital to bringing Prime back to life).

numbat
2014-08-05, 12:30 PM
Yeah, Jetfire did tell Prime to use his parts, but I'd have second thoughts were some random old fart to turn up in the midst of battle, tell me to use his body parts before promptly ripping his own heart out...

But I'm only having a laugh - I love that scene!

At the end of the day, the Transformers films are not high cinematic art. But they're great at what they do - some of the best blockbusters ever. And they all look beautiful (if you like Bay's distinctive style).

And yup, really Jolt is one of the most pivotal Transformers in the live action movies. Ironhide did do some good (like taking down Demolishor, although I reckon Prime gets the credit for that), but nothing in comparison to Jolt. Ratchet can't even fix Bumblebee's voicebox properly, but he did at least instruct Jolt to electrify, so he's a bit useful. Sideswipe really didn't do a lot other than kill minions (and poor Sideways who was trying to run away at the time...). Que made a device that allowed Sam to kill Starscream, which is fairly important I guess. Hound did take down a lot of human-built Decepticons, but really the Dinobots took out more and would have cleared stuff up in the end. Then again, the AoE Autobot team did rescue Prime which was kinda pivotal. I have completely lost my thread now... Back to work.

Auntie Slag
2014-08-05, 12:41 PM
Best blockbusters ever? Ooooh I think that's a stretch! How many people will care about these films in the future? I don't think they're as memorable as Jaws, Jurassic Park, Aliens... The Transformers films are ropey in the extreme, mental camera movements and edits, and often quite vulgar.

I still think the first one is head and shoulders above the others; being accessible, funny and thrilling. The sequels are up there with the GI Joe movie and Tron Legacy for quality.

I think Sideswipe is important, he was good with Ironhide in the third film, and he did a bit of field commanding in ROTF when you'd think Ironhide would be the one doling out the orders. I guess if Jazz hadn't died then he would have been performing that role. The two are largely interchangeable.

One thing I don't get, I think I saw on the extras disc of the first film just how much time and effort it takes (and cost) to create one robot... with every nut and bolt that you do and don't see accounted for and animated. You barely see the robot on screen e.g. Jolt, Jazz, Mixmaster, and then they're gone! That seems like a colossal waste of time and money!

I bet if you check the end credits Jolt had a voice actor too!

numbat
2014-08-05, 12:45 PM
Some of the best blockbusters ever. I don't claim they are the absolute best of that genre. But they're up there.

I actually think Guardians of the Galaxy was the best blockbuster I've seen in a long time. (Although I may be biased as it was GOTG comics which got me in to comics at all a few years ago. Could be a new number one film for me, but given my bigger attachment to Transformers and the fact I've never thought of any of the four live action films as being my number one or even in my top five suggests there's room for improvement!)

Auntie Slag
2014-08-05, 12:59 PM
I'd still argue, are they? How many blockbusters in an average year. Over the last 35 years, where would the Transformers films feature in that list (money-wise if all takings were relativeised) or just purely on people's fond memories?

I'm not having a go at you at all. I just think they've got their work cut out. People seem to wax lyrical over Back to the Future, The Goonies, Aliens, Terminator etc. But the competition may have been a lot less, it feels like there's so much more competition in film now than there ever was?

Everyone's intent on creating franchises out of everything; Harry Potter, Twilight, High School Musical, The Hunger Games, I Am Number Four, The Hobbit, The Hangover etc. And now all the endless Marvel stuff, and that's fine!

But I'd be surprised if 20 years from now Dark of the Moon was more fondly remembered than Step Up 2: The Streets.

Auntie Slag
2014-08-05, 01:06 PM
Actually you know what, I don't even agree with what I just said. If Transformers was really that frowned upon then the first live action film would never even have been made!

Summerhayes
2014-08-05, 02:07 PM
It's a shame they ran out of amusing ways to work the numbers into the titles of the Step Up movies. Step Up 2 The Streets was genius. Step Up 3D was pretty standard but maintained the theme. Then they gave up. Where was Step Up 4 Freedom where they do a sort of Rocky IV, Ivan Drago thing? Where was Step Up Fee 5 Fo Fum with dancing giants?


I've never seen a Step Up movie.

Blackjack
2014-08-05, 02:53 PM
I watched the movie for the fourth time!

The fact that there's very little actual transformation in this movie bothers me a lot. Most of the transformations on anyone who's not Optimus Prime, New!Bumblebee, Lockdown and the Dinobots happen off-screen; Galvatron and Stinger kind of cheats... and Hound and Crosshairs never transform on-screen. Drift does turn into a helicopter twice, but was never shown turning into or from his Bugatti. Lockdown transforms onscreen a grand total of twice throughout the movie, and the second time it was obscured. The first Bumblebee body transforms, but the scene cuts away and back when he's about to do the transformation, or it's partially obscured by stuff like the Stinger.

About the conflicting backstories considering the Transformers' creation and everything... their Creators could've just as easily built the Allspark, and after thinking about it everything we know about the Dynasty of Primes in ROTF came from batty old Jetfire's storytime, which could be entirely pulled out of his ass, so there's a good little exit there should they want to ignore the Seven Primes stuff and instead focus on the Creators as an origin story.

Optimus did look away in grief when the images showing Ratchet and Leadfoot being shot down, though the fuzzy video jumps from Ratchet being shot to the full Leadfoot scene. Hound did take off his helmet and press it against his chest in salute or something.

Evading the CIA: there was one point when Optimus Prime leaves Cade and the others in a gas station (the Romeo-Juliet-clause thing) and buggers off, making sure 'they aren't followed'. The humans have a pretty quick scene but the transition shows that by the time Optimus returns it's already the next morning. And, well, presumably Optimus just went on an off-screen rampage and murderkills all the Cemetery Wind agents that followed?

The humans... I'm more neutral about them now. Lucky Charms, Daughter and Stanley Tucci all have either good scenes or horrid scenes, and the horrid ones just stand out a bit more in my head. Still think there's a bit too much human screentime in the show, though.

Yeah, like Cliffy said the skies during the tightrope scene does look a bit iffy. The backdrop of buildings I think look pretty nice, but the skies at time fails to impress.

Also, Attinger did say that 'good men died to bring you this seed', implying that while it's not outright shown, there are casualties during the battles with the Autobots. Optimus did flip over a bunch of cars and I'm pretty sure the people in that car that didn't make the jump certainly died in the crash. Ratchet, surprisingly, also started opening fire at humans when Lockdown missile'd him, and while we're not shown outright a death I'm pretty sure Ratchet got a bunch of those bastards.

It also is quite difficult to picture Optimus Prime actually getting along with some of the Autobots... he just seems to not interact/respond with most of the dickhead characters - ROTF he's barely onscreen with the twins, AOE he just doesn't rise to Crosshairs at all, DOTM the Wreckers seem to behave themselves around him...

Crosshairs was put in place by Hound when he acts up, though -- when Prime's around the worst he did was going all 'I've been waiting for them to kill each other' (which can certainly be interpreted as a joke) and going 'I say we leave this planet' in the Chinese grove, but leaves judgment to Prime. The real asshole moment Crosshairs did was in Lockdown's ship when he was all 'why are we even here' until Hound aims a gun to his face, but he ends up helping out anyway, going as far as to hijack a ship to pull Bumblebee and the humans out of the fire, so it's just him being a gloryhog.

The first film was the only time Megatron felt like a proper threat to me. I really like what they did to him in DOTM, quite daring in a way.

Ditto to both. ROTF had a pretty grand return, but after the forest fight with Prime (which was really Prime's moment) he ends up only posing on top of pyramids, shooting at the sand and ends up shooting half his face off. While I initially balked at his DOTM space-hobo portrayal I ended up quite liking it.

Some of the best blockbusters ever. I don't claim they are the absolute best of that genre. But they're up there.

I do think the first movie can count among the best films I've ever seen. I do enjoy the sequels more than a healthy person should, but I am a maniac about the movie franchise.

I actually think Guardians of the Galaxy was the best blockbuster I've seen in a long time.

I've been hearing nonstop good things about this movie, and I'm jealous because it's going to be at least two weeks until I can watch it. I don't know what it's about, I have never even heard about any of the characters -- all I know is Vin Diesel is playing the Tree Man, there's a talking Whirlesque psychopath of a raccoon and there is Thanos-y stuff.

Auntie Slag
2014-08-05, 03:10 PM
I wonder if the lack of transformations was a cost-cutting measure? Someone said the Transformers get a lot more screen-time in this film, and maybe that was achieved at the expense of having to engineer robot models where all the bits correctly transform?

Summerhayes
2014-08-05, 03:11 PM
My main takeaway from GotG was that I've been mispronouncing Thanos my whole life.


I do think the first movie can count among the best films I've ever seen. I do enjoy the sequels more than a healthy person should, but I am a maniac about the movie franchise.
I'd say my opinion matches yours exactly here. I can understand why most people I speak to hold the first one in much higher regard than the sequels, but I absolutely, genuinely love all of them.

inflatable dalek
2014-08-05, 03:41 PM
I think the simple story of the first one just resonates more with people, I think we all mentally think of ourselves as having been awkward teens so Sam's hesitant steps into an adult world as represented metaphorically by giant robots thumping one another is something we can all see a bit of ourselves in. I think that's why the first one is still the film that seems to be the most popular (in terms of how fondly people talk of them rather than box office) and the one even the people who hate hate hate the others tend to have more time for.

I think that's part of why the Mikaela leaning over the car bonnet bit works better than some of the objectification shots in the others as well, I think just about anyone- man or woman- had those moments when they were a teenager where some passing god/goddess took their breath completely away, and that's what's relateable about that scene rather than the arse and boobage.

Compared to that, the scene that reintroduces her in the second one isn't being presented as a characters point of view, it's literally "Look at the arse on that!" and not much more (and I think Bay admitted he put it in after a lot of the 12 year old boys he'd met since the first one had come out had asked him more questions about Megan Fox's bum than the robots).

Auntie Slag
2014-08-05, 03:48 PM
I like the first one because its Herbie: The Love Bug, with robots.

Blackjack
2014-08-05, 03:55 PM
Yeah, I think there's that. It's just that with the smaller cast it's far more noticeable, and three out of five Autobots don't transform on-screen, not even while hidden by something (which is a trick many Transformation scenes in ROTF and DOTM do) which I find odd.

Tantrum
2014-08-06, 03:01 AM
[Prime] tossing [Jetfire's] body away after the Fallen gets mutilated is a bit inexcusable, though there's nothing to say they didn't give him a proper burial or whatever later on.Prime was probably pretty uncomfortable having a dead body on his back. If I had to wear a corpse for whatever reason, I'd toss it off ASAP once it had served its purpose. Not out of disrespect, just out of a desire to not be wearing a corpse anymore.

Ratchet's death may have been the most upsetting to Prime since he was killed while trying to surrender. Prime knew the Autobots were being hunted, but did he know before then that they weren't being taken alive? If not, the killing of a defenseless medic is probably the worst way to find out. Plus, humans weren't to blame for the deaths of Ironhide, Jetfire, or Jazz. Prime's accepted that Decepticons will kill his friends, but he's still angry about the humans doing so. Given that the Autobots let the humans use them for practice/training taking down Transformers in DoTM, there was probably some guilt mixed in with betrayal behind Prime giving up his oath to never kill a human (intentionally).

Blackjack
2014-08-06, 04:49 AM
I'd say my opinion matches yours exactly here. I can understand why most people I speak to hold the first one in much higher regard than the sequels, but I absolutely, genuinely love all of them.

Ditto. Even ROTF.

Despite being horrible in retrospect, ROTF has the distinction of really, really blowing my mind away by simply impressing me with giant robots when I was in the theater watching it the first time. I don't think any other movie has quite managed to do that to me -- not DOTM or AOE, not the Dark Knight (all three fall under the same point of 'awesome, solid movie but not quite crazy enough') and not the Avengers (which is DOTM, but with superheroes).

I do enjoy rewatching ROTF and DOTM (and I suspect AOE when it goes out on Blu-Ray simply because of the sheer amount of additional action scenes and more sophisticated models compared to the first, but the first movie is the most solid of them all.

I think that's part of why the Mikaela leaning over the car bonnet bit works better than some of the objectification shots in the others as well, I think just about anyone- man or woman- had those moments when they were a teenager where some passing god/goddess took their breath completely away, and that's what's relateable about that scene rather than the arse and boobage.

Nah, what's relatable is the T&A. ;)

Though like you said, the first movie does it well by portraying it from Sam's point of view -- ROTF and DOTM basically had graituous ass shots on everyone, including Simmons.

Prime was probably pretty uncomfortable having a dead body on his back. If I had to wear a corpse for whatever reason, I'd toss it off ASAP once it had served its purpose. Not out of disrespect, just out of a desire to not be wearing a corpse anymore.

Fair point, I've never really thought of Prime as being the easily squicked out type going 'oh god get this corpse off me -shake shake shake-'

And maybe as Prime is walking towards the screen Jolt and Ratchet ran around and tidied that up?

Ratchet's death may have been the most upsetting to Prime since he was killed while trying to surrender. Prime knew the Autobots were being hunted, but did he know before then that they weren't being taken alive? If not, the killing of a defenseless medic is probably the worst way to find out. Plus, humans weren't to blame for the deaths of Ironhide, Jetfire, or Jazz. Prime's accepted that Decepticons will kill his friends, but he's still angry about the humans doing so. Given that the Autobots let the humans use them for practice/training taking down Transformers in DoTM, there was probably some guilt mixed in with betrayal behind Prime giving up his oath to never kill a human (intentionally).

Considering how much Prime has sacrificed in order to save the humans -- Cybertron explicitly was sacrificed to save the humans -- his mentor Sentinel, his 'brother' Megatron, not to mention his soldiers Jazz, Ironhide and Que falling in defense of Earth, and presumably Sideswipe, Dino, Jolt, the Twins and the three Wreckers all dying offscreen... but all of them are casualties of war.

The humans tricked them, were hypocrites, ambushed them and hunted them down systematically. Prime's expression as he hid in the barn basement listening to LOST Dude threatening to shoot the daughter in the head while both she and her father are begging him to stop... he is just so freaking pissed off and these scum humans.

And while he was stoic while seeing the first footage of Ratchet and Leadfoot being killed (he did go 'when I find whoever's doing this, he's going to die') he doesn't know that the humans are melting them down for parts -- that was what sent him over the edge. He was prepared to go to war with humans hunting down their own kind. A war he's familiar with. This is slaughter and desecration of the dead bodies of his friends.

Frankly I'm pissed off Stanley Tucci doesn't die simply because Cade likes him and he makes a lot of jokes. As much as he's an expy of Simmons (wacky dude who jokes around and later becomes an ally) he's actively doing stuff for his own benefit, whereas Simmons never kills anyone (Bumblebee was attacked with harpoons on non-vital parts, he only arrests the Witwickies but doesn't seem to want to actually harm or kill them) and is working to protect the government. Stanley Tucci being forgiven is really what made me threw my hands up -- I was rooting for Hound or Grimlock to kill the little ****er.

Cliffjumper
2014-08-06, 05:49 AM
Yeh, Cemetry Wind make Sector 7 look very cuddly in retrospect. What S7 do is all basically well-meaning errors - they have no idea there are different factions etc, and their prime (little bit of a Transformers joke there) objective is finding out stuff about aliens. Sideshow Bob and co know there are Autobots and Decepticons and want stuff to sell to Slapple. Slapple knows there are Autobots and Decepticons but wants to sell transforming cars to hipsters.

Slapple was actually one of the weakest elements of AoE for me; the way he morphs from being the guy who's seemingly the catalyst for the hunting down of Autobots (considering the gunishment handed out in DOTM and that Megatron and Sentinel's bodies were just recovered from Chicago, there's no sign CW actually hunt down any Decepticons) to this crazy joke guy just because his plan ends up down the pan...

Summerhayes
2014-08-06, 08:01 AM
They did have the bit with the archeology lady assuming ratchet was a decepticon so we can assume baldy didn't know what cemetery wind were up to.

Also, I'd like to take this moment to acknowledge that Cemetery Wind is a cool name.

Blackjack
2014-08-06, 08:59 AM
Sideshow Bob and co know there are Autobots and Decepticons and want stuff to sell to Slapple. Slapple knows there are Autobots and Decepticons but wants to sell transforming cars to hipsters.

Sideshow Bob recruits an army of people who are bitter at the Transformers war... at least LOST Dude seems to just be angry because he lost a sister in Chicago.

They did have the bit with the archeology lady assuming ratchet was a decepticon so we can assume baldy didn't know what cemetery wind were up to.

No, I got it that Stanley Tucci knew full well what they were doing, he just doesn't care -- while they were meeting in the corridor Kesley Grammer outright tells him they're waiting to find Prime before he can give him the Seed.

Archaeology Lady didn't even know they were working with Transformium at all, and was only given the basic information recently. Considering she's the type to go 'I'll go public with this!' early on it's highly doubtful anyone told her the full story.

I doubt those two laughing scientist or the two ladies knew anything, though, but Stanley Tucci/Slapple certainly knew what was going on.

Slapple was actually one of the weakest elements of AoE for me; the way he morphs from being the guy who's seemingly the catalyst for the hunting down of Autobots (considering the gunishment handed out in DOTM and that Megatron and Sentinel's bodies were just recovered from Chicago, there's no sign CW actually hunt down any Decepticons) to this crazy joke guy just because his plan ends up down the pan...

I absolutely hate him more and more as I rewatch this movie, because he doesn't really contribute anything right up to the end, his random heel face turn came out of nowhere, and while he showed hesitation in accepting the Seed from Kelsey Grammar he didn't really want to stop anything until Galvatron started blowing shit up.

And when Optimus Prime goes "they are my friends" Slapple counters it not with surprise or indignation or denial, but full on acknowledgement. "They're dead metal!" as in, yeah, 'I just worked with a bunch of CIA killers to harvest your friends and melt them down so I can sell it to people in China, and you can't freaking kill me without looking like an evil alien invader. HA!'

If Autobots die and get hunted down he doesn't give a shit, whatever his partners do he doesn't give a shit, it's when human civilians die because of his product which will impair his business and conscience that he suddenly gets flustered and tries to make it up by turning to the Autobots.

Keep in mind, the only contribution he did was to bring the seed over to the Autobots, which ended up being a moot point because Lockdown can track the seed anyway -- the people who did all the legwork were Fan Bingbing and the Yeagers, Slapple himself did jack shit but bitch about everything and scream and generally make me want to punch him.

I wholly expected him to suffer some humiliating thing like getting ejected out of a plane or whatever, but no, Grimlock just roars at him.

****, someone kill this bastard already.