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Blackjack 2011-11-15 10:22 AM

DOTM Notes & Goofs (WIP)
 
Notes
Dino is called 'Mirage' in pre-production stage, and all other material (novelizations, IDW comics, toys) refer to him as such. However, at the behest of Ferrari, Mirage's name was changed into 'Dino' after Dino Ferrari. Likewise, Que (or Q) is called 'Wheeljack' in all other material other than the movie itself. However the character introduces himself as 'Que' in the movie proper. For the purposes of this guide, we will be using the names in the movie proper.

Megatron still retains his injuries from when Optimus Prime shot him in the face from Revenge of the Fallen. Optimus Prime has likewise recovered the Matrix of Leadership after the events of ROTF. Several references to Egypt (including a painting) is also made by Simmons. Prior to the events of Dark of the Moon, Mikaela and Sam had broken up.

Most returning characters from the past movies has gotten changes. Obviously Soundwave, who sports a new robot mode and a spanking new Mercedes alternate mode. Bumblebee and Sideswipe has gotten newer versions of their respective Camaro and Stingray cars, Bumblebee getting a spoiler and Sideswipe turning into a convertible. Both their robot modes have been tweaked as well. Optimus Prime has a new trailer, as well as some parts rearrangement in robot mode, most notably in the stomach section and the arms. Ratchet has gotten a fresh paintjob, getting more white in his alternate mode. Ironhide has more guns strapped onto his back. Starscream, Wheelie and Barricade are the ones that still look the same.

Skids and Mudflap were cut out from the movie, and Michael Bay even went so far as to offer $25,000 to anyone who can spot them performing. Indeed, while Hasbro and GM provided new black Chevrolet Spark prop cars for the Twins (and in the early script they were supposed to die after Ironhide during Sentinel's betrayal)in the final movie they were cut completely, save for a few frames where they could be glimpsed in the background rolling into the NEST base, a scene that made it into the trailer. It is uncertain what happened to the Twins (and Jolt) prior to DOTM, but since all the Autobots are rounded up in the shuttle scene it is fair to assume that the three either died in the interim or left Earth.

Leonard Nimoy (most famous in his role as Spock of Star Trek fame) voiced Sentinel Prime in this movie, and because of that several Star Trek in-jokes are worked into the script:
-Wheelie watches Star Trek: The Original Series where he comments that he's seen the episode and 'it's the one where Spock goes nuts', somewhat foreshadowing Sentinel's betrayal.
-Sam mentions at one point that Dylan Gould's office looks like the Enterprise.
-Sentinel's line 'the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few' is a line of Spock's taken from the second Star Trek movie Wrath of Khan.
-Bumblebee at one point says 'I will always be your friend' during his farewell with Sam, another line from Wrath of Khan.

The older Buzz Aldrin that appears in the present day is the real Buzz Aldrin.

Over 500 cars were destroyed in making the movie, all of them damaged vehicles from insurance companies already intended for destruction anyway.

Mearing's Gulfstream jet really belongs to Michael Bay. You know, with the tail number 4500X, which had served for inspiration of Blackout's tail number in the first movie.

Apparently Leonard Nimoy (himself voicing Galvatron in the 1986 movie) was considered as a role for the Fallen in ROTF, but Bay was afraid of offending Nimoy with the relatively small wage. Come DOTM, and Nimoy seems to be pretty happy about returning to Transformers.

Que's name and role as a mad gadgeteer that supplies wacky weapons and equipment to others seems to be based on Q from the James Bond franchise. His noggin, meanwhile, is based on Albert Einstein.

Sentinel's face is apparently based on Sean Connery.

Dino was named after Dino Ferrari at Ferrari's insistence.

Dutch and his girlfriend 'India' is a reference to Dutch India.

Like in the second movie where Grindor, the Constructicons and 'Clonecrusher' shared counterparts with the same body, there are many model reuses here as well, especially to pad out the Chicago invasion army without making it all seem like an endless horde of protoforms. Among these reuses are:
-A giant Ravage (or Hatchet, hard to tell) in the prologue.
-A swarm of Doctors that crawl around Megatron, one of whom may be the Doctor we saw in ROTF.
-A Long Haul without kibble scans a garbage truck.
-The Decepticon with car kibble that releases the pillars in Angkor Wat seems to have the same kibble layout like the Dreads, minus the dreadlocks.
-A Devastator (the Brawl one), coloured brown like the Deep Desert Brawl toy, is seen during Optimus' two-block rampage.
-Another Long Haul shows up as one of the first Decepticons Optimus shoots in the two-block rampage.
-A Sideways is again among the Decepticons in the two-block rampage.
-A Scrapper is the last Decepticon Optimus hacks before facing Shockwave.

The giant Decepticon with long legs that shows up in at least four scenes seem to be based partly on the Cloverfield monster.

There are several used sound effects here, some of the more noticeable ones being Crowbar reusing Bonecrusher's roar (when he attacks Simmons), and both Sentinel and Megatron used Megatron's 'revaaaaaunggg' roar when his face was blown off from ROTF. Several shots in the Dread streetfight were reused from 'The Island', which we will discuss below.

As always, there were multiple working names for the Transformers, although some are obviously misinformation names (Shockwave was named 'Blitzwing' in the concept art, Soundwave as 'Breakdown', Megatron as 'Cyclonus', Sentinel as 'Ultra Magnus', Que as 'Steeljaw'). Dino had early working names of 'Mirage' (duh), 'Enzo' (after Enzo Ferrari') and 'Rush'. Topspin had working names of 'Warpath' and 'Tempest', Roadbuster had 'Warpath', Leadfoot had 'Flash', Crankcase was 'Dreadwind', Crowbar was 'Hooligan', Hatchet was 'Dirtbag', Laserbeak was 'Buzzard', Igor was 'Undermine' and Driller was 'Colossus' (a name that cropped up in media as well). With the exceptin of Enzo, Buzzard and Colossus, every single working name are names of prior Transformers, with varying degrees of obscurity.

The Wreckers initially was intended to have a robot pet dog, which appeared in concept art and Hasbro's initial roll call for the movie cast, but it appears that poor Steeljaw was dropped pretty early on.

Two accidents happened during the shooting for the movie. In September 2010, a female extra was injured when a stunt scene went haywire (some debris flew where they weren't supposed to fly), leaving her with permanent brain damage and paralysis of her left side of her body. Paramount was sued for damages by the victim's family. As a result several short shots of the Dread chase sequence was 'borrowed' from another Michael Bay film, 'the Island' (2005), albeit with giant Dreads and stealth-force-Autobots edited in. A second accident happened in October 2010, in Washington, where a police car crashed onto one of the Bumblebee Camaro prop cars, although no one but Bumblebee was injured this time.

References to Past Continuities
Sentinel Prime, Laserbeak, Shockwave, Crankcase, Roadbuster, Leadfoot and Topspin fulfill more-or-less the same roles as their G1 counterpart to varying degrees of similarity. Dino, Que, Brains, Igor, Driller, Crowbar and Hatchet are all brand-new names.

Que, as mentioned before, is loosely based on the G1 inventor Wheeljack.

Sentinel Prime being Optimus Prime's predecessor as the previous Prime that led the Autobots had been a staple in nearly every G1 continuity.

The general appearance of Shockwave and Laserbeak (the former being a one-eyed Decepticon with a gun arm and a hose, the latter being a robotic bird) is heavily based on their G1 counterparts. Likewise, the general appearance of Optimus Prime's trailer and its ability to transform into a base is based on G1. Its ability to become a jetpack-armour is based on Powermaster Prime and later incarnations of Optimus, though.

The Space Bridge is, like the Matrix, one of the most repeatedly reimagined plot devices in Transformers. The one in Washington, where the pillars are circular and shoots a ray into the sky, is a visual homage to the cartoon's version of the Space Bridge.

Carly was the name of Spike Witwicky's girlfriend, and later wife, in the original cartoon.

The Ark gets its name from the Autobot flagship/base in the original Transformers cartoon and comic series (which have been reused multiple times as well for Autobot ships). It also continues the tradition of being damaged and crash-landing, leaving its crew in a hibernation state. Even the angle of its landing, with the engines visible, is similar to how it landed in the cartoon.

The Xantium, meanwhile, is much more obscure, taking its name from the Wreckers' starship in the IDW comic Stormbringer. Likewise here it is affiliated with the Wreckers, sort of.

Speaking of the Wreckers, both Roadbuster and Topspin are Wreckers in all three major G1 comic continuities.

Optimus now carries the Matrix within his chest, something undoubtedly inspired by the 1986 cartoon and has been reused in many multiple continuities as well.

Laserbeak beeps out the 'more than meets the eye' tunes from the original cartoon's theme song when Sam's co-worker tries to make the photocopier-mode Laserbeak work.

The original transformation noise (ch-chh-chhh-chh-chhk) is heard when Bumblebee transforms at the end of the film.

Though not named in the film, the effects of Sentinel's gun on Ironhide is very similar to (and is apparently based on) the disease Cosmic Rust, first seen in G1 cartoon episode 'Cosmic Rust', and has also cropped up in Animated.

Megatron blasting Abraham Lincoln off the Lincoln Memorial and then sitting on the chair is taken from the G1 episode 'Atlantis, Arise', although here he blasts Abe to smithereens instead of neatly removing the statue.

The idea of bringing Cybertron near Earth via multiple Space Bridges that has to be connected seems to be inspired by the G1 multi-parter episode 'The Ultimate Doom'. The same episode also featured the concept of human villains and humans being enslaved by Decepticons, although obviously in a more campy manner.

The idea of an influential human joining forces with the Decepticons after an encounter with Laserbeak, resulting in the Autobots being exiled from Earth via a spacecraft that would be destroyed, seems to be based on another multi-parter, "Megatron's Master Plan". The Movieverse Autobots aren't as stupid as to leave without planning to get back to Earth, though.

The concept of the Decepticons taking over an American city and fortifying it, and the Autobots coming in to take it back, have been done several times, the most prominent being the G1 episode 'City of Steel' and IDW's maxi-series 'All Hail Megatron'.

In addition to his two swords, Optimus Prime now also wields an orange axe, no doubt modelled after the axe he used in the pilot episode. G1 fans rejoice.

Goofs
In the real Moon, Earth isn't that close to the horizon. Neither will the Moon rotate.

The Lunar Module is missing when the Apollo 11 is shown flying to the Moon, but pops up in other scenes.

Sentinel Prime already has the kibble from his Rosenbauer fire truck on his chest even while on the Ark.

The real Chernobyl power plant is in the outskirts of the city, and certainly is not beside what appears to be a school. Also, the ferris wheel is apparently the wrong model.

When Optimus and Ratchet arrives on the Moon in the modern day, the ascent module, the thing that Neil and Buzz flew back to Earth in, is still there.

When Sam grabs Brains and tries to get him into a cage in the background while Carly speaks, Brains is not animated and Sam is struggling with thin air.

At one point the background behind Megatron changes from a savannah into a desert and then back into a savannah again for the remainder of the refugee camp scene.

Laserbeak grabs Wang's hand via a mouse, implying that he's the computer. However when he transforms, it's only the monitor, and the mouse that menaced Wang is still on the table beside him.

During the highway scene, Sentinel Prime sort of disappears prior to Dutch's 'oh my God I'm fired' line. After that for the entire highway sequence Sentinel Prime disappears entirely, even in panning shots that show what's in front of the combatants Sentinel's just not there. Even when the Autobots reach the NEST base, Sentinel doesn't reappear until Ironhide has killed off the Dreads.

When Hatchet leaps over Bumblebee in that slow motion thing, he has just deployed his wheels, but in the very next scene he's already transformed into full stealth force battle mode.

When Ironhide is speared his guns are briefly seen still attached on his back when they should be scattered all around the ground.

When Ironhide slams Crankcase on top of it the red car, it is already dented and Crankcase just fits on the Crankcase-shaped dent on the car. A second before the red car is still in pristine condition.

This might count as a Not-Goof with a bit of a stretch, but I'll put it here. Really the government(s) aren't that thick to expect to believe the Decepticons they've been fighting for four years now would they? Even considering that Soundwave and Laserbeak could presumably have human agents among the United Nations, it seems too jarring and rather foolish. Of course, the dropped anti-Autobot scene might've made this flow smoother, but alas. There are hints from dialogue that the Autobots aren't politically stable with the other countries, but it's not made clear.

There's a line of dialogue 'the Autobots are trapped upstairs' which doesn't make sense. In an earlier script the prisoner scene was supposed to happen on top of a building with Sentinel watching over, but here it sounds just odd.

The prisoner scene. With all other battles having been to the death, there is no reason for the Decepticons to suddenly be rounding up prisoners... and really it doesn't make sense for someone like Bumblebee or Sideswipe to just stay there, hands wrapped around their heads. And top make it worse, Soundwave seems to have no idea what to do with the 'prisoners' until Dylan reminds him. Really unless Megatron or Sentinel wanted to gloat to the Autobots there's no reason for Soundwave to take prisoners, and even then there's no reason for the Autobots to comply. Clearly they still have their guns.

Bumblebee's new Chevy Camaro doesn't have pinstripes bordering his black racing stripes, but the robot mode model still has them.

Skids and Mudflap appear for a brief few seconds when the Autobots roll into the NEST HQ. Of course, they could've been killed off-screen during the interim between this and the exile, but they weren't supposed to be there.

Not Goofs
The big one: if the Decepticons had 200-odd soldiers on the Moon, hidden, why didn't they use them, most notably during ROTF? It seemed that the Space Bridge doesn't just open up a way, it actually seems to repower them. Although when you consider that the Fallen's plan in ROTF would involve blowing up an entire fleet of Decepticons, it's really cold.

The Decepticons have been influencing humans since the 60's, but they didn't free Megatron, nor did they know anything about Sector Seven and the Allspark. For all we know, Laserbeak and Soundwave might be laying out their plan just because they tracked the Ark there without ever realising Megatron or the Allspark is in the same planet. Maybe even only Laserbeak was around, since Soundwave seemed to just arrive during ROTF.

Simmons doesn't know about the Ark... We have no idea what the overlap between NASA and S7, and it is probable, like how NASA didn't know S7 existed, likewise S7 was kept in the dark about NASA's alien project though really it's a bit of a stupid move. Even if Sector Seven knew, Simmons might not have the clearance to know about it, since it does seem to be very classified and stuff. Government conspiracies, you know.

Why didn't the Decepticons pursue Sentinel Prime and/or the pillars during ROTF? Simple, isn't it? Sentinel Prime's deactivated, the Matrix is gone, the Fallen has an immediate plan to get energon without having to hinge on an Autobot, with no means of the pillar operation being done at the moment, it's more practical to do Fallen's little scheme, and when it fails then they began working out how to do the pillar thing.

Simmons and Epps both say that they are exiling nine Autobots, when really there are eleven. It seems that Wheelie and Brains, being non-combatants, are left uncounted. Kind of like civilians or kids. Probably the reason why the Autobots basically just ignore them.

Many humans talk of the Transformers bringing Cybertron into Earth's atmosphere, but while it is pretty obvious that Cybertron isn't so, in a chaotic situation one does not really care about whether a planet is in orbit or the atmosphere, eh?

The Space Bridge here, a giant teleporting device made out of pillars, is different from the teleportation Space Bridge that Jetfire did in ROTF. Most probably Jetfire, being all crazy, just uses the term Space Bridge for his teleportation powers.

Sideswipe and Dino disappearing during the Sentinel's betrayal: Dino is clearly shown going into a different area instead of the courtyard Sentinel and Ironhide went into. Maybe it's an entrance to a secret clubhouse for blade-arm sports cars?

Carly changes clothes between Dylan's party and going to Chicago... well, surely Dylan could get some clothes for her, right? Or maybe she brought a change inside Soundwave, not really implausible. How those clothes stay clean in the Chicago invasion, though, is another matter...

About the rocket booster not separating before Starscream blowing it up, I think it's more of Leadfoot just going all 'oh, it's just as we planned' to look tough. I mean, why deflate morale with a 'good god, we barely survived the crash landing in the Atlantic'?

The Autobots showing up but no one's surprised... Sam and Epps are probably just overjoyed that their friends are still alive and didn't ask many questions, while the upper echelons of NEST, Lennox et al, might have been suspecting/been in on the Autobots' plan.

Optimus being unable to get free from the ropes despite having blades that come out of his arms: he's show trying to reach the ropes with his free arm but clearly he can't reach it. Also, Shockwave's bombs hit Optimus in the jetpack, so it's safe to say that the Wreckers probably patched him up a little while freeing him.

The prisoner scene. The soldiers talk about 'four Autobots being captured', when in reality five were captured. When the soldiers were talking, Ratchet was still struggling with the Decepticons because he's not a tosser like the others.

Sentinel shoots Sideswipe but he doesn't melt into rust. On closer viewing, Sentinel seems to alternate between the cosmic rust bullets and conventional bullets. In his betrayal scene, after shooting at Ironhide and Bumblebee with the cosmic rust bullets, he shoots the NEST soldiers with pretty conventional explosives that doesn't melt anything. In Washington he uses the cosmic rust bullets again with those dust effect, but when shooting Sideswipe it's safe to assume that it's a conventional bullet.

Optimus Prime refuses to rescue his own planet... well, in the first movie it has been stated that Cybertron is a barren wasteland. And when it comes to choosing between a barren wasteland and a planet teeming with living humans that are his friends, really it's obvious. Sentinel's just nuts (and sentimental) and Megatron's just evil.

Blackjack 2011-11-15 01:49 PM

More or less completed, though I'm sure I missed some detail or two. Critics and comments more than welcome!


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