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Old 2015-08-23, 05:42 AM   #21
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Yeh, I think that's a fair observation; both the technology availiable to film makers and the money to spend on it has skyrocketed at a preposterous rate over the past 20 years or so. How much of the discipline and economy of older films would still be in place if this wasn't the case is speculation but, well, it hasn't exactly gone well for those where even loose comparison is avaliable (Indiana Jones).

Re: LOTR, some of it's aged surprisingly badly (remembering that CGI characters still weigh something is a big, big problem) and yeh, that's the nail on the head for the length - there are an awful lots of shots of people running or just standing staring. But then IIRC the LOTR films were probably the first blockbusters to really be partly sold on epic length and those scenes sort-of contributed to that feeling.

There does seem to be this obligation now that about 2 1/2 hours is somehow standard for every big budget film. While I love them I think all four TF films could have stood to lose a subplot or two - the first one has the hackers stuff, the second the Matrix quest, the third the Cosmonauts guff and the fourth the whole trip to Hong Kong which really could have been blended with Chicago if the Chinese weren't putting up a ton of money and/or Lockdown leaving Earth for seven or eight minutes.

The odd red herring like the archaeological dig in AoE is fine; the above are more whole subplots given over to discover one small thing which could have been done with much greater economy. Weird sup-plots can be fun but not when you're already over two hours. I have no inherent problem with long films but I think for anything over that length you've really got to have enough story to justify it. The daft thing is the attitude now seems to be "the more it costs the longer it runs" whereas if AoE was half an hour shorter they could fit in another showing or two a day. That said the films (and other overlong blockbusters) just seem to be making more and more money, so there we go.
 
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Old 2015-08-25, 09:45 AM   #22
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I think the Rings films actually got worse for handling the theatrical/extended divide as they went along. Fellowship can be watched as both easily enough, but the theatrical cut of Return of the King is appalling in its "Very long trailer for the proper version of the film that won't be out for a year" (I mean, Jackson was still filing it after he won the Oscar!) feel. Saruman was the secondary villain of the trilogy, the wrap up of his plot should not have boiled down to "Let's go deal with Christopher Lee!" "No... on second thoughts, let's not" as it does in the original version.

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That said the films (and other overlong blockbusters) just seem to be making more and more money, so there we go.
Mind, they're increasingly dependent on China to do that, so it'll be interesting to see how the stockmarket crash there affects things.
 
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Old 2015-12-27, 02:31 AM   #23
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I've finally watched the blu ray I've had for over a year!


Going into it knowing which bits were basically padding really hurt the film second time round, everything in Chicago sags horribly and it doesn't start to pick up again until Prime grabs the sword.

The shame is the good stuff is really good and this is a fantastic film for Prime himself (he's basically moved into being--aha--the prime character and Cullen should really have proper billing), but my God the bad... well no not even bad, just irrelevant, stuff drags.

I need to rewatch the whole series together at some point, but depending on how well Revenge of the Fallen stands up seven years later this might actually be the worst in the series. It's a shame it has come down so far from the first time I saw it.

Kelsey Grammer is awesome though. I can't believe he was nominated for a Razzie for this, what makes him so great as a villain is he's playing it completely straight (which, considering I would imagine he wasn't that bothered about being in a Transformers movie beyond the pay-check makes it a valuable lesson to other "For the money darling" blockbuster actors--hello Chris Eccleston in Thor 2--that really don't bother).
 
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Old 2015-12-27, 03:43 AM   #24
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good luck with revenge of the fallen. that is a hard re-watch.
 
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Old 2015-12-27, 04:53 AM   #25
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Maybe because it's nearly 5AM and I've been drinking, but the comedy special feature on the blu ray where the chap who played Lucas (Cade's friend who dies about two hours before the film ends) tries and fails to interview the rest of the cast is actually quite funny. Especially the Kelsey Grammer "I've been hiding under his desk for a week" one. "I played one of the greatest villains of all time. Sideshow Bob". Michael Bay's deadpan expression when showing the "Final edit" of Lucas' role is brilliant as well.

The two hour (!) main making of documentary is actually quite soothing to have on in the background, it's just person after person saying one of the same two things (or both) "Michael Bay is insane" and "We blew shit up good".
 
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Old 2015-12-27, 06:16 AM   #26
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The shame is the good stuff is really good and this is a fantastic film for Prime himself (he's basically moved into being--aha--the prime character and Cullen should really have proper billing), but my God the bad... well no not even bad, just irrelevant, stuff drags.
Yeh, I found the fourth to be the most... disappointing in this regard. The first one's finding its' feet, the second had that whole writers' strike thing and the third actually doesn't do too badly for utterly unnecessary plot threads, so for the fourth to make the same mistake of throwing in so much that wasn't needed was a bit annoying.

And I felt 4 got a lot of the big stuff wrong beyond the padding; the whole Apple thing felt a bit forced and obvious to make up such a big part of the plot, Lockdown is required to be very, very stupid for a huge chunk of the film to even half work, the Chicago/Hong Kong parts were clearly planned as one long sequence before they needed the Chinese money, the whole moral centre of the film is miles off kilter (as I've said before, thousands of people die so five Autobots can live) and while Lockdown just being in it for money is a nice idea this means that we have to have the silly Galvatron resurrection and Lockdown's own stupid, contrived return to give the thing a genuine robot villain.

Which is a shame because it gets the Transformers pretty much spot-on; all the Autobots get a bit of time to show off (and Hound and Crosshairs both make a pretty good impression for middle bill action film characters), Cullen gets better as Prime each time (and talking of character development how about that Prime? This is a guy who's made an alliance with Earth and settled to the point where he sacrifices his own world for the humans, only to have them arbitrarily **** him over, and it shows in his actions and Cullen's voicing), the action scenes are pretty good and so on... More than any of them since the first there's a sense that the Autobots are five guys rather than Prime, Bumblebee and the Others.
 
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Old 2015-12-27, 09:33 AM   #27
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The second of fourth movies both suffer from the same problem in that the magical doodad that the final battles centre around isn't introduced until well over halfway through, so the first half of both films are essentially rendered pointless (Fallen does this less so than AoE). But AoE's main problem is pacing and structure and that it's three hours long and feels like six hours.

To throw my entire credibility out the window, compare and contrast AoE with (gulp) Titanic, which is 15 minutes longer yet never ever feels like it's that long. Each set piece in the final act is short and sharp and is then given time to breathe before moving on to the next one. Had Bay written and directed it, Leo and Kate would have spent the entire final hour running from one exploding generator to being sucked into a boiler to nearly drowning until the ship sank. In AoE, if the part where Prime goes to get the Dinobots had been longer and involved less robot dinosaur punching, that final battle sequence wouldn't have felt like "crap blows up for an hour, I'm bored of watching crap blow up now, what do you mean there's 30 minutes to go still?"
 
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Old 2015-12-27, 07:57 PM   #28
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Yeh, I found the fourth to be the most... disappointing in this regard. The first one's finding its' feet, the second had that whole writers' strike thing and the third actually doesn't do too badly for utterly unnecessary plot threads, so for the fourth to make the same mistake of throwing in so much that wasn't needed was a bit annoying.
It's equally annoying that despite the padding a lot of stuff doesn't really get resolved properly. They act like it's a happy ending, but Cade is presumably still a fugitive from the CIA; Not-Blackrock is presumably going to be arrested by the Chinese for being responsible for Galvatron's antics (and if not, he's still basically ruined by this surely? Making his offer of protection worthless); presumably the Chinese are going to be pissed that there was a factory testing a new American super weapon on their soil that went wrong leading to a war between the two super powers; what are the giant dumb monster Transformers going to do with themselves now?; surely what happens right after the credits start is the Chinese army turn up and kill everyone.

It could have done with some of those brief wrap up scenes interspersed with the credits that the previous films had.
 
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Old 2016-01-01, 01:22 AM   #29
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Just finished a rewatch of Age Of Extinction that was in no way inspired by Dalek's one and... if you start the movie from where Stanley Tucci is introduced or when the Autobots get together, it's a decent 90/110 minute movie. But man, the first hour is brutal

Also, there's a blatant, really, really, REALLY blatant rip off of Leftfield's 'Song Of Life' when Tucci demonstrates the (urgh) Transformium for the first time
 

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Old 2016-01-06, 05:50 PM   #30
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I just saw a gif on-line of an AoE scene where Bumblebee and Hound are dancing along with the girl. They're inside what looks like a large warehouse (it was a patchy gif), but I don't remember that from the film?

Its mainly Bumblebee whose dancing with her, Hound is to the side just sort of jiggling a bit. It looks like a fully rendered scene, not a half-done job that they abandoned.

I liked AoE, I didn't fall asleep through any of it... but now I'm not so sure.
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 06:08 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Auntie Slag View Post
I just saw a gif on-line of an AoE scene where Bumblebee and Hound are dancing along with the girl. They're inside what looks like a large warehouse (it was a patchy gif), but I don't remember that from the film?
Link? Might be a deleted scene. Might be somebody mucking about with graphics packages.
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 06:13 PM   #32
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Yes, I got it from Clay's link in another thread (the looking back on 2015 one I think).

Anyway, here it is. You'll need to scroll down a bit to find it.
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 06:22 PM   #33
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Nice! Looks like a professional job (IIRC the set is the Autobots' hideout in Chicago, definitely one of the film's locations anyway) rather than trick editing, possibly the effects guys pissing around.



The rest of that Tumblr (it's the f-word for anyone who wants to look) is just a bit sad through, as much as I think TFW2005 is full of the worst people in fandom.
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 06:38 PM   #34
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I've read elsewhere that about 30 minutes ended up getting sniped from AoE, including a romantic subplot between Marky Mark and Mrs David Tennant
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 06:39 PM   #35
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I love the way Bumblebee's doors flex about, and Hound's rotund Dad dancing. Thing is loads of FX explanations on countless Disc 2's would declare to me that this little scene alone would've cost so many millions of dollars and 300 hours going through a render farm. Such a shame they left it out, for timing issues I guess.

This looks like it's moments away from the scene where Cade and Prime are complaining about their kids. I remember liking instantly the moment where I could imagine Bumblebee being an unruly little Byker Grove kid to Prime's bloke from Byker Grove with the handlebar moustache.

What perplexes me more is that someone found this scene and used it in that flamewar page (Clay's link) to show Transformers dancing pre-MTMTE. That's some pretty good use of footage that seemingly none of us knew about?
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 08:44 PM   #36
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I was looking at the TVTropes page for the film after rewatching it and that mentions the dancing bit is in one of the trailers but not the final film.
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 09:51 PM   #37
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Watching that scene over and over. Isn't it amazing just how much work those poor souls put into making these robots. The way Bumblebee shimmies through the light coming from the window, the light from the fire on his bodywork. Hound's stomach wobbling out of time with the rest of him. They look like they're really there, with weight and good movement. They look fantastic.

How much money and how many teams of people were responsible for these robots only to barely see their work on screen e.g. Jolt, Sideswipe, Jazz, the Bikerbots. Unbelievably complex and gone in a flash!
 
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Old 2016-01-06, 11:25 PM   #38
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My wife and I watched AoE not that long ago on Netflix. I remember in the theater thinking the movie was not terrible, but just a solid 'meh'. I never paid attention to the run-time when I saw it. At home on the TV, however, it was painfully long. By the time it was finished I was relieved it was over. That's not a good feeling to have after watching a movie.

I really enjoy the new TMNT movie - it's a fun romp, not too serious, and overall enjoyable. Most enjoyable part? It only runs for about 90 minutes. Not long enough to drag out the story to the point of exhaustion.
 


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