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Old 2007-06-26, 12:16 PM   #1
Osku
One with the Matrix
 
Finland
Default Movie, impressions after Finnish press showing

I participated in the Finnish press showing of the movie. Those interested can read my impressions of the movie, shouldn't contain any actual story spoilers.

I was contacted by a radio reporter from YLE (Finnish national broadcast company) few weeks ago and invited to movie's press showing. The reporter makes a radio program "X-elokuvissa" (translation: Mr./Mrs. X in the movies) where he goes to movies with someone(s) familiar with the topic of the movie. I tried to be give shortish answers but he'll have a big job to edit the program, it didn't help that I had slept only few hours, traveled by train over four hours and not eaten that day...

Anyway, saw the movie on the 20th of June and the interview was recorded. The program will be aired next(?) week on YleX and should be available on YLE's netsite about the same time. I'll post a link later on in case some are interested.

The press showings in Finland aren't glamorous. Invited people only, quite strict procedures to prevent leaking (no cameras, no bags, needed movie sounds for program only through distributor etc.).

I picked up the information leaflet and entertained myself spotting mistakes in it. Here's the front page of leaflet.

I'm not going to write story spoilers, but here are some of my impressions of the movie. Spoiler tags just in case.

SPOILER! (select to read)

Good sides

On the whole movie looks good, TF models work rather well in action and it's clear that lot of work has gone to animating the characters. Sometimes robots move almost too fast for human eye to see it properly, but I think it was a delibarate decision. Personally I liked the little detail, with the sophisticated prosessors etc Cybertronians should work faster than humans, but I think that not everyone will like it. I'm still not impressed with some of the face molds, but it's not distracting.

There are different kind of robots for different purposes in decepticons, not all are powerful grunts, but there's also a slightly built spy Frenzy. Concept of a Decepticon police car was a nice touch as well.

Before learning the Earth language, Cybertronians spoke their own language between them and the dialogue was subtitled. Voice acting was quite good, in other words I didn't pay much attention to it.

Soundtrack is instrumental only. The music wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but it didn't irritate either -> decent soundtrack. Songs with lyrics were only played during end credits.

Human characters weren't as irritating as I was afraid of. Teenaged brats I didn't care about, but almost bearable. Army men and special agents on the other hand were very, very cliched.

Finland: Allspark was not translated, otherwise anticipated straight translations for "spark" and "cube". One little translation decision will stick out, but on the whole well done translation. For me, as a Finn, the funniest joke in the movie was connected to Nokia.

Bad sides:

The story of the movie is, to be straight, weak. Characterisation for Cybertronians is very minimal for Autobots, for Decepticons almost non-existent. Having read the prequel comics from IDW helped a lot recognising the characters, as did having seen pictures of the toys before hand.

Movie was a bit longer than I anticipated, about 2h 20 minutes, but a lot of stuff could have been easily cut out.

In parts I felt like I'm watching a US army air forces propaganda film. I'm a bit allergic to that kind of propaganda, so it sort of prevented me getting inside the movie. Instead I noticed I was watching it as an outside observer, watching and taking notes but not really experiencing the movie.

The movie wasn't really targeted to me, and I felt a bit numb after the movie. My ears rang and I almost felt physically shaken. I don't remember when I've seen "big explosions and dangerous situations" action movie before this, so maybe I'm just not used to it. I'd recommend reserving earplugs for the movie, and I'm not even kidding.

In short, an action movie, which I didn't really care about. Some nice concepts and nods for older fans to spot, and worth watching. Just don't expect anything deeper levels from the movie. Propapbly not a bad movie, just not to my taste.

Personally, a bit more characterisation and less of action would have made a huge difference. The movie failed to make me care about the characters -> I've felt no urge to get the movie toys, except Blackout (helicopter) but it was on my to-buy-list even before the movie. Besides Blackout the only one I checked more closely this week in toy store was Barricade, but it didn't interest me enough to buy it.


NTFA admin asked of my prediction of possible sequels. I suppose there will be at least some kind of continuation, unless the movie will be a complete failure (which I don't believe). Story telling wise there are many doors open for sequels, some obvious some not so much. But I don't want to go to details until you others have seen the movie.
 

Last edited by Osku; 2007-06-26 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 2007-06-26, 01:14 PM   #2
Denyer
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UK
Smile

Only partly to do with the film itself, but Hasbro / the studio / merch people (eg, game makers) are really going all out to keep fans in the loop -- and okay, some of the reviews will still be negative about parts, but people are a lot more willing to treat things in a balanced fashion and pick out likes as well as dislikes with the way everything's been handled.

They definitely deserve kudos for all this. It goes far beyond covering their own backs to manage first responses (which are more important for films these days than ever) and well into genuine excitement for the project(s). My favourite tie-in I've seen reference to is the Sector Seven roadshow truck...

Obviously the film's not going to be the next Citizen Kane, but it sounds fun, and an event as much as a summer popcorn movie.
 
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Old 2007-06-26, 01:25 PM   #3
Cliffjumper
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
Obviously the film's not going to be the next Citizen Kane
Lady from Shanghai, that's what i've been meaning to be looking for on ebay.

Excellent, carry on!
 
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Old 2007-06-26, 01:49 PM   #4
Halfshell
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Don't complain to me. I don't care.
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I can't stand Citizen Kane.

Actually, that's a lie. I can't stand the three quarters of Citizen Kane that I've actually managed to sit through.

[/tangent]
 
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Old 2007-06-26, 06:03 PM   #5
Tetsuro
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Suomi Finland Perkele
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Quote:
SPOILER! (select to read)
In parts I felt like I'm watching a US army air forces propaganda film. I'm a bit allergic to that kind of propaganda, so it sort of prevented me getting inside the movie. Instead I noticed I was watching it as an outside observer, watching and taking notes but not really experiencing the movie.
Hear, hear.

I haven't bought any movie toys myself (unless the Real Gear line counts), and I have no intention to either; for one, if I buy one character, I feel obliged to buy all of them...and if I end up not liking the movie, well, I just don't buy merchandise for movies I don't even like.

No characterization, you say...is it worse than Victory? Sounds like it is, because at least Victory had some for the villains if not the heroes.
 
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Old 2007-06-26, 07:56 PM   #6
Osku
One with the Matrix
 
Finland
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Personally I'll just pick up the toys I'm interested in. Real gear binoculars and camera seemed interesting, but I was really disappointed that there was no lens in the toys.

Quote:
Originally posted by Tetsuro
No characterization, you say...is it worse than Victory? Sounds like it is, because at least Victory had some for the villains if not the heroes.
Hard to compare, about as little I guess.
 
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