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Old 2014-05-29, 08:44 AM   #1
Cliffjumper
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Smile Transformers Age of Extinction [spoilers] [NOW WITH ACTUAL SPOILERS]

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.
SPOILER! (select to read)
Because it's not like people are actually going to let seeing the film inform their opinions after all, right?

 

Last edited by inflatable dalek; 2014-06-25 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 2014-05-30, 02:12 AM   #2
Clay
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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]!

 
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Old 2014-05-30, 02:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay View Post
  • 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.
 
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Old 2014-05-30, 02:55 PM   #4
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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.
 
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Old 2014-05-30, 04:16 PM   #5
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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.
 

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Old 2014-05-31, 12:53 PM   #6
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My main hope is that Markey Mark has gotten a handle on the whole acting thing by now.
 
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Old 2014-05-31, 02:11 PM   #7
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96ucpoI73NQ
 

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Old 2014-05-31, 04:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
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.
 
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Old 2014-05-31, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
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.

Quote:
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.
 
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Old 2014-05-31, 06:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
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.
 
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Old 2014-06-01, 11:58 AM   #11
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It's the next best thing to being there!

Quote:
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.
 
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Old 2014-06-01, 12:45 PM   #12
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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?".
 
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Old 2014-06-01, 04:46 PM   #13
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Fray that he did was good though...
 
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Old 2014-06-01, 05:03 PM   #14
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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.
 

Few stuff in the UK to trade/sell. Measly sales thread.
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Old 2014-06-01, 05:59 PM   #15
inflatable dalek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terome View Post

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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
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.
 
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Old 2014-06-05, 10:50 AM   #16
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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.
 

Last edited by Auntie Slag; 2014-06-05 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 2014-06-05, 02:28 PM   #17
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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.
 

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Old 2014-06-06, 01:03 PM   #18
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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.
 
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Old 2014-06-06, 02:13 PM   #19
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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.
 
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Old 2014-06-07, 08:48 AM   #20
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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!
 
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