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Old 2015-01-04, 09:58 PM   #1
Cliffjumper
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Unhappy TF4: Sideshow Bob is right

Got the AoE DVD for Xmas, so I sat down and watched the film bereft of Chinese subtitles and everyone being weirdly orange. And the Autobots are the ****ing problem, aren't they?

Early on it's all fair game as they're being hunted after an amnesty is welched on; both Ratchet and Optimus surely kill people, or at least are lucky not to. But in Chicago all the casualties caused by Galvatron and the drones are a direct result of Prime's largely pointless raid on KSI, then the other four cause a ****-ton while springing Prime despite the fact an hour or so before they were happy enough hanging around in a couple of square miles of desert (which was pretty stupid, when you think about it) when they could have stowed away, freed him later and escaped Earth.

They then nick Lockdown's escape ship (where he keeps all his prized trophies, completely unalarmed without even the basic sensors to tell him half of his ship has ****ed off despite the rest of the place being rigged like something with really well rigged security, as you do), basically ensuring he'll return to Earth in a pissed-off mood. Hong Kong thus gets the shit magneted and blown out of it, not helped by the aforementioned Galvatron and his mob turning up - the ones activated hurriedly to deal with the overt Autobot activity, led by the guy whose personality might well have resurfaced due to the meeting with Prime in a Dark Knight way.

And just in case there's not complete ****ing chaos and more collateral damage than an American peacekeeping mission, Prime, Crosshairs and Drift ride ****ing huge spiky robot dinosaurs into the city centre. Yeh, the myriad people they kill probably would have been just as ****ed if the seed had gone off, but didn't the seed only get moved to Hong Kong rather than being planted in the Gobi desert because there were Autobots swarming all over the place shooting things? (and was it me or was the seed basically forgotten about once Lockdown was sorted out?)

Finally, Optimus Prime then buggers off into space leaving four belligerent arseholes who he knows can't work together in the middle of another wrecked city that's about to have Chinese military swarming all over it with only a Texan amateur inventor and a ruined Steve Jobs clone to give their side of the story. That's going to end well.

And why the **** does Hound shoot that Lucasarts thing in the cage? What a prick.
 
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Old 2015-01-05, 12:31 AM   #2
Clay
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Speaking of the seed being a BOOM device, wouldn't Galvatron be just as well off to let Tucci set the thing off in the Gobi Desert as planned, build many more robots, then activate the robots with his Decepti-magic and, I dunno, steal actual bombs to blow up cities with? Seems like he spent five years quietly playing Super Mario in the most cautious way just to jump the gun and fall into the lava pit in front of Bowser.

However, this level of poor planning is totally consistent with Megatron, so I'll accept it. It's Prime's foresight that I'm disappointed in, but then he faked his death and sacrificed Chicago in the last one just to prove a point, so that's consistent too.

I do greatly enjoy the emotional arc Prime and Cade go threw, essentially framing both as reluctant and self-sacrificing parents for the benefit of children that don't understand what that entails. But while Prime riding a giant, fire-breathing, robot dinosaur into battle is the most goddamn fantastic way to symbolize being a responsible adult I've ever seen, all the property damage and casualties seems to undermine the effort a bit. Reminds me of a poem, My Papa's Waltz, by Theodore Roethke

Quote:
The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My motherís countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.
So, the love is there; Prime's just a drunk.
 
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Old 2015-01-05, 12:52 AM   #3
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It's the sort of angle that might have been played nicely in a more sombre medium - there's a line in (I think) The Authority where after a city-wide superhero smackdown one of the heroes asks "How many people did we kill today?" and another says "A lot fewer than we saved" and it's a nice real-world acknowledgement that saving the world would involve collateral damage in the same way that, say, liberating France from the Nazis did. But the film doesn't really address it even though by definition every time a robot steps on a car it's completely intentional. In a way I prefer it to some sort of sanitised Disney Avengers-style approach where Optimus is able to ride Grimlock through Hong Kong without touching a single bystanding three-wheel van thing but it often comes across more as "let's have cars and buildings all over the place!" than "let's show how ****ing terrifying and lethal this would be".

It's just hard to see how the events of the movie actually make anything better for either party. It's clear that Attinger and his sidekick aren't exactly lone nuts; sure, they're using Cemetry Wind to make a nice little bit on the side with the transformium, but actively disliking the Autobots seems quite common and dicking over a couple more cities isn't likely to get them their base on Diego Garcia back.

There's just that vague feeling that this fictional world might overall have been a better place if Cade hadn't found Optimus, Lockdown had got him and the other four at his own pace and just left. And that's not how you should feel about the Autobots really.
 
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Old 2015-01-06, 09:03 PM   #4
inflatable dalek
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How did the baddies get hold of Megatron's body anyway? Did Optimus not learn his lesson about keeping track of these things after the first one? Best bet would have been to fly up into space and throw the remains into the sun, just to make sure.
 
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Old 2015-01-06, 09:09 PM   #5
Notabot
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Remember, though, that he apparently didn't remember that he could fly at that point. That's what gets me the most, because interstellar flight without having a new friend sacrifice himself would have been awfully handy at a lot of points throughout the entire movie series.
 
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Old 2015-01-06, 09:44 PM   #6
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I (charitably, probably) thought the flight might have come from the mini-upgrade he got taking the sword from Lockdown's outhouse.

Well, it's nearly an explanation. In a "that's not Brawl standing next to Bruticus, it's a generic Decepticon using the same body as Brawl" way.
 
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Old 2015-01-06, 10:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
How did the baddies get hold of Megatron's body anyway? Did Optimus not learn his lesson about keeping track of these things after the first one? Best bet would have been to fly up into space and throw the remains into the sun, just to make sure.
It's a shame in a way (in a way because they'd probably have ****ed it up) that IDW have stopped the movie stuff because between DOTM and AOE there's huge scope for work; not exactly plot holes but there's been a huge shift in status quo and it'd be nice to have some sort of explanation for the dissassembly of NEST, what happened to the Witwickys, Simmons, Mearing etc. and the other half-a-dozen Autobots, how exactly Attinger was able to begin his policy and so on.

The first three films didn't really need prequels, being quite closely connected, but this one I feel had a lot of scope for an interesting story to tell. I suspect IDW were partly motivated by being made to look idiots by working with such early drafts as IIRC sales were surprisingly respectable for what was really a B-class series.
 
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Old 2015-01-06, 11:08 PM   #8
Knightdramon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post

The first three films didn't really need prequels, being quite closely connected, but this one I feel had a lot of scope for an interesting story to tell. I suspect IDW were partly motivated by being made to look idiots by working with such early drafts as IIRC sales were surprisingly respectable for what was really a B-class series.
Totally agree---and I greatly respect IDW for that. They did look like assholes not once, but twice with ROTF prequels and DOTM prequels.

As for the human cast, I'm very glad they made do with all of them. Not any more ranks for Lennox to go through without being denied active duty and Sam's story was both believable [real life stuff] and unbelievable [seriously? Unemployed, a bum, and THAT girl paying his rent? Naaaah]

Chicago being the mess it was, I wouldn't be surprised if the Autobots were not hunted down almost automatically, but it'd be way too public for the cover story that almost everybody believes later on.

I suspect that Attinger only turned on them after he recruited Lockdown and had the means to go head on with them.

But still...it's Bay. Seriously guys, it's Bay. Any "documentaries" he made out of all his movies are mostly about how he got on to the crew to destroy more cars, make more explosions etc. With the right handling and a proper reboot, I feel Transformers could be a proper sci-fi film...but that will never happen
 

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Old 2015-01-06, 11:17 PM   #9
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I dunno, my biggest problem with the IDW movie comics wasn't the continuity errors but the almost complete misunderstanding of the film universe. Every time they do an original story it always involved drafting in as many characters as possible, all with G1 personalities and basically ignoring the tone of the films and then running around like idiots trying to fix things when it became obvious that the billion dollar box office films were keeping the same approach each time. It was basically masochistic.

My personal favourite is them misinterpreting a single extended chase/fight between Bumblebee and Barricade into the beginnings of some sort of epic Magnus/Galvatron rivalry only for Barricade to eventually return onscreen and get killed by NEST Guy #7 without even setting an optic on the yellow terror. The funniest thing being that their own adaptation of the first film had him getting dismissively killed by Prime.
 
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Old 2015-08-08, 07:03 PM   #10
Auntie Slag
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I found a new, sealed copy of AoE in Cash Converters for £1. I took it home expecting it to be an absolute pile of old crap, and instead I really enjoyed it. I’d say right now its my second favourite live action TF film. Yes Galvatron is almost entirely wasted and he chicken's out in a Saturday morning cartoon villain type way. Ratchet’s death was cheap and nasty, and I couldn’t care less about the daughter and her Lucky Charms Irish boyfriend. Also the Dinobots felt pointless and I’d have preferred them not being in it at all.

All I really cared about was that Prime was superb. The film was once again his & Bumblebee was sidelined even more-so, which I’m fine with. Lockdown was a super-nasty villain with Jetfire’s voice, which was so painfully obvious, could they really not have found someone else to do it?

Hound was a one-robot army at the end, which I found very enjoyable, and Cade was Sparkplug with muscles. Everything else was popcorn, but I didn’t find the time dragging like I did with DotM, and now I regret not seeing this one in the cinema.

I gave up trying to make sense of it, but I was very thankful that this film didn’t have murderous editing and jumpy cameras which infested every shot of RotF. This time the camera could focus on a person without moving for a few moments.

And when Prime killed the Cemetery Wind guy, that just felt awesome. Not only had he finally, intentionally killed a human, but he killed Dr. Frasier Crane, leaving a hole in the guys chest. Of course he has to leave the planet, he can’t get any cooler than this!

It was nice to finally see this, even after reading the Wikipedia and all the comments on this site, and my own reservations. This felt fun. A rather more involved, somewhat stodgier fun than the first one, but it does at least share a kind of kinship with it.

And it really helps not having Sam and Linkin’ Park not being in it.I’d be very happy to have more of Cade, but none of the others, Stanley Tucci maybe. And one of the guys from Horrible Histories was a lab prof! It was excellent to see him there. And yes, ultimately it was the power of friendship that saved everything, but I don't care, I had fun.

If only they could make the next film featuring Cade, Prime and Jez & Mark from Peep Show.

[Edit] Only thing I'm really annoyed with is that the DVD came with no extras at all. Not a single bit of extra goodness; no music video, no chat with Mark Wahlberg, special effects doc. Nothing. Its so poor how Paramount have treated UK DVD releases recently.

[Edit 2] I really like the fact that whether you're an Autobot or a Decepticon, you're just a dick especially in this film. The Autobots do not spend every moment of every day being virtuous and good, they're not saviours, and that goes for Prime too. I relished the fact that Prime was so utterly fed up with everyone and everything being bigger dicks than him. Lockdown expressed this exasperation at one point and I almost wanted them to start chatting about it.
 

Last edited by Auntie Slag; 2015-08-08 at 07:16 PM.
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