Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Reviews for Men: Transformers

Do guys like movies?

It depends on what you consider a movie. A sweeping romance set in the Victorian era ending with the word fin before the credits roll aint worth a mans time. Sex, drugs, explosions and one liners most certainly are. Sense and Sensibility bad, Pulp Fiction good.

Do guys like movie critics?

Not really. Most movie critics fellate Victorian era romances and slam big, loud action flicks. Pride and Prejudice good, Road House bad.

Clearly, we need a "guy movie" critic, and Spirit of Jake Plummer is up to the task.

We wont rate films for their importance, acting or historical accuracy. Well rate 'em for how well they amp up the boobs, carnage and cheese.

With that, we launch our inaugural guy review with a doozie.


Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Jon Voight, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson

Directed by Michael Bay

144 minutes


Story: 9

Explosions: 10

Violence: 8

One-liners: 8

Car Chases: 10

Sex/chicks: 4

Intangibles: 9

Rewatchability: 9

Overall: 8.4

Everything about Transformers is big. Big fan base, big robots, big hype, big budget.

Big letdown? Hell no.

Take the primary Transformers cartoon characters, place them in The Rock, update their physics to make them modern and realistic, add Steven Spielbergs input to give them heart, and you have one of the best, most mind-blowing blockbusters this millennium.

Is Transformers perfect? No. Super cartoon/comic goobers will whine because Michael Bay deemed Frank Welker’s voice too old for modern Megatron and some strange Golemn-like Decepticon keeps popping up, making cutesy noises that sound like the Ewoks.

But considering how challenging it is to make a friggin live-action movie about giant robots tearing apart Earth in their war and to make viewers actually care about those robots the entire two and a half hours well let those flaws slide.

Five minutes into Transformers, your jaw will drop as you realize Oh shit. Theyre actually going to do this right. Michael Bay, Hollywoods purest over-the-top cheese action director, pummels the screen with his trademark slo-mo pan shots and sunny backdrops as a Decepticon absolutely demolishes a U.S. army base to steal information.

The movie then splits into two halves, each of which is good for different reasons. The first half reeks of Spielberg. Teenager Sam Witwicky (perfectly cast Shia LaBeouf, who pulls off the cheesy, awkward role without making you hate him) buys his first car, a yellow Chevy Camaro which turns out to be you guessed it Bumblebee. The next hour is like E.T. and Jurassic Park, with lots of comedic moments as Sam gradually learns about the Autobots and why theyre on Earth while the government tries to figure out what the hell is attacking them.

The Sam/Bumblebee storyline is somewhat hokey, but it really works. You cant help but chuckle as Sam tries to tell the cops that his car stole itself. Mikaela Barnes (Megan Fox), Sams love interest, provides solid eye candy as she runs from the Decepticons with him, sweating in her short skirt. Transformers is still a kid movie first, though, so dont expect any nudity or even heavy petting.

So far, so good. Pretty tough to screw up the learn about the origin part of any supernatural adventure flick (see: any comic book movie, Ninja Turtles, etc.).

The second leg of Transformers is the true pleasant surprise. Trailers for the film have been highly secretive showing very few Transformers and boatloads of humans so many viewers will enter theatres expecting disappointment. Without giving too much away, lets just say youll be satisfied. Plenty of your fave generation-one Transformers pop up, albeit modified for 2007.

Most importantly, Peter Cullen returns to voice Optimus Prime, giving the flick huge credibility. How can you not get sucked in as if youre watching any old Transformers episode when the original Optimus Prime is talking?

Your eardrums will almost explode as the Autobots and Decepticons butt heads in the second half of Transformers to fight over the AllSpark, an energy cube from the Transformers’ home planet that gives them life. Humans, buildings, cars and anything else in sight get obliterated during the truly epic battle. Forget Star Wars or Pirates of the Carribean; these special effects set a new standard.

As long as you check your uber fact-checking nerd self at the door, Transformers will blow you away.

UPDATE: The Intern sent along this insightful documentary explaining Soundwave's absence from the film.


Anonymous said...

if you gave the chicks a 4/10 then you are gay

those chicks are smoking hot

Dave A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave A said...

Soundwave was in it in one of the original scripts as Frenzy (the little wire frame guy), hence his transforming into a stereo. Thank god they wised up there. He's coming in the sequel though, I'd bet anything on it. Ironically they changed his character in the movie to one of his tapes (Frenzy was the little seen red & black version of Rumble).

Transformers was incredible, a must see for all. I walked in expecting good things, and I had under estimated.

I had one demand before the movie; something I thought had no hope of coming true. "Jazz had better talk in jive." And by god he actually did! Words could not describe the happiness I felt at that moment.

My only tiny point (and this is only for the super fans) is the poor communication between the film and Hasbro led to Brawl (the tank) being called Devastator in the film. Perhaps they can swap that out in the DVD. If it was any other name it wouldn't really matter, but you can't just call anyone Devastator. As we all know, he's the strongest of the Decepticons.

*[Edited to fix my 1am spelling]

Anonymous said...

Agreed on all counts, Dave. I loved the flick too and was also mildly peeved at the naming of Devastator. Ah well.

As for Soundwave...I read that he's in the sequel 100 per cent, along with Unicron. If Unicron's in it that could mean Galvatron...


Mark P said...

The lack of the original Megatron voice aside, Hugo Weaving was a helluva good replacement.