Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Transformers: The Greatest Movie of the Decade

I had no idea it was going to be this good. Seriously. I mean what did we have? Giant robots that looked vaguely like some plastic toys I had from about '84 to '88 that had a tie-in comic book and cartoon series? Alright- so there was some nostalgic value there much like the upcoming G.I.Joe, I bit. Then Mike Bay comes along, fair enough he's already cemented himself as one of the greatest motion picture directors of of the past 20 years, if not all time. But even I was sceptical, even of the wondrous talent of Bay that he could pull this off. The Island did not achieve the status of The Rock, Armageddon or Con Air and Bad Boys 2 was pale in comparison to it's predecessor so I'll admit that I was beginning to think that Mr. Bay may have started to loose it.

Never in my entire life have I been so wrong.

I said it in the title: Transformers is the Greatest Movie of the Decade, I offer Spider-Man, Mission: Impossible 2, 300, Underworld, Gladiator and The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King as examples of previous movies which I would assume would be contenders for that title (there are others but not many) certainly there are not as many between 2000 and 2007 as there were between 1990 and 1997, but for now Transformers is king.

Michael Bay returns to Armageddon form (he even ingeniously includes a character line "This is better than Armageddon" as the Autobots land on earth). There is more military hardware on show here than Pearl Harbor, Bay runs the camera almost sexually over aircraft, artillery and modern weapons that gave me an instant hard-on. His obligatory silhouetted Black helicopters in slow-motion and his almost homo-erotic framing of a group of military-types walking towards the camera in slo-mo as well made their welcome return. I think there was more military tech-geek-talk in this movie than any of his previous projects a credit to the advisers I posted about earlier.

The Comic-Book had Buster, and the TV show had Spike so when Shia LeBeouf was cast I wasn't as concerned as others as it was plainly obvious that the producers were following the adventure of young Sam Witwiky which was more in keeping with the source material than just following the military response to the Transformers, not that we had a shortage of that however. LeBeouf had a good part in Constantine and after seeing how good he was in Transformers, I have no problem with his appearance in Indy 4.

Josh Duhamel (Danny in Las Vegas) who reminds me as a sort of cross between Johnny Knoxville and Timothy Olyphant is Captain Lennox, our human "Hero" character who is pivotal in the human's fight against that which they thought impossible. Other juicy parts are dished out to John Voight, Kevin Dunn, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson and even the excellent Glenn (Aaron Pierce in 24) Morshower gets to play a Marine Colonel :) However even though the movie has all these well known names/faces, I'm compelled by some strange force to post only this picture of the aptly named Megan Fox.

But enough about the "fleshlings", what about the giant, transformin' fuckin' robots???! Well if you remember that advertisement for... was it a Citroen?- who gives a shit? You know the one I'm on about with the transforming car. Well the transformations in this film are pretty much like that, but in a larger scale and much faster but with guns and weapons. They don't hold hand-weapons like they did in other incarnations, now the weapons are built in and like pop out of their arms or their arms transform into weapons which makes a lot of sense. Voice acting was top notch with the much hyped appearence of both Peter Cullen - the original voice for Optimus Prime and Hugo Weaving himself as the evil Megatron. Explaining anything else would lessen the impact of what you will see on screen but safe to say that these guys ain't those toys you had as kids. In many ways they're better.

The script was a gem, the perfect pace, balance of humour, action and drama, a credit to writers Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, their faithfulness to the "essence" of Transformers while updating it for the 21st century has filled me with hope for their next effort - Star Trek. Steve The Island Jablonsky, through his magnificent music makes no secret that he's one of Hans Zimmer's trained composers and it's as if he channelled the Prince of Film Music himself to create a rich, multi-textured musical adventure of his own behind the action, yet accompanying it perfectly. The pyrotechnics on show here are pretty much what you'd expect from the director of The Rock, Armageddon, The Island, Bad Boys, Pearl Harbor etc. and it surprises most folk that Bay's budget was only $147m compared with $210m for the woeful X-Men: The Last Stand or even an insane $258m for the piece of shit Spider-Man 3, considering the flawless quality of and the sheer amount of CGI!! It just goes to show what you can do without an A-list actor inflating the budget beyond insanity.

The only possible problem I've scraped from the bottom of the barrel from this movie is that Voight as SECDEF Keller tries to use a mobile in the National Military Command Center. I can guarantee that mobiles are prohibited (even to the likes of me and even the SECDEF) inside such a facility. That aside, the analyst smuggling a memory card out of the NMCC was a bit far-fetched but I'll forgive it as a) it advanced the plot and b) The theft was discovered and an appropriate response was issued.

Finally, if you see only one movie this decade - I order you to go now and witness a true masterwork of motion picture presentation, and join Michael Bay on a virtual roller coaster ride the like of which you have never experienced.


Special Note: Star Wars Revenge of the Sith is deliberatly omitted from the lists that appear here as it's not a film, it's a religion.


Anonymous said...

This was an awful movie and Voight was a disgrace. We know why he was issuing warnings a while back now, he thought he was SECDEF

cork-host said...

Mark, it was a great movie.

True that the plot is thinner then the legally required clothing in a strip club, but, well, plot is a bit harsh a term when there is so many story lines to be ties up.

Now, if Simmons had been shot, things would have improved. That and a little bit of timing improvements on the Sam and his parents storyline.

By the way, is Creedon just as trigger happy as Ironhide is in this movie?

Anonymous said...

So you liked it then !!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm like totally psyched about this one now. Well done Colonel. I like your new profile picture too.

Anonymous said...

O No Grunt has gone gay. ;)

Douglas Kastle said...

I saw it a few weeks ago in the cinema and it was definitely a big cinema film.

However I did feel that the transformed robots (both autobots and decepticons) were just "too busy" when one was smacking down another one you couldn't delineate when one big bunch of metal stopped and the other started.

While the original cartoon and toy transformations would be too simple for a big movie like this they didn't have to go so excessive to get their point across. I felt the Citreon ads (there have been two at least) got it just about right.

Any ways it a long way from trying to find Mexican imported destructicons in Bennetts, with its methane gas air conditioning.

I feel like I should argue that this movie isn't the best of the decade (The Prestige gets my vote, if we are counting from 2000) but I just know I'd be wasting my breath.

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

@ Mark: I daresay there'll be some argument in 2IGTV #46 then.

@ Cork-Host: Yes. Maybe even more.

@ Aaron: Yes. Duh! :)

@ Grunt: Most appreciated. It's "one for the ladies" really.

@ Civvy: I doubt it. It's just that I'm so masculine, even straight men would drool.

@ Doug: The Prestige was good but focused on a good script and superior acting- that's no way to make a movie in the 21st century :P

I still have all those Constructicons from Bennets LOL.

@ Sithy: Sithy?

Anonymous said...

Am I supposed to have said something? I haven't yet, but will when I get to see it!

Anonymous said...

Lt.Col, I noticed that you prompt my esteemed colleague Sithy for his opinion but Pintof is shown no such regard, does this mean that she and her impertenance have finally been dealt with?

Anonymous said...

Yeah Duh!

Anonymous said...

She was warned about Force Lighning and high windows :-)

Anonymous said...

She just didn't listen, "Never stand next to a big window in a high rise when a Dark Lord of the Sith is around". Frankly she was just asking for trouble.

Anonymous said...

OK, i had to bite! Overseer, i'm glad to know that i'm not forgotten, Sithy, Nice try....NOT!, you missed again! The Lt Col. was last seen cowering from my wrath like a big girls blouse and as a result would not be in a position to divulge my whereabouts. I have, since speaking last, learned to disapperate and perform sheild charms so windows and lightening serve no more threat to me, i unlike you, have decided to further my abilities and not rely on sheer luck to survive! Have a nice day Babes!

Anonymous said...

No Sithy don't do it!, we can't keep flinging Pints out of windows with force lightening, think of the double glazing bills!

As for you Pints, the Lt.Col has never ever cowered in fear!, no he prefers to run away like a big girls blouse.

"disapperate?, shield charms?". Poor Dear, you must have bumped your head when you plunged out of that window. Thats potty or potter talk.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Overseer.
Her "shield charm" is no match for a Spear of Midnight Black :)