Saturday, July 07, 2007

Movie Thoughts - Transformers the Movie

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Finally managed to catch the movie on 07.07.07, Saturday 11am local time with an ex-classmate cum ex-colleague. I will not post anything related to story, so potentially no spoilers ahead. Just my after thoughts.

All in all, it was an enjoyable movie. It is great to finally see a live action version on the big screen. I do not seem quite excited, and frankly, I was not completely blow away by the movie. Though it was great to see Autobots, Decepticons, a bit of Cybertron, and Peter Cullen's voice, there was something missing, that did not let me get as pumped up as I hoped I would be.

As you might have already read, there is not much of a story (but hey, we are just there to watch the Transformers whack each other), and the editing was not good as the transition from some scenes was odd.

I wished more characterization, dialogue and interaction were provided to the Decepticons. The Autobots spoke and interactered more than them, and probably Frenzy was the only Decepticon, or rather, the only Transformer with the most screen time.

Although the CG of the Transformers, the transforming sequences and battles were great, some of the CG did not blend well with the background, especically some day scenes with the Autobots. I am not sure if it is due to their bright colours. The Decepticons did not have this problem.

Also, as many have also griped, the battle scenes were too fast to see in detail what was going on. I am a bit puzzled here. The makers spent millions of dollars to build the CG models, but they were not utilized fully, in my opinion in the battle scenes. Maybe it costs more to produce the battle scenes than the other non-battle sequences. The makers were trying to "hide" the battles by cutting away from the scenes with angles and shots that obscure the battle.

Despite views that Megatron's design was not good, I found it otherwise. The design brings out Megatron's menace, and the characterization and voice (though I could not make out Hudo Weaving's voice) also brought out this aspect, which I really enjoyed. He was one big bad ass.

And G1 fans will be thrilled, as I was, with the subtile scenes and dialogue that was in the movie. I will not reveal what they are, so you have to see and hear it for yourself. This is one great aspect that I appreciate the makers of the movie had put in for the fans. Some of the G1 transforming sound effects were also subtly injected into some of the transformation sequences. Cool.

The pace of the show was good, with some action from the start, slowing down in the middle and picking up again till the end. I was actually looking for Michael Bay's signature action sequences, but somehow could not find them. Vehicles and buildings get blown up and tossed around aplenty, but still not that Michael Bay Bad Boys stuff.

I watched the show at the new The Cathay cineplex, at Hall 1, called the Grand Hall, which is the largest hall, providing digital format. The hall is large, and the seats are comfortable. There was enough leg space and the slope was steep enough so that the person in front of you will not block your view too much.

But I was really disappointed at the digital screening. It was very obvious the source was pretty lousy. I can see the grainy texture all throughout the movie. I am not sure if the source is the same for the other movies, or just this particular cinema. Most likely I will watch the show again at another digital cinema. But I'll ask around first if this grainy problem is also inherent in other cinemas. If so, I'll probably watch it again on a non-digital format.

The runtime was approximately 2.5 hours.
Overall, I would give it a 3.8 out of 5.

Till all are one.


Anonymous said...

I found that for the movie, Prime was unable to really challenge Megatron unlike in the cartoons. However seems that the autobots were much stronger than the decepticons....also no mention of the matrix....

neoconvoy said...

what ppl say is he was trying not to hurt the humans running for their lives, and looking out for Sam as he is a bit distracted...

not really...the autobots had the help of the humans...but i was surprised by the first Bumblebee vs Barricade outcome...

i like how the decepticons are protrayed...even more menacing than the cartoons, as well as BW...little words, all action...