Movie Reviews 03: Transformers

The nice thing about going to the movies at 10:30 on a Sunday night is that you almost the entire theater to yourself.

The Transformers is a good movie to see on the big screen. Often cartoon adaptations, or game adaptations, or 80s retro stuff, or comic book adaptations just fall flat. The try too hard to hit all the gimmicks or they completely shred the original material. Regardless, they rarely capture the soul of the original story.

Transformers doesn't fall into that trap, though it does trip over it from time to time.

I went into it with low expectaions. I expected to see a big movie, perhaps a bit silly, with awesome special effects.

I wasn't really into the Transformers that much when I was a kid so I didn't have a lot nostalgic emotions invested in the film. I think I was a year or two too old to become obsessed with them. I was more of a Star Wars toys kid.

Transformers did exceed my expectations though. There were some touching moments and some funny lines. Some might criticize the plot for not making complete sense and being a bit weird, but come on -- you're going to a movie about giant alien robots who actually choose to become GM vehicles.

The script is mostly solid. There are a few sub plots that could go (we really don't need the analyst running off to a secret hacker). And first hour of the movie could really use some trimming. Some scenes just go on way too long.

The scene where the Autobots all roll up for the first time is powerful. But it's doesn't happen until an hour into the movie.

A few times, they try too hard to hammer things into the audiences head.

The pharse "more than meets the eye" (the original toy tag line) appears several times in the film, and most of the time it's dropped in an awkward fashion. Sort of like when someone tells a joke and winks and nudges you just before he says the punchline.

Optimus Prime also give the same speech about his willingness to die twice. It comes across as "See how good I am? I'll give up my life for a greater cause." Sure, that's honorable. And it's an important story line. They way it was written though, makes for some eye rolling.

At times the fights were a little tough to follow. Not really knowing the robots, it was sometimes hard to tell which was which in battle. Plus, their robot bodies seemed to run together. But that's also an aspect of the confusion of the battlefield so I'm okay with it.

Still, despite these weakness, the script holds together. Several of the giant robots really do have personality. I would have liked them to give the robots for character development time, so I cared more when they got hurt, but, again -- it's a movie about giant alien robots fighting each other.

The web site for the movie has some nice material availble for down load.

And if you want even more Transformers stuff, check out the Hasbro site. The amount of content there is mind boggling.

Transformers is great summer fun. I doesn't sully the memory of the original comic books and toys. The story and script are surprisingly well writting. So see it on the big screen.

It's worth it.

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