Tag Archives: Michael Bay

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Transformers: Bumblebee is not a reboot so stop calling it that – The hype train has left the station

Transformers bumblebee trailer jeep robot

“Sweet boy”

The first non-sequential entry into the Transformers film franchise finally dropped a trailer to the chagrin of Transfans across the globe. At around 2:00 AM CST on Tuesday June 5th, 2018, the world breathed a sigh of relief, shed some tears, and history was made. The collective internet at large unanimously agreed the trailer was good, and not the train wreck everyone was expecting after the previous entries into this movie franchise.

Transformers Bumblebee trailer honeycomb bees

Sweet

It’s not just fans taking to social media in bee swarms, it’s the regular press too.  With headlines like “Bumblebee Movie Shows The True Potential of a transformers movie” and “Is It Weird That the Bumblebee Trailer Made Me Tear Up a Little Bit?“, it’s clear that something no one expected is gaining steam. The only person that should be ashamed of this complete 180 is director Michael Bay who has spent the last 10 years brushing off the criticism of his work with the arrogance of a school yard bully. Now that we have an actual creative story-teller in the director’s chair instead of a dime-a-dozen commercial director that some how got a big break where 100’s didn’t, the world can finally be treated to the wonder and bewilderment that thousands of Transformers fans already knew the brand possessed.

Oh, and Ryan Roschke, the answer is no, no it’s not weird. I’ll admit that I too teared up (although I really blame the excellent musical direction of the trailer) when I watched this trailer for the first time in the early morning hours of Tuesday. It was as if for the first time since early 2006 that all the abuse I had withstood, all the disappointment, all the ridicule had been worth it and was finally over. I, no we, had persevered and miraculously been rewarded. We just never expected our savior to be Bumblebee.

transformers bumblebee trailer autobot insignia face

Non-angry-eyes Autobots are back in style!

I have to applaud the team at Hasbro and the cohesive vision of Travis Knight for being patient and not jumping the gun to share this film. Originally the Bumblebee movie was supposed to have been released during this current Summer’s blockbuster season, like every other Transformers film, but all that changed when Solo: A Star Wars Story, flipped the script and moved from a Christmas release to a summer release. Thanks Disney, you opened the door for success; a mistake they are not likely to make again. This, of course, has wrecked havoc upon Hasbro’s toy release schedule, creating a rarely seen dry-spell for new product moving into the summer months. The Bumblebee Movie toyline was meant to drop along side the current Movie Studio Series line, but plans had to change when the Transformers movie franchise was cancelled and Bumblebee was pushed back almost 6 months. This has also caused a real problem with distribution of Power of the Primes wave 2 and 3.  Oops. Well, it’s nice to see that the struggle was worth it.

transformers bumblebee trailer face

Nerds rejoice: robot kibble is now canon!

So amongst all this excitement for the trailer is a whole bucket of confusion. The confusion stems from the terms “reboot” being thrown around haphazardly by official sources. Here are the facts:

  • The Transformers Movie franchise has been cancelled since Transformers 7 is no longer on Paramount’s release schedule.
  • The Bumblebee movie was originally considered Transformers 6. It was and still is set in the only Transformers movie universe that exists since the entire thing was written and produced under the context of it fitting in this universe.
  • The setting of the Bumblebee movie is the 1980’s, which now according to the chronology of the films sets it between the time when Bumblebee fought in World War II (The Last Knight) and when Bumblebee first interacts with Sam Witwicky (Transformers).
  • The last time the Transformers film officials used the word reboot, they had a fundamental lack of understanding what that word fucking means. So just forget that word exists in the context of the Transformers films right now.

The Transformers universe is going to get rebooted… at some point.  This is why a new film is not on the books until 2020+. Giving potential new creators this much time to let Transformers simmer on the general public seems like a really great way to give some breathing room to the franchise. Hasbro’s teams will be able to work with movie production creative teams a bit more closely and in a timely matter. Toylines that are successful take a lot more time than anyone thinks. The real wrench in the plan right now is this Bumblebee movie. It’s looking to me like it is going to destroy expectations and probably have one of the best opening weekends of all the Transformers films. If that prediction is true, I fear for what this means to Paramount & Hasbro’s best laid plans. If anything, I pray that they stick to their guns and use this Bumblebee film as an example of how to do it right as they move into a new paradigm for Transformers film-making and story-telling. My biggest fear is that this movie does so gang-busters that everyone up top can’t bear to let the franchise go and will suddenly fire up the Transformers 7 machine, and Bay will be back in the driver’s seat.  He still has an executive producer credit attached to this film so his ego has melted into a puddle just yet.

transformers bumblebee trailer Hailee

I give it a ten!

Let’s also not forget about the star power in this movie. John Cena is in everything now, and he draws a crowd! Just look at Froggy Fresh spit sick rhymes about his favorite wrestler years ago. His fame has only gone even more bonkers since. Then there’s God’s gift to the world, Hailee Steinfeld. This girl does not quit. She can sing, she can act, and she’s generally the #1 girl next door on planet Earth. If Megan Fox is the kind of woman you cheat on your wife with, Hailee is the type of girl you cheat off her tests in math class. She’s an A+ student and this movie is going to propel her to super stardom so she can rub elbows with the ‘it’ girl of yesteryear like Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence.

Transformers bumblebee trailer starscream animated GIF

The flyboy we’ve all been waiting for

Oh, and of course we can’t forget this guy. Bumblebee wasn’t the only A-list Transformer scouring Earth for the All Spark, oh no. Starscream has been holding it down just as long and we’re finally seeing him before his couch potato days as a Dorito. God speed you vain, scrupulous seeker you. It’s amazing to have you back. Where’s that box of kleenex again?

Watch the trailer in full below, or click here.

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Michael Bay, the destroyer of childhoods comes to life in T-shirt form!

Baynicron t-shirt

The hat was meant to say “boobs”

Hooooo boy, they really went for it! This shirt should be considered spoilers, but it appears that RIPT Apparel has created a shirt for all the disenfranchised Transfans out there. If only the tagline had been “Destroyer of Childhoods”, but maybe that’s a little too on the nose.

This hilarious and poignant design was created by the incredible artist Obvian and is available today only at RIPT!

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Who should direct the Transformers reboot?

You've had your time Michael Bay

Your face here!

 

I’m just going to jump right in and state that the Transformers cinematic franchise as it exists needs to die.  “The Last Knight” was the final nail in the coffin, for me, as a long-time fan. I’ve given the franchise everything that I have and I’ve bit my lip so much there is a scar. Mister Bay has left his mark on the Transformers and we are not soon to forget him. The box office numbers are starting to drop, which is making a lot of folks anxious; the folks that make the big decisions. The Bumblebee spin-off is already happening and Travis Knight seems like a suitable name to put at the helm, but if he cannot save the dumpster fire that Bay and his “writers” have started, it’s going to be time to return the drawing board.

So who should done the torch, and hopefully save the honor of the Cybertronian race? Well, whomever dons the crown will have to possess a few specific qualities as a director:

  1. Respect for established lore and an ability to expand upon existing story elements.
  2. Experience with digital characters and large amounts of CG that integrate into their live action.
  3. A strong eye for how to film action sequences.

So let’s take a look at a few directors that are currently out there that could give the world a fresh look at Transformers and hopefully not leave fans with a battery-acid taste in their mouthes.

Ro-bros

Neill Blomkamp
You probably know him from District 9 fame, but this director has been spear-heading the modern aesthetic of sci-fi since he hit the scene. He is launching his own film studio and putting out amazing bite-sized sci-fi shorts like Rakka and Firebase, which are conveniently located online for the masses to devour. His films have a gritty real-life quality all while relying heavily on CG plot-points and even, in the case of Chappie, main characters.

Sure, it seems like all of Blomkamp’s efforts have slipped a bit since the initial bombastic reception of District 9, but he has the tools and he has the talent. Fans of the Alien franchise, this Collecticon included, were salivating over the concept art that was displayed online for a Blomkamp reimagining of a post-aliens universe without the miss-steps brought on by Alien 3 and Ressurrection. Unfortunately for the universe at large, Sir Ridley Scott took his toys and went home at the thought of someone else once again out-classing his little sci-fi story.

Neill Blomkamp Alien Queen concept Aliens 5

Hey kids, sorry but I got Ridley’d!

The short and thick of it is that this guy is the real deal. He knows how to tell a story and he knows how to make things look real. He relies heavily on CG in his films and has a taste for lore as a fan, as in the case of how he wanted to jumpstart the Aliens story in a more compelling way. The real question here is if our lord and savior has any interest at all in the Transformers mythos or if he even wants to deal with big-budget Hollywood types at all. All I can say is Neill, if you’re out there, I think you’ve got the touch and you’ve got the power!

 

J.J. Abrams
You almost can’t have this debate with another geek without bringing up J.J.  While Star Wars and Trekkies received a healthy dosing of Abrams to save their sorry asses, Transformers & Ninja Turtlesfans were stuck in the corner being bullied by Michael Bay asking for all our plastic crack money. While not everyone on earth was ecstatic about Abrams’ takes on two of the holiest of holy stories, it’s hard to say that he did a bad job. Lens flares be damned, there was grit, there was glory and he made everyone a lot of money.  Of all the directors listed here, he has the strongest pedigree from an executive standpoint.

What would a J.J. Abrams Transformers universe look like? I would hope that it would be a return to form, mostly revolving around the key aspects of robots in disguise, but perhaps we get a better establishment of locations away from Earth, like a real Cybertron setting. Abrams is all about easter eggs and keeping fans at least somewhat happy, a rule of franchise-building that Michael Bay would rather rip out of the book.

Again, is rebuilding a fan-hallowed franchise the sort of annoying challenge that an established director like this wants to take up for a third time? Ultimately, I believe it depends on his affinity to the brand and after tackling both Star Trek and Star Wars, what else is there? He’s not my first pick, but I’d definitely raise an eye brow if he showed interest.

Giant robot: Check!

Guillermo del Toro
If this guy isn’t a Transformers fan, then I’ll eat my left arm clean off. He’s done so much visionary film-making that I won’t even bother mentioning it all except his most relevant for this conversation, Pacific Rim. Of all the directors on this list, Guillermo probably has the biggest predisposition to telling stories about giant robot and the battles that tend to follow them around. He loves color, he loves sound, he loves wowing the audience visually! I don’t think he puts as much stock into practical effects as Michael Bay might, but his ability to make memorable and unique visual moments in his movies is hard to beat.

This guy loves making movies, and loves the fans of his movies. Of all the directors on this list, he seems like the one that would say yes to saving Transformers the fastest. He and Michael Bay even had a short press beef debating the finer points of their robot movies! Guillermo, just take Paramount’s call and show Bay how a real man choreographs giant robot battles.

Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Never heard of this guy? Well why are you even reading this blog then? Jordan single-handedly blew the minds of monster movie fans across the world with his incredible entry into the King Kong mythos, Kong: Skull Island.

The film places big-budget action in lush exotic locations with A-list stars, and of course, the beast himself, King Kong. Vogt-Roberts blew it out of the park so hard with this movie, any studio in Hollywood exec would have to be taking drugs not to consider him for the job. He flawlessly told a story with giant CG creatures on his first at bat, and he clearly had a lot of respect for the franchise. In fact, he probably made the best entry into the Kong pedigree of all time. This is the guy. He is my number one pick to take the matrix, and light our darkest hour. Plus, the beard!!!!

Well, those are my picks and I think we would be lucky to snag any of them as our next ‘point man’ on a revisited Transformers film series. I’ll also note a few runner’s up but I just doubt they would actually touch this thing with a 100 foot pole.
Runners-up:

  • Joss Whedon – I believe he could do the franchise some serious good, but he seems pretty anti-hollywood these days.
  • Zach Snyder – Please no, but I’m sure he’d be in the running. Chances are he would create a less decipherable film than Michael Bay would.
  • Jonathan Nolan – Yeah it’d be cool, but I bet he’d be a one and done with Transformers.  We need someone that’s going to be in it to win it!
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Fans rage over Transformers 5 Hot Rod reveal – world continues turning.

Transformers5-hot-rod-digibash-jake-bleeker

Hot Rod, now with more Hot and Rod. Digibash by Jake Bleeker.

Last night around 1:24 Central time, the Transfan world was once again set ablaze by one of the first full-body robot reveals of a character in the upcoming Transformers film. We got to see that Hot Rod was finally making his prime time debut in the TF movie franchise. Of course, no one seemed happy about this at all except the Transformers 5 marketing team who was watching agape as their hashtags were propelled into the stratosphere.

One of the best responses about this came from well-established Transformers Fan Sid Beckett, which you can see below.

Ten Years of Human Progress (2006) Anyone seen those pictures of Optimus Prime with flames on? Yuck. These guys can't design for shit. (2016) Anyone seen those pictures of Hot-Rod without flames on? Yuck. These guys can't design for shit.

What a difference 10 years makes.

I’ll save you all any sort of diatribe about why this Hot Rod sucks or is awesome and just leave you with this photo to reminisce of the days of yore.

so-many-hotrods

Such a varied appearance…

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The least shocking surprise of 2016 – Michael Bay directing Transformers 5

Strange enough, the world received confirmation of Michael Bay’s involvement with Transformers 5 via a Rolling Stone interview about 13 Hours.  As if we didn’t already know.

And then there’s this quote from the article: “It’s not good when I’m not involved.”

What an asshole.

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Michael Bay random gif from giphy

michael-bay-bike-movie-giphy

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Michael Bay confirmed to not direct Transformers 5 – Movie’s future uncertain?

Michael Bay

“Fuck it”

Are Hollywood execs and director Michael Bay still dancing like they do every other time a new Transformers film is announced?  It seems that this time Bay is calling it quits and has confirmed he wants to film another movie during the currently planned production schedule of Transformers 5; the news broken by IGN earlier this morning.

This Collecticon can’t help but feel that this is just the same old routine as every other time Bay finishes a record-breaking Transformers movie, and Paramount / Hasbro announce the sequel with reckless abandon.  I think it goes something like this:

1. Movie is announced – 2. Director publicly claims he doesn’t want to do it – 3. Movie exec’s realize Bay is the secret ingredient in their recipe to make money – 4. Closed door negations occur – 5. Bay announces with pride that he will be directing the next sequel – 6. all is forgotten.

So which phase are we in?  Are we in the midst of steps 2 and 4, or have we entered a new type of step 5 where Bay has gone completely AWOL and his demands to make a 1.5 billion dollar movie were too outrageous to be met?  Perhaps lacking toy sales for Age of Extinction caused the Hasbro side of the negotiations to be a little less apt to rise to Mr. Bay’s monetary demands.

Or perhaps Michael is really just sick of filming these monstrosities.  This announcement affects a lot of people close to him, though.  A large portion of his effects and filming crew count on work due to large budget films like the Transformers franchise.  It’s kind of like when a large money-making touring act like say, Blink 182, decides to go on touring hiatus for months or years.  Their entire crew is now stranded without consistent work and must scramble together new jobs with any other comparable act that can take them.  In other words, breaking up the band breaks up a lot more people than just the band.

michael-bay-not-directing-transformers5-bottalk-comments

Two of my favorite gut-reactions from Members of Bottalk

My personal thoughts are that this is a bummer.  I don’t love the Bay films and I have always wanted someone else to get a shot at it, but there are too many cliffhangers.  I want Bay’s store to finish and I wanted him to finish it.  Sure that meant 1 to 2 more bloated films, but cutting and running before it’s all said and done is going to make it even worse.  If there’s one thing Paramount knew they could count on, it’s that Bay would finish the product on time and on budget.  Throwing a new crew and director into the mix may expectantly delay the release of the film by a whole year.

So is this it?  Is the era of Bayformers at an end?  You answer below:

we-shall-see-galvatron-collecticon

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Michael Bay interested in directing “Neon Genesis Evangelion” live action film?

michael-bay-evangelion-movie-eva-unit13

Armageddon – 3rd Impact

The live action Evangelion movie has been in development hell for many years.  Check out some crazy WETA concept art that has made the rounds for about 10 years.

But recently a horrible revelation has come to light… Michael Bay has interest in directing a live action Neon Genesis Evangelion movie.

First off, how in the fuck does Bay even know what Neon Genesis Evangelion is? I mean, we are talking about a guy who stated in front of the entire attending congression of Botcon 2011 that he thought Transformers was just “some stupid kids’ toys” when he was asked to direct the first “Transformers” film.  If anyone could royally mess up Evangelion, Bay is the one.

It’s seriously crossed the line.  What’s next?  Michael Bay’s “Macbeth”?  Michael Bay presents a retelling of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds?”  I just hope everyone roped into the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie feels our pain: the pain of Bayformers.

shinji-evangelion-q-cry

Shinji took the news even harder that I did

UPDATE: It has come to my attention that the original source of this news is no longer available, if it ever was. We’ll now chalk this up to total rumor and sleep a little better.

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New Optimus Prime revealed from the set of Transformers 4 – Flame overload

Optimus-Prime-transformers4-michael-bay-truck-redesign

The flames, they burn! They burn my eyes!!!!!!!!!!

Ok I guess Bay is just trolling us now because this new Optimus Prime has about 5 times the flames on it of the last one.  The photograph is cool and it’s nice to see that things are ‘rolling along’ on the set of Transformers 4.

I just get the feeling that this design is so over the top, that this installment of the franchise will be similar to how “Batman Forever” felt after the first two gritty Batman films by Tim Burton.

If you include the other two car designs, there is a whole lotta crazy color going on.  Perhaps this time you can get it right and make the Decepticons more than just gray pieces of crap on screen?

Good luck Transformers, good fucking luck.  We’ll remember you how you were, and not how you became.

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The current rumor is this is bot named Slingshot. Might as well be, sheesh.

Transformers 4 Drift veyron

Yay, let’s just keep getting more expensive vehicles to break. Maybe next episode we’ll get a McLaren F1! Catch my “Drift?”

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Gabriela Cedillo settles for 18 Million dollars after Transformers 3 stunt – almost two years after the accident

Transformers 3 Hammond Indiana Gabriela Cedillo

No Decepticon dogs anywhere to be found.

Today I learned from E! that the mishap that occurred back on the set of Transformers 3 in Hammond, IN was finally paid for the damaged caused to her.  Her, or her family, settled for a report $18 million USD, which is probably still never going to be enough to grant the Cedillo family a full recovery.

According to the article, “(Gabriela) is going to have issues for the rest of her life.” Sad indeed.

If you follow this blog, you may recall that I, Collecticon, was there on that disastrous day.  I’ve been holding onto this footage for almost two years and have followed Gabriela’s case as closely as I could.  There has not been much information since the movie was released until now.  The video below is my footage of the final stunt that was filmed on September 1st.  I was near the end of the caravan, and so most of the action occurs prior to me moving.  The accident occurred near the front of the line, and is not visible in the video.

I have never released this video until now. I wanted the dust to settle and there really isn’t much to see. I thought today would be a fitting release for the video. As indicated by the walkie, it took a few minutes before anyone realized there was a problem with Gabriela’s car. She erratically was driving after the stunt, and slammed into the guardrail and continued speeding past the stop point. This caused a lot of confusion over the walkies until someone said, “We need a helicopter now.” Then we all knew something was wrong.

I hope the Cedillo Family has found some solace this day with the tragic accident that happened nearly two years ago and they have my prayers.