Tag Archives: Transformers Films

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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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Transformers Premium Movie Toy line revealed – Bumblebee displayed in Hong Kong

masterpiece-movie-bumblebee-figure

Premium Bee

Today at the 2017 Hong Kong Toy Fair, Hasbro revealed the first of supposedly many Masterpiece Movie toys.  Of course Bumblebee is the first and it’s claimed to be an all new mold. But is that true?

Let’s take a look!

large-movie-bumblebee-toys

Only the best giant Bumblebees of all time.

I have to admit that I was skeptical at first. A lot of the features of this ‘new mold’ of a giant Bumblebee looked awfully familiar.  After doing some quick analysis though, I am happy to announce that this new Bee is indeed all new! Very nice! Transformers designs truly do age like a fine wine after ten years.  Will this be the penultimate Bumblebee toy?  Chances are yes, at least this is the best we are likely to get for a very long time.

masterpiece-movie-bumblebee-vs-battle-ops-toy

Battle Ops / MPM2 Masterpiece Bumblebee on the left – 2017 Movie Masterpiece Bumblebee on the right.

The movie masterpiece line is expected to drop in July of 2017 and Bumblebee price starts at $79.99.  More to come surely!

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Shia-watch 2016: Shia Labeouf got married and somehow we missed it.

shia-labouef-mia-goth-wedding

Hunk’a hunk’a burnin’ love

Merry Christmas, Collecticons!

I was awoken today when my girlfriend informed me that our very own Shia Labeouf was wed recently. The fact that I learned this from somewhere outside of the Transfandom shocked me so this Collecticon felt it was time to inform the rest of us.

In an (according to Shia himself) accidental turn of events, his wedding was live-streamed to the world.  You can view the live-streamed wedding below.

The reason my girlfriend informed me of this was because she is in holiday lethargy mode and was reading a list of people married in 2016. Go figure, this happened back in October!

All in all, congratulations guys and let’s hope we see this happy couple resurface in Transformers 6: The Search for Even More Money.

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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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Transformers pinball machine sightings continue…

Transformers pinball technical underside

Look closely at the top of the electrical diagram...

The Transformers Pinball machine becomes more of a reality every day!  Check out this video from CNNmoney.com.

My good friend Blue Boost gave me the tip on this. Stern Pinball, make this piece come out as soon as you can!!

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Top Ten Worst things about The Transformers Movie Franchise

Transformers a Michael Bay Film

Thanks for the memories

I saw Transformers Dark of the Moon last evening in 3D in the South Loop of Chicago, the city where most of movie was filmed.  Joining me were a smattering of many of Chicago’s biggest Transformers fans self-dubbed the TFW Illinois crew.  As the filmed ended, we rushed out to chat about what we thought of the film, which was quite humorous and enjoyable.  I however stayed somewhat reserved.  What had I just seen?  I gave myself the night to digest it all and come back today to write my thoughts and instead of reviewing last night’s film, I have tried to give some thought to the franchise as a whole.

I am pleased that it is finally over, though it has been a pretty wild ride.  Most of my 20’s have been subversively tied into in the Transformers world, especially the movies, and I’m starting to question whether that was a good thing or not.  One thought that popped into my head during the film last night was that I was relieved this would be the final Transformers film directed by Michael Bay, because if we had another, the shark would most surely have been jumped.

I have enjoyed the films to a great extent, but it’s time to be a total nerd bitch and list the things I have the most problems with in Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise:


#10- Backstory / timeline / Earth: The Transformers magnet

Transformers crash land on earth

Movie 1: They don't need ships. Movie 2: Hey there's the nemesis. Movie 3: Of course they all had ships, how else would they get around!? Fucking writers.

So this is how it happened, right?  The Fallen comes to Earth, builds the harvestor, the Primes come to stop him and hide the matrix.  The Fallen flies away in anger or something, and the seekers run around Earth looking for the Matrix as the humans evolve.  When does the All-Spark and better yet, Megatron land on Earth?  Also, the Ark tumbled around for eons and landed on the Moon.  Why does everything-Cybertron end up on Earth when there are infinite trajectories?

Also, has Soundwave been floating up in the atmosphere for over 100 years or something?  I don’t even want to know why all those Decepticon ships were dormant on the moon.  That is just ridiculous.  When did Megatron and Sentinel Prime come up with this plan to join forces?  I am trying to not dive into any of the tertiary fiction involved that explains Megatron’s transport from the North pole to Hoover Dam, because that just makes it even worse.

The truth is, there is no explanation and the story does not hold even an ounce of water.  Like typical movie sequels, the later plot makes no effort to consolidate with the original story.  What are we supposed to expect though, these are living robots we are talking about…

#9- Cannon Fodder characters

Transformers Long Haul Constructicon

Hey there's like 8 of me! Whee! And now I can turn into a garbage truck!

We saw reused robot frames all over the place in the second two movies.  I caught a glimpse of Blackout and Bonecrusher in movie 2; Barricade, Longhaul, Sideways, Scrapper, & Brawl in movie 3.  I’m all for re-using designs, but can you please at least change them a little?

Reused characters has been a continuing theme in Transformers, but it’s never been exactly ‘right’ in most fans’ eyes.  I must reiterate: each robot is its own character and has his/her own personality.  Why was this so hard to deal with?  Yeah yeah yeah, I know it’s expensive, but the more designs means more toys and that makes EVERYONE more money, right???  I mean, I have stock in Hasbro so I think this is a sound plan. heheheh

#8- Robot fragility inconsistencies

Transformers DOTM killing decepticon

I am made of balsa wood!

When it’s convenient, the robots in the Transformers films explode like they are made of fiddlesticks, and other times they are made of ‘sterner stuff.’  A newly revived Optimus Prime flies right through some giant blocks of the pyramid of Egypt with not a scratch, but the F22’s that just tried were blown to bits.  All it takes is just a few pot-shots from some random human weapon to nail Blackout in movie 1, and Decepticons are dying by the minute in the final battle of Revenge of the Fallen.   The humans are even practicing Decpticon-killing tactics in the NEST headquarters.  They seem to have robot killing down pat, but not when Sentinel Prime has a tantrum inside of the NEST base, they just cannot stop him!  It’s all just so damn convenient, like any other lame action / comic book movie.  Arrrg, I just want this to be treated like it could really happen!  Is that so insane?

So what happens when the Transformers get beat up to hell?  Does someone have to fix them so they can transform?  Apparently Megatron can still change form and transform with his massive-head-wound-Harry injury.  What about all the other damage dealt to him by Optimus at the end of ROTF?  I recall a broken leg and arm.  Maybe Starscream is quite the physician, just not a brain surgeon.

#7- Irrelevant villains

Transformers The Fallen

Hey guys, anyone remember me?

There are two camps in Transformerland – Autobots and Decepticons!  Some might say it’s split down the middle but I’d err to the side of more people love the Decepticons.  Epps said it best in Dark of the Moon when he said something like “Why do the Decepticons have such badass shit?”  Indeed.

The coolest designs and features have almost always sided with the Decepticons: seekers, old-one eye, tanks, weapons, teleportation – it’s all there!  So why do the villains in the Transformers movies get wasted so easily?  Shockwave was touted as the ‘big bad’ in Transformers 3 and he was simply the driver of the Driller, and that wasn’t even necessary once it was evident the creature could eat a building on its own.  Shockwave just stood around looking skeletal until Prime came over to finish off the job.  He lasted only a few seconds, just like The Fallen once Prime was back online.

Why did it take Prime only 5 seconds to behead Megatron in TF3 when there was a 5-minute fist-fight in the first film?  Chalk it up to a change in writing style, I guess.  After making 3 movies, the prospect of dynamic robot fights must’ve gotten far less enticing for the makers of these films.  Long winded fights were replaced with killshots, which at least makes sense when taking in my previous gripe.

#6- Questionable robot designs

Transformers Movie Megatron head design

Welcome to Krull

There has not been one more hotly debated topic since the first leaks of the Transformers movie designs and that’s the designs themselves. I remember where I was the moment those designs leaked onto the net and my friends were rolling their eyes my nerd rage. We have probably just grown somewhat accustomed to them by now with the overload of Bumblebee and Optimus Prime we have seen on the screen, but at first, this stuff was unforgivable.  From Tin-foil Megatron to a flamin’ paint job for Optimus Prime, the designs have polarized fans since the beginning.

I must admit that these challenging designs have lead to some amazing advances in the technology of the toys, but it is still evident how many miracles have been overcome by the designers at TakaraTomy with each iteration of the movie toys.

#5- Haphazard plot explanation, or lack of

Transformers captain lennox

What a minute, what did you say is happening here?

Don’t know what the hell is going on?  No problem!  We have Captain Lennox to spew some plot to you.

Guess what? We’re going to Mission City!

Go where? Sam use this bullshit smoke thing and a random helicopter is going to get the cube from you!

Why are you in the desert and running from one side of the ruins to another? Because same has magic dust and he needs to get to Optimus but unfortunately we are on the wrong side of these ruins and the Autobots can’t just transform into cars and drive us there because we didn’t think of that shit.

Who are those dudes coming out of the water in Chicago? Sup Navy Seal!  Man we missed you bros welcome to the robot orgy!

Yo dude, didn’t you have a kid or something in the first movie?

#4- Characterization of Starscream

Transformers Movie Starscream

"Yes massta, yes massta, don't mind if I do massta!"

Oh my God, poor Starscream! Not only was he designed to look like a fucking Dorito chip in robot mode, he is made out to be the decrepit underling of Megatron. I understand that the development of each character took a back seat, but this is one of the five most recognized and well-known Transformer characters ever!! Everyone knows that Starscream wants to usurp Megatron, EVERYONE! Movie by movie, the writers chose to degrade Starscream to the status of Dr. Frankenstein’s Igor in stature, voice, and identity. He spit once in the last movie, and now that’s about all he can do, besides cry about things.

Not only that, he gets defeated by SAM!! I mean hey, way to go kid, but there is no way Starscream would be defeated by a kid. Also, I have to give a REAL BIG THANKS to the editors of the trailer that kept showing me Starscream dying again and again and again… way to keep it under wraps! THANKS!

#3- Devastator and the Constructicons

Supreme Devastator toy with balls

No words

One of the coolest things about Transformers has been the gestalt combiners and it all started with the first: Devastator! Leave it to the movies to degrade him to a vacuum cleaner with testicles. There’s really nothing good about Devastator in the films other than the eye-candy his combination scene gave us. The design is dog shit, the toy is dog shit, and his death was dog shit. ONE SHOT!! Devastator should’ve been the big bad of movie 2 but instead he was just an enormous dust buster. God fuck…

#2- Overall lack of characterization of robots

Transformers Twins

We sure missed you guys this time around...

If you notice, my last few top problems have been revolving around the characters in the films. There just wasn’t enough screen time to give each robot his just desserts. We get a lot of Bumblebee, Optimus, and Megatron, but everyone else is pushed back to non-speaking rolls with just a small highlight of their capabilities. Sideswipe is a prime example of this with only about 2 speaking lines in both films.

The core of Transformers has always been the unique characterization of each robot and with so many of them taking an obvious backseat, it’ll be hard for future fans to cling to any of the second or third tier characters like Shockwave, Soundwave, or Mirage (dino).

Instead, we get lots of speaking time and screen time for brand new somewhat non-canon characters like Mudflap & Skids, Sentinel Prime, and The Fallen. These guys DID NOT EXIST until recently! I CAN’T WAIT to see DRIFT in the next movie.

In consolation, at least Laserbeak got a good chunk of airtime in Dark of the Moon but wait… since when did robots have saliva and he can what, turn into anything?!?! I want Frenzy back.

#1- The blood-thirsty nature of Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime

You heard the man!

He has been dubbed “the greatest leader figure of all time,” according to Transformers: The Movie producer Flint Dille. It’s Optimus Prime, the stoic, stern leader of the Autobots. This is an almost infallible character and he is regarded in such high standing amongst fans of the show that he just cannot seem to die! And so it was more than just a little shocking to see Optimus Prime brutally murder many of his enemies in the Transformers films. It all started with Bonecrusher on the highway in movie one, then there was face ripping and stealing in Revenge of the Fallen. Transformers 3 shows us another entirely scary side of Optimus Prime where he utters chilling phrases like “We will kill them all.”

This Optimus Prime has come a long way from the line “You who are without mercy, now plead for it? I thought you were made of sterner stuff,” which was about as cold as Optimus Prime had ever gotten in the Generation 1 cartoon. Thanks to Hot Rod’s antics, we will never know what Optimus Prime intended to do to the mortally wounded Megatron that was at his feet. My guess was they were going to attempt an incarceration of the Decepticon leader, but not in Dark of the Moon! Optimus takes a cue from Grindor’s fate in the ROTF forest battle and rips Megatron’s damaged head clean off!!! Follow that with a execution style shot to Sentinel Prime, who was begging for his life. Some may say that Optimus is justified in his judge-jury-and-executioner style motivations, but this is just not the Optimus Prime I would want to trust my children with.

In his defense, Optimus is one of the ultimate Transformer warriors and this type of hack and slash destruction is what he ought to be capable of. However, I feel most of us always knew he was a badass without seeing it. It’s like watching your beloved family dog fight the neighbor’s mean cat that scratched you once, and ultimately tear it to shreads and roll around in the blood. {shudder}


And there you have it. Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch. Keep in mind this is a super-fan’s perspective and there are definitely some great things about these films. No one has to agree with me and I am fully aware that it is the nature of Transformers-fans to disagree and gripe. I’ve followed this movie franchise since day 1 and so I am a bit too close to the source material. Perhaps I will do a flip-side to this post, and if I do, there will definitely be some praise.

I would still recommend all Transformers fans see the film, but you should probably watch the first two so you at least have some semblance of what is happening. Thanks for reading and let’s hope for more healthy Transformers action in the years to come!

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Transformers 5 – The Planet Of The Earth

Transformers 5 poster on 30 Rock

Could it really happen?

Liz Lemon came across a poster for Transformers 5: The Planet Of The Earth. This was definitely a jab at the awkwardly titled Transformers: Dark of the Moon. It was perfect for a laugh! It also shows how Transformers as a movie franchise is the butt of many jokes regarding integrity and quality.

So will Bay and crew be able to dig themselves out of the hole created by Revenge of the Fallen? All signs point to… maybe?

Check out the episode here on Hulu.

Transformers 5 Written by No One

Just like Revenge of the Fallen!