Friday, July 20, 2007

Muk at the Movies!

Took the Stainless Steel Amazon, the Poor Bastard and the Goonybird to see 'Transformers' last night and thought it was EXCELLENT.

I don't know if everyone is familiar with the Transformers toys that came out in the 80's, but they made me wish I was a little kid so I'd have an excuse to collect them because they were simply an amazing toy. You got what looked like a small truck or a rescue vehicle or something, but by extending certain parts and re-folding them, stretching others apart, turning them halfway... something like a 3-d puzzle, it would turn into a very credible robot figure while still retaining something recognizable of the original vehicle about it. Car doors became wings, helicopter blades became a sinister cape, an item in the grille turned out to be the robot's 'face'. They were ingenious!

The cartoon series that was made to sell the things was pretty cool too...the big selling point were the 'transformation sequences, of course, and the good robot
vs bad robot battles.

Take that idea, update the underlying technology, and run it through a bunch of cad geeks with unlimited hard drive and you get 'The Transformers' 2007.

Transformers is cartoon action-adventure on a kid level and doesn't pretend to be anything else... a perfect fun movie for just about anyone up to the age of
ten. Like me. A fairly conservative family could all go see this and be perfectly happy...there isn't even any kissing and only one 'bad' word (shit) that you have to
listen really fast to hear. None of the violence is bloody (at least you don't see it, although you know that more than one person buys the farm.) It's much, much tamer even than the first Star Wars movie. An easily scared child probably wouldn't like it, but my 3-year-old grandson sat through the whole thing and didn't bat an
eye, although it got a little loud for him in parts. It's obvious to an adult that the whole thing is basically an excuse to sell some action figures and showcase THE MOST amazing CGI I have EVER seen.

Fans of the cartoon will be pleased that all the old first-season characters are here; Starscream, Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron and others. Large portions of the original transformation sound effect was mixed into the updated version as well.

Ignore the story. For all intents and purposes this is simply a bunch of action sequences with an excuse holding them together, and that's OK. The action sequences are worth the price of admission. And bear that in mind - this movie was meant to be seen on a huge screen and I'm glad I did.

The new Transformers are mind boggling. These things don't just unfold a couple of extra parts and go; they rebuild themselves right down to the bolts into a new machine. And the new Transformers aren't' just a few blocky shapes. Each one looks like it contains several extraterrestrial factories and junkyards
full of parts, each one of which get progressively more battered and chipped as time passes. They don't have to stand in one spot to transform as in earlier days... these transform on the move. FAST.
Doing martial arts.
In mid air.
At random speeds and angles to the line of motion.
This is cutting edge CGI, not the old curved vector stuff...this stuff operates while being 'viewed' from a moving pov while in logical balllistic motion, each one of thousands of parts maintaining it's own vector, all of it remaining consistent.

But forget about all that techie stuff and what you end up with is a cool movie about cool robots with weapons that have lots of fights. Man, they are hell on urban infrastructure. Once these robots took an attitude, anyone who didn't use a parking garage in this town was rat fucked. Buildings, please. They kicked their own footholds and ran up the side of them. Powerlines? Busses? Fuggeddaboudit. And just to mix things up a little bit they'd transform at random into semi tractors or giant tanks or armoured antiaircraft vehicles...turn into a jet fighter and blow out every window in every building for a two mile radius, and then halfway through a screaming sideways helldive through the canyons of main street turn back into a huge somersaulting robot and land in a martial arts stance, firing giant glowing shiriken out of shoulder cannons...fiery explosions, huge chunks of pavement flying, water mains broken, car alarms going off...
-AND the military mixed up in the middle of it all
-AND actual factory concept cars
-AND government plots
-And plucky kids who save the day
I tell you what; I wish I was ten years old so I could go back and see it all over again for the first time!!


  1. Sometimes dumb popcorn movies are just what you need.

    To much arthouse makes FN a dull girl.

    I'm convinced you are a frustrated special forces operative.

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  3. you know, I just say the Bunuel movie "Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie' for the first time, finally, about 2 weeks ago...something i'd been meaning to see for years, right?
    I got more out of 'Transformers'. Lets face it, my sense of intellectual outrage turned 47 right along with the rest of me. Been there, done that, the middle class is morally and spiritually bankrupt, yes, fine, nice, ok.

  4. Oh Dear! I am looking forward to the movie - but a I am not surprised to find those bad guys - like every other Hollywood movie- sigh..

  5. So this is a two thumbs up then?

  6. I haven't been to the movies since Titanic came out.

    Guess its long overdue.

  7. *****over excited Beast******

    ****running about with dyson strapped to back doing cool marshal arts kicks and stuff****

  8. Calm down dear, it's only a movie!

    I'm far too gay to enjoy this kind of thing.

    Fascinated by the virtual Newtonian physics though.

  9. muttley: don't worry, the bad guys LOSE!!!!! woop, did i ruin it for you?

    gale: definitely! and toes, even!

    awaiting: your kids would love this. pile them into a station wagon or the back of a manure spreader or something and take them to the drive-in!

    beast: *leaping on coffee table, overturning furniture, wearing colander on head* dibs Optimus Prime! I'm Optimus!

    tick: there's a hot girl in it and she's always got part of a greasy little teacup tit hanging out...see, something for everyone.

  10. i remember seeing the cartoons as a kid. i loved it! i'll admit i even liked the power rangers up to a certain point.

  11. After all of the gawdamn sequels we deserve one decent summer blockbuster. I am totally ready to be CGI'd into a daze.

    It's nice to see Hasbro get another chance to sell Games and Toys to a new generation.

    I also loved the Beast Wars TV series...another offshoot.