26
Jun
2014

Optimus Prime - Transformers 4

If you ever wondered if all Transformers films were the same movie… they are.

Joey Davidson – friend and co-worker from TechnoBuffalo – sent me a link to the video you see below. Three brave men decided to watch the first Transformers films – Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Transformers: Dark of the Moon – at the same time. Yes, at the exact same time. The guys from RedLetterMedia should be awarded medals for this.

What they discover is… all three films are the exact same films. Beat for beat, you are watching the same film. It is actually mesmerizing in a way. Bumblebee shows up at the same time… action scenes end at the same time… Megan Fox even has an action scene at the exact same second.

The only thing they don’t point out is you’ll notice each movie gets longer, and we already know the new film – Transformers: Age of Extinction – is the longest one yet.

Before you head to the theater this weekend, please remember, you are probably watching the EXACT same movie for the fourth time.

3
Aug
2010

While I have hated both Transformers movies, I have appreciated what they have done for the toy line.  I may be 39, but I still have a deep love of toys, and I collect those that interest me.

All that being said, all of the pictures popping up from the filming Chicago seem to indicate that we are about to hit with an onslaught of toys unlike anything we’ve seen before in the Transformers universe, and I sadly think characters are being dropped into the movie at this point strictly to up the toy count.

No, this isn’t some great revelation, and it is certainly not unprecedented, but the number of new Autobots showing up in Chicago is verging on the insane.  And while only two brand new Decepticons are known for sure at this point, that is mainly because their vehicle modes aren’t conducive to being seen on set.  However, here is a list of what has been seen thus far:

(List updated on 8/5/10 with the removal of “Rollbar” as it turned out to be a fan prank, and the addition of Wheelie)

The Autobots in Transformers 3

  • Optimus Prime – same basic truck, new trailer = new toy
  • Bumblebee – New version of the same car (2011 Chevy Camaro) = new toy
  • Bumblebee (1970’s Datsun form) – The character of Sam has been seen with a 1970’s Datsun that has the same paint job as Bumblebee leading us to believe he hides in a new form for part of the movie.  New toy.
  • “Einstein” – Character confirmed, but placeholder name.  Blue 2011 Mercedes-Benz E550 = new toy
  • Ironhide – No changes
  • Mudflap – 2011 Chevy Sparks, new paint job = new toy
  • Ratchet – Same H2 Hummer mode, all new paint job = new toy
  • Sideswipe – Same Corvette Stingray concept car, except now a convertible … yep … new toy.
  • Skids – 2011 Chevy Sparks, new paint job = new toy
  • Wheelie – Return of the RC truck.
  • Blue NASCAR – We now know the three NASCAR cars are an Autobot commando team called The Wreckers, all three are sure to get toys.
  • Green NASCAR
  • Red NASCAR
  • Unknown – Ferrari 458 Italia = new toy
  • Unknown – Rosenbaurer Panther airline fire truck

The Decepticons in Transformers 3

  • Megatron – Unknown vehicle/alt mode
  • Shockwave – Unknown vehicle/alt mode, but definite new toy as he’s a new character
  • Soundwave – Unknown vehicle/alt mode
  • Unknown - Chevy Tahoe = new toy
  • Unknown – Armored truck = new toy

The thing is, we have no clue how big a role any of the new characters play, but they are sure to get toys.  Two of the worst instances of this in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was a Decepticon named Sideways who was in the film merely to be killed off by Sideswipe in the opening minutes, and the other was an Autobot named Jolt who was seen in the background of I believe two scenes.  Not only did he get one toy, but he got two.

Of course nothing says you are required to buy every movie related toy that comes out, and I don’t, but there are completists out there, and I feel like they are about to be taken for a huge ride.  There is no way the Decepticon list is complete yet (We’re assuming Starscream is in the movie, but nothing has been seen on set yet to confirm this), so who knows how many more that will add to the roster.

Here’s an idea for Michael Bay: Try making the best movie you can, and not just a two hour commercial for a whole new line of toys.  Did Ratchet really need a new paint job?  You can count the number of lines this character has said in both movies on two hands.  Did Skids and Mudflap, who most people hated in the last movie, even need to be included?  (Bay has denied they’re in the movie, but the cars have been spotted on set multiple times)

Start saving your pennies everyone, the series is going out with a bang.

13
May
2010

revenge of the fallen logoShia LaBeouf, the male lead of the Transformers movies, has admitted the second film, Revenge of the Fallen, sucked.

Hey, welcome to the club there, Shia!

Mr. LaBeouf is in Cannes to promote Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, and admitted in a brief interview that there was a lot wrong with the second film.

When I saw the second movie, I wasn’t impressed with what we did. There were some really wild stunts in it, but the heart was gone.

Of course, this quote implies the first film had some sort of heart …

I will say the first film was at least somewhat watchable, but the second one was a complete train wreck. With the third film now in production with a release date set of July 1, 2011, the script is complete, and while people are speaking “positively” about it, who knows what that means when it comes to this franchise.

What is leaving me scratching my head is somehow Michael Bay has snagged Oscar nominee John Malkovich and Oscar winner Frances McDormand for some unknown roles in the film.  Can’t figure out how he pulled off that bit of magic, but he did.

4
Feb
2010

It seems that if you’re a talentless hack in Hollywood, you too can earn $125 million in Hollywood.

According to Vanity Fair, the biggest money earning individual in Hollywood in 2009 was Michael Bay, director of Transformers Revenge of the Fallen.  His income apparently came from the following sources

  • $75 million: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (back-end profit participation for directing and producing, based on worldwide box-office gross of $835 million)
  • $28 million: Transformers: R.O.T.F. (share of estimated $280 million in DVD revenue)
  • $12.5 million: Transformers: R.O.T.F. (share of toy and other licensing royalties)
  • $4 million: Friday the 13th (back end for producing, based on worldwide gross of $90 million, and share of DVD)
  • $2 million: The Unborn (back end for producing, based on worldwide gross of $77 million, and share of DVD)
  • $2 million: A Nightmare on Elm Street (fee for producing inexplicable remake)
  • $1.5 million: Royalties from older films, other income

While I think the whole thing is fairly silly, the part that is blowing me away is the fact he earned $12.5 million from a share of the toys and licensing … excuse me?

Michael Bay is brought in to make a movie based on characters he had nothing to do with.  He has to go to Hasbro, the makers of the toys, before each film to discuss with them what characters they will allow him to use.  So how in the world is he getting paid a cut of the toys, let alone licensing fees for the characters to be used elsewhere?  He didn’t create Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee or any of the others, so why should he be getting paid a dime?

The other stuff he earned … oh well, whatever, when you have no talent beyond making things look pretty when they explode, I guess you have to play to your strengths, and if it makes you some money in the meantime, why not?

10
Jan
2010

revenge of the fallen logoSo, I finally watched Transformers Revenge of the Fallen … what the hell was that mess?

The plot, what there was of it, was just beyond silly, and since it has already been ravaged just about everywhere you could think of, I thought I would just address the total disconnects from logic that happened.

Demolisher was destroyed in China

It seems that there were at least two of each Constructicon, which makes absolutely no sense.  Demolisher was the name of the big Decepticon destroyed in China, yet he shows up in Egypt to help form Devestator.

During the Devestator fight, there are also Constructicons in the foot battle in the village.  Mix Master (cement truck), Long Haul (green dump truck) and Rampage (bulldozer) are in both places at the same time.  Either there were two of each Constructicon (which nothing like that has ever happened anywhere in Transformers history with the exception of Generation 1 Decepticon planes, but each of them had different names and color schemes), or it is a total continuity error.  Yes, I realize it costs money for each new computer model, but come on, this was a bit obvious.

What happened to Wheelie?

Wheelie, the little blue RC truck, is with everyone when Jetfire forms the Space Bridge to Egypt.  You see him in Egypt when they arrive … and then he is never seen or mentioned again.  He plays an important part through the first two acts of the film, and then in the third act he is just dropped like a hot potato to never be heard from again.  Nice.

Okay … I lied … lets look at some of the script issues.

Does Leo Spitz serve any purpose?

Near as I can figure the character of Leo Spitz served only as comic relief and an excuse to get Sam and Mikaela back together with Simmons.  This could have been accomplished with Sam looking up info on the Web and stumbling across Simmons’ Web site.  Leo could have been completely eliminated from the script and you wouldn’t have missed a minute of plot development.

The National Security Agency character was totally unneeded.

Theodore Galloway, the American National Security Advisor, is another character that could have been totally eliminated. Replace him with General Morshower reluctantly conveying messages from the White House and you gain even more script space.  I think Michael Bay just always likes to have an annoying government character around to aggravate people.

Was I supposed to fear The Fallen?

He ran around for a few minutes, said some menacing things … got his ass kicked.  The whole movie was named for him and he was a total joke.

Why did the Twins change vehicle modes in the opening minutes?

Skids and Mudflap were the combined ice cream truck in China, they get home and immediately scan into new vehicle modes … why?  If anything screamed “lets add some more toys to the movie!”, this was it.

Sam tells Bumblebee he no longer needs a guardian

Sam walks into the garage and tells Bumblebee he no longer needs a guardian … while fireman are still extinguishing the fires from the fight Bumblebee just had with several mini-Decepticons that Sam yelled for him to protect him from.  Yep … all the danger is gone … because the firemen are right outside … where Mikaela is changing clothes …

Michael Bay has the memory of a gnat

Oh, wait, it’s just that he thinks his audience has no capability to remember anything five seconds after it happened.

There really are an endless stream of things you can say negatively about this movie, but what’s the point?  It made over $800 million worldwide, pre-production has started on the third film with Mr. Bay still in charge, so what does it all matter?  It will just be another giant suckfest.

As I’ve said before, I don’t care if movies totally disconnect from reality so long as they don’t do stupid things that insult the audience’s intelligence.  Disappearing characters, jumps in a film’s own established logic, etc are what irk me, and that is Mr. Bay in just about everything he does.

17
Jul
2009

Scattercast is 52… and Scattercast is very tired this week.

– Be prepared for some dog barking this week… sorry, it was unavoidable.

– Some thoughts on the 2009 Emmy Nominations.

– The more I think about Ryan Reynolds being cast as Green Lantern, the more worried I get.

– Sorry I’ve been talking about Modern Warfare 2 so much… feel free to shoot me an online game once it comes out. I have to comment on how silly the night vision goggles are.

– Why is Michael Bay getting $75 million for directing Transformers Revenge of the Fallen?

– Some more about my joining SiliconANGLE.

Here’s

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for those who wish to download it, subscribe to Scattercast via iTunes.

26
Jun
2009

Scattercast is 49… wow… one more until #50!

Franklin is finally here.

– What gets in to people like Mark Sanford? What causes them to be idiots?

– Yep, I am sure Transformers Revenge of the Fallen will suck… but I will oddly still go see it… darn me.

– Michael Jackson died… in case you haven’t heard. I mean, only every blog on Earth is discussing it.

– Wow… next episode will be #50 and 1 year (remember I skipped two episodes), amazing how time flies.

Here’s

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for those who wish to download it, subscribe to Scattercast via iTunes.

17
Jun
2009

Indiana Jones LogoApparently George Lucas and Steven Spielberg want another go at destroying my fond childhood memories of three fun movies.

Shia LaBeouf, who was one of the worst things in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, is out doing press for Transformers Revenge of the Fallen, and the subject of Indiana Jones 5 has come up. During one such he interview he said, “Steven just said that he cracked the story on it, and I think they’re gearing that up”.

Please, no.

Considering the last film being pretty universally panned, to the point South Park dedicated a whole episode to just what a train wreck it was, you have to wonder why they would even ponder doing a fifth.

Money, plain and simple.

The fourth film cost $185 million to produce, according to Box Office Mojo, it grossed $317,101,119 domestically and $469,534,914 foreign for a total of $786,636,033.  An impressive haul no matter how you slice it, but then you have to look at what the Harrison Ford, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg took home from it.  Only Harrison Ford’s take is known for sure, and according to Forbes, Mr. Ford struck a deal with the studio that split the film’s profits between him and Lucas & Spielberg.  How much did Indiana Jones himself take home?  Between June 2008 and June 2009 it is estimated that the fourth film made him $65 million.

Yes… $65 million.  Is it any wonder these guys would want to return to the well for a fifth outing?

There is no known schedule currently for this film, but I would imagine they will try to film it in 2010.  Michael Bay is taking some time off from Transformers even though Paramount wanted a third film  for July 2011, that would have meant pre-production would have had to start this September, with filming happening in summer 2010.  Bay has requested the release be moved to July 2012, which means filming will begin in summer 2011, so LaBeouf should be available for a good chunk of 2010.  So, if I was a betting man, yes, this film will happen and you are probably looking at a summer 2011 release.

Prepare the vomit bags… while Lucas, Spielberg and Ford laugh all the way to the bank.

14
Jun
2009

revenge of the fallen logoTwo clips for Transformers Revenge of the Fallen have been released, and, yes, one of them has me worried about the sequel also.

For some reason these two clips have shown up dubbed in German and French, and also subtitled in Japanese, but they are no where to be found in clean English versions.  Why the foreign markets are getting these and not the United States is a mystry to me, but thanks to the Internet, it doesn’t really matter.

From my understanding of the film I’ve put the two clips in the order they appear in the movie, not that it really matters as they don’t tell you much.  First up is N.E.S.T., an international team of soldiers tasked with locating and stopping Decepticons, as they arrive in Shanghai to take on Demolisher, a Terex O&K RH 400 Hydraulic Mining Excavator.

Next up is a scene with Mikaela (Megan Fox) talking with Sam (Shia LaBeouf) as a bit of the plot of the movie is gien away, and new Decepticon Wheelie attempts to steal the All Spark cube shard shown at the end of the first movie. (Now updated with a copy without subtitles!)

Oh good grief. Why does Wheelie have what can only be described as a New Jersey accent and is talking in 1940’s gangster movie style slang?  What is Michael Bay’s obsession with comic relief in these movies?  Not only do we have Wheelie to contend with, but also Skids & Mudflap, also known as “the twins”, have been described as comic relief also.  It would be a tragedy if Bay actually made a decent, coherent film some day, but one can always hope it might might happen.

Be sure to check out the pictures of the robots from Transformes Revenge of the Fallen.

30
Apr
2009

revenge of the fallen logoSo help me, I think I may actually be looking forward to the second Transformers movie.

My dislike of the first film is well known, and maybe it is my lowered expectations this time around, but I have a small sliver of hope that this one won’t make me ponder taking my own life in the theater. Yes, the humans are still going to get too much screen time it looks like, but the sharp rise in the number of actual Transformers is making me happy.  Aso we can do away with that painful first hour where we kept waiting for more Autobots to arrive.

It still looks like the fight scenes will be confusing as all get out, but I’m liking the idea we’re going to delve a bit more in to the mythos of the Transformers, and the history of the war, and how they may have influenced human history through out time.  I’ll probably still end up hating it, but at least I have a bit more hope this time.  New trailer is below.

18
Apr
2009

revenge of the fallen logoAre you ready to see a robot cry?

At the recent ShoWest event, an annual event for theater owners to get pumped about films, Michael Bay was in attendance to receive their Vanguard Award. Apparently over use of slow motion photography and shaky camera work now counts as being a “vanguard”, but whatever. In addition to showing a montage clip of his work, he also brought along some new footage from Transformers Revenge of the Fallen.  As opposed to the teaser trailer from a while back, we get to see the majority of a new scene between Sam (Shia LaBeouf) and Bumblebee, as well as some other interesting new footage.

Sorry folks, it seems Michael Bay only intended for this to be up for s short time. Nice of him to tell everyone after a bunch of blog posts were built around it, and Paramount is pulling copies off of YouTube.

The Showest footage was pulled down because it was just a 12-hour thing.

I just wanted the fans to get a taste of what we have been making for a year and a half because we have been so quiet. The piece was cut about a month ago for this Showest thing I accepted this past month – so as you can see many of the shots were far from being finished renders. This dinky little site received over 1,500,000 hits and 550,000 downloads in this short time. Anyway the trailer is being printed today and coming out on Wolverine and Star Trek. 64 days left!

Michael

I have no clue why Mikaela (Megan Fox) is changing into the dress, but did anyone else notice the fireman in the yard working on Sam’s house?  So, the yard is full of fireman, and Mikaela decides that seems a good place to change out of skin tight leather into a white dress… well, okay then.

Beyond that bit of oddness, you do get to see Jetfire for the first time (the hunched over robot in the airplane boneyard), the first look at the Constructicons joined into Devestator (massive robot in the desert, crawling on all fours), Arcee chasing Sideways (robot chasing a car that changes and crashes through a building), Mudflap & Skids transformed into robot mode (red and green robots next to some type of painting) and a host of other footage.  From the looks of it, you still aren’t going to be able to tell what is going on in fight scenes, but I have to say the robots do look even better than they did in the first movie.  Despite Bumblebee crying (-groan-), he looks amazing in that scene in the Witwicky’s garage.

While I fully expect Michael Bay to again screw this movie up, I have to say I’m a bit more into this one then I was for the first.  The story is established, we won’t have to wade through all of that setup this time around, and we shoudl be able to spend a great deal more time on the Transformers themselves.  Obviously we’ll still have to deal with Sam (seriously, how does Shia LaBeouf keep getting work?  He plays the same person in every movie, and it’s never appealing) and Mikaela, but I am hoping against hope they are toned down in this one.

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen hits theaters in the USA on June 24th, 2009.

Be sure to check out the gallery I recently posted of  Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Robot Pictures.

9
Apr
2009

revenge of the fallen logoThe release of the second Transformers movie, Transformers Revenge of the Fallen, is quickly approaching, and at last we have some nice CGI images of at least some of the robots we can expect to see this time around.

The images don’t cover the enormous number of robots in this outing for the series, but it gives you a good sampling of what you can expect this time around from the returning characters as well as some of the newest additions to the franchise.

Below the cut are all of the new pictures, and you can click on any of them for a larger view (and larger views don’t have the character names on them).

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