Posts Tagged ‘Transformers’

Transformers 3 – Bay promises it won’t suck

June 12, 2010

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen wasn’t quite as bad as it seems – but it did seem pretty bad. Shia LaBoeuf rounded on the film some months back, Megan Fox walked out on TF3 and now even Michael Bay owns up that even he wasn’t proud of it…

With shooting underway on a third movie and plans to debut next summer, Michael Bay and Co. acknowledge missteps with the last one and aim to upgrade the shape-shifting robot franchise with a more coherent story, less goofball humor and a pledge that characters who die will stay dead. It will also be in 3-D.

Revenge of the Fallen was the No. 2 movie of 2009 (behind only Avatar), earning $836 million worldwide — clearly very popular, though complaints from some moviegoers and a negative fusillade from critics made the filmmakers take notice.

“I’ll take some of the criticism,” says Bay, standing at a set built to resemble a dilapidated nuclear reactor. “It was very hard to put (the sequel) together that quickly after the writers’ strike (of 2007-08).”

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura says the rush strained the plot: “We tried to do too many things in the second movie, which didn’t give enough time in any one of them. We were constantly jumping to the next piece of information, the next place.”

Bay is not one for mea culpas, but he says he can do better. “This one really builds to a final crescendo. It’s not three multiple endings,” the director says.

Bay calls the second film’s villain, The Fallen, “kind of a (expletive) character.” The new movie’s foe is certain to make fans of the original ’80s incarnation smile: Shockwave, the robot cyclops-turned-laser-cannon, who became dictator of their home world of Cybertron after the other Autobots and Decepticons journeyed to Earth.

“One thing we’re getting rid of is what I call the dorky comedy,” Bay adds. So the twins, the two bumbling, slang-spewing robots? “They’re basically gone,” he says, though John Turturro returns for comic relief.

The new film features Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf) taking his first tenuous steps into adulthood while remaining a reluctant human ally of Optimus Prime. “Shia has this great line: ‘You know, I’ve saved the world twice, but I can’t get a job,’ ” di Bonaventura says.

Megan Fox, who played Mikaela, was dropped just before shooting, so LaBeouf’s character also has a new love interest, played by Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

“I love Megan and I miss the girl,” LaBeouf says, flecked with fake blood and dirt during a break between shooting. “But Sam and Mikaela became one character, and here … you have discovery again from a new perspective.”

Plot details are under wraps, but it delves into the space race between the U.S.S.R. and the USA, suggesting there was a hidden Transformers role in it all that remains one of the planet’s most dangerous secrets. “The movie is more of a mystery,” Bay says. “It ties in what we know as history growing up as kids with what really happened.”

While Optimus Prime, Megatron and even Sam all have died and been resurrected, di Bonaventura says this film will have no do-overs: Die, and that’s it.

Bay hints that there may be a lot of that. “As a trilogy, it really ends,” he says. “It could be rebooted again, but I think it has a really killer ending.”

They’ve hired a model with no acting experience. Guess they really do want to make a good film…


Another sort of film rating…

May 2, 2010


Where would we be without film ratings? As a kid a high rating kept me from so many films and while my 18th birthday is now just a distant memory it still feels like a ‘big’ event each time I can see an 18 certificate film.

The BBFC censors have an odd attitude to sex, drugs and rock n’roll – lets take a look at a few films they rated but never actually seem to have watched…

Beowulf (2007) – its CGI so it must be for kids, right? Beowulf featured graphic violence and dismemberment, our hero fighting while naked, a deformed monster, an elderly man’s suicide and full frontal nudity from Angelina Jolie. The BBFC decided it was all good fun and gave the film a 12A.

Our rating:

Beowulf is a hard 15 certificate.

Jaws (1975) – Spielberg made one of the most definitive horror films ever made. An entire generation grew up fearing shark attacks (though more die from bee stings each year). Jaws is a masterpiece in film making with relentless tension, graphic violence and pure terror. The BBFC must have thought this was a film about James Bond’s nemesis and gave this a PG. Utterly baffling.

Our rating:

Jaws is terrifying. Dodgy effects keep this from an 18, so we settle on a 15 certificate.

Star Wars (1977) – everyone loves Star Wars, children, adults – everyone. The BBFC gave it a U rating – suitable for all. Let’s take a closer look. Star Wars features Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru being burnt to death, a guys arm being severed, Jawa massacre, intergalactic genocide and Greedo being fried. Not to mention anti-droid racism. Star Wars is surprisingly violent.

Our rating:

Star Wars is a PG film through and through.

The Terminator (1984) – released with an 18 certificate (now downgraded) Terminator looks positively tame these days – and probably fairly team by 80’s standards too. Sure a punk has his heart removed and we see the sweet, sweet act of love but Terminator is just a lot of fun.

Our rating:

Terminator is the quintessential 15 certificate film.

Goldeneye (1995) – the BBFC seemed unsure about Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as Bond. Its theatrical release was cut and awarded a 12A, but the DVD has gained a 15 certificate. It features fully clothed sex and Sean Bean but I really struggle to find anything that compares with Licence to Kill’s multiple shark attack scenes (which earned that film a 15). No swearing, little blood and a nice tale of good vs bad – 15 is harsh.

Our rating:

This needs to go back to the original 12A rating.

Transformers (2007) and Transformers Revenge of the Fallen (2009) – in America only Spielbergs direct appeal to the US censors got this downgraded from an ‘R’ to a PG-13. In the UK it earned a 12A – despite every shot of Megan Fox being soft core porn. Sexual innuendos and relentless swearing – (in a giant toy commercial) where totally inappropriate. Oh, we have plenty of drug references too.

Our rating:

Transformers just gets a 12A but Revenge of the Fallen is a 15.

Kick Ass (2010) – a coming of age comic book film sounds friendly enough. Kick Ass features children beaten about the head, enemies being cooked, sliced, crushed and exploded and relentless swearing. Oh and Nicolas Cage burnt to death. This was nasty violence – but a 15 certificate was seen as adequate. Kick Ass is among the most disturbing films I have ever seen at the cinema.

Our rating:

Kick Ass is a cast iron 18 certificate.

Any films ratings that had you scratching your head? Post a comment, lets hear your views!

The Top 5 Most Disappointing Comic Book Films

April 9, 2010

Will Iron Man 2 be quite as absurd as I think it will? As the trailer plays revealing dancers gyrating in Iron Man costumes, car parks exploding and more robots than a Nissan factory I’m taken back to all those other comic book sequels that blew a promising start…welcome to the top 5 most disappointing comic book films:

Number 5: The Fantastic Four

4 scientists – and what I’m guessing is their janitor/mechanic (ideas?) – get blasted by ‘plot device’, sorry I mean ‘cosmic radiation’, giving them the most disappointing powers since Family Guy’s Meg and her ‘nail power’. When one goes rogue the rest must help bring him down.

What it did well

Jesscia Alba needs to strip to turn invisible – which is either seriously kool or a total tease (she’s naked, but I can’t see her?!). Film explores society’s reaction to its super powered citizens and Julian McMahon’s Victor Von Doom is suitably evil/impressive.

Why it’s so disappointing

Seems the golden rule was ‘keep this PG’. Story seems deliberately stifled to keep the film as inoffensive as possible. What we have left is a bland and forgettable film that always seems to have the ingredients for success but is terrified of using them. Stretch-Armstrong is just a stupid power anyway.

Number 4: X Men 3

Bret Ratner (The Usual Suspects) takes the helm as the X Men’s struggle against society takes a turn for the worst when ‘a cure’ is developed and weaponised prompting Magneto to launch an all out assault

What is did well

The film explores the implications of a ‘cure’; the social dynamic mutation is causing and the underlying civil rights – the cornerstone of the comics. Finally the X Men get to use some super powers and Magento literally lifts the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s an all star cast with excellent performances from Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellan and Kelsey Grammar as ‘Beast’.

Why it’s so disappointing

Bret Ratner cares nothing for the characters or the audience (it goes from day to night in a single scene). Key characters are exterminated at an alarming rate without furthering the story in any way. New characters are introduced and then forgotten/killed wasting their potential. Characters actions are illogical/poorly explained – people join Magento’s team without knowing who he is or what his objectives are only to charge, unarmed, at soldiers.

Number 3: Spiderman 3

Spiderman must contend with a super-bitch girlfriend, an insane best friend, an escaped sand-based criminal and intergalactic slime in between struggling to pay rent.

What it did well

Honestly – not much. Film teases with an alluring darker tone and we finally get to see Venom. There are some good exchanges between Peter Parker and Harry Osborne. JK Simmons steals the show once again as J Jonah Jameson.

Why it’s so disappointing

Total clusterfrak. 3 villains and probably 3 times as many story arch’s crammed into 2 hours. Nothing is developed as the film simply hurtles elsewhere – it’s the ADHD kid on a sugar rush. Venom is dead within 15 mins of appearing – and one seriously has to question why you would kill a significant villain anyway. Sony decided to do the effects in-house – they saved money and made the effects look awful with one decision. Did we really need Peter Parker dancing? Oh, and sand can fly. Apparently.

Number 2: Transformers 2 – Revenge of the Fallen


While the Autobots murder apparently dangerous (but seemingly dormant) Decepticons, Shia Le Beouf’s character has managed to miss his girlfriend is a slamming hottie and decides to go to Uni instead of studying her.

What is did well

Megan Fox and Isabel Lucas pleasantly distract for 2 hours. We have a bucket load of new transformers and plenty of explosions. Starscream gets some dialogue and Megatron comes back from the dead.

Why it’s so disappointing

Michael Bay just wants something to explode. Dialogue? Cut! Story? Well, enough to explain the explosion. Characterisation? Bah, those characters are just gonna get shot anyway! You can’t describe this film without calling it ‘preposterously dumb’ – whether it’s the writers slim grasp of geography (Smithsonian is in Arizona?!) or slim grasp of reality (world’s fastest plane teleports instead) this film is painfully stupid. Things would have been saved if action scenes weren’t edited so poorly – the camera shakes, dips and dives so much you’re left wondering what exactly just blew up before concluding it probably didn’t matter.

Number 1: Robocop 3

Following on from Robocop 2, OCP is building Delta City and causing mischief as it goes and its up to Robocop to turn on his own creators. Though Robocop did not originate in a comic book the Robocop film has spawned a seris of comic book with key contributions from none less than Frank Miller himself.

What it did well

Absolutely nothing. There really is no compelling reason for this film to exist

Why it’s so disappointing

Robocop was a social commentary taking in capitalism, drug abuse, violence in popular culture and the media in general. It was ironic, self aware and absurdly violent. Evidently no one involved had seen the previous films and the attempt to make a child friendly romp is positively bizarre and totally missed what had appealed about the first two. Among the worst sequels ever made.