PDA

View Full Version : Transformers: Age of Extinction (Michael Bay)



TGM
06-28-2014, 06:52 PM
TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

Director: Michael Bay

imdb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2109248/?ref_=nv_sr_1)

http://ww3.sinaimg.cn/large/6253e854jw1ehp8iuovibj21kw2ca4 qp.jpg

TGM
06-28-2014, 07:00 PM
Color me surprised, but this one is actually the best one yet. By, like, a ridiculous, stupidly large margin. Though it's not perfect, and does have a handful of issues here and there (not to mention its running time), for the first time, it honestly feels like Michael Bay has finally, FINALLY learned from the seemingly countless number of errors made from the first three.

Most of the groan-inducing silliness is gone, and while a lot of time is still spent with humans, it doesn't feel nearly as dominating this time around, with more of an equal split in time between the humans and the transformers themselves. The fact that our cast (consisting of Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, and the like) is actually bearable to be around for an extended period of time also helps in this regard. And the action is crystal clear and completely coherent (not to mention EXCITING) throughout the entire duration.

Finally, this feels like the Transformers movie that fans have been clamoring for and SHOULD have gotten well before this point.

Watashi
06-28-2014, 07:31 PM
This has a 18% on Rotten Tomatoes which is the lowest of the 4 Transformers movies.

Out of all of Michael Bay's movies, the average tomatometer is 37%.

Yet somehow this guy still keeps getting to make movies.

Morris Schæffer
06-28-2014, 08:33 PM
Color me surprised, but this one is actually the best one yet. By, like, a ridiculous, stupidly large margin. Though it's not perfect, and does have a handful of issues here and there (not to mention its running time), for the first time, it honestly feels like Michael Bay has finally, FINALLY learned from the seemingly countless number of errors made from the first three.

Most of the groan-inducing silliness is gone, and while a lot of time is still spent with humans, it doesn't feel nearly as dominating this time around, with more of an equal split in time between the humans and the transformers themselves. The fact that our cast (consisting of Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, and the like) is actually bearable to be around for an extended period of time also helps in this regard. And the action is crystal clear and completely coherent (not to mention EXCITING) throughout the entire duration.

Finally, this feels like the Transformers movie that fans have been clamoring for and SHOULD have gotten well before this point.

i liked the last one for its spectacle scenes, but was bored by the second one. Your post is actually a little encouraging.

Dukefrukem
06-28-2014, 09:20 PM
The third one had excellent 3D. The skydiving scene was insane along side the building collapse scene.

The Transformers 2 is the most shameful, not just for the racism, but they reused not only scenes from the previous Transformers movie, but also reused scenes from the same movie, with completely different dialog. (at min 18 and min 65)

The Transformers 3 only reuses footage from the Island.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7kcqB3thJM

Skitch
06-28-2014, 10:27 PM
Yet somehow this guy still keeps getting to make movies.

Hollywood doesnt give jobs based solely on critical consensus.

Irish
06-28-2014, 10:34 PM
Stating the obvious to the oblivious there, Skitch.

Anyway -- I'm tempted to make my annual pilgrimage to the theater and go see this. Partly because the hipper-than-thou, snooty dumping from every wanna-be critic on the Internet bugs me. But mostly because every time I see a trailer with a Dinobot in it, I feel compelled to purchase a ticket.

How does that work? I didn't even like the Transformers cartoon as a kid.

Watashi
06-28-2014, 10:55 PM
Hating on a Transformers film makes you a snooty film critic?

EyesWideOpen
06-28-2014, 11:14 PM
Hating on a Transformers film makes you a snooty film critic?

snooty wanna-be critic

Watashi
06-28-2014, 11:22 PM
What's a wanna-be critic anyways?

megladon8
06-29-2014, 01:26 AM
If hating on Bay's Transformers flicks makes you cool, then call me Miles Davis.

Pop Trash
06-29-2014, 04:28 AM
I'm having a blast with the film criticism for this one. It's a tough call but I think I like Matt Singer's Dissolve review the best so far.

http://thedissolve.com/reviews/894-transformers-age-of-extinction/

Irish
06-29-2014, 04:51 AM
Singer is a helluva writer (that's the best review I've read so far; I've been "collecting" them too) -- but a guy of his experience has to know that last graf is complete bullshit, in a way that feels genuinely dishonest.


Age Of Extinction’s mercenary undertones, coupled with its metatext about the death of cinema, suggest a theme of directorial self-loathing. If the movies are dead, if the age of extinction of the film’s title is a cinematic one, then surely franchises like Transformers—boring, stupid, endlessly rehashed, yet hugely successful—are partly to blame. Bay said on several occasions that he wasn’t interested in making a fourth Transformers, and yet here he is at the helm of another feature-length commercial for toys and beer and energy drinks and lingerie. We all work for someone.

Pop Trash
06-29-2014, 05:06 AM
I liked that bit of writing but I'm not sure Bay is a 'self-loathing' type. Quite the opposite; if anything he probably has to pretend he didn't ultimately love to just create some more CGI explosion bullshit, dinosaur-bots, barely legal chicks in daisy dukes, etc.

Sxottlan
06-29-2014, 06:45 AM
Ha! This movie.

Weirdly, the beginning of the film kinda works. The script and Bay almost seem to go out of their way to establish Yeager ( :rolleyes: ) as a generous and resourceful guy barely scraping by in a world where it doesn't seem appreciated. Also, some commentary about how horrible movies are nowadays.

Wahlberg is appealing here, until the movie remembers he has a hot jail bait daughter and the rest of the film is him trying to save her from being touched by the hand of man. Although she gets groped by a tentacle because there are random flesh and blood aliens at one point.

There's about four or five villains. Lockdown is cool, but he's around the least amount of time. He's got a ship that apparently served some oblique purpose before, but obviously this is some set-up for next time. Oh and Optimus is a knight or something.

I generally don't associate Bay with a cheapo production, but there were moments when this thing looked bad: A "freeway" in a chase scene is clearly a test track with empty cars perched here and there for one stunt. Just like in Pearl Harbor when fireworks were lit on naval vessels that were clearly not of that time period, there are moments here of just more fireworks being used as explosions. The Yeager's house is obviously not destroyed, but smoke set off outside what must be someone's real home. The transforming effect of the programmable matter robots looked incredibly lame. There's also a moment when the girl's boyfriend shows up in his little roadster, but in the first shot you see of the moving car, there's clearly no one in it. I kept expecting it to be revealed that she was dating a transformer.

Thankfully there's none of the bizarro humor of the last two films, but this is just too damn long. At least Bay abandoned his fellatio of the U.S. military, but he exchanges it for a very conspicuous scene of Chinese government officials acting decisively to an alien threat in Hong Kong. I'm sure that must have been part of the deal to film in China. Bay's politics appear to have shifted as well with the CIA here as the villains, the White House and president portrayed as in the dark, incompetent and just completely off screen.

TGM
06-29-2014, 02:59 PM
Yeah, I did notice the empty car drive up to their house & was waiting for it to transform. Oops, I guess. :P

Scar
06-29-2014, 04:37 PM
The third one had excellent 3D. The skydiving scene was insane along side the building collapse scene.

The Transformers 2 is the most shameful, not just for the racism, but they reused not only scenes from the previous Transformers movie, but also reused scenes from the same movie, with completely different dialog. (at min 18 and min 65)

The Transformers 3 only reuses footage from the Island.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7kcqB3thJM
We've had the conversation before why he used the Island footage in #3. The stunt woman was paralyzed in the original footage, so they didn't use it.

Stay Puft
07-07-2014, 08:14 AM
Yeah, I did notice the empty car drive up to their house & was waiting for it to transform. Oops, I guess. :P

That's not even the only time it happens.

There's a shot of Bumblebee... I think it's when he's driving up to the KSI headquarters?... where the protagonists are riding inside him, but then are clearly not inside when the film cuts to a wider shot, but then are inside again when it cuts back.

Not sure this needs spoiler tags but anyways. The whole film felt pretty shoddy.

Dukefrukem
07-07-2014, 03:27 PM
Haven't seen this movie yet, but this is the same guy who did the Edgar Wright "How to do successful comedy" video...

Great stuff.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2THVvshvq0Q

max314
07-16-2014, 11:02 PM
...somehow this guy still keeps getting to make movies.

That "somehow" would be billions of dollars in revenue.

megladon8
07-28-2014, 06:37 PM
http://s29.postimg.org/lgjpf5gvr/image.jpg

I'd like to see that one!

Wryan
08-16-2014, 09:36 PM
I've become inured to these. They are literally running together. Not even major cast changes can alter the effect. It's all just the same beats*, compositions, swoops, fireworks-as-explosions, blah blah same. I watched with my jaw sort of slackened, stroke victim-like. The actors speak their pat, phone book prattle lines, and the editors put disparate shit together if the words and shots kinda sorta apply to the moment. I'm not sure I enjoyed any of it. I'm not sure I hated any of it. I don't feel anymore.

*No, not those Beats. This bullshit.

EDIT: Okay, I will say I liked T.J. Miller. Nice to actually see him after Cloverfield. He has a fantastic, particular kind of voice and uses it well.

Dukefrukem
08-19-2014, 01:36 PM
Not related to anything. Just laughed this morning at this.

http://i.imgur.com/8siBODN.gif

MadMan
08-30-2014, 05:21 AM
Look I've seen all of the series and I think this latest one was better than all of those combined. The first is mediocre at best, the second one sucks, and the third is okay/almost decent yet heavily borrows from better war movies. The 4th one's ending by the way has funny enough a lot in common with how Prometheus ended: Both films feature a main character heading off to confront the things/people/whatever responsible for the deaths of people. Que obvious next installment.

That said thank God for Wahlberg, Tucci and Grammer because the kids were bland as hell and the rest of the people involved were pretty forgettable. Oh and of course John Goodman ruled as Hound. I guess Ken Watanabe was great too, although he seems to be the typical "Stoic badass Asian actor guy" they use in movies these days.

I just noticed this one got the lowest ratings of the series. How the fuck is it worse than the second movie, which was overlong, racist, and painful to sit through? I don't get that one.

Sxottlan
08-30-2014, 06:15 AM
I laughed the hardest at the bird coughing up the bone.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5KQQWlIgGc

MadMan
08-31-2014, 09:06 AM
Love the random explosions. The ending of that trailer though just makes me sad.

BTW when Wahlberg and company ran from the explosions earlier on in the movie I just nodded and thought "Well shit now its finally a Michael Bay film."

Dukefrukem
09-22-2014, 12:50 AM
Why didn't someone tell me T.J. Miller was in this??

Ivan Drago
09-22-2014, 04:11 AM
Why didn't someone tell me T.J. Miller was in this??

Because we know better not to see it.

Dukefrukem
09-22-2014, 12:15 PM
Well I'm watching it just for him now.

Dukefrukem
09-23-2014, 01:04 AM
Why didn't someone tell me T.J. Miller was in this??

Well that was short lived.

Scar
09-26-2014, 04:20 PM
Absolutely horse shit and waste of time. And I enjoy the third one.

Dukefrukem
09-30-2014, 12:05 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCKSOKTES_g

Dukefrukem
10-07-2014, 05:37 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz5vEfa7UvI

Neclord
12-10-2014, 08:01 PM
I don't typically like to linger on stuff I dislike, nor go for low-hanging fruit, but jesus christ this movie was fucking garbage.

Dukefrukem
12-19-2014, 01:33 PM
I like when they do this. I thought Lone Ranger should have won the award last year.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btn2tPxjisA

Henry Gale
06-22-2015, 09:30 PM
This is gonna be very long and sprawling, so maybe like I did with this movie, come back to it bit by bit.

Alright, so I gave this a "yay" even though I don't think it's actually good. It's the "best" Bay-Transformers to me simply because it's the most Bay-Transformers. And I think I'm simply at this point that I can only assess them on those terms. Assuming it will aspire for more, and expecting anything more alleviating or inspiring than what his previous installments have offered would be a mistake. Despite those parameters (initially conscious or not), it was still a very weird feeling to watch a fourth one of these and not.. hate... it?

Basically what happened was I was looking at the top worldwide grosses of all time, tracking where Furious 7, both Avengers, and the like have all insanely climbed and continue to compete, and I then stumbled upon this movie's title, realizing — as the 12th highest grossing movie of all time... Let that sink in for a second — it's the only member of the Billion Dollar Club I haven't seen. Also, even with my all-around distaste for them as movies (the third one, Dark of the Moon, being the one I found the least grief with), I still hold great memories, going back to when this franchise started in my teen years, of hot summer days where me and my friends would find ourselves going to see the newest of these at the theatre, and then of course afterwards expressing our conflictingly passionate thoughts of them while we'd relay everything into having even better nights. So with Age of Extinction being an untapped representation of these weird movies I have such a love/hate thing for me to not feel against watching them on a similar summer day to those ones, where I could also for the first time take breaks(!) during one of their trademark arduous runtimes, I found myself actually into the idea of watching a new Transformers movie in 2015. Go figure.

And maybe it was because because it had been a year since it had come out for its financial success to feel like little for me to find the need to rally against, or just that my expectations had fallen as low as they had, or being able to watch it at my own pace, it was exactly what I expected, and even worse, what I had kinda hoped for? Speaking to the runtime and broken up viewings especially, there is a major action sequence that was happening with all the characters inside the villain's massive mothership with the spacier elements always having been my favourite in these movies, where I thought, "Y'know, this is actually not a bad climax to a bad movie", when I found myself momentarily pausing it, seeing that the clock had it at 100 minutes. THERE WAS ANOTHER HOUR LEFT.

So, once that sequence wrapped up, I let it down for the day, and continued it the next, and I felt so much better for it. A stark difference from feeling trapped for multiple hours with them in the theatre all those years ago. Particularly with Revenge of the Fallen. Holy shit. I still stand by that we got a 4+ hour cut in our auditorium that day.

----

Anyway, to the bigger points of how it operates, Bay's strengths as a director have always been an orchestrator of spectacle, and here he does the biggest and most intimate action as interesting as ever in his career. When I was first seeing The Rock, Bad Boys II, and The Island in my teen years, I knew they weren't substantial pieces of anything, and that they all contained varying degrees of questionable narrative ideas and dangerous cultural (but okay, most Bad Boys II for all of this). They were junk food, in the most empty calorie (in terms of mental and moral stimulation), glutenous (in length and budget), but they were delicious.

It's never a real surprise to me when I'd hear directors like Spielberg or Nolan talk about their admiration for him as a stylist, because he absolutely has his own, almost to an essentially auteurist degree (as idiotic as it may be), but that's all he has. He has never, ever found ways of success with emotional narrative or delivering character's journeys that function without being sacrificed by his other, more juvenile impulses. (I'd frivolously argue The Island and The Rock come the closest. But who am I trying to convince, and why?)

The terrible humour he established with the first three Transformers, which just seemed to become more and more unbearable and shameful each time, was, guess what?! Mostly gone here! There are some really bad running gags, like one of Wahlberg's biggest grievances with his daughter's boyfriend not necessarily being that he's 19 and she's 17, but that he cites Romeo and Juliet laws (he calls him "Romeo" for this) and that he's Irish (he calls him "Lucky Charms".... a lot). But then there's T.J. Miller (for, erm, a bit), Titus Welliver, and then Stanley Tucci to step in and seemingly know exactly what movie they're in, and delivering their stuff engagingly with knowing levity and slight irony in ways only Kevin Dunn and Julie White seemed to know how to in the previous movies as LaBeouf's parents (with way more embarrassing material).

-----

At the movie's best, which basically just constitutes him showing off that inarguable visual eye, whether it's enacting full Bayhem™ or finding quieter moments of awe (They exist!), often establishing jaw-dropping scale, is him at his post-Transformers peak as a director (while still being stuck in the Transformers trenches).

The most emblematic non-action or helicopter+sun scene of Bay's entire career may be in this. It's a scene where the film brings out its Kodak 35mm stock for the rare sequence of gorgeous magic-hour into sunset shining at the frame, casting glowing silhouettes of Wahlberg and Peltz, with dusty dandelion seeds or other fuzz billows about, catching the light, all as.... really bad, stake-less dialogue between the two plays out of them arguing about letting her go out with her friends for the night ("Honey, it's almost 8:00!"), which stiltedly relays into them remembering her late mother (yawn). But at least looks great, which is maybe as deep a level (surface) as Bay can ever go, and as much of a compliment as I can give him at this point.

-----

And I didn't even get into the unintentional "death of cinema" / "corporations shackle creativity" meta-text it flaunts, with one of the film's first scenes set in a broken down, out of business theatre where the owner complains of everything being remakes and sequels as to no one goes anymore, with everything involving Tucci's character's inventions that can replace any and all Transformers (where, he says, "Anyone can be replaced. Don't you get it? We don't need you. We can make you now", it reads like studios talking to directors) only adding fuel to the strange fire. It's like, at what point is this a cry for help, how much of it is him accepting his fate as an eternally massive player in this globally sustainable toy, car and Bud Light commercial masquerading as movie-making, but most likely of all, how much would he even realize it seems like he's saying that (or care) at this point?

"At least it looks cool." - He said of the apocalypse plunging over the horizon.

**½ / 5.7

Skitch
06-23-2015, 12:39 AM
Great write up, and I concur.

Morris Schæffer
06-23-2015, 10:56 AM
Bay absolutely has a great movie in him, but I genuinely think he doesn't care. Still, The Rock is no slouch.