Transformers movie gigantic superthread

Posted by asterphage 
fujishig Wrote:
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> Any thoughts on Leader Megatron?


It's not that great. It looks better than the old megatron, but with that one gimpy arm it looks way off balance. I imagine its supposed to look that way but it still looks silly. The transformation is simple and not very well thought out, worlds apart from the leader Optimus which I feel is a new pinnacle of transforming robot engineering.

Rampage is way over engineered for a $10 toy. They tried some cool new ideas with it, which is probably what I like most about the movie figures, but it fails. But for $10 what do you want?

And Demolishor. What A POS.

I like the rest of 'em though.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Optimus Prime's a "new pinnacle of transforming robot engineering"??? Wow, powerful endorsement!

I kinda like the new Leader Megatron (don't have it, but I've seen a few vid reviews on youtube). Mostly, I like the fact that it has four caterpillar tractors, and the pair on each side fold up and become the feet. Has a very Getter 3 feel to me...and it actually makes "engineering" sense. [Of course, the transformation bit where you can detach some of the track links to form a more aesthetically-pleasing foot is total shit.]

But yeah, the gimpy arm and lack of elbow joint on the cannon arm kinda suck.

What's so special about the new Leader Prime? I figured it was essentially the same as the first movie Prime...which is a solid toy, but certainly no "pinnacle"...
Sanjeev Wrote:
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> What's so special about the new Leader Prime? I
> figured it was essentially the same as the first
> movie Prime...which is a solid toy, but certainly
> no "pinnacle"...

The new Prime is a pretty special $45 TF, in a way its the most complicated structure TF at that price (or at any price range even), while managed to improve a lot of accuracy issues on 07 Prime (not perfect mind you, but good). A lot of intricate folding that managed to hide almost everything of the robot in truck mode, even when you look from the bottom. From a design standpoint, its really great. But there are a few small things that can make the transformation more user friendly and less frustrating on some parts (as the instruction sheet didn't mention or indicate some very crucial steps on not to break the toy), and the sword gimmick kind of an after thought that ruined the arm articulation when the swords are retracted. Ankle joints can be tighter too to minimize the leaning in some poses.

So it is a pinnacle in a good number of ways, but its just as pinnacle of an example on how Hasbro did little things here & there to mess it up so you can't really say its as good or as perfect as it can be. Not having much paint at all and putting random wrong colors at various parts on the figure doesn't help either, making a very well designed toy tooks very blan in person. But for $45, its the most complicated Prime I've had, with an overall well built structure. (even a Revoltech cost $25-$30 shipped these days).

If this toy is slightly retooled with better colors, better paint job, re-thought or taken out the gimmicks (which makes more room to slim down the arms & the too-broad shoulders), sharpen up some sculpted details, it could well be the very best Prime toy, even if it has a $100~ish price tag. But as it stands now, its a very good $45 Prime toy with some small annoyance and a boring paint job.
B00
Finaly got around to Stascream.

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/2009 06:18PM by B00.
I think the Japanese version of Prime is going to be >7000 Yen, but have better paint apps, so pick your poison. Or wait until they "recolor" it with better paint apps once the line begins to die down.

Sucker that I am, I would've picked up Megs, but the TRU sale is only on deluxes and voyager. Might pick up starscream, despite my reservations.
Yeah, I meant engineering for a transformer.. sorry.
And i was just commmenting on the transformation itself, it's ingenious and the end result is on par with current valkyries in terms of how accurate both modes look. Considering how much more complicated the design is, i think it's quite an achievement.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Wow....they managed to make the robot mode of Starscream WORSE. And for all the improvements they made to his jet mode, that horrendous tribal tattoo utterly ruins that mode.

As for Leader Prime, sounds interesting, but I'll probably pass. I'm sure I'll get a chance to mess around with it when JoshB picks one up for his kids! ;)
fujikuro Wrote:
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> Yeah, Long Haul looks OK. The others in this
> series, including the Chromia bike, look FAR too
> much like Beast Machines characters for my taste.

At least the Beast Machines toys had decent robot modes, not the walking heaps of crap that these look like...
I picked up the Leader Prime, and it's pretty amazing once you get a feel for the transformation. The first time I tried it, it took the better part of half an hour - there are a lot of fiddly bits that have to be oriented just right, and a few pieces (especially the red parts on the chest assembly) that give the impression that they'll break if you move them the way the instructions indicate.

The end result is impressive in both modes, and definitely worth the money. (I agree that the swords are unnecessary and mess up the arms, though - I'm considering taking the arms apart to see if they can be removed.)

Unfortunately, I'm less taken with the Deluxe toys I've picked up; they seem flimsy and suffer from iffy fit on all the panel breaks. I think the reason that Prime works so well is because the size allowed the designers to give it the complexity that the movie designs require. The love-it-or-hate-it metal origami look requires tons of extra hinges, pivot points, and paneling that must give the plastics guys fits. Take the feet, for example - they're impressively constructed and stable, even though they're made up of eight or nine pieces folding back on themselves. By comparison, it's tough to settle any of the Deluxes into a standing pose because their little feet can't handle the odd weight distribution above them.

One other thing about Prime, and I think this applies to Starscream as well: the "Mech Alive" gears are pretty damn neat. When you depress the lever, the chest components and head move around, the internal gears shift, and the light and sound effects fire off; it's as close an approximation to the constant motion of the movie design's components as I can imagine in a toy.
thomas Wrote:
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> fujikuro Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Yeah, Long Haul looks OK. The others in this
> > series, including the Chromia bike, look FAR
> too
> > much like Beast Machines characters for my
> taste.
>
> At least the Beast Machines toys had decent robot
> modes, not the walking heaps of crap that these
> look like...

You really think? Better robot modes? Neither line look like Transformers to me.

More serious than thou
Just picked up Deluxe Ravage today... at first, I was turned off by the pseudo-zoid look, but he's grown on me. The alt mode (they call it rentry mode, but it's basically him folded up to reenter the atmosphere) is kinda crappy, but I appreciate the attention to detail... there are these little joints in the front legs that I had no idea what they were put in to do, until I found that it's for the transformation, so that the front legs lock into place. The alt mode is stable, at least, and not having to conform to a realistic vehicle mode allows the panther mode to look cooler. I wonder if it's intentional that his "reentry" mode has little z-gundam waverider-like fold out wings...

Also opened up Chromia... I appreciate that they put in the stand, which fits solidly in both modes and allows them to, well, stand. The robot mode is a little funkier than I thought, with a huge hole in the middle, and she suffers from the Megatron-like put-a-chunk-of-kibble-into-one-arm syndrome, but overall I like it. There's one hinge that I have no idea what to do with... it's on the bottom of the bike, and clearly swings out. Combiner piece?
fujikuro Wrote:
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> You really think? Better robot modes? Neither
> line look like Transformers to me.


Yeah, I'm kind of opposite, too. I think the movie line has the best Transformers designs and toys in YEARS. In fact, it's really what made me interested in collecting Transformers again after dabbling in the best of the Unicron trilogy and becoming bored with squarish, rainbow, monostyle robots :p

There's some bombs like in any line, but this line has more "mecha" details per robot and the toys are more interesting, IMO.
Yeah, Transformers aren't "mecha." Not to me, anyway. It's far far too American looking for my taste. All too busy. None of it says Transformers any more than a Will Smith movie with nothing to do with the original story says "I, Robot." It's a franchise label placed on something that has little at all to do with what the franchise actually is.

More serious than thou
fujikuro Wrote:
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> Yeah, Transformers aren't "mecha." Not to me,
> anyway. It's far far too American looking for my
> taste. All too busy. None of it says
> Transformers any more than a Will Smith movie with
> nothing to do with the original story says "I,
> Robot." It's a franchise label placed on
> something that has little at all to do with what
> the franchise actually is.

Isn't the franchise basically robots that transform into other things (robots in disguise, transformers, etc.)? It's not like these are Action Masters or anything... :)
Eh, can't agree there. There's an associated aesthetic that's missing here. It was still slightly there in the Beast Wars stuff. Totally missing in Beast Machines and the movie TF's. All they had to do was add a few touches here and there to make it "right" but they seem to have deliberately gone out of their way not to make any link there. The only real connections at all are that they, amazingly, have given OP his colors and "face" (sort of) as it were, and the colors of Bumblebee. Other than that, no similarity in personality, no similarity in look or anything. I'm not much on fanboy slavishness to a series, but if you're going to call it Star trek, it better not be about stuff that looks like it's from Star wars. If it's going to be called Transformers, it better be about stuff that looks like it's FROM Transformers.

More serious than thou
Sanjeev (Admin)
Well, I see these gobs of live-action tripe as their attempt to reinvent what "Transformers" is all about. It's their right, afterall: we, as supposed fans, have no say in this matter. To them, it's all about green, and that's just the way things are.

Now, the problem, I guess, is that I (and fujikuro and a whole helluva lot of others) see the new designs as being shitty compared to what we somewhat arbitrarily define as the "classic" aesthetic. If they were different *AND* awesome as fuck, I doubt I would complain, though.

At this point, the only reason I'm interested at all is because these are robot toys that are cheap-as-fuck and readily available--two traits that generally NEVER apply to the things we normally collect in this hobby. Anyway, they (TFs) have become how I get my "buy toy in actual store" fix. Hell, as butt-fugly as the taco supreme Devastator is, I can imagine how fun it would actually be to pick one up at my local TRU, bring it home all giddy, rip the box apart and tinker with it all some lazy Sunday afternoon...
... and then discover you paid a lot of green for shit.
I might feel a BIT better about the TF Movie toys, if only for the one or two that seem marginally interesting, if the plastic in them didn't feel like it was only one step up from model grade. The TF Classics and even the Animated stuff feels much stronger and solid. Of course, that maybe attributable to less complex transformations, and if so, oh well.

More serious than thou
Sanjeev (Admin)
I dunno...I have the first movie's Leader OP and it feels very sturdy. Definitely not model grade ABS by any stretch. I didn't really notice any difference between that plastic and the plastic used in a lot of other recent TF toys.

That said...now that I think about it...I seem to recall the plastic used *specifically* on the Classics seeming harder than on the other lines...


VF5SS Wrote:
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> ... and then discover you paid a lot of green for
> shit.

...well, yes...

;P


(Well, not that much green...seeing as how the going rate on a new Japanese robot toy is closing in on $200USD.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2009 02:42PM by Sanjeev.
I did a review of Breakaway on CDX. Go check that out.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Heeheehe....initial reviews are pouring in about the EPIC FAILURE of this film!
[www.aintitcool.com]

Interestingly enough, Rottentomatoes has it just slightly LESS godawful than Terminator: Salvation and Wolverine (two other movies I sorta was trying to stay postive/hopeful about this summer).

Anyway, one reviewer made some mention of the racism in the movie: "Are those two African American robot car things supposed to be funny? I don't understand. Are we supposed to like them?"

Excellent...I'll have something to look forward to. No, really: I'm morbidly curious now. The first movie's racism caught me off guard and obviously enraged me. This time around, I'll be ready to spout shit like, "YASSAH, MISTER OPTIMUS...I'LL SHOOTS DEM DECEPTICOONS RIGHT 'WAYS NAH!!"

Oh, it will be glorious...droves of uncomfortable movie-goers around me...
Oh you Nazi you.

More serious than thou
Sanjeev (Admin)
Hehe...y'know, I actually missed all that drama Monday or Tuesday morning by, like, minutes. I got to work around 9, logged in, and went to go do something for a minute. When I got back, I had 3 IMs (including one from Alen!). When I checked the thread, everything offensive had been nuked.

So much the better...but I gotta admit, I'm a tad curious! ...Much like this movie, incidentally! ;)
what's this? no connection to the characters? the movie wasn't engaging? just a bunch of CGI effects, and corny one-liners?

That's Michael Bay for you. They should've got Christopher Nolan to do Transformers.

Crappy movie or not, I went ahead and picked up Leader Class Optimus Prime and was blown away. I think OP, Megatron, and bumble bee are pretty sweet designs as far as the movie goes. I don't like Megatron's and bumblebee's toy.

It's pretty cool how they make the robots look a bit alien for the movie. If they resembled the cartoon designs (too simple for live-action IMO), that would just be kind of dumb. ANd I actually think that Bubble Bee's movie personality make over is an improvement. I always thought he was such a puss in the show. ...but doesn't he talk in the ROTF? eh...I'll have to see what kind of crap comes out of his mouth.

but yeah...OP toy...awesome. It kills the first version of the toy from back in 2007. Even if the 2nd installment of Transformers sucks balls, I hope they make a third so that we get another Optimus Prime movie version toy that's even better than this one. that'll be worth it, haha.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Well, from what I hear, Bumblebee STILL doesn't talk in this movie. I thought they fixed that..? Oh well...like I'll be interested in what he has to say...

Regarding how the robots actually look in the movie, I agree with the reviewer I quoted earlier: "They're too busy, there's too damn much going on. If you're going to do anything with the core idea of a Transformer, then I should be amazed at how all the parts folds into one another, how a robot can become a truck. Instead, we're blinded by an infinite number of moving parts that mean nothing. As if someone waved streamers in your face and then showed you a semi-trailer."

A buddy of mine picked up Leader Prime and also raved about how much nicer it is than last year's model. Not sure if I'll pick him up, though...
There's just no charm in these new movies.
I would just settle for the following:

No racism
No jokes based on bodily fluids
No near porn, since it would be neat to be able to let my kid watch the thing.

But, since the movies are aimed at 12-15 year old male Americans, I doubt the above will be avoided.

More serious than thou
Yeah, but...sorry to burst everyone's "geekboy bubble" ('cause I have one too--and it's quite fragile at times), but turning a working truck into a fully articulated, working, self-powered, humanoid alien robot is pretty fucking impossible. We have to settle on there being a billion moving parts. Afterall, it can't look like something that could've been conceived by humans (in Japan). It's alien. I just saw the first one again the other day, and I don't think the transformations are that bad. You can still get a feel for it, and it almost makes sense. I think it's exciting--but that's just me. I guess it's just hit or miss.



Sanjeev Wrote:
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> Regarding how the robots actually look in the
> movie, I agree with the reviewer I quoted earlier:
> "They're too busy, there's too damn much going on.
> If you're going to do anything with the core idea
> of a Transformer, then I should be amazed at how
> all the parts folds into one another, how a robot
> can become a truck. Instead, we're blinded by an
> infinite number of moving parts that mean nothing.
> As if someone waved streamers in your face and
> then showed you a semi-trailer."
Sanjeev (Admin)
This is all a matter of opinion, of course, but I think you're missing the point...in a bad way. Like, "suspension of disbelief", for example, is when you set aside concerns of realism in order to enjoy the *spirit* of the fiction. You seem to be trying to go the other direction. "They're alien...so they have to look ineffable (read: stupid)." Are you serious? How much more enjoyable would the robots be to watch if they were animated like this?

The fun or spirit of Transformers--for me, anyway--was often in *actually* conceiving how these things change. Now, you can't tell me that's possible in these movies. The graphics are soulless and, as Andrew said, devoid of charm. The first episodes of the original cartoon showed tons of stock footage of (well-animated) cuts of the Autobots transforming, one by one. They actually animated them in such a way as to emulate the toys' transformations AND make it look sorta believable on the screen.

You could argue that one should "suspend their disbelief" and set aside all complaints about the cgi altogether...but then what the fuck are you left with???
Nah, I see what you're trying to say--but I don't think they (all) look stupid and I don't think the transformations are so bad that you can't follow it--so you missed where I was coming from. sorry--maybe I didn't explain it that well.

I like how some of them turned out. so suspension of disbelief comes into play with the transformations--OK that's a given. the alien-look of them is just a matter of personal taste. I thought it worked for a lot of characters--others didn't. I remember seeing the fake movie footage of one of the tranformers going from a car to a robot--and where it did look cool, I thought "that's it"? why make a live action version if they all look like the toys from the 80's cartoon? Even something a little more complex like that VW Beetle video of the car transforming wasn't cool enough for me. The concept of the movie TFs really got me.

the cartoon was the cartoon. Even though they (naturally) transformed a lot like the toys, there was still some real heavy morphing action going on to make things work. I mean, the humanoid robots looked like people wearing car parts--or they were too blocky. and when in robot-mode, a lot of them didn't look like they could turn into anything (that's where the morphing comes in)--but they looked cool enough. So I guess I expected something about the same for the movie.

I'm not arguing that ppl should enjoy some aspects of the live-action version as much as I did--I'm just saying it wasn't all that bad to me and why I think that is. if you think it all sucks, hey.
I like most of the movie design. I don't get this notion of them being "soulless" comes from.

And yeah, the cartoon is a different medium. I WOULD have like them to look more like their G1 selves (especially Starscream) but really this is the ascetic they chose then hey.

To tell you the truth, I've been the type of fan that's pretty much fine with what they've been doing with TFs.

I didn't touch a single figure of Animated because I found them under detailed but I didn't complain about it because Universe was around to keep me happy.

--------------------------------------------------------------

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
Anonymous User
Vincent Z. Wrote:
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>
> I didn't touch a single figure of Animated because
> I found them under detailed but I didn't complain
> about it because Universe was around to keep me
> happy.

The problem is, the Movie marketing lead Hasbro to kill both Animated and Universe (apart from a few, final products) - both lines I really lover.

So, I hate the Bayformers, and am repulsed by both the design and stories.

Oh, well. More money for me to spend on Japanese toys! Michael Bay kills a little bit of the economy...
And your soul on top of that too.

More serious than thou
aw man, so they're not doing hot rod and arcee and co. for animated toys?

so close...!
A real shame there...

More serious than thou
Am I fucking weird for liking the Arcee design they got for ROTF versus the one that WAS going to be in the first film but was dropped but still had the toy made for it?

--------------------------------------------------------------

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
My 2 cents.

Bay's stole his designs from Bi-onics-cals (Hell it's too late for me to see how they are actually spelled.) TF designs are too complicated it prevents you for ever feeling for the characters. You could take the G1 basic designs and make them look a lot more complicated while still retaining the original form. Like how the Dream Wave designs were elivated from the old Marval comic designs. Or how MP Prime and Starscream did compared to their original G! toys.

TF from Bay was stupid, had a stupid plot line, (saying they learned about the culture from Ebay)...hurl. Having Prime say hurry hurry like a mother trying to get her kids off in time for school, yuck and then having Prime say (My Bad!), there's my lunch again! Even with it's major flaws I still loved it! I looked at the movie as one big summer action flick and liked it just the way I like Godzilla movies where the plot is just there to get to the giant monster/robot action. but did he rape the franchise...Hell yeah!

To give him credit. I liked how they put in suttle things like how Baracade started running then turned into a police cruiser and starter flying in full pursuit. That scene reminded me of the coolest scene in the opening credits of the original G1 cartoon where the decepticon Thundercracker Jazz and as he falls he changes into car mode, turns around drives straight at the Thundercracker and then turns back into a robot to tackle him. I always thought TF would fight like that, go between their modes whenever it suited them. Starscream did that in the movie as he took down the other F22's.

My BIG problem with Bayformer and Bayformers II is that Bay changed things just for the sake of changing them and gave Bullsh*t reasons for it. Changing Prime to a different type of semi because he thought this type of semi had more presence...kiss my ass. He wanted Prime to have flames because doing a red truck would be hard to CG. No it's not, I've seen it done. Bumblee I thought was always the little engine that could and I thought if he was a VW bug (I know VW had a problem with fighting toys.) or a mini, or a civic for that matter. Any little frugil car that would seem like a first car for a teenaged boy. You could argue that an old camero works as a teens first car and you'd be right but Bumble Bee could have been a 91 civic, escort, tercell or any yellow gas saving little car. Having such a little car try and fight off a brute like Baracade would have really shown the personality of Bumble Bee to his G1 or Animated roots.

Why Sam Whitwickey and his father and not Spike and Sparkplug? Hell the dad in the movie looked like the cartoon Sparkplug. I don't think they needed to walk around in yellow rubber boots and yellow hard hats but why change the names when the characters are there? Starscream looked like a mecha ape (remember that B rated Japanese robot Kong movie? Bay basically dusted off that design IMO)

In the new movie Ravage is aa cyclops... WHY? Does that help the movie AT ALL?...NO!

If making changes to the original TF figures won't help a movie but might hurt it, then why do it unless it's because of ego. Change just for the sake of change makes no sense.

Bay got the ultimate gift under his Hollywood Christmas tree, one that we would all like to have. Design your own Transformers and have Hasbro make them for you.
Sanjeev (Admin)
kiriko Wrote:
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> ...The concept of the movie TFs really
> got me.

I can dig it.

Hey, I pooh-pooh a lot of things, but I try to explain why I hate those things. If others can derive *some* enjoyment outta all the crap out there I despise, then more power to 'em. Now, IF they can explain WHY they like this stuff, then so much the better...we can talk. You've done that...which puts you in a vastly higher evolutionary category than more transfans. ;)


WAZZAP BOYEEEE



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/2009 02:44PM by VF5SS.
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Anonymous User
I really, really gave the first movie a chance. I was cool with the character re-designs, even though I didn't prefer them. I was OK with another series reset, so I could deal with that. IF the movie was going to be GOOD.

Then I read the script... and it all went straight down the 5hitter from there, it was so ufking stupid.

Gimme a decent story - one that matched the quality of the comic books and fanfiction and even Beast Wars I'd been consuming since the G1 line ended - and I'd have been OK. Instead I was handed a script that was such brainless 5hit I had to wonder if it was even genuine (which it was, it turned out)... a movie written by some jackasses with as much understanding of the property as an Azrak-Hamway salesman.

Ah, who cares what I think, anyway. My wife & kids liked it, so I'm probably going to have to suffer through "Regurgitation of the Fallow" anyway at the drive in this week. With my luck, it'll probably be double-billed with that abortion of celluloid known as LAND OF THE LOST....



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/2009 04:53PM by AcroRay.
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