Saturday, 7 July 2007

Day184 Transformers Movie

Transformers!!
Movie time (http://www.transformersmovie.com/). Along with the gang from work we dived into the world of the Transformers as created by Michael Bay (with Spielberg getting his big name up in lights as an exec producer).
These images show off the bots and some of the humans along for the ride:


[images taken from the film that I got from movies.yahoo.com]

The film is exciting realisation of the Transformers idea into a live action ride. The plot isn't clever or engaging really, so the whole things hangs on some human interaction and the vast number of vehicle, combat and machine scenes. This brings us ideas like those of mechs along with some high-tech military and swish domestic hardware. In many of the combat sequences it is so complex and filled with explosions, weapons, troops, weapons, transformations and dynamic camera work that it is just an overwhelming blur. This isnt necessarily bad though - that is kind of the point of the movie - it is just one long fight between the weapons of man and the Autobots vs the Decepticons.
I actually liked the movie as a realisation of the Transformer idea. The transformations themselves are highly detailed, fast and complex and when thrown into the mix of all the other action components really work. Bumblebee is excellent and gets most of the limelight. In fact apart from Optimus the rest only get cameo roles really. (Note that the consensus was that we liked Bumblebees beat-up 74 Camaro look :-)

Shia LeBeouf and the sexy Megan Fox make up the main human story and along with the likes of John Voight ground the film and make it at least a little more than just a bunch of toys slugging it out. I guess if we are just after an amazing ride into the Transformer combat-centric world - then this does that hands down.

This is the trailer which shows off the cgi and combat feel of the entire film.


The CGI and effects work (which in this case is pretty much the whole movie) is the work of the masters at ILM (http://www.ilm.com/). The CG work on display here is nothing short of Deity-like. The ILM folk have not only given us the usual fair of effects clevernes in integrating live footage, sets, virtual and real cameras - but added to that the truly spectacular transformers themselves - awesome. One blog was saying it took 38 hours to render out single frames (hopefully that was the worst case number).
This article by Matt Sullivan (http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4218826.html?series=6) shows us some of the tech and reveals the scope of what is achieved here. SOme numbers that tha article wields: 280 terabytes of stuff, Prime has 10,000 pieces, 20,000 nodes in bumblebees transformation and $150US million. Actually that doesnt seem like so much when you see what ends up on-screen.

[images from the article above from Paramount/Dreamworks]

Just by way of context Michael Bay (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000881/) has amongst his other credits things like: Armageddon, Pearl Harbour, Bad Boys II, The Rock and the Island.


[images of the bots from movies.yahoo.com]

Well - what can one say but: "I want to ride you home... I mean, I want to give you a ride home".
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I would be remiss if I didnt mention the original tv cartoon series on which all this fun was based (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Transformers_(TV_series)). But for me (and others it would seem) it was BeastWars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beast_Wars) that I think of as the best work of the series. Plus while we are at it - dont forget Hasbro (http://www.hasbro.com/) and all the super toys.

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