I got advanced screening tickets to see the new transformers movie Thursday night. I was already anxious to see it when it comes out on July 4, so I jumped at the chance to see it early and waited in line, in true geek fashion, 2 hours early. Like many people, I grew up watching the transformers, so I had high expectations of this movie and hoped that the transformers would be done properly.
WARNING: SPOILERS INSIDE! Do not click and read the rest of this article if you want to be surprised at the movie. I will not give away the main plot or ending, but I will talk about some aspects of the movie that can be considered spoilers. DO NOT READ FURTHER UNLESS YOU ARE READY!
My biggest concern going into the movie was not so much the accuracy of the cars and robots and keeping them true to the originals. I actually am not that much of a purist to insist on no changes from the originals. Movies always make some accommodations for the new format and newer audience. It did not bother me that Wolverines claws came from between his fingers when, in the comics, they come from the back of his hand.It did not bother me that “movie Spider Man” generated his own webs from his body while the original “comic book spider man” invented a special fluid that he created himself. I can let these things go, if it helps the movie. I will warn you now that there are several accommodations that you will need to make going into this movie.
Bumblebee is not a Volkswagen like the cartoons. BFD! This did not bother me one little bit. Bumblebee is a Chevy Camaro, but the character was still great. He was definitely the most human-like of the autobots and had the deepest connection with the audience. He is the first transformer introduced at the beginning of the movie, and you got used to him pretty fast so that the other changes were not as bad when they were introduced.
Another small character change was one of my favorites as a kid, and that was “Jazz” originally voiced by Scatman Crouthers. In the movie, Jazz is more of a hip-hop gangster voice and attitude, right down to the posture. He has a very small role actually, so this was also acceptable to me. The only voice that was actually kept form the original was that of Optimus Prime, and it was deserved. He did not say very much, but when he spoke, he had the voice of a leader, whatever that means. you definitely knew he was “the man” and the voice acting of the movie was great.
My other concern was the acting. I was worried that it would be all flash and special effects with bad acting, but the acting was good. This is where it becomes interesting to me as a hacker. Hackers played a pretty big part in the plot of the movie. The government intercepts a signal that they need cracked and they bring in teams of hackers and cryptographers to try and break the code. Sure it is a Hollywood cliche, but the good thing was that they actually portrayed hackers in a positive light as people that HELPED for a change. It was also accurate (IMHO) showing that hackers are also into gaming, sci-fi, and music and generally normal, fun-loving people who just happen to have a gift of curiosity and knowledge. But I digress…
The code that was being cracked and the screens that were shown were all total “Hollywood” and had no reality to them. There was no NMAP siting here. Again, who cares? The technical details of the code and the hack were kept to a minimum anyway. I was just happy to see positive hacker roles in a movie.
I could go into more detail about the movie here, but I do not want to ruin the whole thing. There were other accommodations made that were not faithful to the original cartoon, but I found them all acceptable. I was also pleasantly surprised at how funny the movie was. There were a lot of jokes in there and some geek humor (watch for the Wolverine/Freddy Krueger conversation) and I was lawling several times during the movie.
I also found a lot of little hidden jokes and scenes and I am sure there were more that I missed. Keep your eyes peeled for the FURBY truck and the X-box 360 scene towards the end. It was also funny/interesting where the top-secret hiding place was located (You will know what I mean when you see it). I wonder if any conspiracy theories will grow out of that one.
We were warned repeatedly before the movie started that we were not allowed to use cel phones or cameras and no video recording of any kind and that we would be prosecuted if we were found recording the film. I was a guest here and had no intention of course, but I was a little surprised by it since I had never been warned directly like that before. Some theaters even check people as they enter with one of those magic wand metal detectors like in the airport.
All-in-all, the movie was fantastic. It was one of the best that I have seen in a long time, and I really think that it will beat out all of the other big blockbuster summer movies including spider-man 3. Go see it! It is “more than meets the eye”! And yes, that was a bad joke to end this blog entry. I will smack myself on your behalf.