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The Good Film In ROTF


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#1 Master Fwiffo

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 01:57 AM

WARNING: OPINIONS AHEAD

Rewatching ROTF, I realized something. In ROTF, there are large portions of the film that I can consider among the best Transformer's we've ever gotten.

And now that you've got pitchforks aimed in my direction...

ROTF is a deeply flawed film. I don't think anybody can really disagree with that. But what stuns me the most is the inconsistency of ROTF's flaws. Watch the NEST scene at the beginning, and compare it to Sams College Antics, and you can hardly believe these two scenes are part of the same film. Watching the final half hour, and judging just on that alone, I'd be tempted to call it the second best half-hour of Transformers ever, behind only Code of Hero. But just another half hour earlier, and the film was dragging, plodding and dull. What's going on here?

The way I see it, there are 3 primary problems with ROTF. 2 of these I believe will not be as much an issue in TF3.

Here we go. Problem 1: Bays sense of humor. Sorry folks, that ain't going nowhere. Just give up right now, and focus on the other two.

2: The Inconsistency of the Pacing. ROTF comes up at you in Waves of Awesome padded between Waves of Dullness. And I think I figured out why. The scenes that Michael Bay would have liked most - the NEST scene, the Forrest Fight, the Final Battle in the Desert - were well paced, thrilling, and had decent-to-good editing. The parts he didn't care about - the college scenes, the hunt for the Matrix - were slow and plodding. This could be a flaw in Bay's character but I think there's something else behind this (Not to say Bays character doesn't have flaws, but I digress). And that leads us to the third, most pressing problem.

3) The Film Was Rushed. ROTF was being worked on right to the latest possible deadline, and it shows. The reason the slower parts of the film weren't edited down, shortened and sharpened, and so forth, was mostly because They Ran Out Of Time. Due to the writers strike and Paramounts demands, the parts of the film Bay considered non-essential didn't go through nearly as much work as Bays favorite action sequences - and coincidently, the best put together parts of the film - did. Why? Bay wanted to get the parts he cared about the most right, while the parts he didn't were left at the wayside. I also believe this is the reason for several of the films bigger story flaws - character disappearance, for one. Because they were more focused on editing the action scenes, those other ones got pushed aside.

Problems two and three - the rush job and the inconsistency - may or may not be a problem for TF3. But as there is no writers strike pushing back the filming date, it's very probable that the 3'd Transformers movie will likely be a more coherent film, and that the dragging pace and distractions will not be such a large problem.

I want to again stress that there is a *lot* of good stuff in ROTF. It seems to be overshadowed by Twins and Balls and lord knows what else, but watch the NEST scenes. Watch the Forrest Fight. Watch the Decepticon Arrival. Watch the entire battle in the desert, from Devastator to the drawn battle lines. The battle in the desert is really a feat as far as TF goes. For the first time in a non-comic medium, it's actually portrayed as a war between Autobots (and their human allies) and the Decepticons - not a fist fight, not a gang skirmish, but an actual war where bots (and humans) on both sides are dropping left and right. Watching it again, the details and motions of the two sides are just awesome. I'd like to see more, much more, of that.

Though the crass humor will likely still remain, I maintain hope that TF3 will be better because it won't be rushed.

#2 MrBlud

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 02:47 AM

QUOTE
Rewatching ROTF, I realized something. In ROTF, there are large portions of the film that I can consider among the best Transformer's we've ever gotten.

And now that you've got pitchforks aimed in my direction...


After reading *that* my mind is in no position to do anything. I can't even mournfully shake my head from side to side much less pick up a pitchfork. I can't even feebly ask you "Have you seen ANY Transformers beyond this?"

QUOTE
I want to again stress that there is a *lot* of good stuff in ROTF.


Blood from a stone...or turd in this case. icon-arcee.gif

QUOTE
It seems to be overshadowed by Twins and Balls and lord knows what else, but watch the NEST scenes.


Optimus sadistically killing an unarmed soldier in cold blood.

QUOTE
Watch the Forrest Fight.


A long, drawn out fight scene climaxing with Prime using hooks to rip a guy's face apart.

QUOTE
Watch the Decepticon Arrival.


Ravage? That was decent, nothing special.

QUOTE
Watch the entire battle in the desert,


You should see Lawrence of Arabia. It's a much better film about a bunch of humans fighting in the desert. Plus you'd avoid Jetfire dying in two seconds (plus Jolt's less then one second appearance) just to give Prime wings and some jet engines.

QUOTE
from Devastator to the drawn battle lines. The battle in the desert is really a feat as far as TF goes. For the first time in a non-comic medium, it's actually portrayed as a war between Autobots (and their human allies) and the Decepticons - not a fist fight, not a gang skirmish, but an actual war where bots (and humans) on both sides are dropping left and right. Watching it again, the details and motions of the two sides are just awesome. I'd like to see more, much more, of that.


Megatron sending wave after wave of Decepticons to get cut down? Who is he Zapp Brannigan? At least G1 Megatron had robots flying around attacking Autobot City. Which coincidentally enough showcased exactly what you said we had never gotten before, a large scale battle. Hell we even get more "name" deaths there rather then forty minutes of character shield.

Do you know how much dialog and (needed) character development we could've gotten if the forest and desert battles were shortened? TONS! Crap like that is exactly what we need less of. Is yelling, gunfire, and explosions really the pinnacle of Transformers fiction to you Fwiffo?

Now back to your regularly posted insanity. icon-waspy.gif

Edited by MrBlud, 02 October 2009 - 02:54 AM.


#3 Jeysie

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 05:05 AM

Well, I'll agree that the military scenes were usually interesting, that the Forest Fight was good, and you forgot to add in Jetfire being one of the few bits of humor that was actually funny. icon-arcee.gif

But the rest ranged from mediocre to terrible, including the whole desert scene, which I found to be pretty boring all around. Especially the last half-hour where Jetfire gets tossed aside like a used tissue and The Fallen goes down like a chump with barely a fight.

I'm sorry, but they're going to need a lot more than just a handful of character moments and one good action scene to make TF3 a good movie.

#4 Hecate

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 05:14 AM

QUOTE
"Have you seen ANY Transformers beyond this?"

Giant Purple Griffon
The Low Road
Carnage in C-Minor
BOT
Every comical looney-tunes moment in Beast Wars
Kiss Players
Dreamwave
"Ugh"s and grunts from AEC
Energon's quality control
Cybertron's stock footage
Animated's occasionally choppy animation
and more!

There's a lot of bad in all Transformers, you know.

#5 MrBlud

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 05:26 AM

Oh I'm aware.

Course you don't have anybody trying to say any of those were "the pinnacle" of Transformers fiction.

Ok you do but they're just as outlandish. icon-fire.gif

#6 KidTDragon

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 05:39 AM

QUOTE(Master Fwiffo @ Oct 2 2009, 02:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...the Forrest Fight...

I don't remember seeing Tom Hanks in the film at all.

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#7 Jeysie

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 06:02 AM

QUOTE(MrBlud @ Oct 2 2009, 06:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Course you don't have anybody trying to say any of those were "the pinnacle" of Transformers fiction.

Yeah. I mean, even if you focus on pure spectacle, ROTF still isn't at the top. The first movie alone had the Blackout base-thrashing, the whole scene with Barricade, Sam, & Bee, Starscream's Jet Judo, the whole sequence with Megatron chasing/confronting Sam and fighting Optimus, and the excellent Autobots Arrival to Earth scene, all of which I enjoyed a lot more than even the Forest Fight.

#8 NightViper

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 07:04 AM

I only saw the movie once, so I can't say too much in detail about the good and the bad parts, but all I know is that I want to watch it again just for the 20 second scene at the end with Megatron and Starscream after the Fallen is killed. It was the only part of the movie that put a smile on my face.

#9 lastmaximal

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 07:38 AM

QUOTE
Watching the final half hour, and judging just on that alone, I'd be tempted to call it the second best half-hour of Transformers ever, behind only Code of Hero.


The only bits I enjoyed from here were really just that... bits. "You mean THAT orange smoke?"; the quasi-paternal "Boy... you returned for me."; the dramatic "I claim your sun!"; the reaction to Sam's death, including Bee collapsing to his knees and a fleeting glimpse at Megan Fox doing something other than running and screaming and radiating hawtsome; and Megs and Starscream's bit at the end. Snippets, lines, seconds. The rest is waaaay too much dragged out blam blam blam boom that should not have been so bloody lengthy.

Edited by lastmaximal, 02 October 2009 - 07:40 AM.

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#10 Powered Convoy

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 07:50 AM

QUOTE(MrBlud @ Oct 2 2009, 03:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
Watch the Forrest Fight.


A long, drawn out fight scene climaxing with Prime using hooks to rip a guy's face apart.


I'm sorry but no way that was long and drawn out. It was awesome and really well directed and choreographed. If you take away parts of that scene you take away the best scene that film had to offer.

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#11 Esser-Z

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 07:58 AM

The Desert Battle was anticlimactic and unexciting, really. There was never a real threat from the 'cons, and the overall plan (STEAL THE SUN!) was too big to work dramatically.

#12 Detour

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 07:59 AM

QUOTE(MrBlud @ Oct 2 2009, 03:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Optimus sadistically killing an unarmed soldier in cold blood.

icon-fire.gif

Sadism, right. Prime barely managed to incapacitate a Decepticon six times his size after the latter tore through half of Shanghai, casually killing passerbys as he did so.
Prime is the largest of Autobots on Earth. Demolishor is a goddamn beast. Cybertronians in this continuity also have self-repairing systems.

What was he to do? Try and take him prisoner? Yeah, I'd love to see that. Prime and his few Autobots, all much smaller than him, and a bunch of humans. All Demolishor would have to do is swing an arm to kill half of em.
And if they can get him in cuffs or whatever... then what? You still have a giant Decepticon, in robot mode, in the middle of Shanghai. How do you transport him out? Where do you transport him to? How do you do it without attracting even more attention? How do you prevent him from breaking whatever Earth-made bonds they'd have made for him and resume his rampage?

Not a lot of choice other than killing the monster.

You're far too young to be this bitter and angry at the world....

I'm reading that with Roy's voice. Heck, I read everything you post in a laconic Irish accent.

 


#13 Esser-Z

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 08:08 AM

Spark removal? That's an options shown in numerous continuities.


Also, it would have been extremely simple to add a couple seconds of Demolishor launching a final attack at somebody, thus entirely justifying beyond a question Prime's killing shot.

Edited by Esser-Z, 02 October 2009 - 08:09 AM.


#14 Detour

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 08:16 AM

QUOTE(Esser-Z @ Oct 2 2009, 09:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Spark removal? That's an options shown in numerous continuities.

Not in the movieverse. Jetfire died by taking his own spark out.

QUOTE
Also, it would have been extremely simple to add a couple seconds of Demolishor launching a final attack at somebody, thus entirely justifying beyond a question Prime's killing shot.

So, what? More good people have to die just so Prime isn't interpreted as a heartless bastard? That's a heartless way of thinking.

You're far too young to be this bitter and angry at the world....

I'm reading that with Roy's voice. Heck, I read everything you post in a laconic Irish accent.

 


#15 Esser-Z

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 08:21 AM

QUOTE(Detour @ Oct 2 2009, 09:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Esser-Z @ Oct 2 2009, 09:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Spark removal? That's an options shown in numerous continuities.

Not in the movieverse. Jetfire died by taking his own spark out.

I'm not convinced that killed him, so.

QUOTE
QUOTE
Also, it would have been extremely simple to add a couple seconds of Demolishor launching a final attack at somebody, thus entirely justifying beyond a question Prime's killing shot.

So, what? More good people have to die just so Prime isn't interpreted as a heartless bastard? That's a heartless way of thinking.

Die? How about he starts to attack and Prime shoots him before he actually gets anywhere?

Or even have Ironhide, the known trigger-happy Autobot, shoot him instead of Prime.

#16 Kickstrike

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 08:28 AM

Well, there's always a chance TF3 will end up rushed... The studio won out on the release date again. Bay wanted to take a break, and he isn't going to because Paramount forced him into aiming for July 1st, 2011. That's not even two years, and, to make a good live action film with big budget CGI, it usually takes longer than that. So, the only thing that might keep TF3 from being shlock is the hope that there won't be another Writer's Strike.
Transformers is a brand that really has something for everyone. We are a darn lucky fandom.

#17 Master Fwiffo

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 10:32 AM

QUOTE(MrBlud @ Oct 2 2009, 12:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Optimus sadistically killing an unarmed soldier in cold blood.


The dude himself is a living weapon, and just killed a thousand odd people in a rampage, and according the comics, he killed entire planets for the fun of it.

*RANT WARNING*

I have no idea what is wrong with the people who think this. Demolishor wasn't begging for mercy or even close to it, he's a giant deathrobot whos weapons is his frikken fist, there's no mention of any spark removal or storage system in this multiverse, and he killed a bazillion people in like 15 minutes. Where the hell does the sympathy for this guy come from?

And SADISTIC? Come on now - one bullet to the head in a warzone isn't sadistic. Sadistic would be watching him scream and cry and beg while taking him apart piece by frikken piece.

I mean, come the hell on now.

QUOTE
A long, drawn out fight scene climaxing with Prime using hooks to rip a guy's face apart.


Batteling for his life and protecting someone, eventually sacrificing his life to do so.

QUOTE
Ravage? That was decent, nothing special.


Ravage was cool, but I was referring to the Carrier Sinking Sequence.

QUOTE
You should see Lawrence of Arabia. It's a much better film about a bunch of humans fighting in the desert. Plus you'd avoid Jetfire dying in two seconds (plus Jolt's less then one second appearance) just to give Prime wings and some jet engines.


QUOTE
Megatron sending wave after wave of Decepticons to get cut down? Who is he Zapp Brannigan? At least G1 Megatron had robots flying around attacking Autobot City. Which coincidentally enough showcased exactly what you said we had never gotten before, a large scale battle. Hell we even get more "name" deaths there rather then forty minutes of character shield.


I think you walked into this movie intent on hating it. The final desert scene (not the crap leading up to it, but once the Decepticons arrive) is an out-and-out true robot war with many casualties on both sides, and better, robots acting like actual soldiers. Megatron isn't just sending waves to their deaths - he's assualting a fortified position. I imagine you know from military history that it isn't the easiest thing in the world to do. There's a really good battle sequence in there - and it really captures the desperation and chaos of an actual war. I think the reason some people don't like it is so much of it blurrs together because by the time you get to it, due the fact you're already exhausted and bored from everything that came before hand. On entirely its own merits, the final battle is spectacular.

QUOTE
Do you know how much dialog and (needed) character development we could've gotten if the forest and desert battles were shortened?


None. At. All. The points where we needed character development was all the lame and long stuff inbetween the well-done action sequences. You're chasing ghosts now Blud.

QUOTE
Crap like that is exactly what we need less of.


No, what we need less of are the college sequences, long drawn out and repeated humor gags, scenes where people are just driving everywhere, and so on. You're focusing your hatred on entirely the wrong thing.

QUOTE
Is yelling, gunfire, and explosions really the pinnacle of Transformers fiction to you Fwiffo?


Transformers is a war between good and evil Transforming Robots. The parts of ROTF I highlighted fit that perfectly. Now, the final battle could have been better with some more banter between the bots and some con characterization, but again, on its own merits, it was fine.

Edited by Master Fwiffo, 02 October 2009 - 10:35 AM.


#18 Autobus Prime

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 10:58 AM

QUOTE
The dude himself is a living weapon, and just killed a thousand odd people in a rampage, and according the comics, he killed entire planets for the fun of it.

*RANT WARNING*

I have no idea what is wrong with the people who think this. Demolishor wasn't begging for mercy or even close to it, he's a giant deathrobot whos weapons is his frikken fist, there's no mention of any spark removal or storage system in this multiverse, and he killed a bazillion people in like 15 minutes. Where the hell does the sympathy for this guy come from?


MF:

The answer is really very simple. Take the ancillary information and commentary with the scene, and the Autobots seem justified. Take the scene by itself, and you have a couple of frustrated cops who stir up a street gunfight by a sloppily handled arrest and take out their horror and frustration on the shooter. And this has happened before. Yes, the guy was guilty, but...so were the good guys. And they're going to get away with it...

It was a fiasco. The good guys caused the deaths as much as Demolishor did. I think that we are supposed to see it as a fiasco, to explain the government's reaction. At best, it wasn't a proud moment for anybody involved.

If it's supposed to be anything but a fiasco, it's bad writing, because a cardinal rule is that a scene must convey its intended meaning without referring to excessive quantities of extra material that the audience is not expected to have at their disposal. Establish motive!

That is what is 'wrong' with us. icon-fire.gif

Now, one great thing that ROTF did is to establish some motive, some personality, and perhaps some sympathy, for the allegedly monstrous Decepticons. There is definitely an assortment of mixed evil there. Sideways and Demolishor come across more hapless than anything. Again, I could give a flying youknowwhat about the concordance, or what I'm told. It's what I'm shown. Starscream is for the Decepticons, and isn't terribly concerned about other groups. Megatron seems to personally dislike fleshlings, but he doesn't really show the vendetta against Earth in general that the Fallen seems to have.

ROTF gives you the Cons' viewpoint. It's not a good one...they don't care for freedom. Strength above all. But it is a viewpoint, and it's not just "for the evils". I like ROTF for that.




#19 Master Fwiffo

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 11:04 AM

QUOTE(λAutobusλPrimeλ @ Oct 2 2009, 08:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
The dude himself is a living weapon, and just killed a thousand odd people in a rampage, and according the comics, he killed entire planets for the fun of it.

*RANT WARNING*

I have no idea what is wrong with the people who think this. Demolishor wasn't begging for mercy or even close to it, he's a giant deathrobot whos weapons is his frikken fist, there's no mention of any spark removal or storage system in this multiverse, and he killed a bazillion people in like 15 minutes. Where the hell does the sympathy for this guy come from?


MF:

The answer is really very simple. Take the ancillary information and commentary with the scene, and the Autobots seem justified. Take the scene by itself, and you have a couple of frustrated cops who stir up a street gunfight by a sloppily handled arrest and take out their horror and frustration on the shooter. And this has happened before. Yes, the guy was guilty, but...so were the good guys. And they're going to get away with it...

It was a fiasco. The good guys caused the deaths as much as Demolishor did. I think that we are supposed to see it as a fiasco, to explain the government's reaction. At best, it wasn't a proud moment for anybody involved.


Ok, it's like this. Some Cops try to arrest a petty thief. The petty thief starts running, then says 'hugit', and pulls out an uzi and starts killing cops and innocents left and right.

Are you guys seriously gonna side with the petty thief on that one?

-edit-
Or try this. It's in the middle of World War II, and a guy is found to be a Nazi spy. They go to arrest him, he starts running, says 'hugit', and pulls out an uzi (Whatever). Eventually he's shot in the leg, but he still has his Uzi. Before a cop shoots him, he yells out 'HEIL HITLER AMERICA WILL DIE.' Come on, who is seriously going to feel sorry for the Nazi.

Also, yes, it was a fiasco. They said as much in the film. Several times.

Edited by Master Fwiffo, 02 October 2009 - 11:09 AM.


#20 Dvandom

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 11:11 AM

"Gee, Prime, couldn't you have just removed his spark?"

"I did. With my gun."

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