Transformers (film series)

TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE (PG)
D: Nelson Shin
Hasbro Marvel/Sunbow/Toei (Joe Bacal & Tom Griffith)
US/Japan 1986
84 mins

Animated

W: Ron Freidman [based on characters created by Hasbro]
Mus: Vince DiCola


voices of: Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime), Judd Nelson (Hot Rod / Rodimus Prime), Robert Stack (Ultra Magnus), Frank Walker (Megatron / various characters), Leonard Nimoy (Galvatron), Orson Welles (Unicron)

Though the rudimentary standard of animation causes a strain on the eye, this cartoon feature is a great follow-on from the popular series, with a story that caters for the fans in abundance.
The battle rages on between Autobots and Decepticons, causing the mantle to pass from Optimus Prime as the leader of the good guys. Chief baddie Megatron also finds himself deceived by one of his own, but reincarnated as Galvatron, he and a seemingly indestructible devourer of planets wreak havoc across the galaxy.
It was quite a bold move for the filmmakers to kill off two of the series' most popular characters, although cynics might think this is more to launch a new line of action figure toys rather than propel the story forward.
It's probably for fans only, though film buffs would note the film as Orson Welles' final screen credit as the voice of Unicron.
6/10

Transformers: The Movie
Transformers: The Movie
Their war. Our world.
Their war. Our world.
TRANSFORMERS (12)
D: Michael Bay
Paramount/Dreamworks/Hasbro (Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Tom DeSanto, Don Murphy & Ian Bryce)
US 2007
143 mins

Action/Adventure/Science Fiction

W: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman [based on characters created by Hasbro]
DP: Mitchell Amundsen
Ed: Paul Rubell, Glen Scantlebury & Thomas Muldoon
Mus: Steve Jablonsky

Shia LaBeouf (Sam Witwicky), Tyrese Gibson (Sgt. Robert Epps), Josh Duhamel (Capt. William Lennox), Megan Fox (Mikaela Banes), John Turturro (Agt. Seymour Simmons), Jon Voight (John Keller), Rachael Taylor (Maggie Madsen), Anthony Anderson (Glen Whitmann)

We wait two decades for a Transformers movie and this is what Michael Bay gives us, one pyrotechnic migraine.
The story, or lack of, concerns Shia LaFuckingBeouf trying to sell his grandfather's glasses on eBay because he is a dickhead. He also tries to moisten the knickers of the sluttiest girl in school, but has trouble getting her head out of her arse.
His luck changes when he buys a robot disguised as a car, sent to Earth to locate the whereabouts of a magical cube which is in the possession of the US government. Baddie robots are also after this magical cube and trying to find their leader, Megatron, who crash landed on Earth many years ago. The story is a load of bollocks to be fair. 
The story also squeezes in some subplots going on in the Iraq war and a group of MIT students trying to decipher a code. Yawn.
In Michael Bay's universe, the USA is the only country in any peril, time zones do not exist and every black character seems to be a relative from The Cosby Show.
The only thing the movie delivers is in the visual effects department and even the CGI goes way too far. Why the hell would a robot need moving lips? The high octane action scenes move so frenetically, you're not able to focus on anything and the movie carries no emotional weight at all, so when the demise of one of the hero robots does come, it's met less with a shock and more with a "meh".
This will probably be an unpopular choice on a 'most disappointing films of all time list', but one simply cannot forgive this movies shortcomings or the directors ridiculously monstrous ego.
After a 20 year wait for this movie, we deserved more & we deserved better.
4/10

Megan Fox & Shia LaBeouf in Transformers
Megan Fox & Shia LaBeouf in Transformers
TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN (12)
D: Michael Bay
Paramount/Dreamworks/Hasbro (Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Tom DeSanto, Don Murphy & Ian Bryce)
US 2009
150 mins

Action/Adventure/Science Fiction

W: Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman [based on characters created by Hasbro]
DP: Ben Seresin
Ed: Paul Rubell, Joel Negron, Roger Barton & Thomas Muldoon
Mus: Steve Jablonsky

Shia LaBeouf (Sam Witwicky), Megan Fox (Mikaela Banes), Josh Duhamel (Maj. William Lennox), Tyrese Gibson (Sgt. Robert Epps), John Turturro (Seymour Simmons), Kevin Dunn (Ron Witwicky), Julie White (Judith Witwicky)
 
Following on from the events in the first movie with the Autobots & Decepticons still at loggerheads. This time, the Transformers talk street lingo because Michael Bay is a wanker who wants to appease his brain dead MTV audience rather than fans of the original cartoons.
In the 1986 animated film, a major character dies and it carries great emotional weight. A major character also dies in this movie but the audience is too distracted by the relentless explosions to give a shit.
Shia LaDouche is his usual annoying self, a character you couldn't care less about and I actually wanted him to be torn apart by Megatron. Megan Fox swans around like her farts don't stink and the first hour of the movie is all about the most unrealistic romantic partnership in cinema history at a crux because Shia won't tell Megan that he loves her before he goes to university so instead he buys her a webcam for no particular reason (product placement).
Also starring McDonald's, Burger King, several automobile companies and anything else which paid for the profligate, overstated visual effects.
It's unfortunate that money talks in Hollywood, and had the first film not made a wad of cash, this sequel wouldn't have even made it past the script development stage. In fact, it feels like it hadn't, and no amount of pyrotechnic explosions and expensive visual effects can substitute for an interesting story with characters you can root for
2/10

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON (12)
D: Michael Bay
Paramount (Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Tom DeSanto, Don Murphy & Ian Bryce)
US 2011
154 mins

Action/Adventure/Science Fiction

W: Ehren Kruger [based on characters created by Hasbro]
DP: Amir Mokri
Ed: Joel Negron, Roger Barton & William Goldenberg
Mus: Steve Jablonsky

Shia LaBeouf (Sam Witwicky), Josh Duhamel (Col. William Lennox), Tyrese Gibson (Sgt. Robert Epps), Rosie Huntingdon-Whitley (Carly Spencer), John Turturro (Seymour Simmons), Patrick Dempsey (Dylan Gould), John Malkovich (Bruce Brazos), Frances McDormand (Charlotte Mearing), Ken Jeong (Jerry Wang)

Michael Bay has proved with the first two that he can't make a Transformers movie worthy of what the excellent cartoon series deserved and this third installment follows the same formula... High octane action sequences (only this time in dizzying, semi-focused post-converted 3D), Shia LaBeouf acts like a twat whilst vying for the attention of some tart with blowjob lips and limited acting capability, more irritating incidental characters are introduced for no reason (take a bow John Malkovich & Frances McDormand) and the storyline tries to throw in a milestone of World History, this time the 1969 moon landing as well as an American Landmark being destroyed for shits & giggles (Lincoln Memorial here).

All of this takes place on planet Michael Bay where all the laws of physics are ignored, there are no such thing as timezones and no good character with a surname can die.

We should've known better really from what was delivered in the first two films, and we only have ourselves to blame for spending our hard-earned money watching this poor excuse for a summer blockbuster and, in turn, Michael Bay and the studio executives will continue to churn out these films on an assembly line not too dissimilar to the action figures themselves. Once again Hollywood sells out.

A terrible film, but the Burger King chicken nuggets which were marketed as a tie-in promotion were quite tasty, and what they transformed into after consumption are a good metaphor for the standard of film on display here.

3/10

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
This is not war. It's extinction.
This is not war. It's extinction.
TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (12)
D: Michael Bay
Paramount (Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Boneventura & Ian Bryce)
US/China 2014
165 mins

Action/Science Fiction

W: Ehren Kruger [based on characters created by Hasbro]
DP: Amir Mokri
Ed: William Goldenberg, Roger Barton & Paul Rubell
Mus: Steve Jablonsky


Mark Wahlberg (Cade Yeager), Stanley Tucci (Joshua Joyce), Kelsey Grammer (Harold Attinger), Nicola Peltz (Tessa Yeager), Jack Reynor (Shane Dyson), Bingbing Li (Su Yueming), T.J. Miller (Lucas)

The original cast may have cut & run, but this won't stop Michael Bay from churning out movie after movie and making as much money as possible from this franchise, it's working too, but it's almost impossible to fathom why.
Mark Wahlberg becomes the focal character in this fourth film of the series, a scrap-collector who comes into the possession of an Autobot and finds himself a target from both the US government and the Decepticons, while an unscrupulous businessman hopes to use the alien technology for his own means.
That's about as much story as you get before an endless barrage of explosions and visual effects which flood the eyes and disengage the brain.
The worst thing about the film is that it grossed over $1 billion, so a fourth sequel was inevitably in the works.
3/10

Transformers: Age of Extinction
Transformers: Age of Extinction

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT (12)

D: Michael Bay

Paramount/Hasbro/Angry Films (Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura & Ian Bryce)

US 2017

154 mins


Science Fiction/Action


W: Akiva Goldsman, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway & Ken Nolan [based on characters created by Hasbro]

DP: Jonathan Adela

Ed: Mark Sanger, John Refoua, Adam Gerstel, Debra Neil-Fisher, Roger Barton & Calvin Wimmer

Mus: Steve Jablonsky


Mark Wahlberg (Cade Yeager), Josh Duhamel (Col. William Lennox), Stanley Tucci (Merlin), Anthony Hopkins (Sir Edmund Burton), Laura Haddock (Viviane Wembly), Isabella Moner (Isabella), John Turturro (Seymour Simmons)


The fifth (and worst) of the Transformers movies could quite possibly be the worst movie to be released in 2017 (subject to opinion).

With the Earth licking its wounds from the war in the previous films, all Transformers are banned from the planet, but the war between Autobots and Decepticons rages on, and the only way to prevent the Earth from total destruction lies in Arthurian legend.

The plot is a completely garbled mess, opening with a scene involving transformers in England's dark ages with a drunken Merlin summoning his powers from one of the giant robots.

It's probably best that the viewer gets this drunk too, in order to enjoy the rest of the film (or fall asleep. Whatever comes first). The rest of the film is just a mess, which Michael Bay may well understand, but the rest of us are doomed.

2/10


Transformers: The Last Knight
Transformers: The Last Knight
Every adventure has a beginning
Every adventure has a beginning

BUMBLEBEE (PG)

D: Travis Knight

Paramount/Allspark/Tencent (Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Michael Bay, Tom DeSanto, Don Murphy & Mark Vahradian)

USA 🇺🇸 2018

114 mins


Action/Adventure/Science Fiction


W: Christina Hodson [based on Transformers characters created by Hasbro]

DP: Enrique Chediak

Ed: Paul Rubell

Mus: Dario Marianelli


Hailee Steinfeld (Charlie Watson), John Cena (Jack Burns), Jorge Lendeborg, Jr. (Memo), Pamela Adlon (Sally Watson), Dylan O'Brien (voice of Bumblebee), Peter Cullen (voice of Optimus Prime)


I'm going to start this review by saying that this is the Transformers movie we should have had 11 years earlier, instead of the Michael Bay action smut which just got sillier and sillier with each movie.

Though Bumblebee has a good action quotient, it does have a very endearing and relatable story at its centre, as well as a nostalgic callback to 1987, when the Transformers toys and merchandise were at the peak of their popularity. 

Hailee Steinfeld plays the lead character, a misfit teenager viewed as sulky by her mother and stepdad following the loss of her biological father. On her 18th birthday, she acquires a beaten up Volkswagen Beetle which she fixes up, only to bring to life the title character, a survivor from a robotic war on the planet Cybertron, sent to Earth by his leader Optimus Prime as a scout.  The bad guys (Decepticons) also make their way to Earth to find Bumblebee in the hope that they will also find Optimus Prime, leading onto some firecracker action set pieces which, for once in a Transformers movie, can be viewed without wondering what the actual hell is going on.

The plot is practically a mix between E.T. & Real Steel, but without Michael Bay's seedy sexualisation of the material, it has a childlike wonder which the other movies lacked, as well as a rather human relationship between Charlie and her robotic companion.

I understand that there are people who like Bay's Transformers movies, but I will never understand why... as a child I grew up as a fan of the toys, television serial and the 1986 movie and this is the movie I was anticipating back in 2007. With any luck, this instalment will retcon all them movies - this is a real Transformers movie.

7/10


Bumblebee
Bumblebee