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David Poland

By David Poland

Anyone Else…

… hate the outdoor campaign for what appears to be in the ads Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots: The Motion Picture (aka Transformers)?
(This is a screen capture from the website. I have seen one billboard with pretty much this image… the vast majority just have the two robots and don’t include the humans in the middle and that is the one I really hate. The funny thing is, I like it a lot more on the screen here than on a billboard, where the color is not as intense.)

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28 Responses to “Anyone Else…”

  1. Campbell says:

    Doesn’t impress, no. But how ’bout that new trailer? Never a fan of his, but this looks like the movie Mr. Bay was born to make. I’m 33 years old, and if I’m going to watch shit blow up real good this summer, Transformers is my pick.

  2. Noah says:

    There isn’t a movie I’d less like to see than the Transformers. A movie based on a cartoon based on action figures. It’s the exact opposite of the way things should be. Michael Bay is a technically gifted filmmaker who has nothing but disdain for his audience. Fuck the Transformers.

  3. machiav says:

    Spielberg behind the curtain makes it interesting. Maybe he’ll hone Bay’s ‘talents’.

  4. We have one of these as a 3D standee in our lobby.

  5. EDouglas says:

    “We have one of these as a 3D standee in our lobby.”
    Oh, yeah? Which theatre is that? My friend Kevin might want to come by and check it out.

  6. doug r says:

    Speilberg seemed to help boost the IQ of “The Island”. It still had the Bay “touches”, but there was something else there…

  7. Rob says:

    The funniest part of the ad campaign is that Shia is wearing a Strokes T-shirt in the trailer. What year is this?

  8. anghus says:

    every time i see the trailer, i think of that bit from the simpsons.
    The Mattel and Mars Bar Quick Energy Chocobot Hour.
    As long as your expectations are extremely lowered, i think Transformers could be stupid fun.
    But yes, it is a movie based on a cartoon based on a line of toys directed by a guy whose only compulsion seems to be stringing stylized music video images together for 2 hours.
    Something deeper in the Island, someone said. Um. Sure, in the script. But it was washed over so quickly, i’d almost call it subtext.

  9. Lota says:

    Ad campaigns rarely impress me…but Transformers will be the surprise of the summer, for sure. That and RAT.

  10. jesse says:

    For me, these ads recall not RockemSockem Robots so much as the one-sheets for Alien vs. Predator. Which is somewhat unfortunate since this is supposed to be a lot more A-list than that movie… but on the other hand, I expect/hope to enjoy Transformers on pretty much the same level. For that movie it was, OK, did the alien fight the predator a bunch of times? Yes? Then it worked for me. For Transformers it will be: do giant robots fight each other and make stuff blow up?
    (This may sound simple, but look at Godzilla ’98: Does Godzilla smash up New York and eat people? Kinda. Not good enough.)
    Still low standards, to be sure, but if it keeps Michael Bay from ruining more promising scripts or characters, it’s fine by me.

  11. Crow T Robot says:

    The Strokes thing is a funny reference to internal combustion engines (“four stroke cycle”) and maybe also a nod to action brat Eddie Furlong’s Public Enemy shirt in T-2.
    And I’m sure Mr. Bay thought of all that himself. 🙂

  12. Crow…where the hell did you get that? If it’s insider info, I think you’re lying…and if you made it up, that was the most brilliant post of movie geekery I’ve seen in some time.
    I can’t believe we’re 12 posts in and no Papa Murph. What did you do to him jeff?

  13. jeffmcm says:

    He must actually be (gasp) working on his movie. I thought his participation was essentially over when Dreamworks got involved but who knows.

  14. Aris P says:

    While I tend to skip all the tent-pole fare (havent seen spiderman, or pirates or shrek), Transformers does intrigue me. I was 11 or so in the tv show heyday, and i look upon it with some affinity, if only for what memories it evokes. Plus giant robots destroying shit is cool. That being said, and i dont know to what level Murphy is involved in TF, the butchery that was League of Extraordinary Gentlemen leaves me extremely weary. Yes, Norrington had a lot to do with the fiasco, but Murphy is, unfortunately, linked to the massacre of one of the most brilliant pieces of literature ever. I assume Lorenzo was hands-on with TF, and hopefully Spielberg’s input was present, but I guess i’m just bitter about LXG.

  15. EthanG says:

    Movies with lots of S**t blowing up that look good this summer:
    Bourne Ultimatum
    Rush Hour 3
    The Invasion
    Fantastic Four 2
    On the fence:
    Die Hard 4

  16. For those of you hanging around the house with a hangover there’s a Jaws-a-thon on Encore all day and night! Jaws 3 is queing up as I type this…then Jaws: The Revenge…then they start em alllll over again!

  17. Aladdin Sane says:

    Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye!
    I’m psyched for this film. The TV show was one of my faves as a kid. Enough said.

  18. Me says:

    Aris, if you’re going to metion the LXG travesty, please follow it up with the shit that was From Hell. I’ve never understood the point of buying a book, only to remove the elements of it that made it so interesting and unique. If there’s ever a Miracleman or Watchmen movie, Murphy better stay as far the fuck away as possible, because he is nothing but a curse to his “friend” Alan.

  19. I’m quite pumped for Transformers. It seems like a fun enough way to spend a rainy day inside the cinema.
    EthanG, Sunshine isn’t as good as you’d think. The first half is quite great, but the second half is rubbish. I have no idea what Danny Boyle was thinking with that shit. It’s amazing how so many people I’ve discussed the movie with can pinpoint the very singular moment (or the one single line of dialogue in some people’s cases) where the movie takes a 180 and goes to the dogs.

  20. Aris P says:

    From Hell, while pretty bad on many levels, was not as much of a disaster as LXG. Alan Moore, as is well known, has disasociated himself from the Hollywood cognoscenti, and with good reason, as all ths suits are able to do is simply purchase properties, nothing else. There will be both a Miracleman movie and a Watchmen movie as we all know (and fear). I await the Watchmen adapation as one would a horrific car wreck. I have read the numerous scripts, Hayter’s being the best (the ending notwithstanding). I’m not sold on Zach Snyder, though he seems to be the flavor of the month with some merit, and 300 did have its strong points, though i’m not sure those points would relate to a successful Watchmen film. I don’t think Murphy has anything to do with Watchmen (i could be wrong). Either way, its like someone trying to refilm your greatest memory — the intention might be there, but doing it justice is practically impossible. I will always have the memories of sheer joy and exhilaration of reading the monthly issues of Watchmen (waiting at the comic book store before it opened)… at least the hollywood braintrust can never take that away.

  21. But here’s the thing Aris….
    Nearly as many people bagged on SIN CITY for being too “literally” ripped from the pages as did the people who got upset FROM HELL didn’t stick enough to the books. What’s the line? I haven’t read (or seen for that matter, “300”) so I don’t know how true it was to Millers vision. I just think some graphic novels need some tweaking.
    And, I used to love…LOVE the Watchmen…but I can’t really see it being a cool film unfortunately.

  22. jeffmcm says:

    Obviously with any product, people want it to be the same, but different; they want the same basic experience in terms of mood and ‘ride’ but they don’t want such a movie to be predictable because they already know exactly what’s going to happen. The line is, you need the right director with the right script and producers, and those are increasingly rare in today’s Hollywood.

  23. ployp says:

    EthanG, there wasn’t much explosion in Sunshine. But I liked it, even with the confusing (to me) science behind it. It’s more psychological. But the special effects are great.

  24. Alan Cerny says:

    I can’t freakin’ wait for this movie. It looks, dare I say, FUN.
    By the way, if your cynicism has overpowered your reasoning ability, that’s a good thing.

  25. Aris P says:

    Sin City was more of a concept than a film, in my opinion. It was an exact replica of a very cool book. I wont debate whether it was a “success” in this regrard or not. I would have prefered a little more visual interpretation, but it was still a fun ride.
    300, much the same as Sin City, was also a concept – a cinematic experiment so to speak, though it was a unique viewing experience – i can say i had never seen anything like it before. I’ve read the Miller book, and it wasn’t the most amazing thing, so i welcomed Snyder’s visual interpretation.
    In this sense, both these films were interesting to watch and disect (as I’m attempting to do here). Watchmen, however, should be a real film (for lack of a better term), not an exact visual replica of whats on the page. But it MUST be the same in all story beats b/c it is a perfect whole. I really can’t see what can be edited out; I guess the whole pirate mini-story, though even that ties in thematically to the plot. The reason i liked Hayter’s draft so much was that it stuck as close as possible to the source material. I dont want to be “surprised” while watching this movie – I want to see what i know and love.
    I’m all for a director’s interpretation, and god knows the universe of this book is full of potential, but i just hope he knows what he’s doing. I shudder at the thought of studio “notes” and marketing meetings regarding this film.

  26. 555 says:

    “Watchmen, however, should be a real film (for lack of a better term), not an exact visual replica of whats on the page. But it MUST be the same in all story beats b/c it is a perfect whole. I really can’t see what can be edited out; I guess the whole pirate mini-story, though even that ties in thematically to the plot.” – Aris P
    Sin City and 300 have their own very distinct looks and styles, whereas Watchmen is drawn very much like your average, day to day comic book. there’s nothing exciting or fresh or new about the look of the book, as its all about the characters and story. So anyone lookin’ to do watchmen and work hard to replicate the visual style of it is wasting their time.
    And Snyder has already said he plans on filming the Black Freighter passages of the book, but most likely will only include them on the DVD.
    as for Transformers, i’m 25 years old, so i am the key demographic. and the movie looks cookoo-bananas bat shit CRAZY. No one does car chases like Bay these days, so a car chase involving cars that change into 25 foot tall homicidal robots? where do i sign up?

  27. Me says:

    Say what you want, but when I read a book or comic, and like it, I really don’t want it changed when it becomes a movie. I think Sin City was mainly successful for it’s strict rigidity to the book (it was cool to look at, and the story was as good or bad as Miller’s writing). And I have yet to hear anyone complain that they stuck too closely to the source material.
    The spots where it failed was in Rodriguez’s interpretation, imo – mainly being the cheap looking effects. Batman Begin’s success goes a lot more to Miller’s writing on Batman Year One than Nolan’s interpretations (the failures in the last act were Nolan’s additions).
    That’s what makes LXG and From Hell (to a lesser extent) such travesties. With Alan Moore’s stuff, it’s a success because of the writing, even moreso than with Miller. If you’re buying it to make it into a movie, why rip out the heart of that writing and change it for what you think a broader audience will like? If you water it down, all you’re left with is bad writing which no one wants to see.

  28. hendhogan says:

    the problem with all adaptations is expecations. if you liked the source material, you probably won’t like the adaptation. it’s why i’ll read a book before seeing the movie version because i would rather spoil the movie than the book.
    that being said, there was at least one time when the movie was better (and i mean that in way that i can only come up with one example off top of my head right now, not that there hasn’t ever been other examples): “fletch.”
    i was especially surprised because it is a series of books and i only got the original because i had run out of books on vacation and there it was. the movie actually has more plot twists.

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