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¿Conclusion?
July 1, 2011 9:10 PM   Subscribe

Transformers 3 scene from The Island. SlashFilm passes along the news that Michael Bay recycled shots from his 2005 film The Island in his new film Transformers: Dark of the Moon, saving costs by adding different CGI to the same car chase scenes. "I’m not sure how often this kind of thing happens, but my guess is that it happens probably more than you would think."
posted by mediareport (78 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bay has done this before, recycling a shot from Pearl Harbor into his first Transformers film.
posted by mediareport at 9:14 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The one with giant fighting robots is better. So meh. Who cares?
posted by XhaustedProphet at 9:17 PM on July 1, 2011


I'm not sure how much this is meant to be surprising? Given they're scenes that blink by in a couple seconds and really only symbolically connect to the movie they're in, I don't see the big deal.
posted by spinn at 9:19 PM on July 1, 2011


Topless Robot has superb commentary on the Transformers franchise.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen review
Transformers :Revenge of the Fallen FAQ
Transformers: Dark of the Moon FAQ
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:19 PM on July 1, 2011 [15 favorites]


I'm not sure how much this is meant to be surprising?

It's not surprising, because Michael Bay is the Ed Wood of blockbusters
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:20 PM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not saying it's a big deal (love that open-ended concluding "¿Conclusion?" in the video, don't you?), just suggesting it's worth a Mefi post to let folks who might find it funny/interesting/revealing/whatever know about it sooner rather than later.
posted by mediareport at 9:21 PM on July 1, 2011


Salon calls 3 the loudest movie of all time.
posted by Trurl at 9:21 PM on July 1, 2011


Parts: The CGI Horror
posted by dirigibleman at 9:21 PM on July 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


Bay has done this before, recycling a shot from Pearl Harbor into his first Transformers film.

It would be more interesting if he put shots from Transformers into Pearl Harbor.
posted by mazola at 9:22 PM on July 1, 2011 [16 favorites]


Honestly? For a couple seconds of special effects? I don't really mind this. Star Trek: Generations recycled the Bird of Prey explosion from Undiscovered Country, and that was a lot more glaring since they were the climaxes of consecutive entries in the same series, and still ultimately not really bothersome.
posted by kafziel at 9:24 PM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


It would be more interesting if he put shots from Transformers into Pearl Harbor.

I would totally go and see a film where Japan attacked the US with giant mechs, even if it was made by Michael Bay.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 9:26 PM on July 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


I kind of wonder if Bay is furiously licensing as many scenes from The Island as possible in each of his subsequent movies in a sad attempt to make The Island not look like a total financial failure.
posted by dersins at 9:30 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remember 2 things from the island:

1.)something about clones as organ farms.

2.)it included an ad for the first xbox.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:30 PM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Heh. Hollywood recycles plots, sets, stories, characters, and now CGI frameworks? I never would have guessed!
posted by telstar at 9:31 PM on July 1, 2011


Bay has done this before, recycling a shot from Pearl Harbor into his first Transformers film.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:31 PM on July 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


Lazy recycling? In a Michael Bay movie?
It's likelier than you think.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:34 PM on July 1, 2011


Michael Bay only made 1 movie. It sucked, but he's banking on the fact that you'll pay to see it again and again. And again.
posted by isopraxis at 9:37 PM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Terrence Malick does this with leaves.
posted by joannemullen at 9:41 PM on July 1, 2011 [28 favorites]


Earlier today, I saw an ad for "Michael Bay's Transformers 3."

Either somebody in the studio thinks that the film will be more marketable by attaching Bay's name to it, or the guys in the studio wanted to make it 100% clear who was responsible for their virtually-unwatchable film.
posted by schmod at 9:46 PM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


This strikes me as fine- a clever way to save money that no one would have noticed had it not been pointed out.

Michael Bay doesn't deserve to be piled on for this. Here is what he deserves to be piled on for:

The official line on Michael Bay is that he "makes things go boom" and you either like it or you hate it because you're a "film snob." The thing is this: his movies are slow-paced and boring. If "Transformers" had had robots fighting and things exploding from minute one, it might have been enjoyable. Instead, there is quite literally over an hour of high school drama and uncomfortable "funny black guy" bits before we even SEE a Transformer. You need taste to make movies, and Bay lacks taste. Even if your goal is to make action movies where dialogue and character are secondary, you still need enough taste to give people what they paid for as soon as possible. Watch "Die Hard" and then watch a Michael Bay movie. One of these things is not like the other.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:49 PM on July 1, 2011 [30 favorites]


cf. Recycled movements on Disney's movies.
posted by sudama at 10:00 PM on July 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


Sad Optimus Prime is disappointed.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:03 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry, drjimmy11, but that's not quite accurate. Transformers opens with a Decepticon attacking a US (marine? airforce?) base in Icantbelieveit'snotIraq. Only THEN does it kick into a half hour of bollocks highschool melodrama.

It's still a shit movie, though.
posted by coriolisdave at 10:04 PM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


I should have highlighted this in the post, but it's worth mentioning there are comments at both links claiming the footage was recycled after an extra suffered serious head injuries during filming of the car chase. There's a resulting lawsuit, as well. Not sure if injuries are behind the previous recycling, but I should have linked the possibly relevant background to the current example.
posted by mediareport at 10:04 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


When San Francisco had an earthquake in 1989 and there was destruction and fires in the Marina district, Roger Corman was there with his cameramen, gathering stock footage for future movies. The man knew how to save money.
posted by eye of newt at 10:19 PM on July 1, 2011 [16 favorites]


Actually, the problem with Michael Bay movies is that they SUCK. Utterly, intrinsically, terribly, inexcusably. He makes movies for the moment, for a momentary audience. In a hundred years he'll be remembered as a symptom of the age.
posted by JHarris at 10:45 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
posted by cupcake1337 at 10:45 PM on July 1, 2011


saving costs by adding different CGI to the same car chase scenes.

so does mean that we can now officially refer to Michael Bay as the Nickelback of movie directors?


... assuming we weren't already doing so.
posted by philip-random at 10:58 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


drjimmy11 sez: The thing is this: his movies are slow-paced and boring. If "Transformers" had had robots fighting and things exploding from minute one, it might have been enjoyable.

It's true. Look at Avatar. That sucked, too.

please don't make me use a sarc... fuck, i'm using a sarcasm tag
posted by loquacious at 11:08 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sarcasm tag? Avatar DID suck too.
posted by TheRedArmy at 11:15 PM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Avatar is like an absolutely fantastic screensaver.
posted by TheRedArmy at 11:17 PM on July 1, 2011 [15 favorites]


Didn't Ridley Scott use discarded footage from The Shining in the closing credits of Bladerunner? My reaction is "Meh".
posted by quadog at 11:17 PM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


eye of newt writes "When San Francisco had an earthquake in 1989 and there was destruction and fires in the Marina district, Roger Corman was there with his cameramen, gathering stock footage for future movies. The man knew how to save money."

That's awesome.
posted by Mitheral at 11:22 PM on July 1, 2011


That's awesome.

Not quite the word I'd use. But carry on....
posted by schmod at 11:28 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


In a hundred years he'll be remembered as a symptom of the age

Michael Bay will be remembered in 100 years?
posted by russm at 11:38 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Reduce. Reuse. Recycle."

Exactly. People are implying that this is a bad thing. It's awesome. One less shot to budget, and one less car ends in the scrap yard for our entertainment. I'm supposed to sort my cans and buy jackets made from old plastic Coke containers, but Hollywood doesn't have to do sh*t to save the planet?!?! Let's have more of this "recycling."
posted by acheekymonkey at 11:39 PM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I actually liked The Island.
posted by delmoi at 12:21 AM on July 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Incidentally, Transformers 4 will be almost entirely comprised of footage from Transformers 1,2 and 3.
posted by littlesq at 12:53 AM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


If they mirror the shots, the wheels could be on the right and they could call it Transformers: Down Under. "G'day. My name is Optimus...DUNDEE."
posted by tumid dahlia at 12:58 AM on July 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


I actually liked The Island.
posted by delmoi at 12:21 AM on July 2 [+] [!]


I liked Parts: The Clonus Horror better.

Especially with these guys.
posted by gc at 1:01 AM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Transformers: Asshole
posted by roll truck roll at 1:14 AM on July 2, 2011 [13 favorites]


Incidentally, Transformers 4 will be almost entirely comprised of footage from Transformers 1,2 and 3.

Optimus Prime and Megatron will get stuck in an elevator together and they'll spend the time reminiscing about their past altercations.
posted by brundlefly at 1:24 AM on July 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


Ridley Scott would direct the effects team to film city scenes in Blade Runner that used bits of the Tyrell pyramid tilted on their side, to make them look like city towers.

Not saying that Bay is anywhere near as talented as Scott, but reuse is a common thing when you're trying to save money.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:28 AM on July 2, 2011


Transformers: Asshole

Now that's what I call film criticism. Nice find.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 1:32 AM on July 2, 2011


I feel like this is not news. Recycling shots has been common practice in Hollywood since at least as early as the 30s.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 2:09 AM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


But yes, it is fun to see, anyway.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 2:09 AM on July 2, 2011


Recycling shots has been common practice in Hollywood since at least as early as the 30s.
posted by iamck at 4:10 AM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Avatar is like an absolutely fantastic screensaver.

More like a blue screen of death, no?

I've seen more than a few B-grade westerns and war movies that reused footage within the same movie, sometimes within a few minutes. It's always an odd feeling -- "hey, didn't those soldiers already storm the beach?" -- but at a certain (low) budget level I think directors can be pretty shameless about it.

If you average Transformers budget and transcendent level of crappiness, I guess you get that kind of shamelessness, too.
posted by Forktine at 4:38 AM on July 2, 2011


Previously.
posted by blucevalo at 4:42 AM on July 2, 2011


SHUT UP AND EAT YOUR AWESOME
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:11 AM on July 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


I just finished watching it on a special download that was sent to me after I looked for it.

Comprehensively terrible.
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:35 AM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


It would be more interesting if he put shots from Transformers into Pearl Harbor.

I would totally go and see a film where Japan attacked the US with giant mechs, even if it was made by Michael Bay.


Years ago there was a Transformers and GI Joe crossover comic set during WWII (European theater, though). That would make a fun movie.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:46 AM on July 2, 2011


The FAQ that East whatsit linked to is probably the best thing that could have come out of all this, and I didn't even have to buy a ticket for it.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:58 AM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


So how did this recycling actually happen? Since The Island wasn't filmed in 3D (as far as I know), they couldn't just drop the scenes into TF3 and be done with it.
posted by ymgve at 6:43 AM on July 2, 2011


Optimus Prime and Megatron will get stuck in an elevator together and they'll spend the time reminiscing about their past altercations.
That could end up being better than it sounds.

But back to the topic of Hollywood recycling: no mention yet of the Wilhelm scream?
posted by roystgnr at 7:22 AM on July 2, 2011


Recycling a shot doesn't make him a hack. Being a hack makes him a hack.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:32 AM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ridley Scott would direct the effects team to film city scenes in Blade Runner that used bits of the Tyrell pyramid tilted on their side, to make them look like city towers.

...and one of the other towers was the Millennium Falcon model, dressed up with (IIRC) bits of the Close Encounters mothership, and the main mothership model was the top of the police tower.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:38 AM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


But yeah, recycling some background elements is so much better than all those times where a character says "We're scrambling two F-15s" and they cut to stock footage of three F-106s taking off.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:39 AM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the recycling of the shots/elements causes the audience to suspend its disbelief, then it's a problem. Otherwise, it's just the biz part of showBIZ showing its face (ie: paying some attention to the bottom line).

As a non-watcher of Michael Bay movies, I can't really comment on whether it's a "problem", except to point out that one of the reasons that I do avoid Michael Bay movies (and big deal Hollywood action-flicks in general) is that I've come find them just so percussively repetitive, predictable, uninteresting. So to hear that, in Bay's case, he's actually recycling entire shots/sequences (same moves-angles-perspectives -- different "clothes") just drives home that point.
posted by philip-random at 8:51 AM on July 2, 2011


Star Trek: Generations recycled the Bird of Prey explosion from Undiscovered Country

The Wrath of Khan recycled so much from the first expensive dud of a movie. The Klingon bridge became the transporter room. The space station in the first movie was turned upside down and became a different space station. Verbatim reuse of long interstitial shots of Enterprise leaving drydock, going into warp, etc.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:03 AM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since The Island wasn't filmed in 3D (as far as I know), they couldn't just drop the scenes into TF3 and be done with it.

Most 3D releases are actually converted in post.
posted by dhartung at 9:08 AM on July 2, 2011


Recycling a shot doesn't make him a hack. Being a hack makes him a hack.

This. Shot recycling is a pretty old technique, especially before people had infinite access to everything to compare. One I remember was the avalanche scene from On Her Majesty's Secret Service being reused in Meteor -- ironically a film starring Sean Connery, who bowed out of the role, requiring OHMSS to have George Lazenby playing 007. Then there are things like Raid on Rommel which reused a lot of battle footage from Tobruk. Battlestar Galactica, the original TV series, reused shots of the spacecraft from Silent Running. (And of course, most of its own special effects were used over and over again; same with Star Trek.)
posted by dhartung at 9:24 AM on July 2, 2011


SHUT UP AND EAT YOUR AWESOME

That video is wrong. The Michael Bay Transformers movies are boring as shit. The action scenes aren't exciting or dramatic. They're incomprehensible mixes of explosions and CGI.

Tony Jaa movies have better action scenes than Michael Bay movies. Oldboy had better fight scenes. Hobo with a Shotgun was more over the top.

I like Awesome and Michael Bay does not deliver Awesome.
posted by clockworkjoe at 10:03 AM on July 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


I don't know. That "master class" trailer was kinda cool. I wouldn't go pay $15 or whatever the cost of a ticket is now to go see it in a multiplex, but then I'm not Michael Bay's target audience and haven't been for so many years it's embarrassing.
posted by blucevalo at 10:17 AM on July 2, 2011


Ridley Scott is a keen recycler. He was so fond of this aria from the HANNIBAL score, he used it again in KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (not linked because I can't remember where it turns up, and please don't make me sit through all eleventy hours of it).
posted by Prince Lazy I at 10:33 AM on July 2, 2011


Please let's stop comparing Michael Bay with Ridley Scott.
posted by queensissy at 10:43 AM on July 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


> I just finished watching it on a special download that was sent to me after I looked for it.

As, um, did I. I watched that "movie" on my tablet while lying in bed, so take that Hollywood!

After an hour or so of robo-violence laced batshit insane exposition (any scene involving Malkovich is doubly nutso) it resolves into a full-on orgy of destruction, with shades of Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" blended in.

Oddly enough, it didn't leave a bad taste as many newer Hollywood movies have. Just a two hour blank spot in my life that I won't ever be able to recover.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:42 PM on July 2, 2011


Didn't Ridley Scott use discarded footage from The Shining in the closing credits of Bladerunner? My reaction is "Meh".

He dumped that in there because the studio wanted a happy ending (not cut when the elevator door closes).

Same reason why Speilberg despises the mothership interior scene from the original extended Close Encounters. The studio made him put it in there when he wanted to add extensions to the original release. (Notice how it's not in the definitive version, except the doco?)
posted by bruzie at 2:08 PM on July 2, 2011


The SHUT UP AND EAT YOUR AWESOME video fundamentally misses the point. It shows not only Bay's lack of understanding regarding the criticism he receives, but also of storytelling as a basic thing that people do. He doesn't get it at all.

Do you mind lack of character development in the ballet?

Does opera need to have a subtle plot in order for you to enjoy it?

Fuck you, Michael Bay. Robots making piss jokes is not ballet or opera. "Subtle" plot? What the hell makes a plot "subtle"? Like, "Oh, hi there plot! I didn't even see you come in"? I think the word you're looking for is "nuanced," but that doesn't help your case.

Because no one is complaining that your plots lack nuance, Michael Bay. They are complaining that they are overly-complicated nonsensical messes, paced like beltway traffic and drowned in the hours of exposition of their own self-contradictory dumb-ass mythologies.

As for character development, no, it's not strictly necessary to an action movie. Its nice. Better ones will generally have it, but you can get away without it. Most Bond movies don't particularly develop him as a character (though you will note that, with Daniel Craig, they have made the point of changing this.) But your problem, Michael Bay, is that you need to be able to create character first, before you can develop it. You know, some consistent traits from one scene or live to the next which show a point of view that drives a characters decisions.

Whatever. It's a strawman argument, but the bigger point is that Michael Bay is a bad action movie director. Knowing that men like to look at asses and things exploding is not rocket science. Boring us while showing us those things take incompetence. Michael Bay is incompetent.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:51 PM on July 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm always kind of amazed when people spot stuff like this. Who the hell watched The Island close enough to remember a car crash?
posted by graventy at 3:24 PM on July 2, 2011


I'm always kind of amazed when people spot stuff like this. Who the hell watched The Island close enough to remember a car crash?

Well, first, this is the internet. People obsess about everything. There will always be someone who is REALLY into this, and it only takes one person to spot it and make the comparison youtube.

Second, a lot of people really hate Michael Bay and would be motivated to look for things like this specifically to slam Michael Bay, as though he were unique in this regard.
posted by kafziel at 3:27 PM on July 2, 2011


1. I hate Transformers. Mostly because the action is "fast-paced" to make up for the fact that you can't actually see any detail in the CGI. Never mind the lack of plot etc. - you can't even see what the hell's going on.

2. "I've seen more than a few B-grade westerns and war movies that reused footage within the same movie, sometimes within a few minutes. It's always an odd feeling -- "hey, didn't those soldiers already storm the beach?" -- but at a certain (low) budget level I think directors can be pretty shameless about it."

This is why, when you're a stoned teenager grasping at something "normal" like watching Saturday afternoon movies on tv, the world gets weirder than it needs to.
posted by sneebler at 5:21 PM on July 2, 2011


Michael Bay will be remembered in 100 years?

Not precisely true.

It is noted that the pop culture dross of one age sometimes evolves into the high art of the next. Shakespeare made plays for his time that enraptured both the high-born and the peasants, which were very much popular culture at the time. Opera was not considered nearly so high-falutin' when it was invented.

But this is the case with the best examples of each age's cultural arts. For every Shakespeare, there's a dozen playwrights are are remembered, yes -- remembered in order to give context to Shakespeare, and the time, and no other reason.

Michael Bay's existence will ultimately exalt all those filmmakers that resist the urge to become Michael Bay.
posted by JHarris at 5:49 PM on July 2, 2011


Michael Bay will be remembered in 100 years?

W.S. Gilbert died 100 years ago. Arthur Sullivan a decade before that. Their collaborations are still well-loved and staged the world over (by a very particular cult audience, mind you, but if you see one of their greater works chances are very good that you'll enjoy it, even if you don't become an obsessive fan like myself or a lot of the people I hang out with.)

But the stories in those operas were intentionally silly and minimal.

PINAFORE: Josephine, daughter of Capt. Corcoran, loves Ralph, a common sailor, but rank forbids their marriage. Admiral Joseph Porter wishes to marry her, and so the two lovers attempt to elope. They get caught, Ralph is facing a court martial, but then they find out that Ralph and Capt. Corcoran were switched at birth, making Josephine two low-ranking for the Admiral. The lovers unite.

PIRATES: Frederick has been bound by contract to serve the titular pirates until his 21st birthday, the day of the play, and making landfall meets and falls in love with Mabel, one of Mjr. Gen. Stanley's many daughters. The pirates see the daughters and try to make off with them, but Stanley lies and says he's an orphan, which garners their sympathy and they let his family go. The Pirate King then informs Frederick that, as he as born on Sadie Hawkins Day, he has only seen five birthdays, and is still under contract. Frederick, the "slave to duty" thus informs the PK of Stanley's deceit. The pirates attack, but relent when beseeched on the authority of Queen Victoria, because you see they are all "nobleman who have gone wrong." The lovers unite.

And that's it. Those plots are really that simple. Ruddigore and Mikado get more complicated, but that's because they were satirizing the legal system. In the end, they are all silly, simple, comedic plots (Yeoman of the Guard excepted) expected to be light, fun entertainment. And they are remembered a century or more later. The films of Michael Bay, by and large, will not be.

Part of this has to do with shelf-life as it applies to different media. Stilted Victorian wordplay doesn't take us out of an Opera because we expect that level of suspension of disbelief anyway. The shows begin with singing and end with singing and have very few incidences of non-singing along the way. We are in a heightened reality that we have agreed upon. (And great music doesn't age. Sullivan may have tired of Gilbert's "topsy-turvy" plots but he hung astounding compositions upon them.)

Bay, on the other hand, relies on special effects which, no matter how good they appear to him now, will look dated in time, in a bad way. And while he may begin and end with the heightened reality people expect from Transformers - that is to say, robots fighting robots - he gives the audience interminable stretches away from that for no reason, following Shia LeBouef and Company doing things that have nothing to do with his "plot."

And there is tons of plot, just none of it worthwhile. The things that occur aren't about relatable human emotions but rather about the franchise itself. The Matrix of Leadership or the Shard or the whatever and whatever. And that can be fine as well (look at Harry Potter of Doctor Who) but only if you've taken the care to actually imbue those MacGuffins with meaning. Bay doesn't understand this and doesn't do it.

His comparisons to ballet and opera are thus ridiculous. I don't need my actions flicks to move me - hell, I'll cuddle up with Ong-Bak any day of the week. But if you're consciously using "plot" as simply a tree to hang spectacle onto, there are two things you should keep in mind. First, make the tree stable. The "plot" doesn't have to be complicated or nuanced, it just has to quietly do it's job and get out of the way. Secondly, make the ornaments amazing. In ballet or opera we accept minimal plot and character development because it would likely get in the way of the dancing and music. SO you've got to make the dancing and music the star.

Similarly, in an action movie, if you're making everything about spectacle, make that spectacle something outstanding. Sadly, while Michael Bay will never understand that first principle, worse is that he thinks he understands the second one, simply because he doesn't understand his craft. If he were directing the ballet or opera he wouldn't care about the form or grace of the dance or the subtleties of the music. He'd just want it louder, with more dancers on the stage.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:33 PM on July 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


I have seen about twenty minutes of the 2007 Transformers movie: I went for the AC during a terrible heat wave, but after a reel, decided that death by heat stroke would be preferable to watching any more of it.

I always recall Ebert's review of it, where he mentions seeing it at a preview with an audience of die-hard fans: people who cheered the word "Hasbro" in the credits and applauded and shouted their approval at the first appearance of the red tractor-trailer. When the "action" scenes arrived, everyone sat quietly because even the superfans couldn't sort out what the hell was going on. A punch lands, a robot leaps in the air, metal crunches... who is winning or losing? Nobody can tell.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:07 AM on July 3, 2011


The only things that stick out in my mind about the first film are a robot urination joke, and John Turturro trying to recreate the creepy/funny that he's delivered for the Coen brothers and failing because the material was crap.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:21 AM on July 3, 2011


"I have two words for you, Deep Wang"
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:27 AM on July 3, 2011


Well, I just saw it. The story is totally incoherent, but the terrible "comic relief" is dialed back a bit from the last film, and 3D has forced Bay to churn out some fun action scenes that you can actually follow. It's a very bad movie, but it didn't make me want to kill myself in the same way the last one did.

It did carry over one of my least favorite aspects of TF2: the ridiculous robot-on-robot brutality. Transformers aren't just killed, they're dismembered. Heads are torn off, "spines" dangling, with red fluid spurting everywhere. "Good guys" execute injured "bad guys", gangland-style with a bullet in the back of the head. If these were people, this would be considered one of the most graphically violent action films ever made. I'm thinking they would have to fight to even get an R rating.

I say this as somebody who has no problem with graphic violence at all. I love bloody horror and action as much as anyone. If anything, I'm a bit of a gorehound. But context matters, and this is fucking Transformers we're talking about here. Spend more time on the "robots in disguise" thing (a concept that has essentially been abandoned in this franchise) and less time on the Mortal Kombat finishing moves.

dhartung: "Since The Island wasn't filmed in 3D (as far as I know), they couldn't just drop the scenes into TF3 and be done with it.

Most 3D releases are actually converted in post.
"

This is what I was expecting, but nope! I was on the lookout for the shot when the scene started, and I'm pretty sure it just went 2D at that point. To be fair, it's a quick shot and I doubt that I would have spotted it if I weren't looking. In the middle of a fast-moving action scene with a lot of quick changes in depth, I suspect the brain will just paper over a split-second move to 2D. Hell, maybe moving from in-camera 3D to post-converted 3D would be more jarring! I don't know enough about the process to say.
posted by brundlefly at 12:48 PM on July 17, 2011


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