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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Transformers film

Well, I was pleasantly surprised at how good of a film Transformers was. Special effects were mind-blowing, and though prolonged action sequences can get tedious for me in any film, this one did a fine job of combining a human/family storyline, some good subtle and open humor, the charm of the lead actor and nuances of the characters (at least for such a film), and conveying military might in an awe-inspiring way (i.e., it wasn't full of the annoying "You are talking to the President of the United States" kind of bravado, nor do I think it was it glorifying violence, being nationalistic, etc.). By "awe-inspiring", I simply mean that it made you feel humbled by the awesomeness of the technology as it felt so real, and as you could sympathize with the beleagured characters.

I was expecting a more cheesy plotline and dialogue, but was presently surprised. Yet, it didn't go too overboard in trying to make itself "dark" in the stupid race-to-the-bottom way that so many films, etc. now try to relish and one-up each other (due in large measure to an audience that has acquired such tastes). It thankfully had the original comic kid feel (though a few jokes and attitudes displayed were not suitable for kids or others either, though that is the case for practically every film now) where the good characters were genuinely self-sacrificing, there was a subtle but overt moral tone, etc. This one hit the mark pretty well. And I liked that the potentially-would-be hate-him-bad-guy (played by John Torturro) was not played out so one-dimensionally. And death (except for possibly one small bit) was not something treated lightly, as it so often is.

The directing was done really well. Even the old governmet-concealing-aliens conspiracy used in the film was conveyed convincingly enough that the usually ridiculous idea felt plausible.

Both the sound effects and music did the job quite well for me too. The music was more subtle than say that in Star Wars, but it really played your strings well (in a way you might not notice). (On the other hand, there were interesting uses of music in a more overt way, but I'm referring to those used for mid-action dramatic effects.)

Really quite a technical marvel. I don't think I've left a movie theater in a while and felt like a kid again, in the amount of wonder this produced. Though despite my praise, again, I think it could have done with a little less action.

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