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Transformers – from Animation to Live-Action Essay

Children and adults alike are familiar with the Transformers. It began as an animated film in 1986 and was created into a live-action movie in 2007. The story revolves around an average boy named Sam Witwicky who gets caught in the war of the of the gallant Autobots and the evil Decepticons, who both belong to the race of robotic aliens. Known for their long-standing rivalry, the Autobots and the Decepticons waged war in their home planet until they reached Earth. The 2007 version of the Tranformers starred Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky and featured the voices of Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime and Hugo Weaving as Megatron.

The film was directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg. Although the Transformers earned success in the box-office, the reviews for the film have been mixed. Critics’ considered the film’s special effects and unique characterization as its major strengths. Mark Adams stated that the Transformers is “a spectacular – and spectacularly noisy – romp that will keep boys of all ages happy as it revels in wild chases, rollercoaster action and stunning special effects which seamlessly blend into the good-natured storyline.

” Furthermore, Jay Weissberg said “no wonder Bay needed a team of editors, who succeed in making the fight sequences exciting spectacles, though toward the end they all tend to become just a mess of flying wreckage and random explosions — the outcome is always predictable, if the movements themselves remain unexpected. ” On the other hand, critics gave credits to the film’s characterization as well. The cast all do well, considering it is hard to keep focus when giant robots have a habit of looming over you.

LaBeouf (who has a key role in the new Indiana Jones movie) is engaging as the youngster who has heroism thrown upon him, while Fox is brimming with sultry charm. The soldiers – headed by Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson – are a little on the bland side, though much fun comes from an intense Voight and a hilarious John Turturro, as the head of a secret government department intent on tracking down the Transformers (Adams, 50).

Scripters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, together with John Rogers, had to keep the basic Transformers stories intact while placing them in a human environment, turning to plot elements from a number of successful pics including ‘King Kong,’ ‘War Games’ and ‘The Love Bug’ pic also follows the early Steven Spielberg formula (Weissberg, 4). Meanwhile, Michael Bay was also recognized for exceptionally directing the film. Anthony Lane wrote in The Current Cinema “I congratulate him on creating, in Transformers, his first truly honest work of art.

Not that he needs my plaudits; as a passerby exclaims in the midst of the film, this is easily a hundred times cooler than Armageddon! To be proud of your achievement is one thing, but to plant film critics inside your movie and review it favorably as you go along: that takes genius. ”Similarly, Weiseberg stated “Transformers has an oddly Reagan-era feel, at times resembling an Air Force recruitment commercial. ” Despite gaining positive feedbacks for its special effects, the film’s storyline was negatively received by other reviewers.

Stephanie Hayes of the Times told that “the incredible robots get short shrift – many don’t appear until well into the movie. And thats a crying shame. Watching steely robots slam into each other and tear up the streets like wrecking balls is thrill enough to awaken anyones inner kid. But Transformers lags in parts and suffers from weak subplots. ” Many agreed that the Transformers’ uninteresting storyline didn’t meet the superb execution of the film’s special effects. However, others favorably agree that Transformers met the expectations of the moviegoers for it presented a well-crafted film worthy of public acclaim.

The story falters during the protracted climax, but what remains is potent — sheer mindless fun and excitement (Puig, D1). For audiences, the emotional pull comes in finding a hint of humanity amid all that circuitry. And in Transformers, we seek, and find, the same connection (Thomson, C01). Additionally, Carrie Rickey mentioned that the film “strikes a narrative balance between its tech-loving humans and anthropomorphic machines, and a generational balance between its tech-savvy teens and their clueless parents.

” Over-all, the team behind the Transformers successfully delivered a film that appeal to all audiences. The film’s special effects greatly helped the Transfomers’ commercial success. Weissberg stated that “everyone involved knows the actors are mere props for Industrial Light & Magics CGI team, which has put together an impressive show of the latest tech advances — not only transforming cars and helicopters into enormous robots within a few thoroughly believableseconds, but also setting them in real spaces and having them interact with real objects.

Bay and Spielberg’s collaboration in this project was remarkable for both have shown their artistic talents in this film. Spielberg’s, who is acclaimed for his numerous films, has contributed to the unique plot by incorporating human elements in the storyline. On the other hand, Bay was also acknowledge for his directorial duties as well. Claudia Puig wrote in USA Today that “the sum total of director Michael Bay’s work has been spotty at best (The Island, Armageddon), but he made an inspired choice in casting the young, charismatic Everyman Shia LaBeouf (Disturbia).

And surely the involvement of Steven Spielberg brings heft and sizzle to the entire production. ” In Bay’s hands, the movie’s about more than explosions and robots. It’s also a warmly appealing comedy centered on delightfully jittery teenager Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), who has to not only save the world but also watch for the facial blemishes and dorky moves that might jeopardize his other pressing project–getting into the good graces of comely new companion Mickaela Banes (Megan Fox) (Thomson, C01).

Transformers also underscores how emotionally connected we have all become to technology — our cars, computers, cellphones and BlackBerrys. We personalize our various machines, as if they’re the inorganic equivalent of the wet-nosed family dog. We customize ring tones on our cellphones. We agonize over the right desktop images. We demand Bluetooth and GPS in our vehicles. We think of those instant messaging beeps as the chirpings of friendliness. So what’s so crazy, really, about a blitzkrieg action flick that takes that irrational sense of attachment and runs with it, laser projectiles flying overhead?

It’s just another day in the hi-tech neighborhood (Thomson, C01). Works Cited Adams, Mark. At The Movies: Battle of Bots. July 22, 2007. p. 50 Persall, Steve. Times. p. 6W Puig, Claudia. ‘Transformers’: Prime summer entertainment. July 2, 2007. p. D. 1. Rickey, Carrie. Have a blast with a noisy toy. Inquirer. p. E01. Thomson, Desson. ‘Transformers,’ Turning Into High-Tech Entertainment. The Washington Post. July 2, 2007. p. C01. Weissberg, Jay. Variety p. 4


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