Ruth's Diary



*happy dance*

I just find it amusing that despite there being a cinema roughly 30 minutes drive from Camp Louise, in order to get to one and have the assurance of being picked up, I had to go all the way to Washington DC.

Last Sunday and Monday was 'turnover'. This camp is split into 2 4-week semesters and since the first one ended, everyone wanted to something special, get away for a bit, you get the idea. Most people went to either Washington or Ocean City (I believe it's in New Jersey) while most Americans simply drove themselves home-that was Baltimore for most of them.

I did have a good time in DC: I got to eat decent food for a short while, the weather was great, saw the sites and it was even good to use public transport again (American bus drivers are so much nicer than the ones in London). But the highlight has to be Transformers.

Here's my verdict on the movie:
First and foremost, it didn't suck. This is good 'cos it's a relief for many fans and even non-fans enjoyed it (many non-fans who saw it told me so-it was even better than the new Die Hard apparently).

Soundtrack: nothing spectacular, coulda been a lot better.

Transformers themselves: the characters were pretty true to their original selves, or were changed but lived to their namesakes. However I got a bit fed up of the fact that there was more focus on Bumblebee and Optimus Prime than the other 3 Autobots. It meant I couldn't always tell between Ironhide and Jazz in their robot forms. In fact, Jazz got so few lines that when he died I didn't feel that bad, 'cos of the lack of emotional attachment. (But he was so cool! He breakdanced and was a Porsche and everything!)
There was also a lack of focus on the Decepticons. There was plenty of Autobot scenes where they sat around and discussed situations and possible outcomes and stuff but none of that with the Decepticons. That's part of the original Transformers charm. It also meant we couldn't see the relationships of the Decepticons with each other-my impression of them ended up being they were happy with their positions, very co-operative with each other and weren't too distrustful of each other-not the Decepticons I know. And I wasn't too pleased with Starscream's voice, but on the other hand he only spoke 1 line in English so...
I was also impressed that every little detail about the Transformers was figured out. Their origins were explained, you saw how they ended up in their Earth forms, how they came to Earth, their history, how they learned everything-even had their own language and writing. That was awesome and excellent attention to detail.

Action: the fight scenes excellent. They were very imaginitive with how the Transformers fight, putting their weaknesses, strengths and the fact they could transform into consideration. One highlight for me was the scene featuring Starscream against the fighter jets: in jet mode he flew very fluidly (which isn't quite possible for a human to do) and he often transformed between bot and jet mode to attack the other jets in various ways. Sometimes even missing. I thought that was excellent. And even though the slow-mo action (done in almost every action movie since The Matrix was released) may be overused these days, in this movie it was sometimes necessary and I was very glad for it, otherwise some of the scenes would just be meshes of metal and wire and I wouldn't have been able to tell what was going on. And there was destruction galore, promised by the very presence of the Decepticons...who love destruction.

Plot/Story: the plot was pretty clean, however I honestly think that the production team somehow had trouble balancing the action planning with...well basically I think character believability was often sacrificed just for the action. That doomed this movie from being one of the greatest ever created. I think I should explain: the main character is Sam Whitwicky, a school loser. Another school loser? Why the hell is it that it's always school losers who end up being heroes? Not that they can't, but there are too many in movies right now. Spike, from the cartoon, was just an average kid: neither popular nor unpopular (then again, he never went to school). Then there was the prospective girlfriend Michaela: she wasn't pathetic nor overly-gorgeous and was quite smart, however the way she acted meant she wasn't completely believable. Most other characters were clichés. Why couldn't Sparkplug be pragmatic, sensible and practical like in the cartoon, rather than a fat father obsessed with his garden and generally acts rather illogically (I don't blame Ironhide for wanting to shoot him)? And Sam's mother was so ditzy and clueless. Why couldn't they make her more natural than cartoonish? Or here's a better idea: make Sam have no mother 'cos she either died or moved away after a divorce? That's a very normal thing after all.
And regarding unnatural characters, I don't know why they made Ironhide ask if humans were worth saving as if he knew how they acted. It would've made more sense if he asked as a result of shock at the...tragic and shocking occurrence (don't wanna give away too many spoilers).

The movie was generally very good though. I also like their little bits of humour, like the signature transforming noise from the cartoon when Blackout first appeared, as well as "To punish and enslave..." on the side of a particular police car (who is Barricade, a Decepticon. A surprising character considering the only Transformer police car ever had been Prowl, who was an Autobot).

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