The Transformers Movie


What’s cool about the advancement of technology is that there are certain pieces that were simply made for advanced pieces of technology, but were created too soon. A prime example would be “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd. The sonic landscapes and incredible details of the album were simply born to be enjoyed on the crisp, clean sound that a CD player could only provide. Even though “Dark Side” was released in 1974, its full appreciation couldn’t be discovered until the advent of the CD some 15 years later. Now, “Dark Side of the Moon” is the first CD you purchase when you grow out of your little crappy radio to a full-fledged adult, amazing kick-ass stereo system.

Which brings us to film; special effects have always been an integral part of creating worlds that moviegoers could believe in. From the colorization of Oz to Moses parting to Red Sea to being chased by the Death Star, special effects are just as important as the lead actor in some films. And while we’ve always been amazed at what was created for its time, it would be interesting to see what could be done then with the technology of today.

If there is one movie that’s destined for today’s technological and special effects advances, it comes out in July of 2007: the Transformers. For years, fans and enthusiasts would imagine what a real life Transformer would look like. How would the classic cartoon incarnation of Optimus Prime, Megatron and the other Autobots and Decepticons translate to a live action, big screen adventure? Well, this year, that question will be answered.

Forget about story or character or plot development for a second, and simply focus on big giant robots beating each other up. And then, in an instant, those big giant robots will transform into a truck or a plane and rip through the city at an incredible pace. In the early days of film, the concept would probably be impossible to place on the screen and do it justice. In the golden age of film, it would look interesting, but laughable. In the special effects era of movies, it would look passable, but not believable. But now, in 2007, with all the possibilities and abilities which special effects wizards have at their disposal, the Transformers, should, at the very least, look realistic.

A common source of debate for the upcoming Transformers movie is how the characters should look. The classic cartoon appearance, while iconic and nostalgic, supposedly does not translate that well onto a live action, big screen experience. Therefore, a whole new redesign of all the characters was necessary in order to make this movie appear realistic. And that is one of the main objectives behind this movie: it has to look absolutely real. In today’s age of special effects magic, there shouldn’t be too many movies that have cheap looking production values. But, in terms of scope and size, the visual challenges of the Transformers represent some of the biggest in moviemaking history.

Of course, because this is a big-budget adaptation of a classic 80’s cartoon and comic, the whole idea is to make this a trilogy. But, nobody is going to be interested in Transformers 2 & 3 if the first one looks amateurish. This is one of those movies that could never have been made at any other time before this one, and it’s just as imperative that all the effects are done to perfection. There are some cracks at movies that you only get one shot at, with no remake really possible. This is one of those movies!

Can’t wait to see it!