chuckdawg1999 wrote:Right off the bat let me mention that the sliding gimmick really doesn't work, you'll end up sliding the panel back and then disengaging the clip. With that said this is by far the best one step figure to date and a ton of fun. Highly recommended.
chuckdawg1999 wrote:A new coat of paint doesn't change that this is a cool looking figure with a horrible transformation. Robot and vehicle mode looks great like we've come to expect from Takara/Tomy. Keep in mind that while the Mech-Tech ports are still there, there isn't a weapon included.
In celebration of the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction, Sequart will be publishing content related to the Transformers all this week.
From their initial “Generation 1″ cartoon, toys, and comic book in the 1980s, the Transformers have gone on to become a pop-culture staple. Yet they’ve received relatively little analysis. This week is a small attempt to correct that.
Sequart uses themed weeks as a way of celebrating popular subjects, filling holes in comics and pop-culture criticism, and serializing in-depth criticism over a single week instead of many weeks (or even months). You can think of them as miniature conventions or conferences.
First Gen wrote:Hey Seibertronians, First Gen here. This evening I had the honor to attend and advance VIP screening of, and now will provide you with a full out, detailed review of the highly anticipated fourth installment to the Transformers movieverse, Age of Extinction!
Directed by return Director Michael Bay, with a script by Ehren Kruger, AOE brings all the known features you can expect of a M. Bay film to the screen, while giving our beloved Robots in Disguise a little more face time than in past installments. But let me make this point clear, this IS a Michael Bay film, and yes, this will tick off some of you fans out there.
SPOILER ALERT!!!! Do not read on if you do not wish to have the film spoiled prior to viewing it.
The film opens with a shot of prehistoric Earth, and what appears to be a Cybertronian fleet approaching its atomosphere. It is a time when dinosaurs ruled the land, and things are about to change. We see non Cybertronian life forms shooting, what appear to be bombs onto the lush green world, then a wall of fire exterminates all life that enters its path.
Flash forward a couple epochs later, to what we can only assume is present day in the Arctic. Dr. Darcy Tirrel, played by Sophia Myles, is walking towards what appears to be a dinosaur skeleton, but only its made of metal. The foreman of the site, played by Glenn Keogh, states that they've made the discovery of a lifetime.
Enter Cade Yeager, played by Mark Wahlberg, a former research and development specialist in everything robotic from his own research facility, which has been reduced to a scrap metal salvager and old electronic repair man. He's out with his partner/ employee Lucas, played by TJ Miller, trying to salvage old equipment from a rundown movie theater when he happens upon an old cab over engine truck, just there, in the middle of a theater, which apparently the owner wasn't aware of when Cade asked how much he wanted for it.
While Cade barters with the theatre owner we get our first look at Chicago today. Signs stating to "Remember Chicago" can be found everywhere, but now the great city is the home to RIS, a research facility thats doing more than just research, and the Cemetary Wind Team, a group of humans who are trained to hunt down and destroy Transformers. The CWT was on the hunt for their next victim when they picked up a reading on a possible location. Using little surveillance copters they call Minicons, they locate their suspect and prompltly blow him out of his hiding space. The transformer in question is Ratchet. Following Optimus Primes orders, Ratchet went into hiding as the Hunt for the Decepticons became the hunt for all Transformers. With the help of a Decepticon named Lockdown, the humans put Ratchet down as Lockdown quizes him on the location of Optimus Prime. Ratchet refuses and pays with his spark. Lockdown does not appear to be taking sides with Decepticon or Autobot, having his own cryptic agenda that we never get a straight answer to.
The film then introduces Cade's daugther Tessa in the only way Michael Bay knows how to portray women. We then discover that the truck Cade purchased was actually a transformer. Cade and Tessa argue over what to do about that while Lucas suggests they turn it in for a reward to help with the mounting bills and eviction notice that Cade has acquired. Before they can come to an agreement, the CWT is on them looking for Optimus Prime. Prime is holed up in Cade's barn, but when he hears that the CWT is going to kill Tessa to learn his whereabouts, he busts out and dispatches of the team holding them hostage and tells them to run. In the distance, what appears to be a driverless Rally car pops up and does some pretty skillful driving manuveurs to simeultaneously dispatch of the CWT thats in pursuit of the group and pick them up. No, its not an Autobot, its Shane, Tessa's non existant boyfriend played by Jack Reynor. A super Bay car chase ensues as suped up muscle cars and Lockdown in his vehicle mode give chase. Prime fights off Lockdown and saves the group, but not before Lockdown turns Lucas into a statue of ash.
Introduce the rest of the Autobots. All four of them. Yes, four. Hound, Crosshairs, who comes off as a real jerk and not Autobotish at all, Drift, the samurai Bugatti, and of course fan fave Bumblebee. These four are a ragtag group that don't particularly like each other. Drift almost kills Bumblebee for assuming leadership while Prime was MIA. Prime puts an end to the foolishness and gathers up the bots saying they've got one more thing to do then they're done with the human race. This takes us to KSI and we meet Joshua Joyce, played by Stanley Tucci. Joyce is in kahoots with CWT team leader and former CIA operative Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammar) and they want to harvest the material Transformers are made of, calling is Transformia. They are melting down the carcasses of the bots they've killed, which include Leadfoot, Ratchet and Megatron. Using the DNA code and data that the still kicking Brains can decipher from the dead bots, they're making their own Transfomers. And if you've put two and two together already, then you figured out that Galvatron is a man made transformer. Galvatron was supposed to be modeled after Optimus Prime, but for some reason, a reason the technicians don't understand, he still resemble Megatron.
The other TFs they created with this Transformia were meant to mimic the real thing, like the Stinger that was said to be an upgrade to Bumblebee. Bumblebee would use that fact later on in the movie to make a humorous crack on not going for knock offs. They show how the man made transfomers transform, which reminds me of the T1000 from Terminator 2. Its not genuine transformation, which really put a damper on the coolness of the Cons. And unlike real Transformers, these human versions have no spark. Prime and the Bots infiltrate KSI to find out whats going on there, then end up just leaving when Joyce tells them to stop and wake up essentially. Attinger tells Joyce to dispatch his Transformers to dispose of Prime. We get our first shot of Galvatron and Stinger in action. Another Bay chase ensues, Galvatron does not completely obey the remote control commands of the humans and actually speaks to Prime while they fight. Enter Lockdown, who blasts Prime, cause Lockdown is pretty bad ass in this movie, moreso than Galvatron or any other threat, and he again talks to Prime in the cryptic talk of the Creators and hauls him off to add to his "collection" of legends, while taking Tessa as well. Cade and Shane and the bots manage to get on Lockdowns ship, save Tessa and Prime by detaching a piece of the ship before Lockdown goes into hyperdrive. A few star trekkish references were made about space.
Another huge battle ensues claiming alot of Chicago once again. Robot dogs at the call of Lockdown are seen which seem like the Terrorcons. We then learn that Megatron was actually downloading his own essence into Galvatron and letting the humans think they controlled him and the other decepticons they were creating. We then learn about the Seed. The Seed is actually a massive bomb that destroys all the life in its path and turns it into Transformia. Joyce bartered with Lockdown for it in exchange for Optimus Prime. Destruction is laid to Chicago again and with this Joyce relocates RIS to Hong Kong. When Joyce gets there, he receives a call from Cade, pleading with him not to release the Seed as it will bring the end of humankind. Joyce has a change of heart and becomes a fugitive from Attinger, running from the CWT.
Then Galvatron just decides to become self aware and do some blue magic glow thing to "awaken" the rest of the Decepticons. There's 50 of them. Being so outnumbered, Prime goes to the Legends room in the ship that was detached from Lockdowns, and we finally get to see the Dinobots. None of them have names, they were only referred to as The Legends, and they weren't in the ice in the Arctic, or even on Earth. Prime beats Grimlock into submission telling him to either for for him or die. Then Prime rides Grimlock like a horse for the next ten minutes of screen time the Dinobots get. Cade does ALOT of fighting in this movie, using a Cybertronian weapon he figured out how to use by yelling at it. Prime is once again bested by Lockdown, and only with the help of Bumblebee, Cade, Tessa and Shane is he able to finally beat Lockdown. Galvatron says something about being reborn then runs away.
The film ends with Prime releasing the Dinobots to freedom in Hong Kong then doing his normal outro, sending a message to his Creators, telling them to leave Earth alone and that he was coming for them.
Overall the film has some fun moments and entertainment value, but clocking in at over two and half hours, this movie had so much going on with so many subplots and ridiculous continuous set up for future films, it really took away from what it could have been. The bots look great, but some of the CG looks really NOT real. The movie did an Amazing Spiderman 2 and just had too many villians. Despite screen time, Bumblebee seemed to only be there to appease the fans and Primes weak, desolute attitude is not becoming of a Prime. Throughout all that, the film tried to make the same humorous cracks and situational comedy takes that didn't go over as well as with the first films. Cade and Tessa continuously bicker about family issues and who takes care of who.
It really looks as if though they were trying to set up the next two films instead of leading into the next film. This is definitely a film you'll have to see more than once just to catch everything thats going on.
Overall, I rate AOE 2 1/2 stars out of four. Go into this with and open mind and no expectations.
A huge thank you to Jose Cruz and http://www.OurTiempo.com for allowing me to view and review the film. You can follow them at http://www.twitter.com/OurTiempo and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/OurTiempo for your chance to score free tickets to advance screenings.
That's all I've got for you Seibertronians. Keep your optics locked to Seibertron.com for all the latest info in the Transformers universe.
I’d like to start this review off by saying that I typically do not get the premise behind motion comics. To me, they often feel like someone thought of a good cartoon but didn’t have the resources to do it properly. Most of them that I’ve seen aren’t much better than comic art manipulated with Adobe Flash Studio. I’m sure that there are better examples out there, but I have not exposed myself to them.
IDW’s foray into this medium with Transformers: Punishment, while not dissuading me completely of my notions of motion comics, shows me that there is a way to do it better. It’s far from perfect, but I’ll touch on that later.
Transformers: Punishment is written by John Barber and drawn by Livio Ramondelli. Two powerhouses in their respective fields come together to make this book look as nice as it reads. Optimus Prime returns to Cybertron because for whatever reason, Galvatron on Earth just doesn’t seem like that big a deal to him? He arrives and immediately decides his original reason to visit isn’t as important as some murdered d-list Decepticons. He sets out to find the killer in a style that feels very familiar to MTMTE’s Shadowplay series; where the hero (Optimus, in case it wasn’t clear) spends several issues chasing a criminal, and lots of collateral damage happens en route.
The feel of this story captures very succinctly the atmosphere that IDW’S Robots In Disguise series has been trying to capture; that everyone is trying to come to terms with what they did during The War. There is a lot of Prime narration and introspective that puts a lot of this in context as we begin to see that the Autobots may not have been as heroic as 30 years of propaganda have lead us to believe.
This story is led by Optimus as he investigates. This disappoints me as I was really looking forward to seeing more of Starscream, who in this story is actually a heroic character. There was no sneer to the voice that I imagined in my head as I read his lines. He is generally honest in his desire to see justice done.
There are other characters too. Slug and the Dinobots serve as the needed muscle and occasional foil for Optimus. Windblade is always in the background to counter Prime’s ‘millions of years of fighting has changed us’ mantras, which seem to occur once every issue. Sandstorm is the most curious addition to the story. Whereas the Dinobots are all too willing to fight and kill, Sandstorm does so because it’s all he ever knew. Prime confronts him and attempts to get him to change and move past what he did. Will he do so? I suppose that’s what was meant at the BotCon panel when it was stated that these events will reverberate in the main comic lines.
The Decepticon presence in this book is minimal (unless you include cadavers). The Firecons appear more to stir the pot than anything else. I would’ve enjoyed seeing more cons as protagonists. Starscream is for all intents and purposes a good guy and Barricade only speaks when there’s exposition to deliver. This is certainly an all-Autobot tale. The overall story arc is nothing unique. It’s been told before in other stories wherever war and violence have affected cultures. The killer(s) didn’t surprise me, but they may surprise you if you are new to the IDW comics.
Overall I liked the story, despite some distractions both artistic and technical. The writing is good, and the more open nature of this medium allowed the artwork to move the text along and a good speed. I wish this was a 6th issue to allow for more interaction between Optimus, Starscream, and Windblade. This was a fantastic opportunity for old vs new Autobot interaction but it was always cut short because there were more bodies to find.
The artwork in this was done knowing it was for a motion comic, and it shows. Sparks fly, laserbeams cut the air, fires burn with intensity and the lighting is dynamic. My main issue is that because it’s a motion comic, there is motion for the sake of it. Sometimes the impact of comic art is to show movement in a static frame. That’s because it relies on the reader’s imagination to fill in the details. Such impact is lost to me when there’s a tiny bit of motion and the impact isn’t as big as your mind is telling you it should be. The soundtrack gets disconcerting after a short time, especially when shifting between scenes there is no fade in/out. I like the inclusion of the sound effects, such as the transforming sound and the guns blasting away, but it’s lost in the often overpowering driving beat of the music.
I got this because it was free, and I would suggest the same to anyone who enjoys these comics. Personally though, I would’ve paid to get it in paper.
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