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The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film

Transformers News: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 1:59PM CST

Categories: Movie Related News, Digital Media News, Editorials
Posted by: Autobot032   Views: 59,118

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Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote a rather sizable article going through the history of cinematic robots and the reasons why we love them. In the article, he tries to cover everything and everyone from Sonny (I, Robot) to Johnny 5 (Short Circuit) and even our beloved Transformers.

We'll provide you a small tidbit to get the ball rolling:

But the biggest, baddest mecha-villain of all must be “Transformers’ ” Megatron, supreme leader of the Decepticons. Not only has he tried to enslave humanity in three Transformers movies, but he’s inspired eruptions of incoherent storytelling, furthered the career of Shia LaBeouf, and lined the pockets of heinous film director Michael Bay. And he’s due back on our screens June 27 in “Transformers 4: Age of Extinction.” Let’s hope he finishes the job this time, or we’ll be in for a slew of Sequel-bots.


You can find the full article here: http://www.startribune.com/entertainmen ... 26601.html

And that's not all! The Star Tribune also created a slide show of our favorite movie robots, also by Mr. Covert, entitled "A Short History Of Movie Robots", ranging from Fritz Lang's Metropolis, all the way to Optimus Prime! Also worthy of your time, the gallery can be found here: http://www.startribune.com/entertainmen ... 26621.html

And speaking of galleries, our's are always available and in high quality, here: /transformers- ... eries/new/

Keep your optics tuned to Seibertron.com for the latest in news and updates, plus the best galleries around!
Credit(s): Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549790)
Posted by craggy on February 11th, 2014 @ 2:06pm CST
I've not read the article, but...is it cause robots are cool?
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549793)
Posted by Noideaforaname on February 11th, 2014 @ 2:17pm CST
That Optimus drawing is really bad...
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549802)
Posted by Doubleadam on February 11th, 2014 @ 2:51pm CST
"Incoherent Storytelling?!" :-x
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549807)
Posted by spiderbob007 on February 11th, 2014 @ 3:04pm CST
Article should have been titled "Why do we love movie robots, that aren't A Michael Bay Film: Transformers blah, blah, blah...?" A sentiment that I share. I know that there are probably plenty of Bay fans here, but honestly the films are BAD, and the toys tied to the films are also BAD!

The only saving grace is that it shows Hasbro that Transformers is still profitable and therefore worthy of making quality toys for those that appreciate quality.

Yes, I will see Transformers 4.

No, I will probably not like it, but I will support it because I enjoy having a choice of new toys that will be made possible because of it.
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549809)
Posted by Banjo-Tron on February 11th, 2014 @ 3:17pm CST
I can't disagree with that excerpt at all, it is spot on. Unfortunately that's how Transformers fans are perceived by the outside world - as fanboys of utterly dreadful films. It sucks because I love Asimov but my friends think I am automatically retarded because I like Transformers and they see that as the Bay movies. There is no distinction. Curse you Bay! :michaelbay:
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549823)
Posted by Autobot032 on February 11th, 2014 @ 4:28pm CST
Noideaforaname wrote:That Optimus drawing is really bad...


Actually, it's a photo filter overlaid on a picture of an actual figure. A Revoltech, IIRC.

Doubleadam wrote:"Incoherent Storytelling?!" :-x


Well, let's see...
The first film was convoluted and too long.
The second was all over the place, both in terms of story and location.
The third was overly long and reconfigured history to make it work (which is not a complaint, just saying I see some of the complaints)

While it's certainly not the worst set of movies ever, it's not going to win any awards in the writing department.

spiderbob007 wrote:Article should have been titled "Why do we love movie robots, that aren't A Michael Bay Film: Transformers blah, blah, blah...?" A sentiment that I share. I know that there are probably plenty of Bay fans here, but honestly the films are BAD, and the toys tied to the films are also BAD!

The only saving grace is that it shows Hasbro that Transformers is still profitable and therefore worthy of making quality toys for those that appreciate quality.

Yes, I will see Transformers 4.

No, I will probably not like it, but I will support it because I enjoy having a choice of new toys that will be made possible because of it.


At least you're honest and willing to support it, which helps all of us. It's the people who complain and still go see it and then complain, which breaks my brain and makes no sense.

Banjo-Tron wrote:I can't disagree with that excerpt at all, it is spot on. Unfortunately that's how Transformers fans are perceived by the outside world - as fanboys of utterly dreadful films. It sucks because I love Asimov but my friends think I am automatically ****** because I like Transformers and they see that as the Bay movies. There is no distinction. Curse you Bay! :michaelbay:


Well then, your friends aren't much better and could be perceived the same way. Just because the Bay movies aren't exactly brainfood, doesn't mean the fans or the material itself are terrible. And in all fairness to Bay, people still forget the writers are ultimately to blame.

I swear, I'm gonna snap and run through a convention with a nail studded baseball bat and go on a kneecapping rampage because of this. The writers are mainly the problem. Bay's issue is pacing and visuals, which I admit are a big part of a movie, but if the writing isn't solid, neither will the film be.

Dark Of The Moon was the most coherent and easiest to follow of the three, it's quality was much better and it had the biggest box office take. There's no reason to assume Age Of Extinction will be the Einstein of TF films, but there's no reason to assume it will dumb down the franchise, either. Ehren Kruger is the most solid of all the writers to have graced the film franchise.
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549830)
Posted by CaptainMagic on February 11th, 2014 @ 4:45pm CST
Am I the only one who thinks this article is really bad? The writer claims he is writing reasons to like robots, but all he gives us is a list of robots that he seems to find annoying. At first I was excited because the article is from my home state and nothing interesting ever comes out of Minnesota. Now I'm just kind of embarrassed because our best newspaper is still a really crappy paper.
I also fail to see how megatron could ever be seen as the main draw of the movies. As much as I dislike the movies, the one thing that they do well is make the autobots more interesting than the decepticons, even if it is only a tiny difference.
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549834)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on February 11th, 2014 @ 4:51pm CST
Here's your explanation: robots are cool. Any more questions?

spiderbob007 wrote:(T)he toys tied to the films are also BAD.


Clearly you've never played with ROTF Optimus Prime.

Also, I agree with Captain Magic. Not only was the article bad, the writer claims Megs will be back in the film. Wasn't it said that we'd be seeing Galvatron instead?
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549836)
Posted by Autobot032 on February 11th, 2014 @ 5:01pm CST
Nemesis Maximo wrote:Here's your explanation: robots are cool. Any more questions?

spiderbob007 wrote:(T)he toys tied to the films are also BAD.


Clearly you've never played with ROTF Optimus Prime.

Also, I agree with Captain Magic. Not only was the article bad, the writer claims Megs will be back in the film. Wasn't it said that we'd be seeing Galvatron instead?


Agreed, ROTF Optimus is one of the best molds ever. That's not bias on my part, it really is an incredible mold. A lot of people bitch about it's complexity, which is understandable, but there's no doubt that it's one of the best molds Hasbro's ever put out.

And we don't know who the big bad is, honestly. As for Megatron coming back, all we've seen was his head in a crate. Probably just a piece of memorabilia in the next film. We also know that Hugo Weaving is not coming back for this film. As far as we know (and it should be that way anyway), Megatron is DEAD. I can't imagine they'll bring him back from the dead. Seems nearly impossible, all things considered.

Plus, it would suck to bring him back. He's been killed twice, there's no need for a third time.
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549861)
Posted by SlyTF1 on February 11th, 2014 @ 7:04pm CST
I like robots in movies because they make things blow up.
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549873)
Posted by spiderbob007 on February 11th, 2014 @ 8:08pm CST
Nemesis Maximo wrote:Clearly you've never played with ROTF Optimus Prime.


I'll admit, that's a pretty nice bot, just like my 2007 movie Optimus Prime is a quality bot,

Image

but for every one good bot that comes from the movie lines, there is a galleries worth of bad, dare I say downright ugly ones. http://www.seibertron.com/transformers-toys/series/movie-universe/64/
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549900)
Posted by Flashwave on February 11th, 2014 @ 9:49pm CST
Autobot032 wrote:[
While it's certainly not the worst set of movies ever, it's not going to win any awards in the writing department.

spiderbob007 wrote:Article should have been titled "Why do we love movie robots, that aren't A Michael Bay Film: Transformers blah, blah, blah...?" A sentiment that I share. I know that there are probably plenty of Bay fans here, but honestly the films are BAD, and the toys tied to the films are also BAD!

The only saving grace is that it shows Hasbro that Transformers is still profitable and therefore worthy of making quality toys for those that appreciate quality.

Yes, I will see Transformers 4.

No, I will probably not like it, but I will support it because I enjoy having a choice of new toys that will be made possible because of it.


At least you're honest and willing to support it, which helps all of us. It's the people who complain and still go see it and then complain, which breaks my brain and makes no sense.

Banjo-Tron wrote:I can't disagree with that excerpt at all, it is spot on. Unfortunately that's how Transformers fans are perceived by the outside world - as fanboys of utterly dreadful films. It sucks because I love Asimov but my friends think I am automatically ****** because I like Transformers and they see that as the Bay movies. There is no distinction. Curse you Bay! :michaelbay:


Well then, your friends aren't much better and could be perceived the same way. Just because the Bay movies aren't exactly brainfood, doesn't mean the fans or the material itself are terrible. And in all fairness to Bay, people still forget the writers are ultimately to blame.

I swear, I'm gonna snap and run through a convention with a nail studded baseball bat and go on a kneecapping rampage because of this. The writers are mainly the problem. Bay's issue is pacing and visuals, which I admit are a big part of a movie, but if the writing isn't solid, neither will the film be.

Dark Of The Moon was the most coherent and easiest to follow of the three, it's quality was much better and it had the biggest box office take. There's no reason to assume Age Of Extinction will be the Einstein of TF films, but there's no reason to assume it will dumb down the franchise, either. Ehren Kruger is the most solid of all the writers to have graced the film franchise.
persinal tastes perhaps, but while I agree writing lacked in the movies, we had two of the same writers on TF Prime, which did many of the same types of things a lot better, even just shorty minis of comperable movie length? What changed then, that the writers were actually able to express the story they wanted to tell?

Personally, i feel like TF1 Could have been a rocksolid movie if only they had done the visual storytelling differently. [S]and left out the corny disgraceful comedy...[/s]Everything was there. The fact that the military made and responded to first contact was great. I dont know too many people who didnt love the opening fight with Blackout and Scorponok. Had they handled Sam a little more tastefully, he wouldve given a truly accurate place for nonfans to relate and get in on the story. But they didn't, so we got Jack Darby in the cartoon to do it right.

And yes, i'll go see TF4
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549902)
Posted by d_sel1 on February 11th, 2014 @ 10:15pm CST
The reason that we like robots....... people suck.


Just kidding.

The reason we like robots is.... that we like robots!
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549911)
Posted by Manterax Prime on February 11th, 2014 @ 10:39pm CST
Hehehe........they actually think Megatron is coming back.....hehe.

Yeah...he better not be.
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549923)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on February 12th, 2014 @ 12:10am CST
d_sel1 wrote:The reason that we like robots....... people suck.


Just kidding.
Actually, you had a point there. The whole basic idea of a the robot as a cultural construct is humans creating beings in their own image, hoping to somehow improve on our perceived weaknesses/shortcomings, so you could explain robots as being an expression of misanthropy.

(And had the author explored that idea, this could have indeed been worthwhile)

Seriously, even when I was 5, I was getting fed up with human nature to the point where the Sunbow cartoon's portrayal of humanity as dumb animals that more or less deserved to be squished by these superior beings from space, saved only by the Autobots' compassion for lesser species, seemed somehow...empowering. That might indeed still be what TF means to me, had it not been replaced by Furman's theme of a deity's gift of immortality dooming his creations to eternal war and violent deaths.

But yeah, lame article. Props to the companion piece's explanation of Maria from Metropolis, but it was otherwise only useful to people who'd somehow never heard of robots before.

Most perplexing was the inclusion of Pacific Rim in a list of movies otherwise about sentient or A.I. bots, indicating the author apparently fails to grasp the distinction between thinking-bots and piloted mecha. Is the distinction really that blurry outside of Japan? I remember watching Gundam Wing in a college lobby and having passersby ask if it was Transformers. Sure, it was around the time someone asked whether Ronin Warriors was Captain Planet or Power Rangers, but is knowing the word "mecha" really that essential to grasping that basic an idea?
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549924)
Posted by d_sel1 on February 12th, 2014 @ 12:19am CST
Bumblevivisector wrote:
d_sel1 wrote:The reason that we like robots....... people suck.


Just kidding.
Actually, you had a point there. The whole basic idea of a the robot as a cultural construct is humans creating beings in their own image, hoping to somehow improve on our perceived weaknesses/shortcomings, so you could explain robots as being an expression of misanthropy.

(And had the author explored that idea, this could have indeed been worthwhile)

Seriously, even when I was 5, I was getting fed up with human nature to the point where the Sunbow cartoon's portrayal of humanity as dumb animals that more or less deserved to be squished by these superior beings from space, saved only by the Autobots' compassion for lesser species, seemed somehow...empowering. That might indeed still be what TF means to me, had it not been replaced by Furman's theme of a deity's gift of immortality dooming his creations to eternal war and violent deaths.

But yeah, lame article. Props to the companion piece's explanation of Maria from Metropolis, but it was otherwise only useful to people who'd somehow never heard of robots before.

Most perplexing was the inclusion of Pacific Rim in a list of movies otherwise about sentient or A.I. bots, indicating the author apparently fails to grasp the distinction between thinking-bots and piloted mecha. Is the distinction really that blurry outside of Japan? I remember watching Gundam Wing in a college lobby and having passersby ask if it was Transformers. Sure, it was around the time someone asked whether Ronin Warriors was Captain Planet or Power Rangers, but is knowing the word "mecha" really that essential to grasping that basic an idea?


The writer is a typical newspaper hack. Articles like this show why newspapers are endangered, not the internet.
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549926)
Posted by Banjo-Tron on February 12th, 2014 @ 12:32am CST
Have any of you guys read Simon Furman's book on robots? I would recommend that as it is a thoroughly decent read. Anyway my point regarding the movies is this - if the Transformers is an awesome country, the movies are the ambassador from hell. Everyone thinks the country is a joke because of the bad PR the movies bring.
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549937)
Posted by BERSEKAEL on February 12th, 2014 @ 2:12am CST
Just another guy who missed the north ... is thanks to transformers and Michael Bay that people like him can talk about robots and take credit.

He definitely got amazed with AoE teaser and now thinks robots are cool just for been robots, somebody please slap his face to get him back from his cloud. Lol.
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549950)
Posted by spiderbob007 on February 12th, 2014 @ 5:35am CST
Banjo-Tron wrote:Everyone thinks the country is a joke because of the bad PR the movies bring.


Its a nation populated by sidekicks and comic relief characters, who think hiding the object of the giant killer robot's desire in a dense urban area is a good idea. How Agent Simmons and Defense Secretary John Keller (both so memorable I had to look them up on IMDb) rose to their position with that level of innovative thinking is beyond me.
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1549987)
Posted by SlyTF1 on February 12th, 2014 @ 9:47am CST
d_sel1 wrote:The reason that we like robots....... people suck.


Just kidding.

The reason we like robots is.... that we like robots!


Exactly.
Re: The Minneapolis Star Tribune Tries To Explain Why We Love Robots In Film (1550230)
Posted by d_sel1 on February 12th, 2014 @ 11:55pm CST
However, the article brings up a grimmer fact.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SciFiGhetto

Basically, some critics hate anything with robots (or any SciFi-ish thing). Basically, if it happens outside of Earth, involves aliens, etc; it is marginalized by the society of critics.

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