The first movie was great but the sequel, with it’s ridiculous robot heaven, was not. A disappointing sequel? No surprise there. What was surprising was both star Shia LeBeouf and director Michael Bay admitting afterwards that they “dropped the ball” and promising to make amends with part 3. Well time heals all wounds – and two years on they’ve seriously made amends.
This is epic in every sense of the word. The scale, the action even the humor have been raised to a level that surpasses not just the sequel but the first film too, without doubt they saved the best till last.
An opening battle on the robots home planet of Cybertron shows off the most impressive 3D since Avatar – this was actually filmed in 3D, not another rip-off conversion – and brings back happy memories of Star Wars as a spaceship darts down tunnels of what is basically the Death Star.
Soon we’re back in the present day where Sam (LeBeouf – on funny form) is shacked up with new girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley). It’s the stunning Victoria’s Secret model who replaces Megan Fox as the love interest after the star was famously fired for comparing Michael Bay to Hitler. Fox’s old character is referenced just once when a robot announces, “She was mean. I didn’t like her”.
If you like your action BIG, then this is the must see movie of the summer. While part 2 got caught up in mystical nonsense, here the plot is simple, Autobots vs. Decepticons for control of earth. With that in mind, Michael Bay returns to his favorite stomping ground of the freeway chase – and outdoes both his own Bad Boys 2 and The Island – before settling into the hour-long action-apocalypse of a climax.
As the robots – including a giant metal robo-snake that crushes skyscrapers- lay waste to Chicago, the film comes good on it’s promise of a human body count. Entire crowds of people are vaporized -War of the Worlds style – by killer flying machines, it’s basically what the last two Terminator movies should have been. Also adding to the darker tone is the fact that now the Transformers themselves ‘bleed’ when injured, shooting out a red liquid (Engine oil? Brake Fluid?). There’s no disguising it: this is spectacular.
I just want to take the opportunity to thank all the fans around the world for letting me have fun with the Transformers franchise. It has been a wonderful opportunity to have worked with about 4000 crew members around the world. These artists are some of the very best in the entire film business. I’m honored to have had you work along side me. We had an amazing time.
‘Dark of the Moon’ has some of the most technically challenging sequences ever shot. And shot in 3D. I must urge you to find the very best theatre and see this movie in that format. 3D was a forethought, not an afterthought in this movie. I’m glad Jim Cameron and Steven Spielberg really convinced me to shoot in this new technology. We used and invented many new techniques to make the 3D sharper, brighter and more color contrast. I think theatre owners heard their audience that they need to respect the specs of the projectors and not dim the bulbs to save money.
Many theaters are presenting it in the brand new 7.1 sound, which is awesome. This is the most complex, intricate sound track that me and my Academy Awarding winning sound team have done. They really out did themselves to make this a big picture experience. Hopefully you will have as much fun watching this movie as we all had making it.
Michael Bay speaks to the Orange County Register:
A. We have finally reached the stage where you can do anything you can think of. You can make anything believable. And the 3-D really elevates this movie.
Q. There are studio types who insist that this film could single-handedly revitalize the entire 3-D field.
A. Listen, there are a lot of movies that have done it very poorly. They abused the technology, and it’s a shame. We have devoted a ton of money and a ton of time to make a very good 3-D movie. The entire movie was designed as a 3-D movie. It wasn’t an after-thought. People who believe that action is bad in 3-D are 100 percent wrong when the 3-D is done correctly.
Q. How can we tell when it’s done correctly?
A. We actually can guide your eye to the action. You can see and feel more in 3-D. I like when the robots are in your space. Not every movie should be 3-D, but the size difference between the humans and robots makes it more effective.
By MEKADO MURPHY
AFTER two films and more than $1.5 billion in global box-office sales, it’s no surprise that another installment in the “Transformers” franchise would soon be exploding in a theater near you. The battle between the Autobots (the good robots) and the Decepticons (the evil ones) continues in “Dark of the Moon,” opening Wednesday with more destruction, more robots and one powerful cinematic weapon: 3-D.
The film’s director, Michael Bay, opted to shoot the film primarily with 3-D cameras, rather than add the technology in postproduction, as has been done with many live-action projects. “We spent so much time devising our whole movie and the shots that play out around 3-D,” Mr. Bay said. He also noted that “the size differential between the robots and the humans makes it so appropriate” for the format.
The previous films have involved revisionist history placing Transformers and their tools for survival amid landmarks like the Hoover Dam and the Egyptian pyramids. With “Dark of the Moon,” the 1969 Moon landing takes a giant leap into the narrative.
Another important element of the film is the setting — downtown Chicago — of a third-act battle sequence. A typical Michael Bay frame is packed with activity, and the one here is no different, with the technology, setting and action all vying for attention. Mr. Bay and Scott Farrar, the film’s visual effects supervisor and second-unit director, explained what went into the shot.
BASE JUMPING Mr. Bay experimented with several kinds of stunts for this film. The parachutists in this shot play Special Forces paratroopers sent to counterattack Decepticons. In this frame, they are BASE jumping — leaping from buildings (though the activity can also include, as the acronym has it, leaps from antennae, spans and earth features like cliffs). “It’s a very dangerous technique,” Mr. Bay said, because of the brief time between the jump and the pulling of the rip cords. For this shot, Mr. Bay said, the parachutists jumped from Trump Tower across the Chicago River. For aerial shots, another jumper followed them with a small 3-D camera on his head. Three of the four paratroopers in the frame are real; the one in the center is computer generated, since he has to land on Shockwave’s shoulder.
35 EAST WACKER DRIVE This turreted 40-story landmark skyscraper, once known as the Jewelers’ Building, plays a significant role in the last part of “Dark of the Moon.” For the first years of its existence it was occupied by jewelry merchants, who, for security purposes, drove their cars into a special elevator at street level and were taken directly to their floors. This isn’t 35 East Wacker’s screen debut, though: it was also featured in “Batman Begins” in 2005.
AN ARM FOR DESTRUCTION The dominant creature here is Shockwave, a giant Decepticon making his first appearance in the film series and wreaking havoc on the cityscape. One of his primary tools is an arm-mounted energy cannon, which is fed by reactor cores on his back. Shockwave, designed and animated by Industrial Light and Magic, rises about 40 virtual feet and has more than 2,000 moving digital pieces. “He doesn’t stand around and talk,” Mr. Farrar said. “He just fights.” Shockwave took the animators about 30 weeks to build before he was ready to be added to a shot.
HOTEL 71 The Decepticon battle takes its toll on Hotel 71, an actual boutique hotel in Chicago. While the damage shown in this shot is the work of computer graphics, the base of the hotel and a five-block radius around it were dressed with debris for scenes of destruction. “Chicago gave us so much latitude,” Mr. Bay said. “We had blocks and blocks we were able to shut down at a time.” Rather than close, the hotel used the production to its advantage, making it known that the filming was happening there. “They got a lot of fans from around the country who sat in their windows and watched us shoot,” Mr. Bay added.
AN EYE FOR BATTLE Shockwave’s face is characterized by a single glowing red eye, which Mr. Farrar saw as an important part of the character’s design. “The eyes are critical and the mouth is critical,” he said. “If you can’t read those, you can’t understand what the character is doing or portraying. You have to read Shockwave through just the emotions of the face, almost like a silent-era movie star.” For this reason Mr. Farrar and his team sought to make Shockwave’s eye appear as real as possible, with a lens, a moving iris and a light inside that can oscillate.
Paramount Pictures announced today it will open Michael Bay’s TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON exclusively at 3D and IMAX locations across the country beginning at 9PM local time on Tuesday, June 28th, allowing moviegoers nationwide to be among the first to see the latest installment in the hit franchise, and the first to be shot in 3D. The movie will open wide beginning at 12AM on June 29th. “Michael Bay has created an incredibly engaging and immersive 3D experience with this latest movie, one that will undoubtedly be among the most entertaining movie going experiences of the summer,” said Paramount’s Vice Chairman Rob Moore. “Providing fans an opportunity to see it early in 3D is a great way to kick off the movie’s opening.” Source: PR Newswrire
Paramount Pictures announced today it will open Michael Bay’s TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON exclusively at 3D and IMAX locations across the country beginning at 9PM local time on Tuesday, June 28th, allowing moviegoers nationwide to be among the first to see the latest installment in the hit franchise, and the first to be shot in 3D. The movie will open wide beginning at 12AM on June 29th.
“Michael Bay has created an incredibly engaging and immersive 3D experience with this latest movie, one that will undoubtedly be among the most entertaining movie going experiences of the summer,” said Paramount’s Vice Chairman Rob Moore. “Providing fans an opportunity to see it early in 3D is a great way to kick off the movie’s opening.”
Source: PR Newswrire