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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dark and Gritty Trololol

It seems that successful movies as of late, especially adaptations of already established franchises (comic book movies, movies based off of old cartoons) have a very common trait of being "dark and gritty", a trait I find to be lame and overused. Since the release of "The Dark Knight", it seems "dark and gritty" has become practically synonymous with success. Christopher Nolan took great care to create a believable world for Batman to inhabit, ensuring that no fantastical elements could compromise that world. His use, and arguable creation of mainstream D&G (Dolce and Gabbana, of course) was, in that way, well used.

Now it seems like every movie or pro Youtube video is taking this silly ass approach to everything. The first Transformers movie, which came out in the same year as "The Dark Knight" took a turn for the worse in its sequel "Revenge of the Fallen". In addition to having an already flawed script, the enforced D&G of the second TF movie took away from the fantastical vibe of the first Transformers movie. Trust me when I say that no matter what Michael Bay does, 30 foot tall alien robots will not be more believable.

A hallmark of the D&G approach is the use of realistic elements in the movie. The new Spider-Man movie is apparently taking this approach. Several promo shots revealing the Spidey suit seem to compound on this statement, showing that Spidey has acquired webshooters and has yellow eyes, something more akin to a nasty bug than the classic, retro Spider-Man.

Light hearted movie have proven themselves to be phenomenal. D&G is highly overrated, as proved by the critical success that was the 11th Star Trek movie. The extremely Hollywood take on the classic sci-fi franchise enticed an audience made primarily up of not-Trekkies. For a franchise as based in its fans as Star Trek to create a movie that attracts a non-Trekkie audience is extremely impressive. Iron Man was also another highly enjoyable, though somewhat flawed, non D&G movie that was a success.

Anyways, the primary purpose of this post was to show you all three D&G Youtube fan trailers that I really liked. While I contend that D&G is not always the way to go, I enjoyed these videos nonetheless. Hope you do too.

D&G Pokemon!

D&G Mortal Kombat!

D&G Super Mario!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Toys, Glorious Toys!

Well, I got a rather impressive haul this weekend. Thought I'd share it with you all. I'm experimenting with a method of photography which uses a lightbox. For me and my limited budget, that's two pieces of paper folded up against each other. Considering that I don't use a professional camera or Photoshop, I'm rather pleased with the result.

Without further ado:

The first of the three items I received on Thursday, the ever snobby Turbo Tracks from Hasbro's new Transformers Reveal the Shield line. Just look at how pompous and arrogant he looks. "OOooh, look at moi~. My figure and my handgun have one thing in common. They're both killer~ yes." Gosh. This guy.

Blurr, the second of my Thursday package. This guy's a badass! Look at those guns! He's ready to blast some fools, at the speed of sound, no less. Fun fact (if you care): Forbes magazine named Blurr the fastest fictional car of all time. Take that, Mach 5. 

The last of the Thursday trio. This guy is just too damn hip. Special Ops Jazz has the distinction of being practically the coolest guy of the Autobots. You totally want to hang out with this guy. That said, I wanted to thank the guy I bought these three from, Sideswipe1954, from TFW2005. I mistakenly thought he had Turbo Tracks and Special Ops Jazz for sale (I was looking at an outdated thread), even though he did not. After informing me of this, he offered to go out and buy them for me, and before I even responded, he told me it had been done, and that he had them waiting for me. What a guy. 

On Friday, I got this guy to finish off my Dinobot trio. Him Grimlock! Him king of Dinobots! I've been regretting not getting this guy back in 2008. Luckily, a good ol' Ebay seller had this guy for cheap. 

Bumblebee! I got him tonight at a Target. Who doesn't love this little dude? He's just so kawaii desu-ne (gets strangled and died). 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Listen to Me Rant S'More About Transformers

I posted this comment on Firstshowing, an absolutely fantastic movie news website. If you have the time, I highly recommend checking it out. It is so choice.

Without further ado...listen to me essentially compliment Michael Bay's films by insulting his prowess as a filmmaker!

*Additional commentary will be added in [brackets]*

"I don't understand why people praise movies like Piranha 3D for being fun with no plot (humor, sex, violence) while they bash Transformers for that. Despite being a hardcore Transformers fan, when people ask me about the movies, my default response is that they're "fun, but not at all good". And I think that's all that people should expect from a summer blockbuster of this nature. For properties such as DC or Marvel that are based on well written comics, it's fair to assume that the writing in the movie should match the nature and caliber of the comics. [If you were disappointed with Iron Man 2 because it did not match the emotional intensity of the "Demon In A Bottle" arc, fair enough.] However, Transformers has never been about plot or story telling. The rich history and mythology of Transformers developed out of the initial popularity with little children, and later fan nostalgia, not out of genuine goodness. This is a direct quote from the story editors of the 80s series:

"...we feel action should be emphasized over plot—especially avoiding any complicated story lines—to ensure the success of this series with its intended viewers." Intended viewers, of course, being children.

The current Transformers movies, while obviously not entirely appropriate for children, are designed to cater to the child inside of the audience. The Transformers movie franchise is designed to be a good action series, emphasis on action, with plot supplementing, emphasis on supplementing, that action. Autobots and Decepticons fighting each other are a given in the Transformers mythos. There just has to be a setting or plot behind it. The staple of the Transformers multiverse is the fighting (and doing so on Earth for some bizarre reason), not the reason as to why they're fighting. [The plot simply adds a backdrop to the ensuing mayhem, rather than actual substance.] Are they fighting because of some all powerful artifact? Why not? Are they fighting because some cliche, evil, "Judas" character wants to destroy the Earth. Fair enough. Are they fighting because something of significance happened (coincidentally, I'm sure) on our moon? Just roll with it. [A little line that I particularly like is that "you can't lose what you never had". That being said, poor quality Transformers franchises are not a loss.]

What I'm trying to say is that people oughtn't judge the Transformers franchise on the same level that they'd just freaking Citizen Kane (not that I've seen it, I'm 15 for God's sake). The two movies aren't even on the same plane. To put this into a better perspective, people enjoyed Terminator and Aliens (earning them 100% on Rotten Tomatoes) because they were judged as somewhat hokey sci-fi flicks. Granted, I thought them to be damned good sci-fi flicks and definitely are less sloppy than Transformers as a sci-fi flick, I give Transformers the benefit of the doubt because I never entered the theater expecting a grandiose tale of the tragedies of intergalactic war, and the emotional strife of romance, and maturing (both from Shia, and the homeless Autobot vagabonds). I expected what, for the most part, Transformers was created to offer: action, child-friendly characters, and plot holes. In that sense, I was not disappointed.

[Even if you are not a Transformers fan, with a knowledge about the tradition of loopholes and poor story telling, you should have known what (not) to expect when you entered the movie house, especially if you had seen the first movie, or even any of the trailers (which were devoid of plot points).]

So before you wax negative lyrical about Michael Bay films, ask if he delivered what you expected of him, and if he delivered what he wanted to deliver. The critical reviews will answer the former, and the box office count, the latter."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

TRANSsuperFORMERSbowl (It's Subliminal Messagin')

So, the Superbowl was on today. And football and stuff...MOVIE TRAILERS! Transformers: Dark of the Moon aired a freaking movie trailer that could not have been longer than 20 seconds and holy hell, the nerd inside of me jizzed.

Last year's Superbowl wielded the trailer for the commercially successful, critically failing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. This years trailer follows a similar theme as last year, showing a series of clips, with a deafening, near siren-ish noise drowning out the noise of the ensuing Bayhem. However, last year's clips were so randomly strewn together that the teaser felt like it was all over the place, as if there was no plot or premise to last ROTF [oh wait there wasn't (oh the lulz)].

That brings me to point numero uno. EACH and EVERY clip featured in this trailer is from the final battle of the movie in what is assumed to be Chicago (the filming location for said final battle). Based on the damage of the scenery and buildings. I'd assume the bombardment begins at night, and lasts til the next morning (pretty legendary).  I really liked the clip featuring the Decepticon airships attacking the city. It evoked images of kaiju-esque cinema where those cheesy UFOs would shoot noodle looking lasers at plastic buildings.

Needless to say, you're may be wondering where dem ships be coming from. According to the previous announcement trailer Bay released, TFs exist on the moon. According to rumors (-----SPOILERS-----) the present day Autobots and Decepticons (-----TURN BACK NOW MORTALS-----) are racing to (-----"THE VIRGINITY OF YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH UPCOMING TRANSFORMERS RELEASES IS AT FATAL RISK"-----Vangelus) the moon because something of some importance is up there. Whether or not it's this airfleet of presumably ancient cyber blimps is up for us to find out, but it's fruit for thought. Needless to say, the Decepticons weaponize these cyber blimps for evil purposes and, if history is a good enough precedent, logic (hoho) would dictate that the one leading this assault would be Shockwave, the new TF3 villain! The Generation 1 (80s) Shockwave was essentially the dictator of an uninhabited Cybertron, tasked to monitor the planet in Megatron's absence. The utterly logical, calculating Shockwave would very much be the one to hatch a plan of this scale.


Next point! There are some crazy-ass things going on in the battlefield below. It appears that Ironhide gets in a head on collision with two Chevy Tahoes customized to look like police cars. These Tahoes are Decepticon  enforcers, rumored to be called the Dreads. There's also a veeeeeeeeeeeeeerrry sketchy rumor that an Autobot will bite the dust in this battle. And the fandom thinks it'll be veteran veteran, Ironhide. a logical choice. He's been a badass throughout the entirety of the movieverse franchise, so his death would be quite impacting. I'd like to think that Ironhide could take on one Dread with ease, but perhaps not two. According to leaked toy photos, the Dreads feature some wicked mandibles, not only on their face, but on their backs. These huge ass claws could crush the light out of some dude. Perhaps Ironhide will barely make it out of that confrontation.

OKIE DOKEY! The spoilers march on. We also get a glimpse of some funky looking things. Featured in the trailer is a bird thing we (the fandom) assume is Laserbeak, a minion of Soundwave. Soundwave has been confirmed to appear on set in the battle of Chicago, so it's not unlikely that Soundwave dispatched Laserbeak to do evil minion sh-t. Even more interesting is Laserbeak's presumed target.
The car this mofo is going after is a nice-ass car. John Turturro's character, Seymour Simmons, is rumored to have struck it rich, as he was seen on set driving a Maybach, which is no easy car to come by. Equally probable is that this car belongs to the new character...Dylan. Some dude. Apparently he does important technology stuff, but he's a human so... NO. Let's actually talk 'bout this. Patrick Dempsey, who's playing Dylan, stated that his character is dark and stuff. A set photo had Dempsey pointing a gun towards Shia. Dylan's technological prowess {he's rumored to have created the Wreckers as an Earth experiment [I personally don't buy that one (Rather, I think he made the "MechTech" in conjunction with "Wheeljack")]}, and his dark motives make him an excellent Decepticon target. Who knows? Michael Bay...

A lot of misc. extras pop up in the final battle, ala ROTF. These guys don't matter and are just cannon fodder. Let's take a look. On the Autobot side is a green and white Ratchet, and a Bumblebee. No news there. The Decepticons feature a recolored Brawl from the first movie. T'was a really cool model. Glad they're still putting it to use. On top of that, there are a a few protoforms, nakey Transformers that chilled in Egypt in TF2. Yay. And there's the dude in the back left who appears to have a knife arm and one eye. Let me tell you why this isn't Shockwave.

1) Shockwave isn't gonna get ripped up by OP in his fly-by.
2) Shockwave has a much taller stature. He has a neck.
3) This poser's not even purple.

Ok. The real highlight of this was seeing a powered up Optimus Prime tear sh-t up. Optimus is sporting some fancy ass equipment there. The trailer that he totes in vehicle mode transforms into a sweet jetpack, as well as assorted weaponry which Optimus utilizes in different ways, picking 'em up and droppin' 'em off like this is a game of Counter a boss. Look at that OP. Doin' a flyby, droppin' his jetpack, now sporting two guns, shooting while doin' a 360, shootin' up Longhaul, ejecting his sword mid firing, impaling Sideways, flipping him around and tossing him to the ground then dropping them guns and sheathing the next sword and swiping the next dude's legs out from under him. Boss.

Among the people OP tears up are Long Haul and Sideways, two models from the second movie. New Decepticons are looking sparse, especially in comparison to the Autobots. Truly, there are only seven big Decepticons confirmed (Megs, Starscream, Soundwave (and co.), Shockwave, the Dreads, a helicopter, an armored car), as opposed to the Autobot's growing cast.

And then there's that weird drill tentacle thing. Who knows what they're drilling for? Is it just a destructive drill, or is there an actual purpose to this thing? Who knows? If it's the latter, that makes me

Anyways, it was cool...