Why couldn't these games have been our movies?

#1 Posted by Atary77 (502 posts) -

I really don't like the live action Transformers flicks. I know there are some that would tell me "It's been years, get over it". Well I'm not over it. They sucked when they came out and they still suck now! I'm not going to go into rant mode as to why they're such a chore to watch but I do want to bring up one of the things producers kept saying to fans when the first film was in production. The makers of the film wanted to focus on the human characters because they felt new comers to the series wouldn't understand what the Transformers were and that they would be confused if the movie started with robots talking to robots. I can't help but feel that's just a lazy argument made by producers and marketing morons who think that movie goers are all idiots.

The whole idea that unless you show something people are already familiar with ,they won't get it. There are countless sci-fi movies that open up with all kinds of ideas, places, and characters that aren't familiar to us and they seem to catch on pretty damn well. For example look at Star Wars, when that first movie opens up what do you see? One ship being chased by one big ass ship while they shoot at each other! We don't know that they're called yet or why they're fighting but it's not long till we do find out because it was well made. Next thing ya see, well it's a robot... talking to a smaller robot. Wait there's robots in this that talk? Holy shit my mind can't comprehend this! Least that's what today's movie makers would think. Next thing ya see, Some dudes in helmets with guns waiting for some kind of threat to blast through that door they're all worried about. And sure enough that threat does show up and, what?! Guys in white armor? Why are they wearing that armor? Why are they all shooting each other? And who's this guy in a dark black suit breathing heavy? I don't know who he is but I'm sure he must be a bad guy!

You see what I'm getting at here? Star Wars a movie that was pretty much founded on concepts we've never heard of before became one of the greatest and most recognized things of all time. That you can start a movie with all kinds of strange and unknown things and not treat your audience like they're idiots! Before Star Wars we didn't know what a Jedi ,or the Force, or why anyone would use a sword made out of light but it sure did a good job of introducing us to them. Getting back to Transformers I think it would've been entirely possible to start the movie on Cybertron and focusing on the robots. We all knew what a robot was in 2007 so there's something we could already understand and as the movie would go (if written properly) could've introduced us to all these characters and concepts.

And with these games having such a great story, world, and characters I just can't help but think that THESE stories should've been our movies. Not the shit fest that was Shia LeBouf's quest to get laid in explosion land.

What are your thoughts?

#2 Posted by stinky (1555 posts) -

they did well at the box office and sold a ton of toys, so no matter what we think its going to go on.

1st film, they had budget issues, so needed less robot time. scenes with well acted robots conversing was out of the question. focus on human beings to save money.

2nd film, writer's strike, no one was proud of that film.

3rd film, no excuse as far as i know. but you can see the budgetary attitude still, robots say their lines quickly, weight of the story offloaded to humans to save money. robots themselves are too jagged and complicated to really show emotion anyway IMO.

would agree with what Kevin Smith said, release a version of the films thats ONLY the robot action as an alternative.

in the end, it will be rebooted so we will have yet another version. so no worries, don't like this version? relax, there will be countless more.

dont like the movie versions, there are many TV versions too. some good, some bad.

#3 Posted by Atary77 (502 posts) -

@stinky: Here's my question, why did this have to be live action to begin with? In my opinion this should've been a CGI animated film all together. It seems like it's more of a hassle trying to render CGI mixed with live action as opposed to just making it CGI entirely.

#4 Posted by kindone (2843 posts) -

I can't understand the vitriol towards the movies. I loved them, although I thought the female "star" was a bit much. Other than that - it delivered enough of a story and plenty of action to remind me why I loved the franchise.

However, I can't say that this franchise wouldn't have made an amazing set of movies.

#5 Posted by triviaman09 (804 posts) -

Money, dawg. They know that Megan Fox and Shia Lebouf (or whatever) and robots and explosions with familiar products set on Earth is way more marketable and accessible than a movie set in a place called "Cybertron" based on an 80's cartoon about a war between robots. Movie versions of these video games wouldn't have made a billy plus.

For what it's worth, I also hold the Transformers movies in contempt. They're a pile of steaming garbage. Somehow, they make wars between giant robots boring and unwatchable, a feat which I thought impossible.

#6 Posted by Atary77 (502 posts) -

@triviaman09 said:

For what it's worth, I also hold the Transformers movies in contempt. They're a pile of steaming garbage. Somehow, they make wars between giant robots boring and unwatchable, a feat which I thought impossible.

Yeah basically this. I mean how do you fuck this up? A massive war between giant robots and it's so damned boring to watch! Of course giant robots that can be easily killed by military troops while Optimus Prime is stuck in... bridge cables or something stupid.

#7 Posted by Phatmac (5730 posts) -

The transformer movies are extremely profitable. Even if you don't like it, it doesn't mean that they'll make it just for you. Those movies have mass appeal and they'll continue to be. Also comparing movies to games is dumb as they are vastly different forms of media that can't be easily compared.

#8 Posted by JackSukeru (5967 posts) -

@Atary77 said:

@stinky: Here's my question, why did this have to be live action to begin with?

Because making a movie all CG effectively makes it a cartoon and, as we all know, cartoons are for kids. Instead they went for mass appeal and made it a movie that teenagers and up can go see without feeling that they are into kid stuff.

#9 Posted by Atary77 (502 posts) -

@Phatmac said:

The transformer movies are extremely profitable. Even if you don't like it, it doesn't mean that they'll make it just for you. Those movies have mass appeal and they'll continue to be. Also comparing movies to games is dumb as they are vastly different forms of media that can't be easily compared.

It's not just that I don't like it but there are a number of professional critics as well as numerous other average joe's like myself that can't stand them either. But don't jsut take my word for it, look at the scores these movies have on RottenTomatoes

Transformers (2007) - 57%

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) - 20%

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) - 35%

So I'm not the only one in the world who thinks they're crap, and it's even more sad that crap made billions of dollars. So we can excuse a movie if it's shit worthless as long as it rakes in the dough. All I'm saying is it didn't have to be made for my specific taste, but Hollywood doesn't need to treat it's audience like we're all incredibly stupid an unable to comprehend foreign concepts.

As for comparing movies to games, I agree and if you wanted to translate the story from these games into a good movie you'd have to make the right changes to it.

#10 Posted by BraveToaster (12588 posts) -

The first one was decent, but the rest were shit. Hollywood isn't concerned about maintaining the heart of franchises, they essentially want to attract larger audiences, so they add the attractive damsel in distress along with a ton of unnecessary amount of comic relief. This is also used to fill the gaps between vital parts of the story. It's what writers do when they can't think of anything substantive to add to the core.

#11 Posted by Butano (1790 posts) -

I love the first one. It's just a fun action movie I can watch over and over. Maybe it's because I grew up watching Beast Wars more than G1 and never read the comics.

I think the bigger offender is going to be the new TMNT movie though, if they go with the turtles being aliens from the start instead of being transformed by an alien liquid.

#12 Posted by Giantstalker (1730 posts) -
#13 Posted by Atary77 (502 posts) -

@RockmanBionics said:

@Atary77 said:

@stinky: Here's my question, why did this have to be live action to begin with?

Because making a movie all CG effectively makes it a cartoon and, as we all know, cartoons are for kids. Instead they went for mass appeal and made it a movie that teenagers and up can go see without feeling that they are into kid stuff.

That's the other problem with just the whole movie making business in general. That an all CGI movie or "cartoon" wouldn't have mass appeal. Yet we have movies like The Incredibles and everyone and their dog loves that film. I know I certainly do! Plus we have animated movies like James Cameron's Avatar. Ok yeah there's live actors in it but ya know what? About 80 percent of the movie are animated aliens with motion capture actors and sets that aren't really there. It was all done with computers. It's an animated movie and that stupid thing made money like crazy.

Also we live in a world where college frat boys watch a show called My Little Pony Friendship is magic.

#14 Posted by Delta_Ass (3282 posts) -

Christopher Nolan could've made some great Transformers movies. But we got a great Batman trilogy instead.

#15 Edited by NyxFe (248 posts) -

As a huge fan of all things Transformers OTHER than the live action movies, I have to agree with your sentiment towards them. However, I don't feel like these games needed to replace the movies.

Overall, the popularity of the movies is undeniable, no matter how shitty we can all agree they are. Think of them as a tool for a real transformers fan - they essentially contributed to the financial feasibility of the rest of the franchise (though my opinion of the movie toys is less-than-stellar, we now have excellent waves like First Edition and Prime Robots in Disguise) which may very well not have existed without the rekindled hype that was brought on by the movies.

These games, on the other hand, are an excellent homage to the original G1 characters and story, and do a great job of modernizing the Transformers in a way that I feel any fan of the original cartoon and movie can appreciate. There's no reason not to just treat these games as if they were "our movies", they just happen to be interactive. These are storylines and characters designed for actual fans of the Transformers, and not for some mass market appeal with a few robots thrown in.

#16 Posted by Slag (4905 posts) -

I hear ya OP, I hear ya.

Still It wasn't the inclusion of the Humans that did it in (most the shows have humans too),it was how they did it.

#17 Posted by Atary77 (502 posts) -

@Slag said:

I hear ya OP, I hear ya.

Still It wasn't the inclusion of the Humans that did it in (most the shows have humans too),it was how they did it.

Yeah, because it's not that you CAN'T have human characters in the story, because we obviously see a lot of humans in Transformers Prime which I think is a great show, but they shouldn't be the "focus" of the series. That and why the hell couldn't Bumble Bee talk? That still fucking bugs me.

#18 Posted by LiquidPrince (16185 posts) -

I liked the three movies. They are among my favorite action popcorn flicks. Mindless action and goofy comedy. As for the humans, I agree with the fact that you NEED the humans in the story. Without a human element, there is no reason for the viewer to become attached to the action. The third movie was so cool in my opinion, because it took place in Chicago. If it had taken place in some random city in Cybertron, seeing that city get demolished would have meant nothing to me.

#19 Posted by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

My Thoughts?

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

#20 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@ck1nd said:

I can't understand the vitriol towards the movies. I loved them, although I thought the female "star" was a bit much. Other than that - it delivered enough of a story and plenty of action to remind me why I loved the franchise.

However, I can't say that this franchise wouldn't have made an amazing set of movies.

Mostly because they're brain-dead action films. That's generally not a crime in and of itself, but Transformers 2 was complete nonsense and Transformers 3 turned Optimus Prime into Optimus Douchebag. "We're just gonna sit this one out and let Chicago get slaughtered to prove a point."

#21 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

You just have to let go of your expectations when a new version of something from your childhood comes out and is inevitably total fucking garbage. It's always what happens, without fail, when things are remade for a new mass market audience. The sad part is that the new generation actually thinks the new shit is good.

#22 Posted by kindone (2843 posts) -

@Hailinel: Ah, I guess I just didn't care enough in the end to notice all of that stuff. Transformers was one of those eye-candy movies for me where I just enjoyed the action.

#23 Posted by Atary77 (502 posts) -

@MrKlorox said:

You just have to let go of your expectations when a new version of something from your childhood comes out and is inevitably total fucking garbage. It's always what happens, without fail, when things are remade for a new mass market audience. The sad part is that the new generation actually thinks the new shit is good.

This is one thing that gets brought up often and while I can't speak for all the TF fans, me personally though I wasn't disappointed because it wasn't like Gen 1 certainly not. There are a lot of things I expect out of a good movie. Good story telling, characters, writing, camera work ,ect. If people had to take liberties with Transformers to make a good movie, so be it. Just because something is new doesn't make it bad. What made the TF movies bad was the poor writing, directions, actors, story, characters were just straight up bad and overall a boring movie.

Being a child of the 80's and a fan of various cartoons I know a lot of people like me weren't happy about the new Thundercats series on Cartoon Network. I love that new show! It's awesome and it makes a good number of changes to the world and characters. Because what we had back in the 80's really was pretty shitty when you look at it. And I'll admit it, Gen 1 wasn't the best Transformer series. When you look at it for what it really was, it was a cheaply made show used to plug a line of action figures. Like every other beloved cartoon of the time. Thankfully we got good shows like Beast Wars and Transformers Prime which are really great and did something right with the characters and mythos.

The movies simply did not.

#24 Edited by living4theday258 (677 posts) -

I've never been a big fan of the TF live action, I found 1 to be bearable, 2 was a complete pile of shit and 3 seemed like an attempt at redemption from 2 but didn't go as planned.

#25 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

Transformers Prime is what the movies should have been, great show barring a few...interesting...art style choices (fucking Starscream and his fucking giant robot eyebrows fuck)

#26 Posted by Slag (4905 posts) -

@Atary77 said:

Yeah, because it's not that you CAN'T have human characters in the story, because we obviously see a lot of humans in Transformers Prime which I think is a great show, but they shouldn't be the "focus" of the series. That and why the hell couldn't Bumble Bee talk? That still fucking bugs me.

The Bumblebee thing was not my favorite choice either. The biggest voice thing that drove me nuts was the fact they didn't vocode Soundwave. What the hell man. That is a core, perhaps the core, part of his characterization.

And that's what they screwed up in every movie. The shows have always done a really good job of characterizing the robots with distinct looks, personality quirks and voices. Other than Optimus the movies completely failed in this aspect.

The robots should be the core characters here, not the humans. No one gives a crap about random special forces army guys running around.

Devastator having implied genitalia was probably the lowest low point

#27 Posted by freakin9 (1171 posts) -

I loved the first two Transformers films, and yes I do try to pretend "robot balls" never happened in the second one.

And the third one you ask? Hated it, unfortunately.

#28 Posted by Cirdain (3156 posts) -

I quite like these games too.

#29 Posted by Atary77 (502 posts) -

@Slag: lowest point for me was deep wang. Really? What was he there for other than to be failed joke. All my hate all of it at who ever wrote that

#30 Posted by Veektarius (5032 posts) -

Nerddom does not a profitable blockbuster make. See Serenity for an example - in our little subculture, it's easy to look at something like Firefly and say, "Hey, if you brought it back and didn't fuck around with its scheduling, it'd be a smash hit!" The truth is that in the general population, that's probably not true. So it is with Transformers.

Now, I kind of like Transformers 1, skipped 2 based on word of mouth, and I thought 3 was one of the emptiest films I've ever seen. But if it weren't for the profitability of the Transformers movies, I can't say with any certainty that these games would have been made at all, much less made as movies.

#31 Posted by Mokes (36 posts) -

Dark of the Moon still pisses me off for insulting everything about Megatron & Optimus.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.