For the first time in a while we have a year without a Pixar film. I tend to put all Pixar films on my anticipated film list every year, but The Good Dinosaur was delayed until 2015. That will mean two Pixar films will be on my list for 2015, however, and I’m very excited about that. I’m pretty excited about this year’s movies, however, with the end of The Hobbit capping the a year filled with Muppets, superheroes, robots and biblical epics.
Today the poster for Transformers: Age of Extinction was revealed. It’s the same Transformers 4 logo that we’ve seen before, but it looks like a fossil from a dig site for dinosaur bones. This concept, plus the term “extinction” being in the title both seem to point toward the inclusion of some of my favorite characters: the Dinobots.
Initially they weren’t included because Michael Bay and his team couldn’t figure out how to incorporate them into the world that they’d created. I figured they might as well just do them the same way the cartoon did, with an Autobot building them. However, it seems they may have found a way, which hasn’t been confirmed or revealed. I am very excited at the idea of finally having the Dinobots join the adventure. As someone that’s enjoyed every film that’s been released so far, I am looking forward to this movie with great interest.
I’m hopeful that Grimlock is every bit as cool in live-action as I have dreamed he would be since they started making these movies about seven years ago. I just can’t believe it’s taken eight years to get to this point.
Transformers: Age of Extinction will be in theaters on June 27, 2014.
I just learned that Paramount has scheduled Transformers 4 for release on June 29, 2014. They’ve also put Michael Bay back in the director’s chair. That’s kind of disappointing, but also not entirely unexpected. That said, I have a list of requests for the upcoming fourth Transformers that I feel could not only make a great film, but also bring the franchise around to a place that no movie has really gone before, but should work if executed properly and taken seriously enough. There’s good reason why Optimus Prime’s scenes in the Transformers movies so far were always full of gravity and emotion, and it’s because he’s as effective as a human being. They’ve proven that Optimus alone can carry whole scenes, and it’s time to allow the robots to carry the entire film. That leads us to my list of requests.
1) Begins and Ends with Transformers. Humans are supporting roles. We’re talking 80% Transformer driven.
We’ve had enough human drama in the Transformers series. It’s time to take a chance on a character driven movie. People going to see a movie called Transformers should go into it expecting to see giant robots for the majority of the movie. I understand they are on earth and have to deal with humans. That’s why I’m being generous with the 20% human screentime. And that’s 20% humans alone if you find it necessary. Humans can appear in scenes with the Transformers, but only as background or supporting characters.
2) Bumblebee was given his voice back at the end of Transformers 1, and promptly lost it again in a battle in one of the comics. Funny, none of the other Transformers had the same problem. Fix him.
We need more Autobots and Decepticons that the audience can relate to and get to know. We know Optimus, Megatron, Sentinel, Starscream and Bumblebee pretty well. The rest of the Autobots and Decepticons have gone fairly undeveloped or destroyed. Giving Bumblebee his voice back would be a great start.
3) Give the Autobots a homebase of operations that THEY run.
Like the Ark from the original animated series, the Autobots need a place that they live that isn’t run by humans. Kind of like an Area 51, but only for Transformers.
4) Give the Decepticons a homebase as well.
The original animated series placed this in an ocean or lake. It would lift out of the water to release Decepticons. Make it happen.
5) The Decepticons are evil, make us hate them, but LOVE to hate them.
The third movie did a pretty great job of this, but we need something new from them. Give them personalities that make us really enjoy their screentime. Show them plotting and make them entertaining enough. Perhaps put them into a situation where they are earning the trust of humanity with the plan to turn on all of them. That’s been set up a bit by the third film, and wasn’t a bad twist. Might even set up a really great Autobot that people are sure to love, only to have him be destroyed by the Decepticons. (Think Darth Vader’s style of leadership.)
6) The Autobots are awesome, make us want them to destroy the Decepticons. (Kind of like TF3, but even moreso. Make the audience celebrate when the Autobots finally uncover the dastardly plot of the Decepticons and start to fight back.)
When the Autobots finally uncover whatever it is the Decepticons are doing in the film, they should go about their retaliation in a way that is fitting of the Autobots. It should be a plan that is run with tactics that use the variety of skills that each Autobot has in very interesting and unexpected ways. A lot of espionage and teamwork. Have Mirage (aka Dino) use his whip like weapons to toss an Autobot toward things like rooftops or Decepticons, and also use them to swing across things. He could even destroy a few Decepticon Jets by fighting with these weapons and then swinging from the falling wreck of one Decepticon to the next, using these weapons like a Spider-Man or Indiana Jones style whip, to launch himself from place to place.
7) Grimlock and the rest of the Dinobots.
It’s their time to shine. There have been three movies, and so far the Dinobots haven’t fit. To fit them in, the story might have to be about them. That said, it could be, or we could just have the Dinobots because they’re awesome. Perhaps they’re necessary because the Decepticons have something huge and the Autobots need more help that can’t come fast enough, so they build their own new group of Autobots.
Bonus: Use the Autobot and Decepticon logos to show when you’re switching scenes between the two sides.
This was a classic part of the cartoon and let us know, as the audience, which group of Transformers we were watching. Not a must have, but it would be really fun.