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.
Michael Bay is hard at work on Transformers 3, which is scheduled to go into active production this summer. I’m excited for it, although I have some hopes that after Michael Bay’s Transformers 3, Hasbro pulls a Spider-Man and reboots the series. I have a feeling that someone like J.J. Abrams would do a great job with it, though two of his writers were the primary writers of Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
The third film is written by the third part of the writing team from the second film. Alone. So who knows… Michael Bay fills us in on both the feel of the script for the third film, as well as his work to help out Haiti:
Busy scouting – Chicago, Detroit, and Washington D.C. for Transformers last week. Things are going well. The script is feeling very different from the other two. I ended my scout down in Miami this weekend to load my plane with 14 Florida Surgeons, specialists in various fields and flew them down to Haiti. We then returned with a planeload of a team of exhausted Miami Fire rescue. It is proving very difficult for these volunteers to get back home.
They say the news hardly gives the true scope of what really happened. They really feel about 500,000 probably died. One of the worst stories I heard from people down there – because of the huge lack of education in Haiti – when the earthquake struck – everyone ran inside buildings most likely to their graves. The state of Florida is really pulling their weight in this massive effort.
So, he’s scouted for locations in Chicago, Detroit and Washington D.C. Nice. I live about 3 1/2 hours from both Chicago and Detroit, so even though I don’t think I’ll have time, I’d love to try to be an extra in the film, if he settles on it. He did shoot in Detroit on the first film, and I think Washington D.C. Not sure about Chicago, though.
One thing that I really loved about it, though: “The script is feeling very different from the other two.” I hope this is different in a positive direction. For example: focus more on the robots. It’s called “Transformers.” Not “Humans, with special guests, the Transformers!” I have heard that they’re cutting it back to a movie about a boy and his robot, which is fine with me, so long as Bumblebee can speak this time around. I’m also hoping that they take the time to actually build up the Autobot characters as well as the Decepticons.
I’d also appreciate a less vulgar film than the second one. It’s based on toys for kids, it should be MARKETABLE toward kids. A film that full of innuendo, cursing and all that is not.
I have to hand it to Michael Bay for helping with Haiti, though, regardless of his sense of humor and swearing habits.
It’s about time they re-released this. No offense to Rhino, but the first release of this cartoon was just not up to par. It was a good and noble effort, but it was nothing to really write home about. The menu system left much to be desired, and the features seemed equally slapped together. Not to mention that the menu was so poorly designed, that it wasn’t until months later that I discovered some features that I didn’t even know were actually on the set.
This edition is from a different DVD studio called Shout! Factory. And they’ve pulled out all of the stops on this release. Not only that, but one of the features that they list for the set makes it well worth the upgrade if you’ve already got it: Restored to the original broadcast versions with a new stereo soundtrack created from the original audio.
The release date for this set is June 16, 2009.
I’ve just found the list of the robots that will be in the film on both sides of the war. If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read it. For the rest of us that could care less about who appears in it, and just would like to know, read on. I think there are some pretty great ones.
Autobots – Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Ratchet, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Arcee, Jetfire, Jolt, Skids & Mudflap (The Twins)
Decepticons – Starscream, Sideways, The Fallen, Scorponok, Soundwave, Ravage, The Doctor, Wheelie, Demolishor, Devastator (Scavenger, Scrapper, Hightower, Longhaul, Rampage, Overload, Mixmaster)
I figured that, since we’re getting closer to the summer movie schedule, now would be as good a time as any to post my list of movies that I anticipate seeing over the course of 2009. It’s definitely a truncated list, based on what I knew was coming out at the end of 2008. All release dates are subject to change, and additions to the list are a definite possibility.
The list of films is grouped by month. It starts out with April and goes to December. At the beginning of each month, I’ll be posting a new entry more information about each of the movies for that month, including (if available) a trailer for the film. I’ll also be expanding on my reasons for wanting to see the film, and whatever else strikes me at the time.