I'm going to watch all of the Transformers movies and post my thoughts!

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by TheSoundwave, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    Over the next week or so I'm going to watch all of the Transformers movies and post my thoughts on them here. I've seen bits and pieces of all of them, but this will be the first time I've seen some of them in their entirety. I figure I can't discuss them fairly without actually having seen them all the way through, so here goes nothing! I didn't see an overall review thread for the series so I decided to create this one so I wouldn't have to bump the individual threads for the past movies. Anyone who wants to can feel free to play along!

    I've already watched The Last Knight, I'll paste my thoughts on it below from the review thread.

    I'm in the process of watching Age of Extinction right now. I wanted to watch this one before I watch the first trilogy, while TLK is still somewhat fresh on my mind.

    Next, I'll go back and review the first trilogy in order. The only one I've seen of those in its entirety is the '07 film, it's been about a year so I want to refresh my memory.

    When I'm done reviewing the individual movies I'll post some additional thoughts on the series overall. I might even post my thoughts on the '86 animated movie, just for fun!
     
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  2. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    Transformers: The Last Knight

    I watched the Last Knight about a month ago. I used to really hate the Bayverse, but I actually enjoyed watching this movie, it was a lot of fun.
    I thought the first 20 or 30 minutes were a blast. I absolutely loved the stuff in the ruins of Chicago, the junkyard, and the abandoned town. Those were all such interesting locations and interesting situations. It felt like an adventure movie, on the run from the bad guys. I really wish the entire movie had just been Cade, Izzy, Jimmy, and the Autobots rescuing broken Transformers and building an army to fight Quintessa or something.

    I wasn't so big on the knight stuff, it seemed kind of like a crutch to me (which is ironic considering that's in the title of the movie). I feel like the movie takes a nosedive when Cogman and Sir Edmund Burton enter the movie. These were fine characters, but they didn't really fit the tone of what was going on. We go from a fast-paced, in-the-moment adventure to a long talking scene that isn't even that relevant. The sequence at Burton's castle is interesting in theory, but it drags on too long and it ultimately amounts to nonsense. I will say it's not terrible though, it's elevated by the fact that it's a bit tongue-in-cheek.

    Thankfully the finale picks up a bit. The remains of Cybertron entering Earth's atmosphere was a cool idea, and I applaud them for preforming Cybertron practically (although I take a bit of an issue with the execution). There were a lot of cool little moments, like the Infernocus combiner and Hot Rod's time-stopping gun (seriously, why has no one put that in a movie before this?). I feel like the battle could have been a little more creative, but I do think it's far better than some of the city battles (which just look bland to me).

    I think the Autobots could have used a little bit more characterization, but I think this movie has very interesting human characters (it's one of the few pieces of Transformers media that I would argue gets humans right). One thing I noticed is that pretty much every major human character in the movie has a solid connection to the robots and a reason to be there. They earn their place in the story. Cade gave up a normal life to hide the Autobots. Burton has a Transformers museum. This is more interesting to me than characters like Sam Witwicky or the TFP kids, who are just sort of there because the story needs humans. Heck, I'd argue Izzy is possibly the most interesting human character we've seen in the brand (at least in theory). I really wish she were explored more.

    I really applaud the fact that they made a Transformers movie that wasn't Optimus heavy. I like Optimus, but he tends to dominate the story when he's on-screen. Aside from that, he's used all the time in TF media and it was kind of neat seeing his role decreased. I like this interpretation of Hot Rod. I never really cared for the character (always found him a bit generic), so I was fine with the filmmakers doing something completely different. This was by far my favorite movieverse Megatron (maybe one of my favorite Megatron designs ever). I'm really glad they kept Frank Welker on board. The team of Decepticons was great! This is the first time I can recall seeing movieverse Decepticons having real personalities, even if they were a bit basic. Their introduction was cheesy as heck, but that's what made it wonderful.

    To me The Last Knight felt kind of tongue-in-cheek overall. It felt like the filmmakers were in on the joke. About a year ago I rewatched the '07 film, and I was surprised how "serious business" everything was (not to say it was humorless by any means, but it takes itself pretty seriously at times). I sort of applaud them for trying to play it straight, but I don't feel like it worked. Some of the government scenes, military scenes, and stuff with Sam's school/love life are kind of grueling. The Last Knight feels very Marvel at times, and I enjoyed that. Even when it slowed down, it never felt that tedious me (the closest for me was probably the submarine sequence.)

    I liked about 70% - 80% of the movie. That's not to say it was great or even a well-made film, but it was an enjoyable guilty pleasure to me. There was also a lot of good humor in there. Off the top of my head I can think of several memorable quotes. In general I'm amazed how far the technology has come since the series first started, the robots look very realistic and the animation is very fluid. They've really nailed body language and facial expression. I would be curious to see a fan-edit that removes the stuff with Burton and the knights, and just focuses on the present-day adventure without all the history stuff.
     
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  3. Trip2boy

    Trip2boy Well-Known Member

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    This is the most glowing review of TF5 I've seen on this website.
     
  4. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    Lol, I've definitely seen a lot of dislike for it. I don't view it as a well-made film, but I enjoyed it well enough. I watched the movie knowing all of the spoilers and complaints ahead of time, so I was kind of able to just sit back and enjoy the ride. I'm curious what my reaction would have been if I went into it blind.
     
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  5. 96megatron

    96megatron Well-Known Member

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    Transformers Prime: Predacons Rising was pretty good I recommend it if you haven't seem it.
     
  6. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    I saw it years ago when it first came out. I do recall it being pretty good, maybe I'll check it out again and see how it holds up.
     
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  7. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    Transformers: Age of Extinction

    I just got finished watching Age of Extinction for the first time in it's entirety. I enjoyed it okay, but I actually expected to enjoy it a bit more than I did.

    I like the idea of Cade finding broken down Optimus and fixing him up. That whole section of the film was interesting. I felt like the human cast was pretty well developed, at least initially. The relationship between Cade and his daughter was nice, it added a good emotional angle. I would say the Autobots were by far the best part of the movie. They had a good amount to do and they all had distinct personalities and designs. They had some great interaction with each other. The second best part of the movie was Joshua Joyce, almost everything he said was entertaining. I thought Lockdown was great villain, and I sort of wish that aspect was explored more.

    That much being said, I felt a distinct lack of connection between the human storyline and the robot storyline throughout the movie, and that kind of drags down the movie for me. Even when they were on-screen together, I didn't feel like they really integrated with each other most of the time. I felt like I was watching two separate movies. I think part of it is that there's not a whole lot of interaction between humans and robots. TLK has a lot of casual interaction, even small things like Cade yelling at Grimlock for eating a car really helps add a believable connection between the two species. I didn't get that nearly as much here.

    As I said in my review for The Last Knight, I felt like that movie had a sort of Marvel-style tongue-in-cheek, self-aware quality that sort of saved it despite it's sloppiness. I really felt that missing here. I get that this was trying to be a darker one, but it felt a little over-serious to me. I can ignore a lot of the problems in the Last Knight because it's pretty goofy and carefree, but the seriousness of AOE made the mistakes and errors stand out even more to me. I noticed a lot of technical errors, for instance there are a lot of times actors fail to react to robots or explosions. These are the kind of things that become really apparent to me when the situations are so serious. I'm not saying a movie about Transformers can't be serious, but if that's the route they want to go it should probably have a much better script and better attention to this kind of thing.

    The action was okay, there were a couple of cool fights throughout the movie. I thought the CGI was kind of poor in places, and there were two or three times toward the end when the robots seemed a little over-animated (even for the exaggerated style of the series). Once again, this may have to do with the serious tone rather than the actual animation. There were actually a good amount of funny lines and jokes scattered throughout (mainly from the Autobots), but they didn't have quite the punch for me. A lot of them went by quickly and didn't really get a chance to sink in.

    Overall I would say I enjoyed watching Age of Extinction. It never slowed to a halt like TLK did (it's probably a better-paced movie), but it also never got quite as entertaining or energetic as TLK did. TLK felt like it had a little more spunk and life, at least when it got good. My favorite scene in the movie was probably Bee and Shane in the KSI lab. Either that or the spaceship chase. I might consider watching AOE again at some point, but probably not extremely often.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
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  8. primal789

    primal789 Prime

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    I can't believe someone compared AOE and TLK the same way I did!*mind=blown*
     
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  9. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    Transformers (2007)

    This is the third time of seen this movie. The first was back in 2007 when it came on DVD, and the second was last year. This movie has had a pretty big impact on my life, I own many toys from it (deluxe concept Camaro Bee is still one of my favorite all time Transformers figures) and it was a huge piece of pop-culture. Despite being a pretty big part of my childhood, I strangely don't have a huge nostalgic connection to the movie itself, I guess I was more exposed to the toys and tie-in media.

    I'm happy to say that I enjoyed it a lot more on this rewatch than I thought I would. I honestly have to say that it has a pretty decent storyline. It's nothing too spectacular or out-of-the-box, but the plot makes sense and it does the job, especially for a first film that has to set stuff up. Going with a fairly straightforward story was probably a good decision.

    The visual effects also hold up pretty well. Honestly, I think they were far better than Age of Extinction's effects. I noticed a couple of shots that aged poorly, but I have to give them a little leeway since this was one of the first movies to do CGI on this scale. I love the grit and battle damage on Bumblebee, it's obvious that a lot of care went into his design and texturing.

    Thankfully the human aspect wasn't as tedious as I remember it being. I would say a little bit of it could have been trimmed down (mainly the stuff with Sam's parents and some of the government/military stuff) to make the movie a little more concise, but at least most of it contributes to the story. I liked Sam Witwicky more than I remember. He's not the greatest actor, but he has a certain charm. Having the main character be an everyday person was smart. I do feel his connection to the robots throughout. I'd say Simmons is probably my favorite human character. The movie is pretty well-paced overall.

    What don't I like? Well, I can't say I like the design work on the robots much at all. In comparison to the newer movies the designs here feel very unrefined and kind of samey (at least to me). I feel like the design team focused their effort on working out Bumblebee's design (who admittedly looks very good and distinct), but didn't put as much effort into refining the rest of them. Optimus looks okay, but I don't like the face (mainly the nose and mouth area). The Decepticons especially look very generic to me. I know a lot of people love the designs in this one, but they just didn't really do it for me. The action was fun in places, but it got a little too chaotic after a while.

    I wish there was more of a connection between Sam and Bumblebee. We're told that Sam has a connection to Bee, but we never really see it. There's never a scene when the two just talk and become friends. The story plays out fine for what it is, but I didn't really get the whole "boy and his car" thing the movie advertised itself as. As it is, Sam only has a connection with the car because it helped him get the girl.

    Speaking of that, I didn't like Mikaela. I actually felt like she was a well-written character and had the potential to be very interesting, but that was all lost behind the fact that the movie completely sexualizes her and the actress just isn't that good or convincing. I'm sure she sounded like a strong character on paper, but I don't think the intention came through well. Sadly, the fact that this character didn't work for me also sort of means the whole romance plot (basically Sam's main motivation) also falls through for me. There were a couple good scenes between the two, but I really don't feel chemistry between them.

    I'd like to take a moment to look at the beloved "Arrival to Earth" scene. I get why a lot of people like it. It's the first appearance of the Autobots in live-action, and it's treated in a very epic and dignified manner. I know it's an unpopular opinion, but something about this scene has never quite sat right with me. Am I the only one who sort of feels like it de-characterizes the robots when their introduction is this grand and epic? I can see an introduction like this for Godzilla or something, but it always seemed weird introducing actual characters this way. Imagine if Sam's introduction was some kind of drawn-out thing with epic music playing. Wouldn't that be a bit awkward? I guess that's always the kind of feeling I got here. Once the Autobots started talking and bantering with each other I was able to get into them but I don't necessarily like it when they're put on such a high pedestal. It works perfectly from a filmmaking perspective, but I really love it when the robots are treated casually and nonchalantly. It just puts me in the world better.

    Above I said that I liked TLK because of it's somewhat self-aware nature, and I felt like AOE took itself too seriously for it's own good. I feel like the 2007 film is a movie that knows it's tone and pulls it off pretty successfully. I'm not saying the entire movie is successful, but it's good for what it is. It's played pretty straight, but it doesn't feel like it's trying to be as "serious business" as AOE was. I can definitely understand why a lot of movieverse fans consider this one their favorite. It takes Transformers more seriously than a lot of the cartoons and whatnot, but still has fun with the idea. In a way it's a good movie for people who feel like they're growing out of the cartoons. On a personal level I didn't like it as much as TLK. The 2007 film is definitely a far better film by movie standards, but it just didn't hit the same spot for me.
     
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  10. Nemesis Otaku

    Nemesis Otaku I love both Nemesis Prime and Anime!

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    I'm really glad you're enjoying the films! I feel as though many people on theses boards go in expecting to see a well written, oscar worthy film, and it's not. These are films made just to entertain people, and I'm glad you're enjoying the films so far. A weird order to watch them in, but I'm glad to see someone else who enjoys the films for what they are.

    Also, I see where you're coming from in regards to the 2007 film. It's what got me into TFs, yet I don't hold it that high on "my favorite things in TFs list".

    Can't wait to see your reviews for the last two films, especially DOTM. That's my favorite of the series. :) 
     
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  11. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    Yeah, these are definitely films made for entertainment value, not Oscar-winning masterpieces. But the franchise overall isn't an award-winning brand, it started a toyline. I don't blame people at all for wanting a better movie series, but all the "ruined my childhood" complaints are definitely silly. Transformers has never really had a 'vision' behind it the same way something like Star Wars or Spider-man has. It's always been kind of a playground for storytellers to play in.

    It is a weird order to watch them in! I actually watched The Last Knight with some friends, since it's the newest one. I wanted to watch them all as a group (they're kind of fun group movies), but most of them don't want to watch any more, so I'm just watching them on my own. I think I'm going to take a little break for a few days and probably finish the series over spring break. I've been watching these on campus between classes, and I woke up too late today to watch ROTF before my class starts. I'll probably be too busy this afternoon or tomorrow.
     
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  12. Kotori Sonoda

    Kotori Sonoda Yohane's Little Demon

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    wow, it's nice you really enjoyed these movies!
    Sans the first one I've watched all of them in theaters and I always came out feeling satisfied (although TLK is a bit lacking for me in some areas).
     
  13. Russian fan

    Russian fan Proud Autobot Ally

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    Transformers Movies are written not worse, than the Lord of the Rings, but the last got 11 oscars. The key is the stereotypes. Also, I, personally, hate most of oscar-winning movies, they are not well-written, because they are just boring. If you search beautiful methaphors and parallels with sacred books - look closer to TFs - they have a lot!
     
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  14. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

    Just watched this for the first time! I enjoyed...parts of it, lol. I can definitely understand why ROTF is considered the weakest by a lot of people, but that's not to say there weren't good elements to it.

    I feel like the movie took a while to get going for me, but when it got there I was able to sit back and enjoy the ride. The part that that sort of turned the movie around for me was when Simmons was introduced. The entire feel of the movie changed, and I started enjoying the storyline after this point; meeting Jetfire, traveling to Egypt, finding the Matrix; that was all a lot of fun and had an adventurous feel to it.

    I definitely prefer the design work a lot more in ROTF than the first film, it feels like it's been tightened up a bit (understandable, since they probably had a bigger budget). Aside from the overall design aesthetic, there are a lot of creative individual designs. I love the non-humanoid ones like Demolishor, Rampage, and Scalpel. I enjoyed Optimus' design more here than the first film, something about his face looked weird to me then. It seems like they might have slightly tweaked the proportions and added more detail. Either that or the quality of CGI has improved since then. Whatever the case, it looked better to me here. I actually like this interpretation of Devastator a lot, I kind of wish he had more to do.

    I also like the variety of disguises in this one. The first film had a little variety with Frenzy and Nokia-bot, this this took it even further. We have microscopes, RC cars, and even a Decepticon that turns into a human. This idea takes a lot of hate, but I actually like it. Transformers can mimic rubber tires, fabric car seats, and all sorts of other material. Why shouldn't they be able to mimic human flesh? I actually sort of wish this idea was explored more.

    Unfortunately I felt a huge lack of Transformers in this movie. The first film takes a lot of flak for this also, but I would argue it's kind of saved by having a tight and somewhat concise plot, even when it's on the humans. This movie had a lot of unnecessary stuff in it. We probably could have spent a little less time with Sam at college. Even when the robots were on-screen, it felt kind of...impersonal. There were very few scenes of the Autobots interacting with each other or with humans. I think the Decepticons actually had more interaction with each other, more closeups, and possibly more screentime overall.

    I didn't really like the humor here. I laughed a couple times, but nearly as much as I should have. There were way too many potty jokes and slapstick/bumbling humor. It's a shame because they actually had some good stuff to work with. I like the idea of Sam's roommate being a conspiracy theorist, but none of the humor that came from that idea really landed for me...except maybe his confrontation with "Robo Warrior" Simmons, that was a clever setup. They could have played with that idea a lot more.

    Unfortunately the action didn't work as well here either. Again, it was very human-focused and a bit too chaotic when it was on the robots. My favorite fight was probably Bumblebee vs Rampage, that was a lot of fun. The forest fight also had some cool moments and choreography.

    As far as my overall thoughts go, I enjoyed it, but not as much as the others. I guess you could say it felt a little safe? I would say I had fun watching it, but I'm not sure I'd revisit it as much as the other's I've seen. I kind of went in with low expectations, so I wasn't frustrated or anything.

    Possible Connection to the Last Knight:

    A lot of people complain about the secret history thing in TLK. The funny thing is that it was actually set up in this movie. Whether or not it was intentional foreshadowing is up for debate (I kind of doubt it), but it was there to some extent, and I wouldn't be surprised if the story group built off of that. Simmons flat out says that the Transformers came here long ago and some of them stayed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  15. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    Transformers: Dark of the Moon

    Finished watching this for the first time, and I really enjoyed it!

    Definitely a better movie than Revenge of the Fallen, and maybe even better than the '07 film (I'll have to think on this a bit more though.) It had a pretty tight plot and the storyline stayed really interesting. There were a lot of scenes with the humans, but thankfully they seemed to move the plot along more than some of the human scenes in ROTF. I would say some of the stuff with Sam looking for a job could have been cut down, but even that was fairly entertaining. The editing and pacing also felt miles better than ROTF.

    I love the way the robots were handled in this film. They get a good amount of interaction with each other and with the humans. They all have distinct personalities, and all get their moment. I would say maybe they could have got one or two more scenes each though. The effects here are probably the best in the series. Thankfully the Autobots were given a lot of dialog and closeups, which I really felt was missing from ROTF. Even the Decepticons get a lot of interesting stuff to do. I really like the character of Sentinel Prime, he's an interesting villain. Also, Laserbeak was great.

    The action was probably some of my favorite in the series also. There were a couple scenes that were a bit too chaotic, but there are also several fights with really cool choreography. In general there were a lot of really nice visuals and cinematography. I felt like the military and government aspects were handled more appropriately here than the the first two films, it never felt like too much and it always worked in the context of the story.

    As for negatives, I really don't have a lot. It's been criticized to death, but Optimus' actions at the end still don't sit quite right with me. I don't know if he's quite deserving of the title "Murder Prime", but I think it could have been a bit more interesting story-wise if the ending was written in a way that had Optimus try to negotiate with Sentinel and Megatron. It also sort of comes across that Optimus allowed Chicago to get destroyed to teach humanity a lesson, but I don't think this was the writers' intention, lol.

    If I had to make one more complaint, I wish Shockwave had a bigger role. As it is he was basically just another brute, and that's kind if a shame considering he could be a really interesting villain. It could have been a fun idea to have Shockwave be on Cybertron (sort of like his other incarnations), and have him coordinate the plan with Sentinel over radio transmissions. Maybe some of the pillars are still on Cybertron, and Shockwave has to prepare those in order for the plan to work. Then when Cybertron comes into Earth's atmosphere Shockwave could come down to Earth and participate in the battle.

    Overall it was a pretty solid Transformers movie, and a lot of fun. I would say the humor in this was probably the best of the first trilogy, although I think I may have preferred TLK's humor a bit more, it seemed a bit more witty. Overall I'll have to think on how it compares to TLK (which might still be my favorite). This is definitely a better film in terms of writing and story, but something about TLK's self-awareness still appeals to me a bit more, and I would say TLK had more individual characters and moments I like better.
     
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  16. Galvatross

    Galvatross Swamp Lord Shrek-traoridinairre! Veteran

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    You know, there have been thousands of opinions about each of the movies expressed on this site, but I really respect you for going into each of them with an open mind and expressing what you liked and disliked about each. Good job! It's definitely interesting seeing your perspective.
     
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  17. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    Thank you, I had a lot of fun doing it! I used to be a huge critic of Bay, but now I've kind of mellowed out and can appreciate these movies a lot more. Tomorrow I'm going to post my overall thoughts on the series (after I have a chance to think on it and sort out my thoughts). At some point over the next few weeks I'll probably do a review of the '86 movie for fun. Someone also suggested I do Predacons Rising, so I might.

    I may do something similar to this for Transformers Animated and some of the comics. I need to do more research on the comics to figure out what interests me, because there are tons, lol. If I do that I'll post them in different threads.
     
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  18. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    I maintain that RotF was a way better film than people credit it. It would be a better viewing experience if people would simply let it.

    For me, DotM is easily the best of the 5.
    TLK being the worst and AoE being second worst.

    TF ‘07 doesn’t even get a rating from me; i consider it untouchable as being the first of its kind and an experiment.
     
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  19. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    ROTF was probably my least favorite, but I didn't hate it as much as a lot of people. I felt like the beginning was a bit messy, but I enjoyed it once it sort of found itself about halfway through.

    Yeah, it's definitely kind of hard to stack the '07 film up against the sequels. I wouldn't even say it's my favorite, but it's very different and has the most setup.
     

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