Obviously, we’re blaming people for how these films have turned out; we cant help it, when we find something’s not to our liking or requirement we have to work out whose fault it is. So who do you blame for the TFilms not being as good as they should have been? THE DIRECTOR MBay has taken most of the flak for these films. I can’t really say if he deserves it, but he’s taken it fairly well, not backing down or apologizing for what he’s done (except I think ROTF, but he just said there were parts he could have improved given more time). He was CHOSEN to direct, chosen by Spielberg, and he even initially rejected doing TRANSFORMERS at first – it was only when the idea of a robot war on Earth seriously interested him that he decided to give it a shot. So far all three films have been successful, so successful that he has been brought back for a fourth film. With DOTM becoming the fourth all-time blockbuster, he must be doing something right... right? I consider him to direct the film as per the script: his individual touches amounted to dressing the heroines in skimpy attire, and making Skids and Mudflap black and (according to Mark Ryan) Jetfire British (apparently the constructicles weren’t even his idea but Ehren Kruger’s); in general his vision of the Transformers – an alien robot war on Earth, shafeshifting aliens who are made of multiple components – has scored a hit. And correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Hasbro keep a tight control over its properties? It’s only with the company’s permission can any Transformers be cast at all. Beyond that there are a whole bunch of negotiations with the military and car companies as to whether they can use their vehicles as alt-modes (Ferrari’s Mirage had to be renamed Dino, and Chevrolet added their Volt automobile in ROTF as a last-minute request). Generally I can’t find anything wrong with the way he’s shot these TFilms. Their action is top class, and the robots themselves are a fantastic visual treat – it will forever be a shame these films didn’t get any Oscars. The only fault I see with MBay is his magnification of the human element: the approach that the humans need screentime equal to the robots is absolute slag. It’s acceptable and reasonable to have the military aid the Autobots, I’m fine with that; but he has no understanding of normal human behavior – literally; if you’ve noticed, his civilian characters are generally portrayed as rather edgy and eccentric (BAD BOYS, THE ROCK, THE ISLAND) while his military characters are actually fairly decent (PEARL HARBOUR, and Lennox and Epps). I tend to fast-forward the solely human scenes whenever I can. THE WRITERS Adapting a cartoon takes a lot of effort, especially a well-loved cartoon franchise that features a literal galaxy of characters and elements. You can only choose so much to work with, within budget and other resources. I was impressed with Orci and Kurtzman’s work on the first TFilm, though to be fair Spielberg reportedly supervised and doctored the script. Spielberg’s influence can be seen in the civilian scenes – Sam Witwicky is clearly a teenager going to college, and is rather snarky but nowhere near a douchebag, he’s at his most normal and likeable in this film. This is also, so far, the best of the TFilms - it’s got that special mystical feel, of the larger-than-life adventure of taking part in a secret savage war for the fate of Earth. I thought ROTF was fairly good, and could have been better. The general excuse is the WGA strike, which makes a perfectly reasonable excuse to me: had production been delayed for a while (at least till the strike was over) they might have straightened/smoothened some things out. As it is, Orci and Kurtzman did the best they could with reportedly only three weeks to write the script (even bringing in their acquaintance Ehren Kruger to help out). Using the Fallen, the other Primes and the Pyramids was an interesting if underused touch – in any case we got to see Soundwave and Ravage, Jetfire, the Constructicons and best of all their combiner robot Devastator. DOTM was written by Ehren Kruger, who took over as Orci and Kurtzman declined working on it. I thought it was an utter mess, the one good thing out of it was Sentinel Prime (I’m not the only one who thinks so, as this thread proves - IMDb :: Boards :: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) :: Whoever wrote this is a frigging moron). There were too many unlikeable humans (heck, Sam ended up an utter douchebag and Carly did very little except look hot and provoke Megatron), too little time for the robots, and some things were a complete flat-out wrongdoing (no lines for Shockwave, Megatron a shambles and Optimus being as ruthless as his own foe). Still, it’s not really the writers’ fault either. They picked the best, most popular elements of the TF saga and reworked them as best as they could, given their short deadlines and studio pressure. THE PRODUCERS Paramount and Hasbro knew they’d scored a win with the first film, so they decided to throw out two sequels – they even set the release date for ROTF before the previous film had released. Besides that, they put pressure on MBay and Orci-Kurtzman to return, despite MBay wanting to do PAIN & GAIN first and the writers being busy with other projects. Thus ROTF and DOTM feel a little bit rushed through IMO (there are other issues but I think this is the main one). Sometimes a good film requires time for it to be properly and satisfactorily worked out and worked on. Even Christopher Nolan and Bryan Singer took more than two years between their BATMAN/X-MEN films. And with something as huge and diverse as TRANSFORMERS, you’d need to take your time over what would/should appear in a TFilm. Long story short: I think the producers should have been taken more care with these films.