Why name & character misuse is unnecessary

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by W-P38, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. W-P38

    W-P38 Decepticon Philosopher

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    Let me start by saying that I truthfully, taking everything into account, absolutely love the films, what has been done with them (generally) and am insanely excited about ROTF. I've picked up the entire available toy line already. Further, I realize discourse on this topic has seen a lot of imput from members and subsequently has varied quite a bit in its argument form, however, once and for all, the bottom line/question:

    Why have they (Bay, Orci, whomever) gone to the extraordinary extent to, for instance, secure Peter Cullen for the voice of Prime, or argue endlessly over details such as him having a permanent face shield or the appropriateness of flames on his chassis during the production of the first film, and then massacre the integrity and/or representation of other crucial characters in their film "versions"?

    And without justified cause. This has bothered a tremendous amount of transformers fans through many different examples. Here are a few that get to me:

    -Ironhide: Where do I begin? Ok fine, so you made his color black, that's cool. But why on earth does he represent the lion from the Wizard of Oz, and to add insult to injury, has a british/australian accent?? Especially when you have the original voice of Ironhide right there in the studio all but begging to play the role??? Ironhide is a classic character who deserved just as much proper representation and acuracy as Prime.

    -Sideswipe: Did you mean Tracks??? A silver with blue windows Corvette. You have the ball now put it through the net for F's sake. Worst part about this is that the real Sideswipe will never receive proper representation. Options: Obviously, name him Tracks. Even Bluestreak/Silverstreak would have been more appropriate. Who are these people? Or keep him as is, but bring in a red Corvette instead...c'mon.

    -Megatron: No issues whatsoever with his physical appearance, especially in ROTF. But can anyone tell me why such an absolutely critical character who always displayed a sinister, cunning intelligence, and elegant disposition, even in battle, has somehow turned into a snarling, growling, temper driven monster?

    Bumblebee: Never was a badass. You need a badass to team up with the protagonist human character in the film? Hot Rod, people, Hot Rod: The high profile of Hot Rod in the Transformers story unfortunately implies they have considered him and yet denied his inclusion, as of yet, in the films. At this rate, he'll be a tractor when he is.

    Jetfire: Why not Alpha Trion?

    Stratosphere (if he's in the film): Why not Jetfire?

    Blackout: Why not Vortex?


    Now, this is not at all to say that the movie shouldn't branch out, or be creative in their chosen characterizations. But either create something totally new (we're all typically excited over entirely new Transformers concepts) or stay true to the character you are representing. Instead we have this grey area in between where the creativity level is marginal and in the process our beloved characters are getting massacred. We don't see this kind of disrespect to crucial characters in Marvel movies, or Lord of the Rings, or Batman, etc, do we?

    GOOD POINTS (i.e. characters who are well represented and offer the 25+ year old franchise some solidarity) I should certainly mention:

    Optimus Prime
    Jazz
    Ratchet
    Starscream
    Devastator
    Ravage
    Frenzy
    Soundwave
    Scorponok
    Brawl

    All excellent representations with a creativity that doesn't compromise the integrity of the character. So why go to the extent with these guys and do such a bad job with others?

    Again, I apologize as I know these issues have been addressed before, just wanted to view the examples and see what people thought generally/collectively...

    See you guys June 24th.
     
  2. tehCal

    tehCal wherever you are i am not

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    ...Ironhide doesn't sound remotely Australian. British, yeah.

    Also, Jetfire isn't a terrible choice - he's a jetformer who has been on Earth since prehistoric times, and has uneasy allegiances at first, exactly like he was in his introductory episode in G1.
     
  3. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 "No Mas" My Wallet

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    they have been reusing names long before the 2007 movie and they did a poor job even then here are a couple of examples: G1 Cyclonus = Total Badass Armada Cyclonus = Total Boob and personally i think the worst version of Ironhide was the Energon version absolutely nothing like the G1 version at least Movie Ironhide has a personality similar to the original, the reusing of name willcontinue after the movies are over and still be done poor on ocassion
     
  4. Chaos Prime

    Chaos Prime Combaticon

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    I have to agree with you on some of these topics.
    I liked Ironhide, but he reminded me more of a badass TrailBreaker than he did Ironhide. Not only that but Ironhide looked more badass than the first Bayformers Megatron, who was just so silly looking he was laughable.

    Sidswipe does look poorly represented. What part of him reminds you of Sideswipe?
    Optimus had the face plate, Bumblebee was yellow and black, Ratchet a rescue vehicle, and Jazz had his visor.

    What about Sideswipe? Well....he does have sides. And I guess he swipes at things? So that's perfect, right? Sideswipe it is!
    Silerstreak is a more fitting name for the guy, though maybe Tracks might work if his personality is properly depicted.

    Vortex is such a better name, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who realizes this.

    And that thing is not Jetfire. Right now as it is, I can't take that thing seriously at all. Another poorly represented character.

    I mean reinventing the series is totally cool with me. As long as it's done well. Bayformers drops the ball a lot. Look at TF Animated; they reinvented the series and created a much better show than the first Bayformers movie could muster up.
    Animated both tried to stay true to the old fans and created new ideas too.

    But i do have disagree with you about Starscream, I think he was poorly represented in the movie. He would have made a better Apeface then a Starscream. Every time I see him, I can't help but think 'monkey-bot'.

    But I think the bottom line is this; Bay doesn't really care about Transformers. As long as things go 'BOOM' and their are plenty of shiny objects he'll be happy with it. That's the type of person he is, and that's fine. It's just a shame he's the one directing the TF movies, keeping Transformers from becoming a really great movie franchise.
    And about your reference about the Marvel and Batman movies is that they know what they're doing, and they actually care about the source material. Again, Bay does not.

    Ok, I'm getting off of my soap box.
     
  5. ams

    ams Generation All Veteran

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    I think outside the super-high-profile characters (Prime, Bumblebee, Starscream, Megatron), we shouldn't ever expect what shows up on screen to be the associated character we know.

    Not saying that's good or bad, but Hasbro seems less interested in protecting the original incarnations of the second and third string guys (Ironhide, Sideswipe, Arcee, Ratchet, etc). The fact that Soundwave is a communications specialist, Ratchet is a doctor, Arcee is a girl, Ironhide is into a variety of weapons, and Devastator is made of construction vehicles is probably as close as we're going to get to their original characters.

    Again, not saying that's good or bad.
     
  6. Digilaut

    Digilaut My name is Drift.

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    Different bots have different problems and reason why exactly they are like that. It's impossible for me to explain them all, but I do know about some of them:

    Believe it or not, Jetfire and Sideswipe were actually written to be close to their G1 counterparts. This is gonna be a slight spoiler for those who have been living under a rock for the last couple of months, but just to be sure (and I know I hate to be spoiled myself!):

    ***SLIGHT SPOILER***

    Jetfire starts off as a Decepticon, who has been on Earth for a long time, who then learns the error of his ways and joins the Autobots.

    ***END SPOILER***

    They could have made what fans would see as a perfect rendition of Jetfire. However, somebody in the production process decided that Jetfire would be an old man. In this case, let's assume that being an SR-71 is actually a very good choice for Jetfire (apart from the color), so the only thing that is standing in the way of it being more 'G1/original' is that he's old.

    Sideswipe was intended to be a Lamborghini, and he was one part of twins. When Michael Bay + probably other people came up with the idea for the twins Mudflap and Skids, the twin aspect was dropped for Sideswipe (it's still possible he's a twin with a movie Sunstreaker, but he's probably not mentioned anywhere, to avoid confusion that there are suddenly two pairs of twins). Next to that, obviously, his alt mode was chosen, which has a big influence on how he will look.

    If you read Sideswipe's deluxe and HA bio, you can actually see he's pretty much G1 Sideswipe: a character who has not recieved proper training, yet excels at combat. Also, if you would change his colors, you would actually have the perfect G1-to-movie bot. Heck, he even has the blue kneepads like Universe Sideswipe. They could have named him Tracks for his car looks, but then it might turn out his character is actually very Sideswipe in the movie, and then that wouldn't make sense either.

    Making movies is making concessions. In this case, it's not just the writers penning down the character as it is and the design team doing their best to recreate what already exists. The director has a say, the design team and art director has a say, movie investors (like GM) have a say, Hasbro have a say...so in the end it's trying to please all parties involved and get the best possible outcome. And it's definitely not always Michael Bay's 'fault', even though many people might want to believe that (although in this case, I do think he picked the car for Sideswipe). :) 

    Now, some explanations I can think of for some of your other points:

    -Ironhide's color and voice: Let me start off by saying I think they did a good job of picking the Autobot characters for the first movie (although some will be quick to say that most of them weren't anything like their old counterparts..touché, I guess, but still, all 5 of the chosen bots were core Autobots, in name or look).
    If you take these same characters and put their G1 selves next to each other you will notice a pattern: their colorschemes are boring. Ratchet is white with some red. Optimus Prime is red, with a bit of blue. Ironhide is red with a yellow stripe. Bumblebee is yellow. Jazz is white. As you can see, alot of red used, and most bots seem to have a color in common with at least one other bot: they look less distinguished from each other.
    Now compare that to the movie characters as they are: Prime is blue with red. Ironhide is black. Ratchet is chartreuse. Bumblebee is yellow. Jazz is silver. They're all very different in color.

    As for Ironhide's voice...yes, they could have gone with Peter Cullen..personally, I see having the same voice actor as a constraint. This is a big budget movie, why not give the role to someone who sounds very different from what Peter Cullen does instead of risquing people noticing it's the same guy voicing?
    Of course, things like this are easier when the characters sound different enough and do not share a conversation (like Barricade and Ironhide, both same voice actor), or if they are actually meant to sound similar (I think Skids and Mudflap, twins, are both voiced by Tom Kenny).

    Bumblebee being a scary badass: I agree that Bumblebee isn't the character that should be scary awesome. He's the human companion that somehow looks up to the other Autobots. However, he's definitely heroic, and this is just as much his battle, and he's one of the main characters. From what I've read about what he does to some cons in ROTF sounds very harsh, but let's not forget just because he is a voiceless car-bee, doesn't mean he's suddenly not a giant fricking robot with a gun for a hand anymore. Oh, and did I mention the missiles? :)  Hot Rod doesn't work good for me as a human companion (yes, I know he was just that in the old movie)..I'd rather have him as some kind of cocky show off that rivals Bumblebee and is cooler in every way..I don't think movie1 would have been the same if they had used Hot Rod. :D 

    Long story short: compromises and working with whatever resources and assets you have.

    I have to agree on this. Different people view different Transformers as high profile characters though. Where one sees Jazz as one, someone else sees Wheeljack as one. It's tricky. :)  I guess it's some sort of guessing game: It's safe to say Prime is always very Prime. Next to that, take original core G1 cast (the really popular ones), and you can bet that, even though there will be changes, in essence they will be somewhat the same (Ratchet is always a medic, Jazz is the black hipster, Bumblebee is a friend to humans, etc.)..the rest of the G1 core cast is dismissable and free for more interpretation, and other TFs are even MORE open to free interpretation, ESPECIALLY the evil Decepticons (with several exclusions on both sides!)....it's tricky and this isn't a 100% accurate way, but I think this is how it somewhat goes when decisions are made about who will be interpreted how.

    edit: some people voted this topic 1 star, so I'm gonna vote 5 STAR EXCELLENT JUST BECAUSE.
     
  7. Ravenxl7

    Ravenxl7 W.A.F.F.L.E.O.

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    Spoiler or two below, so if you're worried about those, don't read.

    I'm not getting the comparison of Ironhide to the Cowardly Lion. As for his accent, it's really not that noticable, imo, and I honestly think it fits him. As for "why not use his G1 VA?", that's simple, to let other voice actors have a chance at a job. Basically if you're in a large pool, do you stay in one spot for too long?

    For all we know they couldn't get the name Tracks, and they might as well also use Sideswipe while they still have the use of it. He isn't red for the exact same reason Ironhide wasn't red, and Prime doesn't have the amount of red he usually has, it's extremely annoying to film. Not impossible, but annoying enough to not want to have to deal with it.

    He's been searching for the Allspark for a LOOOOONG time now, it's not surprising that he's gotten a bit impatient. I think he'll be more cunning and intelligent when he gets more screen time, in RotF. We'll just have to wait and see.

    There's really only a simple answer for this, and it's the same as my simple answer for this entire thread, which will be at the bottom of my post (don't want to repeat myself).

    Alpha Trion could, imo, be one of the original 13 in this universe. Jetfire actually makes a whole lot of sense for the character. Especially the SR-17 Blackbird alt-mode, and the whole ex-Decepticon who's now reformed and fighting for the Autobots. Also goes along with how some other versions of Optimus Prime and Jetfire have combined (Armada and Cybertron most notably).

    If he is in the film, I'm pretty sure he'll be a background character, most likely won't get any lines, and will probably never actually be named int he movie itself.

    One of his many running names was Vortex (along with Soundwave, and at one point Grimlock). Blackout not only sounds cooler than Vortex (imo at least), but it also fits better with what he does. Aka, causing blackouts.

    To put it simply, this isn't G1, so they aren't limited to G1 accuracies. It's their movie and they'll make it the way they want it.
     
  8. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

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    How is he at all cowardly? Though I'll agree with you on the southern accent to an extent, but the G1 version was just a bit too much.

    No, they don't. Believe me I would have loved to see Sideswipe be named Tracks, but there's one problem. And that's the Chevy Traxx. But according to everything, Sideswipe will *act* like Sideswipe, which will be more then enough for me. At least he's not a doofy blue sedan.

    He just didn't get a lot of screen time to be anything but a snarling monster. But he was an elegent snarling monster. He was articulate and well spoken in the few lines he did speak. Which I think works for this Megatron, a sort of intelligent savage who will rip out your spark while mocking you in a most conceited way.

    First off, they can't copyright the name anymore (see the repeated use of Rodimus). Second, BB, while very badass, still retained his lovable buddy personality. I'm glad they gave BB some bite in this film, it suits him well to be a tough but funny guy.

    In G1 Jetfire was a bot who was isolated for millions of years until awakened by the war come to earth. At first he's with the Decepticons but his nature swings him to aid the Autobots. So for this movie, that story works pretty damn well. Though not digging the accent.

    His personality.
     
  9. Warhead

    Warhead Banned

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    Well, if YOU were a gaint, unstoppable, killing machine and while searching for a LONG thime for the object that would secure your rule of the universe forever, you were frozen for another long time and dug up by disgusting insects and inspected and studied you untill you were finally unfrozen and just about to claim the object of your obssesion and you were killed by the same pathetic insects that studied you....I know I would be furious...

    ...plus look at the decepticons, only the biggest, snarling, growling, temper driven monster COULD rule them.
     
  10. kjeevahh

    kjeevahh n/a

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    here you go then, can't say I agree with much of it

    you mean they called him up and asked him? hardly extraordinary

    the only endless argument was between people on messageboards

    lion from wizard of oz? he looks like a bull wearing a coybow hat, with the added g1 nod of the circles on the sides of the head. sounds pretty spot on?

    the corvette isn't red, it's silver, end of. just like the lamborghini was red. the point is the kind of car he is, not the colour. his head design is much closer to g1 than most of the others, he's a rare luxury sportscar, specialising in hand-to-hand.. and, to be fair, you did say that the green humvee ratchet was a faithful rendition..

    because after having been trapped in ice for thousands and years and then kept prisoner by a bunch of insignificant fleshlings, he's a little bit on the angry side

    movie bumblebee is an obvious 50/50 cross between g1 bumblebee and hotrod. bumblbee g1 did the job well for being small and easily identifiable with, but being a weiner wouldn't cut it for an action film

    because he's a supersonic decepticon jet who has been on the planet since long before the others arrived, and defected from decepticons to autobots

    doubtful

    he was vortex before.. they wouldn't have just changed it on a whim, there would have been a reason

    try saying that in a room full of the designers and scriptwriters

    g1 skorponok was a purple and green huge city which transformed into a floating battlestation, a giant robot with a nebulan headmaster, and a giant scorpion. hmmm...

    transformers is a toyline based on transforming giant robots, ask anyone in the street and that is what they will tell you, the comic and cartoon barely register in comparison. the other two are character driven high-points of their literary genres. lotr was voted the most best book of the 20th century, the transformers g1 comic annual wasn't!

    on that basis, the integrity of characters aren't exactly a priority, the priority is lifelike transforming fighting robots that will make good toys... although of course a few nods to the fan comminity is always helpful, as they generate alot more publicity than a single TV spot for a tiny fraction of the cost.
     
  11. underwear-ninja

    underwear-ninja Eats Gobots for breakfast

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    I actually think the name usage is pretty fitting for the most part. They're at least matching up to the function/designs. I really think Classics just got us all spoiled on G1 all over again :lol 

    -Ironhide: He's big, tough, and gruff. He's pretty much the most Ironhide Ironhide in existance. His Clint Eastwood-esque voice (at least in my ears) is pretty great, matches the personality well.

    -Sideswipe: He's a stylish car, as was his G1 counterpart, plus he has blades on his SIDES with which to SWIPE at things with.

    -Megatron: Given what Megatron has gone through, he's bound to be insane-o pissed. I know I would.

    Bumblebee: He's still fitting the personality of most 'Bees by being the best buddy of the token human but he can actually protect his chums. Just about every other bumblebee/bumblebee-esque character is generally useless to the team- this one seems to be one of the better fighters in the movie-verse's Autobot ranks.

    Jetfire: Because Alpha Trion wasn't a jet that was once a 'con and then becomes a 'bot. This Jetfire is pretty much G1 Jetfire with a dash of Animated Ratchet (even Kup wasn't that cranky) which is an excellent combination.

    Stratosphere (if he's in the film): Why not Sky Garry? I mean, if we're really gonna whine about names, there's better names for him than Jetfire :|

    Blackout: See sideswipe: name matching function. Plus if he were called Vortex, then people would whine and bitch about the rest of the Combaticons not being present/combining/not being a space shuttle/whatever.


    Also I'm starting to notice a pattern of the fewer posts a person has, the more likely that post is a complaint.
     
  12. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    Odd, he didn't seem like a coward to me. What with all the heroic stuff he was doing and all.
    I'll choose to ignore your "insult" remark (because speaking as a Brit, insult is exactly what it is) and simply tell you to check your facts before posting next time. The English accent does NOT sound like the Australian accent. I would also like to extend this information to the several people at Botcon who asked me how the weather in Pasadena measured up to the weather in Australia.
     
  13. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    They pick names that fit the character's design. As for Jetfire supposed to be Alpha Trion... what the fuck? Have you even bothered looking at the character? He's pretty much exactly like G1 Jetfire, only he shows his age.
     
  14. Ironhide2005

    Ironhide2005 PS3tag=DeaDPooLTFW

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    Ironhide is a lame clint eastwood rip off just my opinon. And I agree with ironhide 100% they handled his character pretty badly. But everything else not so much. I really think its discrasful to bumblebee to say hes a bad ass but he has a british accent what the hell? I mean no offense to british people at all and have no problem with them. But this isn't g1 it is its own thing not g1 not any other series.
     
  15. Crumplezone

    Crumplezone Banned

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    Ironhide is the designated Bad-ass and he is awesome, and you will shut your mouth out of decent respect.

    And I wouldn't change Blackout's name, For it is one of coolest Transformer names ever.
     
  16. Ephland

    Ephland Let's Go Rangers

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    Why does miseducation seem to run rampant in TF groups?
     
  17. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    I have no idea. I just wish it wasn't. I did experience far worse though, from some woman outside the convention centre; however for language reasons I can't post it on here.
     
  18. ams

    ams Generation All Veteran

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    :lol  :lol  :lol  :lol  :lol 

    Considering most US high school students don't know where Canada is located, not a huge surprise, though.
     
  19. Crumplezone

    Crumplezone Banned

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    WHAT

    I know where Canada is(I'm in high school)
     
  20. Ceasar121

    Ceasar121 Wants a Toxitron repaint!

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    Hmm I agree and disagree with you. Sideswipe would be perfect if he was red... and while I believe some of it is BS, I have noticed red become pinkish is some pictures, so I understand Bays aversion to filming red. He a street fighter without training like g1.

    Megatron is fine. The head crown remains, and now we have the gun arm. And he will have a plan this time.

    Bumblebee is a little to badass for my tastes, but I don't dislike him. They kept his g1 relationship with Sam/Spike. IF I was doing it, I would have Bumbleebee as Hot Rod, and the twins would be Bumblebee and cliffjumper, which who is increasingly whom they seem to be. And their alt modes fit Bee and Cliff (I know they were very different vehicles in g1 so to speak, but I just refer to their similarities). But Bumblebee is still pretty well repped.

    Everyone was updated to fit the times, and maintained g1 aspects enough to say they honored the character. EXCEPT for Starscream. They need to do a hell of a job with his personality, be the robot mode head is so far of of him. The seeker head is as iconic as Prime - in every incarnation of Starscream has had that basic seeker head. Even having the outline of the helmet over the Birdscream face would improve it. And him not having his trademark smirk is a pretty blatant omission. But even then they kept him second in command, and a advanced jet plane.

    So changes were made, but the spirit was kept.
     

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