How do you feel about the 86 movie from a critical standpoint?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by DarkRed401, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. prowl07

    prowl07 Well-Known Member

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    I watched it tonight with my friend who had never seen it. He really enjoyed it and found it superior to the Bay films.

    And his four year old said she "loved" it and it was her "new favorite movie".
     
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  2. ErbFan28

    ErbFan28 Well-Known Member

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    I really don’t see how you can come to that conclusion. If film quality was objective, we’d all agree on it. I’m not a fan of rotten tomatoes, but that website proves my point. If film quality was objective, every film would either have a 100% or a 0%.
     
  3. Mentasm

    Mentasm I check in, but I don't check out.

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    I watched it again in the last few days with my lad (just turned four) and he bloody loves it. The funniest thing is that he's obsessed with the music now. A bunch of hair metal tracks and Weird Al are all he wants to listen to!

    I'm also still of the opinion that Vince's instrumental music is absolutely amazing. Not just as an accompaniment to the film, or even as an example of eighties soundtracks in general, but as a hugely enjoyable piece of work that stands the test of time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
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  4. ROTF Sideswipe

    ROTF Sideswipe Well-Known Member

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    Objectively the movie sucked so much ass. It had a poor plot, was basically a commercial, and was downright nonsensical at times. That being said, it's at the same time the best damn thing and the worst. While objectively it's a horrible movie, I find myself going along with it and loving every second. It's cheesy, funny, fun and has some great animated scenes. Not to mention the fact that it gave some iconic lines. It's simultaneously one of my favorite things and least favorite things in the world. Some bits I just have to roll my eyes at, some I get teary eyed at (You know what I'm talking about) and some parts are just plain epic. I love that movie.
     
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  5. PaleMoonlight

    PaleMoonlight Active Member

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    Absolutely. It's a brilliantly executed and composed score which to me feels timeless in spite of the heavily mid-80s synths sounds. It'd go well with any movie, but really really makes TF:TM that much more special IMO.
     
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  6. Mentasm

    Mentasm I check in, but I don't check out.

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    Exactly! It's like Star Wars without John Williams, The Matrix without Don Davis, Star Trek without Jerry Goldsmith... Those films just wouldn't be what they are without the music and I think Transformers falls into that category. It feels simultaneously retro and timeless.
     
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  7. UndertakerPrime

    UndertakerPrime Happiness is just a Flaming Moe away

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    It's REALLY hard to be objective about a movie I've seen as many times as TFTM. When taken in context of the TV show, it's EPIC.

    But, to try to break it down critically...
    I personally find the animation to be overall really cool. It has a very unique style that's completely different from any other animated movie from the time. More "realistic" and less cartoony than Disney or Don Bluth productions, yet a bit more "westernized" than the anime that was gaining popularity in the US at the time (Voltron, Robotech, etc). However, like the TV show, it does have its share of errors, mainly in coloring.

    I've heard criticism of the soundtrack being too "loud", but it fits the tone of the movie perfectly. Vince DiCola's score is criminally underrated, and takes some nods from John Williams' Star Wars scores in its use of leitmotif. There's individual themes for the Autobots, Decepticons, the Matrix, Unicron, the Quintessons, etc. Hell, after watching the movie for the first time, one of my kids was humming the Unicron theme. Overall, the music is well done, and the hair band songs, while a product of the time, fit in well.

    The writing is where the movie takes some hits. If someone has never seen the TV show, the old-guard characters have almost no chance to establish any personality, and the new characters are essentially stock archetypes (Hot Rod is the destined youth, Kup is the wise veteran, Springer is the cocky daredevil, Ultra Magnus is the proud soldier, Arcee is, well...to be brutally honest, the token female). The Matrix is a prime example of a Macguffin, as well as a deus ex machina. There’s a number of leaps of logic and continuity errors (how did Devastator fit inside Astrotrain? How exactly did Hot Rod and Kup find UM’s crew on Junk? Do we assume that Starscream beat every other Con into submission so they would accept his coronation as leader?). Opportunities to explore new intriguing characters are wasted (so what exactly is Wheelie’s backstory? How did an Autobot end up apparently stranded on Quintessa?)

    Overall, simple characters and fairly unimaginative writing are what drag the movie down. But, it was DESIGNED as a feature-length toy commercial, not to be critically dissected by fanboys 30 years in the future, so it would be kind of silly to expect much more. Anyway, IMO the ending sequence, especially the escape from Unicron with The Touch blasting in the background, is extremely well done and always gives me goosebumps.
     
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  8. G1Prowl

    G1Prowl Prick, apparently

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    Went ahead and fixed that for you.
     
  9. Mentasm

    Mentasm I check in, but I don't check out.

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    You got it wrong, but thanks ;)  It's James Horner, but Goldsmith is just as iconic.
     
  10. TFXProtector

    TFXProtector Well-Known Member

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    Oof. Correcting the corrector. That's got to sting...

    And yes, Horner and Goldsmith both brought magic to the films.
     
  11. PrimeSlave

    PrimeSlave Well-Known Member

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    An interesting question!

    It doesn't have quite the same nostalgia value for me as it does for many, many others, since G1 wasn't the thing in my childhood; I jumped into TF train via Armada and while I discovered G1, including this movie (and mind you, I loved the Optimus vs Megatron fight etc.), pretty soon, my main focus in G1-department was in Furman's comics.

    The '86 movie has a lot of good in it, though and while it's a decent 80's animated movie with a very good animation ideed, it does have it's faults too. Funny enough, apologies to... everyone(? :D ), I think it actually shares something with "Bayformers", especially the later ones: it starts out very well, it does a very good job at setting up the tone, themes, characters and story in general and we get some brilliant scenes right at the beginning. Then, it suddenly loses the grip a bit and while containing some amazing scenes here and there, it kind of fails to match the expectations it has set for itself. Then, we'll get to the end that is actually rather satisfying one, but a bit rushed and you never really got any proper "aftermath", it's just a quick "alright we're victorious, let's say a few memorable words and roll in the credits."

    That was more of an observation rather than actual complaint anyway. As said, the movie starts out great and is full of emotion. It never really lets you down and it has some brilliant stuff and lot of cool elements, at least from G1 cartoon perspective. While I like the movie very much, I'd really love to see properly animated G1 animated film that takes inspiration from Marvel Comics, stories written by Furman; funny enough, they seemed to take a lot of inspiration from this movie. But anyway, while there's some corny stuff in there, I think those elements would make a fine Transformers Space Opera Animated Film. Just saying.

    To answer the question presented in the topic title, I feel that the '86 movie is indeed a decent one. It loses the touch a bit after the glorious opening, but then again, it's (also) a movie for children, so all that more or less quirky stuff between the beginning and the finale work very well with original target audience in mind. It's still very appealing visually, all the environments are drawn rather well and I like the gloomy atmosphere. Overall, a very well-crafted animated film, but the story isn't quite that satisfying one, aside some of the biggest stand-alone moments.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
  12. G1Prowl

    G1Prowl Prick, apparently

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    Yep, what I get for half asleep posting. Gonna leave it because everyone needs a little humility.


    Still, James Horner's soundtrack was more impressive to me at least.
     
  13. Mentasm

    Mentasm I check in, but I don't check out.

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    Hey, they're both great, but Gokdsmith composed the music for TMP and therefore TNG titles, which are synonymous with Trek for me.
     
  14. dj_convoy II

    dj_convoy II Remix!

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    I'll love it forever, but frankly, I've seen it too many times, and it's a pretty cookie cutter hero's journey.

    The score will always be a part of my DNA. Love it with out question.
     
  15. GirlBot

    GirlBot Mini-Cassette

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    From the perspective of someone who read the original comics and watched the original cartoon (and enjoyed them!), the movie picked up the worst things they had to offer and served them as a feature-length film. The movie is to G1 what ROTF and TLK are to Bayformers: enjoyable in parts, but as a sum... :confused: 

    But I love the soundtrack! The best thing that came out of this movie :D 
     
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  16. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

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    It's a movie I watch with fondness for a few of its best moments, like the Cons invading the Autobot shuttle, OP kicking their backplates later or OP/Meg fight, Starscream's death and the "Rise, Rodimus Prime" moment... But otherwise I see it as being quite flawed as a whole. Nostalgia sells it to me, mostly.
     
  17. TheCianinator

    TheCianinator Well-Known Member

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    It suuuuuuuuuuucks.

    I will watch it any time, but it is a terrible movie. I love showing it to friends for the same reason I love showing Heavy Metal to friends. It's insane that it got made, and it's a marvel to consider and be confronted with its existence.

    The plot is nonsense garbage. We start off with a Decepticon assault that violates the continuity's pre-established rules for what it takes to kill a transformer. And the movie isn't even consistent in that regard going forward. Unicron's existence is a complete coincidence. He doesn't set the plot in motion, he just shows up and conveniently ties in to what's already going on. Hot Rod's character arc was supposed to take him from impetuous kid to noble leader, but he spent so long as an impetuous kid that it was impossible to care about him by the end. The Junkions had no reason to fight the autobots or join them afterward, everything they did seemed arbitrary. The existence of the Quintessons was completely arbitrary. There is no explanation given for what the matrix is or how it's connected to Unicron. The plot of this movie isn't a chain reaction, characters don't drive scenes into other scenes. Stuff just happens.

    It's a lot like Heavy Metal, where everything that happens is just an excuse to show off dazzling imagery and rock music. And the imagery truly is dazzling, just as the plot is nonsensical and the characters are stupid. It's fun to laugh at the writing and admire the animation. It's as beautiful as it is stupid. It's so bad it's good, except for the visuals, which are so good they're just good. And the music is good too if you like that kind of music, even though it's wildly inappropriate. It's all just high effort schlock. Obviously, no one making this movie gave a shit about it, it's just fun by accident. But being enjoyable doesn't make it good. It's a bad movie. The stars just happened to align to make it a really fun and enjoyable bad movie, for a certain kind of person.
     
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  18. TheUltimateBum

    TheUltimateBum Nautica Lover

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    I made a post before about the celebrities, and now, I decided to go a bit more into detail about the other aspects.

    Voice-acting wise, the celebrities didn't leave an impression on me (aside from John Moschitta, Jr.), but the other cast members that were the regular TV show actors did a fantastic job as always.

    The story, although it has its good moments, really feels inconsistent and like it could have needed a few more rewrites. Plus, a lot of the new characters get little to no development. As I mentioned in my previous post, Hot Rod/Rodimus in particular is somewhat bland compared to how he was developed in season three.

    The animation is gorgeous. One of the best things about the movie. It just looks incredible and there are lots of intense visual sequences.

    And the music is just excellent. Vince DiCola just made an incredible job in coming up with these themes for the scenes. It really amazes me that he had to look at the storyboards instead of video in order to get the feel of the scene, but he just did a fantastic job.

    So yeah, overall, I think the movie is sort of a mixed bag. The acting from the actors that worked on the TV series was just great and the music and the animation was good, but the celebrity casting and writing really needed to be much better.
     
  19. Pudglor Shmormuff

    Pudglor Shmormuff Well-Known Member

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    As a kid, I thought it was one of the greatest movies ever- I absolutely loved it. A wave of new characters, a big menacing villain, tons of action, fantastic animation, and the rock music also gave it a nice touch.

    But as an adult, after watching enough films, I can definitely say there are far better movies out there- but it will always hold a special place in my heart, because it had such an impact on me as a kid.

    At the time, I didn't know what the movie really was: A giant toy commercial. I just thought it was another fun movie to enjoy- I had no clue or knowledge of marketing and stuff like that- it went right over my little dumb head.

    Now I look back and it couldn't be more obvious what they were doing- but I still find it a good movie visually. I never get tired of watching it just for animation's sake- they did a brilliant job there.
     
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  20. yeho

    yeho Noob Supreme

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    Hmm... This is a tough one. The soundtrack is a mixed bag, with things that really shouldn't be there like Dare To Be Stupid and smash hits like the Transformers national anthem, The Touch. The animation is top notch, when I saw Unicron transforming the only thing I could think was 'wow'. The story is a scrambled egg, a complete mess. It has some really, really great parts, like Optimus dying, Galvatron getting reformatted and killing Screamer, any scene Unicron was in, but it had zero focus, not knowing where it wanted to be, what tone it wanted to have or even what story past the tale of Hot Rod growing into Rodimus. Basically, from a critical standpoint, it's a mixed bag, with some really, really fucking good, and some some really, really fucking bad. As such I give it the score of one, but on the higher side, abouy a 6 or maybe 7 if I'm really generous our of 10.