"I can't tell them apart." complaint

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by electronic456, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. electronic456

    electronic456 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so we know the Transformers movies have a variety of problems ranging from unnecessary jokes and some questionable plots. But among st them the complaints is one that I don't really grasp.

    Ok, so you know when the robots fight, one of the complaints is being able to tell who is who. Starting with the first movie, I think the complaint stems from the fact that it is shaky. E.g. The short brief fight between Starscream, Ironhide and Ratchet.

    The second movie, I would like to address the forest battle. Now here I can understand.... The Decepticons are just grey blobs unless your eyes can see through the different shapes and parts. By the time we got to AOE, I feel like this complaint is kind of nonsensical, there aren't many grey blobs amongst the bad robots. Even though I don't like AOE all that much, I will say I do have a better sense of who is who.... The one on one fights while not that exciting at least give you an idea on who is who (e.g. Optimus vs. Lockdown)
    [​IMG]



    When the robots aren't fighting, this complaint of not being able to tell them apart is still there even when the robots are just standing. Now to be fair these are just the Autobots..... I suspect the main problem is the Decepticons being colorless or so.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]


    Moving onto movement,the problem that people can't tell what's going on is still there. So is Frenzy skittering along and Devastator walking at a slow pace really hard to tell?

    So to cut it short, while the movie problems are there, the complaint that the robots are interchangeable and all look the same is kind of stupid I think.... I just want to understand what needs to be done in order to address this complaint... Do the robots, especially the Decepticons need more colour? How else can the robot action be improved? In my mind, we need to see more robot face closeups to get a grasp of the nature and emotion during the fight.


    What are your thoughts on this issue?
     
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  2. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    I honestly think the biggest factor in "can't tell them apart" comes from how the Autobots as characters are so inhuman and lacking in distinction on anything more but the most token levels. Sure they're all visually different, but that doesn't mean much when there's no substance coming from them. It's easy to forget which one is which in terms of personality when they're so prop-like outside of Optimus and Bumblebee. Yeah, any movie goer could tell Dino from Sideswipe when looking at them, but could they actually tell you which is which? Likely not.

    Plus, there's the general apathy towards the movies factoring in. When the movies give so little in terms of substance and enjoyable storylines, no one's really gonna give a shit which robot is which becasue it's ultimately pointless information. When your character isn't human, you gotta work extra hard to realise them, and sell them to the audience as being real people. The TF movies don't do that, and so 90% of people will not bother to sift through the noise and remember "Oh yeah, so the Ferrari is Dino. Oh, Dino doesn't say or do anything worth note for the entire film, and never appears in subsequent films."

    tl;dr, people can't tell them apart because the movies don't give them a reason to.
     
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  3. plastic therapy

    plastic therapy Banned

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    It's the busy design of them. They are like looking at an H.R. Giger painting fighting another H.R. Giger painting.

    To much for the eye to take in for an action scene. Also why the toys look so stupid to me.

    Not to discredit the work of H.R. Giger. His stuff is amazing. It just doesn't work using a busy design for what's supposed to be a simple iron clad robot
     
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  4. Sablebot

    Sablebot #iposttomakeyouthinknotdebate

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    Here's my 2 cents:
    1)Get rid of the old guard and bring in more fresh blood -especially in the design compartment;
    2)Make the designs similar to these awesome beauties (see below) mixed with Binaltech designs, a little somethin' like this:
    A)www.google.com/search?q=prime+1+studio+g1+optimus+statue&client=ms-android-verizon&prmd=isvn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi2voTh6K7RAhVK_4MKHejWBT0Q_AUIBygB&biw=360&bih=518&dpr=4#imgrc=xqz3eMZeSBu-kM%3A ;
    B)www.google.com/search?q=transformers+binaltech+designs&client=ms-android-verizon&prmd=isvn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiAgKqF6a7RAhWISCYKHZoxDjYQ_AUIBygB&biw=360&bih=518#tbm=isch&q=prime+1+studio+g1+megatron&imgrc=wdqICh63ZjMwVM%3A;
    3)Use Wider Shots and more shot variety as well as a variety of character blocking in the combat scenes.
     
  5. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    Are they supposed to be simple, iron-clad robots, though?

    The busy look isn't for everyone, but it does serve to make them look more "organic" in that everything moves intricately almost like flesh. Parts don't collide when they move around because everything's jointed and can articulate. I don't think there's really a set prescedent for what a TF is supposed to look like, that's kind of the point of the franchise, no?

    Even with these designs, if the audience doesn't have any connection to the movie, they still won't care. Neither of those designs are more or less visually distinct from each other than the actual movie designs. You just like them more because they evoke characters you have attachment to. But that won't work for anyone without detailed knowledge or attachment to them.
     
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  6. Venixion

    Venixion Its always the middle of the night in Moonside

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    Its less like I can't tell them apart to who the hell am I looking at? Yes characters we know have gone through strange iterations before the movies, but certain looks tend to stick in fans minds.

    Like if Mario was a tall, muscular, smooth shaven guy in a business suit instead of a pudgy guy with a mustache, red shirt and overalls and white gloves, fans are like wth is this? This isn't Mario!

    Bumblebee to me is a yellow vw bug instead of a mute camaro, starscream is a red, blue and silver jet and not some insectoid faced monster that looks more at home in a brown and gray space based fps, ratchet isn't eye sizzling neon yellow. I can't speak for the rest of my fellow fans, but they were so mutated that i couldn't recognize most of them in the first movie.
     
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  7. electronic456

    electronic456 Well-Known Member

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    So from what I gathered, it's the fact that only Optimus and Bumblebee have been consistently promoted for the general audience to have some attachment to. Anyone else is just too shallow and thus we don't care. Now I see where this is going.....

    In all honesty, could characters like Hot Rod or Sqweeks be given the treatment seeing as to how they're supposed to be the ones we as an audience are supposed to look forward to based on promotional material?

    OK, so looks like it's just the fact that the robots need something from them to make us care.


    EDIT: I might have looked into the character designs too much to be able to put a thread like this.
     
  8. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    Well, that's my interpretation of it, at least. But yes, Optimus and Bumblebee recieve consistent, prominent characterization. They have quantifiable characters and histories in the films, at least. Even Ratchet, who was in all four films, had really no history besides "was there, then died."

    This, on the other hand, has nothing to do with the problem. In fact, even the movies' most vocal detractors can tell the robots apart, usually for the sake of criticism. It's typically, if not exclusively, the average movie goer's complaint of "can't tell them apart."

    Because whatever "your" Bumblebee is frankly does not matter. Just like how some fans' Sideswipe was the blue Armada guy, or Jetfire being the green Cybertron cargo plane. The movies should be able to stand on their own without comparrison to past iterations, of which there are too many to appeal to. After all, their very goal was to reach out to new audiences, not fans. You don't broaden your horizons by repeating your actions in a small established bubble. In fact, as I stated, just about everyone can tell who movie Bumblebee is.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
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  9. DeletedUser_106023

    DeletedUser_106023 Well-Known Member

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    Oh well, too bad. if people can't tell who is who at this point, then that's on them. Others such as myself can easily tell the difference. They solved this issue back with TF3. Epescially TF4 solved this issue.Problems, problems, problems, that's all people associate with these movies ffs enough is enough.
     
  10. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    I mean, it isn't, really. It's on the film makers to deliver more coherant, memorable stories and characters.

    Probably because they're so full of problems.
     
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  11. Shark

    Shark Carcharodon carcharias

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    It's easy for US to tell who's who because we keep up with the news, set photos, interviews, and pictures of the toys MONTHS before a new movie comes out.
     
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  12. NotRamjet97

    NotRamjet97 Well-Known Member

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    ...I imagine all TFs are that way to people who don't keep up with it, TBH. Not just the movies.
     
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  13. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    Thing is, can most people even recall certain events that, nostalgia or visuals aside, actually stuck with them? Like moments where the robots really, cohesively, exchanged dialogue with meaning behind it where they weren't oddly disjointed like each one was responding to synopsis of the other's dialogue in a sterile, controlled environment? Anything that made them seem alive?

    I find this is an aspect I rarely see brought up, but the dialogue of the Transformers I feel is what disconnects so many people. The acting isn't especially bad or anything, but everyone talks in a robotic, semi-disjointed borderline non-sequiters. Like I can't even remember a Transformer ever having a proper conversation with another. With focus and emphisis on their emotions and faces. It's like they're constantly filmed from an outsider's perspective.
     
  14. electronic456

    electronic456 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, this is why characters from Star Wars or the MCU stick with us a lot. Now to be fair, if Optimus or Bumblebee really died in the latest movie and stayed that way then it would be something to remember. People would go, "Wow.... I can't believe they really went with this...." and it also show us more that these characters are pretty vulnerable.
     
  15. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    But that's a gimmick. That doesn't make us remember their personalities or who they are, it's just something that happened to them. The majority of that shock comes from the real world knowledge of them as corperate brand names, rather than emotional resonance with them as characters. I'm sure there'd be a little, but doubt many would miss them, you know what I mean?
     
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  16. electronic456

    electronic456 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah pretty much... I mean what was the real reason why people back then were shocked and broken heartened when Optimus died in the 1986 movie?
     
  17. CKPRIME

    CKPRIME Banned

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    Are they though? It depends on who you ask. Take Rogue One for example, if you asked me no one in that movie is memorable other than maybe Darth Vader, but he is really only there because he got popular from other movies. Erso and Andor are blank slates, the only reason I know there names are because I watched the Half in the Bag episode about Rogue one. Erso's only trait is she is the daughter of the guy who built the Death Star and Andor's only trait is he will kill anyone that the rebels tell him to. The asian guys, I don't even know what there names are, but one is a thinly veiled shaolin monk stereotype and the other one has a big gun.
     
  18. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    That was actually, in my view, the exact opposite reason to what I stated.

    Granted, we should clarify "people" is not quite accurate. Children were distraught over his death for the exact opposite circumstances as what a modern day repeat would accomplish. Hasbro, in it's youthful ignorance, had no idea these mere toys they'd slapped token personalities on to could be viewed as anything but disposable playthings. but because G1 lasted just so long, with Optimus and the other appearing in so many episodes, hildren who loved TFs couldn't help but get attached. Afterall, Optimus was an established character. Simple, not too multi-dimensional, but enduring. They just wanted a prop, but got a character. The movies are the opposite. They're shorter, and while they profess Optimus and Bumblebee to be characters all love, and they're not too far wrong in regards to kids, we live in more cynical times. We expect movie characters to be multi-dimensional, but the ineptitude of the films means Optimsu and Bumblebee are only marginally less prop-like than their G1 versions.

    Basically, nobody would fall for it.

    While I agree, I'm all but certain he's refering to the original trilogy.

    Which is where Star Wars keeps returning to, because that's where the iconography is.
     
  19. electronic456

    electronic456 Well-Known Member

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    To be fair, Rogue One was promoted as a story for those rebels specifically, their roles were simple and nothing more. They're not as grand as anyone like Anakin or Luke. Sure, I would have liked to have seen more of Donnie Yen's character but he still fulfilled something when the climax was almost there.
     
  20. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    That doesn't excuse them being bland.

    You don't have to be grand to have a personality. Han Solo had no predestiny of greatness and he was plenty multi-facetted and memorable. if Rogue One was really "their story" they should have been better characters than that. Short stories about average people with simple adventures are commonplace and don't all have stonefaced, boring protagonists.