Something each live action film does best...

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by Galvatross, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. Galvatross

    Galvatross Dom Dom, Yes Yes Veteran

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    Opinions on the films both as a whole continuity and as individual films varies considerably here on this site. Too often on these boards people will praise the crap out of some of the films while crap all over the ones the ones they don't like.

    Instead of a thread where everyone only praises the films they like or diss the films they hate I want to create a thread where we as fans can post one thing that in our minds each film did better than the others.

    Transformers (2007): the best of the films at treating the Transformers as robots in disguise.

    Transformers, well, transform, and since this was the first live action film humanity, with some exceptions, was largely unaware of the existence of alien robots hiding among them. The 2007 film uses a lot of its CGI to show off the transformations. At this point in time the Transformers are treated more as a mysterious, warring race that can change in an instant from a vehicle or mechanical device into alien robots. Focusing on the "robots in disguise" aspect of Transformers definitely fits with the idea of a mysterious race of mechanical beings.

    Revenge of the Fallen: the best of the films at showing the Decepticons interact with each other.

    More Decepticon interaction is something these films need more of. While DOTM has some great scenes in it, too, and I even really like how Galvatron actively orders his drones around in AOE, I think ROTF is actually the best of the films in showing the Decepticons interact with each other. It has the best lines and banter between Starscream and Megatron of the three films they both appear in. Watching Megatron and the Fallen interact on the Nemesis is fun. I like how Starscream commands Rampage in Egypt, and I also like how Megatron and Soundwave order the Decepticon. The Decepticons reviving Megatron, Megatron and Scalpel's interrogation of Sam, and even Ravage ensuring Reedman gets the Allspark shard are also really neat scenes. The Decepticon interaction in ROTF is something the film really doesn't get enough credit for.

    Dark of the Moon: the best of the films when it came to plot twists.

    While many were spoiled by online likes, and some were upset that the twist made Shockwave a red herring and resulted in the death of Ironhide, the twist of Sentinel Prime secretly working with Megatron and wanting to enslave humanity was a huge surprise to those who were not spoiled by plot leaks. If a fan did not see those spoilers they did not see it coming whatsoever. It was undoubtedly the most surprising twist of all of the films.

    Age of Extinction: the best of the films when it comes to portraying the Transformers as sentient, sapient beings.

    Cybertronians are, like humans, beings that think and feel. Even if their responses to life and death may be different from us, it is something we share in common. Because of a combination of more robot screen time, more visually expressive designs, and more lines and emotional voice acting AOE is undoubtedly the film that shows this the best. We see that Optimus genuinely cares for his Autobots, that he feels betrayed by humans to the point he considers leaving Earth, and that in the end he will always defend the innocent, human or Cybertronian. We know of Megatron secretly manipulating the humans to get his way, showing how resilient and crafty he is while feigning obedience. We see Lockdown show cynicism and his harsh brand of humor towards his human allies and Cybertronian enemies alike and share the motivations of his mysterious employers. We see the Autobots respond to the actions of Cemetery Wind and Lockdown and KSI, we see Brains go to a dark place, and we see how noble Ratchet really is.

    What do you think each film does best?
     
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  2. Jazzmustlive123

    Jazzmustlive123 jazz died thinking he's the coolest

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    THIS^
     
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  3. Trip2boy

    Trip2boy Well-Known Member

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    Well said. I also enjoyed the brotherhood between the Autobots in the first and fourth. While the fourth did it more, I think they both did it very well, which really stuck with me throughout the series.
     
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  4. Sixshot93

    Sixshot93 Well-Known Member

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    Galvatross, you said it better than I could. So for me, all you mentioned right there.

    I should get the 4-movie Blu-Ray set and have like a marathon days within the release of The Last Knight.
     
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  5. Dotmshockwave

    Dotmshockwave Senior Robotic Citizen

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    Honestly that was a great post Galvatross. But no really on the main topic, Sixshot, if I were you i'd buy the set and then buy ROTF Imax blu-ray edition online. It has extended scenes (forest fight and devastator) and it is honestly worth it. I never watch regular edition ROTF anymore when I have the imax one.
     
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  6. BarricadeLives

    BarricadeLives i'm you! i'm your shadow!

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    that's a good observation re: the decepticons in rotf

    1 had the best transformations in my opinion, particularly group transformations
    2 i mean, the shanghai part was good & it gave us the dark prime we all wanted
    3 aesthetically speaking, 3 was the prettiest of all the films
    4 really ratcheted up the stakes with humans & autobots killing each other
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
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  7. Wolf

    Wolf old school bot

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    Galvatross, you especially in your revenge of the fallen part, hit the nail on the head. If you think back most of the iconic and memorable parts of transformers history is when the decepticons DID SOMETHING TOGETHER and the autobots tried to stop them....that is the core of who they are and who megatron is....an excellent general and leader with exceptional planning and cunning that always kept the autobots guessing....we need more of that I agree, although it was also part of dotm it lost its way in AOE but has potential to return with a vengeance in TLK .
     
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  8. Hazekiah

    Hazekiah Banned

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    Great thread!

    And good points, too. I'd readily agree with all of them!

    But just to keep the ball rolling here...



    TRANSFORMERS

    I think the first film did the best job at legitimizing the brand again. Most G1 kids basically outgrew it and moved on as the franchise struggled to recapture its heyday with G2, "Beast Wars," "Beast Machines," the Unicron Trilogy, and bunch of so-so toys and kinda mediocre comics. Many of which were noble efforts, I suppose. They just didn't really ever gain traction with new audiences like G1 did or even recapture the older fans.

    The first live action movie REALLY took things to the next level where every previous iteration had faltered. Transformers was a MASS MARKET PHENOMENON again and practically EVERYWHERE for the first time in 20 years. People were cheering and clapping in theaters. People were taking DATES to the movie. Even older parents were digging it as much as their kids. It was a true 4-quandrant film; young, old, male, and female audiences alike could ALL enjoy it and find an entry point to hang onto it by.

    Hot chicks, cute boys, a badass soundtrack, new stars and old, killer action, new looks for classic characters, a coming of age love-story, raunchy humor, and OMFG THE FACE-MELTING CGI.

    In short, Transformers were fucking COOL again.



    TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN

    I think one of the things that THIS film did best was to expand the variety of the live action Transformers in a myriad of new and bizarrely unique ways. None of the other movies can even BEGIN to compete with it on THAT level. There's Alice, the female Pretender (man, I love, love, love the clever foreshadowing of her dialogue at the party with Sam, lol...so perfect!). Then we have combiners of MULTIPLE varieties; The Twins in their ice cream truck alt. mode together, Power-Up Optimus with his Jetfire corpse-jetpack, and, one of my favorites, the razor-thin "Reed Man" formed by a million little ball-bearing 'bots puked-up by Ravage (himself ejected from Soundwave-the-satellite) like a million little hairballs sent to infiltrate N.E.S.T. HQ through its air vents. Hahaha, I wish so much that they'd kept in the scene where they disintegrate into a puddle and Ravage licks it back up off the ground, lol. Not to mention the gestalt form of the Arcee Triplets! Alas.

    And, of course, we have DEVASTATOR, the Pyramid-dominating, monument-straddling, IMAX renderfarm-melting behemoth towering over them all. Such a great take on the classic Constructicon gestalt.

    Speaking of which, there were SO many other weird-ass designs apart from all those!

    Insecticons, mini-bots like Wheelie and Scalpel...not to mention his flying helpers and brain-probing tentacle-bot. So fun and gross, lol.

    And WTF with the designs of Rampage and Demolishor! One of them hops around on a single goddamned pogo-stick leg, with tank-tread whips on his arms, and the other one is basically a torso on two giant unicycle-wheels rolling around one-at-a-time and end-over-end, ffs. LOLWUT? They really went all-out fucking around with the basic bipedal, humanoid design concepts we'd grown used to beforehand.

    Kind of a shame we still haven't gotten more of that yet.



    TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON

    Man, it's really hard to top the plot-twist here. EXCELLENT choice! No other Transformers movie even comes CLOSE in that respect.

    Best Panty-Shots maybe? Haha. "Mm-hmm. Did a little research. Looked REAL good, too!"

    Maybe Best Set-Dressing and Product Placement? Gotta admit, there were some pretty excellent choices made there.

    Idk, if I had to pick something else I'd probably go with the clever subtext buried throughout the film. From the Bruce Brazos = Bumblebee thing expanding upon the Bobby Bolivia element of the first film, to the similar foreshadowing of the Red Cup Freak-Out Scene, the subtle connection between the Pillars and H2O, the humorously foreshadowed Evil Spock/Sentinel Prime dynamic, and of course the pervasive, utterly BRILLIANT symbolism and theme of the Correct Path vs. Life-Sucking Abyss motif recurring throughout the film.

    The movie did a LOT of things really well, but HOLY SHIT they really went balls-to-the-wall with that kind of stuff in this one.



    TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

    I'm tempted to go with the Knighthood Theme here...but I get the feeling that Transformers: The Last Knight is about to blow it out of the water on that front, lol.

    So I'd say where this movie really dominates the others is in its sheer, massively prominent character development for the Transformers themselves. The previous films were mostly focused on the robots as character types without much exploration of or internal struggle with the ideas beyond three movies of Optimus declaring Earth to be a new home in lieu of Cybertron and the sacrifices required of him to protect it; a willingness to sacrifice the AllSpark and himself to protect Earth rather than restoring Cybertron, protecting Sam and Earth rather than restoring Cybertron, and protecting humanity itself rather than restoring Cybertron. His wrestling with self-doubt and "making the hard decisions" with respect to Sentinel is really the only other time we SEE that struggle and resolve take shape onscreen like we do here, except THIS movie really takes it much further.

    We actually SEE Optimus lose faith in humanity, understand why, and then see Cade restore it with the movie all but literally showing us the gears turning in Prime's head as the revelation dawns upon him. And Bumblebee was always kind of the "fun" one of the Autobots but this film essentially makes Bumblebee and Tessa ciphers for one another in a way that establishes his immaturity and relative youthfulness while foreshadowing the value of it and his room for growth in successive films.

    And then there's the "character development" of the entire Transformers species itself!

    Sure, the previous films suggested and fleshed out to varying degrees the rift between the Primes and The Fallen, the Autobots vs. the Decepticons, the dynamic between Seekers and the Star Harvester, the lineage of the Primes, etc. But THIS movie finally delves into the mystery of the ENTIRE panoply of Transformers, Autobots and Decepticons alike, and even those operating outside of that schism.

    They weren't born. They weren't just the random product of an unknowable deus ex machina AllSpark.

    No, THEY WERE BUILT and THEY WERE BUILT TO DO WHAT THEY WERE TOLD.

    No other movie in the series has even HINTED at anything more fundamentally important and crucial to our understanding of the nature and purpose of the Transformers and their place in the universe than THAT, which is honestly one of the most exciting new directions explored yet to be explored by these films.

    Bring on The Creators!

    \m/
     
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  9. Galvatross

    Galvatross Dom Dom, Yes Yes Veteran

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    Thanks guys, but I definitely wast to see other people post other things that I did not.

    A few things of note though.

    @BarricadeLives I think all of the films have beautiful aesthetics. I am not sure if that is one I could really pick a favorite.

    @Wolf I definitely do want to see more Decepticon interaction in future films. AOE has a good excuse on that front since Galvatron was the only Decepticon with a Cybertronian mind, yet I still like how he commands his soldiers in it and how they even say things here and there ("Piece of shit!").

    @Hazekiah you make a lot of great points. I would agree that the 2007 film brought many people back into the fandom regardless of what they thought of the film itself. It brought me back after missing out on Transformers since the Beast Era. I also strongly agree with you about ROTF's variety of new gimmicks and Decepticon designs. Finally, the robots themselves in AOE are far more fleshed out than some people give credit for. For instance, Hound starts hating humans outright, but as time goes on he starts to see good in the Yaegers. He threatens Crosshairs over the paratrooper's selfish reasons for wanting to abandon Tessa and Prime, and he even encourages Cade in Hong Kong during the fight. He may not trust humanity as a whole, but he is capable of seeing good in them. Also, and this is related to what you say, I think AOE does the most in expanding the fictional universe with Transformers that are in neither faction and non-Cybertronian aliens.
     
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  10. HereticalHeresy

    HereticalHeresy Decepticon

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    I'm watching 1 right now since it just so happens to be on TV, and honestly, I got to say the Decepticons seemed like they were a more organized threat in the first film compared to the others. In the other films, Decepticons seem to show up for a scene, shoot something and die. In the first film, especially with Barricade, Blackout and Frenzy, I felt like they gave us the closest thing in the films to Decepticons with character, who don't just show up to shout and get shot. It seemed like there was a bit more of a plan for them as if they were a force like the Autobots.
     
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  11. Livingdeaddan

    Livingdeaddan DEFIANTLILHORDE

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    Your TF1 point is Indeed the single most important thing these movies have done.
     
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  12. BumblebeeFan71

    BumblebeeFan71 Loyal Starscream Follower

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    I'll try to go over some points that haven't been mentioned yet since most of the points brought up are ones that I actually do like about the films.

    Transformers
    I would have to say car interactions. Basically when a Transformer is stuck in vehicle mode. I kind of like how they still managed to give Bumblebee personality and interactions outside of the CGI by usually having him do different actions in his car form. While I know he pretty much does this in all the films, I feel like the first movie had the best ones.

    Revenge of the Fallen
    Sam is the new AllSpark. Admittedly I was okay with this plotline. The idea that pretty much all of Cybertron's history was now in Sam's head was interesting. It gave him a bit more purpose and makes you wonder would happen to that information down the road. Such a shame that it pretty much got tossed aside.

    Dark of the Moon
    I can't really say, hadn't really watched the film in a while and my memories are quite fuzzy. I do like though the storyline we got with Sentinel and Optimus but I think that got mentioned already.

    Age of Extinction
    Proper human writing. I was so glad about this one. One of my gripes in the previous films is that while I found Sam to be okay, I felt he too often hogged the spotlight. So many of his parts felt out of place and boring. But I tend to find Sam at his best when his storyline was able to compliment the Autobots'. Unfortunately it wasn't too often, even with his interactions. Then we have Cade and I was so happy to see how he came out. Cade had his own story but what made it work was how nicely his storyline was able to weave together with the Autobots', especially Optimus'. It's kind of why I consider Cade one of my favorite human characters.
     
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  13. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    I think one of my favourite, more subtle (imagine that, subtlety in a Michael Bay movie) things from the first movie is that it's probably one of the few movies of its type where its reluctant hero characters aren't instant action heroes. Sure, Sam performs all manner of death-defying stunts running from Megatron in the climax, but it's with all the grace of any random schmuck terrified out of his fucking mind. Squirrelly, manic, with no forethought involved and no greater plan in store. His earlier run-in with Frenzy was undignified as shit (stumbling about with his pants around his ankles).

    Mikaela proved to be the more capable and level-headed of our two leads, but I like that she too got moments to show that she's just an ordinary girl, and not some top-secret super-soldier bred from birth. The moment in the final battle where she has to pull the tow-truck over and stop herself from having a mental breakdown in the middle of a firefight I found to be wonderfully nuanced and oddly beautiful.


    This all kinda goes hand-in-hand with what my general overview of this film franchise, is that for all the complaints about him, Michael Bay isn't a terrible director. He's capable of creating so many individual moments that are, in all honesty, pure cinematic magic. Things seem to fall apart because he's not a great "big picture" sort of guy. He puts all his effort into crafting these wonderful, iconic scenes, but then loses sight of the connective tissue that should tie it all together, so he potentially misses disjointed elements in his scripts or editing, or screws up the tone of the movie because he really wanted to work such and such scene into the movie where it wasn't really warranted, etc. If he was allowed to go hogwild on his big action setpieces, but also have some sort of oversight partner to handle the big picture sort of stuff, I honestly think he could really work his magic and create something special.



    Not particularly specific to any one movie is that I really like the visual language the movie team brought to the physicality of the Transformers in the first place. In almost every other Transformers media, they're robots that are also cars. They're robots and they do robot things, and then they transform, and do car things. In the movies, however, they're robots who are cars. Transformation is an extension of their anatomy. They can do so with all the effort that it takes us to break out into a sprint or to swing a punch. I had no idea how much I wanted to see this until I first saw the Barricade pursuit sequence from the first movie, watching him seamlessly shift his driving momentum into a predatory pounce, or turn a combat roll into a high-speed peel-out. It just felt so right and so natural.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
  14. soundwaverulls

    soundwaverulls Taking a break

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    TF07

    Likeable Autobots: The film may have lacked screen time for the Autobots, but it did the best job out of all the films at utilizing the screen time it had for them. The number of Autobots is limited to just five, and we see them play off each other. It's made clear that Ironhide is the gung-ho one, Jazz is the Ghetto one, Bee is the kid-appeal, and Optimus' ability to rein them all in shows he's the leader. Only Ratchet lacks a clear personality, although there are hints of him being pretty fun-loving, if you can spot them. We see how alien they are in their unfamiliarity with Earth's ways, and we see their individuality in them questioning Optimus, but in the end, they do trust his leadership, and will fall in line when he gives the order, and follow him into battle. There, the 'Bots are all capable. There's no divide between the capable ones, and the ones with personalities, like in ROTF. Here, they're one and the same.

    Powerful Decepticons: You can only judge heroes by the obstacles they overcome, and this film by far did the best job of making the Decepticons obstacles. The fact that most of the 'Cons can slaughter the human military makes all the Autobots feel relevant, not just Optimus, and each Decepticon is a challenge for the Autobots to bring down. When the Autobots can just tear through armies of 'Cons, it never feels like there's a chance the 'Cons could win. In TF07, you feel the Autobots' struggle to win.

    ROTF

    I will note that I agree with Galvatross about the Decepticons interactions in this film. They weren't much, but they were better than what we got in any of the other films.

    World building: This is the only sequel that actually feels like it continues to build upon the world the first movie set up. DOTM doesn't really introduce much in the way of new parts of TF lore, outside of Optimus' predecessor, and AOE felt more like it was trying to override the first film, with the TF history introduced in that film barely managing to fit into what the first film established, and not bothering to give that explanation to the audience. ROTF introduces the Matrix of Leadership, the Dynasty of Primes, and the Seekers, and does so in a way that makes them easily mix with TF07.

    DOTM

    Interesting TF story: DOTM by far has the most interesting story for the Transformers. It does take a lot from ROTF, but it really improves upon it. The TF involvement in human history is made into a conspiracy, with Soundwave partnering with big businesses to halt NASA's trips to the moon. Ignoring that it was leaked online, Sentinel Prime's betrayal was a great plot twist. The Decepticon invasion of a human city is treated like a massive event, not something that gets glossed over (although the fact that it's glossed over in ROTF does make the 'Cons feel more powerful, with such incredible destruction being insignificant compared to what they could do). Best of all is that it's all one story, not a whole bunch jammed together, like AOE's plot. The only downside to DOTM's story is human side. Sam's story is just a weak copy of the TF story, but with no relevance to it.

    Lead villain: Speaking of Sentinel Prime, he's by far the best TF villain these films have had. He actually has a dynamic with Optimus, having many ideological debates with his rival for the film, and has good motives. His dislike of humanity is understandable, and his desire to save his planet makes him at least a little sympathetic. It helps that he's not treated like a generic monster, like most 'Cons. On top of that, he's a big threat, being a capable warrior, able to take on multiple low-level 'Bots at once, and can go toe-to-toe with Optimus and actually beat him in the end.

    AOE

    Mastermind Megatron: Speaking of villains, AOE is the only film where Megatron is actually the dude in charge. He is very tacked on, and could be removed completely from the film (and perhaps should've been) but that ended up being to the character's advantage. He seemed to just get thrown in at the end of writing the film, with Kruger saying "oh and it was all Megatron's plan" which allowed him to actually be a mastermind, for once. Sure, he did mastermind the events of DOTM, but as soon as Sentinel turned up, he became irrelevant, until he undid his own plans, then died. Here, he uses the other villains, manipulating KSI into building him a new body and army, and letting Lockdown unwittingly remove his biggest threat and hand him a super-weapon. He does lose, but he doesn't personally undo his own work, and actually manages to get away in the end.

    Autobot Focus: This film easily has the most screen time for the Autobots, which, when combined with the return to only five main Autobots, allows for them to be really well fleshed out, at least compared to previous films. We really get a sense of the Autobots as people, with their own unique personalities, and fighting styles, with them all being capable in the action scenes. The only downside is that they're always fighting, and acting violent. It seems to be the only pass time for them. That's why they're not the most likeable, IMO. On top of that, this is the only film where the Autobots are at the center of the story. It's all about Cemetery Wind trying to hunt them down, and Optimus' deciding whether humanity is worth saving. Sure, the human protagonists do have their own story, but they were only threatened by CW because of Cade's relation with Optimus, which played a big part in Optimus' arc, and it is a pretty good arc. DOTM had tried to make things personal for Optimus, but in the end, his character was never shown growing. Here, Optimus actually ends the film with a different mentality to the one he started it with, first having no faith in humanity, until Cade helps remind him why he ever believed in our species.

    Story expansion: Speaking of arcs, this film does a great job of building upon DOTM, and actually sets up future films, even if it does seem as if it was trying to overwrite the events of TF07. Most of the film's story follows up on DOTM, with the public in fear of TF in general after the battle of Chicago, and Cemetery Wind secretly hunting down Autobots, helping KSI develop their replacements. While it's never outright makes this connection, it does seem to be asking if Sentinel was right. If humans really aren't worth saving. After all, he said that to humans, TF are just machines, and AOE has them replacing TF with machines. Plus, after Megatron asks OP who he'd be without Megatron, the fact humanity needs him is only proved when Megatron returns. The only independent part of the films is Lockdown, who sets up the Creator story line for later films to explore. It's just such a pity these stories ended up being so muddled up.
     
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  15. jaws

    jaws Well-Known Member

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    Bring in lots of money for Michael Bay
     
  16. JasonPrime

    JasonPrime Well-Known Member

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    Good topic. I'll have to think about this some. But, I will say one thing I enjoy in ALL the films is how the films each have a real globe trotting adventure feel. The Transformers can pop up anywhere and I really like that global feel and seeing them in different environments and locations.
     
  17. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    Transformers - being a solid movie and being robots in disguise.

    ROTF - action

    DOTM - Sentinel Prime is a great villain

    AOE - The Autobot feel like people.
     
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  18. EnergonWaffles

    EnergonWaffles Autobot's Head Chef Veteran

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    A more shallow post...but I think DOTM did the best job with Autobot character design.

    Dino was just beautiful. Hands down my favorite movie design. Sideswipe looked great, the Wreckers looked great, Sentinel looked great...