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Transformers Director Michael Bay sent a scathing email to studio Paramount Pictures on the 4th May, reports gossip site TMZ.
"... I have been waiting, and waiting for the anticipation of an 'event movie' to make it into the 'public zeitgeist,' they quote Mr Bay as writing as well as pointing out that he calls the print campaign for the film an "abject failure," with a "pathetic presence" in the L.A. Times. Here refers to the profile of the movie on the MTV Video Awards as "so lame." referring to the fact that the first Transformers in 2007 had a 30-minute segment at
the MTV Movie Awards, but this year the sequel's only support was in
the form of lead actors Shia LeBeouf and Megan Fox presenting an award.
Bay makes a attack on Paramount head Sumner with his comment of "You all talk so glowingly about Transformers being the movie of the summer but unfortunately this has not gotten to the public. I still run into so many people even this weekend with kids that ask "is that movie coming out this year?". Your owner Sumner, went on air in wall street last week talking how Paramount was going to claim the summer with Star Trek and G.I Joe. I guess he didn't even know it was coming out either." which points out that the film was being poorly advertised.
Bay goes on to name drop Jerry Bruckheimer in the email with "Over the years Jerry Bruckheimer mentored me on event movies - he had a mantra - "A studio that does not make it an event, will it into an event, thinks the audience will just show up, will always be bittin in the ass". Besides my good friend Steven, Jerry has made a lot more successful movies ten all of us".
Its not all bad news though as on the 6th June Michael sent Paramount Pictures an email praising them and saying that "Paramount is like family. Thank you all for busting your butts and bringing your 'A game' for the release of Transformers".
You can read the full emails here and here.
On Friday 12th June were were invited to attend the FDA screening of Transformers Revenge of the Fallen at the Oden in Leicester Square, London. The event was an invitational only affair with over a thousand people in the audience form all types of media forms.
Before the film began it was announced that we were the first audience to see the final edit of the film despite the world premier in Japan a few days before hand which showed a pre-finished edit of the movie.
The review will contain spoilers though we will try to limit them as much as possible. As with most press events their has been an embargo on reviews which was lifted today.
The film takes place a few years after the end of the first movie an opens with a flashback scene showing the Transformers first arrival on Earth thousands of years ago. These Transformers were the original Primes including one who would later be cast out and forever dubbed as The Fallen. The film jumps to modern day China and the first action scene with narration from Optimus Prime explaining how more Autobots have now arrived on Earth and how they have teamed with the humans to protect Earth and round up the last remaining Decepticons. The first thing you notice with the Transformers Revenge of the Fallen is the improvement on the visuals during action sequences.
The film then jumps back to the human side of the story of which the premise is Sam moving away to go to college, trying to cope with a long distance relationship with Mikaela and return to a normal life. After discovering a shard of The Allspark in his old jacket Sam starts to see Cyber-glyphs which is soon followed up by a small action sequence involving various home applicances coming to life. There are various comedic scenes involving Sam and his parents both at their house and on campus which helps to keep the mood light-hearted and is clearly designed to give his parents more screen time in the second film. For those with small children their are various seuxal and drug references throughout these scenes. Bumblebee is back not being able to speak again which is explained with a throw away line commenting that he has been "having trouble with his vocal processor again". Whilst at college Sam meets two new human characters in Alice and Leo. Leo is another comedy relief character who is often teams with Mudflap, Skids or the returning Agent Simmons with Alice being a rival love-interest with a secret. During this time Soundwave (one of three characters voiced by Frank Wellker), a Decepticon satellite, track down another Allspark fragment which is being held on a military base. He sends down Ravage (who is never named) to retrieve the fragment in order to resurrect Megatron.
The pace of the movie picks up again as it builds towards one of the major points of the movie which takes place within a forest including one of the better fight sequences with Optimus Prime taking on three Decepticons. Prime is even more bad-ass than in the first movie and now has two blades and two guns whilst the Decepticons seem some what weaker.
From this, which is feels like the mid-point of the film, the pace then slows down dramatically with heavy focus on the Humans. Some more characters are introduced, as are more plot holes, with the story progressing slowly. Its this part of the movie which will no doubt come into criticism from reviewers for its pacing.
The locations change as the film starts to set itself up for the finale. The build up is a little slow, contains a mix of comedic and serious scenes as well as explaining some more of the back story and introducing The Matrix of Leadership.
The pace picks up again for the finale which visually is much clearer than the first film with the full cast on show. There is a lot of Transformers in the end sequence, although some of the models are reused. Devastator appears towards the end of the movie though we ended being a little let down with the use of the character. The visuals were certainly impressive and no doubt the combination sequence in the Imax version should be extremely impressive.
Overall Transformers Revenge of the Fallen is more of the same. Its bigger and louder than the first, visually its still stunning with vast improvements in the fight sequences although it is let down by the pacing in the middle of the film, some plot holes and once again lack of characters for many of the Transformers.
Some of the new characters, Sideswide, Arcee, Mudflap and Skids and introduced early on though only Mudflap and Skids have any real screen time. Jolt appears in the background of only two sequences (that we spotted), Ratchet has one line and if you blink you might miss him, Ironhide is used a bit more but still not much, Bumblebee feels like he appears less than the first movie, Mudflap and Skids are in it a fair bit (possibly too much) oh and Arcee does not
combine in the film. Wheelie will split opinions. Some people will love him, others will hate him.
There are several new Decepticon characters in the movie, 99% of
which are never named, very few speak, even less have characters and
several towards the end are just generic CG renders. The Fallen is
introduced as a sort of Emperor to Megatron's Darth Vader and is used
to explain more of the Cybertronian history. Like the first movie a lot of the Decepticons are killed (many very easily), Megatron seemed like a watered down version of his character from the first film. Devastator felt, unfortunately, rather week and although not in the film massively Starscream certainly gains the most from the movie with some nice lines showing his character.
The first movie contained a lot of minor plot holes with the sequel continuing this theme. Timing once again is a problem for the film with an examples being when Mikela flies out to college and Jordan being suddenly a lot closer to Cario than it actually is. Geographically speaking the location of some of the temples in Egypt are wrong. Jetfire's alternative mode doesn't make any sense. He's suppose to have have been off-line for a very long time and yet his spark is inside a SR-71 Blackbird which is from the 1960s.
In the final scene "the Constructicons" appear in both combined (Devastator) and individual modes at the same time.
Some little nods
There are once again some nods for the fans. Mentions include Engeron the Matrix of Leadership, a line from Epps "if god created us in his image then you have to wonder who created him" which is to tease thoughts of Primus and Unicron amongst others.
Overall we both enjoyed the film and will certainly be seeing it again. It fits in nicely with the first, should certainly sell well. Die-hard fans may be a little disappointed with the amount of screen time that some of the new characters receive as well as the lack of dialogue for many of the cast.
The movie opens first within the UK and Ireland and then is released worldwide. Whether it will out gross the first movie will be interested to see. I expect it will perform better at the UK box office this time around as it has less competition and is opening much earlier.