A youth chooses manhood. The week Sam Witwicky starts college, the Decepticons make trouble in Shanghai. A presidential envoy believes it's because the Autobots are around; he wants them gone. He's wrong: the Decepticons need access to Sam's mind to see some glyphs imprinted there that will lead them to a fragile object that, when inserted in an alien machine hidden in Egypt for centuries, will give them the power to blow out the sun. Sam, his girlfriend Mikaela Banes, and Sam's parents are in danger. Optimus Prime and Bumblebee are Sam's principal protectors. If one of them goes down, what becomes of Sam?Written by
The interior design of the Nemesis was based on photographs of sawed-open bones, including marrow and vessels. See more »
(at around 55 mins) When the car falls through the warehouse right before and as it hits the ground you can see the dummies in the car before the next scene shows the actors. See more »
Earth, birthplace of the human race. A species much like our own, capable of great compassion and great violence. For in our quest to protect the humans, a deeper revelation dawns: our worlds have met before...
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The mainland Chinese release censors all mentions of the name "Shanghai" (where the opening battle takes place). Galloway's line "You guys made a mess at Shanghai" is edited to remove the last two words, while other uses of the city's name are bizarrely overdubbed with something that sounds like "Shanghaish." See more »
There are two things to look for in a film, at least for me.
One is whether it is important in the sense that it has life, matters, becomes part of you. This is rare, but so, so very valuable.
It becomes possible because film is hungry for ways of delivering that power, so it grabs weakminded filmmakers and forces them to extend cognitive boundaries and refine new visual grammars. That gives us the second kind of interesting film — where the project itself is worthless, but there is some clear new thing emerging that by itself makes the soul tingle with expectation over how it might be used by a real artist.
This and its previous version are such a movie. They contain something that I think is important. I mentioned it in the comment on the first one and can only repeat the observation here. We are seeing here the development of a visual style that is more than a style I think.
In an ordinary movie, the framing and staging is expository: you are shown what you need to see to make sense out of what is happening. If it is a boxing match with Sly Stallone, you see what is essential: you see perhaps the possibility, the actor, the action and the effect. Its all there, very carefully engineered. In fact, this engineering — a very constrained subset of what can be photographed — is what constitutes the contract we have in communicating visually.
What I first saw in "Black Hawk Down" was an engineering of what you do not see. Some of the action happened around us, the camera eye moving as if it were panicked and seeing only a part of what is going on. You could not make out the sense of what caused what. Because we so solidly expect to see everything that causes things, when we deviate it is a powerful statement.
What we have here are transformations and fights that are only partially framed. We are denied enough information to know precisely what is happening. We know there is an exact order to how the many parts fold into an automobile or plane, but we often see just motion. The effect is most pronounced in battle scenes when the viewer would be panicked in the motion and threat of war. Confusion and lack of comprehension is part of the effect. It isn't just random noise though; we know that though the screen is filled with scores of metal shapes apparently in chaos, they belong to two beings. We cannot sort out who is who. We know that within those beings, the animators have programmed coherent bodily motion. We know that each blow is basically like those of Stallone, but we do not know any of the physics behind it, or even which way it is going.
This is an amazing visual experience. I saw it in Imax. Sure, the film otherwise is ridiculous, and I find the cosmology troubling. But it is notable that while they go to extreme lengths to explain every point in the history of why these beings are here and why they fight, they go to equal trouble to keep the visual understanding of the fight from us.
I think this is something new, and I can't wait until it is used in a real film.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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