Transformers is a live action movie released by Dreamworks, with Executive Producer Steven Spielberg and Director Michael Bay. The principal cast members are Shia LaBeouf, Jon Voight, and Megan Fox. Character designs and visual effects were created by Industrial Light and Magic, the effects-wizards behind the Star Wars films.
Originally slated to release in the summer of 2006, the film arrived in US theaters on July 3, 2007, and hit UK theaters on July 27 and French theaters on the 25 July. The Australian release date was June 28, 2007, and premiered there on June 12, 2007. Take that, everywhere else.
An extended cut of the film featuring footage not in the original will be released to IMAX theaters on September 21st. Brawl is still Devastator.
* - Brawl is named "Devastator" in the film itself, but "Brawl" in the toyline and all other supporting media. Plot summaries and such will reflect whichever name is relevant to that being described.
The movie features Sam Witwicky, a plucky teenager who just wants a cool car, but gets more than he bargained for. The beater he and his father take home is actually Bumblebee, an alien robot from the planet Cybertron, who plants Sam down in the middle of a civil war between Bumblebee's benevolent Autobot comrades and the evil Decepticons who threaten the galaxy's peace. Both sides are after the All Spark, a mysterious artifact that landed on Earth ten thousand years ago. The approaching robot-against-robot battle is a coming-of-age moment for Sam, who learns the meaning of his family's motto, "No sacrifice, no victory."
The film begins with the history of Cybertron's destruction at the hands of Megatron, and his quest to obtain the All Spark. Megatron discovers the All Spark on Earth, but crash-lands in the Arctic Circle, becoming frozen in the ice. Captain Archibald Witwicky and his crew of explorers stumble upon Megatron's body in the late 19th century. Megatron's navigational system is unintentionally activated, and Archibald's eye glasses are imprinted with the coordinates to the All Spark's location. Sector 7, a secret organization of the United States government, discovers the All Spark and builds the Hoover Dam around it to mask the energy signal. The still-frozen Megatron is moved into this facility, and is reverse engineered to further advance human technology.
In the present day, the rest of the Decepticons — Blackout, Scorponok, Frenzy, Barricade, Starscream, Bonecrusher, and Devastator — have already landed on Earth and assumed the disguise of Earth vehicles. Blackout and Scorponok attack a U.S. military base in Qatar in an effort to use the military database to discover the location of Megatron and the All Spark, but they do not succeed. A small group of survivors from the military base attack wander through the desert and are attacked by Scorponok. The Autonomous Robotic Organism (shortened to "Autobot") known as Bumblebee is also on Earth, disguised as a 1977 Chevrolet Camaro, and looking for Sam Witwicky, the descendant of Captain Archibald Witwicky. As soon as he locates Sam, the two quickly begin to bond as Bumblebee helps Sam try and woo his crush, Mikaela Banes; Sam is unaware of the fact that Bumblebee is an alien, until he witnesses Bumblebee transform and send out a homing signal for the rest of the Autobots. After Blackout's failure, Frenzy infiltrates Air Force One and discovers that Sam possesses the map that will lead the Decepticons to the All Spark. Frenzy and Barricade begin tracking Sam's location.
Barricade confronts Sam, demanding Archibald's glasses. Bumblebee, who is following Sam, transforms and battles Barricade. Mikaela, who is also following Sam, is caught in the crossfire, and leaves with Sam and Bumblebee to rendezvous with the rest of the Autobots. The Autobots — Optimus Prime, Jazz, Ironhide, and Ratchet — land on Earth and take on the forms of several Earth vehicles. Sam, Mikaela, and the Autobots return to Sam's home to retrieve the glasses. However, agents from Sector 7 arrive to take Sam and Mikaela into custody. Bumblebee is also apprehended, against the pleas of Sam who assures the agents - to no avail - that he means them no harm.
Frenzy secretly accompanies the group to the Hoover Dam, and releases Megatron from cryogenic stasis. Locating the All Spark, he sends out an alert to the rest of the Decepticons. Megatron escapes, and Sam convinces the Sector 7 agents to release Bumblebee so that he can get the All Spark to Optimus Prime. The Decepticons chase the Autobots, who now possess the All Spark, into a neighboring city. An ensuing battle results in casualties for both sides, including Jazz. Finally, with both Prime and Megatron weakened, Prime beckons Sam to shove the All Spark into his chest, destroying them both, but Sam instead takes the riskier action of shoving the All Spark into Megatron's chest. The remains of the Decepticons are cast into the Laurentian Abyss. With no other home to go to - Cybertron having been destroyed by Megatron - the Autobots decide to stay on Earth, and Optimus sends out a signal across space in an effort to locate any surviving Autobots, while Sam and Mikaela begin a relationship. Starscream, one of the Decepticons that survived the battle, leaves Earth.
"Before time began, there was the Cube. We know not where it comes from, only that it holds the power to create worlds and fill them with life. That was how our race was born. For a time, we lived in harmony, but like all great power, some wanted it for good, others for evil. And so began the war - a war that ravaged our planet until it was consumed by death, and the Cube was lost to the far reaches of space. We scattered across the galaxy, hoping to find it and rebuild our home, searching every star, every world. And just when all hope seemed lost, message of a new discovery drew us to an unknown planet called... Earth. But we were already too late."
- -- Optimus Prime's opening narration
"Sir, look outside: do you see that man sitting in the green car? That's my dad. Let me tell you a story about a dream, a boy's dream: A man promised to buy his son a car if I brought up three A's and two thousand dollars. I already have the two thousand and two A's. Your B minus? Poof! There goes the dream. Now ask yourself... what would Jesus do?"
- -- Sam Witwicky negotiates a better mark for his Family Geneology project
Bobby Bolivia: "What, with the semi-classic nature of the vehicle, slick wheels and custom paint job-"
Sam: "The paint's faded!"
Bobby: "Y-yeah, but its custom."
Sam: "It's custom faded?"
Bobby: "Well, it's your first car, I wouldn't expect you to understand. *turns to Ron* Five grand."
Ron: "No, not paying over four. Sorry."
Bobby: "*turns back to Sam* Kid, c'mon, get out, get out of the car.
Sam: "No, no, no, you said cars pick their drivers!"
Bobby: "Well sometimes they pick a driver with a cheap-ass father, out of the car."
- -- Negotiations over the car at Bolivia's Finest Quality Used Cars and Petting Zoo
(Sam's car leaves in a puff of black smoke)
"Wow... you are so cheap."
"It's his first car... supposed to be like that."
- -- Judy Witwicky comments on the car's condition to Ron
"I need a credit card! Hey, where's your wallet?"
"Pocket!" *fires gun*
"My back pocket!" *fires gun*
"You got ten back pockets!"
"Left cheek! Left cheek! Left cheek!"
- -- Captain Lennox and Sergeant Epps needing a credit card to call the Pentagon
"The heat's coming!"
"What, BRING IT!"
- -- Lennox and Epps giving the greenlight for Strike Package Bravo to attack Scorponok
Ironhide: "Why are we fighting to save the humans? They're a primitive and violent race."
Optimus Prime: "Were we so different? They are a young species, they have much to learn... but I've seen goodness in them. Freedom is the right of all sentient beings... you all know there is only one way to end this war. We must destroy the Cube. If all else fails, I will unite it with the spark in my chest."
Ratchet: "That's suicide! The Cube is raw power, it could destroy you both."
Optimus Prime: "A necessary sacrifice to bring peace to this planet... we cannot let the humans pay for our mistakes. It's been an honor serving with you all. Autobots, roll out!"
- -- The Autobots discuss their next move.
"Give me the All Spark, and you may live to be my pet."
"I'm never giving you this All Spark!"
"Oh, so unwise..."
- -- Megatron corners Sam on the rooftop.
"It's you and me, Megatron."
"No, it's just ME, Prime!"
- -- Optimus Prime and Megatron face off for the fate of the All Spark and Earth.
"The humans don't deserve to live."
"They deserve to choose for themselves!"
"Then you will die with them! Join them in extinction!"
- -- Megatron and Optimus Prime while continuing their battle
"With the All Spark gone, we cannot return life to our planet. And fate has yielded its reward, a new world to call... home. We live among its people now, hiding in plain sight. But watching over them in secret... waiting... protecting. I have witnessed their capacity for courage, and though we are worlds apart, like us, there's more to them than meets the eye. I am Optimus Prime, and I send this message to any surviving Autobots taking refuge among the stars: We are here... We are waiting."
- -- Optimus Prime's closing narration
- Executive Producer: Steven Spielberg
- Executive Producer: Brian Goldner
- Director: Michael Bay
- Producers: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Ian Bryce, Tom DeSanto, Don Murphy
- Story by: Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci and John Rogers,
- Screenwriters: Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci
- Music by: Steve Jablonsky
- Visual Effects by: Industrial Light and Magic, Digital Domain
- Production Designer: Jeff Mann
- Lead Robot Illustrator: Ben Procter
- ILM Visual Effects Supervisior: Scott Farrar
- Art Director: Alex Jaeger
The 2007 Transformers film has more than one 'cut.'
- The worldwide theatrical release was essentially identical all around the world with a few minor exceptions.
- The IMAX edition of the movie features two minutes of additional footage in the form of slightly extended scenes and very brief new scenes. Added material includes the following:
- Before heading to the lake party, Sam is shown picking Miles up at his house. Miles derides Sam's choice of car colors.
- After Sam is questioned by the sheriff at the police station, he is given an anti-drug bumper sticker and shown the "This is Your Brain on Drugs" PSA starring Rachel Leigh Cook.
- After abducting Sam and Mikaela, Agent Simmons uses a device to monitor Sam's pupil dilation while interrogating him in the truck. He also remarks that he has "been there" when it comes to women with criminal records.
- Upon arriving at Hoover Dam, Simmons remarks colorfully that it is "Area 50". A few minutes later, he lists the nicknames of all the U.S. Presidents to have toured the facility.
- In Mission City, Lennox acquires short-range radios from a gun-toting, but easily-flattered, pawn shop owner.
Prior to the movie's release IDW Publishing released a four issue limited comic series entitled "Prime Directives", which chronicles the events which bring the Transformers to Earth. An animated version will be featured on the DVD. A novel, Transformers: Ghosts of Yesterday, is about the truth behind humankind's first venture into space and how that event is related to the Transformers' presence on Earth, both past and present.
Since the movie's plot brings the audience into things from Sam's POV, as he learns of not only the Transfomers' war but mankind's past history with Cybertronians, the prequel material provides a better handle on the intricate storyline.
It should be noted, however, that some dialogue in the film contradicts the prequel material, specifically pertaining to the years in which the frozen Megatron was moved from the Arctic to Hoover Dam.
On July 3, 2007, Warner Bros Records released a Transformers soundtrack full of songs from or inspired by the motion picture.
- 1. "What I've Done" - Linkin Park
- 2. "Doomsday Clock" - Smashing Pumpkins
- 3. "This Moment" - Disturbed
- 4. "Before It's Too Late (Sam and Mikaela's Theme)" aka "Fiction" - Goo Goo Dolls
- 5. "Pretty Handsome Awkward" - The Used
- 6. "Passion's Killing Floor" - HIM
- 7. "What It Feels Like To Be A Ghost?" - Taking Back Sunday
- 8. "Second To None" - Styles Of Beyond
- 9. "End Of The World" - Armor For Sleep
- 10. "Retina and the Sky" - Idiot Pilot
- 11. "Technical Difficulties" - Julien-K
- 12. "Transformers Theme" - MuteMath
On October 9, 2007, Warner Bros Records will release a Transformers score featuring the instrumental music composed by Steve Jablonsky.
- 1. Autobots
- 2. Decepticons
- 3. The All Spark
- 4. Deciphering The Signal
- 5. Frenzy
- 6. Optimus
- 7. Bumblebee
- 8. SOCCENT Attack
- 9. Sam At The Lake
- 10. Scorponok
- 11. Cybertron
- 12. Arrival To Earth
- 13. Witwicky
- 14. Downtown Battle
- 15. Sector 7
- 16. Bumblebee Captured
- 17. You're A Soldier Now
- 18. Sam On The Roof
- 19. Optimus Vs. Megatron
- 20. No Sacrifice, No Victory
- US: October 16th, 2007 (DVD, HD-DVD)
- Australia: November 1st, 2007 (DVD)
- United Kingdom: December 3rd, 2007 (DVD)
The movie set multiple records when it opened, including biggest opening week gross for a non-sequel ($155.4 million), biggest Tuesday release gross ($27.4 million), biggest July 4th gross ($29 million), and the biggest foreign film opening in mainland China ($3 million).
As of September 23, 2007, it has earned a worldwide gross of $694,393,545. US gross accounted for $310,578,372, before the IMAX version's release, and is currently at $313,554,000 after the first two days. It currently sits at spot #21 in the "most domestic gross" list of movies, though this listing is not adjusted for inflation. When taking that into account, Transformers just ekes in at spot #98.
Critical reception was hit-and-miss, more positive than negative but not by a lot, though it's sometimes hard to tell how many negative reviewers were more interested in screaming about Michael Bay in general over the movie itself. Otherwise, the most common negatives involved it being a generally think-free "spectacle"-style movie; even those who rated the movie positively noted it was a pure "popcorn" movie meant to wow its audience with CGI and explosions rather than make them think (Richard Roper noted in his "thumbs up" review "it has no nutritional value"). Whether one considers that a good or bad thing for a movie and if the movie was enough fun to overcome that is, of course, highly debatable. The other main culprit, again noted by many of the positive reviews, was its long running time, particularly the overly-chaotic, often hard-to-follow final big-bang extended ending action sequence. (Roger Ebert noted that this sequence was what made him give the movie three out of four stars rather than the full four.)
Currently, two sequels are planned, with Shia LaBeouf and Peter Cullen signed for both. Michael Bay and the screenwriters have as yet not signed on to return for the sequels, but have mentioned they are very excited to do it.
- The Autobot computer generated models consisted of 35,592 total pieces, 7,435,478 polygons, 95,247 rig nodes, and 20,258 texture maps. If laid end to end, the pieces would stretch 3.11 miles.
- For all the robots combined, there are 60,217 pieces of geometry, 123,509,502 polygons, 144,341 rigging nodes, and 34,215 texture maps.
- Sunset happens roughly every fifteen minutes.
Not actually an error
- Sam and Mikaela, as well as Maggie and Glenn arrive at Hoover Dam on the same helicopter despite being from opposite ends of the country. Occasionally cited as an error, it is actually a narrative oversight, as it is likely that Sam and Mikaela were held in custody at an US Air Base while waiting for Maggie and Glen to arrive with Secretary Keller's party by plane, then they all left for Hoover Dam together on the helicopters.
- Transformers at IMDB.com
- Transformers The Album
- Transformers 2007 film on Wikipedia
- Transformers CAPalert.com review
- ↑ Robertson, Barbara (2007). Heavy Metal. Computer Graphics, 30(7), 12-17.
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