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Cinerama : Transformers: Part II.

By Mike Derderian Yes, I am still looking for a car to buy but my search is now narrowed down to used-up cars. Not a bad idea especially after what happens to Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) in Michael Bay's 2007 Transformers. Sam ends up buying a used 1977 Chevrolet Camaro that turns out to be a robot in disguise.Not a bad buy especially when Bumblebee, an extremely friendly Autobot, shifts shape into a new 2009 concept Camaro, after Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox), the girl Sam has a crush on, insults the robot by referring to him as a "piece of crap Camaro".Like all robot movie genres, Transformers is all about the special effects and Computer Generated Images. Imagine how much time and effort it would have taken to construct a Peterbilt truck that morphs into a robot a few years ago? Don't answer, this is a rhetorical question.Whether they belonged to Autobots or Decepticons all the robots depicted in the movie are impressive mechanical marvels. The autonomous robotic life forms (as referred to in the movie) are so real even with the latest sensory edition to their artificial intelligence enhanced senses: The sense of Smell."The boy's pheromone levels suggest he wants to mate with the female," Ratchett (the voice of Robert Foxworth), the Autobot medic, tells his band of robotic friends after sniffing Sam's body. The above line and the awkwardness of the situation--and they are by the dozen--is one of the funniest moments in this movieTransformers is not just about giant robots busting each others microchips and robotic bootiesC*waitC*on second thoughts that's what it's all about. The feel of it comes out as a mixture between Independence Day and The Terminator: Judgment Day only with triple the screen rush that is heightened by colliding metallic bodies powered by A.I circuits.The producers (like Steven Spielberg for example) behind this dazzling movie resuscitate a franchise that has been dormant for the past few years. Sure there were re-runs of the animated series, whether American or Japanese, every now and then; however, nothing beats watching conflicting life-size Autobots and Decepticons.Now what does a race of alien robots want from a Sam Witwicky? Last week we talked about the Cube aka the All Spark that was lost to space many a centuries ago after the civil war on planet Cybertron. It seems Sam has something that has to do with its whereabouts--no spoiler ahead. Even though they are outnumbered by the Decepticons, the Autobots lead a fierce battle. The intricate design of each of the above robots would blow anyone's mind as each has a unique character, different types of weaponry and transformation mode.The Decepticons are Megatron (an intergalactic spaceship), Starscreem (a jet fighter), Bonecrusher (a military vehicle), Devastator (a tank), Barricade (a police car), Blackout (a helicopter), Scorponok (a scorpion) and Frenzy, a robot that is specialized in espionage and has an extreme distaste for humans., voiced by Reno Wilson, is practically the star Decepticon of the movie after Megatron, Starscream and Barricade, both of which are bound to return in the sequel and hopefully with more screen time. The Autobots are Optimus Prime (a big rig), Ironhide (a pick up truck), Ratchett (an ambulance), Jazz (a sports car) and Sam's guardian robot Bumblebee. Now, the Decepticons want the Cube to build an army of robots using the machines that exist on earth, while, the Autobots are hoping to re-build their planet using its life giving powers. Elaborating on each and every one of the robots would take up weeks of our time and space, which is why we are now going to talk about the humans in Transformers. In addition to LaBeouf's stellar performance, Jon Voight and John Turturro fare well as members of the American government: Voight as Defense Secretary John Keller; and Turturro as Agent Simmons, the comic relief of the movie. Megan Fox's character Mikaela was more than a damsel in distress especially near the end when she and Bumblebee double team against a Decepticon. Kevin Dunn and Julie White, who play Sam's parents, were hilarious especially as a source of total embarrassment to Sam, when he is forced to bring Mikaela and the Autobots to his home. Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Anthony Anderson and Rachael Taylor--who plays the role of Maggie Madsen, a computer programmer who traces the Decepticons alien signal and warns of a full invasion--had interesting roles especially Duhamel, whose character Captain Lennox has a cool scene sliding under a Decepticon with a motorbike.This movie will not only blow your mind but it will make you wish if your father's 1980s Opel Berlina transforms into a cool robot called Opelimos Berlinos. I know I would.Transformers can be easily dubbed as a clash of Robotic Titans helmed by two giants, Optimus Prime and Megatron, with humanity hanging in the balance. If you think the sage ends here you are wrong. Watch out for the upcoming sequel that will introduce us to more of the Transformers, their mystic universe and us. nCinerama : Transformers: Part II

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Publication:The Star (Amman, Jordan)
Date:Aug 25, 2007
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