Thursday, July 05, 2007


To some runners, this word “transformers” could mean that you are transforming from a 10km to half marathon runner; or from a half marathon to full marathon runner. However, this is an exception: I am referring to the latest blockbuster – Transformers, the movie.

I have not reviewed any movies before in this weblog. But this movie is excellence, recommended for viewing. The Star newspaper reviewer even gave A+ rating, which is very rare. Even the previous “Star Wars Trilogy” movies received C or D ratings.

To the engineers: A transformer is an electrical device that transfers energy from one circuit to another by magnetic coupling with no moving parts.

After watching the movie for one hour, I truly enjoyed in it and I wished that the movie could go on and on. The jokes were real cool. This is one of the rare movies that I have the exhilarating sensation when the story is unfolded.

Bravo to Steven Spielberg, who is the producer of this movie. “His movies really got standard lah,” I reflected on the show that lasted for 2 hours 15 minutes. Since a producer has influence over a director, much like a director has influence over actors, I believe he does contribute to the success of this movie.

I watched the movie on Saturday (30 June) in a full-housed cinema in Summit Complex, USJ Subang Jaya three days after it was released in Malaysia, ahead of the United States.

Because it was released earlier, the management of the cinema has taken considerable precaution to combat piracy in handling illegal video-taping. When the movie was just about to start, suddenly, the hall was brightly lighted up. That cinema has had bad records of power failure. The most recent one was when showing the Pirates of the Caribbean: the moment Chow Yun Fatt was shot dead, the power supply was also dead, and the cinema was lighted up similarly.

In this case, there was a young Malay staff standing in front of the crowd explaining to the huge crowd albeit in a little nervousness tone. That was a superb place for public speaking where all ears and eyes were zero-in on one person, from head to toe. I think Toastmasters members would love to stand there and maybe, deliver their speeches since the crowd was more formidable.

When the speech ended, it was followed by applause minus the thunderous sound as in the THX surround-sound effect of the hall. And that signified the start of the movie.

Go and watch the movie; it is even good for second viewing.


Size and proportion issue? - How can a small sports car (cleverly being disguised) be transformed into a huge robot? Let us not be critical; the best-loved cartoon characters are originally meant for children.

Extracts of review from The Star Newspaper on 29 June 2007

PLOT? Character development? Logic? Who cares? Transformers is a movie about transforming giant robots, for heaven's sake! All we want are those giant robots we love and grew up with kicking the nuts and bolts out of each other!

Happily enough, director Michael Bay delivers just that. No Pearl Harbour love story drivel (though the romance between Shia LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky and the gorgeous Megan Fox’s Mikaela is quite touching, actually), and no far-out The Island sci-fi nonsense. This is an action film through and through, and probably the first blockbuster this year that does not pretend to be anything more sophisticated than what it really is.

While the actors give decent performances throughout the movie, there is no doubt that the stars of the movie are the CGI-animated Transformers. The robots may be a far cry from the boxy-cartoon characters, but their new mechanically alien designs are a wonder to behold, as are the transforming sequences; which are jaw-dropping.

Ultimately, the biggest kick one can get out of this movie is that goosebump-induced feeling of seeing real-life renditions of iconic characters like Optimus Prime, Jazz and Bumblebee on screen. From the minute the very first voice-over featuring a very familiar and nostalgic voice rings out, to the climactic final battle between Optimus Prime and Megatron, this is a movie that will leave that little kid in you stunned, drooling, and clamouring for more.

Altogether now: Autobots, Transform and ROLL OUT!

- By Michael Cheang

(Rating: A+)

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