Thursday, March 25, 2010



The third installment of Transformers has been a topic of discussion around the movie world in recent months. First on the plate was Paramount's announcement that the unnamed third film would be released July 1st, 2011. Funny enough, this was news to the film's director Michael Bay as he surprisingly responded on his official website:

Wait a minute! I said I was taking off a year from Transformers. Paramount made a mistake in dating Transformers 3 - they asked me on the phone - I said yes to July 4 - but for 2012 - whoops! Not 2011!!! That would mean I would have to start prep in September. No way. My brain needs a break from fighting robots.

The date obviously will be moved back unless the franchise wants to proceed without the director that has grossed Paramount Pictures almost $2 billion dollars from the first two Transformers projects through ticket and DVD sales. Safe to say, they will wait for Michael B--- nope, not going to type that stupid rhyme.

Next up is Hollywood's new ploy to steal three dollars from audiences via the third dimension. Since Avatar, many studios are pushing for movies to be released in 3D for more lucrative promotion opportunities and the extra profit. Films that were not shot in 3D, like the April 2nd release Clash of the Titans, have been converted into 3D by post production.

Early perception of the post production conversion to 3D for Clash of the Titans is not great as you can read from SlashFilm's Peter Sciretta. He was able to view 7-10 minutes of the film recently. He discusses an unnatural, odd, paperboard cutout-feel. That is not what I like to hear when paying the extra price for a movie that's not a spectacle like Avatar's multi-year production of 3D (compared to Clash of the Titans record three month transformation).

Ok, back to how this relates to Tranformers 3. Before Avatar, Bay said he thought "3D was a gimmick." Well, after Cameron's masterpiece, Bay showed signs on budging on Paramount's push to create a 3D Transformers. Now, Mike Fleming of Deadline New York reports that the director is not likely to shoot his third robot bashing movie with the new Hollywood craze.

Bay has many good reasons for not wanting to shoot in 3D. The cameras are "too big and cumbersome for the fast paced action scenes he shoots." The post production conversion process does not seem a likely option as Bay has sent footage from the previous Transformers films to be converted. He wanted to get a feel for how third film would translate on screen from this method. It appears so far that Bay agrees with Peter Sciretta's perception of the gimmicky looking 3D. Here are Bay's full thoughts on the issue.

I shoot complicated stuff, I put real elements into action scenes and honestly, I am not sold right now on the conversion process. … I am trying to be sold, and some companies are still working on the shots I gave them. Right now, it looks like fake 3D, with layers that are very apparent. You go to the screening room, you are hoping to be thrilled, and you’re thinking, huh, this kind of sucks. People can say whatever they want about my movies, but they are technically precise, and if this isn’t going to be excellent, I don’t want to do it. And it is my choice. … I’m used to having the A-team working on my films, and I’m going to hand it over to the D-team, have it shipped to India and hope for the best? This conversion process is always going to be inferior to shooting in real 3D. Studios might be willing to sacrifice the look and use the gimmick to make $3 more a ticket, but I’m not.  Avatar took four years. You can’t just shit out a 3D movie. I’m saying, the jury is still out.”

The most recent concrete news surrounding the film involves the casting of three new actors to fill the roster of an apparent new look third Transformers. No, the robots aren't changing. But explosion extraordinaire Michael Bay described the the newest installment's screenplay to feature a lot less robot destruction like Revenge of the Fallen and to be much more about character.

With the plot seemingly taking a turn away from the original two, this obviously will bring new cast members into the mix. Just the other day, the talents of John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, and funny man Ken Jeong were brought onto the Transformers team.

Both Malkovich and McDormand are generally serious actors minus roles here and there. Jeong on the other hand, has never played a notable role where he wasn't a ridiculous personification or some sort of comedic relief. With that in mind, how will these actors be used in the newest Transformers plot? Will Jeong turn into a serious actor?

My guess is no. Bay and his writing team (which is significantly smaller this time around) are always looking for comedic interjections and one liners to fill their scripts. Even an actor like Malkovich is not immune to robot degradation. May I remind you of the robot urine John Turturro had to endure in the first film?

As I stated above, the writing team of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek) who collaborated with Bay and Ehren Kruger on Revenge of the Fallen will not be back. Left to write the script on his own is Kruger. He is said to be the source (along with Bay of course) of much of the second film's cheesy moronic humor.

Now, leaning towards a negative casting note, the atrocious acting of Tyrese Gibson will indeed be featured in Transformers 3. I was hoping more than anything Tyrese would not make the cut because his acting is like watching Ray Charles try and hit baseballs. It never works.

Also returning for a third go-round will be Megan Fox, Shia LaBeouf and Optimus Prime. Despite contract disputes, Paramount was able to get the 40-ton Transformer to reprise his role as the Autobot leader.

Transformers 3 is rumored to drop Summer 2012 as Michael Bay stated above, so don't get your hopes up for a 2011 release. 


Share Your Thoughts Through Your Facebook Account