Before the movie premiere, GM Design held a special dinner at Flemmings, which is across the street from the Palladium theater in Birmingham, MI. The free food and drinks were great, and the chance to discuss design with some of GM's best and brightest was very cool. We'll post later on a great conversation we had with Camaro interior designer Micah Jones, but the big event was the Transformers movie world premiere, and you can read our impression of the movie after the jump.
[Editor's Note: Although the following account is a brief preview of the movie, it is in no way a serious spoiler review. If you're curious, read on, but if you want to remain totally in the dark, stop here and wait until next Wednesday when Transformers hits cineplexes nationwide.]
In a summer full of sequels, the Transformers movie is one of the few original productions. It's also the only summer blockbuster that doesn't include a laundry list of A-list actors, unless you're a fan of Hasbro toys or an auto enthusiast. The real scene stealer in this action thriller were the Autobots and Decepticons. Michael Bay and his team of special effects wizards did a terrific job of making the Transformers look, well, real. The in-motion morphing of the main characters were just incredible, as evidenced by the many trailers you've seen on Autoblog, and the bot on bot fight scenes were definitely attention-grabbers.
Going into the movie, I sensed an Independence Day type theme, but other than the superior alien power taking over the world thing, the two movies couldn't be more different. The story line of the Transformers movie mixes a teenage love story with a bunch of 40 foot robots trying to take over the world. The flick was over two hours long, and after about 15 minutes of setup, the rest of the movie was almost non-stop action. Bay does a great job of showing why the Transformers have descended upon our planet, with a flash-back to the end of the battle that destroyed the robot planet. Shia LaBeouf did a terrific job as the main character, combining just enough funny lines with the whole uncomfortable teenager-in-love dynamic. The leading female, Megan Fox, is drop-dead gorgeous, and plays a stellar role of being a strong and smart woman that can do what it takes to get the job done. She definitely wasn't a damsel in distress.
The opening battle scene where one of the Decepticon robots takes on a military base was epic, with a series of incredible explosions and lots of metal flying everywhere. That scene set up the incredible special effects that would be demonstrated throughout. One nice nuance of the movie was that good old-fashioned American soldiers were able to destroy the robots, but it was quite a task. The military and the Autobots really worked together throughout the battle scenes.
In short, the explosions looked almost nuclear, the effects were as good as I've ever seen, the robot-human interaction was very life-like, and no matter how much I had to use the restroom, the non-stop pace of the Transformers movie kept me in my seat. A lot of times when a movie is built up to no end, the viewer can't help but feel disappointed when they leave the theatre, but this was definitely not the case with this billion dollar blockbuster in waiting. GM pulled a major coup with their somewhat over-the-top product placement, and the Camaro is a flat-out star. It's even more stunning on the big screen than it was on the auto show circuit.
If you're a Transformer fan, don't wait for this movie to come out on DVD. No matter how big your TV is at home, you'll need the 50+ foot big screen to catch all the wonderful details of this movie. I'm going to see it one more time before deciding just how great it was, but it easily beats Pirates or Spiderman 3 as the best action movie of 2007.