Friday 27th July 2007

If I am honest, I have been waiting all my life for this movie to be made. You can imagine my excitement when I heard it was being filmed and scheduled for release in the summer 2007. I was a minor fan of the television series and had a movie (not the 1986 movie) but another on VHS, which I watched regularly as I was growing up. I even had a few toys but now, some years later, forget which characters they were. Tonight, I finally got to see the movie with Pav at Vue, Reading. As it clashed with the worldwide release of The Simpsons: Movie, we had to put up with screen three, for the 8:15pm showing. Never mind, we both knew it deserved to be shown in full glory on screen four, the biggest screen at the multiplex. The moment, the movie opened, and you heard the voice of Optimus Prime, you knew this was going to be an exciting ride. I loved every second, the producers got the balance just right, there was outrageous comedy, fast and furious action scenes and even a minor of love stories. Americans are the only nation able to give the full ‘gun-ho’ approach to a blockbuster of such proportions and they do a fantastic job. Sorry a bit of a general sweeping statement but once you have seen the movie you will understand. All the crucial elements are there, a hapless nerd turned hero, the popular girl, the stupid President in the background (out of sight and out of mind?), the token black dude come part time hacker, the head of a secret government agency with a thing getting his badge out. Perhaps I am giving far too much away, I apologise. As usual I kept myself aware from the main marketing blitz and just watched the standard trailers, although this week saw an extended trailer. I was wise, as usual not to read up too much, if anything at all and even avoided Daniel’s review from two weeks ago (I will try to read it over the course of the weekend.) Right, let me try and get into a bit more of the detail. The story is set very well, and is integral to the movie. It makes a change to find such a well grounded story line both in terms of the robots and our human friends. Regardless of multi-million dollar special effects, it is the story that makes or breaks a film and I was glad to find it well founded. Perhaps a little more of how Sam got old of the important artifacts would have been useful, but nevertheless, they do not draw us away from their importance. The comic element is just crazy, it has that family friendly (at times a little unfriendly) Spielberg touch. Michael Bay however, concentrates on the action with his special ops team and it shows, very well indeed. All in all there is a good balance between the too, the movie does not take itself too seriously. The robots themselves are happy to laugh at themselves. Optimus Prime (my favourite from the series) is portrayed perfectly as the leader of the Autobots on the big screen. This was crucial, as his is a pivotal character and could have destroyed the potential franchise. I do have to mention the love story, as much as it is in the background. Megan Fox is truly breathtaking as the popular attractive girl that everyone wants to go out with. However, she proves she can act as well as being the eye candy and there are some truly cringe worthy lines in scenes between her and Shia LaBeouf but there is a visible chemistry. The robots are impressive and my particular favourite scene was their arrival onto Earth and their conversion into their modern vehicles. Watching the robots transform was amazing, particularly when you consider how simple it looked in an animated cartoon. I liked the idea of having the President take a backseat and the secretary for Defence take a lead role, this was refreshing. Considering true fans have waited twenty-one years and most would say a lifetime for this film, it does not disappoint. It went above and beyond my expectations, it was excellent entertainment from start to finish. It goes down as one of the best films I have seen, not just this year but in the last five. It is the first movie that had me feeling emotionally overwhelmed, just like The Matrix in June 1999. I left the cinema wanting more. Rumour has it we can expect a sequel, if not a whole series. This will reinvigorate the Hasbro franchise well, with a whole band of children, new to the whole concept buying toys and DVDs. They showed a trailer for the DVD box sets and original movie before the film this evening and I am definitely added that onto my Wishlist. There is also another addition, I would like to add, but something tells me, it will not be coming with Santa in December. I can dream! The ultimate weekend is here, but there is already some minor bad news. My piano lesson has been cancelled, which is actually a blessing, so I will be straight back home after the football. I will spend the evening sorting out all my mail, paperwork and generally getting my house in order. May go and watch the other big movie of the weekend with my sister! Before then we have Global Gathering festival. It is still a fantastic weekend and everything will be noted down for the blog over the next few days. The big question everyone is asking though, will Pav be going?

Global Gathering

I know it sounds like something out of Indiana Jones or a story your granddad would tell you when you were six. However, the “Square of Death” is real. It is part of a fitness course for most athletes and I took part yesterday evening. Simple really, four markers are placed on the ground in the shape of a square, twenty metres apart. The aim is to walk between two markers, then at the second marker, switch to a job, then at the third switch to a sprint. You continue, until you drop basically. It is more gruelling than it sounds, trust me. We only tread the death square for ten minutes, when for someone in tip top condition, the time is twenty five minutes standard, or until you drop dead. Plus, I forgot to mention that when carried out in a more competitive environment, the trainer would be running along side you and ensuring you sprint at the designated point, by giving you the hair-dryer. Not nice, as you can probably imagine. I survived to tell the tale but it was not a fantastic experience. Training in particular last night was hard, but build up a big sweat as per previous sessions, it was just physically tough and I suppose my body is adjusting to the punishment. I feel better, slowly but surely but really need to consider my options at the end of this four week course. I am missing the next session on Sunday as the guys have a game and I myself am off to Ashburton Grove. Next scheduled session is Thursday evening. Bring on the pain. No Sacrifice. No Victory?

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