Yeah, the designs evoke more of a G1 feeling than any straight up rip right out of the comics. But, this is the closest it has been to this point.
My problem is that Knight went full G1 (or, let's say, 95%) for the Cybertron flashback designs instead of doing what would be logical and designing a blend of G1 and the previously established Bay aesthetic. Such as this:
http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uplo ... imus-1.jpg
Like, ignoring the semantics of "it's not Bay's movie any more he's just a producer blah blah blah", it's still his series of films. ie, no different than the fact that Shane Black was Iron Man 3'
s director while Favreau was 1
. Or that the Thor movies each had different directors. It's still the same series of continuity. If Captain America in the second Cap movie showed up looking like this:
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/ ... 886352436/
, it'd be really jarring, because it just goes against the style and tone of the visuals of the previous movie. That stage Cap outfit is a 1:1 translation of his standard, classic comic book design. There's no elements of the battle-ready, tactical MCU Cap costume, and there's virtually no elements of Bay's designs in the Travis Knight G1 designs. I'm not saying that Optimus needs to have a flame paint job on Cybertron, but he went from "Michael Bay's Earth Optimus Prime" to "Here, just have solid chunky G1 Optimus". There was no middle-ground where there should've been. Blend Bay and G1 together, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. Give him his Bay-Earth mode knee pads, or his big gray toed feet or move the wheels back to his thighs or something. I'd go into more detail, but it'd get really
Like I said, I'm glad that the Earth designs for Blitzwing, Shatter and Dropkick still very strongly evoke Bay's complex alien designs. So I'll let it slide that for the Cybertron scenes they went straight to G1.
Hopefully now they have a story to match and it isn't just all spectacle. All of the films have had very solid vfx work but it has been such an overabundance that it sort of takes away the time needed to really discern the real world and the CG work. This film seems to have a bit of a holding off on the overkill aspect.
I certainly want this to be the film that can bring in all the Bay-Transformer film fans and the old G1 geezers like me.
Completely agree that the larger scale unfortunately takes away from the VFX work. I mean, there's always those scenes where nothing's exploding and the robots are standing around and talking, which lets you appreciate the amazing VFX work, but then the last 45 minutes of each movie is just a bombardment on your senses.
I have no doubt that this movie will be a smaller scale, more intimate movie. No world-ending plot, no planet-destroying device, not an army of robots against another army of robots. Just a handful of Decepticons chasing after Bumblebee. Fingers crossed that this means some nice, long takes and steady camera work to really bask in the CG.
And Bumblebee looks "earthy" in this if that makes any sense. As you said, he looks tangible. VFX are so good now. Yikes.
It's surprising (and yet also not suprising) just how far the robots' CG work has come in 11 years. (Also, 11 years?!?) All of the TF movies still hold up very well, with some sequences better than others, but Bumblebee
looks like it blows it all out of the water in terms of photorealism. And what I'm really looking forward to is, because of the smaller scale, going back to the first movie's technique of "everything is real except for the robots" (with certain exceptions, yeah). And that's to be said about pretty much ALL movies these days. Go back to Iron Man 1
and how you had a digital Iron Man suit in a completely practical, real environment. Now it's a CG Iron Man in a CG environment flying away from a CG explosion while fighting a CG villain. And the Transformers movies went the same route, too. Obviously these movies' FX work is all driven by the plot, so if Tony's on an alien planet fighting Thanos, you can't do much of that practically, just like if Cybertron is crashing into Earth's atmosphere and the Transformers are fighting at 25,000 feet. Can't do much of that without
extensive CGI. So with Bumblebee
, I'm looking forward to a digital Bumblebee running through a REAL forest and REAL jeeps chasing him and REAL puffs of smokes and bullet hits on the trees. Jeez, I'm rambling and I'm starting to sound like those "do everything for real" people that I complain about. TL;DR
I can't wait to see the great combination of practical work and digital work.