Transformers (UA Edit)
For what it’s worth, the unlisted subtitle for the film is ‘Episode 1: Project Iceman’.
- NTSC DVD-5
- Classic transformation sound effect woven into several scenes, only when I felt it wasn’t too obtrusive.
- Starts with Sam at home, checking his eBay account, continues on with Ron and Sam going to Bobby Bolivia’s.
- New opening titles.
- Qatar. No intro for the team, and no wife and baby for Capt. Lennox. Rearranged sequence with Epps at the feet of Blackout.
- After the base attack, we go straight to the Pentagon. All the analyst material is streamlined and run together to keep the drama and pace up of the potential danger. We go from the briefing, (Without the ‘They’re so young’ discussion) to the analysts working, to Air Force One (Front end cut, readout with incorrect Witwicky name removed, shortened Frenzy/Agents fight, removed General taking forever to authorise cutting of the hard-line, Frenzy no longer flips the bird), then Maggie steals a copy of the download right after the Air Force One sequence. (Slightly trimmed ridiculous product placement hand move with data chip. A shocker even by Bay standards.)
- After Air Force One, we come back to Sam at home asleep. His car is stolen, and he gives chase. After he witnesses Bumblebee standing up, he is chased by dogs out of the yard. (No breakaway chains though.) Sam is not arrested.
- Then we go back to Qatar, where Scorponok attacks the team. Various little trims, and no phone-based comedy.
- It’s now the next morning, and Maggie leaves the Pentagon to go see Glenn.
- Back with Sam at home (No news of the Qatar incident on TV), Bumblebee shows up and Sam runs for it.
- Sam falls off his mother’s bike (without showing the stuntman’s face) and we then meet Mikaela, obviously a friend of Sam.
- Barricade does not scan Sam with his extendo-probe-thingie. A little re-ordering when Sam yanks Mikaela off her bike’tried to fix up terrible looping of Sam in one shot. Less chatter after Barricade is shown running towards them.
- Replaced rock music with score cue when Barricade is chasing Bumblebee.
- During chase, we cut back to Keller learning about Maggie stealing a copy, then we go back to Glenn and Maggie who have finally cracked the encryption.
- After the FBI bust in to Glenn’s home, we come back to Sam and Mikaela, where Bumblebee hides briefly from Barricade. No locked doors or engine trouble.
- Trimmed the shot of Frenzy hot on Sam’s heels with the odd looking running, and a brief moment of Mikaela contemplating the electric saw for too long.
- Replaced ‘Battle Without Honor or Humanity’ with score.
- Removed several beats from the Autobot’s arrival to Earth. Less of the shouting fat kid, and no ‘Tooth Fairy’ line.
- Removed Mikaela’s ‘They know your name.’ right after Optimus gets up in Sam’s face for the first time.
- Dropped Ratchet explaining Bumblebee’s voice. (Also gone is Bee getting it back at the end. There’s simply no mention of Bee speaking in this version.)
- Optimus no longer uses a hologram to start his ‘History of Cybertron’ story. It’s just kind of weird’the holo makes Sam and Mikaela act like the road is destroyed, but then the perspective shifts to being for the audience only, as the next time we see Sam and Mik, they are just looking at Optimus and listening. Also removed Sam saying, ‘My Grandfather.’ After Optimus mentions Captain Witwicky. Yeah, we get it’it’s only been mentioned about a thousand times already.
- Cut first half of Sam’s arrival home. He gets up to his room without them realizing he is back. They only find out later when they come to investigate the noise.
- Removed lame ‘Hands off my bush’ line from Judy.
- In the Sector 7 car, removed mention of Sam’s arrest and Mikaela’s ‘bad dad, bad girl’ back-story. Replaced phone recording of Sam with correct audio from earlier in the film.
- The logic of Sector 7 coming after Sam is a little hazy without the earlier arrest scene, but I think it still works okay. Sector 7 has clearly been tracking what is going on, they have the Air Force One hack that honed in on Captain Witwicky, plus Sam’s eBay listing for Capt. Witwicky’s glasses, and knowledge of what the NBEs are capable of. (ie: The car that Sam declared, ”is alive.’)
- Removed Simmons’ blathering to Optimus when they first meet. He just gets out a ‘Hi there.’ Before Optimus orders him out of the car.
- Removed more Mik back-story and some of the pointless back-and-forth between Sam, Mikaela, and Simmons.
- No Bumble-Pee, nor any shots of Simmons afterwards. Also removed Simmons from ‘Bumblebee captured’ scene.
- Removed agent’s line about his ”Ridiculous government salary…’
- No conversation on helicopter between Sam and Maggie.
- Removed Simmons talking to Sam outside Hoover Dam.
- Removed Agent explaining back-story of the cube, building Hoover Dam around it, et cetera. I don’t have a problem with the exposition per se, but for pacing and transition I decided it wasn’t necessary.
- Removed quick beat during Megatron exposition scene that contained a discontinuity with Keller’s position. (Also contained his pronunciation of ‘robot’, which I always find a bit comedic.)
- No Nokia-bot. Also later, no Mountain Dew, XBOX or ‘steering wheel’ bots. In this edit, the All Spark is never shown fixing or creating robots. The way it is used to create life should (in my opinion) be more mysterious, and certainly more difficult than just bumping into someone while holding it.
- Frenzy does not grow his body back when he finds the All Spark. He just sees it, then communicates with Starscream to let him know where it is. (Altered subtitles for Starscream to aid with slight change.) Starscream then rushes (via a time-cut) straight to Hoover Dam, well ahead of the other Decepticons who are confined to land.
- Devastator renamed Brawl in subtitles.
- Removed Keller telling Simmons, ‘Losing’s not really an option for these guys.’ And Simmons subsequent line about the fate of the world.
- When Bumblebee is about to touch the All Spark, removed Epps saying, ‘Okay’He doin’ somethin’ He doin’ somethin”
- Removed Lennox name-checking ‘Mission City. Plus a little trim of Simmons and Keller talking about the radio room and the All Spark shrinking.
- Re-ordered the good guys leaving Hoover Dam, intercutting with Megatron’s unfreezing. Megatron no longer yells, ‘I am Megatron!’
- Pitched Starscream’s voice slightly higher.
- Simmons, Keller, Maggie, and Glenn all rush to the radio room, where Simmons declares, ‘We’re hot. We’re live!’. (ie: Able to signal the air force.) We do not come back to them again. No mention of microphones, Frenzy (what’s left of him) is not seen again.
- Removed visit to pawn shop to acquire radios.
- Completely re-ordered most of the city scenes. My hope is to give the sequence more of a sense of urgency and sustained action. Less moments of standing around, which destroy any sense of real danger.
- After Bee gets his legs blown off, he hands the All Spark to Sam straight away. Sam no longer stands around forever while everything happens around him’now, Brawl attacks and Sam immediately takes off with the Cube without being told to. Mikaela runs off to get the tow truck after Sam has run. No, ‘You’re a soldier now!’ crap, (They use a teenage boy because they can’t spare one soldier?) and less of the Autobots telling Sam to run when they could just take the Cube themselves. There is no longer a specific plan to run the Cube to a building or signal choppers, just to keep it away from the Decepticons.
- When Brawl attacks, Jazz is the first one to take him on, not Ironhide.
- Ironhide no longer does his show-off move where he fires into the ground so as to somersault over a screaming woman in slo-mo. I’ve joined the first part (driving, starts to transform) with the second time we see him (Diving sideways while firing at Brawl.)
- Optimus now arrives directly after Megatron kills Jazz. No more Megs standing around for a long time for no reason.
- Removed Sam cowering while Starscream fights with Ironhide and Ratchet. After Starscream lands, Sam gets back up and keeps running, and Megatron immediately lands and starts chasing him. Sam has no plan, he’s just running to get away.
- No ‘I’ll drive, you shoot.’ The look between Bee and Mik beforehand is plenty. No ‘Shoot, shoot!’ either.
- Sam no longer has a flare when on the roof, no attempt at a chopper hand-off or chopper destruction. Megatron comes busting through the roof as soon as Sam runs out onto it.
- When Optimus is handed the remains of Jazz, I removed the ‘Awww’ from his dialogue. The sad, ‘Jazz.’ Is good, but the ‘Awww’ seems a little comical’corny somehow.
- Removed Lennox going home to his family, and Keller explaining what they’re doing with the Decepticons. We still see the dumping of Megatron (needed for continuity with Transformers 2) but no dialogue over it.
- No rock song finale. I actually don’t mind the song, but I wanted the ending to be more sombre, so I’ve stuck to score. Same goes for the end credits.
- No Optimus voiceover in either the opening or closing scenes. Yeah, everyone loves his closing speech, but it doesn’t tell us anything crucial we need to know. If I could have gotten it out clean, I might have kept it but I wanted the song out more than I wanted the speech in.
- Lots of other tiny little trims/reframing to fix some continuity problems and to slightly alter the pace or mood of several scenes. And a few altered/supplemented musical cues. Hopefully all ‘invisible’ edits that will only be noticed by those who really know the film well.
Foreword: I haven't seen the original in sometime, which I prefer for watching edits and I also didn't review the changes (log) ahead of watching, which I also prefer. I looked at the edit list back when I downloaded the edit, but I like to not know what I'm walking into; I don't watch an edit for a few months or more after downloading it.
What I liked: The intro change was nice. I liked that you redid the movie enough that I thought you might be including bits from the more recent films. It was a refreshing take on the first Transformer movie.
What I didn't: I believe that for what I think you were going for you could have cut down on some of the action. Also the scene right before Sam get's harassed by the Decepticon Barricade about the glasses it felt a little jumpy how quickly the girl shows up and even makes their "relationship" seem to unfold in an unnatural way later as the movie goes...but personally I'd rather take out that love element if it were possible.
Overall: I would recommend people check this out. This version sits better with me than the original release.
Extra: Keep up the good work! Would like to see you do this in better definition, or maybe release it in a better encode, which ever was the reason for the video quality.
Top notch edit from a top notch editor. There's not much to say other than that this is a lean, mean improvement on the source material. This replaces the theatrical cut on my shelf.
Pretty awesome rearranging done in this edit, but this is the one transformers movie that I liked, and IMO too much was removed. More often than not the changes made in this one are pretty great, and maybe there is really no way to edit a movie with so much fluff in it, but it just seemed a little flat to me. With even less substance than the original, Megan Fox isn't an actress but her character serves even less purpose in this edit. Some things just happened with no build up or resolution at all. For example in this edit we're left wondering what happened to the Secretary of Defense, the two hackers, and the Sector 7 leader? Last time we saw them they were trying to get the radio to work.
I will say on the technical side, it was seamless.
Overall good things here, I'm just not sure what else could be done with this one.
November 14, 2009 @ 10:26 am
The Edit is fantastic, I really like how you’ve arranged it, and changed the music in some scenes. But as a whole I think I’d still leave out more of certain dialogue and visuals (“What’s stressing, bitches?”, or whatever it is he says, Bumblebee dancing, Fat hacker Boy freaking out in the interview room, and Captain Obvious stuff like “It’s a robot”, “The ice is cracking!”, and “It’s going after the files!”.) What I also hate is annoying ignorant stuff like “Bring The Rain!” – no military professional would talk like that on a radio – and the fat hacker boy being able to see an embedded message within an audio file and be able to decode it in five seconds, complete with pretty visuals. Michael Bay lives in a dream world! (It’s not your fault it was written by a 12-year old). I’d just like to see an attempt to make it a bit more “grown up”.
SO, the Technical – 10/10, and for the movie itself 6/10. But with improvement the movie as a whole could be an 8 or 9. The original I was WOWED with at the cinema but I must’ve been wearing rose-tinted glasses, and still found myself embarrassed at certain scenes (plus I was with my 8-yr old nephew at the time), so in hindsight having seen the movie after it came out on DVD I was terribly disappointed. I haven’t even bothered to see ROTF.
Still a recommended download, thank you for putting the time and effort into this.
Review by gugliemo — July 12, 2011 @ 2:45 am
From the very first viewing, I never likes Transformers. I didn’t know how it was possible to take the concept and *not* make an entertaining film, but Michael Bay’s horrible, messy, bigoted, superficial and insultingly stupid film removed any sense of joy from the experience. (On a side note, I am perhaps the only person in the world who thought the sequel was a considerable improvement, but that’s another story)
Uncanny Antman’s edit is a massive improvement. The new opening is excellent, and the entire first act was a very enjoyable film. The film now has a central focus on the setting up of events (similar to disaster movies like Armageddon or Deep Impact), we follow the Decepticons as they begin to infiltrate Earth, the pentagon’s response and the Analysts who try and stop them. Cleverly, the soldiers and Sam Witwicky become smaller subplots who will become the main focus of the second half (once the pentagon and analysts’ roles have become redundant). Uncanny Antman has managed to take one of the aspects of the film I found particularly irritating (the blonde supermodel “analyst” subplot) and actually make it interesting.
Towards the second half, things become a bit shakier. To be fair, Uncanny Antman is limited by the material and he had already gone massively beyond any reasonable expectations. The analyst suplot leads to a dead end once she makes a copy for her friend. Some kind of conclusion would be nice, the interogation scene is now pointless as neither character plays a further role in the film.
Megan Fox’s character was attocious in the original, but her complete eradication leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Who is she, why has she followed Sam. It is clear they’re still getting to know each other and flirting, yet the film also suggests they’re pre-established friends. While I prefer no-Fox to too-much-Fox, it does sadly highlight the fact that we’re watching an edit.
Antman has done improved the film’s climax a hundred fold. The original is one of the dumbest endings I have ever seen, it mostly revolves around a teenager, who’s friends are 30 foot racing cars, running *on foot* to get to a helicopter which he will use to escape from evil *supersonic jetplanes*, and is concluded by the bad guy who wants the magic box being given the magic box, which then kills him (as established about an hour earlier in the film). I really don’t think a person could write the ending any more retarded.
While the “put the allspark in my chest” conclusion cannot be avoided, Antman’s re-ordering of the entire climax turns it into an exciting and(mostly) logical brawl.
This review cannot do justice to the wonders that Uncanny Antman has done. He has taken out 90% of the stupidity, chauvenism, cheese, and unfunny remedial humour, and made Transformers one of the best films it can be given the material.
I do think it could have done more though. In my opinion, the scene with the Transformers in the garden and with Sam’s parents is just terrible. The scene is perhaps made even worse because it follows what Antman has designed to be a tense and exciting set-up: the Earth is being infiltrated by an incredibly powerful and unknown enemy, however, our saviours have arrived (the scene of the Autobots arriving has been snipped into being particularly cool now)… and yet the first 15 minutes we spend in their company is played for (unfunny) laughs. Maybe Antman just likes the scene, but I think the film and pacing would improve considerably if the whole thing was taken out: Sam looks for/finds his glasses, Sector 7 turn up and arrest him, Autobots intersept the convoy.
I would give the original theatrical cut of Transformers a 3/10 (without exageration). It does have some impressive special effects, but these are so badly handled and the rest of the film is such a loud, offensive mess that I find it painful to even try and watch it.
Judging Uncanny Antman’s edit purely as a film in its own rights, I would give it a 6 or 7/10. On the whole, its an enjoyable experience, and parts of the film are easily 9/10 quality. I don’t know if there’s much more you can do with the film, but I do think a bit of extra cutting might help (which contrasts the opinions above which suggest too much has been cut. The thing with a shit sandwisanwich though, is less will always be more). I look forward to watching the other fanedits of the first Transformers and seeing what their take on the film was. But for now I thank Uncanny for actually making Transformers into a watchable experience and allowing me the pleasure of watching Robots beat the crap out of each other.