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Bumblebee (2018)

Robert Crawford

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Title: Bumblebee

Tagline: Every Adventure Has A Beginning

Genre: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction

Director: Travis Knight

Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Cena, Jason Ian Drucker, Abby Quinn, Rachel Crow, Ricardo Hoyos, Gracie Dzienny, Kenneth Choi, Pamela Adlon, Stephen Schneider, Megyn Price, Peter Cullen, Jess Harnell, Glynn Turman, Vanessa Ross

Release: 2018-12-20

Plot: On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie, on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary yellow VW bug.

 

Edwin-S

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It's a drag that Travis Knight decided to jump into live-action filmmaking. I suppose Laika will be dead in a couple of years just like the dog it was named after.
 

Jake Lipson

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I suppose Laika will be dead in a couple of years just like the dog it was named after.

Laika still has a new film coming out in April, which presumably has been in production alongside this one, so I wouldn't go administering last rites to them. Although Knight is the CEO, there's a whole team of talented artists there to take care of that while he was off doing this. I'm not a Transformers fan, so if he was going to do a live-action project, this is not one I would have picked for him. But its success will increase his profile (and I expect he is being paid nicely for it) so that can only help Laika.
 

Jake Lipson

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I'm not a Transformers fan. I don't expect to see this movie.

That being said....is it just me or does that trailer look...not completely awful?
 

Robert Crawford

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I'm going to see this, but it's because of the casting of Hailee Steinfeld and that it looks to be prequel to the Transformer movies with Shia Labeouf since it takes place in 1987.
 

Jeff Cooper

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Is this movie supposed to have any cannon with the existing Bay films (not that there was any to begin with)? Or is it just it's own separate thing?
 

techstar25

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Is this movie supposed to have any cannon with the existing Bay films (not that there was any to begin with)? Or is it just it's own separate thing?
Technically it is a prequel. Michael Bay's Transformers (2007) establishes that Bumblebee had been on Earth for quite some time prior to the events of that film.
 

skylark68

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I'm a little confused although I admit to having only seen the first Bay Transformers film. I grew up with the old animated series so I know Bumblebee was a VW Beetle, but in the Bay TF universe he's a late '70s era Camaro when we first come across him. What gives?
 

Robert Crawford

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I'm a little confused although I admit to having only seen the first Bay Transformers film. I grew up with the old animated series so I know Bumblebee was a VW Beetle, but in the Bay TF universe he's a late '70s era Camaro when we first come across him. What gives?
What gave is that Bay changed it up and with GM coming out with a redesigned Camero he went with that choice.
 

Jeff Adkins

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I enjoyed this. I've never seen a Transformers film, mainly because I'm not a fan of Michael Bay and they looked like movies filled with wall-to-wall action and very little story or character development. Being a huge fan of The Iron Giant and with a competent director on board, this one appealed to me.

In many ways, the parallels to the Iron Giant are strong. It's essentially a story about the bond between Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) and a robot she finds in her garage. What I really liked about it was that the action sequences make up only about 25% or so of the film (mainly the first 10 minutes and the last 20). The majority of the movie is a heartwarming story and Steinfeld was perfect in her role. If you're going into this looking for lots of explosions and fighting robots, you might be disappointed. While those elements are certainly there, they are not the film's centerpiece. I definitely bought into Charlie's love for Bumblebee and found it refreshing that they spent such a large chunk of the film developing that friendship.

Having said that, it's not a perfect film. There are a couple of moments of really cringe-worthy dialogue, They also go way overboard hitting you over the head with 80s pop-culture references and music. That aside, it's pretty successful in its overall execution.

4/5
 

Jake Lipson

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We've been discussing in another thread (maybe the 2018 box office one?) how crowded the end-of-year release calendar is and how weird it is that Paramount didn't decide to move this film so it's not against Aquaman and Mary Poppins. All things considered, if they insisted on having this in December, I'm surprised they didn't just decide to put it out this weekend, since they did the sneaks anyway. It would have been able to get a jump on the other big titles for this month and would have easily dominated the box office this weekend, which as-is was won by Ralph Breaks the Internet with $16 million.

I'm glad to hear you liked it Jeff, since I'm in the same boat as you in not caring about the previous Transformers films, but am sort of curios about this one.
 

Jeff Adkins

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I'm surprised they didn't just decide to put it out this weekend, since they did the sneaks anyway.
What is the point of all these sneak showings anyway? I'm just wondering if it's to spread word-of-mouth, but it has to eat into the opening weekend box office slightly.
 

Tino

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What is the point of all these sneak showings anyway? I'm just wondering if it's to spread word-of-mouth, but it has to eat into the opening weekend box office slightly.
Absolutely it’s to spread word of mouth. All previews are. I don’t think any previews eat into the boxoffice of said film. Especially when it’s usually just one or two previews.
 

Malcolm R

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Are these "free" previews, or are people paying for tickets? If it's the latter, WB will just lump all the preview money into their first weekend.
 

Jake Lipson

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Are these "free" previews, or are people paying for tickets?

They were paid. So were the Into the Spider-Verse sneaks Sony did yesterday. And even if they weren't counting that money, which you're absolutely right that they will, the value of having fans seeing the movie and talking about how good it is offsets any theoretical losses, especially since it will be entering a very competitive field.
 

Malcolm R

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97% at Rotten Tomatoes, well ahead of Mary Poppins Returns (76%) and Aquaman (75%).

Not that it means anything related to box office.
 
Movie information in first post provided by The Movie Database

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