Yesterday at noon, a text message popped up on my phone: “TF has soft opened. Wanna go?” And with that, I put all of my scheduled work on hold. I jumped in a car and was off to Universal City. Transformers: The Ride doesn’t open at Universal Studios Hollywood until May 25th 2012, but yesterday the theme park was running a technical rehearsal.
Theme parks usually hold grand opening celebrations, complete a red carpet with celebrities and the usual group of press folk. And after that, on an advertised date, the masses go at it. But before any of that can happen, theme parks hold “soft launches”. This usually begins with employee nights, allowing workers at the theme park to test out the new attraction. After that, they open the ride on select days and hours to annual pass-holders, and sometimes later, the general public. The point of these previews are to test the rides against large groups, to fine tune the technology and hopefully spot problems before the real advertised grand opening.
After the jump you can read my reaction and watch a video blog I recorded after experiencing the ride alongside /Film correspondent and theme park expert Reza Lackey. I have also included an image gallery featuring photos from outside the attraction and inside the queue.
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In October, the president of Hasbro made news when he said that his company was in talks with Paramount, Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay to make a fourth Transformers film, or perhaps back to back fourth and fifth films. Bay quickly denied that he was in talks (“I am currently not talking to Paramount on T4 and T5 despite reports”) and the story quieted down to some extent, though Spielberg has said that he’d like more Transformers out of Bay, too.
But now there is a new report that Bay is in final talks to direct a fourth Transformers film, and that it would be shot in late 2012, after he finishes his “low-budget” movie Pain and Gain.
Update: As we assumed, Bay has weighed in on his own website about this news, and he says he is still undecided about the fourth Transformers movie. His quote is below. Read More »
Michael Bay is well-known for his use of explosions, helicopters, and sheer budgetary mayhem. But what is the breakdown, by movie, of the use of some of those factors? And which of the films managed to turn Bay’s excess into financial gain?
An infographic called The Formula for Complete and Utter Bayhem breaks it down. Check it out below. Read More »
Posted on Friday, September 23rd, 2011 by Angie Han
With Transformers: The Ride — 3D about to launch in Hollywood and Singapore, Universal Studios is looking to bring the giant alien robots to at least one other park. Or at least, so says Steven Spielberg. Though Universal has yet to make a formal announcement about a new Transformers-themed attraction for its Orlando resort, the director claimed in a recent interview that a ride was in the works. More details after the jump.
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Transformers is too big a film franchise to just go away now that Michael Bay has done his three films. The director says he’s gone. Shia LaBeouf says he’s done. (“I’m sure they’ll make more of them, it’s still a very hot franchise, there’s still value in it. I think people will still go to see it. I just don’t know if I have anything to contribute.”) So what next? Given the way we know things are likely to happen with a series like Batman, one obvious supposition is: reboot. But that evidently isn’t in the cards, either, at least not now.
One of the producers of the franchise is definitively crossing reboot off the list of options for the series. What really happens next isn’t exactly clear, however. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, July 7th, 2011 by Angie Han
Cars 2 may not have been anyone’s favorite Pixar flick, but even the critics who were disappointed at its lack of heart had to admit it at least looked gorgeous. On a visual level, the characters and their colorful universe were as dazzlingly, distinctly Pixar-ian as any in the studio’s history. Using their signature style — rich colors, clean lines, big friendly eyes — the animators brought a wide variety of vehicles to life. From beat-up tow trucks to Japanese racecars to rugged military Jeeps, cars of all stripes were given lives and personalities.
Now, a bevy of famed cinematic cars have received the (totally unofficial) Pixar treatment as well. Old Red Jalopy isn’t actually associated with the studio, but their reimaginings of notable movie vehicles look so good, we’re almost fooled. Check out the gallery after the jump.
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Posted on Monday, June 20th, 2011 by Angie Han
As you probably recall: Back in 2009, actress Megan Fox went public with her professional issues with Michael Bay, calling her Transformers director “a tyrant” and likening him to Napoleon and Adolf Hitler. Fox (unsurprisingly) caught heat for her comments, and though Bay made some attempts to smooth things over, the two continued sniping publicly and eventually parted ways. Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was brought in to replace Fox as Shia LaBeouf‘s even more improbably gorgeous love interest, Fox pursued other projects, and the story should have ended there.
Unfortunately, Fox, Bay, and LaBeouf all have a tendency toward what might politely be called outspokenness, and what might less charitably called a constitutional inability to shut the hell up – and so here we are, a year later, still reporting on this ridiculous story. Bay is attempting to set the story straight. Again. And this time, he’s bringing Steven Spielberg into it for some reason. Sigh. Read the latest chapter in this tiresome and apparently endless saga after the jump.
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Posted on Monday, June 6th, 2011 by Angie Han
A slew of new clips were released over the weekend, offering better looks at possible future summer blockbusters Green Lantern, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and 30 Minutes or Less. Whether you want to see the gorgeous world of Oa, an evil alien robot copy machine, or Aziz Ansari molding the future leaders of tomorrow, we’ve got something for you. (If you want none of those things, though, you’re out of luck.) See the clips after the jump.
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