Me on Q on Giant Robots

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The Transformers are not Japanese.

The reason I talked about them on CBC Radio’s Q, however, is because they offer insights into the different roles giant robots have in American and Japanese popular cultures. And it also gave me a reason to dress up (very badly, I admit) as Optimus Prime.

The good people at CBC Podcasting have once again chosen me as the Editor’s Choice, so download and listen now.

Couple of notes: the dude in Japan I mention but don’t fully name is the awesome Matt Alt. You can buy his book here and visit his blog here. Also, I was half right about my prediction on the Portugal/Mexico game – right score, wrong winner.

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4 comments so far

  1. Shane McCready on

    After listening to your critique today of the “Transformers” movie I have one thing to say…I hope to God that I never aquire the point of view of a movie critic. I realize that it is your job to analyze and criticize the films you are viewing but when your critical view reaches critical mass I think it is time to step back…in time. Remember back to when you were 12. You stepped into the theatre to see….”Return of the Jedi” and you walked out thinking that it was the best thing you had ever laid eyes on??? Do you remember that innocence and the long lost ability to suspend your disbelief for a couple of hours? Do you remember being able to watch a “summer movie” without being mentally forced to compare it to current world events??? My God. Would Star Wars have sucked because it did not take into account the current Canadian/American political landscape???
    I hate to think that in this age where we need fantasy more than ever that we should have to install signs at the theatre doors that say “Please remember that what you are seeing is based on pure imagination…Please suspend your disbelief at the door”.
    Lighten up a bit, lose 10 years and you’ll have a lot more fun at your local cineplex…

  2. j0hnnyb on

    I just listened to Giant Robots on the Editor’s Choice podcast. I agreed with you 100% about the visual style of the Transformers movie.

    A certain breed of CGI artist believes that he must include a mind-boggling amount of detail in his models simply because he can. So. Many. Little. Gears!

    The fight scenes looked like they were filmed by a camera mounted on a tiny helicopter that was never more than three feet from its subject. Pull out! Let me see what’s going on!

    There were maybe three transformations were the robot was framed head-to-toe. Naturally, they’re all in the trailer.

  3. Bishop on

    I haven’t seen this movie yet, I might not even see it until it comes out on video (a discussion for another day) but it is my ABSOLUTE pet peeve when fight scenes are just garbled edit and blurred close-ups. Like that of, dare I say, Resident Evil 2. It just seems to me to be lazy filmmaking which cannot but disappoint.

  4. Sprocket on

    It seems to me that if you like Giant Robots, you don’t like Transformers, especially the movie. Hey, guess what? These aren’t the giant robots you great up with. If you don’t like the concept of Transformers, you wouldn’t like the movie.

    You’ll get your Gundam movie eventually, I’m sure. It’ll take time, but I’m sure it’ll come at some point.

    Plus, I mean…Pedro, Giant Robot shows aren’t THAT deep. Certain Gundam TV shows and OAVs are a LITTLE deeper than typical kiddy fare, but Gaiking? Grendizer? Mazinger Z? Getter Robo? You CANNOT tell me that those are DEEPER than Transformers. They’re not, and they never were. Plus, you have Gold Lightan fans, and he was a sentient alien robot, was he not?

    I mean, I guess you never tried to see Beast Wars, at all? That was pretty good.

    Seems to be the ‘in thing’ among fanboy circles to hate on the movie and Transformers in general these days, doesn’t it? Especially if you like giant robots in general.


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