John Cena Joins ‘Bumblebee’ Spin-Off Which Arrives December 2018

Production on the first spin-off from the ‘Transformers’ franchise, ‘Bumblebee’, began today and THR have exclusively revealed that John Cena will play the lead role, alongside Hailee Steinfeld. Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) is directing this spin-off, with Michael Bay attached as a producer and Steven Spielberg signed on as an executive producer.

The only details we know of the film so far are as follows:

“‘Bumblebee’ will be set in 1987, where we find Bumblebee refuged in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Steinfeld), 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.”

Other confirmed members of the cast include Pamela Adlon, Gracie Dzienny, Abby Quinn, Ricardo Hoys, and Jason Drucker.

We now also know that Bumblebee will go toe-to-toe with ‘Aquaman’ in cinemas, as both release on the 21st December 2018.

 

 

 

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Transformers: The Last Knight

Year: 2017
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock, Isabela Moner, Jerrod Carmichael

Written by Corey Hughes

Whether you love it or hate it, franchising has become a fundamental influence on Hollywood’s success in film today. From the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the Fast and Furious series, movie franchises come in many shapes and sizes. Yet despite an overwhelming consensus of negative reviews from critics, the Transformers franchise is one that refuses to die down.

And why should it? With Michael Bay’s retail-toy adaptations being as lucrative as they are, Bay wipes the tears of negative criticism with $100 dollar bills. But with ‘The Last Knight’ reputedly being the final one to be directed by Bay, (fingers crossed), is there a possibility that the fifth film will defy all odds?

Nope.

Summarising a synopsis for ‘The Last Knight’ is as useful as a eunuch in a brothel. As the film begins, we are thrown back into the ‘dark ages’ of England, where King Arthur and the Vikings are at war. With the battle against Arthur and his men, the king seeks out the magic of Merlin (Stanley Tucci’s second outing in the franchise) to tip the balance of war in his favour. 1600 years later, the fate of the human race relies entirely on the discovery of Merlin’s magical staff. Blah, blah, blah; if you’re really into the plot at this point, then all credit to you.

This boils down to what I believe is Michael Bay’s biggest flaw as a filmmaker. Barring his over reliance on slow-motioned, explosive and debris-propelling action, he is entirely incompetent at telling a coherent and engaging story. His films, especially his treasured Transformers flicks, are told exclusively through these grand, spectacular action set pieces. Narrative, for Bay, seems secondary; a grout to fill in the gaps. The action, nonetheless, does look spectacularly convincing. The use of CGI, especially for the appearance and movement of the Transformers, is unparalleled in its presentation.

With the story being as convoluted as it is here, with multiple sub-plots in play, the film is desperately calling out for strong performances, but there’s none to be seen here. Although new arrival Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of the crude, but whimsical old Brit is amusing, it’s Wahlberg’s ‘The Happening’-esque wooden performance that will have you shaking your head in disbelief. Yet that’s the least of the film’s problems. ‘The Last Knight’ establishes no sense of continuity from its predecessor and with the onslaught of new characters being vomited onto the screen, Bay and co. are discouraging their viewers to invest in the characters and the conflict that they find themselves in. Even the on-screen relationship between Wahlberg’s Cade and Laura Haddock’s highly-educated and snobby Vivian Wembley seems forced, with no eye for attention being invested in their developing attraction. It’s sloppy, unconvincing, and if we didn’t care about the film before, we surely don’t now.

In the end, this fifth outing for the Transformers franchise regrettably ticks all the boxes for a totally unforgettable Michael Bay action flick. Hot girl? Check. Unforgivable product placement? Check. Flat-lined humour with a paper-thin story? Check. Resisting the urge to pluck your eyes out from their sockets? Check.

On a more light-hearted note, I’ve created a new drinking game for ‘The Last Knight’: take a shot every time Optimus Prime declares, “I am Optimus Prime!” That way, by the time the final credits roll, you’ll be absolutely shit-faced. It’s by far the only way you’re going to enjoy this one.

Corey’s rating: 3.5 out of 10

 

Take A Look At The Brand New Transformers The Last Knight Motion Posters

Love them or hate them, the Transformers are back this year in what Michael Bay assures fans is his last ‘Transformers’ film (Like we haven’t heard that one before!).

Bay took to Twitter earlier today to share these brand new motion posters of the Transformers, which includes Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Barricade,, Hound, , Hot Rod, and of course Megatron! New additions to the franchise are Sqweeks and Cogman, who we get our first good look at in their motion posters. 

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The Transformers: The Last Knight Extended Super Bowl TV Spot Is Very Michael Bay

Transformers, possibly the most critic proof franchise in film history, returns in 2017 with its fifth instalment – The Last Knight. I could spend my time musing over how that happened, but I have to confess to being, in my own tiny way, responsible having seen the last two in the cinema. In my defence, I was being a good friend & accompanying someone who loves Transformers (though not these films). We keep going in the hope that one day one of these films will turn out to be amazing.

What we get in this brief trailer is essentially a checklist of things you’d expect to see in a Michael Bay film – explosions, helicopters flying in formation, super slow motion, a glimpse of the US flag, soldiers. It all looks good – all of these films look good – but films need to do more than look good and that is where the Transformers films fall down. This trailer isn’t giving much away in terms of the plot – in fact it doesn’t really give us anything more than the last trailer, which seems a bit pointless to me.

Being a good friend I will probably end up seeing this at the cinema, so blame me when the inevitable sixth film arrives!

Written by Emma Ditchburn

Transformers: The Last Knight Teaser Trailer

The first teaser trailer for the fifth installment of Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers’ films has landed and, as you probably guessed, there are more explosions than you can shake a stick at!

Whilst the actual plot is still firmly under wraps at this point, from the trailer we can deduce that Optimus Prime is left in a bad way after the ending of the last film, ‘Age of Extinction’, as we see him floating around in space. The film looks set to show us how the Transformers have played a part in the Earth’s history as we see shots of wars across the years, and Antony Hopkin’s voice over talks about “two species at war. One flesh, one metal” and teases he knows the real reason the Transformers are on Earth. Amongst all the explosions, there’s a short shot of Optimus Prime fighting Bumblebee where he asks for forgiveness as he’s about to land a fatal looking blow. Is Prime set to be the villain of the film? Or is this just an out of context shot to get rumours circulating? We’ll have to wait and see…

The latest outing for Mark Wahlberg and the Autobots looks set to be bigger than ever, but does that necessarily equal better? I’ll admit that I lost my faith in the Transformers films after the first one, which was released in 2007 and is the only one I actually enjoyed. Since then, Michael Bay keeps trying to one-up himself and go bigger and better than the last, but this seems to come at the sacrifice of storylines true Transformers fans are begging to see.

I won’t lie, despite my reservations I will more than likely be going to see this in IMAX when it’s released (thank you cinema card!), because I know Bay likes to push his films visually and whilst the actual plot of the film may not grab my attention, the CGI and IMAX will. 

What are your thoughts on the first trailer? Are you a fan of the Transformers films?

‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ rolls out into UK theatres 23rd June 2017

Written by Tom Sheffield