Tag Archives: Optimus Prime

Brandon Bird and Jim’ll Paint It Reimagines Nostalgia In Their Own Surreal Way

brandon bird art self potraitjim will paint it potrait 1

The internet is a great thing for creative minds. Sure the criticism an artist can receive is a heck of a lot harsher than what a face to face confrontation would be and you need to be ever vigilant of the dreaded trolls who are lurking at every dark corner of the web ready to rip your work apart. However, it does offer numerous benefits such as getting your work out to numerous people on a global scale and having the freedom to do what you like. This freedom has given us some superb pieces of work which when successful, can spread like wild-fire with pop culture fans and internet users alike. There is also freedom to interact with your audience in an instant way which just might not have been possible before. It is these elements of artist freedom that both Brandon Bird and Jim’ll Paint It excel in but they both use this freedom in very different ways.

Brandon Bird may not be a name that you know but his work is instantly recognizable. In fact one image in particular sent the internet into free fall when it came out. It is the image below that most internet users will recognize and it has popped up on numerous message boards and memes and has been embraced by the pop culture universe.

 brandon bird christopher walken art

Brandon comes from California and has worked in some degree in numerous projects, most interestingly helping out the punk rock group the Aqauabats with their merchandise and show designs. The thing that is so great about Brandon’s work is the sheer creativity in his mashups (Peter Dinklage as Wolverine is incredible) but also the childlike innocence behind them. They embrace childhood whether it be the rejection of children you want to play with (Harrison Ford suffers from this in one painting), or the sheer excitement as an adult we get of seeing our childhood icons mixed up in interesting yet somewhat natural feeling ways. They always gel together so well no matter what is getting mashed up or how surreal the outcome. His merchandise enforces this notion with coloring books and adventure kits available that harkens back to a simpler time when we made our own entertainment. It is ironic then that the internet has embraced his artwork so much. Maybe we all just want to remember that feeling of childhood one more time?

 

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Jim’ll Paint It also has close connection to the internet, more accurately it is his audience he relies on for part of his inspiration. Little is known about Jim (other than we think he is called Jim) but it’s what he does that is important. He takes requests from internet users on what to paint, with the more extreme and bizarre  the concept, the better. The love of retro and childhood shows that Brandon has embraced with his art is seen here because Jim’s (mostly) UK audience have looked back into their past for inspiration and got Jim to incorporate these memories into the pop culture icons of the present. So you have Jim Bowen from UK show Bullseye doing his best Thelma and Louis impression while the band TRex and Jurassic Park combine together to form a stunning visual piece. But it is not just retro stuff Jim excels in; his audience throw anything at him from Christian Bale watching over Ben Affleck’s version of Batman to Voldemort becoming happy he found a can of coke with his name on it. The great thing is though the audience give him the idea it is Jim’s incredible mind that puts it all together and gives his own unique spin on it. It is always an incredible experience to read what the person has requested and then see Jim’s surrealist version of it.

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Both Jim and Brandon have their own websites where you can buy their products and also look for Jim’s Facebook page where you can check out more of his fans requests. If you want to see your favourite pop culture icons engaged in ways you never imagined possible, then keep checking out these guys work as they continue to create incredible pieces every week or so.

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Transformers 4: News-A-Pooloza

Don’t call it a comeback reboot. Even though Michael Bay has said that the next incarnation of Transformers will not be a reboot, but rather a continuation, it’s looking quite a bit like a reboot. The only thing listed in the “not a reboot” column is apparently they are not restarting the story, rather they are just advancing ahead in the future four years after the end of Dark of the Moon. Everything else? Up for grabs.

Continue reading Transformers 4: News-A-Pooloza

Transformers 4: A More Serious Approach on Mass Robot Mayhem

It would seem that Michael Bay may be seeing the error of his ways. I remember by the time that Revenge of the Fallen had found it’s way out of theaters that I would ask questions like- “Why do we need the human characters?” “Can we just have a movie with only Transformers in it?” “Why all the forced toilet humor?” And even though it seemed like Bay had started to tone it down a little and just focus on his craft of blowing shit up, Dark of the Moon still had that wasted human element to it. I liked the character of Sam Witwicky and think that Shia LaBoeuf is a great actor, but after three movies of the character, his parents and his girlfriends, I’m kind of ready for a Transformers movie just about…. Transformers. It seems like the movies are at least 70% CGI with the Autobots and Decepticons onscreen for the majority of the movie so why not just have a movie focusing on their war against one another? I don’t mind the human characters acting as support but I don’t need a lovesick kid running around trying to prove his self worth to everyone.

Now come reports that the next Tranformers movie will still indeed be a sequel to Dark of the Moon, but will feature less comedy and not so many human characters. Josh Duhamel has been pretty candid about the fact that neither himself nor any other actors have been contacted in regards to the fourth Tranformers movie, courtesy of E! Online:

“I don’t think anybody’s doing it,” Josh Duhamel told us last night at the launch party for Sony PlayStation’s new PS Vita portable entertainment system. “I know Shia [LaBoeuf]’s not doing it. I don’t think Tyrese or Rosie [Huntington-Whiteley] or anybody else is doing it.”

“Whenever these movies make that much money they’re going to make as many as they can,” he said. “[But] I haven’t heard anything about it. They haven’t called me.”

 If there were human characters that I didn’t mind, it would have been the soldiers including those played by Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson because they were all business about killing Decepticons and not how their girlfriend thought about their socioeconomic status.

I’d love to see the Autobots engaging the Decepticons on different planets throughout the galaxy as they did on the cartoon and the Transformers animated movie in the 80’s. I honestly doubt that the budget would be affected by having less “real” shooting locations, especially with how much money the studio knows that it’s going to make off the franchise. They could make the fourth movie about Optimus Prime trying to find his inner human whilst also looking for a female Transformer to settle down with and the movie would still gross almost a billion dollars worldwide. We can only hope that Michael Bay remains serious about toning down the cheesiness and five year old humor in his Transformer movies until the movie is finished. Am I expecting some sort of Academy Award winning performance from Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime? No. Nor am I looking for a deadly serious movie with the complexity of something like Inception because we all know that Transformers is a popcorn summer action flick. Just give us something true to the Transformers mythos and we’ll be happy.

Transformers 4: Michael Bay Returns in 2014

So a few months back I wrote a Transformers article about Michael Bay possibly coming back for one or two sequels with the Robots in Disguise, even though he had already said that the third one would be the last of them. Days later Michael Bay came out and dispelled any rumors about himself returning to any more Transformers flicks. I didn’t even bother to update the article or write a follow up one because I was so sure this particular article would be coming, just not so soon. Check out the snippet below from IGN:

Paramount Pictures has now issued a press release officially announcing Michael Bay’s involvement:

Paramount Pictures announced today that director Michael Bay has signed a two-picture deal with the studio, which will commence this spring with the filming of Pain and Gain, and will be followed by the next installment in the hit Transformers franchise.

Following Pain and Gain, Bay will bring audiences a new take on the Transformers franchise as he begins production on the fourth installment in the hit series of movies based on the best-selling Hasbro toyline. The third, and most recent installment of the franchise, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Is the fourth highest global grossing film of all time with 1.124 billion dollars of worldwide box office success. Directed by Bay, the movie will re-unite the filmmaking team from the hit franchise, including producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto and Ian Bryce; and executive producers Steven Spielberg, Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. Paramount Pictures will release the film on June 29th, 2014. 

 

So there you have it. That explosion-whore Michael Bay will be returning to explode even more, all over giant robots once again. Man, that sounded so dirty. But seriously, like Bay was going to pass up on this billion dollar franchise that is such a sure thing for him. This guy’s purpose in life is to make movies like this and the sooner he realizes that, then the better off we will all be. Don’t get me wrong, I hope that this Pain and Gain, Wahlberg-Bay-The Rock collaboration is at least a worthwhile movie to go see. I just don’t have very high hopes for anything besides napalm and half naked chicks from Michael Bay.

 

So until 2014 let the speculation begin about which actors shall return, which transformers shall kick ass and what form the story shall take! I for one am totally excited for another Transformers movie to come out. I enjoyed the third installment because it went back to it’s roots of non-stop action and a story that you could set your mind on cruise control for, unlike Revenge of the Fallen where you had to set your brain off completely to enjoy the toilet humor and bogus ass story. What’s everyone else thinking? Has the transformer franchise run its course or is everyone psyched for a new one? Comment below!

Grizzly Review – Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Okay, you should all know the drill by now. Don’t go into a Transformers movie with some sort of hope that it will change your life, or that you’ll glean some sort of valuable information after viewing it. Yes, by now we should all realize that there are good robots called Autobots, and bad robots called Decepticons. And more often than not these robo-factions are beating the bionic shit out of one another…brutally. That fact resonates loudly in this latest and last (at least according to Bay) installment of the franchise. I was actually ready for it to be over, but after this one it leaves me strangely wanting more.

So in case you haven’t seen the widely marketed trailer for the film, there is another cover-up/slash conspiracy in our government regarding the robots in disguise. The moon mission back in 1969? Just an excuse for our government to investigate a crashed transformer ship on the moon’s surface. This ship, known as the Ark, was an Autobot vessel carrying not only their leader – Sentinel Prime, but a technology that could somehow save Cybertron. I’m going to refrain from spoiling everything in this review, so if you want to know who lives and who dies then too bad!

Sentinel Prime

What ensues (Or so it seems) is a race against time to find the technology and Sentinel Prime on the moon before the Decepticons do. It’s a little more complex than that but I’ll just say that the first hour and half set up the final hour worth of non stop action.

Let’s start off with what I liked about the transformer characters in the movie, and I’ll follow it up with those I hated because you know that was inevitable. On the Decepticon side there were a couple of newcomers. Laser Beak, Soundwave’s minion, was actually pretty creepy and cool – unlike Frenzy from the first movie. Soundwave by the way is no longer a satellite in orbit like in part two, he’s a car, but I won’t spoil you with which one he is. Shockwave is our next contestant who, while bad-ass, plays almost no role except to be a complete a-hole. That’s fine with me by the way. Megatron and Starscream return, with Megatron looking extra menacing with half his face missing and robotic spiders crawling in and out of his head. I will let slip to you that the Decepticons are very deceptive (Yes I wrote that.) in this movie and the story is a step above that of Revenge of the Fallen which isn’t saying much, but it’s acceptable.

The Wreckers

Now onto the Autobots. Sentinel Prime is superbly voiced by Leonard Nimoy (who also played Galvatron in the 80’s animated film.) and was the leader of the Autobots before the role was handed down to Optimus. Optimus is back and better than ever, his truck trailer now tagging along to transform into a mobile armory for him. Ironhide, Ratchet, Sideswipe and Bumblebee all return, but there are also a few new Autobots gracing the screen this time. Dino is an almost ninja like Autobot, using multiple blades to fight his enemies. Que, is basically an homage to the James Bond movies, and sort of serves as the movie’s Wheeljack, supplying the humans and fellow Autobots with weapons. I actually completely hated how his head looked like the skull of a balding old man with gray hair sticking out of the sides….epic fail. The Wreckers are a group of Autobots who maintain their only transportation off of Earth: Top Spin, Leadfoot and Roadbuster. Though one is completely silent, the other two have thick Scottish accents which I was digging. They even transformed into heavily weaponized Impala race cars!

The only other two Autobots were Wheelie (from part 2) and Brains, who were so inconsequential that I don’t even need to cover them. Actually Mr. Bay, I’d like to claim my 25 grand for spotting the Twins in this movie because you just replaced two annoying robots with another set! Pay up!

“I’m done with this stupid franchise!”

Enough about robots though, let’s get to our human characters. Shia LeBeouf is back as our leading man Sam Witwicky (For his last stint as the character supposedly), who is struggling to find a job after college, but somehow has no problem struggling to find amazingly hot supermodel girlfriends. After Mikayla dumped him, Sam managed to snag Carly who is an English gal and looks like an effin’ Victoria’s Secret model! Oh wait, I forgot that she actually is a Victoria’s Secret model in real life! For someone just getting into acting, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley works on screen just as well if not better than Megan Fox. I don’t think at one point I ever once thought of Megan Fox since the first shot we are treated to is of Whiteley’s very gifted behind. You’ve done it again Michael Bay!

Holy testicle tuesday!

But back to Shia. He’s back and still goofy as ever, but in the likeable way, not in the Jar Jar Binks way. Sam’s parents were back, but it was thankfully brief this time instead of the overload we received in Revenge of the Fallen. The rest of the gang is in rare form with Josh Duhamel (Lennox), Tyrese Gibson (Epps) and John Turturro (Simmons) returning. Unfortunately in regards to the roles of John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Ken Jeong and Alan Tudyk they made the movie’s cast seem a bit bloated. Many of their roles, though funny, were ultimately unnecessary. At this point you may ask why I left out our boy Patrick Dempsey. The reason I did that was because I thought his character added a new element to the movies that was missing. *SPOILER INCOMING*

“Why yes, I am fricking awesome. You just noticed this?”

In the prequel book to Revenge of the Fallen (The Veiled Threat by Alan Dean Foster) Starscream employed the forces of African rebels and a corrupt Italian businessman in his battle against the Autobots while Megatron was gone. So it was good to finally see a group of humans siding with who they see as the winning side in the Decepticons, and like Dempsey’s character Dylan Gould says at one point –“You think they gave me a choice?” And I have to admit as a non Patrick Dempsey fan, he played the role of the douche bag to perfection.

“Who forgot to bring the damned parachutes?”

So overall I have to give Dark of the Moon 3 out of 5 grizzlies.

Bay has definitely made up for the monstrosity that was Revenge of the Fallen, but just barely. The visuals were stunning, especially the Decepticon assault on Chicago. It seemed like Bay did everything for that whole segment except flash a message across the screen that said –“Suck it Skyline and Battle: LA!” It would truly seem like this is the last of the Transformers franchise under Bay because there was a whole lot of robotic death going on, but I’m sure they could come up with something for another installment.

Galvatron anyone?

The storyline wasn’t as terrible as Revenge of the Fallen, even though the whole ‘Pillar’ aspect seemed to echo the process of the sun harvester from the last movie. All I can say is at least they had a few twists and turns along the way. The cast was great, even the notable faces who didn’t have a whole lot to do. It makes me think most of them lost a bet to Bay and had to be in his next transformers movie. I will definitely look forward to seeing Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in more movies to come. She was as hot as Megan Fox (if not hotter) but was not a terrible actress. I almost can’t think of any English actors who suck unless they are doing an American accent in a movie. (You’re terrible Bale!) So what did everyone else think of the movie? An improvement at least? Or was it just a special effects laden piece of dog crap?