"TRANSMORPHERS: FALL OF MAN"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5 stars)
Bruce Boxleitner as HADLEY RYAN
Jennifer Rubin as DR. JO SUMMERS
Shane Van Dyke as JAKE VAN RYBERG
Alana DiMaria as MADISON RYAN
Russ Kingston as STAN WESTON
Silvy Kas as OFFICER STEVENS
Debra Harrison-Lowe as MARY JO
Amy Van Horne as LIZ
Studio: The Asylum
Directed by: Scott Wheeler
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With a name like “Transmorphers,” you should know what to expect: alien robots that can morph from one form to another. In this prequel to the low-budget flick, robot invaders from another world attack Earth. A small band of rebels, which includes a sheriff, a former soldier, a scientist and a pretty young lady find a way to fight back against overwhelming odds.
WHAT I LIKED
While I have enjoyed Michael Bay’s “Transformers” movies to a certain degree, I will be the first to point out that as a director, he is really full of himself. In this respect, it was somewhat fun to watch a low-budget knock-off without the beer commercial mentality. Actually, ignoring the name of the film, “Transmorphers: Fall of Man” has more in common with the low-budget Full Moon releases like “Robot Jox.” These were a guilty pleasure of mine in college.
I do enjoy these modest, low-budget flicks simply for the passion behind them. They can’t get overwhelmed by studio tinkering because they are labors of love, and they make a fun diversion on a Saturday afternoon with the kids.
It’s also great to see a movie like to for some older actors who don’t get much recent play on the big screen (or the small screen, even). Bruce Boxleitner, who used to be a bit of a name on television with “Scarecrow and Mrs. King” and “Babylon 5,” gets some work, as done Jennifer Rubin, whom I had a thing for a few years back.
It’s not a $150 million summer blockbuster, but if you know what you’re getting into, these smaller sci-fi flicks can be enjoyable.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Part of the charm of a movie like this are the warts that shine in the low-budget nature. There are continuity mistakes (like the fact that Alana DiMaria can’t walk steady – let alone run – in her high-heel boots and miraculously changes to sneakers by her second scene) as well as some really cheesy special effects. Still, it’s not at the level of video toasters, which we saw in sci-fi TV of the 80s and 90s.
But the bad special effects and low-rent production design is all forgivable in the context of what the film is, which is dollar-for-dollar more efficient than a film like “Transformers.”
The biggest problem I had with “Transmorphers: Fall of Man” was the casting of writer Shane Van Dyke in the lead hero. I know how politics works in film production, and this is a grand example of a mediocre writer who wants to be the action hero, but never quite pulling it off. If he hadn’t written the script, I doubt he’d have even had an audition.
The DVD comes with a blooper reel, some deleted scenes and a featurette “The Making of Transmorphers: Fall of Man.”
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of low-budget sci-fi who are annoyed with Michael Bay.