Wednesday 25 June 2014

Survival Guide to Transformers Age of Extinction

Apologies to our followers for the long hiatus since our last post. Since April, Outpost Productions has been busy on cosplay for various superheroes, mutants, and Star Wars from Klang Valley to some rather far reaches of the country. So now we are back and here to feature one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year, Transformers Age of Extinction, blasting into our cinemas tomorrow on 26 June 2014.

This 4th film from Michael Bay's Transformers takes place some years after the events of 2011's instalment Dark of the Moon, where all Transformers now are deemed dangerous to humanity. This propaganda poster and video sums out why association with alien robots may be hazardous to your health:

Now even the Autobots are being hunted down and need to truly be Robots in Disguise on-the-run from a shadow agency looking to exploit Transformers technology. Plus as per the movie tagline, a powerful new menace arrives threatening both mankind and Cybertronians from extinction.

Although a sequel movie, director / producer Michael Bay reboots the humans from the previous trilogy by introducing Mark Wahlberg as all-American country dad, Cade Yaeger. After finding a disguised Optimus Prime, Cade gets rapidly swept by in classic Bay-hem across the world involving nasty alien robots and not-so-nice humans.

For the younger testosterone audience, Cade's daughter Tessa, played by Nicola Peltz, provides male eye-candy whilst the ladies may be treated to boyfriend Shane, played by Jack Reynor.

Opposing our lead protagonists are Agent Attinger (Kelsey Grammar) and “oh-my-gawd” Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci), spearheading an elaborate government conspiracy concerning the Transformers.

Appealing to the massive China box-office is casting actress Li Bing Bing as Sue Yueming, CEO of a China company doing what the Chinese know best, reverse engineering.

Her fanboys may also want to check out this interview by Collider on her future plans... other than killing mutant zombies as Ada Wong in Resident Evil, she wants to find a boyfriend! Good luck to you guys if you don't find her too scary!

Alright enough on the fleshlings and now onto the robots! Autobot fans are no doubt happy with the return of Transformers icons Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, this time in 2 alternate modes. In particular homage to Generation One, Optimus Prime when he's first found by Cade as a run-down truck resembles his vehicular form of the cartoon and toys of the 1980's.

Optimus Prime in Gen1-inspired vehicle form.

Optimus Prime version 2 alternate mode.

Why giant sword instead of blaster? Because it looks better when riding a dinosaur!

Bumblebee's alternative Camaro disguises

The other new Autobots are served as product placements for expensive cars: Crosshairs as a green Chevy Corvette Stingray, Drift as a black-blue Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse (worth USD2.4 million), and more.

Gen1-inspired robots returning include Ratchet as his Rescue Hummer and new Autobot Commando Hound as dirty Oshkosh Defense Medium Tactical Vehicle.

Hound's vehicle mode contrasts to other sporty expensive Autobot sports cars.

Forefront for the Decepticons this time is bounty hunter Lockdown pictured prominently in the movie posters and trailers:

And of course there's mega huge robot dinosaurs that Transformers fans have been screaming for, the Dinobots! Notwithstanding how robot dinos could be logically explained into the plot. Here's a comparison of every Transformer fan's favourite T-rex, Grimlock in his 1986 and 2014 incarnations:

So prepare for 2 hours 45 minutes of robo-action with lotsa pulse-pounding explosions to leave your ears ringing, especially in IMAX 3D:

Transformers Age of Extinction held its worldwide Premiere last week in Hong Kong, serving up a giant Optimus Prime statue and its movie stars to the Chinese robot fans. Here's what happened at the Premiere together with live performance of the movie theme song “Battle Cry” by Imagine Dragons:

For further updates and online media for Transformers Age of Extinction, check out the official website, Transformers Movie Facebook Page or local movie distributor United International Pictures Malaysia on Facebook. Plus read-up a relatively non-spoiler review by CinemaOnline and a fanboy perspective from Blogger eyeris.

For your amusement, here's some fairly witty clips involving Autobot leader Optimus Prime:

While there are heaps of Transformers merchandise to deplete a fan's hard earned cash, the Outpost Movie Recon Team (M.R.T.) will instead highlight how fans can get limited edition premiums from partner tie-ups or contests plus activities to engage your Transformers experience.

Cathay Cineplexes return with their combo sets at RM15.90 offering a limited edition printed cup and figure topper of the robots... as well as a Pepsi, mineral water, large popcorn and chips. Limited edition Optimus Prime inspired 3D glasses are also available ar RM25 each. Plus merchandise to be won from their Facebook App contest.

In contrast, MBO Cinemas combo set seems on the pricier side at RM16 for large popcorn and a limited edition double-walled cup and straw. Fortunately there are limited edition Transformers keychains given away with purchase of every 4 tickets. Additional rewards are available to their AllStar card members who are able to bid for Transformers premiums using points collected. Find out more from the MBO website about these promos and the bidding process.

GSC Cinemas is pounding on Transformers in a BIG way this time. Firstly at the cinemas, Transformers Trading Cards are given away for every 2 tickets purchased at selected locations. Then there are limited edition light-up magnets resembling heads of Optimus Prime or Bumblebee at RM4 each with purchase of GSC Combo 3 or Large Signature Combo 1.

The official Transformers mascots of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will then be visiting various cinema locations for meet & greet with public over the next 2 weekends.

In addition, GSC online users can attempt to win a whole bunch of Transformers merchandise including 5 units of Hasbro toy showcases, 3 Nokia Lumia 630 phones and Hasbro action figures. Entry requirement is 2 tickets purchased and registration through the online contest website.

Furthermore, new applicants of GSC HongLeong Bank credit cards receive a non-transformable travel bag whilst 6 top spenders may win a somewhat transforming or folding bicycle.  

Finally there's TGV Cinemas, which is not offering any merchandise, but rewarding its IMAX customers with chance to win tickets to Universal Studios Singapore.

And there's also a robot cosplay appearance roadshow offering cinema patrons to Spot-the-Robots for a chance to win movie tickets by posting their photo with the said robot on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You won't be spotting the iconic robots from the movie though so be on lookout for some Transformers inspired cosplay characters.

Transformers collectors can also oogle at the toy displays setup in selected cinemas by Transformers fans. Find out more at the TGV website. Fans in Penang may take the opportunity to check out the giant statues of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee at the Gurney Paragon Mall.

Meanwhile the local movie distributor, United International Pictures, is offering their Instagram followers chance to win premiums. Enter quick by choosing team Optimus Prime or team Lockdown by 28 June 2014.

Want some Transformers toys instead? Then submit your entries online for the Motor Trader contest before 30 June 2014, or AXN-Asia contest by 14 July 2014.

If contest karma doesn't agree with you, just buy your own Transformers toys now available at all major toy stores. Check out Hasbro's Transformers toy range at Toys R Us online with local pricing here.

Evasion mode Optimus Prime (right) resembles his classic Gen1 truck form.

Kids can get to dress-up as Optimus Prime and Bumblebee with these costume kits available at Toys R Us.

Amongst the stranger movie tie-ups coming across, toothpaste Darlie is offering Transformers branded mugs. Yes, robots need to brush teeth too!

Even more strange seem to be Woodlamina floorboards offering GSC Gold Class Vouchers through contests &giveaways website before 3 July 2014.

More related perhaps to robot would be Syntium engine oil from Petronas, offering customers Transformers branded keychains and carabiners plus GSC movie vouchers. Perhaps ideally suited for any bots with Proton alternate modes!

Gamers may wish to consider the testing their hand coordination on the official Transformers Age of Extinction game App now on iPhone and Ipad available from iTunes.

That wraps up this recon report for Transformers goodies by the Outpost M.R.T.

As a sequel to our past Transformers fan movie events, the next Outpost Movie Marathon will be taking place tomorrow / Thursday 26 June 2014 at Cathay Cineplex, e@Curve. However instead of a 4 movie back-to-back endurance-test marathon, we are instead pairing Transformers Age of Extinction with the original Transformers The Movie animation from 1986.

We trust will be allow the Gen1 fanboys to relive their childhood while re-introducing to the new generation to the original animation sparking of this love of transforming robots! Here are recollecting photos from our previous movie fan marathons from 2009 and 2011:

2009 Marathon with Transformers & Revenge of the Fallen.

2011 Marathon with movie Trilogy.

Transformers cosplay.

Lucky draw prize to marathon survivors.

Till All Are One!

Disclaimer: Transformers and its trademarks are copyright to Hasbro and/or Paramount Pictures, referenced here for fan service announcements without intent to infringe.