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Face-Off: Armageddon vs. Transformers

03.29.2012by: Paul Huffman
In last weeks Face Off, a few of our readers found it difficult to choose between Alien and Aliens on the grounds that they were too very different films, admittedly I ran into the same problem. However we did have a winner from our readers, in which James Cameron's sequel came out victorious with a score of 19-14.

Which brings us to this week. Michael Bay, you king of controversy you. His recent announcement regarding four beloved turtles has been met with plenty hostility...and his response to the fans is in no uncertain terms to just "chill" and trust him. Say what you want about the quality of the mans films, but when it comes down to it the man and his explosions get Box Office lovin'. For this weeks Face Off I present to you evidence of that fact with Exhibit A: Armageddon and Exhibit B: Transformers. Let's roll out.
Story
A "vicious life sucking b*tch from which there is no escape" in the form of an asteroid the size of Texas threatens to annihilate our lovely blue and green orb. In this event who are you gonna call? No not Ghostbusters...but oil drillers. Bruce Willis and his rag tag team of misfits are humanities last hope to prevent the world from suffering the same fate as the dinosaurs. Can these newly trained rough necks turned astronauts conquer the asteroid by hitting their 800 foot mark? Get your ass into a theater seat to find out, and boy did we.
All Sam Witwicky wanted was a new car, I guess getting a double whammy in the form of a new car and a new robotic alien companion isn't a bad way to go, no? Sam finds himself in the middle of a war that has been fought for ages by two factions of machines from a distant planet in the Autobots vs. Decepticons. Both factions are seeking out the AllSpark, a gigantic cube that is a tool to build an army out of all machinery on Earth. You know, I feel machines are sorely misrepresented in films. We should do something about that. Anyway our hero Sam must join with the peace loving Autobots to yes you guessed it, save the human race from extinction or enslavement.
Characters
Harry Stamper and his team have their own problems to deal with before being asked to...you know...save the world. Interesting relationship dynamics are formed in this movie. I totally bought in to the father/daughter relationship formed, as well as the surrogate father/son relationship Harry had with A.J (Ben Affleck). I loved these characters because of the humor and camaraderie they brought to the table. In the midst of all this survival uncertainty they still found time to make us laugh, you have to appreciate that. The movie had a good counterbalance to the that in the form of Col. Willie Sharp (William Fichtner) and his team, who took the shit they had to deal with seriously.
I like Shia LeBouf as an actor, and he pulled off his role as the reluctant hero who wasn't ready for the world he was thrust into just fine, at least he had company in the gorgeous eye candy (Megan Fox). With that said, the fact that I could have done without the Sam Witwicky character altogether and been perfectly content following the soldiers (Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson) speaks volumes about their characters as well. The rest of the supporting cast did a great job as well loved the inclusion of the hackers and John Turtoro being John Turtoro. And the Transformers, well Bay I think hit the nail on the head in this installment, Optimus Prime was the bad ass I wanted him to be and Megatron made for a formidable villain.
Action
The action in Armageddon now that I look back on it was fairly straight forward, the meteor shower in the opening of the film and the two shuttles crashing on the initial landing was the standout for me. Most of the tension was the smaller versions of the big rock being mean to our heroes, leave them alone they have a damn job to do. I have to say this for Armageddon, although the action in this movie was on a smaller scale than Transformers, I found myself more emotionally invested in the action that took place here. I think it had a lot to do with my attachment to the characters and the brilliant score by Trevor Rabin
For Transformers, action is the glue that held to proceedings together. Bay's love affair with slow motion and sh*t that go boom was put on front street in this movie. Many memorable action scenes here...the initial attack on base, the desert attack, Optimus whooping ass on the freeway, and of course the climax in the city. Bay showcased what he does best in Transformers and he did it beautifully, story be damned, and the story wasn't the worst thing in the world in this film. The sequels are another story. Sorry, I can't get Optimus Prime's ownage on the freeway out of my head.
Box Office
In it's opening weekend Armageddon grossed $36,089,972 and ultimately earned $553,709,788 worldwide making it the highest grossing film of 1998 beating out Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan.
The opening weekend for Transformers earned $70.5 million and came out to $155.4 in it's opening week. The movie earned a worldwide gross of $709.7 million making it the fifth highest grossing film of 2007.
Transformers
So there you have it, the quality of Michael Bay's films are a subject of debate and while these two movies may not be Bay's best work (The Rock takes that honor IMO), Transformers especially showcases his talent for good popcorn fun and the drawing power that results from that.

If you have an idea that you'd like to see in a future FACE OFF column, feel free to shoot an email to me at paulhuffman@joblo.com with your ideas and some ideas for the critique to base your ideas off. Thank you and in the meantime...

Which movie is your favourite?
POST YOUR CHOICE BELOW!
Tags: Face-Off

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

5:46PM on 03/31/2012
I can take of leave these movies to be quite honest. But if I were to make my choice it would be Armageddon. In these versus columns I'm surprised how often my vote comes down to one category, and Armageddon wins because they had good, relatable characters. Transformers was a fun time at the movies, but it was also all over the place, and I didn't really care.

Liv Tyler might just be the best female character in a Michael Bay movie.
I can take of leave these movies to be quite honest. But if I were to make my choice it would be Armageddon. In these versus columns I'm surprised how often my vote comes down to one category, and Armageddon wins because they had good, relatable characters. Transformers was a fun time at the movies, but it was also all over the place, and I didn't really care.

Liv Tyler might just be the best female character in a Michael Bay movie.
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+7
4:39AM on 03/31/2012

Armageddon vs deep impact

isnt that a better face off? Either way armaggeddon wins on all counts. At the time i was sucked in to the movie and saw it three times in cinema. And maybe its not a good movie to others, to me it is because it gave me an entertaining 3 hours and that's what a movie is supposed to do.
isnt that a better face off? Either way armaggeddon wins on all counts. At the time i was sucked in to the movie and saw it three times in cinema. And maybe its not a good movie to others, to me it is because it gave me an entertaining 3 hours and that's what a movie is supposed to do.
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+5
8:36PM on 03/30/2012
I don't think Transformers should win the action.. The action in those movies is atrocious for the most part.
I don't think Transformers should win the action.. The action in those movies is atrocious for the most part.
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7:43PM on 03/29/2012
In terms of plot, development and payoff, Armageddon had a better story. The suspense builds continuously and ultimately the patriotic Visa commercial wraps it up emotionally.

The last third of Transformers was underwhelming. Have to go give Armageddon the edge here.
In terms of plot, development and payoff, Armageddon had a better story. The suspense builds continuously and ultimately the patriotic Visa commercial wraps it up emotionally.

The last third of Transformers was underwhelming. Have to go give Armageddon the edge here.
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6:24PM on 03/29/2012
Armageddon may be a dumb movie, but it's an incredibly fun, balls to the wall movie with a ton of heart and emotion packed into a spirited cast loaded with an assortment of characters... characters that we gave a shit about and were uniquely hilarious.

Transformers didn't have anything like that.
Armageddon may be a dumb movie, but it's an incredibly fun, balls to the wall movie with a ton of heart and emotion packed into a spirited cast loaded with an assortment of characters... characters that we gave a shit about and were uniquely hilarious.

Transformers didn't have anything like that.
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6:20PM on 03/29/2012
Shouldn't it have been a which one is the worse type of face off ?
Shouldn't it have been a which one is the worse type of face off ?
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5:45PM on 03/29/2012
Gotta go with Transformers...Bruce Willis is the boss, we all know that, BUT if I gotta side with Oil Drillers or giant robots to have my back, i think I'll go with giant robots...and Optimus Prime DID run shit on that freeway...
Gotta go with Transformers...Bruce Willis is the boss, we all know that, BUT if I gotta side with Oil Drillers or giant robots to have my back, i think I'll go with giant robots...and Optimus Prime DID run shit on that freeway...
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3:15PM on 03/29/2012

Armegeddon

sure Transformers was the more intense action flick, but it definitely wasn't a better movie...Characters make a real movie and as much as I love the autobots, you never feel much connection to any of the transformer characters!
sure Transformers was the more intense action flick, but it definitely wasn't a better movie...Characters make a real movie and as much as I love the autobots, you never feel much connection to any of the transformer characters!
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2:32PM on 03/29/2012
I disagree Armegeddon is much better. First off it's an original story while Transformers was based on an already established story. And second, Armagedddon has a great sense of pride and nationality that touches your heart when the President makes his speech.
I disagree Armegeddon is much better. First off it's an original story while Transformers was based on an already established story. And second, Armagedddon has a great sense of pride and nationality that touches your heart when the President makes his speech.
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-5
2:21PM on 03/29/2012

I love both

almost equally actually lol. Might have to give the slight edge to Transformers though...
almost equally actually lol. Might have to give the slight edge to Transformers though...
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2:18PM on 03/29/2012
Love both of these movies. Good ol' popcorn fun!
Love both of these movies. Good ol' popcorn fun!
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10:54AM on 03/29/2012
could the next transformers be them saving the world from a giant asteroid thus combining the two?...no?

well theres more substance with armageddon it is a better film (but the child in me likes giant robots)
could the next transformers be them saving the world from a giant asteroid thus combining the two?...no?

well theres more substance with armageddon it is a better film (but the child in me likes giant robots)
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9:44AM on 03/29/2012
These two movies are, like, two different movies. I don't think you can compare them. But for the sake of the article, I'd pick Transformers. The first time I saw Prime transformed from a semi-truck to his robot mode gave me goosebump.
These two movies are, like, two different movies. I don't think you can compare them. But for the sake of the article, I'd pick Transformers. The first time I saw Prime transformed from a semi-truck to his robot mode gave me goosebump.
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+1
9:44AM on 03/29/2012
If the point of putting these movies into a Face Off is to figure which one is worse, then it's a toss-up.
If the point of putting these movies into a Face Off is to figure which one is worse, then it's a toss-up.
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7:54AM on 03/29/2012

ARMAGEDDON for me.

I liked the 1st Transformers, but I LOVE Armageddon! I know its stupid, its totally unbelievable, but man, was it so much fun! The plot maybe too hard to swallow, but the ensemble cast and their interaction with eachother is what made the movie for me...I mean seriously, Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Owen Wilson, Michael Clarke Duncun, Steve Bucemi, Will Patton, Billy Bob Thornton, William Fitchner, Peter Stormore....need I say anymore? Plus if done right, I like a "Hero saves the day" kind of
I liked the 1st Transformers, but I LOVE Armageddon! I know its stupid, its totally unbelievable, but man, was it so much fun! The plot maybe too hard to swallow, but the ensemble cast and their interaction with eachother is what made the movie for me...I mean seriously, Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Owen Wilson, Michael Clarke Duncun, Steve Bucemi, Will Patton, Billy Bob Thornton, William Fitchner, Peter Stormore....need I say anymore? Plus if done right, I like a "Hero saves the day" kind of film with a proper amount of cheese.

One a side note, I know JoBlo gave Armageddon 8 out of 10 in his review, so atleast he's on my side I think :P
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+9
6:54AM on 03/29/2012
AH man.. this is sad, while I agree with the given points, I still believe Armageddon is a much much better film! The crew had a chemistry that is really hard to accomplish and you can see it in the end result, the comedy was fun and I might even dare to say... with some heart in it. Plus Armageddon has Steve Buscemi, that alone makes it a winner for me.

Anywho.. I love this column. Keep up the good work!
AH man.. this is sad, while I agree with the given points, I still believe Armageddon is a much much better film! The crew had a chemistry that is really hard to accomplish and you can see it in the end result, the comedy was fun and I might even dare to say... with some heart in it. Plus Armageddon has Steve Buscemi, that alone makes it a winner for me.

Anywho.. I love this column. Keep up the good work!
Your Reply:



+16
5:02AM on 03/29/2012
I have to go with Armageddon. Compete guilty pleasure for me. Love Duncan and Willis in this. Fichtner and Billy Bob are always worthy of watching. It's the number one film that my friends always bust my balls on in my collection.
I have to go with Armageddon. Compete guilty pleasure for me. Love Duncan and Willis in this. Fichtner and Billy Bob are always worthy of watching. It's the number one film that my friends always bust my balls on in my collection.
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4:41AM on 03/29/2012
Armageddon will always have a soft spot in my heart because it was one of the first movies I saw in the theatres as a kid. It's a guilty pleasure and many aspects of it are really quite enjoyable. And I do have a tendency to yell "Don't wanna miss a thing" at the top of my lungs every now and then.
Armageddon will always have a soft spot in my heart because it was one of the first movies I saw in the theatres as a kid. It's a guilty pleasure and many aspects of it are really quite enjoyable. And I do have a tendency to yell "Don't wanna miss a thing" at the top of my lungs every now and then.
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3:55AM on 03/29/2012

Both of them sucked.

So it should be a Face-Off of which is worse....Transformers would be the winner of that.
Also, the action in Transformers sucked. It was so fast and close that you didn't know who was fighting who or what was going on.
So it should be a Face-Off of which is worse....Transformers would be the winner of that.
Also, the action in Transformers sucked. It was so fast and close that you didn't know who was fighting who or what was going on.
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1:22AM on 03/29/2012
Armageddon was the better film. We actually studied this film in one of my film courses for adaptive literary techniques. Abrams did a good job with subliminal writing. Such as giving characters home addresses of apocalyptic bible verses, death foreshadowing, etc.

Transformers, while entertaining- was brainless.
Armageddon was the better film. We actually studied this film in one of my film courses for adaptive literary techniques. Abrams did a good job with subliminal writing. Such as giving characters home addresses of apocalyptic bible verses, death foreshadowing, etc.

Transformers, while entertaining- was brainless.
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1:15AM on 03/29/2012
2 piles of suck
2 piles of suck
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1:13AM on 03/29/2012
Enjoy watching both, own both on DVD. I'm gonna go with Transformers for nostalgia sake. I was a big fan as a kid, and the movie was a lot of fun with Bay delivering a movie with tons of action about a boy and his car (thanks Spielberg).

Too bad the sequels sucked.
Enjoy watching both, own both on DVD. I'm gonna go with Transformers for nostalgia sake. I was a big fan as a kid, and the movie was a lot of fun with Bay delivering a movie with tons of action about a boy and his car (thanks Spielberg).

Too bad the sequels sucked.
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12:46AM on 03/29/2012

J.J. Abrams Connection

Pointless bit of trilogy: Armaggedon was co-written by J.J. Abrams, before his success on television. Transformers was written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, two writers that are strongly associated with Abrams and have been his primary writers (on the films he directed, M:I III and Star Trek). It really has nothing to do with this face off, but I found it interesting.

Also, I try not to be that guy, but this article had some very poor grammar. Look at the Characters section in the
Pointless bit of trilogy: Armaggedon was co-written by J.J. Abrams, before his success on television. Transformers was written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, two writers that are strongly associated with Abrams and have been his primary writers (on the films he directed, M:I III and Star Trek). It really has nothing to do with this face off, but I found it interesting.

Also, I try not to be that guy, but this article had some very poor grammar. Look at the Characters section in the Transformers column. There is missing punctuation, run-on sentences, and poor use of commas (some should be semi-colons or periods; same goes for parts that need commas). I usually don't comment on this, but the sentences all ran together and it was distracting.
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+2
12:42AM on 03/29/2012
The Rock is probably his best but The Island is a close second for me. Transformers was just a couple of hours of 'turn your mind off and have fun watching things go boom' for me.
The Rock is probably his best but The Island is a close second for me. Transformers was just a couple of hours of 'turn your mind off and have fun watching things go boom' for me.
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+3
12:31AM on 03/29/2012
iMO The Island is his best work and his lowest box office which doesnt make sense. Imma go with Armageddon though based off the idea of planting a nuke on an asteroid is a brilliant idea, and i'm an idiot
iMO The Island is his best work and his lowest box office which doesnt make sense. Imma go with Armageddon though based off the idea of planting a nuke on an asteroid is a brilliant idea, and i'm an idiot
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2:22PM on 03/29/2012
The Island is a great underrated sci-fi flick, love it!! a shame they ruined the twist int he trailer... for anyone that HASN'T seen it, go pick it up and give it a go, but DON'T watch the trailer!
The Island is a great underrated sci-fi flick, love it!! a shame they ruined the twist int he trailer... for anyone that HASN'T seen it, go pick it up and give it a go, but DON'T watch the trailer!

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