Sunday, August 24, 2008


Transformers came to America in the early 80's by way of a hit cartoon series and an incredible supporting toy line from Hasbro. A race of aliens from the planet Cybertron, two groups of warring Transformers (the Autobots and the Decepticons) find their way to Earth and use their ability to mimic local technology and revert between that and their bipedal robot form to blend in or battle... whichever seems right at the time. The classic cartoon was also made into a feature film in the 80's, but never before has there been an undertaking of this magnitude for the characters. A lot of fan-boys were very nervous when word came out that Michael Bay would be the man to bring Transformers to the big screen in their first live-action appearance. Even I wasn't fully comfortable with the thought that Optimus Prime was in the hands of the dude behind cinematic atrocities such as The Island and Pearl Harbor (which I still refuse to see). But... I will be a monkey's uncle if he didn't kick ass and take names with the film he put together. While some parts still felt very Bay-ish, Transformers took smart cracks at its own history with a "more than meets the eye" line and at Bay himself when an extra running towards the crash landing of one of the Autobots shouts "this is a hundred times cooler than Armageddon". And that fat boy was RIGHT. An interesting blend of acting talent is led by Shia Lebouf (who I don't care enough about to see if I spelled it right) and joined by Jon Voight, John Turturro, Anthony Anderson and more. Long story short... the Transformers are looking for the All Spark which is being hidden with a frozen Megatron buy a secret government organization... Decepticons start attacking, Autobots start defending, and man is caught in the middle. I think I've ranted enough now, but there is more to say so I will elaborate more in the individual ratings. Let's get down to business.

Original Release: 2007
Running Time: 144 minutes

On to the ratings!!
(Need a rating system reminder?)
Effects & Animation - $2
Jesus tap-dancing Christ. I knew the effects were going to be impressive here but still could not prepare myself for the level of detail put into bringing giant transforming alien robots to life. The transformations themselves were masterful, and even more so when performed in motion (driving down the highway or taking off / landing in the middle of the city). Every time I watch the movie I find another spot where I hadn't noticed how intricate the computer animation truly was.

Repeat Play - $2
I watched it two and a half times this weekend... and might go for more. I honestly think that this is one of the movies I will have to re-buy at some point because I will wear out the one I have.

Hello Ladies - $1
Megan Fox and that Australian chick? Sha-WING! It's a Michael Bay movie so not even a hint of side boob, but it felt like at least one of them was on screen at all times. Not too shabby at all.

Nerd Factor - $2
Are you kidding? It's the f#!king Transformers!! Every child in the last 20 years (I won't limit this to boys) has played with what aer arguably one of the greatest toys ever created. With the robust character history and variations to pull from, they thankfully still went back to the beginning with the Autobots and the Decepticons battling each other on Earth and taking on (for the most part) normal civilian and military vehicles. Optimus was a tractor trailer... Starscream was a fighter jet and even though they upgraded Bumble Bee, they did have him parked next to the throw-back vintage yellow Beetle. Some other modifications were made in order for the film to work in present day, but none of it took away from the movie at all. And I must say... a simultaneous shiver went down the spine of every nerd in the room as the opening credits ended and Optimus' voice came through the speakers, courtesy of the original Mark Cullen.

Billicious - $2
Everything about this movie makes me think that it was made just for me. I love the characters, I love the toys, and I love explosions. Even the shirt Michael Bay wore during the filming is awesome.

Transformers has nostalgia, humor, hotties and ground breaking special effects that still have yet to be matched. Get out of my head Michael Bay... get out!!!
Total Rating: $9

I know some people are surprised that it took me this long to review Transformers, and that not everyone agrees with my views on the level of awesome it managed to achieve. So, if you think I rated it too high OR not high enough, feel free to leave me a comment and let me know. I think it is fair to say though that the only thing that sucks is we have to wait until 2009 to see the next one!

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