There is no such thing as a free lunch.

The Transformers Travesty

I’m writing this post now because Shia LaBeouf of Transformers fame has been in the news for flipping his car a few times and possibly having to get his finger amputated. Apparently this is going to cause delays in filming Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, due out in 2009. But this isn’t nearly the worst thing that has happened to the Transformers franchise. I digress…


As a kid growing up in the 1980s I mainly watched three cartoons: G.I. Joe, He-Man, and Transformers. G.I. Joe and He-Man were cool, but because I was somewhat of a nerd child Transformers definitely had the most appeal to me. Their toys were the best, because it was like getting several in one. For example, you could get a bulldozer that would transform into a robot, and if you got the set of five “Constructicons”, you could then put them together to form an even bigger super-robot, Devastator. Transformers actually had an intricate backstory too – not quite reaching Star Wars level but enough to produce 98 animated television episodes, an 80-issue comic book series from Marvel, and a 1986 animated feature film. And I ate all of that stuff up. I didn’t have any G.I. Joe toys, He-Man figures, or Thundercats – it was all Transformers for me.

Over the last decade or so, while it seemed like every cartoon character ever created was being made into a movie, I patiently waited for Transformers to get its turn. So when I heard several years back that there was a movie in the works, I was absolutely ecstatic. I waited patiently to hear who would be the team chosen to bring these characters back to life on the big screen. When Steven Spielberg was announced as the executive producer, I and all Transformers fans of my generation rejoiced, believing that the story we embraced as children would be treated seriously. We hoped Spielberg would direct, and we waited patiently for the announcement. And then, on that fateful day in 2005 the director was announced – it was Michael Bay. Nooooooo!

This was the guy that directed The Rock, Armageddon, and Pearl Harbor, which might have been the three cheesiest films in the history of moviemaking. I mean, just look at his picture. How could a guy that looks like that make a movie that’s not a complete cheesefest? I tried to tell myself that it would be okay, that it would be different this time, that he had changed and would treat the Transformers story with respect and dignity. I tempered my expectations, and I didn’t even go see it on opening weekend. And when I finally did watch it, my worst fears were realized. It was terrible.

But even though the latest Transformers movie may have disappointed old fans, it still made a whopping $706.5 million worldwide and I’m sure the sequel will do well too. It’s just a shame that garbage like this gets rewarded at the box office.


1 TheColonel { 09.08.08 at 4:00 pm }

I was a huge Transformer fan in the 80’s as well. I too was disappointed by the Transformer movie with one exception, Megan FOX! Megan saved the film for me. I don’t get Shia, I don’t think he’s a good actor at all. I saw him host SNL and it was terrible.

In the Transformer sequel they should kill off Shia’s character in the first scene and let Megan be the main character.

2 msg { 09.08.08 at 4:04 pm }

Seems like Shia is trying to make your wish come true one way or another!

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