Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sleestak Reviews: Transformers

I despise everything about the marketing infomercials of the 80s cartoons that so many people seem to be enamored of. He-Man, G.I. Joe and the Transformers are on my never-watch list. I found the stories idiotic, the animation poor and the mandated moralizing annoying. The Turtles, while fully in that classification, get a pass because they were a comic magazine first, long before characters were created for the sole purpose of licensing deals.

So I was surprised to discover I had a lot of fun at the movie. Michael Bay has received a lot of criticism as a director and rightly so. But if you want someone to do little more than film chase scenes and blow crap up then he is your guy.

Transformers started out great with an assault on a military base that you knew was coming, but was still awesome. Giant robots blowing crap up is what I wanted to see and it is what I got. My main problem with the film is that Bay didn't stick with the one concept. The first part of the film was exciting, hard core alien invasion science fiction but it then quickly changed into much more of a children's movie. The Spielbergian gremlin-bot didn't help matters any and as the comic relief the homicidal jester-droid was derivative.

The old cliche of the primary witnesses or initial-contact combat squad being involved because they may have "unique insight" into the threat was in full play here. Understandable for Sam because of his connection with one of the aliens, not so much for the soldiers. Once they give their report to the brass they would really be folded into another unit and would not be leading a 6-man assault against an invasion. There were some genuinely funny moments and others that made you roll your eyes and wish you had a fast-forward button to get past those parts.

One of the bonuses was that the presence of the Transformers on Earth was not a secret for long. One of my main peeves with some science fiction, particularly of some cartoon series, is that the general public is never aware of a war going on in their streets and always just happen to avoid seeing an alien ship or giant humanoid robots warring with the other.

The film was pretty fun. And yes, Jazz. The black guy always dies in the movies.



  1. Jazz dies? Ah, the movie is spoiled.

    Did he at least sound like Scatman Carruthers?

  2. Well he was voiced by Scatman in the original cartoon.

  3. Counting Jazz there were 3 black characters in that movie.

  4. They should put out a dvd with just the cool action scenes. Nothing else.

    Robot porn.

  5. Okay, cool, I wasn't the only one who noticed the only black Autobot died. I loved how tore up about it Optimus was too, where he was holding, like, half of Jazz in each hand and was all casually like, "Well, that takes care of that! You kids wanna go make out or something now? We'll all, um, stand guard."

  6. Oh and Jon, NO! And Starscream sounded tough and angry, not whiney! Ghah!

    Jazz talked like he learned English from rap videos, and even referred to the other Autobots and the humans as "bitches" at one point. Like, "Move up out the way, bitches."


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