Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Epic Fail; Prostate Problems

by clementinepumpernickel

***Awooga! Awooga! Bad language and fanboy rage ahead! Awooga! Awooga!***

Michael Bay’s conclusion to his Transformers trilogy arrives on Blu Ray and DVD very soon. I was an enormous Transformers fan as a child in the eighties, and the inner-nine-year-old in me hates the adult me for not really liking a series of movies that a) I would have loved had I seen them as child, and b) that I used to daydream about, but never got to see, as they took twenty fuckin’ years to make them. (The pseudo-pornographic shots of Megan Fox would also have gone down very well with me [just on the cusp of puberty] in 1988, even if the adult me agrees with Mark Kermode in wondering why a movie featuring kids’ toys fighting should be so gratuitously over-sexualised.)

I was well served by the 1986 animated movie –which I do continue to love– and I think it is defensible on the grounds that, even if it is not a great movie, it is at least a high concept one (a kid’s movie that kills its lead character in the first third of the film, and has, for a bad guy, a robot-planet voiced by Orson Welles that starts the pre-credits sequence by devouring a world and eating everyone on it? Do Bay’s movies even compare?)

Now, apparently the motivation for such gleeful execution of many of the cartoon’s stalwarts was so that Hasbro could release a whole load of new toys, but still, this was pretty brutal for a kid’s cartoon (at least in the West):

Against my better judgement, part of me is reluctantly curious about the third Bay film, as I’ve heard that the 3-D camera rigs required him to slow things down with the shooting/editing (apparently, that’s due to the brain needing about sixty seconds to start properly processing 3-D effects, or something to that effect).

One of the main problems I had with Bay’s first Transformers movie (aside from the director, the cast, and errr… the plot) was that the robots were ridiculously over-designed, and with the actual style of shooting, the mega-complicated CGI, and the epilepsy-inducing editing, I couldn’t figure out what the fuck was going on. And — forgive me for being old — but these movies were just too loud.

To add to my fanboy grumblings, the old Generation One fan in me also pined for the robots to look something like the Citroen dancing robot ads (the first one was released the year before Bay’s movie, and made by some FX guys that are on record as saying it was a calling card to try and land them a part on the movie production team):

Now, despite my curiosity towards Dark of the Moon, I never saw Revenge of the Fallen (that’s because everyone said it wasn’t as good as the first one, which I never rated in the first place), but I suspect that Mark Kermode’s video review could probably sum up all three movies:

Still, at least there are fans (both amateur and professional) that still scratch the Transformer’s itch by producing these sorts of funny sketches, the first being the “Twisted Toyfare” team’s take on how Optimus Prime really died in the 1986 movie:

Poor old Optimus — in the following sketch provided by the Robot Chicken team, he ends up suffering from prostate cancer:

Finally, have you ever wondered what happened to a human stuck inside a transformer when they convert?

On a final historical note, a lot of the plot details of the Transformers back story were apparently created by EIC Jim Shooter and the Marvel Comics team in the early 1980s, as detailed here.