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“Transformers” - Blockbuster in Disguise?

Transformers As a child of the ‘80s I can honestly tell you that my life was wholly consumed by television. It must have been. There’s no other explanation for why someone close to thirty years old still knows all the words to the opening of "The A-Team." I mean really.

Clearly the TV shows and movies we watched growing up played a tremendous role in our early development and implanted themselves deeply into our psyche. Life lessons were learned through our vicarious experiences of our favorite characters. Their triumphs became our triumphs and conversely their failures and grief became our own as well. And perhaps no single moment greater illustrates this point than (queue ominous music and deep booming voice) the death of Optimus Prime in "The Transformers: The Movie."

Now I don’t want to turn this piece into a melancholy trip down memory lane, but the reason I was recently reminded (nice alliteration huh?) of my first “experience” with loss is my viewing of the trailer for "Transformers." Needless to say, I was overcome with emotion (if complete awesomeness can be classified as an emotion).

That’s right folks; mark your calendars for July 4, 2007. As you probably already know, the war between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons is again making its way into theaters; this time in live-action form. Twenty years after the original stormed into theaters (kinda), the whole crew is back to do battle. But this time the battlefield isn’t Cybertron it’s Earth. (Note: not to be confused with the horrendous John Travolta “movie”).

As far as I can tell, this new movie is not a remake of the classic 1986 version but most of the characters and the basic plot elements are the same. And speaking of characters, the stars making the journey this time around (according to IMDb) include: Shia LeBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Jon Voight, Anthony Anderson, John Turturro, Dane Cook and Amaury Nolasco from FOX’s "Prison Break."

Now if you’re thinking that that’s quite a random cast, consider the players the first time around included Leonard Nimoy, Eric Idle, Casey Kasem, Judd Nelson, Scatman Crothers (in his final film) and Orson Welles ( Charles Foster Kane himself, in his final film). Talk about random.

Perhaps the biggest news as far as casting goes (for geeks anyway) is that Peter Cullen is reprising his role as the voice of the heroic Optimus Prime.

Helming the flick is Michael “boom boom” Bay ("Bad Boys" I&II, "The Rock," "Armageddon," "Pearl Harbor" and "The Island") so "Transformers" will undoubtedly give us our fix of fast cuts, interesting camera angles, little plot development and huge explosions. But will it do The Transformers justice? After all, it is a live-action ‘remake’ of an animated movie based on a television show from 1984 based on a line of toys from Hasbro. Let’s just say the odds are not exactly in our favor.

I’m still holding out hope however. I think that the combination of a big budget, proven action director, the state of CGI today, decent cast and the throngs of 20 and 30-somethings that will inevitably flock to the theaters to try to recapture a sliver of what was so important so many years ago will equal box office gold.

I love it when a plan comes together.


Josh “mediaboy” Gryvatz

Posted by on September 13, 2006 2:47 PM
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I just hope that there are some crazy credits that teach me to stay off drugs, do my homework, and to stay away from stray dogs.

-- Posted by: Sully at September 13, 2006 4:17 PM

I've got some news for you people before you get too excited:

#1: Micheal Bay has deemed that Optimus Prime's paint job consist completely of red and blue flames instead of leaving him as the solid red big rig that he should be.
#2: Megatron doesn't seem to have a huge cannon on his arm like he always did.
#3: NONE of the Transformers look ANYTHING like they did in the original cartoon. At best they look like some wierd alien robots that stepped out of one of the "Guyver" movies. Especially Megatron.

Don't believe me? There is a peditition going on right now at peditition online called "Keep Your Flames Away from My Optimus Prime". Check it out. Also I believe there is a website called (don't hold me to that) which has all the photos from the upcoming movie so far.

-- Posted by: Kurt Langberg at September 14, 2006 12:37 AM

wow, kurt. thanks for the easy let down. what do you do for an encore, poor sugar in my gas tank?

i guess we'll just have to see what happens. thanks for the info.

-- Posted by: mediaboy at September 14, 2006 8:44 AM

Hey Mediaboy,
Nice alliteration...not bad for a web guy! I, too, am excited about this having grown up with the cartoon and toys that would never be made today in this world of choking hazards and no sharp metal edges. If the market can bear a SEQUEL video game about LEGO Star Wars characters (I can't make that up), this movie will be the next Gone With The Wind.
I thought the technique of having a teaser website with a countdown to the launch of the teaser trailer was particularly brilliant. Talk about foreplay!
Keep up the posts!

-- Posted by: Roy Battie at September 15, 2006 4:42 PM

i just think if everyone would quit complainging about their childhood being destroyed and yadda yadda with what little bit of "official" info on the motion picture that has been released, if everyone would just wait until the movie comes out and then make a determination i think the world would be a better place... yeesh

-- Posted by: Ryan at September 15, 2006 7:19 PM

i just think if everyone would quit complaining about their childhood being destroyed, and what is with these changes, and yadda yadda, with what little bit of "official" info on the motion picture that has been released, and just wait until the movie comes out, and then make a determination, i think the world would be a better place... yeesh

-- Posted by: Ryan at September 15, 2006 7:20 PM

What are you trying to do, free up internet bandwidth for useful, productive activity? What fun is that? My childhood is in no danger from anything Michael Bay and his army of steadicam ops could throw together. I'm just hoping they don't pull an Alien vs. Predator "reinterpretation". THAT was criminal.

-- Posted by: roy battie at September 16, 2006 5:19 PM

hey ryan -

i have to agree with roy here. i'm not claiming my childhood will be ruined because optimus prime may or may not have flames painted on him. it is fun to speculate though.

oh, and about "just wait until the movie comes out, and then make a determination". yeah right. that's the whole point of my aricles. "Trailer Trash" is all about talking about movies that haven't come out yet.

if it's reviews you want, that's a different section of the site.

thanks for reading.
- mb

-- Posted by: mediaboy at September 17, 2006 8:37 PM

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-- Posted by: louise at July 12, 2007 4:18 AM

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-- Posted by: louise at July 12, 2007 4:18 AM

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