Since last July, my fellow Reflector movie nuts (Scott Seitz, Ron Simpson and Richard Russell) have given me nothing but grief about not seeing "Transformers." They'd say, "Whaddaya mean you haven't seen 'Transformers' yet?" Everyone assured me I would like it. My response was simple: I've been waiting for it on DVD, now if someone would just let me borrow one …
And that time came Thursday, so I watched it Sunday. Here are my thoughts on what I liked and (followed by what I didn't) about the movie based on the cartoon I watched religiously in the '80s:Peter Cullen's voice as Optimus Prime — it had to be! The special effects. 'Nuff said. When Sam chastises the Autobots for trashing his mother's garden, trampling on his dad's grass … Bumblebee's Herbie-like personality in the used car lot and when Sam gives Mikaela a ride Megan Fox's eyes and tummy Optimus Prime (and no, I had no problems with his rig having flames on the side!) Bumblebee taking offense to being called "a piece of crap Camaro" — and then returning as a new one in prime condition. Sam's mother asking Sam if he was, well, you know … when he didn't answer the door, not to mention the euphemisms she suggested Sam requesting Mikaela's juvie record getting erased The Autobots avoiding Sam's parents when they come to his house Michael Bay's homage to the animated movie: "At the end of this day, one shall stand, one shall fall!" The Decepticon police cruiser (a sweet looking machine, I might add) chasing Sam and then Bumblebee "I'll drive; you shoot." Agent Simmons and the defense secretary Sam about his psycho car chasing him Optimus Prime's first appearance. So, OK, Bay didn't show us all the money shots in the trailer. I admitted it, awright! Moving on … Bumblebee's first line: "Permission to speak, sir?" The Autobots' personalities Historically tying in the Transformers first coming to Earth, the Hoover Dam And amazingly, I didn't hate Shia LeBeouf. On the next "Indiana Jones" film? I'm worried. In interviews? An arrogant little pr--k. The black computer "advisor" wearing a Redskins jersey. Go 'Skins! "Megatron. That's what we call him. …"
And what I wasn't too crazy about (or made me roll my eyes):Optimus Prime's voice-over at the beginning; they never work and are always cheesy in action flicks Not being able distinguish between the Autobots and Decipticons during the battles The explosions were pretty flat, considering the special effects Bay's overdone "Top Gun" approach to the various scenes of the military getting prepped for battle General lack of character development (except for Sam and Mikaela). Oh, but this is a Michael Bay film, I forgot! How did it go from morning when Bumblebee races through Sam's backyard when he's having breakfast to nighttime during the middle of the police car chase. Continuity, anyone? Action scenes on speed, which are difficult to tell what happens in what order
In general, "Transformers" was entertaining. It was what you get with most — heck, all — of Michael Bay's movies (notice I didn't use the word "films"!): brainless, "brain candy" entertainment with great visuals, yet strangely compelling, that's light on actual content.
In short, a movie based on Hasbro toys is perfect for the director who has shot music videos for Meatloaf and Donny Osmond. Special effects: A+ Overall movie: B-