Newsroom in-joke is over

Cary Ashby
Mar 29, 2010


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-



At least now Scott can't pick on you about not seeing the movie. Knowing Scott, he will undoubtedly find a new way to tantalize you. But that is just one of the reasons your job is more fun than most. If we enjoy what we do, it doesn't feel like a job!

Your review is amazingly thorough. It sounds like a fun movie.


Cary - Great review and glad you finally got to see the flick! Wish you'd gone with us last summer to see it on the big screen - it was awesome seeing those Autobots almost full size!

The best thing about Anthony Anderson wasn't his 'Skins jersey, it was when he was about to be interrogated by the Feds and spilled his guts: "He did it! He made me do it!" Best laugh out loud line in the film. And now Anderson is (was) more visible, having been on the small screen in "K-Ville" and now on "Law and Order". Interesting that imdb says his favorite NFL player is Reggie Bush of the New Orleans Saints. Hmmm. I think Anderson would make a great interior lineman anywhere.

I always had the same problem differentiating between Autobots and Decepticons in the cartoons, too. Maybe they ought to be wearing team jerseys -- or shirts and skins (or shirts and metals, as the case may be...).

Special effect blew me away on the big screen. I agree that hopefully they will slow down (but not slow-mo) the special effects, especially the tranforms, in the next movie. Give all of us Auto-geeks a chance to savor the moments.

And give Starscream a bigger and more obnoxious part, like in the cartoons.

To anyone that hasn't seen the movie, don't worry because there's nothing cartoonish about it. If you like action and good story line, go see it on the largest screen you can find (I heard Ron just got a 52" plasma screen, so bring the popcorn to his house -- not that there's anything wrong with that!)



Glad you finally saw and reviewed. With 3 kids it was one of those movies that all of us have watched together multiple times and enjoy each time. In fact, we have incorporated a line from the movie into our everyday. When something is a little frustrating or someone is feeling "repressed" (Holy Grail reference of course) we quote the clown at the beginning of the movie "Its hot, makeups melting, it hurts my eyes." When something like that happens in our family, the movie has made an impact on us and for us it is the fun time we spend as a family enjoying the movie.


Richard, whattaya mean the best part about Anthony Anderson wasn't his 'Skins jersey?!? You must be a Cowgirls fan.

"Shirts and metals" — brilliant! As the Web community says: LOL. :)