July 4, 2007 6:52 PM   Subscribe

Though foreign-born, he is often considered an American icon. His career may have peaked in the 80's and has certainly taken some questionable turns, but he's retained a cult following. Now he's having a true comeback, and though some may be displeased that he's "sold out", for him it's just the latest in a lifelong series of transformations.
posted by Durhey (41 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Previously: 1 2 3
posted by Durhey at 6:53 PM on July 4, 2007

posted by item at 7:02 PM on July 4, 2007

Real world transforming robots: 1,2
posted by delmoi at 7:04 PM on July 4, 2007 [3 favorites]

What I don't get is the general level of excitement being shown around the internet for this remake of a movie. Listen, I LOVED Transformers as a kid, couldn't get enough of 'em. But that was like, 20 years ago. Who gets excited about this CGI-fest of a remake? I guess I'm Kirthing here, but I mean if I actually cared, I'd probably be pissed off about all the changes made to the "beloved" characters.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:16 PM on July 4, 2007

I saw the movie yesterday. I'm as cynical as they come about these big-budget-cgi-action movies but this one was pretty sweet. The ending was kinda lame though.
posted by puke & cry at 7:22 PM on July 4, 2007

Why, you ask, Beerfilter?

Because the same thing our parents didn't understand, and "cool kids" mocked us for is now cool.

Vindication is SUHWEEEET!

(Going to the late show t'night with the SO and the house Wookiee.)
posted by Samizdata at 7:31 PM on July 4, 2007

reading the lede, i was sure this was about arnold schwarzenneger.
posted by bruce at 7:36 PM on July 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

posted by boo_radley at 7:37 PM on July 4, 2007

Too bad Optimus Prime Died from Prostate Cancer.
posted by filmgeek at 7:45 PM on July 4, 2007

I'm more of a Micronauts fan myself.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:49 PM on July 4, 2007

I hear there's some kind of "moving picture" out involving this sort of thing.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:52 PM on July 4, 2007

..and then he transforms into some sort of blue cola product?
posted by pompomtom at 8:06 PM on July 4, 2007

I thought this was going to be about William Shatner.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 8:08 PM on July 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

This Pepsi, it's blue?
posted by davy at 8:21 PM on July 4, 2007

Vern from AICN's review (the guy who started all the fuss about the new Die Hard movie not being rated R, which caused Bruce Willis to begin posting in their talkbacks, as reported here). Funny stuff, strong language.
posted by First Post at 8:36 PM on July 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Okay, okay, I'm sorry but I have to get this off my chest.

Did anyony else (or will anyone else) find the last shot of the new Transformers movie absolutely weird, creepy and by those means hilarious?

I'm referring specifically to the young heroes getting busy on top of Bumblebee as the other Autobots gaze on with headlights blazing and Optimus Prime (your true American hero) standing over them all like some kind of proud and perverted father.

I mean, I love making out on a car's hood in a cluster of parked trucks as much as the next guy (maybe not as much as Michael Bay) but not when that car hood has self awareness and calls me his BFF. And especially not when that car hood invites his buddies and his boss to watch like it's late night Cine[Car]Max.
posted by pokermonk at 8:55 PM on July 4, 2007 [6 favorites]

pokermonk, you are not alone. I thought that shot was kind of creepy, too.

The rest of the giant robot explosion movie was sublime.
posted by Uncle Ira at 9:00 PM on July 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

I didn't really think anything of it. I think you're reading too much into it.
posted by puke & cry at 9:11 PM on July 4, 2007

I thought it was gross. It was like they were having a threesome with Optimus Prime while his buddies watched. Eww.
posted by robcorr at 9:33 PM on July 4, 2007

KokuRyu, that totally took me back. Looking through all the Micronauts sets from 1976-77, I realized just how many of those things me and my brother had. Good times.
posted by sharpener at 10:03 PM on July 4, 2007

Yes, an America Icon: made in, for, and by Japan.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:26 PM on July 4, 2007

"I thought this was going to be about William Shatner."

I was guessing Arnold Schwarzenegger.
posted by eye of newt at 10:35 PM on July 4, 2007

I love how the transformer starts falling off the platform at the end of this video.
posted by tehloki at 10:41 PM on July 4, 2007

Pompomtom and davy: You did notice that one of the links goes to a version which literally transforms into a blue Pepsi product,right? I'd hate to think you were just trying to be snarky.
posted by Durhey at 10:49 PM on July 4, 2007

And I'm back.

And, I'm really 50/50 on the movie.

Which is causing domestic strife with the SO, who loved it.

posted by Samizdata at 1:07 AM on July 5, 2007

Although, as usual, I feel Mr. Bay needs a good hard cockpunch for doing this to me...
posted by Samizdata at 1:08 AM on July 5, 2007

Pokermonk, you are by no means alone. The group I went with and I came to a similar conclusion.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:47 AM on July 5, 2007

Pokermonk, that was the first thing I said to my friends as the credits started to roll. Creepy.

Optimus Prime was my first English teacher. True story. When I was a kid, we had cable and they would show this British show for kids that would have (obviously) untranslated/undubbed episodes of Transformers and He-Man. Being a kid that age, you pick up things quickly so before I started school (admittedly at an English-speaking one) I already had a rudimentary understanding of the language.

I was glad to hear that Optimus Prime had kept his original voice and though, like BeerFilter, I haven't actually watched Transformers for a decade or two the sultry tones of Mr. Cullen took me right back to when I was a kid.

As for the movie? All the bits with speaking were really, really stupid. But the action was fantastic. In a way it was the most honest Michael Bay movie I have ever seen; happily wallowing in its own stupidity and commercial excess. Then again, I had watched Freddy 6 earlier that day and when I think Michael Bay, I think Pearl Harbor and Armageddon, two of the worst movies I have ever seen. There's actually a line in Transformers where one kid says 'This is 100 times more awesome than Armageddon!' and all I could think of was that an average bowel movement is 1000 times more awesome than Armageddon...

What's my point? Big robots are cool. Big robots that transform into cars are cooler. Big robots that transform into cars beating the ever-loving shit out of each other is the coolest.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:59 AM on July 5, 2007

posted by homodigitalis at 4:41 AM on July 5, 2007

I liked it, I really did... but I think I prefer my Autobots less "wacky."
posted by the_bone at 6:31 AM on July 5, 2007

Don't berate Armageddon. It's got oil drillers on a fricking asteroid, a crazy Russian Cosmonaut who saves the day, and Bruce Goddamn Willis. You cannot lose with that many sure fire elements. It's unpossible.
posted by eurasian at 7:20 AM on July 5, 2007

...."penis trigger"?
posted by jokeefe at 8:05 AM on July 5, 2007

I haven't seen the movie yet (thanks for the spoiler warnings, btw), but Optimus Prime was a huge part of my childhood. Everything I didn't learn from my father about honor and courage, Prime filled in the gaps.

Here's your nerdy fun fact of the day - almost all of the American Transformer names were cooked up over a weekend or two by Bob Budiansky and Denny O'Neil when they were contracted to create the first American Transformers comic book. Takara was strangely picky about these throwaway monikers for their toys, but they really dug the latin-sounding names O'Neil came up with - Omega Supreme, Optimus Prime, etc.

Given that the defining action of these characters is shape-changing, I can't fault the movie creators too much for the liberties they took in the designs. But flame detailing on Prime? Really now.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:35 AM on July 5, 2007

I did find the makeout scene in the movie to be more than a little weird. But considering (SPOILER) Bumblebee had already given John Turturro a golden shower (/SPOILER) it wasn't all that out of context.

The film itself was fun, although there were long boring bits between awesome action sequences.

It was kind of difficult to SEE the things moving, actually -- they moved so fast and were so complicated, I had a tough time making out what was happening. Still awesome, though.

Not that this is here or there, but I posted some drawings I did of some Transformers as a kid ... check 'em out here if you like.
posted by chinese_fashion at 9:17 AM on July 5, 2007

I'm pretty sure that the reason the Transformer movie got made was because of this commercial. It proved that with CG you could do a compelling and realistic transformation effect.
posted by quin at 3:13 PM on July 5, 2007

And while I very much enjoyed the film, there were a couple of things that I would have done differently. First, the fighting is too close to the camera most of the time. I understand that he wanted to do the shaky-hand-cam-in-the-moment thing, and that's fine, but the movie could have done with a few more, pulled out shots where you could really appreciate the scale of the giant robots beating the parts off one another.

The other change would be the ending. It was just a bit creepy.
posted by quin at 3:20 PM on July 5, 2007

Regarding chinese_fashion's spoiled 'shower scene', was anyone else waiting for someone to light a match and turn it from a PG13 film, to an R for extreme violence?

Actually, that would have been pretty awesome.
posted by quin at 3:25 PM on July 5, 2007

Quin, I kinda wanted Megatron to just *squish* some people just out of spite... And yeah, I did think for second someone might threaten him with a lighter (though I never assumed they would go through with actually immolation, I'm afraid).

*SPOILER* I also love how the one Autobot that speaks like a black guy is the only one to die from the good guys side. It's a Hollywood cliche that the brotha always gets it in horror movies, but it's an interesting choice from the director... Makes you wonder. *SPOILER*
posted by slimepuppy at 4:29 PM on July 5, 2007

" I understand that he wanted to do the shaky-hand-cam-in-the-moment thing, and that's fine..."

No, it's not. ShakyCam started to get obnoxious ten years ago, and it most certainly has no place in a visually busy action film.
posted by majick at 8:01 PM on July 5, 2007

Btw, here is the script writer's take on the politics in the movie. Here's what plate of beans overthinker (and I mean that in the best way) Matt Yglesias has to say.
posted by delmoi at 5:28 PM on July 11, 2007

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