I thought it was about time I tackled the list. I've created plenty of top 100 genre compilations but I…
Transformers: The Movie
One shall stand, one shall fall
It is the year 2005. The war between The Autobots and Decepticons has escalated all the way to Cybertron, which the Decepticons have reclaimed. The Autobots must now face an uncertain future. Megatron and a group of forsaken Decepticons have been reformed by the ultimate transformer, a planet-consuming demon known as Unicron, into even deadlier warriors. Now Galvatron, Scourge and Cyclonus must destroy the Autobot Matrix of Leadership for Unicron's glory or suffer the horrific destruction of Cybertron. However, Optimus Prime has decreed that an Autobot will rise from his rank and use the power of the Matrix to light the darkest hour of the Autobots.
It’s that time of year again - my annual viewing of Transformers: The Movie.
I Dare say I’ll always have the Hunger to watch this film. From the Autobot/Decepticon Battle to The Death of Optimus Prime, the film is brimming with indelible moments and it’s frankly impossible to Escape the brilliance of the movie or these giant Instruments of Destruction.
As much as Michael Bay has tried to permanently ruin The Transformers, for fans of the original Nothin’s Gonna Stand in Our Way. It’s a film that Dares to Be Stupid whilst still delivering exhilarating action, moments of heartbreak and an endless stream of quotable lines.
It’s still got The Touch.
Let me be clear, I know The Transformers: The Movie is not a five star film but to me, and a whole generation of men who grew up in the ‘80s, it very much is. Some may call it a cynical and money grabbing exercise used solely to sell a brand new line of action figures to gullible children, whereas others (i.e. me) would say it is an affectionate swansong to much loved characters and a galaxy spanning adventure of epic proportions.
The decision to kill off more than 50% of its original characters was undoubtedly driven by commercial gain yet it is still an incredibly bold and brave decision. As the backlash at the time proved, fans were not…
I'm having a very hard time reconciling my opinions on this movie with the fact that what I like most about it was born out of a clear attempt to sell more toys. Namely, the killing off of numerous well-known and loved characters. Despite any nefarious underpinnings, it is a ballsy move. And it’s a move I can almost forgive due to the fact that I was the perfect toy-buying age when this was released and ended up owning exactly zero of the characters from the movie. So suck on that, Hasbro.
Putting umbrage and nostalgia aside, The Transformers: The Movie is an incredibly entertaining film. The stakes are high, the pace never lets up, and the world-building is always…
unquestionably the primary tonal and structural influence on Bay's films, this is a whiplash inducing, excessively violent, metal-scored, hallucinatory narrative nightmare. if only those had this lightning fast 85-minute runtime. even the editing rhythms are the same, a blistering speed-run of wreckage with the "camera" careening from one graphic panel to the next. this beloved geek totem features any number of nonsensical narrative wild cards and cringe-inducing "comedic" interludes, like an impromptu dance sequence set to a Weird Al song, stuff that would be roundly comdemned today by nerds who insist that a 300 million dollar toy commercial take itself seriously.
Still functions as an incomprehensible technocratic pop art sugar rush, with healthy dollops of inexplicable kitsch in the form of really oddball dialogue ("I can't deal with that right now," "oh shit!"), a bizarre and relentless soundtrack ("You've Got The Touch," "Dare to Be Stupid"), and a voice cast of ringers that doubtlessly had no idea what the fuck they were saying (Robert Stack, Eric Idle, Orson Welles). Maybe it's a little easier to follow if you watched the show as a kid, but I kind of doubt it.
I will say that Welles as the Galactus/Ego The Living Planet hybrid Unicron is genuinely menacing, although that might have more to do with the sound engineers and the animators than his performance. And I like all the lasers.
A robot tyrannosaurus that speaks with the grammar and cadence of Tarzan attacking a giant Orson Welles voiced planet-robot's butt is not the strangest thing that happens in Transformers: The Movie. In the past month I've re-watched both Boxer's Omen and Zu Warriors of Magic Mountain, and this is as weird, relentless, and unknowable as either of those, with a wildly incongruous pop soundtrack to boot.
Got to see this again on Blu-Ray, with some great special features. This animated feature looks amazing for the time, as it's truly done in anime style - two or three cuts above the standard of the animation in the TV series. The fact that half the beloved G1 cast gets killed to make way for a new generation of robots was as shocking back then as it was cool. Who would complain with so many new robots being introduced right? The story is filled with action and fun sequences, and a great soundtrack score and heavy metal songtrack. This remains strictly Transfan territory only, and the film will probably hold little merit to film buffs, beyond some big names…
Before Michael Bay's explosion fests, we had "Transformers: The Movie". It's a great entry in the franchise with impressive animation and excellent voice acting, especially from Peter Cullen, Leonard Nimoy and Orson Welles. The soundtrack is also very impressive with 80s style songs and a kick butt score that will have one bouncing in their seats. All the characters are well developed and the script has its occasionally dramatic moments like Optimus Prime's death. Sure, the plot lacks depth and as a result, it feels like the cartoon show it was trying to adapt. Also, the animation is a little stiff and not quite as fluent as Bay's movies and the action isn't nearly as epic. But, aside from that, this is a great standalone movie that is worth watching.
When I was a kid, my specialist subject on Mastermind would’ve been Transformers. Consequently, Transformers: The Movie is ingrained in my cinematic DNA, skewing my critical faculties and making it difficult for me to view it with anything approaching objectivity. Yes, it has pacing problems, Hotrod makes for an insipid hero, and it probably blows its load far too early with the titanic Optimus Prime/Megatron face-off a quarter of the way through. But…Planet-gobbling Unicron threatening the entire universe! Optimus Prime vs Megatron in a dramatic and surprisingly brutal fight to the death! Galvatron finally bitchslapping that treacherous Starscream! Transformers with actual character! Awesome 80s Power Rock Soundtrack! And what other film boasts such an eclectic cast, including Orson Welles, Leonard Nimoy, and Weird Al Yankovic? Such stuff that Michael Bay wishes his dreams were made of.
Check out what the rest of the Cinapse crew thought here:
I could understand young kids thinking that this is a cool movie for a while, and maybe the show would have helped me understand the background of the story better, but I think Weird Al's song sums up my feelings on this film perfectly: "Dare to be stupid". The characters, although voiced by talented actors, have either horrible one liner jokes or corny cliched phrases for every line. Plus it was hard to get used to the way some of the characters talked. The story was hard to follow as well. They seemed to change locations at will without letting the audience know. Plus, the overall plot has been used in countless children's films already, so it's nothing new. I did enjoy the soundtrack, though, the songs were awesome. Overall, this movie is just okay. If you're not a fan, I'd say stay away from it.
Is it a five star movie? No. But does it deserve five stars? Yes.
Großartiger Film mit einer geradezu unglaublichen Detailgenauigkeit! Neben der ganzen Action, die sich erfreulicherweise auf mehrere Handlungsstränge gleichzeitig verteilt (was den Film gefühlt länger erscheinen lässt, als er tatsächlich ist), gibt's 'ne Menge witziger Szenen und einem tollen nostalgischen Hair Metal/Hardrock-Soundtrack.
So how hipster is it that I haven't seen any of the Michael Bay Transformers movies but got around to watching the original cartoon movie? Does thinking that the cartoon movie sucks make me any less hipster?
I remember putting this movie on my Netflix queue because of this great review on Slate:
I should have paid more attention to the part where he says his appreciation of the movie is "colored by nostalgia." That's probably an understatement.
As someone who grew up playing with the toys, I do have a soft spot for some characters (especially the dinobots and soundwave), but the soft warm glow of childhood memories could barely get me through 80 minutes of bad animation,…
I recently began rewatching The Transformers in its entirety. There are some gems in the first two seasons, but I admit that the second half of the second season was a bit of a chore. Having watched this movie ad infinitum over the last 28 years, I admit I found the show somewhat benign and even tedious as so much of the dialog consisted of trash-talking insults and the action had all the stakes of staged wrestling.
And so it was that I found this viewing of The Transformers: The Movie almost startling.
Obviously, there's the body count - a lot of it surprisingly gruesome. The Decepticon attack on the Autobot shuttle, for instance, feels so savage that it's incongruous…
FLASHBACK: Suddenly had a vivid memory arise out of my subconscious. Several years ago, I was flat broke (except 50 unusable Euro) and had to take a 3-day Greyhound trip across the country. I didn't eat the whole time, barely slept, and came out the other side a different, haunted person. What I just remembered for the first time in roughly 5 years: There was a TV on that bus playing the cartoon Transformers movie from the 90s. On repeat. For three days.
... I still don't really know what happens in this movie.
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