Transformers ★★★

Somehow quintessentially captures the tail of the Bush era, featuring every trademark in the iconic Michael Bay playbook. Revisiting this film 13 years afterwards, given how the world turned out and the how much of an influence this made, the first Transformers honestly held up. Rock solid entertainment, with a genuinely good mix of stunning CGI and practical effects. Those orange and blue hues. Those low-angle flyover shots. John Turturro’s entire being. Optimus Prime preaching galactic peace on one side while effortlessly slicing up Decepticons on the other. Megatron seeming ominous for once. All of the Autobots actually having some inkling of characterization. That whole Witwicky house scene. The ridiculous casting of Shia LeBouf opposite the incomparable Megan Fox. Linkin Park on the outro.

Pure classic blockbuster cinema at this point. The perfect commercial avenue for Bay’s hoo-ah filmmaking.