The Reasons I Hate Transformers


I’m not going to totally overdo it. I already tore this apart a month ago when I saw it, and subsequently hid the article from prying eyes, but as the weeks have gone by, I’ve felt myself coming around to Transformers. I remember not loving Episode 3 when I first saw it too, and really enjoying the second time, once I knew what to expect. Since Transformers did NOT live up to expectations, naturally I came out not liking it. So now, as it goes into wide release, I want to see Transformers again and see if maybe I was in a bad mood, or I just didn’t get it, or seeing John Turturro get pissed on the second time is the charm…

I am like Cybergosh, very happy that Fat Ass and Junky enjoyed the flick – considering these are two story nerds, one of which just called me out for Sam Neill blowing into a skull to talk to dinosaurs, I’m flabbergasted – but clearly, they had their Eye Candy goggles on. I guess these things just hit as at different times, right state of mind, etc. But I must go on…

But before I do so, allow me to share a non-comprehensive list of reasons that I hate the new Transformers movie.

These are the things I’ll be watching for to see if they sting less for Round 2:

Frenzy – I fucking hated him. I can’t tell what he is, I hate that he runs around a plane undetected, I hate his “voice”… hopefully he won’t be so Jar Jar-errific.

John Turturro – Admittedly, I don’t like this actor already, but c’mon, he’s horrible in the movie, right? I’d blame the script, but there are hundreds of actors that could have sold that part and made it funny. He just made it annoying… but even then, I could feel satisfied with his come-uppance, because it essentially destroyed other things that I thought I liked (e.g. Bumblebee).

The Austrailian hacker and Anthony Anderson – Who the FUCK cares about these people? And I’m going to be stuck with them for 2 more sequels? FUCK! I thought the comedy was weak, the scenes unnecessary (Bay tells a “I’m so tough, I’m so tough — SHE DID IT!” joke in TWO SCENES.. are you kidding me?!? they throw this shit away on Cosby Show in 20 seconds!). The Aussie might be cute, but I kept hoping the stud in her nose would transform and attack her face.

That Bumblebee summons the autobots from space – I know this is minor, but I just don’t get it. Megatron is lost somewhere on Earth, the Allspark is lost somewhere on Earth, the Decepticons are somewhere on Earth, and Bumblebee is the only Autobot on Earth?? No me gusta.

Product placement (nokia, etc.) – This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I just don’t like being advertised to IN a movie, unless it’s for laughs. I can live with Pontiac Solstice promos… really, I didn’t mind it at all. The new Camaro, etc. Totally cool. But Nokia? That whole throwaway line just to mention them? And then it gets worse, when that Allspark transforms not just an Xbox 360, but a fucking Mountain Dew vending machine?!?! Are you for real???

Megan fox – The stills of her look so sultry, sexy and hot… and yet, she wasn’t. I found her annoying, I found her slightly weathered, I found her unattractive. But I was glad Shia got some, if even a little. Love triangle between her, him and Tyrese come second movie? Ooooooh!

The independence day-esque “there’s something even you don’t know about” scene (mars rover) – This was very disappointing to me. All this time, I thought that was made JUST for a trailer. To have it in the movie threw me off. Admittedly, this is my fault — but still, it bugged me. Also, that it stole a page from Independence Day ON Independence Day kinda rubbed me the wrong way.

Decepticon alien language – I don’t like it. I don’t like that sometimes they speak, sometimes they talk in an alien language. It’s a quibble, but it’s my quibble.

No showstopper scene (mill wheel – pirates 2) – After the initial transformation base attack, I kinda felt that there was no “oh my god, I can’t wait to see that scene again” moment. MAYBE the 15-second Bonecrusher vs. Optimus Prime fight. But am I really rushing to the theater for a 15-second fight scene?!

No bad guy personality – If you subbed in people instead of robots, we’d be complaining that it was like a bad Die Hard clone. None of the villains, Megatron included, have ANY personality. God forbid they introduce Starscream as the one we knew and love, but nope. I was really bummed out about the generic nature of these guys. Even the Autobots, to some degree, were a little interchangeable, which I didn’t remember getting from the cartoon.

Story probs – Last but not least, the story. The most important part for me, because I’ve seen giant robots fighting already (Robot Jox anyone?). I just didn’t get a lot of what was being asked. Not that it went over my head, but it just didn’t make any sense. I keep thinking about that last bit where the Autobots are like “Go Shia, go run to those towers with the most important device of the universe.” It bugged me plenty.

So we’ll see how this all goes down on second viewing, whenever that will be. Happy to those who enjoy, commiserating with all those who didn’t — and more importantly, already excited for the next Potter which I can’t wait for! How can that disappoint?! wink

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  1. Fat Ass says:

    Yeah, I think the two camps are too far apart to even bother haggling about this one. At this point, a day later, not only is this my favorite movie of the summer and by far my favorite Michael Bay movie (and I really, really like the Rock), it’s my favorite movie since X-Men 2 and upon further viewings may be a contender for one of my favorites of all time.

    Here’s the thing: I agree with a lot of what you said. Especially John Turturro. Nobody told that guy what movie he was in. And Jon Voight sometimes slipped into too campy a tone as well. But their scenes, along with Anthony Anderson’s, were mercifully short and at least relatively amusing.

    No show-stopper? Dude, the scene in which all of the Autobots arrive and transform, and then Optimus rolls in and leaves the kids in complete awe was absolutely the most bone-chilling moment I’ve had in a movie theater since Jurassic Park. That’s a show-stopper in my book.

    Frenzy didn’t bother me much. He reminded me of a Gremlin. Yeah, I wish all of the robot designs had been cleaner, especially with Megatron, but they looked a lot better in motion than in the pictures. The only time I really couldn’t understand the action was when Bumblebee fought the police car and Optimus ripped the head off the Decepticon at the beginning of the climax (and once he ripped the head off with his sword, I totally forgave it and creamed for the 40th time). That’s the fault of the initial design.

    Megatron told the Decepticons the AllSpark was on Earth before disappearing. The Autobots didn’t have that info. Bumblebee came across it and summoned them. I don’t see the gap.

    Lotsa Independence Day in here. And yet done better. It definitely reminded me of that film. But that film reminded me of V. Which reminded me of 20 other things. Meh. You think Star Wars is original? Ever see The Searchers?

    I don’t mind being called to task for story at all, but this movie just didn’t hit my sensitive story bone at all. All of the problems were mercifully short, I really got into the characters because Shia is so damn charismatic and they gave the love story a second to breathe. Optimus taken right out of the cartoon and placed in modern, jaded society worked perfect. There were some logic problems– I’m not sure why Shia wanted to escape in a helicopter when Starscream was tearing up everything in the sky (in what might be the neatest single shot in cinema history)… but I’m the guy who found a HUGE logic problem in Raiders of the Lost Ark last week.

    I loved, loved, loved this film. And love you guys for hating it. smile

  2. Junktape says:

    I really can’t put it any better.  It’s hard to say what makes me hate Spidey, enjoy Die Hard, LOVE Transformers – they’re all about little checks and balances that suspend my disbelief and keep me entertained.  If I can be so mezmerized that I feel like a little kid again, a kid who doesn’t know to start analyzing plot holes or trying to figure out why he’s bored to tears, the kid that thought a cliche was something you might bring to arts and crafts…

    …well then the movie did it’s job.  I just had fun.  I believed in giant robots who want to protect us.  It was every bit the same childlike awe I felt for Jurassic Park (which lest we forget also suffered many issues, dwarfed by the overall ride).

    And speakin of which – I really liked Lost World.  Didn’t want the little girl doin gymnastics and there were a few other groans, but it had twice the dino action and twice the scale of effects.  Very tense and memorable scenes (now stolen by die hard, thank you very much.)

    Sure, nobody’s gonna install 1-inch thick breakable glass onto the rear window of a military vehicle, but man was that dangling RV scene something etched into my mind.

    And, lest we forget – it was dark.  People got eaten left and right.  It was much more savage than the first.  Even the first scene (which was taken from the original book) was what I’d hoped for in the first movie.  The little girl being attacked by a swarm of little compysauruses.  (Later on they say she’s okay, but its an afterthought that does not ruin the tension of the scene when you’re still in the moment)

    I really thought it was a hell of a lot of fun, whereas I remember NOTHING about the third movie except that I hated it from the first scene where some asshole takes a kid (not even HIS kid) para-sailing over a fucking remote, classified island.

    It pretty much lost me from there and then shit in my mouth for the rest of the movie.  Nothing new, no big set pieces.  Oh, unless you count the scene where the big bad dino (bigger than T-rex?  shut your mouth!) starts ringing because he ate someone’s cell phone. 

    JP 3?

    Nigga please.  smile

    Anyway, glad there are so many fun movies for us all to love/hate.  Been a good summer!!!  And HARRY POTTER IS NEXT!

  3. Cybergosh says:

    I’m trying to stick with my new way.  The whole “i’m glad you liked it” approach.  And it’s getting easier.  It really is.  Not just to say it, but to mean it. 

    I meant it when i said it to Junktape after he found it possible to accept and enjoy Live Free or Die Hard.  I am ll for it when people enjoy movies.  I don’t get mad at them.  Anymore. 

    But for this, this is a little different.

    This one i’ll never understand.

    And i can say the words.  I can say, “I envy your experience” or “i’m happy you enjoyed the wonderful john turturro, the hilarious bernie mack, the exciting Tyrese Gibson and that wacky anthony anderson plus, most of all, everyone’s fave, the endearing and lovable shia labeouf…

    but meaning it…

    Meaning it is along the lines of telling the guy that just raped my mom, sister and grandmother that i’m glad he hooked up.

  4. junky says:

    I also totally and sincerely support your opinion but at the same time totally and sincerely do not, lol

    Movies!  Wheeeeeeee!

  5. claire redfield says:

    I wish I could get all School Ties on Transformers and blame my hatred of it solely on Shia, that way I could move on and not waste any more time with this movie.  I’ve already lost countless shopping hours to it, because do you know how many stores I had to hit to find just the right little boy size Transformer tee shirt to wear to opening night??  No I’m not bragging that I can fit into a boy’s size 7, I’m bragging that my tee shirt glowed in the dark and came with a Transformers key chain!!! (JC Penney, $17.99.)

    But all for naught…I agree with Eros and Cyber, the Transformers deserved a better movie than this.  You can make a movie for the grown-up kids who loved it back in the day and the kids who love it now without making it moderately retarded .

    I hated greasy stammering Shia (why were all the humans so oily looking?  Shia and his girl looked sweatier than the soldiers in the middle east, they weren’t running from Decepticons ALL the time.  Its a big budget movie, have make-up buy a few powder puffs.  I don’t care that you think that’s a dumb thing to pick on, the point is this movie gave me WAY too much time to think about stuff like that.  A movie like Transformers should have you with it every step of the way, not giving you opportunities to actually think about stuff. 

    I hated Turturro thinking he was in the wrong cartoon, what with his “you meddling kids” Scooby Doo performance, I hated the fat hacker kid gobbling donuts WHEN THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT AWESOME ROBOTS FIGHTING EACH OTHER, I hated the car dealership scene – Bernie Mac, being, well Bernie Mac, the rodeo clown, the ostrich (big animal in tiny cage = funny?) C’mon even people who watch the soaps on Telemundo thought that this was too much.

    I did like all the Transformer battles because that’s what I came to see goddammit.  All the other stuff just got in the way and made me over it by the time Megatron finally showed up. 

    But my little sister loved it, the guy two seats down from me who went nuts at every action scene loved it, I was left thinking Megatron had a point when…wait was it Megatron?  I don’t even remember, but you know the part, somebody was hassling Optimus about why bother caring about humans. For real, because if humans can mess up a sure bet like Transformers, and other awesome ideas that have come before it (AvP)…God help us, every one of us.

  6. Eros Welker says:

    I’m not going to defend JP3, because I’m not Joe Johnston and hopefully he’s too busy trying to figure out how to make more inconsequential movies, but I will say this, they weren’t parasailing over some remote island.  They were parasailing near the rumored “dino island” and hoping to catch a peek.

    As for TF, we agree to disagree!  I didn’t think it was all that it could be, but I think Independence Day is one of the greatest movies of all time, not because Macs can interface with alien technology to upload a virus, but because my theater experience was awesome, and Bill Pullman’s speech got me to ask the girl out at XS.  It is what it is.

    However, I am glad it seems we’re all in agreement that Turturro (at least in this film) was a total hackjob.  That makes me happy. wink

  7. junky says:

    To be really, really fair to Independence Day, I had a blast the first time I saw it.  It really was a Temple of Doom type experience for me.  I only started to dislike it the more I re-watched it.  So I should be fair and say it was a fun ride and probably one of my favorite summer experiences.  But I don’t wanna ever watch it again, lol