“Oh shit, what are we going to do now?” are the words Spike Witwicky yells beside Bumblebee after their failed attempt to damage the monster planet Unicron with the detonation of Moon Base Two in the 1986 cartoon film, The Transformers: The Movie. That line was removed for the film’s VHS home release in the United States leaving some of us with no option in the ’90s but to bootleg the Canadian version in order to hear the complete film. Thankfully, the line would return in subsequent home releases this century. This past Thursday, September the 27th, the crowd gathered at the nearly sold-out Fathom Events screening of The Transformers: The Movie gave a collective laugh as Spike yelled the line, the first time most of us had probably heard it in a movie theater since 1986.
Watching The Transformers: The Movie on the big screen as an adult was not something I was going to miss, and I was amazed at how many people likewise felt the same way. Seeing the film so very, very large on the big screen was an experience I thought I’d never have again. I found myself noticing the sides of the movie frame, watching the facial expressions of Constructicons and Seekers as Megatron and Starscream bickered, and picking up little details in the design of the robots that I never really noticed prior, like Kup’s belt. Quite a few children were present with their parents at the showing. These caring parents were no doubt making sure a whole new generation of kids experienced the trauma of Optimus Prime’s death in the dark displayed on a gigantic screen in a room full of strangers.
Overall, though I’d seen the film numerous times, I found myself enjoying the ride. It’s a film that, thanks to its Star Wars-like story, never gets old. The movie itself was preceded by a preview of the forthcoming Bumblebee film. In it we saw a longer (though probably not complete) version of Charlie Watson and Bumblebee’s first encounter in the garage, and if that scene is anything to base the movie on, it’s going to be really, really good. The Transformers: The Movie concluded with a mini-documentary on Stan Bush’s work for the film which left me humming “The Touch” on the way out to the parking lot clutching my unexpected movie poster. All in all, a pleasant experience which has me looking more into what Fathom Events has to offer.
So the Bumblebee trailer dropped this morning, and at first, in my morning stupor as I sipped my coffee, I was like, “Nah. This doesn’t look like my thing,” which is fine, but then I was like, “Oh, Shockwave,” and then I was like, “HOLY SHIT THAT IS GENERATION 1 SOUNDWAVE AND OH MY GOD RAVAGE!!!”
Ravage, ejecting, transforming, and looking all badass is what sold me on the Bumblebee movie. Granted, I would rather watch an entire film of the Transformers on Cybertron than Bumblebee on Earth, but I’ll take what I can get here. They didn’t have to include that fan service. The movie could work without it, and I hope it succeeds in courting a new generation of Transformers fans, but I’m glad they’ve put in some material for us older fans to get excited about even if it only ends up being a few minutes of screen time in the theatrical film.
You can catch the trailer below, and yeah, I admit it, Bumblebee is so cute.
While exploring my Amazon wishlist of all the things I cannot currently afford, Amazon kindly informed me Transformers: The Last Knight is available to watch with my Prime membership. So, I thought, why not?
And it’s pretty bad. But … interesting. Because Stanley Tucci is Merlin. And some stuff is happening and I’m not really sure what but it could get relevant as the US government in this film seems really unhappy with all these aliens showing up illegally. Maybe there is some depth to be found? Some commentary. And, wait, is that Steve Buscemi? So about thirty minutes into the film I decide to commit to watching it because both John Goodman and now Steve Buscemi are Transformers, and that’s pretty cool. These Michael Bay Transformers flicks are generally bad, but not that bad. They are watchable, I just wish they had more cultural relevance to them, focused more on the robots and less on the humans, and that the personalities of the robots weren’t developed through racist voice caricatures and instead through, I don’t know, character development. These are robots from Cybertron. They should be speaking English with a Cybertronian accent, whatever that is. Try a little harder, Michael.
And then, okay, Earth is Unicorn, and that’s cool, because The Transformers: The Movie from 1986 is pretty much what I base what Transformers is to me on. And then this Citroën DS turns out to be … Hot Rod? … and he has a French accent? What the hell is going on? And again with the voices. But then, holy shit, that’s a nice Lamborghini. And then, then, Hot Rod copies the form of that Lamborghini.
And so here we are: the moment Transformers: The Last Knight wowed me by not only giving me Hot Rod, but Hot Rod as a gorgeous Lamborghini Centenario.
I’m an hour into the film and Transformers: The Last Knight is delivering enough fan service to keep me going. But I first had to post this because that car.