My lovely wife Heather, aka Dollface, has long been an enabler of my Transformers addiction, supporting my purchases, lending an ear when I babble about them, helping me dust and clean them, and more. I've long wanted her to do a guest-post here, offering a spouse's-eye view on the topic. After all, she's a writer! For instance, she recently started a horror movie review site, Movies In The Dark. Unbelievably, despite having watched nearly 700 horror movies, she'd never seen Transformers: The Movie, the bone-chilling 1986 animated feature. Eager to correct this oversight, and unwilling to pass up such an elegant synergistic opportunity, I happily present to you Dollface's sensational review...
When Adam and I started dating back in 1999 I thought he was the coolest guy I'd ever met. He was handsome, intelligent, funny, and he was a fucking rock star. And then he introduced me to his Transformers collection. At first I didn't know what to make of it. Sure, I grew up in the '80s and was aware that Transformers existed. But when I went to the toy store I was in the Barbie aisle. When I bought comic books at the drug store I was reaching for Archie. And when I was watching cartoons my channel was fixed to Scooby-Doo. I didn't have brothers and what male cousins I did have were playing with He-Man. I myself owned the Crystal Castle. Transformers were just that "boy's show" that I had to channel surf through to get to Duck Tales.
Not in my wildest imagination would I have anticipated that when I grew up and started dating boys (ewww, yuck!) that I would eventually meet one who, as an adult, collected these transforming robots. But there I stood, 21 years old in Astoria, Queens, in some boy's bedroom staring at a bookcase full of Transformers and thinking to myself, "huh."
Of course, that was 13 years ago and I've since had to share my life with hundreds of those transforming little robots, learning about them, hearing about them, talking about them, cleaning them, transforming them, and looking at them… every… single… day.
They're now as much a part of my life as anything else and as such I harbor certain bonds with their imagery and story. Like Cosmos, who flies around the universe of our apartment, investigating new worlds on top of bookcases or above doorways. He always pops up somewhere new and he's always a welcome, familiar sight to behold. And Seaspray, whose propeller has been broken for most of his life and yet he remains upbeat and undefeated by his damage. This flaw sets him apart from the others and his character is stronger for it. There was a time when Sky Lynx was trapped in a box for over a month. He begged me to release him but Adam was all, "delayed gratification," and so there he sat. I would keep him company by telling him knock-knock jokes through his cardboard prison and he would grow hungry from the delicious scent of cats.
Despite his massive (and growing) collection of toys, his love for the comic books, his appreciation for the cartoons, and his dedication to his website, Adam maintains a reserved enthusiasm about his love for Transformers. "I don't like to broadcast it," he is wont to say. So it is somewhat unsurprising to me that I had never before seen The Transformers: The Movie.
Apparently this was news to him.
Adam has been asking me to be a guest blogger on his site for years. But never having any clear topic aside from – So, Transformers, eh? it's never really come into fruition. Watching and reviewing the Transformers animated movie was now the perfect opportunity for substance, and so we threw a small gathering with our ten closest friends and had a little The Transformers: The Movie viewing party.
I honestly had no idea what to expect. I don't think I'd ever seen a trailer for the movie or heard the soundtrack or even knew what it was about. So when the movie opens to some crazy metal music and flashing lights and whining guitar, I suddenly felt like I was a 13-year-old boy, eyes wide, mouth agape, my heart racing from too many Pixy Stix and Pepsi.
The movie maintains this breakneck speed with a constant deluge of metal songs, guitar riffs, non-stop gunfire and explosions, flashing lights, and action, Action, ACTION! And just when I thought things couldn't get any more chaotic, Unicron penetrates Lithone and consumes the planet like a Rockbiter from The Neverending Story. It was pretty terrifying.
All that stimulation was kind of stressing me out.
And just when I was thinking to myself, What this movie needs is a girl…
She shows up.
I'm still confused as to how a robot can be damaged beyond repair and "die" but die Optimus Prime did. I was a little shocked that they took this most beloved character and killed him 30 minutes into the movie. It was certainly a ballsy move and I respect that. I'm not sure why he turned completely gray when he died, but if you notice his life monitor as he's dying it's monitoring colors. "His red is dangerously low. Oh no, we just lost his blue. His green is fading fast!" And then, he's colorless.
Yeah, it was sad. Color death is always sad.
Which brings me to the point – man, this movie was dark. Insecticons eating through hulls, robots dying left and right, Megatron being thrown into space as he yells, "Wait! I still function!" That was harsh.
Then we have Unicron. Whose voice sounds like James Earl Jones infused with the darkest evil known to man (or robot). Now, whenever I hear "big scary voice" in my head, it will forever be Unicron. Don't fuck with Unicron. He will penetrate you with his talons and chew on your innards. That is, until he gets decapitated, but that's later.
Aside from munching on moons, Unicron has some other cool tricks up his sleeve. Turning Megatron into Galvatron with some crazy Tron-like styles of light and um, graphs, and um, technology! And then we're introduced to Cyclonus! One of my favorite G1 toys because he's got an awesome crown and reminds me of Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. And his army, The Sweeps, were pretty awesome looking too.
Then Galvatron gets his revenge on. Starscream's death was amazing. I love it when things get disintegrated and I have to say, I did not see that coming. This is just another example of how dark and menacing the tone of this movie was. And we haven't even gotten to Quintessa yet, when shit really starts to get real.
At this point in the movie I started to hear rumblings of our guests wishing for some short intermissions of Megan Fox appearing on screen to entertain us with some jumping jacks or naked roller-skating. Would that we could go back in time and make that happen… we would have improved the lives of many.
See? Your life feels a little more improved already, doesn't it?
Much of the dialog in the movie was hard to hear, in part because of the constant gunfire and explosions, also in part because of the ever-present guitar riffs playing under every scene. But I still was able to grab some gems from the movie and one of my favorites was when Galvatron yells, "Take me Unicron, take me now!" To which I replied, "Awwww yeahhhh"
It's not until Hot Rod and Kup crash their shuttle on Quintessa that things really start to get interesting. Here we're introduced to the most awesome Transformers that I've ever seen, and I was shocked, SHOCKED, to learn that they never made a toy for The Allicons!!!!
Now, that's entertainment.
The conditions on Quintessa are less than hospitable. There's Allicons, Sharkticons and Quintisons Oh My! And they all want to eat you. Luckily our Autobots escape somehow, but I don't remember how because by this point I'd had three glasses of wine and my attention span was waning. But! They escape! Somehow! I'm pretty sure!
Also, Wheelie is an ass.
And since this is an '80s kids movie there has to be a dance scene, right? Um. What the hell was that all about? I expected David Bowie with his massive codpiece to show up and start throwing bots in the air as he sings, "I saw my baby, trying hard as babes could try, what could I dooooo?"
And things just go from weird to weirder now as we're reaching the climax of the movie and the final battle with Unicron. First off, a planet transforms into a giant fucking robot. Did not see that coming. Then, the smaller robots enter through the eye of the giant robot so they can gain access to his insides. And what's inside of a giant fucking robot, you wonder? Well, giant pits of acid that melts all who fall into it, of course! And tidal waves of… water? Coolant? I dunno, but it's not good. There's battle, battle, battle, and then Hotrod gets the Matrix as "You've got the touch, you've got the power" starts to play, and Hotrod begins to turn into RODimus as suddenly he's growing and getting larger and larger as he gently begins to coax the Matrix open so its smooth light can burst out and fill … are you as turned on as I am right now? I mean, wow. Methinks Hot Rod's cherry was just popped. And now that he's a man, he turns into a Winnebago? Like ya do.
As Daniel (the young human boy) gets inside Rodimus my best friend Nat says, "I feel weird when they get inside each other." Me too, Nat. Meeee tooo.
The movie of course ends with Unicron exploding, his head flying off through space and then coming to orbit around the planet of Cyberton. Whoa. Can you imagine if this wasn't an animated movie and they weren't robots (in disguise!) and some action flick that you were watching ends with the bad guy's decapitated head orbiting a planet? Yeah. They call that a horror movie.
All in all, I did not see that coming. Any of it. It was kind of intense, unpredictable, and a little horrific. I didn't hear much of the talking parts but considering that I felt like one of those chimps from 28 Days Later strapped to a chair and being forced to watch scene after scene of Bad! Things! Happening! I didn't really feel like dialog was all too important.
I look forward to watching it again in a non-group setting. The animation was pretty superb and I think that I have a newfound respect for the Transformers world now, because any movie that has disintegration, crocodile and shark creatures, pits of acid, cannibals, and decapitation, has got my vote.
4 out of 5 stars
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There you have it! I love my wife. If you want to read more of her writings, check out the following:
Dollface's horror movie reviews
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