And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987)

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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Part One: Less Than Meets the Eye

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Part Two: Puny Humans

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Part Three: Car Commercials in Disguise

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Transformers (2007)
At least they're honest.

At least they’re honest.

As far as I’m concerned, Transformers first aired at 5:30 in the morning on my local Fox affiliate. This was back in the halcyon days when the Fox Network bought syndicated series the way survivalists buy bulk foods, slapping them down anywhere a hole in the programming schedule presented itself. Many a school day began with me dragging myself out of bed, the better to catch the theme song and learn the title of this latest episode in the Autobot’s seemingly-never-ending battle “to destroy the Evil Forces of…the Decepticons.”

For a time, the Transformers headed up what felt like my own Hour of Power, their show followed up by that realest of Real American Heroes, G.I. Joe. I often dreamed of an epic crossover event between my two favorite marketing tie-ins. I imagined Cobra Commander shitting himself in fear at the sight of an Autobot assault force rolling over the horizon. I imagined G.I. Joe’s hanging from every open window and flat surface their new their allies could provide, lasers ineffectually blazing. I imagined the unholy alliance between Serpentor and Megatron…not that Megatron would ever lower himself to an equal partnership with so puny a creature. I imagined the whole thing ending with Optimus Prime shaking Duke’s hand as bald eagles soared through sparkling fields of fire works. At sunset. Ironhide and Sgt. Slaughter could arm wrestling in the background, next to a stand of American flags that waved safely in the breeze, secure for another day from all things Evil and noncommercial.

I didn’t know at the time, though obviously I realize that now, that I was fervently hoping for the prototypical Michael Bay film. So, in an abstract, magical-thinking sorta way, this is really all my fault. For that, guys, I really am sorry. {More}



The Transformers: The Movie (1986)

Okay...this is a little...weird...The Transformers: The Movie is no place to begin your journey through the myriad maze of the  Cybertronian Wars. A link between the second and third seasons of its eponymous TV show, The Movie will leave uninitiated peoples confused, annoyed, and potentially hostile to a set of stories that continue to fascinate hardcore fans of this stupid little cartoon. The trauma it caused us and its shinning, brilliant disdain for outsiders makes this the high water mark of 1980s toy commercial animation. Screw you, the film says. This is for the fans. And if you don’t like it, just wait ’til will kill off all the main characters.

The excellent (if muddled) Transformers FAQ provides a good enough primer (pun most certainly intended) for our purposes. For those too lazy to scroll down to the appropriate section of text, we present this origin story: {More}