Last night I was privileged to participate in a sacred pilgrimage for a faith which is not my own.

Along with a secretive band known as Oftam (among them many True Believers) E and I went and saw the new Transformer movie last night, and enjoyed it immensely.

Although this will be written up to death in every corner of the Interlink, I can’t help but want to write about it. I will try to keep it spoiler-free and minimally foamy though. 🙂
The film starts with what fans may feel to be its greatest heresy: it introduces a clear, clean reason for the transformers to come to earth. There’s a certain amount of this kind of streamlining given to a pot which really evolved fairly randomly in the original animated series. It took nothing away from the experience for me, and felt entirely true to the original spirit.

The other big change is how the transformers themselves look and feel. Gone aer many of the familiar shapes and forms in favour of a very complex, organic esthetic. See Bumblebee here, for example. Transformations still feel right though: pieces move, and there’s the same sense that everything goes somewhere; nothing is added or taken away. This is not a coincidence: The effects for this film were given a lot of thought, and it is claimed that the animations really do take account of every part you see in the humanoid form in the vehicle form.

The director, Michael Bay, of whom many fans were extremely wary was aparrently not at all interested in the film at first, calling it a “stupid toy move”, but he seems to have come around: The film is littered with references to the original series, both dignified and humourous. The four leading cast members were all Transformers fans before they were hired. There was even a last-minute change made to the way Megatron looked (to the alleged horror of Hasbro) at the behest of the fan-base.

I enjoyed the hell out of this movie, actually: It manages to fit engaging characterization, a moderately complex plot and plenty of eye-candy, while still giving a generous amount of robot-on-robot action, so to speak. 🙂

The soundtrack also merits mention: in keeping with the likes of 300 and the first Matrix movie, action sequences are allowed to rock, rather than being limited to the traditional orchestral risings and fallings.
BumblebeeThis is a good film to catch on the big screen. Failing that, this is a good film to watch while sitting much too close to a huge plasma screen with a hefty sub-woofer delivering the earth-shaking tread directly to your nether regions. I will most assuredly be obtaining the DVD, but I am very glad to have seen it on an appropriately vast screen, with cinematic sound and a company of die-hard fans.

There are many memorable lines. Right at the moment I am stuck on:

“Bumblebee! Stop lubricating the man!”

The film is relentlessly true to what little a half-baked fan like I can remember. It excites and it satisfies, and I am extremely happy with it. I look forward to the inevitable sequels with more than the usual degree of hope.


It’s Official!

Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds

Pardon me while I rant and rave, cackle and chortle and foam at the mouth and dance complicated little victory dances to the strains of Thick as a Brick.

And at last, disco/punk fascism is dead! It may have been acceptable in the eighties, but now it’s buried, strangled by its own children, the likes of The Scissor Sisters, to give birth to The New Prog! We can have songs for the brain again! Single tracks can run on for half an hour without shame! Albums can even have a plot if they want to!

Hell, even Trent Reznor can make a story album!

Some of us never stopped believing.