Transformers: The Movie

The Spoony One | Jan 31 2009 | more notation(s) | 
Transformers: The Movie

A Review by Christopher Kinsey

The year is 1986. I am 5 years old. For the last two years of my life I had the audacity to fly in the face of "Recommended ages" and had been playing with Transformers, watching the TV show, and even reading the comic book at the tender age of four. Which meant that if I saw no other movie that year, it had to be "Transformers: The Movie". My father took me to see it on a rainy day at the "cheap" theater. It was practically empty, just us and four other kids with their parents. Fromthere I was simply blown away. Especially by the first half. I must have been the only child not crying when Prime died. I was a little bitter about Prowl, but then again bias starts at an early age.

But time marches on. I moved onto other geeky things, like a Commodore 64 for starters. Which had a Transformers video game, my copy just happened to not work past the primary loading/title screen. But while I continued to grow into a healthy adult, something sinister was happening...

There are a great many fandoms out there. Many of them won't get you laid, and the rest of them will get you laid but in a totally unwholesome way. The top offenders in fandom and sex are...

Furries
LARPers
Otaku
Livejournal/Myspace account holders
Transfans

"Don't you wish your girlfriend
was 'hot' like me?"

I mean, come on! There were scant few Autobot ladies. Still a minority, you realize that robots are genderless, right? Sure, they may arguably reproduce... but shouldn't that be called "Manufacturing"? I assure you the transformers may have "Loved"... but never got freaky in the champagne room.

Freaky sex with robots aside... It is this community that has kept this toy line alive, well, and putting out some actually really nifty stuff. I was especially glad for the re-release of the old toys, being as a younger lad I played so many of them to death while hating Decepticons so much I never really got any originals. Oh my kingdom for a Soundwave of my very own (With all tapes). Also there has been a revival of television transformers projects. And let's just say I'm a little disappointed in you America. Instead of kicking up an "Ultimate" kind of transformers TV series a-la marvel, we got these...

Transformers: Beast Wars- I refuse to believe "Beast Wars" or "Beast Machines" ever existed. Because all these series were was an excuse to try and be like "Reboot". CG animation is killing animation in general, but we don't have to let something like this ruin it for everyone else! Sure, there were some nods to the old Transformers series, but on it's own this series sucked hard.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise - I had such high hopes for this. I mean, getting back to 2d, transforming to vehicles ROOTS! Instead, we get this...

I did have some fun moments in this one from an anime perspective (I loved when one of the autobots tried to "Swim"... classic). This was also not "Transformers".

Transformers Armada/Energon/Cybertron- I can only assume that this series is doing well. It's aimed for kids of this timeframe, not my own. They seem to be linked together loosely as the battle for the universe continues. Perhaps should I get a few little Deanlings of my own, one day they'll grow up watching Transformers in some way, shape or form.

But let's get down to brass tacks. "Transformers: The Movie" is the reason any of this happened. Without this film, I doubt there would be so much love for this toy, it had lasted well over 23 years. There is just so many quotables, so many firsts in a kid's movie, and so many stars! They got Orson Welles for crying out loud! How does THAT happen?!!! And the soundtrack? If you listen to it ten times in a row, you instantly grow a mullet. Let's look at who owes this movie all of their success and royalties.

This is so metal, my refrigerator magnets have flung themselves out of the kitchen and onto the computer screen. Lion turned the Transformers theme into a power ballad of epic proportions! And let's face it... when you think "Stan Bush" you immediately think "The Touch". You never think of his other film themes. And Weird Al... OK, so he really owes his success to Dr. Demento and MTV. But there is no doubt, Vince DiCola can make a living selling CDs of all of his Transformers scores out of the trunk of his Yugo. Oh man, now I want a keytair so bad I can TASTE it.

But let's look at the movie. I loved it as a kid, obviously have fond memories now, and might be a little biased in this breakdown/review. But while the movie itself may, in fact, be one of the most awesome animations ever... The extras might just be worth their weight in comedy gold!

EXTRAS REPORT!

Autobot Matrix of Knowledge - I turned this feature on with my first viewing of the movie. All it's an obnoxious throwback to "Pop up Video" that each pop up takes up about 1/4 th of the screen. And the facts are things everyone knows, like what Orson Welles directed/starred in, little blurbs about little effects on screen, and generally annoying us with an attempt to be funny. Much like this review, really.

Commentaries - There are two commentaries. One by the director, story consultant, and the voice actress who played "Arcee". I really hope that the story consultant does most of the talking, because is the director does it it'll be an engrish-fest like no other. There is also a fan commentary. I'd like to know how one gets to be on a "Fan Commentary" panel. Do you have to wait in line several days, like for a console launch or Star Wars film? Or must you compete in a nerd gauntlet online for the chance of telling your fellow nerds how much you know about something on a DVD?

Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots - This shows how complete this DVD is. They have all the cuts and re-cuts of every TV and movie advertisement for the movie. It was here I also discovered something disturbing; they blot out all the kid's faces in the toy commercials! It's creepy, like the kids had their faces blotted out by radiation. Is Bobby Johnson going to really call you up from his cocaine addled stupor and demand royalties? They're commercials, not short independent films that could win at Sundance!

Cinex and Credit Test - OK, so someone narrates this reel of things cut from/testing movie effects. Frankly, they're boring as hell and add about 2 seconds to the film if you spliced in one part that wasn't in the film. But if it wasn't included I'm sure the message boards would be aglow with hate. Not that they won't be anyway, but they won't be aglow with hate over not including this reel.

Photo Gallery - Posters, cast, crew, and whatnot. I'm so glad that they didn't go the route where they take stills of the movie and put them in the photo gallery. Every time that happens it makes baby Jesus cry, and adult Jesus bottom out his low-rider.

Scramble City Episode with Commentary - We get to talk to our resident transfans about this untranslated and unsubtitled Transformers episode that only aired in Japan. You can't even turn off the commentary, unfortunately. The first half of the episode is a retelling of the Transformer's storyline. The second half is where the old transformers and the new transformers finally meet to build Metroplex, and showcase all the new combiner transformers. It's a slobber knocker as about five different huge robots kick the ever lovin' crap out of one another. Probably one of the more fun features, I just wish they translated it so the Fanboys didn't have to drone on endlessly about it.

Trailers - We had another teaser for the 2007 live action movie, as well as a mini featurette featuring Stephen Spielberg really kissing fans asses. "I've always loved Transformers. I've ALWAYS wanted to do this." I've seen less smoke blown up someone's ass than Dubya's lunch with the new Democrat congress leaders. There's also a really lame demo of the PS3... From about a year ago. And the great one is a blurb that all of the G1 transformer's series is going to be redone and put out by the company that did this disc. Praise be! Rhino totally screwed the pooch on theirs. I hate it when companies split up seasons. Whoever can't spot that gouge should have all their money taken away and given to me. Damn you Rhino! Put out the MST3K "Gamers" set! And Master Ninja. And The Day the Earth Froze.

BUT WAIT! THERES A WHOLE 'NOTHER DISC!

DVD-ROM Features - You get a trivia game that lets you see clips of Autobot City transforming. And you can also access online content that could have been included on the DVD in the first place, like little snippits of the interviews and more pictures. Woo!

Featurettes - Mostly interviews and discussion of the movie by the five people they were able to find to do this DVD. Nelson Shin (Director), Flint Dille (Story consultant), Sue Blu (Arcee), Tom Griffin and Joe Bacal (Producers). C'mon! You all couldn't get Peter Cullen? At all? Still, there are some interesting tidbits into the story of the movie, TV show and toy line.

Promotional Trailer With Commentary AND Test/Deleted/Alternative Footage - Much like the Cinex test these features are pre-production stuff and, on the whole, kind of dull. I mean, do we need to see the two-second alternate angle of Unicron eating the first planet?

Toy Commercials - From the US and Japan are a bunch of toy commercials. And I found them pretty nifty, save for the horrific faces.

Easter Eggs - Not really anything to write home about. Just more commercials and a PSA with the old "And knowing is half the battle!" How could Bumblebee stop kids from running away from home anyway?

Well, enough beating around the bush. It's time for our feature presentation.

You're boring Ultra Magnus with this Drivel,
GET ON WITH IT!

So the film begins. We view a colossal flyby of the living planet... Unicron. It flies by for a while, then we pan over to it's destination. The peaceful planet of... well I forget the name of it. Limpus? Well, no one really cared. It's another robot planet, with kid robots and none of these robots don't transform, so they're not cool. Unicron shows up and everyone immediately knows what's going on. Excuse me? You were always fully aware that one day a huge planet was going to galumph along and eat your planet? Personally, I'd have taken some preparations for an arrival like this. Namely this thing I call telescopes.

I AM UNICORNHOLIO!
Cower before my bung-hoooooooole!

Anyway, Epic shots of Unicron absorbing the planet... into his bunghole. Come on, that's what it is! It's the universe's scariest kiester port and it HUNGERS!!!

As it turns out, one ship survives as the super cool opening credits flash onto the screen with 80s neon, flair, and hair band music. Yes the ultra cool "Transformers" theme by "Lion" is here, and it will get you laid by all the chicks on "Attack of the Show". Naturally. Look at these panty wilting' lyrics...

It's judgment day and now we've made our stand
And for now the powers of darkness
Have been driven from our land
The Battle's over but the war has just begun
And this way it will remain til the day when all are one

Excellent. I really want to turn any car I own into a t-top from now on. From here we're given the grand tour. We're whisked to the fantastical far off year of 2005. Cybertron has two moons... I know they were never mentioned before, but Cybertron has two moons. All the Autobots got their kiesters kicked off Cybertron itself, and they're starting to gear up for one final raid. Optimus is outlining the big plan as Lazerbeak grabs the information for the Decepticons. Standard stuff really. Megatron hatches his dastardly plot to hijack the shuttle headed for the Autobot's base on earth.

Hot Rod's been out partying at
Bass Pro Shops for too long.

The film then proceeds to make sure that you have to console a weeping child for a week to come. From a seemingly non-existent spacecraft, the Decepticons pour in and begin laying waste to any Autobot you really ever cared about. Brawn's served up first because he charges into melee when they all have guns. Then Prowl gets wise, jumps up and fires. I'm sure this is where I lost it as a kid, because Prowl was my favorite. And he just dies so graphically too. The light dies in his eyes slowly as smoke billows out of his mouth. Ironhide and Ratchet buy the farm in tandem. Way to go Ratchet, you have a firepower of 2... TWO DAMMIT! You brought the laser scalpel to the fusion energy cannon fight.

So we head back to earth, where we get a glimpse of the new transformers... and how cool life will be in the fantastic year 2005! I mean, fishing with an Autobot, how grand!

Aw man, 2005 is gonna be SO COOL! There's gonna be jet-hover-boards and a city full of autobots and cars will look radically different. I wish it were 2005 right now... again. Hot Rod and Daniel (Who, as is hastily explained, is the son of Spike Witwicky who is on the autobot moon base 2, with Bumblebee. Such a grand assignment...) ditch their boyish antics quickly to watch the landing autobot shuttle land. But Daniel spies something's amiss. There's a hole in the shuttle! And decepticons milling about inside the hole! OK, decepticons, it's called a spot weld, use it.

He learned this move from his lonely nights watching
"Bare Chassis 4: Underwriters Underwired"

So now all hell breaks loose. Apparently Hot Rod's blasters on his arms can make a spacecraft go up in flames, decepticons pour out of the ship and begin laying waste to everything they see. Hot Rod and Daniel are going to get blasted by triple changer Blitzkrieg, until Kup rumbles up to wrestle some pipe...

And now we meet the rest of our new Autobots... and a couple oldies but goodies. Preceptor meets up with Springer, Arcee, Blurr and Robert Stack... er... Ultra Magnus and informs them that they're under attack. Well-spoken o scientific device that could only magnify things 2x. The explosions didn't give that away. Preceptor heads out to tell Blaster to get a signal out and set up a toyactic battle, while Arcee and Springer go transform Autobot City. Apparently Blurr and Ultra Magnus head off for punch and pie.

The battle rages on! Regular transformers try to battle Devastator. Any four year old of the time could tell you that would never work. You need the Arialbots and Superion to face that foe. The battle rages on through the night and into the next day, when the cavalry arrives. And now we get to the part of the movie I just can't make fun of, the final battle of Optimus Prime.

Megatron with a light sabre? Not as good as the electro-flail vs Optimus' electro-axe, but it's still cool!

Aren't montage's great? Sadly, while Prime has the fight all wrapped up, Hot Rod ruins it all by becoming the "Boy Hostage" and letting Prime get the begeesus shot out of his ribs. But since he's Prime, he won't give up. He gets in one last burst as the crowd chants his name, and knocks Megatron down for the count! The decepticons run for thier mommies as Hot Rod pitifully begs forgiveness for ruining the subsequent animated series on TV.

Starscream: "Oh, how it pains me to do this!"
Megatron: "Wait... I still function."
Starscream: "Wanna bet?"

Now we come to the scene which fandom loves so much. The Death of Optimus Prime. I've seen transformers in worse shape get pieced back together... oh wait... Ratchet is toast. Good job letting him go on the dangerous mission earlier Prime. You could be sitting back and drinking mimosas right now instead of, you know... dying. So Prime dies, but first he passes on the totally unmentioned before MacGuffen, The Autobot Matrix of Leadership. Prime has a spot in his chest that accepts this little plug and play device. I can only assume all other autobots have this hardware port as well. Prime almost fumbles the Matrix, but Hot Rod has the save, and it glows with a godly light as he catches it and hands it over to Ultra Magnus, for who it does not glow nearly as much. Foreshadow much? Then Prime dies, and discolors. I did not know that paint on a transformer was so reactive.

And Unicron sees it all, because he already has the VHS, and howls that the Matrix still functions.

Meanwhile back on Astrotrain, the decepticons are in a hell of a fix. Apparently there's too much weight.... In the weightlessness of deep space... for Astrotrain. Yes, that's his story and he's sticking to it. So instead of throwing out some chairs or vintage Movie Sticker books of the movie... they begin chucking out any decepticon with any signs of damage. But it does lead to some of the best parts of the movie.

A wiser man than I once said "I don't care who you are, that's funny right thahr". Wait for the follow up punch line. It's better than Golden Girls reruns. As soon as Megatron's tossed, the decepticons begin the process of selecting a new leader in the only way they know how. Lame put downs, puns, and a slobber knocker!

Meanwhile, across the VAST EMPTINESS OF SPACE.... Seriously, I know it's for kids... But I saw "Star Wars" by then, I know traveling across space would take time, really. Unicron picks up Megatron and his banged up pals as they float across the galaxy. He makes Megatron an offer he can't refuse. Megatron takes up the offer after a paltry grab for superiority, and is overhauled!

On today's "Overhaulin'" we turn this ... into a sweet ride anyone would be proud of!

First order of business for Mega... er... Galvatron is to head back to Cybertron and assert himself ruler of the decepticons at Starscream's initiation. I love the exchange once more.

Starscream: "M-Megatron? Is that you?"
Galvatron: "Here's a hint!"

Owned. Although I must admit, Starscream sure could pull off a cape.

So we cut to Unicron once more, and he hungers. He spies the tiny little moons circling Cybertron, and starts snacking on the one inhabited Jazz and Cliffjumper, but hey, once you eat one planetoid, why stop at just one? He chows down on the more useless of the moon bases, with Bumblebee and Spike. They try to destroy Unicron with a well times self-destruct... of a planet. Wrong answer! It's in this part that we get one of the two swear words. Spike says "Aw, shit... now what do we do?". This was supposed to symbolize a new direction for cartoons. This was something that was attempted before, and failed, in the USA. And with better movies that weren't a tie in with a toy. That bring said... We'll miss you Casey Kasem.

This one goes out to all the young folks who will be blogging about how we were better than the Go-Bots... Coming in at 21, here's "The Touch" by Stan Bush.

Well obviously Galvatron is pissed. Part of the bargain is that Cybertron is all his. But he just lost some sweet real estate. When he protests Unicron force chokes him just saying, "I'm the Unicron, bitch!" So Galvatron flies off to destroy Ultra Magnus and the Matrix.

A few minutes later they show up to Autobot City and start to finish the job they began as "Classic" decepticons. Pretty much screwed, the autobots load up and haul ass to escape yet another pummeling by the decepticons. Fair is fair, I guess... The Autobots had been pounding the crap out of the decepticons for two television seasons. Comeuppance was due!

Next on Animal Planet:
Peerahna, nature's most disgusting bottom feeders.

But the autobots streak away with a little time on their hands. It's unknown what the newly appointed Autobot leader is doing about this crisis, only that they must get to Cybertron. Meanwhile, Kup, Hot Rod and the Dinobots wax nostalgic about why Kup was never in any of the old Transformers cartoons if he's so damn old. Well, save for Hot Rod, who's lightsabre sparring with some sort of drone. Wouldn't that be like someone beating up their own retarded cousin? Either way, Galvatron's back, and he just starts wailing on both ships execution style. Hot Rod&Co spiral away to a planet that looks like an undercooked egg spun on a spirograph.

Meanwhile, Ultra Magnus' team pull a "Crazy Ivan" and let 2/3 of their ship get blown away. On the bright side they earn a sunny trip to the "Planet of Junk". Hot dog! Let's not send any postcards in any case.

Back on scrambled-eggia, it seems Hot Rod was flung the burning wreckage into a bubbling urine pool, filled with bubbling urine piranha. Yet another attachment pops out of Hot Rod and he begins buzz sawing his way through the metal fish, seaweed, and other assorted flora and fauna of the pee sea. He hears Kup's burbling screams for help (why would their voices burble like air buffeted through water?) and he's being attacked by the giant pee squid. After a short battle to the strumming tunes of hair rock, Hot Rod and Kup ascend the briny deep to an equally garish, and metal, shore. Is every other intelligent life in the galaxy machinery? Won't they be pissed at how we treat our old washing machines?

Back to the picturesque planet of junk... Daniel (Who's still tagging along, instead of being escorted home by a very pissed off mother) is issued his dad's old exo-suit. Some stumbling around later and some happy music and everyone gets to the task at hand, fixing the ship. Um... You all think Hot Rod, Kup, and the Dinobots are dead. You cold heartless machines! But something sinister lurks on the planet of junk. More robots sprout the junk with malicious intent... and sporting garish mustaches.

Wreck-Gar and The King...
Separated at birth?

Back to Hot Rod and Kup. Kup is all fixed and back to complaining, and more evil robots suddenly surround our dynamic duo! They sure seem mean, but wise old Kup has a plan... He spouts off the universal greeting. And I quote...

"bah weep graaagnah wheep ni ni bong"

Hot Rod is surprised. Hell, I'm surprised. You'd think the universal greeting would be a series of notes, of a hand gesture, or something that a crapload of species could do. All I know is when the Vogons show up and I tune in the ham radio... I'm so pulling that one on them. Laughing as I go, that's how I want to die. But back to Hot Rod and Kup's deaths. They start a little snack party, but run out of snacks. Obviously annoyed, the mean looking new robots pack them off to prison where we meet the Quintizons, cruel judges of everything over the galaxy, where any verdict gains the same fate for the accused... death in the sharkticon pit! To wait their time in court, Hot Rod and Kup are thrown into a cell next to the fellow who got away Unicron at the beginning of the movie. A touch of exposition later, then it's off to the shark pit for Kranyx? I want to say his name is Kraynx. Last survivor of Limpus.

Elsewhere on the planet, the Dinobots stroll along just looking for trouble. What they get is a reedy voiced newcomer to the autobot party, Wheelie. Wheelie is the Wesley Crusher of all transformers. He's small, too smart for his own good, and annoying. And he speaks in rhymes! He curries great favor with Grimlock by shooting him in the nose. Remind me of that etiquette next time I meet the commander of the Dinobots. Punch him in the nose for instant friendship. They stride off to break out Hot Rod and Kup the pokie.

I feel for you man, beaten up by the wussiest of all transformers. Wussier than Bumblebee, even.

Meanwhile, Galvatron reports to his boss. Unicron seems rather less than pleased that Glavatron had not met his second quarter goal of destroying the Matrix. Uh, yeahhh, we're just gonna have to do the weird red light thing to cause pain, and Galvatron's going to have to come in on Saturday, yeah.

So Galvatron goes to work on Saturday. He immediately swoops down to the Planet of Junk, scatters the autobots, then lines up for Ultra Magnus. Magnus gets everyone to safety, collapses junk on them, then proceeds to try and open the Matrix, being that this is truly their darkest hour. Um... You're being attacked by decepticons. This happens all the time. You'd think genocide or perhaps a "Blossom" marathon would warrant the opening of the mighty Autobot Matrix of Leadership. Galvatron just revels in the stupidity of his opponent and blows Ultra Magnus to kingdom come, and takes the Matrix as his own. Again, Unicron is not pleased, and this time really can't do anything about it.

Back to Hot Rod and Kup, they're quickly tried, sentenced and dropped into the sharkticon pit. As soon as they hit the water, their immobilizing laser bands turn off, what a design flaw! They immediately transform and do an underwater demolition derby complete with whirlpool. And this is the kind of wanton destruction I craved in my robot heroes. Sharkticons died so easy, and in such comedic ways. Hot Rod punches one in the face and all it's teeth fall away, friggin sweet. And then the dinobots crash in on the Quintesson magistrate, and slag just has to be polite about it, saying, "Excuse me". I'm sorry, but this part is actually kind of cool. Not Prime vs. Megatron cool, but cool nonetheless. It's all over when Grimlock demands fealty of the sharkticons due to the size of his chompers. Now that's a national policy we can all get behind! Grimlock for president.... No... King 2008! They load into a starship that looks like a badly mangles corkscrew, and head off to find Ultra Magnus and the others.

These robots were obviously not
programmed to dance.

With Magnus blown all to hell and everyone else cleared out of the rubble, the Junkticons decide it's the best time to attack. Weird Al's "Dare to be stupid" fires up as Mad Max meets the Transformers fires to life before us. Springer goes toe to toe with Wreck Gar in a melee battle while even Daniel throws down, by transforming his exo suit. Now I'm all about immersing ones self into a story, and I even get why small children are on these grand adventures with super heroes and robots and the like, so you can have hope that one day you too can party with your cartoon heroes, but for now buy all their merchandise. But that's a bit much, firefight with strange robots in a strange space suit that transforms (Probably breaking ones bones in three places while you're at it.)... No. I'm freaking five. Even then I knew it wasn't going to happen.

In the middle of it all Hot Rod, Kup and company land in the screw-craft. And how did they find this place anyway? Did Hot Rod slip Arcee a tracking tag up her exhaust pipe during a game of "What's under my chassis?" Anyway, they disembark and ready to join the fray, but Hot Rod decided to start the silliness that is the universal greeting. This immediately ends the fight, and prompts a well-undeserved dance sequence.

Luckily the Junkticons are better at repairs than at the ancient art of dance. They fix up Ultra Magnus as quick as a wink. Oh, here's an idea, let's take some of these guys back to earth and fix up all the other, more useful autobots while we're at it. No? Damn. We also learn the secret why the Junkticons all talk like television announcers, they talk TV. Let's see what they're watching...

Oh great, Kotex commercials. I'll bet they think leaky oil pans require a cotton pony. So instead of building reinforcements on earth, the new unified front charges off to fight Unicron. They're pretty sure he can't be stopped without the Matrix, but they're going to go anyway! For America!

Heavy boots of lead
Fills his victims full of dread
Running as fast as they can
Iron man lives again!

Galvatron finally stands up to Unicron. He threatens Unicron with the Matrix, but to no avail being as Galvatron can't open it either. It's called the Autobot Matrix of Leadership for a reason. Not the "anyone who runs on high-test diesel" Matrix of Leadership. In response, Unicron turns into a huge behemoth of death the size of Jupiter and begins to lay the smack on Cybertron.

And so he does. Galvatron opens up with both barrels only to be gulped down like a tablet of "Chaser" before Mel Gibson gets his drink on. The Autobots and Junkticons then show up to save the collective day. Unicron spits fire on both ships, and they each take evasive action, the Junkticons get their fix on while all else ram right into Unicron's eye and bail out. Hot Rod's separated the rest, who are attacked by pincers then swept away by various Unicron fluids. Hot Rod's got his own troubles, Galvatron made it away whatever G.I. tract Unicron has and meets up with Hot Rod, deciding they must unite in a common goal. Shame Galvatron still has a choke chain. Of course the final epic battle begins, with many cut away action scenes as well. Reminds me of something.... I can't quite put my finger on it...

"Join me, and together we'll rule
the galaxy as father and son."

We jump to the carnage outside where the Dinobots are deployed, and they have a cunning plan... to pound Unicron's ass. Great going Grimlock. You've done gayed-up the manliest autobot team. They start tearing chunks out of Unicron's hiney, and are almost grabbed up for being "naughty".

Assformers, more than meets the taint.

Back inside, it's up to Daniel, boy mascot, to save his dad and Bumblebee! He only has to be talked through how to fire the lasers on his weird transforming exo-suit. His dad frantically screams at the poor boy, who randomly presses buttons until something happens. As it turns out, the "Lasers" function on these things make the arm transform awkwardly and then fire a blast. Real ergonomic. Why, I'm sure the escape pods take only a mere four minutes to safely eject the boy, and the in suit toilet only three minutes of stinking hell before a flushing handle transforms. But on the bright side, he does have his daddy's luck, and some of the older Autobots (And Spike) survive. Huzzah!

Back to the epic duel. Hot Rod and Galvatron play their dangerous game of cat and also cat for a while until it becomes a choking grappling contest. It's at that point Hot Rod grasps the Matrix, hulks up, and throws Galvatron right out of Unicron. He opens the Matrix, pouring blue light through Unicron, who begins exploding and disassembling himself. Hot Rod has become Rodimus Prime, who quickly gathers the rest of the autobots, rolls out as Unicron blows up, and then makes a schmaltzy speech. The end.

Rodimus Prime's first act in power?
Building Decepticamps and annexing cyber-Austria.

And it really was. Can any of us really claim that the Transformers series ever got any better after the movie? It was the peak of the run, and the peak was over after the Megatron vs. Prime fight. Sure, Transformers is big business again, but it's because of toy collectors with a helpful dose of nostalgia, not kids running home to watch Transformers after school. As I watch the 20th anniversary of the movie, I can only remember something I loved as a kid, and will probably pass them on to my kids, should they be so inclined. Other than the fact they will be bringing back the original TV series on DVD, nice and cleaned up, like the movie, Transformers is really over for me.

At least, until the live action movie comes out. But I was pretty sure that's been over since it was announced. I predict it'll join the ranks of Highlander II in the video vault of "Movies that never happened". And knowing is half the battle.