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“The Transformers: Season 1”
a review by Darby O’Gill

It’s the show that started it all. And if you’re in your 30’s, chances are good you grew up with Optimus Prime and Megatron bringing the battle of Cybertron to Earth.The toys were the most groundbreaking things of their time, and the cartoon series just brought things to the next level. I’m going to be upfront with you guys, I’m more than bias when it comes to “The Transformers.” This stuff was a BIG part of my childhood. Now, just like most childhood memories, revisiting them could always be rather dangerous. I’ll never forget the first time I watched “Davey & Goliath” in my adult years… Wow! But I am glad to say for the most part these cartoons do hold up. They may not be as flashy as the animated cartoons of today, but if you can get past that, they really do give you a taste of your childhood. It’s amazing to realize just how much “The Transformers” was largely responsible for my deep seeded imagination and love of story telling. The new 25th Anniversary transfer of the first 16 episodes is truly outstanding. It may not be Blu-Ray, but it still looks good on an HDtv. I think one of the biggest surprises for me, from watching Season 1 again, is just how early the Dinobots were introduced in the series. For some reason I seem to remember the Dinobots being added to the show later, but the truth is they came into play in episode eight. How about that? The bottom line is, it’s a must have if you ever loved this cartoon. I don’t know about you, but I’m planning on sitting my kids down in front of “The Transformers” and not “SpongeBob SquarePants.” Now let’s see what we can do about getting “M.A.S.K.” on DVD.

My Bias Rating:

5 Little People

 

DVD Special Features:

  • Triple Changer: From Toy to Comic to Screen – The Origins of “The Transformers”
  • Printable “Transport to Oblivion” Script (DVD ROM)
  • A Rare PSA
  • Archival Hasbro Toy Commercials

There could stand to be some more special features here. The featurette about the making of the toys and cartoons is great, but something a little more would be great on here. It’s fun to see the old toy commercials, but for rights reasons they have to blur out the kids’ faces.  And I thought they were scary before.

 

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“Transformers” (2007)
a review by Darby O’Gill

Okay, this is the “Holy Grail” of my childhood. I’ve been looking forward to a live action movie of “Transformers” since 1984. So the first time I heard they were making a live action movie, and that Michael Bay was directing, to say I got worried would be something of an understatement. The more I heard about the project, the more I feared its release. Not to say I wasn’t going to see it; I just couldn’t see how Michael Bay and Hollywood were going to do any justice to my childhood dreams. Fast forward to July 4th 2007, and see just how surprised I was. And believe it or not, I liked it.

The movie does a great job of bringing “Transformers” to the masses, and making it a big summer blockbuster movie. I still don’t think this is the movie I dreamed of when I was a kid, but it’ll do. Shia LaBeouf is a big help. That kid is amazing! He really knows how to make you believe in the character he plays in every movie.

I think the one thing that scared me the most about a live action “Transformers” movie was that Hollywood would just simply over do it. There would be just too many robots and big in your face action scenes. This, amazingly, is not the case. The decision to have only a handful of Autobots and Deceptions was a smart move.  Less is more in a Michael Bay film… I KNOW!!! I’m not sure who was pulling the reins on the project (Steven Spielberg maybe?), but thank God they did. If I wanted to nit pick the movie, I could, but I would rather just enjoy it for what it is. The special effects are great, but the sound mixing is amazing! Sound mixer, Kevin O’Connell, or as he’s better known, the man without an Oscar, is the record holder for the most sound mixing nominations and no wins. Twenty in all, with zero wins, which is a crime, because his work on “Transformers” was by far the best of 2007. The use of the original sound effects of the transformation makes a world of difference. The other thing that helps make the world of “Transformers” come to life is the voice talent of Peter Cullen reprising his original role as Optimus Prime. It just would never be the same without that voice. The Mom and Dad’s back and forth is your stereo typical comic relief, but the family’s chemistry works so well. It just works. Look, the movie overall is entertaining. If you are a fan of the old cartoon, just let that love go for two hours, and watch something you never thought you’d be able to see on the big screen.

Rating:

4 Little People

DVD Two-Disc Special Edition Features:

Disc 1:

I think Michael Bay is a truly talented director. His sense of timing, movement, and action cuts makes him an editor’s director. With all that being said, I would never want to spend ten minutes in a room with him. The only person that would enjoy listening to this commentary is Michael Bay. He just tells you these stories about how great he is. “I was the first person to ever do this.” “’Die Hard’ couldn’t do that.” “I’ve got a direct line to the Pentagon.” “My penis is this big. Beat that!” For two hours! If anything I proved my commitment to this blog by sitting through the whole thing, so you won’t ever have to. You’re welcome. I’m not joking, or as Michael Bay would say, “Teasing.” Let me tell you, there are two types of people in this world, those who say, “I’m just kidding/joking” and those who are douche bags and think saying, “I’m just teasing,” will make up for all the asshole things they do to people. I would never tease you. For the love of God, don’t listen to this commentary!

Disc 2:

  • Our World:
    • Explore the world of “Transformers” through interviews with the cast and crew, stunt training footage, and exclusive access to the on-set locations.
  • Their War:
    • Learn more about the Atuobots and Decepticons with exclusive access to production design, military advisors, and digital special effects.
  • More Than Meets The Eye:
    • An in-depth featurette on the making of the Skorponok Desert Attack scene and concept boards.

There is truly hours of behind the scenes and making of footage here. If you enjoyed the movie the special features will be well worth your time… and money.

DVD Special Feature Rating:

5 Little People