Install this theme

Posts tagged: transformers


although for a movie focused on how megan fox is ridiculously under appreciated by everyone it would have been nice if she’d been allowed to do something more proactive in the big finale than being terrified a lot

like will arnett gets to do more than she does

the irony of everyone hating mikaela in transformers was that she actually directly affected the plot more than sam did

here she’s kind of just along for the ride, which is super disappointing both generally and because the turtles are hardly in it so it’s basically a movie about megan fox having a really crappy day




A collection of contemporary reviews of The Transformers: The Movie.

See, I remember reading reviews in the papers pretty much universally panning the ‘86 movie when it was new. And the home video guides were no less forgiving when it was finally made available then.

Loud, gratuitously violent, confusing, and you can’t tell the robots apart.  All Transformers movies ever, forever. 


It’s planet Cybertron, Bumblebee, and the brand-new female Transformer Strongarm from the San Diego 2014 Transformers: Robots in Disguise trailer! More to come!

man i haven’t even seen like a gif and i am way into the aesthetic of this show

strongarm looks rad, also, new female character in first teaser, good sign

But for a second, the movie toys with the idea that Cage could just ride off into the fog, leaving the whole “grinning Tom Cruise triumph or death” binary behind. The unspoken implication: What if movies like this one could deviate from the formulas that govern them? What would happen if we used the $178 million this film reportedly cost, and the abundant technical genius that clearly went into it, to create something besides a new and improved vision of the apocalypse? Would it really be the end of the world?

If Michael Bay’s ever asked himself those questions, he’ll never admit it publicly. He’s put too much work into creating MICHAEL BAY, a larger-than-life character who eats bad reviews for breakfast off a solid-gold platter, and anyway he’d never give his critics the satisfaction. But if your brain hasn’t shut down to safeguard its last remaining unscorched neurons by the time the final act of Age of Extinction unspools, it’s all right there on the screen. Tucci’s Joyce realizes what he’s wrought and joins the good guys, taking personal responsibility for a duffel bag containing the doomsday MacGuffin, preventing it from being deployed. When it’s all over, his geologist assistant tells him, “I’m proud of you”; Wahlberg’s Yeager pulls the now-repentant capitalist in for a bro-hug. Before that, though, there’s an interminable fight scene involving robot dinosaurs and the near-destruction of Hong Kong by a UFO armed with some sort of giant magnet that sucks up cars and boats and buildings indiscriminately. It’s excess pushed to the point of near-total abstraction and a perfect metaphor for the movie: Look at all of this junk. Look at how pretty it is when it flies around. I don’t know that I would ever have pegged Michael Bay as the first director who’d manage to turn the summer blockbuster into a critique of the blockbuster mentality and still make hundreds of millions of dollars doing it. But like the old Vulcan proverb says, only Nixon could go to China.
And the thing is, the books aren’t even good at showing the thing they supposedly show. They all are supposed to be teaching us great truths about human nature, but they ignore what human nature is and show what Rand thinks it should be. It’s like reading some alien’s fan fiction, written based on garbled descriptions and wild imaginings about what human life is like.


Shortpacked!: Frajer

In which David Willis invents something even better than the Bechdel Test.

juliet and juliet



Shortpacked!: Frajer

In which David Willis invents something even better than the Bechdel Test.

juliet and juliet

volumetrically and by piece count the age of extinction construct-a-bots cars have twice as much stuff as the basic dinobots. the trouble is they cost well more than twice as much - $25 at freddies to the dinobots’ $11 - and don’t really justify that with the engineering.

the dinobots all have geared torsos with goofy action features versus the scissor-hinged compressing torsos of the cars which help their transformations. but otherwise they’re functionally identical, the same ball-jointed robot skeleton with snap-on armor parts. the cars come with dinobot partners that function as extra armor, but all they really do is brag about how much the construct bots aren’t actually customizable.

the first gen construct bots used an even wierder skeleton, which had ball joints at most of the joints except the hinged elbows and knees which used a strange 4mm ratcheting clip connection, and a ton of 5mm peg connections for the armor and accessories - thus making older construct bots compatible with accessories going back to g1, but also wierdly frustrating to pose, lacking swivel arm battle grip and with stiff ball jointed feet attached by loose clip hinges.

the new bots simplified the chaos of three connection types down to two, but bizarrely kept the 4mm clips instead of the traditional 5mm pegs. and the dinobot armor partners use the clips, so they’re not very posable, don’t transform independently, and can’t be used as robot skeleton parts to rework the body shapes.

what this means is that put an eleven dollar dinobot next to a car with a dinobot partner, and you’ve got two identical figures with different armor parts. you could get two fully posable, transforming dinobots for the price of one car and one fake dinobot, and nearly have enough left over for a minicar that can ride the dinobots.

which is another failing of hasbro’s design team, the minicars aren’t explicitly designed to ride in or on the larger cars, which just makes them feel more like an outlier to the real age of extinction toys.

basically buy all the dinobots because they’re rad and huge, voyager sized but cheaper than deluxes, is what i’m saying.

but if your local store has a 25% off all transformers sale and a coupon for another 10% off all toys and another coupon for buy one action figure get one half off, so that two $24.99 robots cost you $25.31 {or when they’re $12 at ross in six months}, you should get drift and lockdown, because they have surprisingly good car modes, and drift’s weak dinobot partner turns into rad samurai armor that doesn’t impede his transformation, and lockdown’s partner is a robot velociraptor with a laser gun.


I like to think there were some folks who skipped out on the last half of Marvel’s Transformers comics, saw that #80 was the last one, picked it up, and wondered why the hell Grimlock was beating up on some giant half-naked mustachioed man.  


I like to think there were some folks who skipped out on the last half of Marvel’s Transformers comics, saw that #80 was the last one, picked it up, and wondered why the hell Grimlock was beating up on some giant half-naked mustachioed man.  


Shortpacked!: Age of Extinction


Shortpacked!: Age of Extinction

Like Good Little Girls


Last night, I engaged in some sadness baking. I know, I know, we shouldn’t eat our feelings, but I have so many goddamned feelings these days that a little weakness is to be expected. 

Before I could do this baking, I needed that random selection of items that could only easily be acquired at Walmart. I have lived in this town for four years. I have likely been to the Walmart no more than five times. It is an evil, filthy place. I literally mean that. Cleaning is not a priority there. But I needed mouthwash, a weird baking pan, a sift, some sour cream, some Diet Cherry Pepsi and some Zantac.

The thing about Walmart, and I always marvel at this, is how fucking cheap everything is. That store is pure evil. I bought fruit punch for two dollars! There’s a reason why they are taking over the world. They know the human weakness for a good bargain. 

Anyway, I also picked up some hair products.


The cake I made was Ina Garten’s (genuflect) sour cream coffee cake

What feelings, you ask? Well, I can’t tell you about ALL of them. I do keep some things to myself. Imagine me cutting my heart open here. It’s a bloody mess. 

Meanwhile, I creamed together butter and sugar for about five minutes. That shit got creamy as hell. I love my Kitchen Aid. It brings me such happiness. I guess this is nearing forty—a fondness for kitchen appliances. Or, I am sublimating all my desire into kitchen appliances. I don’t know.

Baking, as I’ve said before, relaxes me. I don’t even need to eat what I bake. I just like making baked goods. My friends like that I like making baked goods. It’s a win-win situation. To be clear, though, I was going to eat some of this coffee cake. 


Jen Doll interviewed me for Mental Floss. 

I added the cake flour (which, I learned is not the same as flour four), salt, baking powder and baking soda to my brand new sifter and I sifted that stuff into a very fine powder. I was rather impressed with myself. SIFT SIFT SIFT. 

I have this bizarre habit of looking at the clock and subtracting two hours. There are still flecks of pink polish on my thumbs. Wherever I go, there you are. 


I added the eggs, one at a time, to the creamed butter, along with the sour cream and a lot of vanilla. I didn’t even measure that shit because vanilla is awesome. As Ina counseled, I used good vanilla. Nothing but the best, Ina. Nothing but the best.

Most of my sadness is that men are really getting me down. It starts with Facebook.

Men message me on Facebook. They are incessant. Sometimes, it’s just “hi” every single day, and nothing else. Like, you can’t do better than that? Other times, it’s way more aggressive with UNSOLICITED, really forward sexual conversation—nasty ass, banal sexual talk. I’m a freak but I’m a high class freak. You need to work for this with your dirty talk. 

This is when I start to get mad. I ignore it. Sometimes I block, but what’s the point? There are so many that I could literally make a part time job out of blocking these guys. Most of the time when I ignore these fuckers, they go away. There are always a persistent few, however. This week’s most persistent asshole messaged me a couple days ago with some nastiness that only someone I am sleeping with is allowed to say to me, thank you very much, and then he said, “You are a stuck up bitch.” Fine. Whatever. The next day, he messaged me again, asking, “Still a stuck up bitch?”

I fucking snapped. You are goddamned right I am still a stuck up bitch. Where some men are concerned, I will always be a stuck up bitch.

It’s pathetic that stuck up and bitch are these labels applied to women when we’re not sitting around waiting to satisfy a man’s wants and desires. 

This all got me thinking about the harassment women deal with online and on the street and everywhere in life. I started thinking about every time a man has been mean or callous or horribly gross with me and there are so many instances that it is, essentially, a constant, white noise, background music. 

We shouldn’t have to live like this. I shouldn’t have to keep writing about this. I shouldn’t mention this on Twitter and have countless women sharing their own stories of men licking them and jerking off at them in public and calling them a bitch when they rebuffed his advances.

We should not have to live like this.

And then, I thought, “I’m not young or hot. How do those women deal with a magnified quantity of this shit?”

Then I got mad at myself for having low self-esteem.

The real issue was that I suddenly felt unsafe. There is nothing I hate more than feeling unsafe. 


Once the wet ingredients were well blended, I set the mixer on the lowest setting and slowly added the flower until everything was combined.

What didn’t help was going to see Transformers 4, which is by far one of the worst movies I have ever seen. First of all, this bloated travesty is nearly three hours long. I was warned, but I thought people were just being “funny.” This movie is offensive in every way a movie can be offensive. It is cynical, heartless, at times embarassingly lazy, and always absurd. It is racist and sexist. There are egregious plot holes. There are transformer dinosaurs and that’s all I will say about that element of the shit show. 

Mark Wahlberg is the star of this installment. His name is Cade Yaeger. That’s Michael Bay ejaculating ALL OVER EVERYTHING. Cade is an half-assed inventor in “Texas.” We’re not given a town name. He’s just in Texas. He has a daughter, Tessa, about to graduate from high school. He is a widower. He is very overprotective and she’s not allowed to date. This movie is so regressive as to make me wonder if Michael Bay took a time machine back to 1955 to write the script. Throughout the movie, Cade Yaeger basically installs himself at the breach of his daughter’s hymen because a young woman’s worth is tied up in her virginity and graduating high school or something like that.

Tessa spends  most of the movie flouncing around in microshorts and tight shirts to show off her impeccably toned, delectably tanned body. Fine. This is what Michael Bay does with women in the Transformer movies. But Tessa also spends the movie coquettishly imperiled as she is threatened with murder, grabbed up into an alien ship and otherwise thrust into life-threatening situations PG-13 style. She spends her time crying for her boyfriend (who inexplicably shows up at the end of the first act), or crying for her father, or just crying for generalized help instead of trying to help herself. Her eyes remain wide, her make up perfect, and her lips curve in a very suggestive “O.” 


It was time to make the strudel, so I combine flour, cold butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt, using my hands, even. 

Michael Bay’s contempt for women is so palpable throughout the entirety of this Transfomer’s movie that I almost walked out. It was just too much. It was too fucking much. 

We could talk about how in the third act, first they are in Beijing, then it’s Guangzhou, then it’s Hong Kong, even though these are very distinct cities in China.

We could talk about the racism throughout the movie with the “black” robots speaking in a mockery of AAVE and with every Chinese person knowing kung fu.

We could talk about epic swaths of destruction and Kelsey Grammer, as the evil CIA man trying to save the planet from aliens, acting like the destruction could still, somehow, be covered up.

But no, let’s leave the more minor offenses aside because they pale next to the movie’s flagrant, oppressive misogyny. 

Fuck this movie. Fuck every single second of it. 


With the batter ready, I poured half of it into my cake pan and then I covered the top with my strudel.

The older I get, the more I struggle with the careless ways in which the word “bitch” is used in popular culture. At the end of, “All Me,” for example, Drake, that precious zygote of a man, ends the song with a gratuitous, bizarre, “Lil bitch.” Kendrick Lamar, who offers up some really elegant lyrics in his music, has a song called, “Bitch don’t kill my vibe.” I like the song but my enjoyment is always marred by these moments of despair that a man who can talk about how his punctuation curves cannot come up with something better than the word, “bitch.”

There are all sorts of justifications for the use of the word “bitch” in popular culture but increasingly, I see it as a staggering lack of imagination and one more way in which our culture actively supports the hatred of women. These creators aren’t going to change because we won’t demand it. That’s how little we think of women and women’s dignity. Accepting that is a bitter, bitter thing.

In Transformers: Age of Extinction, the  most offensive part was, unexpectedly, the gratuitous use of the word, “bitch.” Anytime one of the men did something they were proud of, they punctuated their action or statement with the word, “bitch.” LOOK AT ME BEING A MAN, BITCH! They were insulting the aliens or the bad government guys, but the vocabulary they chose to use, time and again, was the word ubiquitously used to denigrate women.

Again, this is how little we think of women. The denigration is part of our vernacular.

I’m sick of it. 


I added the rest of the batter, and then topped the cake with the remaining strudel. Then I put it in my pre-heated oven at 350 degrees. 

I don’t even know what to say or do at this point. It all seems so inescapable—online harassment, street harassment, the microaggressions and the full on aggressions women face, the rampant sexual violence women face, and then our popular culture reflecting this sickening reality and asking us to consume it quietly, like good little girls.

I was a good girl for a long time and it never did me any good. We should all be done being good girls if it means swallowing sexist, toxic bullshit that will only continue killing us softly. 


The recipe called for 55-60 minutes but my oven is a LIE OVEN. It took 75 minutes to bake the coffee cake. It turned out quite well. I had a piece this morning for breakfast and it was very good. Next time, I will figure out how to make the cake just a bit moister. 

I would like to not feel unsafe and unsettled when I go online, or when I leave my house. I would like to feel like my body and my dignity matter. I would like these things for all women. 

I suppose I was angry baking more than sadness baking. That’s what stuck up bitches do. 


honestly i think age of extinction might be the best transformers film now just because it doesn’t have shia labeouf in it

like i actually really like revenge of the fallen because megatron is trying to blow up the fucking sun and when optimus literally dies fighting all the decepticons at once, that has real stakes, like it’s not the empire strikes back but it has the actual hero being actually {mostly} //dead// for half the film.

also not for nothing but mikaela black widows the fuck out of that movie and nobody likes to admit it bc everyone hates megan fox

like i said when she was cast as april o’neil that my first instinct was to laugh and then i realized that if april as tv reporter nobody takes seriously is what they’re going for, and per will arnett in trailer two that is exactly what they’re going for, then megan fox, who got fired from transformers and then the ad campaign //and the third movie// were about how she was fired for being a bitch, is actually perfect for that

not even kidding, if you watch tf1 and rotf, mikaela’s choices affect the actual plot waaaay more than sam’s accidental destiny

like mikaela finds a tiny decepticon trying to steal the allspark shard and throws him in a foot locker and jumps right on a plane to go save her ridiculous babby boyfriend, five minutes //after// sam whines to optimus prime that he can’t petition the us govt to stop trying to deport the autobots because //he has to get to class//

like sam is tony stark without the dead parents, the infinite resources, or the mad skillz - sam is just an a-hole for no good reason, and the third movie is literally about how the economic downturn has failed to live up to his entitlement complex, and the second movie is about how he just wants to live a normal life when literally everyone would literally kill him to have his

the best parts of the first two movies are mikaela yelling at sam, and tf4 is full of mark wahlberg claiming to be a concerned dad and his daughter laughing in his face. nobody yelled at sam’s whiny bullshit in dotm, and it turns out i missed that.

the wierdest thing about the transformers movies is how much they don’t seem to give a fuck about the autobots

like they should be the a-team, a small, tight-knit, ridiculously skilled special forces unit

like you look at the decepticons and they’re all incredibly good at their jobs, they all have unique skills, and they interact as a team where they complement each other

but the autobots half the time are literally, //literally// tripping over each other

like the new expendable ‘not bee or optimus’ bots are voiced by john dimaggio, john //goodman//, and KEN WATANABE. and they are fucking //embarassing//.

and completely inconsistent! goodman’s hound is basically dum dum dugan, and he’s got the wierd dark of the moon design philosophy where he transforms into a robot who is carrying guns that are discarded, literally cast aside, once empty

but bumblebee still turns his arm into a gun.

and watanabe is a car who turns into a samurai, not even subtly samurai-esque like grimlock but a //literal samurai//.

and honestly robot dum dum and robot goemon should be an amazing team, but these clowns have less unit cohesion than the police academy.

meanwhile the decepticons remain monsters with good militsry discipline, but somehow keep getting their asses kicked by the three stooges

it doesn’t make any god damn sense

oops i liked age of extinction

it’s definitely a three hour micheal bay movie, the autobots are hardly in it and the dinobots even less so, almost nothing is explained or makes much sense, and it’s somehow a movie with three rad ladies that is still a total sausage fest


it managed to move past the relentlessly grim tone and broken moral compass of dark of the moon, man of steel, star trek into darkness, and revenge of the sith, where erstwhile heroic characters respond to adversity with mass murder

like, this is still ‘give me your face’ prime who takes heads instead of prisoners, but this isn’t joffrey prime from dark of the moon who let megatron burn chicago to prove a point, then promised to execute every decepticon on the planet

it turns out there’s a big difference between someone who is willing to sacrifice their life to prevent alien genocide, and someone who’s willing to watch it happen and then claim the right to seek justice.

anyways, not enough bumblebee but stanley tucci steals the whole movie, and his characters’ moral arc from duplicitous snake human to autobot ally against a deceptipocalypse is the most refreshing thing in this film, after the near universal bloodlust in the third film.