UNIVERSAL CITY, California — Lots of huge celebs walk the MTV Movie Awards red carpet, but this year the biggest stars of the summer are — literally — going to roll on down: the Transformers.
Director Michael Bay’s big-screen adaptation of one of the most popular cartoons ever will give audiences an updated vision of the struggle between the sons of Cybertron, an alien planet. The beef in “Transformers” the movie is no different than it was in the 1980s when the cartoon TV show kept kids enthralled (see ” ’Transformers’ Set Has Flashy Cars, Robot Models, Exploding Furbys” ).
On the bad side, you have the ruthless dictator Megatron, who leads a commando of bloodthirsty (well, in this case, energy-thirsty) robotic warriors, the Decepticons. The Autobots are the good guys and fall in line when their commander Optimus Prime says so. All Transformers have the ability to change from robots to vehicles, fighter planes and even boomboxes (Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese Gibson, Megan Fox and Josh Duhamel are some of the big-name human stars of the flick).
At Sunday’s (June 3) 2007 MTV Movie Awards, fans will get a chance to catch some sneak glimpses at “Transformers” before it hits theaters on July 3 — and everyone checking out the red carpet will get an up-close look at some of the robots in car form. (Scope out smokin’ sneak shots of Ratchet, Jazz, Bumblebee and Ironhide, right here. ) Unfortunately, Decepticons such as Starscream, Brawl and Barricade had too much bad attitude to mix it up with the Hollywood types, but Optimus Prime did send some of his benevolent Autobots to Tinseltown for the big show.
Here’s a breakdown of which Transformers are making the scene at the Movie Awards, with suggestions for what songs should accompany their trips down the red carpet. “Transform and roll out!”
Make and model in this summer’s “Transformers”: Gray Pontiac Solstice
Back-in-the-day body: We first saw Jazz on the small screen as a white Porsche.
Recon: Jazz is in charge of Special Operations; some of his most outstanding capabilities are the blinding speeds he reaches in car mode and his recordable memory.
Our theme-song pick: A Tribe Called Quest’s “Jazz (We’ve Got)” would be a front-runner, but that’s too easy. This sleek baby needs something with a little more kick. Nothing could be more appropriate than Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” for Jazz to cruise to when he’s not in robotic mode, bashing Decepticons. Go ’head, be gone with it.
Make and model in this summer’s “Transformers”: Canary-yellow Classic Camaro with black racing stripes
Back-in-the-day body: Bum’s first incarnation as a Beetle is unforgettable. Herbie the Love Bug had nothing on him.
Recon: Literally, that’s his job — reconnaissance. Being the smallest Autobot makes him the perfect spy. He’s also the first one in the movie to make a human bond, with LaBeouf’s character, Sam Witwicky.
Our theme-song pick: Bumblebee’s strength and bravery makes him the sentimental fan favorite, so why not go with Mariah Carey’s emotional courage anthem “Hero.”
Make and model in this summer’s “Transformers”: Yellow Hummer H2
Back-in-the-day body: In the cartoons, Ratchet was a white ambulance.
Recon: Ratchet is a medic and he’s dedicated to helping his extraterrestrial brethren and earthling friends mend. Having the words “Fire Department Search and Rescue” plastered all over his vehicle-form body couldn’t spell it out any clearer. Inside, the Hummer H2 has all the amenities of an ambulance.
Our theme-song pick: A no-brainer here, Beyoncé’s “Ring the Alarm.” Since the song’s lyrics about a cheating man and his mistress wouldn’t exactly fit here, we’ll just go with producer Swizz Beatz’s bullying instrumental for the track. The sirens in the background say it all: “Move, get out the way!”
Make and model in this summer’s “Transformers”: Jet-black GMC Topkick 6500 pickup truck
Back-in-the-day body: The old-school version of Ironhide was more Scooby Doo Mystery Machine than war-ready battalion cruiser. He was a red van.
Recon: They call him Ironhide for a reason: His trithyllium-steel alloy body makes him the Autobot least susceptible to damage. In non-geeky terms, he makes 50 Cent’s bulletproof/bomb-proof car seem like a golf cart. ’Hide is so tough, he acts as personal bodyguard to his close friend and leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime.
Our theme-song pick: “Big Things Poppin’ “! T.I.’s lyrics make his single the perfect record for Ironhide: “Big things poppin’ and little things stoppin’.”
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