Big Hitter: Responding to an Epic Comment on Transformers

Back in June of '08, long before it was cool, we talked about Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. We (meaning Eric D. Snider of did a little riff on the what the title could mean, though had already tied it into the comic mythology. So we never got a chance to chide Michael Bay for choosing a story arc completely outside of the already preposterous first film. However, that's not why we're here today. We just received a comment on the original June '08 article that's so delightful we need to break it down piece by piece. The commenter's name is TooMuchFun, and we thank him for his contribution. Let's do this!

Comment: To start off with I will admit that the storyline behind the first movie was not Oscar quality but come on seriously what movies out there are.

Us: Hmmm, well, Oscar movies are presumably "Oscar" quality. Except for Babel and The Reader, of course. But your point is well taken; Michael Bay and the T-Formers weren't looking to change the world, merely entertain. We'll cede that.

Comment: For everyone out there who absolutely hated the first movie I am more than curious to know what other comic book or old TV shows that were made for the big screen would you consider worthwhile in your book? I personally thought that the first movie was A+ in the action department and special effects and it even had some fun comical moments, more than enough for a good summer movie considering what else is out there.

Us: The Dark Knight, The Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man. These films received an A+, A, and B from our official reviews, respectively. The original Transformers actually received a fair shake, too -- we had one guy bash it (me) and one guy who enjoyed it (C. Robert Cargill). That particular article is here. We also reject the notion of "good enough" for a summer movie. We want to see great movies all the time. People are paid a lot of money to make them, people spend a lot of money to see them, and we are absolutely obligated to keep pushing artists forward. Here at we don't accept people "trying hard." Make a good movie and we'll lavish praise on you. Make an average one and you're getting called on it. Them's the rules!

Comment: As far as the complaints go with not having enough of the robots on the screen and that they were bland I would agree with that fact only to a point though, because I also realize that you also need to look at the fact that it was the first time they did a movie like this and they needed to find out how they were going to do everything and what was going to work and what was not going to work. It's called limitations.

src="" alt="Michael Bay" width="104" height="142" align="right" hspace="6"/>Us: Yeah, but a $150 million production budget is a "limitation" that about a dozen people in the world have access to. Not an excuse. And the "robots" are the story! They are the Transformers. The movie isn't called "Shia and Megan's big ride." It's called Transformers. We wanted more of them, and we wanted them to be much less dumb. Why were they peeing? Why were they break dancing? Why were they tiptoeing around a garden? C'mon. That's ludicrous.

Michael Bay has made some great entertainment for cheaper, by the way. In Bad Boys II he blows up everything in sight, delivers laughs, and develops the characters a bit too. And he did it for $20 million dollars less. I get wanting/needing the human element to draw in the audience, but he'd have been better off dialing down the family appeal. Perhaps not commercially, but to make a better movie. Now then, if it's just about the money, that's fine. But you can't make excuses for a film that's trying to steal from you. That seems like poor form.

Comment: Bay has already made comments about the second film saying that they had a lot less technical limitations this time around and that they were going to be including more robot screen time and robot dialogue. I'm not going to make any predictions, but with Bay being the mega action film guru he is and the fact that he has addressed fans concerns about what they did not like in the first film I anticipate that he is going to try and deliver with the second film to those that did not like the first.

Us: Okay, good. Michael Bay is listening, and he's going do to better. So ... we win? And it was good we called him on it?

src="" alt="Bumblebee in Transformers" width="162" height="118" align="left" hspace="6"/>Comment: As for the fallen questions and complaints about what fallen meaning is it does not necessarily mean dead. Fallen in the dictionary has a number of definitions including to stumble, to be defeated, to drop down wounded, to fall from grace, to lower, and many more of which nearly all of them you can get back up and continue on! And if it means dead (which yes it is one of the definitions in the dictionary) as in Megatron may be returning from the dead you should go back and watch the animated Transformers movie made in 1987 in which Optimus Prime was killed off and was brought back from the dead later on in the animated TV series, so yeah they have done that before.

Us: I'll give you this one, too. You've used the dictionary, so that's a hard thing to refute. Eric was having a little fun with the premise; the title could turn out to be completely logical, no doubt about it. So we'll pass on a serious rebuttal here.

Comment: I think the most common sense explanation to say about the title is that the decepticons had 'fallen' as a group at the end of the first movie to the autobots so it would make sense to say that since they had fallen that they would be seeking revenge once they have regrouped and gotten back up as I think that this is what the second movie is all about. Not that hard to figure out.

Us: Actually, it is a little hard to figure out, given it could refer to the original comic book arc or first movie arc. Devin from Chud maintains it's the comic book arc, so your explanation seems to be a little off. Clearly Michael Bay can do whatever he likes, but don't you find it a little odd that the sequel is based upon a story Bay himself didn't film? It's almost like he's admitting, "Man, I gotta go back to the roots of this story, because my first attempt was bonkers." Your turn!

Comment: I guess my only work of advice to those that hated the first movie and don't think the second movie will be any better is to not go, because if you really hated it that bad then you obviously do not realize that it was not solely made for you own enjoyment but for everyones. Just because the first film was not tailored to how you thought it should have been doesn't mean everybody hated it and that you need to try and be so pessimistic about what the second film will be like.

Us: We're not pessimistic. We want every film to be an A+. We love movies. But people are different, and everyone brings their own views and life experience into a film. We're happy you loved it, but you don't need to convince us otherwise. We didn't hate it either, we simply wanted it to be better overall. The movie was average, we felt it should have been great. And we're aware that movies aren't made solely for us. Yet.

Comment: I mean when you have to dissect the title alone in order to get something started thats kind of digging deep when it fits the movie. Judging by how well the first film did financially and I'm guessing by how well the second one is going to do you pessimistic haters should be considered the fallen.

Us: Well, yeah, but we do dig deep. It's pretty much our job. But we'll give you an, "Oh, snap!" for your closing line. That's good stuff.

src="" alt="Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" width="104" height="142" align="left" hspace="6"/>One last thing: It's not "hating" to be critical about a film, or critical about anything for that matter. The masses are not always right, and the conversation is much more interesting than the certainty you bring to the table. Nixon won by nearly 18 million votes (the most ever) in 1972. That would make him the most popular elected official ever, so public acceptance isn't always a great indicator of end result, is it?

Arguing about Transformers is the fun part of the equation, not an example of "hating." Everyone doesn't have to like the same things. It's okay to disagree, and it's okay to flex some intellectual muscle to defend your points. And by all means, it's okay to be passionate about a subject. Just accept that the other side feels strongly about their point, too. Maybe, just maybe, there's a chance we're both right.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen opens on June 24, 2009. We're anxious to see it.