I don’t go to see movies very often, but I am subjected to numerous trailers. So this entry is about movies that in theory I should be excited to see but can only muster a disinterested, “Meh,” at best.
or, “Literally Capitalizing on Nostalgia”
or, “And they Didn’t Even Use the Theme Song”
Optimus Prime – I don’t know why you need exposition. Everyone who comes to see this thing remembers the cartoon. But anyway, the source of life and power on Cybertron is called the Cube. There was a war over it which destroyed Cybertron and implausibly, except in Hollywood, it landed on a backwards little planet called Earth. And on with the show.
Desert Army Base:
Troops – What an oddly realistic depiction of life on a desert base.
Lennox – Look, a touching video from my wife and child I haven’t seen yet. Good thing I’m shipping out soon.
Epps – Dude, that sucks.
Lennox – Why?
Epps – Because in this kind of movie, it’s either to show what a happy family you have waiting for you after a lot of hardship, or it’s to get the audience sympathetic to your character before you die.
Lennox – That does suck. But at least I’m not the token black guy. Oh, er, sorry.
Epps – Whatever. Hey, didn’t that helicopter go down a few months ago?
Lennox – Yeah, I wonder what’s going on.
Blackout – We aren’t called “robots in disguise” for nothing. Scorpionox (who is not named in this movie), let’s waste them!
Soundwave – Pay no attention to me as I attempt to hack the Department of Defense computer system.
[[Blackout and Scorpionox proceed to efficiently waste the base.]]
Lennox – That sucked. My SpecOps unit and one lucky local kid are the only survivors of a giant military base. Now how the hell do I let the Department of Defense know we’re still alive and they need to send a rescue squad since that damn scorpion thing is still chasing us?
Epps – Use my cell phone. Duh.
Lennox – They need a credit card. Can I use yours?
Epps – *sigh* Typical.
[[SpecOps manage to both destroy Scorpionox and successfully complete their call for help to the Pentagon]]
Epps – Rock on! I survived! The token black guy survived!
Lennox – That’s not right. A token black guy has to die in a movie like this. So if it wasn’t you, it must be some other group’s token black guy.
Epps – I feel sorry for that guy.
[[SpecOps are not taken home but instead put in the custody of the secret Section 7 and taken to their secret base]]
Department of Defense:
Random authority – Okay, someone nearly hacked our defense grid. We’d better find out who. Bring in the country’s best hackers. And in keeping with trite Hollywood cliches, make sure they are all college age or younger and politically correctly ethnically diverse.
Sam – Dad, trying to sell my great-grandfather’s Arctic exploration gear on Ebay is not earning me the cash I need to buy a car. I even mentioned the ice man he discovered and haven’t gotten any more takers. I’ve only got a few grand.
Dad – Well, let’s see if that’s enough.
[[The Witwickys are followed by a 1970s yellow and black striped Camero with no driver]]
Used Car Dealership:
Salesman – Kid, you can’t buy scrap with that kind of money. You can’t even afford this mysterious yellow and black 1970s Camero that I don’t remember having on the lot. How about this other POS?
[[The mysterious yellow and black Camero with no driver destroys the windows of every other car on the lot]]
Sam – Or you’ll give me the one that still has windows in it.
Salesman – *weeps* Deal.
Sam – Sweet. I have a car. It has a bumblebee air freshener and no kind of car emblem I’ve ever seen before, but what the hell. Time to go pick up the girl of my dreams.
[[Sam drives to location of the girl of his dreams, the improbably (except in Hollywood) hot Mikaela]]
Sam – Hey, Mikaela, I’ll ditch my probably high best friend and take you for a ride if you’ll ditch that jerk you’re dating.
Jerk – No way, nerd-boy, not in that crap car.
Mikaela – No, I think I’ll go with nerd-boy.
Jerk – What, seriously? Damn it, only in Hollywood.
Sam – What, seriously? Hot damn, only in Hollywood. Move it totally high and unnamed best friend.
Mikaela – Is it just me, or is your radio essentially trying to play the soundtrack to some teenage love story?
Sam – [[stabbing madly at buttons with each station worse than the next]] Heh, heh, well, I just bought this thing. Haven’t changed the pre-sets you know. Heh. [[the car runs out of gas]] Oh, you are kidding me! I’m not doing this on purpose, really. I’m a dork, but I’m not this lame.
Mikaela – It’s fine. I believe you. Here, pop the hood and I’ll take a look. I’m pretty good with cars. [[examines the car while Sam examines her]] It seems fine. Try it again. [[The car starts up and Sam takes her home.]]
Sam – Not funny, car!
Bumblebee (thinking) – It was totally hilarious, human.
Soundwave – Ok, so the base didn’t have a fast enough computer. I’ll just sneak aboard Air Force One and try this hacking thing again. Please note, for a little guy I am totally awesome. [[Attempts to hack the DoD grid again]]
Hackers – Someone’s trying to get into your grid again. We’ll stop them. By the way, that was from Air Force One. Is that a problem?
DoD agents – *facepalm* Scramble security to meet Air Force One.
Soundwave – Walking casual, walking casual… Pay no attention to the five foot tall robot, nope, nothing to see here… [[climbs into a police cruiser with no driver and the car drives off anyway]] Well, I found something called “Ebay” and a human named Sam Witwicky who has the relevant plot device, I mean, reading glasses.
Department of Defense:
Hackers – They seem to be interested in this Sam Witwicky kid.
DoD agents – We’ll send a special agent from Section 7 to handle the kid. I’m sure that will go well.
Sam – Ok, I hear my car starting, but that’s crazy since I’m here with the keys. Unless someone’s stealing my car! [[grabs a bike and tears after Bumblebee]]
Bumblebee – I will now transform for no other reason than to move the movie along and freak out Sam.
Sam – It’s working. I am totally freaking out that my car is a giant robot thing. [[ends up arrested and eventually bailed out by his stereotypical parents; when Bumblebee is back in his garage the next morning he runs away with the car chasing him]]
Mikaela – Sam? Are you alright?
Sam – No! My car is really a twenty-foot tall robot thing! And it’s chasing me!
Mikaela – And you’re crazy.
Sam – Then why is my car coming up the road right now with no driver!?
Mikaela – And we’re running now.
Sam – And now we’re being chased by a police cruiser with no driver that’s trying to run us over! What the hell is going on?
[[They temporarily lose Barricade but Bumblebee finds them again, and offers them a lift and as he has not tried to kill them, they accept, but first they insult his model year so he upgrades to a 2008 Camero]]
Sam – Pay no attention to the product placement.
[[They tear off as Barricade picks up their trail again; following a spastic CGI fight sequence, Bumblebee defeats Barricade and Mikaela cuts off Soundwave’s head, but he just transforms into a cell phone and hides in her purse]]
Soundwave – Again, note how awesome the little guy is.
Sam – Okay, this movie is starting to drag. Could someone please give me some relevant plot information? Bumblebee?
Bumblebee – Sorry, dude, I can’t actually talk at this point in the movie. I can only use the radio as a substitute to try to communicate with you.
Sam – Well, do you have some friends or something?
[[The Autobots – Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Jazz, and Ironheart crash to Earth, take the forms of a semi-truck, an ambulance, a sports car, and a SUV, respectively, and converge on Sam’s place.]]
Jazz – The Autobots have a token black guy? Really? What the hell is that about?
Epps – Sucker!
Jazz – What?
Optimus Prime – Don’t worry about it. A huge source of power crash landed on your planet a long time ago with a Decepticon named Megatron. We think your great-grandfather actually found the Cube and think those glasses have the coordinates etched on them. We need to find the Cube before the Decepticons do. Please turn over the glasses and we’ll stop crushing your mother’s roses.
Sam – Well, that should be easy, as long as some jerk of a government agent doesn’t interfere.
Simmons – And that’s my cue! Ok, at this point I’m going to try to wreck the relationship you’ve got going with the girl here by telling you her dad was a car thief…
Sam – She’s so hot, I don’t think I care what her dad did. Oh, wait, the director is telling me I do. Ok, so I’m going to assume she’s a thief and terrible person too.
Mikaela – You jerk!
Simmons – Excellent. Now I’m going to arrest you both.
Sam – For what?
Simmons – Because I’m a total dick and I totally can. Move it, losers.
[[The Autobots try to protect the kids, but it only results in Bumblebee getting captured with them; the other Autobots use the glasses to find the location of the Cube and find the base is Hoover Dam]]
Soundwave – I’m still in the girl’s purse, in case anyone would like to provide relevant plot information for me to overhear.
Simmons – So we’re going to take your dumb Camero and strip it down for parts. Ha!
Sam – I hate you.
Simmons – We did it before, so don’t take it so personally. See that? That’s the iceman your great-grandfather found. We keep it iced down so it doesn’t wake up. We’ve been reverse engineering it for years.
Lennox – Hey, can we go now? We told you everything already.
Simmons – Shut up!
Lennox – Dude, why are you such a dick?
Simmons – Because I can be. Oh, we’ve also got this giant Cube thing that seems make electronics come to life although they seem kind of crazy when they do.
Soundwave – Wow, that was thorough. Here’s my cue to call in the reinforcements. -The reinforcements consist of Barricade, who survived the fight with Bumblebee, Blackout, Starscream [F-22], Bonecrusher [some sort of Army construction equipment], and Devestator [an Abrams tank]- Now to free Megatron. This shouldn’t be too hard. [[he manages to cut power to the entire base]] Did I mention I am totally awesome?
Starscream – But I have the most awesome name in the history of awesome names.
Soundwave – Okay, I’ll give you that.
DoD agents – We’re totally under attack, and that big robot thing is thawing out! What do we do?
Simmons – Wait, so I’m in charge? Awesome!
Sam – Don’t listen to him! I need to free Bumblebee. He’s got allies that can help us fight the Decepticons!
Simmons – Kid, no one is going to listen to you.
Lennox – Actually, we are. Because you’re a total dick and he seems to know what’s going on here. Jerk-off, you stay with the Secretary of Defense and the hacker kids and try to figure out how to alert more military forces. Kid, girl, let’s get your car and get the hell out of here.
[[They free Bumblebee]]
Bumblebee – And now to compress the file for easy storage using Zip CPD. [[compresses the Cube the size of a room to something a human can hold.]]
Sam – CPD?
Bumblebee – Convenient Plot Device. And let’s get out of here.
[[They manage to get out of the base while Team Hacker is left to deal with Soundwave]]
Hackers – Ok, old-fashioned radio equipment is not what we’re used to working with. And yet we manage it. We are awesome.
Soundwave – But I’m going to kill you.
[[Against the odds, Team Hacker manages to destroy Soundwave and alert the military to the situation.]]
Autobots – Oh, we got a great big convoy, boys, a great big convoy now…
Megatron – Right, now that I’m out of the blast chiller, I’m going to go get me the ultimate power source. And I think I’ll keep this awesome spaceship form, which is totally cooler than the gun form I had in the cartoon.
Optimus Prime – Sam, if it looks like Megatron will get the Cube, shove it in my chest. The power overload will destroy us both and he won’t be able to get it.
Sam – Ok, well, I guess if you think it’s best.
[[Another spastic battle commences between the Autobots, Decepticons, and humans, probably. Frankly the camera work is so shaky there’s no way to be certain]]
Lennox – Ok, I’ve got a score to settle with that black helicopter.
Blackout – Bring it, human.
[[More spastic fighting, hard to follow fighting which results in Bumblebee being injured, Sam running for his life with the Cube from Megatron, and Megatron ripping Jazz in half]]
Jazz – And the token black guy bites it after all. This sucks.
Epps- Better you than me.
Sam – HELP!
[[Lennox does in fact manage to settle his score with Blackout in a rather spectacular fashion; Mikaela tows the injured Bumblebee on a tow truck so he can continue with the battle]]
Mikaela – Not only am I totally hot, and can fix cars, I’m brave and a kick-ass driver under pressure. I totally rock and frankly there is no reason I should date that dork.
Sam – I’m brave too. AAAAGGH!
Megatron – Give me the Cube!
Sam – You know what, that’s a great idea. -shoves the Cube into Megatron’s chest-
Megatron – That is totally not what I meant. [[the resulting overload destroys him]]
Optimus Prime – Okay, well, that’s not what I had in mind, but that works.
Secretary of Defense – I’m dissolving Section 7 because it’s full of jerks like Agent Simmons. Now to initiate the cover-up.
Mikaela – Inexplicably, I will continue to date Sam.
Sam – Yes!!
Bumblebee – I will continue to be Sam’s car.
Sam – Keen.
Optimus Prime – And we will stay on Earth to protect the humans in general.
Starscream – Screw this! I’m heading to space to get reinforcements for the sequel.