Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Six Reasons You Will Never Get The Transformers Film You Want

Initial box office figures for the fifth Transformers film, The Last Knight, have been underwhelming while the reviews have been the usual lazy hackwork, though this time it seems that even fans of Michael Bay's envisioning have been left unimpressed. I've yet to see it so I'm reserving personal judgement but as usual it's taken fandom little time to crack out the knives, further fuelled by the apparent exit of Bay from the franchise. Putting aside that it seems to be a familiar pattern slash negotiating tactic from Bay (who only took the assignment on Age of Extinction as leverage to raise money for Pain & Gain) many seem to be heralding this as an end to his style of Transformers films and the chance for something more cerebral. It won't be, and here's why.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Digital Archive: Robo Machine featuring the Challenge of the Gobots Mini World series

Past posts have touched upon the unsatisfying history of Gobots in print even at the height of their commercial success - rather than a licence with Marvel or even someone terrible like Malibu there was a token mail order magazine from Telepictures while in the UK a run in IPC Fleetway's Eagle was superb but soon followed by a switch to the infamous World International Publishing, most often known as World Distributors. They didn't actually publish comics but instead licenced annuals (two Gobots examples were issued in 1986 and 1987; both were terrible, the first being a possible nadir for Western creative writing) and storybooks based on extant properties with some appeal to kids - most notably their savaging of the likes of Doctor Who and Blake's 7 under approval of the BBC.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Film Review: Transformers - Age of Extinction

I've been an avid fan of Michael Bay's take on Transformers since 2007. As a grown adult I can appreciate a different take on Transformers, realising that me liking it isn't compulsory; in an era of IDW's turgid, soul-destroying comics and some largely poor, unimaginative cartoons the films don't stand out as a particularly poor area. The first in 2007 did a fine job of relaunching the line into genuine popularity with a confident swagger; 2009's Revenge of the Fallen sandwiched a poor middle section between a superb opening and a decent conclusion but at least showed that errors from the franchise's past wouldn't be repeated. 2011's Dark of the Moon delivered solid big-screen action after a slow and overcomplicated start. 2014's Age of Extinction meanwhile greatly disappointed me; while the revamp of the universe showed considerable promise the actual execution was arguably spottier than any of the previous three instalments.

[Contains minor trailer spoilers for The Last Knight]

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Comic Review: Transformers - Punishment


Note: this will probably be the last of the IDW reviews for the blog. I can't go on reading this shit, it is killing me.

Originally released as some sort of interactive Internet thing for young people in the mistaken belief fandom wasn't generally the wrong side of thirty and the younger ones were actually interested in IDW's output, Punishment was - like the Spotlight: Shit Overpriced Toy strand - written out of sequence for logistical reasons, like being able to give motion to characters' head exploding.