As a movie comes to theaters, we’re teased, we’re fed trailers, we’re made to find the stars interesting.
In the coming months before the first Transformers live action movie, I learned some spoilers. Some, like the robotic cast, thrilled me. Some, like the changes in Transformations, irked me. But I learned about a lot of the changes (Even Jazz’s death) before the movie, so I was not upset when I saw them in theaters.
Leaving part one, I was very conflicted, but had a mostly positive review.
Part two was awful. I never saw The Matrix 2 because people told me: “The only reason to see Matrix 2 is to understand Matrix 3, which sucked, so don’t bother.”
Transformers 2 was so terrible that I vowed that there would have to be something amazing to get me to see it. Some friends even said, “It’s got Shockwave in it!” Yeah? The last one had Soundwave. You saw how great that was.
There’s a hint that the humans have been working with Decepticons. OK. Marissa Faireborne (the daughter of Flint from GI Joe) and Carly. Whatever. Anything good that they bring in is just met with skepticism: “How are they going to mess this up?”
Instead I’ve made these movies, to show that it shouldn’t be that hard to make a good Transformers movies, even though mine are ridiculously cheesy and self-effacing:
What I Learned: If you have to win over an audience, it’s not enough to give them more of the same. Especially if they’ve lost confidence in you.
You have to answer their concerns. And the promotional material has to be clear that you’ve made some changes, without pandering to the crowds.
Disclaimer/background: I’m a traditionalist. I don’t think people should break rules of storytelling unless there’s a good reason. I write comic books, short fiction and children’s books. Just to put my comments in perspective, these are my interests and favorites: My favorite superhero is Spider-Man, and I also like Justice League and Batman. My favorite comic writers lately have been Kurt Busiek, Peter David, and Geoff Johns. I am a huge Transformers fan. In children’s books, I go either simple or meta: either really simple stories or books about stories. In movies and books, I am more impressed with something small that makes me feel something rather than something I’m told is a “must-read” or a must-see.”
I make silly videos and post them here: