Tag Archives: transformers

Transformers and Michael Bay


Alongside the superhero / origin story fatigue I’m suffering from, I’ve kind of had it with Michael Bay. I *loved* the Transformers franchise as a kid, watching and revelling in the original G1 series (and especially the movie) as a child and enjoying the Beast Wars editions as a teenager.

Then Michael Bay came along, and subjected us to hour after hour of mind-numbing explosive nonsense. It was vaguely intriguing to begin with, and visually spectacular, but very quickly it became evident that Michael Bay’s brain – if I can call it that – works very differently to the rest of humanity. Most of us don’t speak Explosionese, apart from the other issues the films suffer from.

Which makes it harder for me to enthuse about the new movie, although I’ll probably eventually break and see it despite the inevitable mediocrity of it. It’s gratifying to see that its better than the second film, because – honestly – if it had been worse it might induce a physical reaction.

I discovered via @ArvD the Topless Robot FAQ about Transformers 2. I’m not someone that tends to overanalyze films after I watch them – it renders far too many films unwatchable – but Topless Robot’s post-event analysis of Transformers 2 is a thing of beauty. Case in point:

So that other mysterious reason that the Decepticons wanted Sam’s brain? It’s because it contains some very vague clues about the Matrix of Leacdership, which is the device that turns on the sun-exploding machine. The Fallen needs the Matrix to blow up the sun and get his Energon.
Hold on. That’s what the Matrix of Leadership does in the movie?
Yes. Works the sun-exploding machine.
I’m fuzzy on how “Leadership” covers that.
I didn’t name it. But it does sound a little nicer than “Matrix of Blowing Up the Goddamn Sun.”

I have now subscribed to Topless Robot. Awesome blog.

Geek nostalgia–newsgroups

When I was a naive 12 year old and massively into Transformers – the 80s animated series, not today’s Michael Bay monstrosities – I discovered newsgroups. These were a predecessor of modern web forums, and you’d use a desktop client (like Microsoft Outlook Express) to access a series of newsgroups relating to your interests where people discussed. I think they’re still around, but suspect remain principally the domain of the die-hard fanboys.

Now these newsgroups had various forms – moderated and unmoderated alike – and one of the most popular was alt.toys.transformers. People would put up requests to buy/sell toys, discuss the new TV series (Beast Wars came along in the mid 90s) and more. Hundreds of posts and replies came up each day.

And then, sometime shortly before I lost interest, the “Flame Wars” began. Some rather unpleasant chap decided to troll the forums with hundreds, thousands of spam messages, replying with offensive comments to anyone that actually tried to use the newsgroup for its intended purpose. The unmoderated forums took a battering and were nigh on unusable. These were the days predating pervasive broadband, so spam took a toll on your dial-up connection, and so cost you money as well as time.

Being home for a longer stretch this time I remember trying to combat these anti-socal spammers – finding an IRC room for hackers (IRC being Internet Relay Chat – another Internet antiquity that allowed people to chat on whatever topics they’d like), to try to find some sympathetic white-hat hackers willing to take on the digital ASBOs. Totally naive, but what’s amazing, in retrospect, was that whoever was in that chat room at least made sounds indicating that they were going to look into it.

Of course, they could have been an equally naive 12 year old pretending to be a hacker…The joys of the early interwebs!

Booze inventory

Having avoided my liquor cabinet for some time, on account of it being in a very mouldy vault, I forced myself to go through it this morning and made some rather excellent discoveries. Or rather, rediscoveries as I must have bought most of this stuff over the course of my last 7 years in London.

Salvaged from the mould:

5x bottles of nice champagne
5x assorted whites
6x assorted reds
2x brandy liquers
3x assorted whiskeys, including a nice single malt
1x sambuca
1x tequila
2x vermouth
1/2 a bottle of rum (why has the rum gone?)
5x assorted spirits, including the excellent Vana Tallin purchase on our Estonian voyage in 2004.

In fact, all that seems to have gone off was a bottle of sherry, a half bottle of port and a bottle of pre-mixed Sangria I bought on holiday in Madrid in 2001 and was probably never going to drink anyway.

An excellent haul, and once we’re done refitting the kitchen (a fun January, post-engagement, post-Christmas treat), we’ll have a party and see if we can get some cocktails mixed up.

As an extra bonus, the Transformers (Robots in Disguise, not electrical apparatus) I’d stored in inadequately sealed containers, seem to have survived their ordeal relatively unscathed. Woohoo!