In 1984, Hasbro released a line of toys where cars and trucks, jets, cassette players and cassettes, and one hand gun converted into robots. These robots in disguise were an amazing success, and for seven years they evolved into merge teams, futuristic vehicles, multi-changers, head-, target- and power- masters, pretenders, and finally Action Masters, before leaving United States’ toy shelves forever.
Forever being the measurement used to describe about two and a half years.
Of course they never truly went away, with new figures and characters continuing in Canada, Australia, Japan and parts of Europe. So when Generation Two was born in 1993, Transformers had never really left the global play market, and they’ve never really left U.S. toy isles since. G2 begat Beast Wars and Machine Wars and Beast Machines, which were followed by Robots in Disguise / Car Robots, Armada, Energon, and Cybertron, Universe (1.0), Classics, Titanium, Universe (2.0), Animated, and Generations, to say nothing of the exclusive toys and three different reiterations of the fan club since 1994.
Throughout the various incarnations of the Transformers line, the battle of opinion has raged. “Truck not monkey.” CGI verses traditional animation. Style versus substance. Toy versus toy. It’s safe to say all fans have their favourite parts of the Transformers mythos, that they will defend strenuously.
In 2007, Michael Bay brought us the first Transformers live action movie. Its success was followed by two sequel, Revenge of the Fallen, in 2009, and Dark of the Moon, in 2011. While the first film was met with mixed reviews, it was mostly embraced by the fan community and opened up a toy line approaching its silver anniversary to brand new fans. The second film was widely seen as a dismal affair, and yet it was very nearly the single highest grossing film of 2009 and remains well regarded and strongly defended by many fans of the franchise. While the latest film has been fairing marginally better with critics and is the highest grossing Wednesday opener of 2011, it is estimated to have drawn less viewers than the first movie’s opener and less money than the second movie’s opener.
Already, the film has its defenders and critiques. Fairplaythings is firmly on the side of the critiques with regard to Dark of the Moon, as evidence by the review posted earlier this week. For the record, while fairplaythings was also a critique of Revenge of the Fallen, the first film was regarded here as a good film, one that I saw many times in the theatre and since.
In the age of social media, opinions fly around faster than ever. One long review here at fairplaythings was followed by a number of quips through facebook, and an ongoing bit of twitter fun called #DotMSpoilers. Honestly, the hash tag adapted from others has been a lot of fun and, from my perspective, meant as such.
Simply put, I have my opinions, I have certainly shared them in person and across the net. The hardest thing about having a strong negative opinion is when you have to share that opinion with a beloved nine year old nephew who is excited beyond belief for Dark of the Moon, in a way that doesn’t diminish his enthusiasm.
Because it’s just my opinion after all. Everyone is entitled to their own on this film. It’s not the film I wanted and it’s not the film I would have signed off on. A lot of you really like it. My comments are intended to show my opinion of the film, not of those of you who enjoyed it. Fairplaythings continue to respect you no less for whatever rationale you have for enjoying Dark of the Moon. As we sometimes say in eastern Canada, “fill your boots.” Enjoy.