Last night Ben Wojdyla and I made our way over to Birmingham to take in a sneak preview showing of the new Transformers movie. This review is split into two parts — one that's safe and spoiler-free (starting here above the fold) and then the nitty-gritty of the film (at the bottom of the area in italics below the fold). Peruse the part below the fold at your own risk and may the maker have mercy on your non-robotic soul. Oh and the pictures, there's some LA preview pics in there and some pics the General gave us of some of the designers — oh, that first one's Brian Smith, he put the stripes on Bumblebee, and yes, that's the light-up Autobot t-shirt. — Ed.
For the next few weeks General Motors is the luckiest and most important automaker on Earth. Seriously. I'm not kidding. Forget the June sales numbers next week, forget the job losses, forget the gas-guzzling SUV's and trucks from the past ten years and a recent history of shoddily-built vehicles. None of that's important — at least for the next few weeks. That's because the General has an opportunity to be the most important automaker on earth — well, at least they will be to a very important demographic for GM — 18-35-year-old males.
And really, that's because watching this movie's like watching a 144-minute commercial for the General. But, if I were really watching a 144-minute commercial for GM, you'd find me face down on the floor of the theater after the lights came back because I'd have performed some form of ritualistic suicide after minute number eleven. But the reason I'm still alive and able to talk about my experience, and do it in such an exuberant way is because despite feeling sometimes like I'd spent hours watching that Michael Bay Super Bowl ad over and over again, I didn't. That was because deep down I understood that the driving scenes which seemed to come ad nauseam — interspersed with intensely visually stunning transformations and bot-battling of course — were nothing more than the realization of just about every scene of the Generation One Transformers. The only difference was in the cartoon, they weren't real cars. In the live-action movie however, they were — and necessitated a real automaker to play a role. In this case that automaker's General Motors.