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Author Topic: Transformers  (Read 13820 times)

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Niku

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2008, 12:18:07 AM »

I .. I can't watch over every overzealous would be internet celebrity with a pirated copy of Poser at all hours of the day!   :omg:
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Roger

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2008, 04:04:26 PM »

Toooooooyyyyyysssssss.

Edit: And one for Thad:
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Roger

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2008, 02:31:02 PM »

Townsend is really getting into that Sentinal Prime role.  Energon-y goodness indeed.
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Cannon

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2008, 09:34:48 PM »

Yeah, that wasn't quite the Blackarachnia origin story that I was expecting.

...This continuity really loves to bitch up its fembots, doesn't it?
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Cannon

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2008, 12:52:04 PM »

uh oh token shape-changing robot nerd is double posting

Sound and Fury is probably my favorite of the episodes so far. They've managed to make Sari the least annoying of the human main characters, and actually a little sympathetic by turns (if only because shut-in nerds can relate... Ahem). The plot was cliche' as all hell (Bulkhead's warning to Sari was a high point, of course), but it honestly made me laugh out loud several times.

So what does everyone else watching think of the series? Personally, I like this series for one of the main reasons I like Geoff Johns's funnybook writing - that is, it pays tribute and has a discourse with the past, but labors to give the characters and mythos a future. Still, the best episodes of Generation One had greater meaning than "the Decepticons pull some crap, Prime stops them," so I'd like to see this series be daring.
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Thad

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2008, 07:37:18 PM »

It's hard for me to see the "give the characters and mythos a future" part when the best bits are nods to the old series (Soundwave, the Kremzeek sight gag).  The plot hasn't advanced since the second episode, and the only character who's developed at all is Ratchet -- Thrill of the Hunt is still the best ep to date, for my money, and everything I said on page 1 still stands.
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Cannon

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2008, 11:22:34 PM »

Casting Optimus Prime as a motivated, flawed (but not the hesitant, internalized funnybook Prime that was, oh, a good example of most every other Marvel Comics character at the time), but aloof and awkward leader is rather what I'm talking about. Sure, you can compare him to Primal, but the difference is that the presence of a modern day Earth and humans is largely why he's so clumsy. Generation One Optimus was inclined to use aging hipster talk and join in the odd game of Dinobot football. This Prime can't even use the word "birthday" right. He's not locked in a war for survival like Primal was (though the stakes are just as high) - it's as though he's very much expecting back-up and doesn't really want to grow close to the fleshlings. While we're still on the matter of character development, it seems that Prowl has warmed to his teammates and has become more a team player. Bulkhead's shown that he'll probably always be clumsy and a bit of a doofus, but his heart's in the right place (with Sound and Fury proving this). Ratchet had his moment with Lockdown, but the tragedy of Elita-One explains why Optimus is so self-sacrificial (and maybe Sentinal Prime had a hand in his failure at the Academy, but we'll see).

I can't argue with you that the pacing is off (Megs can't get out of that lab soon enough, but he isn't going to be immobile for the whole season), however the first season of Beast Wars was basically a contest for resources, and that was its hook. Animated has brought in overt superhero themes, a mostly new take on Optimus Prime, and Decepticons that are actually a physical threat when they don't have superior numbers (I'm looking at you, live-action movie). I'll grant that the AllSpark is interchangable with energon McGuffins or preserving the timeline, though.

And you're still right about Megatron being the boogey man. He had to have most of his body destroyed before he fell back on the original guy's zany and failure-prone mad scientist schemes. Before that it took an underhanded trick by Starscream and five Autobots to incapacitate him. It's interesting and promising to me when a "face" villain becomes the "Emperor Palpatine" sort. It's things like that, the remaining mysteries, and the promise of more character episodes that will maintain my interest.

By the way, I should probably make a list some time of what I consider to be the best of Generation One and Beast Wars. You know, for the three people that might actually care.
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Thad

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2008, 11:53:11 PM »

Sure, you can compare him to Primal, but the difference is that the presence of a modern day Earth and humans is largely why he's so clumsy. Generation One Optimus was inclined to use aging hipster talk and join in the odd game of Dinobot football. This Prime can't even use the word "birthday" right. He's not locked in a war for survival like Primal was (though the stakes are just as high) - it's as though he's very much expecting back-up and doesn't really want to grow close to the fleshlings.

But it's all played for cheap laughs.  It's not deep or introspective.  Football with the Dinobots is one thing, slumber parties with eight-year-olds are another entirely.  Halloween, birthday parties, trips to the zoo...giant robots should not fucking be doing those things.  If they're just cooling their heels waiting for reinforcements from Cybertron, we should see more of them TRYING TO FUCKING FIND A WAY TO GET A MESSAGE BACK TO CYBERTRON.

While we're still on the matter of character development, it seems that Prowl has warmed to his teammates and has become more a team player. Bulkhead's shown that he'll probably always be clumsy and a bit of a doofus, but his heart's in the right place (with Sound and Fury proving this).

And Bumblebee has learned a valuable lesson that even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

That's not character development, it's a cavalcade of fucking cliches.

Ratchet had his moment with Lockdown, but the tragedy of Elita-One explains why Optimus is so self-sacrificial (and maybe Sentinal Prime had a hand in his failure at the Academy, but we'll see).

And here you hit upon the two most interesting hooks introduced literally within the first ten minutes of the series, that have had slim development since.  I want to know about the war, and I want to know about Optimus's dismissal from the academy.  I could give a flying fuck about anything else, even if Grimlock and Soundwave (and Kremzeek!) DO make me smile.

I can't argue with you that the pacing is off (Megs can't get out of that lab soon enough, but he isn't going to be immobile for the whole season), however the first season of Beast Wars was basically a contest for resources, and that was its hook.

And the first season of Beast Wars started off strong, meandered through a bunch of bullshit, and then ended strong.  There is a reason I am still watching this show, and that is probably it.

Animated has brought in overt superhero themes,


"Every third episode starts with two minutes of random encounter with a C-list Teen Titans villain" is not a positive.

and Decepticons that are actually a physical threat when they don't have superior numbers (I'm looking at you, live-action movie).

Their numbers are so inferior that the Autobots have fought a total of five of them over the course of ten episodes.  Bane and Professor Zoom have gotten as much screentime as Starscream or Soundwave, and more than Blackarachnia.

I'll grant that the AllSpark is interchangable with energon McGuffins or preserving the timeline, though.

If it were just "we have to protect the Allspark from the Decepticons", that'd be lazy but acceptable -- it's war, and the Autobots' purpose is to prevent the Decepticons gaining a tactical advantage.  That goes for the other series too.

The problem is that goddamn key.  It's not just a McGuffin, it's a deus ex machina of epic proportions.  It's a damn sight worse than introducing new characters by virtue of littering an unspecified number of stasis pods all over the world, it's a device that seems to do any goddamn thing the writers want it to.  It repairs Transformers, it turns inanimate objects into Transformers, it can apparently turn Detroit black-and-white and age organic lifeforms...what else are we going to see it do, and how soon is Sari going to take Bulkhead's advice and quit using it seventeen times an episode?

And you're still right about Megatron being the boogey man. He had to have most of his body destroyed before he fell back on the original guy's zany and failure-prone mad scientist schemes. Before that it took an underhanded trick by Starscream and five Autobots to incapacitate him.

Granted, but all that happened in the first episode.

It's interesting and promising to me when a "face" villain becomes the "Emperor Palpatine" sort. It's things like that, the remaining mysteries, and the promise of more character episodes that will maintain my interest.

It was interesting at first, but now it's just tedious.  And swiftly devolving into an idiot plot.  How many fucking times does he have to give Isaac a homicidal robot and ask him not to tell the Autobots where it came from before the good doctor notices a pattern?  Talk about taking the "naive genius" cliche to an extreme.
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Cannon

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2008, 01:30:03 AM »

I'm tempted to speak generally (for the sake of my own lack of patience), but in the interest of having a fair discourse about cartoons as though it were SERIOUS BUSINESS (mind that I'm not foolish enough to use that as a cop-out, nor am I so poorly self-aware), I'll go point-by-point.

But it's all played for cheap laughs.  It's not deep or introspective.  Football with the Dinobots is one thing, slumber parties with eight-year-olds are another entirely.  Halloween, birthday parties, trips to the zoo...giant robots should not fucking be doing those things.  If they're just cooling their heels waiting for reinforcements from Cybertron, we should see more of them TRYING TO FUCKING FIND A WAY TO GET A MESSAGE BACK TO CYBERTRON.

I'll concede this. Beast Wars had an episode early on where the Maximals attempted to contact Cybertron, only to have the array destroyed. I'm sure if the Autobots only voiced their concerns, it was a throwaway line.

And Bumblebee has learned a valuable lesson that even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

Hee!

That's not character development, it's a cavalcade of fucking cliches.

::O:

And here you hit upon the two most interesting hooks introduced literally within the first ten minutes of the series, that have had slim development since.  I want to know about the war, and I want to know about Optimus's dismissal from the academy.  I could give a flying fuck about anything else, even if Grimlock and Soundwave (and Kremzeek!) DO make me smile.

...Kind of strange that there doesn't seem to be more to Cybertronian culture besides the Great War(s?) Oh, wait. Boys' action cartoon. Nevermind. I'll grant that the challenge of this series is presenting more interesting mysteries.

And the first season of Beast Wars started off strong, meandered through a bunch of bullshit, and then ended strong.  There is a reason I am still watching this show, and that is probably it.

Just for the sake of argument and curiosity, what was strong about the first season of Beast Wars? The Vok installations, perhaps? Ghost in the Machine, maybe? Or was that episode also something that just made you smile? But I can agree that the ending was a heck of a cliffhanger.

"Every third episode starts with two minutes of random encounter with a C-list Teen Titans villain" is not a positive.

Professor Princess and I think you're a big meanie head.

Their numbers are so inferior that the Autobots have fought a total of five of them over the course of ten episodes.

But not all at once. They're repair robots! They're not programmed for this kind of action! Which makes it interesting if Megatron gets some reinforcements.

The problem is that goddamn key.  It's not just a McGuffin, it's a deus ex machina of epic proportions.  It's a damn sight worse than introducing new characters by virtue of littering an unspecified number of stasis pods all over the world, it's a device that seems to do any goddamn thing the writers want it to.  It repairs Transformers, it turns inanimate objects into Transformers, it can apparently turn Detroit black-and-white and age organic lifeforms...what else are we going to see it do, and how soon is Sari going to take Bulkhead's advice and quit using it seventeen times an episode?

Another reason to love the last episode - Megatron was clever enough to design Soundwave to work with the deux ex ma-key-na... But also dumb enough to not forsee Soundwave being granted a spark. D'oh! Not excusing the hackish device, mind.

Granted, but all that happened in the first episode.

Okay, so... Beating up on Decepticons is tiresome now, too? All right.

It was interesting at first, but now it's just tedious.  And swiftly devolving into an idiot plot.  How many fucking times does he have to give Isaac a homicidal robot and ask him not to tell the Autobots where it came from before the good doctor notices a pattern?  Talk about taking the "naive genius" cliche to an extreme.

Right. The Sumdacs are dolts. Got it.

It seems that my claim of "reaching into the future" has become a dispute over the actual quality of the series thus far. Which was probably deserved, since I was a little vague with said claim. If that's become the case, then it's fair to say you've won. Feel free to keep questioning my tastes, Thad; even if it is a little infuriating, it is welcome.
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Roger

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2008, 06:21:08 AM »

Just for the sake of argument and curiosity, what was strong about the first season of Beast Wars?
Rhinox farting saved the day.
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Thad

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2008, 09:13:52 AM »

Oh, wait. Boys' action cartoon. Nevermind.

This is a phrase that has clearly never been uttered in the writers' room.

Just for the sake of argument and curiosity, what was strong about the first season of Beast Wars? The Vok installations, perhaps? Ghost in the Machine, maybe? Or was that episode also something that just made you smile? But I can agree that the ending was a heck of a cliffhanger.

Vok installation (and any episode whose title starts with "Other V") is a biggie.  The first ep, with the space battle and the cliffhanger ending where Dinobot challenged Optimus for leadership of the Maximals, was a great bit too.  The Starscream ep was solid fanservice.  (I think that one was called Possession; Ghost in the Machine was a G1 ep with the same premise but 100% fewer Douglas Adams references.)

Dunno; I caught a bit of season 2 again a few months back but it's been ages since I watched season 1.  Have been meaning to give them another view and refresh my memory.

Their numbers are so inferior that the Autobots have fought a total of five of them over the course of ten episodes.

But not all at once. They're repair robots! They're not programmed for this kind of action! Which makes it interesting if Megatron gets some reinforcements.

The series would be interesting if a LOT of things happened that haven't yet in ten episodes.

Granted, but all that happened in the first episode.

Okay, so... Beating up on Decepticons is tiresome now, too? All right.

No, no, my point was more a "What have you done for me lately?"

As I've remarked several times, the first ep threw out a BUNCH of neat hooks -- Great War, Autobot Academy, Decepticons going into hiding, Decepticons grossly outmatching Autobots -- that have been back-burnered for slumber parties and costumed supervillains.

It seems that my claim of "reaching into the future" has become a dispute over the actual quality of the series thus far. Which was probably deserved, since I was a little vague with said claim. If that's become the case, then it's fair to say you've won. Feel free to keep questioning my tastes, Thad; even if it is a little infuriating, it is welcome.

Hey, I'm still watching the damn thing too.  I'd even say I liked the Soundwave episode, though the logical part of my brain knows that is entirely because it had Soundwave in it.  (And, it bears repeating, the Kremzeek sight gag didn't hurt.)

If it's a conversation about how things could happen in the future that would save the series, I am totally onboard with that; Lord knows it's why I'm still watching.  There's SO much potential there, particularly with the reinvention of the supporting cast -- I want more Magnus, Sentinel, Grimlock, and Arcee, and I'm looking forward to Junkion and Shockwave.  And once Megatron gets himself a new body, I'm hoping the series kicks into high gear and the silly eps become fewer and farther between.  At a minimum, I'd like the silly eps to be more like the Soundwave and Grimlock ones and at least pile on some fanservice and, for fuck's sake, use giant robots as the antagonists, not humans.
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Roger

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2008, 09:48:53 AM »

What's-a matter?  You kids no like-a the Lord Chumleys?
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Cannon

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2008, 11:28:35 AM »

Well, I certainly do. Thad just finds the recent crop and the "slumber party" antics to be really distracting (as well as the heaping lot of cliche's).

Yeah, you're right about the episode title, Thad. And my bad for making you repeat yourself because I was a little :slow:

Guess we'll see how Animated turns out. Doo-dee-doo.
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Thad

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2008, 12:03:43 PM »

Humans are okay, if used sparingly, and also if they turn out to be Cobra Commander at the end.  Or if they are horrible racial stereotypes, but I think we can count out that possibility in the new, more culturally sensitive series.

The problem with this crop of one-off supervillains is that each and every one of them screams "we wish we were still doing Teen Titans".  I do too, guys, but just because your superhero show gets cancelled doesn't mean you should shoehorn all your ideas for it into a giant robot show.  It's not as bad a genre mashup as, say, He-Man in space or Ninja Turtles in the future, but it's still a poor fit.
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Cannon

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2008, 12:06:43 PM »

In any case, I think we can both agree that just because something is "for kids" or just meant to sell a lot of toys excuses it for being crud.
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Roger

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2008, 12:51:20 PM »

He-Man in space
But...eh.  Never mind.
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Thad

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2008, 12:25:07 PM »

The best Transformers comic right now is Spotlight, and Devastation came to a satisfying conclusion by pulling in a bunch of threads from the former series.  Galvatron, Nemesis Prime, Nightbeat, and yeah, I see some tiny T-rex arms on the second-to-last page.  (Actually, I'm curious to see what Grimlock's beast mode looks like now; it looked organic in the Shockwave one-shot.)

The book's been JUST okay enough to keep me reading from one issue to the next (rather like Animated, except I have to pay for it), but I think this is a good step -- most of the Autobots go out into space to fight the galactic threat, the Decepticons stay on Earth and are now targeted by the entire human race -- that should do a lot to shift the focus back to giant robots whumping on each other.  (Of course, "some of the Transformers stay on Earth and others go to fight a big threat from space" is also the plot of his last Beast Wars arc, so points off for that.)
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Roger

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #37 on: March 01, 2008, 11:19:31 AM »

I knew I'd like Lugnut the moment I first saw his design.
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Brentai

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2008, 11:40:23 AM »

most of the Autobots go out into space to fight the galactic threat, the Decepticons stay on Earth and are now targeted by the entire human race -- that should do a lot to shift the focus back to giant robots whumping on each other.

Not knowing anything about the new comics, I'd have to say that sounds about exactly like the opposite of giant robots whumping on each other.
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Thad

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Re: Transformers
« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2008, 11:51:52 AM »

The galactic threat the Autobots are fighting and the government agency the Decepticons are fighting are also giant robots.
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