Wednesday, July 27, 2011

RID was Rad

I have noticed that there is a lot of hate toward Robots in Disguise in the fan community.  Personally I have a soft spot in my heart for this series.  It was the first full line of Transformers that were available in stores when I started to collect ten years ago now!  Thinking about how its been so long since I have looked at this series I decided to try to post a Pro-RID blog for those who are on the fence, or those who are open minded enough to continue to read the blog.
The first thing that deserves to be mentioned is that RID was the fist show to take us back to a primarily vehicle based Transformer line up as opposed to the Beast Era.  This was the first thing that attracted me to the line.  My cousin had always had Formers, and I was always fascinated by them.  When he got me into the hobby, all that was available in stores was Beast Machines, and honestly they did not appeal.  I did pick up the deluxe Primal, and the Deluxe Jetstorm, but those ended up being nothing more than filler for what was on the way. So reason RID was Rad #1- a return the Prime as a truck.
Hasbro had decided to return to the Prime as a truck model of doing things, and scrapped their idea for the Transtech which would have been a connection from the Beast era to Gen 1, and needed more time in order to completely write the story and get what would be the Unicron Trilogy developed and ready for stores.  To make sure that Formers still had a shelf presence, Hasbro decided to take what was known as Transformers 2000, or Car Robots and release it state side.  They redubbed the show in English and released the show onto Fox Kids.  When it aired, the series was cut a little short because of the events of 9/11 though.  There were a few shows that depicted the destruction of a few buildings and it was felt that they would not be a good PC idea after the tragic destruction of the twin towers. 

The storyline of RID somewhat hearkened back to the original G1 story line in my mind.  However, there was almost no talk of Cybertron, nor any extra-terrestrial action.  This did not detract from the show however, although there are a few episodes that are a bit kiddy, the show was very much action packed, and full of awesome battles.  The first few episodes, the battle was between the Autobots and the Predicons... WHAT?!?! In just a few episodes, Megatron hijacks some protoforms, and injects part of his spark and BAM! The Decepticons were once again born.  Reason RID was Rad 2- Return of the Decepticons.
The story also added a huge group of Autobots.  The good guys started with Optimus Prime, and the Autobot Brothers (Sideburn, Prowl, and X-Brawn) and within the next few episodes the Autobots ranks had skyrocketed.  Not only did it include individual Autobots, the within the first five episodes, RailRacer was introduced, the first time that we had seen a Gestalt in a cartoon stateside since Computron and Abominus in G1.  Reason RID was Rad #3- Gestalts come back to the silver screen.
On that same note, five of the Decepticons took a stroll down memory lane back to the eighties, and early nineties.  The special five that I speak of are of course BRUTI..... ummm RUINATION.  There were a total of six Decepts in all, five of which provided the evil doers with their own gestalt, who was no other than a repaint/reissue of the original Combaticons.  so Reason RID was Rad #4- Scramble City Bots Came Home!
The sixth Decepticon was Scourge, no other than a straight black and white repaint of G2 Laser Rod Optimus Prime.  Let me tell you... for a toy developed in the early nineties, it is an amazing figure.  I know it is a hard one to come by, but if you only get a single figure from this line... I recommend the TRU Scourge.  The black and white paint scheme was simple and beautifully captured on plastic.  Reason RID was RAD #4-  Back in Black, Scourge the Adam of Black Paints.
Also this line brought us a first.  Ultra Magnus... with is OWN mold.  Ulntra Magnus was introduced a kind of the Wolverine bad ass of the team.  He was his own bot.  Also i think that he gave us the only glimpse of Cybertron as he explained why he was doing what he was doing.  This was one of my favorite figures of the line, and actually I got Ultra Magnus before I even got my Optimus Prime!  Reason RID was Rad #5- Ultra Magnus got is Ball Bearings Back.
The major thing that this line brougt back (in a way) was BIG.  I mean that in the most real meaning.  RID brought back the biggest Transformer ever made... and one of my favorites... Fortress Maximus.  Fort Max was actually the figure that got me into Transformers.  When I saw my cousin's Brave Max I was like... Josh.. what is this... this is soo cool.  Then he took off the head.  Dude... you brok.... wait its a robot!  Awesome.  Dude... you pulled off his hea.... wait a third robot... that is a major bad ass sandwich!  I had to have it, but $120 for a Japanese toy and a minimum wage job... it just wasn't in the cards... if only I knew then what I know now.  I had to wait to get my Brave Max until the Korean issue, with upside down Bot symbol.  but I have him.... totally awesome.  Reason RID was Rad #6- Fort Maximus Is in the HOUSE!!!
I hope this gave a little bit of insight on why I really love this cartoon and line of toys.  Hopefully some time soon I will be able to get my collection up on shelves and share it with everyone and I will be sure to include my complete RID line up. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dark of the Moon

The last time that I posted  I felt that I was running a bit long, and was overly critical and negative about DOTM.  I decided to put a little good, and then just stop to continue later.  So here we go... what is good about Dark of the Moon... well firstly lots.  Lets dig into the mess that is my brain and decide if I am truely sane.
Firstly I love how the movie gives itself standing in real history.  The moon landing being a front for a secret robot mission was classic.  I loved to once again (since the prequel novel to the firt movie) see the American Government covering up that they know.  Also the "historical footage" was perfecty cast and acted out to make it look genuine.  Additionally using the Chernobyl disaster for a reaction to space bridge tech was again a great play with history, and gave the movie an illusion of realism for the movie.
The turning of Sentinel Prime was anther amazing part of the story that really made me enjoyt the movie.  The trailers were perfect, and never even hinted at the turn so it was a complete surprise.  Sentinel Primes characterization was also really well done.  Sentinel was characterized as a being that was just doing the best that he could for his species.  He also had complete knowledge that what he did was wrong.  I really thought that it showed that Sentinel was honrable doing a dishonorable action for the greater good.  If Sentinel was supposed to be a power hungry mad bot then we would have been stuck with a nothing more than a repeat of Revenge of the Fallen.  Instead we have this leader who is plauged with what he believes to be the correct work of action.  If he were just a repeat fallen Prime then when Optimus offered the Matrix back to Sentinel, then Sentinel would have taken it and ran.  Instead he knew that Sentinel Prime was knowingly in the wrong and did not want to create any more wrongs.  He knew he no longer was the correct weilder of the Matrix.
The movied does have its flaws, I mean what movie doesn't? However all in all it really is a solid move.  I really enjoy everything that they accomplished in the film.  Again I wish that they would have taken out some of the human drama, but I see why they needed to include it in the film for some of the non-Transfans out there.  I also see where some of what i consider "useless" humor came in for this aspect of the movie as well.  Don't get me wrong, I have already seen the movie twice, and plan to see it again.  I really can't get enough.  I just need to get my fan-boy gripes aired out there to some people who see eye to eye with me. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

OK.  I know that it has been a while, but I must confess I have been a bit busy as of late.  Not just with Formers stuff.... which i really wish I could do for a full time job, but rather with life in general.  We had family come over from Germany, as well as multiple wedding and other events that have taken a bit of time away from the blog.  Additionally I have started a custom fig, but its still a far way from being ready... I was all into it and then I had to clean up my painting station in order to have people over to my humble abode. 
So now that I have gotten apologies out of the way here we go... its time for the Beyond Cybertron Dark of hte Moon Reveal because you know there was a little movie that came to the fandom while I was away.  Firstly I want to be a courtious host and warn you that I am going to address anything from the movie so if you haven't seen it, turn off your computer and go to the theater, then return to me when you are finished.  I will be giving spoilers, I am not holding back.  You can continue to read without watching but there will be surprises leaked, but I guess you dont care about that now do you?
When I walked into the theater I was a bit excited and giddy.  I couldn't wait to see what was in store for me.  I had enjoyed Revenge of the Fallen, but honestly I was a bit let down.  The first movie was amazing, and more than I could ever ask for so my expectations for the second were highly risen and let down.  This time around I wanted to see a good robo battle and just hoped it was  good movie.  I was incredibly surprised.  Firstly I want to start with my gripes, that way I can end on a good note, and everyone will still like me.  If you think everything was perfect  in DOTM, then please just skip a little down this article and skip to the praises... an amazing ability of digital tech.
Firstly, WAYYYY too much humans.  I went to see Transformers... not Humans guest starring the Transformers.  I understand that they were trying to add some humor into an action flick but most of the humans were not needed.  The Asian man who worked with Sam and had a connection to NASA was nothing but filler and used for a cheap quick gay joke.  That is one thing that just annoyed me.  I wanted to yell.... WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO CONNECT SAM WITH THE TRANSFORMERS... YOU ALREADY HAVE.... YOU ARE IN THE THIRD MOVIE... HE IS ALREADY LINKED!!!  Everything done with the Asian man seemed to be used to bring back Simmons into the story line.  With S7 being disbanded he no longer has and easy in and lets face it... we all love Simmons right?  I know alot of people hate him, but I actually dig him, and was happy to see him come back.  But thats the thing, instead of giving us an hour of Sam searching for job after job, and humorous interview after joke interview, you could have just given him his BS desk job, and had the now Rich Simmons come in and have already had him start to decypher what was happening.  Lets face it, nothing was added to the movie by making Sam have a split with the Autobots, and why wasn't he allowed in NEST.  Why didn't he have a job for NEST.  If the sercurty admin was so worried about leaks... she would have kept him under her wing and under wraps... all those exchanges with Sam could have easily been done with Simmons.  Easily as that, now you have more robo action, and less stupid homophobic humor.  It just wasnt needed.

I see I have caught your attention with a Victoria Secret Supermodel.  See how easy that was?  Honstly the only acting she really pulled off was to be herself.  The whole movie I just watched and thought...that should be Megan.  That is Mikaela, not some British chick, everything she did was a slightly twisted Mikaela.  Why did you have to say all that stuff about Bay.  Don't get me wrong, I love you for it... I would have just rathered see you in this film as well.  My Carley vs Mikaela argument is finished here, the scene where Carley walks up to a damaged Megatron and tells him that he is now just Sentinel Primes bitch... you honestly think Megatron would take that from some puny fleshling?  Megatron had no clue who this girl was except maybe from Dylan or Soundwave, but even in those circumstances she was nothing but a hostage, weak and powerless.  He had no reason to take anything from her.  She should have been snapped in half right then and there period.  Now had Mikeala said that, that is a different story.  Here is a girl who has been warring with Megs for the past five years.  She has been a great and honorable combatant.  She has takend down some of his men, and fought vallinatly against the Decepticons.  Megatron is an ex-gladiator, he finds respect from this type of action.  He is honorable, so if this girl would call him a bitch then man, he must have really went down hill.   Just saying.
Also Chicago seemed to be ohhh so long.  I really did enjoy it but a whole lot of it was nothing more than hey guys... we can do this and it would look cool, it wont add to the story but think of how it will look, then we add explosions, and man this is a perfect movie.  Again more and more Bay-footage.  A majority of the human action in Chicago was not needed.  For example, had Hardcore Eddy tried to shoot and while shooting the missal the building fell and they lost it, alright I'm cool with that, but not shooting at all?  Not cool.  Alos why doesnt he use that missal at all?  I understand the whole military support thing, but there was just way to much.  I am here to watch robots, can we please get to them?
One final gripe... the ending.  I feel that they completly destroyed what Prime would have done.  In the novel apparently the Optimus-Megatron exchange ended with Optimus sending Megs and his decepticons to Cybertron... I like that exchange much more.  "What would you be with out me Prime?" "Lets Find Out!" KILL SHOT.  Prime does not act in anger, nor retalliation.  Look at the first movie, Prime stands over a heavily wonunded Megatron... he wouldn't have taken the kill shot but rather he would have taken the prisioner and finally ended the war.  Megs forced his hand.  In DOTM Prime kills in cold blood, completely out of charcter, and how do you explain to a kid why their hero just did something so anti-heroic? 
To top it off Prime then gives Sentinel the Coup De Gra?  Why?  Sentinel even was showing complete remorse.  Completely out of character.  Prime would have let him live, maybe inprisioned, but still alive.  Freedom is the right of all sentint beings.  Do you rememer that?  Not Peace through Tyranny! 

Enough bad, onto the good.  I have to say I was happy to see how the Witwickys were used.  It really showed growth from a 16 year old Sam.  They were not overwhelming, and even though  a source of some humor, not too much.  Also it showed they now trusted the adult Sam.  He told them to go and they didn't even second guess it, they just went.
Another great aspect of the movie was the whole Sentinel Prime angle.  I had no clue the turn was going to happen and even the foreshadowing was so subtle that I didn't realize it happened.  Sentinel really showed the leader he was and even kept his morals while trading the Autobots when he rejected the Matrix.  I really felt that he wanted Prime to keep it because he was no longer worthy.  The whole time he even worked with the Decepts it was just as a means to an end... to save Cybertron. 
The Wreckers and Epps were also a great addition to the movie.  I really have came to like Epps and his role gave a great in to Chicago.  The Wreckers were also just great to see how a movieverse Autobot Seal team would work. 
That is all for this blog, but I will add a second of nothing but good soon so be sure to check back!