Transformers movie gigantic superthread

Posted by asterphage 
I have a question for you people bitching about the racism in this movie.

If the robots and humans of color are being depicted as stupid, useless, etc., who is on the other end of the spectrum? Which characters are shown to be intelligent, in control, and on top of things?

Based on what I've read about the movie, seems like nobody.
Op and Megs. The Fallen even though he didn't do much. Jetfire was kinda there.

Really, there's so little characterization to most of the Transformers in this that yeah, basically it's a film made up of idiots and no names. That's one of the things I've always enjoyed about Transformers was the characterization and the equal time given to both factions.

Sideways was probably the least seen out of all the characters. Not even a single line.

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I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
Sanjeev (Admin)
Roger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have a question for you people bitching about
> the racism in this movie.
>
> If the robots and humans of color are being
> depicted as stupid, useless, etc., who is on the
> other end of the spectrum? Which characters are
> shown to be intelligent, in control, and on top of
> things?
>
> Based on what I've read about the movie, seems
> like nobody.


"Bitching about racism", huh? What does that say about you, Roger?

But I'll play.

I haven't seen the second movie, so I can't comment directly on the characters. As for the first movie, let's see...
1) Sam: the white, male, heterosexual, middle-class protagonist. He has funny quirks that most people can identify with (not the most popular kid, nervous around girls, etc.)...but never once does the movie belittle his intelligence, demean him, or reduce him to a stereotype.
2) Optimus Prime: yes, he's white. If Jazz and the Coon-bots are so starkly "coded" as black characters, then we can say that Prime is a white male. He's brave, compassionate, and logical.
3) Mikaela: white female. Utterly stereotypical "hot chick", playing a role little more than Sam's object of...whatever...
4) Sam's parents: white, middle-class, heterosexual couple. "Classic" suburban family...and while you may be able to argue that this is a stereotype of *white, middle-class, heterosexual suburbanites*, please note that those are ALL oppressor groups. Never once does the movie belittle their intelligence or fullness as human beings.
5) The white soldier guy. Well...he was a military leader. Competent. Quick-thinking.
6) The gov't stooge: John Turturro's obnoxious character. Complete jackass...but was this a play on any generations-long hateful prejudices? Fuck no.
7) The top general/gov't military guy: John Voight's character. Again, a flat character like the white soldier guy, but still played as competent and logical.
8) Megatron: another "coded" white robot if, for no other reason, simply because of the loud contrast against the "coded black" robots. Typical scary villain.
9) Now...my favorite by far...the gorgeous white (Australian?) blonde chick/computer genius. AWESOME. Who better to put in stark contrast to the bumbling, cowardly, fat, black computer genius than a stupefyingly hot computer hacker from down under. Again, she was cool and level-headed throughout the film...unlike her black male counterpart who inhaled a plate of donuts out of sheer terror.

--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave
Roger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If the robots and humans of color are being
> depicted as stupid, useless, etc., who is on the
> other end of the spectrum? Which characters are
> shown to be intelligent, in control, and on top of
> things?


The most "perfect" protagonist is the white military leader guy. He's the penultimate hero, rivaled only in his smooth badassery by Optimus Prime. Sam, while an imperfect (reluctant) hero, is still "destined" to be the person who saves everyone; also, he enjoys a slightly more complex range of emotions/behaviors. Oh, and he has a girlfriend - White Venus. None of the minority characters get any females. (I would say "partners" but the movie is also over-the-top gender normative and male-dominated.) In fact, there is a subplot about how the Hispanic guy can't get laid while all the girls chase Sam.

I would take #6 off of Sanjeev's list. John Turturro's character is useless. Because he's a Jew. And not one of the "good" kind. He's one of the New York kind. The dirty, worthy-of-scorn kind. I swear he says something like "schmear", "knish", "gnosh", or "bagel" in the scene where he is working in his mother's deli.

All in all, it's just like real life.
My promotional account was started in Columbus and it is too much of a pain to change. I', based in the Birmingham/ Atlanta area.
I'm goint to just say that Sanjeev is right on point but I do think that they portrayed Tyreese character as smart, brave, fast on his feat and a very noble character. On TF2 he was the first one to speak up on behalf of Prime. BUT if they had made him a stepin Fetchit character I think it would have looked as a slam on the military and Bay is not going to piss of the people who let him play with the big fun toys.

Also I think Jazz would have been a good character if he hadn't said "Wha'd up bitches!" VERY unlike Jazz. Jazz should have been voiced by the black actor who chased N. Cage in "Gone in 60 seconds." Don't know his name but a good Jazzy but strong voice.

Jazz was a reall bad ass but they killed off the brother (as usual) BTW if they can bring Prime back (good idea not to repeat 1986) they should be able to re-connect Jazz...but it won't happen. Pontiac isn't even going to make the Solstice anymore.

Sanjeev,

If you want to see a movie where one of the main black characters (although they have to kill off one) actually makes it through the end rent Event Horizon and that Deep Shark movie with Samauel Jackson...LL makes it through the whole movie.
MSW
Yeah, Delroy Lindo would make a great Jazz. He is a fantastic actor, but it would be disappointing if he is brought in for only one line :(

As for Deep Blue Sea, IIRC. Didn't they make it sorta a running joke that the "black guy is the redshirt in these movies"? And then it was LL who wired up the battery setting off the charges that killed the sharks?
Yeah, Deep Blue Sea made fun of the whole convention, especially with what happens to Samuel L. Jackson.

For a movie made to sell toys that mainly originated in Japan, there sure weren't many Asians in the (first, haven't seen the second) movie. What's up with that? :)

How was Jetfire portrayed? Any ageism there?

Aren't there toys involved somehow in this thing? Isn't there already a thread in the off topic forum to complain about the movie? All we care about here are the toys (and cartoons).
What's the opinion of Jazz as portrayed in the original cartoon? Scatman Cruthers was just doing his usual voice, and while I suppose one MIGHT be able to construe that as derogatory in some way, it wasn't like he was being told to ham it up or anything. He was a well-known actor doing his usual routine for a cartoon charactor. Jazz always seemed like the coolest of the Autobots to me as a child. He appeared to be OP's second in command, capable, intelligent and certainly a leader. Am I way off base with that?

If I am correct, then why the fuck would Bay change the character and make him trivial in such a way other than as a way to obviously include a racist character?

More serious than thou



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/07/2009 12:45PM by fujikuro.
fujishig Wrote:
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> How was Jetfire portrayed? Any ageism there?


If you count arthritis, senility, incontinent bowels, and vaguely alluded to homosexuality as "ageism" - then, yes. Yes there was.

If you count Betty White having sex as ageism - then, no. Technically she's dead anyway. And there were no robotic-dysfunction jokes about Viagra in the whole film. Perhaps they will fix that with the sequel.

Back to the TOYS. On BOO's recommendation, I picked up the silver bug car thing. The feet were all floppy on it, but once I beefed them up they worked fine. A pretty good toy with all the crazy proportions and bug-like stuff going on. The hands suck and there are no weapons to speak of, but those are minor complaints. Still, not as good as Landmine. That toy rawks hard.
Delroy Lindo!!!! That's the guy. Would've been a great Jazz!

Does anyone think that Peter Cullen was camping it up a bit more than he did in the 80's/ Maybe he's just older but in both movies Prime seems like he's trying to out "Prime" himself.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Wow...so John Turturro's character is now Jewish!? Fucking awesome. So my girlfriend, whose mixed heritage includes New York Jew, can be offended along with the rest of us...who haven't seen the movie! ;P (oh yeah...like she wouldn't have been offended at the 10,000 *other* fucking things!)

Marvin, you're totally on point: Tyrese's character is the one person of color they didn't fuck with...and what a surprise, he was a soldier. Like someone already said, half of the (first, at least) movie played like a fucking Go Army ad. Seriously, I'm sure they had to work that angle to secure the ultra-modern military tech featured in the movie (let alone sponsorship money or whatnot). Now, if they're doing a Go Army ad, you KNOW they're gonna feature a white guy, a black guy, and a Latino guy...and what a surprise: that's precisely what you see in the movie.

Scatman Crothers played Jazz in the original show beautifully. He played him with his own strong, melodic voice, and he didn't try to clean up his diction or sound like anything he wasn't. Yeah, he said Crothers-isms, like "ginormous", but that's HIM. I think the point was that he was a complete black man (well, robot), not a stereotype. His character was portrayed with the same dignity any other character got, regardless of "coded" race, gender, age, or whatever. THAT is why the portrayal of Jazz in the first Bayformer movie was so offensive to me.

I love Delroy Lindo, but if *I* were to cast someone to do the voice of a modern Jazz, I'd pick Richard Brooks with ZERO hesitation, guys! Have you seriously heard this dude's fucking voice!? He played the bounty hunter in the last episode of Firefly...and he was one of the main characters in G vs. E...if anyone caught any of that. I guess he was a recurring character on Law & Order, too. Anyway, THIS dude's voice is the shit, and I think a suitable heir to Scatman Crothers' Jazz.

Marvin...hehe...I've totally seen both Deep Blue Sea and Event Horizon. Both great flicks for TOTALLY different reasons. Yes, Deep Blue Sea was the shit specifically because they fucked with the whole "kill the black dude" thing...and Event Horizon was just plain awesome.

And while we're on this brief subject, I *know* I wasn't the only one annoyed at the "Magical Negro" moments in the recent Battlestar Galactica. The priestess that Roslin kept consulting had ZERO characterization...her purpose, only to spout vague wisdom from the scriptures to guide the white people. Awesome.

--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave
fujikuro Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What's the opinion of Jazz as portrayed in the
> original cartoon? Scatman Cruthers was just doing
> his usual voice, and while I suppose one MIGHT be
> able to construe that as derogatory in some way,
> it wasn't like he was being told to ham it up or
> anything. He was a well-known actor doing his
> usual routine for a cartoon charactor. Jazz
> always seemed like the coolest of the Autobots to
> me as a child. He appeared to be OP's second in
> command, capable, intelligent and certainly a
> leader. Am I way off base with that?
>
> If I am correct, then why the fuck would Bay
> change the character and make him trivial in such
> a way other than as a way to obviously include a
> racist character?

See, Jazz had that ONE bad first line: "What's crackin lil bitches!?" If they just took out the "bitches" it probably wouldn't be so bad and people wouldn't have cried racism. Watching the movie, Jazz WAS capable, intelligent, and had leader qualities. In his brief screentime he twice was the only one who seemed to worry about Bumblebee, and he charged into battle against Brawl AND Megatron. If being concerned about your friends is a racial stereotype, then I'll take it :p

Unfortunately due to budget limitations he looks like a dick just sitting there in car mode after Bee gets his legs blown off.
Anonymous User
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Scatman Crothers played Jazz in the original show
> beautifully. He played him with his own strong,
> melodic voice, and he didn't try to clean up his
> diction or sound like anything he wasn't. Yeah, he
> said Crothers-isms, like "ginormous", but that's
> HIM. I think the point was that he was a complete
> black man (well, robot), not a stereotype. His
> character was portrayed with the same dignity any
> other character got, regardless of "coded" race,
> gender, age, or whatever. THAT is why the
> portrayal of Jazz in the first Bayformer movie was
> so offensive to me.
>

Well said.
Richard Brooks oflaw & Order fame is good! The only reason I'd still pick Delroy is that his voice always sorta sings as he speaks. He also has a voice and style of someone who has experienced the world as only a blues singer can convey. Also BIG props to TF Animated who I think was EXTREMELY positive in keeping Jazz...Jazz. Whoever voiced him was really good. He convayed thr scatman without copying scatman.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Nick, please pardon me, sir, for "crying" racism again, but not only did Jazz introduce himself in such a gawd-awful way...but he fucking break-danced his transformation...and, in true black-supporting-character fashion, he died like a punk bitch by running right into Megatron and saying "wanna piece of me??". The ONE "black" Transformer...and the ONLY Autobot to die. Hmmm...

Marvin, I never saw Animated, but I'll have to check out clips of how Jazz sounded. Lindo or Brooks...they both would have been great (if all the other bullshit were removed, of course!).

...

Anyway, back to toys (hehe...right!), the only movie toys I'm getting at this point are the Gravity Bots, and I cracked open Optimus and Starscream last night. SO MUCH FUN!! Sure they're even simpler than G1's Topspin and Twintwist, but I think they're way more fun to transform.

I just wish they'd add shoulder joints and maybe a fold-out gun or something in the arms. Sure, you'd have to fold the gun away and put the arms down by the robot's sides before laying him down for the transformation, but I think that added play value would make a HUGE difference.

Still, I love 'em. I just wish they'd do Megatron and maybe some other Decepts other than Starscream (or how about Starscream repaints in the G1 colors for ALL the seekers???). I refuse to get Skids and Mudflap for obvious reasons, and Sideswipe looks a bit dull. I may get Bumblebee in his regular or "bolt" color scheme...
B00
This made my day

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Sanjeev (Admin)
That was aiight, I guess. But #2 totally reminded me of this...though it's not movie-related.

--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave
Picked up voyager Starscream (is there a leader class coming out?) Transformation is actually really involved, though there's a hand joint in the instructions that my toy apparently doesn't have, the cheapskates. My main complaint is that the overall robot design is still terrible. Not Hasbro's fault, but geez is it ugly.
MSW
Yeah, Starscream has a pretty innovative transformation...splits in half and kinda turns inside out. Not a pretty bot mode, and its got...pardon the expression...a wide stance. Never had the first movie toy, but I like this one.

Leader Prime...I removed the batteries and springloaded swords, helps bunches. transformation isn't too bad with practice, But I think it could have been done better. Worst part is the arms don't peg together all that well in truck mode, plus the chest/cab pieces have all those sping loaded parts working against you...fine going from truck to bot, but the reverse process can be frustraiting. Looks okay overall, but the funky shoulders keep poping out, just not enough "meat" to keep them locked in place. And the rear truck wheels lack the ability to lock in place, especialy the ones on Primes legs.

Got three scouts (can't recall thier names)

1)the bi-plane is okay but finicky, lots of ball joints, can't touch him without something poping off - but its SO cool to have a bi-wing transformer!

2)Red sports car. For some reason I really love this little guy. Got lots of issues though, elbows and wrist joints are real loose. Shoulders don't peg onto anything in bot mode. Chest/truck double joint is kinda tight, moreso than it needs to be. far from perfect, but I just love the way it looks.

3)Grey Boat. Really nice figure but has some weak ball joints. From the waist up reminds me of some of the Armor Core mecha. Legs are pretty funky, but its a boat transformer.


Legends class - My favorite of the movie line. Simple to transform, cheap, what more could you ask for!

Optimus prime - Great figure period.
Megatron - Not too bad, loved the tank mode - looks the part.
Jetfire - So-so, most complex transformation of these three, kinda suffers for it

And the last one I have is Wheelie. Really complex transformer for the size. My opinion is kinda torn about this toy though, has some odd design choices. Pain in the ass to chance from robot to truck due to the odd faction switching gimmick and wierd operation of the door joints. tires are same diameter front to back, but the rears are quite a bit wider (usualy these things are all the same size) Not such a big deal until robot mode where its clear the wider tires prohibit the shoulders from lineing up squarely...Not an assembly problem as the tires use two seperate methods of attachment front to rear. Nothing really locks in place in robot mode, and pretty much every robot joint doubles as a transformation joint so it becomes real finicky to play with...but it is cool how the bot folds out of the little truck, a real origami like design. Bot mode is huge compared to the truck mode, easy 7-8" tall for a little 3.5" long truck!
Marvin Lee Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Richard Brooks oflaw & Order fame is good! The
> only reason I'd still pick Delroy is that his
> voice always sorta sings as he speaks. He also has
> a voice and style of someone who has experienced
> the world as only a blues singer can convey. Also
> BIG props to TF Animated who I think was EXTREMELY
> positive in keeping Jazz...Jazz. Whoever voiced
> him was really good. He convayed thr scatman
> without copying scatman.

I forget his name but animated Jazz was voiced by the guy who does Hermes Conrad in Futurama and that vamp guy in Metal Gear Solid 2 to name but two roles.
He's a bloody great va imo.
that guy is Phil LaMarr. he was on Mad TV and had a small role in Pulp Fiction (got his head blown off).

[www.imdb.com]
so anyone bought any ROTF toys?

I only read the last few pages about the debate about racism...

JOHN
B00
I got a bunch. There's some nice stuff in this line.

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>so anyone bought any ROTF toys?

Yes. Scroll back to read what I said about the six Deluxes I've got. I still want Soundwave, Arcee, possibly Mixmaster and then I'll be done with ROTF most likely (still hoping for a DX/Voyager Scrapper though).

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I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
Sanjeev (Admin)
My job this summer will be to convince Andrew that the Gravity Bots Starscream is the alpha and the omega of transforming jet toys. It is quintessential.

Oh, is Supreme Devastator out yet? I know, I know...it'll probably be crap, but that stupid part of my brain that hopes against hope needs to know...
>Oh, is Supreme Devastator out yet? I know, I know...it'll probably be crap, but >that stupid part of my brain that hopes against hope needs to know...

BBTS has it in stock, but really wouldn't you rather have the Legends version?

[www.bigbadtoystore.com]

[www.bigbadtoystore.com]

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I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My job this summer will be to convince Andrew that
> the Gravity Bots Starscream is the alpha and the
> omega of transforming jet toys. It is
> quintessential.
>

No.
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My job this summer will be to convince Andrew that
> the Gravity Bots Starscream is the alpha and the
> omega of transforming jet toys. It is
> quintessential.


Do you have a picture of this? There's so much product out I can't mentally wade through it. But if I know what it looks like I might buy one. Just to argue you with you about it's faults, of course. Faults which I will inevitably describe in the exact same terms as your praise for it.

Or I might just like it. Who knows?
Gcrush! You are required to watch this review by a 2yr old little girl of GravityBot Stahscweam! Her opinion is the only one that matters here. All together say, AWWWWWwww..!

[www.youtube.com]


I got the Gravity Optimus a couple weeks back. My boss's little kids love making it transform when they barge into the shop, and it's out on a desk.
...But Starscream's better.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/2009 01:09AM by repairtechjon.
Devastator pic with size comparisons.

Also, they totally missed the opportunity to make one of those Mr. Potatohead TFs. They could call it DevaTATER.

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I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
Attachments:
open | download - 1247381433700.jpg (356.5 KB)
[www.youtube.com]

look at the underwhelmingness of it all.
johnparas11 Wrote:
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> so anyone bought any ROTF toys?
>
> I only read the last few pages about the debate
> about racism...


Whining aside, Skids and Mudflap are REALLY cool little robot figures with complex transformations and generous articulation. I like their look detils and colors and giant arms but some people can't get around all that.

Leader Prime is a must. Mixmaster is another favorite of mine. If you like the design the new Starscream is a different take on the transforming plane concept.

Sideswipe is another easy recommendation. He's like the Cowboy Bebop of ROTF toys. The most accessible for traditionalists or non-movie fans and is kickass all around.
I'd be more interested if they made these guys. They're not monkey-jets. I really like Breakaway and Stratosphere. Too bad the one I reviewed for CDX was defective.
Attachments:
open | download - skywarpmovie.jpg (420 KB)
open | download - slingshotmovie.JPG (45.4 KB)
Anonymous User
I think they all look like monkeys or Kamen Rider monsters. The fact that so many of the Decepticons in the films roar, growl, hiss and - in Starscream's case - even DROOL reinforces that perception for me.
Sanjeev (Admin)
repairtechjon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Gcrush! You are required to watch this review by a
> 2yr old little girl of GravityBot Stahscweam! Her
> opinion is the only one that matters here. All
> together say, AWWWWWwww..!
>
> [www.youtube.com]
>
>
> I got the Gravity Optimus a couple weeks back. My
> boss's little kids love making it transform when
> they barge into the shop, and it's out on a desk.
> ...But Starscream's better.


Jon, you are the man. That's exactly the review that made me go out and get these. In fact, I picked up bolt Bumblebee (same yellow head, but with a black car body and cool zigzag stripes on the side). Too fucking cool.

But they still need more Decepticons. No Megatron is unforgivable.
darnit, now I want some gravitybots. They had a ton of Starscream and nobody else at my local Target, but then I saw the price... at 15 bucks, forget it.

On a side note, I see Target recently jacked up the prices on all but Voyagers. Deluxes went from something like 11.99 to 14 bucks, and Leader went from 44.99 to 49.99. Not sure if it's the recession, or because of the recent coupons that they gave out.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/16/2009 02:16AM by fujishig.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Huh...yeah, the Leaders were $45 when I picked up the Gravity Bots (@ $13 each).
Legends Devastator gallery.

[d.hatena.ne.jp]

Pretty neat but I'm not that into the design to pay $54 for a figure that's about the height of a deluxe class figure.

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I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
Hey, I know I'll get killed for having purchased this, but the ice cream truck Skids/Mudflap deluxe is one of the nicest TF toys I've seen in a while. It's right up there with the HA BB and Leader OP for great playable toys. The split car mode is great, and the whole thing is sort of like a modern take on all the goofy gokins from the 70's. I know it's a stretch, but this is just not like any other Transformer I've played with before. I just wish they had managed to make this a Voyager class toy just so that the twins would be about the same size as their respective deluxe class figs are. If you're not adverse to the characters, this one is really worth picking up.

More serious than thou
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