Joined July 2007

Bernd Talasch doesn’t remember being hatched in a research laboratory in Omaha in the late 1950s so maybe that never happened....

"Transformers" as a 15 minute movie

I did it for Star Wars so I figured I might as well try to emulate the far more talented Cleolinda Jones by setting myself the challenge of a second one of these.

Remember Michael Bay’s “Transformers”? Here’s how I recall the film (more or less) being:

Introductory Voice-over by Optimus Prime
_In the beginning there was an opportunistically symbiotic relationship between a line of toys and a weekly cartoon series. Then nothing much happened for a couple of decades, and the geeky kids who kept the dream alive got whiter and pastier and became overweight or emaciated adults who eventually found employment and earned enough money to pay more and more cash for mint figures still in the original box, until one day producer Stephen Spielberg and director Michael Bay went ‘what if….?’ and the studio was like ‘totally!’. It didn’t seem right to me, but we were already too late… _

Opening Scene : A desert, somewhere
[The silhouette of a helicopter wafts over some baking white sand while ominous music plays]
US Airforce Base : Hey, you’re not supposed to fly in this restricted area, man! Turn back now or we’ll shoot you down.
Helicopter : …
US Airforce Base : That’s it. Just for that, we’re escorting you directly to our base.
Helicopter : (thinks) Cool.

[about a minute later, during which time it’s gone from 3 in the afternoon to about 8 o’clock at night]
US Airforce Base : Okay, get out of the plane
Helicopter : [Pilot’s face flickers briefly, revealing itself to be a hologram]
Kids in Audience : Ooooh!!

[As we all predicted, the helicopter pretzels itself into a robot and starts blasting 5hit up but good. Tanks, planes, and people go flying, missiles and concussion waves rip through the base and it is totally, totally, awesome. Despite not even being a US citizen, and despite the weapons not even making a dent in the enemy robot, I immediately sign up for the US Armed forces to do my part]

Kids in Audience : Woooo!!!!

[The helicopter robot heads over to the command centre and hacks into their internet connection mainframe, downloading fifteen terabytes of porn and illegally downloaded music and pirated movies, and a small jpg of a pair of ancient spectacles with a weird frosting design on the lenses]

Meanwhile, at a school back in Washington a young student gives a presentation to a bored class of peers
Nerdy McNerd (aka ‘Shia LaBeouf’ aka ‘Sam’) : So, my grandfather explored the arctic and had these frostings etched onto his spectacles and was locked up for babbling about a frozen robot in the ice
Kids : [yawn]
Shia LaBeouf : the glasses are for sale on a reputable online auction site
Teacher : ???
Shia La Beouf : so… like… can I get an ‘A’ for this?

Our hero goes out to buy his first car
Dad : So did you get an ‘A’ like I said you needed?
Shia LaBeouf : Actually, I was going to get a D Minus but I cleverly talked the teacher down to an ‘F’, which was easier to apply calligraphy to and convert into an ‘A’. Check out the neat seriff on that baby
Dad : Very well done. Let’s go get you a Porsche
Shia LaBeouf : Did you say ‘A Porsche’??
Dad : No, I said a Transforming Robot Car
Shia LaBeouf : Did you say ‘A Transforming Robot Car’?
Dad : No, I said – look, there’s a petting zoo that also sells cars!
Nerdy McNerd : Did you say ‘a petting zoo’?
Dad : Yes I did.
Car Dealer : Here’s a car I’ve never seen before that’s just driven itself into our lot, to which I presumably have no papers of ownership or registration details, that I’m totally happy to sell to you because it cost me nothing to acquire. And you should trust me because not only am I wearing a suit I mugged an 80 year old white man for and my own dear grandma over there despises me, but there are FREAKING OSTRICHES IN MY USED CAR LOT.
Shia LaBeouf : I’ll take it!!
Dad : I guess he needs to learn sometime…
Robot Car : I …. could have turned into a Porsche, you know?
Stephen Spielberg : Yes, but sponsorship deal is with Chevrolet
Robot Car : I understand …

Meanwhile, at The Pentagon, in a large seminar briefing room
Secretary of Defence : Our satellite imaging shows a single helicopter bearing our own markings which flew into a massively well defended air base in the middle of the desert and then destroyed everyone and everything. We have no alternative but to blame North Korea.
Seventeen year old civillian computer hackerz : We have no background in the military, but that seems unlikely. Also, we’re not even security cleared to hear this. Also, we don’t even work here.
Secretary of Defence : Get right on it, people!!!

The scene where Shia LaBeouf and Every Male Member in the Audience falls in Lurve…
Shia LaBeouf : Look over there! It is the most beautiful girl in the world, Best Friend Whose Name Temporarily Escapes Me.
Best Friend : Megan Fox? She’s hot all right. What’s your plan for getting her?
Shia LaBeouf : Well, ideally, since her boyfriend is the tallest, meanest, most muscle-bound guy in the whole school, it would be best for me if she broke up with him first so I could make my move

Megan Fox : [Breaks up with boyfriend]

Shia LaBeouf : And then, since he has a car and she doesn’t, and he’s driven her miles away from her house, I’d need her to walk off in a huff in my basic direction so I could drive her home

Megan Fox : [Walks away from boyfriend in a huff]
Shia LaBeouf: And finally, I’d need my best friend to get out of the car
Best Friend: That’s…. totally weak, dude. Why did you even invite me on this thing?
Shia LaBeouf : Just get out of the car, man.

[We now get a very cool scene where Shia LaBeouf’s car helps him get Megan Fox to come with him. Even though it really serves no strategic reason whatsoever to the Autobots and their battle against the evil Decepticons]
Car Stereo : Hey Baby, Hey Baby, Hey (Song by No Doubt)
Car Stereo : Get out of my dreams, get into my car (Song by Billy Ocean)
Megan Fox : Buzz off, creep
Car Stereo : Do you really want to hurt me? (Song by Culture Club)
Megan Fox: Oh, very well. I’ll get in
Every single guy in the audience : OMFG does that actually WORK??
Every single girl in the audience : No.

[After an intensely poor attempt at impressing Megan Fox, the car mercifully decides to break down at an abandoned hilltop overlooking a beautiful scene at the most perfectly lit sunset in history. Megan Fox gets out of the car, walks to the bonnet and leans over the engine bay wearing a tight t-shirt and strikes a pose that will be used in every trailer and seared into every boy’s mind for , like ever.]

Megan Fox : Did you know I can fix your car, strip it, polish all the parts, increase the performance and other vaguely erotic functions that sit in the midpoint between legitimate automotive maintenance and seductive verbal foreplay?
Shia LaBeouf: Gulp
Megan Fox: Except I’m doing all this totally innocently because I don’t find you in the least attractive. Oh, wait. This cap here just needs to be turned a quarter inch. Let me just lean over a bit further….
Every single guy in the audience : OMFG could this actually happen??
Every single girl in the audience : No.

Back in the Desert
[A troop of soldiers, survivors from the air base attack, walk in the sand. They are attacked by a vicious, heavily armed transforming scorpion robot which shoots missiles bullets and gunfire at them as they run to a nearby village. In a sustained attack which lasts for ten minutes the soldiers inflict no damage on it at all, but the robot manages to blow up every single building in the village and yet wound only one (1) soldier and kill none (0). The robot is then injured by some heavy duty high-temperature aircraft artillery and escapes]

Composer Steve Jablonsky : Yeah, but you gotta admit the pulsing staccato attack music and heroic flight montage synth backing was pretty bloody bitchin’
Audience: Duly noted.
Steve Jablonsky : Why not buy the instrumental score album, available on Sony records?
Audience : Does it have that Linkin Park track on it from the closing credits and the movie trailer?
Steve Jablonsky : Erm, no
Audience : Eh….

Elsewhere, at the Pentagon teenage intern fate-of-the-world elite hacker defence subcontracting room
L33T Hacker Girl : I don’t think it’s the North Koreans
L33T Hacker Guy : Well, I don’t know who it could be….
L33T Hacker Girl : This plotline really needs some comic relief
L33T Hacker Guy : I’m a tallish, slim-ish, normalish, white-ish, geek who is not given to over-reaction or hyperbole and I’m right here, baby
L33t Hacker Girl : I’m thinking we need, maybe, like, the exact opposite of you
L33t Hacker Guy : Damnit! Maybe I’ll get cast in the sequel and see you then?
L33t Hacker Girl : Unlikely. I gotta find a funny short and stocky black guy hacker and his crazy cousin playing twister in a suburban house nearby

[She leaves the room and does exactly this. Then, she and the funny short and stocky black guy hacker are arrested because the government was able to track the movements of a single SD card she took with her but not find a giant robot in the desert or…. you know, Al Quaeda. So… that’s the end of this particular storyline. Back to the main thread]

Back with Shia LaBeouf
[Over the course of the next ten minutes, our hero drops off the girl, drives home, hears his car drives off and sees it transform into a giant robot, nearly gets mauled by dogs, nearly gets arrested for stealing his own car, nearly gets beaten up by a police cop the next day, runs away from his returned car which is now chasing him very very slowly, rides a girl’s bike, calls his best friend who made it home safely and is now shampooing his alsatian in an inflatable swimming pool (I’m not making this up) crashes it in front of the main girl, gets chased by a police car which ends up being an evil giant robot too, nearly gets lobotomised and then the girl follows him on her scooter]
Shia LaBeouf : Hi
Megan Fox : Hi
[Shia’s car shows up]
Robotcar : … Ummm… evil robot death machine still running directly for you guys. Wanna get in and live?

[Insert car racing scene with heavy metal riffs]
After a short but intense chase scene, they manage to lose the giant robot, which has turned back into a police car. It then finds them..

Giant robot factory death grudge match smash!!

Meanwhile, a small robot death machine appears and chases Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox. While he takes off his pants () she finds some kind of chainsaw () and saves them both, and before we can ponder the unlikelihood of this, Shia’s car, not a giant robot, approaches them

Bumblebee : Allow me to provide exposition
Shia LaBeouf : Look, Megan Fox and I just shared a high-intensity near-death fight against a robot. Is whatever you’re about to say gong to enhance my chances of me getting laid?
Bumblebee : Not… really.
Shia LaBeouf : Irrelevant for now, then
Bumblebee : Ummm… very well. Time for me to drive off and… stuff. You coming with?
Shia LaBeouf : [To Megan Fox] You coming with?
Megan Fox : …
Shia LaBeouf : [realises he’s about to ask the impossible but] Is there any chance at all, that when you look back on your life and recollect that you didn’t get into the car with a pants-less geek who has an obvious teen crush on you and his car is a massive alien robot who has already been in a fight against a vicious other robot and who was accompanied by a smaller robot that almost killed both of us… that you would… uh… regret that?
Megan Fox : like, in theory, or in all likelihood?
Shia LaBeouf : Whichever is greater, and more likely to get me laid
Megan Fox : Sigh. Oh, very well [gets in car]
Every single male in the audience : OMFG could this actually happen??
Every single girl in the audience : No.
Shia LaBeouf : So…. purely on the basis of car safety, wanna sit on my lap?
Megan Fox : ??
Shia LaBeouf : Yes, I totally said that
Megan Fox : Ballsiest move ever. [moves onto his lap]
Every single male in the audience : OMFG could this actually happen??
Every single girl in the audience : No.
Megan Fox : Your car still sucks, though

[The robotic car turns into a better car]

Every single girl in the audience : (sarcastically) could this actually happen?
Every single male in the audience : With Megan Fox in the car?…. maybe?

So then it’s, like, quiet and awkward but kind of sweet and the new ride is much smoother and more comfortable and their hormones are starting to take over and…

Bumblebee : Guys…. Could you, like…. remember that you’re like…. inside me??
Shia LaBeuf : [slaps head]

[Insert huge big budget scene of falling meteors, giant robots, destroyed stadiums, little wide-eyed kids, pop-culture references and destruction on an unimaginable scale as the autobots land on earth and it is awesome]

Composer Steve Jablonsky : And you gotta love the music in this scene – grand, ominous, tinged with sadness yet power and strength and awesomeness
Audience: Duly noted.
Steve Jablonsky : Why not buy the instrumental score album, available on Sony records?
Audience : Does it have that love song ballad by the GooGoo dolls that we heard in the prior scene where she Gets In The Car With Him And Sits On His Lap?
Steve Jablonsky : Erm, no
Audience : Eh….

And finally, we meet the leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime : Allow me to provide exposition
Shia LaBeouf : Before you start, can I just point out that Megan Fox is right here? Is whatever you’re about to say gong to enhance my chances of me getting laid?
Optimus Prime : Not… really.
Shia LaBeouf : Irrelevant for now, then
Optimus Prime : But we have to do it now, we’re losing the older audience!
Shia LaBeouf: [Sigh] Very well
Optimus Prime : Okay so to summarise: Autobots good, Decepticons bad. War death destruction. Bad guy Megatron very bad, and more bad robots on their way. Fight death destruction. Allspark machines destruction. Michael Bay slow-motion apocalypse and death.
Shia LaBeouf : Well, if the world is about to end, shouldn’t we totally DO IT? Like, NOW?
Megan Fox : …
Optimus Prime : Well…or you could help us try to stop it happening
Shia LaBeouf : Look, the likelihood of me doing something stupid or dying before then, thus putting the sex with Megan Fox at risk, is so high that I can’t take that chance. So let the world burn. Or, you know, good luck if you manage to save us all
Optimus Prime : Your rationalisation… actually can not be faulted.
Megan Fox: Shia, what if I promise that the chances of me sleeping with you are slightly higher if you elect to help save the world, even taking the likelihood of death and/or failure into account?
Shia LaBeouf: Where be the weaponry? Let’s FIGHT!!
Optimus Prime : Actually, we just need your grandfather’s glasses
Shia LaBeouf : Whatever, let’s do it!! Hurrry!

The Autobots head over to Shia LaBeouf’s place where property is destroyed, a robot is urinated on, threats are made to destroy a small dog, blackouts happen, and family squabbling over the hilarity of teen ma5turbation ensues. The spectacles are found but then a bunch of secret government agents from a mysterious department that knows about the Transformers turn up and quickly bundle the whole family and the girl and the dog into their dark vans and speed off. The autobots zoom after them and rescue them. Woohoo!

Optimus : That was fun. Now… inventory check. Spectacles?
Bumblebee : Check!
Optimus : Kids?
Bumblebee Check!
Optimus : Miniature bad guy robot hidden in Girl’s handbag?
Bumblebee : Check!
Audience : Oh, yeah…. That….
Optimus : Location of the All Spark?
Bumblebee : Uh…no. We still need to find that
Optimus : So what is the point of the glasses?
Bumblebee : … at… with … the thing and the guy?
Optimus : Plot contrivance, got it. Basically, you’re telling me the only way we can possibly find this thing is for one of us to allow ourselves to get captured and hope that they’re taken to the secret hideout and lair where they’re also keeping the cube?
Bumblebee : I completely volunteer for that!

Moments later….
Sector 7 Agents : Gotcha!! Now, let’s get all you over to our secret hideout and lair. You won’t believe what we’ve got to show you.

Watching, from afar
Some other Autobot : Should we let them catch us too, and save time?
Optimus Prime : No. The script says we’re meant to go to some observatory first.

At the Hoover Dam
A short time later, all the separate characters converge at [insert national monument that is the hidden headquarters of a supersecret organisation, which is also a massive tourist attraction, and in which they keep a massive alien artifact and a giant frozen evil robot]. Above all it can’t have been used before in a major motion picture. Let’s say… the Hoover Dam?

As soon as they arrive, the Miniature Bad Guy Robot escapes from Megan Fox’s handbag

Audience : Oh, yeah…. That….
Miniature Bad Guy Robot : All Decepticons – the artifact is HERE!!

The Decepticons around the world/country/region immediately drop what they’re doing (macrame, cruising the streets, lounging around airforce bases without being identified… that kind of thing) and head towards the Hoover Dam. Unlike they autobots who all turn into consumer-friendly Chevrolet products, the Decepticons are vehicles like fighter jets, helicopter gunships, giant trucks, tanks and police cruisers. You know… useful stuff.

Optimus: Okay, we’ve hung out at the observatory long enough. To the Hoover Dam!
The Audience : So, enough now with the cutesy humour : bring on the explosions!
Michael Bay : You know it!

Interior, Hoover Dam
Stuff starts blowing up. The captured Bumblebee is freed. The good robots are identified as those who are slightly dinged up and not called ‘Crusher’ ‘Deatheater’ and ‘Destructor’ and ‘Starscreem’. The Allspark is shown to be able to animate any metal into an invariably evil miniture robot, complete with weapons. The bad guys arrive and blow up some electric grid rather than freeing their frozen leader directly, so he can dramatically unfreeze at a later point.

The good guys find the alien cube which is made of metal and about twelve freaking storeys high.
Bumblebee : If I touch it right here…. [The twelve-storey cube collapses and folds into itself so that it’s now only about a foot in length. Theoretically, since it has reduced in volume but not changed in composition, it should still weigh as much as a twelve storey slab of metal]

Bumblebee : Shia, catch!
Shia LaBeouf : [is not crushed to death]

[The military decides to evacuate The Cube to the nearest large city because there aren’t enough civilians who can be put at risk by having the final battle at the Hoover Dam. En route they are joined by the rest of the Autobots.]

Meanwhile, back at the Hoover Dam
The Decepticon Starscream waits patiently for his leader Megatron to thaw…
Megatron : (unthaws) RRRAAAARRRRGHHH!!!
Starscream : Yo, wassup? You alright? You were frozen for a couple of thousand years
Starscream : Glad you haven’t changed. Meanwhile, I spent the last thousand years learning origami. Check it out, a paper frog!
Starscreem : [Throws away origami frog] Your’e right. RRRRAAARRRRGGGHHH!!

On a freeway leading to the nearest metropolis a road chase and epic battle ensues
Optimus : Raaaaaah!
Evil Rollerblading Robot : Wrrroooook!
Cars : [Go flying in all directions and/or burst into flame]
The CGI budget : [Is freaking massive]
Optimus’ hidden sword: Fshooook!
Evil Rollerblading Robot : [Decapitated]
Kid in Car on screen: Cool!!!
Kids in Audience : Cool!!!

And now we shift to the large Metropolis. Everything gets blown up, all the little humans scream, missiles are launched, robots torn in half, humans are running, Bumblebee is injured, the army’s bullets bounce ineffectually off all the evil robots until somebody remembers they need to use the high-heat stuff, Shia LaBeouf carries the 12storey slab of metal around the city streets and somehow evades the bad guys, while Megan Fox gets into a tow truck to drive Bumblebee while he shoots at the bad guys. Eventually, Shia LaBeouf carries the cube to the top of a building to get on a helicopter away the hell from the carnage]
Megtron : [Burst through builiding roof] RRRRRRRRAAAAAAAARRRGGGHHH!!!
Shia LaBeouf: Where the freaking hell is Optimus?
Optimus : Oh, yeah. Sorry about that. [wanders over]

Cue the ultimate kickass battle of all freaking time between two CGI Robots
Megatron : Optimus! I kill you!
Optimus : Bring it!
Building façade : BOOM!
Building corner : SMASHED OUT!
Office Building : SMASHED THROUGH!
Megtron’s Super Gun : SHOOOOOOM!
Optimus : The data could be called pain.

[Megatron stands over the fallen Optimus]

Megatron : I am defined only by pure evil malevolence without reason or compromise. All humans must die! Everything must be destroyed. Raaargh!
Optimus : (weakly) Whereas I’m for a more generally benevolent coexistence with people and enjoying my life, without all the effort and destruction and wasted resources
Megatron : …. I admit your programming makes more sense. Still.. Destroy!!!

Shia LaBeouf, who has somehow survived being inside Optimus for all the preceding carnage, crawls away from the crumpled body of Optimus
Optimus : Shia, the thing with the place and the power and the stuff. Give it to me and I’ll kill myself to destroy it!
Shia LaBeouf : ??
Megatron : Shia, give it to me so I can live and create more robots and propagate with it
Sam : ??
Optimus : Must destroy!
Megatron : Must use!
Shia LaBeouf : [Gives the cube to Megatron]
Megatron : WOOOO!!!! [Then Dies]
Optimus : Well, that was unexpected….

Audience : Wooo!-oooo….?
Michael Bay : Quick, we’re losing them! Cue the Linkin Park track and bring back Megan Fox!!
Audience : Woooo!!!!

[Closing Credits]
Michael Bay : Sequel!
Stephen Spielber : Sequel!
Sony Pictures : Sequel!
Shia LaBeouf : Indiana Jones IV! And then Sequel!
Megan Fox : Billions offers to pose nude in movies, magazines and cosmetics advertisements! And then I’m contractually obliged to be in the Sequel!
Optimus Prime : Sequel!
Megatron : [Dead, from a depth of several thousand fathoms under the ocean] (bubble) Sequel! (oh, come on. Download, backup, cloning, spare copy… take your pick, people)

Steve Jablonski : Buy the instrumental score, people!!

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