REVIEW: TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE

CAST (VOICES)

Peter Cullen (Dungeons and Dragons)
Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek)
Orson Welles (Citizen Kane)
Eric Idle (Monty Python)
Judd Nelson (New Jack City)
Robert Stack (Caddyshack II)
Roger C. Carmel (Star Trek)
Neil Ross (G.I. Joe)
Susan Blu (Jem)
Lionel Stander (Hart To Hart)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
John Moschitta Jr. (Dick Tracy)
Buster Jones (Super Friends)
Paul Eiding (Ben 10)
Gregg Berger (The Jetsons)
Michael Bell (Rugrats)
Chris Latta (G.I. Joe)
Casey Kasem (Battle of The Planets)
Scatman Crothers (The Shining)
Dan Gilvezan (Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends)
Corey Burton (Aladdin)
Stan Jones (Challenge of The Super Friends)
Arthur Burghardt (Star Kid)
Don Messick (The Last Unicorn)
Jack Angel (A.I.)
Ed Gilbert (The little Mermaid)
Clive Revill (Return To Neverland)
Hal Yale (Ewok Adventures)
Norman Alden (Super Friends)

In 2005, the war between the Autobots and Decepticons has culminated in the Decepticons conquering their home planet Cybertron, while the Autobots operate from its two moons preparing a counter-offensive. Optimus Prime sends an Autobot shuttle to Earth’s Autobot City for Energon supplies, but the Decepticons, led by Megatron, commandeer the ship and kill the crew, consisting of Ironhide, Ratchet, Prowl and Brawn. Travelling to Earth, the Decepticons attack Autobot City, slaughtering many Autobots and leaving only a small group alive including Hot Rod, Kup, Ultra Magnus, Arcee, Springer, Blurr, Perceptor, Blaster, and the human Daniel Witwicky. The next day, Optimus and the Dinobots arrive as reinforcements. Optimus single-handedly defeats the Decepticons and engages Megatron in a climactic battle that leaves both of them mortally wounded. On his death bed, Optimus passes the Matrix of Leadership to Ultra Magnus, informing him that its power will light the Autobots’ darkest hour, and dies.Elsewhere, the Decepticons jettison their wounded from Astrotrain, including Megatron at the hands of his treacherous second-in-command Starscream. The wounded are found by Unicron, a gigantic sentient cyber-planet who consumes other planets. Unicron offers Megatron a new body in exchange for destroying the Matrix, which has the ability to destroy him. Megatron agrees and is converted into Galvatron, gaining new troops from the other Decepticons present. Going to Cybertron, Galvatron crashes Starscream’s coronation as Decepticon commander and destroys him, before travelling to Autobot City to eliminate Ultra Magnus. The surviving Autobots escape in separate shuttles which are damaged by the Decepticons and crash land on different planets.transformers-movie-bluray-screenshot-2Hot Rod and Kup are taken prisoner by the Quintessons, multi-faced tyrants who hold kangaroo courts and execute prisoners by feeding them to the Sharkticons. Hot Rod and Kup learn of Unicron from Kranix, a survivor of Lithone – a planet devoured by Unicron. After Kranix is executed, Hot Rod and Kup escape their own trial, aided by the arrival of the Dinobots and the small Autobot Wheelie, who helps them find a ship to leave the planet. The other Autobots land on the Junk Planet, where Galvatron kills Ultra Magnus and seizes the Matrix, intending on using it to control Unicron. The Autobots reunite and befriend the local Junkions, led by Wreck-Gar, who then rebuild Magnus. Learning Galvatron has the Matrix, the Autobots and Junkions fly to Cybertron, which Unicron, discovered to be a gigantic Transformer also now in robot form, begins to destroy.14041_1The Autobots crash their spaceship through Unicron’s eye, but they end up separated. Daniel rescues his father Spike and Jazz, Bumblebee, and Cliffjumper from being devoured. Hot Rod confronts Galvatron, who tries to form an alliance, but is forced into attacking Hot Rod by Unicron. Hot Rod obtains the Matrix, which converts him into Rodimus Prime, the Autobot that Optimus said would light their darkest hour. Rodimus tosses Galvatron into space and uses the Matrix’s power to destroy Unicron from the inside. The Autobots celebrate the end of the war and the retaking of Cybertron, while Unicron’s severed head continues to orbit the planet.vlcsnap-2011-12-12-17h24m21s199_758_426_81_s_c1Transformers the movie is a retro 80’s cult classic that not only took the original series forward in the animation department but also took the story forward in to the future with the next generation of Transformers. All the fan favourites are here with new ones to be cherishing, and the soundtrack to this movie is probably one of the best sounding albums to come out of the 80’s. This movie still holds up as one of the best TV to Movie translations of all time, and it still kicks major league butt as well. The only drawback that it has that they did not make a sequel to this classic in animation.

REVIEW: BACK TO THE FUTURE

Starring

Michael J. Fox (The Frighteners)
Christopher Lloyd (Going In Style)
Lea Thompson (Howard The Duck)
Crispin Glover (Alice In Wonderland)
Thomas F. Wilson (The Heat)
Claudia Wells (Vitals)
James Tolkan (Masters of The Universe)
Marc McClure (Superman)
Wendie Jo Sperber (Grease)
George DiCenzo (Exorcist III)
Casey Siemaszko (Stand By Me)
Billy Zane (The Scorpion King 3)
Courtney Gains (Children of The Corn)
Norman Alden (Ed Wood)
George Flower (Power Rangers In Space)

Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future (1985)In 1985 Hill Valley, California, teenager Marty McFly and his girlfriend, Jennifer Parker, are chastised by the school principal for tardiness. Marty auditions for the Battle of the Bands, but is rejected for being too loud. At home, Marty’s father George is bullied by his supervisor, Biff Tannen, while his mother Lorraine is an overweight, depressed alcoholic. Lorraine recalls how she met George when her father hit him with his car.Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future (1985)Marty is invited by his friend, eccentric inventor Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown, to meet him in the parking lot at Twin Pines Mall. Doc unveils a time machine built from a modified DeLorean and powered by plutonium stolen from terrorists. Preparing to demonstrate it, Doc sets the date to November 5, 1955: the day he invented time travel. Moments later, the terrorists arrive and shoot Doc. Marty escapes in the DeLorean, but inadvertently activates the time machine by hitting 88 mph.Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future (1985)Marty finds himself in 1955 and without the needed plutonium to return. He walks into downtown Hill Valley, and encounters the teenage George in the diner, who is bullied by his classmate Biff. After Marty saves George from an oncoming car, he is knocked unconscious and awakens to find himself tended to by an infatuated Lorraine. Marty tracks down Doc’s younger self to help him return to 1985. Without access to plutonium, Doc explains that the only power source capable of generating the necessary 1.21 gigawatts of electricity for the time machine is a bolt of lightning. Marty shows Doc a flyer from the future that recounts a lightning strike at the town’s clock tower due on the upcoming Saturday night.Doc instructs Marty to not leave his house or interact with anyone, as he could inadvertently alter the future; because of this, Doc refuses to heed warnings from Marty about his death in 1985. Marty soon realizes that his actions earlier that day have prevented his parents from meeting and he will soon be erased from existence if he does not find a way to introduce George to Lorraine. Doc formulates a plan to harness the power of the lightning, while Marty sets about introducing his parents to each other. After Lorraine asks Marty to the school dance, Marty concocts a plan: he will feign inappropriate advances on Lorraine, allowing George to “rescue” her. The plan goes awry when a drunken Biff attempts to force himself on Lorraine. George, enraged, knocks out Biff, and Lorraine follows him to the dance floor, where they kiss while Marty performs with the band.Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future (1985)As the storm arrives, Marty returns to the clock tower. After a few mishaps with the cable, and the DeLorean refusing to start, the lightning strikes, and Marty is sent back to the future. Back in 1985, Marty finds that Doc has survived the shooting, as he had listened to Marty’s warnings and worn a bullet-proof vest. Doc drives Marty home and departs to explore the future. Marty awakens the next morning to find that his actions have changed the timeline; George is now a successful author, Lorraine is fit and happy, and Biff is now an obsequious auto valet. As Marty reunites with Jennifer, the DeLorean appears with Doc, insisting they accompany him to 2015 to resolve a problem with their future children. The trio board the DeLorean and travel into the future.Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future (1985)Back To The Future is one of the most enjoyable time-travelling classics. It’s over 30 years old and it still hasn’t gotten old. Sadly, they don’t make it like this these days but then again we always can revisit them. That’s why they’re classics.

REVIEW: THE ALL NEW SUPER SUPER FRIENDS (1977)

CAST (VOICES)

Norman Alden (Bronco)
Jack Angel (A.I.)
Michael Bell (Samurai Jack)
Wally Burr (Transformers)
Ted Cassidy (The Addams Family)
Danny Dark (Melvin and Howard)
Casey Kasem (Transformers)
Shannon Farnon (Burke’s Law)
Bob Hastings (Batman: TAS)
Buster Jones (Transformers)
Alan Oppenheimer (The Six Million Dollar man)
Olan Soule (Perry Mason)
John Stephenson (Dragnet)

After having spent a few nights touring trough the DVD sets, I have to say that I believe the material contained within will appeal to collectors, very young children, or individuals hoping to relive their own youth.

To begin with, each episode is broken down into four parts: The first part involved only 2 members of the Justice League and was a fairly quickly resolved stand-alone plot. The second part features the Wondertwins (and Gleek) in a teen-trouble episode. The third section involved all of the Super friends and represents the heart of the entire show. Finally the fourth and final segment looked a lot like the first only it featured a guest appearance by the likes of Green Lantern, the Atom, Samurai, etc.1

Between these 4 main program segments are some engaging interactions with the Friends themselves in the form of Magic tricks, Decoder Games, health tips, and public service announcements. Now for the bad news, this is 1977-style writing and the one-dimensional quality of the scripts is overwhelmingly apparent. I realize that I am probably being overly judgmental having been spoiled by today’s well-developed animation but even when compared to Challenge of the Superfriends, the Hour program is incredibly campy. This is credited to the era itself when Parent Associations cracked down hard on all cartoons expecting none of the violence that plagued society at the time to show up in kids programming. This is a noble cause and certainly an indicator of a more innocent era but it can be very tedious to relive in this day and age.The All-New Super Friends Hour (1977)I believe much of the problem stems from the fact that there are no villains to work with here. Rather the writers are forced to alternate between evil-minded aliens and bitter scientists with experiments gone awry for each and every episode (except for the Wondertwins segments where a few kids make a bad decision and learn a lesson by the show’s conclusion). There are a few Scooby-Doo inspired episodes of de-masking a villain thrown in for good measure but overall the experience is quite repetitive. Each episode purposely ends with a corny joke and everyone laughing into the fade. Again, this was pretty on par for the time, I am merely stating these facts so as to provide potential buyers an idea of what to expect. Truthfully, this series will likely be appreciated by young viewers as it is very light on violence and heavy on humor (both spoken and slap-stick). The sets themselves are typical Warner with a well-drawn cover and inner sleeve.

 

REVIEW: SUPER FRIENDS (1973)

 

CAST (VOICES)

Sherry Alberoni (Josie and The Pussycats)
Norman Alden (Bronco)
Danny Dark (Melvin and Howard)
Shannon Farnon (Burke’s Law)
Casey Kasem (Transformers)
Ted Knight (The Love Boat)
Olan Soule (Perry Mason)
John Stephenson (Dragnet)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)

The original season of Super Friends was great for kids because it didn’t overwhelmed. The simple stories of misguided scientists who wanted to help mankind but did it the wrong way was a positive presentation, along with the moral at the end.

With Ted Knight’s masterful narration describing the heroics, you knew they would save the day! Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Batman were shown in very powerful and iconic graphic form, and to this day are some of the best remembered images of those heroes.

The longer time slot meant they didn’t have to rush to tell the stories, and Wendy, Marvin and Wonderdog were like long-lost cousins to the Scooby gang! Throw in the only Super Friends appearance of Green Arrow, and you can understand why it’s a must have for comic book collectors! And who could forget those opening credits and music.