Madness Is Watching The First Three Transformers Movies All At Once

Watching any one of Michael Bay’s Transformers films is enough to drive a person insane. In preparation for the fourth movie, the brave men of Red Letter Media watched the first three simultaneously. They are probably all dead now.

At least their assumed deaths were not in vain — we learn an awful lot about Michael Bay’s process in the clips we’re shown here. We knew he basically made the same movie three times, but we didn’t know how closely each film followed the formula — in some cases it’s down to the second.


  • I’d thought I’d do a similar thing, well one after each other … got 75% the way through the first movie and had to stop it .. I just could not go on.

  • The best thing for any of the Transformers movies is still a six pack of beer…makes it all better 😉

    I did something similar to this, I watched 3 versions of Blade Runner (Original, Directors Cut & Final Cut) at the same time…BLEW…MY…MIND!

  • Just putting it out there but the new movie is legitimately bad, this is coming from some one that actualy liked the second and third movies. It does everything a usual Mbay movie does, but it seems to do it with half the heart. The action scenes were all sorts of messy with no effort put into helping us suspending our disbelief (did that lady just get forced face first through the side of canvas flatbed truck and yet she is fine to walk away), the human parts were probably some of the worst out of all four movies (it is sad that I even consider Shia LaBeouf bearable in comparison to Marky Mark in THIS FRANCHISE) and that the big bad guys are just kind of meh.

    PS The amount of sweat on my balls from sitting still for three hours.

  • I honestly don’t get the hate that Michael Bay’s films (and by extension) and the Transformer movies get within the “geek/nerd/gaming” community.

    Is it because they are overly successful in terms of revenue or because the are successful at being big, dumb and loud?

    Is it due to some thread of nostalgia that requires people dislike gritty reboots of childhood shows to justify their view on the ‘good ol days’ ?

    Yes. The movies are loud, contain little plot, have wooden actors and are all about showing off CGI but they are still excellent popcorn flicks. If they are on TV, I’ll generally switch to them and just watch the explosions. Could Transformers have been done better? Of course it could, you could say that about an any movie.

    But for some strange reason people treat these movies just like Call of Duty and I just don’t get it.

    I’ll probably get a lot of flak for saying all this.

    • pretty much this. “everytime i punch myself in the dick it hurts” soooo… don’t punch yourself in the dick. some people can’t help themselves.

    • It’s not just the “geek/nerd/gaming community” that doesn’t like them though but I guess being on the internet that’s where your going to find the criticism.
      If people hated them because they made lots of revenue they wouldn’t be liked either way if they were good or bad.
      Nostalgia ? May be a source of the hate but good transformers stories come from all different types of media these days so I wouldn’t say it’s that either. Transformers also has had numerous reboots and gritty ones so it’s not about change.
      It’s more along the lines of what you said “The movies are loud, contain little plot, have wooden actors and are all about showing off CGI. Could Transformers have been done better? Of course it could.”. How are those not valid reasons enough to give hate to these Transformers movies ?

    • It’s not so much that they’re the worst, it’s that they’re the biggest and easiest for the average person to point a stick at and say “it sucks” whilst feeling as if they even understand what a “good” film is. Same with remakes; we can go on and on about how it’s lazy… because that’s the easiest perception to have. Never mind that theatre has been rehashing the same stories thousands of times over, only difference is the audience. They aren’t as angry, they aren’t as judgemental, they aren’t as entitled and they aren’t as big. Theatregoers subscribe to the view that a “reboot” is just a new take on a story, moviegoers… well, you can see.

      I can’t stand the Transformers movies but they aren’t the worst. Transformers has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek whilst Man of Steel played it dark and won the crowds. There’s very little difference in quality between the two and an equal misunderstanding of the source material on both sides yet appealing to trends like darkening the content of a franchise clearly works. I mean Transformers in itself is a great example, people lauded the choice of director when it was first announced, proclaiming it a perfect fit. The film itself even got mixed to positive reviews, likely due to nostalgia – which other films capitalised on too.

      But like everything, people pretend their changes in opinion are of their own doing. As more reboots came, the more we just simply thought “lazy” or “stupid” and aimed our fire at the biggest targets so everything would be awesome and we’d all be part of a great bad-movie-hatin’ team. Perception became fact because everyone kept latching onto the criticism train. Now these average movies are the WORST movies. Just like Nicholas Cage went from being a great actor to the WORST actor despite nobody actually being able to tell you what great acting even is.

      I mean, don’t get me wrong, the movies aren’t good by any means but they don’t even come close to being the worst and most criticisms of the film are – like you described – gross generalisations that are designed more to promote the sophisticated tastes of the viewer than to actually relate to the film. If you were to critique a TF film, very little is out of place considering what it wants to achieve. People like trends and this one is the sophisticated consumer who is capable of reviewing any piece of creative work with expert precision… using only generalisations in the description then judging other films based on these generalisations. Almost as if it’s immoral to like a movie that others don’t.

      • I can honestly say that I somewhat enjoyed the first Transformers movie. After that? All downhill. There is, literally, no continuity for the Decepticons from one movie to the next. None. In fact, very little that they do makes sense WITHIN any given Transformers movie. Also, the amount of plot conveniences used is way too high.

        My complaints aren’t that Michael Bay destroyed a childhood treasure of mine (he did) but that he can’t even stick to his own story lines. How hard would it be to flesh out a script that actually takes in to account things that happened in previous movies? I know he managed it with Bad Boys. Also, why couldn’t the movies focus more on the Transformers, rather than Shia and Fox?

        If you view each one as a single sample movie, they are cringe-worthy, popcorn munching, mind-numbing movies, made to appeal to kids who like big explosions. When you view them as a franchise, they make no sense in the context of the previous movies.

        In a time when the average TV series has begun to increase in maturity, giving us critically acclaimed shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and House of Cards, seeing movies become so much less has made audiences much more critical. If Bay had wanted to, he could have done to Transformers what Disney did with Marvel: Create a blockbuster series that is fantastically entertaining, a little crazy, and yet, consistent. If he had done so, I would have been the first through the doors to watch Age of Extinction.

        Is that too much to ask?

        So, replying to your comment: If you were to critique a TF film, very little is out of place considering what it wants to achieve I ask you a question:Taking in to account all of the first three movies, can you please explain to me what the Decepticon’s overarching plan is when they get to Earth? This isn’t rhetorical, please, I beg you to let me know, because I still can’t work it out.

    • That’s perfectly fine for throwing it out there man, in comparison to the movies he created previously, this series is not so good (The Rock, The Island). If one were to compare the original movie to the new movies, you’d see that humans really shouldn’t be a driving element in the storyline. Bay tries to humanize and dumb down transformers that already had great traits – Jazz, bumblebee and a few others. I do rate that some of the original cast voice act in the new movie though – Cullen, Welker, (Optimus, Megatron/Galvatron). I enjoyed the first Bay movie, but was ultimately disappointed with the rest.

    • Of course it could, you could say that about an any movie.

      You can say it but you’d be wrong. Nobody says “Citizen Kane”, “The Wizard of Oz” or “Blade Runner”.

    • What’s not to get?
      People treat these like call of duty because that’s exactly what they are. Mindless, stupid, repetitive cash grabs year after year.
      I’m not sure what you don’t understand. If you understand the hate people have for Call of Duty, and Battlefield releasing the same shit over and over again then this is no different. Except that it manages to destroy a much loved childhood franchise while it’s at it.

      It’s also one of those types of films that should appeal to this demographic. And if the target demographic doesn’t like it, you know something is wrong. COD is targeted at 13 year old console players and continues to do well.

      Coincidentally there’s nothing wrong with liking a loud, stupid action flick with lots of robots and explosions… but don’t pretend it’s something it’s not. Don’t defend it. Everyone can still enjoy a shit movie…. but it doesn’t stop being shit.

      I don’t think anyone has any problems with Transformers, or even Michael Bay specifically… the problem is the resulting movie is just plain bad. And stupidly long. There is no bloody reason a “popcorn flick” should be 3 hours long (plus ads).

      You’re entitled to your own opinion of course and I’m not throwing and flak at you but I’m not sure why you don’t understand other people’s opinions.

    • They really aren’t good popcorn flicks.

      Aliens, Terminator 2, Pacific Rim, The One… There are a tonne of action heavy popcorn flicks.

      His are meandering and vague to the point of almost being entirely plotless with very little actual directing of actors going on.
      His visual style is so appalling that “messy” is the least bad description I can think of. I’d call it bland, but he fills everything with so many explosions, misplaced setpieces, and 3 second camera cuts that nothing is ever on screen and coherent for long enough for anyone to notice.
      Most of his movies descend into masturbatory US armed forces advertising by the end of the second act.
      His movies have pointless characters who serve no purpose other than “comic relief”, which wouldn’t be such a sin, except that his idea of comic relief is the same that one uncle who farts loudly at a funeral to break the tension.
      Oh and the racism. Alien robots? Ok! Let’s make them gold-toothed blackface stereotypes who break dance and are illiterate. Don’t forget the ebonics! This’ll go great with the old Chinese man with the long white beard in the first scene. Don’t forget to play the ching-chong music when he’s on screen or nobody will get that it’s funny because he’s Chinese!

      If he hadn’t made a genuinely good movie last year, I’d be convinced that he was an elaborate prank by the film industry to see just how awful movies had to get before people would stop buying them.

  • I totally agree with you.
    A mate loaned me the DVD of the first one and I thought it was bloody atrocious. I like stupid action films when I’m in the mood for them e.g. I watched The Running Man a few days ago after seeing the Kotaku article on it. But Transformers was terrible in every single way.
    I just don’t get the hype surrounding it.

    @bigcheez77 I felt the same way about 20% in and wanted to turn it off. I texted my mate who loaned me the DVD and he said, “nah stick with it, it gets better.” I proceeded to send him the same text every 15 minutes for the rest of the film to which he would send the same response. He was wrong. I was confused and upset. I wanted that 144 minutes of my life back.

  • You may knock me for saying this, but I know it’s bad .. and I have not seen it. And I do not intend to waste my life verifying this. Michael Bay = bad movies (case in point: look at those god-awful looking turtles). Preserve your life, don’t watch shit (read: Michael Bay) movies.

  • This wasn’t as entertaining as redlettermedia’s actual analysis reviews. This was just a bunch of guys laughing and being incredulous.

    As a Transformers fan I don’t hate the live-action films as much as others, since it already ticks the ‘plenty of giant robots made possible by crazy special effects’ requirement for me. But yeah they could be way better and I was hoping for a reboot or something.

  • While that was interesting, I prefer the regular episodes of Half in the Bag. The Harry Plinket reviews of Star Wars were pretty good too.

  • He could superimpose them over the top of each other. The action scenes wouldn’t be any less comprehensible.

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