Since Transformers...

I'm excited! Are you excited? Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen opens this Wednesday, and I'm starting to have that same giddy feeling I had when I was 10 years old. A lot has happened in the world since the ‘80s. Actually, a lot has happened since 2007 when the first live action Transformers debuted:

* The world lost the immense talent of one Bernie Mac. The late comedian played a small but memorable key role as a used car salesman who unknowingly introduces Shia Labeouf's Sam Witwicky to his first Autobot.

* I lost my job of seven years. This actually happened prior to the film's July 2nd release, but no one was laid off immediately, only told that their last day would be in two or three months. So when I saw the film, I was in that strange limbo period between having that job, and starting my new one. I know I had interviewed by that point, but I'm not sure if I'd gotten news that my current company had hired me yet. As this robot franchise has done for most of my life, the film was a light in my darkest hour, and seeing it with many of my soon-to-be-former coworkers felt like a good way to say goodbye, even if it was only “see you later just not every day”.

* I've watched the original animated The Transformers: The Movie at least three times since 2007. I watch it at least once a year, and pretty much have it memorized. I loaned one of my copies to the friend who helped me get my new job, after finding out that he'd never seen it. For about a year, I didn't bug him about it, since he'd helped me out and I had other copies of the film since I buy it every time it comes out in a new format or edition. Now I drop hints; it's only an hour and twenty minutes, for Primus' sake.

* I got rearended on the way to my new job by a lawyer's unlicensed foreign au pair, who had his screaming kid in the back in a child seat. After getting the guy to replace my bumper, I finally caved and bid farewell to my old ‘89 Mazda 626, which I had secretly nick-named ”Bluestreak”, and got myself a 2005 Honda Civic, which among other improvements boasted working air conditioning and a CD player, in contrast to my old car's nonfunctional AC and tapedeck. The best Transformer name I could think of for this one is ”Blackjack”, and I haven't thought of a better one yet. I do keep the soundtrack to the original animated film in my CD player more than any other disc, though.

* Amaury Nolasco, who played a soldier in the first Transformers, left the small screen when his show Prison Break concluded after four exciting seasons. Though I don't see Mr. Nolasco's name among the credits for the new film, and probably should doublecheck if his character survived the first one, I hope his career continues to offer him roles as a likable hispanic who peppers his American with Spanish words like “Papi” and “Maricruz” to remind viewers of his ethnicity.

* Tyrese Gibson, who also played a soldier in both the 2007 movie and this year's sequel, is going to be writing a series for Image Comics. His geek cred goes even further as it has been announced that he will portray Luke Cage. Sweet Christmas. As far as I know, he did not reprise his role for this year's Fast & Furious, but he's clearly been busy.

* The legendary John Voight, who played the Defense Secretary in the first film, showed up as a prominent villain in this season's 24. 24 itself ended up not airing a new season in 2008 due to a combination of the WGA strike and its star's brief jail time. Fan-favorite Glenn Morshower returned this season as special agent Aaron Pierce, and Morshower also starred in both the first Transformers and the upcoming sequel.

* Michael Bay claimed that this will be his last Transformers movie, and that he's tired of being the director whose movies have all those explosions. I don't think anyone, including myself, believes that, and even if Bay does, his tune may change when the movie makes a ton of money.

* Megan Fox got hotter. Just look at her in her costume from the upcoming Jonah Hex. Wow. It's probably all types of wrong for me to be looking at her in that way considering she was born the same year a 10-year-old MCF was watching the original animated Transformers in a movie theater, but I can't help it. I'm 34; I'm not dead.

* A bunch of other stuff happened since then: new American president, something with pirates, some bad movies, some good movies, my uncle was diagnosed with dementia, my dad nearly died from a bad shoulder infection and spent a month in a nursing home, some other celebrities left this world including Bea Arthur, Harvey Korman and David Carradine, I joined a new gym and started running again, and the seasons seem to have shifted by about three months. Other than that, I guess not all that much happened since July of 2007. Really, the only thing I need to do is watch Transformers again, and try to contain my geekitude when I'm out in the world among normal humans.


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