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The day Optimus died

Posted by Wesley Morris  July 5, 2007 09:37 AM

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Something I didn't have the opportunity to explore in writing about Michael Bay's "Transformers" was just how much better the Dino De Laurentiis-produced animated epic was. Not only was "Transformers: The Movie" about the Transformers themselves, at the time (the year was '86) it was dramatic and, for a young fan of the toys and the cartoon, moving (more dead pivotal characters than the last four episodes of the "Sopranos")

Anyway, over at Slate the excellent John Swansburg has crystallized my feelings in a fine essay praising the glories of the 1986 movie, starting with the reality that it was, indeed, the final film of Orson Welles. Swansburg was as blown away by it as I was when it was originally released, and he understands that Bay's movie doesn't risk nearly as much as this beautifully animated spectacle. It's less than meets the eye.

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

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