Apr 11 2012
When I first heard Transformers, one of my most beloved childhood franchises, was going to be made into a big screen blockbuster, I was apprehensive, but undeniably excited. And how could I not be? The prospect of those giant robots on the big screen was enough to make even the most closeted fanboy squeal with delight. Then when I heard that Peter Cullen, who provided the seminal voice for Optimus Prime in the cartoons, was on board, all the stars seemed lined up for this film to be pitch perfect.
Oh, except for that one nagging problem, Michael Bay and his directorial approach, which ofcourse boils down to making everything juvenile, shiny and explosive. BUT The Transformers were juvenile, shiny and explosive (in the most awesome ways possible), so still, this could have worked out. If it weren’t for the terrible casting, the weak script which took too many liberties with the story, and the thinly veiled racism disguised as humor. Oh, and the gaping plot holes. But I will be DAMNED before I will let Michael Bay do to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles what he did to the Transformers, which is, ruin them forever. The following is my open letter to Michael Bay, pleading for him to stop the insanity before it is too late and he becomes the bane of every nerds existence.
Dear Michael Bay,
Hey man, how is it going? My name is Remy, and I writing you because I needed to talk to you a bit about your recent choice to reboot the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. But before I address the ninja turtles thing, I need to bring up this new Transformers reboot you are working on for the fourth chapter in your saga.
So you are SERIOUSLY already rebooting your reboot, which was already rebooted AT LEAST three times in cartoon form before you rebooted it? So this is a reboot of a reboot of a reboot of a reboot of a reboot? Please read that last sentence slowly to fully grasp how insane an idea it is. Even YOU get three movies in and can see that your movies suck. Wait, that was a harsh way to begin this, I am sorry. Bear with me.
So you intend to keep Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, but other than that, it is getting an overhaul, again? New humans, new story, new terribly cast girlfriends and unlikable leads? Why are you doing this to us? We were the ones that bought the tickets to the first one in hopes it would honor our childhoods. We are the ones that (inadvertently) made it huge, and you are thanking us by taking as many steaming dumps as you can on the franchise, before you throw it out in the ocean to watch to drown?
Wait, I am attacking again. Please, don’t disregard this letter. I apologize for the venom in my tone. This is just a very serious subject to me.
And also, Transformers looks like this. And they don’t shine like they are constantly covered in Vasoline and turtle wax.
Anyway, enough about The Transformers for now. I could go on for days but I will stop. There are more pressing matters at hand.
The matter I speak of is your current reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.
Another franchise that is almost sacred to its fan base. What is going on? Do you have a mini death ray at your house, and in front of that death ray, do you have a a chart of all the shows we loved as children? And when you are bored, do you just randomly fire your death ray at said franchises simply for your own amusement? Seriously, just so you know, that is how it comes across.
Now let me play devil’s advocate for a second and say that I do understand some of the material you are trying to bring to the big screen is not exactly easy to transfer from animation to movies. But let me follow that up with THEN WHY DO YOU KEEP TRYING TO DO IT? Why not just accept that people love these wildly insane things for wildly insane reasons and just let it be? Do you look at it like a challenge? Do you want to prove to naysayers you can
ruin make ANY franchise? Again, I realize my tone seems angry, but it’s justified, don’t you think?
The thought of you sullying these four with your hundred million dollar touch sickens me.
By the time Transformers made it to its third movie, it was just a massive action scene, and honestly, NO ONE could differentiate what was going on. There was a centerpiece action scene involving a falling skyscraper and a metal worm that probably was kind of cool if you could actually tell what was happening, but my migraine made me close my eyes by that point. A movie like The Transformers should be big and fantastic and loud and over the top, but not so much that even old school fans cannot tell which robot is which or what the hell is actually happening.
Plus, those terribly racial stereotypes you called robots in the second film, and robo-testical jokes, and all the plot holes ( Shia TheBeef goes to Autobot Heaven, WTF?) What was up with all that? Watching the once brilliant John Turturro have to stoop so low as to deliver some of those lines made me cringe. How you help the mighty fall without even knowing it.
This is how Shia LeBeouf looks now, so it is safe to say the long term damage has begun to set it.
I am sorry, this turning into an attack (or has pretty much been one the entire time). And I am talking about The Transformers again, and neither of those are my intention here. I simply wanted to contact you, on behalf of every nerd ever who grew up in the 80s and is sick of having things we hold so dear ruined by those who, at the heart of it, have no idea what makes these franchises so wonderful in the first place.
I am not even addressing all the reboots you produced, or how you took all the charm out of 80s horror, therefore sucking out everything that made it so enjoyable. It is like you literally do the opposite of what seems like a smart idea, every time.
You know what movie was a MASSIVE undertaking, and many great directors have said it would have been impossible to make into a cohesive film that anyone would watch: Watchmen. But do you know why Watchmen did not crash and burn, and the reason that most fanboys can atleast ACCEPT it? Because Zack Snyder wanted to make that movie out of his love for the source material. With you, it seems more like you buy a franchise just because you can afford it, and you know it comes with a built in fan base, yet you care little for the material. And that is EXACTLY where you lose us.
The movie worked because the director truly appreciated the source material and did his best NOT to bastardize it. Kind of like the directorial polar opposite of Michael Bay.
Ok, back to the turtles. So now, already, even before the TMNT movie has a trailer or a cast, we hear that the turtles are now aliens, and you took the ” Teenage Mutant” off the title to make it hipper and edgier. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? IS SOMEONE PUNKING US? DO PEOPLE EVEN GET PUNKED ANYMORE? Now we know that you have said it was “marketing” that changed the name of the film, but the worst part here is that you want us to actually believe that someone ELSE has more power over your own movie title than YOU do? Now you are treating us like idiots, and we will not tolerate that, sir.
And you keep putting out press releases and interviews where you are telling the fans to “chill out” and that the turtles will have the same personalities and traits that made them so enjoyable in the first place. But how many directors have to constantly tell people to “chill out” before a film release? Very few, and anytime a director does a press release like that, it is often a reflection on that fact that he or she already KNOW they are mishandling the material, and they are just trying to soften the inevitable blow.
The sad thing is, this picture is not altered in any way. those letters constantly float around him.
Also, I know I am beating a dead horse right now ( a horse you would probably recast as a squirrel for no significant reason if you wrote this letter into a movie ), but did you know they released a reboot of the Turtles a few years ago? And did you know THAT reboot was a reboot of a reboot. When the “ninja turtles” first started out, first issue, black and white, they were brutal, silent killing machines. Seriously, it was like noir. There was very little dialogue and lots of death and arterial spray. The whole “pizza eating, surfer vibe” thing was kicked in later because the creators realized they were sitting n a merchandising cash cow.
So I am going to guess your “alien” turtles are going to be more akin to the pizza eating, chill dudes from the third generation comic book and cartoon, right? So again, this is you doing a REBOOT OF A REBOOT OF A REBOOT.
And lastly, before my head implodes, and for all that is holy to anyone good, we need to talk about April O’ Neil. This woman was NOT a bimbo or a Victoria Secret model. She was a f***ing journalist, who wore a yellow jumpsuit. I don’t know why she wore it, but dammit that is what she wore, and no one ever questioned it! So don’t you DARE mess with it. That woman was empowered and strong. She is way more of a Tina Fey vibe than a Megan Fox vibe, so if April is miscast, and sexed up, (which she INEVITABLY will be), we may come to blows. I honestly mean you no harm, but at that point, I cannot be held accountable for my actions. You have been warned.
Actually, please keep this brilliant woman as far away from this film as possible.
And if you read this and think it may be a satire or a joke, I want you to know just how serious of a plea this is for you to not mess this up. I actually looked into starting a KICKSTARTER fund to try and cease production of your film. Not jokingly, PAUL TASSI, EIC for this site can vouch for this. Sadly, there needs to be solid, tangible goal that is ACTUALLY achievable, or else it is against their rules. And for us to truly fund the cessation of your (ridiculously expensive) film, that would cost us hundreds of millions of dollars for sure. But that should show you how serious were are about you getting this franchise right. We were going to try to PAY MONEY to stop it. Let that sink in for a moment.
I implore you, Mike ( I can call you that now, right?) reread this whole, entire letter right now. See that my anguish is palpable and that I represent the many. See how foolish it is an idea to reboot a reboot that has already been rebooted twice by reboots. We know it is hard to make things like ninja turtles make sense, but your fallback plot point that everything ”comes from space” is only going to make things more muddled.
All I ask of you really is take a step back, and look at it from OUR perspective. We don’t care about the little things: Explosions are fine, man. No one is faulting you for those. Just put a little something called a “story” in between them. Also, just because some beautiful model may be easy on the eyes that does not mean she is easy to watch attempt to act for two hours, so don’t make us suffer through that again, ok? If you follow NOTHING else other than the two things I just told you when making this “Ninja Turtles” movie, then you are already ahead of the game.
It is said that every time a Michael Bay flaps his wings, an explosion happens, randomly, somewhere in a third world country.
And just a heads up, be aware of how you portray different races in some of your films. With the forthcoming ninja theme to your newest endeavor, in might be easy to make some fried rice jokes and such, and I am just going to tell you now, don’t do it. You LITERALLY cannot afford any more racial insensitivity after the twins in Transformers 2.
If Master Splinter becomes a walking stereotype, heads WILL roll.
Mike, you really are treading on very dangerous ground with us nerds. Please, just have a little respect. That is all we ask. These are shows that raised us while our absentee parents were trying to make a living. So ultimately, when you insult those institutions, it is like you are insulting our parents. Our Teenage Mutant Ninja Transformer parents.
While there is still time, Senoir Bay, please. Make sure you know what you are doing here, because we hated what you did to The Transformers, but we quietly got on with our lives. If you crucify any more of our childhood heroes, we may not be so easily ignored in our rage.
“DO I LOOK LIKE SOMEONE YOU SHOULD BE MESSING WITH RIGHT NOW???!!”
The thing about nerds is, you get enough of us together, and we get angry enough, it can get pretty ugly. I am talking swear words and a potentially overturned coffee table quickly followed by an awkward apology. Trust me, you do NOT want to be on the receiving end of that, let me tell you.
With utmost sincerity,
Final note to the Unreality readers: So we could not help but be curious about the KICKSTARTER to STOP Michael Bay and how well you guys would have received it. Paul and I think you guys would have definitely been into the idea, but due to laws and such, we will never know. But perhaps hypothetically, we could.
So, as a comment, leave the amount you would have (honestly) donated toward “ending the Michael Bay madness”.
The way we see it is, even if every reader would be willing to pay a buck, we would already be at a quarter of a million dollars, so who knows what we could have accomplished. Let us know what you think in the comments, and if any of you guys have a second cousin who knows a guy who cuts the hair of Michael Bay’s best friend’s niece, send this letter off to them. Mike needs to read this, stat.
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