Photo Credit: Paramount
Try as I might, I can't bring myself to respect toy-inspired movies like Transformers and G.I. Joe. Yes, the special effects look amazing. Yes, the stars are big, bright, and beautiful. But for Pete's sake—these were TOYS! How can I justify spending $10 for an experience based on items that lived in broken pieces under my bunk bed for years?
The only thing a grownup should think upon hearing "Optimus Prime" is "Is it time for me to get a new credit card?"
Like most boys, my brother and I used to subject our toy dolls—ahem, "action figures"—to the kind of torture that makes water-boarding look like a good feather-tickling. We dragged them by string behind our bikes, gave them scalding showers in the sink, and threw them in the freezer for weeks. And that's not counting the times our family dog fancied them as surrogate chew toys. No wonder G.I. Joe figures he's due for a Hollywood paycheck.
Of course, contemporary kids don't associate Transformers and G.I. Joe with toys, and not just because the kids are too young. Virtual toy experiences have all but taken over real ones in their world. Who wants to stick big ears on a real Mr. Potato Head when you can attach a jetpack to a virtual one and have it travel the cosmos? Why bother with the dirty responsibilities of real pets when you can neglect your own NeoPets or Webkinz? Why bring inanimate dolls to life in your imagination when you can actually customize and animate characters in front of your eyes with a few mouse clicks?
But I'm proud to be part of a generation that still thinks of toys as toys and not Hollywood cash cows (Remember My Little Pony, The Movie? I'll never get those 90 minutes back!), which is why you'll never find “toy” movies in my Netflix queue.
Stretch Armstrong, don't even think about calling your agent.