Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks: "Your Plastic Pal Who's Fun To Be With"

I have nothing against robots, per se. Some of the greatest antagonists in sci-fi have been fearsome automatons like those found in Fred Saberhagen's Berseker series, or the Terminator, or the...Battle Android Troopers (B.A.T.s) from G.I. Joe. I guess. And although robot offerings in recent years have been uneven, ranging from excellent (the Cylons from the revamped Battlestar Galactica, WALL-E) to "meh" (General Grievous) to craptacular (I, Robot), we don't seem to be in any danger of suffering robo-overload a la vampires and zombies.

Which brings me to the subject of the Transformers. As you're probably aware, the third entry in Michael Bay's cacophonous trilogy - Transformers: Dark of the Moon - comes out tomorrow. It's guaranteed to make mad, phat, stupid money, since the only other movie of note opening this week is the sure-to-be-insufferable Larry Crowne, in which Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts make us all wish theaters handed out handguns along with 3-D glasses, the better to end our suffering.

But three movies? Is the epic narrative of giant robots beating the shit out of each other so complex it requires almost eight hours of running time to tell it? Aren't there any other robots worthy of the big screen treatment? Why, I believe there are.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar