Here, let me get this out of my system once and for all. I dearly hope it won't turn into a rant, but I make no promises. Who here saw the "Lord of the Rings" movies? Show of hands... ...all right, let's ask "Who didn't?" All right, you in the back can head off to Blockbuster's, we'll send you the URL for when you get done. All right, some of you may recall all the hubbub that went on after the first movie, "The Fellowship of the Ring", was released and viewed en masse by the fans and non-fans alike. And you may also recall how infuriated many were at the removal of Tom Bombadil, the rewrite of how Merry and Pippin joined the fun, the changes in what happened when with Gollum, and even the ongoing debate over (of all things) whether or not a Balrog has wings. Peter Jackson took all of these in stride, partially because he's a professional who hears much more severe and binding complaints from people he actually answers to, and partially because he knew he'd get even worse complaints at the changes he'd made in "The Two Towers". And it's not as if those were frivolous changes, because he'd spent ten years shopping that movie around before anyone let him make it. In fact, he was lucky at all to get to make three movies instead of two. But do any of you remember what his answer to his critics was, in the documentary interviews? It went something like this (I'm paraphrasing, but the essense is there): "This is my movie. It is my interpretation of the books. That's all it is. If you disagree with it, or dislike it, you're welcome to make your own movie based on your interpretation." Based on the ticket and DVD sales for any one of those three films, I think it's safe to say the majority agreed with Peter Jackson. He made a darn good movie trilogy based on those three books -- books which, by the way, were voted "Most influential work of literature of the 20th century" by people who know what they're talking about, and which therefore have a strong following the likes of which we TransFans can only dream -- and it was, by any definition of the words, a complete success. Now, Michael Bay has been as tactful as he can be to those fans who voice their opinions in his direction. I shall now attempt to be the same: Friends, TransFans, Countrymen... if you don't like the designs he's using, or the script he's working from, or the alt modes he's licensed, or the way he's rewritten the Transformers' origin (as opposed to, say, the way "RiD" or "Beast Wars" or the comic book or "Armada/Energon" rewrote it), then consider your complaints noted and, with all due respect, ignored, in favor of the professionals he's working with every single day. They may not be TransFans, they may not post on this board (at least not openly), but they know a heck of a lot more about writing, designing and marketing a successful mass-market film than you do. Remember that Michael Bay's financial responsibility to your individual vision is ten, perhaps twenty bucks. Forty if you add in the DVD. Even if you counted all the vocal haters on these boards, you might end up with one-half of one percent of the audience he's expecting to reach. A good take from this movie's opening weekend would be over $100 million. Total domestic profits? Over $200 million. And then they're the entire international audience, including Japan.... $200 million versus twenty bucks. That's what you and your complaints are competing with. And without judging, I'm willing to bet he's got more experience in making a $200 million movie than you do. (In fact, he's made at least two of them.) He's not "raping your childhood". If your entire childhood revolved around Transformers cartoons and toys, you have bigger problems than either he or I can deal with via the Internet. Besides, you still have the G1 DVD boxed sets and the animated movie in their original, unaltered forms to treasure and watch over and over again. You could probably spend the entire opening weekend watching them one after the other and still not be finished by the time you have to go back to work. If you still don't like his approach at all, to the point where you actively boycott the film, then you're welcome to write your own film and get it made. It's hard work, it takes a long time, and you've got a lot of people in front of you with better résumés... but you wouldn't be the first to break into Hollywood that way. Your odds are better than you might think. Go for it, really. We'll all be behind you one thousand percent. A few of us might even help fund your dream, although we'd probably have to spend a little time selling our collections on eBay to come up with the cash. Come back here when you're done and scream "I TOLD YOU SO!!" at the top of your caps lock key as much as you like. You'll have earned the right.