This is just my opinion overall so given the title of this thread I know it's gonna be easy for some people to lump in and act authoritative on what they think; I mean it's fine if you think otherwise... But alright let's just do this. 2007 was a year where I was too young even understand what fan outrage is. So yeah, none of the stuff about Optimus having flames or Megatron, you know... Looking like a xenomorph at the time had really got to me. Yet. No, I didn't know about online forums at the time but I guess that's a good thing because if there's one thing I shouldn't be up against, it's death threats from fans. Anyway, so my knowledge on Transformers also tethers on Beast Wars and the last bits of the Unicron Trilogy (i.e. Cybertron) at the time. I had no proper introduction to Optimus Prime beforehand because I was kind of indifferent to what the franchise was at the time. By the time, I finally got around to seeing the 2007 movie my thoughts on the franchise got a big 180 and I was just hooked onto what I had witnessed on screen and was mesmerised with it. See? If those designs are so far removed from the source material and there's so many of those weird human scenes; why was I still entertained by what I saw on screen? 90s kids who enjoyed movies like Independence Day; Mortal Kombat or TMNT 1990 when you were young, do you remember what's it like watching those movies and still holding those movies to a level of regard as an adult? Or better yet... 80s kids, when you saw the 1986 animated film and by the time you grew up... And still hold that movie with high regard? One of my answers would be Michael Bay; as a director. Okay, time to shut down this thread because that's a bad thing to say.... Just kidding. I believe he understands as moviegoers our minds want to be entertained more than anything and that's a simple principle to live by. Why else do people like movies like Bad Boys (and it's getting its third movie) or Armageddon? This answer also reminds me of when I watched Patrick H Willem's videos about him and it makes sense as to why his movies can have such an appeal to the eye. Thus the first movie earned its money to build on. So when I was anticipating ROTF, of course it was whatever the first movie sold me on that had me anticipating. First time watching it? It felt like exactly what I wanted. Then I tried talking to other people about it and it was strange to find people scoffing at it and me going, "Wait, what?" So I came across the 20% on Rotten Tomatoes one day and read up on complaints on stuff like crude humor or in other words, toilet humor. And that's how I became aware that these movies aren't what I think they are. No, it's not about being faithful to the source material or anything like that; it's really how they do as movies. I was still entertained by DOTM but by then, I had a set of complaints like lack of robot screen time and personality. Of course, who knew getting stuff like that would bring us to complaints like 'kibble-less' robots at that time. I guess we should all figure out time travel and put those things in for Paramount to read on. That's AOE for you I guess. Personally, I'm glad they tried implementing those things in but sad that a new set of problems had to come. TLK, the final TF film directed by Bay was a testament to pretty much all of us even those who had fun with the movies previously were feeling the pressure of so many things. Now that I'm old during the time, I've become much more self-aware into what I am expecting. And you know what was appealing to me four movies in? It's the lore. (*insert obnoxious Nicholas Cage laugh*) Yes, Transformers from all different corners of the franchise had so much interesting stuff to pull from. Like the Knights of Cybertron from IDW or what the concept of a Prime is in general. Also the appeal that things from the past were getting tied together. Including a potential meta way that could excuse why there were Transformer McGuffins on Earth in Unicron; whether you think he's forced or not. Not a good idea in general; but a good idea for what the movies established. By the time, we notice nothing came to fruition and that pretty much everyone in both the audience and production was fatigued, I was left disappointed by the execution. See... I don't hate the movies. I really do not. On a technical level, they can keep me invested as well as whatever idea they have on the table; be it the lore or having robot characters that extend beyond. As Roy Batty said in Blade Runner, 'All those moments will be lost like tear drops in the rain.' We are fortunate that Bumblebee just happened to be right around the corner after TLK as a leftover product and deliver us stuff that perhaps are a little too late to see. It's cool to see the G1 characters from nostalgia point of view but for me, it's that their status as characters that would appeal more. Also while the character building was strong; the story for me felt pretty dilute in that you can't help but feel that it's been there and done that. Here's an excerpt from the Variety review that I actually agree with in terms of why it worked: “Bumblebee” benefits enormously from creative decisions that have come before: the robot designs, the basic sound effects, the warm, vaguely gold-burnished look of DP Enrique Chediak’s live-action footage — all of these things trace back to the template Bay set in the previous five films. And, of course, Bay risked his reputation making a movie based on a popular ’80s toy franchise, where the pitch to audiences at the time was basically the notion that if any director could make those ridiculous robots look cool in live action, it was the man whose every movie looks like a super-polished car commercial. “Bumblebee” shows that there’s room for a bit more nuance within the formula, but if you break it down, this relatively enjoyable film is made entirely from recycled parts. Overall as a fan, the films help impress me that Transformers as franchise can have a lot of creativity to it and it's something that helps with the investment. I'm hoping the next film after Bumblebee is able to feel a little more creative in terms of what it can offer exclusively. So yeah, that's why I'm not that invested in complaining about the faults but rather what worked and what can be built upon. Anyway, I feel like I'm rambling but I'll be glad to talk further about my feelings.