Michael Bay’s Transformer series, having grossed over $35,000 DOLLARS WORLDWIDE over the past decade, is clearly a thought leader within the market place. It has everything. Women. Women dressed scantily and laughing about drinking and partying. Women who have long leggy legs. Explosions. Fast cars. Robots. Parents who are precious about their gardens. Truly, this is a wonderment of a franchise. But you wanna know where Mike Bay has, erm, fallen down a bit on the job? His pop songs. Oh sure, you could point to Armageddon‘s uber-creepy “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing,” where Steven Tyler wondered what it would be like to hit on his own daughter, or perhaps “Shake Your Tailfeather” by Nellie on the Bad Boys II soundtrack. But overall the recent history of Bay, and of Transformers, has been of score-driven action mayhem, SANS pop stylings. One missed opportunity after another. Which is a shame, because for every perky bosom or blatantly racist robot onscreen we should be entitled to, NAY, we deserve, a jamming or sardonic beat with which to bounce upon. Like, you know, “Murder She Wrote” and the hotel lobby.
Thankfully, here at Filmdrunk Industries, Inc. (Slogan: “We make mirth so you don’t have to!?)” we strive to offer the very best in movie director consulting. Here are ten superb contextual songs that could be (or could have been) woven seamlessly into the Transformers franchise. C’mon Bay-man Islands, it’s never too late to start changing your destiny. Just ask Saruman!
First off …
“Pets” – Porno for Pyros
The Transformers series is based on the continual push vs. pull of Megatron vs. The Humans and The Humans vs. The Autobots, under the storyline of humans lashing out against those who would help them (You may remember a similar theme from X-Men, Spider-Man, Batman, The Incredible Hulk, Superman, Iron Man, Four Weddings and a Funeral …). But what no one ever does is say, “Y’know Optimus, you’ve got a legit point. This place sucks. Let’s head back to Robot-land. Could you get someone to transform into a giant sex doll for me?”
I mean, we WOULD make great pets! Tell me you wouldn’t take a comfy bed and three squares a day, continual metallic tousling of your golden locks included. It’s a can’t miss plan. Yeah, it’s aspirational, but put this song underneath Shia or Mark Wahlberg heading into the giant spaceship, right as Megatron starts lighting up Chicago, flipping two birds to the stunned crowd. That’s a winner.
“Yellow” – Coldplay
They actually put “Black and Yellow” into the series already, but that’s too obvious. This, of course, is to my main man Bumblebee, who I thought was supposed to be protecting Sam Wit’ Wicky, but is instead now back having rage blackouts at inopportune times in Transformers: Age of Extinction. No idea where Sam went. Probably smoking dope somewhere. I REALLY wanted a Sam Witwicky cameo, even if it was him watching television and eating cereal as everything went down. Or mowing the lawn. I’m really troubled not knowing what happened to Sam. Continuity, Mikey Bay, it’s what’s for dinner! Still, if we put this song under any number of the tender Bumblebee moments that would be sure to draw a laugh, and for all the right reasons.
“Bottom of the Ocean” – Miley Cyrus
I’m not particularly proud of even knowing this song, but it would have been great for Megatron being chucked into the ocean at the end of whatever Transformers that happened in. Did it happen in two versions? Anyway, close up on Mega’s face, this playing in the background. 100 percent solid gold.
“The Good Life” – Weezer
Also for Megatron, applicable to about three films including Age of Extinction. Megatron is always counted out, but then he gets his act together to get back on the carnage dance floor. I don’t even know how this guy got off track, but I do know not making him into a giant gun like the cartoon portrayed him was a missed opportunity. A gun the size of a semi would have played all the world round.
“Convoy” – CW McCall
For Optimus Prime, who is maybe the worst leader in the history of robots. This guy can actually fly, he’s got rockets on his feet, but he never bothers because he’s too busy trucking around. Well, let’s just pay homage to that odd choice and let the big man rumble. We’ve got us a convoy! Roll out, Optimus! This way you won’t have to utter idiotic platitudes, instead you can put the hammer down right outside of Shakeytown. Folks, it don’t get no righter than that.
“Danger! High Voltage” – Electric Six
For Blackout, in the first one, when he shut down the power grid. Pretty baller move, though I’m not sure he was ever seen again. I’m positive I’ll be corrected in the comments by a ‘Former Fanatic, but most of Michael Bay’s Transformer character arcs involve long stretches of being offscreen, ostensibly at a group brunch, followed by them randomly showing up and fighting like the dickens. I call this the “not bothering” method, and it’s fun, just like this song.
“True Affection” – The Blow
Michael Bay has a history of casting women who have won the DNA lottery. In the first two films Shia was wildly under to snuff against the angular nightmare of attraction that was Megan Fox. She would have been dating a Saudi oil baron or some hedge fund guy in real life. In this latest film he’s cast Nicola Peltz, who is the progeny of a model and a billionaire who used to own Snapple. DEMS GOOD BREEDING GENES. But whichever film you used this in, just make it play during the scene where the girl is splayed out on the hood of a car sporting a “come hither” look. We’d all get the joke, be appreciative, and give a slight head nod of affection for the choice. Bonus: This has another subtle reference to Megatron, who is cold chillin’ at the bottom of the ocean.
“Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” – The Flaming Lips
This fits so well I should charge them for the idea. Just throw it underneath ‘Tessa doing something bad-ass and then break for lunch. What’s that? She doesn’t have one scene where she’s actually helping out, instead she’s a little Barbie doll that spends slo-mo moments looking anguished and reaching her hand out for help? How can we fix this? I’ve got one idea, please proceed to the extremely graphic song below.
“My Neck, My Back” – Elle King (Cover of a Khia song)
Boom! Michael Bay loves the female body like I love Chipotle Burritos (Chipotle: The official sponsor of my pasty belly). Which is fine, you can’t ask a hummingbird to change its hum, so let’s just admit the objectification is going to be present and flip it on its head. Here you’ve got the ultimate raunchy diddy, but at least the lady is getting hooked up too. Michael Bay is being met half way. The gal is getting down, and, based upon the lyrics, probably dirty – but at least she’s also getting hers. Owning it. The ladies will remain objects of objectification, but now they are tilting the power equation. Feminism for the new world order.
“The Humans are Dead” – Flight of the Conchords
A lay-up, but I pour out liquor for The Flight of the Conchords. This is the goal of Megatron and the Decepticons, although to be fair they’d rather shoot us with lasers than poison us with gases. They’re not animals. Speaking of, did anyone catch the fourth film this weekend? They ride dinosaurs, after they threaten them with their lives. Pretty sweet little narrative.
That’s all I could come up with off the top of my head, my bathroom breaks can only reasonably last so long. If you have alternate suggestions or mean comments please send them my way. They will all be read in the spirit with which they were intended. Until then, keep on transforming. For real, tho.
Laremy is on Twitter where he’s amassed a diverse and energetic following.