Thursday night I had a free pass to "Transformers." I'm not a Fan Boy, so obviously it isn't my cup of tea; I just went to ogle Josh Duhamel ("Win a Date With Tad Hamilton" and some TV thing about Las Vegas). Had I realized in advance the muscle behind this project I might have approached it a little differently. Steven Spielberg ("Schindler's List" and "E.T.") is one of the producers while Michael ("Bang! Bang!") Bay ("Pearl Harbor" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre") is the director. Given that pedigree, I am NOT surprised that there was a LOT of "blowie uppie stuff" (to quote someone we all know and love!). Bay is notorious for huge budgets and then blowing up everything on screen. He is a shark swimming among sharks!

I actually found things to like in the movie ... who knew? They rested primarily on the youthful shoulders of an appealing (late teens, early twenties) actor named Shia LeBeouf ("Holes" and "Disturbia"). His character starts as a fumbling, horny, shy, awkward teenage boy, but as events escalate, that nerdiness gradually disappears because of his character's need to cope with the situation. Pretty nicely done, too! Not only is LeBeouf a self-made fellow minding his career and providing for his family, he is building a reputation as a clean living, hardworking professional. His next role will be as Indiana Jones's son. How do you top THAT? He looks to me like the real deal. His father is a recovering alcoholic, so he has a highly charged (and slightly profane) view of the Paris Hiltons and Lindsey Lohans of the world.

"Transformers" itself is a comic book. Steven Spielberg publicly owns up to playing with his own set of Transformer toys, so this is a natural out picturing of that hobby. The people in the movie are clich├ęs and the story is non-existent. There are snippets of humor, but the laughter was coming from the eight-year-old boys in the audience. Hot cars, semi trucks, ambulances, lots of speed and demons. Michael Bay...you know...

If you have a bored eight-year-old boy at your house, I know where you can take him for the afternoon!