In my studies last year, I read an essay on film criticism that talked about two extreme categories of movie viewers. There were “Snobs,” who basically believed that other people are not able to understand films that they like. Then, there are “Rabble Rousers,” who just decide films that they don’t understand are terrible (I’m sure you will find plenty of examples of both in any film message board — I admit I fall into the snob category from time to time).
In this age of adaptations, you can add a third — The Purist.
Essentially purists hate change. They have a belief of how something should be and they dislike and/or disavow any changes to that vision.
In about a week and a half, the Transformers movie will be released in theatres. I can’t even list half of the purist complaints about this film without being here all day. I read in the newspaper today how Michael Bay has even received death threats about the changes he has made in the film.
So what do I think?
Well, first I have to say that I am definitely a Transformers fan. When I was a kid, I watched the shows, got the toys, the whole nine yards. Personally, I don’t mind the changes. Despite the flames, Optimus Prime still looks like Optimus Prime. Even with the more drastic changes, you can still see the roots from the cartoon (except for the weird stick-figure robot).
In the end, I will not make my final decision until after I see the film. As for the purists, I have no idea if they would ever be truly happy with anything other than the 80s cartoon.