DID YOU READ

“Transformers: The Ride” is opening in Universal Hollywood – here’s our review

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There might not be a “Transformers” movie engaging you in theaters this summer, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to watch Optimus Prime fend off Megatron and the rest of the Decepticons in a new adventure. Universal Hollywood is opening the doors for “Transformers: The Ride” on May 25, and I got a chance to check out the attraction over the weekend.

The 3D HD ride is similar in style to “The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man” in Universal Orlando, but ramped up a notch so it’s as involved as “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” is. Your objective is to protect the AllSpark from Megatron, and you team up with a new Autobot named Evac to do so. Evac is a clever addition to the “Transformers” line-up because he is also conveniently your escape vehicle (read: he’s the car you travel in through the ride).

A scene from Transformers: The Ride

Along the way you meet up with Bumblebee, Optimus Prime and various other Autobots, all the while evading Megatron, Devastator and Starscream. You’re hurled through a city while trying to get the AllSpark to safety, and Universal’s robot arm technology and 3D effects do a great job of making you feel like you’re right in on the action. Even though this isn’t a roller coaster, don’t think it’s a ride just for kids. It definitely whips you around a bit, so victims of motion sickness be warned.

While the story isn’t technically “Transformers” canon, it’s definitely in keeping with Michael Bay‘s movies. The Autobots and Decepticons transform between their forms as smoothly as they do in his films, though that’s likely because Bay served as “Transformers: The Ride’s” creative consultant. The attraction touts original, photo-realistic 3D-HD media, a new elaborate flight simulation system and special effects crafted by Industrial Light & Magic.

A scene from Transformers: The Ride

The wait time was about 130 minutes when I checked out the attraction close to close on Sunday evening, so I can only imagine how insane the line will be once the ride actually opens its doors. But it’s worth the wait, especially if you’re a fan of the “Transformers” series. It really does feel like you’re right there in the middle of one of the movies. Who knows, maybe Bay will skip doing 3D for “Transformers 4” and just have it roll out on a 4D action ride. We would be totally okay with that.

There’s also an array of merchandise to check out after your ride is complete. I was a fan of the “Robots in disguise” mustache shirt and Optimus Prime helmet, but you can find an array of magnets, shirts and toys to appease any “Transformers” fan.

A scene from Transformers: The Ride

When I walked up to go on the ride, there was an opportunity to snap photos with Bumblebee taking place. Both he and Optimus Prime are scheduled to pop up next to the ride throughout the day to pose with fans, though unfortunately they didn’t seem quite ready to transform in front of us. Maybe Bumblebee was just feeling shy or something.

“Transformers: The Ride” opened in Singapore late last year. This attraction seems to be pretty much the same as the one at that Universal, though the queue might be a little bit different. If you’re a “Transformers” fan and find yourself around either Universal Studios theme park, I’d definitely suggest going to check out the ride.

Are you going to go check out “Transformers: The Ride” when it opens in May? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.

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Stan Diego Comic-Con

Stan Against Evil returns November 1st.

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Photo Credit: Erin Resnick, GIFs via Giphy

Another Comic-Con International is in the can, and multiple nerdgasms were had by all – not least of which were about the Stan Against Evil roundtable discussion. Dana, Janet and John dropped a whole lotta information on what’s to come in Season 2 and what it’s like to get covered in buckets of demon goo. Here are the highlights.

Premiere Date!

Season 2 hits the air November 1 and picks up right where things left off. Consider this your chance to seamlessly continue your Halloween binge.

Character Deets!

Most people know that Evie was written especially for Janet, but did you know that Stan is based on Dana Gould’s dad? It’s true. But that’s where the homage ends, because McGinley was taken off the leash to really build a unique character.

Happy Accidents!

Improv is apparently everything, because according to Gould the funniest material happens on the fly. We bet the writers are totally cool with it.

Exposed Roots!

If Stan fans are also into Twin Peaks and Doctor Who, that’s no accident. Both of those cult classic genre benders were front of mind when Stan was being developed.

Trailer Treasure!

Yep. A new trailer dropped. Feast your eyes.

Catch up on Stan Against Evil’s first season on the IFC app before it returns November 1st on IFC.