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.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

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It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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