It appears we have a third Transformers movie on the way this summer.

I don’t mean to sound too much like an old curmudgeon.  The
were fun…when I was in junior high.  That’s just a
statement of fact and not a snarky jab.  As someone who still reads
G.I. Joe to this day, I would need a shoehorn in order squeeze out
room in which to talk, so trust me that I'm not being condescending.
The first installment in the Transformers movie series really grabbed
my attention…for about the first twenty minutes.  Then it all looked
like a messy cartoon with really good animation.  I couldn’t tell
the difference between Megan Fox and the CGI robots.  Both had about
the same emotive capabilities as actors.  Didn’t see the sequel, so can't comment on that.
I consume more than my fair share of mainstream science fiction, i.e.
just about anything with “Star” in the title, especially Star Wars and
Star Trek.  But as I look through upcoming film releases and certainly
the science fiction section of bookstores, I see a lamentable glut of
“franchises” and corporate manufactured material.  How little room
there is it seems for creativity and fresh ideas.  Like any other
corporate entity, Hollywood and the publishing world want sure bets
and ready-made audiences and we may sadly have new concepts choked off
before they’re given even chance to draw first breath.

If that’s the case and Hollywood wants “pop trash movies” with giant
robots, then I submit to the industry a modest proposal: The Shogun Warriors.

Talk about ready-made audience, there are any number of old men like me out
there, sojourning and pining for their lost youth.  The Shogun
Warriors were no small part of that time for us.  They arrived in the
late 1970s as Japanese exports on the heels of Godzilla movies and
just before widespread anime and Hello Kitty.  Mattel sold them as 24” plastic
robots, truly giants over any other toy you happened to have at the
time.  There were four Shogun robots I remember from those days
(though Wikipedia claims there were more): Raydeen, Dragun, Gaiking,
and Mazinga (or “Mazinger.”)  There was even a Godzilla of the same
stature, complete with a fiery tongue it could stick out and a clawed
hand that could be launched away from the body…for reasons that pass
Little six year-old Jonny got his Shogun Warrior on Christmas Eve,
1977.  It’s still at my parents’ house, relatively in one piece.  I
have yet to move it up to Chicago because I can’t find an adequately
protective car seat to strap the robot into for the ride.  I mean I
won’t trust my Mazinga to just anything.  Oh the afternoons I whiled
away playing with that toy.  Shogun Warriors bristled with weapons and
my Mazinga was no exception.  Its left hand was actually a rocket
.  Press one of the red button tabs on the back of the “hand”
and one of three red rockets would shoot out from its spring-loaded
tube.  Yes, this was back in the day when toys had weapons that
actually fired.  Imagine hard plastic projectiles launched with force
towards your evil enemy, mom’s vase, the cat, your eye, or any other
bodily orifice.  In fact, it was child injuries that in part led to
the downfall of The Shogun Warriors toy line (“It’s all fun and games
Nevertheless, The Shogun Warriors cry out for the big screen
treatment.  There is a veritable plethora of Japanese anime series to
gank plots from, not that Hollywood’s ever really cared about that
aspect of Aristotle’s Poetics when it comes to this sort of thing.  If
the suits want a story more palatable to an American audience, Marvel
Comics had a Shogun Warriors comic book series that was insipid,
silly, and a helluva lot of fun.  Bada bing, script finished.  I can
see Robert Pattinson and Christina Aguilera in the lead roles.  There,
the MTV crowd is set.  And Natalie Portman because…well, just because.
The Lizard Queen can be the make-up artist.  Of course Duran Duran will do the soundtrack as I have a sneaking suspicion there was a Shogun Warrior or two in the toy store owned by
the parents of one Nick Bates.
Come on, Hollywood.  This idea is no dumber than anything else you have
planned for the summer.