so what I am trying to do is move a rectangle across the screen and hit a wall. (no problem doing that part)
when it hits the wall I want it to distort so that the trailing edge begins pushing towards the leading edge and then bends and distorts.
I'm certain this is a fairly simple effect.
I tried using digieffects freeform and warp mesh but I cant seem to keyframe the distortions for those effects.
If I cant find an answer here I will probably just keyframe transform but that seems like alot of effort for something that may already be an available effect.
Here's a link to a tutorial for FreeForm that shows how to animate the distortion and get a "crumple" result:
You should be able to use the same basic idea for your purpose.
There are a lot of similar resources linked to from here.