Blu-ray review: TRANSFORMERS (2 disc version)

Paramount Home Entertainment

Release date: September 2nd, 2008
MSRP: $39.98

Director: Michael Bay

Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, Jon Voight

I never played with Tranformers. I never watched the cartoons or even knew the names of any of the auto-bots. I was a little old for it (Now if they had a Micronauts movie, I would so be there!).

So when they announced a Transformers movie was going to be made, I barely paid attention to it.

But having recently sat down and watched the film, I have to say I am impressed with the loud, flashy spectacle that is The Transformers movie.

Is it a great movie? Not at all. There is actually more than a few issues with the film (overly complex, one might even say convoluted story, questionable casting choices), but it is an entertaining popcorn flick.

While Michael Bay is not particularly high on my list of directors, he does a good job of bringing the flash and bang. Bay seems to excel in the area of special effects and high action films. He offers films that might not stand the test of time as quality, but at the moment delight filmgoers.

If it sounds like I am damning him with faint praise, I don’t really mean it that way. He has a gift and a proven broad appeal as his films have done over two BILLION dollars worldwide. Hard to argue with that level of success.

There are two types of transformers: the autobots, which are the good guys and the decepticons, the baddies.

Shiah Lebouf plays Sam, the great-grandson of a scientist that discovered the All-Spark, a device that is important to the transformers. It will turn almost anything into a robot. The decepticons want to use it to take over the earth and wipe out humanity.

The autobots sends Bumblebee to protect Sam, while the Deceptions want to pound the shit out of him.

Each side is trying to locate the All-Spark. When both sides converge on the site of the All-Spark, Tranformer carnage ensues.

This is exactly the kind of film that shines when seen in HD. The action scenes are breathtaking (and so is the HD vision of Megan Fox’s midriff). The level of detail is amazing; the desert scenes are incredible, the now clear details of the robots as well as the obligatory explosions.

I confess that I am unable to fully embrace the audio, as my speaker system is not pimped out enough for me to get the total effect. But even on my meager system, the sound envelops the viewer.

Extras:

All of the featurettes from DVD versions are here, along with some new ones.

Director Michael Bay provides a solid commentary track. He goes into quite a bit of detail on the development of the film, as well as providing some entertaining acendotes. True Geeks will eat this up.

Other highlights include: Our World, a 50 minute documentary that looks at the toys and the evolution of the project, with comments from reps of Hasbro (Maker of the toys), Exec producer Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, the writers as well as the cast crew. This goes well beyond the usual behind the scenes puff piece.

Their War runs a little over one hour and looks at the robots. Again, we have folks from Hasbro, this time talking about the origins of the Autobots. We are treated to test footage and designs of the bots, as well as the creation of the some of the cooler sequences.
Serious fans of the movie (and toys) will have a blast with both the transfer of the film as well as the extras. A considerable amount of time was put into this set and it is well worth picking up. Even if you already own the DVD version, this is as good a case for upgrading as can be made.

Order Transformers Blu-ray from Amazon.
Jeremy
For more reviews from myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.