Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
This cover is actually cool. I like it…whew, that felt good. The urge to over do it with a collage of images of the stars and the metal faces must have been overwhelming for the DVD designer people. I’m glad they decided to go with the ‘less is more’ concept.
The menus have some floating clips from the movie rolling around with the standard bottom’s up menu at the lower quadrant of the screen.
- Commentary By Michael Bay – We all know Michael Bay likes making these big flicks. He likes to talk about it too. Which is cool.
- Transformers Heads Up Display (Blu-Ray Only) – Like pop up video but with giant alien robots.
- Paramount Blu-Ray Live – Look for tons of HD content that magically comes through the air (or your broadband connection) to your Blu-Ray player while you watch the movie. It’s a great look ahead for what DVD’s will be in the future. (or is the future now????)
- Our World Documentary – So much extra movie making content, so little time and typing tolerance. This is a series of behind the scenes documentary bits that get up close and personal with everyone from the cast, crew, and the humans behind those cute little robot thingies. It’s excellent, if I do say so myself. It’s about an hour, which is just right because the next one “Their War” is also an hour which makes for a prime extras viewing afternoon.
- Their War Documentary – Pretty much ditto from “Our World”, but this one is all about making the Autobots and Decepticons come to life. Not to mention they give us a lot about the original story and history of the Transformers.
- Transformers Tech Inspector – More about each robot and their shady pasts. They are real life breathing fictional metal folks and if you dig the whole Transformers’ universe you’ll appreciate it even more.
- Concept Art – I love art, drawing, painting, etc. I just wish that was my pen and pencil behind those cool images.
- Theatrical Trailers (HD) – Trailers..bleck.
- From Script To Sand The Skorponok Desert Attack – How they got the big action from the page to the screen.
The Movie: 8/10
I have now seen Transformers 3 times. Once with my husband in the theater. Once with my 11 year old nephew in the theater. Once in the comfort of our home theater room (with husband). The question is, “Did it get better or worse with age?” Hmmm.
Let’s do this one viewing at a time:
Watched it Once – I was semi-interested in the introduction of the main characters like Sam, his parents, and Mojo the dog. It was all charming and cute. AND THEN a car turned into a giant robot!! I was transfixed on every moving part and every little hint of personality they crammed into those cute metal men. From the first glimpse of transforming I stayed hypnotized and just looked forward to every scene with sexy shiny men made of metal.
There was some story to go with the special effects, but I wasn’t impressed enough to pay attention, this time.
The action sequences really got my heart racing. I admit it. I loved seeing the change from vehicle to robot. Call me easy. Or just easily impressed might be a nicer way to say it. The good thing was that I didn’t find myself looking for flaws or faults, so I just had a great time and let my brain take a break while my eyes had a great time.
Watched it Twice – I had seen the transforming and the extra cool special effects only a couple of days before, so this time I decided to focus more on the humans. I was mostly entertained by Sam, the cheeky teenager and his parents, and I grew more fond of Michaela, the overly sexy chick who-knows-about-cars love interest. I even became more of a fan of the soldiers from the opening scenes. They were just stereotypes and kind of boring the first time around, but this time I let that go and decided they were pretty solid characters considering the amount of time they have on screen through the movie.
As far as the action, well, I was even more in love with the day time scenes with the mechanical boys fighting it out on the freeway, as well as the sequence around the house where Optimus Prime and the boys got to do a bit of comedy.
Watched a Thrice (um, 3 times) – This time there were no annoying theater goers to distract me at all, that’s a bonus. So, how did the movie hold up under a third viewing? The action scenes were even better than the first two times, honestly. I have looked as close at these special effects, looking for bad physics, poor scaling, and general screw ups, I found one. When Megatron flicks a human away with his finger, the human looks a bit rag-dollish, if you know what I mean. Other than that, I am still looking for problems. Maybe by the 10th time I see it I’ll find something to complain about.
As for the STORY. Ugh. I still love the main human characters. Sam and the gang are fine and dandy. They and the robots would have been a fine story on their own. I still like the soldiers and this time Sector 7 agents didn’t even bother me much. The remaining part of the movie that annoys the crap out of me, and always has, is the whole “young hackers come to save the world” bullshit. Seriously. I would love to re-edit the whole thing myself, take out the Secretary of Defense, the Aussie chick signal analyst in high heels, along with her hokey and just plain annoying hacker friend who lives with his grand mother. That whole part of the movie is crazy bad. I hate it. HATE, yes. If the special effects and the other humans weren’t compelling enough, the whole thing would fall apart.
Video & Audio: (By Ascully) 9/10
Transformers has come home in style with the Blu-Ray version of Michael Bay’s robot epic. I am not kidding when I say this is THE REFERENCE disc that any Blu-Ray owner must have in their collection. The 1080P image has an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 which maintains the nice wide image that this movie uses to the fullest in almost every scene. This is also a slight upgrade from the older HDDVD version as the VC1 encode at a slightly higher bit rate. It averages 32 mbps and in some spots reaches an amazing 40 mbps. Michael Bay was not lying when he said Blu-Ray was the best way to release this movie all those months ago.
On the audio side, Paramount have upgraded the sound from the HDDVD edition that came out last year. Under Michael Bay’s supervision they have remixed the soundtrack in Dolby TrueHD. This uncompressed format which was a controversial exclusion on the HDDVD version, is a huge step up in terms of clarity and presence. Overall, if you want to showcase your speaker system this is the ultimate edition of the movie.
We watch a lot of different Blu-Ray discs here at Ascully.com and this, along with the Cars & Pirates Of The Caribbean are the cream of the crop. Even if you don’t have much of a interest in yet another action packed Michael Bay movie with lots of slo-mo and cheesy dialog, you should still check this one out. It’s worth it visually and in the old ear department.
I will never pretend that anything close to 30 bucks is a good price for a Blu-Ray Disc, no matter how much I enjoy the movie. Unless it does my dishes and fills in all my tax forms for me, it’s still just a DVD. I LOVE movies, I just don’t love the idea of spending a whole month’s water bill or week’s worth of lunches on one bit of entertainment. IF you are a huge fan of the whole Transformer world, well, you won’t care how much it is. So, I would say they were fair not to take advantage of the “must have it” folks out there. It is jam packed with goodies, so it’s a well rounded package whatever you pay for it. Otherwise, it’s a fantastic rental on a weekend!