Tags: Alan Tudyk, Digital Copy, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, John Turturro, Julie White, Ken Jeong, Kevin Dunn, Michael Bay, Paramount, Patrick Dempsey, Red One Camera, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Shia LaBeouf, Steven Spielberg, Transformers, Tyrese Gibson
has an average rating of 6.4 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
Dolby TrueHD 7.1 + DD 5.1 & 2.0
ONLY includes a DVD & Digital Copy?!
– 154 minutes
This uses 42.4GB for the movie out of 43.1GB total.
Street Date: September 30th, 2011
Overall Verdict – Amazing Quality / Lacks Bonus
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself is the third in the franchise, directed by Michael Bay and Produced by Steven Spielberg.
I’m going out on a limb so-to-speak here on this review and I’m not going to quite spend as much time on the “movie itself” (synopsis) section. Here, it may not really matter as much since it’s actually the third film in a franchise that you very well-likely have seen the previous two films of. So, having said that I’ll be brief. This is a continuation to the previous films “Transformers” (2008) an “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” (2009).
Most of the cast from the previous two films are here back reprising their roles with the exception of Megan Fox who had a personal “falling out” with the director. Replacing her this time around we have a new face and it’s a young lady that our leading man is currently dating. Her character’s name is “Carly” and she’s played by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. “Sam” (Shia LeBeouf) is not living the life we might assume as he’s been separated from not only his “hottie” girlfriend but also his sweet ride / best friend “Bumblebee” who’s away working on missions for the government. Sam is left to look for a job and also gets a visit from his parents who try to “raise his spirits” when he has trouble gaining employment. Some of the “Autobots“, namely smaller ones, stick around with Sam to keep an eye on him while others like Bumblebee and “Optimus Prime” are off doing serious work. No need to fret though, as a whole lot of the “Autobots” will be back this film and you’ll even be introduced to some new ones.
The female love interest here isn’t the only new face to the franchise here as you’ll see some big-named co-stars joining the cast like Frances McDormand, John Malkovich and Patrick Dempsey. Some other notables in the supporting cast include Alan Tudyk and Ken Jeong. Good performances all around here from the human actors as well by the human voice cast for the CG animated characters.
The amount of action here is just mind-blowing and the CG effects just keep getting better every film. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” to me served a nice ending to the franchise — as I don’t obviously foresee a sequel being made that directly continues this story aside from the possible theme park ride. The film itself comes with a whole lot of state-of-the-art CG (computer generated) special effects along the way that look absolutely amazing as you’ll hear me discuss further below. Lastly let me say the film ended up setting a record for the studio (Paramount) by grossing over $1.1 Billion worldwide at the box office during its theatrical run.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio. According to IMDb‘s technical specifications listing for the aspect ratio this was primarily shot digitally in Hi-Def and on 35MM film on the following cameras:
- Arri Alexa
- Arriflex 235
- Panavision Panaflex Platinum
- Red One Camera
- Silicon Imaging SI-2K
- Sony CineAlta F35
Let me first say that you’ll notice there’s A LOT of “3D pop” here on this 2D Blu-ray Disc release and there’s a reason for that. As most know the film was partially shot in 3D and was primarily in fact shown in 3D during its theatrical run. The DP (Director of Photography) Amir M. Mokri‘s beautifully detailed and intense cinematography is done complete and utter justice here with this EXCELLENT Hi-Def presentation on Blu-ray Disc. Let me also note one small final bit of technical fact here before I continue on discussing video quality. The MOVIE ITSELF here gets to use a total of 42.4 Gigabytes of disc space on this BD-50. I very rarely, if maybe ever, see a film itself use this much data space for the film. In fact it’s usually on average that most encodes only total up to roughly 30 gigs and this exceeds that size by quite a bit (12 gigs roughly). That alone and the bitrates this runs should leave extremely technical “videophiles” amazed.
Too much technical jargon for you? If that doesn’t do it for you the sharp amount of detail, the eye-popping CG effects and millions, millions of dollars of stunts and explosives documented here in Hi-Def to form an “action flick” should leave you a tad bit blown away. Then again though, if you’ve seen the first two films in the franchise you know what to expect visually, right? Yes and no. Yes it does look just as amazing but no, it actually almost looks better this time around. Having said that let me assess the video quality a bit further.
The black level here is ink solid, the color palette is very lively with the bright colorful motor vehicle counterparts to the “Autobots” like “Bumblebee as a yellow Chevy Camaro serving as a great example. The fleshtones are definitely accurate here and Michael Bay even goes as far to prove that with a few “risky” shots of the new female co-star Rosie Huntington-Whitely early on in the film. Sure she’s no Megan Fox but she is decent on the eyes, especially in Hi-Def. Enough of me being a sexist pig. This really should leave folks impressed visually with a “jaw dropping” Hi-Def presentation well worthy of a perfect “5 Star Rating” for overall video quality.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in Dolby TrueHD 7.1 as well as Dolby Digital 5.1 Discrete and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. Nice to see those last two included as an option but you’ll most definitely want to go with the Dolby TrueHD (lossless) mix even if you’re just on a 5.1 speaker setup; as it contains a whole lot more fidelity than the other two. This is an honest and semi-personal statement but it pertains to this. Over the past 4 (going on 5) years this format (Blu-ray Disc) has existed and the “bar for excellence” was actually set with the first film in this franchise (“Transformers” released in 2008). So it’s safe to say that my expectations were incredibly high for this mix. In fact, I expected this to be the next “demo disc” for the format in terms of reference material audio quality.
So, having said all that, how’s it sound? Let me start off by saying that this contains a HUGE amount of LFE (bass) that will come via some subwoofer action that might get the cops called for a noise complaint — be careful and don’t say I didn’t warn you! The amount of rear channel “action” (presence) here is amazing and is also used for lots of pans across the entire 4 channels of rears to the soundstage that is your home theater speaker setup (presuming 7.1 here). It’s just downright excellent from start to finish and that previous statement should really, really say a lot considering this film comes close to two-and-a-half hours in length. Very few occasions will you find this not taking full advantage of a lossless codec like Dolby TrueHD or a 7.1 configuration. This just exceeds in excellence in terms of sound and earns itself a perfect “5 Star Rating” for overall audio quality. This is by far some of the best “demo material” on the format as far as lossless 7.1 goes. Tons of action here on Blu-ray Disc and it’s not just on the screen but also surrounding you via a massive wall of sound.
Bonus Materials are not included on this release unless you count the following contained on a second disc (DVD):
- Digital Copy of the film which is compatible with iTunes and Windows Media Portable devices as well as Mac and PC.
- A DVD of the film in Standard Definition with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.
Overall the bonus materials here are a disappointment and it’s very possible that this is to try to get consumers to “double-dip” (re-purchase the film on the same format) when it comes to Blu-ray 3D likely by year end. This is a bit frustrating, well very frustrating, if you’re not 3D friendly or equipped especially but you have to understand this decision was that of the director Michael Bay it seems as even he went as far as to be quoted in the original press release announcing this release — seemingly taking the blame. However, Paramount seems to be trying to do their best to reach out an “olive branch” so-to-speak with a $10 OFF COUPON toward the purchase of the eventual Blu-ray 3D which WILL for sure contain bonus materials. Basically if you own a 3D HDTV, Blu-ray 3D player and are definitely wanting bonus materials just wait and later this year you’ll find all your needs met. On the other hand, if you’re like some of us and just impatient and realize you’ll be forced to “double-dip” you should at least rest assured that the price they throw at you next time around will have 10 bucks knocked off if you use the coupon. That’s somewhat assuring to consumers but my real gripe could be perhaps you have to buy this to find the actual print insert with the coupon unless you are well-informed and read our site. Either way, consumers will have some gripes of their own here. I’m not even going to consider lying.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please be patient with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.