Transformers: 2 Disc Special Edition

DVD Reviews | Oct 16th, 2007

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Starring Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Peter Cullen, Jon Voight, John Turturro, Hugo Weaving
Written By: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Directed By: Michael Bay
Studio: Dreamworks
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Transformers the movie was one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer. Surprisingly, it was also one of the best! The first few trailers of the movie looked kind of weak, so it took me a long time to realize that Michael Bay’s Transformers movie would be kick ass. Based on his track record, I think everyone was a little skeptical. But Bay, Spielberg and everyone involved made such a fun, action-packed and bad ass movie that a lot of movie fans will love!

Transformers is based on the toy line & cartoon from the 1980s. The basic storyline is still there but it’s different than the cartoon storyline. The alien robots (Autobots and Decepticons) from Cybertron have brought their intergalactic war to planet Earth and all the humans get caught up in it. The movie starts out with the military in the Middle East (where else would they be these days). The military ends up getting attacked by a robotic helicopter and a robotic scorpion. Yes I know, it sounds realistic. Back in the U.S., a young boy named Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) finally gets to pick out a car. His car literally chooses him, and Sam finds out the car is more than meets the eye. The recently purchased Camaro is Bumblebee (voiced by Robin of Sherwood’s Mark Ryan) from Cybertron, here to protect him & an eBay item he is auctioning off. The eBay item contains information about the All Spark, an energy source that will destroy the world. That’s where the Autobots and Decepticons come in. The leader of the Autobots is Optimus Prime (the original Optimus voice, Peter Cullen), a bad ass truck and the evil leader of Decepticons is Megatron (Hugo Weaving). In the cartoon series, Megatron was a gun but in the movie he turns into fighter jet. The Autobots enlists the help of Sam to help them get the All Spark and do whatever it takes to get it back before it’s too late.

This movie is a good introduction to the world of Transformers. It sets up the story but also delivers in terms of action and character development. Well, some of the characters’ backgrounds are set up for the sequels like Sam’s but I felt the development of the Autobots and Decepticons should have been explained more extensively. You barely know anything about the supporting characters for the Autobots and Decepticons. You just see them as big ass robots that are disguised as tanks, police cars, hummers, etc. They could have gone into more depth with Megatron, and Starscream. I felt the mixture of humor and action was a nice balance. The movie was actually a lot funnier than I thought it would be. Most of the humor came from Sam and his parents. But some of the Autobots have some humorous moments like Bumblebee leaking lubricants onto John Turturro. But people aren’t really going to be talking about the humor in this movie, there either going to talk about how cool Optimus Prime was, the robot battles or how hot Megan Fox is. I know that’s what I’ve been talking about it. How can Megan Fox go out with a doodie face like Brian Austin Green?

The special effects were outstanding, and it certainly didn’t bring the film down at all. Some action movies have really weak SFX and it just ruins the movie for me but not with Transformers. But given that ILM was doing the effects for this movie, I knew at least the CGI would be excellent. Seeing giant robots kick the crap out of each other is just a joygasm to moviegoers. My only complaint with the robot fight scenes is you can’t tell what the hell is going on. All you see is robots tumbling and crashing into things; it’s just hard to make out what’s what. But if this movie was a bunch of robots beating each other up, I don’t think it would have been as good. At least there are some human elements to this movie that still gives it a realistic feeling, but obviously not too realistic. I’m sure there are many fan boys who want their cars to turn into giant ass robots.
It’s just not gonna happen.

The bonus features on the Transformers Special Edition were interesting, but far less amazing than the film itself. It basically goes in depth into the location scouting and the casting of the film, primarily involving the military training the cast was put through in order to portray it properly in the film. Aside from some interesting stunts and the occasional car explosion, this wasn’t much more than anything you would expect from such a high budget film. I was quite disappointed in the fact that there was little to no time spent in ILM involving the creation of the Transformers, nor were there any interviews with the voice actors who played them at all. I was looking forward to seeing some sound studio shots of Cullen or Weaving as they voiced their epic battle, but I suppose I will have to wait for the inevitable 14 disc mega box set.

Transformers was a nice surprise over the summer. It didn’t suck ass like I thought it would, but ended up being one of my favorite movies of the last few years! This will be a movie that I’ll be watching over and over, and I won’t get sick of it. So if you are a fan of the toys, comics, cartoon series, etc., be sure to get the 2-disc special edition DVD. Of course, I’m sure there will be a million other DVD versions that will come out now until the next movie. But, who wants to wait that long for a new DVD? I just hope they introduce some awesome characters in the next movie like the Dinobots! Just don’t kill off anymore cool characters I loved in the cartoon series!

Commentary by Director Michael Bay
Our World – Explore the world of Transformers through interviews with the cast and crew, stunt training footage, and exclusive access to the on-set locations.
Their War – Learn more about the Autobots and Decepticons with exclusive access to production design, military advisors, and digital special effects
More Than Meets The Eye – An in-depth featurette on the making of the Skorponok Desert Attack scene and concept boards.

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1

Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)

English, Spanish, French

Favorite Scenes: Bumblebee vs Barricade, The rest of the Autobots arriving to Earth, Optimus vs Bonecrusher, Sam in his bathroom and talking with his parents, Starscream taking out other jets, the whole battle at the end was sweet too!
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 143 minutes
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