‘Transformers’ Blu-ray Review
This film was shrouded in some controversy over the High Definition battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray almost a year ago. It was late August 2007 when Paramount announced that they were defecting to HD DVD as an exclusive studio. This caused a lot of uproar in the media and of course the internet with those that were following the format war ever so closely. Even worse, Michael Bay, the director of ‘Transformers’ also got himself involved in this war taking sides with Sony’s Blu-ray. Even worse, he continued to make remarks to the media and in interviews that his film should have never been released on HD DVD and that he would hold out from making ‘Transformers 2’. Bay would go as far as claim that he saw the film on Blu-ray and it was a much better transfer. It was entertaining drama from Mr. Bay himself that everyone was wondering what he would say next.
I grew up watching the ‘Transformers’ cartoon in my younger years and even followed a few of the newer generations of Transformers. Every time an episode would come on, it would bring a mere joy and excitement watching these mechanical robots transforming into vehicles and brawling with each other.
The film’s story begins with Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf) whom manages to get himself in some kind of trouble at school from being a wise guy or pushing the limits with his parents. Things start off with Sam in school during a presentation where he is trying to sell off his great grandfathers old glasses to the class. But for a reason, and that is he wants money to get a car. His father (Kevin Dunn) picks him up from school, and they take a ride to the used car lot. They meet the car salesman, the great late, Bernie Mac whom is great in this small role. Mac tries to sell them whatever junk he has on the lot, but “Bumblebee” is in the lot as an old beaten Camaro which attracts Sam’s attention. This is our first introduction to one of the Transformers on the side of the Autobots.
There are the Autobots (good side) and the Decepticons (evil side) that are both an alien species battling each other from planet to planet. Both groups have battled for eons on the planet Cybertron over the Allspark. The Allspark gives godly like powers to the group that can find this treasure. The Decepticons have come to Earth to find the Allspark, while the Autobots have come for more than the Allspark, to save humankind on Earth from Decepticons evil takeover.
Sam also meets Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox) from school and has a huge crush on her. Megan Fox is utterly beautiful woman that reminds me a tad of Jennifer Connelly. One aspect that I didn’t mention is also the involvement of the military. Throughout the film, you will see the military involved in many different ways and I thought they were incorporated very well into this film. I will stop the story here since there is so much to spoil if I continue and that is not the point of this review. The battle at the end is fantastic and also insane at the destruction of digital Los Angeles.
No matter how much of an ignorant person that Michael Bay can come off as being through his interviews, he has done a spectacular job with ‘Transformers’.
‘Transformers’ comes to Blu-ray as a technical marvel with a stunning 1080p transfer framed at 2:40:1 aspect ratio. The details are very fine and a pristine print at that. The transfer looks a bit more detailed than the one on HD DVD, but ever so slightly. This is one of those films that you will want to pull out when family and friends come over to show them a technical marvel like this which is demo worthy. With the Blu-ray version, we get a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround track while the HD DVD had a Dolby Digital Plus track, which I found to be underwhelming on its original release. To my ears, this mix of TrueHD track was a bit better sounding than the DD+ due to one area that was lacking before, and that was the dialogue portion. The audio just didn’t seem balanced to me with the HD DVD where the sound field was bombastic and loud, while the dialog was lower. I am glad to say that this has been corrected with the Blu-ray version.
I would recommend that you run to the store and pick up ‘Transformers’ on Blu-ray. It will not only make you relive your childhood again, but you will feel like a little kid again except watching a live action version. The Blu-ray version trumps the HD DVD version from last year with a slightly better picture and improved audio quality.