5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2009
Love him or loathe him, Michael Bay is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the summer blockbuster from Armageddon and The Island, to Pearl Harbour.
Bay's annual spectacular traditionally supplies big explosions, startling CGI, beautiful people and testosterone-fuelled car fantasies, but little story.
With Transformers, the director stays true to form.
The movie kicks off with an introduction to the origins of the Transformer's narrated by the leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen,) in which we learn about the destruction of the robot's home world and the disappearance of the `cube', which holds unimaginable power.
We are then introduced to our hero Sam Witwicky (rising star Shia LaBeouf,) an 11th grader who is about to purchase his first car, a beat up yellow Camaro, from Bobby Bolivia (a cameo turn by Bernie Mac.) Of course, this is no ordinary Camaro, as the vehicle helps our reluctant hero to get the girl (Megan Fox,) then pursues mysterious midnight joyride's on autopilot. Sam eventually discovers the car's secret life, namely that it transforms into an impressive CGI robot, which communicates via light beam with a UFO.
It's at this point the relationship between boy and car is explained. Sam's ancestor discovered the cube of power more than 100 years ago and the Transformers are desperate to find Sam, in the hopes that he has some information to the whereabouts of the device.
Sam does just this, with the help of a pair of cracked glasses, which have been etched with a map to the location of the cube. His yellow Camaro is his guardian Autobot `Bumblebee' who has been sent to protect him against again the evil Transformers, the `Decepticons', who want to use the cube for destruction and mayhem. The squeaky clean `Autobots', however, wish to use it for rebuilding their planet or destroy the cube altogether.
The remaining human cast are merely eye candy for the masses or some comic relief; John Turturro provides a welcome reminder of the film's cartoon origins, as over-the-top uptight Agent Simmons.
The original story of the Transformers has been kept intact here, many of the favourite robots appear (Optimus Prime, Megatron, Frenzy and chums all make the transition to the big screen) aswell as audio cues from the original cartoon (the distinctive "transforming" sound.)
The only reason to see this movie is the special effects, and they don't disappoint. The estimated $200 million FX budget looks like money well spent. The state of the art CGI is completely convincing and breathtaking, and few, if any, other films have managed to make the transition between live action and CGI characters so seamlessly. Freeways are demolished, buildings explode and entire cities are laid to waste in breathtakingly believable CGI.
With a sequel announced plus a new TV series, Transformers are definitely no longer `Robots in Disguise'
71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2007
If you want an action packed movie then look no further, for this is surely one of the most fun films ive seen probably since Independence Day. It does exactly what it promises and delivers more action than the whole Spiderman trilogy put together. The film is about a war between robots on Earth so you'll have to suspend your disbelief for just two hours in order to enjoy. Plus, you'll be surprised how funny it is at the same time, with great supporting acts from John Turturo and Bernie Mac.
In short, this is the quintessential big, loud, dumb summer action movie many of us have been waiting for and is thunderously entertaining. Also loved the last half hour, which is simply non-stop action as a number of city blocks get destroyed while the war wages on between the bots.
The Double disk dvd is also sure to please the fans with bonus features that include:
- Commentary by Michael Bay
-- The Story Sparks - Steven Spielberg discusses his love for the
franchise and early concept art for the film. Explores how the
writers adapted the cartoon into a live-action movie and why
Michael Bay is the perfect director for the film.
-- Human Allies - A look at how the actors were selected and their
experiences on the set.
-- I Fight Giant Robots - An exploration of the military training
that Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson underwent for their roles
and the various stunts that the actors were asked to perform.
-- Battleground - A piece on the senior officials from the
Department of Defense and Air Force who consulted on the film
to give it authenticity and the key locations that the U.S.
government provided access to.
-- Rise of the Robots - Explores the interaction between Hasbro
designers and Michael Bay to bring the toy line roaring to life.
-- AUTOBOTS Roll Out - Michael Bay discusses working with Chevy and
its designers and the modifications that were made to the cars
seen in the film.
-- DECEPTICONS Strike - The film's military advisors discuss the
"toys" they allowed the production to borrow: F-22 Raptors,
Ospreys and A-10 Warthogs.
-- Inside the AllSpark - ILM's digital artists discuss the
challenges of bringing the TRANSFORMERS to life.
>>MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE<<
-- From Script to Sand: The SKORPONOK Desert Attack - An in-depth
look at the making of this particularly epic and challenging
scene from initial storyboarding through production and visual
-- Concepts - Early sketch concepts of the robots.
VERDICT: Highly recommended film and a worthy looking DVD purchase for the fans - 5 STARS
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2009
First up thanks to Mr P whose review influenced my ordering this disc. I'll deal with the film then the technical geek stuff. I thought the film was huge fun, very entertaining although often very silly (but I think self-consciously and tongue-in-cheek a la "Iron Man"). The performances are all pretty good at the appropriate level, and I really liked Shia Labouef who I had otherwise only seen as a slightly annoying Indy Jr in "Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull". He is funny and engaging, although I have no idea what this "channeling a young John Cusack" in the Amazon own review is supposed to be !?# This is not a P.T.Anderson or Lars von Trier film and no-one expects it to be, I hope. Just shift the brain a few gears down, or even into neutral, and fun is all but guaranteed.
On the technical side: wow! Absolute reference sound and vision. It is Dolby TrueHD and not DTS, in response to a query on the comments page, and I am not quite sure what Mr P meant about LPCM, this is in my view in no way superior to TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio and nothing to mourn for (the best PCM soundtrack I know is "Casino Royale", but the two Nolan Batman films have TrueHD soundtracks which are at the very least just as good). All images are super sharp and in best resolution, the CGI images always shine but the normal film scenes are also brilliant. This is absolutely on a level with "Casino Royale" or "Indy 4". The sound is not only crystal clear, detailed and full, but the management of surround effects is really well achieved. You really will be turning your head back to the surround speakers in near alarm at moments like the little robot sneaking around on Air Force One. And anyone here like bass? This film turns your subwoofer into a nuclear weapon.
This film does not take itself at all seriously and it is not for people who take themselves seriously. But it is for people who take their home cinema technology seriously and want to see it shining at supernova levels. Buy it now!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Transformers is directed by Michael Bay and written by John Rogers, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman. Based on the Transformers toy line the plot sees Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, a teenager who gets involved in a war between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, two factions of alien robots who can disguise themselves by transforming into everyday machinery. Also involved in the carnage are Megan Fox, John Turturro, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Peter Cullen, Hugo Weaving, John Voight & Mark Ryan.
With a production budget of around $150 million, Transformers went on to make almost $710 million worldwide. That is some hefty figures, almost as hefty as the mighty Transformer robots that dazzle and wreak mayhem up on the screen. The plot of course is bonkers, but is anyone seriously watching this expecting high end literacy? The out-shot ultimately is Good Robots Versus Bad Robots, with humans either in the way or aiding the Autobots to save mankind. There's been plenty written about the film, both good and bad. From the quite brilliant transforming sequences to the rather staid dialogue; to the wry observations on the world we now find ourselves in, Transformers has got plenty for the critics and film watchers to ponder. As popcorn summer blockbusters go, it's one of the most fun in recent times; and the box office figures tell you that it found a considerably large and appreciative audience. Great "brain checked at the door" entertainment it is, then. But crucially, it's not just for the kids to enjoy, it happens to be a fully rounded family treat. Go bots! 8/10
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2012
This Review will not discuss or breakdown the plot of the Movie.
The BLU RAY disc arrived in a single Jacket (Disc Cover).
The Video Transfer is excellent, look's amazing and very detailed (especially the lil' dents and scratches on the frames of the robot's)
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
English, English SDH, French, Spanish
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2011
Firstly I really think the film is fantastic. Action, comedy, romance and don't forget massive alien robots! The quality of acting is superb. Shia Labouf is brilliant oozing with my sort of comedy and conveyed perfectly "Bought a car, turned out to be an alien robot, who knew". Megan Fox is stunning (as always) and convincing in her part.
The transfer onto blu-ray is just awesome. The sound effects and quality is what I use as an audio benchmark for my system. The special effects are just as good with picture quality that is almost, and I really mean almost, as good as Casino Royal!
Over all, one of my favourite films of all time made even better by blu-ray. If I could give it 6 stars I would! I recommend to anyone!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Put on your slippers, pull out your pipe, lie back in your moth eaten old armchair next to the fire and think back to those bygone days when vhs and betamax battled it out for video supremacy, Wham! were top of pops and starburst were still known as opal fruit. The year is 1984 and two of the world's greatest entertainment dynasties, Hasbro toys and Marvel comics, have joined forces to create a franchise which would become one of the most popular and marketable in history. Transformers, was a story based on two warring tribes of alien robots (the human loving autobots and the evil decepticons) living on earth but disguised as everyday vehicles and objects.
Master of Disaster Michael Bay [director of Armageddon, Pearl Harbour] brings his usual delicate touch to proceedings in this live action film based on the Transformers franchise. The premise of the film is simple. Robots land on earth to find some magical rubix cube. Good robots fight bad robots. Good robots win. That overview shouldn't spoil the story for you as it is as all encompassing as it is irrelevant. The film does not get bogged down in such trivial fancies as narrative or logic but instead focuses on what makes the franchise a success, chuffing great big shiny machines transforming into, well, chuffing great big shiny machines.
We all remember the transformer action figures. I myself had hours of fun transforming Optimus Prime (leader of the autobots) into a truck and playing him off against hulk hogan and the stay-puft marshmallow man. Nostalgia is in fact the keystone on which this film relies, seeing Optimus Prime transform and speak in those wonderful dulcet tones is simply a joy and worth the cinema ticket alone. Everyone's favourite transformers are there, but most disappointedly a cameo from Peter Crouch as a dancing robot was elusive. Beyond this you should expect little more than your generic Hollywood cash-in packed with generous dollops of action, special effects and cheesy one-liners.
Anything that resembles a plot is superseded by the spectacle of a million exploding cars and the general destruction of various imaginative backdrops. In the intergalactic clash of mechano pieces and washing machine spare parts, humans are no longer mere bystanders and are instead integral to the story. Shia LaBeouf makes an impressive cinema debut as our unwilling hero Sam Witwicky. Whilst love interest, Megan Fox, is bound to grace the cover of a men's magazine near you soon.
Clearly designed for an audience with the vocabulary and attention span of a three year old, the film should do just enough to keep the hordes of nostalgic fans happy and may transform some amongst us into new ones. If you can switch off your brain for two and a half hours and immerse yourself in this fun homage to nerds and nostalgia you could well enjoy this movie as I did.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have to admit, over the past few years their has been a glut in the quality of films, which is mainly down to one thing.. making money. Producers have realised that they can make far more money from films by using the simple techniques of CGI instead of costly props, and by toning the age certificate to 12's so that all the family can watch it (Remember Terminator 3?... shocking...).
So when I saw Transformers, ready to be released, I thought "Here we ago, another CGI movie, released as a 12, and just 4 months after it's cinema release". But actually, from point of view, it turned out to be a really great film. Not just great... fantastic!
It's just good fun I guess. Afterall, it holds many of the things that make a great family movie - action, humour, romance, a bit of cheese, and super effects. To get the weaknesses over first however, it should be said the plot feels a bit rushed - that being that the humanity on earth relies upon 'a cube'. We don't get told much about this cube, we only get to see it, so perhaps the writers could have wrote in the story a bit more.
So what role does this cube play? Well it has the power to generate the 'transformers', as we call them, using huge amounts of radiation, hence they are able to mutate into various objects. With this power, the 'evil' side of the Transformers (it should be mentioned at this point that they come from outer space, and have names that I can't pronounce right now!) want to gain control of earth and destroy all the inhabitants.
Luckily, some nice robots live in outer space too. Hooray! Our first saviour is seen as a classic, but run down yello 'Chevvy', which is bought by a young boy as his first car. As the car comes to life, its fitting that they can speak English after 'studying our planet for a long time' (they obviously get bored!) which is just as well because the language they speak when it's subtitled crosses double-dutch with Chinese... no '0's and '1's for these guys!
The effects from start to finish are supreme - i'll admit, these days we do take CGI for granted because we've become de-sensitised to it, due to it's overuse. However, if you just disengage your brain for a couple of hours, you'll realise the effects present are stunningly good, and prove we're living in a time when it's surely possible to just re-create anything via a computer.
Acting wise, theirs nothing special present; i'd be lucky saying they were over-acting on purpose at times, I guess it's just in the nature of the film. Afterall, I have no idea how i'd react if my car came to life and talked to me. I'd most probably make a mess of myself before recording it on my phone...
Their have been a few interesting films released between 2006/07, but this was to me the highlight of the summer. These days we don't often get movies were the money is well spent, but this is a rare case were we have a real Blockbuster!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2011
Transformers is an explosive, action packed and exciting film.
The story revolves around Sam Witwicky who ends up buying a car that is actually an extra terrestrial robot from the planet Cybertron, a planet that has been destroyed by a war between the Autobots (the good robots) and the decepticons (the bad robots). In the war a cube called the All Spark was lost, the cube transforms any piece of technology into a robot and the decepticons want it so they can create an army and wipe out the earth.
Michael Bay directs and Steven Speilberg produces and there trademarks are all over this film, from the thrilling action sequences to the absolutely amazing special effects. The transformers are the best special effects i have ever seen in a film and they are so realistic you believe they are actually real. Right from the offset this film delivers big thrills and plenty of explosions and action, Michael Bay treats us to action sequences that send chills down your spine and make you gasp in awe. The acting is also good, Shia LaBeouf is an average joe who ends up being the hero, Megan Fox is the sexy love interest and John Turturro is funny as the secret agent. Whilst some of the humour is strange the vast majority of the script is witty and well written.
I can guarantee you will be entertained by this film.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2007
To enjoy this film you need to remove all common sense from your brain, open your eyes and wait for the explosions.
Any film based on talking robots that have existed in cartoon and toy form is going to be aimed squarely at kids. Yet still Bay still manages to hit the geek audience that wants to see a truck beating down a fighter jet.
This is big budget, it looks expensive, the transformer fx are something else and appear from start to finish. There are issues as with most Bay films. There are too many story threads and little logic in what happens... but who cares.
If you liked Armageddon or Independance Day this is for you.