1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2007
I haven't been a Transformers fan while I was a kid for the simple fact you couldn't get them in Romania at that time. I can't say I'm a fan now, but the movie is great, meeting my expectations. Lots of action, fire, guns, great cars, robots...you know...what the kid inside every man needs.
The picture is great, crystal clear, excellent colours. I can't talk about sound because I watched it with the TV speakers...lame, I know.
I love the extras, everything is HD, even on the second disc. What I hate is that you have to change the menu everytime you use it, it doesn't remember your theme. Maybe is the player's fault, I don't know.
4 stars instead of 5 for the battle between Optimus Prime and Megatron - disappointing to say the least. Maybe Starscream will do better in Transformers 2.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2007
The most enjoyable popcorn blockbuster for many a year, wonderfully transferred to DVD with an adequate bunch of bonus features.
However...the big disappointment is that this ISN'T the complete extended cut as was shown exclusively in IMAX cinemas.
The omitted scenes:-
1. Sam turns up at his friend's house in his new car.
2. Extended conversation between Sam and drugged-up detective in police station.
3. Sector 7 chap using a retinal-scanning lie detector device on Sam in the car when questioning him about aliens.
4. Sector 7 chap cracking an Area 51 joke outside the dam before they go in.
5. Sector 7 chap reminding them them how privileged they all are prior to the All-Spark and Energiser-bunny-from-hell scenes.
4. Spec-Ops team leader going into a pawn shop during the final battle to get radios and being confronted by the owner, an African-American woman with a shotgun.
Admittedly none of the above affect the plot in any way but I'm the type of fellow who just has to have everything!
So come on Paramount, why couldn't you have at least included them in the extra features? Spoilsports...
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2007
Like the reviewer above I managed to get a copy of this disk from the US where it has been out for a couple of weeks now. Never a great fan of the transformers toys when I was growing up I was skeptical about the film until I saw it in the cinema and was totally blown away.
The HD-DVD version I watched last night was superior to the cinema in every way. Projected onto a 106 inch screen the picture was truly magnificent - vivid hues, good contrast, and pin sharp definition. The amount of detail visible on this transfer is simply stunning; it really shows off the films high production values.
Likewise sound is also very good, with a good dynamic range that allows you to hear the dialogue but doesn't blow your speakers when the explosions start happening.
Many reviews of the film have complained that it is difficult in the action sequences to tell one robot from another - not with this version. The transformers are utterly convincing, each scratch and speck of dust on their metal bodies is visible, and the amount of detail the filmmakers put into the robots is nothing short of unbelievable - when you can see it as you can with this disk.
Some die hard fans of the toys and old cartoons find things in the film that disappoint them (such as Optimus Prime having flames painted on him) but that is inevitable. For most people this is a fantastic action film that as long as you do not take it too seriously (and lets face it the plot does have several holes) will not disappoint - if you want to see giant robots demolishing buildings, chucking tanks around and generally knocking the stuffing out of each other, this film is for you.
There is an extras disk yet, but I've got to watch the film again before I get to that!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2007
people over critical of the stuff designed to give them an escape clause of real life?
we go to the cinema to be entertained, pure and simple, it is supposed to be a total release from the real world where we can switch off and allow ourselves to drift. transformers does this perfectly, it is one of the best films ever made purely down to the technical brilliance needed to bring it to the big screen, forget about the timeline, acting and dialogue, we arne't bothered about that, when you go see a micheal bay film you want action, and this film delivers in buckets,
so, for any barry normans out there, not much point geting this dvd,
btw, why do people go to the trouble of writing a review of something not yet released?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2007
Growing up watching Transformers, I was pretty excited to see this movie. It wasn't dissappointing although I did expect maybe a bit more than what I saw. The effects are stunning and I did enjoy the characters. The plot was a little weak in my opinion and I was hoping to see more of the transformers that got together to make the big ones like the constructacons for example. One thing I didn't like was that it seemed they overdid it with the 'transform' seen. It looked awesome the first few times but to do the whole process every time they'd transform got a little tiring. Either way, I hope to see another one, this time with more 'cast' from the Autobots and Deceptacons.
41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2007
First off let me state I am *NOT* a fan of the 80's Transformers. Even as a kid I never got into it, and the retro factor doesn't work me. I keep reading reviews from die hard fans who slate this for not being 'true to the original'. I have a few things to say to the biased people:
The moment I saw a 30 foot robot turn into a handheld pistol, I would of walked. Some things are acceptable in cartoons, this isn't acceptable in modern films. The cartoon versions would of looked rediculous if they were ported straight into this, and the constant Saturday morning cartoon villain vs hero archetype would NOT have worked. Basically what the old school fans wanted was the original Transformers film from the 80's to have a sequel. Average joe does not want to have to immerse himself in hundreds of hours of cartoons, comics, and toys just to understand a film. Get over it. Like many remakes nowadays, this HAD to evolve, like Spider-Man, X-men, Superman and Batman Begins. It's a 'reinvention' of a classic, not a remake.
Regardless of all of that, I was extremely excited about this film. I have no idea why, I can't explain it. Each trailer did just enough to whet the appetite, without giving away huge chunks of the overall experience (as is often a problem nowadays). With that said, I went into the cinema with low expectations, and was shocked and amazed in the best possible way.
Quick synopsis: the Transformers are a race of advanced robotic life forms from a planet outside of our solar system. They have been struggling with a civil war for thousands of years between two factions: Autobots, led by the heroic Optimus Prime, and the Decepticons, who are headed up by the evil Megatron. Both factions have to come to Earth in search of the Allspark, the cube that creates their form of life. The good guys want to keep it safe and restore their world with it, and the bad guys... well they wanna do bad guys things with it.
Transformers is one of those films you can just enjoy. You don't need to sit down and really think hard, read between the lines, or listen to commentary on the DVD afterward to fully understand. Bottom line - its a double barrel shotgun-o-fun aimed directly at your brain.
The first thing you have to do (and this helps) is suspend belief. At its core, this is quite simply a cartoon transfered and updated for the big screen. The robots have emotions, expressions, and yes, they have eye lids and lips. Not a big deal. I found this to be a bonus, as I loved some of the more comedic scenes involving the Autobots.
The cast is both the films strongest point and its weakest. Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox give excellent performances, whereas some of the scenes with Anthony Anderson and John Turturro are just plain annoying. I don't blame the actors at all, but more the fact that they had these terribly stereotypical roles to fill and had bad dialogue given to them.
Another problem is that this jam packed cast can make it feel like it's taking too many directions at once. You literally jump between scenes involving different sub plots involving Sam and Mikaela (Shia/Megan), the army guys, then to the hackers and the secretary of defense, and then suddenly back to the kids. The end result works, with all of the characters being involved in the final scenes together in some way or form, but it does make for a fairly exhausting track for your mind to stay on.
The robots are simply mind blowing. The CGI involved in this film was handled by ILM, famous for the work on Star Wars, and it shows just how far they've come from the 70's using stop motion techniques. One quote mentioned that 'Ironhide has more working graphical parts on his two cannons than some of the other robots have on their entire body', and it shows. The care and attention to detail is incredible, especially given the fact that these guys had a budget half of Spider-Man 3, which was overall a sub par film by way of effects (and in general, in my opinion).
Michael Bay is notorious for his use of 'big boom' work. He fills his films with as much real carnage as possible, using any excuse to blow stuff up. In this film? It works. Every vehicle shot is 100% real, without the use of added effects. From Humvees being thrown around in explosions to collisions on a highway. Even when the robots are duking it out and smashing up civilization in the process, it looks and feels real.
The only thing I can really complain about is it's length. It is a long film. That's not a problem to me, but I know a lot of people that I could show this film too that would become bored extremely easily during its filler segments. I also have a feeling it could of done with being made even longer, in a way - the robots didn't get as much screen time as the fans would of liked, but I suspect that was Spielbergs influence as producer, as he is all about earth shattering events revolving around a handful of people.
Bottom line? At the very least rent it. I got excited from a franchise I cared very little about, and it's totally turned me into a Transformers fan for life.
And don't get a pirate copy or a downloaded version - this film can only be done justice in full juicy glory of DVD quality. If you have HD capability, I envy you, because I think this may be the ideal film for some serious eyeball candy.
Extra tip: Watch after the credits roll for a sneaky bit of extra footage, leaving the film open for an almost certain sequel.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This was this summer's best film and the best action film I've seen in ages.
Forget 'Independence Day' this movie has FAR MORE PACE THAN THAT. More like the first Terminator film.
I saw this with my 4 kids aged 11, 8, 6 and 4 in the cinema. They along with this 45 year old just loved this movie from start to finish.
It is visceral without being scary and funny (in places) without being naff and it just looks GREAT!
I would agree with the comment made earlier - Big screen TV for this along with surround sound or you'll have wasted your money.
p.s Female lead is pretty fit, too!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
So aside from the second line of the theme tune I knew next to nothing about this. As a result I could enjoy the film for what it is. An entertaining summer blockbuster.
Lovelorn high school geek sam witwicky, who idolises classmate mikaela from afar, buys a car. which happens to a robot in disguise. he comes from a race of good robots who are looking for an object that creates life, and are fighting evil robots for it. The object is on earth. which is about to become a battleground. with sam caught in the middle.
This is an entertaining film. Pure and simple. providing laughs, excitement, spectacular action, and a lot of spectacle. shia lebouef who plays sam is a superb lead, anchoring the film with his wonderful deadpan delivery. His co star megan fox is beautiful and the rest of the cast provide great support. the robots are well voiced, especially by peter cullen who does optimus prime, the leader of the good robots, who has a fantastic commanding voice. A really entertaining movie, and a great one if you're looking for some fun action.
The dvd disc one contains the film, plus a commentary from the director, who is worth listening to and is very articulate, although he's not always talking about the things that are happening on the screen, and the usual set up options and direct scene access. go right to the end of the film's end credits and you will find an extra menu with a trailer for the forthcoming film iron man, based on the marvel comic, and the original teaser trailer for the transformers film.
on disc two, extras are divided into three sections. the first two, OUR WORLD and THEIR WAR each contain four documentaries, all ranging from fifteen to twenty minutes in length, which look at the conception of the project, the actors, the characters - human and robot - and how a lot of it was filmed. these are all good documentaries and well worth a look.
in section three, MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE you will find a ten minute long feature about the making of one key scene, and the teaser trailer plus two other trailers for the film that were shown in cinemas.
A great package and a great film
on 27 December 2011
As someone who had part of their childhood in America I was very aware of Transformers in the 1980s, but just found the cartoons naff and the toys of limited appeal because I could not relate to the cartoons; but I could see that the concept of the toys far exceeded the cartoons (which is probably quite unique). Having seen a few film trailers over recent years I was still not keen. But having just watched the film from scratch for the first time I rather enjoyed it.
These days films and television series are stretching plausibility to the limit and science fiction having been a minor playing field twenty years ago is today major. Knowing nothing about Transformers except one week prior that the good guys were road vehicles and the bad were aircraft I had no awareness of back story etc and so this film is the start for me.
Therefore this introduction to the Transformer world really is quite awesome. It is very gradual (for the novice) which is ideal. And there are many nice touches with details that are not wasted; in fact there is a lot of humour in the film too. A film with such an epic plot does need to be this long and much of the history of Transformer/artifacts I found believable. Most of today's technology being reverse engineered from a frozen Megatron Transformer is one of those nice science fiction/faction moments that really makes you think, particularly linked to the great lengths that were made to accommodate and conceal this technology.
The action is great in the film, the performances nice and believable; I did not recognise anyone but that is a good thing. I am a fan of Terminator films and so enjoyed the large scale action.
Ultimately this film works on many levels. I forgot it was perhaps aimed at younger audiences but after seeing so many films that were, this one is not so obvious. The fact that Megatron came to Earth two generations earlier really makes this duel between two alien robot factions very much part of Earth's history and present. A very well presented film that is one of few that have captivated me to the end recently.
Transformers very much benefits from being made today. If it is to be faulted for humanising robots too much, then a lot of other films and programmes should also be penalised. When compared to the vast output of high quality films today, I cannot really see anything wrong with it and now I am looking forward to seeing the next one as this film was so much better than I had expected.
Michael Bay (Armageddon, The Rock) makes just one type of movie - action-packed blockbusters - and while every now and again they come up short (The Island) by and large he delivers.
This is a film marketed at boys, and since men (as we are constantly reminded) never really grow up, this includes me. The ingredients are everything you could possibly want in a movie of this kind: Giant robots (check), loud explosions (check), very attractive female lead (check). Add into this mix the eighties nostalgia engendered by the title and you have a potent cocktail.
There are, as you would expect in a Bay movie, problems. The plot as I have alluded to doesn't actually make much sense and with the exception of the two attractive leads - Shia LaBeouf (Sam Witwicky) and Megan Fox (Mikaela Banes) - the rest of the cast are just background for giant metal machines to takes lumps out of each other.
The Autobots (the good guys) are actually well done here - each one have an identifiable character, but the Decepticons are lousy. In the midst of the chaos on screen it is quite difficult to tell Starscream from Megatron as they look (and sound) remarkably alike - which does seem counter-productive.
For the kids there is some nice silly humour (the moment when Jazz takes a 'leak' on John Turturro (whose manic turn is OTT to say the least), or when the assembled autobots 'hide' in the front garden of the Witwicky house), which may even raise a smile from any adults watching.
Like it or loathe the Bayster and his brand of film - this does what it says on the tin and its massive Box Office take assures another slice of Tranformers in the near future.