Blu-ray Review: Transformers: Dark of the MoonPosted 1:38 pm on Friday, September 23rd, 2011 by John 'Spartan' Nguyen
Blu-ray release date: September 30, 2011
Talking about the Transformers movies bring a lot of mixed feelings. No other franchise for me brings this much heated debate, well, except for the Star Wars Blu-ray changes by George Lucas. Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon starts off with the space race as astronauts uncover the Ark, a ship that contains Sentinel Prime, former leader of the Autobots, and a powerful tool that can alter the war between Autobots and Decepticons.
In my theatrical review, I hated the way the Autobots were treated. As a fan of the Autobots, I get tired of seeing giant heroic robots take order from tiny humans. Knowing that Michael Bay was directing, we’ll never get to see a movie about Optimus Prime and crew. What we do get is a story about Sam trying to find a job and trying to win back the girl. I did enjoy the comedy elements, but hate it at the same time because it takes you out of a Transformers movie.
I want to point out a movie that makes you care about CG characters, while also making you despise the humans, and that movie is Rise of the Planet of the Apes. To me, that’s what Transformers should’ve been. Not the whole monkey thing, but how the director treats the apes as central characters, making you care for them. In the end, you were rooting for the apes and wanted the humans to fail. The screen time for the apes and humans were balanced well.
If Dark of the Moon didn’t have the Transformers title and didn’t have Transformers in it, I would’ve enjoyed it more. But it does star the Transformers, so the fanboy in me will always expect the Transformers to get more screen time.
The Blu-ray is encoded in AVC MPEG-4 with 1080p and in its original aspect ratio of 2.39:1. The important thing to note is that unlike Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon wasn’t filmed in IMAX. That means that there’s no switching of the different aspect ratios because of the different format. It was filmed using 35mm film and 3D HD cameras. Certain parts of the film used stock footage and faux stock footage, like the scenes involving JFK and the astronauts.
Mainly the film looks very detailed and gorgeous, from the scene where the Ark escape Cybertron to the final battle in Chicago. The robots have never looked better, as you can see with the many different parts moving around the different Autobots and Decepticons. I’m still at awe when I see the little bugs that crawls out of Megatron’s head and Optimus Prime transforming.
There were certain scenes that weren’t quite up to par. The stock footage look during the space race is forgivable, since Michael Bay intended to have that look, like we were looking into the past. The scene with the actual take off of the space ship that contained the Autobots looked bad, since it looked like stock footage. I guess Michael Bay ran out of money. After that scene, you can see a halo effect around Sam Witwicky as he looks up towards the sky to see the ship fly away. I believe this can be attributed to green screen. Certain closeup shots of actors weren’t as detailed or focused as it could be, like a scene when we first see former agent Simmons on the wheel chair, but this isn’t due to the Blu-ray. Lastly, I did notice some minor aliasing on one of Cybertron’s buildings right before the Ark escapes. These are all minor when watching it as a whole, since the movie does look fantastic overall.
Using 7.1 TrueHD sound, the audio is all around great and as good as it gets. I can just loop over the Paramount logo intro because it uses the surround sound system to great effect, as you can hear the electronic sounding robot effects circulating around the different speakers. And this is just the intro we’re talking about. The sound of turrets, guns, ships flying, and robots fighting brings you into the movie, as if you’re inside Cyberton or defending Chicago from the Decepticons. The music sounds great thanks to Steve Jablonsky’s score. Nothing more can be said other than it’s great to show off to your friends.
Yeah, no extras here. This is a bare bones Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy. We don’t even get a trailer or previews of upcoming movies like we did in Paramount’s recent release of Thor. Okay, I just wanted to see the Captain America trailer again. If you want extras, you’ll have to wait for the 3D version coming out in November.
If you’re not going to be getting a 3D TV and don’t care about extras, then this is a definite pickup for those wanting to show off their home theater setup or are casual fans. If you’re a diehard fan of the movie, then you should definitely wait for the 3D Blu-ray version.
Movie Grade: D, Video: A, Audio: A, Extras: NA, Overall: C+
John “Spartan” Nguyen is the editor-in-chief at Nerd Reactor and is based in Orange County, CA. He is a graphic designer and illustrator.