Transformers [Blu-ray]

From director Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg comes a thrilling battle between the heroic Autobots® and the evil Decepticons®. When their epic struggle comes to Earth, all that stands between the Decepticons® and ultimate power is a clue held by young Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf). Unaware that he is mankind’s last chance for survival, Sam and Bumblebee, his robot disguised as a car, are in a heart-pounding race against an enemy unlike anything anyone has seen before. It’s the incredible, breath-taking film spectacular that USA Today says “will appeal to the kid in all of us.” “I bought a car. Turned out to be an alien robot. Who knew?” deadpans Sam Witwicky, hero and human heart of Michael Bay’s rollicking robot-smackdown fest, Transformers. Witwicky (the sweetly nerdy Shia LaBeouf, channeling a young John Cusack) is the perfect counterpoint to the nearly nonstop exhilarating action. The plot is simple: an alien civil war (the Autobots vs. the evil Decepticons) has spilled onto Earth, and young Sam is caught in the fray by his newly purchased souped-up Camaro. Which has a mind–and identity, as a noble-warrior robot named Bumblebee–of its own. The effects, especially the mind-blowing transformations of the robots into their earthly forms and back again, are stellar.

Fans of the earlier film and TV series will be thrilled at this cutting-edge incarnation, but this version should please all fans of high-adrenaline action. Director Bay gleefully salts the movie with homages to pop-culture touchstones like Raiders of the Lost Ark, King Kong, and the early technothriller WarGames. The actors, though clearly all supporting those kickass robots, are uniformly on-target, including the dashing Josh Duhamel as a U.S. Army sergeant fighting an enemy he never anticipated; Jon Voight, as a tough yet sympathetic Secretary of Defense in over his head; and John Turturro, whose special agent manages to be confidently unctuous, even stripped to his undies. But the film belongs to Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, and the dastardly Megatron–and the wicked stunts they collide in all over the globe. Long live Transformers! –A.T. Hurley

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3 Responses to Transformers [Blu-ray]

  1. J. C. Amos says:
    84 of 104 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A blend of cringe inducing screenwriting, nostalgia and mind blowing action, July 3, 2007
    By 
    J. C. Amos (Seattle) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    For a nerd that used to drool over this show as a kid, this movie hooks you from the very beginning. From Optimus Prime’s summary intro (with Peter Cullen still at the helm of our favorite alien semi) to the Decipticon attack on the military base, you have no doubts that this is Transformers. Shia LaBeouf makes his entrance and proves the perfect part for this movie. He’s actually pretty funny and acts the part well. As far as the rest of the humans in this cast, not as much can be said.

    After the awesome introduction, the first part of the movie deals mainly with Shia LaBeouf’s Sam purchasing a Camaro that actually turns out to be the Autobot Bumblebee (in the cartoon, originally a VW Bug. I think the yellow VW Bug in the car lot next to Bumblebee was a homage.) Sam unknowingly uses his alien car to impress a girl. Of course she actually is impressed when they find out it’s an alien. There are some pretty funny scenes in this part of the movie as well as some action scenes that are very well done.

    Soon comes the arrival of the other Autobots and they reveal to Sam their true purpose, which is to locate the Allspark -a powerful device capable of transforming a planet- before the Decepticons get a hold of it. I thought at this point that the slow parts of the movie were over, but not quite. From here we go into a few too many scenes dealing with side characters, from video game playing computer experts to goofy secret agents whose quirks border slapstick comedy. Too many of these characters could be chalked up as comic relief, and most of what they attributed was not very funny. There was a slightly funny but overly long scene where Sam was trying to hide the autobots while he searched through his house for a relic they needed. And then arrived John Turtorro (playing the said goofy secret agent) whom I love, but who severely overstayed him welcome in this. Other performances, namely John Voight’s, were just plain campy and the cookie cutter dialogue was cringe inducing at times.

    Luckily, I forgot most of that by the time the movie got to its last act. Once the Decepticons arrive in force the movie is a non stop ride of action and jaw dropping effects. While someone who’s not familiar with the characters and story might not care what the outcome is, I found myself with memories as a kid, watching the 1986 movie for the first time. I forgot about the humans and their ho-hum sotrylines as my favorite characters and toys from my childhood crashed and shot and ripped each other apart. I forgot that I was watching CG effects as the transformers look as real as the environment they’re destroying. The action scenes are larger than life and I’m amazed at how well the battles of the cartoons translated onto big screen. The transformers themselves were all very well done, applying actual physics to their transformations and robot appearances. They look real and modern but don’t lose the heart of what the fanboys loved about them from back in the day. And Hugo Weaving as Megatron was genius. I missed hearing the original Starcream, but the original voice actor died many years ago, and the two or three lines Starcream had in this sounded suitable.

    Despite the great flaws in acting, dialogue and script, I left this movie with that rare itch to want to go straight back inside and watch it again. From the previews, it looked like the movie was going to take a realistic perspective and show the warring alien machines from a human point of view. But that’s really not the case at all. In every other Michael Bay movie, the corny dialogue and overdramatic characters ruin an otherwise good premise. But Transformers is based on a cartoon, so why shouldn’t the movie feel like one? Here it works. It’s big, dumb nostalgic fun that the kid in me has been after for 20 years.

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  2. Nathaniel Clark says:
    35 of 43 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    better than expected, December 8, 2007
    By 

    Maybe it’s not the best movie as far as dialogue goes, but for being an action movie about robots from outer space, it’s good. The transformations are good enough to not raise doubt about the mechanics of them (which is good for me as an aerospace engineer, because I tend to notice these things). This is the kind of movie that makes large HD televisions and high-quality sound systems worth having.

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  3. klipschfan "mikey" says:
    9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A perfect blu-ray demo disc, October 31, 2008

    When you go to see a movie like this you are not going to see oscar quality acting. You are going to see fantastic visuals great sound and a lot of stuff blow up. This blu-ray has every thing you need to show off your home theater. Perfect 1080p and flawless 5.1 dolby true hd sound.

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