BLU-RAY REVIEW: Transformers 3 - Dark of the Moon
The summer's biggest box office action film hits hi-def home video...
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If there's one blu-ray home video release fans have been waiting for since they first saw the movie in theaters this summer, it's Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon. Thought by some to be the best action movie of all time, one has to admit there's something about the third entry in this film series that strikes a cord with action fans. Be it the film's powerful opening on Cybertron, the various battles between Autobots and Decepticons throughout the film's first acts, or the film's adrenaline-fueled climatic battle in Chicago, Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon bleeds explosions, laser blasts and sheer coolness at every turn.
Unfortunately - and reminiscent of the initial Avatar release (reviewed HERE) - the Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon blu-ray release which fans will be picking up from stores on Friday, September 30 is simply satisfactory at best. Something to tide over those die-hard fans who're looking to get this movie in beautiful hi-def as quickly as possible, the 2-disc blu-ray, DVD and digital copy presentation seeing release is bare bones and includes absolutely no special features whatsoever. Disappointing, right?
Once you're over the initial disappointment, one soon realizes the film itself is still well worth a watch...or five. Seriously, since I received my review copy, I've watched the movie twice...and plan to watch it at least once more by week's end. Maybe it's that there's so much fun to be had here, the sheer amount of detail the production designers and film's producers stuffed into the film, the break-neck pace of the battle sequences, the over-the-top Transformers (to say Decepticon Shockwave and Autobot Sentinel Prime are awesome is an understatement!), or the hilariousness that is Shia LaBeouf's Sam Witwicky and John Turturro's Simmons when the pair share the screen...whatever it is, the film is a great way to spend 157 minutes. Yeah...that's over two and a half hours of awesomeness!
Other worthwhile mentions include the addition of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as Sam's new love interest Carly Spencer and John Malkovich as Sam's boss Bruce Brazos. While Huntington-Whiteley looks great, her acting skills are lacking and while Malkovich looks old, he's a brilliant actor. Likewise, the return of Josh Duhamel as now-Colonel Lennox and Tyrese Gibson as the retired Epps makes for a great combo since the pair are both forced back into action to help save the Earth from the Decepticons.
The film's 1080p video transfer in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio beautifully captures the movie's big screen gorgeous color and quick action scenes. Be it the dark damaged star cruiser on the moon's surface or the violent Chicago war zone, the picture moves like liquid in hi-def and looks nearly perfect. While fans of the film's big screen 3-D will have to wait for a while longer, this 2-D presentation will be enough for most fans...at least until a blu-ray release with some bonus material becomes available.
For fans of hard-hitting audio, Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon features a number of audio tracks, including an impressive 7.1 Dolby TrueHD English surround track which, for those with a 7.1 system, will have you ducking for cover as explosions rock and bullets ricochet from rear and side channel speakers. Audio is always clear and background noise is never too loud.
Overall, while minimal in its presentation, the Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon 2-disc blu-ray, DVD, digital copy set will be enough for many casual fans and will at least hold over the die-hard fans until a new blu-ray set or 3-D release becomes available later this year (I'm guessing before Christmas).
The Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon 2-disc blu-ray, DVD, digital copy set will be available on Friday, September 30. The film is rated PG-13 for intense prolonged sequences of sci-fi action violence, mayhem and destruction, and for language, some sexuality and innuendo.
- Jess C. Horsley