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Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Blu-ray Review)

Summer 2011 came and went like a thief in the night.  It is the Fall season (at least it’s approaching the Fall season), and one of Summer 2011’s flagship films is here on the Blu-ray format!  That film is Transformers: Dark of the Moon.  If you’re  a a fan of the first two films, then you will really not care about what I have to say.  You have already made up your mind and just want to know if the Blu-ray rocks or not.  I will let you know how the Blu-ray looks and sounds, but I will also let you know what I think of the film itself anyway.  Quid pro quo, yo!  Enough banter, let’s see what Transformers: Dark of the Moon has to offer.  

 

Film

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the third film directed by Michael Bay that features giant killer robots trying to destroy the Earth while trying to enslave mankind.  In this chapter of the trilogy, NASA has kept secret  the fact that we made first contact with an alien ship during that fateful walk on the move back in the 60’s.  What did we find?  It looks like a ship escaped the Cybertronian war and somehow crashed on the moon many years before we set foot on it.  The astronauts that later landed on the moon saw it as a tomb of sorts.  A technological tomb, if you will.  Mum would be the word almost forty years later.

Back in the present, Sam Whitwiki (Shia LaBeouf) is now on the hunt for a job, you know, after saving the world TWICE, he needs to get paid!  Oh boy.  Throw in his ridiculously hot and rich girlfriend Carlie (Rose Huntington-Whiteley) into the mix and you’ve got the trappings of the NOT IN THIS LIFE scenario.  To my surprise, though, Rose Huntington-Whiteley is an okay actress (as far as debuting actresses go) and miles better than Megan Fox ever was.  It might be the posh accent.  I fancy posh British accents.  Oy!

By the way, if you think that I am going to get into the meat and potatoes of the story then you are wrong.  Why would I?  Transformers: Dark of the Moon really has no story.  It’s a bloated 2 hour and 45 minute romp of atrocious dialogue and things that go boom real loud.  You’ve got distinguished actors and actresses who certainly needed the money, making appearances.   Funny enough, John Malkovich is the least annoying one of the bunch.  What Frances McDormand was thinking, I have no idea.  I think Ken Jeong’s fifteen minutes of fame ended like two years ago.  What is he still doing in films?  AWFUL.  Patrick Dempsey makes an appearance, if only to be involved in a major cliched plot contrivance.  John Turturro is back, and luckily is not that much of an embarrassment like he was in the previous two films.  Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson round out the rest of the grunts.

As I said in the previous paragraphs, do not think about the story, because it will drive you mad if you do.  Logic is obviously thrown out the window and so is everything else.  Yeah, yeah, I can already hear the tired cliche of “well, what else did you expect?”  Uh, how about a film that was actually good?  Why is it so hard to make a science fiction extravaganza of a film that has a good story to go along with it?  You know which flick had awesome special effects and a great story?  Distrcict 9. Why can’t the filmmakers of a 250 million film not invest in the script?  The script is the cheapest thing to invest in and I’m sure it costs even less than the catering, so there is no excuse.  It’s as if Transformers: Dark of the Moon relishes being this bad.  Other things that hinder the production are these shots that start out already in motion that go from left to right and right to left, or they zoom in.  Literally, every shot always starts out moving from left to right and zooming in.  Oh, and they only last seconds at a time.

The first hour and a half is very brutal to get through and just when you get to that final 45 minute threshold it gets slightly less boring.  We’re introduced to a new Decepticon named Shockwave who’s only purpose in the entire film is to stand there and look cool.  That’s it.  Also contained within the last 45 minutes of the overlong running time are these giant mechanical worms that slowly devour sections of Chicago.   Chicago should not take that long to devour when you’re a gigantic robot worm!  I did like the homage to War of the Worlds, though.  The composition was really nice.  That’s pretty much the one and only compliment Transformers: Dark of the Moon will be getting from me.  Also, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is hot.  Okay, that’s two.

 

Video 

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is presented in 1080p, 2.40:1, widescreen.  Yep, there’s no doubt about it,  Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a demo Blu-ray in the video department.  Flesh tones, when not bathed in sunlight or debris, look natural and healthy.  Lots of archival film footage was used and integrated with the actual film, that the same look was used to capture the antiquated early 60’s look in certain scenes.  Transformers: Dark of the Moon had an awesome layer of grain  that was present throughout most of the film.  DNR on this Blu-ray is virtually non-existent.  It was surprising to see that the filmmakers decided not to scrub this flick into oblivion.  Some people are under the impression that all Blu-rays have to look like a PIXAR film.  Boy, if they only knew.  Black levels are consistent, never crush, and remain inky all the way through.  The Blu-ray is ultra sharp, and contrast rarely runs hot with the exception of certain daytime sequences, but I’m sure that that was the intended look.  For all of its extreme faults, in terms of film quality, the video specs reign supreme.  


Audio 

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is presented in Dolby TrueHD 7.1.  Again, demo specs in the audio department, as well.  You will be able to hear every cringe worthy line spoken with absolutely no problem.  The robots are also easily audible.  The destruction and action take front, back, center, and whatever other stage I forgot to mention.  Explosions are deep and powerful, and the LFE is actually super clear and free of distortion.  The major thing that I noticed, with regards to the bass and LFE, was that it sounded much more rounded and it didn’t overwhelm.  I remember that the first two flicks had some extremely overpowering bass.  Dark of the Moon did not.  Gunfire, laser fire and all sorts of projectile weapons are clearly defined in the surround channels, as well.  Duck and take cover, because you will get your head taken clear off.  It’s safe to say that audiophiles will be very happy with the audio presentation of Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Special Features  

Move along.

Final Thoughts 

Less incoherent than the last film, but equally awful, Transformers: Dark of the Moon comes to the Blu-ray format in a demo-worthy bare-bones release.  The supplements included are a dvd and digital copy.  Digital copies and a dvd are NOT special features, in my opinion.  If you want to test out the waters before the giant deluxe version hits stores in the coming months (November is rumored) then this would be the way to do it.  Transformers: Dark of the Moon is an awful film, but you already knew that, so take that as you will.

 

 

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

23 Responses to “Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Just think, Buzz Aldrin can now be remembered as that old man who was in Transformers 3.

  2. Gerard Iribe

    Who? 😉

  3. Gregg

    Ugh! You guys are killin’ me. While I agree that the sequels weren’t as good as the original, they still did a bang-up job. We can agree to disagree I guess as far as the love it/hate it factor is concerned. I will say Bay had a habit of adding unnecessary characters in the sequels (the college roommate in 2, John Malkovich in 3), which detracted from the flow of the movies. You have to admit though, the final battle in 3 was pretty epic.

  4. Matt Goodman

    Nice review Gerard. I liked it a bit more then you did, but I still wouldn’t classify it as a “good” movie.

  5. Brian White

    Although I did not think this was a great film, it was definitely better than the second one, but not by leaps and bounds 🙁

    However, I am curious as to how you would rank CAPTAIN AMERICA. That is on my worst film list this year and I yearning to see what score you give that compared to the low 1 you gave here 🙁

    Also, you know me…I am NOT an advocate for DVD in any form or fashion, but I have a hard time saying there were 0 special features. I think, IMO only, the the inclusion of DVD and Digital Copy should warrant at least a 1/2 doggie 🙂

    That’s just my opinion though. Digital Copies, although I hated them at first, are P-E-R-F-E-C-T for the iPad and iPhone. I guess you need to have one of those devices to appreciate the beauty of them then.

    Cheers!

  6. Aaron Neuwirth

    Those aren’t special features. You wouldn’t find DVD version in the Extras section. Additional copies do not supplement the film in anyway, they are just that – additional copies of the film. There is a use to them, yes, but not in the way of adding bonus value to the actual feature film, no more than Spanish language options or subtitles.

    And to my recollection, Gerard didn’t love by any means, but he did like Cap. opposed to flat out hating Transformers.

    Its funny how I agree with almost everything he said, but I still think its a fun movie. Much more so than the second film, which hopefully time will forget.

    Also, after the epic final battle in 13 Assassins, Transformers has nothing on that film.

  7. Sean Ferguson

    I liked the first film but was disappointed in the second one. I missed this one in the theaters which still makes me mad but I’m glad that the blu-ray is demo worthy at least. I’m looking forward to seeing this one.

  8. Gregg Senko

    Yeah, good point about Captain America, Brian. Let’s face it, TF3 blows away Captain America, but if this film is only worth a 1, then we REALLY need to start utilizing negative ratings for Captain America.

  9. Aaron Neuwirth

    I’m not “facing” anything, Captain America was a lot of fun and Transformers 3 has Optimus Prime acting like a bitch and getting caught in wires for half an hour, with McDreamy as a villain.

  10. Brian White

    I agree Gregg. And I agree with Aaron on his McDreamy statement. Take him out of TF3 and it would have been such a better movie. Again, I will revisit, but I had 0 fun with Cap. I laughed my butt off at times during TF3 and enjoyed it for what it was, a fun thrill ride, but for Cap, the most thrilling moment for me was waiting while the ending credits played in anticipation of what the ending scene would be.

  11. Brian White

    And I will agree to see your points on the Digital Copies and DVD. I just find a DC to be a luxury so it gets me excited. Sorry.

  12. Gerard Iribe

    What was funny in Transformers 3, Brian? Honestly. And if you say Ken Jeong’s scenes then I quit.

  13. Brian White

    I don’t respond to threats.

  14. Aaron Neuwirth

    All the “comedic” scenes weren’t funny, that’s for sure. There was one shot of a guy standing on a car staring and looking sad that cracked me up, as well as Whiteley staring at explosions in one scene.

  15. Brian White

    I miss the iconic moments of the first film when we didn’t have robots with bears or junkbots with balls. There is a rumor floating around that Statham is supposed to star in the next one!

  16. Aaron Neuwirth

    Yeah, just that, a rumor.

  17. Gregg Senko

    Aaron taking my comments too literally. “I’m not facing anything.” LOL! As for future Transformers films, I say leave it rest in peace at this trilogy. I mean let’s face it, the films got lesser in quality as they went on. Sorry Aaron, I couldn’t resist.

  18. Brian White

    They already green lit more! Just the current actors won’t be coming back or Bay.

  19. Gerard Iribe

    Sweet! Maybe they’ll actually be good!

  20. Aaron Neuwirth

    Let’s face it, Revenge of the Fallen was a pile of crap, but Dark of the Moon ended the series on a higher-ish note. I’d rather see an awesome CG prequel series set on Cybertron.

  21. Brian White

    5 more days until the paint peels off my walls from this one!

  22. Taygan315

    At first, I was not going to buy the bare bones release (knowing that the deluxe 3D version will be out in a couple months after). But….now knowing there is a $10 coupon for the 3D Deluxe version inside the bare bones release..and Best Buy listing this bare bones release for $18…I am actually considering getting the bare bones. When the 3D deluxe version comes out, I can ask for it for my birthday and give the bare bones release to a friend.

  23. Brian White

    Hey Taygan! Will you be my friend?