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Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

We continue on, going just a swift two years later, with the sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Like the other four films not called The Last Knight in this series, it will be available on December 5th. This second film in the franchise was one that many fans and moviegoers thought was quite subpar during the summer of 2009. But, its not without its dedicated fans. Why So Blu writer and contributor Gregg Senko took a lot of flack for putting this as his top film of the year while most writers had it in their ten worst. While I didn’t agree with Gregg then (or now), its nice to see hist honesty and ability to stand tall with something he loved so much. Maybe with expectations lifted and a polarizing viewing out of the way, I might begin to see more worth in it. Anywho, we continue this journey through Transformers with Revenge of the Fallen.

Film 

Two years after he and his Autobot friends saved the Earth from the Decepticons, Sam Witwicky faces a new battle: college. Meanwhile, Optimus Prime and the Autobots are working with a secret military organization and trying to make a home for themselves on Earth. When an ancient Decepticon known as The Fallen rises up to wreak vengeance, Sam and his girlfriend, Mikaela, must figure out the history of the Transformers on Earth and find a way to defeat The Fallen once and for all.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a final, finished product and is what it is. While excused don’t alter this film at all, its worth noting that this movie fell victim to the 2007 writer’s strike that had significant ramifications on a many movie or TV show (Quantum of Solace is another notable film that had this happen to it).  It doesn’t make the film better, but it makes some of the bad a little more understandable (That’s not a pass for the Mudflap and Skids, mind you). For example, Jonah Hill was originally cast in this movie and the part he was playing was obviously written for him and the guy who takes over is woefully miscast. There are a myriad of instances where the writer’s strike was to blame and there are plenty where its not.

Many of the issues in Revenge of the Fallen were present in the first film. They were easy to forgive or forget because that film was first and you could still marvel at the spectacle as it was “new” and it balanced itself out a bit more. As I mentioned, the marriage of Amblin and Bay helped it. This time out, there’s not much a hint of Amblin and we get full on Bay characters. Everything is amped up too. The lewdness, humor that will have your eyes in the back of your skull, the sexist treatment of women, the racism and the Shia. Seriously…he is even more coked out on this film. Sam Witwicky doesn’t even resemble a real human being. Hell, the decepticon that is disguised as a girl trying to sleep with Sam (yes, this happens) is more believable as a human.

There’s one scene in this film that almost perfectly showcases the entire movie. Within a minute’s time, we have Mudflap and Skids slapping each other and coming off as racist black stereotypes while a little decepticon turbo humps Mikala’s leg and then an old cranky Transformer farts out a parachute then grabs everyone and transports them across the world to Egypt. Just…seriously. Its pretty bad. You’re at a constantly battle during the film of trying balance your time of trying to understand the plot and asking “Who the hell thought this was a good idea/thinks this is funny?”

Its not all lost though. This movie still delivers the Transformer epic battle and spectacle goods. While the film can be annoying and also not make any sense, you can still get thrilled with the battles taking place. The film gets off to an incredible start with an awesome battle in Shanghai (I’ll talk more on that in the specs). Maybe the best highlight of the film is a giant battle in the woods between Optimus Prime and all the Decepticons. Its huge and incredibly impressive. The end has some cool touches, but boils down to the films big bad being very weak (A waste of Tony Todd). You’ll forget he’s even there as he’s relegated to being mentioned in exposition, making a threat on TV and then just showing up at the end to get beat up.

When going back to this series, I was fearing this one. Its still a bad movie, but I did find appreciation in the action scenes of the film. It stinks, cuz I really like the Mikala character and she’s gone after this film. I liked the tech people in the last one, but they weren’t brought back. The other old characters I was either tiring of or they are just sorta boring and generic (Josh Duhamel, Tyrese and gang). Some of the bad is enjoyably laughable in a “Did that really just happen” sort of thrill. Overall, no, not a good movie, but I think still delivers in the minimum of Bay/Transformers action. I was close to giving this a full 2/5, but there is NO REASON I have seen yet for these movies to be so damn long. This whole movie could have been done in 90-100 minutes.

Video 

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p) HDR-10

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: This film’s image looks a little more clearer and digital than the first one. Up front here, I can confirm that it does not switch to the IMAX aspect ratio during the film at all. It DOES switch to it during the Theatrical Trailers for it on the bonus features. Once again we get a super crisp and clear, sharp as hell image.  This image is pretty awesome and the opening is a complete highlight. As mentioned on the previous film’s review, the night stuff is where these films really become striking. The opening of this movie is almost like it was created specifically for 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray home theater demo’ing. Its eye candy and sound blasting at its finest. While the marriage of live action footage and CGI is not as strong on this film as the first one (its a hair more obvious and in a few scenes in the finale, very obvious). However, this is a slick, clear as day image with great bold colors and great darks.

Depth:  With this we see some good three dimensional work with good spacing between the characters and their surroundings. Slow-mo floating in air scenes look really good. The fight in the woods is also pretty impression in terms of looking multi-dimensional.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and once again the nighttime sequences rock. I mentioned the opening in Shanghai, but it is a doozy. There is good saturation and no real signs of any details being trapped by clothing, surfaces or hair that is darker in color. No crushing witnessed on this view.

Color Reproduction: Colors are rich, bold and blasting on your screen. Its a vivid movie by nature, but all the autobots are much brighter and colorful here. HDR is great for computer glows, tail lights, the autobot eyes, energy bursts and flashy neon signs.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are warmer and stay consistent through the duration of the film. Like the last one, sweat is visible to the drop, make-up is present, gashes are very detailed, pores are visible, you name it, you can see it like you’re getting a clear look at someone next to you.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 5.1 Discrete Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Discrete Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital & English Audio Description

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish & Portuguese Subtitles

Dynamics: Gosh, I’m gonna be on repeat for these movies, but these are loud, proud and destructive Atmos tracks that are deep in nature (Bass heavy) and just boom and crush your room. Sound effects have plenty of intricacies and their depth is quite well captured. This is a perfect companion to the previous film as they are on the same level. The opening sequence works just as well for the sound as it does the video. Things travel all over the room, things are heavily destructive with awesome grounded and surreal effects popping around from every corner of your room.

Height: Yup, planes, helicopters, Transformers, energy bursts, things falling from above and move take to the ceiling as long as its accurate to what is happening on screen. Nothing out of place at all.

Low Frequency Extension: As was previous, this one thumps and booms with every Transformer step, something bursting from the desert, bombs going off, guns blasting, engines roaring and music bumping.

Surround Sound Presentation: Wow, what fun it is to travel around the room with these Transformer movies thus far. Some of the most fun starts up the movie with the logos being super playful. Travel is accurate and every sound in an arena of a scene that could be accounted for is there and and accurately placed.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is loud and clear.

Extras 

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a 3-Disc set that comes with 1 4K Ultra-HD disc, 2 standard Blu-ray discs and an UltraViolet digital copy. Aside from the commentary, all bonus features are on the second Blu-ray disc and are the same as featured on the previous release.

4K Ultra-HD Disc

Audio Commentary

  • By Michael Bay, Roberto Orci and Robert Kurtzman

Blu-ray Disc 1

Audio Commentary

  • By Michael Bay, Roberto Orci and Robert Kurtzman

Blu-ray Disc 2

The Human Factor:  Exacting Revenge of the Fallen (HD, 2:14:31)

A Day with Bay: Tokyo (HD, 13:23)

25 Years of Transformers (HD, 10:44)

NEST: Transformer Data Hub

The Allspark Experiment

Deconstructing Visual Bayhem with commentary by pre-vis supervisor Steve Yamamoto (multi-angle), Introduction By Michael Bay (HD, 22:46)

Deleted/Alternate Scenes (HD, 6:01)

Easter Eggs

Giant Effing Movie (HD, 24:03)

Linkin Park – New Divide (HD, 4:40)

The Matrix of Marketing

  • Theatrical Trailers (HD, 4:50)
  • TV Spots (HD, 2:12)
  • Galleries

Summary 

Revenge of the Fallen is a film that marvelously delivers in spectacle but does such out of a plot and beats that make not much sense at all while also having character, dialogue and events that are pretty damning and embarrassing for a fan of the series.  As a 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray however, this thing is top tier. It looks flipping fantastic and sounds incredible. You’ve got all the extras from before which are a massive undertaking on their own. As I said prior, the opening sequence in Shanghai alone should have people thinking about maybe just owning it to show off or ooh and aw at their system. I’m not sure if this statement will resonate, but, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a bad movie, but the home theater experience didn’t make a for a bad watch.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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