Transformers Age of Extinction (Blu-ray Review)

Transformers Age of Extinction (Blu-ray Review)Transformers Age of Extinction, the fourth film in the Michael Bay Transformers franchise, is both a theatrical movie and a Blu-ray that I wanted nothing to do with.  The last two, minus seeing Megan Fox and her sexy thumbs in the second film, were absolute bowel movements in motion.  How many times can we see the same story repeated over and over again?  Decepticons come down and want to destroy the Earth.  Yada yada yada.  I’m bored just typing this.  I have seen it all before.  Should we the movie going public have expected anything less than just more of the same simply because there’s a different looking cast?  Initially, the curator of toys in me really couldn’t pass my initial theatrical press screening opportunity up just to see if Michael Bay got any better in the storytelling department or not.  And now, the only saving grace for me, is to find out whether or not I was too harsh when I ripped apart Transformers Age of Extinction on my theatrical review.  That sole reason, ladies and gentlemen, is why I bothered to show up here.  I hope you enjoy the ride.  It will probably get bumpy.

Transformers Age of Extinction


Love it or hate it, Michael Bay is back for another go around in the director’s chair and Megan Fox is sadly replaced by the underage Nicola Peltz from TV’s Bates Motel.  This is also the first film to feature the…Dinobots!  In addition to the new human cast consisting of Nicola, Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer and more, this fourth outing also sees the return of Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), Bumblebee, Ratchet (Robert Foxworth) and Brains (Reno Wilson).  Sadly, the screenplay remains in the “competent” hands of Ehren Kruger, who pathetically penned the last two adventures in this series.  I’m sure arming you with that last bit of knowledge doesn’t instill much faith and hope going into this feature, if you have yet to see it yet, does it?

Like its predecessors, this one is pretty easy to set up in two sentences or less.  Here…let me give it an honest college try.  Transformers Age of Extinction is set four years after the events in Dark of the Moon as a mechanic, Cade Yeager (Wahlberg), and his daughter, Tessa (Peltz), broke and desperate for a miracle in life, unintentionally discover Optimus Prime, badly damaged from an earlier scrap we never see and unable to change from his semi form until Marky Mark helps him.  There’s also this group of scientists, which Stanley Tucci’s character, Joshua Joyce, is leader of and they yearn to learn from the Transformers by building their very own from scraps of fallen comrades, a material they lovingly refer to as “transformium.”   Did I do pretty good?  Of course that’s not all.  That’s just your basic setup I crafted just for you in order to try and somewhat whet your appetite.  There’s also a couple new baddies such as a bounty hunter Transformer (think Predator-like), Lockdown, a big guy who’s name I won’t divulge and even the unruly Dinobots.  They’re the real reason we are all here a fourth time, no?  So now that I have you salivating for more, let’s really get into the meat and potatoes of what all goes down here.

You know what?  Let’s hit the pause button momentarily.  I actually don’t know if I want to even waste the time providing a high level overlap of what all happens onscreen here.  What it truly all boils down to is the fact that this film is  one of the worst films of the franchise in my opinion.  I did not believe it could get any worse and I seriously had high hopes for Bay that he would learn from his mistakes and pull out of his a$$ something remarkable this time around.  I’ve never been more wrong in my life.  And to make matters even worse the film’s runtime is a whopping two hour and forty-five minutes.  After watching this a second time now I still feel insulted by the horrific dialogue, the nonsensical violence and the complete lack of a truly cohesive story anywhere to be found.  Every time an Autobot speaks in here a little piece of me dies.  I know I have more story in my little typing fingers than this film has in its near three hours of  runtime.  Sad, but oh so effing true.  And while we’re on the subject of the F-word (my great segue) I couldn’t believe they employed that in here too.  Even the second time around for me was still shocking to hear it employed in here, albeit a little less because I knew it was coming.  For a movie kids will want to see there is more nonsensical violence and swearing than you would hear in most rated-R films.  How this scored a PG-13, but a film such as The Conjuring got slapped with an R-rating is beyond my wildest imagination.  I am still offended throughout the entire movie and I’m not even a parent.  What does that say about this film?  It says it’s about one thing, grabbing as much of that summer box office as humanly possible and hoping to catch all the suckers who didn’t see it by roping them in with a home video release purchase, but to each their own.  I know there are people who really do like this film.  Those people remind me of the Metallica song “Sad But True.”  Transformers Age of Extinction is nothing more than one big spectacle.  I would love to say it’s a firecracker, but despite the numerous explosions throughout it’s still a dud.

It really hurts me to say all these bad things because I know Michael Bay can do much better.  I am the biggest fan of The Island.  What about Bad Boys?  Heck, he even struck high praise with me on Pain & Gain here.  So what the hell happened?  I want to point my fingers solely at Ehren Kruger, but I cannot.  You cannot tell me the blame solely resides on him.  After penning the last two features my first instinct would be why the hell bring him back?  Does he have something juicy on Bay?  However, the crux of the situation is that you would think Bay would have half a brain and say hey man this really does sucks.  Does Bay’s existence here solely reside on the fact that he can light up explosion after explosion?  Now don’t get me wrong, I fricking love explosions!  But these are all here for the sake of having fireworks.  How else can you explain it?  The action sequences and resulting pyros serve no other greater purpose.  And that brings me onto the subject of characters.  Is there a worthy onscreen character at all in this film?  If I had my vote, it would be for that of Stanley Tucci’s.  He’s one of the reasons I’m giving this film the score that I am, albeit it’s still a low one.  Whenever he was onscreen he commandeered the show, but otherwise I just saw the same character Wahlberg plays in everything else and Bay seemed to really gravitate towards those barely legal, long legs of Nicola’s and even kind of provided us with a legal reason in Texas law why it was okay to fixate on her (don’t mind all the screenshots of I use of her here).  What’s wrong with using a girl of age?!  The character development in this movie is basically non-existent.  I found Megan Fox’s character in the first two films more engaging and thought provoking than Marky Mark running all around with a He-Man sword that fires laser.  There is the usual Bay humor here, but it gets lost amongst all the bad “die”-alogue and the incomprehensible storyline.  You know that scene from The Island where they fall from the billboard hanging high on top that building and the grand spectacle of unbelievable things that went boom around them as they fell?  There’s almost three hours of that in Transformers Age of Extinction.

What I really want to know is how do you go from making such an iconic film the first time around that nobody had high hopes or even the wildest expectations for in the first place and three movies later make such a muck like this?  Those action sequences in that first film still replay and hold up today vividly in my mind (the sole reason why I bought an HD-DVD player back in 2007).  Can anyone really say the same about ANY scene in these past two films, not counting this one?  Checking out the curves on the girls don’t count.  And please tell me why the hell it’s legit that a robot has a beard, dresses like a samurai or smokes a mock cigar?  What the hell, Bay?!  Are you fricking serious?  Have you lost your mind?  Once again, I thought you would have learned from the previous two films.  Check yourself and look back to the first film.  Parents…I implore you DO NOT show your kids (younger than 13) this one.  There’s nothing but bad lessons for them to take a away and learn from this one.  This is not the first Transformers film by any means.  This is not about a boy and his car.  This is about death, violence, rudeness and mostly stupidity and ignorance.  What the hell was theme of this movie anyway or of the last two for that matter?  LOL.  And last but not least, wait until you see the end.  After waiting two hours to see the Dinobots finally (I feel like that’s the only reason this movie got made to include them somehow), I would love to hear your thoughts on how they’re handled here and where we leave them.  There’s also a scene at the end that involves Optimus Prime and what he does.  I wish all the Transformers would have followed suit and did the same.  The world’s a better place without them.  It’s very sad that this is being billed as “based on the Hasbro toys,” because it’s that very ingenious marketing that sadly sold this movie.

So yeah, I did in fact change my score this second time around and committed a Matt Goodman.  After a second viewing I kind of knew what to “expect.”  My expectations were non-existent and I just watched it for the action, special effects and all the go boom moments, and nothing more.  That’s honestly how you need to approach this one.  I was able to let go of the hatred I had when I saw this one theatrically, but be warned.  If you hated the last two movies, I honestly don’t think you’ll find much to love here so maybe you should do yourself a favor and volunteer at an animal shelter for three hours or do something else constructive or humanitarian instead of taking this in.  In other words, do something good with your time.  Celebrate life!  For me, Transformers Age of Extinction is almost o the same playing field as this year’s Godzilla.  They both let me down.  The only reason Godzilla has a slight edge is because it has one cool fire breathing death scene.  Maybe if you added Stanley Tucci to the mix, it would have been even better.  Who knows?  However, I do know this.  Despite the serious flaws and shortcomings of the film itself, as discussed up above, there’s no denying the dynamite audio and video presentation that’s in store for you in this three-disc set of Transformers Age of Extinction.  So let’s talk about something good for a change.

Transformers Age of Extinction


Transformers Age of Extinction debuts on Paramount Blu-ray with an exceptional transfer.  I wish I could leave it at that and say it’s perfect unlike the film, but then I wouldn’t be doing my job and you wouldn’t be getting the coverage you rightfully deserve for this title.  However, before we begin I do want to point out one quick thing.  You have to purchase the Blu-ray 3D version if you want the expansive IMAX scenes.  That stinks!

  • Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Here’s the thing about this one.  Transformers Age of Extinction is made from a mixture of digital and film so while there may be times where the transition between the two may appear gritty, the result is still reference throughout in my opinion.  The clarity and detail here is like a heavyweight boxing champion.  It’s king!  The sharpness will razzle and dazzle you with its textures in fabrics, pores in skin, stubble on faces and even the various Easter Eggs I found in the Texas shot scenes such as an Austin SXSW poster, Texas vehicle registration stickers complete with dates (I noticed some expired ones) and much more.  Of course there’s always the rich detail in the robots as well.
  • Depth:   For a feature filmed for IMAX with razor sharp clarity, would you expect anything less than perfect here in this category?  The layers run deep in this one.
  • Black Levels:  Even a few gritty scenes can’t ruin a comic book lover’s wet dreams with some of the deepest and inkiest blacks found on the Blu-ray format.
  • Color Reproduction:  The colors are amazing here.  From the many explosions to the hot painted cars, the lush, rich colors pop off the screen at you here.  Some of the moments that stand out to me the most are the ones with the rich green vegetation such as the ones with the dinosaurs in the film’s opening and the bright blue Texas skies.  My oh my how things look awesome here.
  • Flesh Tones:  With Michael Bay you have to be accustomed to the pumped up and warm skinniness from time-to-time, but that’s nothing to knock this one for.  That’s just goes hand-in-hand with being a Michael Bay film in my opinion.
  • Noise/Artifacts:  Because some of this is shot on film there are some scenes with a light veneer of grain, but nothing that will distract you from enjoying or in our case not enjoying the overall feature presentation.  There’s nothing else to bring up in this category other than that because the transfer is otherwise flawless.

Transformers Age of Extinction


Transformers Age of Extinction wins another five-star award in my review, this time here in the Audio section.  Just like with the video presentation discussed up above, things absolutely rock here.  It’s one of the finest Blu-ray presentations I have heard this year.

  • Audio Format(s):  English 7.1 Dolby Atmos (TrueHD compatible), 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 Descriptio
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Dynamics:  Gunshots, explosions and chaos blow this presentation up coupled with many subtle and sweet moments in whatever environment or landscape we may be living in.  Everything sounds completely natural throughout, even the many robot transformation sounds we have come to love from the past three movies.  It’s almost as everything seems real here despite the fictional world it’s made up of.  Does that make any sense?
  • Low Frequency Extension:  BOOM!  BOOM!  BOOM!  The subwoofer will shake your viewing room here from the many ground rocking explosions, heavy machine gun fire and chaos we get lost within every battle that takes place here.  Shall I go on or do you get the picture?
  • Surround Sound Presentation:   Ha!  Really?  Do we really need to talk about things here?  The fact that those swirling Paramount stars kick everything into gear here right from the very beginning should erase any doubt that the surround sound wasn’t going to be anything short of spectacular here.  One of my favorite moments in this track was kind of stupid, but completely superior in the surround department where a missile rips out of Marky mark’s barn and into his house and ricochets off practically everything.  Rest assured, you’re in the heat of every battle here.  You’re immersed in all the action whether you love it or not.  If you don’t, then there’s always the Dolby Digital 2.0 track to enjoy.  From helicopters to bullets zinging, suck it up and fall in love with it here even if the movie itself doesn’t warrant it.
  • Dialogue Reproduction:  Despite wishing I didn’t hear some of the most atrocious delivered dialogue lines ever in a film things sound perfect here.  You never miss a spoken word even in the heart of some of the more chaotic and strenuous moments.  Every line is loud, clear and intelligible here.  And what I like about this the most, all the dialogue is directional too.  It’s like I said up above, you’re in the middle of everything here and the dialogue is no exception.  If a character is behind you speaking, you hear them speaking behind you.  Love it!

Transformers Age of Extinction


Transformers Age of Extinction arrives on a Paramount three-disc Blu-ray Combo Pack that features more than three hours of bonus content, a DVD of the feature film as well as a redemption code to bring the movie with you anywhere via iTunes HD Digital Copy and also Ultra Violet HD.   You have to love that!  I do!  You might actually have more fun here in this section than you did with film as these extras take you behind-the-scenes and give you a firsthand look inside at all the magic, fun, hard work and excitement that went into making this film.  Also included here is an in-depth interview with Michael Bay about his approach to the film’s action sequences, a crash course on the “Bayhem” of being on set for the massive, global production, a revealing look at the design process inside Hasbro Headquarters, a brand new Angry Bird Transformers trailer where birds and pigs turn into Autobots and Deceptihogs, creating havoc on Piggy Island and more.  As I previously noted up above in the Video section, sadly the Blu-ray 3D of Transformers Age of Extinction does not include the expanded images as seen in IMAX theaters.  This section would have probably received a perfect score me had there been an audio or even a video commentary for this release.  So what do you say we transform, roll on out and explore all these extras below?  Let’s go!


Disc 1 (Blu-ray):

  • Feature Film (HD, 165 min.) – The movie may not be that great, but you can’t deny the breathing room this one has on its own dedicated Blu-ray disc.  These are the kind of releases that high-def fans rejoice and rave about.


Disc 2 (Blu-ray):

  • Bay On Action (HD, 10:45) – Here we have a in-depth interview with Michael Bay about his vision and approach to the film’s big action sequences whether it be a Hong Kong or a Detroit backdrop.  He also dishes on the film’s style as well as his own for which he’s notorious for being fast paced.
  • Evolution Within Extinction (HD) – Here we have an eight segment long making of supplement.  The segments are listed below.
    • Generation 2 (HD, 15:53) – This is kind of a quick recap and look at where the fourth film picks up as we meet new faces, both man and machine, and a Transformers world after the Battle of Chicago.  You’ll see and hear a lot references to the third film within this movie too.
    • Drive Like Hell (HD, 13:29) – Here we take a closer look at the re-envisioned models of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, along with an intimidating new nemesis, Lockdown, as a Lamborghini Aventador plus other incredibly cool cars including a Bugatti Veyron and a sleek Pagani Huayra.  You also get to see how actor Jack Reynor learned how to drive his Sonic rally car for the intense chase sequences.
    • Small Town, Big Movie (HD, 11:22) – When Transformers rolls into some small Texas towns, the normally quiet and picturesque countryside is suddenly alight with explosive action.  Here we get to explore the different locations with members of the show’s art department and hear from robotics students whose designs appear as part of Cade’s lab.  Pretty cool huh?  It is!  This is actually one of my favorite extras since I live down here.
    • Shadow Protocol Activated (HD, 28:45) –  This is one big Chevrolet commercial.  A lot goes down here as we follow the production to Detroit with unprecedented access to GM’s Lansing plant and Milford Proving Grounds test track, watch an impressive indoor car chase created in an auto parts factory, return to Chicago where location managers discovered a historical movie theater that served as the backdrop for Cade’s fateful first encounter with Optimus Prime and finally travel to Washington state and the unlikely site of a never-used nuclear power plant.
    • The Last Stand (HD, 11:03) – A vacant lot in downtown Detroit is turned into a square block of Hong Kong.  Here you get to watch as it literally takes shape from the ground up and then marvel in awe as the crew blows it up.
    • The People’s Republic (HD, 12:54) –  This one takes a closer look at the prominent role China has in this film.  Four Chinese actors were chosen from thousands of applicants on a reality TV show to appear in the movie.  We also get to see as the production traveled to Hong Kong, the valley of Wulong Karst National Park in Chongqing and the Great Wall in Beijing to capture footage.
    • Rise of the Dinobots (HD, 6:10) – The Dinobots make their live-action debut in this film.  Here you get a brief history of the new recruits and then go inside Industrial Light & Magic to see how they were designed and conceptualized for the film.
    • The Finishing Touch (HD, 23:10) – This one is quite incredible as we spend time with Michael Bay as the director connects virtually with his Santa Monica headquarters, visits the editing bay and then checks in on the visual effects house in San Francisco, all from the comfort of his Miami home office.  Lucky guy!  We also get an in-depth look at the music contributions of Imagine Dragons as they collaborate with the film’s composer Steve Jablonsky.  Finally, you’re invited to walk the exclusive red carpet to the film’s world premiere in Hong Kong.
  • Just Another Giant Effin’ Movie (HD, 10:03) – Here you can discover the fun, frenetic and amazing way a movie like Transformers Age of Extinction gets made.
  • A Spark of Design (HD, 15:24) – This is the moment you’ve all been waiting for as you can now enjoy an exclusive look inside Hasbro’s headquarters in Rhode Island and the creation of the Transformers Age of Extinction Grimlock action figure from concept and development to sculpting and painting, and then ultimately to the assembly line.
  • T.J. Miller: Farm Hippie (HD, 19:43) – Actor/comedian T.J. Miller never imagined he’d be part of a massively successful franchise like Transformers so he sets off to personally thank the people who made it all possible.  You get to come along as he visits Bay Films, gets some pointers from Kelsey Grammer and even stops by Mark Wahlberg’s house in this comedic piece.
  • KRE-O TRANSFORMERS: Take Us Through the Movies! (HD, 3:43) –  Optimus Prime will bring you up to speed on all of the Transformers movies one by one in this animated short where the TRANSFORMERS KREON LEGO-like figures act out the movies while building and rebuilding each scene…brick by brick.
  • The Angry Birds TRANSFORMERS: Origin Story (HD, 1:16) – This exclusive bonus content tells the origin story of how the EggSpark has landed on Piggy Island causing the eggs on the island to turn into evil Egg-bots, wreaking havoc across the whole island.  The EggSpark has also caused the Birds and Pigs to turn into Autobots and Deceptihogs, who must team up in order to stop the Egg-bots before it’s too late!  You know you want to check it out!
  • Trailers (HD)


Disc 3 (DVD):

  • Feature Film (SD, 165 min.) – Yes!  Here’s the disc you can take in the mini van with you so your kiddies can learn all about violence, death and cursing on long trips.  Yippee!

Transformers Age of Extinction


Transformers Age of Extinction is just simply more of the same carried on from the past two films.  It’s loud, dumb, action heavy, but still boring at the same time because of its excessive running length of almost three hours.  That’s way too long even for a Star Wars flick.  However, on the flip side, if you’re one of those fans that simply wanted more of what they have come to know, love and expect from this downhill franchise, then you’re in the right place here.  It’s not retooled like it was billed to be, it’s simply more of just the same.  And the fact that I said that now twice in one paragraph should drive that point home I hope.  However, make no mistake, this Blu-ray presentation is one to be reckoned with, possibly one of the finest of the year thus far with reference video and audio and enough special features to keep you busy for hours, Transformers Age of Extinction at least takes home a prize for that.  Best of all, you can enjoy Transformers Age of Extinction on the road wherever life may take you with the included Digital Copies and the DVD presentation for the minivan.  It’s not a film I whole heartedly recommend on its merits alone, but if nonsensical robot violence is what you want, then come get it.  It’s right here and it never looked and sounded any better.


Bring Home

Transformers Age of Extinction

on Blu-ray Combo Pack 9/30!


Transformers Age of Extinction


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

1 Response to “Transformers Age of Extinction (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Chris

    Finally took some time to watch this and I agree. The audio is mind blowingly awesome, but the film is terrible. The first thirty minutes actually surprised me and I thought I was going to enjoy this one, and then they killed TJ Miller and went right back to the same old crap.