The Movie: 7/10
Before I get going, let me say this, I’m a sucker for big destructive special effects in the bright light of day. OK, that being said, I really enjoyed Transformers Age of Extinction. If I can boil it down to that one element, big action with incredible things happening in contrast to our “normal” human life and right out in the sunshine so it all looks so plausible, that hooks me. The story is never a mind bender, but I can accept that. This trip through the Transformers and human interactive universe doesn’t offer much in the department of a deep enriching experience……what’s that you say? The Transformers isn’t about deep thinking??!! WHAT!?? Right. So, a father down on his luck, happens to be an inventor with a clever daughter happens upon a truck who is a now wanted criminal, Optimus Prime. Our human lead man finds a way to get Prime working again and the government comes knocking on the door, or shooting bullets, to retrieve the metal giant.
What we learn is that there are people who want to get rid of all the nice friendly huge robots and sell them to the highest bidder, a bounty hunter from a place far far away. Frazier is the jerk, of course, and he’s functional but not that interesting. Our good guys and gal are fine too, but it’s all very Michael Bay and that means very very very very x 1000 shallow. The daughter is forbade from dating but is dating a rally car driver, which comes in very handy when the escape is needed. The friend of the main guy is a hippie guy, laid back and kind of dim. The father is Marky Mark, and he’s OK too, nothing special, but definitely watchable and fits the role.
I do care about these folks which makes the whole thing better. The number of times they were in danger was kind of high but if we don’t have danger we don’t have a big action flick. The real star of the show, of course, is Optimus Prime, OH and Bumble Bee too:) I don’t care anything about the other friendly Autobots. They are trite and boring to me. I know they look cool, but the stereotyping is almost too much to handle at times. I didn’t really care about the Dinobots, as my husband will find shocking. He has fond memories of them in the old versions of Transformers, but I didn’t experience Transformers until the movies started being made, so to me they were kind of not as interesting as the Autobots. I get that they are bigger, and formed to resemble the first creatures on Earth they encountered when they first came here to visit, which is fine, but they don’t do it for me really. I like a man who turns into a semi-truck, and then a big robot man.
The bad robots are very compelling, and feel menacing. A menacing bad guy is one of the top elements of this kind of movie that keeps it interesting. We get to go to the ship of the Autobots too, and it’s creepy enough to remind us that these are huge machines barreling through the universe and can crush us all at anytime. I like that idea. That’s why I admire the character of Optimus Prime so much. He could be the villain, dominate humans on this planet, and yet something inside him makes him connect to the idea of a living sentient being that needs to just be allowed to live their existence without being enslaved or crushed by a bigger stronger creature. He makes all the movies worth watching for me.
Did you know that Chrome or Microsoft, or whoever does the spell check while writing this does NOT recognize Optimus or Marky Mark as correctly spelled words/phrases? Shocking.
Have a good fun afternoon and watch Transformers Age of Extinction, it won’t stretch your brain too far, but it will get your heart racing a little bit here and there, which is always a good thing. I also now have this weird thing where as I drive down the road in the day time I wonder what it would be like to see a giant robot running down the highway battling with another of its kind.
- Bay On Action – Mr Bay waxes lyrical about the making of the film. He talks about shooting in Hong Kong and Detroit and almost gives away a secret as to how one of the films more memorable shots was achieved.
- Evolution Within Extinction – An eight part making of that runs for almost 2 hours. Divided into sections the subjects covered are. Generation 2, Drive Like Hell, Small Town, Big Movie, Shadow Protocol Activated, The Last Stand, The People’s Republic, Rise Of The Dinobots and The Finishing Touch. This is a fantastic look at the making of the massive movie, Transformer & Bay fans will be very pleased.
- Just Another giant Effin Movie – A humorous look at some of the antics the cast and crew got up to on set.
- A Spark of Design – A 15 minute behind the scenes tour of the Rhode Island Hasbro Headquarters, one of the best features on the disc by far.
- TJ Miller Farm Hippie – T.J Miller visits Mark Wahlberg, Kelsey Grammer & Michael Bay for a spot of goofing around.
- KRE-O Transformers – A LEGO style fun look at transformers.
- The Angry Birds Transformers Origin Story – A silly Angry Birds take on transformers, lets hope Bay doesn’t cross pollinate these little assholes with the Transformers in the next movie.
- 2D & 3D Versions Of The Movie
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
Giant robots that turn into vehicles, yes, that should dominate the cover. Thankfully it does this time around. I would have this as a poster for the main reason that Optimus is my favorite:).
Audio & Video: 10/10
Included in this deluxe package are the 2D & 3D versions of the movie each on a separate disc, if you have the capability to play the 3D version it’s the obvious choice. Transformers Age Of Extinction has a lot of extra content when you play the 3D version. First off all the Imax scenes filmed for the movie which translates to about 60% of it’s running time fill the entirety of your screen. This not only helps the 3D shine it gives the film an enormity that the letter-boxed version fails to convey. The 3D itself is quite possibly the best example of the format on Blu-Ray at this time, there is a stunning amount of depth in the image you just want to climb inside the TV and be at one with the giant robots.
The 2D version of the movie is as bright vivid and awesome as its 3d counterpart. Both versions have fantastic contrast and black levels. Colors are natural and flesh tones are good. Due to the unusually high bitrate there are no signs of macro-blocking or ringing even in the most complex of scenes. Transformers Age Of Extinction is the epitomy of state of the art.
Another ground breaking addition to this release is it is the first Blu-Ray to house a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, that probably doesn’t mean much to most of you let me explain. Atmos is Dolbys new codec that brings 7.1 surround sound to theatres and the home, what is new though is Dolby use some engineering magic to throw sounds above you. At the time of writing we have no Dolby Atmos compatible receivers in-house but suffice to say you will see these everywhere in a few months. You can also play the Atmos track through a normal receiver and it acts like a normal Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track so don’t worry if you are not on the cutting edge.
So how does the movie sound, AMAZING is the answer. I really do not have to get into it much, it just sounds brilliant. Standouts include anytime Optimus speaks, explosions (there are lots of them, this is a Michael Bay film after all) and anytime guns are fired. Transformers Age Of Extinction is a fun movie and a technical showcase for Blu-Ray as Avatar was for theatrical 3D. Fans of action must own this superb release!!!!
Overall Score 7/10