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Transformers

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    84
    from 4 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Despite mixed reviews, Transformers' first film thrives with great 4K UHD visuals and sound, retaining its fun despite franchise flaws.

    Transformers 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    82
  • Transformers' 4K UHD upgrade enhances visuals and colors, strikingly showcasing detail and texture, though some sequences lack sharpness.

  • Audio
    89
  • Transformers' Dolby Atmos remix elevates its aural experience to new heights, enhancing every scene with precise, immersive sound and deep, dynamic bass.

  • Extra
    82
  • The Transformers 3-disc set includes a 4K UHD with Michael Bay's commentary, two Blu-rays packed with features like documentaries and an engaging HUD, and a UV/iTunes code, with most extras on the second Blu-ray.

  • Movie
    75
  • Paramount's UHD release of 'Transformers' enhances its visual and aural appeal, while the film critiques wartime propaganda with robust action and a mix of humor and humanity.

    Video: 82

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Transformers" is a visually compelling experience, offering a significant upgrade over its Blu-ray predecessor. Mastered in 4K (2160p) with HDR-10 and Dolby Vision capabilities, it's an upscaled marvel that excels in enhancing detail and color representation. The film's heavy reliance on CG elements, particularly the intricate designs of the Transformers themselves, benefits greatly from the high dynamic range, which boosts clarity, depth, and vibrancy. While the original was shot on traditional 35mm film and finished at a 2K digital intermediate, this upconvert manages to retain a pleasing, film-like grain structure that adds to the cinematic quality of the presentation. The aspect ratio of 2.40:1 on a BD-66 layer maximizes screen real estate, ensuring viewers don't miss any action.

    In terms of detail and clarity, the 4K UHD Blu-ray excels, revealing nuanced textures and complexities in both the digital creations and real-world objects. The autobots and decepticons are displayed with remarkable detail, showcasing every scratch and chip on their metallic bodies, while human characters reveal lifelike pores and blemishes. Notably, nighttime sequences and darker scenes gain from rich black levels and improved brightness, offering a stark contrast that makes these moments more visually impressive. However, a few instances exhibit softened cinematography and minor crush issues but these do not detract significantly from the overall viewing experience.

    The color palette benefits immensely from the wider gamut provided by HDR, with more vivid and accurate representations of primary colors like Bumblebee's yellow and Optimus Prime's red and blue. Explosions, laser weapons, and scenic vistas pop off the screen with added intensity and realism. Flesh tones tend to skew warmer, adhering to director Michael Bay's stylistic preferences without becoming oversaturated. Despite some minor edge halos and high contrast ringing in early scenes, the video is largely free of artifacts, maintaining a clean and immersive visual experience.

    Audio: 89

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Transformers" presents a riveting upgrade in audio quality with its Dolby Atmos track, distinguishing itself significantly from the prior 5.1 configurations. Leveraging the Atmos framework, it introduces an expanded soundstage that not only enhances spatial awareness but also immerses the viewer in a meticulously crafted 360° soundscape. This new mix excels in conveying the full intensity of action sequences, with sound elements moving seamlessly around and above the audience, from the thunderous roars of Transformer footfalls and the piercing whizz of bullets, to the more nuanced rustles of urban life and dialogue. The overhead channels are utilized expertly, adding depth to the auditory experience without overwhelming, making every explosion and piece of flying debris more palpable. Additionally, the mix’s dynamic range is notably broad, with low frequency effects delivering powerful, room-shaking bass that complements both the action-heavy scenes and the more subtle moments of dialogue, ensuring clarity and precision throughout.

    The Atmos track’s excellence is matched by its handling of Steve Jablonsky's score, which benefits greatly from the upgrade, filling the soundstage with lush, clear musical cues that enhance the emotional impact of each scene. The audio mix manages to balance the chaotic symphony of action, music, and voice impeccably, allowing for an engaging auditory experience. Dialogue retains its sharpness amidst the cacophony, ensuring that every line is delivered with clarity, from Hugo Weaving’s menacing growl as Megatron to Shia LeBeouf’s distinctive speech patterns. The sound design's layering and directionality are particularly impressive, creating a compellingly immersive experience that draws the listener into the heart of the action, supported by an aggressive but well-controlled bass that adds gravitas without overshadowing finer audio details.

    Overall, the Dolby Atmos track on the "Transformers" 4K UHD Blu-ray is a triumph in audio engineering, setting a high bar for home cinema experiences. Its comprehensive use of the sound field envelops viewers in a way that is both intense and nuanced, producing an auditory environment that is as engaging during quiet moments as it is during blockbuster battles. The precision in sound placement, combined with a robust low-end response and crystal-clear dialogue reproduction, ensures that this audio presentation is not just heard but felt, making it a showcase example of how technology can elevate the cinematic experience far beyond what was previously possible.

    Extra: 82

    The 4K UHD release of "Transformers" primarily distinguishes itself through the visual and auditory enhancements of the main feature, with the extra content being relegated to the accompanying Blu-ray discs. Noteworthy is director Michael Bay's commentary, which provides an engaging walkthrough from the film's conception to its execution, available on both the UHD and Blu-ray formats. Extras are comprehensive but not groundbreaking, encompassing behind-the-scenes documentaries, a deep dive into a key action sequence, a somewhat underwhelming still gallery, and trailers. The documentaries are particularly informative, covering various production facets spanning design, casting, and special effects, offering a substantial look behind the curtain of this blockbuster’s creation. This package is further sweetened with a digital copy, adding value for collectors and fans alike, seeking to explore the "Transformers" universe in greater depth.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary: Director Michael Bay's engaging discussion on production insights.
    • Transformers H.U.D.: Exclusive to Blu-ray, featuring cast interviews, trivia, and BTS footage.
    • Our World: A four-part documentary delving into production aspects.
    • Their War: A five-part documentary offering an exhaustive insight into the movie's lore.
    • From Script to Sand: An in-depth look at the Skorponok Desert Attack scene.
    • Concepts: A gallery showcasing design concepts.
    • Trailers: Includes a teaser and two theatrical previews.

    Movie: 75

    Paramount's release of Michael Bay's 2007 spectacle, "Transformers," on 4K UHD Blu-ray, presents an audiovisual feast showcasing the film in 2160p/HDR/Dolby Vision video quality paired with Dolby Atmos audio. This three-disc set, although not introducing new supplements, retains all extras from the previous Blu-ray release. Michael Bay’s interpretation resurfaces the Transformers saga amidst a backdrop of military grandeur and technological fetishism, reflecting both a critique and a fascination with pre-recession American military prowess and youth culture.

    The film's narrative weaves through an audacious storyline involving alien robots, the noble Autobots and the villainous Decepticons, descending on Earth, triggering an epic battle with humanity's fate hanging in the balance. Starring Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, the unlikely hero alongside a cast of stereotypical characters, the movie balances between intense action sequences and moments that aim to humanize its ensemble. Despite its attempt at a coming-of-age tale amidst robotic chaos, critics highlight the film's thinly-veiled military propaganda, superficial treatment of female characters, and often incomprehensible action choreography. Yet, amidst these critiques, Bay's ability to fuse CGI and live-action remains unparalleled, providing a visually stunning experience that caters to fans of high-octane spectacle.

    On an underlying level, "Transformers" explores themes of power, allegiance, and transformation, both literal and metaphorical. It attempts to strike a chord with audiences through its exploration of adolescent yearning and heroic aspirations. However, it's Bay's signature blend of massive set pieces and rapid-fire editing that ultimately defines the film's appeal. Despite its narrative shortcomings and thematic overreach, "Transformers" stands as a quintessential example of summer blockbusters that marry technical prowess with broad commercial appeal.

    Total: 84

    Michael Bay's original "Transformers" stands as a pinnacle of the franchise, delivering a coherent and enjoyable experience that later installments failed to replicate. According to the aggregated feedback, this blockbuster combines a nostalgic connection to childhood cartoons with an action-packed narrative, albeit garnished with Michael Bay's signature blend of loud and mindless spectacle that tends to divide audiences. Despite criticisms regarding its depth and substance, "Transformers" is praised for its ability to entertain, primarily when one desires a visually stunning extravaganza devoid of complex plotlines. The 4K UHD Blu-ray release by Paramount has been lauded for its exceptional picture quality and a robust Dolby Atmos soundtrack that enhances the viewing experience, albeit without introducing any new special features, instead carrying over the contents from its Blu-ray predecessor.

    The 4K Dolby Vision presentation marks a significant improvement over its HD SDR counterpart, offering a visual feast that, while not the pinnacle of what the format can achieve, still impresses with its clarity and depth. Meanwhile, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack is identified as a standout component of this release, providing a few moments that showcase the format's potential to deliver an immersive audio experience. Fans of the franchise and home theater enthusiasts will find much to appreciate in this release, even if it doesn't push the boundaries of the 4K UHD format as far as some might hope.

    In conclusion, while "Transformers" may not cater to all cinematic tastes, its first foray into 4K UHD is a successful upgrade that will likely delight fans and audiophiles alike. Its blend of high-definition visual improvements and superior sound quality showcases the enduring appeal of this mechanically charged adventure. Despite the limited advancement in extra content, this edition reaffirms the film’s status as a must-have for collectors and serves as a solid addition to any home theater library, promising a demonstration-worthy experience of robot rebellion at its most visually spectacular.