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post #1 of 39 Old 09-28-2017, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Transformers: The Last Knight Ultra HD Review



Ralph Potts reviews the fifth installment in the Transformers franchise, where the hunted will become heroes. Heroes will become villains. Only one world will survive: theirs, or ours.




The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:


Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

95



Details:

Studio and Year: Paramount - 2017
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 154 minutes
Genre: Action/Fantasy

Disc Format: BD-100
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1, 2.00:1, 1.90:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Tony Hale Voices: Peter Cullen, John Goodman, Ken Wantanabe, Jim Carter, Steve Buscemi
Directed by: Michael Bay
Music by: Steve Jablonsky
Written by: Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 26, 2017


"For One World to Live, the Other Must Die"


My Take:

Humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving the future lies buried in the secrets of the past and the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Now, it's up to the unlikely alliance of inventor Cade Yeager, Bumblebee, an English lord and an Oxford professor to save the world.
Whether you like Michael Bay or don’t like him there is no denying that he knows how to make an action film. I tend to like his work, probably because I am an action junkie that loves to see and hear stuff blow up, and few do it better than him. I was a teenager when the Transformers toys/animated TV series was all the rage among young kids in the eighties. I honestly never once watched the cartoon but I can recall the theme pretty well. When the first Transformers film hit theaters in 2008 I had little interest in taking the plunge and decided to wait and see what it offered on home video. As it turned out Transformers was a big hit which spawned two sequels. Each of the films revolves around a continuing/age old battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons from the distant planet of Cybertron. After their war decimated Cybertron their epic struggle came to Earth, where the Autobots joined forces with humans to combat the global threat.

Of the first four films the original remains my favorite as neither of the sequels added anything of significant value to the overall thematic rendering. Needless to say, when I heard about installment number five I didn’t hold out any hope that it would somehow breathe new life into the franchise. As alluded to earlier I am an action film junkie and can be pretty forgiving of minimalist storytelling especially when there’s plenty of high octane production value. Transformers: The Last Knight is largely contrived both in concept and execution, although as you would expect from Michael Bay, a few of the effects laden set pieces and stunt work are pretty cool. In most respects though the film offers a shoestring plot, hollow characters and predominantly repetitive action sequences that make its bloated 154 minute runtime interminable.

I generally like Mark Wahlberg, but there were times where I laughed out loud at his whiny, nasally, delivery. Anthony Hopkins is a quality actor, and listening to him stumble through some of his lines was at times a little painful. Words like campy, and mawkish, came to mind as I watched Wahlberg’s character interact with his teenaged companion, and Bumble Bee which only served to add another layer to the ineptly written script. The attempt at romance was equally abysmal. I won’t even go into Stanley Tucci’s ridiculous portrayal of Merlin in the film’s opening.

The action was exactly what you’d expect, but frankly nothing that we really haven’t seen from the earlier films, save for a few nips and tucks that were decent. The door was left wide open for number six. I don’t have any illusions that it will reinvent the series wheel. Truth be told, I wouldn’t mind if they turned things around as I would like to see something new from this franchise.



Replay Value: 2 Stars


Parental Guide:

The rating is for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and brief innuendo.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


UHD Presentation(HDR-10): 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution:
  • Visual Impact:



UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution:
  • Visual Impact:



Dolby Atmos Rating: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Level of immersion:
  • Soundstage integration:
  • Audio object placement:
  • Effectiveness of Atmos platform:
  • Entertainment factor:



Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released and eager enthusiasts are ready and willing to see what it has to offer. For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Transformers: The Last Knight comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound that has an average bitrate of 5.6 Mbps.

Transformers: The Last Knight garnered a solid report from me on its video quality in 1080p. Its presentation in Ultra HD, was rendered from a digital source/2K DI and up-converted to 4K.

As is typical with the Transformers films, The Last Knight is a colorful film, and this Ultra HD rendering makes the most of its elements. With a discernible increase in detail and emboldened chromatic highlights the image appears noticeably sharper and vibrant when compared to the 1080p version. Primary colors such red, blue and green are pleasingly rich while whites appear gradational and snappy. Secondary colors benefit from the wider color gamut as well. The added dimension in the grays, blacks and shadows is immediately noticeable.

I find the natural rendering of light via its discernible stages and incremental highlights to be one of the big pluses I've noticed with HDR. The opening segment featuring the ancient backstory/battle, looked terrific top to bottom. The image had excellent dimension that enhanced the action while colors literally popped off of the screen. The film has a variety of sequences that make use of close up camera angles that show off the superb rendering of detail. At times the level of minutia is amazing as even the finest nuance in the physical features, backgrounds/sets and computer-generated imagery seen onscreen is resolvable.

The difference between viewing Transformers: The Last Night in high definition and Ultra HD isn't quite night and day but there is no question regarding which rendering stands out. I am pleased with this presentation and continue to be excited by the format's potential.

The integrated IMAX segments shifting back and forth between 1.90:1 and 2.00:1 and 2.39:1 aspects look great. In examining segments of each I didn’t notice any issues with fidelity and saw no perceivable difference in resolution. The aspect ratio shifts are done perpetually throughout the film, even during segments where it isn’t thematically beneficial. At times I found it to be a bit of a distraction but not to an egregious level.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above and at ear level is a mix atmospherics and discrete effects. This creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events, enhancing the thematic content of the material. The Atmos track consistently utilizes the entire platform to create a realistic listening environment which at times is completely immersive. As the film’s events escalate the track follows suit, as the blend of music, explosions, falling debris, underwater submersion, and smaller object sounds rain down from above, placing you inside the action, with sounds rotating and revolving around the soundstage. I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere and integration of discrete object placement. It made the film a bit more tolerable as it provided an entertaining home theater experience.


Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I recently added the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel to my review system. This was to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

Comparing the DV and HDR-10 presentations for Transformers: The Last Knight, I found the HDR to be extremely close. In fact, I would go so far as to say they were nearly negligible, with the slight edge going to DV for providing a hint more richness to primary colors, and the dynamic highlights found in the film’s plethora of action sequences. The differences don’t warrant a deduction, resulting in the same rating for each. I found nothing to complain about with either as they look great.


Blu-ray Video:

Audio: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:



Video: 98
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Transformers: The Last Knight comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 Mbps and Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 5.6 Mbps.

This is a high-quality video presentation that seems a perfect match for the source material. Colors are deeply saturated with eye pleasing vitality and delineated depth. Images are resolute with appreciable sharpness, crisp detail and discerning subtle refinement. Certain scenes appeared better resolved than others although this appears related to the photography and not the encoding. Contrast is dynamically applied without being overpowering and blacks are respectably deep with discernible detail in low lighting and shadows. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts and thought that in general video quality was excellent. It should be noted that the 2D Blu-ray presentation includes the expanded IMAX rendering.

I had high expectations for this soundtrack and this audio presentation didn’t leave me wanting. I was treated to an impeccably detailed, powerfully dynamic, and demonstrative surround sound experience. Multi-layered sound effects are appropriately placed within the soundfield so that their purpose is definable yet never overstated. The mix makes effective and aggressive use of the surround channels to extend the soundstage and reproduce the spatial and discrete sounds of this demanding soundtrack. The front and rear sound fields are integrated with precision which enables a tight correlative blend during panning sequences. Dynamics are potent and impact felt with discerning articulation and resolute clarity. This is an engaging surround mix that utilizes the subwoofer to accentuate its already extended dynamic range. The quality of the bass is first rate as it is fills the room with clean, hard hitting, and deep resonating low frequency detail. Dialogue has excellent presence with clear, defining vocal character and noteworthy room penetration. Transformers: The Last Knight makes for an entertaining home theater experience on Blu-ray.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Transformers: The Last Knight Ultra HD Blu-ray
    Disc 2: Transformers: The Last Knight Blu-ray
    Disc 3: Bonus Features Blu-ray
  • Merging Mythologies – Explore the secret TRANSFORMERS history
  • Climbing the Ranks - Military training
  • The Royal Treatment: Transformers in the UK
  • Motors and Magic
  • Alien Landscape: Cybertron
  • One More Giant Effin’ Movie



Final Thoughts:


Transformers: The Last Knight is the fifth installment in the popular film franchise. Unfortunately, it fails to capture the freshness and engaging thrills of the original film, and feels boringly formulaic and overlong. On a positive note it looks and sounds great on Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Combo Pack from Paramount Home Entertainment that features sparkling Ultra HD video, reference quality high definition audio/video, including an entertaining Dolby Atmos immersive surround mix, and a middling supplemental package. As a film Transformers: The Last Knight is tough to recommend, but as a home theater experience it’s got plenty to offer.














Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 09-29-2017 at 04:40 AM.
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post #2 of 39 Old 09-28-2017, 09:37 AM
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Thanks Ralph will be picking this up
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post #3 of 39 Old 09-28-2017, 09:53 AM
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My young son really enjoys these and we have watched all of them but for me, my mind and brain check out after about an hour into the CGI pornfest. I can only take so much of the endless battles and suspension of belief with so many of the scenes. Now if they paired them down to say an hour and a half, I may be able to stay awake, but this 2 hour plus stuff is too much for this kind of CGI drivel.
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It's mindless popcorn silliness, but it looks and sounds amazing -- and if you think of it as a cartoon, and approach it as such, it's fun (though I agree it feels LONG).

I thought the UHD HDR looked good but I was surprised that a few large explosions lost detail and went to white. Is this what other folks are seeing? My tone mapping typically renders detail well into the 3000 nit range, I think, so I'm guessing this is just the way it was mastered.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post
It's mindless popcorn silliness, but it looks and sounds amazing -- and if you think of it as a cartoon, and approach it as such, it's fun (though I agree it feels LONG).

I thought the UHD HDR looked good but I was surprised that a few large explosions lost detail and went to white. Is this what other folks are seeing? My tone mapping typically renders detail well into the 3000 nit range, I think, so I'm guessing this is just the way it was mastered.
Greetings,

Nathan, if you could point out a specific example I would be happy to take a look.


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post #6 of 39 Old 09-28-2017, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

It should be noted that the 2D Blu-ray presentation doesn’t include the expanded IMAX rendering.

Are you sure? Can you explain this?
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post #7 of 39 Old 09-28-2017, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Are you sure? Can you explain this?

Greetings,

It should read "Includes the...."

It reads correctly now..

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post #8 of 39 Old 09-28-2017, 10:51 AM
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Greetings,

Nathan, if you could point out a specific example I would be happy to take a look.


Regards,
Thanks! If I can brave another look before I send my rental back to http://www.store-3d-blurayrental.com/default.asp I will

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post #9 of 39 Old 09-28-2017, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post
It's mindless popcorn silliness, but it looks and sounds amazing -- and if you think of it as a cartoon, and approach it as such, it's fun (though I agree it feels LONG).

I thought the UHD HDR looked good but I was surprised that a few large explosions lost detail and went to white. Is this what other folks are seeing? My tone mapping typically renders detail well into the 3000 nit range, I think, so I'm guessing this is just the way it was mastered.
I agree, it looks good for what it is, and it give your sound system a nice workout, but even if I try to think of it as a cartoon, it still can't seem to keep my attention past the 1 hour mark. It's like for example eating cotton candy or similar sugar snack, it's great at first, but after the 2nd or 3rd helping, you feel like you wanna puke due to sugar overload.

So even if I owned a 4K player, I wouldn't invest in something like this just because it sounds or looks great. If I were spending my $$ on 4K discs, I'd be much more selective in what I'm investing in.
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post #10 of 39 Old 09-28-2017, 11:18 AM
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I didn't even know that this had DV. Unfortunately, the most crucial piece of my chain (Sony X800) doesn't support DV.

This is a great looking movie in HDR. The fire, explosions and bright lights are a noticeable improvement over the Blu-ray version. The metallics, paint jobs on vehicles, etc. are also superior.
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post #11 of 39 Old 09-28-2017, 11:21 AM
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On a related note, the UHD versions of the other Transformers movies were announced for other regions. So hopefully, they'll come to the U.S. soon. Since they used variable aspect ratio in this movie, I hope they do the same to the other movies.
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post #12 of 39 Old 09-28-2017, 01:02 PM
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Thanks for another great review as usual Ralph. I think that your review may finally push me over the edge and get me to open an account with 3Dbluray rentals so that I can first rent the UHD version and see if I want to buy it or not!

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Thanks, @Ralph Potts . Already ordered.

However, did you forget some words about the Atmos audio?
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Thanks, @Ralph Potts . Already ordered.

However, did you forget some words about the Atmos audio?
Greetings,

Arrggh! It's been one of those days! Thanks for catching that. All set now..


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Only 94 on the video? Booo should be 99 at least IMO.
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Hi Ralph

I picked this up today luckily as 4k disc must be ordered 5 at a time or people are just buying them up when they see em, Which is a good thing for any format I suppose. I'll admit to not minding this one at all and for the most part liked it and that includes the few times Antony Hopkins garnered a laugh or two from me as I love the guy and it seemed he enjoyed himself a bit with this. Overall it seems the saga kinda moved forward a bit and didn't feel as though it was jumping all over the place but connected to the last installment. The video was a 100 and sheer reference beyond doubt for me, with some amazing clarity and some of the best overall image depth on disc. The atmos track more than makes up for Extinction with well placed effects that didn't leave me wanting as it was a good mix of pinpoint accuracy and ambient sounds and might I dare say had some variation form Mr. Bay in the bass, speaking of the bass was just pounding as expected but had discernible pitch and definition and weight.

I gotta give this baby a solid reference nod

Thanks for the review

Jeff
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post #17 of 39 Old 09-29-2017, 12:31 AM
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Hi Ralph

I picked this up today luckily as 4k disc must be ordered 5 at a time or people are just buying them up when they see em, Which is a good thing for any format I suppose. I'll admit to not minding this one at all and for the most part liked it and that includes the few times Antony Hopkins garnered a laugh or two from me as I love the guy and it seemed he enjoyed himself a bit with this. Overall it seems the saga kinda moved forward a bit and didn't feel as though it was jumping all over the place but connected to the last installment. The video was a 100 and sheer reference beyond doubt for me, with some amazing clarity and some of the best overall image depth on disc. The atmos track more than makes up for Extinction with well placed effects that didn't leave me wanting as it was a good mix of pinpoint accuracy and ambient sounds and might I dare say had some variation form Mr. Bay in the bass, speaking of the bass was just pounding as expected but had discernible pitch and definition and weight.

I gotta give this baby a solid reference nod

Thanks for the review

Jeff
good to read Jeff. My son and I are looking forward in watching this next week.
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post #18 of 39 Old 09-29-2017, 04:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnellTHX View Post
Only 94 on the video? Booo should be 99 at least IMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post
Hi Ralph

I picked this up today luckily as 4k disc must be ordered 5 at a time or people are just buying them up when they see em, Which is a good thing for any format I suppose. I'll admit to not minding this one at all and for the most part liked it and that includes the few times Antony Hopkins garnered a laugh or two from me as I love the guy and it seemed he enjoyed himself a bit with this. Overall it seems the saga kinda moved forward a bit and didn't feel as though it was jumping all over the place but connected to the last installment. The video was a 100 and sheer reference beyond doubt for me, with some amazing clarity and some of the best overall image depth on disc. The atmos track more than makes up for Extinction with well placed effects that didn't leave me wanting as it was a good mix of pinpoint accuracy and ambient sounds and might I dare say had some variation form Mr. Bay in the bass, speaking of the bass was just pounding as expected but had discernible pitch and definition and weight.

I gotta give this baby a solid reference nod

Thanks for the review

Jeff
Greetings,

Alright you guys. You make a good argument. I took another look at several scenes. Perhaps I was a bit stingy. Video rating adjusted..


Regards,
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post #19 of 39 Old 09-29-2017, 05:13 AM
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Only 94 on the video? Booo should be 99 at least IMO.
I concur. This looks better than The Shallows which received a 100 if I'm remembering correctly.
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post #20 of 39 Old 09-29-2017, 06:12 AM
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Grrr, i hate changing aspect ratio's during a movie...
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post #21 of 39 Old 09-29-2017, 06:19 AM
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I "enjoyed" the first one but these are one-view-only movies so I will be renting this one and not buying. I love action flicks but the last few of these were a bit thin on the plot side - to say the least!
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post #22 of 39 Old 09-30-2017, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tokerblue View Post
I didn't even know that this had DV. Unfortunately, the most crucial piece of my chain (Sony X800) doesn't support DV.

This is a great looking movie in HDR. The fire, explosions and bright lights are a noticeable improvement over the Blu-ray version. The metallics, paint jobs on vehicles, etc. are also superior.
to date, the DV movies on disc have had really no benefit when compared to the HDR10 counterpart. Also, like many others, the DV variant of some movies has lip sync problems (disc only, not streaming), so forcing HDR10 is not a bad idea.
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post #23 of 39 Old 09-30-2017, 11:24 AM
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With this one I watched it first before I read your review Ralph, I wanted to go into with a fresh start with out creating a biased impression, weather that impression was good or bad.

Unfortunately I found the story line disjointed and all over the place.
There was so much going on here I found it became almost tiresome at times to watch _ so many new characters introduced I found it difficult to get to know them intimately.
The term "watered down" seems to fit here.

And confusing; I was lead to believe that the "All Spark" cube was the creator of life for the Transformers, but in this one, that was over run with a new premise of Quintessa being the creator.
Maybe I was missing something here ??? Was she just convincing Optimus Prime that she was the creator ?
If this is so, this was not made very clear at all to me, just another reason why I think the story line is weak, and unexplained.

A movie can have top notch CGI and sound track, but in this case, it just wasn't enough to rescue this.
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post #24 of 39 Old 09-30-2017, 04:00 PM
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Just finished watching it and I thought the movie was awesome. The DV picture quality and the Atmos track were really good.
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post #25 of 39 Old 09-30-2017, 06:43 PM
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The 1080p presentation looks fantastic. Watched on a 5040ub. Beautiful presentation.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

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post #26 of 39 Old 09-30-2017, 08:18 PM
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Ralph, thanks for the review! On a side note how are you liking the TCL P? Does it get bright enough to appreciate HDR?
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post #27 of 39 Old 09-30-2017, 08:27 PM
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Just finished watching this - Sony Z9D and OPPO 203. Outstanding PQ one of the best I've seen in the UHD/HDR format.
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post #28 of 39 Old 09-30-2017, 09:29 PM
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Absolute HT blast! Great shut your brain off turn the sound up escape from reality for a few hours thrill ride. Fantastic blu ray PQ and HUGE audio with wave after wave of powerful LFE! Great HT ride!
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post #29 of 39 Old 10-01-2017, 02:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave-T View Post
Just finished watching it and I thought the movie was awesome. The DV picture quality and the Atmos track were really good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rupedogg24 View Post
The 1080p presentation looks fantastic. Watched on a 5040ub. Beautiful presentation.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
Quote:
Originally Posted by kinglm View Post
Just finished watching this - Sony Z9D and OPPO 203. Outstanding PQ one of the best I've seen in the UHD/HDR format.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe View Post
Absolute HT blast! Great shut your brain off turn the sound up escape from reality for a few hours thrill ride. Fantastic blu ray PQ and HUGE audio with wave after wave of powerful LFE! Great HT ride!
Greetings,

Sweeeet! Glad to hear that you guys enjoyed this A/V presentation as well...



Regards,
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post #30 of 39 Old 10-01-2017, 02:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Ralph, thanks for the review! On a side note how are you liking the TCL P? Does it get bright enough to appreciate HDR?
Greetings,

No problem so far..


Regards,
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