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Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 284
Thread Starter 
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109939&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

100






Studio and Year: Paramount - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 154 minutes
Genre: Action/Sci-Fi

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, English 5.1Discrete Dolby Digital, French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Shia LaBeouf , Rosie Huntington-Whiteley , Josh Duhamel , Tyrese Gibson , Patrick Dempsey , John Malkovich , John Turturro , Alan Tudyk, Ken Jeong , Frances McDormand , Leonard Nimoy , Peter Cullen , Hugo Weaving
Directed by: Michael Bay
Music by: Steve Jablonsky
Written by: Ehren Krueger
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 30, 2011







"Mankind's finest achievement, our nation's proudest moment. A secret hidden for forty years"



Film Synopsis:

A mysterious event from Earth's past threatens to ignite a war so big that the TRANSFORMERS™ alone will not be able to save the planet. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and the AUTOBOTS must fight against the darkness to defend our world from the DECEPTICONS' all-consuming evil in the smash hit from director Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg.



My Take:

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 him. I was a teenager when 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. Needless to say 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 has 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 a teenage boy, Sam Witwicky, is befriended by the Autobots and joins them in their fight against the evil Decepticons. Over the first two installments in the series the truth about the ancient origins of the Transformers, is revealed and we learn more about the war, the players and their history (and its relevance with respect to events in our own history). Sam, along with a select group of U.S. Military/government personnel and civilians play an integral role in assisting the Autobots with putting down the Decepticon threat. Unfortunately the Decepticons and their leader Megatron won’t easily give up their quest for the destruction of the Autobots and dominion over the Earth.

Transformers 2 Revenge of the fallen wasn’t terrible but compared to the original it was largely disappointing. The announcement of Transformers Dark of the moon didn’t hold out much hope for better so once again I opted to catch it when it made its way to Blu-ray. There was a bit of buzz surrounding the departure of Megan Fox from the cast. I thought she was okay in the first two films but didn’t see her leaving as a big problem and it wasn’t. In this third installment we once again see the uprising of the Decepticons and learn of Earth’s detection of an alien landing on the moon (during the Kennedy Administration) which served as the true impetus for the space race and moon landing. There is a tie in to those events in our history as well as the alien war which leads to the discovery of an ancient plot by the Decepticons the key of which lies on the dark side of the moon. Of course things unfold pretty much as you might expect with Optimus and his Autobots squaring off against Megatron and his minions. There are some new faces on both sides of the alien and human equations while many of the characters return from the previous films.

Let’s be honest, no one should sit down to watch these movies expecting grandiose storytelling, inspirational performances and original themes. We are in it for the action plain and simple. All we ask is for a fairly cohesive script, credible characters and rewarding mindless entertainment. I think that Transformers Dark of the Moon manages to deliver that and is certainly a better film experience than Revenge of the fallen. The cast is a little top heavy with supporting roles filled by Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey, Leonard Nimoy, Alan Tudyk, and Ken Jeong, but it works out well enough. Returning cast members, Shia LeBeouf, Josh DuHamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Peter Cullen and Hugo Weaving do well in reprising their respective roles. I wasn’t impressed by newcomer Rosie Huntington-Whiteley who added little but took nothing away. The real star of this show is the dazzling special effects which are incredibly seamless and engaging to watch. For me this is the kind of popcorn entertainment that I like to revisit from time to time. It doesn‘t have a higher purpose or require strict attention to detail. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.



Parental Guide:

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






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.**


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


Audio: 100



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: Detail:%20%3Cimg%20src=

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699



Video: 100


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


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Transformers Dark of the Moon comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel sound that has an average bitrate of 4.3 Mbps.

This is reference quality video presentation that simply looks stunning. Images are impeccably detailed with enriching transparency and three dimensional depth that seems to reach as far as the eye can see. Detail perception is nearly flawless with lucid visual acuity and fine rendering throughout. The extensive palette of colors, are vibrant, deeply saturated and visually stimulating. Primary colors are particularly striking which made the various blues and reds really pop. Flesh tones are tonally natural with appreciable delineation among the varied complexional types in the cast. Blacks are deep and rich, with extended dynamic range that compliments visual depth. Contrast is strong which emboldens colors and bright sequences without compromise to fidelity. Shadow delineation is equally impressive which provided a near infinite level of depth perception to dark backgrounds and low lit scenes. On occasion the mix of film/digital photography seems to soften some shots but its effects are innate and considering the amount if CGI I found the integration of live action/effects to be excellent. The end result is a superb looking Blu-ray presentation that delivers high level detail, razor sharpness and resolute definition that brings out the lifelike textures captured by the camera lens.

This 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is not only of reference quality but is among the best surround sound experiences I have had in my theater room. I was treated to an impeccably detailed, powerfully dynamic, and demonstrative surround sound presentation infused with multi-layered sound effects and bolstered by a mix that makes effective and aggressive use of the surround channels to elongate the front soundstage to reproduce the spatial and discrete sounds of this demanding soundtrack. The front and rear sound fields are integrated with precision which enables a seamless transference during panning sequences. The listening position is submerged into a 360 degree web of sound that is sometimes riveting as it bombards the senses with a combination of well placed effects and ambience. Dialogue is supremely articulated with excellent focus, clarity and descriptive intonation. The extended dynamic range of the recording coupled with the inherently higher resolution of lossless audio renders the bombastic nature of battle with superlative high level sonics and authoritative bass transients that are deep, powerful and sometimes timber rattling. I love deep, clean, powerful bass and this track delivers it in spades. Low frequency effects can be substantial and occasionally reach seismic levels that will test the limits of lesser subwoofers. As viewers I think we sometimes miss some of the intricacies that go into the design of soundtracks such as this. Not so in this case as even seemingly inconspicuous minutia within the recording is detectable. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute with terrific soundtrack.

Transformers Dark of the Moon on Blu-ray is truly demonstrative worthy and is sure to please even demanding audio and videophiles.



Bonus Features:


There are no bonus supplements included with this release. Paramount states that a deluxe edition offering including supplemental material and Blu-ray 3D is due in the coming months.





Final Thoughts:

Transformers Dark of the Moon is the third installment in the Transformer film franchise. It doesn’t quite live up to the original however it improves upon the disappointing Revenge of the fallen and makes for the kind of rewarding popcorn entertainment that action junkies like myself enjoy revisiting from time to time. I had high hopes for its audio/video presentation on Blu-ray Disc and am happy to report that it looks marvelous in high definition. I was blown away by its 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack which is among the best surround sound experiences I have had in my theater room. Bonus material is noticeably absent and is promised on an upcoming deluxe Blu-ray release from Paramount which will include 3D. If those things aren’t important to you the choice is obvious. Heck even if they are this is worth picking for now because it looks and sounds THAT good. Enjoy!




UPDATE ADDED BY DAVID BOTT 10/6/11
Below is a video of Sound Mixer, Greg P. Russell you may enjoy. In the video, Greg chats about the stunning 7.1 surround mix and the explosive special effects Transformers: Dark of the Moon unleashes on Blu-ray in Dolby TrueHD 7.1. Dolby provided us with this for our readers. Thanks Dolby.

Direct Link... http://vimeo.com/29745810

Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Interview with Transformers: Dark of the Moon re-recording mixer, Greg Russell from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
post #2 of 284
Thanks Ralph. This looks like a must own. Can't wait til comes out.
post #3 of 284
Not a big fan of this franchise, but 100s, I can't pass that up.
post #4 of 284
Guess this pretty much sums it up that this movie is a must own!!

Thought the story dragged a bit when it could've been shorter. Special effects were fantastic and the action scenes were great!

I was drooling over the car scene where they showcased the classic ones. The SLS wasn't bad either. Rosie was icing on the cake. lol
post #5 of 284
Thanks Ralph--I have this as an Amazon Pre-Order--guess I'll keep it--hard to pass up those 100s. I think most of us don't expect Academy-level storytelling with this franchise but the action mixed with the PQ and AQ will make it a nice addition to my library.
post #6 of 284
Might have to pick this up used on that popular auction site.
post #7 of 284
Thanks Ralph! I just pre-ordered based on your review...

BTW, how can this title score a 1/2 star for extras when there are no bonus features? For the DVD and DC I suppose?
post #8 of 284
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laugsbach View Post

Thanks Ralph! I just pre-ordered based on your review...

BTW, how can this title score a 1/2 star for extras when there are no bonus features? For the DVD and DC I suppose?

Greetings,

That and the half star rating is the lowest in my rating scale..

Regards,
post #9 of 284
I've seen other sites recommend this disc as reference level, so I was looking forward to your review. Thanks! 100/100 definitely makes this a must-have for my collection.

I'll have to rent this one for a night of viewing fun, and then wait it out until the more fleshed-out release comes out. Special features are a big part of why I want to own. (I don't care about the 3D aspect, though, shame that will jack up the price, but I suppose if it's way too severe I can always pick up the original release instead, perhaps even used at that point, and save some money for other movies.)
post #10 of 284
Wow.....cant wait to see/hear this blu ray!
post #11 of 284
I will def be picking this up, movie was great in the theatre in 3D and I cant wait to tick my wife off by cranking it up really loud at home!
post #12 of 284
Thanks Ralph. Your review makes my personal decision that much harder now . I too am quite the action junky but I found my breaking point with TF2, which to this day I still have not purchased simply because I felt it was a terrible movie. Overall I have heard better things about this movie, and with a 100 scoring from you, it seems I gotta really consider if I should go for this title, or more realistically go ahead and pick up both TF2 and TF3 to complete the set. (Can't own only two movies of a trilogy now can ya??)
post #13 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by BAdz View Post

Thanks Ralph. Your review makes my personal decision that much harder now . I too am quite the action junky but I found my breaking point with TF2, which to this day I still have not purchased simply because I felt it was a terrible movie. Overall I have heard better things about this movie, and with a 100 scoring from you, it seems I gotta really consider if I should go for this title, or more realistically go ahead and pick up both TF2 and TF3 to complete the set. (Can't own only two movies of a trilogy now can ya??)

Actually, with this particular trilogy, I think we could make an exception! I don't own TF2 either, and even though I never got around to seeing this one in the theater, I could see myself buying it, and leaving Revenge of the Fallen out of my collection.
post #14 of 284
Can't wait to pick this up next week
post #15 of 284
TF2 was pretty bad. I can't see myself ever watching it again. I did enjoy TF1 though.
post #16 of 284
I wish we had an idea what those promised "soon" extras were. I care not for 3D... and honestly don't watch a lot of the extras anyway, outside of deleted scenes or outtakes.

I would like this movie now, since I didn't see it yet... and for the price it is going for, I'm afraid it will cost much more and I'll be forced to buy the 3D version to get extras anyway.
post #17 of 284
I may be the only one who loves both TF1 and TF2. The action keeps you on your toes, Meagan Fox made me weak at the knees, and the one liners from the parents and cast kept me lol! Just a set of fun entertaining movies.

Looking forward to getting the third from Amazon. Thanks for the great review...
post #18 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by trek737 View Post

I may be the only one who loves both TF1 and TF2. The action keeps you on your toes, Meagan Fox made me weak at the knees, and the one liners from the parents and cast kept me lol! Just a set of fun entertaining movies.

Looking forward to getting the third from Amazon. Thanks for the great review...

You might be. TF2 made me restless when in the theater. Don't get me wrong, the trailers and promotions are great, I was hyped up and Fandango'd a midnight ticket, even the beginning Hong Kong scene was good enough to leave my mouth agape (as well as the forest battle)... but the movie was poor outside of it.

I was ashamed to say it too, because I tried to drag my sister along the entire way (though she wanted to sleep), and I didn't want to spill the beans that I admit I was wrong with how terrible TF2 was, and how she much would have preferred sleep over it. I already had to apologize to her for bringing her to see Spider-Man 3, and it could've happened again.

TF3 wasn't exactly brought back to TF1 form, but it repaired most of what was wrong with TF2. Yes, Ken Jeong and John Malkovich had characters that belonged more in TF2, and John Turturro's character hasn't been good since he was a part of S7, but they spent less time on the parents, little robots, and poor slapstick humor and gave us what TF2 probably should have been in the first place. In fact, except for mentioning Egypt at all, TF2 could have easily been forgotten/skipped over, and TF1 - TF3 would have been just as coherent of a story as this franchise would allow to have anyway.
post #19 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by trek737 View Post

I may be the only one who loves both TF1 and TF2. The action keeps you on your toes, Meagan Fox made me weak at the knees, and the one liners from the parents and cast kept me lol! Just a set of fun entertaining movies.

Looking forward to getting the third from Amazon. Thanks for the great review...

Your not the only one. The 2nd still has some great action scenes even though some people may not like the movie. The movies would not be the same without Peter Cullen.
post #20 of 284
Well, I'm glad to see they have given you a copy to review Ralph! I remember when TF2 was coming out, I was so excited to see your review and heart broken to read that you were not going to be posting one.

I'm sure it's exactly like you said in some of your posts; because they knew we'd buy it anyways. One thing that we all share in common, is that we love movies; not just the stories in those movies, but the PQ and AQ. I think TF2 if worth owning for those two assets alone. I don't watch it straight through, but I love demoing scenes for friends (and myself). Although one question that I always think of - at the end, when The Fallen is planning on destroying our sun, wouldn't that cause extreme colds here on Earth that would freeze all the transformers? I know there are other issues with the movie, but that's the part that gets me the most.

I'm definately going to be buying TF3 and had planned to all along. Your reviews have a very large impact on us all, and I'm very happy to see the scores!

Josh
post #21 of 284
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh's HT View Post

Well, I'm glad to see they have given you a copy to review Ralph! I remember when TF2 was coming out, I was so excited to see your review and heart broken to read that you were not going to be posting one.

I'm sure it's exactly like you said in some of your posts; because they knew we'd buy it anyways. One thing that we all share in common, is that we love movies; not just the stories in those movies, but the PQ and AQ. I think TF2 if worth owning for those two assets alone. I don't watch it straight through, but I love demoing scenes for friends (and myself). Although one question that I always think of - at the end, when The Fallen is planning on destroying our sun, wouldn't that cause extreme colds here on Earth that would freeze all the transformers? I know there are other issues with the movie, but that's the part that gets me the most.

I'm definately going to be buying TF3 and had planned to all along. Your reviews have a very large impact on us all, and I'm very happy to see the scores!

Josh

Greetings,

Thank you so much Josh. Your comments are very much appreciated.

Regards,
post #22 of 284
Great news on the AQ & PQ but will wait for the special edition
post #23 of 284
"Let’s be honest, no one should sit down to watch these movies expecting grandiose storytelling, inspirational performances and original themes. We are in it for the action plain and simple. All we ask is for a fairly cohesive script, credible characters and rewarding mindless entertainment."

Im so glad Ralph pointed this out as an 80's baby i grew up watching the cartoons and playing with the toys so i can see most people that JUST sat down to watch these movies and not truly understanding and not finding the story line compelling to hold there attention. but as the child in me I LOVE THEM ALL !!! a buy for me !
post #24 of 284
I'll wait until it is out in Redbox! Not a big fan at all!
post #25 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Let's be honest, no one should sit down to watch these movies expecting grandiose storytelling, inspirational performances and original themes. We are in it for the action plain and simple. All we ask is for a fairly cohesive script, credible characters and rewarding mindless entertainment. I think that Transformers Dark of the Moon manages to deliver that and is certainly a better film experience than Revenge of the fallen.

Ralph,

I watch these movies for the documentaries that they are! Currently being stationed overseas and traveling through Qatar, I keep looking for proof of the destruction, but cannot find it...

Great review, looks like one I must add to my collection. Do you think holding off for a while might be a good idea? As I heard there may be another version coming along shortly with more extras.

Zach
post #26 of 284
Must buy for me, I'll buy almost anything that scores a 94+ with Ralph.
post #27 of 284
Thanks for the review Ralph. Another must have for me in part because of your review. As far as LFE goes, does this surpass Tron or HTTYD?
post #28 of 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratm View Post

Thanks for the review Ralph. Another must have for me in part because of your review. As far as LFE goes, does this surpass Tron or HTTYD?

Or Thor?
post #29 of 284
While I agree with Ralph on the A/V quality (freaking perfect), I think 3/5 is a little too generous. Like the first film (didn't see the second), it's waaaaay too long at 2.5 hours, the acting is below-par (especially the new hottie...great eye candy, ****** actress), and by the editing is atrocious. By the end of the movie I didn't care who lived or died, I just wanted it to end!
post #30 of 284
Thanks for the review Ralph.
I have one criteria for an action film...entertain me...that's it. I don't expect a National Geographic documentary special but I do expect, as others have said, a decent, coherent story line, reasonable acting and great action.

I did enjoy T2...I treat these as a cartoon...
I'll look for Dark of the Moon...thanks again.
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