Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

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Released 10-Nov-2011

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 148:04
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Michael Bay
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Shia LaBeouf
Josh Duhamel
John Turturro
Tyrese Gibson
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Patrick Dempsey
Rich Hutchman
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Steve Jablonsky


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Hindi Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Danish
English
Hindi
Dutch
Norwegian
Finnish
Swedish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     There is no doubt that the new Transformers movies have been box office gold for Michael Bay. This latest one has now hit Number 4 on the all-time worldwide gross chart taking well over $1.1 billion at the global box office, outstripping the massive success of the first two globally (#45 & #28 respectively). The real question is, does that success translate into quality? Well, to my mind this third film is the best of the series to date and an excellent action film. It is exciting, has a better story than the first two films, features some amusing moments and shows off some great special effects and action sequences.

     This time the story opens with Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf) living in Washington DC with his new girlfriend, Carly (model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) looking in vain for a job. He cannot tell potential employers about his achievements in the two previous films so is struggling to stand out from other applicants. Meanwhile, Bumblebee and the other Autobots are roaming the world, conducting missions to protect the planet. Carly works for Dylan Gould (Patrick Dempsey), who runs an extremely well-resourced car museum. It becomes known to Optimus Prime that a Cybertronian spaceship crashed on the moon in the 1960s and the space race was all about trying to get to that ship. He feels betrayed that this has been hidden from him and decides to go to the moon to retrieve its cargo which ends up being his predecessor as commander of the Autobots, Sentinel Prime and a secret weapon. Based on a recommendation from Dylan, Sam gets a job at a software company run by Bruce Brazos (John Malkovich). Of course, not everything is as it seems and soon the Autobots are in trouble, betrayed by humans and on the run from the Decepticons with Sam wrapped up in the action again. There are also appearances by Frances McDormand as a CIA agent, the very amusing Alan Tudyk as the new right hand man of ex-agent Simmons (John Turturro) and Buzz Aldrin as himself.

     One of the strengths of this film, besides the amazing effects and action sequences, is that way the story ties in events in history such as the Moon Landing and Chernobyl to the story. I thought it really worked and made for an interesting story. On the negative side, the second act was a bit too long and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is not a good enough actress for the amount of talking screen time she gets. Malkovich plays a really bizarre character that is nearly inexplicable in the way he shows up during the story. Having said that, this film is obviously about the action and there is certainly lots of that and it is state of the art. Some of the sequences towards the end of the film are truly amazing and action fans will lap it up. Even the big claim on the box "The Best Action Movie Ever!" is sort of understandable. This film will not appeal to arty film critics as evidenced by Margaret & David's reviews of it, however action fans and those who enjoy their entertainment big and full of great special effects will love this film.

     If you like this sort of film, you will love Transformers: Dark of the Moon!

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is excellent for DVD. The feature is presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture was very clear and sharp throughout. Shadow detail was excellent. The colour is magnificent throughout, but I am sure the Blu-ray would absolutely blow its socks off.

     There were a few minor MPEG compression artefacts and a little aliasing style shimmer here and there.

     There are subtitles in Danish, English, Hindi, Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish and English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read.

    There was a very obvious layer change during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is excellent for DVD, one of the best I have reviewed. This disc contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kb/s) plus an English Audio Descriptive track in Dolby Digital 2.0 and a Hindi 5.1 soundtrack.

     Dialogue was very easy to understand except where it was intentionally drowned out by action sound effects.

     The music by Steve Jablonsky is very good, very suitable for the film and quite heroic.

     The surround speakers were in constant use from the start of the film, with lots of directional effects, shooting and lots of atmosphere. Excellent for DVD. The subwoofer was also used throughout for explosions, action scenes and music support.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

   

     Nothing, Nada, Zip.

Menu

       The menu featured an intro, scenes from the film and music.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region 1 DVD also seems to be a bare bones affair, as it the Blu-ray. Draw.

Summary

     The best film of the Transformers series to date.

     The video quality is excellent. The audio quality is excellent.

     No extras at all, not even an interview with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley about her character's 'motivations'.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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