From director Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg
comes a thrilling battle between the AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS.
When their epic struggle comes to Earth, all that stands out
between the evil DECEPTICONS and ultimate power is a clue
held by Sam Witwicky. Join the fight for mankind in the extraordinary
it or not, the year 2007 is TRANSFORMERS year. After years
of waiting, fans finally get the chance to relive their childhood
on the big screen.
have been going on since Michael Bay attached himself to the
project, long-rumoured Steven Spielberg ended up being a producer
onboard. I for one surfed the Transformers’ fans forums
and boards regularly thus the talkback was fast and ferocious
whenever designs of the bots were leaked or any changes to
the characters in the original TV series were made. I recalled
Bumblebee was the first to be seen. The complicated mechanical
parts that were protruding didn’t convince me and the
face was simply contorted. Worse, Bumblebee was no longer
the bug. Bay was lashed online and threats were made. Things
went on the same manner till the first teaser was out. To
be frank, it did helped to settle things a little. Shots of
Prime, Bumblebee, Skorponok were seen and this got everyone
excited about the final product.
not necessarily the best director in town but you got to admit
he’s the best in the field of explosive mega-effects
genre and this precisely makes Spielberg handpicked him to
attach to “Transformers” because this is what
“Transformers” need. Bay is not a strong storyteller
either and “Armageddon” and “Pearl Harbor”
shows. You might not recall what kind of love Ben Affleck
entangled himself in but I’m sure the bombing sequences
in the latter were a blast to watch. You can summarise the
plot of “Tranformers” in a line or so and still,
you need 143 minutes to tell it. Why? Because fans liked us
just want to see more of them onscreen. The long duration
allows Bay to concoct his action pursuits and also tangle
the appetites of every fanboy in the world.
believe Industrial Light and Magic did such an amazing job
of creating the transforming effects and the crazy detailing
of the vehicles. Bay even boasts in the commentary that he
did a much better job than Lucas. Much of the battles were
done in the day and towards the final battle in the city,
you can virtually see crumbling buildings, flipping automobiles
and flying debris and explosions as the giant robots fought
their war in every angle. The detailing is just insane.
are really that particular about good story plotting then
I guessed “Transformers” is simply devoid of that.
Using the human angle of Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) whose
grandfather possess a pair of spectacles which can pinpoint
the location of the Allspark which the evil Decepticons are
trying to lay their hands on, the story alternates between
Sam and a group of U.S. marines who themselves are fighting
against the Decepticons. To make matters worse, we have a
love interest in the form of the gorgeous Mikeaela (newcomer
Megan Fox) whose closeup shots of her nice pair of legs and
flat abs does delayed the pacing a little.
are many other characters as well, Anthony Anderson as a hacker,
Australian pretty girl Rachel Taylor, John Turturro’s
Agent character and Jon Voight as Secretary of Defense. None
crucial to the plot but mainly eye-candy or to bluntly put,
serves as fillers to the clunky plot. Why not devote the time
to the various Decepticons which have so little time onscreen,
they had zero character developments and fan favourite, Starscream
serves mainly as a cameo. And worse, he looked liked a gigantic
housefly! Bonecrusher, Barricade, Devastator etc. You got
the names but there isn’t any focus on them.
obvious bad point is Bay tried to add a little funky and cool
feel to the Autobots by having them spout cheesy dialogue
and Jazz even break into hip-hop. Didn’t Bay know that
Autobots are already cool enough without those accessories?
Bay even brought his brand of Bayisms even further by introducing
Frenzy, sort of a poor cousin of Soundwave. Entirely play
for laughs and for the kiddos. But he did the right thing
by bringing Peter Cullen back to voice Uncle Prime and Hugo
Weaving was surprisingly good being Megatron.
the numerous flaws, Bay has created one of the best popcorn
movies in recent years. Loud, entertaining and totally mindless,
the perfect ingredients for a summer blockbuster. We just
hope that he improved on the flaws in the planned sequel,
listen to the fans a bit more and dump his android-size ego.
There are 3 versions of TRANSFORMERS DVD available
not counting the HD-DVD version. The barebone version, the
2-disc special edition and the transforming version. Mine
is the latter, housed inside a flimsy transparent plastic
box, the transforming version comes in the form of Optimus
Prime. Flip the head and open up the hands and legs to bring
you good old Prime. The 2 DVDs are placed behind his back
for info. A neat addition to your toy collection or DVD collection.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
The special features on disc two runs to a total
duration of over 120 minutes. But strangely, there seems to
be a whole chuck of stuff missing for such an effects-filled
blockbuster. Come on, it’s TRANSFORMERS! ILM and Digital
Domain who did the effects weren’t prominently featured
at all. Look along the line of “Star Wars” or
even “Spider-Man 3” to get what I’m trying
to say. I smell a triple-disc edition brewing closer to the
If you are not a fan of Michael Bay or a fan of how Bay treated
the Transformers’ materials, I suggest you can skip
the Commentary with Director Michael Bay.
Bay comes across as cocky, overly-confident and egoistic.
No doubt he made a few good choices but it’s a little
hard to feel that he’s respecting the fans much. There
are constant thoughts coming out from him on how he shot the
movie and also he did mentioned a little about the sequel.
Not a bad commentary track, it is just Bay that you might
find hard to click.
features are divided into mainly 3 sections and into smaller
featurettes, you can view them separately or at one go. Under
OUR WORLD, first up is The Story
Sparks (8:34), Producer Steven Spielberg and director
Michael Bay and representatives from Hasbro talks about the
origins of the story and the process of how the movie is developed.
We have Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel and rest of
the cast talks about the movie in Human Allies (13:11)
and in here, you can have a glimpse of some deleted moments
as well. You don’t really want to miss out on the Army
when you hire them for “technical advice” on a
movie set. In I Fight Giant Robots (14),
we took a look at how some of the cast such as Tyrese and
Duhamel went through basic military training prior to shooting.
Ever wondered how they shoot those massive explosive sequences?
Now you can see them in Battleground (13:36),
a feature that will get your adrenalin running though you
are not on the actual sets.
this is where things get a little more interesting. The second
segment is called THEIR WAR. The history
of Transformers traces back to Japan, in Rise of the
Robots (13:40) we get to hear how Hasbro took over
and created an universe for the transforming robots and also
fans talk fondly about the original cartoon series when they
were interviewed in Botcon 2007. Bay even mentioned about
the casting of the original voices for Megatron and Optimus.
For Autobots Roll Out (20), Bay talks about
the selection of the various car models for the Autobots sponsored
mainly by GMC. Why didn’t he retain the Beatle for Bumblebee?
Because he feels it’s too similar to the love bug. The
new Camaro 2008 do seems like a good choice for Bumblebee
in the end. Mmmm…
Decepticons Strike (14:33) is the opposite
of the previous feature. This time round, the focus is on
the military vehicles which apparently are Decepticons in
disguise. Here, Bay also talks about his version of “Soundwave”,
the yucky Frenzy. Inside the Allspark (16:58)
talks about the various effect techniques used to enhance
the vehicles for the movie.
THAN MEETS THE EYE is a nice feature which delves
mainly on The Skorponok Desert Attack (8:52).
We get to see how Bay and his team conceptualized the attack
sequence from the beginning to the shooting process. The hot
weather at New Mexico and plenty of explosions etc. It’s
all covered here.
art Concepts and the movie teaser trailer
and trailers round up the features on Disc Two. There are
at least 2 Easter Eggs to be found. One featuring
a cheesy-looking Michael Bay’s Transformers figure.
Some diehard fans can’t wait to burn it.
Although most of us might complaint that there are too much
elements going onscreen that certain scenes are a blur however
you won’t be complaining about the visual of the DVD.
Simply stunning beyond words and has the most detailed transfer
ever. I don’t think you will miss any of the mechanisms
during the transformation sequences. Colours are also vibrant
and bright. Notably, this is not a HD-DVD we are reviewing.
can’t expect the speakers to go on a day off in a Michael
Bay’s movie. Sound is aggressive during the action sequences
but dialogue remains highly audible. The Dolby Digital 5.1
is almost in perfect synchronization with the robots.
by Linus Tee