Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 9.0
Video 9.5
Audio 9.5
Special Features 10
Total 9.5

Distributor: Paramount
Running Time: 150 mins
Reviewer: Andrew Bistak
Review Date: November 2009
Classification
:
M15+

9.5


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

The smash blockbuster, TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN finally arrives on Blu-ray and DVD as Director Michael Bay once again returns us to this incredible universe that is bigger bolder and better than the original movie. To keep the consistency of the original 2007 movie, The Transformers, actors Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Isabel Lucas, Hugo Weaving, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro and Peter Cullen revisit their characters in this blockbuster extravaganza. And like the Batman movie, The Dark Knight, key sequences of this film were shot with IMAX cameras and even though the quality on Blu-ray is already stunning, when you see these scenes, the wow factor goes up another notch. 


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The movie, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen follows directly from the original 2007 movie, The Transformers, however the director ensures that there is enough back history for those who have not seen the original to not be disadvantaged. However, if you have seen the original movie, it makes the experience even more entertaining and a true rollercoaster ride.

For the uninitiated, the Transformers are a race of robotic aliens who have the ability to disguise themselves as cars, trucks and jets, hence their ability to integrate into our society. In essence they are shape shifters and when they transform, they become giant robots which is where the special effects of the movie comes into play.

With the nefarious and deadly Decepticons being defeated in the first movie, the Autobots have been working closely with the US Military to weed out the remnants of the Decepticons. Unfortunately peace is short lived as Starscream (Charles Adler) takes command of the Decepticons in order to resurrect their former leader Megatron (Hugo Weaving) and uncover an ancient secret that will not only see the destruction of the Autobots but also planet Earth, all under the auspice of The Fallen (Tony Todd).

From the very first moments of the movie, you immediately know that you are in for a treat from the spectacular opening sequence which involves a gigantic battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons in China. The special effects are of course the star of the movie and seeing these powerfully huge alien robots transform and battle each other to victory is reminiscent of the stories from ancient Greece with gods and other mythological creatures. From here the story moves onto Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) who is about to move to College, leaving his parents, his "pet" Autobot Bumblebee (Mark Ryan) and his perfect girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox) behind. Of course fate intervenes for young Witwicky and a Transformer shard in his possession is activated which causes him to be directly linked to ancient Transformer knowledge as he is unwittingly drawn into the war again.


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In relation to Megan Fox and her titillation factor, Director Michael Bay ensures that the viewer receives an almost music video approach to this star from her seductively undressing at the start, model like poses and sultry pouts throughout the movie. Without sounding crass, even when the battle heats up, there are plenty of shots of Megan’s body and unfortunately Mikaela seems to be along for the ride, offering male viewers the chance to see her in a variety of outfits on the big screen. There is a great moment in the movie where Mikaela captures one of the small Decepticons and this is where her character comes to life, not to mention the Decepticon humping her leg which was a great comedic moment.

The first half of the movie sets up the characters in the movie such as Alice (Australia's Isabel Lucas), a strange yet sensual vixen who tries to seduce Sam in college to retrieve his ancient knowledge or the return of more familiar faces such as the former Agent Simmons (John Turturro) who happens to have the most knowledge on Earth about Transformers thanks to his previous government agency. His character also provides some great comedy value with Sam's college roommate. Add in the Autobot twins and you have enough comedy littered through the movie to make most people laugh while their gasping at the action.

The love story between Sam and Mikaela is brought to a new level which adds in the stress of a long distance relationship and the clichι of Sam or Mikaela refusing to say "I love you" or Sam's parents who are looking forward to their new life without Sam, however deep down, they don't want their son to leave.


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The movie itself is virtually split into two chapters which revolves around Sam's reluctance to rejoin the war and then his transformation from unwilling hero to savior of the world. This unfortunately adds a slightly disjointed perspective on the movie midway and does make Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen a little lengthy at times. Thankfully the storyline and characters will immerse you enough into the story for this not to be a problem and once again it should be reiterated that this story is far superior and understandable than the original.

We are also treated to more of the history on the Transformers and there is a great scene involving the original Primes which adds some great fanboy fuel to the climatic ending. The battle between Optimis Prime (Peter Cullen) and Megatron (Hugo Weaving) is definitely the highlight of the movie as these two adversaries duke it out with metallic parts flying off each other from every violent punch and kick. In relation to the ending, the last part of the movie was filmed in Egypt and Petra as both Autobots and Decepticons engage in magnificent battle for supremacy as ancient buildings and people are caught in the crossfire and it's great to see the human forces "almost" hold their own against the villains. One gripe though, Petra in Jordon is not a car drive away from the Gaza where the pyramids are located outside of Cairo. Of course you need to suspend belief of giant robots as well!

The video quality on Blu-ray is full HD and looks spectacular on our LG high definition TV. Match that with true HD 5.1 Dolby Digital sound and hearing the battles or those Transformers "transform" and it's truly a treat for all the senses. The transfer to Blu-ray is perfect and we could not detect any issues whatsoever with strong black levels, perfect colours and sharp images. Apart from the great movie, the Blu-ray version features the definitive collection of special features from in-depth commentary by Michael Bay, a plethora of featurettes, music videos, marketing information and even some really cool 3D models of the Transformers and this is one mighty impressive collection of special features.

Final thoughts

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen may not be the perfect movie but for an action flick, it's pretty damn close as it contains all the elements from drama, action, comedy and romance, all set in the amazing mythology of The Transformers. It's refreshing and partly cool to see a movie that makes mention of President Obama and even the sensationalised swine flu, ensuring that the film mirrors the real-world, assisting in throwing all your disbelief out the window of giant robots for a couple of hours.


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Of course, on Blu-ray, like IMAX, the movie looks quite spectacular which features a fun story, great special effects and some truly riveting special features. This is one Blu-ray disc that is a must have for any collection. Highly Recommended by Impulse Gamer!

Special Features

Disc One:

  • Commentary by Michael Bay, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman

Disc Two:

  • The Human Factor: Exacting Revenge of the Fallen — This multi-chapter documentary chronicles the entire creation of the film and includes interviews with the cast and crew:

  • Seeds of Vengeance: Development and Design - After the overwhelming success of 2007's Transformers, how do the filmmakers top themselves for the sequel?

  • Domestic Destruction – Production: United States - Michael Bay believes in going big: Big action and big explosions. Cast and crew are pushed to the limit as they traverse the U.S. from New Mexico to Pennsylvania

  • Joint Operations – Production: Military - No other filmmaker in the world enjoys the kind of military access and cooperation Michael Bay has. Here we see just how efficient our armed forces are and the awe and respect shown by the cast

  • Wonders of the World – Production: Middle East - You can't really reproduce Egypt anywhere but Egypt so off we go to Giza and Luxor

  • Start Making Sense: Editing - In order to turn over the massive amount of film as quickly as possible to VFX, four editors work tirelessly in a unique tag-team approach to shape the film

  • Under the Gun: Visual Effects – Revenge of the Fallenfeatures the most complicated VFX in film history. So complicated in fact that the filmmakers were unsure they would make the deadline. The DEVASTATOR VFX alone required 83% of ILM's total render farm capacity

  • Running the Gauntlet: Post-Production and Release: - Working seven days a week, Michael Bay and company usher the film through sound design, Digital Intermediate color-timing and a globe-trotting whirlwind of premieres

  • A Day with Bay: Tokyo — An intimate and fun all-access journey with Michael Bay as he travels to Tokyo, Japan tor the world premiere of the biggest film of the year

  • 25 Years of TRANSFORMERS — Access an all-new featurette celebrating a monumental milestone for one of Hasbro's most successful and popular franchises

  • NEST: Transformer Data-Hub — Explore conceptual artwork created by the production for 12 of the most popular AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS from the film

  • Deconstructing Visual Bayhem with Commentary by Pre-Vis Supervisor Steve Yamamoto — A series of multi-angle pre-visualization sequences allowing viewers to learn how some of the film's most spectacular scenes were created with an introduction by Michael Bay.

  • Extended Scenes

  • Music Video: "New Divide" by Linkin Park

Blu-ray Exclusive

  • The ALLSPARK Experiment — Viewers get their chance to unleash the power of the recently recovered ALLSPARK shard on Earth vehicles. Begin by selecting and customizing a vehicle with a selection of parts and accessories. Then apply the ALLSPARK to this creation and watch what happens. Applying the ALLSPARK to certain custom combinations enables four new robot characters with special powers. If viewers discover all four, they unlock a fifth vehicle, which reveals a top secret message about the future of the TRANSFORMERS movie franchise

  • NEST: Transformer Data-Hub — A database of some of the TRANSFORMERS characters that appear in the new film, offering users access to each robot's confidential file including:
    - Innovative 3-D spin galleries of each robot
    - A timeline for each TRANSFORMERS character charting its origins, back story and design evolution from toys to animated series to comics and finally feature films

  • Giant Effing Movie – A very personal look at the making of the movie

  • The Matrix of Marketing — An archive of the film's promotional media including trailers, posters and television spots.






 
 



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