Transformers 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
It’s strange revisiting the first Transformers film since so much has happened to the franchise in the last decade. Shia LaBeouf had a complete meltdown, Megan Fox burned the Michael Bay bridge and Michael Bay has made a few completely incoherent and ridiculous Transformers sequels. This might be a stretch, but I still enjoy the original TRANSFORMERS movie. Sure, the plot is a little convoluted, but LaBeouf is a fun lead, Fox looks beautiful and the film has enough action to keep the audience entertained.
We’re introduced to two competing races of transforming robots. The heroic Autobots, lead by Optimus Prime and the evil Decepticons, lead by Megatron. Their battle leads them to Earth, where they’re searching for the Allspark. That’s where we meet Sam Whitwicky (LaBeouf), a teenager struggling in high school and drooling over Mikaela (Fox). It turns out that there’s a map to the Allspark etched on Sam’s grandfather’s glasses and Sam gets thrust into the giant robot war.
It’s easy to make fun of Shia LaBeouf now, but even with his crazy off-camera antics, I still think he’s a very talented actor. In TRANSFORMERS, he does a great job of selling the drama and acting as the one thing in the film everyone can relate to. He grounds the film in a universe that’s somehow believable, even if it’s dominated by giant, transforming robots. Megan Fox does her part as portraying the object of every school boy’s fantasy. Everything in the film is geared towards teenage boys and even though that might sound like a setup for an insult, I’m still amazed Michael Bay could accomplish that without coming off as sexist or insulting to anyone (except maybe screenwriters, but that’s a different issue).
The plots of the Transformers films is always the punchline, but the script of the first film is clearly the most thought out and efficient. At no point did I question what was happening or why it was happening, which is something I can’t say about any of the other films. But the most refreshing thing about TRANSFORMERS, especially after the atrocity that was THE LAST KNIGHT, is that Bay seems to be mostly held in check. The action is fun but not obnoxious and the effects are impressive without being dominant. For this film at least, there’s a human element that permeates throughout the film and it serves to ground the story and reduce the eye-rolling.
No one will mistake the Transformers films for masterpieces, but the first film is enjoyable for what it is. The goal is to bring the childhood fantasy of every thirty and forty-something to life and with that in mind, Michael Bay succeeds. The first film is easily the best of the franchise and still makes for a fun ride.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: I wasn’t expecting much from a decade old, CGI-heavy film, but I found myself very impressed with the 4K UHD of TRANSFORMERS pretty consistently. Bay’s style looks amazing on the new format and the rich, bold colors come through very nicely. Every scene is crystal clear and even though the first Blu-ray looked great, the 4K is an upgrade in every measurable facet. The closeups and backgrounds look significantly better, as do the night scenes, but the “wow” factor comes in during any daytime, brightly lit scene. This is a great looking 4K and Paramount has definitely put in some time to make this look as good as it does.
Audio: The Dolby Atmos track is equally impressive. The only thing Bay loves more than shiny things are loud things and this Dolby Atmos track proves that.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
There are no special features exclusive to the 4K, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film.