DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Michael Bay
Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, Frances McDormand, Ken Jeong, John Malkovich, John Turturro, Peter Cullen
Writing Credits:
Ehren Kruger

Earth's Last Stand

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.

Box Office:
$195 million
Opening Weekend
$97,400,000 on 4,013 Screens
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
English Audio Description
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 154 min.
Price: $22.98
Release Date: 9/30/2011

• None


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Transformers: Dark of the Moon [Blu-Ray] (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 23, 2014)

With 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the “trilogy” started in 2007 and continued in 2009 comes to a close. As usual, we follow the battles between “good” alien robots called Autobots and “evil” mechanoids called Decepticons.

At the start, we learn that the Autobots had one final chance to win the war against the Decepticons but they lost important cogs placed on a ship referred to as “The Ark”. In 1961, the Ark crashes on Earth’s moon, and that triggers the US commitment to land there before the Soviets. In 1969, the Apollo astronauts arrive and retrieve some of the items.

From there we head back to present day and the continuing battle between Autobots and Decepticons on Earth. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) helped save the world twice but now finds himself unable to land a job. Inevitably he winds up involved with the Autobots and their attempts to fight the Decepticons and preserve humanity. Much destruction ensues.

In other words, Dark closely follows the template from the first two movies, with yet another loose, generally incoherent “plot”. The most significant change probably comes from the recasting of Sam’s love interest, as we lose Mikaela from the 2007 and 2009 flicks, apparently because Megan Fox butted heads with director Michael Bay.

This brings us a new character and a new babe, as sexy Rosie Huntington-Whiteley plays Sam’s Australian girlfriend Carly. A lingerie model, Dark represented Huntington-Whitely’s first acting performance, and it remains her only one, though apparently she will appear in a 2015 Mad Max reboot.

Can Huntington-Whiteley act? Not really, though her skills – or lack thereof – don’t matter a ton. Although I think the movie suffers a little due to the absence of Fox – who has some talent and personality beyond her looks – Carly exists as little more than eye candy, so Huntington-Whitely fills the bill.

No one goes to see Transformers movies for the humans anyway, which is a good thing, as they’ve become less and less useful as the series progressed. I thought LaBeouf stood out as a surprising highlight of the first film, largely because he allowed the audience a human connection amidst all the mayhem. He fared a bit less well in Revenge and becomes nearly superfluous here. Dark continues to feature Sam because we’re used to him and the filmmakers don’t want to tamper with the formula, but he serves no real purpose otherwise.

Other repeat characters reappear here, and they also don’t have much to do. Dark adds new talent like Frances McDormand and John Malkovich, but good as they can be, they’re buried among the chaos. I admire their willingness to attempt to add some personality to the experience, but there’s not much they can achieve.

That matches the experience in the first two films, and other similarities continue here. The effects remain top-notch, and despite the general incoherence and disorderliness of the “story”, Bay knows how to stage the occasional impressive action scene.

Without interesting characters or an involving narrative, however, Dark echoes its predecessors in the worst way: it provides a lot of action without meaning or impact. A lot of people seem to really like the Transformers series and get pleasure from the films, but I’m not among them. Dark has its moments but mostly ends up as another spotty entry in the series.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A/ Bonus F

Transformers: Dark of the Moon appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer of Dark appeared virtually identical to those of the first two – so much so that I entered “cut and paste town”, so please enjoy these duplicated comments from an earlier review!

At all times, sharpness appeared positive. Despite some mild edge haloes at times, I thought the image seemed accurate and well-defined. I noticed no signs of shimmering or jaggies, and the movie lacked any print flaws.

Like most other Michael Bay flicks, Fallen favored stylized colors – all two of them! Teal and orange heavily dominated, and that could make the hues look goofy at times; the image favored so much orange that actors occasionally resembled Oompa-Loompas. Still, I can’t fault the transfer for Bay’s excesses, so this was an accurate representation of the source.

Blacks were always deep and tight, and I saw good contrast as well. Shadows seemed clear and appropriately opaque. The Blu-ray became a strong reproduction of the film.

I felt even more pleased with the movie’s impressive Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack. A movie packed with mayhem and action, the mix used all the channels in a lively, involving manner. Vehicles, weapon-fire, robots and similar elements popped up from all around the room and delivered a smooth, engrossing soundscape.

This meant nearly constant material from the surrounds. The back speakers delivered a high level of information and created a great sense of place in that domain. All of this melded together in a vivid, satisfying manner.

Audio quality was also strong. Music seemed full and bold, while speech was consistently natural and crisp. Effects became the most prominent component, of course, and packed a solid punch, with positive clarity and range. People invest major bucks in home theaters for flicks like this, and Dark delivered the goods.

No extras appear here – not even the usual Michael Bay commentary. As the kids like to say, that sucks.

With 2011’s Dark of the Moon, the Transformers franchise continues with a film that offers a virtual carbon copy of its predecessors. The movie occasionally musters decent action but seems too silly and disjointed to succeed. The Blu-ray delivers excellent picture and audio but comes with no supplements. Maybe the Transformers series merits points for consistency, but when the result always becomes flawed and lackluster, we encounter problems.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.85 Stars Number of Votes: 20
1 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main