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Stephen Caple Jr.
Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Luna Lauren Velez
Writing Credits:
Joby Harold, Darnell Metayer, Josh Peters, Erich Hoeber, Jon Hoeber

During the '90s, a new faction of Transformers called the Maximals joins the Autobots as allies in the battle for Earth.

Box Office:
$200 million.
Opening Weekend
$61,045,464 on 3678 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Audio Description
Czech Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
French Canadian Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Italian Dolby 5.1
Hungarian Dolby 5.1
Polish Dolby 5.1
French Canadian
Latin Spanish
Simplified Chinese
Supplements Subtitles:
French Canadian
Latin Spanish
Simplified Chinese

127 min.
Price: $31.99
Release Date: 10/10/2023

• “Human Affairs” Featurette
• “Life in the 90s” Featurette
• “Heroes” Featurette
• “Villains” Featurette
• “The Chase” Featurette
• “The Battle of Ellis Island” Featurette
• “Into the Jungle” Featurette
• “The Switchback Attack” Featurette
• “The Final Conflict” Featurette
• Deleted/Extended Scenes


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Transformers: Rise of the Beasts [Blu-Ray] (2023)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 23, 2023)

After the franchise showed severe box office decline with 2017’s The Last Knight, Transformers went the “prequel” route with 2018’s Bumblebee. Whereas the prior five films took place in “modern day”, Bumblebee sent us back to 1987.

Though this didn’t correct the series’ financial drop, Bumblebee did greet the strongest reviews of the bunch. Perhaps bolstered by the 2018 movie’s goodwill, 2023’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts stays in the past and takes us to 1994.

Military veteran Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos) struggles to find consistent work despite a genius for technological devices. Desperate for money to help his sick younger brother Kris (Dean Scott Vasquez), Noah agrees to steal a valuable car.

However, this turns out to be no ordinary Porsche, as Noah attempts to burgle an Autobot named Mirage (voiced by Pete Davidson). Along with nascent archaeologist Elena Wallace (Dominique Fishback), Noah partners with the Autobots to fight the evil Transformer Unicron (voiced by Colman Domingo).

Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me twice, shame on me.

Fool me seven times, and why do I continue to watch Transformers movies?

Because hope springs and all that. I remain an unabashed fan of big summer blockbusters, and every time a Transformers hits screens, I hope it'll be the one to finally deliver the goods.

But it never happens. Bumblebee became a cut above its predecessors, but it still felt like a bunch of 80s movies thrown into a blender and it didn’t seem better than mediocre.

Which becomes the case for Beasts. Like Bumblebee, it takes us into the past, though I admit I'm not particularly sure why we go to 1994 here. Perhaps there's some narrative purpose I missed.

The use of 1994 feels more like windowdressing - unexplored windowdressing, though, as the movie rarely feels like 1994. Outside of some nods to then-popular cultural artifacts - and an eye-rolling reference to Mark Wahlberg that exists solely because he starred in a couple Transformers installments - the movie feels like it could be set today.

Sure, this time period means Beasts lacks cell phones and whatnot, but this seems irrelevant. Horror movies benefit from pre-cell settings because these phones become such an obstacle to tension.

But that doesn't seem like an issue here. There's nothing I recall in the story that benefits from taking place 29 years ago, and Beasts doesn't even explore the era in a kitschy throwback way.

I admit I appreciate this in theory, as I get tired of films that use the past just for silly jokes. Nonetheless, it still leaves me confused why they bothered to go with 1994.

Whatever the case, the main issues here stem from bland characters and a dull story. Big alien robots once again battle over some powerful artifact, and semi-anonymous humans help - haven't we seen this tale already?

Yes, and the action doesn't seem interesting enough to compensate. I can care about what happens to non-human characters, but I'll be damned if I've ever maintained an emotional connection to the Transformers.

This becomes exacerbated by the period setting, as we already know Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) and others won't die. They can't since they appear in movies set after 1994

So there goes dramatic tension, and I never cared much about the generic humans either. Our two human leads seem cliché and without personality.

They exist to put a human face on matters but they bring nothing memorable to the table. Live or die? This never mattered much to me.

In the end, Beasts does tone down the sins of the Michael Bay Transformers movies. It's not paced as frenetically or shot as obnoxiously, and it lacks the cheap/often borderline offensive stabs at humor Bay favors.

But we also get no real personality from Beasts. It just feels made by a committee so it lacks heart, passion or any notable impact.

Footnote: we get a bonus scene early in the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A/ Bonus B-

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts appears in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Expect a solid image here.

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.

Michael Bay may no longer direct Transformers movies, but they continue to favor his beloved orange and teal palette. That said, Beasts lacks the comical intensity of those tones that we find from the typical Bay effort.

This means that while Beasts leans toward orange and teal in a consistent manner, those tones didn’t seem over the top. The Blu-ray demonstrated them in the desired manner.

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 Atmos soundtrack. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, 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 Beasts delivered the goods.

As we shift to extras, we find a bunch of featurettes. Human Affairs goes for seven minutes, 32 seconds and brings notes from director Steven Caple Jr., producers Mark Vahradian and Lorenzo di Bonaventura, writers Erich Hoeber, Jon Hoeber, and Josh Peters, and actors Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback.

“Affairs” covers story/characters and the 1990s Brooklyn setting, spectacle and scope, cast and performances, and Caple’s approach to the film. We get a mix of modest insights and fluff here.

Life in the 90s goes for six minutes, 14 seconds. It involves Jon Hoeber, Fishback, Caple, Ramos, Vahradian, costume designer Ciara Whaley, visual effects supervisor Gary Brozenich, and supervising art director Michèle Laliberté.

As expected, “Life” looks at the film’s attempts to reproduce the 1990s. We get some good thoughts about these efforts.

Two paired featurettes arrive next via Heroes (10:12) and Villains (8:35). Across these, we hear from Caple, Ramos, Fishback, Vahradian, Jon Hoeber, Peters, Brozenich, Erich Hoeber, di Bonaventura, Fishback, and picture car transportation coordinator Randy Peters.

Unsurprisingly, we get notes about new Transformers as well as voice cast/performances and design choices. Expect a pretty good little overview.

The Chase spans five minutes, 35 seconds. It features Caple, Ramos, Josh Peters, Brozenich, Erich Hoeber, Jon Hoeber, and stunt coordinator Patrick Kerton.

Like the title implies, “Chase” covers aspects of the movie’s first big action scene that involves Mirage and Noah. It becomes a decent but somewhat puffy piece.

With The Battle of Ellis Island, we locate a seven-minute, seven-second piece. It delivers info from Caple, Laliberté, Brozenich, Fishback, Kerton, Josh Peters, di Bonaventura, Ramos, and director of photography Enrique Chediak.

“Battle” follows the framework from “Chase” and gives us specifics about that particular sequence. Expect another mix of insights and fluff.

Into the Jungle lasts 10 minutes, 20 seconds. Here we get comments from di Bonaventura, Vahradian, Caple, Chediak, Ramos, Fishback, Brozenich, Whaley, Peru line producer Bruno Canale, Director of Machu Picchu National Park Jose Bastante, and producer Michael Bay.

We look at South American locations here. The reel offers a mix of decent notes.

After this arrives The Switchback Attack. The seven-minute, 11-second reel offers notes from di Bonaventura, Caple, Erich Hoeber, Jon Hoeber, Brozenich, Peru supervising art director Felix Lariviere-Charron, 2nd unit director James Madigan, and stunt drivers Brett Smrz, Brennan Walstrom, Mike Ryan, Tom Elliott and Bobby Talbert,

Here we learn more about an action scene shot in Peru. It becomes another generally positive program,

For the last featurette, we get the aptly titled The Final Conflict. It fills 10 minutes, 46 seconds with material from Josh Peters, Fishback, Caple, Bastante, Canale, Vahradian, di Bonaventura, Ramos, Chediak, Laliberté, and Brozenich.

“Conflict” looks at shooting in Machu Picchu and related challenges. It provides a few useful notes.

The Blu-ray concludes with four Deleted Scenes and three Extended Scenes. All together, these occupy a total of 13 minutes, 45 seconds.

An “Alternate Opening” seems decent but not especially creative. The movie’s existing launch seems like a better idea, especially since it establishes new characters.

As for the remaining clips, they tend to add a bit more exposition, character info and action. None of the scenes seem especially memorable or important, however.

16 years and seven movies into the franchise, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts fails to bring anything fresh to the series. While not the worst of these entries, it feels generic and never delivers real excitement or thrills. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture and audio along with a mix of bonus materials. Expect a watchable but forgettable action flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.75 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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