After a rather pathetic initial Blu-Ray release, Paramout has made up for past sins by releasing Transformers: Dark Of The Moon in an epic 4 disc set that is one hell of a package. To put it bluntly, it’s near perfect and will undoubtedly be one of 2012’s best releases. Why, you ask? Let’s dive in and find out, shall we?
Boasting easily the best plot of the series, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon takes us back to 1961 during the war for Cybertron between the Autobots and Decepticons. With the odds stacked against our heroes, Sentinel Prime launches a ship called the Ark from their home planet. The Ark contains incredibly advanced technology that can help the Autobots win their war once and for all. Unfortunately, Prime’s plan doesn’t work out too well and while in orbit, the Ark is attacked by Starscream and it crashes on the moon.
We are then treated to a brief glimpse of the famous space race between the US and Russia. By 1969, NASA has put the first man on the moon. What most people don’t know though is that the mission was actually an excuse to investigate the Ark and find out what it’s hiding and what its purpose is.
As we cut to the present, our protagonist Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is living with his beautiful girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). Sam has a seemingly normal life but misses the days of being a hero and saving the world, he wants to “matter” again. Lucky for him, he’s about to get another chance to protect his beloved planet.
When it comes to the Blu-Ray, Paramount has included a Blu-Ray, DVD, Digital and 3D version of the film and as expected, they all look fantastic. The Blu-Ray is the same deal as what we got a few months ago on the barebones edition. And trust me, that’s a good thing.
Both the audio and video are excellent. If you missed the film in theatres, I feel bad for you. Luckily though, this Blu-Ray is the next best thing and it does a pretty good job at recreating the experience. Simply put, this is demo material, hands down.
An explosive audio track fills the room with pristine sound that immerses you like none other. Atmospherics draw you in as the triumphant score and perfectly placed sound effects keep your ears hooked. It’s a powerful track, with giant robots clanging and clashing on screen as every bang and explosion lights up the room.
Visually, this is also a treat. Astounding crispness and clarity back up each and every shot. The vibrant colours sparkle off the robots’ exteriors and fleshtones look completely accurate. Strong black levels, perfect detail and a fine level of depth round off what is an absolutely perfect picture.
The 3D is also exceptional. While not every scene benefits from the format, the majority of them do. Where it really comes through though is during the Chicago battle scenes. The depth and scale of the action shot here when presented in 3D is absolutely astonishing. Most of the images pop and gimmick shots are kept to a minimum, thankfully. The jaw dropping effects also stun in 3D as you sit there in awe trying to comprehend what you’re seeing. 3D is the ultimate way to view this film and I highly recommend you take a trip down that route if you haven’t yet done so.
- Above and Beyond: Exploring Dark of the Moon: This five part documentary runs nearly two hours and is hands down incredible. It covers absolutely each and every aspect of the making of the film and it is a MUST WATCH. It’s one of the best making of docs that I’ve seen in a very long time and its exhaustive nature provides for a fascinating look at all the hard work that went into making the film.
- Uncharted Territory: NASA’s Future Then and Now: A half hour doc that takes a look at NASA. It doesn’t have much to do with the actual film but if you’re interested in this kind of stuff then it’s worth checking out.
- Deconstructing Chicago: Multi-Angle Sequences : A neat feature that allows viewers to watch either the raw previsualizations individually or alongside the final shot. You can also watch VFX Breakdowns individually or alongside the final shot. I’d suggest checking out a few segments on this feature, it’s cool to see how everything comes together and what VFX look like during the various stages of production.
- The Art of Cybertron: A couple galleries depciting Cybertron related material
- The Dark of the Moon Archive: A grouping of extras that is split into five parts. First is a brief conversation with Michael Bay and James Cameron about 3D. The next feature is a brief look at the film’s Moscow premiere. The third part goes into the aerial stunts while the fourth Birdmen Featurette (2:28), another look at the high-flying stunt performers, covers much of the same material as previously seen in Attack of the Birdmen: Aerial Stunts. Next is Cody’s iPad (2:07), a brief feature showing Michael Bay helping out one of his biggest fans. Finally, The Sound of ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ (9:17) explores the picture’s incredible and dynamic sound engineering.
- The Matrix of Marketing: Just a couple trailers/promo material for you to check out if you’re interested.
- 2D Blu-ray copy.
- DVD Copy.
- UV Copy.
Overall, you really can’t go wrong with this disc in your collection. It’s more or less the complete package. I’ve seen Transformers: Dark Of The Moon multiple times now and each viewing is a throughly enjoyable experience. It has its flaws but it’s just so damn entertaining and I can easily overlook its shortcomings. If you haven’t yet invested in the film, now is the time. This package is near perfect and if you’re a fan, then you absolutely can’t go wrong with this one.
After a rather pathetic initial Blu-Ray release, Paramout has made up for past sins by releasing Transformers: Dark Of The Moon in an epic 4 disc set that is one hell of a package.