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Published on June 21st, 2008 | by simeon

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Transformers

Based on the popular line of toys and animated television series from the 80’s. Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay have teamed up to create a mega million FX extravaganza that will delight fans both old and new.

The story involves a group of sentient machines who have battled for centuries in an effort to locate and possess an all powerful object. The kind Autobots led by Optimus Prime, wish to locate and destroy the artifact to keep it from the evil Decepticons who would use the artificat for their own evil purposes, and the deaths of billions.

The film opens with a spectacular battle at a U.S. military installation in the middle east, where one of the Decepticons is attempting to access sensative information from the computer network. Overwhelmed by the attack and subsequent assault on Air Force One, the U.S. government has called in the best and brightest in effort to get to the bottom of the mysterious attacks and the mysterious assailants.

Meanwhile, mild mannered high school student Sam Witicky (Shia LaBeouf), is trying to raise money for a car, and uses his class presentation to hawk his Ebay auctions, unaware that the fate of the universe will soon rest in his hands. After purchasing a used Camaro and giving a ride to the hottest girl in school Mikaela (Megan Fox), Sam thinks his luck is about to change. Little does Sam know that his car is actually one of the advanced scouts for the Autobots, who are attempting to locate one of the items in Sam’s online auction, as it actually contains clues as to the location of the lost artifact.

In short order, the two sides are facing off in several shape changing battles with Sam, Mikaela, and the rest of humanity caught in the balance. Bay and Spielberg have done a great job of combining jaw-dropping FX and action with the humor, charm, and fun that made the original series such a huge success. The audience at my press screening reacted very positively to the film, and there were numerous cheers and rounds of enthusiastic applause throughout the film.

If I had to find fault with the film, it would be that at roughly the 3/4 point, a plot line involving John Turturro as an agent in a secret organization seems forced and unnecessary, as it greatly detracts from the pacing and action of the film. Until this point, the film was very engrossing and moved along at a brisk clip. When the film gets back to the action, it delivers with a solid finale, that while using some of the action film staples, still manages to keep it exciting.

LaBeof works well with Fox and there are numerous supporting roles and cameos that make “Transformers” a pleasant, if silly treat.

4 stars out of 5.

The film has some amzing visuals and thankfully Paramount has done a masterful job of preserving the image as it truly shines on an HDTV. I also ran it on a standard TV and was rewarded with sharp colors and a crips transfer. The 5.1 Dolby Digital worked well with our surround sound system and enhanced the quality of the show. To often films are presented on DVD with colors or sound that are somewhat muted compared to the theatrical version which undermines a film. Transformers is a celebration of sight and sound and it was nice to see this captured for home viewing.

The Two Disc Special edition Comes with a Collector Figure as well as Michael Bay Commentary and cast, crew, and stunt interviews and behind the scenes. Production notes on the Autobots and Decepticons as well as in depth look at the desert attack sequence and much more.


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