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DVD Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

September 30, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon – A Paramount Pictures’ Release

http://www.transformersmovie.com/

DVD Release Date: September 30th, 2011

Rated PG for violence, coarse language, not for young children

Running time: 154 minutes

Michael Bay (dir.)

Ehren Kruger (writer)

Steve Jablonsky (music)

Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as Carly Spencer

Patrick Dempsey as Dylan

Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime (voice)

Our reviews below:

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon DVD Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

Turns out that the space race of 1969 actually uncovered some discarded robots from Cybertron in the shadows of the moon.  Or so it is according to Transformers: Dark of the Moon.  In present time and back on Earth, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) now lives with his girlfriend, Carly (Rosie Huntington- Whiteley) and is trying to find a job after having saved the world in the previous two films.  But once again, the evil Decepticons are desperately trying to take over our planet and only the wise Optimus Prime and his team of Autobots can save the day.  The only problem is that the government now has custody of the robots, and Sam must reunite with his beloved yellow Bumblebee in order to bring the old gang back together and restore peace to Earth.

Although Transformers: Dark of the Moon is laughable when it tries to take itself seriously, there’s no doubt that the special effects here are top-notch.  Director Michael Bay clearly knows how to use CGI in order to destroy the city of Chicago with the help of some giant transforming robots.  The bombastic and headache-inducing action of the final showdown is constant, which is exactly why fans of the series are going to see the movie.  This is also why the bloated 154-minute running time feels about an hour too long.  But at its best, this third installment does provide some stupidly entertaining ‘get what you paid for’ robot mayhem, and no doubt audiences will use the Blu-ray to show off the true power of their HD TV.

The Blu-ray includes no bonus features, save for a regular DVD of the film.  All extra material is being saved for a 3D release in the next few months.

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon DVD Review by Erin V.  

**1/2 (out of 4)

It’s hard to go too much into the plot here – if you can follow it, you won’t need me to spell it out for you, and if you can’t and are just watching the film for an action-flick, I’ll probably just confuse you more.  But here’s as well as I can describe the basis of the film.

When Transformers: Dark of the Moon opens, we find out that in 1961, a ship escaped from Cybertron called ‘The Ark’ crash-landed on the dark side of the moon.  Seen through telescopes by governments around the world, the space race was egged on by each country wanting to be the first to get a manned mission to the moon and investigate what appeared to be an alien spaceship crash.  They find a bunch of strange pillar shaped capsules, as well as a giant transformer.  Taking what they can back to earth, it is stored and not really thought much more about until now.

In present day, the Autobots have their hands full as increasingly more Decepticons are coming to Earth – apparently looking for something.  This leaves Bumblebee with practically no time for Sam (Shia LeBeouf), who himself is living with his new girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whitely), and looking desperately for a job after having graduated college.  The plot thickens when the Autobots discover that the humans have pieces of the Ark, so they launch an investigation of their own, go to the moon, find Sentinel Prime (Leonard Nimoy), and ultimately through many betrayals and twists and turns (and stuff regarding space-time portals) we get an all out battle between the two robot sanctions that pretty much destroys downtown Chicago.

It’s all pretty unbelievable when you get down to it, but unlike the last two, I actually found this one easier to follow and keep track of.  Pretty much what you need to know is that the Autobots have more colourful paint jobs than the Decepticons (which are largely very silver/mechanical looking), which helps to tell them apart during chaotic battle sequences.  It also helped that the incessant shaky-cam from the climax of the last film largely took a hiatus for this one.  Maybe because it was in 3D in theatres, but the camera actually slows waaaaay down at times to fling things at the screen.  But its more amusing than dizzying unlike the cinematography last time around.

The acting in a Transformers film is never why you watch it, but most of the cast is good here for what they’re doing (and the script they’re reading), all seemingly having a fun time in their roles.  It was well-noted when this film came out that Megan Fox was not going to be in this one, and the new female love-interest for LeBeouf is Rosie Huntington-Whitely (a Victoria’s Secret model).  Strangely her acting is a bit better than Fox’s, but that’s not saying much and typical of a young female Michael Bay film role, the character is still pretty needless and doesn’t get much intelligent responsibility.  A couple of other notes I’d like to mention are that Bumblebee still talks through the car radio (which I love), and the scenes between Optimus (Peter Cullen) and Sentinel (Leonard Nimoy) are amusingly like hearing two guys talk to each other in overly grand speeches.  One other cool thing is that Optimus Prime’s trailer finally seems to transform into something useful, rather than just get tossed to the side or disappear into ‘hammer space.’

I found myself thoroughly entertained at times and ultimately this Transformers outing, again complete with overscoring and acting, and tons of things getting destroyed and blown up, actually finally seemed to strike the right balance of having fun with its characters and story rather than becoming too serious in its storytelling.  Plus, the robots are always cool to watch going in and out of their car/other electronic forms, as they put on a big fighting spectacle.  I would definitely recommend this one for those who like the Transformers, or are just looking for ‘a fun action movie with an outer space robot civilization playing out their civil war on Earth’.  Imagine going into a video store and asking what they have with that description.

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon DVD Review By Nicole

**1/2 (out of 4)

This third installment in the Transformers trilogy is campy, bombastic and often quite funny.  In Dark of the Moon, the 1969 Apollo moon landing was not just to discover a new world.  It was an investigation of an Autobot ship that crashed on the dark side.  Back in 2011, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is out of university.  He has a new girlfriend who is an English diplomat, Barbie doll look-alike Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, only there to replace Megan Fox after she dissed director Michael Bay).  The Decepticons have been murdering anyone who knew about the Autobot ship.  Add another gratuitous conspiracy theory about Chernobyl, and you have a mystery that is hard to follow.  Sam, with the help of the Autobots must stop the Decepticons before it is too late.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is way too long.  But the nice thing about the Blu-ray is that you can watch the film in segments.  As random as this film is, it does have a lot of humour.  One small part with comedian Ken Jeong is so politically incorrect, that it is actually funny.  The alien robots talk in pedantic speeches, which are often campy and hilarious.  There are a lot of good one-liners in the movie, which has enough humour and cool special effects to make it worth a rental.

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon DVD Review By Maureen

** (out of 4)

The Transformers franchise already has a strong presence on toy shelves everywhere.  The release on Blu-ray of the third movie in the franchise, Transformers: Dark of the Moon will only serve to boost sales of the popular Hasbro toys.  In terms of movies, the film is entertaining enough if you like the cool factor of those transforming metal robotic creatures.  But it is also a good hour too long if you aren’t a die-hard fan.  The plot is confusing at times, with conspiracy theories about the 1969 Apollo II moon landing forming the background for the story.  Essentially the Autobots with the help of their human hero Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and his favourite robot, Bumblebee have to take on the evil Decepticons once again before planet Earth in general and Chicago in particular are destroyed.

The action is non-stop and the special effects of the Transformers are definitely well done.  However the often laughable dialogue and sometimes mediocre acting make Transformers: Dark of the Moon fun to watch mainly for those who just love the shiny metal of the robots.  I can see the toys going on lots of wish lists this holiday season.  Older Transformers fans will also want to add the Blu-ray of Dark of the Moon to their list.

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon DVD Review By Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the third Transformers film directed by Michael Bay. Shia LaBeouf returns as Sam, now out of college with a new girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). The world is threatened once again by a battle between Decepticons and Autobots that destroys much of Washington and Chicago. The special effects are impressive as usual, including people sliding down a falling building being chewed up by a drilling robot. Along with the sometimes confusing and usually loud and messy action, there is a lot of fun from a fine cast that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Kevin Dunn, Julie White, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro are back along with Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey, Ken Jeong and Alan Tudyk among the human characters. Robot voices include Peter Cullen, Hugo Weaving, Leonard Nimoy, George Coe and Tom Kenny. As usual, it is overly long at 154 minutes, but it moves along well.

Avoiding the headaches of the previous versions, I never saw the 3D theatrical version, which apparently solves the dimness problem with brighter projection levels. In the comfort of home, the 2D Blu-Ray version on a good HD TV looks great, but with the huge memory required to render all the action, there is no room left on the disk for extras.

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Consensus: The third installment in director Michael Bay’s financially successful franchise, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is an overlong and often bombastic action film that admittedly provides its fair share of entertaining special effects.  **1/2 (Out of 4)

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