Blu-ray 3D Review: 'Transformers: Dark Of The Moon' - A Two-And-A-Half Hour Thrill Ride That Defines The Format
Director Michael Bay wasn't kidding when he said that the 3D Blu-ray version of Transformers: Dark Of The Moon "will blow you away."
"If you've been waiting for the right time to get a 3D television, this is it," he adds - and he couldn't be more right.
Those sneering at the very thought of bringing 3D into their living rooms and - gasp! - having to wear glasses to get the effect simply haven't experienced the latest technology.
In my experience, not one soul has uttered anything other than "cool," "awesome" or "oh my gosh" when they got their first look.
Like it or not, 3D is here to stay, and with virtually all manufacturers dropping their prices on new sets & 3D capable Blu-ray players (the Sony Playstation 3 also plays them thanks to a firmware update last spring) there's really no excuse not to get a 3D ready set the next time you're ready to upgrade.
Another reason to make the change: multi-disc Combo Packs, like Dark of the Moon, that give viewers multiple options by including 3D Blu-ray, regular Blu-ray & DVD discs. Want to take it on the road? There's even a code to download the Ultraviolet copy of the film and stream it from sites like Flixster right to your portable device - anytime you want.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon was filmed using James Cameron & director of photography Vince Pace's Fusion Camera System - the one that Cameron developed for filming Avatar - so it's meant for 3D viewing and definitely delivers the goods, bringing the action right into your living room, giving one the feel of being right there in the middle of the action.
Bay actually wasn't interested in using the new technology, but after some convincing from Cameron and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and viewing each scene on a 3D monitor as he shot it, he was in awe of the results and told his producer that he would be keeping the cameras for the entire film shoot instead of for the initial two weeks they only intended to use it.
Shia LaBeouf and Megan F-- oops, not Megan Fox ("she was mean") - Rosie Huntington-Whiteley star in the third installment of Bay's series based on the Hasbro toys, along with returning cast regulars Josh Duhamel, John Turturro and Tyrese Gibson. Together with the Autobots they're thrust into the ultimate battle to save Earth from the evil Decepticons.
This time around we learn that there was a whole new reason for the Apollo 11 mission to the moon: something crash landed there in the late 60s and we were sent to explore the wreckage of the ship. That wreckage turned out to be a failed mission for the Autobots to save their home planet of Cybertron.
Aboard the crashed ship is Autobot Sentinel Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy), who tried to escape his home planet with the last hope of saving it on board with him, only to be shot down in transit by the evil Decepticons. Sentinel hurtled through space and crash landed on our moon, and after lying dormant for decades was brought down to Earth by Optimus Prime and the other Autobots charged with protecting Earth from future attacks from the Decepticons.
But Sentinel's plan to save his home planet involved a deal with the Decepticons that would not only save Cybertron, but destroy Earth and enslave humanity.
In addition to the film, the DotM Combo Pack includes a second Blu-ray disc full of nearly four hours of documentaries & behind the scenes footage that almost overshadows the film itself. The bonus features actually make the movie even better, as they reveal how excited the filmmakers - from the top down - were to bring this film to life with the main goal of giving viewers an exciting thrill-ride of a movie to enjoy.
The first part explores the development and design of the film up through the actual release and Moscow world premiere, and is really the 'meat and potatoes' of the bonus features. It's interesting to learn that (in addition to most critics and fans) most (okay, all) of the production team were less than satisfied with the outcome of the second film in the series, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The biggest reason stemmed from the Hollywood writers's strike that was going on at the time the film started production, and Bay & co. decided to press on regardless.